Adventures in Divorce

I always wondered why people who murdered their spouses didn't just get a divorce.... I now understand why

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Location: Nap Town, Indie-anne-ahhhhhh!, United States

No, I'm not a prophetess. Cassandra, according to Greek mythology, spurned the advances of the Greek god Apollo and her gift of prophecy was cursed so that her predictions would never be believed. Such is my life. I tend not to think like most people, which is a gift... but also a curse. So step into my mind, take off your shoes and stay for awhile... you're always welcome, loved ones.

August 31, 2008

Emotional Baggage Sundays - "Choices"

Once again, it's Sunday. *sigh* Time to haul out the baggage........


If i can't do
what i want to do
then my job is to not
do what i don't want
to do

It's not the same thing
but it's the best i can
do

If i can't have
what i want . . . then
my job is to want
what i've got
and be satisfied
that at least there
is something more to want

Since i can't go
where i need
to go . . . then i must . . . go
where the signs point
through always understanding
parallel movement
isn't lateral

When i can't express
what i really feel
i practice feeling
what i can express
and none of it is equal

I know
but that's why mankind
alone among the animals
learns to cry

~CHOICES by Nikki Giovanni

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August 28, 2008

Pride Swallowing

"Might as well do something while you're doing nothin'." ~ Uncle Rico, "Napoleon Dynamite"

Eight months ago, I quit my job. My 6-figure job. My "every law student dreams about this job" job. My "office on the 34th floor" job. I had to get out of there because between it and the divorce it was just too much to handle. I'd count myself as an extremely strong woman (I had a baby at 15 and 20 y'all, and STILL graduated with honors from every single educational institution that I ever attended from high school on up, and not just dean's list, but the baddest bitch on the block.... top business grad, top marketing grad, top distribution grad, top African American grad in the ENTIRE UNIVERSITY), but even a woman like me has her limits. It was literally killing me, mind, body and spirit. And I left it for..........? Answer: nothing. Scratch that..... it wasn't for nothing, it was for peace of mind and freedom, which, unfortunately, don't pay the bills. But severance does (and yes, I DID leave voluntarily..... severance isn't just for when they give you the boot. Not in law firms anyway. They do whatever the fuck they want, and I just happened to have a good partner in my corner to advocate for me), but severance doesn't last forever. And pretty much for the past 8 months I've been sitting on my ass at home, doing contract work here and there (which pays DAMN good in theory, but they slow pay like a muthafucker) and hustling legal work (ok, so I started my own practice...... kind of...... ok for real..... I need to treat it like the legitimate business that it is), but here lately when I was faced with a serious cash flow crisis, I realized that I could be doing much more....... as Uncle Rico says, I could be doing something while I'm doing nothing.

So tomorrow morning, I start a new job. *sigh* It took a whole lot of soul searching and pride swallowing, but I took a job with a temp agency that staffs for admin positions. Me, with my $100K+ education, honors dual major bachelors business degree, honors jurisprudence doctorate, worked at the largest firm in the city...... working as a fucking secretary doing data entry. *big ole long sigh* My reasoning behind taking an admin temp job over a legal temp job is that I figured that if I'm going to do work that doesn't advance my career, it might as well be simple and mindless not too stressful. But it still sucks lemur nuts knowing that I'm taking such a HUGE step back and only utilizing only about 5% of my potential. But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.

And honestly, a huge part of taking such a postion is because I'm less likely to run into anyone from my former/regular/rightful life. I know that over the years I've been the target of much hateration..... I dealt with it in law school, particularly from other African-American law students, for doing so well academically. This continued on when I got the Big Firm Job that is highly coveted, but also the target of a whole lot of sour grapes (i.e. "I never wanted to work for them ANYWAY because of XY & Z" when people really had no idea what the job was like). Add to that the fact that folk thought I had such a great marriage (pshaw!), and you had the recipe for a full Haterade Punch complete with fresh fruit slices and spiked with Everclear. So I know there are MANY people out there who would LOVE to know that I am currently down on my luck and forced to take a job that I'm WAY overqualified for. Nevermind that I am simultaneously doing work on the side that pays me 10 times per hour what the temp agency pays..... all they'll see is someone who is formerly on top who is not on the top anymore. I'm sure some folk are reading this right now happy as shit about the unfortunate turn my life has taken (and my respose is "fuck off".... I still got the upper hand). But you know, I'm still (somewhat) positive about it..... this whole experience has taught me to not take my paycheck for granted, to be resourceful, and that life is about more than just money and perceived status, and to be grateful for my abilities that I do have. And most importantly that sometimes, swallowing pride is a must at times. I know this stage in my life is temporary...... I think of this past year as a whole as a rebuilding phase, my personal Forrest Fire. Forrest fires are necessary from time to time to clear out all the underbrush so that new life can spring forth stronger and better than before.

However, with that said, I'm off to the bar up the hill to have a beer and a few cloves by my damn self. I'll probably cry in said beer, too. Fuck.

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August 27, 2008

Realizations in You Life (My Mantras)

Over the past year I have really transformed my thinking and attitude as a way to cope with all of the upheaval and turmoil in my life. I'm sure I've used this quote before, but it bears repeating: “Sometimes God calms the storm, sometimes He calms the sailor.” The storm is not over, that's for sure, but what is over is my frenzied response to everything going on in my life. In 2005 I received a fortune cookie that said "You will come to realizations in you life that will change you forever." I held onto that fortune not only because the glaring typographical error tickled me, but it also spoke to me. Now, 3 years later, I realize that cookie was abso-fucking-lutely right.

So, below are some of my "mantras" (or my realizations) that I use to get through everyday life. No, I don't sit around chanting om mani padme hum or anything like that (tho that is a good one if you are into chanting and meditation.... I actually a Chenrezig/Guayin necklace that I can't seem to find anywhere), but rather these are some real life practical ones that are suited to how my brain works. So there you go......

1. Everything works out the way it is supposed to.

This is a variation on "everything happens for a reason"..... for some reason, I just don't like that phrase, I think because it makes you search for a reason that may not be readily apparent. This concept also helps me accept that even though things may not turn out the way I WANT them to, this is the way it's supposed to be, and there's an underlying reason for it that I may or may not ever become aware of, or may become aware of years from now, and I just have to accept that. In the end, in the grand scheme of things, everything will be okay.

2. It will get done.

I developed this one in law school (and prior to the whole "git er done" thing came about), where we had 50-100 page reading assignments (that's per day, per class), oodles of cases to brief for class discussion, and a 50+ page article I had to write for law review, all while battling the most hellacious depression and general state of brokeassededness ever. This then carried over when I started working at The Firm where I started eating dinner more at work than I did at home (but at least they fed us good..... we had dinner delivered from downtown restaurants). I developed the mentality that not getting something done was just not an option. (Actually, I have to backtrack and say this mentality started in undergrad when I had my CORE business classes and we had the huge mega group project that spanned 3 classes and was a requirement for graduation.) There was just no sense in getting all freaked out over everything I had/have to do, because it has to get done. And it will get done. And then I can breathe.

3. Let it go.

This is a HUGE one that I discovered the importance of through my reading about Zen, and is a key priniciple of Zen philosophy. It's based on the idea that pain in life is unavoidable, but suffering is. And suffering arises from attachment. When you hold on to painful feelings and thoughts, that's what causes you to suffer. Let those go, and the suffering associated with that pain ceases. And if Eastern religions and philosophies aren't your thing, it's basically the Cliff Notes version of the Serenity Prayer:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Part of letting go is acceptance of things the way they are and letting go of the wish that they were different and the frantic, futile attempts to change them (when we have no control over the situation, that is). It's letting to of that desire to control everything.

4. 5 years from now, none of this will matter.

When things seem at their bleakest, their most arduous, and everything seems like I disaster, I stop and think that whatever I'm going through now, I won't be going through forever. Five years is really an arbitrary time period, but one that holds true...... think about something that was keeping you awake at night 5 years ago. Are you still worried about it now? Probably not. And if so, you probably need to let it go. Things in life change so quickly and drastically, so to let something that is, by it's very nature, a temporary situation just destroy you is tragic. TRUST ME ON THIS ONE.

5. Tragedy + Time = Comedy

I had to steal this one from Chris Rock, discussing his motivation behind his show "Everybody Hates Chris": "'I went through all this stuff,' Rock tells JET. 'It wasn't funny at the time, but tragedy plus time equals comedy as they say. I'm over it. Hey, I won. That's how I look at it.'" Word, my damie...... sa da tay. I've been through a lot of crazy shit in the past year. A lot. And truly crazy (that's what this blog is all about, after all). It sure the hell wasn't funny at the time (like walking out and seeing profanity spray painted across my Civic), but you know, I can laugh about it now, and I do laugh about it now, and I don't mind when other people laugh about it now. Bitchassed behavior really is quite comical (once the mess is cleaned up). Its my way of coping with bad things that happen in my life.

6. C'est la vie/So it goes

This just means "that's life.... shit happens..... oh well...... what can you do." The first phrase is (obviously) french, and who can forget the song from the 80's by Robbie Nevil that had me dancing around in my underwear as a little girl. The second phrase is from Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five" (I *heart* Vonnegut, perhaps because I too have a dark comedy streak), which to me has a more melancholy connotation perhaps because it's how the Tralfamadorians think about dead people (''When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in a bad condition in that particular moment, but that same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is 'So it goes'.''). Obviously, I don't use it to refer to dead people, but more often than not when I uses it, it's either preceded or followed by a *sigh*. In either case, it's just life, and there's nothing you can do about some things. Accept them and move on.

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August 25, 2008

A Logophile PSA

It has been brought to my attention that sometimes I use some Big Ass Words (a.k.a. $100 Words) in my blog posts. I honestly don't do this to be self-important, I do it because I'm a self-professed logophile (i.e. a word lover, from the Greek work "logos" meaning 'speech' and the suffix "-phile" meaning 'friend, lover'). When I was in law school, Webster and Black were my best buddies and we rolled (literally, in my rolling backpack because the text books were so effing heavy) everywhere together. Anytime I came across a word I didn't know (which was often) I'd stop and break out one or the other so that I had a full understanding of what I was reading (and to ensure I didn't make an ass of myself in class discussion). Soon this just became a habit with anything I read (One book that comes to mind for which this was a absolute must was Elliot Pearlman's "Seven Types of Ambiguity"..... I learned a lot of new words reading that gem).

So as a courtesy, I've provided a permanent link to Dictionary.com on the site (off to the right) so that when I get into my highfalutin' lawyer mode, you can quickly and easily access the meaning to any words I may get carried away with. There's even an audio pronunciation feature in case you actually ever want to use the word in conversation, and so THIS doesn't happen to you. It's all about educating yourself, loved ones, so don't be afraid to use it.

(This has been a public service announcement brought to you by your friendly logophile. Have a nice day.)

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August 24, 2008

The Slumber Party

This past weekend I had my first real "blended family" experience. Friday evening was Son's first high school football game.... Cathedral freshman vs. Carmel's (we got mollywhopped, 41-14). I went to the game with Daughter, and The Ex showed up with his new woman (she's 42.... I can't even call her his "girl" or "girlfriend"..... just doesn't sound right) and her daughter..... the nice happy new family unit. Whatever. So my Daughter and her daughter have become really close friends, since she is 10 and mine is 9. Admittedly, if I'm going to be all the way honest, I felt a bit threatened by this fact because I was worried that my Daughter wouldn't want to come back to me at the end of the summer because she had a new "sister" and other little girls to be around over with the Ex and his new rebound family..... here it's just me and the Menagerie.* But I got over it, and now she and the other little girls all run up and say hi and give me hugs whenever I come around to pick up Daughter or whatnot.

So during the game, Daughter and Sister-Friend (which is how I shall refer to the little girl) are running back and forth between where I am sitting and where The Ex is sitting, and of course the question arises that ALWAYS arises from 2 or more little girls on a Friday or Saturday...... please mommy can Sister-Friend come spend the night?? *pause* Let me explain that the way I think about life is exactly the same way I think about chess...... always thinking not only of my next move, but others' response to my next move and how I will then respond to their move. I had no problem with Sister-Friend coming over to spend the night...... she's a little girl, totally non-culpable in all this fuckery going on between me and The Ex and, necessarily, his new woman. But then I started thinking about how her mother and The Ex would respond to this inquiry based on the distorted images of me that I'm sure The Ex has painted for her (based on the wild stuff he says to me about me, I can only imagine) that I'm sure included the baseless idea that I am a neglectful mother who's just trying to get to the next party (that's the picture he paints for everyone, including himself). At first I just wanted to avoid that whole situation, but then I decided to seize this opportunity to be the bigger person and try to show that no, I am not all these negative things that he says I am (presumably). All these thoughts occurred in a span of about 3.7 seconds, but I ended up saying yes, that's fine, go ask your mom.

*sigh* And here's where the difficulty that arises WITHOUT FAIL begins. First the girls came back and Sister-Friend says "Mom says she has to ask Mr. [Ex]." Huh?? Who does this child belong to?? How much older is this woman than The Ex?? (answer: 12 years) And how long have they been together??? (answer: just a few months) That right there pissed me off, because I just knew she was going to ask him if it was "safe" to send her child with me. Getthefuckouttaherewiththatbullshit. I have been a mother for over 15 years; this woman just started 2 years ago (she adopted the girl)...... my kids are some of the most responsible, well behaved, mature, easy-going, intelligent children that I know, and the fact that anyone would question whether I had a major influence in that or not is insulting. I wanted to march over there to where they were sitting and say "Look.... I'm not going to do anything crazy to your child; I'm not going to talk shit about you two in front of her like I know the Ex does about me. I keep children out of grown folks business, unlike SOME people who want to tell them all the sordid details of our divorce and throw and break shit in front of them, and speak about their mother with hatefulness and spite. I am the bigger person here, not this bullshit artist who you've let into your life." But I didn't. I said ok and sent the girls back over there and told them to let them know that it wasn't a problem, The Ex could pick up Sister-Friend at the varsity game the next day that we were all going to, that Sister-Friend could just wear some of Daughter's clothes, etc. Here come little girls running back, and Sister-Friend says "I don't know what he's talking about.... he's not making any sense" after I'd JUST finished commenting to my mother how The Ex was going to make this a whole giant production and make it a helluva lot more complicated than it needed to be. Even a 10 year old could see it. And yes, he was trying to make it uber complicated, talking about he didn't know and how would she get home because his car was down and what would she wear...... all things I'd already addressed and provided solutions to. I still didn't understand why I was (1) negotiating and (2) with HIM and not the child's mother. I know if someone offered me a free night away from the kids, no strings attached, I'd be all over it. Eventually, after about 15 minutes of back and forth, we got it worked out and the girls came home with me for the night and would be delivered back to them at the game at noon the next day, they were pleased as punch, and I went home and crashed after getting them all fed and situated because I was WORN THE FUCK OUT from all the mind fuckery that it took to get them there in the first place.

I just didn't like the whole implications involved as to why it had to be so difficult just to have a little girl come and spend less than 18 hours with me. I don't know why it bothers me so, but I don't like people to have false ideas and images about me, ESPECIALLY when it comes to children. Sure I may have my ways that everyone may not agree with, but when it comes to my kids, or anyone else's kids for that matter, I am first and foremost a PARENT who is going to do right by them. I think about it in terms of hats, and I don't wear two hats simultaneously at any given time. I don't believe in the whole "being your child's friend" thing (I am MOM, and whatever affinity arises from that relationship is the only form of friendship you get from me, kiddo). I know that I am a good person, and I know that I am a good mother, and I make mistakes just like everyone else, but I could be doing a HELLUVA lot worse.

So anyway, that experience was a huge milestone for me. Part of accepting change and moving on and trying to make myself ok with everything. Because yes, I don't care who left who, it's still hard to see you ex move on and "replace" you, especially when from an outward perspective the situation looks better than yours. But I of all people know that outward appearances can be deceiving and you never know what goes on behind closed doors away from public eyes. I know I will never be "friends" with this new woman, but I at least want her to realize that I'm not all those negative things he says I am and that she doesn't need to step up and pick up my slack, because there is none.


*The Menagerie = The dog, the ball python, and the painted turtle.

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August 22, 2008

No Soup for You! (a fucking rant)

DISCLAIMER: Do not proceed if you have a problem with the word "fuck" (or any of its derivatives) because it appears A LOT in the following rant. Please and thank you.

I fucking give up. Why is it so damn hard to find a (nice) guy who has more than every other second Saturday of every third months and only after 11:34pm to spend time with a sista??

I've tried to be open the idea of dating one person at a time thing, but ya know, it just doesn't seem to be working. Everybody is too fucking busy doing every damn thing with every damn body else in the world. I'm tired of being that understanding bitch who constantly says "Oh that's ok.... do what you gotta do..... another time then." Sometimes I just wanna be that irrational crazy bitch that all the guys say they don't want, but in the end really DO want, and scream "NO IT'S FUCKING NOT OK!" You claim you like me, you claim you wanna be this that and the other to me, well dammit, there's a cost. And again, being the cool, low-maintenance chick that I am, I don't demand expensive dates or trips or shopping or paying my muthafucking bills, all I ask for is TIME. Yes, time is money, but that's in fucking THEORY, dammit. You don't get a bill for time, and it keeps going whether you were to pay that bill or not.

And you know, I understand people are busy (there I go, being understanding again) and they have things going on in their lives that they have to attend to. I wouldn't want someone bitching and moaning at me about how I'm working too much or spending too much time with my kids or whatever. Do what you gotta do. Handle your business. But just know there's a consequence to "no time for you" and that is "no time for you either.... sorry." I'm sick of the "get in where you fit in" thing and being the one to jump to squeeze myself into the iota of time a guys has "free." I have a friend who I'm still otherwise cool with who still can't grasp the concept as to why he lost his privileges (and why I didn't want to be his boo), even though I've explained to him numerous times that it comes down to the fact that he has time for everything and everybody except me. That's how he chooses to utilize his time, which I'm not mad at..... like I said, we're still cool..... but there are consequences and repercussions to those choices. One of which is "no soup for you!" I don't get mad, I just give you the space that you obviously need more than having me around. Onward.

And going back to that irrational crazy bitch thing...... I'm convinced that guys really DON'T want that cool understanding chick that doesn't trip on them about every little thing. Or at least, the shit doesn't pay off and and the end of the day I'm the one looking stupid and disappointed because MFs take advantage and don't really appreciate how good they truly got it dealing with a chick like me. I think all men need some healthy level of fear of a woman (when I was married I called it "wife fear".... which my Ex had none), that desire not to hurt or upset her..... the fear of a woman's wrath. I am severely lacking in wrath, so my usual reaction is to just get ghost, leaving muthafuckers scratching their heads wondering "What the fuck just happened??" (my Ex is STILL asking that question) Perhaps I ought to re-train myself to start actually going off on a muthafucker every time I feel ever so slightly jilted, regardless of whether they can do anything about the situation or not. It may not be logical or rational, but at least that shit gets results, seemingly more so than being tolerant and understanding. I initially developed this tolerance out of necessity because The Ex really didn't give a fuck if he made me mad or upset, so instead of trying to change him I changed myself..... no sense getting mad over something you have no control of. But I think that's handicapped me in the long run because now I'm TOO damn passive passive aggressive. Like with this rant..... I already know that folks are gonna read this and get pissed. Oh well. I'm not pointing out any individual(s) in particular, but if the shoe fits, put that muthafucker on and run the Boston Marathon with it.

So I don't know.... maybe it's just a recurring "he's just not that into you" situation. I'm not conceited enough not to rule that out, but then again I'm also not so self-centered and self-loathing to assume that the reasons folks are so "busy" has anything to do with me and that they don't truly have anything truly important going on. Hey, do what you gotta do, good luck with that, best wishes and all, no hard feelings. All I know is that I'm tired of getting in where I fit in, tired of being low on the priority list, tired of getting effectively treated like the booty call that I am NOT. This is about ME and MY needs/desires/demands/conditions for companionship, and it really just comes down to whether one guy can meet those demands or not, plain and simple. If not, well...... no soup for you.

(ok, now I've got that out of my system.... whew! I feel (a little bit) better. And if you didn't watch the Seinfeld bit, you really should..... I'm not even a Seinfeld fan and that shit is hilarious to me. Plus it helps to know what the fuck I'm talking about.)

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August 21, 2008

Dare to dream (yes sometimes I DO act like a girl)

I was at the mall yesterday (having lunch, no shopping for me) and saw these at Nordstrom..... I just about came on myself weeped in ecstasy:

I must have these shoes. Never mind that they are $390 (ok, that's a lie.... I have never paid that much for shoes in my life). But I can just picture how fantabulous they would look perched at the end my fishnet clad legs this fall and winter. *drools* *fans self*

The past several months (hell, the past year) has been killer on my finances. Add to that the fact that I haven't been working full time, and the end result is that my shoe game has fallen by the wayside. Hell, my whole business/business casual wardrobe is in a sad state of affairs right now. Those beauties got me thinking about how I miss wearing stilettos and pumps in general, and being out of the world of work, I've missed out on having a reason to wear business dress shoes. And BOOTS!! Boots are the only reason I tolerate winter (as if I had some choice in the matter). Again, fishnets..... nothing sexier than a knee length or just above the knee skirt paired with some knee high boots and having a pair of fishnets of all variety (tights or, my preference, thigh highs) peek out when you walk or cross your legs. Ooooh I'm making myself excited just thinking about it.......

So anyway, I thought I'd do something I NEVER do...... daydream. Here are a few that tickle my fancy:





















































































































































*le sigh* I will eventually get back on my feet (no pun intended..... really) and get back to the business of being a girl. Until then, I guess it'll be flip flops for me.

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A Crash Course in Zen: Part I

Ok, let me go ahead and get this out of the way.......

First let me clarify..... I'm not Buddhist but a lot of the concepts of Buddhism, and more particularly Zen, really appeal and speak to me. You can apply Zen principles in your life regardless of your religious beliefs.... it's more of a life philosophy than a religion. Anyway, on my back I have a tattoo (unfinished.... now accepting donations for the Tattoo Completion Fund) of a Dharmachakra (or Wheel of Dharma):


It's a Buddhist symbol representing the Eightfold Path to Enlightenment, and is also referred to as a Wheel of Law (I wanted another law related symbol besides regular old scales of justice.... my other law tat is of Ma'at, Egyptian goddess of Justice and Divine Order). It's a symbol of compassion, which also appealed to me.

The first factor of the Eightfold Path is Right View (or Understanding), which means knowledge of the Four Noble Truths:

1. Life means suffering.

2. The origin of suffering is attachment.

3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.

4. The path to the cessation of suffering.

In my last post, I mentioned the concept of suffering arising from attachment, and I wanted to elaborate on that further. Here's the concept:

"The origin of suffering is attachment to transient things and the ignorance thereof. Transient things do not only include the physical objects that surround us, but also ideas, and -in a greater sense- all objects of our perception. Ignorance is the lack of understanding of how our mind is attached to impermanent things. The reasons for suffering are desire, passion, ardour, pursuit of wealth and prestige, striving for fame and popularity, or in short: craving and clinging. Because the objects of our attachment are transient, their loss is inevitable, thus suffering will necessarily follow. Objects of attachment also include the idea of a "self" which is a delusion, because there is no abiding self. What we call "self" is just an imagined entity, and we are merely a part of the ceaseless becoming of the universe."

As related to the relationships, stated simply, attachment creates baggage. Dating, by it's very nature, creates situations that are transient. Clinging to those people and emotions whose time has come to exit our lives is what creates suffering, and it is this attachment that keeps us from happiness.

So there you go. I will elaborate on Zen further as necessary.......

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August 20, 2008

Having it all, having nothing

I was talking to my friend today about our respective love (?) lives, and she was talking about how there's a guy that she's been friends with for a long time and she really feels like she has a connection and good chemistry, but she's not willing to take a chance to see if it could become anything serious because she's assuming that he's content just to play the field and she doesn't want to raise his expectations of him. Meanwhile she's started to date another guy she met on an online dating site because he has a good "resume" (nice, good job, handsome, seems considerate enough.... but that could just be his representative talking right now). So I ask her..... why not try things out with this first guy and see where it goes? Well, just like everyone, she doesn't want to open herself up and get her feelings hurt, and that she's just going to "see what happens."

This is what confuses me about people (and I include myself.... I'm still human): Everyone says they want someone to love (men too.... I always have to remind myself that they have feelings as well), but nobody is willing to open themselves up to another person to make that happen. Everyone is so guarded, but then want to turn around and ponder why relationships never make it past that first level of intimacy. People talk about how they were hurt in the past, how last time they trusted and loved someone they got burned, how they will never open themselves up like that again (that is the mentality that The Ex has). Everyone is carrying around this baggage, and nobody wants to set it down, so how are we supposed to find that person who isn't going to be like those people in our past?

I may not know much, but I do know this (at the very least from a logical perspective): You have to be OPEN to love in order for it to come into your life. I could pull out every analogy to this concept......the closed fist, the overturned cup, the closed mouth not getting fed, but basically if you are not willing to let love in-- which means letting down your guard-- love won't come in. You may get disappointed 10 times and that 11th person who comes along may be "That One," but if you shut them out of your life, you may miss that opportunity. By trying to hold onto and safeguard your feelings and being so worried about the past repeating itself, you miss out on something potentially greater. Whenever this issue arises I think about the Eric Roberson song, "What I Gotta Do" ("What I gotta do for you to see.... the pain you felt before wasn't done by me....."). You can't let past situations completely cloud your view of the future.

(I'm going to skip my soap box discussion on Zen Buddhism and the significance of attachment and suffering, but it's some good stuff that I might come back to later.)

This leads me to another issue, and that is the unwillingness to invest your emotional energy into one person for fear of missing out on something. And that "something" could be anything, not just another person (but most likely, it is)..... it could be the ability to do and say and hang out with whomever you want without fear of backlash or worrying about whether it's going to hurt someone else's feelings. It's avoiding that sense of obligation to another person. Casual relationships are fine and good if that's all you want and that's all the other person wants, but don't be surprised when some emotional disparity arises and someone gets fed up (thus creating MORE emotional baggage). You can't have your cake and eat it too.*

(*I had to research this phrase awhile back because I never understood it.... if you have cake, aren't you SUPPOSED to eat it?? But no, that's not what it means. It means that after you have eaten the cake, you still have the cake in your hand.... it's trying to have two incompatible concepts. For any fellow Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Infocom game fans out there, it's akin to having both Tea and No Tea in your inventory. Sorry, uber dork moment there......)

So at some point, you have to let go. By trying to hold on to everything--feelings, freedom, obligation, options-- you may just look up one day and find that you have nothing.

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August 18, 2008

What's in a name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

When you have been seeing/dating/wild rumpus-ing with someone for an appreciable amount of time, there comes a day where eventually the "What are we?/Where is this going?" question will arise. And once you get past the age of 22 are grown, it becomes an increasingly difficult question to answer, even though in theory it should be quite simple.

For a logophile like me, labels are particularly difficult because I believe that words are only as good as the meaning that you ascribe to them. I think perhaps being a lawyer greatly contributes to this view because we define words however we want all the time in the definition sections of legal documents (ex. contracts or statutes). If I draft a document where "Banana" (capitalized.... called a "defined term") means "the small brown dog that appears in the first few minutes of the movie Juno" then that's what Banana means, dammit, not a curved yellow fruit. (or, to use another Juno movie example, her name didn't mean "the city in Alaska", it meant "Zeus' wife, who was really beautiful, but really mean.... like Diana Ross.")

Here is a quote that illustrates what I'm talking about (and that actually appears in the preface to a legal treatise on Hart Scott Rodino antitrust pre-merger notification filings):

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master -- that’s all."

Alice was too puzzled to say anything; so after a minute, Humpty Dumpty began again.

"They’ve a temper, some of them -- particularly verbs: they're the proudest -- adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs -- however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!"

"Would you tell me, please," said Alice, "what that means?"

"Now you talk like a reasonable child," said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased. "I meant by 'impenetrability' that we’ve had enough of that subject and it would be just as well if you'd mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don’t mean to stop here all the rest of your life."

"That’s a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone.

"When I make a word do a lot of work like that, said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

(Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland)

So what does all this wordsmithery have to do with relationships? I'm talking about the LABELS, i.e. the "defined term", i.e. the term that defines the relationship. Boyfriend/girlfriend, boo-thang (I personally like that one best), lovers, Friends with Benefits, Homie Lover Friend, and so on and so forth. Like Humpty Dumpty says, you can do anything with the adjectives, and isn't that what a label is? What is important is what that label actually MEANS. But if you can put any meaning on a word, or rather the nuances in connotation of a word, what good is that word (i.e. that label) really? And, going back to the first quote I used from Romeo and Juliette, does the label change the nature of what is?

Let me clarify that I have nothing against labels in a relationship in general. I just am personally struggling with the concept because it has been a non-issue for me for the past 15 years, and the rules got a helluva lot more complicated while I was busy getting older. But seriously, though, what "boyfriend/girlfriend" means to one person doesn't necessarily mean the same thing to another person. And the "rights and responsibilities" that come along with those labels are also different for everyone.

If I am honest with myself, though, I will admit that some of this label phobia has to deal with the great enemy of all intimate relationships, and that is fear. I just got out of a marriage where I felt like my Ex was stifling my individuality and crowding my space, constantly criticizing who I am. I've spent the past year spreading my wings and being able to be myself without restriction and it feels GOOD. I don't have to explain or justify or get permission or worry about criticism for anything. And this has NOTHING to do with seeing other people or dating or doing questionable shady shyt. This is about doing ME. I know that issue is much deeper than a label, but it admittedly makes me a little gun shy.

However, I know that labels give a certain level of comfort and security, because it imparts a degree of certainty. I of all people like certainty. Limbo gives me the willies more than labels do. I guess this is just one of those points in life where I need to quit analyzing and just BE, because in the grand scheme of things, it's really not anything to get hung up over. And I also suppose it comes down to communication and making sure we're both on the same page. Because then, what does the label really matter? But because the label doesn't matter, it's ok to go ahead and use one.......because I am master of the word, and that is all.

"Sometimes we have the power to say yes to life. Then Peace enters us and makes us whole." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (quoted in Zen and the Art of Falling in Love by Brenda Shoshanna)

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August 17, 2008

Emotional Baggage Sundays, Part Deux

It seems like every Sunday (or at least every other Sunday) after a long weekend filled with good friends, good music, and yes, good drinks, I find myself sitting alone feeling melancholy about a number of things that I end up brooding over all afternoon, and then I end up posting some arcane bit of poetry or song lyrics or PostSecret postcard. So what's bothering me today? Might as well get it out:

1. Oddly enough (or not so oddly, considering how I create my iTunes playlists) this song that is currently playing as I write this pretty much sums up what's been on my mind most of the day: The One That Got Away by Pink. It's one of those weird issues because it's not something that's an active part of my life, but more like background static...... it's really one of those situations where I've accepted reality and let go. For the most part anyway. Its also something hard to explain (or not explain and just avoid) to someone you're dating that yes, there was a person in your life that was very important, and they're not anymore, and that makes you sad sometimes, but that honestly it is a non-issue because the odds of that relationship working out are less than nil. It's not taking anything away from the person currently in your life, but it's just reality. It happens. Everyone has that one that got away, but they move on. Right? I hope so.

2. I was throwing away junk mail and came across a mailer for a seminar on LLCs, LLPs, etc. I look at the names of the panelists and see (a) the moderator is the senior associate who made my life HELL the first year I started working at The Firm, gave me the shittiest assignments and the leftover bullshit, and was generally condescending and treated me like I didn't graduate from law school cum laude, and then (b) one of the panelists is a guy who started at The Firm the same time I did, and I remembered how they used to talk about how shitty of a writer he was when we first started, but they liked him and took him under their wings and gave him the good work and MENTORED him..... meanwhile I'm there given the shitty leftovers, the "simple quick little projects" that amounted to a bunch of bullshit. I literally started crying. Looking at my resume, you'd think that I would have been their fucking superstar. I feel like a failure sometimes because I feel like I should be at a much different place in my career, and it all comes down to the opportunities those fuckers didn't let me have at The Firm. And it was because they underestimated me, treated me like I was stupid, wouldn't give me the work so I could get the experience. It's the story of every black associate's life at The Firm.... we all tell the same tale. And that just made me angry all over again today, and made me question what the hell I'm doing in the legal profession in the first place.

(this playlist has got to go..... it's making me way too sad. "My Drive Thru".... that's a better song)

3. The fact that I still allow The Ex's words to get to me, gets to me. Yesterday the discussion involved him telling me that I need to quit "giving it away for free" and find some guy that can help me out financially right now. WTF?? I had to remind him that he doesn't have shit to offer to the woman he's dating that's almost, but not quite, old enough to be his momma, and that he needs to give her that same speech because if his theory holds true, her old ass should know better. Let me backtrack.... he doesn't have shit to offer her but companionship, which is all I'm looking for out of a guy, too. He's such an illogical fucktard, and it makes me mad that I can't just ignore that shyt and not let it, admittedly, hurt me. The insults he hurls at me are just really unnecessary. I hate being undercover sensitive sometimes.

4. Seems like nobody has any time for me. Yesterday I went to the movies alone (and saw the worst movie ever...... The Love Guru..... if I'd paid more than $1.25 for that shyt I'd still be mad right now), then ate dinner alone, then took myself to Front Page alone (but I always see people there I know and like), and then took myself home, again, alone. And this isn't anyone's fault, people have lives and are busy and whatnot. But damn.... next person who says that I probably have guys trying to get with me all the time is gonna get punched in the face, because NOBODY had any time for me this weekend. Well except for Roomie.... we had a good time hanging out Friday. Other than that, seems like everyone is too busy.

(dammittoallhell what is up with all my damn playlists pissing all over my emotions?? The current culprit: You Know What by N*E*R*D)

5. Being broke. Nuff said. Thanks to my girl and the random drunk white guy at Front Page last night for getting my Grateful Deads..... otherwise I would have been sitting there stone sober watching The Best of Soul Train on the bar TVs, which would have been a lot less fun because they were on some serious '80s ish last night. Comedy.

6. All those other things that I just can't talk about for one reason or another. But trust me, those are the ones bothering me the most.

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Emotional Baggage Sundays


(PostSecret 8/17/2008)

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August 15, 2008

Someone please expain this to me......

Timing.... that is an issue that has been vexing me lately, both due to my own situation and because my friends and I were recently discussing it. If it were the final question on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, I would have to tell Meredith "Not me, I'm taking the cash and going home." It's an age old question and I really don't think there's an answer, but that's never stopped me from looking before. Here it goes:

How long should you wait before having sex with a guy?

and, as a follow up question:

What are the implications of waiting vs. not waiting?

I felt really bad last night talking to my..... my...... well, I don't know what to quite consider him at this point......

(*Sidenote: My friend calls her dude her "partner" because she can't stomach the word "boyfriend" because dude is in his 40's and using the term "boy" just doesn't seem right, but then we point out that it sounds like she's talking about her lesbian lover and it's confusing.... so yea, that's why labels are just crappy)

....... because he was telling me that when we first started kickin' it, I was really distant and dismissive toward him and just uber causal about everything. Part of this is due to the fact that I was raised in dating captivity and don't know how normal people function in the wild, but the main issue was that I assumed that he wasn't going to take ME seriously owing to the fact I (1) told him point blank that I was kinda dating someone out of town, and then (2) he got the draws after spending a total of, oh, $10 in drinks on me the first time we hung out* (damn $3 Grateful Deads) AND I made an ass of myself by puking all over his toilet (not just IN the toilet.....again, damn Grateful Deads).

(*Time Out: This calls for a "I normally don't do this" disclaimer, but that would be a partial lie. I don't do this sort of thing with EVERYBODY I meet, because honestly I don't like most people I meet off the giddyap like that. I'm all about the vibe I get from a person.... it's not about how much money a dude spends or how much "work" he puts in, it's if I like you, plain and simple, and I get a good vibe from very, very few people, even if I'm attracted to them. The 21 year old who (foolishly) spent $130 on dinner got only a lean-forward-booty-stuck-way out-one-arm-side-hug at the end of the night, after which I went to watch CNN with the dude who got the draws after $10 in Grateful Deads. Go figure. My ish isn't for sale, that's for damn sure.)

From what I'd been told by male friends who were trying to "school" me on the ways of men, that type of behavior gets you thrown immediately into the jump off category, and he's telling all his friend about you, and you'll never get any kind of respect in his book, blah blah blah. So I say to myself "Ok, Self, you put yourself on this course, so just be cool and don't play yourself too badly, this can still be salvaged for some purpose I guess." So I was cool.... ice cold like Andre 3000. But turns out that I guess I hurt his feelings a bit because he DIDN'T think of me like that. And that makes me feel bad. But I was merely acting on the basis of what friends had told me about the "rules" related to gaining respect* vs. becoming a jump off when it comes to guys.

(*Another sidenote: I can say with the utmost confidence that I ALWAYS garner the respect of the guys I've dealt with, no matter what course our dealings go on. I've never been in a situation where I've gotten utterly disrespected *knock on wood*..... perhaps it's a factor of the who I choose to let into my life, but I think it's also how I conduct myself. Hmmm.......)

That's not the case with my friend, though. He hasn't treated me like a jump off, he likes me for me, we hang out together, we enjoy each other's company..... all those things that my boys told me would NOT happen based on my initial antics. Then I think about the only guy that did try and borderline play me who I DID make wait a decent amount of time who went somewhat incognegro after the fact (but who all the sudden has started calling again..... kick rocks, MF, you blew your chance to have an out of town FWB), and I'm thinking WTF? Are my boys just steering me wrong here?? What is really going on?

So, please tell me...... WHAT ARE THE RULES??? Or are there even any Rules?? Or are the exceptions to the Rules so numerous as to make the Rules utterly pointless?

Honestly, I think I'm just going to keep doing my thing how I think it should be done and how it works for me, and if anyone doesn't like it...... *shrug* your loss.

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Guest blogging

I recently wrote an article/posting on mediation for another blog that I frequently read, Blended Family Soap Opera. Since I'm so paranoid about having my personal info out here on the web and prefer to be somewhat incognegro when it comes to my blogging, I told her to exclude my name and contact info from the post (it's law related, so it was logical to include this info since I am currently a solo practitioner..... I guess I am anyway). But then that deadly sin of pride started poking at me and I wanted to somewhat claim my work, so in a compromise I'm providing a link to it here:

"Mediation is no place to deal with hurt feelings" by ME

I know.... why not just repost it here? Eh.... it's just cuz it really doesn't fit with the vibe I have going on in my blog. Smacks a bit of mixing business with pleasure, which gives me the willies. *shudder*

*Totally random unrelated thought..... I think the ulcer that I developed my last year of law school has returned. And it hurts real bad! *said in my best Napoleon Dynamite voice* Ugh.....stress.

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August 14, 2008

One Stop Shopping

Now comes my long overdue commentary on one of my most favorite songs of the current moment, "I'm Cheatin" by Dwele. If you've never heard the song, please take a few minutes to watch the video below before continuing reading, because I'd hate to ruin the light bulb moment experience that occurs about midway through the song when you realize what he's actually talking about:



*pause* Done? Ok, onward.....

So if you've never heard the song and didn't watch the video, you are lame you missed out and I'm just going to go ahead spoil it for you (last chance.... watch it). What Mr. Andwele Gardner is talking about in this seemingly scandalous ass song is the idea that he's cheating on his girl WITH his girl (i.e. his girl and his mistress are one in the same).

When love is free
It’s a matter of time
Before, before…....(that’s wrong)
Some have a girl with a chick on the side (I don’t need it)
My girl is all ......She’s all I need so I don’t mind cheatin' on my
Girl.... with my girl

While Dwele expresses this concept in a way that just makes you wanna run out and buy a few wigs and a freakum dress (or 2) and come up with a sexy alias (and have Dwele's babies), a friend of mine has expressed this concept in another way...... way before this song ever came out, he would say that his wife is his "Wal-Mart Woman". Wal-Mart?? Yea, initially sounds like a bad R.Kelly analogy, but think about Wal-Mart for a second..... where else can you go and get milk, draws, paint, an engagement ring, a TV, a bolt of fabric, a hair cut, a pair of glasses, and your picture taken, all while waiting for an oil change?? If you can't get it at Wal-Mart, well hell you probably don't need it. Likewise, that's how he describes his wife..... she is his one stop shop, everything he needs emotionally, intellectually, financially, and (I won't say most importantly, but it's pretty damn important) sexually. Ok scratch that, I will say that sexually is extremely important, because that's what people do when they cheat 99% of the time, right?

I once heard someone say that a good sex life has a 10% influence on a relationship, while a bad sex life has a 90% influence on a relationship (or something along those lines). Basically the health of the relationship and the health of the sex life go hand in hand in hand in hand. One can cause the demise of the other, and then it just becomes a vicious downward spiral (trust me, I've been there, done that, got the divorce decree). But I'm just going to focus on the easy part, and that's being your man's "Wal-Mart Woman" in the bedroom. If your man likes it, wants it, needs it, well by gosh you better do it. And if you can't or won't..... well, maybe you ought to rethink your relationship because perhaps its the case that you just aren't sexually compatible. Seriously. Lie to yourselves all you want, but sex is a critical factor in a relationship. You can't tell a person that they shouldn't want a certain thing sexually, or that they'll just have to live with it (or rather, without it) or get over it. Because they WON'T.

(pressure busts pipes..... pressure busts pipes......)

I don't understand why so many people (ok, WOMEN) have so many hang-ups anyway. If that is supposedly the love of your life, why not try out that Freaks of the Industry "head under her leg under my arm under her toe" move?? And if you don't know how to do it, get a book, read a Cosmo, watch some porn, ask a friend, hell, ask ME (when you are with the same guy for 14 years, inhibition gets replaced by a whole lotta creativity). More importantly than the physical how to, though, is the mental wherewithal, and that comes in the form of being confident and comfortable with yourself. Personally, I KNOW that I'm one sexy mutha-(watch yo mouth!) even when I do put on a lil extra fluff , because it comes from INSIDE. It is a passion and desire that is not automatically associated with appearances. It is a desire to please, which is another key factor in all this..... this is one area in life (outside of elementary school) where you can get an A for effort. Because really, this ish isn't rocket science. Give enough effort over enough time and you can master damn near anything when it comes to sex. So if your man wants something, at least try..... and really be willing to try, not some half assed, twisting your arm try.

(And I'm not even going to fully address the issue of the Mighty O because I have an unfair advantage in that department from what I understand..... but I do know that guys really like such positive reinforcement, and that a major hindrance is the inability to relax. So relax. And if that doesn't work, sorry fo ya..... if it's any consolation, I read that orgasmic ability is genetic, so if you want you can blame your shortcomings on your mom.)

But, you ask, what if he has some really out there, strange desires? And my answer is: What is strange?? "Normal" when it comes to sex is extremely subjective. Like my friends I mentioned earlier? They just happen to be swingers (not full, tho) so that is their concept of "normal." And again, I have to bring up the concept of compatibility. Anyone dealing with me has got to know that they are going to have to deal with [X, Y, and Z] (you didn't think I was really going to TELL you now, did you??) and if they can't oblige then I guess we're not a match. Most people fall within a few standard deviations of what is generally considered "normal" though, so unless you come across some ole 2 Girls 1 Cup* dude, it's not unreasonable to ask yourself to be a little flexible.

So, you can try and be that Nordstrom Woman all you want, but don't be surprised when you look up and your dude has his ass over at Home Depot.

(*and did you really think I was gonna post a link to that actual nasty shyt?? Hellz naw! Watching the Roots' reaction gives you a good enough idea)

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August 13, 2008

The Great DJ Brawl of '07

"Who gets into a fight with the DJ??" ~ William F. Baby, responding to the Great DJ Brawl of '07

To answer that question, I'll tell you who gets into a fight with the DJ...... The Ex. The Great DJ Brawl of '07 is what tipped my marriage from mere separation to an actively filed petition for divorce on the grounds that "this dude is crazy." Because, after all, who fights the DJ???

Alright, here's what happened.... it was mid August 2007, I'm at home chilling on a Tuesday night, coincidentally tinkering with a draft of my pro se divorce petition because I was tired of The Ex telling me to just "go ahead and get it over with" and telling me that he'd retained an attorney with the $2,000 he'd stolen out of my bank account a few days earlier. I get a text from my boy DJ Limelight who is DJing that night at Coaches (ah, the glorious old days of Take That Tuesdays at Coaches featuring Limelight and Metrognome *stares into the ether wistfully*) letting me know that The Ex was up in the spot. (Let me clarify that this was solely for the purpose of warning me of what I'd be walking into if I had planned to come down there, as he'd done on many occasions prior to that day..... just looking out for a sista so I could plan accordingly.) This was clearly an anomaly because The Ex NEVER went to Coaches unless he was looking for me..... and I wasn't buying the story that he was in there just to hand out fliers because the fliers were for an all black male review, and Coaches on Tuesday is probably 80% white hip-hop heads who could give a fuck less about Chocolate Thunder doing his thang. I think I'd had a few glasses of wine while sitting at my computer, so I texted The Ex saying "Sorry, I'm not there." For this I have apologized to my boy profusely because it was a wholly unnecessary, petty act on my part to send that message, and it set in motion the events constituting what I have now dubbed the Great DJ Brawl of '07.

Now, I was not there, so this is all second and third hand info that I have pieced together regarding what happened next..... but regardless of the disputed facts, it was still some effed up shyt. Allegedly, The Ex went over to the DJ booth (which sits up a few stairs near the entrance to the bar) and said something flippant to Limelight along the lines of "So are you fucking her too?" (he had this obsession with thinking that I was having relations with every single man in my life and could not grasp the idea that I did not leave him for another man, I left him because of who he is) and possibly some other stuff. You cannot talk crazy to a grown ass man and expect him just to take it, so off come the headphones and a confrontation ensues outside the bar. More words exchanged, blah blah blah, and supposedly The Ex does a move that I consider hella disrespectful..... the single finger forehead push. Aw man. Game Over. A skirmish breaks out between The Ex and Limelight with Limelight hitting The Ex and knocking him to the ground, and somehow DJ Metrognome gets into the fray trying to pull The Ex and Limelight apart. It was over very quickly, but the fact remains that "Dude, you got knocked the fuck out by the DJ."

Ok, so it wasn't really a "brawl", but the reason I call it such is because afterwards I get a call from my ex-mother-in-law, whooping and hollering at me about how I had my friends "jump" her son. He told my dad the same thing. Time out, let me explain a crucial fact: The Ex is a good 6'4", 280-300 lbs..... Limelight is probably 150, 160 max, soaking wet with nickels in his pockets. Same with Metrognome. Dude was obviously trying to save face after getting knocked by a dude half his size. The Ex has a totally different version of the story (more along the lines of the "I got jumped" theory) and doesn't understand why Limelight would ever possibly "attack" him. Well, besides the fact that you can't go up to and blatantly disrespect a grown ass man in his "house", he also witnessed you hit his home girl in public and you threatened to kill his best friend just a few months prior...... those facts alone are grounds for a beat down. This isn't the south side where you can intimidate people and get away with idle threats just because you're big and black. And I'm not buying his "I coulda fuck him up if I wanted to" bullshit. Whatever.

That following Thursday when I saw my two musical heroes they were all patched up with Hello Kitty band-aids on their elbows and forearms, and I ended up coming up off of $300 to replace Limelight's damaged kicks and jeans (cuz I felt bad for the bitchassed behavior of my not-quite-ex). And my boys still look out for me to this day, ready to have any MF who gets fresh with me tossed out on his arse. (And people wonder why I *heart* my DJs so much.)

So at that point, I knew it was time to do something..... the next day I was down at the clerk's office filing my petition and my appearance because this was just pure madness. Only too bad the drama didn't stop there..... oh yes, it was just the beginning.

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August 11, 2008

Coming at you in STEREO

For some odd reason which I've yet to determine, I've decided to "simulcast" my blog on Wordpress.com. I think I just wanted to play with the features on that site and next thing I knew I had a whole parallel site going on. So if you feel more comfy with Wordpress, well, now you have a choice. I guess. So... here ya go:

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It's Love.....I miss it 2

So I was having a brief convo via text with a girlfriend of mine about the state of my recently retreating libido (which is usually quite present and healthy), and I was telling her that while objectively sex has been good (nothing personal, my damie) I've just been feeling bleh and still just like I'm just in need of SOMETHING that I just couldn't quite place. At first I was thinking my sense of unease may be due to this cold I've been nursing since the beginning of July, but then my girl hit me with this response:

"I know what it is. It's Love. I miss it 2."

...to which my anti-female facade developed a huge crack and an ever so tiny sob got caught in my throat when I had to admit that she was absolutely right.

Yes, I do miss love. (Scratch that.....I miss reciprocable love. Unreciprocated love (whether due to choice or circumstances) is worse than being totally devoid of love....it sucks undescended monkey testicles) Sex and passion are just like a Red Bull, a 5 Hour Energy Shot....love is a good night sleep. Give yourself artificial quick fixes for long enough and eventually your mind and body start to revolt and shut down because they are in need of the real thing. I think, at this present moment, that is where I'm at. This isn't to call anyone to the mat or pressure anybody to feel or not feel a certain way about me, but it's just the state of things right now.

Maybe I'll follow her lead and just go on "dingaling strike" (as she sez) for awhile to clear my head. (Then again, who the fuck am I kidding??) I just got a text from another friend out of the blue expressing the exact same sentiments...Damn. Maybe its something in the air.

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August 10, 2008

Huh?

I just have a lot of accumulated crap that I need to get out, so I don't know where this post is going, but it's basically centered around the confused and tangled mass that is my "love life". Being that I'm still disentangling myself from my first and only major relationship that started back in 1993, I'm really not in much rush to get "boo'd up" again. I'm quite enjoying being able to go where I want when I want without anyone questioning how, where, why or who (on my own time, of course.... this is separate and apart from my obligations to my kids). If I wanna go sit at Front Page on a Saturday night til 3 am and sulk for no damn reason, I can do that. If I want to go to Chi just to hear my favorite DJ spin there instead of downtown and then go stay with a (truly) platonic male friend, I can do that, too. It is admittedly selfishness on my part that I'm choosing to indulge in right now. But because I like companionship (amongst other things) just like the next person, I do have folk in my life that I kick it with. And being that I don't know all the "rules" and how all this dating crap works, I sometimes get confused like Young Buck when he doesn't stay close to 50 Cent.

Ok so riddle me this...... you're lightweight dating a guy (lightweight because of distance and muthaeffing gas prices.... and maybe the fact that he's an extremely friendly and social guy that he's spread thin all the time, so 99% of contact is via online chat) and out of the blue during a normal daily conversation he says, "I'm thinking about getting back with my ex"..... what does that statement say to you? I would assume that to most women would respond with something along the lines of "Whatthefuck??" followed by "Kick rocks.... boulders if you'd like." But I'm not your typical female, and he's also not a typical guy (we have the same dating persona) so instead I go into friend mode and engage him in this line of conversation. So then am like "eff it" and proceed to tell him about my lost love scenario and how he's lucky to have the option to pursue the opportunity a second time if he so desires. Am I crazy? Yea probably. I'll tell you what significance this conversation had to me, though........ with not being officially boo'd up, I know that folk have other people that they're seeing.... I just take that as a given. So with that, I adhere to a "don't ask/don't tell" policy. I NEVER ask a guy "So who else are you seeing/talking to/whatever". So for someone to volunteer such info says A LOT and has some significance to me, whether he intended it to or not (which honestly, I don't think he did). Perhaps this is my lack of self confidence peeking through, but I can't compete with an ex.... someone a guy has way more history with than he has with me. And I don't like competitions where I don't have a good chance of winning, particularly when things like, oh, my emotional well being are being put on the line. So who knows what's going to come of that, but I have to admit that it touched a bit of my girl side........

(Ok, lemme explain my "girl side". I'm not a typical female, and I don't do typical female things and don't react in typical female ways. There are very few things I trip about, and if anything will join my guy in doing. Going to the strip club with you friends? Oh ok... just make sure you don't tuck too many $1s and next time invite me. Playboy subscriptions? Yea, I bought it for him for Christmas. Going out to watch the game? Ok, I'll be here reading (but know I will be out with my girls tomorrow), and then of course there's my "don't ask/don't tell" policy. At the end of the day, though, I'm still a girl, and sometimes I will get all female on a person.)

....... so yea, that caused me to give pause in this situation.

I don't know what the hell I'm doing with myself right now re: love life (oops, lawyer speak.... sorry, let me translate that: "I don't know what the hell I'm doing with myself right now with regards to my love life"). My head and my heart are just a mass confusion of crap, trying to deal with an "If You Want To" situation that is mixed with a heavy dose of "You Know What" while trying to diminish the "My Love" factor in order to make it a "See You Next Lifetime" scenario...... Then there's the guy that I really enjoy spending time with and like a lot, but I go back to that whole "how does this all work?" and not knowing if I'm ready to take it to that next level (whatever that level is)........

This post is a mess...... I can't even talk about half the shyt I want and need to talk about. I guess that's what a journal ought to be for, but I'm still traumatized by last year's journal debacle, so I'm thinking that maybe it's just best to keep certain things in my head and/or between me and my BFFs. God forbid anyone hacks into my email.

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August 5, 2008

"Tough titty said the kitty"

At a certain point in your child's life, you have to teach them how to stand up and deal with conflict on their own. Unfortunately, some parents never let that point happen (and that's when you go into courthouses and see momma standing up their next to her grown ass son at his child support hearing, ready to cuss out and/or fight his baby momma outside the court room), but I'm bound and determined not to let that occur to MY Son.

I have had an ongoing problem during my divorce with The Ex wanting to talk to me on behalf of our 14 year old Son and attempt to intervene whenever he hears our Son make any sorts of complaints about me. First of all, let me reiterate that my Son is 14, an age where NOBODY likes their parents, or at the least always has some gripe about their parents. Hell, I still gripe about my parents from time to time at 30. Add to that the fact that he's at an age where kids are very sensitive to divorce and perceive that their entire lives are just coming to an end because their parents are no longer together, so they're very angry about that. So I'm mindful of that whenever my Son makes some complaint to me about what The Ex is doing or some situation that is bothering him in his household. The Ex, on the other hand, feels the need to "speak on Son's behalf" and bring all such complaints and gripes to me, and that is where the problems come in.

This past May right before my kids were to leave to spend the summer with their dad, I did admittedly mishandle a situation and reacted out of anger and emotion toward my Son, but a big part of the problem stemmed from my Ex trying to intervene. The Ex called me up saying that my Son was complaining to him about the meals that I served to him, saying that I didn't cook "real" food. Now, I'm not a mother that routinely feeds my kids fast food, there are no cans of Chef Boyardee on the shelf, no ramen noodles, and the only person who eats hot dogs in the house is me. I made the same meals that I'd been making for the past 12 years, and often times I'd start making dinner only to turn around and see my Son putting a frozen pizza in the oven. So needless to say, I went off and, yes, overreacted by pulling a Boyz n the Hood and telling The Ex that I was just going to go ahead and bring Son's shit (yes, I said "his shit") over to his house a week earlier than scheduled and that he better make that child home cooked meals every single day. Part of that was anger and frustration, but also part of that was to teach my son not to bite the hand that feeds (literally). Talking to my son later, though, I realized that the issue was really not that deep but that The Ex was making a non-issue a big issue.

Again here recently, the Ex tried to act as my Son's representative and called me up to basically tell me that my Son wished I were a "normal" mom and that he thought I didn't want him around because he was "cramping my style". WTF?? The man went so far as to criticize my outfit and underwear choice at an awards program, telling me that I needed to wear "regular panties" underneath a full, mid-calf length multi-layered linen skirt because my "booty was flopping all over the place." WTF???? Dude, are you SERIOUS?? And everything he said to me was in the context of supposedly relaying my Son's concerns to me, making it seem as if my Son had issues with all these things. The terrible funk I was in the past few days stemmed from this conversation. Every parent, unless they are just lying to themselves that much, questions their parenting from time to time, even when they have no reason to. The Ex knows, and has always know, how to tap into and exploit my insecurities, and I think he seized the opportunity and ran with it.

The Ex told me that the reason he felt like it was his place to call and talk to me on Son's behalf was because he was "embarrassed" because Son was upset and crying to his girlfriend's sister about me (really over the issue back in May, for which I admitted my fault and apologized to my Son for). I had to let him know that I was glad that my Son had someone that he felt comfortable talking to, even though my first mental reaction was to say "Don't talk shit about me to that woman!" I had to remind him that Son is still a CHILD and yes, he's going to get upset and yes, he is going to cry, and sometimes it's helpful to have a 3rd (or 4th) party to talk to, and I feel like he should be able to talk freely with whoever he feels comfortable with without worrying about fallout later. I know that he needs that in his life right now.

What The Ex fails to realize, however, that by stepping in all he is doing is harming the relationship between our Son and me at a time when both of us need to be supporting and encouraging positive relationships with the other parent. And this is all under the guise of being "helpful" and "concerned." However, I see this as a time to tell my Son to put on his big boy pants and address any issues that he has with another person-- whether that's with us or any other individual-- mano y mano. When Son has a gripe about something The Ex did or said, my response is "Hey, you need to take that up with your dad." I feel like the only time that one or the other of us should intervene is when the issue is truly serious or harmful and one that is too much for a child of his age to address. And NEVER should we put words into our child's mouth. Because, as it turns out, when I sat down and talked to my son last night about the things his dad told me, he said he didn't say or imply most of the things The Ex said to me that he claimed our Son had a problem with. A lot of it was his own embellishment and editorializing. I once again impressed upon my son that he needs to feel free to come straight to ME with any issues he has with anything that I do, and then I will make the determination as to whether it is a serious issue in which he ought to have some input. Bottom line, he is still the child and I am still the parent, which means that by the very nature of the relationship and his age, I'm going to do some things that he doesn't like or agree with, and as my mother used to tell me "Tough titty said the kitty."

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August 4, 2008

Just until I find my own words again.....

It is
The
What-
Ifs
The magnanimous possibilities of this life
This now
This hour
This minute
The next is unknown
And that is ok!
Alright
All good
Uh-huh
Can't say what will break through
Can't say what will slide out
Knock up the world today
But I am soft and strong
Willed and passionate
My dreams are of seeing and being
More than what I am
And these dreams don't take the low podium
Now that I know
What I know
And that don't fit into sizes
Or parameters
Nothing can bar my exceptionality
Won't be wearing the silver medal,
No medals at all
My muscle has grown and my back has vigor
I am ready for the unspecified
Why shouldn't I be?
It is the what-ifs my darlings
That we should gild
The magnanimous possibilities of this life
This now
This hour
This minute
The next to be unknown
And that's ok!
Oh yes!
All good
Uh-huh
Hallelujah

~Jill Scott, "The What-ifs", The Moments, the Minutes, the Hours: The Poetry of Jill Scott

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A fit of parapraxis

give me a minute to love you
an hour to stare in your face
a moment to praise your nose
your hands, your lips, your eyes
don't say later
don't say tomorrow
because the day's too busy
because the day's too hurried
too demanding

give me a week to hold you
a second to play in your lashes
a night to kiss your forehead
Your back, your feet, your fingers
Don't say you're tired
Don't say you're anxious
because the world is calling
because the world is heavy
Ever present

just let me soothe you
let me put you in my mouth and hum sweet tunes
let me calm that ocean

give me a day
give me four and more
to ease and please you
let me take that chip from your shoulder
place it on the nightstand for a while
because you're lonely
and
I am too

~Jill Scott, "Selfish", The Moments, the Minutes, the Hours: The Poetry of Jill Scott

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August 2, 2008

Mental relapse

Today is one of those not so good bad days. One of those "Summer of 2007" days. Days when I wonder what the hell am I doing with/to/about myself days. Scared, lonely, sad, depressed, desperate days. People often ask me why I "put all my business out" in my blogs..... it's really because sometimes (like today) I just feel like I have nobody to talk to. For a brief second as I was standing in my kitchen crying I just wanted my mother.... but then I remembered that the usual outcome of my heart-to-heart, "I need help mom" converstions just ends up with either her yelling at me, her telling me how much more her life sucks, or her telling me what I need to "make" someone else do (usually The Ex). The only 2 people who I feel like I could go to and curl up in their beds and cry and they would make me some food and give me some wine live 595 and 3,760 miles away, and with the price of gas and the fact that my car won't travel across the ocean makes it kind of hard to do that. And they are only able to act as my sounding boards because we're all the same age and neither of them has gone through anything remotely similar.

The Ex called me talking about how our 14 year old son got into a fight yesterday and is full of pent up anger because of ME..... all my fault because I'm allegedly a shitty mother. He said he told him that he wished I were a "normal mom" and that he feels like I'm pushing him away. I just don't know what to do. I am me, and that's all I can be. I'm 30 years old.... I'm not going to be like the mothers who are typically of the age to have 14 year olds (usually 10 years older than me). But the thing is, I don't know how much of this is fact and how much of it is embellishment on The Ex's part. I don't understand where these things stemmed from, considering the fact that my kids have been away from me all summer with their dad. How can I be a neglectful mother when I haven't even had the opportunity to be around? I remember being 14 though, and thinking that my dad was just the biggest asshole in the world, all based on the things my mother would say about him, how she would treat him, how she would act around him. The Ex says he "never" talks about me around the kids. Yea. Right. He used to do that stuff all the time back when we were separated and would go to my parents' house when the kids would there and wouldn't even try to keep his conversation between him and my mother or father. And I know that parents can never do anything right in the eyes of their teenagers..... but still this hurts me. Badly. And I'm just at a loss for what to do.

The Ex tells me he's probably getting married in the next 6 months. Figures. But my fear is that my kids won't want to be around me anymore. They have a steady, ready made family over there. I have nothing..... no in-house father figure for them, no extended family with extra siblings and cousins and aunts and uncles. It's just me. And I'm worried that me is not good enough. I'll admit that I'm not the most kid-friendly person in the world, and I don't know why that is. I sometimes wonder if something is wrong with me, if I'm missing some crucial gene somewhere. I've tried the best I know how..... I've been making this shyt up as I go along since I was 15 years old. It just seems like everything is falling apart and I don't know what to do to fix it.

Times like this I wonder to myself whether I should just take The Ex up on his offer and let the kids live with him. But then I fear that my kids will resent me for "getting rid of them" and they'll perceive it as me pushing them off on another woman to raise, and that The Ex will paint the picture to them that I just didn't want them because I just want to "party" (that has been the slander of the year about me). I know this scenario happens in reverse all the time.... usually the kids go with mom, mom will often remarry, and they live in a step-family unit with her. But it's just different with mothers for some reason. I guess. I really fear that they won't want me anymore, but I'm just so concerned about their happiness that I want to do what's right for them, no matter how much it hurts me.

Then there's that other issue..... the one I'm not allowed to talk about but that is just ever present and looming. I try to get away and put it behind me, but it always seems to pop up and remind me how much fate just sucks leumr nuts sometimes. I try and be stoic and put up a good front, but that only works for a little while. And when I'm alone, I still cry. It only seems like I'm keeping busy and occupying my time elsewhere, because that's what I need to try and believe. But days like today, where I'm sliding down the backside of dispair, I catch myself in that lie. Tisk, tisk, lady.

Oh, and did I mention that I'm broke as FUCK?? And I have no job, no prospects, nothing?? Ok, so yes I do have a "job". I do work that (allegedly) pays me money, though I've yet to be paid for work dating back to APRIL. I'm trying to do this solo practice thing, but this is not by choice.... it's by necessity because right now I HAVE no other choice. I feel the financial noose tightening around my neck and am waiting on this damn check to come cut me down. Hell, not even cut me down, just to give me a little more slack on the rope. I feel like I'm just hustling right now, not making a living. And it's scary. And it sucks. Maybe I'll just go get a job at Target.

I pray things get better, that I feel better, that I cope better. Because right now........ *long sigh*

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Adventures in Divorce: 08/2008 - 09/2008

Adventures in Divorce