Tag Archives: investment

Come Back to the Future

I’m astounded by how many people are offended, angry or disapproving of Whole Foods coming to Midtown. I’m willing to bet some of these same people live in the suburbs and shop at the local WalMart (which is known for paying low wages to their employees and for age discrimination). Some of these are the same people who complain about the blight and abandoned buildings in the city, but will protest new construction going up. Many people seem to also believe that all people in Detroit are poor and can’t afford Whole Foods prices. These same people are debating that Whole Foods coming into the Midtown community will put the “mom-and-pop” stores out of business resulting in lost jobs. The existing grocery store in Midtown IS NOT a “mom-and-pop” owned store; it is a Spartan store with extremely high prices and very poor quality food.  Mom-and-pop grocery stores barely exist anymore, particularly in Midtown. And the next nearest grocery store is a Kroger in Grosse Pointe Woods.

People are also complaining about how much Whole Foods will receive in tax incentives.

NEWS FLASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nearly every large company operating in Downtown DETROIT receives tax incentives and the only ones not paying back into the community as much as they receive from it are the three existing CASINOS, that gross millions of dollars per day. That seems like it would be something for people to get angry about. Unfortunately, no one has really noticed.

Change is good and positive progress is even better. A suburb is only as strong as the city that it surrounds. If Detroit doesn’t grow and flourish, Metro Detroit suburbs won’t either. It’s time for us to stop living in the 1800’s. The reason we don’t have more economic opportunities in Detroit is because of many of these same narrow-minded complainers who don’t even live in the city limits, don’t want to embrace positive change for what it is, and they work extremely hard to prevent the change from occurring. Instead they prefer to dwell on all of the fictional problems that they expect the change to cause, without even thinking for one second that a company like Whole Foods has already possibly considered those and found solutions for them in advance.

So it’s ok for suburban neighborhoods to have grocery stores and the evil WalMart where everything is made in China, but it’s not okay to have a grocery store in Midtown?

While the complainers are steadily on the backs of Whole Foods, they overlooked additional growth taking place within the city – mostly because they are unable to multi-focus their complaints in more than one direction at the same time. That is actually a very good thing. It’s good because growth is under the radar for these complainers. Detroit is getting a Meijer store and “strip” mall at 8 Mile Road and Woodward opening in 2013.  Twitter (YES, TWITTER) and Chrysler are opening offices in downtown Detroit, not to mention the huge Olga’s Kitchen opening in the CompuWare building. Furthermore, Whole Foods has invested $1 Million to bring a non-traditional banking facility, that operates successfully in New York and California (with an impressively low minimal loan default ratio) to the city of Detroit that will help business owners fund their businesses and projects when the existing traditional banks deny them lines of credit.

Did you catch that?

Whole Foods is already making a positive change to help the city business owners and they just broke ground this month. 

All the nasty, bigoted, elitist comments being made on news posts and blogs are utterly ridiculous and extremely exaggerated. People are constantly saying that people residing in Midtown can only grocery shop with bridge cards and can’t afford Whole Foods. Guess what? Midtown Detroit has more doctors, nurses and professionals residing there than reside in Palmer Park and Boston Edison. The average household income in Midtown is over $100,000 per year. There’s also less crime in that part of the city thanks in large part to Wayne State University Police who patrol the entire area.

I commented on articles written by Detroit Free Press and Huffington Post Detroit because I was so surprised at all the negativity. This just reiterates what I said in my previous blog I Get It…I Really Do, about the negative mindsets of people living in Detroit.

I think that people residing in the suburbs who are against Whole Foods coming to Detroit are narrow minded…and negative. If they believe that Whole Foods is that bad for the City, they should have been more involved in getting a grocery that they find acceptable opened in the area. But it’s likely that they didn’t do so because it doesn’t directly impact them because they live in the suburbs and don’t see a correlation between them and the city. If Whole Foods does well (which I’m more than positive they will) and people become employed long-term as a result, and the neighborhood and residents benefit, those same individuals will probably still have something negative to say about it.
 
I urge Detroiters to back away from dark ages and come back to the future. It’s really nice there; if given the chance to develop. 

Years to Remember

Tomorrow is the day. The day my eighteen year old son graduates from high school and prepares to go to college in the fall. I knew this day was coming. I had eighteen years to prepare myself for this. But I didn’t know it would feel like this. I raised him to have leadership abilities and a mind of his own. He’s always had more freedom and responsibility than a lot of young men he knows. No curfews, but he never has stayed out too late. No restrictions, but he’s never been anywhere he shouldn’t be. He’s had every opportunity afforded to him that I could financially afford, and some that I made sacrifices for so that he could have the experiences anyway. He’s been able to travel a little bit, but I often wish there were more places I had been able to take him over the years. He’s never caused me any “trouble”. He hasn’t had any incidences that would have resulted in jail time; he’s never tried narcotics and decided on his own to remain abstinent for the time being. All things that I’ve had very frank discussions with him about but allowed him to also make his own decisions about. Needless to say, I’m proud of the decisions he made for himself. I’ve never had to come up with bail money, nurse a hangover or potential overdose and I’m not a grandmother at thirty-six years old.  

There were many people who constantly said that I didn’t know what my child was doing when I wasn’t around because “single mothers never do and they always think ‘not my child’ and their child is the first one in trouble”. I’m glad I can gloat and tell those people that they obviously didn’t know my child. They also obviously didn’t know me. I’m that young mother that believes in old school discipline. Although my son hasn’t had a spanking since he was seven years old, he has a very healthy fear of his mother. He knows the expectations are great and measureable as my son. He knows that major disappointments are not taken lightly and that failure is not an option. It has been instilled in him.

One thing I always tried to teach my son was that he didn’t have to personally make mistakes to still learn from them. Life is a teacher and when you look at other people’s lives, you can learn what not to do, if you want to. My son understood this it seems because he often tells me that he is going to try not to make certain mistakes in his life because he saw what it did to someone else. I’m not sure if my son has a celebrity “role model”. After all, so many of them don’t want to be “role models”. But I think a few of their experiences have educated my son as a young black man as to how this world will treat you if you are not careful. One moment they love you and place you on the highest pedestal because you are scoring touchdowns and three point shots. The next minute they are persecuting you, taking away your endorsement deals and dragging your reputation through the deepest puddle of mud that can be found. So thank you to Kobe Bryant, Michael Vick and countless others who showed my son what not to do.

My son hasn’t had the best relationship with his father, due to no fault of his own, or of mine. You can’t force someone to love you, support you and exemplify what you think a parent should be. All you can do, is do better when your chance comes around. I never spoke ill of my son’s father to him. I didn’t have to. It wasn’t going to benefit me in anyway to do so. It wasn’t going to improve the situation at all. So I was very mindful not to engage in those kinds of conversations or confrontations in my son’s presence. It didn’t always work, because his father likes drama and enjoys being the center of attention, even when it’s negative. But I did manage to be the bigger person 95% of the time, even when I didn’t want to be. As a result, my son learned for himself, without any influence from me, the type of man his father is, and isn’t. I intentionally removed myself from the equation so that I could not be blamed (by his father) for how my son feels towards him. Whether his father sees it that way, I do not know. I honestly do not care.

After eighteen years of many sacrifices on my part, I don’t care what anyone thinks. I gave up my goals for higher education. I gave up a modeling career. I gave up a size six body. I gave up many, many, many, many men. I gave up countless hopes and dreams of traveling around the world, sipping champagne and buying designer handbags. I gave up eighteen years of many other things so that I could nurture the life of another person. There were times during those eighteen years when the thought of what I could’ve had caused me to become very depressed, so much so that I was even hospitalized for depression at one time. I suffered from and recovered from a chronic illness. I’ve had major car accidents that I was blessed to walk away alive from. I’ve lost good jobs, had crap jobs and got better jobs. With every hardship and loss, my motivation was that I had to continue on for my son. I had to show him that although life knocks you down, repeatedly, you have to get back up and keep living. I had to show him what it was to be super. And in the process, I showed myself.

I don’t know what I’m going to do when my son leaves for college. What do you do when your best friend, your anchor, your reason for persevering daily goes away to explore the next phase of his own life? I don’t know. This is my first time having this experience. Hopefully, between now and then my career will catapult forward to the point where I’ll have my own radio show, a couple more books published along with the opportunity and finances to travel. Maybe I’ll even meet my Superman. I don’t know what will happen next. What I do know is that tomorrow signifies a new phase in life for me and my son. When the sun rises in the morning, it will mean one thing to him and something else to me. When the sun sets in the evening the same will also be true. And I promise that I will try not to cry all day.

I had many years to remember with my son. Eighteen years and nine months to be exact. That’s a lengthy investment. Now it’s his turn to go forth and be super. He can do it. I have the utmost belief in him. After all, he is Super Son.

Been There, Want That

We’ve all heard the term “been there, done that” in one form or another. It’s a shorter way of explaining to others that you’ve already had that experience previously. We all have a “been there, done that” associated with both good and bad experiences in our lives. Unfortunately, we usually say this when the experience was bad and one that we would prefer not to repeat again in our lives. My “been there, done that” is always connected to relationships with men. I have literally been in almost every situation imaginable. I’ve been in an abusive relationship, I’ve been lied to, manipulated and had my kindness taken for granted. I’ve been stood up, I’ve been let down and I’ve even had men attempt to break me down. I’ve been cheated on, I’ve been the other woman, and I’ve been one of many women.

Been there, done that.

The only experience I have yet to have has been that of the only woman. I’ve yet to experience the love, understanding, partnership and romance that I associate with having a healthy relationship.

Being me seems like a lot of fun to everyone on the outside looking in. I’m told I have “so much going for me” and people always want to know why I’m single. Although I’ve had some men who were less than stellar come into my life [and not last very long], I’ve also dated many very attractive men. I’ve traveled and had a lot of life learning that you can’t get in a classroom. I’m beyond book smart as a result and I’m proud to possess common sense and street smarts as well.  I have a fabulous wardrobe accompanied by a very sexy shoe collection. I’ve worked tremendously hard for everything I have; material, and intangible. And I’ve been told that one day I’m going to be an old lady with a bangin’ body. I’ve always had really great sex, but what I want to have is a really great love affair. I want that connection with just one man, for the rest of my life.

Being Super Woman is a lot of hard work. I have to always be “on” and “ready”. Some men can’t handle that. My beauty is natural, but requires some work on my part to maintain it. Some men feel I’m intentionally seeking too much attention and that makes them insecure when it comes to me. I want someone who can love and accept my most vulnerable self – the woman who wears no makeup, a t-shirt and just her panties around the house – and still find me beautiful and worthy of his heart, his time and his affection.

Ideally, I want someone I can go home to the Fortress of Solitude with and just be myself. I need someone that is capable of being my shoulder to lean on when I need them to be. Someone who supports me and my goals through the bright lights, photo shoots and public appearances, but also supports me when my feet hurt because of shoe-icide. I want a man who doesn’t have any fear of losing me because he knows he put in the necessary work to get and keep me in the first place. I want a man who is proud to let me shine and isn’t ashamed to tell the world he’s with me. I need a man who knows what being a man is about and has what it takes to play the role of Superman in my life story.

That’s what I want.

Until that day comes, I’ll continue to write this chapter in my life –  solo.

Younger Horizons

I’m not ready. I know I’m not. I’m not ready to stay at home ALL the time. I still want to travel, learn, grow and do many, many things. I’ve been dating men ten to fifteen years older than me for awhile. My friends tease me and say that men I date are all AARP members. They are older, but still sexy and in pretty good physical condition. In my experience, older men are (usually) more mature, more financially stable, and more gentlemanly; they no longer desire to have children and don’t require training in the lovemaking department. As I’m getting older (and the men are, too), I am really encountering some hotmess.com with older men. It’s making me consider shifting my gears even more towards men younger than myself.

Remember the date from hell I had a couple of months ago? He was in his early forties. The noncommittal, success seeking, Mr. Big in my life? He is in his mid-forties. Then there was the amateur photographer that I dated briefly, who once the involvement ended had the audacity to tell me that I’d never meet a man that would buy me Coney Island for breakfast like he did (in his early forties) and the man that contacted me via Facebook to tell me I was his “type of woman” and he had “I like freaks” in his bio (in his mid-forties). All of these men have made me ask this question:

Has the world gone completely crazy?

I’m very particular about who I spend my time with. It’s the number one reason why I’m single. I’m not getting any younger (I’ll be 37 years old this year), and although I’m still hot, I don’t like having my time wasted. Time is money. I refuse to give my time to someone who will take it for granted or treat it as if it holds no value. So, I keep the standards high, yet reasonable. For the last few years, I apparently have been under the mistaken idea that older men also don’t want to waste time, and would be better potential husbands because they’re ready to settle down and get married. That is so not the case. Older men are more scared, and scarred, when it comes to relationships than men in their twenties are. Although, they should really have their minds, hearts and finances together at their age, many of them, actually do not. So, what options are left for me and women like me?  

One option is younger men.

Not “teenage” younger, or college younger…just younger. And that doesn’t make me a cougar, regardless of what others think. I’m often mistaken for a twenty-something year old woman out on a date with a Sugar Daddy. I seriously doubt that if I dated a man slightly younger than I am anyone would even notice. So, I’m broadening my horizons. This is something I often tell women who ask me for dating advice to do. [Broaden your horizons. Step out of your comfort zone. Do something different.]You will never say I’m a hypocrite, because I live what I say. I will not necessarily give every younger man a chance to date me. I don’t currently give every man the chance to date me at all, regardless of his age. However, I will give men slightly younger than I am, the opportunity to show and prove more than I have in the past. That is something I’m more than capable of doing.

Only time will tell if dating younger men will result in me meeting my true Superman, or just another Bizarro.

No Sex in My City

Rejection is so difficult to take. Primarily from someone you love or care for. Especially when you know you have done your best, been yourself and given so much to that person, but they still reject you. This weekend I decided that I no longer want to be Carrie Bradshaw and he is not Mr. Big. If you’re a fan of “Sex and the City“, you know what I mean. For years Carrie and Big had this on again, off again, heartbreaking, emotional tug of war between them. I think in television time, this tug of war may have lasted for approximately ten years, beginning when Carrie was still in her thirties, and it climaxed with them finally getting married at the end of “Sex and the City: The Movie“, and becoming Mr. and Mrs. John James Preston. And yes, I was very happy for Carrie. All of her hard work and heartache had finally resulted in a return on her investment. Big had finally come to his senses and married the woman who he had cheated on his previous wife with and had dated off and on for a number of years in between enjoying his bachelor days.  At this stage in my life and in this dating game, I can’t be Carrie.

I think I may have fallen in strong “like” with someone. It started as a crush a number of years ago. But I never thought that I’d actually meet this man. Then last year, what I thought was impossible, happened. For the last nine and a half months (long enough for human beings to conceive and a woman to give birth to a baby), he and I have been Carrie and Big. He’s the same man I’ve mentioned in some of my other blogs. The major difference between us and them is that Big took Carrie out in public with him on numerous occasions. Carrie met Big’s associates, some of his friends, and they went to various types of events. In spite of Big’s issues with commitment, he seemed to enjoy spending time with Carrie and being with her publicly, and showing her affection. I was not so lucky. Two dates in public in nine and a half months. That’s all I got. That’s all he thought I was worth. His excuse? The same excuse a lot of men have. Money and the lack of it. Strangely, he had enough money to go to the movies, he played golf, and he went on trips. Not once, did he think to invite me to join him. Not once was I important enough. I invited him to attend the upcoming BravoBravo! event at the Detroit Opera House in June. He declined my invitation, telling me that he doesn’t go to parties because he’s been there, done that…blah, blah, blah. However, this past weekend, guess what he did? He went to a party. Without me. And he texted me to tell me where he was. So you can clearly see where this is going? In case you don’t, let me tell you.

I dumped him – again. Yes, I said “again”. This was already his second chance in nine and a half months. In January of this year, he asked for the opportunity to spend more time with me, but he apparently had other things he wanted from me. He obviously doesn’t care about my feelings or how his actions affect those feelings. A few weeks ago he said that people should have relationships that benefit them. He told me our [non-committed] relationship allowed him to have someone to spend his time with because he is human and needs companionship. I told him that a benefit for me would be him doing more with me and supporting my endeavors and attending parties with me, even though it’s not something he “does” anymore. He told me he’d think about that. I got his answer this weekend. His answer was to go to a party, without me.

He and I would’ve made a great team, but unfortunately for him, he has tunnel vision and doesn’t see that as a possibility. He’s more focused on his career and doesn’t notice how one area of a person’s life is connected to another. Career not where you want it to be and your personal relationships fail? There might be a connection there. Nine and a half months ago I would’ve been more than glad to have a business relationship with him had he approached me with that as an option, but he didn’t. I would’ve even been open to just having a sexual relationship, had he told me that was all he wanted. But he didn’t. Honesty ~ it’s a good thing and it allows a person to decide if they want to be bothered or not. Instead he dosed me with a facade. The same facade he dosed himself with as he told me repeatedly that sex wasn’t all he wanted from me. Amazingly, his actions reflect that sex is the only purpose he thought I served for him, whether he wants to admit it [to himself] or not. He didn’t want a committed relationship, a business relationship and he didn’t want to be seen in public with me. Those were not his words, those were his actions. Is he remorseful? Not likely. He probably feels that he hasn’t done anything wrong. He was honest about his whereabouts this weekend… so he gets a half a point for that.  But he gets an “F” for everything else.

So I did what Carrie has done to Big so many times in the past. I walked away from him. But unlike Carrie, it would probably take an Old Testament Act of God to convince me to go back. After all, this is my real life, not a character’s on television, and I lack the patience to wait for nothing to ever develop. How do I know that nothing would ever develop between me and him? Easy, it has already been nine and a half months. Men don’t need an eternity to know if they love a woman or want to have a relationship with her or not. He’s already 46 years old and I’m 36. If he doesn’t appreciate me, respect my feelings or care about hurting me today, staying around him isn’t going to convince him to change his behavior towards me. It will just give him license to continue to take advantage of me. I figure he doesn’t want me in his life today, it is unlikely to change in ten years. At the very least, this city girl, deserves someone who genuinely does want to be with me – in private and in public.