Guy Week – How Much Do You Invest?

I started talking to an old beau again.  Which one? It doesn’t matter.  One, I don’t think it’s going anywhere since we haven’t talked in over a week.  Two, even if it did have the potential to work, I’m not sure I’m willing to invest the time and energy it would take to make this particular relationship work.  I know I’m not a perfect person, but there are a few things about him that I find undesirable.  They do not outnumber the good, but their weight is greater.  The good thing is that he admitted he had an issue.  The next thing is that he has to work on that issue.  So far, there hasn’t been any change.  And I know that because of what I see.  If I work on that issue more than him, to me, that means he really doesn’t want anything to be “fixed”.  Or I want it to be fixed more than he does.  In either case, the ending won’t be pretty.   Because it will end.

In all tense and purposes, he’s a good guy.  We enjoy each other’s company and have great dialogue.  But since there are no deep-rooted feelings (yet) I think it’s in my best interest to walk away now-before I have too much invested and it’s harder for me to let go.

When you meet someone that you are attracted to and feel there may be potential, what’s your breaking point?  What makes you go in the opposite direction?  Or do you aim to work at everything, no matter what you see?  For the most part, I’m pretty easy going and can be somewhat of a pushover.  And I have put up with A LOT from the opposite sex.  Mainly because I like to keep things copacetic and even keel, even if I’m setting myself up for failure or I’m not completely happy and/or satisfied.  But as I have matured and gotten older, I realize I’m doing a disservice to myself by being so accommodating.

So, the moral of this post is, when you meet someone, how much are you willing to put up with/ignore/work on in order to make the relationship work?  If you have to fix a few kinks here and there in order to have the perfect relationship for you, I’m totally willing to work on that.  But if there are major issues that need to be worked on/resolved/addressed, wouldn’t it be easier to just walk away, especially in the beginning before you get all wrapped up in the other person?  Maybe I’m a little too impatient or uncaring or a little of both.  At the age I am now, I believe there are some things that a man should already know when it comes to dating someone.  But there has to be something to make me want to put in the effort it’s going to take to make this thing sustainable. And it definitely can’t be a one-way street.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Guy Week – He’s Not Here

In December, a friend of a friend posted something on Facebook that inspired me so much that I wrote it down.  In essence, she was stating how as women, we are taught to plan and strategize for our professional careers.  But the main thing that God ordained for people-marriage-we let happen by chance.  We don’t plan and prepare for our mate; we just let the chips fall where they may.  I have no issue saying I want to be in a relationship and one day hope to be married.  And while I do not know if God will keep me in DC, I know that’s where I am now.  But what if my future mate isn’t?

I can think of two relationships from the top of my head where each party lived in a different city.  One couple has been married for a few years. Before their marriage, they lived thousands of miles away from each other.  Once they became husband and wife, they wanted to live in their hometown, but due to the husband not being able to find a job in his field, the wife moved to where he lived. The other couple just became engaged, and the woman moved to where her fiancee lives.  I have thought and joked around MANY times that my future husband is not in DC.  And what if I’m right?  I clearly do not plan on moving every 3-5 years just to potentially meet my husband.  But would that be completely foolish or would it be strategic planning?  If I don’t move to where he is or he doesn’t move to DC, am I just supposed to be content with never getting married?  Or end up getting married for the wrong reasons?

I totally believe that God has this perfect person for me.  And I have no problem (well, maybe slight impatience) waiting on him.  I’m not saying I want to be married tomorrow.  I’m just saying I would at least like to know who my husband is and begin building our relationship.  Hopefully he’ll cross my path soon if we don’t already know each other.  Maybe we’ll meet on one of the vacations I have planned this summer.  Or maybe we’ll meet when he visits his boys in DC.

In the meantime while I’m waiting for him to find me, I’ll continue living my life.  I’ll prepare to celebrate my birthday, for my crowning as Ms. DC Exquisite 2013, for the trips I have planned (and the ones I’m thinking about planning), and on becoming a better Elle.  With anything in life, you have to prepare and plan.  You wouldn’t go into a job interview without planning the right suit to wear or what time you need to leave your home to make sure you arrive on time or researching the company or thinking about what questions they might ask you.  It’s the same for a mate.  I need to plan to meet him, so when God does allow our paths to cross, I’ll be ready.  In a sermon I once heard, the pastor stated if you ARE ready you don’t have to worry about GETTING ready.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Guy Week – My Go-To Guy

Guy Week is here! A little delayed, but it’s here none-the-less. I hope you guys enjoy!

I have a bookcase that I want to get.  But I’m a weakling.  And I’m not handy.  And I live on the 2nd floor of my building.  I could call Southern Dad to help…but he lives in Florida.  I don’t have any brothers, so that’s not an option.  And my closest cousins live two states away.  And I’m single.  You see where this is going.  Who in the heck am I gonna get to help me put this bookcase together?!? And there’s my problem.  That’s why I still don’t have a bookcase, but I do have three stacks of books in my bedroom.

My friend Ms. A and I were having a conversation a few weeks ago (the same one that inspired Guy Week), and one of the things we discussed was the good and bad of living away from home.  Yes, we’re independent and made friends and have made our own way.  But we’re far from family.  Yes, we have male friends, but no one that we would want to ask for help, for fear they would want something in return that we aren’t willing to give.  Or we don’t feel comfortable asking them.  Or we just don’t want them to know where we live.

When I first moved to DC I had a friend, we’ll call him Brick, who was my Go-To Guy.  When my cousins brought my furniture from Southern Mom’s house, Brick helped us move (although he was ridiculously late).  When I realized I left the slats for my bed, Brick came over, measured my bed, went to Lowes to get the slats, and came back and put them under my mattress.  When my car was snowed in during Snowmaggedon, Brick took me to work. (It helped we worked at the same place.)  He even changed the showerhead for me. Brick did all of these things not because he was looking for something.  He did them because he’s a nice guy.  And I should also state this was a give and take situation.  I did things for Brick as well.  That was the type of friendship that we had.  I’m really sad he’s back in Florida.

It always help to have some muscle around, no matter what people say.  There may come a time when there’s some minor repair you need to get done.  Or there may be times when your car is snowed in.  Or you come across this nasty bug that you’re afraid to kill.  I tried for two seconds to shovel my car out of the snow and decided this wasn’t working well and called someone to do it for me.  But I can kill a bug, after my heartbeat slows down and I catch my breath.  I could always take TyAnthony’s advice and put together the bookcase myself.  But I don’t really like that idea.  I feel like there are some things a man should do.  And working with tools and putting this bookcase together is one of them.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Young Entrepreneur Series- Take 5

Photographer Extraordanaire Jerome Pearson

The gentleman I’m highlighting today is multi-talented and is quickly rising to the top of his game.  With just a camera and a dream, this guy has turned a love for art into something great. 

Jerome Pearson of J Pearson Photography is a photographer and media journalist.  Based in Atlanta, GA, Jerome started his business in June of 2010.  In less than 8 months time, Jerome has been an official photographer for the 2010 BET Awards, 2010 Soul Train Awards, 2010 Sean John Fashion Show, the Trey Songz and Monica Tour, Usher Raymond’s annual “New Start” Award ceremony, Keri Hilson’s album release event, and the 2011 Trumpet Awards.   At the tender age of 5, Jerome began drawing and painting.  This hobby followed him into his collegiate years, where he advanced to drawing and painting on clothes.  His artistic ability was apparent to everyone, including his big brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., who gave him the nickname “Krayola”.  After Jerome established himself, he decided “to purchase a camera and create beautiful portraits with a lens.” 

Fellow photographers that Jerome looks up to are Colin Plush Myers of Orangeburg, SC,  Dominic McKelvey of Charleston, SC, and Keith Cephus, who is the main person that is responsible for Jerome becoming a photographer.  (You can check out Keith’s work at  Jerome has stated “he (Keith) pretty much shared info with me such as what type of equipment to purchase and software to use.”  Jerome’s dream shoot would be a destination wedding on “an exotic beach somewhere in Costa Rica, the Caribbean, or Mexico, or just a beach setting where the water is actually blue and the sand is white.”   When asked who some of his models have been, Jerome shared the following- “Mainly my beautiful wife Jennifer-she was my very first model. I have also had sessions with Miss Korea, Keri Hilson, Roscoe Dash, Pastor Troy, B.O.B., and Verse Simmonds.”  Jerome would love to do a session with Lisa Wu Hartwell “just for the simple fact that I admire her hustle, ambition, and drive; she’s also a beautiful model inside and out. My wife and I are currently working on getting her on the cover of “Mood” magazine, which is my wife’s fashion magazine that focuses on fashion and entertainment in Atlanta, GA.”  While there are currently no plans for Jerome to do photography full-time, he’s content doing this on a part-time basis, until maybe he retires from his full-time job with the Federal government. 

Jerome states he likes Lisa Hartwell’s ambition and hustle, but I can’t help but to admire his as well.  This man is on the move and continues to make things happen for himself and his business.  If you’re interested in booking Jerome for a session, you can find him on Twitter at @Photo_J or on the web at  I want to thank Jerome for agreeing to be interviewed.  And I need to get on the good foot and schedule my photo shoot!  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

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Today’s Black History Month fact:

Moneta Sleet, Jr. won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography in 1969.  He was the first African American man to win a Pulitzer and the first African American to win the prize for Journalism.  The photo that afforded him this honor is well-known to us all; it’s the touching photo of Coretta Scott King holding her youngest daughter, Bernice, at the funeral of her husband Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Way Back Wednesday-Our Beautiful Models

Happy Wednesday!  Today’s Black History Month fact is Tyra Banks.  We may clown Tyra for various reasons, but Ms. Banks has become her own mini-mogul in the fashion and modeling world.   Tyra was the first African-American model to grace the covers of the “Victoria’s Secret” catalogue, “GQ”, and the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue.   So “KUDOS” to Trya!  Plus, I think she’s great!  In keeping with the model theme, I’m going to highlight some of our beautiful Black models from back in the day, who all happen to be more than a pretty face.

First, Beverly Johnson.  This Buffalo, NY native was the first Black model to grace the cover of American “Vogue” on its August 1974 issue.  She has appeared on over 500 magazine covers, has guest starred on various television shows, and has even started her own wig line.  And at almost 60 years old, she’s still doing the darn thing!

Somali-American beauty Iman is as timeless today as she was when she first began modeling.  During her career, she served as a muse for Yves Saint-Laurent, Gianni Versace, Calvin Klein, and Donna Karan.  Iman started her own cosmetics line and received a Fashion Icon award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America.  It doesn’t look like Iman is slowing down any time soon.

I LOVE Veronica Webb!!! She’s definitely a timeless, ageless beauty.  This Detroit native began her modeling career after moving to NYC and being discovered by a make-up artist.  When she signed her contract with Revlon, Veronica became the first black supermodel to have a contract with a major cosmetics company.  In her photos, she has been seen wearing the clothing of Isaac Mizrahi, Todd Oldham, and Karl Lagerfeld.  Veronica is definitely a multi-talented woman.  She was acted in various movies and tv shows and has written for various publications.  Ms. Webb’s celebrity knows no limit!

I could CLEARLY be here all day naming models (i.e. Roshumba Williams, Naomi Campbell, Jayne Kennedy, just to name a few).  These ladies definitely paved the way for other models of African descent to grace our runways and magazine covers.  We should never forget the contributions these women made to the world of fashion.  They allowed an industry that at one time was predominantly white and waif to embrace a little color and curves.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!