On dating…

So, I’ve been saying that 2016 is the Return of the Mack. I haven’t seriously dated anyone since Kennedy was in office so I’m nervous as fuck about this, to be honest. But I’m also tired of not [redacted], so I’m facing my fears head on. I’m not super social, so I have no idea where to even go to meet men. Most of my good girlfriends are baed up with no suitable friends of bae to pawn off on me, LOL. Work…well, ok, no. I’ll just leave it at that. NO.

On Wednesday a man came at me via Google+. Yep…you read that right. STRANGER DANGER ALERT. A man tried to court me on a social platform that I don’t even check much am not even 100% sure how to use correctly and/or effectively. The only way I knew the mack had been laid down was because it was emailed to me. So of courrrrrrse I had to tweet about it and my girl Kei hit me with this response below…

And I was like “OH SHIT SON. YOU RIGHT.” In all of my posturing about being ready to date and finding a boyfriend this year, I have been suuuuuuuper vague. So of course a stranger ass argyle sweater vest wearing muhfucka (henceforth known as SAASVWM) thought it was okay to shoot the J via Google+. The Universe moved him to do so, in fact.

This all happened while I was at work (were you also at work, SAASVWM? Inquiring minds…), so I was giving my coworkers an abbreviated version of the events because they live for the follies of my dating life. I still get teased about the time a man from an Alabama prison tried to pursue me via an online dating app. Look. I don’t know either, y’all. I just live this life. I can’t even begin to explain the shit to you. But anyway…as I’m telling my coworkers about SAASVWM, one says, “So what is your type?” And I’m like…”yes, this is the perfect time to put out into the universe the type of man I’m tryna let lock my love down this year…”

So here he is. Universe, I hope you’re listening…

My #perfectHim (in no particular order):

  • Taller than me (shut up all of you motherfuckers): I know this isn’t hard, but if I’m being specific with the vibes I’m putting out into the universe–he’s gotta be at least 5’7″. I’ve actually lowered the height requirement from years past. Shoutout to progress.
  • Alpha male AF: Listen, I got a slick mouth, you might wanna roll wimmeh. (c) Shawn Corey Carter I don’t do beta males well. I’ve tried dating them; one got mad because I called him Katy Perry. OH LIKE IT’S MY FAULT HE WAS RUNNING HOT AND COLD?! I need someone who can not only put up with my ever-babbling stream of sarcasm, but dish it back, efficiently and effectively.
  • Kind: I’ve dated some unkind men in the past. Would not like to revisit.
  • Adventurous: Not in a “what that skydiving do?” kinda way, but in a “babe let’s get the car and just drive til we get tired…” kinda way. I need a partner-in-crime to get into some capers with.
  • Employed: Natch.
  • Funny: Quick wit is the easiest way to make [redacted redacted redaaaaaacted]. He can be a little corny because I’m a whole lotta corny. (Aside: If you’ve never heard me tell my favorite joke, just ask me one day. It has to be in person because the joke doesn’t translate well written.) He has to be quick on his feet though because around my family the jokes don’t stop and they will heat yo’ ass nonstop if you’re slow to rebut.
  • Handsome: To me. I’m not terribly picky about physical attributes because I’m actually super good at finding good looking features in EVERYBODY. Plus, Auberella told the fives to stay quiet when a ten is talking, so I stay in my lane–no swerving.
  • Into not having kids (biologically): Self-explantory, right? Y’all know about my “no room in the womb” campaign.

That’s pretty much it, honestly. There are *maybe* a few other “wants”, but the above list hits all the necessities. If you know anyone who fits in those categories & is tryna be the kinda dude that I can be down for…let a sista knoooooow. I’m tryna find a bae to listen to this KING album with and [redacted].

; )

 

 

On grieving and guilt…

The day I plan to publish this will be 3 years since my family had to make the heart wrenching decision to pull the plug on my youngest maternal aunt. Days earlier I’d been in Maryland, preparing to go to the 2nd inauguration of President Barack Obama. The trip was initially planned to visit a good friend who’d moved to the area when another friend’s brother informed me that he had an extra to Inauguration. Days before I left on my trip I spoke to my aunt via phone, teasing her about being up and close and personal with her “boyfriend” on his special day. If only I’d known that would be our last conversation, perhaps I’dve ended it with something more substantive than an “aight, later…”

That’s the weird thing with grief. It makes you imagine all of these random ass scenarios in which you coulda, woulda, shoulda said/did this, that or the third. Held that last hug a little bit tighter, said I love you a little bit louder, more often…whatever the case. And it never goes away. The smallest things are triggers. I remember the second St. Patrick’s Day (her birthday) after she passed…well actually it was a little earlier than St. Paddy’s. I think it was some random day in January that I’d decided to run into the dollar store for something. I walked in and there was a huge display of St. Paddy’s decorations and I had a breakdown. Full ass, sobbing in the middle of an aisle in public ass breakdown. I barely collected myself before running to my car to sob more and beat the fuck outta my steering wheel.

I yelled at God at lot that day too. Why her? Why then? Why not when we were ready? Why in this way? But then are you ever ready for this type of thing? How do you prepare to let go of one of the only constants in your life? How does life without a singular person who meant so much go on? All of these questions & more ran through my mind just as her niece so I can only imagine the depth of grief her children dealt…shit truthfully are still dealing with. My aunt was the mother of three, all at different stages of life, but still in desperate need of her. A lot of my time after her death was spent bringing them comfort, being there for them in the ways she would have as often as I could.

Until I broke. Broke so hard that I barely knew recognized myself. I was so hell-bent on being everything to everybody that I neglected my own care (#NoSephora). I became a shell of a person, moving only at the beckoning of others. One day a friend asked how I was doing and I gave her my pat “fine”, but she pushed and prodded until I was finally forced to realize that this shell of a person I’d become wasn’t good for anybody. Not me. Not the people I thought I was helping. So I pulled up. Became less available. Took time for me. Worked through my own grief. Felt guiltier than I had in my entire life because the self-care felt like neglect.

It’s a guilt I still grapple with today honestly. I feel like my pulling back was perceived as abandonment and there’s a…difference in how we interact. Not a chasm, but definitely cracks in the foundation of our relationship and…y’all I’ma just be honest—I don’t know how to mend them. I just do my best to let them know I’m here, whenever they need, but not at the expense of myself.

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Whew, this started in one place and ended in another. That’s probably going to end up being the case with a lot of these. If you made it this far, congrats and more importantly, thank you. I promise next week I’ll talk about something superficial as fuck. : )

On…a new start

So the other day my girl texted me while she was reading Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes and asked if I ever tried writing nonfiction. She said she could see me writing things in a similar vein to Shonda’s book of essays chronicling the year she decided to let go of fears holding her back and say yes to opportunities presented. The book was one of my favorite reads of 2015, filled with honesty,  humor, and straight shooting. I was immensely flattered because that book is so well constructed and I was in a really low place with regard to my feelings about my writing. Actually, I was seriously regretting making publishing a goal for 2016 because I reread everything I thought about finishing and promptly declared it wack.

But my friend’s kind words touched me deeply, so naturally I screen capped and posted it on Instagram for posterity. Upon seeing the post another friend who is reading the same book said she wholeheartedly agreed with my first friend’s sentiment. So I’m like “hmmm is there something to this? Have I been haunted by not yet publishing a work of fiction when I should actually be looking into composing essays?” So I sat with it a couple days. I was unsure if I had anything to say or rather if I had anything meaningful to say.

Then I remembered the response to a post I wrote in memoriam of my aunt. I shared it on Facebook (which I NEVER do) and a lot of folks reached out to me, praising my words. They thought them simple, yet eloquent. Naturally I basked in the glow of the compliment coz Leo. *smile* And then I remembered a letter I wrote to my little cousinson on his tenth birthday and how I couldn’t wait to share it with him. And I remembered many other posts that I won’t go back through the archives linking right now, but those  also resonated with others and moved them to let me know how my words affected them.

So I thought “Ok. Maybe I do have some shit to say.” But I needed to get out of my own way. I need to write fearlessly, without censoring my words for an audience. Write from the heart, reactions be damned. So that’s what I’m gonna do. Every Friday from now until I tire of it. I’ll have a new post here with my musings on difficult subjects like the process of grieving the loss of a loved one to superficial shit about how a man with a gravelly voice is like catnip to me.

Hopefully my words will reach some folks,  but even if they don’t? I’m doing this for me. And my friend who encouraged me to get back to basics and talk my shit for a bit. *raises glass* This one’s for you, SL.

Here goes nothing…