February 1, 2014

The League of Evil Exes

(No, I didn't die or get sucked into a vortex.... I GOT ENGAGED!!  I also got a job where writing is 83.5% of my day, so it's like a chef that doesn't quite feel like cooking gourmet meals for herself at home.  But, more about that later.....I hope.)

I had a rather awkward experience at my daughter's basketball game today.  I was sitting on the bleachers with my fiance, minding our own business, when in walks my ex-husband with his baby momma and proceeds to walk all the way down to where we were sitting.  Then around half time, in walks his ex (let's call her First Ex), with whom he cheated on with and had a baby with Baby Momma, and she too proceeds to come all the way down to the end of the bleachers and sit right next to me.  She was the first relationship he had right after our divorce and they dated for a few years, so she is very close to my children (thus why she was even at the game).  She and I are friendly towards each other; our daughters are about the same age and are sisterly toward each other, and I'm not the one to unnecessarily burn bridges, so I guess you could say we are cool.  Baby Momma, on the other hand, HATES this particular ex, and pretty much hates me because she felt like I was taking her and my ex-husband's "side" when they were going through all their back and forth issues.  Um, I had nothing to do with any of that, despite the fact that Baby Momma tried to drag me into it against my will.

So here I am, wedged between First Ex and Ex-Husband and Baby Momma.  Aw-kw-ard.  And of course I'm talking to First Ex, because like I said, we are cool, and she's sitting right next to me.  But understanding human nature, I know she still had some bitterness leftover toward the Baby Momma situation, and by her sitting there being friendly with me, I know that also probably brought up some negativity in Baby Momma since she accused me (and my then 12 year old child) of taking sides against her.  Not that I allowed it to change my behavior-- after all, I am happily engaged to the man who I believe I was supposed to be spending my life with-- but I started to get a very pawn-like feeling as I sat there and watched my now almost 15 year old play basketball.

 I don't to be a part of The League of Evil Exes
One of my most favorite movies is Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.  If you haven't seen this fantastically odd piece of movie goodness (which I have seen at least 100 times), basically it's about a guy who has to fight and defeat, video game style, his girlfriend's Seven Evil Exes in order to have a relationship with her.  The seven exes have formed a "league" that has agreed to fight Scott.   As art often imitates life, I have seen time and time again where the exes of a guy will later become friends, whether or not its for the purpose of engaging in "He ain't shit!" sessions or just because they have something in common.  Either way, that's just not my style. Not only do I not want to be out here fighting my ex-husband's current girlfriend, I also have zero desire to form my own League of Evil Exes.

Over the past 6 years, I've been friendly toward my ex-husband's girlfriends, just because there's really no reason not to be, but I was never interested in becoming BFFs with them when they broke up and/or get together to talk shit about him.  Baby Momma tried that with me when she broke up with my ex-husband the first (second?) time, and I wasn't having it.  There is no need for us to become close friends premised solely on the fact that we used to date the same person and now realize the error of our ways.  First Ex and I have more in common than just my ex-husband both professionally and personally, so I don't have a problem being social with her, but we never talk about him.  Now, his most recent girlfriend (whom he kicked out of his house around the holidays and then promptly got back with Baby Momma), we really have nothing in common.  Again, we were cordial toward each other, but there is really no reason for me to be friends with her after the fact.

I really hope I was reading more into that situation today than what it was, because I don't like feeling like a pawn in the game of emotional chess.  But whether it was intentional or not, that's how I felt.  Other women may bond with their ex's exes, but personally I want no part of the League of Evil Exes.

January 14, 2013

Ink Battles

So The Ex called me shortly before the holidays, frantic, asking if I had talked to my son lately. One part of me was expecting some catastrophic news that he'd lost his scholarship, or that he wasn't coming home for Christmas, or that It-That-Must-Not-Be-Named occurred with some girl, but the more rational part of me knew that it was going to be some irrelevant bullshit.  This man called urgently interrupting my work day to tell me......

My son is planning on getting a tattoo.

Now, this isn't new news to me, as my son has been begging me to get him a tattoo since he was 16.  He had also "threatened" to go off to Boston and get himself a potentially questionable tat if I didn't get one for him before he left for school.  However, The Ex called me as if I could somehow stop this from happening.... from 1,000 miles away.

The last thing I want to see is my son mar his lovely golden brown skin with some ugly ink.  As a mother and an ink lover, that would hurt my feelings.  Badly.  Do I want him to go to my tattoo artist where I know he will get some quality work?  Yes.  Do I want him to spend a minimum of $250 to get a decent piece of artwork?  Yes.  Have I told him all of these things?  Since he was old enough to notice my ink.  

However, the reality is that he is a newly minted adult, and as we have all experienced, sometimes new adults want to exercise their blossoming adulthood by doing questionable things that totally piss their parents off.  And part of the appeal of a tattoo is the rebellion aspect of it.  Normally, the tattoo itself is enough to shock the conscience of the average parent.  But considering I, as his mother, have about $1,800 worth of ink myself, the idea of a tattoo is incredibly blase to me.  So perhaps this is just something he wants to do on his own without our assistance or intervention, just because he can.  I can admit that there is something less than appealing about your mommy taking you to the tattoo parlor. Not very independent.  Or manly. Or whatever sense of whatever that young men seek.  

Am I worried that he will choose a hack artist who will have his lion design looking more like a monchichi?  Of course.  Too many of us have been there, and are still here living with regrettable tattoos, or tattoos that we had to spend 10 times as much to cover up.  It's just a part of life and the maturing process.  Ultimately, HE has to live with whatever ink decisions he makes.  And he's a smart boy who has grown up seeing great tattoos, so he has seen and knows what is involved in a good tattoo.  While he may not end up with the best design in the world, I'm certain it will be a far cry from the atrocities I see on Tattoo Nightmares.

I guess I ought not be surprised that The Ex wants to control this decision in my son's life, just as he tried to control his decision about where to go to college.  But like the college experience, The Ex has never had the tattoo experience, and thus comes from a position of very little credibility on this issue.  And like the college decision, I just have to accept that this decision impacts HIS life, not mine, and that ultimately I need to let it go. Who knows, he may make another good decision, find a great artist in Boston, find a thirsty rich girl to fund the endeavor, and come home at Christmas with a piece better than mine, in which case I've wasted my worry.  Or he could come home with some crap, get the "I told you so" side eye from me, and I've still wasted my worry because at that point there's nothing I can do.  

My response to all of this was just to send my son a text letting him know I'd prefer for him to go to a good artist and spend a decent amount of money on a tattoo, reiterated my offer to get him a tat with my artist as a Christmas gift, but ultimately I understand he's going to do what he wants to do.  

I must accept my revised job description as a mother.  My heavy lifting is over.  It's his life. I've got to let him live it.


So, after calling Son on his bluff, he called back and agreed to my offer of giving him money for a tattoo in lieu of, or as, a Christmas gift.  I tried to schedule him an appointment with my tattoo artist, but he was all booked up and couldn't get him in before he goes back to school.  So Son did his own research found an artist, and this is the final result:

I'm actually glad it worked out the way it did.  He found his own artist and went to his appointment by himself and I only served in an advisory capacity when he had questions.  I'm glad he did it on his own an ended up with exactly what HE wanted.  He's happy, so I'm happy, and it all worked out the way it was supposed to.

June 28, 2012

Think Before You Rant

Relationship problems. We all have them. Or have dealt with them. Most relationship problems are your garden variety, "Why didn't you take out the trash/You always hog the remote/You want me to put that WHERE??" type of disputes. But every serious relationship has gone through or will go through at least one Big Problem. The type of problem that has you wondering if you've made a mistake by even being with this person and whether you want to continue with that mistake. They are perfectly normal, and most of the time you work through them and live happily ever after.

But what about that time period between wondering and happily ever after? That time period when you are wrestling with your feelings and thoughts and doubts and fears and anger and sadness? Many of us make the mistake of turning to our friends. But you ask, isn't that what friend are there for? To support you and help you through your troubles? Well.... yes and no.

The mistake people make is by telling their friends every single sordid detail about their dispute with their mate. You do an emotional dump and just get all that nasty stuff off of your chest. Your friend makes you feel better; takes your side, validates you, tells you that you are right and that asshole/bitch was wrong and who the fugg needs 'em anyway?? And then you decide to work through your problems with your mate and everything is sunshine and kittens once again.

But, remember how you told your homeboy about how your lady slapped your momma and then made out with your third cousin? Or how you told your homegirl that your dude took your car and was spotted joyriding with scallywags on 38th Street? Yea, you may have forgave and forgotten, but your friend didn't. They didn't have the Power of the Poon/Peen benefit of in depth communication between the parties in interest to change their perspective on the situation. And the last thing your friend remembers is your vehement arguments as to why your mate is a piece of shit. However, now all of the sudden these friends are expected to act like nothing happened. It's like asking a court reporter to strike testimony or evidence from the record that the jury has already heard; it doesn't work in the courtroom, and it doesn't work in life either.

Most friends do play along with the legal/life fiction that nothing happened, and chalk it up to it just being typical relationship shit, because we have all been on both the giving and receiving end of this scenario. Nevertheless, the reality is that friends are placed in an awkward situation when you dump your relationship problems on them. Their loyalty as your friend is to you, and it is only natural that they don't want to see you hurt. By telling them about all of the details of your dispute with your mate, you are positioning your mate in your friend's mind as the Enemy, that person that made you hurt and cry. Friends aren't there for the make-up sex and reconciliation; they are there when you are at your worst, and that is what they remember. Even if your friends go along as if nothing happened just as you are, you have still made your mate seem like a horrible person to them, and that memory lingers. And in a way, you also make yourself look like an idiot fool for going back to them. Either way, it's just not a good look for anyone involved.

So, unless you have retained an attorney and are drawing up the divorce papers, don't tell your friends about every argument and craptastic thing your mate has done to you. And even then, people get back together (I recently had a friend do that, and the first time I saw her out with her no-longer-estranged husband was kind of aw-kward). Better yet, it is probably best to just keep it to yourself, because you don't know what is going to happen a day or week or month later, and most likely it'll be that you two will kiss and make up. Your friends can still be there for you for emotional support, but keep it generic. They can know that you are going through it with your ladyfriend/gentleman lover without having to know EVERYTHING. Also, pick and choose to whom you tell what. Some friends just know when you are talking shit or being irrational and have no problems telling you so, while others will take everything you say to heart and be ready to ride out on a bitch declare your mate Public Enemy No. 1. It is called discretion, and we all need to exercise more of it (and I won't even get started on Twitter and Facebook.... some people treat that as their personal open forum relationship therapy sharing session; we don't need to know all that about you and your boo).

Yes, the urge to relationship rant is strong, and we all succumb to it at times, and as human beings and social creatures we will continue to give it and receive it. However, next time you have to urge to get something off of your chest, just think about where that something goes, and what it does when it gets there.

June 23, 2012

Out With The Old

Since my divorce and radical personal transformation I have been in the gradual process of purging and replacing everything.  At first I was focused on the major things.  I replaced my car (twice), my TV, my bedroom furniture, and even my hair.

Lately I have been getting into and trying to implement principles from The Secret, which basically explains the Laws of Attraction.  In a nutshell, the Laws of Attraction are based on the premise that like attracts like, and we have the power to visualize what we want (and sometimes what we don't want) in our minds to attract it to us.  It has been a bit of a work in progress; my lawyer brain struggles to believe that we can control the Universe with our thoughts, but I'm trying to be positive about it, which at the very least is a good way to be in general, whether you believe you can correct your own eyesight by believing you can see better or cause checks to spontaneously flood into your mailbox.  But this is not about that.

One chapter of the audiobook that caught my attention was the section on relationships.  Now, this is one area where I do believe what you think and how you feel dictates what type of people and energy you attract.  If you are a negative person, you will continue to attract drama and negativity, and same for the converse.  One example that was given in the book was of a woman who wanted to meet Mr. Right and had thus far had no luck.  Besides visualizing the type of person she wanted to meet, someone pointed out to her that she always parked in the middle of her garage and told her that she was not behaving in a way which indicated to the Universe that she wanted to share her space-- and life-- with someone else.  So the woman started parking on one side of the garage, and lo and behold she meets the man of her dreams.

I don't know if moving a car five feet to the left was the direct cause of this woman meeting her soul mate.  But what I do believe is that symbolic act put her in the mindset where she was open to meeting someone, and it caused her to give off the vibes that attracted that person to her.  Part of the laws of attraction is to behave in a way that is consistent with what you want in your life.

Which then got me to thinking.......I looked down at my left hand.  I always wore a ring on my middle finger that was a lovely Sajen moon face carved out of bone that looked like this:

I bought it when I quit wearing my wedding ring, as a "replacement" of sorts.  I got tons of compliments on it over the years, and it was so well loved that the little face had worn so flat that it was barely distinguishable.  Even though I wore it on my middle finger, I thought to myself "When I do get married again, there is no way I would be wearing this on my middle finger next to my wedding ring" (because I am a one ring per hand kind of girl).  I also thought about what the ring had symbolized for me, which was "I am single now."  That symbolism is in direct conflict with what I want for my life, which is to get married again.  So I took it off and put it away in a box.

Which then got me to thinking.........what other symbolic things in my life were conflicting with my ultimate goal for my relationship?  I started by looking down.  I have been into piercings and body art since the age of 18, but now all I have left piercing-wise are 2 gauge stretched ears, a navel ring, and an..... um..... "intimate" piercing.  The jewelry I was wearing I'd had for YEARS, because I have been long past the stage of constantly buying new jewelry, and the piercings were just there because they were just a part of me in my adult life.  But I got to thinking about that fact, and the fact that they had been with me THE ENTIRE TIME from the end of my marriage, through the "dating", up to this point where I am in my current relationship, and instantly decided:  they had to go, ASAP.  I wanted my beau to be the only person with the pleasure and privilege of touching the jewelry in these special places, just as I want him to be the only person who touches me period.  So I got on Amazon at 1:30 a.m. and ordered a new navel ring (with my zodiac sign, Cancer, because I just cannot resist the double entendre of the symbol) and a new..... um......"intimate" ring, and I finally got both of them in the mail.

Cancers have the best symbol
 I feel better already.

I threw the old belly ring in a box, and the old "other" jewelry straight in the trash.  I actually had started the "jewelry purge" a few years ago when I sold my Tiffany lock necklace that The Ex had got me for Christmas one year (one, because I was no longer going to acquiesce in his little joke that he had me on "lock"..... ha! and two, because I was broke) and my beau bought me a new Tiffany peace necklace which I wear 355 our of 365 days a year.  But I hadn't thought about  the symbolism and implications of the other jewelry until recently.

So now my mission is to identify all of the things-- big and small-- in my life that symbolically are connected with the past and are in conflict with my relationship moving forward to the next level.  I know that these things can't speed up or force the hand of the other person in this equation, but I know in my mind and spirit that I will be fully prepared for what comes next.

June 19, 2012

These Three Words

I don't write about relationships much anymore.  When I was "going through it" so to speak in the relationship department, I had all sorts of advice for everyone.  I could write weekly, if not daily, about the interactions between men and women and what should and shouldn't be done.  However, since I have been in a happy, committed relationship for some time now, I find that I just have a lot less to say.  

Seems counter-intuitive, right?  I should be able to give you all lots of advice about what one should do to get where I am (assuming that you would like to be in a steady, committed relationship).  Eh, not really.  I could tell you "Be willing to hop in the car at an hour's notice and drive two hours with the ultimate goal of getting a blueberry grilled cheese donut" or "Watch Scott Pilgrim vs. the World together until you can recite the whole thing" or "Cook vegetarian food together".... but none of those things would mean a damn thing to you, and some of the things I might tell you that make my relationship tick just might get you dumped.  

But, I am not completely heartless, and I won't leave you out in the cold, standing on the outside looking in to wonder "WTF are they so happy about??"  I will share with you a precious nugget of relationship wisdom that I guarantee will improve your life, smooth over rough patches, and just make your lives a helluva lot more pleasant.  Just three little words.......

"Please" and "Thank You"

Yup, that's it.  Not "I love you."  Not "I am sorry."  Say please and thank you.  Early and often.  

Here's the thing..... at the fundamental core of every relationship, everyone wants to feel respected and appreciated.  Take those two things away-- respect and appreciation-- and you have set your relationship up for failure or interlopers or both.  A HUGE reason why people cheat is because the outside person made them feel respected and appreciated (in its own oddly disrespectful way) when their own mate did not.  Incorporating please and thank you into your discourse is a very simple, painless way to stave off the erosion of those two fundamental necessities.

For example:

"Did you take the trash out yet?" vs. "Could you please take the trash out?"
"I need you to pick up the kids; I have a meeting." vs. "Could you please pick up the kids for me so I can go to this meeting?"

The absence of please comes off as nagging, commanding, ordering, demanding.  You can accomplish the same result with a lot less resentment by just remembering to say please.  It shows respect and consideration for the other person's time and efforts.  

And the same with thank you.  You would be amazed at how often people forget to say this simple phrase, and the resentment it causes.  Not saying thank you comes off almost as if you are entitled to certain favors or treatment without question.  Or at the very least, it shows a lack of appreciation, and everyone wants to feel appreciated.  And don't save thank yous just for extraordinary feats. Making dinner, putting your clothes in the dryer, clearing your plate from the table, opening your car door.... these all deserve a thank you.  Again, a lack of thank yous causes resentment, which then causes people to stop going out of their way for you, which then causes you to stop going out of your way for them, which then causes a vicious downward spiral into the break-up abyss.  

I have been in a relationship where it seemed like I was just expected to do certain things without much appreciation or consideration.  And it sucked.  Even though he constantly told me "I love you" to the point where it was borderline annoying, I feel a lot more loved in my relationship now where we use please and thank you with each other a lot more frequently.  It makes me feel valued, which in turn makes me feel loved.

So just try it. Focus less on the "I love yous" (though saying that is important as well) and make more of a conscious effort to say please and thank you to your mate and see what happens.  You can even take it a step further and explicitly say to him or her every so often "I really appreciate you being in my life."  Bottom line, show your respect and appreciation for everything your mate does before somebody else does it for you.

June 18, 2012

I'm Rubber, You're Glue

It goes without saying that divorces involving children are messy.  VERY messy.  Not only are you trying to maintain your own sanity, but you're also making sure that you don't permanently destroy the emotional health of innocent kids in the process.  Even after the divorce is over and everyone has settled down into their new roles, the kids still make things messy.  

Kids are like little (or big) balls of that thick paste you used to use when you were in kindergarden.  Everyone they touch gets all stuck together.   I always tell unhappily married childless couples to GET OUT NOW BEFORE YOU HAVE CHILDREN!!!  It just seems like it would be a helluva lot easier to hit the reset button, go on about your separate lives, and just pretend the whole unfortunate thing you called a marriage never happened.  But with kids, you are stuck dealing with this person for the rest of your life.  No, not just til the kid is 18..... the rest of your life.  The last person you want to deal with in life is the first person showing up at anything of major importance to your common offspring.  And then there's the coordination of co-parenting and attempting to work out expenses, and blah blah blah blah blah.... all the things that make you wish you'd just kept your damn pants on in the first place.  No matter how far you try to get away from the person, they just keep. Coming. BACK.

But the kids don't just put their imaginary glue all over you and your ex-spouse.  It also get stuck to any person who has ever cared about your kid, including friends your ex got custody of in the divorce and, yes, your ex's subsequent boo thangs (usually girlfriends, but I guess guys could get attached to other people's kids, too.... I've seen it happen).  My ex dated a woman for several years after our divorce, but it just didn't work out, probably because he went and had a kid with another woman.  You know, the little things that tend to piss women off.  Anyway, as what usually occurs between ex-girls and next-girls, we weren't exactly friends, and she probably hated me for doing whatever The Ex told her that I did to him, and I wasn't too fond of her because she surely sided with his version of life, but there was never any overt hostility ('cuz I see no point in squabbling with some woman over a man I do not want).  But even though they have parted ways, she still has a relationship with my kids.  My daughter goes to spend the night at her house and visits her and her family on holidays; my son still works for her in the summer and she asks him to do speaking engagements for her job.  I even felt compelled to send her an invitation to my son's graduation even though I'm sure The Ex would not have bothered.  Sure, I could be petty and attempt to block her continuining relationship with my kids, but in all fairness, she was a major part of my kids' lives for about three years, and she really does care about them. Still, though, it is a bit awkward at times when I'm sitting there thinking "I'm pretty sure you hated my ever loving guts about 18 months ago" but still having to be cool...... again, for the emotional sanity of the kids. 

Then I have another situation with my sticky children involving a friend I lost (or rather, abandoned) in the divorce.  My former high school BFF and I fell out shortly before my divorce, and she continued to be friends with The Ex.  My son is going off to college on the east coast and, coincidentally, will be about an hour from where she lives now.  I thought I had this girl out of my life for good and for the better, but now she is back wanting to play the auntie role with my son.  She has been trying to convince my son to move out east early and stay with her, against my wishes, better judgment, and desire that he stay here, get a job, and spend his last few months with his real family.  However, because she and I are no longer friends, she apparently does not care what my wishes are for my own child.  I just want her to go away and stay out of my life where I put her for good, but no, my sticky kids keep her around on the edges of my life. 

And on it goes..... ex-in-laws, old friends, new girlfriends, new ex-girlfriends, and anyone else who, if you had your choice, you would never speak to ever again in life.  But the little sticky glue ball kids walk around through life touching all of these people, and they all end up sticking back on to you. And the kids don't understand why you don't like this person or would prefer to keep them several arms' lengths from your life, so to them you just look mean and petty if you don't at least remain neutral.  I understand that when your kids are younger, you have much more control over who your child is around (I'm not suggesting sending your 3 year old off with your ex's last jump off), but when they are older like my kids (18 and 13), they have more control over who they want to associate with.  And unfortunately that often means you need to put your petty feelings aside and just accept that certain people will always be stuck around the fringes of your life.  

Divorces (where people act like adults) take a lot of restraint and emotional maturity when kids are involved.  I just never realized I'd get stuck with all these other people that I'd have to exercise this maturity with as well.  I just want to be rubber and bounce all these people far away from me, but kids... they just have to be glue. 

February 27, 2012


"You've changed."

Of course I have changed.  I am no longer the sad, frustrated, misunderstood, repressed individual that you knew back then.  I no longer have to pretend that I want a life that I am clearly unhappy with; clear to everyone but myself.  I have found the peace of self-acceptance and the courage to want more.

"You've changed."

Of course I have changed.  I am older, more experienced, wiser.  I have seen the errors in my ways and have worked hard to correct them.  I have been consumed by the fires of life and rose from the ashes like a phoenix.  My new crown of locs is my plumage, not an act of vanity. My mistakes do not repeat. 

"You've changed."

Of course I have changed.  I am now with someone who loves me for me, not who he wants me to be.  I have been allowed to be at peace with myself, to be comfortable in my own skin, to rejoice in my idiosyncrasies.  I no longer have to hide or shove myself into ill fitting spaces, just to appease you.

"You've changed."

Of course I have changed. As I age I am more concerned about my physical and mental well-being.  I am conscious of the foods I put into my body, and I want my kids to have healthy, well-balanced meals.  I have someone who inspires and encourages me to stay active.  I refuse to let myself go.

"You've changed."

Of course I have changed.  My children are older, they are becoming individuals.  I cannot parent them as I did when they were small.  They need more guidance, order and structure, and I have to wield a firmer hand at 13 than I did at 3.  My kids may not like it, but they love and respect me for it.

"You've changed."

Of course I have changed.  I have realized that my "dream job" was always someone else's dream, and I stopped thinking of myself as a failure for not wanting the dream that you wanted for me.  I am relieved that I no longer have to provide anyone else with unearned status and legitimacy.    

"You've changed."

Of course I have changed.  We all should change.  Nobody should remain in the same station in life as they were at 17, 23, or 29.  We should all want more, want better, make adjustments, correct errors, build upon life.  You will not keep me down on your level by stifling and criticizing my personal growth.

"You've changed."

No, I have not changed.... I have evolved.

November 6, 2011

The Space Between

Disclaimer:  I love supporting local talent.  However, I only support local talent that I truly believe is great.... not by local standards, but by national standards.  Or my standards.  Which isn't always the same thing.  Bottom line, I will only support and endorse talent that I would have no problem telling a friend in D.C., or California, or Minnesota, to check out.  So, with that said.......

Click here to experience and download some great music
Bashiri Asad.....The Space Between.  I have been a fan of Bashiri for some time now.  I used to work across the street from the City Market where occasionally he and Xenobia Green would perform, and right before lunch time I could hear the music from across the street and immediately say "Ah, Bashiri is performing today!"  He is truly an Indianapolis gem.  He performs some amazing covers (because Indianapolis loves their cover performances) but his original work is equally impressive.  I was lucky enough to give a copy of his latest project, The Space Between, and have been thoroughly impressed.  This is definitely a CD that will stay in my car stereo and playing on my computer at work. 

If you are a fan of R&B, or soul, or neo-soul, or good music, or LOVE..... check out where love is really found......The Space Between.

Find Bahiri Asad here:
Web: Bashiri Asad
Twitter: @Bashiri08
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/bashiri.asad

August 11, 2011

The First of the Last

Today marked a historic day for me:  It was my Son's first day of his senior year of high school.  His last first day of school.  Just about every parent has pictures of their child on their 1st first day of school… the new outfit, crisp school supplies, the little backpack, and snaggletooth grin as your baby took his or her first steps towards being a big kid heading off to real school.  As you go through the years you find yourself saying "Ugh!  I can't wait until he graduates!"  That is, until it is actually staring you in the face.  As my son went through high school, I knew that I would have to face this day and I thought I had mentally prepared myself for it.  Well, I guess I didn't plan well enough.  As I left the house this morning, my beau asked if I was ok and I assured him that yes, I was fine.  I drove up to Son's high school to see the traditional TPing of the school by the seniors, which Son had participated in (wearing a full Tarzan costume) the night before.  Winding up the drive between trees covered in miles of toilet paper, I thought about the first day I dropped my son off at that high school, with the same trees covered in TP from that year's seniors.  I was still ok, but I knew that my calm fa├žade was hiding the emotion beneath the surface, and it was just a matter of time before it sprang forth.  Unfortunately, it didn't wait until I got home and I have been one weepy employee all day.

I know that all parents get emotional at the thought of their child, especially their first child, reaching the official end of their childhood, getting ready to go off into the world as a (legal) adult, the "emptying of the nest" so to speak.  But for me, it goes much deeper.  When I was at my son's age, he was already a year and a half old. This day seemed light years and infinite impossibilities away. I myself still had to go to college, go to grad school, make life mistakes, grow and develop while simultaneously getting that baby boy to the point he is at now—an honor student and star football player at one of the best private high schools in the state.  I cannot even put the struggle into words, and indeed I don't.  Whenever someone asks me "How in the hell did you graduate from high school with honors, graduate from undergrad with honors, graduate from law school with honors, and become a lawyer, all while raising young children?" my answer is always "I don't know… I just did it."  My tears are not just tears of sadness; they are tears of relief, triumph, joy, exhaustion, and pride both in my son and in me—a full glass case of emotion.  Yes, all parents have their struggles, but you have to admit….. I pulled off an impossible—or at the least, highly statistically improbable—feat.  Most people have trouble with either being an honor student or raising an honor student exclusively.  I did BOTH. Simultaneously.  And for that, I think I deserve a few moments of emotion and reflection.

And celebration, dammit!  Yes, we still have the school year ahead and much work to do, getting him through all his honors classes, getting him into college (and a good financial aid package, because momma is still Sallie Mae's indentured servant herself), and hopefully through another championship football season.  But I think for right now, after work I am going to set the sadness aside and celebrate this small, yet monumental, milestone victory.  A Bazbeaux veggie pizza with extra goat cheese and a bottle of red wine to celebrate embarking on the final chapter of the first volume of my Son's life, and I shall toast to victories won and those yet to be accomplished.

August 10, 2011

My UPDATED Dating Personality

A few years ago, I took the highly entertaining, yet eerily accurate, OK Cupid Dating Persona Test, consisting of 32 "dating types" possible (16 male and 16 female) based on a 4 factor combination (Random vs. Deliberate, Gentle vs. Brutal, Sex vs. Love, Master vs. Dreamer). My result back then: The Playstation (Random Gentle Sex Master).  Admittedly, I was simultaneously in a very bad, but very fun, place. My overarching mentality was "fuckit". And my dating personality definitely reflected that.

Fast forward three years. I decided to take the Dating Personality Test again to see just where I am now. And the results are...... *drumroll please*

The Peach
Random Gentle Love Master (RGLM)

"Playful, kind, and well-loved, you are The Peach.

For such a warm-hearted, generous person, you’re surprisingly experienced in both love and sex. We credit your spontaneous side; you tend to live in the moment, and you don’t get bogged down by inhibitions like most women your age. If you see something wonderful, you confidently embrace it.
You are a fun flirt and an instant sweetheart, but our guess is you’re becoming more selective about long-term love. It’s getting tougher for you to become permanently attached; and a guy who’s in a different place emotionally might misunderstand your early enthusiasm. You can wreck someone simply by enjoying him.
Your ideal mate is adventurous and giving, like you. But not overly intense."

Your exact female opposite:
The Nymph - Deliberate Brutal Sex Dreamer

The Loverboy (RGLM)
The Playboy (RGSM)
The Boy Next Door (RGLD)

Always Avoid:
The False Messiah (DBLM)

I am pretty pleased with the result.  I went from a Random Gentle Sex Master to Random Gentle Love Master.  I know that I have evolved over the years, but I was somewhat worried that I had changed way too much, gone "soft."  Apparently, not so.  I am still the same fun-loving, spontaneous, free-spirited person, but with one very important change:  "you’re becoming more selective about long-term love."  Being a Playstation was fun, life as a Peach is much, much more satisfying.

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