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.

November 25, 2008

Forgiveness: A relationship with time

The act of forgiveness is the act of returning to present time.
And that's why when one has become a forgiving person,
and has managed to let go of the past,
what they've really done is they've shifted their relationship with time.

~ Caroline Myss ~

I once heard forgiveness defined as the letting to of the desire to see another person suffer. When someone has wronged us, we naturally want them to pay for what they have done.... some retribution of sorts. The inability to forgive, however, is desiring to see that person pay that retribution over, and over, and over again. Until we completely let go of that desire, we have not truly forgiven. This is one of the most difficult feats of humanity, and even harder than forgiving others is the act of forgiving one's self.

I did something to hurt someone that I really care about (and no, for once I DON'T want to discuss it). We've discussed it a few times and I always remind him that I'm sorry for what happened, but can't go back and change the past and bottom line that there's nothing I can do or say about it to make it better and that all I can do is move forward. I think this has been misinterpreted as a lack of remorse or some sort of after the fact justification..... not at all. I am really sorry about the situation, and I am saddened by how it changed things, but I've also accepted that I must live in the present and I must forgive myself. I can't continue to beat myself up over something I cannot change.

Living in the past and wishing you could go back and change things is pointless. Conversely, wishing another person can go back and change what they did is pointless, too. What you can change and control, however, is how you deal with the present moment. Forgiveness is a matter of not focusing on the past, but instead focusing on the present and the future.... a shift in a relationship with time. And true forgiveness is not reverting back to the past period.... you can't say you forgive a person and be okay with them 90% of the time, but have that 10% constantly hanging over their head. That 10% still leeches into the fibers of the relationship and taints it, and ultimately destroys it.

I know this is a challenge, loved ones, but think about someone who has wronged you and make an effort to let go of the hurt, bitterness, and desire for emotional retribution. Or better yet, think of something that YOU have done to hurt someone else that you are beating yourself up over, and make efforts to accept that what is done is done and forgive yourself.

Unforgiveness is the poison you drink every day
hoping that the other person will die.

~ Debbie Ford ~

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November 24, 2008

Hey.... that's ME! (a video tribute to locs)

My loctician posted a video that was put together by a woman in DC and posted on YouTube. It is a tribute to dreadlocks and features photos of various women-- both regular people and celebrities-- with beautiful locs (the video was NOT done by him or anyone affiliated with him). VERY much to my surprise, *I* am one of the women pictured in this montage! Ok, so this has nothing to do with divorce or dating or parenting (but it does have to do with love, for locs are truly a labor of love, and I love locs), but I just thought this was very cool and I'm really flattered and I just wanted to share:

And did you REALLY think I was gonna tell you which one is me?? Pshaw.... I keep my civilian life super duper uber top secret somewhat incognito for a reason. Those who know already know.

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November 23, 2008

Emotional Baggage Sundays

Lemme go ahead and get this out real quick......

1. I'm starting to get really worried about my mother.... I thought she would be out of the hospital by this weekend, but I haven't heard any indication of when they're going transfer out of the ICU, let alone let her go home. She's been there for 2 full weeks now. Now they're trying to figure out why she's having a hard time eating. Seems like they're having to treat everything but the original condition she went in for. She just hasn't been taking care of herself (though I'm not one to talk.... just took my blood pressure in the mall today and it was 155/110). This time of year is especially hard on my mother (see below), which makes me worry about her more with her coming home right at holiday time. I also know I'm going to have to figure out the best way to arrange their house so that she doesn't have to go up and down the stairs because my dad's sense of logic seems to be waning over the years, and they will undoubtedly end up arguing over whether it's best to have her posted up upstairs or downstairs. I'm still worried that regardless of how we set it up, she'll disregard doctor's orders and overdo it anyway. *sigh*

2. I'm hoping Mom will be out by Thanksgiving, but Thanksgiving is going to suck regardless because there's nobody here but us (my parents, me and my kids), and she certainly is going to be in no condition to cook. My sister says she can't come for Thanksgiving because she needs to stay home and clean her house and go grocery shopping. *pause* Anyway, I think I'm going to just make a small meal myself with just the basics: turkey breast (not a whole turkey), greens, sweet potatoes, mac 'n cheese and dressing, and of course my famous sweet potato pie (ok, famous amongst my family members anyway). I actually enjoy cooking when I want to. Or perhaps we'll just end up going out to dinner (though I don't like the prospect of no leftovers). Guess I'll just make the best of it.

3. Today is the anniversary of both my grandfathers' deaths. By some terribly sick and bizarre coincidence, they both died on my dad's birthday a few years apart. I don't know why, but I've always felt like my Grandpa David represents ultimate unconditional love for me. I miss ice cream cones from McDonalds and being called his doodlebug.

4. As I mentioned, today is my dad's 60th birthday, and I'm sad because I'm too broke to do anything special. My mother wants to get him a turntable that converts vinyl records to MP3s, which is one of those things that I should be able to just go out and buy myself. I can't even go in on it, being that I'm having to borrow money from them (again) to get me by til I get paid from my contract job next month. My mom's 61st birthday was last week and I wasn't able to do anything special for her, either. In my mind I'd pictured doing real birthday parties for the both of them when they turned 60.

5. I know things are going to turn around after the first of the year, but right now I'm broke as......!!! And the more holiday ads I see, the more anxious it makes me. I should be ok by mid-December when some of my invoices get paid, but til then I'm kinda quite hurt.

That's not all, but that is all. On to proceed with the business of living, loved ones.

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November 21, 2008

Divine in '09

So it looks like starting in January 2009 I will be resuming "normal" life.... yes, I WILL HAVE A JOB!! *does happy dance* After a year of worrying and uncertainty with my career, I got a job offer to work at a very progressive minority-owned firm that is growing by leaps and bounds. I'm VERY excited about the opportunities and have a very good feeling about the people and the work environment. I'm still awaiting the formal offer letter and have to sort out all the details (i.e. $$$), but I'm confident that things will work out and everything will be just fine *knock on wood*

So, I've come up with a "to do" list of things I want to do to get back up to speed and back on track once I have some regular income:

1. Pay back everyone to whom I owe money (it's just my parents and 1 friend, but still....)

2. Set up plans to pay down on all my debt and try to avoid filing bankruptcy.

3. Get all bills on automatic bill pay (INCLUDING my student loan).

4. Re-up the sexy of my Civic by repairing the front end and getting it detailed (it's too new to be looking like it does right now).

5. Buy some real bedroom furniture (tired of looking like I live in a dorm).

6. Convert Daughter's bedroom into an office/guest room.... including a desk, files, and a laptop. Son is never here, and when he is they both share "his" room anyway (which Daughter has taken over already). I've basically been paying for an extra bedroom for the baby turtle. I want my original image of how I wanted my home office to be, complete with relocating my ball python into it, a big Bettie Page poster, and a mini disco ball.

7. Clean out my closet and replenish my business/business causal wardrobe (a few trips to NY&Co. should do the trick).

8. Buy a new couch (mine is cute, but totally impractical for relaxing).

9. Put Daughter back in dance classes.

10. Get Pandora the Explorer (my ball python) a new tank set up (in the new office).

11. Set up Casey the Turtle's tank properly, complete with a filter, substrate, and a background.

12. Get carpets cleaned.

13. Start going to my locitican regularly (at least every 3 months).

14. Step up my shoe and hosiery game.

15. Start traveling more to visit friends (though with my mom's ability to go back to work for the airline being up in the air, this might be limited.... still, with the price of gas going down, I'm sure I can do a little road tripping).

16. Get both of my last 2 tattoos finished. My orchid tat actually needs about 1 more hour of work, and my dharmachakra between my shoulder blades needs..... something.... so people will quit asking me "What's up with the ship wheel?" (and my friend will stop calling me Captain Jack Sparrow). Definitely some color, and maybe adding something so that it goes from looking like THIS to something that that looks like this:

(actually, that's exactly what I want..... glad I found that hiding on my computer)

And overall, I just want to MANGE MY MONEY BETTER!!! I really think God put me through all this struggle the past year as a lesson, and I've learned that I don't need as much stuff as I thought (there will be WAY fewer impulse purchases, even off the clearance rack at Target) and that it's possible to "make it" off a lot less. I needed this "season" of my life to purge and rebuild..... the forest fire so that new life can spring forth.

2009 is my year, loved ones.... time to start living.

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November 20, 2008

Geez, I was just joking.....

DISCLAIMER: The tagline on my blog is a joke. I don't advocate the unlawful termination of the life of anyone's Ex, no matter how much of an unreasonable and uncooperative ass he may be. So, don't let this happen to you:

Indianapolis woman convicted in murder-for-hire case

Jury finds woman guilty but mentally ill; she claimed entrapment

By Jon Murray

A jury Wednesday convicted an Indianapolis woman of conspiracy to commit murder in a case brought after she paid an undercover police officer to kill her ex-husband.

D'Antonette Burns, 35, was locked in a custody dispute over the couple's son. During an episode that lasted six weeks, she paid $3,000 and provided a gun to the detective before her arrest in September 2007 at Southwestway Park.

The jury returned a verdict of guilty but mentally ill. Burns faces 20 to 50 years in prison at sentencing Dec. 18.

Jurors began deliberations about 4:30 p.m. and announced their verdict about 8 p.m.

Prosecutors and her defense attorney painted starkly contrasting pictures of her mental state during the three-day trial this week before Judge Sheila A. Carlisle in Marion Superior Court.

Burns was either a cold, calculating woman hell-bent on killing her ex-husband -- or a battered woman whose vulnerability made her the perfect prey for an aggressive sting.

Her attorney, Kimberly Devane, said the sting amounted to entrapment. It began when a friend of Burns' told her ex-husband, Robert H. Mays Jr., that Burns was seeking a hit man.

Burns also pressed an insanity defense, arguing that physical abuse by Mays toward Burns and their son, Robert III, now 4, clouded her judgment and propelled her into the trap.

In testimony, Burns said the friend who alerted Mays, Jaja Endsley, was the one to suggest hiring a hit man. Once the presumed hit man called, she said, she feared he would harm her if she backed out.

"I don't know how to explain it," Burns said. "I knew it wasn't right. But then, I felt like I didn't have a choice -- like it was (Mays) or me."

Deputy Prosecutors John Keiffner and David Wyser disputed the defense claims, saying there was no concrete evidence of abuse against the boy. A judge acquitted Mays of domestic battery in a case involving Burns, and he won primary custody of their son in the divorce that ended their marriage.

Two court-appointed psychiatrists told the jury that they believed Burns, who had a history of depression, was aware of the wrongfulness of her actions.

"She knew what she was doing," Keiffner said, "and she made a choice."

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Love Conquers All

The other day I went over to my parents' house to pick up Daughter and my dad was outside working in the yard. My mother has been in the hospital for the past 2 weeks, so he's just been there alone with the menagerie (dog, cat, the once stray cockatiel). I was walking to my car and he looked at me with the saddest look I've EVER seen on his face and said "I need a hug." I have never, EVER heard my dad say anything like that before, and it just hurt me to the core of my soul because I could see, hear and FEEL the sadness and fear that I know he has over my mother's condition.

I bring up my parents' relationship a lot, because.... well, your parents are your model for relationships. And my stance has been that I don't understand why they've been married for 30+ years and never ever seem to get along, and the stress and the drama are literally killing them. Last week I was trying to calm my mother down (to keep her blood pressure from going up) as she was crying about how she was convinced that my dad didn't care that she was sick. *sigh* Frustrating.....

Why in the heck would my dad put up with this for all these years?? That's what I always ask myself. But I think I got my answer Tuesday: It's just Love. He loves my mother to death, despite all her antics and anger and accusations. He told me once years ago that he made a promise to my grandfather that he would take care of his oldest daughter and grandchild and that he intended to never go back on that. But even aside from his word to my grandpa, I could tell standing in that driveway that the answer was love. Love makes you do stupid things, put up with stupid things, and perform stupid superhuman feats that make absolutely no sense to the outside world. Love. Conquers. All.

(... which I think is what caused things to go awry in my marriage. I just didn't love him anymore. There was no glue, so all the crazy pieces fell apart. I guess.)

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November 18, 2008

Another lesson in jurisdiction - Parenting Edition

Previously I discussed the concept of jurisdiction as it relates to dating and relationships..... well, jurisdiction has surfaced once again, this time in the context of 2 household parenting.

Just in case you forgot (or didn't read... shame on you), here's the definition of jurisdiction:

ju·ris·dic·tion /ˌdʒʊərɪsˈdɪkʃən/ [joor-is-dik-shuhn] –noun

1. the right, power, or authority to administer justice by hearing and determining controversies.
2. power; authority; control: He has jurisdiction over all American soldiers in the area.
3. the extent or range of judicial, law enforcement, or other authority: This case comes under the jurisdiction of the local police.
4. the territory over which authority is exercised: All islands to the northwest are his jurisdiction.

The Background: Recently Son got into an altercation with The Ex's girlfriend's daughter (which I think she was/is being manipulative of both Son and The Ex, but that's not my business, except it pisses me off that The Ex always sides against my Son, as he's done his entire life), and as punishment The Ex took Son's cell phone away. I called The Ex and told him to please return Son's cell phone to him because 1) I don't like Son out without a phone, 2) I need to be able to get a hold of him whenever I want and need to, and 3) I'm 100% paying for the phone. However, I made it clear that I was NOT trying to undermine his punishment of Son, and that the only reason I wanted him to have the phone was so he could make necessary calls (i.e. to parents, not to friends) and not text.... I even offered to pull up use records so he could keep track. After some back and forth arguing, he agreed to give Son his phone back for that limited purpose (he never asked for the records.... that woulda been too much work on his part to try and keep track of).

So Sunday when The Ex came to pick up Son, he said something to me about Son staying the night at his friend's house the night before. I looked at him bewildered, not sure what the problem was. He said that Son still on punishment and he'd told him not to stay the night at anyone's house that weekend (i.e. MY weekend). I didn't realize he still had Son still on punishment for the incident the week before. The Ex got mad, saying he thought I wasn't going to undermine his punishment. However, I told him that really didn't matter to me, because Son was not on punishment for anything that went on in my household..... that his jurisdiction was separate from my jurisdiction.

Now, when you are married (or some other form of relationship when you are together) I am a firm believer that each parent should support the other parent's discipline decisions and not undermine the other's authority. When I was married, even if I didn't agree with a particular punishment, I would NOT express this in front of my kids or overturn it; instead I would talk to my husband in private about why I disagreed, but the kids would NEVER know that I disagreed. I liken this to federal jurisdiction...... everyone in the country is subject to federal jurisdiction, and no matter what the law is in each state, if you violate a federal law you're just HIT (ex. medical marijuana laws.... the sticky icky is still in violation of federal law).

But now that I'm a single parent, jurisdiction has changed. Now it's more like States' rights:

States' rights pl.n.
  1. All rights not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution nor denied by it to the states.
  2. The political position advocating strict interpretation of the Constitution with regard to the limitation of federal powers and the extension of the autonomy of the individual state to the greatest possible degree.
"[E]xtension of autonomy of the individual state to the greatest possible degree." I am now in individual state, and the only laws I'm concerned about are the laws in MY state. Sure, there will be laws that overlap.... let's say that The Ex had Son on punishment for bad grades (which is OBVIOUSLY not applicable). Bad grades would also warrant punishment in my household (i.e. would be a violation of my laws). But that overlap is not always going to be there. And when it's not, I'm not going to enforce the laws in The Ex's jurisdiction.

So going back to Son's punishment..... first off, I didn't know he was told not to spend the night at anyone's house. The Ex did not communicate this to me and instead left it to the discretion of a 14 year old to enforce his own punishment, which is stupid. Secondly, if Son violated The Ex's punishment, that's for The Ex to enforce, not me. If I had agreed that Son needed to be punished for what he did, then I would have instituted my own punishment..... that was not the case here.

(The Ex even threatened to make it so Son could not stay with me at all.... this is the kind of dumb ish he says. I made it quite clear that he is never, EVER to make such a threat to me ever again.... he must've got the point because he didn't respond. Don't fuck with momma bear....)

Perhaps I'm wrong here.... I don't know. I make this stuff up as I go along. But I just don't feel like The Ex deserves the same level of deference that he did when we were married. Our parenting styles have never been identical, but now I feel that now that I'm solo that I have the freedom to institute my parenting style as I see fit (within reason.... I know the importance of consistency of discipline, but I'm also free to disagree with his judgment now). He no longer has authority in my jurisdiction.... not in dating, and not in parenting, either.

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November 17, 2008

And the daddy tomato said "ketchup"

I've had a lot of things on my mind, loved ones, and haven't had much time to sit down and write written anything lately, so I just wanted to do a quick rundown of the happenings as of late, and maybe I'll come back and expound upon some of them in a true post:

1. My mother has been in the coronary ICU for the past week with a tear in the lining of her aorta. Yes, it is as painful as it sounds. I'm extremely worried about her recovery because the tear was caused by sustained high blood pressure (she jokes that she had a "blow out"). Problem is that she stays so angry all the time! And this anger is usually directed toward my dad, who is not a bad guy in the least bit, yet she still finds fault with everything he does and every way he chooses to do it. Yes, he's a bit of a weirdo at times (more so as he gets older) but nothing outright malicious. I've talked about this before, but I just don't understand the utility of staying married for 30+ years when it is literally killing you. I'm sure this is a topic I'll come back to later......

2. My sisters came to visit this weekend (because of Mom) and brought their kids.... my oldest sister (soon to be 39) has a 4 year old daughter and my next oldest sister (33) has two boys, ages 3 years and 4 months (yes, I am the baby sis at 30, and I have the freshman and 4th grader..... *shrug* ish happens). For some reason, everyone but my oldest sister ended up staying in my 1400 sq. ft. apartment instead of my parents' 3000+ sq. ft. house (I think because I have better beds, and my niece and nephew are CRAZY about their older cousins). By the end of the weekend I was a little frazzled, but I enjoyed playing with the baby (maybe I'll rethink the "no more kids" stance.... hey, I'm only 30). They actually met my "boyfriend" (is that what we're calling him? That's what my sister called him, so we'll roll with it) briefly and were cool about it. Though they did make growling noises and claw motions at me, calling me a cougar. Hey, it's only a 2.5 year age difference, and he's still older than our "little" brother.... even if it is only by a few weeks..... Anyway, I had to sneak out my own apartment to go visit him Saturday night, but I didn't stay long because all I could think about was walking back through my door and seeing my deacon brother-in-law sitting up in the living room with the baby or some ish like that. I'm still the little sister, so I still hold on to some older sibling fear.

3. [I wish there were a corollary to the term "lady friend" for males, because I like that phrase. "Gentleman caller" sounds like a serial killer and/or john. So let's just say....] My dude invited me to his company holiday dinner. *cheesing hard* I told my BFFs that I don't really regard this as a "major" step, but rather a material one. I won't go into the lawyer nerd lingo distinction between "major" and "material" here (it's a quantity vs. quality thing), but I will just say that it's something important to me. So now for the next month I will obsess over what I should wear (what "look" I should go for, since I'm quite multi-faceted), attempt to "tighten up" the physique, and will probably be motivated to make that appointment with my loctician that I've been putting off for 2 years way too long, since he and one other guy in the office are the only ones bringing "dates" and everyone else is in longer term relationships. I gotta put my best foot forward to make him look good. Fortunately, I clean up well.

4. I've been kickin it with my beau (I like that one) for almost 6 months now. Man how time flies. We've come quite a ways from our first...uh...."date". Perhaps we ought to go have some Grateful Deads in a few weeks to celebrate. *rolls on floor laughing* I really like the ease and laid back nature of things and how we can still each have our own things but still have our time together. And there has been no violent opposition from our respective kids....I was really just worried about my Son, because 7 and 9 year olds like everyone. But I think its also because we maintain a good balance with the boundaries (like, for example, I haven't moved my kids into a new person's house... but I digress).

Well, that's the rundown for now. I'll have more material for your reading pleasure in a few, loved ones.

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November 13, 2008

Logophilia...what turns me on

As I've stated before, I LOVE words. Apparently, so does James Lipton. Interesting commentary on the power and passion of words.

(I know this has nothing to do with divorce or dating, but it relates to love, so there you go)


November 12, 2008

I must be doing SOMETHING right....

My #1 consideration in deciding whether or not to go ahead and get divorced was not love, or finding happiness, or money, but rather how it would affect my kids. If it hadn't been for my concern about my children, I probably would have been out of that relationship a LONG time ago (if I were even in it at all.... but that's another philosophical debate for another day). My biggest fear was that I was going to mess my children up for LIFE..... all the positive progress I'd made with them shaping them into decent human beings would be out the window. I was scared they'd become academic probation, juvenile delinquent, need to go to Maury bad teen boot camp messes.

But alas, that seems not to be the case. *knocks on wood* After their first semester of the new school year--their first semester after the finalization of the divorce and the new living arrangements set in-- I've received some indication that they are adjusting fairly well to the changes in our lives. While it's not the end all be all, I think academic performance is a good litmus test of how kids are doing because when things are bad with kids, it's usually reflected in their grades. So here it goes:

Son (first semester of high school, and at a private high school at that):
World History (honors)............. A-
Spanish II.............................. B+
Theology................................ A-
Algebra I (honors).................... A+ (!!!)
Modern Technology.................. A
English 9 (honor)...................... B-

(For a 4.084 GPA (out of 4.0)!!!)

Daughter (4th grade, where things start becoming more challenging and expectations are ramped up):
Social Science.......................... A-
Reading................................... A
Spelling................................... A
Writing.................................... A
Math........................................ A
Spanish.................................... A

(keep in mind that Daughter lives with me *pats self on back*)

I am SO pleased and SO proud of my children. I really needed this validation and indication of their well-being right now, particularly considering the fact that the Ex constantly tries to paint me as a lackluster parent, which I know that I am NOT (hateration and sour grapes... that's all it is.... he has no other basis for the assertion, though it still bothers me for some reason.......perhaps because of my non-traditional nature).

But let me step back and put on my Bigger Person shoes..... I say I must be doing something right, but for all my complaints and disagreements, I have to backtrack and say WE must be doing something right. I will not be like the Ex and take sole credit for the positive parenting of our children, because they are influenced by the both of us.

(Although, I will take genetic credit for my kids smarticles, cuz it SHO didn't come from him......I can show you the academic transcripts to prove it)

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November 10, 2008

Aligning the Stars

This past weekend I had a.... uh.... discussion regarding compatibility and the stars. No, not Hollywood stars......astrology stars. Now, I'm not a big huge believer in astrology (I don't ask people what their sign is when I meet them) but I do have to admit that some of the stuff is uncannily on point and I will let it nudge me in certain directions that I seem to be already headed. Case in point... my overview for yesterday:

Your emotional side is almost completely exposed right now and it's all too easy to get riled up over small frustrations. Try to let people know you're dealing with more stress than they can see.
(yes I am rather riled up right now, I do have a lot of latent stress.... my mom's in the hospital, Son is having issues with the Ex and the living arrangement, relationship issues, money issues, health issues, been sleeping too much....and on and on)

I actually prefer Chinese astrology because I feel it's more accurate (in my case anyway). I would have to say that I'm about 87% Cancer and 98.9% Horse.

Anyway, I've also been overdosing on dating and relationship related blogs, and one topic that comes up all the time concerns lists/standards/requirements/tests for finding a potential mate. So being the consummate smart ass that I am, I decided to figure out my exact perfect mate based on all the factors that I've been reading about lately. Here's what I've come up with:

I need a man who is age 38, 34, 26, or 22 (Tigers and Dogs.... tho I did read that I would have great sexual chemistry with a man who is age 44, 32 or 20.... Dragons) with a birthday that falls between February 19 and March 20 (Pisces) or October 23rd and November 21 (Scorpio). (Apparently I should have consulted the star charts before getting married, because Capricorns are on my least compatible list because they are "too simple and very unrefined"..... boy is THAT an understatement.) He can't be a Mixed Messenger, but can be any of the other 15 OkCupid Dating Persona Types (though Playboys are told to avoid me, so perhaps I should avoid them as well). If he's had, say, 20 sex partners, no more than 9 of those could have been jumpoffs (cuz otherwise he's a slore).

Some other requirements to throw into the mix:
  • Must be a Harry Potter, Napoleon Dynamite, Juno, and Knocked Up fan (so he doesn't get frustrated at all random movie references I make..... "Tina! Come get some ham!")
  • His top 5 favorite songs cannot include anything by Plies, Soulja Boy, or anyone who presently or formerly had the prefix "Lil" in front of his name (cuz we can't hang out and listen to real hip hop.... but of course, there are at least 17 exceptions to that, I'm sure)
  • Splenda must be his favorite sweetener (no Equal or Sweet n Low), and turkey bacon is a must
  • And..... and......
I'm really sick of all this.... all these dumb ass tests and rules and lists and their fifty-'leven exceptions. Example.... today's post on Very Smart Brothas is the "Wifey Test", one of which consists of "morning attractiveness"...... GTFOHWTBS!! Can't we just find someone we like and roll with it?? Guess not.

I don't have any answers..... I don't know what rules apply and what don't. I'm just kind of lost out here right now. Sorry, no pearls of wisdom today, loved ones.......

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November 7, 2008

A step forward, a step back

With all the excitement over Barak Obama being our next President of these United States, one major newsworthy election result that has been somewhat glossed over is the passage of measures in 4 states that dealt a major blow to the civil rights of the LGBT community. Three states-- Arizona, California and Florida-- passed constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. Arizonans passed Proposition 102 on Tuesday, further amending the state's constitution to define marriage expressly as "a union between one man and one woman." In Florida, 62% of voters cast their ballots in favor of Amendment 2, which also limits the legal definition of marriage to the union between "one man and one woman as husband and wife." And less than six months after the California State Supreme Court declared in a 4-3 decision that a 2000 gay marriage ban was unconstitutional, the state's voters passed Proposition 8, which will overturn the Court's decision. In addition, Arkansas voters passed a measure that would prohibit unmarried, cohabitating couples from adopting. Ouch.

It saddens me that while we've taken a major step forward in the realm of civil rights by electing the first African-American president, we've taken a step back with the passage of these measures, which I foresee spreading throughout the country as other states follow the precedent of these initial four. And yes, I will state it unequivocally..... I support gay marriage and adoption rights. Period. If two people want to love and commit to each other, I say kudos to them. If a couple wants to love and raise a child that might otherwise end up in the questionable foster care system, I'm all for it. My son grew up with a boy whose parents are a lesbian couple, and I ALWAYS saw the both of them at every one of his events, while I'd look over and see the mom sitting there solo because her husband was too drunk to get up and come to the games. You can't tell me that the latter situation is the better situation for a child to grow up in just by virtue of the fact that the couple consisted of a man and a woman. C'mon now, people.

There is nothing about gay marriage or adoption that wears at my moral fiber or does anything to compromise the sanctity of my relationships (or lack thereof), I know that same sex couples are just as capable of raising healthy, loved and well adjusted kids as any other couple (family dysfunction is equal opportunity)..... bottom line, it's just all about love, and I say the more love in this world, the better.

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November 6, 2008

"The Most Beautiful-est Thing in this World....."

On the night of the election when they announced that Barak Obama would be our 44th president, I think it was so surreal that I didn't even have an emotional reaction. I didn't cry or scream or high-five or fall down on my knees and thank The Most High...... I was really quite subdued. That was until Barak called his First Lady and daughters out onto the stage..... that to me was one of the most powerful and inspiring moments of the night and I was overwhelmed with emotion. Beautiful..... absolutely beautiful.

Not just my First Family....... AMERICA'S First Family.

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Don't Do It!!! (on being the "other woman")

So yesterday my friend calls me up (let's call her "M") wanting to talk and get some advice about a guy she's been seeing. Here's the background: She met this guy online (and I'm not even going to say this is a red flag.... maybe a yellow one, but you can meet some legit people online. But I digress....), she said they had a wonderful connection and chemistry and the conversation just flowed easily and effortlessly..... it was perfect. Or so it seemed. So he goes to visit M (I told her don't sleep with him, but nobody listens to me cuz of my namesake... the whole "unheeded prophetess of doom" thing) and they have a great weekend getting to know each other, and she's all geeked until 2 days after he gets home and she gets a call from his WIFE. *screeeeeeeech!* I told her back then to RUN.... lose his number, block her number, cut your losses and move on because it's JUST NOT WORTH IT (no matter how great all those "interconnections" are). Again, she doesn't listen, and instead listens to his insistences that even though they are still living in the same house, that he and Wifey are separated and going to get divorced. Uh huh.... I told M "That's the oldest line in the fugging book." At that point I threw up my hands, because unfortunately having experience in this area such that you can give solid advice also simultaneously give you no credibility, and it seemed like she really wasn't trying to hear me. Ah well.... eventually I did get the "You were right" call and I didn't respond with any "I told you so" and I thought that was the end of it..... disaster averted.

Not so much. Yesteday she calls me because dude is still calling her AND Wifey is still calling her. Turns out dude is pulling double duty by telling M that he thinks they could really have something, but then turning around telling Wifey they can work it out. My advice: Tell them both to kick rocks. AND don't answer any of their calls. The cold turkey method is the best way to go. You cannot "wean" yourself off a person.... every encounter and interaction just reinforces that connection and makes it harder to leave that person alone. I told her that if they are really meant to be together that they will be together, but she needs to insist on seeing some dry ink on a divorce decree before she tries to have anything with this man (because separated people DO get back together allll the time).

So here's my open letter advice to any woman (or man) who finds themselves in a similar situation with a person who is either married or in a committed relationship: DON'T DO IT!! And before you leap off your moral bandwagon and chase me down with sticks and torches, it's just one of those things that happens and you don't even realize how you got there until you're in the thick of it. I love Jill Scott because of her realness and honesty in her music and poetry, and that's one thing she talked about at her last concert when introducing her song "My Love".... you find yourself in situations that you said you'd NEVER find yourself in.

And here's how it happens: You're minding your own business in life, chillin', enjoying the sights, and a guy (or lady) steps to you. Let's even say you knew that this person, at some point, got married, but it's impossible to know what's going on with a person at any given time (I still have people who ask about "my husband"), and people do date while they are separated/divorcing because that ish takes a LONG time (trust me, I didn't just start dating in May). I think it's a somewhat reasonable (if not the wisest) assumption to make that if a person is actively pursuing you that their marriage is pretty much on the outs (but that's also because I feel that if there's constant cheating going on, the marriage is pretty much worthless and you just need to get the fugg out and quit wasting each other's time). So you engage with this person only to later find out that they AREN'T on the brink of divorce and their marriage ISN'T on the outs, but by then you've already gotten involved with this person. And, voila! You've got "My Love".

So getting back to M (and anyone else finding themselves in this situation)....... you deserve more than relegating yourself to the status of "other woman". The odds of that fantasy fairy tale idea that he's going to leave her for you is a bunch of malarkey. And even if that does happen in some bizarro alternate universe, like one of my other friends says..... the way you get a person is the same way you're going to lose them. That person has made their choice..... divorces/break-ups are hard, but they happen every day. If the desire to be with you is that strong, he'd make that leap. But otherwise, all you can do is respect his decision and move on. There's no sense in trying to compete, convince, or give ultimatums, because in the end you're the one left alone while he goes off and plays happy family with his #1. Don't be that "missing piece" to his relationship, because think about what you're actually doing..... you're making it easier for him to STAY in his relationship because now he's got everything he needs. And you DON'T. You. Deserve. More.

Life lived..... lessons learned, loved ones.

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Adventures in Divorce: 11/2008 - 12/2008

Adventures in Divorce