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On last Thursday (not yesterday), I went to a Ru Sans for lunch because I wanted Asian food. I didn’t know that they did a buffet, so I got the fried rice I wanted, broccoli, and an endless supply of sushi…my Nook and I were ready for a pretty nice afternoon. I took a small booth near the door, and prepared to read and eat.

There was a couple sitting to my side and a bit behind me. Because of our close proximity, I could make out their conversation, but I was trying to be engrossed in my book. However, there was a strand of dialogue that perked my ears, “He just doesn’t get me.”

Maybe it was the tone of her voice that made it stand out. Maybe it was the “he” pronoun when she was already there with a guy. It kind of made me chuckle like, “Someone is about to get broken up with.” His response was, “I completely understand. I’ve felt alone with her for the past two months.” My reaction turned from the chuckle to an “uh-oh….” I listened to them hash out their earnest complaints and desires about the person to whom they were committed. He played video games with a headset on for hours while ignoring the flesh and blood person sitting in his living room. She didn’t make the effort to give him to type of love he wants. And right when I was about to be lost in my book again, I heard her say “husband”.

My immediate thought was, “Molly…..you in danger, girl.” Unbeknownst, or maybe even beknownst (can you be beknownst? How can you just add random prefixes to words that don’t stand alone? Sorry…anyway……) to her, she was setting herself up for an affair. This communal gripe session was giving root to the allowance of those feelings being watered elsewhere. I wondered if they could see it coming. I wondered if they prepared for it in advance. I wondered if they had made the decision to cheat.

samanthaRichardAtlanticCityIt makes me think of Carrie and Aidan, the second go round in Season 4 (“Time and Punishment”). Or Samantha and Richard’s round 2 in Season 5 in Atlantic City (“Luck Be an Old Lady”). Or Charlotte, Harry, and the nanny in the Sex and City 2 movie. All of these were differing levels of the possibility of infidelity, and at some point, someone saw it coming. Notice I didn’tnanny mention the Carrie/Aidan/Big fiasco of Season 3. Big may have known his intentions, but for all intents and purposes, Carrie was a bit caught off guard. She tried her best to avoid him until she got thrown up against an elevator wall, lol. When Aidan was annoyed that Big was still around, he started hanging out with the female bartender (who obviously knew about her) and got very close to the “inappropriate” line. Samantha and Richard might’ve been a self-fulfilling prophecy because Samantha couldn’t let go of his past indiscretion, and was just waiting for it to happen again by side-eyeing every waitress and cleaning girl. Charlotte never considered the possibility that Harry would step out on her because she trusted him (still my favorite couple!), until her friends planted the idea, and then it was all she could see.

My point is this: at some point there is a moment of recognition and a moment of escape. Carrie called Aidan out on it so they could have the actual forgiveness conversation; Samantha cut her losses before that shoe hit the ground; and Charlotte…well she over-analyzed it while in Abu Dhabi but ultimately trusted her husband because the root of her issue didn’t stem from him, but from her friends warning her about the “Jude Law” (at least I think so. I didn’t like the second movie, so I didn’t watch it as much. I totally hope that’s what happened).

I remember being saddened once I found out she was married…that girl in the restaurant. I was discussing this with two of my closest friends, and decided that I wanted to warn her in some way. I wanted her to not become what she would despise. I was writing it on a napkin…”be careful.” I turned around to see how to give it to her, and they were gone. Who knows where. I hope they were going to have these conversations with someone else…their significant others (hopefully)… counselors… Iyanla… somebody! I didn’t want those two friends talk to give way to action that was not-so-friendly.

But I will tell you what I learned from the show and this situation – a lesson from each.

  1. Call it like you see it…you might even get some true forgiveness out of it.
  2. Know when to hold ’em, and know when to fold ’em. (this is not about towels)
  3. You should probably only trust details of your relationship to people who care as much about IT prospering as you do. This is different from people who care about you. Those can be opposites.

So what would you do if faced with the same situation, in any perspective? I’m curious. Let me know.

Love,

-V

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Happy Holidays!

(I decided to go with Happy Holidays because I missed Thanksgiving but it’s not Christmas. Happy Holidays is a happy medium ūüôā )

So today, I have been thinking all day about putting up my Christmas tree, but it made me a little sad to think about putting it up alone. Let me give you a little background. Christmas is my favorite holiday. Besides the fact that it¬†acknowledges the birth of my Lord and Saviour, the general time around Christmas makes me happy. There is a built-in “make me smile” factor that surrounds the Christmas season…twinkling lights, cinnamon-y smells, hot chocolate, beautiful decorations. I have happy memories related to Christmas though. Besides the fact that it was a time that I got to see most of my extended family (until we were all too old to stay in one house, so everyone would have to get hotels, lol), I remember¬†a memory that always makes me happy.

My friend loved Christmas. I always liked the lights, but my mom was the kind of procrastinator that we’d be lucky if the tree was up by the 23rd. And since we normally went to another part of Louisiana for Christmas, so at best, we put cards up around the house and got a poinsettia. I didn’t have decorating memories. So during my sophomore year of college, he started sharing with me around Thanksgiving how excited he was about being able to decorate his (then, brand new) home for Christmas. He asked me to come with him to buy a tree and ornaments. I went, and he was like a big kid. He asked my opinion on which ornaments were nice, but not girly; If the tree was large enough (considering he was 6’4″…he didn’t want to be taller than the tree); if he needed two or three boxes of lights. He told me to go get cocoa while he grabbed Christmas mugs. We went back to his home and he found the 6 Christmas songs on his computer and put them on repeat. I remember that I sat on the couch to watch him “do his thing”. He said, “What are you doing??” I said, “Um…nothing.” He said, “Nooooo, you have to help. I’ll do the lights, and you decide which pretty ornaments go where, and then I’ll do all the fill-in ornaments.” He wanted me involved. And after it was done, he baked cookies (let me choose which ones I wanted first before he got his), made us hot chocolate in the new Christmas mugs, and then turned out the lights so he could light up the tree. He was so happy, lol. It was a good, dorky kind of happy that was infectious. He then thanked me for obliging him and sharing in his first home tree-trimming. And, I loved it just as much as he did. The event itself was nice, but I liked that he wanted me involved. And I ended up making him a cd with more than 6 songs, lol.

That next year, after doing the same thing, we went to the downtown display of Christmas lights. The streets were roped off, and you could walk block after block, stop at little shops, buy apple cider, etc… He wanted to do a little of everything. He was sad because he had just had shoulder surgery (he was a pitcher for my university’s baseball team) so he could only operate one arm, but he still enjoyed himself. He bought cider for us, and we walked all night until it closed, laughing at things (and people), and again, he thanked me for sharing the memories with him. It was that Christmas that we exchanged gifts. He got me a stuffed cocker spaniel puppy (I still love that thing, lol) and I got him a print of Muhammad Ali knocking out Frazier (which he loved).

Things between us changed after that, but we were always friends.¬†I had relationships after that, and with each one I always wanted to cultivate something special. Something distinctly ours. Except…they were never interested. My five-year-relationship guy always seemed mildly annoyed when I wanted him to help me put up my tree, so I tried other things. None of them worked, and he never offered any suggestions. The only thing we did on a regular was visit his mom on Sundays, but nothing explicitly ours. He would say things like, “I thought about taking you to the jazz club.” “I thought about us driving to little cities around here to try whatever they were known for.” I literally begged for almost two years to go to Stone Mountain to see the laser show. I was so excited when I finally went, but he still had a mild indifference. I wanted to hold hands and share a blanket, but he brought a (single) folding chair, saying he thought the ground would be too hard (He said, “I know you have one…I thought you would’ve brought yours too. My bad”). I’m pretty sure that this constant (what I saw as) rejection created a layer that I started to stop asking or expecting moments that were “special”.

charlotte - harry - breakupSo when I say Un-tradition-al…I mean that the most meaningful experiences that set standards for things I’ve wanted were/are with people whom I could only call friends. It is with these people that I have the happiest memories. But the relationships I’ve had, they were all missing that something special. Even now, …well…nevermind. Just know that I have had more special moments¬†recently that I have had¬†in a long time … and it’s a friend. So I can imagine Charlotte’s dismay with Harry when he wanted to watch the baseball game after she had converted to Judaism and cooked a Shabbat meal. To him, he appreciated what she did, but it was another dinner during a game. To her, she was starting to create traditions with someone she cared about. Now, I can’t condone the statements she made to him afterwards, but I can understand (Season 6, “Pick a Little, Talk a Little”).

So, whether it was figuring out how to staple Christmas lights around your window without electrocuting anyone, or inadvertently creating a special language that only two people understand, traditions are nice. I hope that one day, I’ll have them with someone who’ll actually be with me.

Do you have any traditions you’d like to share? It’s the holidays, after all ūüėČ

Love,

–V

P.S. No, my Christmas tree isn’t up. Not yet.

Whenever I go to the grocery store, it is almost a definite that someone will stop me about my hair. They would say some variation of, “Oh my gosh! I love your hair. What do you do to it? What products do you use? I’m natural, but I’m not sure what I need to do.” I share my hair regimen, and I can see the looks on their faces change from “Oh wow” to “Nuh unh.” 4/5 of the time, I hear this phrase:

“Oh wow. Yeah…that’s too much work for me.”

I normally shrug and say, “Well, it works for me.” It has happened so much that I don’t pay it too much attention. It always reminds me of something I saw on a Kevin Hart behind the scenes video. He and his friends say this as a sort of call and response thing: “Everybody wanna be famous…don’t nobody wanna put the work in.” I would chuckle to myself, and keep it moving.

Then, as I was in the shower, hair twisted, shampooing (only my scalp) section by section, drenching with conditioner, finger detangling, and thinking of the black tea rinse I wanted to do, something occurred to me: The same is true of relationships. Everyone wants their Mr. Big, but nobody wants to have to beat him with flowers. For any individual, how much work is too much?

Sometimes, the work for some is at the beginning with appearance. He doesn’t look like you want him too. He’s too _______. If Charlotte had felt that way, she never would have been with Harry, who is arguably (though not really) the best husband on the series. Sometimes, the work is in the middle. Personality differences, disagreements, and/or compromises. The entire Steve and Miranda relationship is based on that premise. Sometimes she did the work; sometimes it was him; either way, it got done. If the work is at the end, like Samantha and Smith, you’re giving the old college try to make sure you’ve exhausted all possibilities before calling it out. But what if your work is like Carrie and Big…all throughout? Is she just stupid for not leaving sooner? Or did her perseverance finally award her the prize?

On VerySmartBrothas.com, there was a post about why women are overly loyal.My friends and I had a conversation about it, and one said, “Most women don’t give up easily…but we need not to if we are going to be “overloyal” mothers to our daughters and sons (not to create needy daughters or mama’s boys though). So I guess we gotta learn to give up on people early in the game lol??” Her sarcasm, (which I love…it’s one of the reasons why we’re friends) rings very true. Where is the line? I know it may be fine, but can we see it? Would it be dumb to think that something we’re not doing in practice (being loyal/working in relationships) will happen in the game (marriage to divorce)?

Put it like this…I like the outcome of my hair styling sessions. I’m willing to put it the work when the outcome is what it is. BUT, if (God forbid) a fire catches my hair a la Michael Jackson…no amount of deep conditioner can help that. I’m going to have to cut this ish off.

What say you? How much work is too much?

Love,

–V

Chris Rock said it best in “Never Scared”…the number one reason why your girlfriend or wife is mad at you is because you “ain’t her first choice!!” Many women laughed (or chuckled under their breath) at this, because in many cases it is true. It may not remain true for always, but at some point, it may have been true.

So how do you know “The One That Got Away?” It’s the guy you think about when things are rocky. It’s the guy of whom you still have the fondest memories. And, he may not have earned the title “The One Who Got Away” because you broke up with him thinking that there was something better, or because you wronged him in some way (though this is the most common way). It could have been timing, distance, etc… I remember the moment I realized when an old friend was the one who got away. It was the night I received a text from him and he wanted to share with me his happiness that he was engaged because his then girlfriend, now wife, said yes! I was sitting next to my ex (at that point, we had been together for three years), read the text, responded with a “Congratulations friend! I’m so happy for you!!!”, went into the bathroom, and cried my little heart out.

I was hurt. I can say it was because they were engaged and I still was not. I can even say it’s because you always want to have better relationship news than any ex-whatever. But, I know it was because I knew I considered him “The One That Got Away.”

Now, I probably won’t always feel that way, but at the time I did. I had the fondest memories of us sitting in the library, studying during prime “hangout at the union” hours at my colleagiate alma mater, or him convincing me to skip class because I had such horrible cramps so he could take me out for ice cream. I even remember the horrified (yet cute) look on his face when I enlightened him on some roaches ability to fly. I could probably continue to list things that still make me smile to this day…which is even more evidence about the then impending doom. *smh*

Carrie had her “face the one who got away” moment in Season 6, running from seeing Berger only to run into the one who got away…twice. She had to face the guy who was probably the sweetest to her overall, Aidan. And his baby. And his wife. Miranda wanted to tell Steve she loved him, only to have him let her know she didn’t have to worry about him crowding her anymore because he was dating someone else, and he “wasn’t in love with her anymore.” Even Charlotte’s big ego almost cost her Harry.

So do you have a one that got away? Were you the one that got away…i.e. Someone’s “Song Cry”? I’ve experienced both. The former sucks a lot worse than the latter.

Walking away from the life that could've been yours...

Love,

-V

Men of Sex & the City

There is something to be said about the men of Sex and the City. Every woman at one time or another has had a run-in with her Mr. Big.  Or saw someone as sexy as Smith (whose original name was Jerry), and knew he had potential. Or met someone as charming as Steve. Or found yourself attracted to someone who you were not attracted to at first.

It got me to thinking, after watching this second installment of the Sex and the City movie (and after seeing it a third time, it is getting better for me), which of the men would I want. Not actually the man himself, but the ideal. You know who I chose?

Okay, hear me out. Harry was…well…hairy. He goes against every ideal of each of the other men, but the things he could do to make himself more attractive, he wasn’t against (even if it did result in a rash). He was smart and funny and attentive. And he didn’t even attempt to screw the braless nanny. He has a brain¬†and standards that he¬†stuck to (hello Jewish conversion), so he wasn’t a pushover. He didn’t change himself, but accommodated his wife. He went above and beyond to make Charlotte feel special, and was supportive in her worst moment of losing a baby. And he could make you laugh, and almost nothing feels better than that at the end of a long day.

He may not have Big’s mystery, or Smith’s looks, or Steve’s…well…(what the heck does Steve have?) whatever, but he was loyal. And there’s a lot to be said for loyalty. Besides, Charlotte said it was the best you-know-what of her life. Bonus.

 

…so why do the Big’s of the world get us every time? (lol)

What do you think? Who would you choose?

Love,

-V

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