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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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You know you live in a small town when…

Living in a small town can have its advantages and boy, it can surely have its disadvantages. I moved from a sprawling metropolis of about 1 million people to a slower-paced, semi-rural small bedroom community. It was as if I’d moved into my very own Cheers sitcom; where everybody knows your name…literally. If you’ve never lived in a small town or maybe you grew up in one, here are few ways to recognize what sets small towns apart from the big cities.

Courtesy: jaybarrymore.com
  • “Where do you live?”

Small towns and cities often don’t have defined subdivisions and neighborhoods. So, when I moved into my new place, I knew that if anyone asked where I lived, then I could easily tell them the general vicinity. If only it was that easy. If anyone ever asks where do you live in a small town, what they’re really asking is for the satellite coordinates AKA the exact address. Imagine my perplexed look. No one would ever ask that in the big city.

[Improve the look of your home’s address]

  • The rumor mill

Before Facebook, rumors passed around by way of person to person or by phone. News travels fast but now that Internet technology is growing at such a swift pace, it’s no wonder fights, arguments and breakups occur so frequently. New social media platforms are springing up almost daily and you can find out more juicy gossip than you bargained for.

  • Six degrees of separation

Six degrees of separation is the idea that each person is connected or related to one another by six or less steps. I swear everybody in small towns is related one way or another. A friend of mine was a native to the area, but it seemed that everywhere we went, he ran into a new relative; third-generation-first-removed-distant-cousin-to-a sister’s-brother-uncle-who-moved-away-about 20 years ago. Whew! Dating must be challenging. I’m more than sure meeting the family is a doozy.

  • Love Connection

And, speaking of dating. That pool is pretty slim. Finding available bachelors and bachelorettes is challenging. The married couples are the “lucky” ones, because they likely met during junior high school and just never parted. As for the rest of the single folks, it’s a case of musical chairs. Who’s left standing? Either he/she is your relative, has left a trail of broken hearts, dated your best friend or comes with too much baggage.

e-vites by phone

  • You’re invited

I remember getting my first invitation to a wedding. No, not on pretty stationery or by a professional, online e-vite. It was a group text from a friend. I didn’t even know the couple, but according to the rumor mill, it was to be the wedding of the century and everybody was invited. If you were a friend of a friend who knew the bride or groom, then you were more than welcome to attend. I didn’t feel right, but I went anyway. And, to ease my conscience, I even bought a gift for the beautiful, unknown couple.

[Invite your wedding guests in style]

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  • Weekend watering hole

If you’re a homebody, then wrapped up in a blanket on a couch watching your favorite Netflix movie is probably what you look forward to every Saturday night. But, unlike many others who like a little adventure on the weekend, you might find the rest of the crowd at one or all of the few bars open in town. Want to do a bar crawl? Well, I can guarantee that it’ll take less than an hour to travel to all the bars in a ten-mile radius.

  • Rivalries

Schools are plentiful and rivals run deep. And, these rivals can break up families and can cause political conflicts among candidates. Pitting your allegiance to one school over another is cause for an influx in bumper stickers, yard signs and a barrage of bragging rights within the booster club population. Tread lightly when cheering for your favorite school. It’s like gang wars; southside soccer moms, west end sideline football dads and uptown band nerd parents. As the teens say, “they go hard in the paint.”

 

Although residing in a small community comes with a number of quirks, it also offer a uniqueness all its own and it has made my experience a memorable one. I can never get enough of the family-friendly environment a small town community offers, I still enjoy the friendly waves from passersby, my neighbors are more like family than strangers, knowing my area’s public officials by first name is a plus and where else can you shop, pay bills, drop-off kids, get pampered, go to work and pick up mail all in five miles or less. #ibedamned

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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?”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.       

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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I started a bucket list and landed on stage

Do you have a bucket list? I have one. I even started a Facebook group, 30 by 30 – the account is closed now. It started as a group page opened primarily to people in my inner circle. Members were privy to post their to-do lists before they’re next big birthday arrived or before they “kicked the bucket” or whatever came first. It was created as a motivational tool to inspire us to achieve whatever our hearts desired. Whether it was to write a book, join a Zumba class or zipline, the objective was to put it on the list and do it.

I was fast approaching my 30s, and as a result, I had fallen into a slump.  In response, I had decided that I would accomplish 30 feats (no matter how big or small) before my 30th birthday. Fast forward a few more years and I’m at the midpoint in my 30s. Currently, my bucket list looks more like a what-I-want-for-Christmas list.

One item stood out among the pack; goal number 31: be an actress. That’s right. I wanted to try my hand at acting. But, the closest thing to getting on stage was volunteering with the Board of Directors for a local community theatre group. At the time, I just wanted to be an advocate for continued education of the arts.

Pictured with my DST line sisters after my stage debut alongside two acting veterans (all white attire). #Keen18

And, then…an audition opened welcoming new talent for an independent stage play. At first, I was fearful and nervous. But, I nailed it! I landed the role of Katherine, a good friend and support system to the church’s first lady and someone who despises messy people. Was I playing a character or was that my life? The director pointed out to each of my cast mates and I that we were “to eat, sleep and breathe” our new roles. I was determined to be the best Katherine this community would ever witness.

Just to be clear, acting isn’t all lights, camera, action, especially in the small theatre world. There are no production assistants, the crew and cast come with a set of multiple personalities (in addition to the characters’ personalities)  as well as a host of stage cues to memorize in addition to your lines. But it wasn’t all bad; there were perks too: a horde of laughs, snapshots and selfies to remember our experience with one another, snacks and surprise dinners for those late nights.

After two months of rehearsals, it was showtime. Time to break a leg! I stepped onto the stage under those piercing, bright lights in the company of hundreds of people eager to identify the protagonist(s) and antagonist(s). The bulk of my performance was in a salon AKA gossip central. We were the supportive cast and offered loads of ad lib attributing to our comic relief. The plot revolved around lust, love, who-done-it and drama taking place in a church. Sound familiar? I mean, sound interesting?

By the end of the show, we were a hit with the crowd. Just as soon as the curtains closed, social media was buzzing with compliments, photos and videos. My acting debut, my bucket list item number 31, was fulfilled and it was satisfying. Who would have thought it? Me. An actor.

But, the part of the story that makes this extra special for me is that throughout the rehearsal dates, memorizing lines and getting to know my cast mates, I was undergoing a personal battle; a financial struggle. During this time, I was running my own one-man show;  renovating my home, making a major home appliance purchase, paying credit card and home bills and dishing out exorbitant payments on vehicle repairs. It was a struggle balancing work and rehearsal. But, it was by way of my faith, love and support of family and friends and my personal determination that carried me through this hardship. Bucket list number 31…#ibedamned

So, what’s next? I don’t know. Maybe a hot air balloon ride.

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