Posts Tagged ‘love and romance’

16
Oct

Flying the Coop

Baby-Bird-Learning-to-Fly1Why is it that folks look at me cross-eyed when I say that after graduating high school, I plan to push my children out of the nest?  From the time they entered kindergarten, I’ve lectured my children about the next 16 years of education. Although I myself received my education through the College of Life, by way of the military with a brief detour through college, I’ve always dreamed that my children would make smarter choices. So, college has always been an expectation.

However, I’m a realist, so I know that there’s a chance that my kids will upset even my best laid plans. So should they choose to forego an immediate trek to college post-graduation, the only other option would be the military where he or she could learn a trade, travel the world, earn a living, and still attend college (on the government’s dime) should they later change their mind. No matter what, either of these options would come well packaged with tons of hugs, a starter care package, and a new set of luggage. This was, after all, the same parting gift that my mom gave to me upon graduation. At the time, however, I was naïve enough to believe that my mother was simply encouraging my spirit of adventure; now, I can look back and see her not so subtle hint on what my next steps should be.

At no point, however, have I ever entertained what’s behind Door No. 3 – an extended stay at home, whether it was just to “take a break from school” or work at the local McDonald’s. This is so not an option.

Let me say that I really do love my children. However, for the past 17 years I have lovingly sacrificed my body, my energy, and at times my sanity to raise my children. Is it wrong of me to view graduation as the finish line at the end of a double marathon; the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow; the light at the end of the tunnel?

Graduation is not just for the child. It is an acknowledgment that parents have successfully paid their dues and can finally reap what they’ve sown. So, pardon me if I choose to push my little birdies out the nest should they not feel compelled to fly the coop on their own. Fly, baby, fly!

15
Oct

Cinderella Man

glass bootMany of us know this guy. By day, he’s the charmingly witty guy at work who’s constantly regaling us with entertaining stories about his life adventures – where he’s been, where he’s going, who he knows, who he’d like to meet. He’s the Prince of the Ball.

He’s the fella chasing 50 and rainbows, reminiscing on the good ol’ days. He’s by himself so much that you can only imagine that he’s unattached. Or, was it because, as he says, his situation is complicated. Of course, it could just be the inconspicuous absence of a band on his left hand, or the impassioned tale that he’s separated but living in the same house (and likely the same bed)…for the kids, of course.

But, once the clock strikes…gone is the Prince of the Ball. Cinderella Man appears. I call him the single, married man. Do you know him? Or, does the glass shoe fit?

10
Dec

Sexy Amnesia

love questionI was watching a talk show earlier today and an interesting question on relationships came up. Would you prefer a relationship that was emotionally blah with amazing sex, or emotionally amazing with blah sex?

For me, this was a complicated question with no easy answer.

I mean, seriously, I can’t think of anything more stimulating than someone who listens and is actually interested in what I’m saying. Someone who recognizes that I, too, am out here making the bacon so willingly shares in all of the household responsibilities. Someone who understands that I may not come to bed looking like an airbrushed beauty but recognizes that this woman knows how to handle her business.  Someone who treats me like a true friend not just the girlfriend or wife.  Someone who knows how to carry himself like a man but isn’t afraid of the fact that I am a strong woman.

To me, that is emotionally erotic, and I would take that any day over many things. But since this is just my dream, a good dose of mind-blowing, freak nasty, push-your-wig-back-kinda-sex can be just what the doctor ordered to give me a good case of amnesia, have me sucking my thumb, and mumbling ““oooooooooh , I love me some him…what was the question again?”

04
Dec

Dear Santa:

mailbox

Dear Santa,

It’s been a long time since I wrote you a letter, but if you really exist I could use your help. I know you specialize in toys, so what I’m going to ask you for may really sound strange. It’s just that I’m a little desperate right now, so I thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask. However, before I tell you what I want under my Christmas tree, let me give you a little background so you’ll understand my request.

First, let me share that this is my favorite time of the year! I love all of the hustle and bustle, the good eats, and the time spent with family and friends. I just love it! The fun really starts at Thanksgiving but truly kicks into high gear the day after. No, not because of Black Friday sales….it has much more to do with the sounds of Christmas.

It’s the magic of Boys to Men harmonizing Let it Snow; little Michael, Jermaine, Tito and them sweetly singing Give Love on Christmas Day; and the soothing baritone of “Merry Christmas, from The Temptations” that officially sets it off for me.

Of course, we have to toss in the traditional Christmas songs and movies like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Even though I’ve watched these movies hundreds of times, they never get old and I never get tired of singing along with Frosty or the “misfit toys.” Seems like this time of year puts everyone in a good mood. Heck, even my husband is feeling the holiday cheer. Earlier today, I couldn’t hep but smile when I heard him humming the tune to The 12 Days of Christmas. I was singing and swaying along to his tune until I heard an unfamiliar – and unusually long – note that caused me to pause. It went a little something like this:

On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, heeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaad.

On the 11th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, heeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaad.

On the 10th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, heeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaad.

[This went on painfully for “7 days,” until he got to the 5th day of Christmas and sang out…]

On the 5th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, heeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaad, and licking of the baaaaaaaaaaalls.

I’m at a complete loss for words. My husband is a bonafide nutcase.

So, Santa, please, please, please… bring me a XL straight-jacket and a wooden club for Christmas. My husband needs a good dose of get right.

Thanking you in advance,

Valerie

01
Dec

Wrong Turn Down Memory Lane

wrong wayRecently I found myself strolling down memory lane with rose-colored lenses on. I was thinking back on the choices and decisions I’d made in the past and wondering what my life would have been like had I made different choices. It was in this mental space that I recreated what I thought my life would look like and began kicking myself over how young and stupid I was way back then. However, the funny thing about these strolls is that sooner or later you hit a pothole that slams you back into reality and brings clarity to why you got off of this ill-fated lane in the first place.

Our yesterdays make us who we are today. Every mistake, every hurt, every failure, and every success are threaded into the very fabric of our person. It’s okay to reflect back on these experiences – heck, do like I do – laugh about it or cry it out. Just don’t fool yourself into believing that the scenery along memory lane was other than what you remember; instead, promise yourself that these strolls are simply brief detours that don’t distract you from the road ahead…and keep it moving.

12
Jun

Got an App for that?

App-for-that

I was crying the other day over how silly I felt for believing that if I treated someone with love and respect that I would receive the same in return. After listening intently to my woes, one of my closest girlfriends replied, “men are stupid. Do you think they have an App for that?” I cried laughing.

Sometimes all it takes is a listening ear and some straight talk from a true loved one to snap you out of a funk.

06
Jun

Bedtime Wars

Never go to bed angry.Couple sitting up in bed, both looking away   Original Filename: couple.jpg

When I was younger, I would hold on to these words of advice as if they were the answer to my happily ever after. Too often, I would push aside my wounded emotions and crawl under the covers with a smile on my face and tears in my heart. While I was nurturing peace in my relationship, I was waging war in my spirit. By pushing aside my feelings for the sake of peace and a “good night’s sleep,” I was allowing my own feelings to be devalued.

As I’ve seasoned in life, I’ve learned that I also have to be true to me. The key to a happy marriage doesn’t start and stop at the bedroom door, so why pretend as if the answer lies somewhere between the tangled sheets? Besides I have yet to learn how to sleep peacefully after the one I vowed to love, honor, and cherish just threw a verbal barb that cut me down to the white meat.

Instead I build a fortress of pillows down the middle of the bed, put on my flannel armor, and lull myself to sleep with episodes of Snapped and pray that I don’t do just that. So, if this means that I go to bed angry…so be it.

20
May

A Hair Affair

dancing in the rain

Recently on my favorite radio morning show, a guest speaker joined the crew to discuss the dangerous effects of hair relaxers on black women. As the speaker was discussing all of the dangers associated with sodium hydroxide and chemical processing of the hair – balding, scalp lesions and burns, dangers to reproductive systems, links to cancer – you could hear one of the male radio personalities in the background bemoaning about how the industry needs to come up with “something” to straighten out hair because he didn’t know if he could work with that (“that” being a black woman’s natural kinks and curls).

Here was an industry expert talking about the dangerous effects of chemical relaxers, and this brotha was essentially grieving about his dislike of natural hair. Oooh, how I wish I could have slapped a handful of lye-based relaxer on his scalp at that very second. Didn’t Chris Rock’s documentary Good Hair spell it out enough? Relaxers are dangerous, plain and simple. Yet women around the world subject themselves to the dangers of chemical hair treatments all to attract the attention of men like this.

As I sat there shaking my head at his thoughtless response, I was reminded of how easily influenced we can be by others’ perceptions of us and realized that it is this influence that lies at the root of the issue.

My own journey with natural hair has been a long overdue lesson in true self-love.

Twelve years ago, I decided to do a little experiment. I wanted to discover the real me once all of the fluff and frills were stripped away. So, I cut off all of my hair. Then I cried. For the first time in my life, I had nothing to hide behind. Staring back from the mirror was me. Unmasked and liberated. Gone were the worries about “sweating out my hair.” I could now scratch my scalp, jump in the pool, walk in the rain, and have that pull-my-hair kind of fun. Free at last!

Yet, this feeling was short-lived. Instead of celebrating with me, I endured unwelcome comments from friends, family, and random strangers about how they “preferred my hair long” or didn’t understand why I did what I did. People openly talked about the texture of my hair as if I were an science project. Some even dared to touch my hair. Male reactions were even more noticeable. The same eyes that once admired my presence now darted past me, labeling me as insignificant. No more cat calls or “hey, beautiful” comments caressed my ears as I walked down the street.

I’ve always been generally comfortable in my own skin, but the blatant disdain from those around me dinged my self-esteem. I missed the security of my hair and often considered hiding out under wigs, weaves, and wraps. However, over time, I grew to appreciate my hair’s versatility and fell in love with every kinky, curly, frizzy, tame-me-not strand on my head. I love who I see staring back at me and refuse to alter who I am to be loved, accepted, wanted or appreciated.

Now, I dance in the rain. 

18
Feb

Channeling ESP-N

espI always wished that I had a supernatural awareness, the power to see without seeing, hear without hearing, or feel without feeling. ESP. I didn’t want this gift to exploit others in a Psychic Network type manner; rather, I just wanted that enlightenment that would guide me towards peace, channel my inner chi, and, if I got lucky, provide insight into the male psyche.

Well, needless to say, my extrasensory perception never materialized, as I find myself having to woooo-saaaaaah on a regular basis to keep my sanity intact. However, I did find that the key to the male mind didn’t lie in ESP, rather it existed in channeling ESP-N.

With ESP-N, I could dodge scattered toys like an offensive player breaking through defensive lines on the football field.

With ESP-N, the dexterity of my hands in preparing dinner would solicit the oohs and aahs worthy of a basketball all-star performance.

With ESP-N, I could tee my husband off of the LazyBoy like a tiger at the masters.

With ESP-N, my recap of the day’s events would prompt him to push rewind again and again, reveling in how I stretched a nickel into fifteen cents.

With ESP-N, we could laughingly remember how we used to play back when he was an athlete.

If only I had the gift of ESP-N, I could see how to play this game called love.

17
Jan

Bourbon Baby

During the holidays, my husband received a box of liquor-infused chocolates. Cognac, Jack Daniels, Bourbon, you name it. Anyway, I’d noticed that he stashed the box of goodies in the refrigerator to chill for whenever he needed a sweet nip. When I saw this, I removed the box, noted that the count was low, and headed upstairs to chat with him about why it might not be wise to leave this in the fridge. His thoughts, of course, were that he liked his chocolate (and liquor) chilled. On the other hand, I was thinking more about the two teenagers we have in the house. Of course, I believe that we are raising them to be responsible young people and would hope that they would not touch what doesn’t belong to them…but momma didn’t raise no fool either.