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Today was the first day of school. It felt different. I didn’t have the random 2-2:30 am wake up that I normally have at the start of every – my clear indicator of nerves. I didn’t spend the previous night deciding what outfit would make me look professional and jazzy – an ideal I wanted conveyed to my students. I didn’t try to fall asleep earlier than I have been all summer – which, granted, has been earlier than the 4 to 5 AMs of summers past. I ate my final piece of birthday cake (yo…that thing was good. Pretty…and good), drove back to my side of town, watched tv, and laid it down for the night.

As I got to work 5 minutes early, I didn’t feel the intimidation of several new faces. I didn’t even freak out when I saw that my classes were bigger than they normally are for this time of year (I don’t teach at a traditional high school). When the copier broke down, I just created a plan B. I clarified certain things with my administrator with my heels clacking all the way. New and newer teachers sought me out to ask last minute questions, compliment my outfit choice, or to help them calm down. It was then I realized something: I was a veteran.

I remember when Carrie met her mentee Laurel Harris and how all of her questions and enthusiasm, while sweet, seemed worlds away from the life she understood (Season 2, “Twenty-Something Girls vs. Thirty-something Women”). She seemed awed by Carrie’s confidence that had developed over time, fascinated by the ease with which she met new people, and just generally wanted to be in her presence. Laurel painted Carrie’s toenails, shared her idealized (though non-practical to Carrie) views on relationships, and gushed over her clothing. Carrie’s regular happenings were news to this bloomer. She probably didn’t realize how much time had passed since she herself had been in the phase where Laurel resided until there was someone reminding her daily that it seemed extraordinary.

That’s how I felt today. People came to me just to ask how I relate to students. Students who’d already been to my class were saying in other classes that they felt I’d be their favorite. They wanted to know how I “did” me. I realize now that this is the confidence that comes over time as you do what you’re called to do. Sometimes it comes out as remarkable to those just wading in their calling. And I feel honored. Honored that they see or saw something in me that they wanted to know more about. Soon…they too will be veterans, and the cycle will start again. I’ll wish them well!

For any teachers reading, I hope you have a wonderful school year!

Love,

-V

P.S. I told you my cake was pretty! (He did good 🙂 )

30th Birthday Cake

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Someone called me a skeptic recently.

I have never been called a skeptic by anyone. In my life. Ever. (Well, I guess until recently.)

That has never been me. I’m Miss Optimistic. The sunny side of life. Even if it ain’t sunny, hey, I ain’t complainin’. I’m in the rain doing a buck-forty, hydroplanin’. (If you get that…I love you. +10)

You catch my drift though.

I’ve always had the type of mindset that thought the best of anyone I met, because I figured there was no way they could get to know me and intend to do me harm…right? The more I thought about it, the more I realized … He’s right. I am. A skeptic. At least I am now. I can add it to the list of Learned Behaviors (along with something else I won’t mention here).

I’ve found that the closer someone gets to me, the more my expectations lower. I brace. Wait for the blow. The other shoe will fall any minute now. It reminds me of Miranda when she first met Steve (Season 2, “The Man, The Myth, the Viagra). He wanted to stay around. She pushed him away. He worked harder to be in her life, and each time she fought harder to maintain distance. When he asked why, what was her response? “I guess I’ve just kissed too many bartenders.”

Miranda never considered he could be different. At least not for real. She knew he was saying something that someone “different” might say. Maybe even doing something that someone “different” might do. But to her, he looked the same. The same as every other one who had let her down. Who had said something different before. Who had done something different before. Eventually…it worked out for her. This moment started it…remember?

"...maybe I can believe it..."

“…maybe I can believe it…”

I don’t like it. I’m not okay with being afraid of the next hurt, but I’m also not okay with being so trusting that I become the fool each time. So what’s the middle ground? Skeptical Optimist? Optimistic Skeptic? I remember when Charlotte had that feeling after she and Trey divorced. I understood that place of feeling lost. More than I want to share.

What about you? Have you been in that place? Did you pull yourself out? Did you go for broke and trust? Are you there and okay with it? Let me know, but not right now…because Scandal is about to start. …like, right now. 😉

Love,

–V

“And look, you tell me you ain’t did it, then you ain’t did it. And if you did, then that’s family business.” –Kanye West

Image

Snapshot from Carrie’s computer

Family Business by Mr. West is probably one of my favorite songs of his. (I think I’ve managed to mention Kanye in at least 5 different blog posts. In my personal opinion, I love this old style Kanye. But that’s another post…for another blog.) I love his candidness about family loyalty. A chain of events caused me to listen to this song, watch a specific episode, and reflect.

My ex got married this past weekend. This ex. Yep…this ex. Once I found out he was engaged, I felt some kind of way. Not negative, but definitely not positive. Probably incredulous. *Kanye shrug* But then I got on with life, and decided what I wanted for lunch, or something like that.

Then the text messages started:

“GIRL!!!!!!!!! Did you know….”

“I can’t believe that ninja….”

It was ridiculous. I started to make a twitter/FB announcement that I knew, and no, I didn’t care. Besides, most of the people who texted just wanted to know what my reaction was. They didn’t have a vested interest in me…and “ain’t nobody got time ‘fa that.”

The summer went on, and I forgot…unless I passed a Ruby Tuesday. (LOL…inside joke.) And it wasn’t until my friend posted pictures at the venue that I recalled that it had actually occurred. He was married…and I still didn’t care.

But I did. But not about him. Or the white dress. Or the people clapping at a new union. I’m from the school of, “If she can make you a better person, please, BY ALL MEANS, do you.” But I did care…about his mom.

I realize that that has been the only thing to hurt my feelings. I last talked to his mother on Christmas Eve (maybe it was the 23rd, I don’t know) to check on her, say Happy Holidays and invite her to church because I was singing. She asked about me, caught me up on his son, and told me that she would try to Imagewatch online. She and I had created a very wonderful relationship when he and I were in one, and when I told her that he’d ended it, she hugged me and cried, and said that we could still continue our friendship. It made me think of “Shortcomings” when Carrie dated Vaughn, a short-story writer, and she had more chemistry with his family. When the writing was on the wall, it was really his mom who she had to end it with. In the episode, she asked the question, “When you date someone, how many people become emotionally involved?”

His mom stopped answering the phone for me after the New Year. We talked via text. She declined my attempts to bring her my tax papers, preferring for me to mail them instead. It was only later that I realized why: because he was engaged. I spoke to his Uncle when I went home for Memorial Day, and he shared with me that his mom was extremely happy that he had made a commitment. It hurt. I felt betrayed in a small sense.

I’m big on family. So one of the hardest things in that break-up was realizing that I lost a piece of extended family, especially his son that I had been sowing into since he was 7 months old. So if there were any ill-feelings about those nuptials, it had nothing to do with him. It had to do the woman who promised to still be my family. Maybe she can’t keep those promises, or maybe she just wouldn’t. Either way, it stung a bit.

But again, life moves forward.

Love,

–V

A random conversation with a co-worker brought this on. I was discussing with her how I’d visited my ex’s mom because she has done my taxes for the past four years, and told me that she would continue to do so (yes!). This was generally a recount of my weekend, and she said “Wow…are you proud of yourself for getting through that situation? I mean, I am exceptionally proud of you. You have come so long…how long has it been?”

That question right there caused me to turn on the calculator in my head. And I realized…

Today…makes exactly one year since my breakup. Like…exactly. I only remember because we broke up one week shy of our 5 year anniversary, and the 28th is next Monday.

I shared this with her, how proud of myself I’d become. The things I’d done. The people I’ve met and relationships I’d built that never would’ve been. And I told her that besides God, my family and close friends…I can only thank one other entity…

Maybelline Colossal Mascara.

Now hear me out.

Yes, I’d done a lot of praying. I’d shopped. I’d spent time with my family who checked on me. My friends consistently kept me uplifting. Jazmine Sullivan was my homegirl. But none of those things affected my overall view of what I thought I’d lost than Maybelline Colossal Mascara.

See, the deal was that even though I’d make it through day by day (I remember reading Jozen Cummings reply to another reader on how to get over a breakup by saying “Wake up. Eat. Live. Go to sleep. Repeat. Other than that, You’ve got me.”), I was still sad. It was palpable. I know I got closer to God and to a few of my friends (Shouts out to Seattle!! 🙂 ), but when I was alone, it wasn’t enough to stop the emotional overload.

Until the day I couldn’t put on mascara.

I’ll never forget that morning.

I had dragged myself out of bed. I’d found an outfit. I didn’t have the energy to do much makeup, so I figured I’d do a little mascara, lipgloss and go so I wouldn’t look how I felt. Well, because of my crying, my eyelids were so swollen that my lashes literallly laid against them. When I realized this, and saw the mascara wand effectively coating my lashes and my eyelid simultaneously, I yelled…yes, yelled (and sorry, this is what I said)

“WHAT THE F*CK!!?!????!?? Oh………HELL naw!”

And that day forward, I decided I would not have another crying bout. Yes, I may get sad. I might even get lonely…but tears stop now. A few times I’d get watery-eyed, and remember my Martin Lawrence-esque eyelids (after that fight…remember that episode?), and suck it up. I would move forward because I was awesome…even if one person didn’t see it. But no one else would if my eyes were so big that my lashes stood upright.

When Carrie broke up with Big, at the start of Season 2, she would avoid anywhere she might run into him. With that being said…I refused to avoid mascara. AND…a few weeks before that, I had just bought and opened a Dior Iconic Mascara…that’s $28 I’d have been wasting! Not the kid.

So, thank you God, Mom, Daddy, brothers and sister, great friends, and Maybelline Colossal Mascara. I wouldn’t have made it without you. And honestly, if not for that question, I would have forgotten…which is a testimony in and of itself. 😉

I hope you all had wonderful days!

Love,

–V

In honor of Aphrodite’s son’s day of work, I decided to marry this holiday with some of my favorite dates from Sex and the City, so here we go. Here are some ways to spend this day of love with your beaux, your friends, or yourself!

With a Boo

1. Go to an arcade: (Hot Child in the City, Season 3) Carrie and her comic book store owning friend, Wade Adams, spent a hot New York summer evening at an arcade. They had fun, and even used his scooter. “Wooo…look at me! I’m scooting in heels!”

2. Evening of Jazz: (Defining Moments, Season 4) Carrie and Big often went to the Blue Note to just hang as friends. That doesn’t mean it can’t be a romantic encounter for two! And, if push comes to shove, shove comes to a fist fight, and fist fight turns into a bar brawl…just look for cute bass players. Carrie did 😉 Just don’t have a menage a taxi.

3. Home Culinary Skills: (Sex and the City: The Movie) Big often cooked for Carrie…which works. Anyone, or both, can don the apron for the night. Why not look up a recipe online, and make it together.

Out with Friends

1. Attend a major event: (Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Season 2; Sex and the City: The Movie) If you and your friends don’t like the winged-arrowed one, why not head out somewhere with a large crowd? A concert, movie, or play would be a good evening out with the girls. Hey, go to an auction even…find a ring to buy yourself that’s “a little too much” (personality, not price. We are not living outside our means in 2011!)

2. Game Night: (Games People Play, Season 2) Why not round up your girls, or guys, or both, for a night of Phase 10, Taboo, Wii, or whatever. Whether you’re of the spades or bid whist generation, it’ll be fun!

3. Spa Day: (Attack of the 5’10” Woman, Season 3; The Caste System, Season 2) Carrie and her girls spent a day at the spa just hanging out. My friend and I did this once, and had a blast (minus a few sketchy moments, lol). I’m sure you can look online and find spas where you can go and enjoy the saunas, steamrooms, and whirlpools for less money.

Um…shopping goes without saying, right? lol

Solo

1. Go to a book reading: (The Big Journey, Season 5) This could also be done with friends, but either way, enjoy it! Even if you hear about a book reading and don’t want to stay, grab the book and your favorite take out, and go home for a nice relaxing evening.

2. Do something you’ve feared: (The Catch, Season 6) Never in my life would I have tried to be a trapeze artist, but what time like the present when the rest of the world is celebrating love? Fall in love with your adrenaline. If it was me, I’d probably try zip-lining. It looks fun, but terrifying!

3. Take a class to learn a skill. (Was it good for you?, Season 2) Charlotte got her friends to attend a class about improving her, um, horizontal skills, after a guy goes to sleep on her. Yeah…I’m not saying do that, but there are plenty of places where you can go and paint pottery, decorate a space, or learn how to do any number of things. Sometimes, it’s better, because you don’t have to worry about having talkative friends who make you miss hearing the directions!

I hope you are enjoying this day, no matter what. If you don’t have a someone special, I’m sure you have a few…namely great family and friends. And even if you’ve moved by yourself, you have at least someone special with you: yourself. My favorite sex and the city quote has to be from Season 6 Part 2, the final episode.

 

“The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself…and if you can find someone to love the you you love, well…that’s just fabulous.” –Carrie Bradshaw

Do you have any interesting date ideas? I’d like to know. Have an awesome day, wherever you are 🙂

Love,

-V

So, I was talking to my best friend today who I generally talk to about once a week because of the craziness of our schedules, and we talked about my last blog post. As I relayed the details of that event, as well as the details of my weekend, she said something that I found hilarious.

I told her that my friend had worked my nerves over the weekend, which he promptly followed up with the ability to quickly make me laugh. Jokingly, I said, “Yeah, I started laughing and he knew I was mad, but moreso because he broke me out of my madness. *giggle*…I hate him.” She said, “Got it, me too.” I told her that another friend believes that my feelings are running much deeper, but I am refusing to acknowledge such. She said, “Hey, I’m only willing to admit what you’re willing to admit. You’ll get there on your own time. So, right now, you hate him. Cool. We hate him.”

Those are ride-or-die friends, lol! I immediately started cracking up and told her that I would turn this into a blog. That’s one of the things that’s great about friends…those whom you speak with on a daily, or once a week, or once a month or three: They’re willing to back you up. They’ll tell you the truth, but they’ll be saying it from your corner. It reminds me of when Miranda held Carrie’s hair when she threw up after seeing Big in the Hampton’s with Natasha (Season 2, “Twenty-Something Girls vs Thirty-Something Women”). Matter of fact…there are several Miranda and Carrie instances like this. A favorite of mine is when Carrie made Miranda back away from the icing when she accidentally volunteered to finish birthday cupcakes for Steve’s then girlfriend Debbie (Season 6, “Lights, Camera, Relationship!”)

Don’t you love those friends who will tell you that you need to stop shopping, but still accompany you to the mall? I’m just saying…they’re priceless 🙂

I hope you have a few…or 6 😉

Love,

–V

(If you know where this title comes from…odds are, you might be awesome.)

A friend and I were having a conversation about love. No particular culprits, but just in general. Then, I started having a conversation with lots of people about love. We talked about how it seems that people are saying it quickly. And not just any people, but men. We were wondering what’s up with that? Hmm…

I remember that in my last relationship, I felt semblances of love at about the 2-3 month mark, but held it until he said it first (which I then found out later it didn’t really kick in until a lot later). Most people have been conditioned that love is a slow process, built up through time. Most times when people say love at first sight, it is accompanied by a few eyerolls, and possibly a “dude, really?”

Could it be that we, as a society, are conditioned to believe that if it is real, it has to come slowly? Even Romeo was cautioned by his own mentor to slow down, because “violent delights have violent ends”. Are we misinformed? A friend of mine told me that if he didn’t say it within the first month, it was because it wasn’t there, and no amount of time would make it appear. He also said that men waiting forever to say it are generally doing so “out of obligation and time spent, not actual feeling. Long drawn-out relationships indicate that you are not the one. If you were, I’d be acting.”

Ouch. Hmm.

In Season 2, Episode 10 (“The Caste System”), Carrie told Big that she loved him. He had done nothing special, and had given her possibly the ugliest purse known to humankind. Within that moment, she felt compelled to share her sentiments. He clearly looked uncomfortable, cleared his throat, and said “Well,…um…you’re welcome. I’ll wait for you outside.” Carrie decided that if he didn’t return the sentiment within a week, the relationship would end. So, was that evidence that he was not the one? That he was only enjoying her company, but never saw a future with her beyond the time they were spending?

Another friend and I were talking about the hybrid of women who were constantly putting emotional responses on a back burner: possibly from home-teachings or being burned in past relationships. Is it wrong? Are we too controlled with our emotions now? Women can separate the act of sex from feeling…at least it’s what they’re telling themselves for now. They assert that they can share their thoughts and their time without emotional ties. Are we performing emotional lobotomies? Are women now making love a choice?

What do you think?

I am, apparently, way behind on this. I am “supposed” to already have a list of the attributes, characteristics, and/or requirements of of my future “the one”…guess I’ve been busy. On SATC, Charlotte was probably the most criticized for having a particular type. Even Carrie had the conversation about the “good on paper” guy (Season 2, “Twenty-Something Girls”…etc).

The thing is, I have no idea besides the basics – you know – attractive to me and attracted to me, won’t “Ike” me, etc… – but other than that, I like what I like. I’ve never put a whole lot of thought into it. Most of the time, I didn’t know what I liked until I did, so I guess I’ll give it a shot. Here are the things that are most likely non-negotiables for my future “the one”…or at least a wishlist:

1. Have a sense of humor. If you don’t, I probably don’t know you past acquaintances anyway (unless we’re family, which doesn’t bode well for this particular list), so that is null and void.

2. Have a general understanding for the rules of spelling and grammar. Or at least, an understanding that you don’t have an understanding for spelling and grammar. Not the “I don’t know this and I don’t care” type…but the “I don’t know this, so will you look at this for me before I send it out?” type. I remember getting a text from a guy that said “Your beautiful.” Me being me, I responded, “My beautiful what?” I thought he hit send too quickly or something. *kanye shrug*

3. Be passionate about something constructive. It doesn’t have to be something that I am interested in, but passion is attractive. As long as it isn’t passion about all genres of p*rn, I’m okay. (Or about any p*rn related activity)

4. Willing to take care of me when I’m sick. This one is a new addition, and since I’ve had it, it is now non-negotiable.

5. Be able to say when he’s angry. I mean, I’m good at deciphering moods and whatnot, but that doesn’t mean I always want to do so. I’ll even take the “I don’t really feel like talking. Can I holla at you later?”

6. Appreciate music. I mean, if you’re fond of Gucci Mane, I might have to knock you in the eyebrow, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be together… BUT, if you’re fond of Gucci Mane because you think he’s the best rapper ever…we are NOT together.

7. Give genuine compliments. If you don’t like my hair, you don’t have to say you do, but if my shoes are hot and you say so, you get brownie points.

8. Doesn’t say I “use big words”. I just can’t. I also can’t guarantee that I won’t punch you in the thoat if you do make this utterance. Yes, thoat. No r’s for you.

9. Think that Kevin Hart is funny**. It would tell me a lot about you…especially the parts you think are the funniest. Besides, if you can look at an ostrich and not laugh, we might not be together.

10. Does/doesn’t like SATC, but would be willing to watch it with me. We together 😉 And since I like football, we should be able to work out an even exchange.

11. Pray. It changes things, and it is necessary. Can’t lead me if you’re not checking in. Just saying.

12. Be able to participate in general conversation with my family, and my close group of friends. If you can’t…I’m not quite sure why we’re talking. My family and friends are probably some of the smartest and down to earth people I know, but if you can’t follow the conversation.

ADDED AFTER POSTING: 13. Be able to follow the first 4 minutes of “The Social Network”. It was awesome.

I probably have more I could think of…but none are popping to mind. What about you? What’s on your list of your future mate?

Love,

–V

P.S. Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day everyone! Whether you serve your community on a daily, or when you have the time, the freedom to do either is a blessing. So, I hope you enjoyed your day on – serving the community – or off – taking a break from the service you do on the regular – commemorating his memory.

** Here is why I can’t think of ostriches without laughing. The quality sucks, but at least the entire thing is there.

"What the heck am I doing?"

You know when you meet someone who is just “alright”? Intelligent enough to not make you crack jokes on him in your head while trying not to roll your eyes in real life; attractive enough to be seen with him in a restaurant; interesting enough to keep you laughing; all the while you are not foreseeing anything resembling seriousness.

This does not, however, stop you fromt wanting to throw yourself at him on a random Tuesday for no apparent reason. It doesn’t even make sense to your own self. It happens to the best of us folks. I think I’ve figured it out possibly, maybe…well, not really. It’s because he has what we good old HBCU graduates call a “mouthpiece”. He knows how to string a few words together that sound good enough to be tempting, but not too much to get a “boy, please.” Whatever his thing is…aloofness, silliness, seriousness…he uses it just enough to pique your interest, and your mind does the rest.

Carrie Bradshaw had several of these. Vince Vaughn played an “agent” who turned out to be a personal assistant, but had just enough game to rope her in. So did the politician in Season 2…until he wanted to pee on her. Noticing a pattern. Generally, this guy may have some issue that his game covers up. So ladies, be afraid…be very afraid. Trust me…I know.

Love,

-V

Samantha and "We" William

I find it interesting how many of us have run into this guy. He is the guy who calls just to say hi, who randomly makes reference to something that will happen in the 2013 (but includes you), who says things like “I can see us…” etc, etc, etc.

……………………………………and he is full of crap.

Of all the things that men use to get women, this is by far the most shady. At least to me.

What, or rather who, I’m referring to is the guy who sells a dream of future bliss to get into something more, um, current. It’s the guy who talks about seeing you as the mother of his children, the vacations you’ll take together, and all other manner of tomfoolery that he knows never crossed his mind. Several conversations with friends confirm that this is not a figment of my imagination, but rather a new technique. I mean honestly, poon-tang is that important to you that you will throw a future on the table? Really?

Even Samantha (who I rarely use as a reference here because I can’t really  relate to her personally) got got by a false-future guy. William, a guy whom she met in a club when she and the girls were on a ladies’ night outing in Season 2 (They Shoot Single People, Don’t They?). During the evening with this guy, he pretty much offered her the Hampton’s house for the summer complete with anything else she could imagine. Even Carrie narrated, “She let the ‘we’ wash over her…”, so they called him “We-William.” Of course, this guy didn’t deliver past the next 15 minutes of the show.

I am a little wary of guys who start mentioning “our wedding” within the first couple of months of meeting me (This has happened more than once since I’ve become single…I have had to reacquaint myself with the man-tricks), even in jest. I always wonder what the hidden agenda is…and there usually is one. I haven’t been wrong yet. Normally, it has to do with where they prefer a woman’s underthings to be. Silly rabbits…

Have any of you met this guy? Believed this guy? Have any of you BEEN this guy? Why? No judgement sorta. Let me know.

Love,

-V

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