Just Say No

Over the years, I have been in numerous weddings.  I have so enjoyed celebrating my friends as they decide to embark on their journey to become wives.  Most recently, I will be in a wedding this weekend.  And even though the bride and I haven’t known each other long, she and I made a real connection.  I often refer to her as the little sister I never had.  We have a lot in common, hang out on a pretty regular basis, and now we are neighbors.  I definitely learn from her and her groom, and I hope that they learn from me.

Not to sound too cliche’, but when you get a number of women together, things don’t always work out the way you want them to.  Now, I have prided myself on not getting caught up in the petty/insignificant/crazy things that groups of women sometimes get themselves into.  I’m pretty good about letting things roll off my back.  Not to mention that I don’t have those type of women in the circles.

But let me back up and offer some sage advice.  When someone asks you to be in their wedding, it’s MUCH more than just buying a dress (or renting a tux) and standing next to your ace while she/he exchanges vows.  It’s a time AND financial commitment.  At minimum, in addition to your dress and shoes, you’re also going to have to chip in for a bachelorette party and/or bridal shower.  And with the way society is now, the bride may want to do a trip.  And it is the one time (aside from you being married and/or having children) that you have to be unselfish and put someone else before you. Like you can’t complain, can’t whine, can’t say you don’t like your dress/hair/nails. Why?  Because it’s not about you!

In addition to you being unselfish, you have to put up.  Not put up or shut up-just put up.  Celebrating the bride isn’t cheap.  Not only do you have to budget for your dress/shoes/jewelry, you will most likely have to get a hotel room/airfare ticket and contribute to her bridal shower and bachelorette party.  Not only do you shower the bride with gifts, but you also have to support her last days as a “free” woman.  When you don’t contribute, you put undo pressure on the other members of the bridal party.  Let me tell you a story…(don’t worry, it’s short)

A few years back, I was my cousin’s Maid of Honor at her wedding. Her bachelorette party and bridal shower took place over one weekend in Atlanta.  Why?  She was the only person that lived there, and everyone was traveling to attend.  Out of 8 bridesmaids, only 1 contributed to her weekend, which consisted of dinner, clubbing, drinks, bridal shower, and dance class.  I never told my cousin.  And even though she and my aunt offered to contribute, I didn’t take their money.  Why?  Because it’s her day and she shouldn’t have to worry about that.  And that wasn’t her job.  Her job was to enjoy being celebrated with no worries.

With the wedding I’m going to be in this weekend, I won’t go into too many details.  I’ll just say one person still owes me money for events that have taken place and another told me that she can’t contribute anymore (we have one last event scheduled with the bride and groom) as she is in a wedding next weekend as well and is tapped out.

All of these instances have told me that I need to learn to say “No”.  From now on, if a family member/friend/loved one/soror asks me to be in her wedding, I’m going to decline.  And it’s not because I don’t love them; it’s because not everyone in the wedding party realizes the commitment that she is agreeing to.  And just because someone didn’t plan properly (or because they’re a slacker) does not mean that I should make undo sacrifices. I’m not here to take care of grown people.

Now, I’ll admit that this blog may not be the best way to communicate that, but….yeah, it is the best way to communicate this.  Because I’m here to share my story.  And I feel that people who are involved in my life (the good, the bad, and the ugly) unofficially sign up to become a part of that story.  It is never my intent to embarrass or call out folks; I don’t name names-that’s messy.

Oh, and my own wedding (when that day comes)?  I’ll be on a beach somewhere with my boo and our parents. The few people that I have shared this with in the last 12 hours think I’m crazy, and I’ll change my mind.  Not to mention it totally goes against the next to last line in this post.  The older you get, you realize what’s really important.  And me stressing over somebody else’s wedding because people can’t contribute is not at the top of my list of priorities.

Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

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Revamping My Dating Habits

Man and Woman Drinking at Bar

I have a friend, we’ll call her Michelle, who loves getting to know new people. When you talk to her, she’s so engaging that she makes you feel as if everything you said is the most interesting thing she’s ever heard. She’s confident, not cocky, and has the ridiculous ability to connect with people she just met. Not surprisingly, this girl has no problem in situations where she doesn’t know anyone. Her congeniality and charisma has gained her a great group of friends and helped her receive an offer for every job she’s ever interviewed for. But arguably more impressive, this girl has never had a bad first date.

I know.

Granted, it’s not like Michelle has a revolving door of men in and out of her life, but I would think even hitting 5-6 first dates and they’ve all been good is pretty damn impressive.

I have to admit, I held onto a little contempt for her since I’ve had my fair share of bad dates. But then I started thinking about some of the reasons she gave for why she thinks that they usually go so well, and admittedly, I realized there are a few things that I could be doing to make my dates better too.

One thing I learned I need to work on is giving people the benefit of the doubt. Everyone wants to put on their best impression during a first date. But there are plenty of things that could cause people to be off their game on a first date. Of course there are nerves, but sometimes, there are other things that might be making them uneasy. For example, my co-worker once told me that he had to leave a date early because he had horrible gas after eating a Fiber One bar. Apparently these things are no joke. There’s even a message board dedicated to the topic on My Fitness Pal, and the comments span over three years. The poor guy had no idea the bars caused such “unpleasant” side effects. He simply couldn’t stand it any longer, and had to cut the date short. His date left thinking he was a squirming weirdo and declined his invitation for a rain check.

When your date seems to be a little on edge (hopefully from nerves, not gas), Michelle says she’s tries to reassure them by saying something along the lines of “I was a little nervous but I’m having a great time!” or she compliments them on their restaurant choice or wardrobe.

And it’s not just Michelle that thinks it’s a smart idea.  A blogger over at “Adam and Eve” said that, “Most ladies will try and make an anxious date feel more comfortable,” in a recently shared dating guide for guys blog post. I tend to be more passive and I suppose I usually just absent-mindedly hope that the guy will make me feel more comfortable. I guess I figured that because he asked me out, he was confident and didn’t need reassurance. Now I’ll be more conscious about being just as complimentary to the guy as he is to me.

She also said that if her date’s nerves seem to be getting the best of them, she tries to take the reigns a little throughout the night. To engage her date, she asks them questions about things that they’re passionate about. She’ll also suggest something fun to do that won’t interrupt the night, like stopping for ice cream or popping into an interesting shop that they pass. Not only does it help take the pressure off of the other person, but it also gives you a sense of responsibility for having a good time throughout the night.

Finally Michelle said she always tries to keep an open mind. There are plenty of guys that turned out to be amazing once she got some one-on-one time with them. Even now she’s dating one such guy, and is still great friends with another. Obviously a lot of men and women are guilty of not giving the other the time of day if they don’t feel that “spark” right away. It seems like a waste of time when you don’t feel anything from the get go. But like the “Huffington Post” says, if you’re still single, it’s obvious that your past type hasn’t been working for you.” You’ll never know if there’s something better out there for you unless you give someone new a shot.

Maybe I won’t have a spotless dating record like Michelle, but by changing my own behavior, hopefully I’ll set myself up for some better first dates in the future.

lyf40

The One That Won’t Go Away

Some people cannot take a hint.  Guy A from this post is one of those people.

I didn’t go into details about all of the things wrong with this guy, so I’ll elaborate slightly.  He felt that I should cancel/change plans so we could go out.  He felt that I should respond to text messages IMMEDIATELY after he sent one.  He was jealous and insecure (oh, I think I mentioned that in my previous post).  After I didn’t respond to a text message quick enough on my way to church one Sunday, he sent a snarky reply.   That is when I told him to lose my number and have a nice life.  (Oh, he still sent me a message on G-Chat that afternoon; I quickly blocked him.)

That weekend is when DC was hit by Hurricane Sandy.  Two days later, he sent me a text to “check on me” and “make sure I was ok”, to which he got no response.  A week later, because I deleted his number, I answered a call from him.  He totally heard the shock in my voice.  After that call, I saved his number as DNA (Do Not Answer).

A year and a half later, he has popped back up.  A few months ago, he sent me a request to connect on LinkedIn.  And just this week he requested to follow me on Twitter (on my private account).  You would think that after not speaking with someone in almost two years and making it PAINFULLY obvious that you have no desire to speak with or be involved with a person, he would go on his merry little way…but alas, that is not the case in this situation.  In 2012, TyAnthony made sure to ask me if he knew where I lived, to which I was all too happy to state “no” and that he had never been to my house.

So what do you in this situation?  Do you continue to ignore this person that won’t go away?  Do you reach out and once again state to leave you alone?  (I won’t be doing that.)  On the flip side, what makes someone not go away?  What keeps making him reach out?  To see what I’m doing?  To try to make sure he stays in the forefront?  In any event, I wish he would crawl back into the hole he went in in 2012…and stay there.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

The Single Life

For the first time in a LONG time I have no potentials.  No one I’m dating.  No one I’m talking to.  No one.  It’s weird.  This is a new space for me.  And it’s been this way since February.  Being the serial dater I am (or at least used to be), it’s nothing for me to pick up the phone and call someone, or have someone call me, to go to dinner, catch a movie, see a play, whatever.   I wouldn’t say I crave attention from the opposite sex, but it’s nice to have.  Someone to flirt with.  Someone to hang out with.  Even if I knew the guy had no staying power, I can admit it was nice to feel attractive and wanted and to hang out with someone that wasn’t my homegirl.

Saturday night, after a fun-filled day of celebrating with friends at a housewarming, I got to my house and felt antsy.  It was still light out, was a gorgeous evening, and I didn’t want to spend another Saturday night at my house watching tv.  I had someone that I wanted to call, someone that no matter what I do I can’t get him out of my system.  And as much as my finger has been itching to dial his number, I have resisted the urge.  (YAY me!)  So, I called up two of my friends instead (really I called more but they were the ones that answered), and we headed out to enjoy dinner, cocktails, and cupcakes.  Of course, the conversation turned to how we were all single.  And how negroes ain’t ish (one of us just had a nasty break-up).  And we talked about how the craziest, meanest, rudest people always seem to find each other and stay together, while us nice folks finish last and keep meeting people who do us dirty. (To quote one of my friends, “The horrible people always seem to find each other.”) Even the young lady at the table next to ours chimed in her agreement.

But, at the end of the day, we all agreed that a man perfectly designed for each of us IS out there…and they are going to find us.  And even though we’ve experienced heartbreak, jerks, and a few lonely Saturday nights as of late, it’s not going to be that way forever.  Though I’m 30 something years old, I still have this fairy tale fantasy that the man for me is out there.  And he’s going to find me…while I’m still in my prime and can bear him some children after we walk down the aisle.

Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

He Hasn’t Called…Yet (An Update)

A hard head makes a soft behind…

After speaking with a good friend of mine, who has gotten married and had a baby within the last two years, I decided to follow-up on Jonathan.  Hey, following up with a potential suitor worked out great for her.  Anywho…

On Saturday, I called my groom-to-be friend-let’s call him Brad.  After getting the pleasantries out of the way, I asked Brad what was up with his friend Jonathan.   Brad had read last week’s post but had NO clue I was talking about his brunch.  (SMH, men…) Well, Brad said Jonathan was a good guy, and it was ironic that I called him because he and Jonathan had plans later that night.  So he had no problem asking Jonathan what he thought about me.  During our discussion, Brad mentioned we were ALL feeling happy during the brunch (there were unlimited mimosas, and our waitress may have been a little heavy handed) and that might be attributed to why Jonathan asked for my number-because we were all feeling a little friendly.  Possibly Jonathan hasn’t had a chance to call me due to a busy schedule. Or maybe he didn’t think of me in an “I’m interested” way but maybe in an “Elle is cool people” way.  I told Brad NOT to embarass me, which he assured me he would not do.  We even discussed doing a follow-up post, regardless of Jonathan’s response.  So I’m sure you all are wondering what happened…

Turns out, Jonathan is not interested in Elle; he got my number just to increase his contacts/make connections in DC, so is the reason Brad told me.  And I believe him.  Because if Jonathan WERE interested, he would have called a LONG time ago.  Oh, and he still hasn’t reached out.  But I’m ok with that.  Honestly, as I said to Brad during our conversation, my life is about to get so crazy now that I probably won’t have the time to seriously date anyone.

If, and that’s a BIG if, Jonathan calls, I’ll chat with him.  Besides, every girl needs someone that she can call on to be a Go To Guy.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

 

He Hasn’t Called…Yet

Two Sundays ago, I went to the engagement brunch of a couple of which I’m friendly with both parties, but I met the groom-to-be first and am somewhat a closer friend to him than the bride-to-be. I knew NO ONE else at the brunch. But, as luck would have it, I ended up sitting with some fellow South Carolinians, and as more luck would have it, we knew a few of the same people. One young lady and I are from the same (small) city. There was a guy I ended up sitting next to-let’s call him Jonathan. Though there were about 5 of us that kept conversing throughout the brunch, there were times Jonathan and I would have our own private conversations, most of which were initiated by him.

It started to snow (darn you, DC winter!), so everyone starts to scramble to pay their bills and get home before the weather gets bad. After I took a picture with the happy couple (I had to post the good news on Instagram), Jonathan asks for my number. He pulls out his phone, types in my number, AND asks for my last name. Jonathan’s cute, is tall, and has a deep voice, so I’m kinda excited he’s interested. And I can only gather that he’s interested, because HE asked for my number AND went through the trouble of saving it in his phone AND asked for my last name. I mean, that means he’s interested in me, right?

Well, it’s been almost two weeks, and I haven’t heard from Jonathan. Because I overanalyze everything, I begin to think he’s not interested and he’s not gonna call. Or maybe all of his contacts got erased from his phone and he lost my number. Or maybe I should stop tripping and ask for somebody to decipher the guy code. So what do I do? Of course I go to TyAnthony. I give him the scenario and ask why he wouldn’t call. He let me know that sometimes guys ask for a number for sport. He also said he may call-just to give him 2 weeks. My response is, “So he’s not interested? And what am I supposed to do after two weeks?” Ty said he would not have asked for my number if he wasn’t interested; he just may not be as interested as I want him to be. And not to do anything after 2 weeks; I shouldn’t be chasing dudes. Honestly, I swear he must be able to read my mind, because I was seriously thinking about going to my friend and asking about Jonathan. But based on the advice I received, I’ll let it go.

If it’s meant to be, he’ll call. If not, it’s back to the drawing board. Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Find Your Love in the New Year with Match.com!

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The new year is upon us.  Hopefully you’ve made your New Year’s resolutions.  If you’re single, you may have told yourself that this year is THE year you find love!  And if it is, I’m sure you’ve thought of online dating.   As a matter of fact, in a recent poll,  Match.com found that 51% of singles’ New Year’s resolutions will be to socialize more and focus on finding that special someone, making the desire to connect with someone a driving force for singles’ to get online after the holidays.   And that’s  a pretty significant number.  So Match.com is helping all of the single folks out with a 3 day date pass!  Did you know that Match.com’s peak season, the site’s busiest time of year, kicked off New Year’s Day and spans all the way through Valentine’s Day, where Match will see a 25-30% increase in registrations to the site.  That seems like a great time to join and possibly meet the love of your life!  Simply log onto http://www.match.com/datepass to claim your 3-days free offer. 

Who knows, you could get lucky in love like this Match.com couple — have you seen their proposal?

So what are you waiting for?  Don’t let love wait!  Sign up for Match.com’s 3-day date pass today!  You have nothing to lose, but you have LOVE to gain!  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

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*This is a sponsored post for Match.com*