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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

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

"She can reach me, but I can't get her..."

Lately, (and by lately I mean the past month of so) I feel like I have been in a certain episode of Sex and the City, “Belles of the Balls” (I   have also felt like I was in Lean on Me, but that’s another post for another blog. Oh well, Summer vacation started at 2:31pm. YESSSSS…..). Every guy I know, or every girl who is in a relationship, has been discussing emotions. More specifically, the discussion has been on guys’ emotions. What is making the Y-chromosome ooze with sensitivity these days?

Carrie (Season 4) experienced this when Aidan felt “some kinda way” when Big called her late at night to discuss his movie star girlfriend, and even more so once Big’s heart was so broken that he felt it necessary to drive to Suffern, NY just to talk to Carrie about it. Aidan compared Big to Batman, and himself to the Green Lantern, just to deal. Obviously, a battle of the balls egos ensued. Miranda was dealing with Steve’s dodging the testicular cancer bullet, only to be sidelined because he felt uncomfortable having a single scrotum. He wanted to go as far as to have a implant testicle, until the doctor revealed that it hadn’t been cleared. My favorite Miranda line after Steve said it should be safe? “That what they said about the Ford…You want a Pinto near your penis?” I guess that visual made him re-think, lol. Charlotte’s issues dealt with Trey’s ED, while Samantha’s dealt with injustice in hiring because of her activities as a female. Just shenanigans all around.

The more specific real-life example is about recovery time. Recovery time is the time it takes a person who is mid-fight in a relationship to pull it together in front of others. The females (and I) think that if “real life” comes calling, we have to suck it up and deal with business. Every single guy was like “Aw hell naw! You not gonna be mad at me, and then laugh and joke with others. If you mad, you better stay mad the whole time.”

That was astounding. Women generally felt like the major factor was that if business has to be handled, it is not anyone else’s business what is going on in the relationship. Men said that it seems like if we have too quick of a recovery time, it may indicate a lack of caring in general…not just about the situation or fight, but about him. Even my boyfriend agreed. (Yep, I have one…:) ) I even distinctly remember that being a concern with all of the women at work about how if they show an inkling of emotion at work, they are ridiculed for it. Remember that? “Ooh be careful, don’t make Charlotte cry!”

Wow.

It is still something I can’t quite grasp. Guys, do you feel this way? Ladies, are you with them on this? I’d like to know.

Here’s some music while you think it out…lol

Love,

–V

P.S. I’m going on vacation soon…I’m too excited about it!

(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?

A conversation that I had with a friend (yes, you got mentioned in this post, even though you don’t read it, but I’m sure someone will let you know) gave me the most profound and idiotic insight into the male psyche after I asked him what constitutes a male thinking that a female is flirting with him:

“To a man who is interested in you, flirting is any positive interaction of any kind. ‘Hey, you dropped your $20 bill!’ can mean, ‘She wants me. Why would she hand ME back MY dub? We together.'”

I told him that was probably the most idiotic thing I’d ever heard. His response? “Might be, but it is what it is.”

Her: "What does he think of this painting, I wonder?" Him: "Oh yeah...she wants me."

Now, this isn’t just one-sided. Women can also analyze the mess out of some run-of-the-mill niceties and start picking out 2nd child names. I’m just wondering from what experiences do people’s definitions of flirting come? I’ve had several folks tell me that I’m a flirt because I smile at guys. D*mmit…I’m a happy person. Don’t hate on my joyful soul. Just because the hot-32 were aimed your way for a millisecond of life doesn’t mean I’m fantasizing about carats and how well your last name sounds with my first (or any other kind of fantasy). I was also told that I seem rather “friendly.”  I hug people that I know when I see them. Maybe it’s because I’m from the South.

We’ve all probably been in those “we together” situations in our own heads where the other person has no idea we’re even thinking that way like me and T.I. Who else has had to have a “Well, I’m flattered, but the truth is *insert nice let-down and ensuing discomfort and awkwardness*” conversation? Not just me right?

All of the girls did their share of analyzing a man’s intentions based off a message or a question. When Carrie first met Jack Berger in Season 5, she took his asking her to accompany him to the dry cleaners as a sign that he was interested (which, I’ll admit, is a bit odd; however, he could have just been enjoying her company at that moment, and wasn’t ready for the convo to end).

For the past few months, a guy who is a friend has sent me smiley faces via text. To me, I think they’re letting me know that though we haven’t had time to talk, he hasn’t forgotten about me. To others, he wants me and just hasn’t had the opportunity to get it out. *Kanye shrug*

So I’ll bite: What’s flirting to you? Wat do you do when you are truly flirting?

Love,

-V

 So, I’ve been thinking…how different are women and men? I mean sure, we know shoes versus football (and I happen to love both), but how much deeper does the rabbit hole go? I mean, too many men will not admit how much time they spend, if any at all, analyzing their own emotions. Women generally get boxed into the concerned-attentive-emotional box, while men get the guarded-aloof-apathetic position, and society, the general public, and Kanye West are fine with it.

But what happens when there is a behavior switch? A man finds himself concerned emotionally about where he stands with a female, and a woman is in the aloof and guarded stance…seems like it throws the cosmos off kilter.

In Season 3 (my best guess is episode 6, but I’m on a media fast right now, so I can’t watch it to see), Aidan wanted Carrie to meet his parents, but she was apprehensive. I remember that Carrie was concerned that something was wrong with Aidan because he seemed too perfect. Anyway, Carrie explained her conundrum to her friends, saying, “Aidan is acting exactly like I wished Big would’ve behaved, but now I’m behaving like Big.”

Currently, I’m dating someone. I’m pretty guarded and cautious, and my friends tell me I’m being a butthole. I guess, like Carrie, I am looking for hidden icebergs so they don’t blindside me when they were in clear view (like the last relationship). This person is great to me, we’ve had a few arguments already and no one has died, and generally makes me happy. So what’s up? Carrie thought it was the lack of a stomach flip. I have absolutely no idea. I don’t see the harm in being cautious and careful. My friend said, however, “You just might cautious and careful yourself out of a man.” Thank you friend. Of course, I needed to be thinking about that. #sarcasm

Give me your take on it. What do you think? Is caution a male trait? Women are just supposed to go hopping, skipping, jumping, diving, and falling in love (Hopefully, you know that movie reference) without buoys or life vests and depend on their friends to have their eyes on the ocean in case something goes wrong? And vice versa…isn’t it okay for guys to throw caution to the wind once in a while and just go for it? I’m curious…

Love,

-V

P.S. Work has been hectic and my schedule has been crazy.

We’ve all been there (probably).

Been out with someone, and within fifteen minutes were thinking, “I could be doing something more important with my life right now, like counting ceiling tiles.” Guys generally end the evening. We girls, however, don’t do it that easily.

We have a plan.

This plan usually involves another friend, a phone call, a specific time frame (i.e. 15 minutes, or 9:42pm), a story that includes a flat tire or a possibly abusive boyfriend/end of a relationship, and an immediate emergency that only the person on the date can handle.

And we’re proud of it.

I was talking to a good friend of mine over the weekend as she was driving home from her hair appointment, and she was telling me about this guy she was spending time with who all of a sudden started irritating her. She said, “Girl! I texted my friend and said to call me with an emergency in fifteen minutes. It was bad because she was saying crazy stuff and I was trying not to laugh and blow my cover!”

This reminded me of Season 5 (Hop, Skip, and a Week) when Carrie and Berger went out to eat, and were sitting down less than 10 seconds when Charlotte burst out of nowhere. She was freaking out because she was on a horrible blind date and had to get out of there. She asked Carrie to call and say something bad happened so she could ditch dude. Of course, it worked. Berger, on the other hand, couldn’t figure out why she wouldn’t just end the date.

Why is that? If a guy isn’t feeling a girl he’s out with, I doubt he is texting his homeboy to bail him out. (But if you are, please let me know. I’ll happily edit this.) He’ll just talk to him later, starting the conversation with “You won’t believe this chick I went out with! She *insert random stalkerish-crazy-idiotic-ignorant behavior*! I won’t be talking to her anymore…unless she is gonna give me some.”

I have some stories. A friend of mine once asked me to call her, and the story I told her was pretty good. She started crying (for effect) and eventually cried for real (it took her a while to stop). saying that the story made her think of a past relationship. I told her, “Dude. It didn’t really happen.” The guy called her all night (literally…every. 25. minutes.) trying to make sure she was okay. I’m pretty sure it had the opposite effect than what she was going for.

I even remember preventative escape plan stories. One of my favorite “bonding” moments with my linesister Alisha was in college, and it was a bunch of us in my dormroom. She said she was at a party, and some random guy she was talking to earlier called her to see where she was. I guess she wasn’t feeling him, and she said, “See, I was slick. I told him I was outside on the left side…but I was outside on the right side.” We all cracked up (Maybe you had to be there…or know how Alisha talks for this to be funny, but trust me, it was hilarious at 3 in the morning… #memories).

Do you have any exit strategy stories? I’d like to hear them!

Love,

-V

“I’ve been dating since I was fifteen! I’m exhausted! Where is he???!!”

This is undoubtedly Charlotte’s most famous line of the show, from “Where There’s Smoke…” in Season 3 (Ep. 1). It was put on t-shirts, bags, and became the unofficial motto of the woman who was ready to get married. However, what was mostly overlooked was what she said almost immediately beforehand (in her hungover state), in response to a conversation about why firemen were so cute, even when they aren’t:

It’s because women just want to be rescued.” There it was: the phrase independent single women in their thirties are never supposed to think, let alone say aloud.

Carrie’s response to Charlotte’s declaration was, “Sweetie, did you ever think that maybe we’re the white knights, and that we have to rescue ourselves?” Charlotte’s response? “That is so depressing,” before plopping her head back into her arms. Carrie’s “Is it??” went unanswered, and you could tell the women were contemplative on the matter.

I was thinking about this after having several conversations with a close friend. Is this accurate? No matter how many Beyonce-esque SingleLadiesIndependentWomenIrreplaceable type songs we hear, ultimately would we honestly want to do as “Kanye the wise” would say, “…trade it all for a husband and some kids”? 

My homegirl and I debated this using the context of my “situation” as the basis. I’ve been sick lately (sinus infection, ugh) and haven’t been to work in a few days. I can honestly say that my friend took great care of me…bringing me medicine and food, checking to see what the doctor said, making me tea, etc… Since this occurrence, I have felt a bit more emotionally attached in a way that I can honestly say I wasn’t a week prior. Is that the innate want of the “protected” to be taken care of by the “protector”? Jury’s out I tell ya, but this is something to think about.

Even our “Queen”, Beyonce, who makes all these independent women songs, has Jay-Z’s name on her fingernails. After wrapping the set of “Video Phone” with Lady GaGa, she was captured saying, “I’m glad this is over…I’m going to see my husband. I’m happy! I’m happy!” I’m not saying she doesn’t believe in what she’s saying, but is it a bit easier to sell because she’s already been “rescued”?

I’m curious folks. What do you think? Here’s a little music for thought.

Love,

-V

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