Thursday, June 26, 2008

MENtality - Mistake #2

Well, damn! Yesterday’s blog concerning a woman’s mistake caught a little flack from my bloggers that are actually in relationships. Blog flack – the good kind that makes us talk, agree, disagree, or agree to disagree. And ironically enough, all of that happened, which I think is great. Some of you may disagree. Let me quickly explain my reasoning behind the statement “Too much physical contact, especially in public”. You all saw the question that was posted to counter Mistake #1. Let me just say that I believe that a woman’s connection to her man is FAR MORE than physical. The same goes for the man in that relationship. I am in no way a relationship expert. Believe me! I’m the Queen of relationship mistakes and I started this mini-series with that in mind so that we’d all get the help we needed. I will say that I think that women mistake touching as meaning “Oh we’re so connected.” That’s not always true. I’m not the PDA type. That’s just me, readers. I’m not bad-mouthing anyone that does it relentlessly and I would like to just go ahead and clear the air (this is not an apology for what I said). I will say, however, that I have some relationship things to work on when dealing with men. These are personal issues that I’m not ashamed to out to you all. So I’m not lovie-dovie – I’ll work on it. I’m also not going to renig on what I said about Mistake #1. On to Mistake #2 . . .

Mistake #2 – Appealing to a man’s sexual side rather than his emotional side.

Seeing as how this was meant for the men to talk about I think we’ll let the ladies chime in today (like they did yesterday) and give us some positive and negative feedback on this matter. We are all naturally sexual beings. Some of us more than others. Yes, it’s true that sex (more so great sex) aids in the connection that you have with your partner, but seeing as how sex was and is designed as an emotional connection I have a bit of a tag question and I believe I’ve asked this before . . . Why do you all think women rush to the sex aspect before tapping into a man’s emotions? Let me know . . .

MENtality (Reply question)

I had a female blogger send me this question in response to today's post! Here's another one for you guys to answer. Men tell the truth. Ladies feel free to share personal experiences.

I have a question though I'm not a dude, do men really not like physical contact (especially in public) my husband must be a minority cause he initiates it more than I do, and I know one of the other bloggers man is a student of PDA........are there men that think that is aggrevating (not that it matters anymore) but I was just wondering.
(Submitted by RockWill)

MENtality - Mistake #1

Okay so first I want to give a big shot out to Big Jerz for covering Tuesday’s topic of discussion and to all of you that slacked off with reading and responding Tuesday, don’t worry, you still have time to catch up. With that said, let’s move forward with our discussion. This week we’re cracking the MENtality and we’re getting some answers for the mistakes that we as women make in relationships gone sour. Again, I don’t believe breakups are to be attributed to the guy being an asshole. I believe that women do some unconscious things that cause the men in their lives to pull away. There are three mistakes that women make and each day I’m going to give a mistake, explain where we go wrong, and we’re going to figure out how to rectify these relationship missteps. I’m going to name them but I want the men to explain to me why these things turn them off. Again, gentlemen, we want brutal truth (gritting my teeth). Okay so mistake number one is pretty much a given. We all know this to be a turn off but I think we need to hear what men feel when this mistake is imposed in relationships. Here goes . . .

Mistake #1 – Having a man think that we’re needy and insecure. This includes:
• Talking and saying nasty things about a previous relationship
• Speaking negatively about other women
• Too much physical contact, especially in public

Okay so I have my own reasoning behind why these things can be a turn off to men but I’m not a man and we need to hear why you guys have been turned off by a woman’s NEEDS and INSECURITIES. A few blogs back I got a comment from a male blogger that touched on this subject briefly (day two of LOVE – Ex-Why?-Zzzzz). This is an attempt to make our dealings with each other more effective and less . . . questionable. So to evade the frustration of not being able to “get” each other, we have to ask questions.

Question: Why is a NEEDY or INSECURE woman a turn off?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

2008 BET Awards Review

We'll pickup with our MENtality discussion tomorrow but I wanted to know what you all felt about today's topic while it was still hot and fresh in our minds. Last night the 2008 BET Awards aired on . . . BET. This is a fairly new awards show but it garners significant media attention and ratings from fans of the artists featured. This year there was an abundance of hype generated and with good reason. They have to get us to watch. So in case you missed it . . . Usher opened the show with his first single off of his recent album release LOVE IN THIS CLUB. I’ve been a fan of the song since I first heard it and a fan of Usher’s for years and must say, he’s done far better than his performance last night. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t anything to talk about other than what I’m saying right now. With the features on the first single – Jeezy, T.I. and Beyonce on the remix – he did the entire song alone. I just wasn’t feeling it. Honestly most of the performances were less than mediocre. It seemed that the artists went off of the fact that they were asked to perform and not that they had a fan base that was expecting them to give them a show. I was hardly impressed. Ne-Yo was the only performer that performed something new and did the song justice. I love me some Ne-Yo! I was looking forward to the opening and finale (Lil’ Wayne) of the show, but it was the middle portion that got the best response. The tribute to Al Greene was stellar. Jill Scott did her thing with STILL IN LOVE, Anthony Hamilton put it down and Maxwell, yes ya’ll Maxwell, made me quake. But the Reverend got on the stage and performed after his tribute and did classics like LOVE AND HAPPINESS and LET”S STAY TOGETHER. These are songs that we’ll never forget the words of and that will always be applicable to situations that we go through to this day. Many of last night’s performers were more than forgettable, but Al Greene’s tribute stole the show. When you can see a self-proclaimed thug stand up and sing a classic like LET”S STAY TOGETHER word-for-word you’ve made music that’s immortal. That’s what it’s all about. I don’t really feel that any other performance was really worth mentioning so . . . holla atcha girl! What did you think of the 2008 BET Awards?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

MENtality -

So I’ve said time and time again how I adore men, how I value the relationships I’ve built with them, and even how I have a tendency to think as men think. For the next four days we’re going to attempt to concentrate on the latter statement. When you approach a situation the way a man does it’s much different than the ways of the softer sex. No nonsense, no bullshit, and a seemingly emotionless approach to their reality (again, that’s seemingly; there is an emotional nature to their being EMOTIONLESS).
I love being a woman as well – I mean, let’s face it, it’s a pretty powerful thing - and many of the other posts that we’ve chopped up together have been written from woman’s perspective. But for these next couple of posts I want to deal with the ladies while advocating the side of the man. Before I go into today’s question, I want to say a few things to the ladies that read daily. We’ve all been hurt, disappointed, confused, elated, ecstatic, thrilled – all because of a man, but the more negative consequences of our dealings with men are the ones we dwell on the most. Especially after a break up. “What did I do wrong?”, “Where did we go wrong?”, “I thought he loved me.” Yeah, we’ve all said it and we all have a girlfriend that says, “Girl, he was a jerk. Forget about him.” Whether it’s applicable or not, it’s the easiest response. And honestly I believe that the jerk factor is one of the most INFREQUENT reasons for a guy wanting to leave us alone. So your girlfriend says, “Forget about him!” Unfortunately the opposite happens and that situation is all we seem to think about. Bear with me guys, I’m getting to you all in just a second. There’s a reason why we dwell on the negative and can’t seem to figure it out. I believe that this is because just like men say they don’t “get” us . . . they’re an even more difficult book to read for women. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that if we as women position ourselves to ask men the RIGHT questions, I think we’ll get better results. Ladies we’re approaching our romantic relationships with the wrong MENtality. Today I’m going to ask a very simple question and it’s for the MEN to answer. Most of the men that are on this email list are in significant relationships (married, dating, or you have a woman in your life that’s worth your time) so I look forward to some honesty be it concerning the woman in your life now or the woman you want to be in your life. Now let me go back to the ladies really quickly. I’m asking this question today, but I need for you all to ask it of the men in your lives. The question is so simple but you’d be surprised by the response we’re going to get. Now I can give you a list of questions that we love to ask as women – What type of woman turns you on? What type of woman turns you off? How do you feel about me? Do you love me? Now that last one is a very important one nonetheless but today's question is far more important for you to get to that love question. Ready? Here is the question that every woman needs to ask a man and here is the question that I need all the men to answer HONESTLY . . . What type of woman do you RESPECT? Now we’re going to have the men answer today and we’ll apply those answers to the rest of the week’s activities. Trust me this is going to be good. So, again, to the fellas . . . . What type of woman do you RESPECT?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Guess what . . .I have a BLACK CARD

Tonight sitting in my den as I do every night, I’m sitting and pondering what to write about for tomorrow. I have an idea but the words won’t come to me the way that I need them to. I’m so passionate about the subject of blackness and being a black woman, I took for granted that all of my readers were African American. Ignorance on my part. I’ve learned that I have some regular readers that are not black, which I think is phenomenal. Still I refuse to sugarcoat a thing. I don’t regret a word I’ve spoken about racial issues. Because black or white – racism still exists. My initial intent was to try my hand at explaining blackness to my white readers. Then I thought to myself, “Ashley, that’s like a dog trying to explain to a cat what it’s like to be a dog.” They don’t speak the same language. That cat will never understand the dog’s plight. People automatically having an innate fear because the dog barks and doesn’t meow. People thinking that it’s sharp teeth are merely for ripping flesh and not for eating plain old dog food. Now don’t misunderstand me. I’m not in any way likening BLACKNESS to being an animal – although we’ve been called animals for centuries, but I believe the same issues apply.
I’ll start with the fear scenario. A couple of days ago I emailed a young lady that had posted a listing that she needed a roommate. She immediately responded to what I’d said to her. I gave her the spill – 25 year old, college grad, professional job, looking to attend grad school in the fall, the whole nine. Person to person. Not black person to white person. Just simple human conversation. She seemed pleased and excited to meet with me. It was very urgent to HER that we get everything squared away, come see where I’d be living, discuss when she needed the security deposit – brass tax, basically. So I pull up to the house, knock on the door, and she opens it and her eyes become the size of baseballs. “You . . . you’re Ashley?” (No exaggeration) I wasn’t invited in. I had to ask if I could see the space that I was to be occupying. She reluctantly let me in and did her best to get me out of that house as soon as she could. I was fed the line . . . “Oh I have six other people that want to take a look so I’m not really sure what we’ll decide.” After having told me that it was mine for the taking. She was threatened by the fact that I didn’t look like her.
FEAR of the dog. The cat will never, never, never understand what that dog goes through. I can’t and never will be able to explain to my white readers what it means to be black. At first when you think about it, it’s frustrating. “You don’t get it! You just don’t get it!” But I stepped back and thought about the BLACK CARD. Yeah, that’s what I’m gonna start callin’ it. Let me explain really quickly. I’m sure you’ve heard of millionaires – namely celebrities acquiring Black Credit Cards – credit cards with no limits. This is a privilege. Credit companies don’t just hand these out like candy. You’ve got to be able to handle (from a financial standpoint) what possessing one of these cards comes with. The responsibilities that it brings. You gotta protect it so no one else gets their hands on it. It’s a prize and you often hear people that have them boast about the fact that they do. On February 12, 1983 I was handed a BLACK CARD, a card with no limits and endless possibility but a hell of a lot of responsibility. Being black is a prize to me. Something to brag about. I take pride in my BLACKNESS. I was worthy enough to be dealt a BLACK CARD . . . because I can handle it. It’s a privilege to be black. I’ve made it big because I have a BLACK CARD. Call it an opinion if you want . . . but it’s my truth. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Systematic Oppression

So I’ve “suddenly” started dealing with my race and many of you know what I mean. I’ve mentioned some instances with a handful of you on this email list and I wanted to get your views on today’s topic. I had two very candid conversations with two very special bloggers last night and much of today’s content can be accredited to said bloggers, but I digress. All of my regular readers are African American so I’m not going to sugarcoat what’s been on my mind. As a child I was raised around nothing but white kids. My siblings and I went to predominately white schools. I attended private schools in high school, so I went through that part of my life believing that “white was right” as the saying goes. Then I upped, applied, got accepted and attended a Historically Black University which taught me a lot concerning today’s society (in both positive and negative ways). As an alum of North Carolina A&T State University, black was what I came to know. Yes, I’m black but it became a custom to me. I was used to being in classes with nothing but people that looked like me, that understood me, and could identify with many of the same issues. Black was my primary society, which wasn’t reality. Let’s be real – we [African Americans] aren’t the norm.
All of my close college friends are black. Most of my courses were based around praising the capacity of Blackness which I appreciate and treasure beyond measure, but on the flip side of that, the fact of the matter is that I wasn’t adequately prepared for what I’m dealing with now. THE SYSTEM. The thing that we mention casually or in a sardonic, mordacious or joking manor but don’t realize the complexity and potency of the issue. No it’s not 1945. It’s 2008 and the racism that we experience is more dangerous than ever before. Mainly because it’s less blatant and I think that most individuals – both white and black – think that racism is a blatant act of hatred. But the more subtle act is far more severe. THE SYSTEM. I can only speak from personal experience. I work in a predominately Caucasian industry and am constantly bombarded with the bullshit question, “How can YOU be BLACK?” Let me explain. Better still, let me give you all an example.
I have a Caucasian sounding name – Ashley McCann. My office phone voice is very professional and can be mistaken for a woman of a different race – namely an educated white woman. My email dialect is dense with etiquette and words that show that I know what I’m doing and what I’m talking about, and more importantly, that I’m educated. So with all that said, the industry that I work in is dominated by nothing but SOUTHERN WHITE MALES and when I met many of my clients face-to-face, jaws dropped. “You’re Ashley?” “The Ashley that handles print sales for MY company?” “Really?” I’m the only black woman in an office of all white counterparts as I’ve said in a previous blog (New America) and I’ve come to realize the fight that we, as black individuals, have to fight by default. We constantly fight stereotypes, racism, and even the stereotypes that we’ve been forced to impose on ourselves. Crazy, huh?
I don’t know that I really have a question today. I think I just want to hear some personal experiences from you all concerning today’s issue. THE SYSTEM. Well maybe I do have a question or a couple for that matter. When does the fight end or is it perpetual? Does the fight define the resilience and strength of our race? Don’t you all answer at once but you know I love to hear what you have to say. Keep me reading and let me know what you think, what you’ve experienced, whatever! I want to know. The beauty of it all is, in spite of what I’m dealing with and will continue to deal with, I know that my struggle is neither something that I’ll deal with alone or something that is in vain. What can we say? We’re black for a reason. How do you deal with the fortunate, yet seemingly unfortunate card you’ve been dealt? I guess that’s three questions. This should make for an interesting discussion.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Carter III

It’s a week to day of the greatly anticipated release of Wayne’s THE CARTER III. A good portion of you that are on my email list are music lovers, I have a couple music producers in the mix and many of you claim a particular genre that tickles your fancy more than another. Me, I have an eclectic ear and developed a love affair with Dwayne Carter when I discovered my love for poetry. Poetry? Yes, poetry. This review is not a straight-forward hip-hop review. I’m writing from a poetic standpoint and as a Weezy fan I must say . . . THE CARTER III is the epitome of immaculate verse. LOLLIPOP was the first single for the album I quickly fell in and out of love with the single because of video and radio rotation, but I’ve come to find that the songs that aren’t released for radio or video are usually the best songs on an album. My personal favorites are Dr. Carter, Mrs. Officer featuring Bobby Valentino, and Let the Beat Build (so far). These are the ones that I keep on 3Peat (another track on the album). I personally believe that real hip-hop and poetry are intertwined. Again, that's real hip-hop. Some may question the state of hip-hop but with the release of THE CARTER III it’s evident that Wayne has not renounced his seat as the Poetic King of the Game. Metaphorically and lyrically, he brought it with little to no effort. And to me, that’s what poetry is. His flow with this one is crazy and his mic is his conduit. Dr. Carter has revived my flow and I have my vocab I.V. in as we speak. His style has evolved and personally I’m more than pleased with what I hear. Now today’s blog is no different. To all my music lovers, holla atch girl and give me your views on THE CARTER III. For those of you that don't know . . . I guess you're out of the loop today.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The WHY? - Reader questions Pt4

Hello all! I'd first like to begin today's blog on Friday, June 13th to wish one very special blogger a happy, happy birthday! So happy birthday J.P.!!!!!! Okay so we're continuing with the questions - The Why?'s of LOVE - and a couple were submitted to me yesterday and this morning. I'm asking these questions word for word the way they've been submitted. Give a listen and if you feel like it try to give an answer as well! Can't wait to hear your thoughts . . .

1 - Can you weigh love? A lot of times couples ask "do you love me?" "Yes!" "How much" and I've been thinking how do you really answer that. Can you weigh love, or is love to much to even weigh? (Submitted by RockWill)

2 - Insomnia is the beast that wrestled with me last night! During my battle, hundreds of thoughts raced through my mind. This is one that stayed long enough for contemplation-- And for the record- I am very aware of those normal bloggers that have been responding and how they are completely smitten and in love with the very faint sweet scent that is left behind when their companion leaves the room.... YEAH YEAH YEAH....BUT..... just .... suppose........and indiscretion occurs. I won't clarify or qualify that word- take it for what it's worth!
If YOU committed the indiscretion, Do YOU tell them........or if THEY committed the act... do YOU wanna know?
Not to be a buzz kill, just a thought! (Submitted by lovinthisjourney)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The WHY? - Reader questions Pt3

This is getting good, guys! The participation is astounding and I look forward to hearing more from all of you today. I'd also like to welcome the new bloggers! So . . . WELCOME! I decided to put in my two cents and ask a couple questions today as well. My girls came correct with these other questions so answer as many as you wish! Please don't hesitate to send me more provoking, argument stirring (and I mean that in a good way) questions and we'll get them posted and answered for you! The way this is going this may trickle into next week. Here we go . . .

1 - Why is it that women instantly become insecure when you know your man (or significant other) is in the presence of other women, all the while knowing he sees them and may even find them attractive but still isn't interested? Why do women (or men for that matter) struggle so heavily with insecurity in relationships? (Submitted by Ace)

2 - "All you need is love." - Is this quote true? (Submitted by lovinthisjourney)

3 - Is it better to win a woman through her heart or through intelligence? (Submitted by lovinthisjourney)

4 - Is it better to have free access to a person we love, but that doesn't fully return our love or to be loved perfectly by someone who is not free to us (i.e. free access)? (Submitted by lovinthisjourney)

5 - In relationships communication is so vital. We all know this to be true. But what part of communication is a more important communication tool - talking or listening? (Submitted by RockWill)

6 - Why is love so hard? (Submitted by Ace)

The WHY? - Reader questions Pt2

Okay so the two questions that I've received will probably have you all thinking for the rest of the day! LOL!!! So, let's get some answers. I can't wait to hear what you have to say. No holds barred. Be honest! Anything you feel is open for discussion. Let's get it!

Question 1 - Ok so I am not a morbid thinker, but my lover and I were talking over this past weekend and we had an intimate moment and he looked at me and he said "baby, I love you so much that I couldn't take you dying before me I would want to go before you" as we lie there tears softly rolled down my cheek because I never expected a comment like that. Some times in relationships we take so many things for granted even's amazing to me. My question is how deep do you feel about the love you have for your husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend? He really made me look at him in a totally different light. (Submitted by Rockwill)

Question 2 - Why do women want men to commit to something he knows he can't uphold ? Why not just let the dude take his time and get there when he's sure ? Damn I'm good at this shit ! LOL !!! Ladies, umm...MAN UP !!! (Submitted by big jerz)

The Why? Continued

Let me start off by saying I LOVE MY READERS! Those of you that take the time to read and respond are wonderful! The response that you all gave with the open forum was incredible. So, I thought to myself "Why end there?" I know the three questions asked yesterday weren't the only relationship related questions you've ever asked yourself or someone else. Dig deep! I'm ready whenever you all are!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The WHY? - Reader questions . . .

*Note to readers - with whichever question you ask please include the corresponding number to the question/answer.

1 - I guess my question has two parts. Why is it that men are so afraid to show how much they really love a woman? I mean you can tell that they do, but they will fight themselves until they are sick to death, but won't give in. Is it fair for the woman to wait for him to say those three words. I mean we see this happen everyday, I work with a couple of people like that. I would like to hear the man answer the man question, and another woman answer the woman answer please. Yeah, that's right I'm taking Ashley's spot today. (Submitted by RLW)

2 - Why in the Hell do women expect us to READ YOUR MINDS instead of saying EXACTLY....EXACTLY what you want us to know ? C'Mon Now, HOLLA BACK ! (Submitted by big jerz)

3 - Do you ever really lose love for the one before? (Submitted by lovinthisjourney)

The WHY?

Here is your opportunity to let it all hang out. Whatever love/relationship questions you may have you can either reply with your question via email or as a posted blog comment. We'll post the question as a blog and then get some answers to the WHY?'s! Okay . . . have at it! Don't be shy. Believe me if you're asking this question, it's probably crossed the minds of one or more readers in the past. An open forum . . . so shoot. Oh and I don't have all the answers so we're going to work as a team with this little interactive activity! Got it? Here goes . . .

Monday, June 9, 2008

Love Ex-Why?-Zzzzzzzz

So I decided to use this week as a love session. An open forum of sorts; discussing the exes, why’s, and zzzzz’s of love. I plan on having fun with this and use it as an interactive setting for you to post stories and ask questions. Let me take a moment to explain the “letters” of the alphabet. The exes – discussing the complexity of any past love (first love or any core-shaking, heart-wrenching love). The Why? – any love question that may have crossed your mind over the course of any short or long term “affair.” The zzzzz’s – the snoozers we hate to remember but can’t seem to forget. The boring lovers, the transitional people that took up a space on the tic-toc clock of love while what we needed and wanted was out of sight yet not out of mind. Keep in mind these transitional “lovers” always have a lesson for us to learn. Always. Open your mind and think about the daily topics and have fun with your answers or the stories that you feel comfortable enough to share. This doesn’t mean that depth is out of the question but still . . . I think with some of the topics we think too hard and don’t really listen and tap into their simplicity. They’re a lot simpler than they seem (or read). So, here goes . . . a series of love related questions and stories that we might all ask or endure when in love, while seeking love, while leaving a love(r), or just in general conversation. If you don’t get it, flow with it, or get my gist, feel free to pass but my true blog fans, I expect something out of you. So here goes . . .

Today’s “letter” - The WHY: Why is it that when in love we seem to lose ourselves? You mention the others name more than your own. They become priority over YOU. Their needs seem to be more important and their happiness becomes the remedy to your happiness. Now if you’ve never been in love (for real) then you probably can’t relate to the questions at hand. But, if in fact, love has bitten you on the ass at least once you can answer at least one of these questions. So, once again . . . here’s the question in a nutshell . . . Why is it so easy to get lost in love?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

New America

This morning I walked into an office of all white counterparts and was thrilled to say that my candidate won the Democratic nomination. I got several dirty looks and was told that my happiness was inappropriate because it showed that there was a problem in this country. My blood began to boil fast but I held my tongue momentarily. I thought to myself . . . Isn't your reaction even more evidence of that fact. So I settled myself and chose my words wisely. "I don't expect anyone in this office to understand my excitement. This is more than a nomination. History was made and this is my history." You could've heard a pin drop. I'm still a little peeved by the blatant statements that were made and am wondering is there ever really going to be a change. Obama is more than just a Black man (yes we know he's a product of an interracial relationship but let's be real). He's an incredible candidate for the presidency and yes I just happen to be thrilled that my race has been represented more than well! And Michelle is an incredible example of a Black woman in support of her husband. The representation that we've received as a race has been exquisite. Why is my excitement inappropriate?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bone Dry

Hello bloggers! I've gotten some feedback (both good and bad) and I needed a little help from you all. Seeing as how you all read the blog, some of you take the time to respond, or even cut and paste the blogs into emails and send them to friends and coworkers, I thought that maybe you wouldn't mind letting me know what you wanted to talk about. What topics make you think? What haven't you heard anyone address? Anything that's compelling and thought provoking pertaining to LIFE is fair game for a blog topic. Shoot me a line or two and I'll write about whatever you want to talk about! Thanks guys!