Monday, November 19, 2012

Just Tell Her, Already!

I know of women who get depressed, threaten to leave, actually leave their men because these men cannot find it within themselves to tell their women that they love them.  But it’s not just saying it and meaning it; it is also showing it.  People break up for all sorts of reasons, and apparently, not feeling appreciated is one of them.

Recently, I watched an old Oprah episode and this poor woman was beside herself because she didn’t feel loved by her husband.  Through tears, she explained that she had to remind him to bring flowers when she gave birth to their twins.  She complained that she has to remind him of every birthday, anniversary and Valentine’s Day.  Then she cried even more from the pain of knowing that he only does anything when she reminds him. 

The man in me thinks, “Seriously, she is crying for flowers!”  When I gave birth to my twins, flowers were the last thing on my mind.  After I recovered from my C-section, I just wanted to pass my first gas, get some food, get dressed and get the hell out of Dodge.  After being on bed rest for months, I was tore up from the floor up.  I just wanted to go home and get back into my skinny jeans and feel like myself again.  Flowers?  Please.

But the woman in me thinks, “Seriously, dude!  After this woman has picked up, washed, folded and put away your drawers; after she has made sure your dinner is always ready; after she has provided a clean house for you, the least you can do is tell her what she wants to hear when she wants to hear it.  I mean, is it gonna kill you to just tell her?”

Then the guy in me thinks again, “Valentine’s Day?  You are bitching about Valentine’s Day?”  That is a made up holiday to get consumers to part with their money.  And everyone knows I’m not falling for that!  Plus, it’s your birthday and anniversary.  You remember and celebrate them; he doesn’t.  Sure it will hurt the first three or four times, but by the fifth time, you go out alone, do something special for yourself and buy something exquisite.  Trust me;  after a while, he won’t forget.  In fact, not only will he remember, but he will surely get you something cheaper to stop you from spending too much money.

But then the woman in me thinks, wouldn’t it be nice to be surprised on your special day?  Wouldn’t it be nice to spend that day with the person you love the most in the world?  Wouldn’t it be nice to receive a special gift without prompting anyone?

Look I’ve been in my relationship for a long time, so I know what it was like in the beginning getting my guy to romance me like those heroines in Harlequin.  Truthfully, it doesn’t work.  After all, most young men do not want to appear whipped whether in public or private.  I get that now.  What I don’t get is a grown ass man who has been with a woman, married or not, for years and still has the nerve to say that he’s not romantic or he’s uncomfortable being mushy.  I don’t think any reasonable woman is looking for candle light dinners every night.  All she wants is a compliment here and there.  A special look now and then.  A hug once in a while.  She just wants to feel loved.  In fact, if you do it right, you don’t have to say anything.

Instead, some men choose to be stubborn about that little matter.  It really isn’t brain surgery.  If a man can’t or won’t show love to his woman, she will think one thing and one thing only.  HE DOES NOT LOVE ME.  Once that happens, she will do one of two things: stay miserable in the relationship or leave for another man.  And of course, she will make a point of letting the world know that it wasn’t about sex…….at first.

Many of you have figured out by now that I’m quite practical.  So if my husband is putting up with my crap and hasn’t left as yet, chances are he still loves me; and I will assume that until told otherwise.  And since I’m not a big woman, if I ask, “Does this make my butt look big?” I expect to hear, “YES!”  But whereas it takes a lot to offend me, and whereas I am pretty flexible, typically, women thrive on hearing those special words, feeling those tender sentiments. 

And really, at the end of the day, it is all about compromise.  I don’t particularly like to cook; but my husband has to eat.  Yes, when I was younger and more hardheaded I used to act out whenever I had to cook and wasn’t in the mood.  Now I look forward to cooking for him.  It gives me great pleasure to have him come home to a hot meal.  Why?  Because I’m doing something wonderful for someone that I love.  And in a relationship it cannot always be about one person’s needs.

Look, let’s keep it real.  This is 2012, and we are all adults here.  Well, if you are reading this and you are not fully grown, what the heck, keep on reading.  It’s best to know what the deal is sooner than later.  Women compromise all the time.  The truth is, and I’m speaking for the majority of women, it’s not that we don’t like sex as much as men.  It’s just that when our heads hit the pillows, one million things are on our minds, and sex is one million and one.  We are thinking about what we have to do tomorrow, what we are going to cook, what we have to do for the kids, the chores we need to complete; the list goes on and on.  But what do most women do?  Find a way to put that at the back of their heads and be there for their husbands.  So men have got to put insecurities, false pride, or what other stumbling blocks are in the way and just do the right thing because perspectively speaking, women get married for love and men get married for the loving.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

It’s Okay to Need Him

Every time I greet a young family member or friend, my first usually question is, “How is school?”  No matter how young the child is, I generally follow with, “Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?”  I often hear, “I don’t have one.”  To which I then reply, “That’s a weird name.”  But it always puts a smile on the child’s face and a frown on the adult’s face.  The adult tends to say, “S/he is too young for that.”  Or I would hear, “What nonsense are you asking the child?”  And I usually want to sneeze, “Bullshit.”  But I mostly respond with, “Don’t act like you were never young.”

Unless it’s just me, I always had a crush on somebody as a schoolgirl.  And as an adult, I have no problem with kids having their innocent relationships.  Seriously, what are the average 10 years olds going to do, but giggle when they see the person they like?  And if they are brave enough to become boyfriend and girlfriend, the most they will do is hold hands.  (If you know your child is loose, then please don’t try this at home.) So that is why I’m always tickled when a child actually admits to having a boyfriend or girlfriend.

It shows that this child is beginning to figure out what s/he wants in a mate.  And really that is not a bad thing.  Chances are, she would not be the woman at 35 that her parents keep asking, “When are you going to start dating?”  He would not be the guy at 30 who keeps falling for the wrong woman because he is not used to the fairer sex. 

The other day I was assessing my relationship (because that’s what I do), and I thought to myself how lucky I am to have someone like my husband in my life.  Then I reassessed (because that’s what I also do) and realized that luck was indeed a part of it, but making good decisions played a bigger part.

At 13, I had already learned that if I kept running and hiding from the guy I liked because I was too shy to speak to him in person, I would never get to know him.

By 15, I figured out that if I my instincts told me not to trust a guy it was because he wasn’t trustworthy.

At 17, I knew for sure that if I was afraid to be myself around my boyfriend in case he wouldn’t like the real me, then he wasn’t the guy for me.

So by 19, when I had so much fun hanging out with the guy I was dating, when I trusted him completely, when I could be myself with him, when I regarded him as my best friend but still had feelings for him, I figured to myself, let’s see where this is going.  I didn’t push.  I didn’t pressure.  I just went with the flow.  And 24 years later, things seem to still be going in the right direction.

Last weekend when I watched Iyanla, Fix My Life, she worked with 300 single women who were having a hard time finding and/or keeping a man.  I was thoroughly amazed that women in 2012 had so many common ‘men issues’: 
-         My daddy wasn’t around, so I don’t trust men.
-         He is intimidated by the amount of money I make.
-         I have body issues, so I’m afraid to get close to anyone.
-         He is not tall enough, rich enough, old enough, young enough.
-         I had been told all my life that I don’t need a man to take care of me.

I get the feeling that some of these women were the same little girls who got offended when another adult asked if they had a boyfriend.  I get the feeling that some of these women have been told for so many years that they don’t need a boyfriend.  I get the feeling that these women probably didn’t even have guy friends so have no idea how men think.  And I know for sure that Harlequin and his friends are to be blamed for putting so many unrealistic images in their minds.

Let’s just get the record straight.  I need a man!  Not to validate me, but because it is physiological.  Plus, who is going to throw out the garbage, lift the heavy stuff and change the oil in my car?  Luckily, the same person who is going to lotion my back, rub my aching feet, surprise me with Ducuna, salt fish and chop chop (Google it) and keep me warm at nights.  There is nothing wrong with needing someone.  We all need someone.  It doesn’t mean that you are vulnerable.  It doesn’t mean that you can’t do it by yourself.  It doesn’t mean that if you will get hurt.  It just means that you are normal, alive and well.

Most of the women on the show remind me of my kids learning Algebra.  They always worry about the answer, the end result.  It doesn’t matter how carefully they follow the steps, they become unsure about the outcome.  It doesn’t matter how many exercises they practice, when the real problems come, they forget all the basics and panic. 

Ladies, we just need to relax, take a deep breath and see where things go.  If you are having fun with the guy, then proceed.  If you are not and being around him seems to be a chore, free yourself up to have fun with someone else.  It’s really not that difficult. 

And don’t be so picky.  I know everyone wants tall, dark and handsome (ok, most of us) and although no one ever daydreams of short, fat and ugly; sometimes that is where happiness lies. 

Women tend to overanalyze too much.  They forget that in some ways, men and women are the same.  Men are afraid of getting hurt too.  Men have self-esteem issues too.  Men have trust issues too.  The difference is that when men get hurt, when they are betrayed, when they feel disrespected, they don’t roll up in a ball and cry themselves to sleep for the rest of their lives.  They shake it off and seek love again.  They don’t give up on love, on women and on life.

I realize that some of this is generalized but, perspectively speaking, I have never met a man who hangs out with his buddies and rebuffs women repeatedly because he is convinced that he doesn’t need a woman.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

You’d Be Cynical Too

It’s no secret that I’m a major political buff.  I cannot even remember any time in my life when I wasn’t fascinated with the subject. It’s also no secret that I’m a major Obama supporter and a huge Liberal. 

I am aware that during a campaign candidates veer to the left or right but once they have secured the nominations or are ready to govern, they slide to the middle.  I get it.  It’s part of the political nature.  And I can tolerate a bit of pandering too.  I mean, why go to New York and pledge to expand the coal industry?  Doesn’t make sense.  You gotta customize.  I’m not na├»ve.  I get it.  And sometimes one has to step on the toes of one’s base and appeal to the moderates to get by.

But seeing Mitt Romney in these past three debates was stunning.  We know he’s a flip flopper.  We know he’ll lie to anyone’s face and try to convince people that they are the crazy ones and that the lies he is telling is just their imagination.  But to hear the Republican pundits and strategists spin it all was utterly amazing.  Saying that his principles and character can take a backseat because that is the nature of the game was downright terrifying.

Then hearing even Obama’s supporters saying after the third debate that Romney did what he was supposed to do was mind-boggling.  “He was supposed to not make any flubs.”  “Just being on the same stage with Obama made him look presidential.”  Who are they kidding?  Mitt agreed with just about everything Obama said.  He randomly threw in the African nation of Mali without any rhyme or reason, to prove that he knows world politics. He thought that Syria and Iran share a border.  He stumbled.  He stammered.  He evaded.  He told the moderator to look up an answer on his website when thrown a tough question.  In other words, “I’m not telling you anything I don’t want to talk about.”  He was sweating.  He was grinning inappropriately, and they thought he came through unscathed?

He changed all his positions from years ago, months ago, weeks ago, days ago, heck minutes ago, and people thought he did fine virtue of the fact that he was sitting at the same table with the President.  Well hello!  It’s a debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney, where the hell did they expect Mitt Romney to be?  Under the table in a fetal position!!

In the first debate when Obama tried the cool strategy and hoped that the American people would see through Romney’s lies and position changes, he was sacked with looking disengaged and lackluster while Romney looked strong.  Second debate Obama learned his lesson and won hands down.  Most Democrats who admitted that he lost the first debate thought that he won the second.  But the deniers thought it was pretty much a tie because Romney held his own.  It didn’t matter that Obama held his own with substance in the first debate.  It was more about style.

Now after the third debate when Romney got another shalacking from Obama, supposedly reasonable-minded people were instigating that Obama was too aggressive.  Rules change because the incumbent has to look like he’s in charge, and if he doesn’t he is weak.  If the challenger doesn’t look like he’s in charge he doesn’t look weak; he gets points just for showing up.

The saddest thing about this exchange is that it just makes people cynical about one more thing in society.  Nothing is sacred anymore, and that is why I do not fault some people for not believing in the sanctimony of marriage.  It’s bad enough when Joe down the street has cheated on his wife, and the whole neighborhood finds out, but lately there has been a barrage of celebrities and other public figures having their dirty laundry aired before the entire world.

We found out that Kobe Bryant not only cheated on his young, beautiful wife, but had sex with some random chick who then accused him of rape.  Respectable, funnyman Bill Cosby didn’t seem so upright when his former lover’s daughter attempted to extort millions from him.  Jesse Jackson not only strayed but did so without backup which lead to a lovechild.  And sitting President of the United States, Bill Clinton, could not refuse getting blown in of all places, the Oval Office, by none other than a White House intern.

As much as I abhor cheating, as much I was never a fan of his, if anyone deserves a pass it’s Tiger Woods.  Outed by his 14 mistresses, the world found out why this clean cut individual was really named Tiger.  I have never met another athlete who so many people were ambivalent about; however, I have never met anyone who found golf interesting before he came on the scene.  So let’s forget about that Thanksgiving 2009 incident and give Dude a break because he has not gotten back his mojo, and no one watches golf anymore.

And the next time I see another D-list celebrity asking for 50 cents a day to feed a hungry child, I am gonna scream.  First off, 50 cents a day is not enough to pay for her cut.  Secondly, if she is asking for such a meager amount, wouldn’t it be easier to just ask her celeb friends for $1 million each and then make life better for the whole continent of Africa?  I mean, when they are going to their private parties and spending thousands of dollars on hair and makeup, they don’t invite us.

In my attempt to keep my posts to around 1,000 words, I will save my cynicism on religion for a later date because perspectively speaking, that is a whole nother ballgame.