My post-birthday musings on nudity and openness…

As the hubbub from my birthday celebrating dies down, now is as good a time as any to be reflective about myself, my life, and what I can do from this point forward to fully step into the person, the woman, I want to be.

One thing I’ve been doing more recently is identifying patterns in my life, especially patterns that have been detrimental to me. One of those patterns, in relation to my romantic life, has been my tendency to pick emotionally unavailable men. Now granted most men seem to be rather emotionally unavailable these days, but the cream of the crop in this department come knocking on my door for some reason. I have always had a knack for attracting/becoming involved with men whose ability to function emotionally was SERIOUSLY impaired, broken to the point of being permanently disabled. They really suffered from an unwillingness to face head on their most vulnerable, emotional selves, and an inability to really see how being so emotionally crippled disconnected them from people in their lives they needed to be able to connect with.  So now, not that I’m really seeking a romantic involvement (though I’m not opposed to it), what I am looking for are people who are emotionally whole and complete; people that don’t just operate out of fear, or bitterness, or anger, or resentment. I am checking to make sure those I bring close to me in any capacity are equally able to experience, express and handle joy and pain, happiness and sadness, anger and fear, and to come through all those things with their souls intact. I am looking for people who have a full wide ranging palate of emotions to tap into and express. I can no longer subject myself to the “tortured soul” mentality I seem to attract, especially as an artist who has often gotten involved with other artists who want to be these moody, dark, brooding individuals walking around with these rainclouds over themselves. Fuck that shit. And the primary reason I say fuck that shit is because having those types of people around me has always caused me to close myself up, because I find myself mirroring their closed selves. And it is extremely important at this stage of my life for me to be open. And the past few days I’ve spent celebrating my birthday have pointed that out to me very clearly.

At my unBirthday party/show I did something I have always wanted to do, that I probably won’t ever do again. (I won’t get into the details here, but it did involve a bit of nudity.) But it was my birthday, I’ve always wanted to do it, and the opportunity presented itself, so I did. It was kind of a “bucket list” thing. But strangely enough, doing that started me to thinking about the idea of being naked, of being open, of being seen. Being seen, believe it or not, is something I have always feared. In fact a lot of the outlandish performance poetry I do is me fighting and facing my fear of being seen by others, and forcing myself into a situation where I am being not only seen, I am being scrutinized. And I don’t just mean being seen the way I want to be seen, but being seen as I truly am. I know lots of people who take great care to present themselves a certain way at all times, a way they expect will garner them the most love, adoration, respect, etc. I don’t want to do that. What I want to do is present me, as I am, and for that me to garner love, adoration, respect, even when I don’t take the time to present it in its best possible light. I don’t want to have to light myself in a certain way to be beautiful. I want the person I am, the soul I am, to actually BE the light that makes me beautiful. I want it to come from inside me, to be embodied in me, and eventually I want it to be so strong it lights the path to the beauty in others too.

So after my brief nudity-related moment that symbolized this birthday, I moved on to some more traditional birthday celebrations: connecting with friends, both old and new, spending time with my passions, drinking and dancing in the rain. These events seemed to point to my desire to be open even more. I went to an all-women’s “Blue Moon” celebration a friend was having, and each woman was asked to open with a prayer. I tend to be wordy, so I had a long list of stuff to be thankful for. But when my turn came, my prayer came from some place deep in me that actually scared me and it was short and simple: “thank you for letting me be open when the world wanted me closed; thank you for letting me be naked and bare when the world wanted me covered.”

This is what I want for myself going forward: to live a naked life in many respects.

Women in particular aren’t supposed to live open lives. Our lives are full of admonishments to close something – close our legs, close our mouths, close our minds. Don’t allow anything in anywhere, whether it is a penis or a new idea. The crazy thing is the things that come most naturally to women, that we are most often called on to do, bring life into the world and nurture those around us, require us to open ourselves — our legs, our wombs, our hearts. We cannot bring life forth without opening our legs, and we cannot nurture life in any form, whether it be our children, our spouses, or the community at large if we don’t open our hearts. But somehow we are supposed to do these things and still be closed. From the beginning we have to hide ourselves. We hide our growing curves in puberty lest we attract unwanted attention we are too young to understand or handle. We hide evidence of our menstrual cycles. (SIDEBAR for a true story: I was dating a man pretty seriously at one time, and he lived in Brooklyn, NY and I lived in Baltimore. I went to visit him once, as I often did, and I was on my period at the time. There was a small fire a few doors down from us, and when the fire department came they used the hydrant on the corner of the block, which decreased the water pressure temporarily. So when I went to flush my tampon, it didn’t go all the way down the bowl, and I had to wait for the water to fill in the commode so I could flush again. We were on our way out and he was in a hurry and wanted to know what was taking me so long. I asked him to give me a couple of minutes, and when I flushed a second time, he came to the bathroom door and flung it open saying “what’s the hold up?” He saw the used tampon in the bowl and was horrified. He actually got angry at me! He fussed and fussed saying “oh my God! Is that what I think it is? Get rid of that thing! What’s wrong with you? How can you just let it sit there?” Now part of me thought it was funny as hell, because…I mean, dude KNOWS INTIMATELY that I’m a woman, and of childbearing age, so why wouldn’t he know I had my period sometimes? Yeah, I get that seeing a used tampon isn’t necessarily a pleasant thing, but dude totally lost his mind, and he was MAD AT ME for NOT TAKING CARE OF IT! And when I laughed at how he was just losing it, he said something along the lines of “see, that’s what’s wrong with you, you don’t take things seriously. How can you possibly think me seeing your used tampon was funny?” I tried to explain had he not been in such a rush he wouldn’t have. I tried to explain the water pressure was low because the fire department was using the hydrant. But I remember thinking that there was something wrong with a man so horrified when faced with the most basic physiological evidence of my womanhood – evidence of my cycle. We broke up, not because of that specific incident, but because of a thousand other similar incidents that made me conclude he wasn’t the man for me.) We hide our sexuality, and when we do display it, no matter how we display it chances are some man will be right there telling us what is right or wrong with it – that we’re being “hoes” or “unladylike” or “sluttish” or whatever.  Women can’t be too “emotional”, because emotional equals irrational and impossible to deal with. Emotional equals stalker bitch. So you have to hide that too. And don’t you DARE BE AN ANGRY WOMAN, especially a BLACK ANGRY WOMAN! It doesn’t matter why you’re angry, if you are totally justified in your anger, no one will ever ask you WHY you are angry, will every try to understand your anger. You’ll just be ANGRYWOMAN, persona non grata. So you better hide that too. And it’s made very clear for a man to take you “seriously”,  to want to keep you in his life permanently, to “wife” you, you have to close yourself off – you need to hide, you need to cover, you need to conceal. You can never, ever be OPEN.

My last romantic entanglement was like many in my past in that I fell into the habit of mirroring my partner’s emotional dysfunction, because being with him seemed to require that I mirror it, instead of being my true self. But I was never totally comfortable in that place. So when I eventually wanted to remove the mirror so he could really see me, I found he didn’t want to. He preferred the mirror, he preferred the reflection of his own dysfunction. It was what he was comfortable with, and it didn’t matter that it was killing my heart. So I left. It was strange too, because he was the first man in my life who really encouraged me to be my most open honest self in my writing and performing, but would not encourage that same openness and freedom in dealing with him. In real life with him, I had to be closed.

That wasn’t what I wanted.

Josephine Baker by George Hoyningen-Huene

So now, I am creating a circle of openness and light for myself, for my life, for my intimate circle of friends, lovers and companions. I no longer wish to hide myself, and I won’t be. One thing I realized this past birthday is that I’ve a very brave, courageous person, and I do live a great deal of my truth even now, but I need to live more of it, embrace it into all of my life. I do realize I must exercise some discretion in this of course, some discernment and sound judgment. But I am confident that if I present my openness honestly, from the outset, it’ll scare off those not prepared to handle it. I do know as I become my own brightest light I’ll attract dark souls/pseudo dark souls to me, those fascinated by my light but who would extinguish it with their own heaviness and darkness. But I will be strong enough now to shove my light in their faces and banish them from my intimate circle. I will trust my instincts, my desire to reveal and encourage others to do so, not by beating others over the head with philosophies and ideals, but just by living my life, enjoying my friends and family, expressing myself in my writing and performing. I can no longer just sit around mirroring the suffering of others, because ultimately it causes me to suffer. I want to be truth, speak truth, live truth, silly truth, funny truth, hurtful truth, every truth…not in the harsh, blunt way people often do, saying “well I’m just being honest, I keeps it real” when what they really are doing is being hurtful and using “truth” as the weapon to inflict that hurt, but in a compassionate, caring, healing way.

When I was little, we’d sometimes play “hide and seek”, and whenever the person doing the seeking got tired of looking for the people who were still hiding that they hadn’t found, they’d yell out “come out, come out wherever you are!” (Some of you might have yelled “olly olly oxen free”!)

This is me, yelling that out to myself. And I’m coming all the way out.



THE LAST STRAW — A new poem…(and yes, I’m gonna try to be better at blogging regularly!)

Don’t play with my emotions,
because I’ve been there before.
Don’t think you’ll hurt me and just go.
You won’t make it to the door.
Don’t touch me, hold me, or make me care,
don’t make my cold heart thaw,
then turn around and rip it out.
Please don’t be my last straw.

I’ve told you how it’s been for me.
I love too hard and strong.
And sometimes I needed to let go,
and I stayed around too long.
I know some men chase girls for sport,
And they’ll chase harder when the girls withdraw,
but they’ll run when the girls give in to them.
Please don’t be my last straw.

I’m asking you not to tell me lies.
Don’t chase space in my head
when all you really want from me
is a good time in my bed.
And when I ask how you really feel,
don’t stutter, hem and haw.
Don’t treat me like some stupid chick.
Please don’t be my last straw.

I’m telling you right here and now,
I’m at the end of my rope.
I’m tired of being all alone.
It’s so hard for me to cope.
If I find this was just a game to you,
I’ll break every single law
to make sure you feel the pain I feel.
So don’t be my last straw.

I will call all my cousins,
play cousins, brothers and uncles too.
Trust and believe they’ll teach the lesson
that I couldn’t teach to you.
You know that gun I got? When I’m real pissed
I’m real quick on the draw.
Too many men have done me wrong!
So baby,
please don’t be my last straw!

And fellas, always keep in mind
how much a woman can hide.
You never really truly know
what storms might rage inside.
So call her a crazy bitch
when she tags your car with a chainsaw,
but maybe she was just fed up;
maybe you were her last straw.


–Petula Caesar

Jump Offs: The Myths, The Realities

I cover a lot of different topics on this blog. But for the next few entries, I am going to be focusing on relationships, especially the more intimate and sexual aspect of relationships.

There is a lot of discord going on between men and women these days, and much of it is because of a lack of honesty — a lack of honesty with each other, and even worse, a lack of honesty with ourselves. I want to stimulate TRUTHFUL, open, mature discussion about these matters. I want to generate discussion that doesn’t seek to make one gender feel superior to the other. I want to generate discussion that isn’t focused on proving who is right and who is wrong, which is one of my pet peeves about these types of conversations — they are often divisive and more about finger pointing that helping us identify our issues and resolve them so we can treat each other better.

I want all of us to stop making ourselves feel better by looking down our noses at how other people behave in their personal relationships. But that’s not easy. We don’t like to face our own internal ugliness head on. It is much easier to observe others, criticize others, talk about what others have done that we never have done or would do, berate others for tolerating things we say we would never tolerate and so on. But more often than not, most of us have, in some form or fashion, have engaged in most of the behaviors we criticize others for. So it is my hope that those who read this won’t have the politically correct knee jerk response. That’s too easy. After you read what I have to say, Just think about it, ponder it, and don’t judge.

Having said all that…let’s begin!

The topic of today is “the jump off”. I want to get into so real talk about jump offs, the myths and realities of the jump off scenario, people’s attitudes about jump offs, and even jump off etiquette.

Now for some reason many people feel that being a jump off is demeaning, degrading, etc. Women and men speak in a condescending, even a disrespectful manner about this arrangement. But let us be honest and clear about exactly what a jump off is in an attempt to understand that negative attitude.

A jump off is situation in which one has a relationship that is solely sexual in nature. It is an entirely physical interaction. The exchange in and of itself doesn’t have to be cold and unfriendly, but it does have to have a certain amount to detachment to work. People should always be courteous, hospitable, and pleasant in these circumstances; what is absent in these scenarios is a connection between the two participants beyond the temporary merging of genitalia.

Now, I don’t know why this arrangement is met with such derision by so many. So often I hear women say with much scorn and disdain, “well, she’s just a jump off” or “I ain’t trying to be just a jump off”, or men will say “she ain’t nobody, she’s just a jump off”. Why the negativity people? Is it really necessary? If two consenting adults mutually agree to engage in such an arrangement and are honest with themselves and each other about it, what’s the harm? Why the attitude? Why is it so bad?
Why do men feel compelled to accompany the jump off arrangement with a level of contempt, though they still willingly participate in it? Why is that necessary? Do men find it impossible to respect a woman who enters into this situation; are they only capable of having jump offs that they don’t respect on some level? Why the verbal harshness in referring to them? Why is the jump off role in one’s life minimized and trivialized instead of being looked at objectively and honestly? And ladies, some of you seem to equate participation in this kind of thing as something unladylike, that its an indication that something is wrong with the woman that does this, that it means she has low self esteem and doesn’t want more for herself besides jump off status, because of course she MUST want more. Why can’t it be that the woman made a clear decision about what she wanted and is getting exactly that — no more, no less? And why does this mean the man is some kind of man-whore with no respect for women, or no ability to deal with a “real woman” in a “real relationship”? What if he really only wants the sex, and isn’t misleading, hurting, harming or disrespecting the woman? Why the snobbery when it comes to jump off scenarios, especially when a large majority of us, if you reach age 25 and are still single, have either had a jump off, been someone’s jump off, or both, at least once — whether you knew it or not or are willing to admit it or not?

Having said all this, I’ll let you in on an important truth. For the most part, jump offs are myths. They don’t genuinely exist to the extent that rumor would have you to believe they do. True, actual jump offs, where the two parties are just sexual and nothing else are rare. That level of detachment where one shares their body without sharing themselves isn’t easily accomplished by men or women. It is a genderless condition. Very few people can honestly manage it for any extended period of time, and there is a very simple reason why.

Human beings are wired to seek out connections to others. Now please read that correctly — that doesn’t mean they are always seeking romantic love. BUT being human is about the connections we make to other humans — our family, our friends, etc. Those connections are how we know we are alive, they validate our existence, they allow us to find meaning in the time we spend here on Earth. The inability to successfully make those connections is a sign of a greater psychological disorder that we don’t have time to get into here. Now we may get hurt in our relationships, or find ourselves in abusive circumstances that injure our spirits and souls in a way that make it hard for us to reach out to others. In some cases we are so damaged we actively avoid involvements with other people beyond the superficial and necessary. But no matter what we say or do, we still usually stumble upon someone who attracts us, who stimulates our interest, our curiosity, and we attempt to make a connection, even if the connection is just sexual. We may do it badly, awkwardly, or subconsciously. We may do it in a thousand tiny little ways that no one understands but us. But no matter how successful we are at it, we do find ourselves reaching out to connect when we come across people that ignite an undefinable spark in us in the hope of lighting up our cold dark lives, even if we fuck it up because of our own issues.

Because of that, jump offs work like this:

You and said person become sexually involved, and agree that will be the limit of your involvement. Cool. Jump off etiquette requires that you and this person have minimal contact that is not sexual. So you meet, perhaps politely converse while undressing, fuck, and part company.

Now if the sex is not particularly outstanding, it is possible that the jump off status can remain intact for a time. The lack of mind blowing sex makes it easy to keep the contact sporadic and inconsistent, two other key elements to a genuine jump off. A jump off is never someone you fuck regularly, consistently or frequently. As soon as a jump off consumes that much of your time, they are taking up space in your head as well, because if you fuck someone a lot, you think about fucking them a lot. Anyone who takes up that much space in your head isn’t a jump off anymore. They may be a lot less than a boyfriend or girlfriend, but the detachment that is part of being a jump off is gone.

But if the sex was just okay, its not going to hold your interest or attention for long. At some point, whether it takes days, weeks, months or years, you’ll find someone else you like fucking more, or someone else you just like (or someone else you came to like because of fucking them, which we’ll get into in a minute). No matter how it happens, waning interest will usually cause the jump off to die a quiet death.

Now let’s say you like the sex. Let’s even say you love it. The earth moved and the angels wept, etc. If that was the case, you are not going to be willing to make hooking up an occasional occurance. Something in you was touched; you have been moved. A connection was made somewhere inside you, even if it was made in your sex organs…those connections count too. So now you want to spend more time fucking this person. Spending more time with a person, even if its spent fucking, invariably leads to more opportunity to get to know a person. And getting to know a person can often lead to getting to like a person. Liking a person has a way of leading to finding ways to spend time with a person. And when that happens, its clearly no longer a jump off. Again, it may be less than a spouse, but its no longer a jump off.

The space between jump off and committed relationship is a huge one. It is the largest gray area in all of human existence, and truthfully, it is the area a lot of our personal relationships operate in. Many of us have that person we are intimate with, who has clearly stopped being jump off status a while ago, (even if this hasn’t been verbally acknowlewdged by either party), who has yet to fully, openly, and willingly shoulder all the burdens of a committed relationship. They might appear to in their actions at times, but the “out” is always there — the “out” being that the person never agreed to a change in their status, and you can’t change a person’s relationship status without their consent. That “out” is the single most frustrating thing about this vast gray area in which most relationships exist. So these gray area living/extended and remixed jump off situations become like giant relationship waiting rooms…the places where people pass the time hoping their conditions improve.

The other big myth surrounding the jump off scenario is that it can’t change. That isn’t true at all. In my experience and observation, a situation like this has just as much of a chance of surviving as any other kind of relationship. But if it is going to change into a more “official” relationship, one of the parties involved is going to have to request a change in relationship status. And making that kind of request is a huge risk; you must be prepared to forfeit everything you already have with this person. It is truly an “all or nothing” proposition. Because if the other party doesn’t agree to the status change, the relationship is over, or will be over soon. Why? Because one party has made it known they aren’t satisfied with the current state of affairs, and the other party isn’t going to wait for the dissatisfaction to make itself felt in other ways. Most people are cowards, and just ride along, sorta kinda mostly cool with how things are but still secretly hoping that one day they are offered all the keys to the kingdom.

My finals words on the topic are simple: never let anyone make you feel bad about FEELING something for someone else, even if it is the wrong person. As long as you have it in you to care about someone else, all you need to adjust is your selection process. That is a much easier task than the alternative; it is much harder to teach someone to feel once they have lost their ability to do it. And while jump offs may not really exist like you thought they did, what does exist is a world full of people looking for shelter from the unforgiving harsh world…people who want to care who have lost their way…people who carry heavy loads, manage deep searing pain and hide ugly scars the best way they know how. Sometime they may seek temporary shelter from their most personal storms in your most personal space if you allow it. They may decide to stay. They may not. But no matter what the case, don’t lose sight of who you are in the midst of it all. Because at the end of the day, you are the only you you’ve got.

I miss having girlfriends (clarification – platonic female friends) :-D

I haven’t had a close female friend in a very long time. I won’t spout out the usual stereotypical explanations as to why I don’t have one, the “I don’t trust women” or “women are just haters” or “women don’t like me” types of responses. They don’t really apply to me. I don’t have any innate mistrust of women as a species, nor do I think women just have a knee jerk reaction to me that is negative or prevents friendship. I have had girlfriends in the past, women I was very close to and who were like sisters to me. But in recent years, I haven’t had that. As a result, everyone who I am close to, who I discuss intimate details of my life with, everyone who is part of my emotional “inner circle”, is male. And I miss having girlfriends. I miss having a sisterhood, having girls to sing my uniquely woman blues with. As much as my dudes love me, they are completely lost when I want to complain about my cramps, about how I wish I could find cute bra and panty sets in my size in stores without always having to order them online, or about how sometimes as a woman I feel so much pressure to conform in certain ways that society expects of me. They get it, but they don’t get it.

I’ve had good relationships with girlfriends over the years, and bad ones too. I’ve had the girlfriend that always made me feel like I was the ugliest one in the crew when actually I was the best looking and she wanted to make sure I didn’t realize it. I’ve had the girlfriends who held my hair when I threw up after a night of too much liquor. I’ve had the girlfriend who always wanted to tell me how bad my boyfriends were, and then would flirt with them behind my back. I’ve had girlfriends who gave me money when I needed it and picked me up when I was stranded in the middle of nowhere. I once had a girlfriend who wouldn’t take me to a job interview when my car broke down on my way to the interview because “I want to make sure I’m free in case Kevin (the guy she liked at the time) wants to go to lunch.” (Guess you can tell I’m still tripping over that one.) I even once had a girlfriend who organized an “intervention” of sorts for me at my job because she couldn’t stand how disrespectfully my boyfriend at the time was treating me. And believe it or not, that intervention really helped open my eyes as to what a jerk he was. So at times in my life I have had the sister love. Just not now.

With a lot of my former close girlfriends, time and circumstances have just caused us to drift apart. I still think the world of them, and (I hope) they still think the world of me, but we’re in different spaces and places in our lives, and just aren’t in a position to be close like we used to be. (I think of a young lady named Chanel as I write this.) Doesn’t mean I don’t think of them with great warmth and fondness, this just isn’t our season. I don’t have the front row seat I once did in their lives, but I still think of myself as being in the arena, even if it’s up in the cheap seats. With others, a specific incident occurred to end our friendship, usually a man or money, and sometimes both. Some girlfriends moved away. I’ve met women that I thought would make great girlfriends, but often they’re very busy and just don’t have the time to take on a new close friendship, though if they ever did they’d be happy to have me as a friend. I have girlfriends that I see extremely sporadically, like once every 3-6 months or so, but when we do hang out we are close, confide in each other, and have a great time together. (I think of women like Felicia as I write that.)  I envy women like my sister who has several girlfriends that she has been close to for YEARS, since she was in high school and she is in her fifties now. Truth be told, she is closer to them than she is to me and we are sisters.  They know more about her and her life and her day to day struggles and triumphs than me. I wish I had that in my life, someone who had witnessed my life for years and years. I don’t have that kind of continuity with anyone over my lifetime, and it kind of makes me sad.

I know a lot of women don’t think girlfriends are important. They talk about the drama and issues that always seem to be a part of the sisterhood side of friendship, and are glad not to have girlfriends. They feel that having all male friends, is better, simpler and less troublesome. But I don’t think one should be proud of one’s inability to relate to your own gender intimately. That doesn’t mean you should have a ton of girlfriends, but I think every woman should have at least one girlfriend they are close to, can confide in openly and without judgment. I just don’t know why I don’t have this person now. I don’t have that girl to go hang out with, shop with, gab on the phone with. I don’t have that girlfriend to tell about my love life, to share my sadness, or my happiness. When I do my shows, I don’t have a girlfriend cheering for me in the audience. And worst of all, I don’t have that crazy girlfriend to ride shotgun with if I ever needed to do a drive by and slash some dudes car tires – not to say I would. LOL!

My last girlfriend has been out of my life for a good while. We haven’t spoken in nearly 2 years. I think of her often, and wonder how she is, but I cannot seem to bring myself to call her. I am not sure she’d want to hear from me, so I just don’t dial her number. And it hurts. I can’t even say she and I were still friends at the time we parted ways. We had been drifting apart for a while before our last get-together for a number of reasons. As my writing and my performing career grew, it seemed like she made herself more and more absent from my life. I would invite her to shows where I was performing, and she would never come, usually offering the excuse that her “boyfriend didn’t really like spoken word”, though she and I used to go to hear poets quite often before he entered her life. If I did managed to get her out for a girls night on the town, she spent the night texting and calling him, arguing about this and that, so much so that I just took her back home so she could argue with him in person. She never read anything I got published, though I would send her clips and links to my work. She never shared in my excitement about the things I was doing, never seemed to want to be a part of my happiness, though I tried to always make time for sharing her happiness. When she brought her first house I heartily congratulated her and brought her a housewarming gift. When she got promoted at work I made sure I sent her a long email congratulating her success and took her out for drinks to celebrate. But even then I felt the distance between us.

She would talk about her nine to five job and its headaches, and in return I would go on and on about where I was performing next, what concert I had gone to, who I had interviewed for what publication, etc. It felt weird to me, because our lives had become so different. Yes it was my job, but I still felt uncomfortable. Sometimes I would listen to myself and think I sounded like I was bragging. I would try to sound matter-of-fact when she’d ask what I was doing, but no matter what she would usually say things like “well ain’t you just a big old star now. Surprised you got time fot the little people like me.” And she’d laugh, and I would think about how many times I had asked her out to see me and I would feel bad. Sometimes I wouldn’t even tell her what I was doing because I worried that it might sound like I was trying to show off. I continued to invite her to events I was participating in, and she continued to not show up. I felt rejected by her, and it hurt. It hurt to put aside tickets for her at the box office or to save seats for her where I was performing, and to never see her in the audience after over 20 years of friendship.  It hurt to hear her weak explanations for why she never came to see me, never read any of my work, never told me she was happy for me. (She did manage to buy my CD after it had been out for a year.) But most of all, what hurt was our last conversation.

She had just reconciled with an ex of hers that I didn’t like very much. She had reconciled with him because he had started seeing another woman and she found out about it. So she went after him and took him back from the to other chick. Now I didn’t like this guy for her for a lot of reasons, but I have sense enough to know that you can’t tell people too much when they think they’re in love. But on one rare evening out, she informed us that they were back together and planning to marry very soon. When I didn’t comment, she asked me what I thought. I told her I didn’t think he was ready to be a husband and take on the responsibilities of being a dad to her sons. He had been out of jail about 3 years at the time after spending 8 years in jail, and he was still struggling to adjust to life on the outside. He was struggling to educate himself, to get a steady job, to make up for the development that would have occurred in him emotionally and mentally that didn’t happen because he was in jail. I told her I thought she should allow him the opportunity to accomplish some things on his own before he became a husband. I thought she should give him some space to establish himself, to at least get working. I told her it was very important for a man to be A MAN in a relationship, especially in a marriage, and that she shouldn’t set him up for failure by rushing him into marriage. I told her she should give him time to feel the sense of accomplishment that men get from achieving goals; I said that she should give him time to become a better man so he could be a good husband.

So she told me that if I didn’t have anything good to say about her man, not to say anything. Now I pointed out to her that I hadn’t offered my opinion until she asked, and that I would certainly keep my opinion to myself, but if she asked what I thought I wasn’t going to lie.

She then told me if I couldn’t be supportive of the marriage I couldn’t be her friend. I told her that I always supported her and would continue to, but I really didn’t think the marriage was a good idea. Would I try to talk her out of it? No. I told her that I felt like she was trying to dictate to me how I should feel about her marriage, and that wasn’t right. I told her I wished her only the best and I sincerely hoped that I was wrong about him. But in my heart, I just wasn’t feeling it. She then said, “I don’t expect you don’t understand, you’ve always had a man in your life who worshipped the ground you walked on and just adored you and idolized you. Some of us have to work with what we get.”

And that was the last time we talked.

And so here I am today, with my “man-tourage”, as one of my male friends jokingly calls my circle. Like I said, I love them all for different reasons. Collectively they are my rock; they support me and hold me down and even protect me sometimes, at times even when I don’t want to. I truly believe they have a great deal of love for me in their way, though it isn’t romantic love. They’ll even tolerate a bit of my woman blues, patiently listening as I bitch and moan about my cramps. I have even managed to “train” one or two of them to not flinch when I stop in shoe stores when we’re in the mall. They’ll go in the store, unafraid, and patiently watch as I examine the shoes, offering their opinion. They’ll hold my purse if need be, carry bags, etc. But still, I miss the meeting of estrogen; I wish I could find that woman to see eye-to-eye with.

I think I’ll go email Felicia…


One of the worst dates I ever had…

This is about one of the worst dates I’ve ever had.

DISCLAIMER: Before we begin…I feel a bit weird because the person I am writing about in this blog entry will probably read this. The events that took place on this night happened about nine years ago. He and I have discussed it a few times over the years since, and we both know why this date went so badly. We’ve even laughed and joked about it so I feel its okay to write this. And if you are reading this – please don’t get mad, because really, you have turned out to be a good friend.

And now…the story.

I used to be part of an online community called “Black Singles Incorporated” (BSI). It was basically a big chat room where single black men and women could meet and talk and so on. I thought it might be a good way to make friends, so I signed up and began chatting in the room regularly. Eventually I got to know the people in the chat room pretty well, both online and in person, because we’d occasionally have get-togethers and such. I met a guy who lived in my area. We struck up conversation, just casually. He seemed nice, and I knew several of the ladies in the room were interested in him. He was single, no kids, intelligent, gainfully employed, home, car, etc. He was a catch in the chat room, where sometimes the guys weren’t always really nice, or working, or even single.

But one thing this guy was adamant about – he would not seriously date a woman who had children.

Now I had children. Two in fact. I made no secret about it to anyone. So I ruled him out for any kind of serious dating. And as I talked to him in the chat room, I did feel a bit bad about that initially. This man seemed to have some qualities that I admired and would have enjoyed in a man, in my man. He was intelligent and articulate, things I have always found attractive in men. But kids were a deal breaker for him. Now some other ladies in the chat room who had kids still tried their luck with him, perhaps hoping they could sway him with their charming personalities, or other qualities, skills or talents they might possess. I have never been one to try to change someone’s mind once they made it absolutely clear that they don’t want their minds changed, so I didn’t even bother trying. And in spite of the other things I liked and respected about him, a part of me was a bit troubled by how ADAMANT he was about “no kids”.

I’d never met a man who was totally against kids from a previous relationship. Most men I’d met would at least consider kids, depending on the circumstances and conditions surrounding them, and how the woman was dealing with the situation. Most men just didn’t want the kids to be badly behaved, or didn’t want the mom to have drama with the children’s dad, that kind of thing. Most men I’d met, while they might prefer childless women, wouldn’t totally rule out women with kids if there was not major drama attached. Plus most men I knew had kids themselves. But not this one. He had no kids, and wanted no part of a woman who did, and had no interest in evaluating women with kids on a case by case basis. When we would talk in the chat room I told him I felt it was a bit unrealistic of him to expect a woman in the age range in which he dated (thirty and up primarily, he was approaching his late thirties at the time) to not have children; I didn’t say it to sway him, but I just didn’t get his line of thinking since I had never encountered that attitude before. But he stuck to his guns, and spoke a lot about not wanting to shoulder another man’s responsibilities and such. And while I understood that intellectually, a part of my heart still felt it was just a kind of cold, unfeeling way to be. It struck me as kind of judgmental, sort of harsh. It seemed to indicate a kind of rigidness in mindset and opinions that I didn’t care for. And it seemed like he didn’t care to consider that he could perhaps be a great blessing to some woman’s child who might really need a positive male role model in their lives. So he did lose cool points in my book for that; not that it really mattered, because I wasn’t dating him.

But then he asked me out on a date.

Now I didn’t get why he was asking me. I had kids. He knew this. I never asked him to consider dating me in spite of my kids. Yes I had discussed his views on the subject in an attempt to understand his point of view, but I finally accepted that I’d never get it and let it go. And here he was, asking me out. I thought about it. I mean, clearly he couldn’t be trying to date me because he knew I had kids. But we had become friends in the chat room by this time, and so I figured there was no harm in engaging in a bit of social recreation as friends. It would probably be fun. So I agreed to the date.

We met at a restaurant in Columbia, near the lake. I had just gotten this beautiful lavender and burgundy silk dress with 4 ½ inch stiletto suede sling back pumps that matched the dress perfectly. I looked pretty good, if I do say so myself. Now the shoes were new, so I was still “breaking them in”, so I was tipping around after I parked my car, hoping he wouldn’t be hard to find. When I got to the restaurant he was already there. We’d never met in person, but we had exchanged pictures. He was a tall guy with glasses, with a neatly trimmed beard and moustache. There was a bit of grey in the beard. He had a very deep booming voice. So there were no major complaints about how he looked.

The first thing I learned about him was that he smoked, which I really didn’t like at all. Smoking is a deal breaker for me. I didn’t know people still smoked; I hadn’t met a smoker in ages. It was like seeing a dinosaur. But it wasn’t really my concern since I wasn’t trying to get serious with him, so I didn’t give it too much of my energy. After we ordered our drinks and began looking over the menus, I figured I’d get to know him a bit better. So I began asking him a bit more about himself; things I didn’t know about him from our previous conversations. I asked about his job and what he did there to open up the conversation. He had what sounded like a very interesting job to me, and I did genuinely want to know more about it. But as I did, he stopped me. “That’s now how we’re going to do this,” his said in his booming voice.

“Do what?” I asked.

“We’re not going to do this question and answer thing, like some kind of job interview.”

I was a bit stunned. I paused, first trying to grasp the idea that he had interrupted me mid-sentence, and then not quite sure how to continue. He went on to say that he didn’t like those “question and answer” types of conversations because that wasn’t really the best way to get to know a person, etc. The only way to really get to know a person was to be around them, spend time with them, etc. He shook his head and said “so, none of that interrogation stuff.” Now while I did agree that spending time with a person was a way to get to know them, you had to get to know things about a person in the beginning to determine if you even wanted to spend additional time getting to know even more things about a person. And I have always felt you could tell a lot about a person by the things they did not say in their responses to questions as what they did say. And I mean, a first date is in part about exchanging information. So I asked, “well, asking questions is a part of getting to know a person, right?” He said, “no, we’re not doing this.” I paused again, not wanting to debate the point and trying to get what he meant by this. “So, you’re saying if I want to ask you a question, I can’t?” “Yup,” he said. Then he added, “trust me, it will go much better that way.”

Now I felt this was extremely rude, for him to attempt to dictate how I should interact with him on this date. I really wanted to leave then, but I didn’t because I was really hungry, and our food came to the table.

The rest of the evening was spent listening to him talk about his beliefs, his ideals, his convictions, and so on. I said very little. I did learn he was a strongly conservative Republican (another close to deal breaker in my book at that time in my life – I am more open minded and tolerant these days), but I did cut him some slack on that because he joined the Navy during the time when Ronald Reagan was President, and Reagan took very good care of military staff during his terms in office, so I could almost understand why he was a Republican.  During dinner he asked very little about me, which at least gave me the opportunity to really enjoy my food, which was wonderful. But I didn’t feel like I was participating in the date; I was just an audience.

I was really confused as I sat at the table. I felt bad too, because I had really liked this man, and I don’t like a whole lot of men, and now my opinion of him was changing right before my eyes. I kept trying to explain and excuse and understand his behavior in my head as he talked. I couldn’t believe he had become such a jerk so quickly. It was disappointing, and a part of me just couldn’t believe it and kept trying to rationalize it. So I made plans in my head to tell him later how much I had disliked the date, how I felt he was extremely self centered and dull, and how I found his politics as offensive as his smoking. There was an arrogance about him during the date that I really found unappealing.  I did decide while sitting there that I wasn’t ever going to see him again socially, though I figured we would still talk in the chat room. We just wouldn’t hang out anymore. And maybe I was being unreasonable in some way. I figured I’d let the date play itself out. It might get better as the night went on.

As the check came, he said to me, “let’s take a walk around the lake.” Now first of all it was a chilly, slightly breezy night. I had not worn a coat or jacket, so I was already a bit cold, and the date had done nothing to warm me. Plus I had on new 4 and a half inch sling back pumps that weren’t really conducive to a walk. So I said “no, thank you.”

“Oh come on let’s walk,” he repeated. “It’s a nice night. Let’s walk around the lake.” As we left the restaurant and went outside toward the parking garage, I pointed out to him that I had no coat and I was a bit cold. I also pointed out my heels, and explained they were new and not ready for that kind of activity. I was a bit surprised he hadn’t noticed how I was dressed in relation to being outside and strolling, but I just chalked that up to his arrogance again.

“Oh come on,” he said with a chuckle. Then he smiled, continuing with “you Black women never want to take walks. Tonight you’re gonna walk.” And with that, he grabbed me by the arm, pulled at it, and pulled me over to the pathway that circled the lake. “But…I don’t want to walk…” I said. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. I wasn’t used to being treated this way. But he ignored me. And so, with his arm encircled in mine, he pulled me onto the path and began marching along the path, pulling me alongside him the whole time. I stumbled, shivering cold, totally angry and embarrassed as people passed by us. We walked around the lake for a bit, looking totally ridiculous. He pulled me along and I was clearly an unwilling participant. But he seemed not to care. He was looking straight ahead, stepping quickly, holding me tightly, and I did my best to keep up, angry because I had to lean on him for support to keep from falling, praying I wouldn’t fall and ruin my new dress, and hoping it would be over soon. Fortunately it was, and he offered to walk me to my car, which I let him do. Hell, it was the least he could do. As I got into my car, he said, “I reserved a room at the Marriott.”

I couldn’t believe my ears. “What did you say?”

“The Marriott down the street. I thought maybe we could stop over there, spend some time, you know.”

“Ummm…no,” I said. I peeled out of the garage, hoping I had run over his toes with my car.



How I failed my daughter…because I chose him…

My oldest child is 18 years old. She will be 19 in a few months. She has a job and attends school, majoring in multimedia arts at a local community college. She wants to transfer to Cal Arts in San Francisco once she finishes there. In addition to her art she also writes. She is a very shy, thoughtful young lady still trying to cross the bridge between childhood and womanhood. Some days her footsteps on the path are sure and steady; some days not so much. Of course I worry about her, but even more importantly, I am tremendously proud of her. She is a beautiful girl with a gentle and beautiful spirit.

I raised my daughter alone, though I was not expecting to. Her dad was in her life very sporadically up until she was about 8 or 9, then he cut out completely, making “guest appearances” every few years or so. I never did anything to alienate him from her or to hinder any relationship he wanted to try to have with her. I didn’t drag him “downtown” at every turn, trying to take money from him I knew he didn’t have. I always told my daughter that he loved her, that he wanted to be with her and wanted to be her father, but he had demons on his back stemming from drug addiction. I never said anything bad about him to her. I encouraged her to pray for him, keep a little space open in her heart for him while keeping in mind the difficulties he was facing. I worked hard at swallowing my own rage, resentments and bitterness towards him day after day, year after year so that she could be free of my emotional baggage where he was concerned, so she could be open to loving him if the time ever came for it. I never wanted her to feel compelled to take up my cross where he was concerned, so I guarded my tongue faithfully, night and day. This was one of the few times in my life when my tendency to be sarcastic was totally under control. I could not risk one slip up, and never made one in this area. On the rare occasions when I spoke to him, I tried to impress upon him how much his presence was needed in her life – not his money, but his presence. I told him that I was doing all I could to keep some faith in him burning in her, but I didn’t know how long I could do that in good conscience. I am a realistic person at my core, and as time went by I didn’t like continuing the “keep hope alive” song and dance where he was concerned when, year after year, birthday after birthday, school play after awards assembly after graduation was passing by without him.  He always told me about how one day soon he would get a job and get himself together and he would come to see his daughter with a pocketful of money so he could “take her shopping and buy her anything she wants”. I always resented that taking her shopping was always the first thing he offered when he talked about what he was going to do for her. But at any rate, my pleas fell on deaf ears, and he never showed up for her.

I did everything I possibly could to navigate her through life successfully on my own. I guess “on my own” isn’t a totally fair statement, because I had a great deal of help from family, especially my mom. I did all I could to build her self-esteem and self confidence. I loved her, told her I loved her, that I was proud of her, that she was beautiful and glorious and could do anything she set her mind too. I praised her talents, and gave discipline and guidance as needed. I put “positive male role models” in her life, and allowed her to interact with them and learn from them. I kept the less-than-fatherly types of men that I dealt with on occasion far, far away from her. I watched carefully for signs that she might be seeking out “daddy figures” in random boys or men to her own detriment, and talked openly with her about her dad’s absence in her life, his time in and out of jail, etc. once she was old enough to understand. Her dad’s family, though they would occasionally contact her to make sure she was still alive, did little to reach out to her and bring her into their family. My daughter felt that she was the “black sheep” to them, that her dad’s side of the family ostracized her, though she has made efforts to reach out to them over the years. To this day she feels like she only has “half a family” because she knows little about her aunts, uncles, and cousins that she has that are her age on her dad’s side. “It’s like they all rejected me,” she says when I ask her about her thoughts on it.

When my daughter first turned 18 she got a letter from her dad. He was in jail of course. When I gave it to her she handed it back to me, saying “I don’t want it”. She hesitantly looked into my eyes for a sign that I didn’t agree with her, and saw none. I took the letter from her and said “okay.” “You’re not going to make me read it,” she asked. “You are an adult,” I responded. “I’ve always told you that you would have to decide how you felt about your dad and how you were going to deal with him when you became an adult. And you are. So if this is how you feel right now, I’m not going to tell you not to feel that way.”

Again I saw the uncertainty in her eyes, with the sadness that was always there when she spoke about him. She nodded and walked away.

And this is why I hate myself…and hate him.

How could I have chosen this poor excuse for a “man” to be her father? I wasn’t some young, inexperienced, lovesick girl when I met her dad. I was 25 years old, and I had Jasmine when I was almost 27. How could I have not seen that he wouldn’t be a good father to her, hell, no father at all to her? I see the fear in her eyes that his absence caused and I cry inside because my choice put that fear there. I see her lack of confidence, a certain general fear of men, a certain bit of self loathing and bitterness in her, and my heart wells up with tears. Because I picked him. It was crucial for me to have made a good choice at that time, but I did not. I failed her, my baby girl, because of this loser, and some foolish desire I had to be with him a lifetime ago.

It never occurred to me to consider what kind of dad he would be back then. I mean…that was so unfathomable to me. I didn’t know men could do that; could just go away and not be around for their kids in any capacity. I didn’t know such callousness existed. I didn’t know what it looked like. My dad was always there. The dads of everyone I knew were always there. I mean, seriously, how could any man just not take care of his child? Even if he wasn’t with the mother? The few people I knew who only lived with their moms still saw their dads often. I never looked for the signs that he wasn’t going to be much of a dad, though now in perfect hindsight now I see they were all there. Though I was always prepared to raise my daughter without his day-to-day input as a single mom, I never ever thought he would just abandon her like he has. And this is who I chose, and it hurts me to my soul. Because now, in spite of my best efforts, in spite of all off the wonderful and glorious qualities my daughter possesses, there is still that lack of a strong sense of self that I know marks the place where his fatherly love was supposed to be, and isn’t.

I hate him for it. And I hate myself even worse. I was always the smart one. The talented one. The one with so much promise and drive and ambition. How could I have picked this man to have a child with…a man who, to this day, still just doesn’t get that now my daughter hates him and resents him? I take small comfort that she has come to feel that way on her own, not because of any influencing on my part, though he would like to think she hates him because of me, which angers me to no end, as if she somehow didn’t notice that he’s seen her a handful of times since she was ten even though he resides in the same city as her. For the time being, my daughter has decided to hate him, and I am not inclined to try to encourage her not to. I think that she probably needs to hate him for the moment, for a little while at least, to validate her own feelings. She has a right for feel angry and hurt and deeply wounded, and she spent more than enough time swallowing that so he could be in her world. I think for now she needs to know she has a right to her anger, to express her anger, even to him if the time ever comes, and it is my hope that in allowing those emotions free range for a time, she will eventually find a place of acceptance of the circumstances. But for me, as her mother, all I feel in the pain and bitterness of my foolish decision to have a child with him. And the blaring rage at him, at how his…his….his…utter disrespect for everything that is a part of fatherhood kept him from her, from instilling something good in her, anything. All he has sown in her are seeds of doubt, of unworthiness, and now day by day I try to help her throw away the bitter fruits from the bad harvest that has come from those seeds. She wonders aloud “why would any man love me when my own daddy didn’t care?” And I cry inside, and rip my own heart into shreds at the magnitude of my failure. How could I have ruined this beautiful creature God saw fit to bless me with? What if everything I have done to save her from his massive gross failure as a dad does nothing, and she goes on in the world unsure and uncertain, unable to accomplish much because she is tangled up in her own confusion about herself? And how will I feel if some man comes along to take advantage of her emptiness in this place?

So I sit here now, older and wiser. I can hear my daughter walking through the hallway. She is the spitting image of me, eerily and uncannily resembling a younger me. Sometimes I look at photographs of her when she was younger and mistake them for pictures of me in my childhood. She’ll knock on my bedroom door soon to say good morning and to kiss me, like she does every morning. I’ll search her eyes to see how she feels, and hope that they are clear and shining and free from anything that will hinder her from the good life she deserves. We’ll talk for a bit and then she’ll go to the kitchen to make her breakfast. She will ask if she can get me anything, and I’ll say “no honey, I’m fine.”

And I will sit here at my desk, continuing to ask God to give me strength.


A blog about my hair…

Today’s blog is a rant/question more than anything that came from a few random conversations I’ve had with folks the past few days, and a blog I read through one of my Facebook friends’, DeWayne Alston’s page (the link to the blog I read is at the end of this entry). It’s nothing deep, meaningful, life-altering or soul-saving. In fact a lot of the time I make a point of avoiding that crap because as a writer (especially a Black one) every little bit of your creative energy is supposed to be about uplifting folks, and honestly, sometimes I don’t feel like it. (Most of the time to be totally honest…but that is in a blog that is coming soon.)

In the meantime…here is my question.

I have “natural” hair. For those of you who don’t know what I mean by that (and yes I do have some readers that wouldn’t know…), Black women often take their hair through a process called “relaxing”. The end result after this process is hair whose original natural texture has been altered to more closely resemble the hair of Caucasians. Most Black people’s hair, without this (or some similar) process, would have a texture that would be kinky, curly, wavy, or  a combination or these; the hair would have a “S” or even a “Z” pattern to it. It certainly wouldn’t be straight, which is what the “relaxing” process does. Sometimes it is called a “perm”; I refuse to call it that because the process is not permanent, it is temporary. I do not process my hair in this manner, so my hair is called “natural” hair. Nor to I have a weave in my hair.

Now I have learned over the years that all women of all races and nationalities do things to their hair cosmetically to alter its color, texture, length, style, or whatever. Unfortunately, oftentimes Black women alter their hair’s texture for reasons that go beyond the cosmetic. I don’t want to get into a long diatribe here about the self-hate that goes into some Black women’s desire to relax their hair, or wear weaves, etc. Because why women do it is not my question.

My question is – how can you possibly have a decent sex life with a relaxer or weave in your hair? Or one of those lace front wigs that is “supposed” to stay in a few weeks?

No….seriously…that’s my question. That’s it. That’s what I want to know.

Now Black men joke about how when their Black women have just returned from the salon with a freshly styled head of hair, sex is pretty much off the table for the next few days (or longer). Trips to the salon can get to be rather expensive if they are frequent. And even if you get a girlfriend or relative or someone like that to fix your hair, chances are he or she not going to always be at your beck and call to do it whenever you need it done. So in the interest of practicality, most women get as much mileage as they can out of their hair once they leave the salon. And for their men, that means either no sex (in most cases), or in some “alternative” sexual pleasuring that will not dishevel the hair too much — whatever the alternative sexual pleasuring is, the man must always mindful of the hair style must leave it intact. Most importantly, the hair must never be touched or get wet, either with water or sweat.

(SIDEBAR: Now I do know the high-end strand-by-strand weaves do allow you more freedom in these areas, but chances are if you can afford a weave that starts in the low-to-mid four figure range, you can afford to keep it up…)

So my question is ladies, does it not bother you at all to have your sex lives dictated to you by your hair style? What you do, when you do it, how you do it are all controlled by your hair – I mean, well, let me continue before I get to sounding judgmental, which is not what I want to do here. I really do want to understand. I’ll be the first to say I don’t know a lot about what goes on with relaxed hair maintenance these days, so someone school me.

Many of the things I enjoy about sex are gone the minute I put a weave or a relaxer in my hair. He can’t pull my hair. He can’t run his hands through it all the way to the scalp. He can’t wash my hair. If he touches my face, he has to make sure he doesn’t touch my hair. He can’t hold my head during oral sex. He can’t play in my hair. He can’t twirl his fingers around and through it in a random kind of way when we’re just chilling afterwards. In fact, a lot of the touching that promotes intimacy and closeness goes out the window. We can’t have sex in the shower, or the Jacuzzi, or the bath, or the swimming pool, or the ocean, or in the rain. I can’t sweat, nor can he. For me, that’s too much stuff to worry about. It kills spontaneity. It kills a lot of things for me. At that point I don’t see the need in doing it if all these “rules” are in place.

When I first cut out my relaxer, this was one of my primary reasons why I did. I remember certain people praising me for letting go of the chemicals, for not “lye-ing” anymore, for being proud of my true born hair, and yes, a tiny bit of that went into the decision. But at my core I am a practical person, and “going natural” was just as much a practical decision as anything. My hair was falling out first of all, and secondly, I could never keep my relaxed hair looking decent, because I like to screw and relaxers aren’t conducive to that. So after hours in a salon and a ton of money spent, I might look good two or three days if I kept my man away from me, and most of the time I didn’t want to do that — and just as importantly, he didn’t want me to keep him away. And while in most cases the guy would offer to significantly contribute to my hair maintenance, there then became the time issue. Even if I had the money, who has the time to spend 2-18 hours in a hair salon (depending on where you go), two or three times a week so my hair can look good for a day before my man tears it all up again? When I decided to cut my relaxer out, one of thoughts at the forefront of my mind was “now I can have sex anytime I want and not worry about whether or not I have the money to get my hair fixed!”

And that is how it’s been since 2002. I’ve had natural hair, and I have f***ed whenever I damn well pleased, wherever I’ve damn well pleased, including in blinding rainstorms, in steaming hot showers, and in blazingly hot non-air conditioned bedrooms that would make a woman with a relaxer turn away in disgust, no matter how horny she might be.

Now I’m not saying my way is the best way. It certainly isn’t the only way. It is what works for me. I’ve always been a person who didn’t like to be told what to do, especially in my personal life. So the idea that my hair was playing a significant role in my intimacy became absurd to me, and I took steps to ensure that it no longer did.


The original blog that inspired this is called “Why Men Hate Weaves”:

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