This weekend I visited a local mall for the first time in my life. I’ve been a West-Sider all of my life until I moved downtown. Being territorial, as many people are, we don’t often go too far from home to do things like “shop”. And when we do, it’s often because we know of a mall or stores that have really great deals, like Great Lakes Crossing; which for many years was the “day trip” for me and my son at least twice a year. Once for school clothes and once for Christmas Shopping. So in almost 37 years of living I had never stepped foot into this one particular mall. So I had absolutely no idea what I was in for when I arrived at Eastland Mall.
Eastland Mall has all the major stores I have grown to love of the years. They even had some stores I had never heard of before. But it wasn’t the shopping that got my attention. It wasn’t the sales, it wasn’t the customer service, it wasn’t anything that you would immediately think a fabulous female with a shoe fetish would notice. What I noticed most was the people…and their horrible public appearances. There were many young women who had decided to leave the house with head scarves on, and what appeared to be the same clothes they had worn to bed. There were several young men that literally had their pants sagging so low their underwear was fully exposed, with house shoes on. One young man literally was wearing his pajamas. I’m not kidding. I’m not exaggerating. I have a witness if you need one.
I was actually shocked. I had never see so many people in one place at one time look such a hot mess. It’s almost as if it were the newest trend captured in one central location. As I looked down at my own sundress and comfortable sandals, I began to wonder if I had missed the memo. Did someone forget to tell me that looking like I had just gotten out of bed was the new style? The only time I’ve ever worn a head scarf in public was after getting my hair done to keep it nice for later that day or evening. And even then, it’s not the scarf I wore to bed. Usually I cover that scarf with a fabulous, fashionable one, add a pair of sunglasses, earrings and put on a cute outfit. Everything coordinates and everyone who sees me doesn’t think I’m a lazy slob of a woman.
When it comes to the way young men wear their underwear exposed, I blame Lil Wayne. I’m kidding. He’s not at fault. Everyone has a mind of their own whether they choose to use it or not. There are a lot of young men that will not wear their pants around their thighs or knees regardless of what’s fashionable. There were in fact a handful of young men at the mall that didn’t have their pants “sagging”. However, one of them was in desperate need of a re-braid to his cornrows. But I could overlook that a lot easier than if I was walking behind him and could see the imprint of his butt crack. I know, I know – I don’t have to look. But in this case, this is being forced in my face against my will because it is so prevalent that it’s completely unavoidable. It’s kind of like a pigeon flying into your closed window and dying. It’s not your fault the pigeon did it, but you’re stuck with the clean up anyway.
What I’d like to see happen is that parents and schools start making more of a demand that our young people dress more appropriately at a younger age regardless of where they are. If we give them an alternative from following “the crowd” or “the trend” and encourage them to be more individual while remaining appropriate, we’d see more “trendsetters” instead of followers. We’d see more leaders, we’d see more scholars, we’d see more young people prepared to go into any environment and make a more presentable public appearance. Young women need to have improved self esteem. They need to be made aware that wearing your bed clothes and head scarves in public is not cute. My grandmother always told me to look my best when I leave the house because I never know who I might meet. I’ve lived by that my entire life and I’ve met some very influential people who wouldn’t have spoken a single word to me if I had been wearing my pajamas. Some of these same young men and women may have spent a lot of money on their clothes and shoes. However, it’s not about how much your clothes cost or the designer label inside them. It’s more about if you wear those clothes well, or not. Can you go from the boardroom to the after work networking event? Or are you always dressed to go to the nightclub? Are your only “good clothes” worn to church on Sundays? Or can you dress up with a few minutes notice so you can shake the hand of the President?
I commend young people who know how to wear their clothes so that they can be taken seriously and not viewed as thugs all the time. I’m also glad that some colleges and universities have a dress code, including many HBCUs. The dress code implemented by colleges and universities often isn’t strict. Instead they clearly prohibit wearing pajamas, house shoes, head scarves and pants sagging, including during campus visits prior to enrollment. The truth is a dress code wouldn’t be necessary on college campuses if we as a society gave our children guidance and taught them that they aren’t extras in someone else’s rap video or a sharecropper’s wife when they leave the house. A dress code wouldn’t be necessary if we taught our children that the only time wearing your pajamas in public is acceptable is if your house was on fire when you awoke that morning.
Eventually, as parents, we hope our children will transition into the workplace. If they continue to maintain the public appearances they currently have, many will not ever surpass the first interview. It may have just been a mall on a Saturday afternoon, but those same young people left that mall and went somewhere else, or came from somewhere else to that mall. For many of them, that is how they dress the majority of the time. They believe it to be common practice because they don’t know better. They believe that they are representative of society as a whole because they don’t know better. They believe they will be able to transition into collegiate life and the workforce without any problems because they don’t know better.
Of course there are some young people that will argue they don’t need to be concerned about how they dress because they have plans of becoming a professional athlete. Reality check: the NBA has a dress code. So does the NFL. Therefore, attire and how it is worn isn’t just a concern in corporate America or on college campuses anymore. So I can’t be completely wrong when I say that young men and women need to present a much better public appearance than they currently do.
When you know better, you do better.
In this economy people are willing to do a lot of things they normally wouldn’t do to make ends meet. Some people look for creative ways to make money. Some people look for enterprising ways to make money. Some of those things may even be considered morally wrong. Some people even stoop to doing things that are illegal. Some people are predatory and offer “options” to people and take advantage of their need to make more money. A person’s individual boundaries are their own to live with and so are the ramifications of their choices. My boundaries are firmly set. Regardless of how much I need money, there are just certain things I’m unwilling to do. I will not rob an old lady of her social security benefits. I will not attempt a Nigerian bank scam (why do they even continue to try?) and I will not take my clothes off for men I don’t know. I have the tendency think about my future goals and aspirations and how doing certain things can deter those goals and aspirations. That allows me to keep a reasonably cool head even in the face of stupidity.
The last boundary I previously mentioned, is the subject of this blog. This week, I received a message from a man on Facebook asking me if I’d be interested in burlesque dancing with a blues shows in a downtown Detroit bar. Instantly, I was offended. I didn’t know this man from Adam. He wasn’t a Facebook friend, an acquaintance or anyone that I’d had any interaction with at all. He obviously didn’t know anything about me. I replied to him, “Nothing on my Facebook profile, or website says I’m a burlesque dancer, a stripper or exotic dance, so why would you ask me that?” That question was actually rhetorical. I already knew that he assumed I would “strip” for money because of whatever his misogynistic ideas are related to women, along with the stereotypical belief that an attractive woman doesn’t have any brains. He also believed that women in general are willing to take our clothes off for money because times are hard. Therefore, anything he said, would definitely not surprise me.
His response was “I apologize if that sounded rude. Burlesque is classy entertainment. I thought you were affiliated with modeling or some form of entertainment”. To me that was hilarious. Here’s why. Of course asking a woman you don’t know to take her clothes off for men she doesn’t know is RUDE, I don’t care if it’s burlesque or ballet. Secondly, being ‘affiliated with modeling or some form of entertainment’ doesn’t mean getting naked for men you don’t know. We don’t all have to resort to that and many of us don’t. I told him that what I found “rude” was that for some reason he assumed that the entertainment I’m involved in relates to taking my clothes off at a bar. Obviously this small minded man thought that in order for a woman to be involved in modeling or entertainment, she must either be naked or nearly naked, in order to be considered a “model” or “entertainer”. Last I checked serious models and entertainers don’t have “I will take my clothes off in a bar” on their resume.
I told my boyfriend about this exchange. His first response when I told him the man’s initial words to me was “Uh, oh. He picked the wrong one”. What my boyfriend knows is this; I’m not that caliber of woman and I don’t accept men saying offensive and disrespectful things to me, simply because they think they can. I don’t believe what a woman is wearing defines her character or her worth. It’s that woman’s actions that matter most. Therefore, if a woman isn’t behaving like a hooker, you can’t call her a hooker because you think she’s dressed like one. It might be Halloween or a bad fashion choice, not a profession that she’s exhibiting in her attire. The truth is, as women, it doesn’t matter what we wear or don’t. There’s always some idiot who thinks women are only good for what’s between our legs because that’s the limitation of their braincells. Yes, there are pictures of me that are sexy and sensual related to the marketing of “The Goodie Bag“, but I could have been completely covered up from head to toe in a berka and that man would’ve still sent me the same message. Because that is what he thinks women are worth – dancing at bars without clothes for men that they don’t know.
By the way, I also told him had he done his due diligence prior to sending me that message in the first place, he would’ve discovered that I am an entrepreneur, publisher and author and the picture he was looking at was related to “The Goodie Bag” and nothing more. But that would’ve been too much like right. I think he knows I’m the wrong one. Maybe he learned his lesson. Maybe not. I do know he won’t be sending me anymore messages. After all, he wouldn’t have sent that message to Oprah and gotten away with it. There are a lot of women who would’ve been offended that probably never would’ve responded to him at all. So I spoke up for them. And there are probably some women who gleefully signed up to burlesque dance for him when he messaged them. They will probably make $250. In this economy he can’t afford to pay a woman thousands of dollars to take her clothes off. And he knows that some women don’t have the boundaries I have. That’s what makes him a predator; lurking and waiting for someone to become desperate.
Lastly, I told him he can’t afford my rates so I’ll gladly burlesque dance for my boyfriend in the privacy of our bedroom. At least I know what I’m getting into and what I’m getting out of it. I also know, it won’t deter my goals, cause me to be posted naked on YouTube or give him anything to sale to the Enquirer when I become the next Queen of All Media. That’s a boundary I can live with – and that is priceless.
As I sat and watched the season three opening episode of “Basketball Wives” on VH1, my eyes widened as I got exactly what I sat down for: Irrefutable evidence that there are donkeys in Miami. In the hood, a donkey is a female who has a large behind or someone who is a complete idiot. In this case I’m referring to the latter definition. In the season opener we discover that during hiatus, Evelyn Lozada has decided to brand the term she so eloquently used against Tami Roman in the previous season – You’re a non MoFo factor, b*tch! – and put it on t-shirts. I applaud Lozada’s entrepreneurial spirit and obvious attempt to get more people to know who she is. But here’s the problem. We already know she’s the jilted ex-fiancée of a former basketball player and now the fiancée of a professional football player who loves to brand himself so much he changed his last name to his jersey number (I didn’t see a ring on her finger. Tweet me if you did @BestSuperWoman), and we know she’s a hot mess. Isn’t that enough? Apparently not.
For awhile I honestly did think that Lozada was just misunderstood and was really probably a nice person once the cameras stopped rolling. Now, she seems more like a downright mean opportunist. She made the t-shirt decision when cameras weren’t rolling and for some strange reason she actually thought it was a “good idea”. Really? Only to a donkey. The now infamous quote is not one of endearment. It only has negative connotations. And to agree with Roman, Lozada was really the non MoFo factor, because she has never been a wife. I don’t want to say she’s just a glorified jump off, but she might be that, too. For her to then explain her decision to Roman, offer to give money to Roman’s foundation and then accuse Roman of being the reason people thinks she’s a home wrecker is very much donkey-like. Lozada obviously forgot that she put herself out for the world to judge when she told Roman she had slept with her husband while they were married. Once that information came to light last season, I looked at Lozada cross-eyed. Is she one of those women who only dates professional athletes? If so, that is also donkey-like. What’s interesting is that Lozada has the attention of one of the wealthiest men in sports right now and she met him on Twitter. That doesn’t happen in real life. Trust me on that.
I once tweeted Ochocinco and told him that he needed a woman who can cook. He’s always posting pictures of meals he’s eating at restaurants and fast food spots. I think he misunderstood me. I meant a woman who can cook in the kitchen, not through his bank account. But Ochocinco made his decision and he wants to be with her. Since Lozada’s adult life seems to have revolved around the success of the men she’s dated, I’d say she’s pretty lucky to have met him. But that’s not enough for her. Here’s what I discovered. Someone else has beat Lozada to making the t-shirts. I’m dead serious (see photo provided below). If she had really been smart she would’ve applied for the copyright to the phrase instead. That’s the difference between an entrepreneurial mind like mine and a donkey mind like Lozada’s.
Sometimes women as so accustomed to losing that they don’t know that they have already won. Lozada is attractive at her 35 years young (I’m older than she is), has money coming from somewhere because she’s carrying Hermes Berkin bags and Vuitton purses (Vuittons you can rent, but Berkins you cannot), financing a shoe store that makes me think of dessert where shoes cost $600 a pair, and she might actually make it to the alter this time. For some women, that’s the ideal life (both of my hands raised). Lozada’s decision to capitalize off of her quote that resulted in a very public, unscripted ass whooping is not a good business decision. It is donkey-like. Which goes to show that no matter how pretty someone is, or how much money they have, you can dress them up and put diamonds on them but they are still a jackass. Plus, her shirts aren’t even cute.
this is the shirt that someone else has already made and marketed online for sale
(my fans know I rarely post more than one blog a day, but this had to be said.)
I hear it all the time. It’s the proverbial question that everyone asks me; men, women, older people, younger people. It’s the one question that I can’t escape no matter what I do. I’m not able to dodge this question regardless of the environment I’m in; day job, networking, the club, the grocery store, the hair salon. It is everywhere and when it is asked, I can’t not answer the question because it leaves a poor impression. I’m sure a lot of you are often asked this question also. “Why are you single?” I don’t know if you’re able to answer the question when some asks it of you, but I can. I know exactly what is wrong with me. I am not in denial about the person I am in any way, shape, form or fashion. I’m honest with myself above anything else. That is what allows me to be honest with the world.
Well, here is the honest answer to the question of why I am single. I am single because I am very particular about the type of person and relationship I want and need to have in my life and I have yet to meet a man that can meet or exceed those standards. I’m less superficial about physical appearance (men get older, lose their hair, gain some weight, but if he was good looking when I met him he will always be good looking if I love him) but I’m very particular about what I want from a man as a partner in life; spiritually, sexually, financially, and emotionally. He must be my friend, my lover, my confidant, my support system and my biggest fan. He must not be fearful of commitment, must be loyal and have a good work ethic. He must be willing and able to do for me the things that a man should do for his wife and know that as his wife I will return to him the same things. But that’s not the type of men I meet.
I meet men who want to be my lover, but have no interest in being my friend or confidant. I meet men who do not want to have a committed relationship with me, but have the audacity to think they can make demands on my time and energy. I meet men who don’t want a wife, but they want the benefits that should only be for a husband (The Goodie Bag). Then there are the men who have considerably less going for them than I have going for me. Their entire goal is to try to minimize me to make themselves feel better. They know that they are lacking, but instead of becoming better men, they try to make me think I’m less of a woman. NOTgoingtohappen.com. I know my worth, strengths, weaknesses and limitations. No person can ever make me feel like less than what God made me to be. At my age, I just refuse to settle for the BS that someone else wants to give me because they don’t think I deserve more. I want it all or nothing at all. If I can do things for myself, a man can’t come into my life and want to give me less.
Now, I may be nice in my dismissal of a man, because I am comfortable with myself so it’s not always necessary for me to “dog” a man out to get rid of him. There are other ways to make a man go away. One way is to be myself. I’m not the easiest person to get along with. I have high expectations of others (as I do of myself) and men often don’t measure up, so they run away. That is perfectly fine with me. If you can’t handle Super Woman, admit it and move on to someone you can handle. The first step to growth is to admit that you need it. Then, of course, I can get rid of a man by simply pushing the button.
Now I know that I’m not perfect. But I do know this. I am a wonderful woman, for the right man. Some men have thought they were Mr. Right, but they were wrong. If there is one man on this planet that is capable, able, willing, and strong enough to accept and love me as I am, with all of my personality quirks and idiosyncrasies, without trying to mold me into his Stepford wife or mindless concubine, he is my Superman. Where he is, I don’t know yet. I don’t even know for sure that he truly exists. But I do know that I would rather have a great love affair and relationship that I had to wait for, than settle for having a hot mess of a relationship because I didn’t want to be alone.
So until my Superman arrives, I will continue to be the fabulous woman I am and work on making myself better for him. He’s probably somewhere right now, wondering where I am, and working to make himself better for me also.
I just got back from dinner with a friend and his son. During the course of dinner the son and I have a conversation in which I disclose that I have the tendency to Google a man I meet (amongst other things to make sure that he’s not a criminal, sexual predator, pathological liar, sociopath or many other things that make you run away screaming). I make this a habit whether a man is well known or unknown; whether I meet him in public or via Internet (which is a rarity for me to do in the first place). Then I began to tell him about some of my past encounters with men I’ve met in public that make Internet dating seem like a breeze.
This past weekend a male friend of mine and I went clubbing and drinking. After the club, we went to a local burger spot notable known as Fuddruckers. When we walked in, we were immediately noticed. I don’t know if it was the tight, red dress I was wearing or what. I don’t try to figure that stuff out. But there were a lot of men there and most of them were without women. That doesn’t happen very often at all. Usually there are a lot more women than men and the men are all with a woman. I picked up my order and sat at a table towards the back of the restaurant with my friend. My friend excused himself for a moment. He wasn’t gone for five solid minutes before “it” happened. The thing that happens so often it is no longer very funny.
The ugliest man in the entire room walked over to me and asked me if I was there with anyone. I immediately said “yes” and he asked again, I suppose to make sure he heard me correctly but this time asked if the person I was with was a man. I again answered “yes”. He then complimented me on my appearance and dress and sat down behind me. I guess he was waiting to see if I was lying to make him go away. Had I only wanted him to go away, I would’ve just told him I was celibate the second he looked at me (as referenced in “I Found The Button“).
“Lord, Jesus”, was all I could think once I got a full scan of this man. He stood a little above my shoulders while I was seated, smelled of several packs of cigarettes and had the teeth to confirm. His hair was not cut, clothes were not clean and he was unshaven. Had I not known better, I would’ve thought he was a homeless man that had wandered in off the street. Just then I got a text from my friend asking if I was okay. I asked him to hurry up and come back to the table.
The one thing I noticed immediately out of my peripheral, was that all the men that had been ogling me from the time I had walked in were paying attention to this man’s attempt to approach me. They were quawking as if they were watching a live episode of a reality show featuring naked women fighting. Seriously. So as I’m writing this, seated at my computer, completely topless (TMI – I know), I began to wonder: Why do the most unattractive men think they stand a chance with a very attractive woman? And why don’t the attractive men in the room go after that woman for themselves?
Me being the person that I am, I never like to crush a man’s dreams to absolute nothingness. Just because he isn’t the man for me, it doesn’t mean he isn’t the man for someone else. Some women might gladly want a fixer-upper. I prefer my men already assembled and fully loaded with only routine maintenance required. The men watching soon turned back to the entertainment elsewhere in the room. But even after this man’s obviously failed attempts, no one else (more attractive) approached me. Was he a sentinel sent by the other men to find out if I was single? Or is he from an alternate universe where all the pretty girl’s have low self esteem? I seriously want to know. Why do less attractive men aim so high? Is it because they believe in keeping hope alive? Do they think pretty girls will have sympathy for them and give them their phone number? What exactly is it?
Attractive men often ask my for my phone number and sometimes never call at all, but the most unattractive men, along with the ones who just got out of prison and had been there nearly 20 years (I could tell by the Cross Colours outfit and Members Only jacket) or the ones that say “I like freaks” on their Facebook bios are quick as hell to approach me and would probably call if I were foolish enough to allow them. They would probably call me daily; several times a day even. I once read an article that said that women who date men less attractive than themselves have better relationships because less attractive men work harder at being attentive and pleasing. The article referenced mega-geek Bill Gates and his very attractive wife as an example. Here’s what that article was missing and failed to inform all the single women it was geared to:
Bill Gates is highly intelligent and ambitious, which resulted in him becoming a ga-zillionaire. Bill Gates is a “geek” but he obviously doesn’t have poor hygiene. The only fixing that he required was probably teaching him how to wear a suit every now and again. He didn’t require an entire system overhaul.
I personally love an intelligent man, with self confidence, and ambition. If he has those elements mixed with height over six feet tall, a great personality, a good sense of humor, business acumen and financial stability he stands a bigger chance with me than a man who is just nice to look at. He gets bonus points for being able to cook well, play a musical instrument and the ability to give a good massage. But if he doesn’t have any of those qualities and he smells bad, is shorter than I am, and obviously only out to try to get “some”, he stands no chance at all. Truth is this, whether women want to admit it or not (and I know I’m not alone when I say this), money and power makes men sexier than their faces actually are any day of the week. But men, if you aren’t bringing the intellect, power, money, and everything else that will make a woman overlook that Crypt Keeper face, please stop aiming for the Super Woman in the room.
This is a true story. I said once before, my not so ideal life makes for better fiction. I couldn’t make this up if I really wanted to.