Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Shoot your shot

The other night I was catching up on the show Ballers on HBO onDemand and I realized my toes were freezing cold. All I wanted to do in that moment was hop under the covers and rub my subzero phalanges against the warm legs of my (non-existent) boyfriend. Instead I went to my room and as I pulled some fuzzy socks over my feet, I got a little nostalgic.

90% of the time I'm fine with being single, but that 10% can hit you hard and fast. Like when you're at Costco and you really want another free sample of swedish meatballs but you've already had three and the demo lady is giving you serious side eye and already said you can't have any more.

No more free samples for you
You really feel the weight of not having a significant other to take a swedish meatball as their own but give it to you instead when you're in line for a rotisserie chicken and out of view from the demo lady. Thats love 

Anyway, one evening while I was at my parents house, in an effort to warm up my feet, I climbed into bed with my mom while she was watching the news and yelling at Bill O'Reilly. She booted me from her bed and when the commercials came on she looked down to where she had just pushed me on the floor.

"I know you've been single for a while and you probably need someone to touch you. Why don't you make plans with that nice guy you recently met?"

I shook my head no. I'm not bold enough to ask a guy out.

"You dont have to ask him out, but make yourself available. You never know what could happen if you put yourself out there. Before you were born, my friends and I would take the train from Long Island to New York and have all types of fun. Sometimes your dad would sneak me into Studio 54 because I was underage. Once, when I was about 18 my friends and I went to watch an off-Broadway play..."

Her friends were the popular "you can't sit with us" type of girls so they knew everyone and hung out backstage with the actors after the show was over. According to my mom a tall brown skinned man came over and started chatting with her. He was witty, handsome, and stylish in his leather jacket. They talked the entire time my mom and her friends were backstage. Right before her friends were about to leave, he asked if he could take her out sometime, but she turned him down. She was already dating my dad.

That man was Denzel Washington. The off-Broadway guy, not my dad. Obviously.

DENZEL WASHINGTON asked my mom out and I can't even get a text back

When my mom told me this story I went through the 5 stages of grief.

Denial — For real not for play play? I don't even believe you. That did not happen.

Anger — Do you know how rich we could be right now?! You always tell me to dream big and there you were, not even DTF.

Bargaining — Do you have a way to contact him? Do you know a friend of a friend that can contact him? Maybe he remembers you?

Depression — I will never be inducted into the Illuminati or island hop off the Amalfi Coast with Bey and Jay. I'll be forever relegated to see movies when they are released at local theaters with my other middle class friends and its all your fault.

Acceptance — I guess I'll never know what its like to wake up in a new Bugatti but thats okay. There's more to life than money, power and respect. I love you anyway Mom.
I told my mom this could have been her, but she was playing

Months later when I had developed a huge crush on a butcher at my local Whole Foods I thought about my mom's Denzel Washington story.

Full disclosure, I was mildly obsessed with this guy. Sometimes I'd even take my friends to the store with me so they could see the cute guy I had a crush on in his element. I loosely knew his work schedule and what times the store wouldn't be busy so I'd have a better chance of talking to him. I know that sounds crazy but remember what my mom said; You have to make yourself available. Plus the meat counter at Whole Foods can be a competitive place. Business men on cellphones and J. Crew clad moms with strollers vying for attention, aggressively shouting for 7 ounces of organic grass fed gluten free rib-eye steaks with the excess fat off. Its chaos

Since I was way too shy to ask The Butcher out, or as people say nowadays "shoot your shot," I did the next best thing. I made a missed connections ad on Craigslist.

I got a few responses but they were from weirdos asking for my unlaundered panties or Nigerian money scams. I figured The Butcher didn't see the ad and never would so I deleted it and went about my business. I'd see him behind the meat counter at least twice a week and sometimes we'd chat a bit.

Ya'll, 7 months later on a Monday night my best friend and I went to the Whole Foods meat counter. I asked The Butcher for a Sante Fe turkey burger, 3 slices of maple bacon and one blueberry breakfast sausage. And then I asked him how old he was...

The Butcher: 22

Me: Ooohhh. Tries my hardest not to make a face. He did not look 22! I thought he was at least 28!

The Butcher: Can I ask you a question?

I thought he was going to ask me how old I was, and my heart started racing because I didn't wan't to say 30, but I didn't want to lie either. 


"Do you ever go on craigslist?"

My face is deadpan but I'm thinking OH SHIT. I start stuttering.

"Ummm yea, who doesn't?"

"I mean like, the section called Missed Connections."

FUCK! "Uhh..."

"Its just that I heard from a coworker that someone was on there looking..."

Points to self. "Are you asking me if I made a missed connections ad for you on the internet?"

He smiles and almost drops the turkey burger on the floor. "No no, I'm not accusing you of that. Just trying to put a face with a name."

I continue to try and be cool. "Well if I were going to ask you out, I'd probably just ask you out." 

The Butcher is still smiling as he puts the wrapped meat on the counter. "I see."

I grab the meat."Well have a good night. Thanks. Bye." RUNS AWAY

My best friend grabs me by the arm and threatens me. "If you don't go back there and ask him out, I will go do it for you."

I reluctantly go back to the meat counter alone.

The Butcher: "Hey I'm sorry for asking you about Craigslist. That was unprofessional of me."

"No problem. I was actually thinking that if you're interested in going out sometime, I'd like that."

He smiles again. "I would love that. But actually I have a girlfriend and today is our 4 year anniversary. We're going out after my shift is over."

With every sentence it was like my heart was ripped down the middle, just a little more.

I would love that but...

Have a girlfriend...


I slowly approach the meat counter and squeak out, "I don't want your meat anymore." Sits turkey burger, bacon and breakfast sausage on the counter and walks away in defeat. Comes back and grabs the bacon and then leaves again.

I left wondering why The Butcher waited SEVEN MONTHS to ask me about my missed connections ad. And further, why would he even bring it up if he had a girlfriend? Do you have any idea how many overpriced air chilled chicken breasts I had bought in seven months? I wanted my money back.

I ain't about that friendzone life, so I never saw The Butcher again and came to my own conclusion. It's lovely to feel wanted so I think he brought up the missed connections ad because he genuinely wanted to know if I was interested in him. I mean I did lowkey stalk the guy for a few months and jump in front of baby strollers to order breakfast sausages from him.

If you remember, a while back I wrote about a guy friend of mine who called me up and confessed that he had always liked me. He then asked me out to a costume party and later ghosted me the night of that party. Refresh your memory here.

I ended up going to that party alone. I went as Diana Ross, wearing a vintage dress I found at a thrift shop in Toronto and rocking a huge afro wig. I don't have any pictures because drunkenness but I did have an amazing time. I ended up hitting it off with this guy that was too cool to dress up at a costume party. He thought the wig was my real hair and kept running his fingers through it while we were kissing on the balcony. I thought he was going to accidentally pull it off and I had to keep moving his hands down to my waist.

Turns out he also worked the meat counter at Whole Foods and was friends with The Butcher. That night my life came full circle.

I mentioned earlier that I was watching the TV show Ballers. While watching the show I thought one of the main characters was really cute so I looked him up on IMDB. Turns out he's Denzel Washington's son. I don't know how to feel about that since in another life he could have been my brother. Half of me says you can't miss what you've never had. The other half, the petty half, wishes my mom would have went out with Denzel and explored her options. #WasteHisTime1982.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

You Better Put Some Respek on My Name Bih...

Are you familiar with Facebook memories? Basically Facebook reminds you of what you posted, on this day, in previous years. Today Facebook reminded me of the time my boyfriend told me he wanted to marry me.

It wasn't a proposal. We were in Minneapolis for his college friend's wedding. During dinner he looked at me with a huge grin on his face and said, "I can't wait until all of our friends and family are celebrating with us when we get married."

Wedding Selfie
I smiled back at him but didn't say anything. Even though that's what I ultimately wanted it was hard to imagine my wedding day with him.

Because his mother hated me

Parents typically love me. I bring great gifts whenever I visit and tell interesting stories during dinner. But I remember the moment my boyfriend's mom began to dislike me.

I had accompanied him on his annual summer family trip to NYC to visit his grandmother. His Mom, Aunt, Uncle, Brother and I had all went to the huge Macy's on 7th Avenue1. Approximately 32 minutes after sampling some street meat from one of the plentiful food carts the city has to offer, I had to use the bathroom baaaaaaad. I told his family I'd meet them on the 4th floor and dashed to the basement bathroom in Macy's.

This part gets a little graphic

Did you know that a healthy poo is supposed to be long and S-shaped, like the shape of your intestines2In an effort to have a banging summer body, I had been pretty vigilant about eating veggies, probiotics and my fiber game had been on point for months. Needless to say my poo's had been long and S shaped for some time now. 

Unfortunately on this particular day in Macy's, my healthy poo was so long that it got stuck in the toilet and WOULD NOT FLUSH!

Man I must have flushed that toilet 50-11 times trying to get that poo to join the rest of the dead bodies in the Hudson River, but to no avail. I was afraid of the toilet overflowing so I made the executive decision to leave my past behind me and book it out of there. I waited until there was no one left in the bathroom and hurried to wash my hands. As I was reaching for a paper towel to dry my hands off a cleaning lady came into the bathroom and went into my stall. 

The stall where I had just deposited all my recent life regrets

I was so embarrassed that I nearly tripped over myself running out of the bathroom. I had just made it to the elevator when I turned around and saw the cleaning lady speed walking in my direction. As the elevator doors closed she was waving a mop in the air while yelling something indistinguishable at me in Spanish3 .
I had escaped poo-gate in the basement and safely made it to home appliances on the 4th floor. While looking for his family I discovered a bridal salon and had gotten distracted by the most stunning wedding dress I had ever seen.

That's where his family found me; fawning over a $3000 Vera Wang tea length wedding dress with an asymmetrical hem line. It was elegant yet quirky, just like me (tooting my own horn here obviously). My boyfriend and the rest of his family joined me while I slowly ran my fingers over the delicate satin bodice. I noticed his mom a few feet away from us, arms crossed, looking furious.

Is you mad, or is you upset?
And then I saw the cleaning lady from the basement bathroom. She had a determined look on her face and she was scanning the sales floor, presumably for me."We gotta get out of here!," I said in a panic, grabbing my boyfriend's hand and ushering his family towards the elevator.

From that moment on, his mother was never nice to me again. I don't know if she had a talk with the cleaning lady or not, but the atmosphere was dark and cloudy between us from there on out.

Over the years there were multiple instances where my boyfriend's mother would say something rude or just plain bitchy to me. And what made it worse, was that my boyfriend never told her to stop.

One time I had joked around that I had been teaching my boyfriend to cook because his food was a little bland. Not realizing I was joking, his Dad spoke up and said, "We love his food. We think he's a great cook." His mother narrowed her eyes at me and said, "Just because he doesn't use a lot of salt, doesn't mean his food isn't good4"

In an effort to smooth things over I said, "How about I make you all dinner tomorrow night? I'll buy everything and bring it over and you can take the night off from cooking. 

His mom looked me dead in the eye, put her hand up and said "I DON'T EAT ON TUESDAYS"

Ya'll... I ain't a killer but don't push me 

I was raised to respect my elders and so I felt as though Jesus was testing me. There were times when I wanted nothing more than to kick his mom in the teeth, but despite her unsavory behavior I couldn't place all the blame on her. Eventually I began to place the blame on my boyfriend because he let her treat me that way. He once even told me, "You know how my mom is. Couldn't you just say less whenever we come visit?"

Even though he claimed he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, I felt like I could never say yes. How can you let the first woman you ever love openly disrespect the last woman you'll ever love? 

In the 8th grade I stood up to this really mean girl named Meesha, who was always making fun of me. I remember her looking really surprised after I put her in a place. After popping a piece of fruit stripe gum into her mouth she said, "You know I still don't like you, but at least you stood up for yourself. I can at least respect that." 

Today's Facebook memory was a bit hard for me to see. You see, I decided to type this post while taking a break from packing. My now EX boyfriend is in New York on his annual summer family trip and I'm moving out of the apartment that we shared together for the past 5 years.

For the majority of those years I felt like I had something to prove to his family. Partially because of one fateful poo on a family vacation, but mostly because his mother could not stand to see her son love someone other than herself and also because her son was too chicken shit to be unapologetic about his love.

But with age comes wisdom. Unless you're Stacey Dash

Be with someone that loves and appreciates you no matter what
Be with someone that is not afraid to defend your honor (Jousting matches are a nice way to do that)
Be with someone that accepts you AS-IS, damaged goods, no returns once you bought it, as long as they help you to become a better person (This is not directly related to this blog post, but a helpful piece of advice nonetheless)
Remember that you are always enough

And If they can't do those things then you're better off without them. Even if you're Stacey Dash

*"Respek on my name" is a quote made popular by Rapper/Producer Birdman of Cash Money. Birdman didn't appreciate the way on air personality "Charlamagne The God" was talking about him and was telling him to show him some respect.

1. Macy's is great, but personally I don't see the purpose in shopping at a store that you already have in your hometown. Especially when you're in the fashion capital of the world. 

2. Your poo regimen is a great indicator of your health. Here's a website to see how your Poo stacks up ;) The SCOOP on POOP

3. Actually I speak some Spanish but you don't have to be fluent to know that whatever she was saying was not pleasant. I believe I heard her say, Muy sucia...amongst other things

4. I think that was her low key way telling me she thought I looked bloated?

Friday, March 11, 2016

Lifestyles of the Romantic and Pragmatic

The worst thing about finding out your best friend is getting married is now you have to lose weight too. I've been busy finding myself, which includes eating whatever I want, swiping left and not having to shave 80% my body hair just to have 50% of it grow back halfway through a date. Now I have to worry about what I'm going to look like in your wedding photos.

The night that my childhood best friend broke the news of her engagement to me, I could hardly believe it. Gabi was the first friend I made in the 7th grade after moving from Long Island, New York to Charlotte, North Carolina. We sat next to each other in AG English1 and used to pass notes about teachers we hated and boys we liked in a composition notebook.
We used our planners to pass notes in class our entire school career 

Flash forward almost 20 years later and we're sitting across from each other at a gastropub discussing how Gabi's fiance had proposed to her.

For the past couple years we haven’t been as close as we were growing up but I still consider her a best friend. So much so that I could barely focus on her story because I was getting nostalgic about our friendship. We’ve been through so much over the years...

Like watching TV on the phone together: In middle school I would call Gabi up Monday through Friday at 4:00pm and sing the opening theme song to Sailor Moon at the top of my lungs over the phone. Except when it was storming outside because Gabi was afraid that lightning would come through the phone and electrocute her2

Our first jobs: Gabi is a few months older than me so I always felt like she got to do everything first and her life was way more put together than mine. She was the first to drive and worked at JC Penny. She probably came home smelling like a mixture of Japanese Cherry Blossom body spray and loose change because she worked in the shoe department. I worked at Subway and walked to work after school because my bike had gotten stolen. I would come home smelling of cold cuts and bleach.

Losing our virginity: Don’t worry Mom, this part never really happened. At least it won’t until someone asks for my delicate hand in marriage, I do declare. *clutches pearl necklace*

And all of the glorious crushes on guys we’ve had from 1996 through 2015; Me more than her because I’ve been boy crazy since the 7th grade.

Senior year Gabi signed my yearbook & made sure to list all the crushes I had from middle school to that point
We would do this thing where we’d conduct mock telephone conversations pretending to be each other’s crush. Kinda of like practicing for a job interview with a friend.

Me: Hey is <insert name of this week's crush> home?

Gabi pretending to be my crush: Who is this?

Me: C’mon Gabi. He knows who I am.

Gabi: Yeah but maybe he has a lot of girls calling him.

Me:  So you think he’s a player?

Gabi: No he’s not that cute. But you are cute, so don’t worry about it. Be confident.

Me:  OK. Let's start over. Hey, It’s Tiffany from Social Studies.

Gabi: Oh this is his mom. I’ll go get him. *Deepens her voice* What you want girl?

Me and Gabi: Breaks into uncontrollable laughter for the next couple minutes until Gabi hangs up the phone without explanation after she hears thunder outside

After I got the proposal details the first thing I asked Gabi was, “How do you know when it’s right? How do you know that this is the person you’re supposed to spend the rest of your life with?” Gabi responded with “Maybe I’m not the right person to answer that question.” 

Well if you're not the right person then who in tarnation is? It can't be me. I have a fall back marriage arranged with an old friend if we haven’t found anyone else by the age of 35. I also fell in love with a guy after knowing him for only 3 weeks, mainly because he called me baby girl and he was a fierce dancer. Hell, I fell in love with the cream cheese on my bagel this morning because it had salmon AND capers in it. I obviously need some guidance.

Gabi told me that her engagement made sense. He’s sweet and kind and treats her better than previous boyfriends. They get along well and don’t argue much and she wants him to be around even when she hates him in the moment. Don't get me wrong, it's not like Gabi turned 31 and thought "Hey I'm getting older. Here's a nice guy, I'll pick him." It's just that she's less emotional about her relationships than I am.

All of the things Gabi mentioned are important and obviously honesty, supportiveness, trust and communication go without saying. But I wanted to hear about the passion and the butterflies. I wanted her to say, “Guuuuurl I can not get enough of that baby arm he has between his legs". I want my friend to feel that giddy, take my breath away feeling that I've felt after drinking a pitcher of hard cider, downing 3 shots of Jameson and making out with a hot co-worker3

My friend Stephanie says she loves the way her husband smells, even when he’s been working all day and comes home sweaty. She told me she’ll be doing laundry, sniff the armpit of one of his dirty shirts and it smells like homemade hamburgers to her. It gets her blood going. That right there is the kinda love I want. That drunk in love with hamburger pheromone love

Mmmm. Juicy
After hearing Gabi justify her relationship, I suddenly realized that I'm a hopeless romantic. I want a guy to look at me the way I look at my food when the waiter is bringing it to the table. I want a significant other that will eat mini cupcakes with me at night while we're watching Cartoon Network. I want a humorous love story that my husband and I can share with neighbors at a block party. "...And then she tripped and fell face first right into the potato salad and that's when I got the inspiration to write Best I Ever Had. She was that special somebody."Drake playfully kisses me on the cheek and smiles at our neighbors, R. Kelly and Soledad O'brien.
You want another hot dog Kels?

Really Gabi should blame herself for my romanticism. She was the one who introduced me to Harlequin romance novels in the 8th grade. She had a stack of them in her locker and would loan them out to me one at a time as long as I would pinkie-swear that I'd return them in good shape.

To be fair, Gabi has always been way more pragmatic than I have. Once in the 11th grade, I got into an argument with a ratchet girl who didn't say 'excuse me' after bumping into me in the school cafeteria. Gabi whispered in my ear, "she's bigger and way more hood than you. Do you really think you'd win that fight?"

With all that being said, I'm happy that Gabi is embarking on this new stage of life and her hubby-to-be is really a lucky guy. Heck, she's lucky for getting out of this terrible buyers market (i.e. millennial dating culture) and finding someone that she wants to spend her old crotchity days with. I don't know for sure but her fiance also looks like he may be the proud owner of a baby arm so hooray for that. Gabi and I have a lot in common but it so happens that we think about love differently and that's OK.

And since I know Gabi is reading this, I want her to know that I've never been a bridesmaid. I know being a bridesmaid means that I'd literally be a slave maid because I wouldn't be paid for my hard work throwing bridal showers and bachelorette parties. I actually hear it’s an awful experience something akin to being water boarded while being forced to listen to Rihanna sing a ballad. But somehow I still want entry into this exclusive club.

If you can not accommodate me in your wedding party then that's OK too. I have already found a banging dress to wear to your wedding that will show my effervescent beauty without stealing your shine on your big day. I also promise to give the best drunken wedding speech your guests will ever hear.

1. AG English was Academically Gifted English. It was a class for smart kids or for kids whose parents didn't want them to be eventually filtered into the prison system

2. Gabi was adamant about her no talking on the phone during thunderstorms rule. I actually Googled it and there have been no reports of people being electrocuted through landlines during lightning strikes. Back in the late 90's there was really no way to find out if that was true unless Bill Nye had decided to do a show about it. So thank you Google. Bill Nye, you let me down man. 

3. This hot coworker is the same guy that called me baby girl and I subsequently fell in love with after 3 weeks. It didn't work out between us in the long run (week 4) because even though I knew how much he liked me, I don't think that he realize just how much he liked me.