Seventeen Again

This was purely inspired by my cyber buddy, Hudson, and I thought this would be good for me to do.


Dear Tiffany,

If you found this letter, then you must’ve found time in your hectic teenage life to read this.  Not that teenage life isn’t crazy enough, but yours is…..a little different, shall we say?  Before I continue, I want you to know that you’re much stronger than people give you credit for.  In fact, the very people that are close to you can’t take it (I could tell you who they are, but you already know.  Just smile and nod).  Just look at you: senior in high school, part-time job and a newborn baby girl.  Do you know there are some grown ass adults who couldn’t do what you’re doing now?  You have a support system, but I’m here to tell you that support system will come at a price.  You have to see the bigger picture, Tiff.  And that’s why I’m writing this to you.  Think of me as a Fairy GodDiva or that woman who missed out on purchasing a Delorean, so a letter will just have to do.  Just…bear with me, alright? (side note: Yeah, that “my thoughts are everywhere” doesn’t go anywhere.  The hazard of being a dreamer, girl.  Get used to it.)

1. Your mother will never approve of anything you do.  Sorry to be the one to break this to you, but that’s a sad reality.  There are some people, no matter what you do, will always find fault in it.  I cherish that about you; the fact that you just want to do right by everyone in your life and you worked so hard at trying to do everything right for your mom, haven’t you?  You secretly want your mom to smile at one of your accomplishments, instead of pointing out what you could’ve done better or worse, give that God awful grunt and then walk away.  Don’t fret over this at all.  You don’t have an emotion-showing mom because she doesn’t know how to be. That’s just not her strong suit.  She only knows to be a provider so look to that, instead.  You will learn to discern the difference between her criticism and her motherly concern.  She’s takes her role of mother very seriously and you like to be left alone.  She needs you to need her and she will create an environment where you will always need her but be careful; this is a trap to keep you stagnant. Remember what I said earlier.

2.  Stop making all of your boyfriends “The One”.  This one you’re with now?  Not even close. You won’t even recognize him if he walks down the street several years from now (trust me, he does this…TWICE!).  Before you break out your “Waiting to Exhale” CD out and put in on repeat, be glad you’re not marrying him (and you’re 17, too. slow down).  Truth is, you’re only with him because you think no one else will love you with a child.  This could be the furthest thing from the truth.  Can I ask you something, honestly?  Do you even love yourself?  You really don’t have to answer that because I already know.  You have to love yourself more, otherwise you will find yourself in relationships with men (and staying way past their expiration date) because you want to feel wanted. Needed.  Loved.  Don’t be afraid to move on so much.  Sure you can TRY to salvage your broken relationships along the way, but the only thing that’ll accomplish is keeping Little Debbie and all the self-help gurus gainfully employed.  It’ll be hard at first, because you’ve only learned about loving someone through reading books and watching tv, but trust me it gets easier.  The first place to start is to listen to your own voice for a change.

3.  That writing everything down thing that you do?  Keep at it.  You have a gift of storytelling, my dear.  You will go to college with big dreams of majoring in Journalism and one day running your own magazine.  You will also see that dream go up in flames as your instructor tells you that you’re a good writer, just not an editor.  It would be helpful if he gave you other options instead of “change your major” with a half-hearted laugh, as if you just wasted your time and money coming here.  This will devastate you, primarily because you’re taking on other people’s opinion of you.  But you don’t stop writing.  Not for a second.  When that boyfriend tells you to “just blog about it” instead of boring him with whatever you’re talking about, just do it.  He will become your muse.  That short story you’re working on now?  It’ll become the first of many stories you’ll eventually write.  You remember how in groups you would want to say something, but no one would let you speak?  Observe, because listening will also become one of your stronger traits.  You think no one wants to hear you talk…or quick to shut you up.  And you’re right.  Again, you have a gift.  When you speak, people listen.  No really, people LISTEN to you.  They will look you in your eyes, they will follow your hand gestures.  So when you do decide to speak, make sure it’s with a purpose.  I wish I could tell you that we become Editor-in-Chief after all, but the funny thing about Life is that the road isn’t always straight and narrow….

So that’s all I have for you now.  You probably are tired and really need to go to sleep (or call your boyfriend back…what is his name again?) so I’ll end it here.  Just remember that this here thing called Life, really does get better in time.  Don’t be in such a rush to grow up.  Trust me, once you find out who Sallie Mae is….nevermind.  Stay in school!  Get your rest so you don’t age like a banana, okay?

Love you Always,



P.S. Don’t tell any of your friends this, but you will come to enjoy vodka and red wine.  A lot.  Okay, bye!

Be Mines, Concubine

Well, another one bites the dust.

In my attempt to get back out into the dating world, I met a guy at work.  Now before you go typing “don’t do it, reconsider!”, hear me out. We don’t work together.  This guy actually came to my job to seek assistance from my office.  Afterwards, we had a great conversation and we exchanged numbers.  He called me every day and night; sounding more enthusiastic as the days went by.  I had to admit, I enjoyed his conversation and by the sound of things, we had the same goal in mind: live in the moment and enjoy life.  We agreed to meet that weekend and we would do dinner and dancing.  Sounds promising, right?  Wrong.  Dead wrong.

The whole night, I was preparing myself for this wonderful date at a Jamaican bar he found.  I just knew I would have my fill of jerk chicken and dutty wine until the sun came up.  I was ready.  The date seemed relaxing.  He came to pick me up and I noticed another guy get out of the car.  I’m thinking, “Okay, is he coming with us?  Because I agreed to a date with…you.  Not you and a guest.”  Yes, he was coming with us, but not to the Reggae bar.  No.  The friend was coming with us to a bachelor party.   Which means, I was going to a Bachelor’s party.  It also means that with my wrap dress, fishnets, and wedges….I was overdressed.  When I arrive to the party, there had to be no less than 20 guys there and you could tell they weren’t expecting me.  I felt their eyes undressing me, their smiles were sinister.  I kept my coat on for as long as I could until it became too hot for me to bear.  I placed my jacket in the spare bedroom and stayed there.  I just felt out of my element.  Just then, a woman comes into the room and introduces herself.  Without thinking, I say, “I was starting to wonder if I was going to be the only woman here!  I’m so glad to see you!”

Totally forgetting I was at a Bachelor’s party.

Now my date has come to check in on me and he positions himself next to me.  He gives me a kiss on the cheek and whispers, “I hope you don’t mind.  I got her for you.”

Excuse me.

So then the stripper begins to prop herself onto my lap and proceeds to dance for me while my date watches.  At this point, all I’m thinking is, “I could’ve stayed at home and watched Netflix for all of this.”   My date sees my face and says, “You don’t like your present?” as he drops singles onto her.  I was embarrassed and so mad that all I could do was laugh.  I’ve had bad dates, but this is absurd.  What have I done to deserve this?  What have I done wrong?  I said the only thing I could think of at the time:

Who do you think I am?!   What would make you think I would even be okay with this?  Sweetheart, I’m sure you’re really good at what you do, but I don’t have money to tip you……I know I’m not a fan of getting flowers on a date but a stripper?!?


I called a friend who lived in the area to pick me up and that was the end of my date.  Maybe some other guy, eh?



Loneliness With An “I”

When I’m presented with messages more than once, I pay attention. Earlier this year, a friend of mines took a two-week technology sabbatical and talked about how refreshed she felt once she finally came back to the social media world. She went on vacation, she read, she slept in, she caught up on television shows. She felt more connected not being plugged in. I thought about what she said as I was feeling that way myself. That I needed to take a break and connect to something real. But do I have the strength to do it?

I spend the bulk of my life online now. Even with things that were just strictly my “me” time (like catching up on my favorite tv show), I have shared with my online world. I have met some amazing people online and I’ve learned so much. However, when my app is closed, those people are gone and I’m left with just me. So I can see how loneliness can creep in. I can see now my dependence on Twitter and Facebook; I just want people to hear me and care about what I’m saying. I’ve found in the last year my desire to connect with people offline has begun to wean me off the need to stay connected online.

In this video, the narrator says that we’ve sacrificed conversations for connections. I agree. I used to be a huge phone person. I loved talking on the phone or just leaving my house to come to yours. I wanted to visit you, sit on your couch, have a drink and just converse for hours about everything. Even now, I schedule time with my friends to sit at a restaurant and just have a conversation. But even those times are now spent with our heads down, buried in our phones or Instagramming our food and drinks.

We share everything, but fear intimacy. Isn’t that something? This video got me to thinking and hopefully it’ll have you thinking too. Who knows? This year may be the year for my Technology Sabbatical.


I don’t get you at all. 

I’m an introverted person.  I’m also a private person.  I’m also a person who loves surprises.  These things don’t always go well as far as relationships go. The first time I heard the words “I don’t get you at all” uttered to me was by my first love.  My whole teenage existence.  We met in church and he spent years pursuing me.  I have to admit that I enjoyed the chase; it made me feel desired.  Once we got into our teenage love, I thought everything was going smoothly, until one night he called me to tell me that it was over.  In retrospect, the reason it was over was because he fell in love with the IDEA of me and not who I really was.  But the reason his 17 year-old self gave stayed with me:

I don’t get you at all. 

I wouldn’t hear that statement again until years later, when I found myself in a relationship in college.  We were walking back from seeing a movie (can’t remember which one) and we were having some random conversation.  I apparently made some sort of off-handed comment, as I was known to do given my affinity for sarcasm.  I remember the look he had on his face; his eyes squinted, he had a turned up smile, his head leaning to one side.  I felt like I was being examined.  So I asked him, “What?  What’s wrong?”

“I was just wondering….”

“Wondering what?” (this was probably the point where I would bat my eyes or talk in some innocent voice)

“About you.  I don’t understand you.  I don’t get anything about you.”

“Is that necessarily a bad thing?”

“Yeah, it is.  I don’t know what to expect.”

I thought I was being open and myself.  Turns out, I was more distant than I’d ever been.  I would go on countless dates with guys who liked me enough, but felt that they didn’t know me.  Those who were impatient, left me.  Those who saw this as a challenge, pursued me.  I never understood what was the big deal nor the reasoning behind treating me like I was a safe that needed to be cracked.  I consider myself average, at best.  I’ve learned to listen first before speaking.  I share what needs to be shared and keep private what I want to keep private. I consider myself to be very open-minded and up for anything new.  I’ve experienced a lot in my lifetime and hope to experience a lot more.  I trust openly, but not easily.  I have a good heart.  I have an adventurous streak that doesn’t get tapped into.  I give of myself without wanting to receive anything in return.  I’m also insatiable.

I don’t get you at all.

What is there to get?  Truthfully, if you just allow people to be who they are, exactly as is…. there won’t be anything to “get”.  Personally, I like just being.  One day, someone else will too.

Change Clothes

There was an interesting discussion that was brought up on my Twitter timeline last night. The discussion centered around debunking a myth that has survived for centuries (maybe not centuries, but a really, REALLY long time): that what a woman wears provokes her being sexually assaulted. There’s this horrible notion that if you just cover up more, be more demure and be timid, that men won’t act so animistic when they see you. The usual “blame the victim” argument. So the question was asked on my timeline,

“What were you wearing when you were sexually assaulted?”

The answers kept flooding in. I sat with tears in my eyes reading tweet after tweet of young women (surprisingly no men, even though it happens to them….but more acceptable and I don’t even have the time to dissect how wrong that is) saying what they wore. Some, because they were so young when it happened, were vague in their description. Others put more than one outfit, for the numerous times they were assaulted. The most popular response were those who put school uniforms, or classic T-shirt and jeans. My heart absolutely broke for these ladies. The bravery it took to tell their story in 140 words. That there are so many women in this world who have gone through this, many in silence. The pain they endured, it all became too much to me. I broke down and cried for them. I cried for me too.

Because in my t-shirt, jeans, and Chucks….I was assaulted too.

Gone Fishing

I grew up reading fairy tales.  Every night, I would sit in bed and read this huge book of fairy tales and they pretty much were all the same.  Sweet misfortunate girl ends up being rescued by a Prince and they lived happily ever after. Then in romantic movies that I would watch, they would have a chance meeting and immediately start this rapid love affair. That notion of being swept away by a guy and living happily ever after stayed with me through my teenage years.  I wouldn’t date, I would just jump from one relationship to the next. This continued until I got to college, and I finally started dating.  I actually enjoyed it, but I was also getting “older” (if, by older you mean 25).  The guys I met weren’t interested in dating, they were only interested in relationships.  Everyone around me was looking to settle down.  So I had to as well.

But then, at 30, I found myself single again.  I didn’t really put myself out there at all for the first year.  While I watched friends of mines get engaged, married, and have their first child, I was going out by myself and hitting the gym seriously.  I just didn’t leave too much room in my life for any romance.  It wasn’t until the end of last year that I gave myself some breathing room.  Introduced through a mutual friend, I found a kindred spirit.  He’s kind, sweet, funny.  When we’re together, we have a good time.  The thoughts of settling down began to creep in my mind, but this is a guy who takes his time.  Only jumping in when he feels it’s a sure thing, I am quite the opposite.  I live in the moment.  I don’t worry about tomorrow because tomorrow may never come.  I stay open to the possibilities that life may bring.  That has actually brought two new guys into my life.   I met both of these guys separately and we have had really interesting conversations.  I enjoy them as much as I do the guy I met through my friend.  But then I felt guilty.  I felt I had to be committed to one because everyone else found “one” to be committed to and here I am, playing the field.

And why not?

The beauty that dating gives you is that you get to find out what it is that you’re looking for.  What you like and don’t like; can and can’t live with.  I get to experience this life with different people from different walks of life and I’m not about to stop just because I feel somehow pressured to settle down with “the one” and get married.  Eventually I will, if marriage is even what I want anymore (I’ll have to explain later).  But for right now, I’m casting a wide net.  Maybe something will catch on.

Special Day. What Day?

This video absolutely brightened up my already cheery day. Mostly because I can see myself doing this. I was never a girl who grew up dreaming about her wedding day. Even now, the thought of having to plan one just seems utterly draining. It’s just a day. Twenty minutes of reciting vows and it’s over. The thousands of dollars that are spent I feel could go into an amazing honeymoon or into our new house. My wedding day isn’t about me and my love (I’d like to think) isn’t selfish. It’s about me and the man I want to spend my forever with. Because when the bouquet has been thrown, when the Wobble has been danced, and when the toasts have been made….you’re left with just the two of you. I’m more interested in having a successful marriage than a can’t-stop-talking-about-it wedding.

So an impromptu wedding with random people on the street? Right up my alley! When you’re in love you want to show the world, right? Anyway, enjoy the video!

Storytime: Fat Tuesday Edition

The only thing I cared about that night was having the time of my life. 


I’ve always wanted to celebrate Mardi Gras, but could never find myself in New Orleans during that time.  So one year, I decided to just create it right here in my own city.  I knew of this Blues Bar that was having a special night with specialty drinks, so I called my homegirl and my homieloverfriend to go with me.  Initially, both declined which left me with a dilemma; I would be going out alone.  I was perfectly fine with that since that year, I had learned to enjoy my own company.  So as I’m packing up my things to leave work and head straight to the bar, I get back-to-back phone calls.  My homegirl decided to not stay in the house and join me.  My homieloverfriend decided he wanted to go out with me to the bar.  So I gave them both a time to meet me and a few hours later, we were all together.  We paid the cover and my homegirl had begun to chat up the bouncer.  We all got a pair of beads and a feather mask to wear inside. The bouncer, feeling comfortable, promised to come in and find us and that the shots were on him.  I should’ve known then that the night might go crazy and the prophet I was, it did. 

Once inside, the dimly-lit place was packed with people.  The band was setting up onstage and we quickly found seats in the mezzanine where we ordered food and our first drinks of the night.  The band began to play and the vibe just felt right.  Letting the music move me, I went out into the dance floor; leaving my company behind.  I moved and swayed and laughed.  The people surrounding me joined in on the dancing.  The band sped up the tempo and we danced feverishly.  Suddenly, someone was grabbing my hand.  It was a woman with curly hair and visibly drunk (or getting there).  She was positioned on stage with the band and she motioned for me to join her.  I resisted.  The crowd cheered her on, who then tugged on my arm until I was onstage with her.  Then, we danced.  The only thing I could see was her by my side, the lead singer looking over, and the glare of the overhead lights.  It could’ve been the lightheartedness of my mood or the Hurricanes I had prior, but I continued to dance until the song went off.  My dancing partner gave me a hug and said, “You did that, girl!”  We both got offstage and was bombarded with beads.  Lots and lots of beads.  By the time I made it back to my seat, I had 38.

Then the drinks came.  I must’ve done something right because people were sending drinks to my table left and right.  Even the lead singer of the band came to my table and thanked me, ME, for putting on a show as he bought me another Hurricane.  Remember the bouncer?  Well, he found us and brought the table shots of Kamikazes which is when my body told me, “You’ve had enough, sis.”  After that, my night became bits and pieces.  I do remember not being drunk enough to go into a competition to flash a room full of strangers my boobs (although my dance partner did.  she won, by the way.  i cheered her on the entire time….).  I also remember me and the homieloverfriend leaving at one point; just aimlessly walking around the city, laughing and kissing in possibly 30 degree weather with no coats on.  I know I got home somehow and I know I didn’t sleep long before I had to get up and go to work.  The next day, I found a business card in my jacket and I didn’t even know I had.  I made a promise to myself after I was finally sober. 

Next time, take off work.