#1: Running Into An Ex When You’re Looking Extra Cute

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(from my blog Stuff That Makes Me Smile)

I had one of those moments today that all jilted rejected girls dream of having (and if you say you’ve never thought about this you’re lying).   I was in the grocery store cruising the dairy aisle, when I spotted a familiar face.

It was my ex-boyfriend Rick, the guy I was head over heels in love with. The same guy who had the courtesy of dumping me via a text message totally without warning.

Rick and I met in college and after we stopped seeing each other I ran into him one time on a morning when I’d overslept. I was running late so I threw on some clothes and didn’t comb my hair. I looked something like this:

It was horrible. I dreamed of the one day when I’d get a chance to redeem myself. It just so happened that, totally unplanned, that I put on a cute dress, with boots and leggings and a cute no ‘do.

I know exactly what it is. Its the secret wish that he will realize what a fool he was and want you back. Or it is the idea that he had a foxy chick and because he was a total jackass he lost out on the fabulousness that is you.

Redemption is so sweet.

From Punkgirl to Naughty librarian: Walking the Runway of Life

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 I share a special kinship with Madonna.

 Both of us are exhibitionists to a degree. Both of us are artists. Both of us feel strongly that sexuality can be a legitimate form of artistic expression (Only one of us has managed to become a millionaire as a result, bet you can’t guess which one).

 One thing I really admire about her is how she’s been able to reinvent herself so many times without losing who she is. I”m old enough to remember the “Like a Virgin” days of black-off-the-shoulder tees, capri leggings, and crosses, to the “True Blue” days of the short blond cut, to the Kabbalah days where she’s tamer, but still just as fierce.

 This came to mind recently because I love to reinvent myself. I change my look pretty often. I’ve read articles where people have said this means I’m unhappy with myself, but I disagree. Getting dressed and doing your hair is one opportunity we have all day to be artistic and creative. It’s the only opportunity some of us wage slaves get. To me it’s like getting to play dress up and assume different personalities every day. Its like being a supermodel on the runway of life every single day. You’ve got to strut it and work it out. Clothes should be fun not just functional. 🙂

 It also says that I’m not just a one-dimensional person. I’m a mulifaceted woman with many sides to me. What mood I’m in will determine what side of me you get to see today.

 My most recent fashion transformation went from a pretty extreme assymetic haircut (sort of pseudo-punk) to a long layers and a pair of ugly glasses. I was going for that whole sexy librarian look. I love the contrast of sexy and educated, because I definitely believe sexy is smart. So over the course of the past few months I went from punk to librarian chick with the change of a hairdo and some glasses.

 How about you? Are you a fashion chameleon or do you stick with good old tried and true? What are some of your favorite looks?

Diva and other words I freaking hate

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 I haven’t posted to this blog in a really long time. It took something near and dear to my heart to get me to stop watching “Real Housewives of Atlanta” and “Jersey Shore” reruns and actually write a post.

 I think I’ve officially got my fill of the use of the word diva. I have a real problem with the oversaturation of it. Even more annoying is that the people who use it don’t realize its true connotation. It drives me insane when a woman calls herself a diva and thinks she’s giving herself a compliment. A diva is not a good thing, its basically just a nice way of saying you’re a bitch. We’re perfectly fine with someone saying we’re a diva, but the minute they call you a bitch you’re ready to fight someone. I don’t understand it.

 Here’s the ugly truth ladies: divas are demanding, pretentious, hard-to-please, insufferable, and unpleasant. They’re narcissistic and and they dont’ really care about anyone other than themselves and what they want. It’s gone from its previous connotation of a regal woman of status to this ugly version. The most troubling part to me is that there really is no male equivalent for this. There is no special word that describes a man that is demanding, pretentious, and hard to please. It’s just yet another example of low-key sexism in our society.

  On a sidenote: when I had this discussion with someone it brought up the subject of other words we feel are oversaturating our lexicon. My cousin hates the word swag. (I actually kind of like it). What do you all think? Is it ok to call yourself a diva? Are there words that you personally can’t stand?

My New Favorite Thing: Black Feminist Writer Joan Morgan

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“I did not know that feminism is what you called it when black warrior women moved mountains and walked on water. Growing up in their company, I considered these things ordinary.” ~ Joan Morgan

I’ve been suspecting it for a little while now, but Joan Morgan’s “When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost” officially confirmed it for me.

I’m a black feminist.

I remember once in a job interview being asked “What am I passionate about? What motivates me? That was a year ago and I didn’t know. I remember BSing some answer that obviously didn’t work because I didn’t get the job.

In a year of unemployment, college, dating, loving, dumping, and being dumped by black men, I’ve learned a lot about myself.

I can finally say with certainty I know what I’m passionate about. I’m passionate about advancing my people. Particularly black women.  I find myself increasingly concerned with how black women are treated, how black women are depicted, and how black women are perceived. The older, wiser Brandy no longer hates on a young, black girl because she’s got a bigger ass than me, dresses a little more fly than me, or gets more male attention than me. I can’t hate on young black girls, because I’ve been a young black girl. I know how hard it is out there for us. We don’t need anything additional working against us. If anything we need more of us loving and supporting each other. We need to bond together, we need to create a network. And we need to love ourselves just as much, and in some cases, more than we love our black brothers. Only then, will we be able to get what we need from our brothers, our lovers, our communities, this country, and this world.

So Morgan’s addresses this issue in a passage from “Chickenheads.” She’s been ambushed by three black men upset by a pro-woman response to the racial implications of the raping of a white Central Park jogger allegedly by black teenage boys. Her defense, for me, addresses the dark secret of black relationships that is so rarely talked about:

“Whatcha really wanna know is how I feel about brothas.  It’s simple. I love black men like I love no other. And I’m not talking sex or aesthetics, I’m talking about loving y’all enough to be down for the drama — stomping anything that threatens your existence. Now only a fool loves that hard without asking the same in return. So yeah, I demand that black men fight sexism with the same passion they battle racism. I want you to annihilate anything that endangers sistas’ welfare — including violence against women — because my survival walks hand in hand with yours. So, my brotha, if loving y’all fiercely and wanting it back makes me a feminist than I’m a feminist. So be it.”

This sentiment is on point. It’s upsetting that black men sometimes look at black women as the enemy for expecting to be respected and loved the same way we respect and love them. I digress though.

The book is fantastic. Her writing is fantastic.Check it for yourself here, along with other works by Morgan.

…thinking like a man.

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In an effort to understand the male mind a little bit better over the past few months I’ve read three relationship books by men for women. All three books attempted to put women at a dating advantage by allowing us to understand how men think about women. After a year of being single I applied some of the techniques and caught me a hot, sexy guy. Was it the books? Who knows, but if you’ll indulge me I’d like to share some of the lessons I learned over the next three blog posts.

Actor/comedian Steve Harvey’s “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” was a best seller. He was all over the place giving love and relationship advice. And for good reason, the book was an incredible insight into the male psyche. Steve’s book forced me to look at myself the way a man sees me. Once I understood how a man saw me I understood their behavior.

One concept that stood out for me was his sportsfishing analogy. He explained that men sometimes view dating and pursuing women like fishing. There are the women that they catch and keep and then there is sports fishing where they fish just to see what they can get and then throw it back. That’s sports fishing. I never realized it, but I was a sports fish.

I say that because I always thought of myself as the type of girlfriend who didn’t put pressure on her man. I was never the type that would hound you about your whereabouts. I’m a free-spirit and I take that attitude into my relationships. I was always carefree and fun, with very little rules. I was always open to trying wild and adventurous things. What I learned is that men like those kinds of women, but they don’t date or marry those kinds of women.

They need and want rules and restrictions, just not too many. Also, being too wild and free makes them wonder if you are capable of being serious as a mother or a wife. I thought this was fascinating. I wonder if any of my guy readers agree or disagree with Steve’s take on this? What do you think? Do guys like freedom or do they need rules?

…BFF with the Pine Sol lady

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We’re ready to kick some filthy, grimy, dirty, mildew butt.  Bring it on! 

Me and the Pine Sol lady

(Editors Note: If the Pine Sol lady needs a daughter for a future commercial. I’m your girl. What’s up? I mean we’re practically twins here, come on.)