What about your friends: a girlfriend for every woman

Often times, I’ve encountered women who say they’d rather have male friends – implying that men are less apt to be biased in their judgments. In my opinion, men no matter their sexual preference, can not offer a good ol’ fashion girlfriend heart to heart and downright-fun-girlfriends-only shindig. There’s nothing better than having a woman on your side – someone who understands your chocolate cravings during that “time of the month,” can relate to your relationship ills or offer a listening ear when you’re having problems with your male supervisor.

I’ve lost a few friendships along the journey throughout my life, but as Tyler Perry’s Madea has so cleverly said in one of his plays, some folks are just leaves, passing in the wind. Currently, I have a very small circle of women friends; some of whom I’ve known for a very long time, some that I’ve reunited with since high school and others I met in recent years. Do we always agree? No. But that’s the beauty of friendships with girlfriends. You can argue today (assuming it wasn’t detrimental) and reconnect at a later time.


Although my circle is itty bitty, each of my friends offers a personable trait that helps us become better women, better friends and they always keep me on my toes kinda like the Golden Girls.

golden-girls
playbuzz

You know you have a true girlfriend who’s worth keeping in the fold when she meets any of the following traits:

THE RIDE OF DIE FRIEND thelma-and-louise

She always has your back – she will don a ponytail and tennis shoes in a heartbeat as well as lather your face with Vaseline, in the event somebody or something “pops off.” Bail money is conveniently concealed underneath her mattress on the left side next to her loaded pistol.

madeaTRUTH HURTS FRIEND

She tells it like it is and doesn’t mind hurting your feelings, if it means getting you to focus on more important matters. She doesn’t hold punches but she’s hesitant to reach below the belt. She knows that telling you what you may not want to hear is probably what you need to hear.

oprah
jawbreaker.nyc

THE FORBES FRIEND

She’s successful and driven. You admire her and she motivates you to better manage your finances and your life. She’s probably the friend you call when you need bail money after an episode with your RIDE OR DIE FRIEND.

bridesmaids
Bridesmaids

HAPPY HOUR FRIEND

When you’re feeling low, she brings a ton of laughter followed by a number of good stiff drinks. And, she probably can drink you under the table. Both of you typically laugh your heads off while slurring your words. By the time you get home, you may not even remember the drama that led you to the bar in the first place.

last-holidayTHE WANDERLUST

This friend is an adventure-seeking individual. As a result of her love for new exploits, she pushes you to experience the fullness of life. You two travel together, swim under waterfalls and zipline across an expansive forest.

shirley-caesar“THE PLUG” FRIEND

She has the hookup on just about anything you need from weave bundles, concert tickets to designer purses. She knows somebody who knows somebody who can get you what you need.

With qualities like these, it’s nice to know that girlfriends can withstand the test of time and they come equipped with some pretty unique perks making it darn difficult for a male friend to compare. Getting rid of the idea of a female friend, #ibedamned.

If I missed a girlfriend-worthy attribute, please share it with me in the comments section.

wp-1480479640821.jpg

Like this #ibedamned blog? Please leave a comment showing love or sharing your thoughts on the topic. And, don’t forget to share the page with your friends.

May Week: Bonding with the Sisterhood

Sisterhood: The Tie that Binds us

May Week has kicked off, and I feel like a better woman because of it. It was a humbling experience to have been the guest in a room full of successful, bright and ambitious women. I arrived a bit behind schedule but as I entered the dining room, they all turned to the door and as if on cue, they said,  “Heeeey.” It was as if they had waited just for me. And, I felt right at home; just to be among friendly faces. It was where I needed to be at the end of my long, tedious workday.

May Week is a national program of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. that was created in 1920. A week in May is set aside for programs highlighting academic and professional achievements and the events emphasize the importance of higher education in the community, especially for black women.(San Francisco-Peninsula Alumnae Chapter | Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated)

I walked down an aisle, situated between two rows of dining tables, blowing kisses to new and old familiar faces of my lovely sorors and hugged a few as I walked to the counter to place my order. I had never been a customer of the restaurant, but I could tell it was a homey spot. It was the kinda spot you would take your out-of-town friends who had a hankering for down-home cooking. I observed hot plates galore; homemade seafood and southern soul food meals all prepared by a chef who you could tell knew a thing or two about keeping a roomful of eager and hungry customers happy. The room was a bit steamy and the sizzling sounds from the back grill clashed with the multitude of conversations and laughter going on simultaneously around the room.


Albeit I enjoyed the night and the first of several activities scheduled for May Week, I am disheartened to admit that it’s rare to be around such positive people at one time. It seems that lately I have been thrown one curve ball of negative intention one after the other. Whether it be person or situation, the past few days were not as enjoyable as tonight. But, rather than dwelling on the past, I am pushing forward. I believe this day was the precursor of fun and positive memories to be had. And, I am more than ready to tackle the upcoming week chocked full of more socializing and networking. The agenda includes a signing of a proclamation by a city mayor, donating a small contribution to an area school and conducting phone calls to fellow sorority members that may be ill or disabled.

If you’re a soror, how will you spend May Week? If you’re not a soror, how will you spend the rest of your week?

Pictured with Mayor Rodney Grogan of Patterson, LA

Like this #ibedamned blog? Please leave a comment showing love or sharing your thoughts on the topic. And, don’t forget to subscribe and share the page with your friends.

THOT Revolution: The war on morals and clothing

Welcome to the Thot Revolution, where the only requisites include wearing little clothing and having even less morals. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, then let me help you. Urban Dictionary defines THOT as an acronym; That Hoe Over There. While I’m for self-expression, I’m a self-proclaimed Anti-Thot. I despise the crass, lewd and disrespect. There’s a thin line between class and trash. And, our young ladies are discarding their images along with their integrity. It just so happens that March is National Women’s History Month. What would the notable women in history think about the perverse concept of “THOTS?”

thot-blog1

If you will, take a mental trip with me to one of the original cities that never sleeps; New Orleans, the Big Easy. Bourbon Street is the one of the top tourist areas of the country. And, on the weekend of the NBA All Star games, there were more than just balls and baskets being passed around, if you know what I mean. I saw more lingerie tops and panty bottoms that I thought I was at a Frederick’s of Hollywood fashion show. But, this particular show I’d rather NOT buy a ticket. Nonetheless, I had a front row seat to a real live catwalk down the city’s historic cobbled streets.

Q: So, what did I see?

A:  Let’s just say the people of Walmart would blush.

  • Saggy titties with nipples playing tag with their belly buttons
  • Shot-injected asses on tiny stilt legs
  • One woman was wearing a gold-sequined outfit resembling a dance  battle or majorette costume
  • Jean shorts that double as underwear
  • See-through shirts, no bras

Some might say, in defense, that I’m “jealous” or “hatin’.” But, I’m neither; in fact, content. And, I’m also working out to get the right body for me. Overall, I keep it lady-like. I can definitely admire a beautiful, classy woman, but what I can’t do is admire someone who’s appearance is vulgar and loose.

thot-blog-2

Stop chasing these ballers and start chasing your own dollars. It’s pretty shameful to see and hear that women spend the majority of their lives changing their bodies for the sake of keeping or stealing a man. All the while, we’ve learned time and time again, that SOME men are never satisfied and will chase the next hot THANG that comes his way.

Surely, it’s easy to blame the thot-isms (a new word created for the purpose of this blog) on mainstream media. But, we must hold ourselves accountable for the poor decisions we make. Everywhere you turn, there’s a reality show, commercial  or magazine spread where women are objectified. “Thot” is not an endearment as the the world might have you think.

thotlandia

Let’s be real. Half the female population is burning bras in protest while the other half  is letting their tatas fly free for the purpose of getting attention. Our young girls need to see examples of women who value their minds and bodies equally. The fact that it’s National Women’s Month, there should be a plethora of positive images readily available and on display. Don’t be a thots-be-like, be a woman is…strong, empowered and smart.

I’m sure to get flack regarding my opinion, but that’s ok. Let’s hear it.

Like this #ibedamned blog? Please leave a comment showing love or sharing your thoughts on the topic. And, don’t forget to share the page with your friends.

What do the lonely do…on Valentine’s Day?

“What do the lonely do…” are lyrics taken from a Christmas song by the Emotions. The same can be said about Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is that time of year when single people regularly gag at the sight of loving couples. Or, maybe that was just me. But, I’ve been redeemed, reformed, renewed…you get it; I’m no longer an insensitive asshole.  I’ve learned that I, too, can enjoy Valentine’s Day without feeling guilty of being a sap sucker. So, instead of doing nothing at all while the rest of the world is enjoying the day in bliss, I’m going to “find me” and be at peace. So, ladies, I hope these ideas spark action in your life or just pass them on to your single girlfriends .

  • Organize a Girls Night Out

girls-night-out

Obviously, this would make sense organizing an event with your single girlfriends. Coordinate a slumber party (a throwback to your younger years) at a swanky hotel, play games and top off the night by attending a social event or club. Whatever you do, make it a night to remember. No one should be home alone on this day. Who knows, it could be the night you find your special someone.

  • Love yourself, dammit.

blog-post

That’s right. Ain’t nothing wrong with a little bump and grind. Go to an adult novelty shop with your friends or by yourself. Purchase sexy lingerie or add to your secret stash (you know the one). Just because you’re by yourself,  doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun.

  • Visit a senior citizen residency center.

old-valentine

Maybe your Valentine won’t be in your age group, but there are plenty of Valentines of the seasoned kind. Some residents who rarely see visitors would surely appreciate the company or would love a heartfelt meaningful card. As a result of your kind act, you might find a friend. Older individuals are generally full of wisdom, history and wit.

  • Pamper thyself.

pamper

Do you! Indulge in a day at the spa. Get your nails and hair DID. Top that off with a killer outfit and feel good about your status. You’re amazing. What man can resist a new coif, cute toes and a beautiful woman.

  • Shop the sale rack.       

cheap-candy

Forget the candy aisle in your pharmacy retail store on Valentine’s Day. Let the lovers have their day. But, oh you wait. February 15th will have ALL the deals and discounts on candy. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, then you’re in for a treat. I have gone straight bat shit crazy the day after Valentine’s Day and bought enough candy to hibernate until Halloween.

  • Watch a movie.

hallmark-movies

I’m not a movie buff, but I enjoy the occasional action film. And, what better way to feel good about your single self than to watch Kill Bill, Volume 1 and 2. Or, just binge watch the latest and greatest on Netflix. If you’re a hopeless romantic, then check out the Hallmark channel. Hallmark has filmed just about every relationship scenario known to man and they seemingly have the power to pull every emotion out of you in 90 minutes or less.  Add popcorn and you’re ready for a good night.

  • Order take out.

take-out

Everybody else is lying on Facebook. Why can’t you? Order take out and post the pics on your social media page. Enjoy a gourmet meal made by the hands of your favorite, local restaurant chef.

  • Go to a bar.

valentines-day

What do you think other singles are doing? They’re getting their DRANK on and enjoying the company of other singles. You don’t have to take the person home, but you can attempt fate and hopefully engage in great conversation with a perfect stranger. Get the digits or leave ’em just how you met…alone in a bar.

Just because Valentine’s Day is widely known as a day for lovers, it’s also remembered as a day when seven male members of an Irish gang were gruesomely murdered back in the 1920s. Who recalls that bit of information from high school social studies class? Anyway, what I’m saying is that Valentine’s Day is what you make it. Make it a day filled with love and appreciation for ya damn self. #ibedamned

Like this #ibedamned blog? Please leave a comment showing love or sharing your thoughts on the topic. And, don’t forget to share the page with your friends.

 

Ten ways single women can successfully navigate 2017

If anyone has ever told you that New Year’s Day was just another day, don’t believe them. The new year is symbolic of a renewal; like refurbishing an old cell phone. Same phone, new look and functions more proficiently. It’s out with the old and in with the new.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t quite ready. Before I knew it, reality had hit and the Times Square ball was about to drop. But, you still have time to get your ducks in your row. As a single, professional woman, life doesn’t stop. But, take a moment for yourself. Here are 10 ways to easily and successfully navigate the new year:

vision-board

  • Write the vision and make it plain.

Create a vision board or a vision journal. Envision your life the way you desire it. One way to fulfill your vision board/journal is to grab a few magazines and cut out phrases or photos that encompass the life and lifestyle you want and paste the images to a poster. It should be strategically placed in an area of your home and serve as a constant motivation.

friends-break-up

  • Sever bad relationships/friendships.

One of the best ways to be a success is to remove people that offer negative influence in your life. Just like old jeans, you can grow out of relationships that no longer offer room for growth. Surround yourself with other successful people. As they say, birds of a feather flock together. That motto remains true.

memory-jar

  • Create a memory jar.

This is a relatively new idea that surfaced on social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest. It’s a great way to chronicle your accomplishments throughout the year. Anytime you attain a goal or create a special memory, write it down, put it in a bottle and by December 31st or January 1st, collect all the messages and revisit all your highs from the year.

exercise.gif

  • Commit to an exercise regimen.

Typically, the first resolution most people make is to lose weight in the new year. It’s relatively easy to say, but it’s even harder to commit to the routine. With technology like exercise videos, weight loss and music apps, one could stay on track without missing a beat.

apologize

  • Make amends with someone.

I didn’t make the first move on this one, but I was relieved, impressed and grateful when a friend approached me to make amends because our friendship had gone sour. We expressed our feelings and apologized for our individual roles in nixing the friendship and managed to rekindle it. We didn’t skip a beat and picked up where we’d left off in our relationship.

smoking

  • Give up a bad habit.

Whether it be smoking or gambling, make a conscious effort to quit that bad habit, whatever it may be. There are multiple ways to quit; do your research. Some may involve therapy, hypnosis, medical treatment, practice or go cold turkey.

group

  • Network/join a women’s group.

Life isn’t all work and no play. It’s about working to improve your community or to improve self. By joining a group, you can network, make new friends and bond with a host of like-minded associates.

vacation

  • Enjoy quiet time or plunge into an adventure.

Take a vacation and unplug. Or, indulge in a staycation (stay home). The object is to disconnect from your everyday life and allow your body and brain to relax and de-stress.

save money.gif

  • Save, save, save.

It’s not as painful as you think. Save a little bit here and there or save big. Open a savings account,  join a Christmas club or invest your money. Put aside your extra change or invest your tax refund and forego purchasing unnecessary items.

bye.gif

  • Lose the number to your ex.

If you haven’t guessed it, number 10 is my favorite. It’s the one thing that’s been constant year to year and hasn’t failed me yet. Want to make a serious mark this year? Then, follow your heart, mind and these 10 easy steps. Each item offers its share of challenges, but #ibedamned it’s worth the effort in order to achieve a successful 2017.

Like this #ibedamned blog? Please leave a comment showing love or sharing your thoughts on the topic. And, don’t forget to share the page with your friends.

Dear 80s baby: a letter to my younger self

Born on the heels of the Baby Boomers, the 80s baby was introduced to society around the time of the drug boom, during the birth of the neon fashion craze and big, wild hair. We were the rockers, the hip hoppers, the techies. Oh, how I wish I had a crystal ball, a genie in a bottle or superpowers so that I could freeze time or take a walkabout into the future. If I could talk to my younger self, I’d give the greatest pep talk of the 20th century.

Dear 80s baby,

Enjoy life…period. Make more memories during elementary school recess, snap up more polaroids with the family and knock on just one more neighbor’s door, run like hell so you can laugh about it later. 80s baby, you may not understand it now but relish in the creature comforts of blissful youth because what’s in store for you later will make you cringe at humankind.

You think curfews are bad now? Just wait until the two-thousand-teens when you’re afraid to venture outdoors.

Imagine police in riot gear in your neighborhood on a Sunday afternoon, reckless and rebellious youth, mother nature wreaking havoc on far reaches of the globe, gunmen shooting down innocent bystanders, our country’s wayward justice system, historic and unprecedented elections and men dying helplessly in the street while their suspects go free. I’m merely touching the surface. This is your life, 80s baby.

Mama will never tell you that there would be days like this. She will; however, tell you that history repeats itself but you are the captain of your destiny. YOU are at the helm of your life.

You’ll experience tragedies – lose family and friends and become overwhelmed by personal struggles. But, you’ll also observe many triumphs. It may be that you have to work twice as hard or that you may be passed up for some advancements, but not to count you out, in the end, you will make it and celebrate in your victories.

You’ll be in the class of firsts, you’ll witness history in technology, social media will be the bridge to reuniting families and friends and developments in medicines will allow many patients to live longer.

80s baby, we still have a long way to go; you were born to be resilient. Your grandparents fought the race, your parents carried the baton and now it’s up to you to finish it. You’re just getting started. You see, there are decades to follow, and you’ll have lots of time to put your stamp on it. And, by the time you peer into the 20-teens, you’ll know that 30 years earlier, wasn’t just a walk in the park, it was training day. #ibedamned.

Sincerely,

Your future self

Like this #ibedamned blog? Please leave a comment showing love or sharing your thoughts on the topic. And, don’t forget to subscribe.

I'm Not a Strong, Educated Black Woman

wpdf

“Hi, I’m a strong, educated Black woman,” says no one. Can I be strong and intelligent? And, can I just be Black? Separately? Excuse me for acquiring all three, but I like my “compliments” to stand apart from my blackness.

I am a woman. Yes, I earned a degree that’s likely resting in a box in a corner collecting dust. Yes, I use my knowledge, skills and my God-given talents daily. But, I am still a woman. Yes, I am Black. But, I am simply…woman.

I don’t twist my neck and snap my fingers. I am a woman. I don’t need fancy titles or adjectives to distinguish my intelligence. I am  a woman.  I don’t use my physical prowess to beat and cause injury. I am a woman. I’m not angry at the world. I’m a woman. My blackness is strength, not insulting. I am a woman.

I am outspoken, I am proud, I am funny, I am fierce, I am fabulous. I am a woman.

And, like my fairer-skinned sisters, I am educated and strong. Stop equating my intelligence and strength to my skin color and race. When’s the last time you heard, “she’s a strong, educated White woman?”  Is it easier to hear an opposing word from a White woman? Is she less angry than a Black woman? Is education more appropriate for White women? Are White women not as strong as Black women? Well, #ibedamned. I am not a strong, educated Black woman. I am a woman.

Like this #ibedamned blog? Please leave a comment showing love or sharing your thoughts on the topic. And, don’t forget to share the page with your friends.

Who You Callin' a Bitch?

tumblr_m8r1kp0vYp1qcwgrvo2_500
VH1’s Love & Hip Hop

When boredom strikes, I turn on the tube. Not much of a reality TV fanatic, but my eye is drawn to a show that’s speaking my language, Sisterhood of Hip Hop. I initially think the show is about strong bitches…oops, I mean women making an impact in the rap industry. For about 20 minutes, I’m correct in my assumption. The cast members are five women from different hip hop meccas across the US; from New York to Atlanta, Georgia.  I’m drawn in even more when I learn that each woman comes with her own unique style; from hardcore street vibes to sultry Jamaican patois. I was about as eager to watch this show as I was when VH1 premiered Miss Rap Supreme in 2008. Unfortunately, it managed to fall flat and was not renewed to return a second season. Foreshadowing, I presume. Legend femcee Queen Latifah made an appearance on Sisterhood and the women were tasked with remaking Queen’s U.N.I.T.Y. The song is about selfempowerment and women uniting to defend one’s self against degradation and violence. In the lyrics, she lashes out, “who you callin’ a bitch?” as if to respond to a harassing male on the street. I remember hearing this song as a young female adolescent hanging out with my girlfriends, chilling on the block and feeling like giants among men because we had a song about us and for us; a ladies anthem, if you will. During the few minutes I chose to bestow my full attention to this episode, I was relieved to see a series where women were working together with a purpose of promoting their careers, honing their passions and where women were not objectified as lustful, sexual beings. I figured I had embarked upon a DVR-worthy treasure.

lupe2
Lupe Fiasco “Bitch Bad.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3m3t_PxiUI

The original song, U.N.I.T.Y from 1994 was slightly altered and the original hook was slowed to play host to a more 21st Century sound. Each rapper stepped to the mic and what I heard was contradictory at best. While it was wrong for a man to call a woman a bitch, it was ok for “a bitch” and her “bitches” to “ride together” and have each other’s back. With every bitch-laden verse, I was agitated. I couldn’t see the unity for the bitch trees. This seemed to be almost the opposite of Queen’s U.N.I.T.Y‘s meaning. Why not use words like, sistas, ladies, women, queens or my girls? How can you differentiate between a good bitch from a bad bitch (bad meaning bad)? In which friendly voice should one use in order to call another person a bitch? 9188466002_e01ae69764_mApparently, they’re not the only groups or persons to use the word, but it’s more disheartening to hear a female acknowledge herself as a bitch and think it’s a display of strength. So, I’m inclined to question myself: Am I a bit too traditional? Is Bitch a term of endearment? Can we be reformed? Or, am I merely too bitchy about bitches just being bitches? I would love to hear your response.

#ibedamned

Like this #ibedamned blog? Please leave a comment showing love or sharing your thoughts on the topic. And, don’t forget to share the page with your friends.

Young, Unmarried, Childless (YUC)

For me, meeting Prince Charming wasn’t going to happen on the World Wide Web.

8245593810_db9c7e3f6b_zI often hear my mother, in my head, “When can I expect grandbabies? I’m getting old, you know?” Somehow the sound of her voice resonates when I find myself walking pass a beautiful couple cooing at Baby #3, while their Child #1 and Child #2 neatly-coiffed, brown-eyed, perfectly dressed children follow in tow.

Read more “Young, Unmarried, Childless (YUC)”