Daddy’s Home: The Daddy Complex

I finally got a chance to watch the video for Usher’s single Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home).  To my surprise, there is not one child in the video.  For some odd reason, I figured since he had two children that they or actors portraying his children would make a cameo appearance based on the title alone.  Silly me.  But it seems nowadays every man wants to be called daddy for one reason or another, yet you never see them with their kids.  It completely baffles me.
Unfortunately, I can’t call you “daddy” because I have a daddy that I call Daddy.  He is continuously a father, a friend, a cheerleader, protector and a supporter.   We are two peas in a pod, even when we don’t see eye to eye or our stubborn ways get the best of us.  I have called him Daddy my entire life, and I have no plans to change his assigned and deserved name, ever.  So the last thing you should ever ask me to call you in the bedroom or otherwise is Daddy.  I already have one, thanks.
Nonetheless, I can’t say I totally don’t get it.  I do, in a way.  If you have a lady and you have kids together, and you are the provider of the household, you father your kids daily, then I can understand the misses calling you Daddy in a sexual demeanor.  This is the sole allowance because the man is doing what a Daddy does- providing, protecting, and fathering -daily.  But these every now and then, once a month, maybe on the weekend, fathers cannot be referred to as anybody Daddy.
This is why I really wish Usher would have added his kids in the end of the video when he is coming home.  Small things like that could help change the perception of fatherhood and its responsibility everywhere.  But alas, we here are, where every little boy wants the title of man and every man wants to be addressed as Daddy.

I Swear I Love Them All

I don’t know what I want in a man.  I mean, I have a general idea of the characteristics and traits but no specific prototype of what I am looking for in a man.  Academically, you go through years and years of schooling just to acquire the basic skills to function in life and on primary jobs.  Then you go through additional schooling to give you field-specific training and knowledge, but still it is typically on a basic level.  More schooling usually helps one hone in a specific field of practice.  As such, I know exactly what I want to do career wise thanks to years of schooling and life experiences.
Contrarily, years and years in the school has dating has only left me more confused.  Continued education has only provided more beautiful and wonderful options so now it is too hard to choose.  You see in high school, I knew exactly who I wanted to marry.  He was a gentleman, smart, and funny. But then I got to college, and I met smarter, funnier, finer, and even more gentlemanly.  So I begin to date these guys to have fun learn exactly what I want in a man.  Then I get into the working world and meet all of these men that are brilliantly applying their education and making headway on their respective goals.  This would seem like a good problem to have, but the growth and diverseness of my networks have only left me bewildered and aimlessly dating.
I would like to think that once I found him, or rather he found me, that I would know for sure.  I would expect that the endless unknown possibilities wouldn’t matter anymore.  I would be happy if a sign of eternally contentment would appear.  And I would hope that all of years of dating would provide insight on this specific man and how to not only make it work but to make it flourish.

Girl I Don’t Want Your Man: The Sisterhood Files, Part 1

Black women are often stigmatized with not being able to get along with each other.  In media, black women are often portrayed as aggressive, conniving, and manipulative- typically over a man.   Like most things, the overly perpetuated ideas streamed through media eventually will begin to hold some varying truth.
It didn’t used to always be this way.   Black women used belong to many social groups and circles compromised of only women that confided in one another.  They laughed together and loved one another.  Of course, they also gossiped, but would also give of themselves if the same person was in need.  Black women made a point to stick together because they understood then the power in their numbers.  They knew together they could bring about change in their communities, schools, and churches.  A few dared to even change the world.
But now you meet women who are constantly bragging that they don’t have any female friends.  According to these women, they prefer to hang with men to avoid the headache of friendships with women.  These headaches are usually associated with the aggressive, conniving, and manipulative behavior typically associated around some prized man.  In essence, the scarcity of the black men has diluted black sisterhood.  However, it should be seen as a weakness if a woman cannot maintain a healthy friendship with other women that are experiencing similar challenges and victories as their own.
Sans the fight for the prized man, it is really easy to enjoy the benefits that come with great female friends.  This sisterhood knows how to pick up the slack without words being exchanged- they simply understand.  These black women, instead of telling you, will automatically fix a loose a strap, or pull back stray strands of hair, or pick a piece of lent off your shirt to make sure you are looking your best.  These friendships are with the most resourceful people you’d ever know to ensure you successfully complete any project, to make sure you never overpay for any product or service, and to hold you accountable to your goals, dreams, and standards.  This sisterhood wants all included to not only look their best but be their best because they understand the power in their bond when everyone is one accord.  So this circle of black female friends took a vow to never fight over a man, they have bigger goals- they have a world to change.

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When I Knew It Was Love

You know on Fridays, we keep it Light.  Light Fridays.

Only children are most often associated with being selfish and stingy.  Maybe this is true in certain instances.  I know I don’t like sharing my clothes, shoes, soaps or sponges, but that is mostly for hygienic purposes.  Otherwise, I am pretty giving…at least to those in need and those I love.
One of my greatest joys is to give the gift of food.  I love to cook and bake and share good times over good food.  It is one the ways I express my love and appreciation for the value you add in my life.  It is “love” food.
Contrarily, don’t touch my plate.  It is completely off limits.  I am more than happy to make you another plate of your own, or if we are out to order another entrée of what you want long as your hand stays clear of my plate.  As a matter of fact, when people ask for “just a taste” I would much rather ask for an extra plate and place a ration on that plate than for your fork to invade my plate.
So I knew it was love when my blood didn’t boil with rage when he scooped his fingers into my plate to grab a fry. I didn’t even frown or roll my eyes or anything. I think I smiled.  I did.  I welcomed him into a world that was previously forbidden.  And whereas before I may have been uncertain of how much I liked him, now I was sure it was something more.  My reaction to my invaded plate was now the gauge of my affection toward him.  My guard had been let down, and I allowed him to peacefully enter.

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8 Things Your Last Girlfriend Should Have Taught You

Ideally, every relationship should be better than the previous.  Lessons learned should carry into the next relationship to minimize petty arguments due to one not being aware of their annoying behavior.  Specifically, every girlfriend should leave the man better than she found him.  It is common courtesy.  One should take honor in the work done in her prior relationships to lessen the headaches on the next girl.
So it is expected that by the time a man enters his mid twenties- early thirties, he has had enough significant relationships to have learned the basics to avoid unnecessary dissent in the new relationship.
So here are 8 things your last girlfriend should have taught you.
1)      To Take Out the Trash…without being asked. You see the trash.  You smell the trash.  You continue to stuff things at the top of the trash until it absolutely can’t hold anymore.  At this point, you are expected to be proactive, and when you see the trash full to take it out.  Your girl can take it out, but if you are there why would you want her to?
2)      How to Dress in Your Size- Medium.  Why are you still buying XXL shirts when you are a medium?  And who still sags? Buy your 34 waist jeans.  It is okay.  You are grown.  No one will think you are less than a man if your clothes actually fit on the weekends too.
3)      How to Match: You don’t have to be a fashionita by any stretch of the imagination but it is expected you to know that black shoes and a brown belt do not go together…neither does white socks and black shoes…nor do dark shirts with light shoes.  And it is assumed you to have shoes other than Jordans and dress shoes.  A nice causal loafer is a must.  You just need the basics because no wants to have to dress you every day.
4)      To Let Down the Toilet Seat Every Time. Yes.  Every Time. Enough said.
5)      To Properly Groom Yourself. Impeccable personal hygiene is a must.  No one wants a funky man lying around their house.  But beyond that your netherlands region should not resemble the jungles of Jurassic Park. Take care of that.  That is all.
6)      How to Effectively Shop for Tampons. You should no longer think they are all the same.  Or should you still be bashful about getting them.  A gem is the man that asks the appropriate questions to make sure he brings back the right kind. A keeper is the man that knows to also bring her back a pint of her favorite ice cream.
7)      The Hair Process. You should know it takes time.  If you want to be spontaneous and surprise your girl with a surprise date, that’s great and sweet.  If her hair needs to be nice for such an event then give her notice so your girl can enjoy the event without being mad at you because her hair is not how she would have liked it.
8)      How to Handle the Groupies. No woman wants a man no one else wants.  Women should expect other women to come at you, it is a compliment.  However, at this age you should know how to handle them without any assistance from the misses.
…Any others you would add?

To the Black Men That Love Black Women

I know we live in a supposedly post-racial society.  Yeah… no, I don’t believe that.  I do believe that most relationship issues transcend race and ethnicity.  But there is something to be said about black men that still love black women.
Of course, there is a lot to love.  There are the natural curves that create a flawless silhouette, the wide range of beautiful browns, the full lips & full hips.  Yes, any man can appreciate that from afar.  But it takes a special black man to handle the intricacies that come with loving a black woman.
Black women, to say the least, are opinionated.  Well, all women are opinionated.  However, black women are just a tad more vocal with their opinions.  We speak our opinions just a smidge louder than others.  We often upgrade our opinions to full fledged facts.  We are valiant defenders of our facts, I mean opinions.  We own our opinions/facts until the death; not our death of course, but whoever’s death that doesn’t agree with our opinion (figuratively speaking, of course).
Black women are beautifully animated.  Yes we could just tell you how we feel in a very stoic, docile manner.  We could.  However, we feel like you will get our point a lot better if we point our fingers, roll our necks, and wave our hands in the air.  Black women are natural pantomimists, except we add words.  We can tell any story to our friends and make them feel like they were there when it happened.  It is a gift.  Unless, we are arguing, then maybe it is a curse.  Yes we do curse, I’m assuming more than others, but only for emphasis and sometimes alliteration like an orator.  Black women are orators.
Black women are honest.  Our sharp tongue cuts the fat and goes straight to the point.  There is never a question of where you stand with a black woman- she likes you or she doesn’t.  There is little gray area.  Don’t ask black women any questions if you are not prepared to handle the candid truth.  We are also psychic, often delivering our input prior to you asking.  We are helpful like that knowing you would need it at some point.
Black women love hard.  We love our men, our children, and our various affiliations.  We love so hard as to ensure the intended receiver feels it…even if we are not there.  We give endlessly, selflessly to make sure those we love are taken care of to the best of our ability.  Our love, so strong, creates a bridge between our abilities and our needs.  We take on the needs of the ones we love as our own.  Then we take nothing, add our love, to create more than enough, not for ourselves but for them- our loves.
Black women are loyal.  We cheer the loudest.  We go all out to make sure we properly represent what we are a part of.  This is just to ensure everyone knows what we support because we realize that plays a role in who we are.  We are so loyal we automatically expect loyalty.  It seems like a rational philosophy.  We are loyal to you, so be loyal to us.  Maybe that is our sole flaw.  So we corrected it to maintain our perfection.
Black women hold down black men that love black women down like no other.  To the beautiful black men that understand and accept all of this is our saving grace because he understands that black women will infinitely be part of who he is.

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The Just-In-Case Boo

Wedding season is officially in full effect.  Every weekend timelines are overflowing with status changes and wedding pictures.  It is a beautiful thing.  In spite of all its beautifulness, another man is off the market.  It is highly probable that you never had an interest in this man ever in life, but the fact that he is no longer available makes you take inventory of your available groom-to-be stock.  This stock refers to the men you have absolutely no intention of marrying unless you find yourself 40, single, and need to get married- the just-in-case boos.
The just in case boos usually adore you, on paper meet most of your qualifications, yet in person lack something not so significant that prevents a relationship to bloom.  So you keep him on very loose strings just in case options #1-27 marry someone else.  No one wants to be 28th on any list.  So here are few signs to let you know you are keeping a just in case boo or sadly you are the just in case boo.

On a date with #28, pouting because #1 hasn't called.

1)        Every Blue Moon: Not every girl harasses the man she is sincerely interested in by calling 5 times a day every day.  Some only call or text once a month especially if she has a lot on her plate.  But if a girl only calls once every 6 months just to make sure a man is still single, she is probably just taking inventory of her stock.
2)        Never Going to Get It: You have known each other for 12 years, both have been single over a significant length of time, you date sporadically but he ain’t ever got the goods…or close to the goods…ever. He seems to be permanently stuck in the friend zone, unless you are 40 and still single, then he can get it… at least on the honeymoon.
3)        There’s a Jealous Girl in Our Town: This man has been trying to game you down forever, but you never give him the time of day.  His calls are ignored, texts are dismissed, and offers for thoughtful dates are turned down.  You were hoping for better yet thought he would always be around if you ever wanted him.  Then he got a girlfriend.  Now all of a sudden, you call him to find out why he is not calling daily.  Now you want to go out. You are the queen of hating now that option #28 has found another interest.  But that is the risk you take when you keep a just in case boo– he may rather be another lady’s first choice.

…And to Obey Him

This weekend I had the opportunity to finally watch the animated movie Up.  It was the tale of a man who marries his childhood sweetheart.  When his wife dies, he devotes the remainder of his life to fulfill her childhood dreams.  It was a beautiful depiction of lifelong devotion and commitment to love and a person. But how do you really know this is the person whom you are meant to share the rest of your life?
I begin to think about a conversation some friends and I had at a friend’s wedding some months ago. The conversation was centered around the more traditional vows that were exchanged during the ceremony. “..Do you take him be your lawful, wedded husband for as long as you both shall live, to love him, cherish him, honour him, comfort him, respect him, and to obey him according to God’s Law?” It had been years, at least ten, since I had heard the “and to obey him” included in the vows.  We, as women, have gotten away from those terms and detest the notion of being obedient and submissive to a man.
However, what if that was the tool for determining the man a woman should marry- one she would obey? Obedience over the years has gained a bad rep for no apparent reason.  Children used to obey their parents.  Employees used to obey their boss. Wives used to obey their husbands.  Then, when obedience was prominent, our communities were certainly better…
Obedience first requires respect which I can only imagine is useful, if not vital, in a marriage.  I would say, the next ingredient in obedience is trust.  Trust is often only associated with fidelity.  However, the greater need may be for a woman to trust her husband to make the best decisions for his family.  This trust in him is that he will put his needs and wants behind those of his family.  For me, this would be a solid indicator of husband material because I don’t think there are too many men that can match my brilliance.  You see, women often catch the details most men miss and add the compassion some men lack.  I am often forced to add a woman’s touch to ensure success of any project.  So a man that not only sees the big picture but pays attention to the details with delicacy and care distinguishes himself from the pack.  Such a man deserves those eternal and traditional vows of obedience.  He would in turn take the vow to be the devoted and committed husband of the movie Up.

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The Best I’ve Ever Had…Or Lack Thereof

welcome to another edition of Light Fridays…

Before we get into it, formspring questions have finally been answered.  Check out the link here.
Every guy thinks they are the best you’ve EVER had in life.  Some guys go as far to think they are the best ANYONE has ever had in the history of getting it in.  As stated previously, this is just not mathematically possible or probable.  So what happens when he confidently poses the question “Am I the best?”  I say women have lied to men far too much in this arena.  It is only more work for the next woman to not only dethrone his ego, but teach him the correct method.  The more he thinks he is the greatest, the harder he is to teach. But to be completely fair, this problem transcends gender and absolutely applies to women as well.  Regardless of gender, here are some best methods to help your partner out, so you can quit lying to them.
1)      What Do You Like: It is very hard to explain what you are not liking if you don’t have a firm grasp of what you do like.  So the first step is taking the time to know what works for you. With that said, focus less on what they are doing wrong and explain the things you would like to happen.  If they value you, they will try to make you happy.
2)      Stop Beating Around the Issue: While the truth may hurt, being mocked by your homies because word got around that work was not being put in hurts way more.  Be direct and make a clean cut.  Start with the things that are working well.  This is also the opportune time to state what you obviously hate. Then state what needs to be done to make it better.  But don’t be surprised when you get feedback on what you need to do better as well. The floor is now open…because you opened it.
3)      You Have To Bring It: Can’t complain about others if you don’t put any effort into being your personal best.  Step your game up.  People know when they are being outplayed every game and hopefully will step up.   Winners like winners.  Are you a winner??

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I Was a Killer

Women have killed many men.  The men that stood proud, the men that simply stood, and the men that didn’t know how to stand yet have all been victims to a woman’s words.  These words can kill spirits, dreams, and ambitions in one argument.  One might argue this is a defense mechanism making up in words what women lack in statue and strength.  I would argue it is a feeble attempt to revenge a bruised heart and battered hopes.
I don’t know when I became a killer.  I don’t know if my need to make him feel like the lowest of lows were warranted by his initial actions.  They were probably not.  I think the first time I killed with words I felt bad…I think.  However, the power to hurt, like I was hurting, outweighed my residual remorse.   It was not until then, when I cut below the belt, that I finally evoked a real sense of hurt out of a man that resembled the hurt I had.  I smirked.  It felt good.  And for a while, things were better.  He seemed to understand whatever point I was trying to make.  But that was always short-lived and so I would dig in my bag and pull out my words so I could kill again.
With time, I became a master at this craft of killing, a sniper if you will.  I took what I had learned from one relationship to the next, more hurt to the next, more vicious to the next.  In each relationship it got easier…funnier.  Like clockwork, after the honeymoon period was over, I would attack.  Then one day, I had nothing but time to do a body count and evaluate all of the damage I had done.  I thought about everything I deliberately said to destroy.  It was that day I decided to become a builder.  I was no longer interested in making men that I supposedly love feel emasculated.  That thrill was gone.
I knew my words still had power, but now they were used to uplift and empower.  “You ain’t shit” was replaced with “Baby keep trying because I know you can do it.”  I saw my relationships change and, for once, grow.  It was a pleasant change from the crash and burn method previously used.  However, I never imagined my words had the power to heal my once broken relationships.  And with the new relationships and the mended relationships, my words eventually healed me.