32B's Blog

…where I write my words

More Than Just Love

One day I was venting to my sister about a guy I was dating.  I told her how he does not have a retirement savings account (this is all before the recession), he does not have adequate life insurance (it was enough to cover his funeral only if he died debt free), he had no bankable skills to mention (career wise), he cannot afford to live alone (not enough income), and he is kid free never married in his right mind.  I wondered how we would live, how we would cover our bills, who would pick up most of the financial obligations, and who would be the breadwinner.  I wondered if one of us died earlier than we expected (any time prior to retirement) and I wondered if he had more children.  I wondered all these things also taking into consideration that he was about 8 years older than I, working on his credit also, making less money than I, and not degreed in any field or skill.  Looking at his financial outlook, there are slim chances he would amount to anything with so many factors not in his favor.  My sister told me I sound white because only white people approach a serious relationship/marriage thinking about finances.  I didn’t know how to respond to that.

As far as debt, I have plenty of it in student loans and I know I will paying them bad boys down for quite some years.  He, on the other hand, has a bunch of credit cards and misc bills he defaulted on during a rough patch in life.  I do not think I am better off than he but I do wonder how much potential is there.  What more can he do to increase his income without going to school (he does not see the value of a college education)?  Am I the only one who see many relationships as somewhat a business deal?  I read a lot of personal finance blogs where common folks write in about their situation.  I even wrote in once detailing my personal situation and what I should be focusing on right now while in school.  The author told me to continue focusing on my Emergency Fund until it is about $8k more than I had originally planned in time for graduation (Lord willing) and repayment of student loans.  I guess I plan plan and plan because I have kids.  I set up funds, life insurance, and money aside as a “what if” so I do not worry about getting things done because I have planned for a rainy day.  How do you explain that to someone without kids?  Single or married, everyone should have a savings at least. 

Anywho, back to the blog, the same answer to given to couple who are living together, married, or getting married – it is no longer “mine” and “his”.  It has become “our” debt and I do not want “his” debt to become “my” debt if I am unsure of the decisions and paths chosen thus far.  Not currently dating but I am just thinking.  Then what?  Can you satisfy an emotional attachment as well as a financially sound well-being?  I wish I could say love finds a way but I went through hell with my first marriage to someone who spent like crazy and had never heard of the word “save”.  Sometimes, thinking about this, I feel like a gold-digger or that I want perfection but is security perfection?  There are different levels of security depending on the person too.  I do not know.  There is often a feeling that the other person is happy in their stagnant position in life, happy on not making moves to improve anything or better their situation, and refusing to take advice.  Personal finance is basic information that no one gets enough of apparently.  This is so complicated that for the first time I do not want to deal with it.  Dealing with myself is enough.  Trying to figure out how my life will operate with someone else in it seems really hard right now and butts heads.  I just need to find someone who sees things kinda sorta like I do. 

Then a friend of mine told me I need to be in control too much.  I totally agree.  Lack of stability in the past makes you do that and seeing people slowly walk into the face of a financial storm does that as well.  No matter how much you plead for them to stop, slow down, and change course sometimes you gotta watch the storm blow the roof off their life just to say “I told you so”….but in a good way.

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September 24, 2010 Posted by | Life | , , | Leave a comment

Our Families

I read about a friend who really wants her boyfriend to propose.  I don’t know if it’s pathetic or cute.  What if someone asked me to marry them (again)?  What would I say?  My vice has always been my thinking according to most guys.  I think too often, too forward, too logically, too rational (sometimes), and these are usually accompanied by lots of questions.  Yes, this post is about Mr. D – he is killin me.  Maybe it’s just today.  Reading my friend’s thoughts about being proposed to I wonder if Mr. D did what I would say.  How would I feel.  Right now, I’d feel like I do not want his life and family.  I like him as a solo package but, contrary to popular belief, single moms are not the only ones who come as a package deal.  Mr. D comes along with his family, and their ways, and his own annoying habits towards his family.  We talked about it today and he even expressed how I am irritated because I do not get along with my family and how I am never there for them.  I throw a flag on that statement, called a penalty, and set each one of his misguided misconceptions straight: 

—–>My sister asking for money for her insulin and I initially refused but gave in eventually.  Mr. D says he would have given her the money without hesitation because it’s for her insulin.  My response: my sister spends loads of money on her hair, clothes, makeup, and other non-essential things that are serious “wants” instead of “needs”.  If I fund her “need” while allowing her to fund her “wants” then I enable and somehow encourage such behavior.  I cannot shift her priorities any more than I can shift anyone’s thinking so that is why I initially refused. 

—–>My brother needed me to take an academic exam for him.  Mr. D says he would have taken it for family.  My response: I refuse to assist anyone in cheating – family or not.  My brother did not ask me politely or correctly, he is spoil rotten, and has below average book smarts.  Why help him cheat his way into anything he did not earn?  I thought man appreciates anything they earn – is that no longer the case?  I know some who will happily accept a handout but not from my hands.  Rich folks and corporate folks aside….I will never help anyone cheat anything.

—–>My sister is pregnant and should be having her baby today or tomorrow since she was 3 cm dilated yesterday.  I told Mr. D I don’t think I will go to the hospital.  He says he would go and I know that since his entire family loves to sit in hospital lobbies as if they have the power to change circumstances from the close proximity to the patient.  My response: I had 2 babies, was breastfeeding in the hospital, constantly having a nurse come in to check my status, constantly having the pediatrician come in to take my baby away for something, and constantly being woken up to make sure I pumped/ate/or fed the baby.  Long story short, I was tired as hell!  When there were visits, usually my friends, I was irritated because I wanted to sleep and not smile while people comment on my baby as if I do not know who he looks like or how cute he is or how small he is.  Their presence made my hospital stay worse and so did the constant nagging of those nurse although their presence was relevant.  So, I base my feelings about that to my sister.  I will be there though – just not for hours.  Hospitals and funerals are 2 things I just struggle with. 

I explained this to Mr. D and he said I ask too many questions even purposefully giving me a ignorant answer out of frustration which made the situation worse.  I asked why I cared what he did with his family.  Because, forward thinking, they may become my headache.  He takes care of his 47 yr old brother who has medical conditions and he takes care of his other 47 yr old brother (twins) who has classic broke-jailbird-nigga conditions.  He spends money on family who barely utter a “thank you”.  He houses people who don’t pay him anything.  He feeds them.  Takes care of their in-town kids.  Drives them around using his gas money & time.  Mr. D has kids without needing a woman to birth them for him.  Mr. D has burdens that I do not think I can handle.  Very nice person who is extremely giving (almost too much if there’s such a thing). 

My family knows not to ask me for anything because I want to know why they need it and why they can’t fund this on their own.  I get tired of the cheap comments although they are true – I hate them because “cheap” is used to ridicule or cast me in a negative light.  No one helped me.  I know, I should be a blessing to someone else.  Even God cuts you off sometimes when you become prideful, arrogant, and just irresponsible.  I’m not God but I’m just saying.  Mr. D is an enabler but that is my opinion simply because I would not do the things he does.  Does it make him right?  Wrong?  Different strokes for different folks.  He says I ask too many questions, do not care about my family, and tries to argue his point when he isn’t smart enough to know what a point is.  He seriously argues a case I have already shut down.  How can I do this?  Then he says I do not know or understand his family.  I say that I try to understand by asking questions but my questions irritate him and he does not offer information because I’m on a need-to-know basis on certain things which means the “need” is never recognized because the questions are seen as an annoyance than a S.O.S. and we continue going in this silly stupid little circle. His family is to him as Muhammad is to Muslims – they will snatch your heart from your chest bare handed if you speak ill of him.  I just need a break from drama – this is all drama from which I want to float away.  That you surely can’t do when married.

July 9, 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life

Lots of small things.  Nothing really major to discuss.  Not sure if one is more significant than the other to deserve a blog posting. 

My landlord is about 2 weeks away from her foreclosure deadline.  There is a Re/Max sign on the front gate so I assume she is trying to sell before that time.  I asked about the situation and she reassured me she will let me know in advance when I will have to move.  A friend of mine who went through a foreclosure a year or two ago told me that as soon as the house is legally in foreclosure I am no longer required to pay rent.  I will need to find documentation for that but it sounds nice to be able to live rent-free until we are kicked out.  Not sure if my landlord will go for that but she is living mortgage-free although it will have a disastrous effect on her credit score and record.  I want to stay in the same area and have found 3 apartments within 3 blocks from my current location.  All walking distance from the same places I walk to now & within the same price range so that is excellent.

My ex passed his Series 63 exam and I think he has another one to pass as well.  I am sincerely happy for him but it is kinda hard to “chill” because he is used to sabotaging his own success.  You know those type of people?  People who seem to have the drive and determination to move mountains but give up or throw in the towel right before their breakthrough?  Yeah, he is one of those.  I have seen it countless times in the last 12 yrs to know not to get all congratulatory because he has a way of getting in his own way and, as much as I want to see him succeed, his head is hard & stubborn & stuck in its own ways.  So, kudos to passing the exam.  Now, let’s stay focused on the next task ahead.

I am terrified of marrying again.  I know I didn’t do a bad job in my first marriage but I also didn’t do a stellar job either.  I do not want to get divorced twice.  I told Mr. D this much.  He said “that’s cool”.  Then I asked “what if we end up together forever?”  He said “what’s wrong with that?”  Then I reminded him how he does not want kids unless he is married to which he said “I can always adopt” but he quickly changed that to “we’ll cross that bridge when we get there”.  He is buying a house in a nearby suburb of Chicago expecting to close in August if he gets it.  His credit score has risen 100 points since we last talked finances which is pretty awesome.  Mine is basically holding steady at “crap” which is 100 points below his so that is neither good nor bad.  I would say I am more liquid than he is because he has no disposable cash or savings.  At least not a decent amount.  You know how people just sit there and rub your face while looking at you in silence?  What does that mean?  He did that yesterday and I wanted to ask a million questions like women do such as “what are you thinking about?” but I didn’t.  I just let him awkwardly rub my face in complete uncomfortable silence and I sat there allowing myself to be rubbed.  Sounds weird. 

A lady from church ran into my sister yesterday or today or some time this week.  The lady asked my sister why I don’t go to church anymore.  My sister said “I don’t know”.  Then the lady said “well, when she did come she always seemed to hate being here as if someone rubbed her the wrong way”.  My sister said nothing.  Not sure if it was a ploy to get information or sincere concern.  I guess my sister didn’t like it at all and was kinda pissed.  I really don’t have anything positive to say so I will leave that alone.

Four more weeks before the kids are back – I think.  Still running/training.  Still reading.  Printing off the last few annual reports for a company I have interest in buying stocks in but I am still learning how to calculate intrinsic value & read these reports in a financially analytical way.  Does that make sense?  It does in my head.  I have 2 more books to get through but I did read “The Millionaire Next Door” this weekend.  I have a race in 3 weeks and my soror is coming into the town from TX again so it’s girls’-night-out the last weekend of July.  I turn 30 years old in August.  No plans.  I’ll just be happy to see that day.  If not, I gave it my all and raised my middle finger to all those who tried to stop me lol b*tches!  Note to self: I need to repent for a lot of stuff.

June 30, 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Balance

It’s Mother’s Day today but I do not feeling like writing about anything “mother” related.  My son’s birthday events were this weekend so I am indeed tired right now and needing a break from kids in general but they are asleep so I’m on my way to being good.  I ran my usual 6 miles.  I’d bought new running shoes but wonder why my ankles were killing me from the day I first ran in them.  I Googled ankle running injuries but found nothing so I decided to run in my old running shoes just to feel some normalcy.  I put both shoes on and felt different.  Then I took off one old shoe and put on one new shoe and realized the new shoe was much heavier than the old.  Ain’t that ’bout a b*tch!  So that is what I decided was the cause of my ankle pain….heavy shoes which were too much for my ankles to lift I guess.  I ran in my old shoes having added stretching back to my old regimen and my time was 45:29 – almost 7 minutes faster than my 6 mile run a couple of days ago.  I didn’t feel like I had run almost 7 minutes faster but I definitely felt stronger, my muscles didn’t feel tight, no screaming from my legs at all, and I felt good from start to finish.  Shave 5 minutes off that and I will definitely be within reach of a decent half-marathon finish.  I called Hanson Stadium (a track where I ran most of my city track meets during high school), they are open to the public so I have a place to do my speed workouts this summer.  The search is officially back on for new running shoes though.  I never thought the weight of the shoe could actually lead to a possible injury.  Lesson learned.

I’m still reading Midlife Crisis at 30 and finding out I need to pinpoint what makes me happy and how I want to live my life.  I do not care to have more kids because, although I love babies, starting over with sleepless nights and changing putrid diapers is not my thing.  I never knew whether I wanted kids until I delivered.  I watched over them like a hawk but it was more so militant protection than a normal maternal nature complete with soccer games, playdates, and Mozart music.  I knew I wanted to be married but I had no idea how to look for a mate, what I wanted in a mate, who I was, or what I wanted in life to know if he aligned with that.  I thought I knew love but I realized I knew loyalty and compromise more so sustaining it was a no-brainer and I wondered if love was just a way to translate how he too compromised and exhibited loyalty instead of love being an emotion felt.  My career was and is just a job I have to pay the bills.  Now, I like my job and it’s flexibility so I may stay till they boot me out since finding another job with such perks has been needle-in-a-haystack difficult.  I like wfh and seeing my kids to and from school.  I wouldn’t change anything but, at times, I feel like I should want to change it which is a fight I have with myself as a result of comparing myself to others’ career paths which I honestly do not want.  Me so crazy.  My next job or career move is TBD so when I know I will let everyone else know.

For 2010, my financial goal was to eliminate debt which has turned into not creating any more debt which has worked out somewhat.  My emergency fund is still going good although I should make some leeway in the next coming months when the kids leave for the summer freeing up childcare funds.  My goal is to have $10k in savings as my emergency fund which should be about 6-8 month expenses.  It’s May and I am officially half way there.  Next yr, I will put that money into a savings acct with a higher APY which keeps it liquid but work on saving toward a house.  I was toward 3.5% is a good amount to have although there are several programs to help you with your down-payment.  Also, working on my investments is numero uno on my list for next yr too.  I pray I am alive next yr because I still have a dent to make in my estate before I feel comfortable leaving this earth with nothing to give my kids although it’s not up to me.  This week I should be able to secure my life insurance policy….this has dragged on and on and on!  I do not spend as much as I thought, I am very conservative & frugal, and I have great discipline when it comes to money.  I am proud of myself when it was only a yr or two ago that I had no savings, loads of debt, paydays loans, and a disconnect notice for an electric bill that amounted to hundreds of dollars.  I think I have found a good balance.

Mr. D called me crazy this weekend and he is absolutely correct.  I wish I could lie and say I’m not but I am.  Not medically crazy but crazy in some behavioral ways – definitely.  It’s been almost a yr since we started dating so I sat down and thought about how life would be if we got married today.  Had a baby today.  We aren’t near that point (esp since he thinks I am crazy but I wanted place 2012 on the current situation and see how things would look.  I do not like it because I see myself being a single mom with a baby since he will work 20 hours of a 24 hour day, I will get significant face-time only because we will live together, he does not listen to me, and although he respects a woman who makes more than he does she will still be expected to do most of the household chores which is asinine.  I think the bulk of my issues lie with not being heard and having him hear only half of what I am saying and offering solutions when I did not ask him for it.  I offer advice on some of his financial matters and he does not heed my warnings.  I tell him outright to stop doing A immediately and do B now and he says “ok” but does nothing.  I vent about my job and how I do not get SQL 2005 platforms and how it has anything to do with Windows 7 and our software at work but he offers advice on it just to hear his self talk.  I wonder if he respects me as a woman – he says “yes”.  I wonder if he listens to my financial advice – he says “yes”.  I wonder if he sees me as his equal knowing the day will never come when “cook” will be my daily role – he says “yes”.  All that translates into is lies because his actions do not align with the words coming from his mouth which would be detrimental to Denisha Inc. 

My problem has never been what my life is supposed to be.  I tend to enjoy it as it is and make changes when I need to.  My job funds my goals right now since I have no clear direction on how to make the world a better place just yet.  My running is going well and I am excited to keep running and add speedwork to my training.  I bought $3 non-cotton running shorts from Family Dollar so I was über excited and got a pack of tanks for free.  I have a book on hold at the library called The Intelligent Investor which explains value investing and is allegedly a Top 10 Books on Investing.  I do know many men personally whom I respect.  Most I meet have pride issues, think I ask too many questions, think I am nosey because I want to protect my interests, and find my non-traditional ways unlike their mom’s whether they admit it or not.  My dating life will continue to suffer as a result.  Not sure how the story called my life will unfold next but, in the meantime, I will continue what I do best.  Protect the foundation of Denisha Inc keeping it protected and running strong for the interest of its two little future heirs.

May 9, 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marry Me, My Friend

Saturday I went to see the highly anticipated, grossly over-rated, overly dramatic, and needlessly emotional movie by Tyler Perry starring Tyler Perry called Why Did I Get Married Too?  It left me wondering why I wasted my hard-earned money.  Supporting our people is important to me but it is sad how the 1st one was so good just to end in this train-wreck with the obvious intent of a part 3.  Watching this movie got me to thinking about marriage in general.  I am no where close to getting married but I know quite a few friends/associates who are engaged, wondering when their man will pop the question, or in a relatively serious enough relationship to take pre-martial classes individually or as a couple.  I am sad to say I am a divorcee.  But I am happy to say I am divorcee (lol) & not one of the many African-American women who have never been married.  I would love to get married again.  I believe in the sanctity of marriage but, like college, marriage is not for everyone but it is for me.  All of my friends who are engaged are first-timers so I love to hear the little updates on the planning of the wedding, finding THE dress, picking the flowers, finding his ring, and booking the perfect honeymoon destination.  I think it’s extremely cute….like a new mom with a newborn baby.  You see the joy and unrealistic glimmer in her eyes but you whisper to yourself “wait for it…..wait for it” because you know there will come a day when she will wonder “why? why? why?”  Not at the baby or at her husband but at the naivety of thinking things will be picture perfect and problem-free. 

I have been told I think too much about things without letting things flow.  I don’t flow.  It’s not something my mind can do too often but, when it does, it is beautiful.  So I’ve been told.  I treat men like they are my lab rats.  So I’ve been told.  I over-think and over-analyze everything.  I ask too many questions.  I expect too much.  I have expectations period.  I have a timeline.  I have the intention of going from point A to point B but I always end up with a serial point A person who ain’t ready for point B so I take the criticism cheerfully (after some time) and move on.  I know what I want.  The good thing is that guys know up front what my ammo is.  The bad thing is guys know up front what my ammo is (lol).  I say that to drive home how messed up communication is within some of the relationships I see.  It’s not that he thought you wanted A or that you thought he wanted B.  You 2 never talked about it at all!  Relationships involve a lot of talking (partly from women) but the important talks are tabled because it might be too soon, it might disrupt the flow, it’s taboo, it’s always something negative but never anything positive.  Talking about where this person is coming up short, what they do that is a deal-breaker that they have no clue about, or what you struggle to give them so you stay at a safe emotional distance….those are important things to talk about but not all the time to miss out on the fun of making memories & moments.  But, talking about them makes sure both parties are on the same boat, heading in the same direction, interested in finding the same shoreline, so they can bask in the sun along the way.  Communicate.  It solves more problems than it creates.

I don’t think people understand what a marriage involves although they know what a marriage is.  I don’t think people understand what they have to bring to the table or it’s highly inflated.  I think people ask for more from their mate than they are willing to do themselves.  I think people get married because it’s “time” or it’s the right thing to do.  I think marriage has become a step in the overall process of dating/courting instead of the legal confirmation of an already existing committment.  If you don’t already see her as your wife (or him as your husband) then it won’t suddenly happen as soon as you sign the dotted line.  I think most things are a state of mind as opposed to an executed action which is why some things fall apart and others stay together.  Why, in some things, we are totally disciplined while other things trip us up every time.  If you don’t see him as your husband that does not mean you never will….it might mean it’s too soon.  Every relationship should have check points (imo) to access how far the other has grown and/or accomplished their goals they told you about during the early dating phase.  At these check points, the other person should honestly access where they are too as far as their own development.  The basic levels of self-sufficiency are fine when starting out but 2 or 3 years into things, what are your new goals now that you’ve accomplished those?  Do you require him to play your husband when it comes to his money but you play his girlfriend when it comes to the sex?  (I’m sure I didn’t word that correctly) Do you really want to spend your savings on this ring and this new house forcing you both to start off broke but married?  If all these things wash away in another recession, will he/she still be the apple of your eye or a thorn in your side?  It’s funny how some refuse to bend for the person they claim to love or bend too much when that person made it obvious you are a back-up plan.

I remember when I saw the 1st Why Did I Get Married?  I like it.  Some members of my church liked it as well but they disagreed with a part of the movie that involved the husband cheating and never caring much at all about the wife so, eventually, the wife decided to pursue a better man and hand her husband the “ex”.  Church friends said the woman should have gone back to her husband and continue their marriage before the eyes of God.  My point?  Folks always got something to say when it does not involve them.  Let me answer to God, ok?  I’m not afraid to do so.  I know what the church says, I know what the Bible says, and I know how everyone under the sun feels about my situation.  Let me live my own life.  Yes, it was just a movie but people always want to drive & steer your life jumping out just in time before they send you over a cliff killing all you love.  Don’t listen.  To some….listen.  To most….don’t.  The same expectations placed on you should be the same placed on the other person in the marriage.  I hate talking to my grandma about relationships because she want to apply her ancient way of thinking to modern times.  She does not understand that women will not die without a man to control the household.  She is always wanting to marry someone off.  She is always wanting a ring instead of shacking up.  But she is the one who told me she wasn’t happy in her marriage, had kids too soon, and never got to live her life.  The advice given isn’t always the advice they would have taken themselves.  I think marriage is fantastic but I also think we should take the time to develop the friendship part of our relationships.  It’s the only part that can survive a marriage.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again….I’d marry my best friend any day over the fine brotha who makes me forget my own name.

April 6, 2010 Posted by | Love | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Men, Marriage, & Monogamy

Sometime last month (I think), I was sitting here thinking about marriage and the sanctity of it while watching a news program about yet another politician cheating on his wife and calling his mistress his “soul mate”.  I did not have anger towards this man or think he was an abomination towards anything or anyone.  Oddly enough, I felt sorrow for him because he is yet another man who has found themselves participating in extra-martial affairs.  So, I wondered if marriage is what it ought to be and whether humans are even capable of being monogamous for the long-term.   It’s not to excuse this, or any guy’s, behavior but to ask if you can truly tame anything wild.  When I say “wild”, I mean anything that must deny it’s natural behavioral instincts to fit a standard or expectation that may honestly be un-natural.  I put together a small 10 question survey called Men, Marriage, & Monogamy as just a drop of water for my increasing thirst to see if people are willing to answer questions about monogamy.

First off, I did not want to limit the definition of “marriage” since my definition is based on my faith and not everyone follows the same beliefs as I.  Secondly, I truly believe that some couples who have never signed the dotted line of some legally binding document are more married than a couple who has.  Thirdly, I honestly believe that (based on my Christian faith) if God sincerely looks at one’s heart then one’s heart must be in the relationship wholeheartedly for a marriage to stand the slightest chance.  And, lastly, we wrestle with our flesh day in and day out so I would never expect marriage to cure all attraction to the opposite (or same) sex and would think anyone who claims it has is an undiagnosed lunatic or simply has not been married long enough. 

The survey was open to all married men of at least 18 yrs of age.  I was going to restrict the survey by religion or even sexual orientation but lust & attraction applies across the board in my opinion so I left it as is.  The survey is still open (I cancelled the expiration date so readers here can view the 10 questions although any married man who wants to can still participate) but I have collected sufficient data for now to complete this post.  Based on the number of married men who anonymously and voluntarily completed the survey:

Age

  • 44.4% are between the age of 26-35 while 55.6% are between the age of 36-45

My spouse is

  • 100% are married to a female (I guess no gay guys wanted to participate 😦 )

Length of marriage

  • 11.1% have been married <1 year, 44.4% have been married 1-5 years, 11.1% have been married 5-10 years, and 33.3% have been married 10-20 years

Do you love your spouse?

  • all 100% said they do indeed love their wives

The next question involved a rating scale to gauge how satisfied each married man was in the following categories:

Currently, please rate your level of satisfaction with your spouse in each area:

  • Quantity of Sex – 66.7% said it “Could be better”, 22.2% said “I’m walking clouds”, & 11.1% said “Completely content”
  • Trying New Positions – 66.7% said it “Could be better”, 22.2% said “Completely content”, & 11.1% “I’m walking clouds”,
  • Use of Toys – 77.8% said “Completely content”, 11.1% said “Could be better”, & 11.1% said “Better than I imagined”
  • Oral Sex – 66.7% said it “Could be better”, 22.2% said “I’m walking clouds”, & 11.1% said “Completely content”
  • Intercourse – 44.4% said “Better than I imagined”, 22.2% said “Completely content”, 22.2% said “I’m walking clouds”, & 11.1% said “Could be better”

Which of the following have you done since getting married?

  • all top 4 rows had a 100% “Never” response.  The last row involving just the thought of doing one or more of the above mentioned with someone other than their spouse resulted in 66.7% saying this thought has occurred “More than once” & 33.3% saying this thought has “Never” occurred.

How likely are you to remain faithful?

  • 77.8% said “Extremely Likely” while 22.2% said “Somewhat Likely”

Question #9 asked what attracts them to others & allowed the married man to write in his own answer which consisted of:

  • Intelligent conversation, appearance, physically fit women, being in close quarters with a woman for long periods of time, desire to try something different, women who they connect with in social settings find their way into their thoughts, even a women showing him attention, while some replied “nothing” or “N/A” (just listing some keys ones most men seemed to agree on so they were repeated)

Marriage has <<fill in the blank>> my sexual attraction for someone other than my spouse:

  • 55.6% said marriage has “Had no effect on” this attraction, 33.3% said marriage has “Slightly decreased” this attraction, & 11.1% said marriage has “Nullified” this attraction completely

My un-licensed conclusion from these survey results: the men who chose to participate were honest in their views (I truly appreciate that), the majority seem to have at least one sexually related area that “could be better”, the list is endless on what a certain man finds attractive so there is no one thing that catches them all off guard, and the thought alone of another woman (in this case) is a real & expected factor in most.  A friend of mine is thinking about doing a book concerning marriage & relationships so this was a big help to her although I may be asked to create more surveys in the near future about marriage, relationship, sex, or anything related.  This time the survey was targeting men only because of the politicians in the news recently so it is not a diss towards women or the ignorant thought that women do not or will not cheat.  I would hope I did not offend anyone, I would like to think my eagerness to understand the trials of a man while married in this lust-filled world are appreciated, and that my sincere gratitude towards those who participated is clearly expressed.  Until next time….

March 8, 2010 Posted by | Love, Men, sex | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Cater To You*

usher_trading_places_600*this is a repost from March 21, 2009. Thought it was interesting where my mind was at that time and wanted to share because I laughed a lot reading it.

Today, and for the last few days, I have been in a state of giving to my man but I don’t have a man so I fantasize about all the things I would do if I had someone else’s man.  Wrong?  Probably so but that’s where the issue comes.  If she isn’t doing it right.  If she isn’t catering to him.  If she isn’t keeping herself up and doing all the things he need from his woman.  Then maybe I need to be his woman.  From time to time I meet a man who has his self together, is a genuinely nice guy, knows how to have fun, has a sense of style, respects women with no strings attached, and I feel comfortable with and around him.  Of course, those men are always taken but some women have and are making some costly mistakes when it comes to keeping a man.  Some of us can pull any man we point at but keeping him….we drop the ball almost every time and it has nothing to do with personality.  She has the morals, character, integrity, sense of humor, and personality of your dream woman so things are great.  What I am referring to is the exterior.  Men are visual creatures so to say a man will never look elsewhere is a lie but you sure can remind him when his eyes focus back on you why he is with you.  The worse thing possible is to have a chick walk pass you and your man wearing a fly dress, stilettos, hair done, and smelling delicious as you watch your man’s eyes slowly scan her from head to toe and back up again.  As soon as she clears his vision he looks at you and all he sees is a poster board for “hot mess” walking beside him.

I’m not vain by any means.  I don’t think the best part of a man or woman is the exterior.  I date for the interior qualities because the exterior is negotiable but I wanna get excited just by looking at my man, get giddy when he gazes into my eyes, fantasize whenever he licks his lips, and smack that butt when he walks by from time to time.  Men desire and need the same thing.  Destiny’s Child has a song titled Cater To You and my favorite verse is: 

“I promise ya I’ll keep myself up. Remain the same chick you fell in love with. I’ll keep it tight. I’ll keep my figure right.  I’ll keep my hair fixed.  Rocking the hottest outfits.  When you come home late tap me on my shoulder I’ll roll over.”

Women, over time, tend to let themselves go.  We either stop working out or we severely decrease our physical activity which will lead to a grim result if not careful….weight gain.  A thick woman is ok for men but a fat woman is a def no-no and usually how he met you is how he likes you with some room to slip.  If she doesn’t already have children and happen to be overweight then the future isn’t looking too positive that she will sustain that sexy figure her man loved before or even readily get back to a sexy shape after childbirth if the word exercise makes her cringe and she says on a diet long enough for one meal.  Hair.  Since hair can be styled in various ways this is all up to the person but knowing your hair texture and tendencies will determine when you are looking good or looking like a troll doll.  Men want to feel attracted to you years down the road.  Of course we all change eventually.  We gain weight, we lose weight, we get too old to do some things, or too rigid to do other things.  I’m not saying get a pole at 50 yrs old and do the stripper moves while battling arthritis.  What I am saying is that if you don’t some other woman will do some things he likes.  If you think it’s a waste of time he will begin to spend his time with someone else.  If you think you have him so you can let all those things go then you will wake up and realize some other chick has had him all this time and now she has his heart too.

I met this one guy who I have been friends with for about 8 years now.  Well, he has a wife but we always seem to have fun together.  One day, we were chillin at the mall so we stopped for ice cream.  We were looking at the menu when I said, “I got you” as far as paying for his since he had bought me breakfast that morning.  He was kinda taken aback probably because his girl usually pays for…..nothing.  He commented on how I keep myself up by running regularly so I don’t even look like I ever gave birth to a baby which is a huge compliment for me.  When we’d all go out clubbin he’d compliment me on my dress while his wife wondered how I could walk in such high heels. When I told her I practice at home sometimes to get my calf muscles stronger she looked at me like I was crazy.  I wear dresses all the time during the summer and, with my stilettos, I feel girly and sexy.  I spent some extra time in the mirror doing my hair, lining my eyes in black liner, applied black mascara to highlight my eyes more, and I’d apply a coordinating shadow to bring out my eye color and/or the color of my dress.  Nothing big.  Then lipgloss.  It’s very basic to what other women do but then it can be extreme for someone who does nothing more than shower, brush teeth, and apply some lotion.

As I mentioned earlier, I have yet to find my good man but when I do….there is no limit to what I’d do for him.  I’d be at his beck and call because he has already proven he’ll do the same things for me.  If I like when he wears button up shirts with cuff links he’ll do so whenever we go out because he knows I find that sexy.  If he knows I like my neck rubbed when I get home from work he will take the time to do it.  Even if I like him to cuddle with me on the couch no reason other than to be close to him…he will do it.  It will become, “she likes it when I do blah blah blah” instead of “I betta do blah blah blah blah blah”.  Or, “she thinks it’s sexy when I wear blah blah blah” instead of “I wear what I can still fit”.  It’s a choice sometimes as well as a duty.  Catering is not always about looking like a Barbie doll or all made up because artificial store bought beauty will never replace natural beauty.  Catering is not always what can I buy you, give you, or do for you.  Catering is as much a submission on both sides knowing you probably don’t feel like it, don’t like to, or don’t enjoy it yourself but you love to see that look on his face, that smile on his lips, and knowing you have him swooning.  He is already the man of your dreams just by being who he is.  Now make sure he remains your man in reality by doing what he needs from his woman.  Dang I need a man!

October 25, 2009 Posted by | Love | , , , , | Leave a comment

Exit Psychology?

Exit__by_Breaker12Looking at couples, I always wondered about this strange phenomenon…..why do couples remain together for yrs upon yrs but, as soon as they sign on the dotted line, they split up?  I have heard people say that marriage jinx the success of the relationship, that people change once they say “I Do”, and/or that a lot of people simply don’t understand the commitment & hardships that come along with marriage.  Ok, I have a question….what is the difference between being married for 10 yrs and being in a committed monogamous live-in relationship for 10 yrs?  If all things are the same across the board except one union is legally binding and the other is not (unless we count common law marriage), then what really is the difference?  I don’t think there is one.  I have known many couples who “play house” and go through the same things married couples do but I hear twice as often the threat to leave from the married couples.  Just trying to place both scenarios on the same playing field before I make my theory….yep, I’m putting on my thinking cap.  Let’s say that, all things considered, a legally binding union plays more on the psyche than anything else.  Does that make sense?  Hear me out for a sec…

I thought there was an experiment done involving rats and their idea of escape.  I tried to Google it many times but either my keywords were waaaay off or there is no such experiment outside of my dreams but I swear I remember reading about it somewhere.  If you place a rat in a box decorated to resemble it’s normal habitat with one or more doors/exits, when you alter the conditions slightly, the rat will move away from the bothersome condition but never actually leave the box.  These conditions vary from making the box warmer than normal, colder than normal, making the box vibrate to simulate a natural disaster, gradually decreasing or increasing the size of the box overtime without the rat noticing, or anything else that may cause the rat to panic when the norm becomes abnormal.  When these variables changed, the rat would approach the exit(s), even leave momentarily only to return, but often times than not, the rat remained in the box knowing that if need be the exit would allow for a speedy escape.  Now, all things remaining the same in this experiment, remove the exit(s) so the rat is complete closed into the box and allow the different conditions to take place.  Without an exit in sight, as the conditions began to change, panic grew to an alarming rate the rat almost went crazy trying to find an escape.  What was a slight irritation before in the presence of an exit was now unbearable when the rat realized there was no way out if it desired it.  The way the rat handled the same condition change varied drastically to the same condition change with the exit(s)….excessive panic at the notion of not being able to leave.

Now, I’m not scientific in anything, I have a degree in the research of nothing, and I am likely experienced in everything but this….however, this is my uneducated and personal opinion on what I think some people do.  I think people are content when there is an exit such as in the relationship.  You can always break up, call it quits, pack up and leave, take the kids & the dog while you chuck the deuces, and bounce.  Relationships offer that and the beauty of them is that both parties are there because they want to be there not because they promised they’d stay there.  In a marriage, you are legally bound to the other person but, more importantly, you took an oath before God to stay until death.  There’s a legal and spiritual aspect weighing on you and you’d hate to go against either of those (esp the latter) and we all go into a marriage saying in full faith and confidence that “I’d never get a divorce”.  Maybe this is all junk but I see it time and time again.  If not this, then why do they split?  Why do some remain together for decades just to finally get married and can’t make it one tenth of a decade?  The mind is a powerful thing….full of trickery & illusions.  I’m not saying feeling panic or anxiety is wrong because all exit(s) have  been removed as soon as you said “I Do”.  I’m not saying it’s wrong to have an exit(s) just in case the need strikes to escape.  The same conditions….the same environment….the same person who you thought was sooo cute early in the morning looking like a Troll Doll with garbage breathe….nothing has changed.  All I’m saying is that if you need to have an exit available to make you stay than you should re-evaluate your love for that person as well. Or, maybe your love for the person and your psyche’s play on an exit are independent of each other.

If that doesn’t make sense, how about an island?  How much fear, anxiety, panic, or worry sets in if you realize you’re on an island with nothing but water as far as the eye can see around you?  How much of that subsides if you see a paddle boat on shore not too far from where you stand?  No matter what amenities are available to you on this island by way of food, entertainment, drinks, clothing, luxury whatever, and anything else your heart desires….the thought of no escape can be more troublesome than the thought of a possibility.  My theory, a penny with a hole in it, so take it for what it’s worth.

August 30, 2009 Posted by | Love | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fireproof

fireproof-poster-kirk-camerI’d heard of the movie but hadn’t watched it until Saturday evening when one of my Prayer Warriors heard about it from our First Lady of the church.  So, while running errands, we stop to buy it and I sat down to watch it not sure what it was about but knew it was Christian related.  As the movie started I thought, “this is soooo corny and bad acting” but I kept watching it since it did have some good parts.  What was the best was how they captured the emotions of a marriage when it’s rocky.  How they presented good examples of how you think things will be better if you go left but you are actually facing the wrong direction.  What I found to be so true and the heart of the overall message was how we get married not completely understanding what it means to love someone unconditionally.  Yes, you love them but will that love still exists when the times get bad?  When he is riding the last strand of your last nerve?  When peace is all you want even if it means divorce?  When you recall hate when you see him but no ounce of the love you once knew.  The leading actress said it best when she said (paraphrasing), “when a woman has been wounded repeatedly she no longer allows the hurt to occur so in its place is anger.”  I had gotten to the point in my previous marriage where I was more so angry at him instead of hurt because I had been hurt for so long I realized it was not getting me anywhere. 

The moment when I cried was when the lead actor cried.  I cried as if he was kneeling beside me apologizing for his behavior.  A man crying is often seen as a sign of weakness instead of a deep feeling of remorse and regret.  There were so many ways he could have said he was sorry but, like women, he showed his emotions and that is how I best related to that scene.  All the time I hear (and experience) how difficult it is to communicate with the opposite sex but when we stop being selfish and expecting the other to communicate as we can comprehend then we can get somewhere.  It took humility for him to even do the Dare.  It took a lot of love and patience after constant rejection.  It took him allowing God in to change him from within.  After the movie was over I found myself wondering if I could have or still could apply at least some of those suggestions to revive what was my marriage.  I still feel the same as I did before the movie…I made the right decision. 

I always wanted him to change for me and that never happened.  I even tried to force him to change for me and you can imagine what a headache that was.  I left and decided to leave it in God’s hands and I saw, and don’t see, any hint of God anywhere in his life.  When we got married I called myself a Christian because I was raised Christian and that was all I knew.  I stuck with the faith because I wanted to pick a side between the other religions out there.  It wasn’t until after the fact that I realized I was playing the role instead of embodying it.  I wish I had married a Christian man but I didn’t.  My cry was that God was never present so how could this work out and I have heard that scripture about one Christian spouse covering the non-believing spouse (paraphrasing again) but….but I was on a different path from the time before and I couldn’t see him as my spouse anymore.

In addition to this movie, I was told about a book for married couples or singles in hopes of getting married one day.  I can’t remember the title but it’s something along the lines of his and her needs.  There is a list of ten Needs from which each spouse, or single person, ranks as their top five to gauge what needs they must have met in a marriage. 

The ten Needs are:

  • Admiration
  • Affection
  • Sexual Fulfillment
  • Conversation
  • Recreational Companionship
  • Attractive Spouse
  • Financial Support
  • Honesty & Openness
  • Family Commitment
  • Domestic Support

It does not include religious background but I guess that is something you should be aware of from day one.  Unselfishly meeting the needs of your spouse is something that requires a commitment and diligence. 

My top 5 needs:

  • Conversation
  • Honesty & Openness
  • Family Commitment
  • Financial Support
  • Sexual Fulfillment

I didn’t have any of this before I got married.  I didn’t even belong to a church or knew any real Christians who could give advice, tell me about their experiences, or usher me in the right direction.  All my friends who were married were too busy going through their own issues to spend time helping me through mine and I don’t think they belonged in my marriage anyways.  God should have been the third strand (Not Easily Broken – T.D. Jakes) but I didn’t know Him then and had only heard of Him.  I pray there is a next time around and that I do this right then.  I don’t know why I keep reading and watching this marriage stuff when I don’t have one.  Some say it’s best to be prepared than to be unprepared.  I guess. 

This thing takes time, effort, diligence, and faith to preservere.  That leads me to the next point I loved from the Fireproof movie….the husband had stopped learning his wife.  In the beginning, we want to court/date and get to know the other person, their likes and dislikes, their future aspirations and dreams, their stand on different key areas of life and/or parenting, and how that fits into our lives.  It’s fun and frustrating learning someone but it shows diligence when you don’t give up.  In the movie, he made the effort.  A lot of guys don’t do that now and I am at the dating /courting stage.  That must mean I am wasting time on the wrong ones.  Add on personal baggage, past hurts, guards up, and cynicism then you truly have a fight on your hands.  As the movie said, “love is not a fight but it’s something worth fighting for”.   We shall see.

April 19, 2009 Posted by | God, Love, Me | , , , | 2 Comments

Self-Reflection in Progress

self-evaluationI guess lately has been a time of self-reflection because I keep saying, “I am working on me” but when I think about what I am saying I realize I am not working anything but my mouth.  It is hard to look at yourself in the mirror and evalute what and who you see standing before you in order to prevent some things you have done in the past from making it’s way to your future.  This blog came about because my married friends are having issues as all married couples do from time to time.  She calls me to complain about him, about something he did or didn’t do, how he doesn’t help her out around the house, how he is selfish, and (this is the kicker) how he cries too much.  Often times than not, she calls me when he is in the same room and I hear her yelling at him and he knows she is talking to me and all I can do is calm her down because I know she is talking crazy simply because she is pissed.  As her friend, as most men fear, I don’t get in her marriage and tell her to leave him.  I remind her of how much she loves him, how she didn’t marry him because she had nothing else to do that day, and how he is a good man.  So he doesn’t cook all the time, he leaves his dirty drawers on the floor right next to the hamper, he messes up more than he cleans up, and he cries when he is emotional about something.

I half expect her to tell me I don’t know what the hell I am talking about or to throw my own failed marriage in my face when it seems I am taking his side but, thank God, she knows me and she knew my marriage as I know hers.  She eventually calms down and she gets back to being in love with him all over again.  This past weekend, she told me that he is making some changes since he became apart of this Christian men group where they can go to vent about stuff men vent about but not barbershop type stuff…..churchy type stuff of “What Would Jesus Do?” or “What does God want to teach me?”  I value marriage.  At times I still feel like a failure that my own didn’t work.  I know the divorce rates.  It doesn’t sound good to tell people that I am actually a divorcee instead of just single.  My guy friends have tried to encourage me by saying that it shows I am wifey material.  Yeah, sometimes I am a the-glass-is-half-empty type chick.

I see the beauty in marriage and I don’t want her to lose her’s over something stupid.  At times I wonder why I want to get married again when so many men have an open fear of it then what are my odds?!  I don’t worry about that.  I am taking care of me by getting to know me again and figuring out what I did wrong.  The funny part is that not a single friend of mine or his (my ex) would say I was to blame but the reality of it is that I am accountable for something.  But what is that what?  That is another blog coming soon but, for now, I am glad I have real and honest friends who don’t sugar coat or act like they like a sitcom life behind closed doors.  I guess her husband doesn’t dislike me because he is still quite cordial to me when I see him or call for her.  He could think I am an angry black woman who ain’t got a man and want her friends to be single as well….clearly, I am not.

My thing is that I never saw a marriage that worked growing up.  I never saw a couple who struggled and stayed together because they simply love each other no matter what bill was due, how the groceries were low, and things just weren’t going all fairy taley like they thought.  I never saw a man cry because he missed his wife when she left in the middle of an argument.  I never saw a woman set aside her pride to tend to her husband because he deserved it.  I never saw a man cry in front of his wife and she comforted him like he has comforted her on several occasions.  I never saw communication…I always saw broken communication though.  If you never see the sun do you even know it exists?  My father left us when my parents divorced and later said we weren’t his kids.  Every man in my life has left me or claimed to never have wanted me but later, when I walked away instead of begging him stay, they came back asking for my forgiveness.  That is when I finally understood what it means to harden your heart….didn’t know I had done it until it was time to actually forgive them face-to-face instead of spitting in their face.

I was up against all odds when I got married…destined to fail because I never saw a positive example….and fail I did.  I fell flat on my face but I wasn’t angry about it.  I did, said, acted in a way that was not conducive to a happy marriage sometimes but I stayed and wanted to stay but he didn’t want me anymore.  The college life and the college girls were more exciting than me and my stable home with the kids.  How it stings to hear that again.  What really is a strong black woman?  A woman who has weathered the storms of life and never lost the goodness of her character and integrity.  That was the answer I heard on this movie recently.  Strong not because I haven’t cried, battled low self-esteem, fought off depression, or pleaded with God many lonely nights. Strong because I knew when to leave and when to stay knowing that I was still not alone.  They always come back but it’s always too late.  That is what I have learned and grasped thus far as I continue to “work on me”.

February 18, 2009 Posted by | Me | , , , , , | Leave a comment