32B's Blog

…where I write my words

Eat My Words?

Last month, I wrote this blog post about a guy I was dating.  Basically, I wrote this about him:

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.

Long story short, he read this post and made one line in particular his Facebook status.  “…there are slim chances he would amount to anything with so many factors not in his favor”.  I read it on his page and thought to myself, “what happened now?” so I texted him.  He then told me that I had written those words and that he now knows how I truly feel about him.  Inside I struggled with myself over my response…I replied “ok” and that was that.  Do I eat my words and regret ever writing them knowing that there was a chance he would read this blog since it is public?  No.  Honesty prevails whether I should have told him how I felt or not is another subject.  I never meant any harm and, if you read the post itself, I was making a point of how those in relationships should and must consider the financial state of the other person because it may no longer be a “their debt” category if the relationship progresses into something serious – it becomes “our debt”.  I even commented about my huge student loan debt, I write here often about paying that down and accepting the fact that I may die first before that balance is zero.  I have written about my own personal bills, getting my personal finances in order, funding my emergency account, and having finally gotten life insurance for myself in the event I die sooner rather than later and leave my family struggling to cover my expenses.

Did what I write change how I felt about him?  No.  Does it matter now?  Nope, but I am sure my name is apart of some Gold Digger file cabinet guys register ex-girlfriends under when the female even hints at money in any way that makes him uncomfortable, insecure, or less than a man.  What he replied back to me today, “I know what you think about me” is so far from the truth that it’s apart of another galaxy.  Money does not make the person or else I, and a lot of other people, would be piles of shit laying along the side of the road.  And, quite frankly, if money was ever an issue I would have not bothered from day one, I would have ran when he lost his job and started collecting unemployment, would have chucked the deuces when he couldn’t afford to go out like we used to,  and I would have bailed when he was searching day after day for housing knowing he was getting kick out of his apartment pretty soon.  I still stayed you asshole!  Is the amount of money important to me?  No.  Is stability important to me?  Yes.  Is what you do with your money important to me?  Yes.  We need to be able to pay our bills, take care of any kids we may have, and plan for a brighter future where we live more than work ourselves to death – that is my goal as far as finances and notice I said we (had to bold and underline that one since most guys think women are looking to be taken care of financially – wrong chick).

I talked to him about his life insurance.  I told him the policy he has (or had, not sure anymore) was a rip off and he should get out of it and buy his own policy for the same if not lower price with a much higher death benefit if not now than later.  We have talked about stocks, investments, retirement accounts, and savings.  I have been very outspoken on what I think he should do, what I have read, what tips I plan to utilize, and what he should be doing at his age at this point in his life.  I talked about my student loan debts and told him they amount to the price of a small home.  He knows about a car loan I am still paying off.  He knows about defaulted credit cards I had way back when in college.  He knows I am in school now denying every student loan thrown my way because I would rather pay out-of-pocket for any expenses my company does not cover than dig myself in deeper doo-doo.  He knows this and I talk about my finances openly like everything else we have ever talked about.  My frustration was because he did not listen to me.  Ok, maybe I wanted him to do what I said on some of those suggestions – I’ll admit that but I think I am right on most esp the retirement account.

There is nothing else to say about the topic, the fact that he read my blog, or was offended by anything I wrote about him.  I would make the same financial analysis with any other guy and I have with every other guy so no one shall ever be exempt just like I would expect a guy to make the same analysis of my financial state before we get “serious” because my small house of student loans and car loan debt will interfere with our monthly cash flow as we merge all of our monthly expenses into one cash pool.  My debt does not go away with marriage as his debt does not go away – we gotta budget for them both so just face the facts!  And, just like I access every other compatibility within a relationship, it is amazing how sex and money are the sensitive buttons when it comes to guys.  If you even insinuate they are inadequate in either, they get pissed, call you names, and/or say you never really loved them.  Newsflash, the many times I brought these topics up – that showed I cared enough to talk to you about them, wanted to offer my suggestions, share what I have read, or tell you what I was doing to make my own finances better just like you have talked to me about areas in my life where I totally suck or need to “get it together”.  Lastly, I do not regret a single line or word I wrote on this blog and I will not apologize but I do acknowledge how my words offended you deeply so for that I am truly sorry.

October 20, 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , | 4 Comments

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.

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

Say Hello To My Little Friend!

Beautiful night.  Gorgeous even.  Warmth in the air sans the sun.  Cold water on our feet and sand between our toes.  People and couples walking by and sitting out enjoying the late night.  It must be almost 2am.  If not, close to it.  Me being me, I wonder how I can extend this evening.  This night.  This date.  Maybe I can sleep over.  In his arms.  It was worth a try although, from past experience, rejection was a usual result.  I turn to him to ask if that would be ok.  No, not tonight.  I frown in disappointment as I ask “why”.  His room is a mess.  There is no privacy.  The walls are paper-thin.  You can hear everything.  I asked how loudly or private must the room be to sleep.  It is not sleep he anticipates.  I correct him.  He still says “no”.  I boil with frustration.  File this as rejection #235,121 in our chart as I walk around and ask him to take me home.  Questions from him: “Why? What’s wrong?  Why can’t you wait?”  All legitimate questions but not at this point.  At this point, they are all silly questions which pisses me off even more but I can’t say that.  I cannot say I am tired, frustrated, ready to cry, ready to scream, or 2 minutes from wanting to punch something or somebody in anger.  Instead, I repeat that I just want to go home.  In the car, I ask again….calmer than I was before and wearing my hat of “Understanding”.  I was told that an open mind and desire to compromise nicks arguments in the bud even the same ones you have over and over and over again.  No one ever mentions how the other person must do the same or meet you halfway.  Same answer to my question.

I admit, I want my way at times.  Usually, when something does not make sense or I cannot stretch my mind to wrap it around a concept/thought/action/accusation I grow increasingly frustrated to the point where I need to distance myself from the matter.  At this point, I asked him to pull over.  He did.  I opened the door, grabbed my purse, and got out of his car.  I was standing on the sidewalk in front of a park downtown.  I know this park.  Not sure the name of it but I know it.  I begin to walk.  Hard.  I throw my purse over my shoulder, I begin to talk to myself, I run my fingers through my hair, I exhale loudly, and I wanna to kick myself for putting myself in this situation.  I hear him behind me.  He has left his car too.  He asks me to get back into the car.  I refuse.  I need to be alone.  I’ll be fine.  I can call or catch a cab.  He says it’s dangerous out here.  No, what is dangerous is my anger level so leave me alone before I blow a valve although that is humanly impossible – allegedly.  I tell him this.  Not in anger at him but to be left alone.  It is not him I am mad at.  I am mad at myself.  Well, I was only mad at myself until I feel him grab me.

I turn to look at him like he is crazy.  I pull my arm from his grasp and continue walking.  He grabs my arm again harder this time and I cannot pull it free.  I tell him to let me go.  He tells me to get in the car.  I try to scream but, honestly, I’m not a screamer although that sounds stupid to say.  I yank my arm around unsuccessfully.  His fingers are hurting me.  Digging into my arm.  I dig my nails into his arm and tell him to let me go.  He says he is not leaving me out here.  I am fine!  I do not want to go with you!  He pulls me towards the car.  Little woman I am, I cannot stop my body from moving towards his car.  I instantly become dead weight letting my body fall towards the ground.  He tries to pull me up.  I tell him to stop.  He finally picks me up over his head my body in the air over his shoulder.  I grab my purse, unzip it, reach in, and pull out my corkscrew-type weapon I carry with me.  He sees it and places my feet back on the ground.  I yank my arm away this time successfully.  “Leave me alone”, I tell him this again.  All he says is, “you are going to stab me?”  “I just want to be left alone”, I repeat.  “I cannot believe you would stab me!” he says.  Is he even listening to me?  Does he even hear me?  I place some distance between us keeping the corkscrew in my hand at my side never holding it between us or in any way that would seem like I would use it if necessary.  My goal was for him to know I was serious, to stop grabbing me, get your hands off me, and put me down. 

He got the message.  He walked back to his car.  He drove away.  I exhaled.  I sat down in the park for what seemed like 30-40 minutes just thinking and calming myself down.  What the hell just happened?  I didn’t care.  It was early in the morning and our wonderful evening was a memory.  Days later, he breaks up with me.  His friend said the corkscrew was a red flag.  That I may have a history of domestic violence.  His friend wondered what if it had been a gun.  His friend said I should never have gotten that angry to pull it out.  His friend said no one should ever get that upset.  His friend said had the tables been turned and a man showed signs he was going to hit me, I would be gone asap.  His friend said a lot of things including “you should date other people” so that is when he said “we should just be friends”.  Did anyone catch the reason why I pulled out the corkscrew?  Did his friend even get the complete story?  Am I really being labeled a violent psycho chick?  Was he serious when he said he was afraid for his life?  When does a man show a “sign” that he might hit you?  Is there ever a sign?  From my personal experience, a sign is the actual action.  He either hits you or he does not.  He either swings or he does not.  Every story has 2 sides, maybe more depending on the number of parties involved.  There are several “bad things” about this one but the irony lies in the fact that he suggested I carry something and not be afraid to use it since I am petite and easy to overpower.  Forcibly trying to get me into the car – that part was overlooked or untold.  Crazy chick with a pointy object in her hand – that part was expounded upon.  He told his story.  This is my story.

July 22, 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

My Life – Updates

Went out today with the intentions of running another 6 miles – my usual.  It was warm today but not humid which is great because my breathing does not do well in humid conditions which is why I am praying for cooler weather come Sept for just that weekend at least.  Anywho, I fuss over what to wear.  Not sure anyone else does this but I do.  I wear simple basic clothing (not always famous brand names) that must fit my body well.  Today, I wore $3 running shorts from Family Dollar and a white tank I bought from the corner store for $2.  The only famous name brands I wore was my Nike shoes, Nike watch, and Victoria’s Secret racerback bra.  My shorts and tank fit snugly and I looked good (imo, my booty is to die for).  I was going running but I made sure I looked good running lol I know, sounds trivial!  By mile 1 I was feeling good telling myself to stay relaxed and just run since I decided to just run and not focus on time although my watch was still ticking.  I was feeling so good I kept running past my normal turn around points till I had finished 9.5 miles.  When my mind started to progress the distance, it was too late….I had already ran to the point of no return and had to run back unless I didn’t plan on going back home at all.  That is what I do to myself.  By the time I reached about the 8 mile mark, my thighs were beginning to feel fatigued from the constant movement although I was careful not to overspend myself.  One foot in front of the other, inhale & exhale through my nose only, relax my arms/shoulders/face, and enjoy the run to see where it takes me.  I am proud of myself.  It’s supposed to rain Thursday but a little rain never hurt anyone.  Truthfully, I can be a bit of an exhibitionist.  No one calls you that if your body looks good.  The fat chick?  Call the police now!!

My personal finances have stalled a little bit.  I lost track of bills since switching to e-bills so now I have switched back to paper.  Yes, I am killing trees but these late fees from forgotten bills are no joke.  Not too far behind but it is messing up my monthly contribution to my savings account which means June may see no contribution at all while I fix my mistakes and pay other bills completely off.  May saw a $200 decrease.  July should be back to normal with my goal of $500-800/month put aside till the kids get back from summer vacation.  If I fall behind on my emergency funds goal then I will not be prepared to invest full-time next year.  Still into my investing books for now.  I have most of my papers squared away.  My friend joked that I am “ready to die” lol …. on paper?  Yes.  Spiritually?  Hardly so.  I read in one of my books that the people who have enough money set aside to take care of small emergencies and/or to live on for a few months sleep more soundly at night than those with not a dollar saved.  I do sleep soundly but I do not put faith in my account balance.  God has a way of showing you who’s God and making sure you always put your faith where it should be so, quite frankly, I am still afraid of Him.  However, I am not stupid.  God does give us common sense.  Save save save!!

Job is going well.  I officially work independently which I can state with confidence since I’ve had that line on my resume for years now.  My supervisor acts as if I work for myself, by myself, and am in need of little to no supervision.  So, I do just that.  If I have a question, I find the answer on my own.  If I need a connection to a database made, I contact our Director of Implementation and finish my work.  If I need my supervisor at all, it’s to go through him to our manager for something.  Other than that, I work as if I am a department of one.  I am in charge of my customers and anything they have an issue with and any place where I drop the ball.  Lots of responsibility and room to prove yourself but also lots of room to make mistakes with no hiding them.  I have had customers who did not like my answer, go to my supervisor with the entire string of emails we’ve sent back and forth expecting my supervisor to reprimand me.  He stood by my decision.  Vote of confidence indeed.  Weight on my shoulders as well.  I went from a department of 2 to another department of 2 – I don’t think I’d make it in a regular job with a bigger company where managers love to micromanage the hell outta everyone.  I like the freedom and the trust placed in my abilities.  I like making sure my solutions/suggestions will stand up in the court of my manager’s critique.  I like the independence.  I like being held accountable.  I like being challenged.  I like finding the solution.  I like staring at my computer for hours trying to solve various puzzles.  I like it all.

Mr. D – nothing to comment on really.  He is still here.  I broke up with him.  He asked if we can get back together.  I broke it off because we rarely do couple stuff together like go see a movie, grab something to eat, sit outside for hours and talk – ya know?  We talk on the phone for hours and hours but that is no different than friendships I’ve had with guys!  Normal stuff we hardly do because he works like 3 jobs.  Then I ask myself, what if he worked only 1 job?  Well, then I wouldn’t want to go out as much, he’d probably be clingy, and I’d be annoyed with him.  I told him he spends more time with his brother than he does with me.  He said that’s because they are roommates.  This brother said Mr. D is always with me and prb has a toothbrush at my apt.  One day while at the mall, his brother told Mr. D to just buy a ring already and make it official.  Mr. D replied that he’s not ready for marriage just yet.  He asked if I was happy.  I said yes as long as we spend more quality time together.  I asked if he was happy.  He said no because we had broken up.  I asked if he sees me in his future.  He said yes.  He promised to stop and smell the roses more instead of walking right by them.  I said we shall see.  So far, he has made good on his effort to carve out QT.  His brother and I seem to think Mr. D is spending lots of time with the other person (kinda funny).  My friend told me to get a life.  I have one.  I work, run, play mommy, and have my own social life too.  Work only consumes a small portion.  The rest is spent smelling roses.  I want someone who is into smelling roses too from time to time or just wanna run through them for fun.  Like I said, Mr. D – nothing to really comment on.

June 2, 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Roles

Relationship update: everything is going surprisingly well.  We have our moments individually and sometimes collectively but, overall, the good moments actually do outweigh the bad ones.  I used to hear people in relationships and marriages says that often but I never really understood how that could possibly be.  When things are bad they tend to be really bad and result in a blog post on my end as I try to make sense of it all, vent, and criticize him in every way I possibly can.  Mr. D said it will be one year this July since we started dating again.  I call it the one year anniversary since he took me out to lunch and dropped me off at home but not before surprising me with a kiss.  Things seem to be flowing but I still have my control issues which rear their little heads often.  Sometimes Mr. D does not want to listen to me so I take offense to that and think to myself, “this is not gonna work” only because he is not doing what I think he should be doing.  My uncle asked about it and I told him what recently happened and how I feel Mr. D gets all “manly” when I wanna take the reins.  He seems to wanna check his penis size in the mirror, drink a gallon of creatine, do a few hundred push-ups, and check his testosterone levels whenever I do this.  I told my uncle that Mr. D does not like a woman in charge over him in any way.  I expected my uncle to say something in agreeance (sp?) with me but, instead, he said “most men don’t”.  What?!

I know the traditional roles women and men tend to fall into.  I know what role the women in my family usually take on.  I know which role my mom played since she first married my dad till now.  I see those roles and I have an immediate identity crisis.  I cook but mainly because I have kids and I feel like it once in a while.  I do not make anything from scratch because it’s just not that serious to me.  I do not loathe anything from a box or can because I flat-out do not care.  And, I do not shop only local organic farmer’s markets because I have more serious things to waste my time on.  Basically, cooking is not a priority to me.  If I do it I do it.  If I don’t I don’t.  I clean.  That is probably the only thing I do well is clean but that’s partly because I like to control where things are, how they are organized, how clean things are, and how sanitized or neat my area is.  Clean up behind others?  Only my kids and that expired a short time ago.  Some roles are not required nowadays but Mr. D is a traditional person who likes women who cook and clean and things of that nature.  Clearly, I do not think he is concerned and I have made it clear that I will not conform to any sexist expectations.  Cooking and cleaning are fun things both parties can share but the main issue still involves where I love to dabble.  Money.

I have never required a certain amount of money or account balance or portfolio.  I just think that each person should be allowed to exercise their strengths to the betterment of the relationship.  I guess I want control where men rarely give it.  I want not only a say in the finances but also the final decision in all financial matters.  I do not agree with letting a man be a man when it comes to finances.  Not every man is equipped to handle money.  And, I know that every woman should support his decisions but I this is not “what to cook for dinner tonight?”.  This is a little more serious – in my opinion.  Each day, week, month that goes by I learn a little bit more about Mr. D and his finances.  From the outside, you would assume he has money because he loves certain brand names which stand for quality.  Under the surface, he could use a little help.  I know I talk finances a lot and this is not the only post I’ve written about it but I wonder how much emphasis to place on this category when he seems to get A’s in every thing else.  The good thing is that he answer every single one of my probing questions even my indirect ones which do not really ask how much in dollars but how many so I can do the calculation in my head and come to an answer. 

I butt heads with my dad often before he passed away.  He raised me to be an independent thinker, focused on my studies, and impervious to any obstacle that stood in my way whether it be gender roles, tradition, men, racism, or economic class.  We butt heads because his gender roles only applied to my mom but never to me.  But, I wonder what he would say now.  In this situation.  My dad controlled all the finances.  My mom was powerless and had to ask him for money.  My mom was the dumb wife most women were back then (and now) who thought cooking and cleaning was enough completely trusting of their husbands without a dime to their own name if he decided to leave (which he did).  Nowadays, most men do not want a woman who just cooks & cleans.  One of my friends does that.  She brags about how good a cook she is and how she cleans well but her boyfriend can’t stand how he is financially dependent on him & how absentminded she is because she’d lose her head if it wasn’t connected to her neck.  I wish Mr. D was a little more aware or smart about his finances but now he does seem to hear me about something as trivial as grocery shopping instead of spending $20-30/day on take-out food.  As much as he hates when I am right, outline all the reasons why he should be doing “A” instead of “B” with his money, and warn him of all the pitfalls that await him if he does not change some of his ways….he does not get angry at me.  So, maybe it’s as much him needing time to accept that money is not an every man role just as cooking is not an every woman role.   I hate roles anyways.  And, I hate that my vagina is supposed to automatically pre-qualify me for something I do not want to do. 

But, he still loves me and I do pick my battles (translation: I only get on him some of the time and it’s still his money not “ours”.)  I do think submission goes both ways though 🙂

May 16, 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Stress

Sometimes I wonder where all the regular folks went.  Growing up, we had our own little circle of people who talked about home, relationships, marriage, finances, love, work, school, kids, church, God, sex, food, clothing, fashion, technology, etc with honesty.  Now, I keep running into people who want to talk about things that do not matter like celebs, movies, music, etc.  I knew what to expect from life because people talked about their lives openly.  A few weeks ago, a friend asked if I thought she was conceited.  I told her “yes”.  She thanked me for my honesty and I thought the conversation was over until she had to ask “why”.  I told her.  In return, she told me how she felt about me and gave me her honest opinion about a number of things.  I appreciated the feedback and, on some things, I took her advice.  On others, the jury is still out.  I find that I like life more when I am surrounded by people who are real honest about life.  I do not handle stress well….as you can tell.  I never have been good at handling stress.  It scared me, confused me, shook my foundation, and left me confused on where I was supposed to go.  I grew up sheltered by many standards but exposed to the harsh realities within my own home. 

My family is in shambles.  My sister who asked for the $180 went to get her hair done for her and her boyfriend’s 1 yr anniversary while eventually she will complain about being broke and running low on insulin.  My mom is crazy (literally sometimes).  She took out a life insurance policy on my sister because she is convinced her live-in boyfriend is going to kill her.  My mom is in a deep financial hole.  She has struggled with finances from day one and, when God gave her a way out, her spent that on a necklace (thanks Kanye).  She doesn’t qualify for a certain type of bankruptcy and works her life away trying to stay afloat.  My step-dad is an alcoholic.  He has one DUI that I know of, had his license taken away, got a fake license under his brother’s information (identify theft), and has wrecked maybe 3 cars this year so far.  He wrecked this recent car which my mom put in her name (about the time she asked me to buy her a car) and is still driving illegally around Chicago reminding me of the several fatal accidents of drivers with DUIs on the road who killed pedestrians.  My other sister is pregnant without money and her current baby daddy is in jail for whatever reason and all she has is her Link (food stamps) card and whatever agency pays her rent every month.  My ex-hubby is still out of work and still always out partying, eating out, and living it up without so much of $5 in the mail for his kids.  My brother’s prom is next month and he was promised a car but since our step-dad has no license and my mom refuses to let him drive anything but a big wheel, he is screwed and pissed.  My bro is mad at me for not taking his exam for him, he is mad at my parents for not taking him to get his license (or at least take one of the exams), and he is mad that he will not get his shiny new car to rent for prom.  I sound pretty damn normal in comparison.

This is why I do not come around family too much because my head begins to hurt, my heart races, I feel like I can’t breathe, and I wanna cry because they stress me out sometimes.  Yeah, I sound weak.  No, I do not need to toughen my skin and no I do not need to get stronger.  It’s not a matter of me letting them stress me out (at least I don’t think so).  It’s a matter of caring about a bunch of stupid people so much their failures hurt too much.  They are too stupid to see their mistakes.  If I help, I begin to carry their burdens because they will all come with a hand outstretched.  If I stay away from family, my actions are misinterpreted as anything but positive.  That is what I have chosen thus far.  Some things will never perfectly align and connect every dot or even compute.  Some things just refuse to feel right.  My life in its soon-to-be solo state of just me and my kids (until summer vacation) is perfectly peaceful.  No one’s calls to screen, no one’s text messages to ignore, no one’s FB status’ to roll my eyes at, and no one to delete so I do not see their tweets.  If I could, I’d make my blog accessible to folks I approve only but that requires too much work and may be counterproductive.  I wish I had the time to write about health care, immigration (can these folks just get a damn SS card?!), drugs, violence, gangs, economy, politics, or Wall Street.  I read other blogs for those posts.  Right here at least for right now, I feel like talking about what’s going on in my own backyard with my own blood and my own people. 

And yes, I do not anticipate this relationship lasting….he is pissing me off weekly now.  I shake my head oftentimes wondering why I am destined to be single for life.  I tell him to quit his job because he is their slave….he acts like it was his idea.  He runs a business but his employees run him to the point where he must stay nearby to check on them as if they are infants instead of grown men.  I told him to fire them.  He says “they have families”.  I say “they don’t care about their families to skip half a day at work without notice”.  They show up to work when they want to, complain about him to his brother, his brother has to cuss them out to get them back on track, and then he has to pay them out of his savings account.  It’s bad business all the way around but my degree in management means little to his years of entrepreneurial/management skills.  He even asked me if he could do my job.  I replied “yes but they require a college degree first and you have to pass a test to even get an interview”.  He said he was only asking cause he likes computers.  I like math but that doesn’t mean I am good at it!  I told Mr. D I would never hire him to manage anything of mine so why would a relationship work?!  Is that not a form of business with love as the foundation? 

No IRA, no 401k, no investments, upside down on your car, not enough savings to carry you thru a lay-off because you use it to pay lazy employees, a business barely in the black, and more expenses than income…yes, we can talk about everything else that is all cutesy and girlie because that is what will make me happy.  But, when I outline all the ways in which your ship is sinking either now or later, he says I am getting too personal.  Money is personal.  Being an entrepeneur with business cards and driving a Lexus is a front.  You are no more wealthy than the crackhead outside your door.  You just have a better chance of getting that small business loan than he does.  But, his money matters are too personal because I struck a chord when I said “I am right”.  Of course we aren’t retiring at the age of 65 anymore so you might have another 20 yrs but time is the valuable component available to you when it comes to retirement esp when you are about 30 yrs from the traditional retirement age which means you will have to set aside more monthly than someone 21 yrs of age would to play catch-up.  Compound interest.  Time.  With little savings, no retirement account, and existing debt with the hopes of children….this is one fool who is too arrogant to listen to some skinny divorcee chick who runs miles for fun and can see a liability before it sees itself.  But, most black men are always complaining that black women do not see the potential.  I see potential but I also see defiance and refusal to listen.  It’s not always about who is the head of the household.  Where is the respect?  Why do I care more about your financial future than you do?  And who pays a car off just to buy another one?  Idiot!

I still pray for them.  I honestly haven’t prayed in forever but I started again because someone needs to pray and since it’s my family I guess that someone is me.  Mr. D?  He’s a man….they figure these things out naturally.  Isn’t that what that Y chromosome is for?  Let them tell it…

May 3, 2010 Posted by | Life, Love | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sam* & I

Sam* is a co-worker of mine whom I have written about before but I can’t seem to find those posts (translation: I’m too lazy to look for them).  Sam and I have been friends since my first day on the job when I thought to myself “he is the cutest white guy I’ve ever seen!”  We often ran together, went out to eat, and did little Bible studies on the lawn near our office building with several other Christians when the weather was nice.  As time went on, I began to know Sam as I know him today and realized that friends is all we shall ever be (not that I had any elementary hope he would sweep me off my feet or anything…that I will admit to).  We had a disagreement about Christianity.  We had a disagreement about race relations in America.  We had a disagreement about Sarah Palin.  We had several disagreements to the point that I saw imaginary train tracks slowly building between where we stood across from each other and I wondered if two seemly similar people could ever continue a friendship where we see the world entirely different?  The beginning of the end was when I hurt his feelings (so to speak) when I said (in so many words) that I would not follow his God (although we share the same God) if his God truly represented Sam’s views.  He took that as a slap across the face and I looked him straight in the eye never blinking  although my lids begged to shut for just 2 seconds.  I wanted him to know I was serious and standing my ground.  This white man had strolled by the wrong black woman and mumbled the last string of idiocracies I could possibly take.  In my need to “let him have it”, I disgraced my own image of God (whom sometimes I think is made in my likeness instead of the opposite) and hurt someone’s feelings simply because a) he was a typical white boy who thought he knew the world & people based on the books and TV shows he’d watched b) he thought Christianity was the band-aid to cure all the world’s problems and c) he felt the need, often times than not, to correct my grammar and explain things to me as if I was a child instead of his equal (there is always a time and place to use the word “aint”).  That’s not the point of my post though.  My point is that our friendship survived and we have a newfound sense of respect for each other’s view of the world and those who inhabit it with us. 

Last week, Sam asked me to help him choose a date activity for a young lady he’d met.  Sam is a nervous over-thinker goofball who has gone out on millions of dates, does several trainings a year for the company, and is an excellent public speaker but can’t seem to form a coherent sentence (or even a pre-school sentence in crayon on big-line paper) when he sees a beautiful lady.  He suddenly goes dumb!  I laugh and shake my head and honestly begin to agree when he says, “I’m gonna be single forever!”  This folks, is the story we won’t see plaster on newspapers, in magazines, and on TV shows…..The Corporate America White Single Male Dating Fiasco!  He has gone on more dates than I have time to recap but I like this latest one.  Honestly, I liked them all because I am starting to feel sorry for him a little bit.  He is 37 yrs old, no kids, never been married, and celibate.   He just walked by my desk (cubicle) and started talking so, since he’d interrupted me wasting time while at work, I asked about his date.  He said, “I think she’s too good for me”…..huh?!  Was Sam acting like a girl??  My girls and I do this often…we self-doubt, self-pity, self-everything just to have someone say “you are a great person!  Any guy would be lucky as hell to have you!” just to have to repeat it several more times and finally start making margaritas until the person(s) believes it or forgets what they were complaining about.

Apparently, this new chick is 25 yrs old, Executive Director of an organization focused on prostitution and modern slavery, but her main (paying) job has something to do with brand placement in commercials/tv shows/movies, etc.  I didn’t try to lift Sam’s mood because I’m not really good at that kinda stuff (I’m usually the one getting the drink mix out) but I did ask him why he felt that way (I take the psychiatrist role sometimes).  He said because she has accomplished so much in her life thus far, has so many goals still set for herself, and she is a forward thinker which he is not.  I asked him what kind of thinker does he consider himself to be.  A present thinker (I’m sure he made that term up).  He says he thinks of the here and now which explains some things.  Sam is almost 40 yrs old and hasn’t done a single thing with his self.  He volunteers like crazy in his community which is admirable but those things I hear him talking about constantly…he has not done anything about them.  Going to get his MBA.  Completing his CTP exam.  He played baseball in school so he used to coach but he doesn’t anymore but wants to.  He says he doesn’t really have a hobby.  His career is stagnant and, if you ask him, so is his life.  Then I replied “well, this is good because maybe she will add some excitement to your life” to which he says “I don’t understand why she’s interested in me” to which I frowned because I’m not a freakin chearleadery turn-that-frown-upside-down person so I was getting irritated because he required something I didn’t have in me!  I said, “you can do something about your life if you do not like it” and he agreed (yes!) saying he can do stuff like she is and I hurriedly made sure he knew to do these things for his self although she might be a sense of motivation.

He left me to read through her website even saying I should think about getting involved.  I asked “why?” and he said “because you have a compassionate heart”…who me?!  I’m the type of person you’d send to talk down someone about to jump to their death from the Sears Tower and end up forcing the person to jump sooner than they planned.  Me?  Compassionate heart?  I’m not sure about that but I’ll take the compliment as a weird statement to think about later.  Anywho, I seriously hope this woman is “the one” because he is seriously looking to get married, have kids, and poison their minds with his view of God (lol)….just kidding.  He’s a great guy and still a looker but if he interrupts me one more ‘gain with this no-one-wants-me talk while I’m clearly busy doing nothing while collecting a check then I might have to introduce him to angry-black-woman-who-refuses-to-blink….again!

*name has been changed to protect the identity of this sad pathetic person I call my friend.

April 23, 2010 Posted by | Love, Men | , , | Leave a comment

A & O III

This is the abbreviated title of my Apples and Oranges posts but this is part III.  My guy friend commended me for acknowledging the signs or flags early on instead of pretending I didn’t see them.  Well,  Mr. D & I were asking each other questions about different things when we got back to the “do you want to have more kids?” question.  I originally asked this question early on because he’s 37 years old never married without kids so I assumed he wanted kids one day but I didn’t know how many.  At that time, he informed me that he wanted 1 or 2 kids and he only wanted kids after marriage.  Sounds good.  I left that topic alone occasionally we’d bring it up when I was yelling at my two he’d say “lol you sure you want more?” or I’d call him from the train and say “pick the boys up from daycare and take them with you to the shop cause they need haircuts lol you ain’t scared are you?”  You see?  All in good fun although I did honestly answer his question and he did seriously go pick my kids up. 

Last night, while talking about having kids and when would be a good time I asked what is his timeline.  He explained how he does not do timelines because he told his self he’d meet a good woman, get married by 28 yrs old, buy a house complete with the white picket fence, get a dog, and then have some kids but that clearly didn’t happen so he stopped following a timeline and began to just live life.  I told him I didn’t wanna stress a timeline per say but how long does he think he need to access whether he wants to marry someone because I’m not the type to be with someone for 5+ yrs and he still don’t know yet.  Mr. D  said “what’s wrong with 5 yrs?  We’ve known each other since 2007 already so you see how time flies? ”  He even had the audacity to say women get caught up in timelines and rush things since they always wanna do something after a certain time frame and get mad if the guy doesn’t feel the same.  I was a little bit upset but I agreed that some women do that indeed but I needed to explain something to him about the way I see it from my perspective. 

I told him:  I am 29 years old going on 30 this August (Lord willing of course).  Five+ years from now I will be about 35 yrs old with a soon-to-be 14 yr old in high school and a soon-to-be 9 yr old in the 4th grade.  I will be somewhere further in my career, still running, looking fabulous as usual, and loving life.  I do not want to be walking around fat and pregnant in my late 30s, I do not want to still be popping out kids when my oldest son is on his way to prom, and I do not want to be having kids while my husband is around the corner from retirement.  Fast forward a couple more years with a son nearing college, another in high school, and I’m starting over with a kindergartener?!  It took me 5 minutes to pop out my 1st baby, 10 mins to pop out my 2nd but add another 5+ to today’s date and it will be harder on my body to pop anything out anymore much less get my figure back.  I like the way I look.  I dnt care if that sounds selfish.  I don’t want the mom shape and I refuse to ask my body to do something that will be hard as hell for it to do 5-10 yrs down the road.  I have c-sections because I can’t deliver vaginally.  I don’t want to be in my late 30s in that much pain having kids and I don’t give a damn what Halle Berry and other celebs are doing.  A woman’s body goes through changes as she ages.  It will get harder to run those 9 minute miles.  It will get harder to keep a flat stomach.  It will get harder to eat chocolate all week and not bust outta my jeans.  Things change and I have no intentions on being the parent of a toddler while I am right around the corner from having both boys out of the house in college just because you need 5 additional years to “get to know me” and then 2 more yrs to knock me up followed by another 3 yrs to have another one if that be the case because you are a man who can always have kids, however, you aren’t the one actually “having” the kids. 

So, don’t say women are always focused on a timeline and trying to rush things.  My body is not a machine and I don’t look like I had 2 kids but dammit pregnancy in my late 30s was not in my plans and I don’t think, after all the lemons I’ve turned into lemonade during my life, I can swing that one buddy.  Some men should be more considerate of women and what we endure while pregnant and let’s not forget any additional complications that come with age.  Even 7 years from now I will be about 37 yrs old and he will be 44 yrs old which is about 10 yrs from retirement (usually).  He has decently high cholesterol, does not work out, eats fatty Chicago food all the time, is a workaholic, and stress is a regular part of his life.  Who the hell gonna be running around with this kid?  Playing hide-n-go-seek?  Having playdates?  Baking cookies and shyt?  Who is gonna do all this with baby #4?  My oldest will be 16 yrs old and trying to hide me from his friends while he spends all my money while my old ass husband will be doing what?!  Applying Ben-Gay?  Taking his medication to stay alive just a little while longer?  Honestly, women do care more about timelines but not to rush things but to access what our options are.  I really do care for Mr. D and we have known each other since 2007 but we are reaching a point of wanting different things.  While I was talking going on and on and on for about 15 minutes stating my case, he was silent listening intently to every word until I finally shut up and said “some men can be totally selfish”. 

Maybe he didn’t think about all this.  Maybe he did but didn’t care how I (or any other woman) would feel about this.  Maybe he didn’t think about what this 5+ yr wait entailed because when I broke down the age of my kids and high school and his relative retirement age by then…..he shut up.  I can paint quite a good picture to make sure you do not miss anything.  Take it all in.  Think about this a little bit more.  See what you are asking of me and what I can realistically give you and hear me when I say I am not going to have any kids in my late 30s while knocking on 40’s door.  Not happening!  He had nothing else to say.  I had nothing else to say.  We got off the phone and he promised to call me tomorrow.  I wonder what is left to say.  I don’t think there is anything to say.  Maybe it’s not that big of an issue.  Maybe there can be a compromise.  Maybe we can still be friends.  Maybe for once someone will appreciate all my annoying questions esp when I say they are really for a reason.  Maybe my forward-thinking is a help rather than a hindrance.  Maybe I will have more news today when he calls me back.  Maybe.  Sigh.

April 8, 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , , | 4 Comments