I Have Awesome Friends

I had a birthday party when I turned 16.  Southern Mom made me invite an old friend…we’ll call her Alicia.  We had been friends for about 3 years, until about two months prior.  I’m not sure why I didn’t care for Alicia anymore, but my mom made me invite her because she included me in her birthday plans, which was about three months before mine.  At my party, I didn’t really talk to her too much, and she ended up spending most of her time with my “crush”, Anthony.  Anthony was my middle school boyfriend and ended up being my prom date two years later.  But at the time, I was too…teenager-y to admit that I really liked Anthony.  In any event, my two best friends Shayla and Carmen had my back at my birthday party.  As we huddled up and watched Alicia and Anthony, I distinctly remember them not liking Alicia even more because she was all over “my” man.  We did what girls tend to do-being snarky, petty, and vicious.  I’m not sure if Alicia felt our eyes on her and Anthony for most of the night, but I felt awesome since my girls had my back.

Southern Cousin is probably one of the people I’m closest to.  Yes, we’re family, but I honestly feel that if we weren’t related, we would be friends. (Hopefully she feels the same way.)  Even though most times when I reach out to her, she always thinks something’s wrong, her first concern is that I’m always ok.  She indulges me when I need to vent, she always offers great advice, and she even laughs at me in all of my ridiculousness (which is actually a good thing).  Southern Cousin brings me down to earth and reiterates that the stuff I think is pseudo life or death really isn’t that serious.

My linesister, Vanessa, and I have always had a great relationship, before we even pledged.  But I think our sisterhood has solidified our friendship.  As I was taking her to the airport a few weeks ago, I was relating how a person really close to me kinda did me dirty…and how I’ve always done nice things for them, not because I was expecting something in return, but because that’s who I am as a person.  I also told her how Southern Dad was kinda annoyed at the situation as well and how he kept reiterating that I needed to be sure I’m not taken advantage because of my nice, kind nature.  It was funny how she felt the same way he did-she was PISSED!  And I so appreciated it.

Over my life, I have been blessed with having awesome friends come into my life.  They support me, the entertain my wacky ideas, and they always have my back.  Hopefully, you’ve been blessed to have great people come into your life.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Names have been changed to protect the guilty. 🙂

Advertisements

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

Marriage is Sacred

I know you might be thinking “DUH!” with the title, but with the way things are going with pop culture nowadays, I’m not so sure.

There were numerous things that inspired this post.  Earlier this week, TyAnthony and I were having a discussion about the number of African-American children that were born out of wedlock, specifically in the last 5-10 years.   Now, before I you all go getting on my case, I KNOW that is a sensitive subject and something we don’t talk about.  And at the risk of sounding like “I have tons of black friends, so I can’t be racist”, I have family members, friends, and sorority sisters that fall on both sides of this demographic.  Some ended up marrying their child(ren)’s parent while others decided to end their relationship.  And because of the sensitivity of this topic and the fact I might offend some people, Ty suggested I shy away from this topic.  So I’ll move on.

Another factor was an e-mail I received from friend of SGITC, Paul Carrick Brunson.  If you don’t know, Paul is a successful matchmaker, husband, and father of two.  This week, Paul made an appearance on “Good Morning America” to discuss the new reality show “Married At First Sight”.  Basically, the premise of the show is that four experts  (in different fields) pair of couples, the first time they meet each other is when the bride is walking down the aisle, and they are given one month to make things work.  If they discover they love each other and everything is honky dory, then the experts did a good job.  If they discover they are too different and believe they aren’t a match, they get a divorce.

Lastly, today, LeBron James, star basketball player (for those of you who don’t know who he is), decided to leave the Miami Heat and go back to playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Apparently, in an interview some time ago, James stated that he would weigh his decision on whether to stay with Miami and have conversations with his wife and mother to decide what was best.  And a number of my friends on Facebook, most who are married, indicated that he had a discussion with Savannah, his wife, and she wanted to go back home.  If that is the case, because only LeBron and Savannah know what their discussion was like, if indeed there was one, can confirm if it was a decision based on what would be best for their family.

Marriage is sacred.  Marriage is important.  Marriage is a partnership.  Marriage is about compromising.  Marriage is about being unselfish.  Marriage is love.  And marriage is a lot of other nice words that I could type.  I think it’s one thing to date someone on tv (a la “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette”-although the premise the main ‘character’ will marry the last wo/man standing, it’s not a requirement”), but when you have to marry a stranger, and then if things don’t work out after 30 days you can end it, where’s the sanctity in that?  Marriage is a commitment.  And serious business.  And to make it seem frivolous and meaningless on a television show is…pathetic.  You know, I get it.  There are some people who want to get married and find a lifetime partner, and because of bad dating experiences or relationships that didn’t last think they will never find The One.  I’ve had that thought a time or two myself.  But I don’t think I could ever marry someone sight unseen.

So what have we learned here today?  Marriage isn’t something to play with (to use a term stated numerous times by Southern Dad).  It’s about partnership and compromise and love.  It is not about reality television and getting a divorce after 30 days if it doesn’t work.  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.

Know When to Cut the Strings

I am a social person.  I love people.  I love being around people (once I get to know them :)).  I value my friendships.

Over the course of my 30+ years on this earth, I have met a lot of people-classmates, church friends, bandmates, sorors, co-workers, and people I volunteer with.  I totally understand there are folks who are in your life for a reason, a season, and a lifetime.  Social media has allowed us to re-connect with people from yesteryear and keep up with what they are doing now…or what they want to you to see/think they are doing now.  We text, call, video chat and the like to keep in touch with those we care about.  But what happens when you reach out-you text, you call, you initiate the video chat-but the person doesn’t reach back?

I recently had two different discussions with friends about when to end friendships with people.  Ending a friendship is an EXTREMELY hard thing to do, especially if it is someone you have known for years.  Sometimes life gets in the way.  People move, get married, have children, and have to deal with issues that come along with living for a few years.   But, what happens when you reach out, make plans, invite friends to hang out, they confirm their attendance, and then…they don’t show up?  What happens when you are the one to always pick up the phone to make the call but no one calls you?  There’s a difference between being busy and being ignored.

Since my birthday last month, I have decided to cut the strings with a number of people.  With most, though they have not been close to me recently, social media has allowed us to reconnect.  Dialogue was had, memories were shared, plans-some tentative, most confirmed-were made, and yet…they have been no shows in one way or another.   So as to only expend energy to those that expend energy to me, I’ve decided to not make any effort to attempt a relationship.

At the end of the day, we all must come to a point when we realize that some relationships have come to an end.  And that is perfectly ok.  Not all people are meant to be in our lives forever.  You’ve got to learn when to just let things go.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

 

Partition

The other title for this post was going to be “I Want Beyonce’s Body”.   That’s what I told a friend a while back.  I actually think I said, “I’m going to get Beyonce’s body”, to which she gave me a major side-eye. (You know who you are, and I still love you! :))  But I can understand her giving me the side-eye of life.  I have a LOT of pounds on Beyonce and attaining a body that can even compare to hers may be unreachable for the regular girl that’s already a size 8.  But for someone who is bigger than a size 8??? You know what?  This post is not about my weight-moving on…

If you’ve read my “About Elle” page, you know I love Beyonce.  I have every album she has released, including her latest “Beyonce”.  I am not ashamed to admit that the visual is currently in my DVD player and the audio has been in HEAVY rotation since I bought it Christmas weekend.  I definitely have my favorites, including “Superpower”, “Mine”, “Flawless”, and the bonus video “Grown Woman”.  But the video that keeps me the most mesmerized is “Yonce/Partition”.

We all know that Beyonce has sex appeal.  And I don’t know what it is about that darn video-the wadrobe, the movements, or just the song itself-but I can never turn away.  I’ve thought of the scenario in my head.  The woman has rented out this club, got some costumes, and gathered up a few of her girls to put on a show for her man.  Then, when the show’s over, they (the woman and her man) go home.  And I want to do that.  Well, minus asking my friends-I wouldn’t want my man to fantasize about them every time we did couple stuff.  But when I do get into a relationship, I want to put on a burlesque show for my dude, complete with costumes, make-up, lighting, the works!  And I want to do it to “Partition”.  Really, I could come up with a couple of dances to a couple of Beyonce songs.  And have my man swooning.  I want to be his fantasy come to life.  But I need to get her body.  And a man.

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

Is The Ring Enough?

Today, we have a guest post from one of my oldest friends from Florida, Cristin Jordan.  She’s a reality tv buff, like me.  We message each other ALL the time on Facebook about various shows to share our thoughts on these crazy people we watch on television.  And it seems as if she has a little inside scoop and some thoughts about “Love and Hip-Hop” veterans Chrissy and Jim Jones. 

From what I could sniff out on various social media channels, it looks pretty good that the reality show “Chrissy and Mr. Jones” is coming back for another season. Being an old married chick myself, I love watching the dynamics of other people’s relationships play out.

For most of us ladies, it’s all about getting the ring, right? And when it comes to Chrissy, my gosh what a ring it was! Did you see it? I’m tempted to say it’s hard to describe it with just mere words. I doubt the Queen of England has anything that nice. I don’t believe you should ever stare, but the ring is worth a second, heck even a third look if you happen to pass Chrissy at the grocery store.  My inside scoop tells me that the ring is from Avianne & Co., a popular New York City jeweler that works with many celebrities, including Lil’ Wayne and Ciara. (If you haven’t checked out their jewelry before it is a must-see as their pieces are exquisite.) 

Chrissy must be a rabbit because her ring has carats for days! It’s nearly 10 carats set in 18K white solid gold. The center diamond was specially cut and imported from Israel. It took almost two weeks to make.

 So she did it. She got the ring, and it looks like she got the man.

I really wish them the best. I’m a big proponent of marriage. It’s not easy, and I hope the two of them can make it work, especially when the cameras stop rolling.

That exquisite piece of jewelry on her left hand isn’t attainable for most of us. At $140,000, it cost more than the average home in a lot of cities. But I do believe a good solid relationship is within everyone’s reach.

For starters keep the communication going and don’t ever take anything for granted, especially each other.
 
So Chrissy, I lift my glass and say cheers. Here’s to a life as magnificent and blinged out as those perfectly cut diamonds on your left hand.

Cristin Jordan is a freelance writer from Jacksonville, FL.  A mom, she loves rachett, or shall we say reality, tv even though even she will admit the drama goes too far. Cristin loves to travel, and when her bags aren’t packed, she’s trying to figure out how she’s going to take her next trip.