Monday, November 5, 2012

Is Less Really More?

This was a very exciting and enlightening weekend! The day began as normal with one of my favorite shows on television today, The Wendy Williams Show. As usual, Wendy began Friday’s show with an array of hot topics from divorces Wendy1and reality shows to Superstorm/Hurricane Sandy and even a little bit of politics. In recent weeks, she and her producers have decided to invite other C-/D-list celebrities to accompany Wendy on her show to discuss some of the more social types of topics, especially if they appear to be circumstantial or situational. This week was no different. One of the topics from this week’s “Hot Talk,” as it is known was the use of coupons on a first date.

As expected, the audience and the panel was very divided on such a taboo topic. Of course, no one wants to appear cheap, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to do a little more with for a little less. Other panelists offered suggestions of doing other things that didn’t cost as much money in the first place, like planning a picnic or walking around, or light coffee drinks, where money is not as necessary to get the full value or experience.

I may come back to this topic later, but I will say as an underemployed statistic of the American economy, it is very difficult to maintain the dating standards I have set for you all (and by extension, myself)! I went out with a guy on Friday to Ruby Tuesday, and I spent fifty bucks without even thinking about it. I paid because I asked him out; I think that’s the obligation that the asker makes through request. I could have asked him to pay some, or leave a tip, but I didn’t because I didn’t think that would have been very gentlemanly of me.

I think for a lot of people it’s that old adage that “You never get a second chance to make a first impression!” No one wants to be seen as a skinflint, but I also think in this economy, more people understand the need to save money, even if it is just a couple of dollars. I know my last date certainly made me reconsider finding other ways of holding onto my money without looking cheap.

My advice as a professional matchmaker would be to wait on the coupon for at least the third date…unless you can find a way to make it sound like a deal and not a coupon. For example, if you can get cheap tickets for a movie or a round of golf or a concert, maybe the other person won’t find that cheap because it is an expensive thing to do. However, using dollar-off coupons at your local fast food restaurant on a first date highly minimizes the chances for a second.

What do you think? Does cutting coupons also cut your chances for another date? Do you think a man who uses coupons is cheap? Do you use coupons?

When we tend to run on about these kinds of things, very often we can get caught up, and forget (as Jill Scott reminds us) how Blessed we are…

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Sharp Knife of a Short Life

Two weeks ago, I had a party at my home in College Park. During the festivities, a developing best friend of mine received a call, and afterwards, promptly excused himself. About two hours later, he called me to make sure the party was still happening. I assured it was, and he returned.

Angel1After a couple of rounds of Mario Party (one of the awesome past times around my house), and the disassembly of the party, he proceeds to inform me of the details around his earlier sudden departure. He informs me that a friend within a circle of my friends, Damien, had died. (For the record, I had only seen Damien a handful of times and had one slightly awkward conversation with him. From what I gathered, he was a very upbeat guy, but I didn’t think we had much of anything in common…)

My friend proceed to explain the sequence of events of a few days that ultimately led to Damien’s death. I was very sad to have heard the news, especially with regard to a B-story between my friend and some of the other grieving friends, whom encountered each other for the first time in weeks at the hospital. They had a previous personal rift that I’m sure caused a bit of discomfort between them at the hospital.

Thankfully, Damien (as far as I know) had family and friends around him when he “transitioned",” as they say. What might be the case for you, or some of the people you consider close friends? It’s certainly not something you want to spend a WHOLE lot of time thinking about, but it’s amazing how quickly some people can be gone out of your life forever…

Living in Atlanta, we get imports and carpetbaggers by the daily busload. So many of these men move here at whatever age, from hamlet and metropolis alike, for whatever reason (school, work, family, etc.) looking for something unspecified that so few of them find. In an overwhelming majority of cases, however, they come alone. They usually have no friends or close contacts of any kind here, especially immediately. So, what happens if they get sick or shot? Who can they call?

I guess my point is that I believe the rest of us have some sort of unwritten obligation to engage these community members to at least be sure that they are clearing their mailboxes everyday. After all, it’s the conclusive reason that we endure what we do to make and sustain friends: When it’s YOUR turn, you’ll want someone to care that you are no longer here.

I never thought I would have a use for this, but it’s just one of those songs, ya know? I’m sure Damien never thought that he would be gone after only a quarter of a century. I’m sure The Band Perry wrote this for folks like him. Here’s If I Die Young:

PS – To that circle of friends whom may read this: I did my best and used my best judgment to use Damien and his story to make a larger point about contact and cherishing friendships. Please don’t miss the forest for the trees…

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

You Just Never Know…

This has definitely been an insane week! As I’m sure you have heard, one of the world’s Whitneyfinest songstresses died last Saturday night. The incomparable Whitney Houston left us for another world very suddenly, and dashed fans’ hope of the eventual comeback for which we had all hoped.

Days later, “Lori", a very close friend of mine discussed with me a suitor that has returned to her life within the last year. Some time ago, a guy that had been a longtime friend of hers decided to pursue her romantically. Lori reluctantly gave him an opportunity a little over a year ago, and he took that chance for granted, making mistakes and taking actions that severely ruined his chances of ever seeing her in such a romantic light again. This time around, however, my friend is debating whether or not to give him this second chance.

Add to that, Thursday’s episode of Braxton Family Values, in which Tamar Braxton has a TamarVincehealth scare when her husband Vince discovers a pulmonary embolism (which in layman’s terms is a blood clot in the lung) that causes him severe difficulty breathing. I myself have endured four PEs on my poor lungs some time ago, and they were not fun! So, I can imagine what Vince went through…

All of these tragedies have really made many people question the choices that they make in their lives, especially when it comes to love. I make a strong effort to teach my clients about the importance of empathy when sifting through potential suitors. Some people are good folks, but their presentation is not always ideal. You know my feelings on preferences vs. requirements, but there does come a point where you have ultimately settled for something far less than what you originally desired.

Despite the issues that many of us face with items like this, a look at the story above might make one throw caution to the wind…especially if your life could all end so suddenly?

That reminds me of an episode of  The Golden Girls. When Sophia suffers a heart attack, Dorothy tells the other girls about a friend of hers who went to Paris and had watercress (because she didn’t want to gain weight), only to have a gargoyle statue from the restaurant fall on her head and kill her. She then asks rhetorically, “What’s the point of starving myself to thinness if I know that I could die tomorrow? I might as well eat the chocolate cake.” After discussing the absurdity of being consumed with the worry of arguably inevitable weight gain, Rose points out that “[they] might not die.” They then decide not to eat the cake…opportunity-knocks

I make the same question for our relationships. If you could die tomorrow, why not date the ugly guy, the old guy, the fat guy, the femme guy, the loser, or the idiot?? What makes you hang around waiting for the perfect guy when you have all of these good/great guys (even if it’s only one) waiting in the wings? Starving yourself to the point of loneliness seems silly to me. After you hear Whitney Houston, maybe your opinion might change a little bit once you know I’m Knockin’.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Out With the Old; In with the New

…as the expression goes! Happy New Year to one and all! I’m back for another year of riveting tales, groovy music, and mountaintop-worthy advice! I thought I might start out with a little quick discussion about recent events in my own life.

imageBack in mid-December, I took a journey to Dallas, Texas, to visit a longtime online friend for a first meeting. (Who does that anymore, right?) In any event, despite my inexperience with Dallas, and my friend (who we’ll call “Tommy”)’s reluctant family, I had a very nice time with a very quaint individual.

However, after my return to Atlanta, Tommy and I had a very interesting conversation in which a mistake from my past (that I neglected to mention to him while in Dallas) caused concern for the potential of our relationship. Tommy felt that I should have been more forthcoming with the information. I purposely omitted the item because I knew it had the potential to ruin an otherwise highly enjoyable experience. In any event, after our initial discussion, I decided that I need not be concerned with potential out-of-state suitors when there is no guarantee of any further contact between us.

That was the hot topic until approximately a week after I got home…

An old friend that I have known for over three years (who we’ll call “Victor”) called me to let me know he was en route to Atlanta from Michigan. He and I have had a very high volume of sexual tension between us over the years, and since NYE was days away, I decided this would be the perfect opportunity for a NYE kiss. Well, long story short, the kiss didn’t happen.

I asked Victor privately his reasons for why we had yet to begin a relationship, hookup, or even kiss… He listed his answers, and while I had replies for them, it completely dashed any hopes I had of ever actually being with Victor. The day before he left, Victor and I had another discussion about what exactly our relationship was, and what it had the potential to do…or maybe where it had the potential to go. I explained to him how I felt highly offended at some of the things to which he made reference in our previous conversation, and also how I have a laundry of things I think he could change because we don’t agree on a lot, but I look past it (or try to, anyway) because I like him.

As I saw his car drive off, heading back the depressing tenements from whence he came,  (coupled with my Dallas adventure), I was reminded that I am far too desirable by men to be virtually “begging” anyone to be with me! I’m too giving, empathetic, and highly intelligent to be with someone that I had to “convince” to date me, like I’m trying to sell a house on a fault line. …and you don’t have to settle, either! If he doesn’t want you, find someone who does…flaws and all. image

I promise he is out there, but you’ll never find your prince wasting time kissing dead frogs…

It’s a new year, and hopefully, you’ll have enough dates (through KNQ or otherwise) in time to attend your wedding on 12-12-12! (You know it’s gonna be en vogue this year to do it!) So, like Toni says, redo your Wardrobe!!