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.

September 25, 2009

EBS Friday Edition: It's Your Move

Across Your Bread
by Jill Scott

I'm juss gon say what I need to
juss gon put it on the table
And spread it across your bread

As much as I didn't want
I have stumbled
tripped
fallen ova myself in love with every molecule of
you

The walk on you
The way you out then in breathe
Simply your eyes man
got my thighs swellin' and my knees beggin' to part
I do (shaking my head up and down)
I do
love everything about you
All that makes you you
And what I do not know, I swear I will love too
If you just show me

I know it's crazy but I swear
My heart doesn't pump blood
When you are not near me
I juss walk my way through life comatose
Til I hear my name in your key
I juss stay
Hoping, wishing, praying for the moment you say it's cool for me to
give you what I got
Cool for me to give you what I keep
Cool for me to give you what is fresh behind the apples

And the pears but you don't
Won't
Accept it then accept it then return it
My logic understands but my back is tired of the weight
My feet are swollen and my fingers ache from writing

Don't you see?
I'm willing
Willing
To go that extra continent
Willing
To carry that extra gallon and love that extra kind
I am placing myself on the table
Spreading myself across your bread
So, say something
It's your move

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September 23, 2009

"It's a dangerous necessity.... a world famous mystery......"

"It's a dangerous necessity, a world famous mystery......."

.......Love.

It is such a small word. Too small, in fact. And yes, I do mean "small" in the sense that it is insufficient to encompass and characterize the range of human emotions and experiences that the word is used to describe. There really needs to be more words, a delineation of the different types of love, sort of like how Eskimos supposedly have many different words for "snow".

The Greeks got close.... they have 6 different words for love:
* Agapē (αγάπη agápē) means "love" in modern day Greek, such as in the term s'agapo (Σ'αγαπώ), which means "I love you." In Ancient Greek, it often refers to a general affection rather than the attraction suggested by "eros." Agape is used in ancient texts to denote feelings for a good meal, one's children, and the feelings for a spouse. It can be described as the feeling of being content or holding one in high regard.

* Eros (ερως érōs) is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. The Modern Greek word "erotas" means "(romantic) love;" however, eros does not have to be sexual in nature. Eros can be interpreted as a love for someone whom you love more than the philia, love of friendship. It can also apply to dating relationships as well as marriage. Plato refined his own definition: Although eros is initially felt for a person, with contemplation it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that person, or even becomes appreciation of beauty itself. It should be noted Plato does not talk of physical attraction as a necessary part of love, hence the use of the word platonic to mean, "without physical attraction." Plato also said eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth. Lovers and philosophers are all inspired to seek truth by eros.

* Philia (φιλία philia) means friendship in modern Greek. It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity. In ancient texts, philos denoted a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers.

* Storge (στοργή storgē) means "affection" in ancient and modern Greek. It is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring. Rarely used in ancient works, and then almost exclusively as a descriptor of relationships within the family.

* Thelema (θέλημα thélēma) means "desire" in ancient and modern Greek. It is the desire to do something, to be occupied, or to be in prominence.

* Xenia (ξενία xenía), hospitality, was an extremely important practice in Ancient Greece. It was an almost ritualized friendship formed between a host and his guest, who could previously have been strangers. The host fed and provided quarters for the guest, who was expected to repay only with gratitude.
(thanks Wikipedia!)

I can certainly understand and identify examples of each type of love in my life..... I have agape for all of my readers, eros for that certain someone who doesn't want to have anything to do with me right now, philia for my BFFs, storge for my kids, and xenia for people who I may not know well but who are welcome in my home. And, of course, there are some overlaps.... I may have more than one type for one person.

In the English language, however, we condense all of these concepts down into one word: Love. And like the literary commingling of these concepts into the word "love", I think we humans also tend to emotionally commingle these concepts as if they were fungible and interchangeable such that we get confused as to what type of love we are actually feeling, and may mistake one for another. Or, what's worse, is that we may only come to recognize one type and think that all the others aren't really "love"..... typically this is true as it relates to Eros.

I'm sure everyone has known or heard of that one person who has been married 5 times, or that friend who goes through boyfriends/girlfriends like water. Usually these are the most hopelessly romantic, head over heels, disgustingly syrupy-sweet cake baking-est people in the world. They fall "in love" hard and fast...... and they also fall OUT of love hard and fast.

I think their problem is that these individuals only recognize that Eros feeling as "love". Because I hate to tell you, loved ones, the other types of love are.... well.... kinda boring. Or at least not exciting in the way that it makes you feel giddy and butterflies and swooning all over the place making goo-goo faces at each other. It doesn't give you that RUSH. Not saying that Eros doesn't last at all in a relationship, it just diminishes in intensity in a long term loving relationship. If all goes well, Eros gives way to Agape, Philia, and eventually Storge.

Eros, though, is addictive. And like any other drug, it clouds your judgment, and makes you long for it when it goes away.

(This would be a good time to go read My Chemical Romance, which partially explains how and why this happens.)

But if there's nothing else to back up that feeling, it does and will go away. And it's not what REAL love is all about anyway.... it's not enough to sustain a relationship. One of my favorite analogies of this (and forgive me if I'm being redundant) is that of a campfire. If you throw lighter fluid soaked kindling onto a fire, sure it'll burn hot and bright.... but a few minutes later your fire is out. You need both kindling (Eros) AND a few solid pieces of firewood (Agape and Philia) to keep it going. You may not be able to see the heat ("Ooooh, pretty flames!") but you can feel it, and it'll keep you warm and comfortable all through the night. *snuggle* Too many people think that when they no longer feel those butterflies that love is gone, and then it's on to the next one. They don't take the time to appreciate the other types of love and that THOSE are the types that we all should be striving for.

Though they don't number all that many, I've had enough Eros-driven relationships to last me one lifetime. Of course, I need Eros in my life (my most prominent "Love Language" is physical touch and I'm a..... uh.... very passionate person), but what I really long for is comfort, that feeling that all is right with the world. I had that, and I fucked it up on some pure Eros shyt that turned out to be just a pile of burnt out ashes. In the short time I've been dating, I've (finally) learned to truly appreciate the difference and not get caught up in the illusion of love..... hopefully not too late.

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September 22, 2009

My Chemical Romance Part Deux: The Spiritual Connection

Yesterday I discussed the scientific and biological reasons why a Friends with Benefits arrangement just doesn't work. We're hard wired for it NOT to work. Well today I'm featuring a guest blog post by WifeofUriah that addresses the issue from a different aspect..... the spiritual aspect.

Science and spirituality..... at first glance they are seemingly at odds. But really they are in perfect harmony with each other. I may seem like a big ole heathen not be the most religious person in the world, but I do believe in a Creator and that there are forces and energies at work that cannot be seen or explained within the realm of human knowledge, but play a definite role in our lives. But whether you can measure or observe it or not, it was all created by The Most High as part of the same design. Hormones and biological processes are only part of the story when it comes to intimate human relations.....I truly believe that there is more. Whether you are religious or not, really stop and think about what WifeofUriah has to say and I guarantee you'll be able to identify with at least one point, but probably more.

Ok, enough editorializing. Check out the FWB quandary from this perspective, and let me know what you think. It's all about idea sharing and diversity of thought here at AID. Enjoy:

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Before reading, you should note that I am a die hard Christian. Now, wait! Before you click the X in the corner of your computer screen, I should tell you that I’m definitely not your stereotypical Christian. I don’t believe in a bunch of rules. I believe that Jesus came and died to free me from religious rituals and rules because He knew I could never keep them. (“I did not come to condemn the world, but to save you from your wrong.” See, John 3:17). I believe that God wants a spiritual connection with me (i.e. a relationship), so, I live my life following Christ and allowing His Spirit to give me access the knowledge and wisdom of God, completely free from weird customs and other man-made rules-o-crap legalistic and religious bondage. In other words I’m definitely spiritual and, I believe everything happens in the spirit realm before manifesting in the natural realm and thus my blog post is coming from that perspective. But don’t get it twisted, whether you believe in God, gods, Christ, or Little Jack Horner, you will be unable to disregard the logic that’s about to smack you in the face. =)

Now, onto the topic at hand….Friends With Benefits. Anesidora did a fantastic post on the subject last night. I couldn’t agree with her more. So often, people try to say sex is just a physical act. But Anesidora definitely made it clear that it is an act with emotional attachment. If you need to re-read her post, please do that here.

I’m gonna take it a step further and say: Sex is an act with spiritual attachment.
“See, understand something my brothers and my sisters, men are, they are projectors…and women are receptive. They - men, they release and women, they get an impartation … You know why there is more pain for women that are single than it is for men? Men, after they project themselves and they get a release, what they’ve lost is strength. So, every time they sleep with a woman and that woman is not their wife, they’re losing strength. But see, every time a man sleeps with us, we’re getting a deposit. Now let me help you with something. If in fact, that the Scripture lets us know, that marriage is not going to the courthouse and standing in front of the altar, [then] our mates are chosen in the spirit realm. And I don’t know about ya’ll, but when I got my divorce, I went to court and the judge said to me, he said, “Was this marriage consummated?” And, you know, me being slow and from the ghetto, I leaned over to my lawyer, I said, “That’s a big word. What does that mean?” He said, “It means ‘Did you have sex with the man’?” And I said, “Well yes, I did.” He said, “Then, it was consummated.” Which means, it doesn’t matter [whether] you got a piece of paper. Once you have had sex with a man, then what happens according to the realm of the spirit, the spirit of that man steps in your body…and now you are attached.”
Juanita Bynum, “No More Sheets” (1998) (start at 9:10-10:01); No More Sheets: Part 3 (0:00 to 1:10)

Yes, Ladies, I’m saying that every time we have sex with a man, we take in his spirit. Every time. Yep, go ahead and just count the number of sexual partners you have had. Yep, all them nuccus are in your spirit. Competing. War-ring. Trying to find their place…in a shared space. And when you take in a man’s spirit, it begins to make you connected to him. You made an FWB arrangement with a football player? You don’t even care for football. Now after having sex, you find yourself all up on him wanting to watch football. Before, you didn’t even think he was cute. You had sex with the lights off and shades pulled! But now? Now you can’t get him off your mind. Before, you didn’t have anything in common, but now? Ya’ll are starting to look alike, talk alike, smell alike… Spiritual Attachment.

Yes, Men, I’m saying that every time you have sex with a woman, you’re giving her your spirit. You’re losing a piece of yourself to her, losing a piece of your strength to her. And since she’s not your wife, (i.e. no real and absolute investment in this woman) she is completely unable to invest back into you to give you that piece of yourself back. Don’t believe me? Ever met a man whore? Ever picked up his energy and think, “Sheesh! What’s wrong with that guy?” Well, I’ll tell you. He’s depleted. It’s an energy of depletion. A spirit of not being made whole. He has given himself away to too many women without any way of being made whole again. Unfortunately, he keeps sleeping around in an effort to feel whole, not realizing he’s making matters worse…. Spiritual Depletion.

Your spirit is the very essence and core of your being. It is the way you are connected to God and are sensitive to the spirit realm. Because of this, it is imperative that you keep your spirit clean, whole, free of negativity and evil, and definitely free of any bondage. But when we enter into FWB arrangements, we end up making spiritual connections with people (1) we never wanted a connection with in the first place and (2) our spirit is being held captive/inhabited by that other person’s spirit.

So, while the FWB arrangement sounds great in theory, I’m telling you that no matter what you say or think, no matter how you try to frame it, FWB arrangements have serious consequences because it makes the participants “one in the spirit”, automatically intertwined with the spirit of another. You may not see it or feel it right away, but like I said – it happens in the spirit realm first.

That’s why:
  1. parents, when your children become sexually active, you can sense a change in their spirit when they walk past you.
  2. co-workers, when two co-workers start having sex, you’ll notice a shift in the atmosphere and can sense it when you walk past their cubicles.
  3. spouses, when your spouse dips out and cheats, you can sense it when they try to touch you.
It’s all because your spirit has picked up on the latest happenings in the spirit realm…

The most unfortunate part about it is that once the spiritual attachment takes place, you cant just say “Hey, I don’t wanna be intertwined with this person anymore” and then it be undone. No, no, no. If it were that easy, then divorce court would immediately sever all bonds between two previously married persons. No, no, my friends – in order to break the spiritual bond – you have to purge that person out of your spirit. A spiritual cleansing.

And…it can take weeks, months, or years.

Now, I can hear some of ya’ll saying: "naw, I’ll be alright." Really? Until you are delivered from the spiritual consequences, you will never be satisfied in a relationship. Ladies, you can try to move on to a new man, but you’ll never be satisfied. Why? Because the new man’s spirit is competing with the spirit of the other men still in there. In your mind and spirit, you will be trying to make him like all the other men in there. That’s why you’re telling the new man: hold me like this, spank me like this, lift me like this, kiss it like this….you’re trying to make the new man do what Johnny did best, what Tyrone did best, what Brian did best, and what Ray Ray did best. Another example: have you ever been out somewhere and saw an old fling and something jump inside your stomach? Perhaps you get a flashback? Yep, that’s cuz you may have said it was over, but he’s still inside of your spirit and that spirit sensed he was around. YOU HAVE TO PURGE HIM OUT OF THERE!

Men, this goes for you, too. You have to purge yourself of the women you’ve slept with, with the goal of being made whole, or restored. You can’t be all that you can be for “The One” if you’re still weakened by the deposits of pieces of your spirit in Tanisha, Ericka, Joy, and Lisa. Not to mention, you have to deal with the consequences of those women still being attached to you…So men, RECLAIM YOUR SPIRIT and BEGIN THE PROCESS OF RESTORATION!

Now, I practice what I preach. I have been celibate for one year and one month (trust me, I’m not bragging, okay?) It’s not to satisfy a religious rule, per se. It is because I am trying to prepare my spirit for “The One”. So many of us women want to be married/re-married, but as Bynum states in her message, we can’t get married because with all those men in our spirit, we can’t truly be labeled as “single.” I spend time before God and walking and talking with Him so that He may deliver me from the attachment to every man I have slept with, whether I slept with him one time, or one-hundred times. I’m proud to say I’m almost done. I’ve only got two more men to go. And whenever I’m tempted to do another FWB arrangement, I simply can’t justify it being worth the time of stalking, feeling confused, getting pissed off, and wanting to be violent purging.

Peace and Blessings,
TheWifeofUriah

http://www.wifeofuriah.blogspot.com

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September 21, 2009

My Chemical Romance

No, not talking about this Chemical Romance:


I'm talking about THIS chemical romance:


That, loved ones, is the molecular structure for Oxytocin..... the chemical that induces labor (the synthetic form is Pitocin.... I'm sure every mother has at least heard of it), the chemical that is released during breast feeding that "lets down" the milk (otherwise we'd be leaving puddles of milk everywhere all the time) and causes bonding between mother and baby, and it's the chemical that helps us create emotional bonds with people in general. Oxytocin also reduces fear, increases eye contact, and increases trust and generosity.

It's also the chemical released in much greater levels in women than men during sex.

(Of course, there are other chemicals involved in this whole process, such as vasopressin and dopamine, and this is not intended to be a comprehensive lesson in the Science of Sex. My point is.... well, you'll see my point.....)

As much as I hate to concede biological and evolutionary defeat on this subject...... women biologically are unable to completely separate sex from love (or some other comparable emotional attachment) leading to many busted windows and stalker behavior misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Intellectually we may be able to say "it's just sex", but Mother Nature has other plans for us, and you don't go toe to toe with Mother Nature.... you will ALWAYS lose, even if you don't lose right away. She's like a Vegas casino.... you may get lucky on a few rolls or a couple of pulls, and may even walk away with a jackpot. But play long enough and eventually gambler's ruin sets in and you end up looking like THIS.

So let's take a look at how this plays out. Ladies, you meet a guy/know a guy and you get into a FWB scenario because, for whatever reason, a full blown relationship is just not in the stars at that time. And you're fine with it because you get your needs met without the drama, there's no expectations, and you're just having fun. For a little while. All the while that you're getting that Mighty Mighty O, your body is steady kicking out oxytocin, which is making your body form an emotional attachment with this person and doesn't give a damn about what your brain says. According to "What is This Crazy Thing Called Love?" by Dr. Shirley Glass, "A trick of nature induces women to bond with an inappropriate partner after sex because of oxytocin which enhances orgasms and increases a woman’s emotional attachment to her sexual partner. That may be why you keep the creep with whom you sleep." Combine this with dopamine (the "feel good" hormone, which also increases oxytocin levels) and you're REALLY hit. Basically you are addicted to the warm fuzzy feeling (i.e. high), and like anything else that induces a high (e.g. drugs) you're gonna go through withdrawal when you stop.

So now you have this otherwise irrational bond with this person which is the equivalent of chemically induced insanity because in your mind you know this person is bad for you, yet you still are saying "I wish I knew how to quit you". I must admit..... I've been there. More than once. And honestly, in hindsight, it's a scary thing. I look back on two individuals in particular and think "What in the HELL was I thinking???" The best way I can describe it is like in the cartoons where the character is under some spell, and their eyes are all glassed over, and then the hero(ine) comes along and breaks the spell, and then suddenly the victim comes back like "Where am I?? What happened??" Basically, you're just like Prince Eric in this scene from The Little Mermaid:



Waking up from your stupor doesn't usually happen that fast.... it takes a clean break and some time. But once you've broken that addiction, you're good. Any time I've tried to backtrack and replicate those original feelings it was a monumental waste of time never the same because I'd already realized he was really Ursula the Sea Witch not as great as I'd originally thought he was. But originally you couldn't tell me he wasn't the greatest thing since sliced bread, even with the logical side of me saying "Don't do it.... reconsider.... do some living." I was merely a slave to chemical romance (".... he was my Voodoo Priest and I was his faithful concubine......").

So, with all that said..... ladies, don't fool yourself into thinking you can maintain a long term Friend with Benefits. Short term.... maybe. And it might be a little easier if he treats you like a complete asshole. But who the hell wants to have a string of flings sufficiently short enough not to develop this chemical bond and end up looking like a big ole slore? I used to think I was hardcore and cold blooded enough to manage it, but I'm officially waiving my white flag to Mother Nature. I don't mind being a slave to chemical romance, but only if my heart, mind and soul are imprisoned as well.

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September 20, 2009

Emotional Baggage Sundays: Contrition

I have really got to get this song off repeat in my life playlist.... take it off the iPod, delete it out of iTunes, throw the CD out the window into oncoming traffic. Like Jill, I am Beautifully Human, and human means mistakes, weaknesses, and fallacies. But some things in my life aren't so beautiful, and therefore this song has got to go......


The future will be better.


"I'm truly sorry, baby........"

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September 16, 2009

EBS Mid-Week Edition: Little Girl Lost

I was going through some old draft blog posts that didn't get posted for one reason or another.... didn't finish them, thought better not to post them, or the topics just didn't pan out the way I wanted. Some of these posts I'd imported from my original MySpace blog, and while I have posted a few (see Pre-Divorce) there are still a few collecting dust.

I came across this one that I wrote over 2 years ago, not too long after I'd separated and just 4 days before this happened..... yes, it was a bad time for me. But sadly, as I re-read this, for a second I thought it was something I'd written recently and forgotten about (yes, my memory is that bad) until I saw the words "my marriage". Swap out the word "marriage" for "relationship" (and a few other little tweaks) and I could have written this post 2 hours ago.

*le sigh*

I've been through so much, changed so much, experienced so much...... but it seems like everything is still just the same. Movement without progress. I'm trying to be patient and be like Santiago in The Alchemist and not let a seemly long term set back cause me to give up, but damn...... I just want to at least find the right road..... or hell, ANY road. The wilderness is getting cold and lonely.......

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(originally written July 11, 2007)

"Oooooh, heeeeey..... I'm trying to decide..... which way to go..... I think I made a wrong turn back there somewhere......." [Erykah Badu, Didn't Cha Know]

I don't read maps well.... even the Mapquest turn-by-turn directions must be consulted multiple times to make sure I'm understanding my next move just right. So it goes with my life as well..... I though I was going in the right direction, even when I had to make detours, but I'm looking around and I think I'm in the wrong place. I'm not quite sure if I'm in the wrong destination altogether and I didn't follow the directions EXACTLY as they were stated, or that this is the place my path lead to and it's not as glamorous and shiny as the brochure made it out to be. I suspect it's probably the latter.

Right now I am completely, totally, and utterly LOST. I don't know where I'm going with my career, I don't know where I'm going with my marriage, I don't know where I'm going with my identity, I don't know where I'm going with my living situation..... I'm just a little girl lost and bewildered. And I'm not even sure where to start making progress toward a path that I want to be on, or which path that even is. All I know is that HERE sucks, and HERE is not where I want to be. However, I've been off work almost 2 months now, and I'm no closer to sanity and sorting things out than I was back in May.

Another thing that makes me feel lost is the fact that my family, from what I hear, is pissed and disappointed in me, and I don't feel like they're being the safety net I need while I'm falling down. While most people turn to their moms when life is being mean, I feel like I can't because all that will happen is that SHE will start crying and telling me about how much her life sucks. While that's too bad, I really need someone to lean on and guide me..... I shouldn't be dishing out the advice as well. Hell, what the fuck do I know??

I know that I'm not purely a victim of circumstance.... I've put myself in some fucked up situations, so I'm not sitting here crying "Why me??" I also know that I have many opportunities and options at my fingertips, while many don't. But when I have TOO many choices, or one of those choices looks too foreign to what I'm used to, I get paralyzed and can't make a decision. But I feel like, for the most part, I've done the "right thing" that was supposed to lead me to success and happiness, and right now it's anything but such.

So.... now I gotta find out where I want to be and how I'm gonna get there, and I feel like I'm a LONG way away from wherever that is. I feel like there's a serious disconnect between my personality and interests and where I'm at in my career and marriage and everything else. My life is ill fitting right now. Gotta figure out where I belong.

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September 15, 2009

That's not your wifey

I have a serious, major, infuriating pet peeve right now, and it concerns the word "Wife".

Today on Twitter, the trending topics of the day included #dontwifeher/#wifeher and #dontcuffhim/#cuffhim. Now, for all of my non-urban readers (or those of us who still have not had our Black Card reinstated), let me give you a little background on the terms:

1. wifing -- when a guy decides to make one girl, his number one. At this point he will be talking about loving you, buying you stuff.

2. wifey --
a. A REAL Lady, Not your only but your favourite, different from them hood rat chicks. Sexy in everyway possible, when she smiles it's sexy, even when she's mad at you it's sexy.
"I'm gon make her my wifey, she's not like them chicken heads round da way, she's a diamond in the rough"

b. a girl you care a lot about, she's more than just your girl.
"thats my wifey... so BACK UP"
(from Urbandictionary.com)
("Cuffing" is just the male equivalent)

Contrast this with the Dictionary.com definintion of the word:

wife  /waɪf/ –noun: a woman joined in marriage to a man; a woman considered in relation to her husband; spouse.

–verb (used without object), verb (used with object): Rare. wive.

—Idiom: take to wife, to marry (a particular woman): He took an heiress to wife.
Now, whether the Twitizens were talking about wife in the traditional sense of the word or in the "urban" sense of the word, this discussion pissed me off from both perspectives. First (for the traditional usage) who are all these never-been-married yahooligans to have an opinion on what makes good marriage material? Now I admit some of them were just being silly (like "#dontwifeher if she has a moustache") but other people acted like they were imparting some real knowledge and pearls of wisdom the people of the world. And to that I say GTFOHWTBS. If you have never been married--let alone had a serious relationship that has lasted more than a year-- to know what qualities make for a good relationship......STFU.
However, what really irks me and irriates me to no end is the use of the term "wife" or "wifey" to describe someone who is just a girlfriend. You can tell just by the definititions given on Urbandictionary.com how ignorant this concept is ("buying you stuff"?? Really???). I don't give a flying fig if she's your "number one" girlfriend, "only" girlfriend, "serious" girlfriend, or a girlfriend that you would consider "wife material"..... she's still JUST A GIRLFRIEND. I cannot stand how the terms are just thrown around loosely, which to me undermines and degrades the meaning of what a wife really is. "Wife" is a term that should be reserved for the person you are married to, not just the person you kick it with all the time and whom you've decided to ignore other women's text messages for (or don't cheat on "as much"). Your wife is the person to whom you have made the ultimate commitment to, not just in words but in actions before God and/or the law. Your wife is who you build a life with.... your friend, lover, companion, supporter, comforter, the one who you sacrafice for and who sacrafices for you. A wife is not someone who you just think about or talk about maybe loving, it is the woman you LOVE. When you have a wife, you are ALL IN.... you don't have one leg over the fence just in case you need to hop back over it real fast. I don't care how serious your relationship is... until you say those vows and exchange those rings, the term "wife" should not be used.

Yes, you could argue that it's just a word used in the popular vernacular to mean girlfriend and it's not that deep. And to that I shake my cane at you disagree..... I'm not buying the Humpty Dumpty argument this time around. Having been a wife, I am insulted by the use of the word outside of the marriage context, just like I am insulted when people use the suffix "Esq." behind their name and they are not attorneys, same way someone with an MD or PhD would be insulted if someone used the title "Dr." in front of his name. You do not earn the title and status of wife, or status of having a wife, without that work and commitment, and until you do you don't deserve the same level of reverence and respect.

*drops mic*

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September 12, 2009

The Meaning of Michael: Deeper Than Philosophy

"Beethoven says that music is deeper than philosophy..... because in the end we're finite creatures. We don't have a language, or even a linguistic eloquence, that can begin to be fully truthful to the experiences that we have the short time we are here in time and space. So therefore you need some sounds.....even some noise. Organized noise. We need silence between the notes and the sounds that get at the deeper truths of who we are....." ~ Dr. Cornel West

(click to listen and download)

It is my utter joy and privilege share with you the best Michael Jackson tribute mix ever, created by my dear friend and favorite DJ, DJ Limelight. Yes, I know MJ died back in June, and it is now September, after all of the frenzy around his death has begun to wane, so it would seem that this is coming a little.... late. Not so. At ALL. Michael Jackson's musical career spanned 45 years.... most artists are lucky to get 4.5 months of success, let alone almost half a century. So to rush to throw together a Michael Jackson tribute mix a week or two after he died would not have done this great artist justice. DJ Limelight has literally been working on creating and perfecting his self-professed "magnum opus" since MJ died in June.... and it shows.

With that said, this is not your typical assemblage of Michael Jackson's music that you hear at wedding receptions, class reunions, and your local dive bar. Don't look for Beat It, Bad, Billie Jean, or Thriller..... they're not here. As the title implies, this is the true meaning of Michael Jackson in the eyes (and ears) of DJ Limelight, AND in the hearts of anyone who is truly a Michael Jackson fan. It's a timeless piece that transcends generations.... I made copies for my parents AND my 10 year old daughter. It doesn't just make you dance, it makes you feel.

But wait, there's more..... aside from the insanely creative butter smooth transitions between songs that just give you chills (or make you fall out on the floor like my homegirl over at Kunta Fly Shyt did when we were given a sneak preview of the final mix), the rare and unreleased MJ tracks (what ya know about that PYT Demo??), one of my favorite things about this mix is the commentary from scholars, comedians and artists interspersed and woven seamlessly in with the music that really touches on Michael Jackson's impact and genius as an artist and entertainer, and each comment is tied into the song that comes after it. There are several clips from scholar Dr. Cornel West from an interview with Tavis Smiley and Dr. Michael Eric Dyson that are just pure genius.... one of my favorite parts of the mix comes at 38:38, beginning with this quote from Dr. West:
"I think the important thing to understand first and foremost about Michael Jackson is that he was the international emblem of the African American blues spiritual impulse that goes back through slavery - Jim Crow, Jane Crow, up to the present moment, through a Louis Armstrong, through a Ma Rainey, through a Bessie Smith, all the way to John Coltrane, Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone. Michael Jackson was part of that tremendous wave....."
(Listen to and read the entire interview HERE, and you'll have to listen to the mix to hear why I run around and start screaming when I hear it)

I mean, what other DJs out there are doing this? Analyzing and commenting on the philosophical and sociological impact of Michael Jackson while at the same time giving you music that just makes you feel GOOD. I have been listening to this non-stop for the past 3 days since it was released, and I still can't get enough of it. Sheer brilliance..... both Michael Jackson and DJ Limelight.

So listen to it.... download it.... share it.... love it.

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September 1, 2009

Never grown enough for Grown Folks Stuff

As a parent, there are just some things that you don’t do when it comes to your kids. Whether your child is 3, 13 or 35, you just don’t put your child in the middle of your marital problems. That should be something you deal with between you and your spouse with as little involvement and input from your children as possible.

Apparently, my dad did not get that memo.

Yes, loved ones, for once I’m not talking about my own divorce here. And while my parents aren’t divorced, there are many times where I sure the hell wish they were just so I wouldn’t be subject to the boolsheet I was subject to last night.

The convo started out innocent enough…. My dad brought Daughter home and was telling me how they traded their timeshare in the Ozarks for some spot in Mexico and some cash…….

(First of all, this was upsetting enough. We’ve had that timeshare for almost 30 years and that was our family vacation every summer when I was growing up. I’d planned on FINALLY going back next year, so I was heartbroken to hear that they got rid of it.....)

Then he starts telling me WHY they got rid of it and how my mom threw a fit about it, which then led to more complaining, which then led him to asking me to step outside with him for a minute. My heart just sank because I knew what was coming. He starts telling me that he’s unhappy and she treats him like shit and how she’s always alienated him from his friends and family, and on and on and on and on with info that I really didn’t want or need to know. All I could do was stand there and look at the ground, saying nothing, and wait for him to finish. On the one hand I felt bad because I know he doesn’t have anyone to talk to, but then on the other I was angry because he doesn’t have anyone to talk to. Why does a 60 year old man who lives in his home town where all his family and friends live have NOBODY to vent to besides his 31 year old daughter?? But as he explained the history of their 35 year marriage for the umpteenth time I was reminded why, which then made me think about my own personal struggles with interpersonal relationships (including how their relationship was a HUGE deciding factor in my divorce decision), and overall just made me really angry that 1) my mother is the way she is, 2) my dad put up with it unchecked, and 3) I’m effed up because of it. My dad may have walked away feeling better for having gotten some things off his chest, but I felt (and still feel) like absolute crap. Now *I* am looking for somewhere to dump this shitty feeling…….

I think it’s easier to remember not to put your child in the middle of your relationship mess when they are young, because there’s that separation between “grown folks stuff” and “kid stuff”. Youth automatically serves as a buffer. However, when you get older and become an adult, that distinction no longer exists so parents feel like they can now talk to you about “grown folks stuff” not realizing and appreciating that some “stuff” is still best kept to yourself. When I was married, The Ex actually did take my dad aside once and told him to quit using me to vent to because it was causing me a lot of stress and grief…. For once he stepped up as a husband and protected me from something. But now, I’m back on my own with nobody with the authority to be that buffer and stand up to my dad on my behalf. And it sucks.

I mean, what can I really say in these situations?? I shouldn’t be EXPECTED to say anything in these situations, in which case it’s just a dumping session. Rule #1 to venting…. Do not vent to interested parties, or else it becomes a dump, not a vent. And as the child of the two individuals involved, I’d pretty much say I’m an interested party. I could not IMAGINE saying the same things to my children about The Ex that I say to my BFFs--or even the blogosphere--when I vent. Because I know it would hurt them to hear those things about someone they still love, yet they can’t come to his defense because then it seems like they are taking sides. No matter how grown they get, that’s still “grown folks stuff”.

I just wish my dad afforded me the same consideration and would leave me out of it.........

*le sigh*

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Adventures in Divorce: 09/2009 - 10/2009

Adventures in Divorce