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ImageOver the course of a few weeks, relationships have been the topic of discussion in my social circle. Not just for pleasure, but a few of us are working with our church to develop a curriculum for single Christians about dating. Our candid conversations and a few focus groups have somehow continually led back to a train of thought: is “the one” prepackaged, or must you create him/her?

Let me back up…the conversation really was about men and women having to be taught how to care about their mates. The question was, if it’s really the person for you, should you have to teach that stuff? Shouldn’t it be instinct? Chemistry? Prayers to baby Jesus and Mattel about the exact person for you?

I was watching the very first episode of Sex and the City a few weeks ago with a friend, and tonight with my boyfriend in various states of sleeping and waking on the couch. I remembered when I was watching with my friend, several blogging ideas popped into my head, but I couldn’t remember what they were. However, at about 10-13 minutes into the show, Samantha made a statement that popped out at me. Samantha and Miranda were doing their men aren’t worth it thing, and when Charlotte announced that giving up on love is sick, Carrie said, “Believe me, if the right guy comes along, all this these two are saying…out the window.” Samantha responded with “The right guy is an illusion, don’t you see?”

Whoa. Time out. Hmm…is she on to something? I think that’s about right. I don’t think any guy – or girl for that matter – comes with no assembling required. My male friends (boyfriend included) beg to differ. They tend to think that it should be effortless, no lessons, etc…

I think that both are true…there should be some instinctual characteristics that should be present from jump…personalization of said characteristics require training. For instance, I love when anyone I’m dating calls me to check on me and see how I’m doing just because he wants me to know he was thinking about me. I do not, however, like voicemails. Now, according to the guys in my circle, if he was really for me, he would instinctively know that, call me 3 times, and then leave a text. If he does, however, leave voicemails, it’s a sign it wasn’t meant to be! (This is hyperbole, but you get my drift.)

I do believe relationships take a bit of both. Characteristics are instinct, but personalization requires lessons…what say you?

Merry Christmas everyone. Happy Birthday Jesus (well…almost celebrated day of birth. It’s 10:55pm on the 24th.)

Love,

–V

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Credit to BET

I swear, this is the 3rd or 4th time I’ve made a Kanye reference on this blog. Who knew that ‘Ye and Sex and the City would be so easily connected? (Well, except for Mr. West’s wardrobe choices for the Watch the Throne tour. Skants. All he needs is a lace crown, and he could’ve been  Carrie…oddly dressed but still dope.) I digress.

My last post about Learned Behaviors had a lot of feedback. It didn’t come in the form of comments on the blog specifically, but rather I was contacted via DM, Facebook inbox messages, texts, calls, and face to face conversations from people who both congratulated my ability to write my most (in my humble opinion) transparent post, and shared that reading said post caused them to reflective in their own relationship behavior and the catalyst there behind. Just think, my sharing caused hundreds (okay, well maybe 9) to reevaluate their behavior for the better! Now, I can admit that there was a more negative connotation associated with learned behaviors, but what about the other side? What about the positive things you’ve picked up from your past that has only been helpful ever since you learned it?

Kanye West had a skit on his album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” (I believe it’s at the end of “Blame Game”) where Chris Rock is engaged in conversation with a girl who is (presumably) West’s ex-girlfriend/jump-off/concubine. He kept asking her where she learned to do this or where she picked up that habit (and that description is clearly infinitely more G-rated than the actual song, lol), and her refrain was unchanging: “Yeezy taught me.” Rock’s final conclusion? “Yeezy taught you well.” Basically, being with ‘Ye gave her some skills that made her new man very happy. Now, depending on whose perspective you’re looking from, this could be negative. I think from the perspective of the album, it was decidedly more negative, yet funny. But let’s get it connected.

Yeezy taught her?

Admittedly, there are some things I’ve taken from every relationship-esque situation I’ve been in that have been great assets in my next relationship-esque situation (including some I won’t discuss, but once I have a covenant, will have to get dusted off, lol). My first relationship really got me interested in hip-hop. Oh, I’d liked rap, but not with any great detail. I think the first rap song I learned I was in the 7th grade, and it was Warren G and Nate Dogg’s “Regulate”. When I was 18, the on again/off again semi-relationship/friendshippy thing I had, he loved hip hop. His favorite rapper was Redman, which is an odd choice considering we were both in the deep south (Louisiana). I listened to Eminem’s whole cd, not just the singles. I developed an appreciation for wordplay.

The guy after him, who I will refer to as Dawson’s Creek, was a baseball player. I talk about him here. He loved God, was a virgin (by choice, but even he admitted it was very difficult to do), and had great manners. We would play together all the time. I think baseball is incredibly boring; however, this is where I learned to take interest in my beau’s interests…even if it’s like watching caterpillars change.

My ex, he loved Southern rap. It expanded my palette to OutKast, Jay-Z, 8ball and MJG, etc… But more importantly, this is when I was forced to like football. From about the end of August until the beginning February, if we were going to spend time together on Saturdays, it had to happen on his couch. Preferably with wings. He was both a college and NFL football fan, so inevitably, I picked it up. And took it and ran with it. I’m a SEC girl (LSU! They’re my default. I was a Gator fan when Tebow was there. Loved him.) and wear my Saints t-shirts to work with a pantsuit to piss off my Falcons’ fan co-workers.

And every guy I dated after the previous one absolutely loved each picked up habit.

Big was a known jazz enthusiast. No doubt that helped Carrie with Ray, her jazz musician (until she couldn’t deal with his ADD). Steve taught Miranda to relax when he would wake her with their morning, er…happy time, even though she hated it. By the time she was dating Dr. Robert Leeds, she was comfortable enough to take a personal day of…um…happy time. And she didn’t even argue about it like she did with Steve. Stevie taught her.

All I’m saying is, even though we get some learned behavior that we need to get rid as soon as possible, we also get some beneficial things as well. I’m still me and I want to discuss issues like any other girl……………..as long as the Saints aren’t playing.

What say you? What good skills have you gotten from past relationships that will be helpful in your future ones? Who taught you well? (lol)

Love,

–V

P.S. …all you folks who read this, and then text me, you are more than welcome to actually respond here, lol

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