What’s in a name?

Posted: January 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

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I’ve seen this Miller Beer commercial for a while now, but it just recently hit me that there was a blog here. I was too busy oogling over the one in the plaid shirt, he’s got the best smile on television!

Whenever you see a group of men/women together, can’t you immediately look at them and just know which ones are worth getting to know, and more importantly which ones are worth running the hell away from? If you haven’t done this, then you should try spending a little more time people watching. The next time you go out to dinner, look for a table full of men or women and see if you can figure out which of the five categories you can classify them as. It’s like watching an episode of National Geographic….Urban Edition!

Derrick Shephard1. The Husband-( Cliff Huxtable/Derrick Shepherd) These men were built for marriage. Although no marriage is ever perfect they will make wonderful life partners. They make efforts in the art of compromise and communication. They make successful providers and fathers to your children.

Derrick Morgan2. The Boo-(Derrick Morgan/Big) He’s the eternal boyfriend. If only you could just find a way to get him to settle down! He seems perfect, but this is highly likely because you put him on a pedestal. His work is very important to him so he’s not around a lot and often misses important events. Because he is so attractive, so powerful, and so full of intensity you overlook his absenteeism and make excuses for his inability to commit. He’s never really had any evidence of a long-term relationship with any woman. All of your friends and family love Boo and when they ask you about marriage plans you quickly shush them. You tell them you ‘like things the way they are’, but really you are fearful of scaring Boo away. You believe that one day Boo will do right by you and put a ring on it. Unfortunately it is more likely that Boo will never be your Husband.

3. The Maintenance Man-(Jodi/Luke Perry/John Mayer) This man is built for sex. Mr. FixIt exudes all the charm and suaveness of Morris Chestnut, Matthew McConnahey, and William Levy combined. Your interaction is limited to after hours and weekend rendezvous. These secret trysts are exciting, fun, and the best part of your week or month. You never discuss anything serious and never interfere in one another’s lives in any way. It’s mysterious and so good that you dare not attempt to make anything else of it for fear of ruining the fantasy. It is an escape from the rigors of regular life. You are always left more than satisfied and looking forward to the next event. MM is not the one you confide in or ask for favors. He is built for one thing and he does it exceptionally well!

4. The Friend( aka DIJ)-(Chandler Bing) You never view this man sexually, consciously, but maybe you’ve had a crazy dream about him once or twice. You confide in Friend about your relationships and ask his advice. You never feel weird going to dinner or a movie with this platonic friend, and may even get hit on by another guy when in public together. You don’t feel guilty for ditching plans with Friend because you got asked on a last-minute date from Boo or MM. And you never feel bad for calling this nice guy any time of day or night when you need something, or just want some company. Although you may not consciously be aware, this Friend is just biding his time. If you’re not careful, he could end up as The Husband :-)

Barney Stinson5. The Deviant-(Joey Tribiani/Barney Stinson/McSteamy) This guy is a mistake. For some reason you were feeling down and low, maybe had a few too many drinks one night after a breakup or bad work week and said ‘what the hell?’. He probably attempted to seduce you before, with no less than overt sexual advances, and you turned him down with great disgust. Un-discouraged, he waited for his chance. Like a vulcher this deviant waited for a moment when you were sad and wounded, and then he swooped in and took full advantage. In your time of need and/or despair you allowed this opportunist to do things to you that you won’t even tell your best friend about, because you are so embarrassed. You will deny any involvement with him to your deathbed, but the stench of the memory will remain with you forever.

Fellas I haven’t forgotten about you! I know you have your own little list and I’ve compiled the names below.

Sex-and-the-City

1. The Wife(Claire Huxtable/Vivian Banks/Charlotte York)- Like their male counterparts, The Wife is built for marriage. There is a natural balance of sass and class in this woman. You respect her and she respects you. You’ve committed your life to this woman and will deny any wrong doing to preserve this relationship.

Gina Waters2. The Wifey(Gina Waters/Regina Grier) The Wifey has been around a long time. She has seen you at your worst and at your best. Wifey is a ‘Ride or Die’ chic and she will step to anyone who dares threaten her place. She is secure in herself and doesn’t pressure you about marriage. You love Wifey like a Wife but just can’t commit right now. She’s probably more mature than you are, and since she’s decided you are her man, she’s willing to wait for you to catch up.  She may already be the mother of your children and you probably live together. You hope to one day get yourself together so you can do right by Wifey and make her your Wife.

3. The Baby Girl(Kelly Taylor/) If you don’t watch yourself you could be in trouble. Baby Girl is meant to just be a fun diversion from a regular relationship, but somehow her sweet spirit and dangerous curves captivate you. You treat Baby Girl like a girlfriend but she has no real access into your life. Baby Girl is the sweet treat that you don’t want to taint with images of your faults and failures. You only want her to look up at you with seductive smiles and dreamy eyes and giving any access to your reality could jeopardize the fantasy world that you have created for yourself. Unfortunately for you, BG will get tired of never moving up in station to Wife or Wifey, and will eventually leave you.

joey potter4. The Good Girl(Donna Martin/Joey Potter) Of course you think of this friend sexually, the only reason you don’t try anything is because you are afraid of rejection. Although you may have drunk dialed her once or twice, she always pretends you said anything else besides professing your love for her. Good Girl doesn’t mean she’s innocent, it just means she has a moral code and standards that you find respectable. GGs always become someone’s Wife. You like GG because she doesn’t let you off the hook, she calls you out on your BS and tells you when you’re being an ass. If you were smart you would lock her down, but in most instances she’ll always be “the one that got away”.

Cruel Intentions5. The Jump Off(Kelly Bundy/Kathryn Merteuil/Samantha Jones)  You probably met this woman in a bar, nightclub or anywhere the dress code is ‘hoochie’.  She may even be girlfriends with Wifey or Baby Girl. You never take JO out during daylight hours(if ever) or to any location where you may run into anyone you know. The only redeeming quality of JO is that she knows her role….porn star. No matter how late it is, she will answer your call and you are always welcome to come by.  During your escapades you leave all inhibitions at the door and nothing is off limits. To her, you are likely a Maintenance Man. Be warned, JOs can be dangerous. If she feels wronged in any way, a JO might post inappropriate pictures or messages on Facebook to blow up your spot.

The Future is….Bright?

Posted: December 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

I know it has been a long time since I’ve blogged regularly but it’s not as if I don’t think about doing it. But there has been a disconnect that I am going to try to rectify in 2013.

As I think about my goals and aspirations for the new year, one of them is to be in a new relationship. I’ve spent a lot of time this year working on myself and making sure that I won’t carry any baggage from my last relationship into the next one. Now that that’s covered, I’ve begun to evaluate the inventory in my area. I live in the DMV (DC/MD/VA), and there is definitely a very unique male population here. Because of the geographical location we get a lot of transplants and transient employees (military, federal, consultants, etc…). Generally speaking there are a lot of highly educated men with well paying jobs, homeowners, who are physically fit. So then what’s the problem you say?

Well I actually wrote all about this in 2009 when I originally launched this blog, but since the re-launch the posting has come down, so I am re-posting it now. This is of course one woman’s perspective. Mine. And I shouldn’t have to say this but I will, THIS IS NOT A REFLECTION OF ALL MEN. Of course it is a stance  I have taken for the purpose of this blog.  I’m sure that men will have something to say about it in the way of alternative views, or maybe they’ll claim that I’m just plain whiny and bitter, both of which I am not. But if they are being really honest with themselves, they will recognize that there is truth to the article. Either they see aspects of themselves in the paragraphs or know someone just like it. At the very least my hope is that it will spark conversation between the sexes.

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It’s NOT ME, It’s YOU!

Colorful social commentary by Allison Banks

As successful women of the twenty-first century, we have our stuff together.  We aren’t suffering from emotional problems anymore. Oprah, Dr. Phil, Iyanla, and Madea have told us what our issues are and what we need to overcome them.  We aren’t afraid to talk it out, hug it out, cry it out, read a book on an issue, or even go to counseling. Many of us come from nuclear families, or at least stay close to family members. We do not have children out-of-wedlock.  Our education is impeccable with degrees from some of the best schools in the nation.  We enjoy fulfilling careers and are living self-sufficiently. We care for pets and plants, have lots of hobbies and interests.  Most notably, we are in shape and take good care of ourselves.  Having grown up in the ‘Sex in the City’ generation, we are always dressed to the 9’s, frequent the hair and nail salons, and aren’t afraid to give Dr. 90210 a call if we feel so obliged.

So what’s the problem? Why can’t we find men to be in real relationships with us? One answer…. It’s not us, It’s them. There is a reason why there are single men over the age of forty years old.  It is not because they all want to be lifelong playboys.  It’s not because we are all crazy.

Men are not good at multi-tasking.  They are successful in their careers and make exponential salaries compared to women because they have a single focus.  By the time they have gotten to a level where they can make time for a woman in their lives, or at least notice that one is missing, they have become emotionally and socially stunted.  They have spent the majority of their adult lives working 8-15hour days six days a week.  They spend the seventh day of the week watching sports.  They spend happy hour and social events hunting one night stands and good time girls.  There is a huge difference when making contact, starting conversation, and making a connection with someone who you just want to sleep with as opposed to someone you want to share a real conversation over dinner.  It requires thought and effort, of which they are willing to offer very little.

These men can’t hold conversations!  They have little to talk about besides work or the frequent trips they take with their homeboys to Las Vegas and South Beach.  Get a passport and see the world!  Get a hobby that doesn’t involve television and read something besides a trade journal or magazine filled to the brim with pictures and advertisements.

And when you ask questions or bring up world topics, all you get is “I don’t know,” “I never heard of that,” or “I never really thought about it.”  When you offer to educate them yourself, they get intimidated by your intellect and level of experience.

These men today want easy.  They learn very early in childhood the things they are good at in school and they concentrate single mindedly on those subjects.  They turn them into careers and they make money.  They don’t like looking foolish in front of their friends and family so they go after what comes easy to them.  Because they are focusing all their time on work they don’t take the time to court real women anymore.

If you don’t jump at the lovely array of horse manure they offer, then there must be something wrong with you.  It can’t be that we are just too intelligent and complex to fall for the junk that they’ve been pedaling to the young, naïve, and emotionally challenged girls.  They have no idea and no patience to find out what it takes to get inside the mind and soul of today’s powerful and passionate woman.

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Let’s revisit this word ‘court’.  When did this idea get such a bad rap?  When did we stop requiring men to take some initiative and show us what they are really all about?  In all of our achievements we’ve gotten a little impatient. No one wants to wait and wait and wait only to find out that he’s never going to ask you out, never going to make reservations at that fancy restaurant, never going to plan a romantic weekend getaway. So we settle, do it ourselves, and eventually start to resent them.

Just think of all the losers you would never have wasted months or years on if you had gone though a ‘courting period’ first? Think of the men you would never have slept with if you opened your eyes and read the signs. That was the whole point of the courting period to begin with, so why did we ever stop?

One of the biggest problems is that the sexual escapades of these young celebutantes are plastered all over the news.  A day rarely goes by when our regularly scheduled lives aren’t interrupted to alert us of the latest celebrity sex tape, breakup, makeup, or photos of the newest celebrity baby born out-of-wedlock.  Real people don’t live like this!  It is not okay to get divorced and re-married 2, 3, 4, 5 times!

You have to learn to trust your instincts better.  You know when something is off but like most women you want to give people the benefit of the doubt.  You make excuses for these men before they even have a chance to give you one.  You don’t call them out or hold them accountable.  Unfortunately, neither did all the women before you, and that is why he is who he is today.  No good for you, or any woman for that matter.

These men have tons of female friends, women with whom they have had relationships with and it didn’t work out.  Most of these women are not threats to you.  They know that these guys aren’t worth a crap!  The reason these guys keep you at bay from them isn’t because they are still sleeping with these women, it’s because they don’t want their female friends to give you the low down on all the dirt.  They do not want you to find out about the revolving door of women that come in and out of their beds.  They hide the failed relationships that ended because of their stubbornness or crude and coarse behavior.

These men are not getting help for their issues.  They don’t talk to their friends about things that matter. They refuse to go to counseling because they are afraid of looking weak in the eyes of friends and co-workers.  So they get to be 30+ years old with Mommy issues……… abandonment issues…..jealousy issues….rage left unchecked…. insecurities…. addictions…..personality disorders…..eating disorders…..sleeping disorders……ulcers……unmanageable stress…….

If you find a man 35+ with these issues, RUN!  Do not walk slowly or tippy toe away.  I firmly believe that it is not that they don’t know their issues by this point in their lives.  The problem is that they consciously choose not to get help for them.  If they have not taken the time they need to work on themselves do you really think they are going to take the time to first learn what your wants and needs are, and then take the time and energy necessary to give that to you……HELL NO!  They wouldn’t know how to if they tried.

And if you think about it, do you really want these men to be the father to your children? They are so emotionally unavailable and so career driven that they do not make time for a spouse, let alone time for Timmy’s soccer game, Jenny’s recital, or to help with Michael’s homework.

It is a serious case of Apathy!

Definition: Lack of feeling or emotion (Merriam-Webster online)

Synonyms:  Indifference, lack of concern, lack of interest, lethargy, laziness,          boredom, and droopiness.

These are the men who come home from work and collapse in front of the TV.  They will not want to be bothered with anything and get annoyed with everything!  They do not really make connections.  They become the kinds of husbands and dads that when everyone is hanging out in the kitchen, they are alone in another room.  When everyone goes to church on Sunday, he stays at home.  He shows up for holiday and family photos but really does not participate much.  He’s like the Queen Elizabeth of the family; a figure-head that benefits from the family but does not do much to contribute to its success.  You know this man, because many of you grew up with one in your home.

Some of these guys rarely smile.  When they do manage to squeeze out a laugh it never seems natural, always contrived.  Kids fear dad because they do not know him. He becomes like the principal that lives at home.  You only get sent to see him when something really good happens or when you are being punished.

Getting involved with one of these men means spending weeks, months, years trying to reverse a lifetime of damage, soothe egos, and assume blame for every hard knock and bad break these men have ever had.  After a while you realize that nothing you do can help, and as it turns out you may have done more damage by enabling him to continue this childish behavior.  Some of these guys just do not want to be saved.  And no amount of cheering from your personal cheering section is going to get him through. But as women we always think we can help.  We stay too long waving our pom poms and doing back flips just trying to make a difference.  Unfortunately, that’s how we end up at 30, 35, 40years old back on the market still trying to find Mr. Right.

All these guys out here appear macho and conceited.  They are really scared and unsure of themselves.  They boast about things that really just do not matter.  They take pride in materialistic things like cars, shoes, electronics, and their appearance.   Why are men these days so overly groomed?  They are getting manicures and pedicures, eyebrows arched, going to salons to get hairstyles, and their cabinets are filled with just as much product as yours! But ask them to talk about a feeling or where they go to reflect……..…crickets.  They can fill a bank account with money, a closet full of clothes, a car with gadgets and rims, but ask what they do to fill their spirit and you get nothing!

So why can’t we find a man?  Oh we find them all the time, we find them and throw them back.  Think about it….How many of these guys have you turned down?  How many have you stopped calling or going out with because you lost interest?  How many first and only dates have you gone
on, and declined offers for second dates, because you would rather watch paint dry than to suffer through another painful moment?  But you are constantly attracted to them because they are the ones in the fancy Italian suits, with the shiny new Breitling on their wrist that’s hanging out the window of the latest and greatest model of German engineering.  We’re lured to them like…….

They approach innocently enough dangling dreams of the high life.  Gated communities, large single family homes with closets filled with Manolo Blahniks and Louis Vuitton, swimming pools and marble foyers, country club memberships and dinners with local celebrities, the 2.5 carat VVS princess cut platinum set engagement ring in that little aqua blue box.

With all that being said, our independence has made us a little less tolerant and slightly more prideful.  We get easily frustrated and are often quick tempered.  We expect, if not rightfully so, that some things should go without saying, and then we throw tantrums when we have to say it, and then say it again……and again…………and again.

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You want to know why women like the Sex and the City series and why the subsequent Sex and the City Movie so much? The reason is because every woman in the world wanted Carrie and Big to end up together.  And when they finally did, we all felt vindicated!  It was this generation’s version of Pretty Woman.  We want to believe that all the time and tears we have exhausted on these men will end in the ultimate payday.

Unfortunately, real life does not actually end that way.  And if it does it ends just as sad as the movie does.  Carrie chased and pined over Big for 11 years!  He put her through the ringer.  He left her for a younger woman.  Finally now that he’s 50+ years old (she’s 40+) and realizes he’s about to lose her to another man (Aleksander), he decides he’s ready to settle down…..and she takes him back!  How tragic! But wait it gets worse…when she finally plans the wedding of her dreams he leaves her at the altar! And she takes him back again!!!

So he went chasing a career and other women all those years only to find out that the grass is not greener on the other side!  Why do men do that?!?  Stop chasing unicorns only to find out it’s just a circus horse wearing a funny hat! And ladies, when did our self-esteem fall so low that we would stand by a man who does not recognize us for our worth while he has the chance?

When did chivalry and being a gentleman become taboo?  When did common courtesy die?  When did following your heart get replaced with lists of pros and cons?  When did we stop feeling?

In an age where everything can be outsourced, we’ve started outsourcing responsibility and substitution for love and affection.  Why clean your own house when you can hire a housekeeper?  Blame Marge when you can’t find something, “She must have moved it when she was cleaning.”  Why learn how to cook when you can eat out or order delivery?  “They cook with too much butter and salt, it’s making me fat!”  Why learn how to change a tire when AAA will do it for you?  “An hour wait! I’m already late for work.”  Why raise your own children when you can hire a nanny?  That way you can blame them and the school system when your child has issues and is flunking out.  Why workout when you can get the fat sucked out?  “You mean I finance that?”  Well throw in nose job and a tummy tuck too!”  Why make love to a spouse within the bounds of a loving committed relationship when you can hire a prostitute or purchase an adult toy?  Why engage in foreplay when you can cheat your way through with pornography and Astroglide?

It’s always somebody else’s fault.  Words like compromise and cooperate are slowly finding their way out of the male vocabulary pool.  They think everything and everyone can be replaced.  This is why they find themselves at forty years old and still pining over lost love, kicking themselves in the tush for driving fabulous women away.  This is why divorce rates are so high and why the number of children born out-of-wedlock is exponential.  They blame women for breaking their heart and take little away from the experience except the pain associated with it.  They become self-proclaimed martyrs in the love crusade.  As if their love loss is any more substantial than the next Joe who just got his heart-broken.

It’s okay to breakdown and have a moment sometimes, but it is something else entirely to choose to remain broken.  How do you resign to the idea that, “maybe love just isn’t in the cards for me?”  One guy I dated actually said, “My best friend and I decided that if we weren’t married by the time we were 40 we were just going to get a big house and live together as bachelors.”  WTF?  This is exactly how men end up never married.  What self-respecting women with all the aforementioned qualities is going to get seriously involved with a 40year old man who lives with his 40year old buddy?  No matter how much they vehemently deny it, people are going to start questioning their sexuality.

In an age where people are living well into their seventies and early eighties, who really wants to spend the next thirty or forty years alone? (77.8yrs according to cdc.com)  At thirty-cough cough, although I have had my share of struggles and heart aches, I know that I live a truly blessed life. I am one of the women that I described; educated, successful, etc…  So for me to say, “Maybe I should just give up and resign to the fact that I may be alone for the rest of my life” is unacceptable.  I couldn’t even imagine saying something like that ten years from now.  That would mean giving up on every dream that I have had since I was a little girl.

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Dreams of having a wedding, being a mother, family filled holidays, having the grandkids visit, sitting on the porch next to my husband whose old and grey while yelling at the neighborhood kids to stay off my lawn!

I understand that there may be people who truly do not ever want to be married and/or have children, but they are true exceptions and not the norm.  More often than not people who say things like that only say it because they are afraid they will never attain such things.  It is a defense or coping mechanism.  You can’t miss what you never wanted in the first place, right?  Unfortunately, I also believe it is self-fulfilling prophecy.  Do not put that kind of negativity into the universe if you do not really mean it.

It is against our very nature as human beings or any living being in nature, for that matter.  Being alone is not in our genetic makeup, and is not what populates the human race.

So if you are having difficulty finding that special someone then maybe you need to change your habits.  There are over six billion people in the world!  Think beyond the picture of what you always thought he/she would look like.  Don’t be afraid of having to move geographically for love.  Learn a new language and meet some people from countries who speak the language.  Have a conversation with that person who you smile at in passing everyday but with whom you’ve never had a conversation.  Alternate the grocery store, gas station, gym, and park that you’ve been using for the last five years with one the next town over.

Don’t get pigeonholed to the same group of people you see everyday.  Obviously that is not working for you.  Change your surroundings, change your thinking, change your heart, and change your destiny.

25 Things you didn’t know about me!

Posted: September 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

1. I LOVE magazines.

2. I have a huge sweet tooth. I love birthday cake and ice cream!

3. I used to want to be Jim Carrey’s side kick on ‘In Living Color’.

4. I don’t have a favorite color.

5. I love real books, not into e-readers.

6. I rarely leave the house without earrings, lip gloss, and mascara.

7. I still love to send and receive snail mail.

8. I’m an accessory addict!

9. Tulips are my favorite flower.

10. I’m obsessed with the ocean. It both soothes and terrifies me. I will own a beach house one day.

11. I can pretty much recite ‘The Color Purple“.

12. I do not own a flat screen tv….yet.

13. I LOVE soda!!!

14. I was a Teaching Assistant in college for Popular Arts in the Mass Media (a.k.a. TV class).

15. Frieda Khalo is my favorite artist.

16. My theme song is “Fly Away” by Lenny Kravitz.

17. I love spicy food, bring on the heat!

18. I buy tennis shoes and never wear them, except to workout.

19. A cool accent and great vocabulary go a long way with me.

20. It’s kind of hard for me to accept compliments.

21. If my house was burning down, I’d grab my photo albums, my LV bag, my mom’s quilt and bible, and my passport.

22. I was a latchkey kid in first grade.

23. I have at least six different kinds of pasta in my cupboards.

24. It really makes me feel good to “be there” for people.

25. Traveling is my all time favorite thing!!!!!

How do I love thee…?

Posted: April 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

In the last few months I’ve done a lot of self-reflection and a lot of visualization for what I want for myself in the future. A common theme in this journey of self discovery has been compatibility in loving. I think I have been very fortunate in my life that I truly know what it feels like to be, and most importantly, feel loved. My mother died when I was eleven years old, but in those eleven years I know what it feels like to be loved and to love someone properly. And even though my father and I don’t have an ideal relationship at the moment, I feel in my heart that he loves me. So in my adult life, I have sought that same feeling in relationships. In whatever naive young adult way I may have gone about trying to obtain that feeling, I instinctively will know when it is right.

Now, I am not still so naive as to think that love is enough, I know all too well that more goes into sustaining a long-term relationship than just love alone. And I also now know the difference between puppy love, butterflies, and real love. It is an amazing ah ha moment when you first learn the difference between them. But even now at thir…..er eh….. a little older, I’ve found that there is yet another layer to loving and being loved. Knowing how to love someone in a way they can receive and accept it, and being able to receive the love someone offers to you is critically important.

This now brings me to my latest life lesson.  I never considered what it would be like to be in a relationship with someone who is an agnostic, possibly even a closet atheist. Althougth I have some issues with organized religion but still recognize a higher being. I grew up in Baptist and non-denominational churches, and as an adult I enjoy going to service, and I am always able to walk away feeling uplifted and joyous. Yet, I also recognize and appreciate other forms of religion because I know that had I been born in another part of the world that I may not have grown up a Christian. I appreciate that religion is just a method of praising a higher being, whatever we choose to call ‘him’.

I do not believe all our power comes from within ourselves and our own strength. We have no real power or strength alone. God, or whatever we choose to call our supreme being  is a part of us all. We are inherently limited in strength of might(by the hand), and intellect (of the brain), but God that resides in our heart is limited by nothing. If we seek him and acknowledge his presence and power in our lives we can do all things. I’ll get off my soapbox now that I’ve made my point.

The problem I found being involved in a relationship with an agnostic is that I felt I was asked to do things that he was not willing to do: 1. Have an open mind.  Having never met an agnostic before(at least not knowingly) I did have an open mind, and that is partly why I didn’t go running for the hills when I realized he was an agnostic. I had an open mind, because I had not yet formed an opinion. And even now, I reserve my opinion for a case by case basis.

Now that I do have some experience, and have done some research, I think that many agnostics think that they are much smarter than believers. They think we are all blind followers and we don’t think for ourselves.  When in actuality most of the religious texts encourage believers to question His supreme existence.  We question and still believe and accept that it may take a lifetime to get all the answers one seeks, but at the very least it will take some searching. Maybe some of us have to look for God a little harder than the rest or have to work harder at relationships with God than the rest of us, but I do not think that is an excuse enough not to try.  Maybe after searching and working on the relationship you decide that it’s not a relationship that you want to have right now. You don’t know under what parameters/boundaries you want to have it, then that’s another story.  At least in that instance you still acknowledge His existence.

Generally speaking all of us believers could call ourselves agnostics. We don’t know for sure, or at least can’t provide any physical evidence of a supreme being to anyone who asks. The only difference is that we believe anyway. There may not be conventional logic for the basis of our beliefs and yet we believe still. It doesn’t mean that we do not question why things are the way they are, or why would a supreme being allow such strife to take place in the world. We just acknowledge that there are things that we do not know or that cannot be explained in human terms. There should be another word for agnostics, or people who just are not able to believe at this juncture or any juncture in their lives, or people who are unwilling to accept the fact that ‘not knowing’ is a part of knowing.

To be very honest I was a little afraid in the beginning that being with an agnostic would make me less of a believer. The bible says people in relationships should be “equally yoked” fearing that the lesser of the yoked would confuse or change the other’s path (2Corinthians 6:14).  But quite the contrary has happened. I feel like I have become even more of a believer. I can’t comprehend not believing in something greater than myself. And most importantly I can’t  not feel God’s presence in my life.  I could be wrong about a lot of things, including what to call my own form of spirituality, but I am not wrong about the reality of His presence.

2. I felt like I was being expected to love someone in a way who was unable to love me back in a similar way. I know that everyone loves people differently, but I think that there is a reoccurring commonality between true believers.  For example, let’s examine the phrase, “people should only do what they feel like doing”.  I can’t really stand behind that 100% because that removes all levels of responsibility and obligation from an individual. I don’t think you should have to do anything that you feel strongly against. And I don’t think you should have to do anything that would really put you out (emotionally, physically, financially) so that you are left feeling terribly uncomfortable and which may cause resentment to build within you. And if one person feels that way, then it’s just better to end that relationship then to start tearing each other apart.  Because as a believer, I do feel an obligation to behave in a certain way toward people, especially those I claim to love, that is reflective of the love I feel for God.

I think that when you love someone as God loves us that you do things for that person because you know that in doing so it just is love.  And you do it without making them feel bad, and you do it with a smile. Under any other circumstances the love is not conveyed and the act itself is pointless.  But if someone doesn’t feel God loving them in such a way, then how can they even attempt to love someone else that way? Or even realize that they are being loved in that way?

I’ve always felt that you don’t really know someone until you’ve traveled with them and gotten into a fight with them. Both of these are stressful situations and if neither of these go well the first time, you should consider that a huge red flag! DO NOT IGNORE THIS RED FLAG! 

Choosing to love someone comes with responsibility and obligation and our belief system strongly affects the level of each. For anyone who grew up in Sunday school like I did (my grandfather was the Deacon of Sunday School so I was in all the events/plays/recitals, you name it!) you know that from practically infancy they taught us about God’s love and how we should treat one another. And no matter how long its been since you last picked up a bible or attended a service, you can probably recall a verse or bible story about love and how God says we should treat one another. It becomes a part of your DNA. I truly believe that true believers are only able to fight but so dirty. There is something deep down inside of you that will only let you go but so far. You know that there is a limit/a line/a threshold that you just don’t cross. It’s not as if you don’t think about it, or even threaten to go there. But you just don’t do it. You remember who you are a son or daughter of, and then you get yourself together.  

I don’t think that agnostics or atheists have that self-imposed limitation. It seems like all gloves are off and each man is for himself. Now that person might be nice to have around when you two are on the same side of the argument. But what if  you find yourselves on opposing sides? How can you ever be comfortable with someone when you know that if *ish hits the fans you have a handicap and they do not? It’s one thing to say,” Well if they can dish it, then they can take it! So I’m not going to hold back if they aren’t!”  I don’t know about you, but personally I refuse to allow someone to have me “forget where I came from”(as old people say).

So, how will I love thee….? I will love my family, friends, neighbors, and lover with a mature and compassionate heart. I will protect you fiercely and fight fairly. Don’t take my kindness for weakness, because although I won’t fight dirty, I will not let you run over me in the name of love.  And if you try it, you will just have to love me from afar.  Ashe! Ashe! Ashe! ( pronounced ” ahshay” ;Swahili for we are in agreement)

She Is Every Woman

Posted: February 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

Memories: When I was in elementary school I was in a traveling chorus. We used to take bus trips on the weekends to participate in competitions around the state of Georgia. On these trips my girlfriends and I used to huddle in the last row of the school bus around my Walkman and sing 1985′s self titled Whitney Houston album. We would sing every song over and over again at the top of our lungs. You could not convince us that we didn’t sound just like her.

90′s classics: The Bodyguard, Waiting to Exhale, and The Preacher’s Wife…..They just don’t make movie soundtracks like they used to. I can still sing all the words to every song on these albums.

End of an Era: Whitney was my generation’s Billie Holiday, Diana Ross, or Audrey Hepburn. We imitated her style, her attitude, her flare for hair and studded gowns.  She was our beautiful super star that was still relatable and real. She didn’t deny us the good, the bad or the ugly that was her reality.  Whitney will always be that crazy aunt that said exactly what she meant when she felt like it. And that is why we will always love her….

SMASH!

Posted: February 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

Last week the new series SMASH debuted and I was not disappointed. If you’ve been following me you know that I am a fan of all things musical (okay most things, I never really did get into Glee). But I am soo excited about this new show!!! It makes me want to run up to NYC and catch a show on Broadway. Plus it’s really nice to see some of my favorites like Debra Messing back on television. Love her XOXOXOXOXO!!!

It’s also refreshing to see newcomers Megan Hilty and Katherine McPhee on the small screen. Though Katie is already well known for her stint on American Idol she hasn’t really been in much besides US and People Magazines. Megan is obviously well trained in theatre and brings experience and authenticity to the ensemble.

I am surprised to see Angelica Houston cast in this type of show. She doesn’t really give off the warm and fuzzies that you associate with Broadway musicals, but Broadway is also a business. In business you need sharks and Angelica has proven that she has quite a bite.

I sure hope this week doesn’t disappoint, and the show is able to stand up to the hype that NBC has created around it. I’ll definitely be watching.

My Strange Addiction

Posted: January 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

A few years ago I was hanging out with some friends at a small house party. You know one of those after-parties that organically evolves at the end of a night of dancing and drinking and no one wants the night to end? So after the bar closed we all went to the closest house. Well, my friend Shawn, who became the host of this impromptu shin-dig, also became the DJ by default. There was quite an ecclectic mix on his playlist, but most of which I had already been familiar with. Then all of a sudden I heard the sweet melodic stylings of what would become…… my strange addictionFrench Hip Hop, Jazz, and R&B!

I know what you’re thinking, “Allison I didn’t know you spoke French!”, to which I would respond, “That’s because I don’t speak French”. I have absolutely no clue what they are saying and yet, Voila, it completely captivates me. What surprises me most is that traveling to France was never high on my ‘to-do’ list…..until recently.

Now all I can do is think about walking the sexy mysterious streets of the an arrondissement catching spontaneous concerts by street performers. The same streets where Josephine Baker and Edith Piaf once performed. Or enjoying a cafe and pan au chocolat in a patisserie while a funky jazz quartet plays in the background. I mean can you imagine a more perfect day?!?! It is the quintessential European experience!

These examples are a little more modern than the jazzy example that I described above. But this is also closer to what I listen to now and what got me hooked in the first place.

And when you thought I was just crazy enough……..I am also completely fascinated with the Spanish Guitar! If you aren’t familiar check out the movies Desperado or Vicki Christina Barcelona. Its amazing!

This time imagine yourself in Seville, Spain. Late at night in the belly of a dark underground club drinking Sangria and being hypnotized by la musica de  Rodrigo&Gabriela while a flamenco dancer performs.  Or imagine yourself attending a bull-fight in the world-famous El Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza. The excitement of the event is rivaled by the intensity of a guitarist playing a Paso Doble as the caballeros and the matador enter the arena.


 This couple is ridiculous! If this doesn’t get you completely mesmerized, then you must be dead inside!

 

Happy New Year!

Posted: January 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

I don’t think I have ever looked forward to the end of a year more than I did this past year. Good Riddance 2011!  I am so looking forward to 2012 and all of the surprises and awesomeness that I believe is in store for me.  This will be one of the best years of my life, you can quote me on that!

It seems that when people use the term ‘new years resolution’ they are almost setting themselves up for failure, so I decided long ago to just create some goals for myself each year. I feel like goals are more attainable. Goals can be measured and can evolve over the course of the year as things change. There are several key things to remember when setting goals so I’m attaching some links that will help you begin your process. 

http://www.mygoals.com/content/goal-setting-article-002.html

http://www.organizeyourself.com/?c=org-g-et-lb-2-hdi&KEYWORD=goal%20setting&gclid=CLzG-42Csq0CFQXd4Aodu30OoA

None of this is rocket science, but sometimes we just need a refresher course. And what better time to take that course than the first week of January! Set yourself up to be successful, but be kind to yourself should you make mistakes a long the way. Falling off the wagon doesn’t mean you have to stay on the ground. Pick yourself up and continue where you left off. Everyday you wake up provides the opportunity to make good decisions in love, health, finances, and use of your time.

A lot of people forget that in order to move forward you have to let some things go so they aren’t holding you back. LET GO of those pants you never wear, that old ugly piece of furniture that doesn’t go with anything else in your house, that relationship that is going nowhere, that addiction that is fogging your brain, the anger or pain that has been taking up your mental space! To quote Erykah Badu:

Bag lady you gone hurt your back
Dragging all them bags like that
I guess nobody ever told you
All you must hold on to
Is you, is you, is you

One day all them bags gone get in your way
One day all them bags gone get in your way
I said one day all them bags gone get in your way
One Day all them bags gone get in your way

So pack light
Pack light
Pack light
Ooh ooh

Men, have baggage too………..don’t sleep on it! You can just as easily replace Bag Lady with Bag Man! Lord knows I learned that lesson the hard way.

Even if you only pick one thing to work on, just think about how better off you will be by the end of the year if you stick with it. Whether it’s saving a dollar a day, giving up caffeine, taking 5 minutes a day to be grateful, or working out it really is true that every little bit will make a difference. Best of Luck!

Puppy Love!

Posted: December 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

If this doesn’t make you want to run out and get a puppy, then you must be cold and dead inside, and I feel sorry for you.  Have you ever seen a black pug before? I hadn’t before this past weekend. Her name is Mumu and she’s about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! I would just want her to stay this size forever, which is crazy because I normally can’t stand small dogs! But maybe it’s because she didn’t even seem like a dog, it was like she was more exotic. Remember when Paris Hilton used to carry around that kinkajou? Can you believe how long ago Paris Hilton was relevant? Relevant being completely subjective….. This picture is from 2006!

And speaking of socialites being photographed with obscure creatures, how about Kim Kardashian lugging around that Kris Humphries for all of 72days……ba dump bump!

I digress…..This blog is about some family friendly all american puppy lovin! Speaking of which have you met Boo The Cutest Dog in the World? If not, you have to watch this video. OMG! And I normally can’t stand when people put clothing on animals (handkerchiefs are okay), I mean are there no boundaries? But I have to admit that the college sweater on Boo is freakin adorable! Enjoy.

 

Lessons I Learned from Honey Badger

Posted: December 13, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Everything I need to know I learned from the honey badger……

1. Run all over the place. Not only is it a good workout, but you will always be ahead of the pack!

2. Be Fearless. Walk right into your house of bees or your cobra field. Don’t be afraid of getting stung, you just take a minute to get yourself together and move forward.  Don’t let it stop you from your goals!

3. Watch your back and protect yourself. People are always coming to take advantage of your hardwork, and snatch up anything you leave behind.

4. Take what you want.  Life is what you make it so don’t sell yourself short by being afraid of taking big chances. When you succeed, you will be the one with a belly full delicious rewards!

5. Move about freely. Don’t let the shackles of life hold you back. The world is your buffet…..eat it up!