Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Freaky Deacon and the Yuck Mouth Old School Player - Online First Dates

Check out me and my sister-in-law at The Root Ball with our man, President Barack Obama - ahight!!

So on to the online dating: About six months back after being on E-harmony for about a year, I finally hooked up with a guy that had "potential." We talked for a few months and he sounded pretty cool - football coach, side gig as tour guide in DC, jazz musician who toured internationally with high school performing arts band, beautiful singing voice, educated, fit and the leader of about eight ministries in his church. All was going well, except for a few times that I had to tell him to turn down the phone sex talk, especially since we'd never laid eyes on each other.

I happened to be going to DC a few months after we started talking and we decided to meet. Fairytale meeting - Union Station, me looking glam walking toward him sitting and shaking his head at my approach. He was attractive (not drop dead, but not hard to look at) and clearly so was I - he explained an hour into the date that he couldn't look me in the face because I was "so damned beautiful." 10 points!

Unfortunately right after we ate, I spotted a critter roaming the floors of the restaurant and the date went downhill from there. He begged for a kiss right outside the restaurant cause he "couldn't take it anymore." I obliged cause I was curious too. Not too bad, but my stomach didn't flip and I immediately thought about re-applying my lipgloss.

"Lets take a drive," he proposed. "Cool," I answered, having no idea we'd end up at Haines Point, the make out spot I hadn't visited since I was in college. He parks the car and makes a bit of small talk (about Jesus and then the nasty - go figure?). The next thing I know, he's going all octopus on me.

He immediately stops when I seriously refuse his advances with the whole "we're just meeting, lets take it down a thousand" reasoning. But I was already making up my mind that he was not the one. We talked for a while more and I realized I had to use the ladies room.

It was really late, like 2 in the morning and he proposed that he take me to his house where I could use the restroom (Him: "You don't want to use a dirty gas station, do you?). (I KNOW! I KNOW! STRANGER DANGER - but I'm skipping the part about how much I learned about him and how I'd had him investigated through my Negro Geography Network)). Strangely enough I trusted him enough to go to his house, but I made him promise that he'd try no more funny business.

Fast forward to me coming out of the bathroom. When I went in the whole house was lit, when I came out only one light was on in one room - the bedroom. The lights were candles and the boy had done changed clothes into some type of leisure attire.

I made it clear I wanted to go and after a weak attempt at convincing me to stay, he graciously took me back to my car. When I got back to the ATL, I made sure we spoke less and less until we weren't really speaking anymore. But every now and then, I'll get a voice mail or text message from him that will start out all nice and sweet and/or religious, and then turn totally out of control freaky - I mean the kind of talk your momma would get the soap out for. A good mouth washing, you hear me?

Haven't been on E-harmony since, but my girlfriend has and her experience was a bit different. Nice guy, industrial engineer, intelligent, music writer/producer on the side, had performed in a past life with well-known music artists, nice crib, sweet and catering, as described by my friend. They met for breakfast after a week of talking and, oh boy. He said he was 51, but his smoky, filmy eyes, dry appearance, and Member's Only-type wind breaker paired with a buttoned up gray sweater over a shiny black shirt, screamed he was in the Geritol generation - and my girl ain't ready for that.

Besides being "a bag of bones," she said (and she's a thick shapely sister), the deal breaker for her was the jumbled up teeth. Some were missing at the bottom, she said, and all were the color of someone who couldn't have had any dental work in the last 20 years. The first thing she said in her call to me after the date was, "the search continues."

And so it does. She was searching for the phone number of another E-harmony potential as we were about to hang up, and the Geritol guy was calling her. Bummer for her. As for me, I've got a nice little iron in the fire and I think its heating up...

Got some online dating stories you wanna share? I'm down to hear them, cause my one was a TOTAL bust and I hope I don't have to go back there.

Keeping hope alive, jd

PS...okay so not long after I posted this, a Facebook friend of mine recognized Mr. Freaky Deacon. She'd met him on E-Harmony, too, and her experience was not like mine. They just didn't spark. So of course I'm wondering if I brought the freak out of this deacon. Hmmmmm...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Girl D and Her Brown Baby

There's this badass girl, with a badass husband, some incredibly gifted children, and a badass home. Nicknamed Bertha Stewart, she can put her foot in a pot and have you sucking the remnants of her culinary creations off your fingers. Yeah her kids take cooking, Mandarin and horseback riding lessons, AND have an art gallery of their work in their home. Yeah her sexy, sassy, classy style is impeccable (you'll never catch her slipping). But the baaaadest thing about this girl, and I mean the baaaaaaaaaaaadest thing, is her talent.

Denene Millner is a confident writer who knows how to work her finely-tuned instrument. A connoisseur of culture, she possesses a unique voice that is both sophisticated and sister girl. My friend is so on point and on fire sometimes that I have slapped my screen with a "right right, an "I feel you" or "go 'head girl." A few words from her will make you want to take some action. Witty as all get out, she'll have your sides aching at her observations and objections. And if she gets on you, you will be bruised and educated.

Denene don't play. She's an award-winning journalist who's been published in everything from the New York Daily News to Essence and Parenting. A relationship guru, she's authored of 17 books, fiction and non-fiction for adults and teens. She gets book deals so often that the ink doesn't dry on one before the next opportunity pops up. If you didn't hear me before - she's baaaaaad.

What is so exciting to me about Denene is that she is TOTALLY committed to raising the best black children she can - by any means necessary. Hence the launch of her blog, My Brown Baby . And she's willing to share her experiences, ideas, findings, battles and inspirations. The posts are great. Denene has written about everything from the power of her mother's mac & cheese to using music videos as a teachable moments and critiquing the New York Times for undermining a study about more black children being raised by two parents. The girl has even gathered a cadre of incredible contributors, who have insightful and useful, takes on parenting and everything else that goes along with child rearing. And she's had fantastic giveaways - designer children's clothes, nursery furnishings, and glam stationary.

I met Denene back in 2000 when I was feeling myself a bit as the newest editor at Honey Magazine. She came on board as the features editor a few months later and proceeded to show me how it was done - literally. When I got the assignment to write a cover story on my favorite singer at the time, Mary J. Blige, I turned in 6,000 words for the 1,500-word assignment.

Denene called me over to sit with her, suggesting we edit it together. About an hour later, it was the tightest, most fire profile that my name had ever been attached to. It was so hot that at the release party for that issue, Mary J. caused a ruckus trying to get at me (she tried to flex, for real) because of the way we'd honestly portrayed her chaotic life at that time and what she'd let slip in her interview). The article wasn't malicious. It was accurate, entertaining and well written - thanks to D.

Like I said, Denene don't play. That's why when she breaks it down; it is forever - evah evah - broke. Don't get me wrong; Denene isn't all heat and flames. She's sweet as can be (I recently admired a bag of hers and a brand spanking new one was delivered to me by FedEx from her with in a few days). D's fire comes from an overflowing core of love. She's a warrior for love.

That's where My Brown Baby came from - her deep and abiding love for her children and all those other brown babies who have to face this big ole bad world sometimes. So check it out, and tell her I sent you. JD

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Big 3-8 and 20 Years Outta High School

So I was reading my high school graduation autograph book last night and I literally fell out laughing at my classmates funnies, memories and so called advice about college. High school was certainly something. Excerpts at the bottom of this post.

As I approach the beginning of my 38th year this week and my 20th high school reunion in May (who the hell knows if I'll go), I'm taking stock of what I've done, where I am and how I feel about myself. And right now, in this moment, actually for the past few months, I've been feeling pretty damned good about myself.

I'm hot. Great life. BEAUTIFUL baby girl, rewarding gig, homeowner, second novel nearly done...I'm doin' the damned thing. I mean sometimes you just gotta big up yourself. Anybody feel me?

Yes, the economy is affecting me just like everybody else I guess (I lost a chunk of freelance change recently). But you know what? Unexpected income has shown up and showed out, plus I've also gotten a gang of "Damn you looking good" comments lately. I'm working out regularly, eating better, cooking lots more, tracking where I spend every penny, getting more domestic (hanging curtains and all), getting my pamper on, just being more responsible and good to myself (which feels superfantastic).

The last time I felt this good, I got a great gig. The time before that, I got pregnant. The time before, a man came into my life. The time before that, I bought a house. And the times before that, I moved back to my hometown, got a book deal, got a dream job.

See my pattern? That's how my life has been. When I'm living right and treating myself good, God is working it out. And the way I'm feeling now (I'm loving the sound of 38. 37 was okay, but 38 is sexy, savvy and saucy)- I know that God has got something big planned for me.

So come on 38! Come on 20-year high school reunion! Maybe a miracle will happen and I'll break down and go. If anyone knows any of the 8 black students in the Class of '89 from The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, or shoot, any of the few other colored folks in the classes above or below '89, tell them to get at me. Shoot 'em a link to this post - they have got to see the silly stuff they wrote in my autograph book.

Be good to yourselves. Enjoy every thing in every day. Peace and hair grease - showin' my age ain't I? :)


Joyce's 1989 Autograph Book
(I had lots of names, y'all)

It was nice having you roll them eyes at me every time we saw each other and I'll always remember you as a nutty crazy girl...Have fun at Howard.

Elaine, Joyce, Dee Dee (and whatever else!)
I can't believe we're going to be out of Westminster (sh--, Yes I do. The Lord knows we've suffered enough)...Anyway, have fun at Howard and say hello to "Cockroach" for me."

Yo Yo!
Well its gwan be like dis: we be missin you but we'll hang name is OJ and I'm here to say, I got a brand new Cavalier from Chevrolet. A wickey, wickey, wickey!! Its a shame I can't think of anything to say, seein as how you be leevin..Its funny how we all started out at each other's necks and ended up so close. Next year just won't be the same. I'm really going to miss you.

Now you are moving on to bigger and better things (Howard guys!), you think you're something don't you? (snap-snap) We will miss your loudness and rolling eyes. Think of us back here while you are PARTYING!

Joyce, Elaine, etc...
Remember all you gotta do is be black and die...May the best times you have be the worst you ever see...don't let anyone steal your dreams.

You know you are crazy, but deep down inside (heaven knows how deep), you are a nice person. Have a great time at Howard & stay FINE, but not LOUD.

Yo Watsup Joyce,
You are free from this school and you're leaving all your poor friends behind HERE. When you are a freshman in college, remember us poor little kids in high school. You BETTER keep in touch. I will be up there next year during homecoming and I WANT TO PARTY.

We have been best friends for two years now - through the good & bad times, through Keith Sweat, Guy, Two Live Crew, 'Skegee (tee-hee!!). But my hand hurts at this particular moment, so I will continue later...

Thanks for all the advice on all the girl problems of mine. But most of all thanks for being a great friend; you'll always be in my heart.

In the words of the immortal God, me, don't smoke, drink, or uncross your legs at college. Remember freshmen are just fresh meat to guys. Have fun.

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