Naturally Me

I have always had a difficult relationship with my hair. I’ve gone through a bit of a ‘hair-volution’ of sorts through my life.

My hair has always been fairly thin and hard to grow out. I remember as a young child, going to the hairdresser for the first time, and it being the highlight of LIFE. I was finally in the chair getting my HAIR done. I was a GROWN up…at four years old!  I loved the experience so much that at one point, I wanted to be JUST like her…

So I took a pair of scissors and lopped off a section of my hair…right in the front….where EVERYONE could see.

It was braids for me at that point until my hair grew back. All my hair styles that I can remember from my early childhood basically involved braids until maybe grade 3 when I got my first relaxer and roller set. I thought I looked GREAT and my hair was so bouncy and shiny (due to the amount of setting lotion and Blu-magic pomade in my hair). I was the one ‘whipping my hair’ before Willow Smith even knew about it.  I was ALL ready to go to school and show off my new ‘do. What I wasn’t ready for was being teased by the other kids, who wondered why my hair looked like ‘springs.’ It’s kind of hard to be cute during gym class when the whole bench is laughing at you.

Not exactly, the red carpet treatment I was looking for.

For a long time after that, I went through the black girl cycle of braids and relaxers for many years. My hair would grow but then break right off again, so I could never get my hair to grow past my shoulders no matter how hard I tried. I was envious of all the girls who had long hair. I was one of those girls who would put the towel around their head in a desperate game of ‘pretend’. Braids were an easy fix…a few hours in the chair and I had long hair that I could manipulate into styles that I could only dream of with my own hair.

Now fast forward to the mid- 90s and my pre-teen self. I remember seeing more and more women not only actually rocking their natural hair but embracing it- from Lauryn Hill rocking her locks at the height of her ‘mis-education’ on the cover of <<insert any magazine here>> , to Jill Scott stepping on the scene with her fro-almighty, then on to Traci Ellis Ross’ hair on ‘Girlfriends’, which made me drool with envy from week to week.

I told myself that natural hair would never work for me because my own texture was something that I should avoid at all costs. It felt ‘ugly’ and ‘unkempt’ and I never even questioned that I had to keep it covered or change it every 4-6 weeks. I couldn’t POSSIBLY grow out my hair and just leave it be. It was great for the rich and famous who could do whatever they wanted to do but how could I walk outside like that? It would look ghetto and people would think I was a ruffian or a ‘rasta’ and someone who didn’t care about how they looked. I would be judged by everyone on the street and most importantly, in my teenage mind, boys wouldn’t like me. So it was a no go. Period.

So, as a compromise between what I wanted and what I thought possible, I eventually moved from relaxers to texturizers. Ironically, I switched because I liked the ‘natural look’ of the curls on my head that the chemical process provided me. Besides, the texturizer couldn’t be nearly as bad for my hair as a relaxer because it only ‘loosened’ my curl instead of straightening my hair.

The things (read: lies) we tell ourselves…

But still, this ‘natural hair’ movement that I thought was just another throwback fad kept on growing….and so did my interest.

My sister and I saw and more people wearing their fros and it just seemed so liberating. What made it even better, more and more people were accepting it. Imagine! No more regular appointments at the hair salon that lasted for hours. No more home relaxers in the kitchen where you would hold out as long as possible against the ‘burn’ so you could get the best results, then tear off to the bathroom so you wouldn’t burn your scalp. No more roller sets, and wrapping your hair at night, and sitting under the dryer, and hot combs, and hand dryers to get that straight look. No more greasy pomades, setting lotions, and frizz control serums. Best of all, no more running from any kind of moisture because HEAVEN FORBID, you get your hair wet after you’ve spent all the time getting it straight. Whew child!

But still…I just couldn’t take that plunge. In part, because of my residual feelings about my ‘ugly’ hair, but also because I wasn’t sure if my head shape was a hot mess and would look horrific after a big C.

So I did what any little sister would do.

I fully encouraged my older sister to take the plunge first so that she could be my guinea pig.

And she came back after her big chop and looked so HAPPY! Rockin’ the big earrings and short hair seemed to be such a weight off her shoulders (literally)!

Finally, after a few months, I decided to take the plunge myself. Really at this point, what did I have to lose? It was hair. If I didn’t like it, it would grow back and I could get right back to texturizing my hair until my heart’s content. So I made an appointment with the barber to do my big chop in October of 2009.

I got all ready for my appointment and all excited about taking this HUGE amount of control over something as simple as my hair and got ready to CHOP IT OFF…

Only I went to the shop and my barber didn’t show.

It was at that point, that I knew that I really wanted to cut my hair because the wave of disappointment that washed over me was palpable. I felt so let down by the no-show that I knew that I was ultimately making the right decision to cut off my hair and be on my natural way.

So the very next week, I went to the shop and he pulled out the razor and before I could second guess myself again, ZOOM! Off came my hair and with it, my self doubt.

I must say that after my big chop, I could NOT keep my hands OFF my head. I was in LOVE with my ‘hair’. I kept inviting everyone to ‘touch it’, and walked around with a huge smile on my face. The texture was something that I had never experienced before and it had taken 27 years before I appreciated what was growing directly out of my head.

I considered my hair between 4f and 4g on the chart below.

Hair-Type-Chart

I remember when Chris Rock’s docu-comedy ‘Good Hair’ came out, the line that stuck with me the most was from Traci Thoms when she said “I always think it’s interesting that to keep my hair the same texture as it grows out of my head, is looked at as revolutionary.”

It’s interesting to me too. All my life, I’ve been taught to be proud of myself and my heritage and that God made me special just the way I am. Yet, when it comes to my hair, I had to wear anything BUT my natural hair because it wasn`t good enough. That revelation gave me even more conviction to stay on my natural hair adventure even when my parents would openly ask how long I planned to keep my hair `this way` and when I was basically going to end this fad and get back on the chemical train.

It was fun watching my hair grow out and finding new ways and styles for it. The twist outs and the full on afro puffs felt so good to me that I strutted down the street like `Yeah! I`m natural…AAAAND WHAT?! ’ I started reading blogs like www.thankgodimnatural.com and actually using more natural products in my hair as well like shea butter to moisturize and apple cider vinegar clarifying rinses (which I LOVE!) It became a whole lifestyle for me and my hair loved me for it. I still did braids in the winter as a protective hair style but otherwise, I loved wearing my afro on a regular basis.

Recently, I started to feel like I needed to try something new with my hair though. I wanted to experiment and my hair, while it thrived in its natural form, still didn’t love the daily manipulation that I put it through. So I began to look for a new solution that would allow my hair to rest yet allow me to keep styling it on a minimal basis.  I started looking at locs, but I wasn’t a fan of the large locs because it just wasn’t for me.

That’s when I discovered Sisterlocks.

I was looking for new styles when I came across this picture….

Sisterlocks picture

And it LITERALLY took my breath away. I didn’t know what it was, I didn’t know WHO it was (research later revealed that the woman in the picture is a singer/artist named Tuere). All I knew is that it was gorgeous and I had to know more about it. So I started reading, and went on the official Sisterlocks website (www.sisterlocks.com) and read any and everything that I could find. One of the strongest sources that I found was this blog: http://kreyolalocks.blogspot.ca/. I love everything about this blog, the way she writes about her experiences, the products that she uses as well as the many beautiful styles that she often took pictures of. It was great to see first hand the experiences of someone who had actually been through the sisterlocking process.

Eventually, after doing LOADS of research, I decided that Sisterlocks was something but it was a matter of when and where to do them. While there were many people who promised that they could do locs that were ‘just like’ Sisterlocks, I just wasn’t comfortable trusting anyone with such a personal and permanent thing. I couldn’t find a consultant in my city, so Sisterlocks would require at minimum a road trip but I still couldn’t find anyone that I really gelled with. I decided to let it sit in the background and cross that bridge when I came to it.

Then it happened that I went on a trip to Ghana, where I’m originally from. I went to see my parents for my mother’s birthday, but while I was there, I remembered that there had been one consultant on the Sisterlocks site in Ghana named Emelia-Jane Hamidu. I was able to get in contact with her and visit her salon, Black Cotton Natural Hair and Beauty Salon in Accra. Her associates were so nice and warm and helpful that I was almost ready to sign right there, but I still needed just a minute to really make the decision. Here I was, on the cusp of trying something that I had looked into for months, but the permanent nature of the Sisterlocks and the fact that I hadn’t been PLANNING to actually do Sisterlocks in Ghana almost stopped me. What if I didn’t like it? What if it was something that looked great on other people and not me?? I had learned to love my afro. Was I ready to give it up??

The associates were lovely and let me take the night to think about it before filling up what would be my appointment time. I went home to do more research on the matter and went to Kreyola’s website to read more about her initial experience…

When, lo and behold, there on Kreyola’s page, as part of her latest blog,…was my initial inspiration picture that set me on my Sisterlocks obsession in the first place.

Well if THAT isn’t a sign from heaven above that I was on the right path, I don’t know what is!

So I took the night, and weighed the pros and cons of getting Sisterlocks:

Pros:

  1. Killer Style
  2. No more braids (and subsequent hours in the chair)
  3. Probably better for my hair (to have a steady style)
  4. New Adventure for my 30th birthday
  5. Versatile (due to the precise nature of the hair pattern)
  6. My hair seems to like it (based on the few tester locs that Gina, Emelia’s associate, had put in my hair)

Pro/Con*

*These factors had two sides to the issue so cancelled each other out.

  1. Costs money to re-tighten at each time (but I could take a re-tightening course and maintain the locks on my own)
  2. Permanent Style- but if I ever wanted to change, I already know I love the close crop.

Cons:

  1. Takes a while to thicken up, which means a lot to someone with thin hair already
  2. No more braids, fros or other styles
  3. Parents might have a conniption (surprisingly, didn’t happen)
  4. Not positive how it will turn out (might second guess it when it’s actually on)

As you can see, in the end, the pros greatly outnumbered the cons, so I called up Gina and booked my appointment for June 4, 2013.

The installation took about 8 hours as my hair was only about 6 inches long at the time. Considering that I have been braiding my hair my entire life, this time frame actually wasn’t all that long and I was even able to take a bit of a nap while this was going on (I can sleep anywhere if motivated enough!) I walked out of there with new hair and a new attitude. I must admit, at first I was scared. It was all so NEW and DIFFERENT and I wasn’t sure how to style it when I was so used to the puff. Plus, I have a bit of a thin spot near the crown of my head due to past braiding that was too tight so that part isn’t as full as the others. It’s now been a few weeks and I’ve started to grow into this look. I even did my first braid and band wash today (where you braid sections of the hair and tie them with a rubber band to prevent the locs from unraveling in these early stages) and I have to say that my hair feels a little fuller and has filled in a little bit. I’m excited to see where this new chapter takes me! My hair seems to love the ‘relaxed’ attention and the locs are curling all over my head because of the kinky texture of my hair.

Strangely, I feel like I’ve been ‘reunited’ with my hair..like everything I’ve been going through with my hair was meant to bring me to this point. I look forward to growing out my Sisterlocks and continuing the journey back to myself so to speak. To paraphrase India.Arie, I may not be my hair, but my hair is now definitely ME.

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It’s GAME TIME, Baby!

My brother told me about Game of Thrones.

My best friend told me about Game of Thrones.

But it wasn’t until I started watching the show and it opened up a giant can of whoop ass on my imagination did I truly UNDERSTAND the television SMACKDOWN that is the Game of Thrones!

HBO recently had all the episodes On Demand on my cable network and I started to have a viewing session…which turned into  marathon sessions..which during the last few episodes, turned into an all out ‘OMG-It’s-midnight-on-a-Wednesday-and-I-have-to-go-to-work-tomorrow-but-I-just-gotta-watch-ONE-more-episode-to-see-what-happens!!’ session.

Now I usually love my fantasy entertainment. I love the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I enjoyed the violence and the fantasy and the kick ass battle scenes (Helm’s Deep anyone??), but Game of Thrones is like LOTR on speed.

AND! I! LOVES! IT!!

Therefore, I’ve been able to break my Divalosophy silence because I am SO excited about the season 2 premiere going down tonight at 9pm, that I had to sit down and write about my favorite parts of season one in reverse order.  So without futher ado…

**********SPOILER ALERT!!! *****************

Continue reading at your own risk if you are one of the two people on the planet who have not watched the show..I’ll try not to give too much away but I make no promises…

10-Anything Tyrion Lannister says or does

Tyrion Lannister….Ohhhhhh Tyrion Lannister. He is-by far- the FUNNIEST character on the whole damn show. His one-liners are the stuff of legend and Peter DInklage’s award winning performance is fantastic.  He’s  an anchor in the cesspool that is Westeros and you can tell he has a good time being bad. The best part about him is that even with all his wrongness, he has a moral compass that comes out when he deals with Jon Snow and some of the other ‘misfits’ in the show. Plus his entire “confession” scene after he was captured made me laugh so hard, I had to rewind a few times just to hear everything. He’s pure jokes and I thoroughly enjoy him.

9-Arya Stark’s brief summative report on what one should do with a sword

“Stick them with the pointy end”. Short and Sweet. Point to you, Arya!

8- Sensa having her dog killed instead of Arya’s

Now this one sounds cold, but this is only on my list because that snivelling little twit got exactly what she deserved. The basic story is that Sansa and Joffrey (the prince) were on a date of sorts when they came across Arya and her friend play fighting. Joffrey decided to gain another degree on  the I`m-a-prick-o`meter and tortured Arya’s playmate with a knife. In her friend’s defense, Arya attacked Joffrey and Arya’s direwolf pet bit his wrist for good measure. Fearing what they might do to her pet, Arya made the dog run away so that she couldn’t be hurt. Later, back in the King’s Court, Joffrey lied and said that he was the victim of an unprovoked attack and Sansa backed him up. As punishment, Arya’s dog was sentenced to die, but since the dog wasn’t available, Sansa’s dog was killed instead.

Now I understand the times and going against the prince was bad (blah blah blah) but Sansa didn’t back Joffrey up because she understood all of that, she only did it because she didn’t want to look bad in Joffrey’s eyes. Serves your ass right to have to lose something that you hold so dear because you would rather follow such a vile boy rather than tell the truth. For that (and other reasons throughout the show), I don’t feel bad for her. Checkmate biatch. Suffer.

6- The HAWT men!!

My hawt rate meter is on a scale of 1to 10- 10 being the hottest..let us begin..

Khal Drogo-Hawtrate: 15.5

Ok…ohhhh-kay…so  Khal Drogo didn’t exactly have the best of starts considering he was painted as a barbarian who bought his wife and quite literally had his way with her…but when he and his wife actually started to fall in love, he became the one I lusted over the most on the show. The strong silent type when it came to leading the Dothraki, he was a tender and loving husband when dealing with his wife. LOVED it!More on him later…

Jon Snow– Hawtrate: 10.

The curly hair-Hawt! The beard- Hawt. The sensitive way that he handles his Stark siblings even though he’s treated like a second class citizen because of his bastard status –Hawt. His bad ass fighting skills. Love it. Why? Yup… cause it’s hawt.

I also love the way he wears the suit of armour. Very manly. I dig it.

Robb Stark– Hawtrate: 9

I love Robb because he also has curly hair and the beard but his sense of responsibility to his family and Winterfell and his overall nobility is what pushed me over the edge.  Plus the man can rock a pelt of fur like nobody’s business.

Eddard Stark– Hawtrate- 8

I loved me some Ned Stark, I`m not gonna lie. All noble and true with a swaggalicious way about him which was all very evident even though he was in a dangerous place and couldn`t trust anyone. He ended up paying the ultimate price to try to protect his own., which led me to the realization (and I’m not alone) that Sean Bean dies is every frickin’ movie and show that I see him in. What’s the deal with that!!?? More on THAT later too..

Now we`ve hit my top 5 favorite parts of the series….I know you’re all waiting with baited breath so let me just get right to it and put you all out of your misery..

5- Prince Joffrey gets the taste slapped out of his mouth by Tyrion Lannister for being a douche.

This happened after Joffrey showed his true jackass side when he refused to offer his best wishes to the Starks after their son Bran is seriously injured. He thinks they’re beneath him and starts laughing at their plight when his uncle Tyrion slaps him so hard that  MY head snapped back! The best part is that Joffrey didn’t learn his lesson the first time, mouthed off and got the white slapped off him AGAIN with Tyrion promising more if he didn’t STFU and do what he was told. This was the point that I truly fell for Tyrion…. his medieval remix of ‘Whoop That Trick’ was good times. BOOYA MUTHAPHUCKA!

4- Ned’s Betrayal

It was at this point that the show really started to turn on for me because I realized just how real the danger was for such a lead character, and that Game of Thrones wasn’t playing by the rules. I was totally expecting that Ned would have some time with King Robert,  things would start to unwind at the end of the season then continue into the next, but as SOON as the Citywatch guards attacked Ned’s men and that WEASEL Littlefinger held that knife up to Ned’s throat and whispered “I told you not to trust me..”, I knew that the rollercoaster that was Game of Thrones was about to take me for a full ride. Here was the main character, with the weight of right on his side being betrayed by the person who had been gaining his favour all this time. I’ll go into more detail later on this list but needless to say, I let out a big gasp at the end of that episode and had to pry myself away from the TV so I could press “compute” on my “What-the-phuck-just-happened??!!’ machine.

3- Viserys’s “Crowning

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO WEE!! This is one of the scenes from the first season that I have watched quite a FEW times because I think it was JUST THAT GOOD!

Here’s how it went down: So Daenerys and her brother Viserys (the exiled royal family)are rolling with the Dothraki after Viserys strikes a deal with Khal Drogo: Khal gets to marry Daenerys and in return, would give Viserys an army to go and reclaim the Iron Throne from King Robert.  It was just a business deal first, but Drogo and Daenerys actually end up falling in love and before long, she’s pregnant..with a SON no less, who will be a warrior just like his daddy. Khal Drogo isn’t quick to hold up his end of the bargain because he can see that Viserys is a dumbass and doesn’t deserve to be anybody’s king.  Viserys gets tired of waiting, and decides (and this is the best part because of its monumental stupidity) to not only show up DRUNK to a sacred party in the Dothraki holy temple with ALLLL the big , strong, bad ass Dothraki men in attendance , but to hold Daenarys at swordpoint and force Drogo’s hand by threatening to cut out the baby unless Drogo hands over the army pronto. Drogo finally diffuses the situation by agreeing to give Viserys ‘ a golden crown that men shall tremble to behold’ (which somehow Viserys thinks is a good thing since he’s obviously sipped from the cup of crazy…).and  once Viserys puts down the sword and Drogo makes sure his wife and child were ok,  Drogo has his men seize Viserys, melts down his golden belt and pours the molten gold over Viserys’ head while Danerys watches, tired of her brother’s abusive ways and ready to see him get his.

Can’t say Drogo didn’t keep his word THAT time!

*Sigh of Satisfaction* Yeaaaaaaaaahh…that’s the stuff…

Viserys was  a selfish,arrogant, STUPID S.O.B.  How could he NOT think that he was about to get his ass kicked after threatening the queen and prince of a warrior tribe? COME NOW!! Shoot… I was at home, in my living room, in the real world,PERFECTLY SAFE  and when I saw the look on Drogo’s face, my exact words were “OH SH*T…”.   The panic on Viserys face when he realized he had really stepped in it now??? PRICELESS!

2- Watching Khal Drogo and Daenerys fall in love

So like I said before, Khal Drogo and Daenarys didn’t start off on the right foot. In fact, it was a violent foot..BUT the turning point was when Daenerys decided to take charge in the bedroom and let Drogo know that he can be the big tough Khal to the Dothraki, but at home, he was HERS to claim. I loved his A-HA moment in that scene and the connection that was forged between them. From then on, they were a ride-or-die couple and Daenerys started to draw strength and courage from her position as Khalessi of the Dothraki PLUS Drogo was all for making sure that she would do well and defended her against all others. They also had some of the best pet names I have ever seen on telelvision- He called her ‘Moon of my life’ like it was her name…like it was fact…and she called him ‘My sun and stars’… SO HAWT! Drogo defended his woman to the ground and in fact, the only times in the show when he TRULY became an ass-whooping Khal was when someone tried to step  to his wife- her would-be-assassin,  his subordinate who called Daenerys a `foreign whore`and even his brother-in-law Viscerys (see above)  all felt the ‘Khali love’ when they disrespected his wife in some way and he let ALL of them know that that would not be tolerated in any way,shape or form. When he died (after the wound he got during a fight with a defiant solder festered and made him sick), I was heartbroken.  Just HEARTBROKEN, BUT it also allowed Daenerys to find her own voice and I can’t wait to see how her new role is going to play out in season two.

And finally, my favourite part of Game of Thrones, Season one….

1-Ned’s Beheading

Now THIS….THIS…THIS was THE moment that made me watch in disbelief and yell at the screen. This was the defining moment for me because the main character effing DIES!! Let me break this down: Throughout the season, Ned has been trying to piece together the secret that got the former Hand of the King killed. Finally he does: Prince Joffrey, heir to the throne, is not really King Robert’s son, but actually Queen Cersei’s son…WITH HER BROTHER!!! *Enter retch here*

So Ned, being a noble but evidently naive man, decides to tell Cersei that he knows her secret and gives her a chance to run away before he tells Robert. Only King Robert gets hurt before Ned has the chance, and Ned decides to let the king die in peace and deal with the aftermath.  After thinking he’s secured the support of the City Watch (basically the police), Ned challenges Joffrey’s claim to the throne only to be betrayed, have his guard killed, and be thrown in the dungeon. The Court negotiates with Joffrey who says that if Ned confesses to treason, he would just exile him from the kingdom instead of killing him. After initially refusing, Ned realizes that his only choice to protect his daughters was to confess and face exile but after he does, the cruel, conniving, backstabbing, lying sonuvabitch that is Joffrey  renegs on his promise and orders Ned beheaded.

This moment was so well acted that it made my heart ache. Arya trying to save her father, Ned looking around to see everyone screaming for his death, the chaos on the platform and the executioner get ready….I felt like I was right there ready to jump in front of Ned and save him because I just couldn’t believe what was happening. When the silence came and Ned took that last calming breath and accepted his fate then Arya, protected from view by Yoren, a guard close to the Starks, looked up and saw the flying birds signifying that her father had been killed…I was so emotionally drained that I had to turn off my TV.

This was the true moment when I knew that Game of Thrones was not just another TV show. If  Ned’s betrayal was the gun cock. then this was the shot that was heard the world over. Killing your main character that you’ve worked the whole season to get the fans to fall for??? That’s hardcore, but that also makes for awesome television because not even the main,lovable characters are safe. It’s realistic and gritty and enthralling and the best part is you just never know what’s going to happen next . Who lives? Who dies? It’s all up for grabs.  (Unless you’ve read the books of course!)  BUT THEY’D BETTER LEAVE TYRION ALONE!! I LOVE HIM!! LEAVE HIM BE!! Lol…

I really hate to give her any kind of props, but I think the line that best sums up Game of Thrones comes from the evil bitch queen Cersei:

“When you play the game of thrones, you win…or you die.”

Awwww suki suki…

Let the Game begin!!!

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Divalosophy Quote of the Day

” I just saw this guy with the HOTTEST ass!! I couldn’t stop staring! It was like his ass was a magnet, and my eyes were metallic!! ”

– Divalosophy text to some friends

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It Aint No Fairy Tale…

Love and Marriage.

Everyone has an opinion.

You watch the movies that tell you how to spot it, you read the books telling you how to keep it, and then you listen to songs that comfort you when you`ve lost it.

What. A. Rollercoaster.

And yet, everyone is still clamouring to find some validation in the facts that not only are they worth loving, but someone has actually decided to stand up- in FRONT of other people and their God- and promise to love them for the rest of their lives.

I find it fascinating that love,  a raw emotion so embedded in the very fabric of humanity that it’s almost instinctual,  can be so simple, and yet so complicated.

I was recently watching a documentary on CBC called `Thoroughly Modern`, where they looked at how thoughts on marriage have evolved over the years. In it, Stephanie Coontz, a marriage historian, said something that got me thinking…

The segment was about this couple who have been married for over 70 years, and how the idea of marriage now is so different from when they fell in love and got married. Ms. Coontz said that ‘For thousands of years, the idea that you would let two young people make such an important political and economical decision on such a frivolous basis of love was absolutely inconceivable’ .

A marriage based on love considered frivolous…

My, how things have changed.

My generation is all about the love and how marriage is the ultimate culmination of that love. Granted, many people choose not to get married, but for those who do, marriage is supposed to be this wonderful experience that makes life better because you have someone to share it with. We watched the Disney Princess movies, and were convinced that our Prince Charming was going to save us from the evil stepmother and the two step sisters, who had cast an evil spell on us that only true love’s first kiss could cure. As we got older, love became catch phrases like ‘ You had me at “Hello” ’, and ‘You complete me’,  and even though last time I looked, I had all my 2000 parts and completed my own damn self, I must admit that I have a soft spot for a good love story. I mean, my favourite movies are ‘Love Jones’ and ‘Love and Basketball’, and I’m the girl who took the day off to watch Will and Kate get married.

People get all excited about the wedding, and are all too eager to celebrate and party all the night long. Everyone talks about the `Happily Ever After`, but marriage has to be a lot more than that. Problems arise when people concentrate on the ` Happily`, without truly considering the `Ever After`.

My parents have been married for over 40 years. Have they always been happy? It would be extremely naive to say yes, but what I admire and respect about their marriage is not how long they’ve been married, or how happy they’ve been during those years, but the fact that through thick and thin-  4 kids, 4 grandchildren, and ALLL the drama in between,  they  found a strength in each other that goes deeper than  love. My parents, with all their fighting-real and play- and the constant challenges they face,  are each other’s best friend. At the end of the day, THAT’S what’s gotten them through, not how many romantic evenings, or ‘I love you’ moments passed between them.

Not saying that they don’t love each other. I can remember growing up in a household where at the end of every day, I could hear my parents talking to each other while in their room. It always amazed me how they not only talked about the household and us kids, but that they constantly had conversations. My parents just plain old talked to each other. Even now, my parents can’t spend too much time apart because they consistently need that contact. I usually tease them, but It`s a level of comfort and commitment that I don`t think a lot of people my age appreciate anymore.

And in the society that we live in, who could blame them?

Gay people in many societies aren’t allowed to marry. Why? Throughout history it’s been seen time and time again that those who have to fight and struggle for a cause are much more likely to treasure it, than those who take that right for granted. People claim that gay people would taint the sanctity of marriage, but look at reality shows like “The Bachelor/Bachelorette.”  It’s shameful what these people will do for a ‘rose’. And I know I’m not the only one who has watched an episode of “Rich Bride/Poor Bride”, or “Bridezillas”, or “Newlywed, Newly Dead” and, after laughing uproariously at the couple’s antics , thought ‘ Why the HELL are these people getting married??!’   After watching all these people use marriage as a form of entertainment, is it then fair to tout it as a ‘solemn’ right that should be protected from gay people?

Oh please.

Rewind only 30 to 40 years ago, and it was interracial unions that were going to be the downfall of the great institution of marriage.  It took a long time and a mighty struggle, but people eventually came to realize the merit of allowing those who wish to marry to do so. I sincerely hope there will be a day when the same will come of gay marriage worldwide.

Yet, all the same, I worry about friends who seem to want to get married and have babies and take those steps, without true acknowledgment and comprehension of what that decision means.  I`ve never been married, but I have seen enough from the relationships around me to know that it’s not easy, and love won’t always see you through. Hell, sometimes the fact that you love someone may cause more harm if that’s the only thing holding you in a destructive relationship.

I would rather wait and find a truly compatible partner, than marry the first guy that I can stand for more than 2 weeks. If and when I do decide to get married, I want to be sure that I’m doing it for the right reasons, and not because it`s the `next step`, or that it offers a sense of security that I can`t find elsewhere. My philosophy on my relationships, and the promise that I`ve made to myself, is that I won`t ask of my partner something that I myself would not be willing to give. I may not be perfect, but I know that I am a ride-or-die chick in my relationships. I also know that while I’d like the sweet and the romantic, I am not only looking for someone whom I can trust with my heart, but someone who is willing to trust me with theirs. My issue is finding a man who will not only appreciate this, but return the sentiment. Finding that man is a challenge, (and Lord knows a sista’s trying!) but it’s one that I greet every day because I want  to look into my man’s eyes, and know that not only does this person care enough to stay by my side, but that I care enough to stay by his, through the hard times that may come and the hard time that definitely will.

At the end of the day, my prince can be charming, but I’d rather he be there. Period.

Now that I`ve shared my vision of marriage, I want to hear from my readers. What do love and marriage mean to you?

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A morning in my life

In an effort for you to get to know the kind of person I am, I am going to start including some of my writings pre-Divalosophy.

I wrote this as an e-mail to my friends. Whenever I have a particularly trying day, I tend to write them out in a humorous way in order to bring some light into what was otherwise horrible time.

This is me. This is how my life is and the kinds of things that happen. I hope you enjoy.

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Disclaimer: Needed to get this off my chest so that’s why I’m writing this e-mail…I figure if I make the day funny and share it, it won’t be so bad!

SO….

Remember that game show ‘Weakest link’ when that evil redhead (told you they were all evil!!! The host, Victoria from Twilight….LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE….there’s a reason she was an ORPHAN!! JUST sayin’!) would insult the person and then say ‘ You ARE the weakest link…GOODBYE!’?

Well people…today…I AM THAT WEAK LINK!!!

I have been a BUMBLING , FUMBLING, excuse for a human this morning to the point where I said to myself, I said ‘Self! You’re a DORK!!’

THIS was my morning…

ACT ONE, SCENE ONE:

Went to wake up…Couldn’t. Literally turned over looked at the clock and my whole body followed Nancy Reagan’s advice and just said ‘No’.

SO finally, once I dragged my sorry carcas out of bed (half an hour late I might add), I got dressed, made my coffee (which turned out PERFECTLY this morning with the milk/sugar to coffee ratio), grabbed my lunch and an old ID pass that I needed to return to the security office, and then proceeded to pick up my keys, cell and current ID pass to head out the door.

‘EASY PEASY’ I thought!!

First, I forgot my scarf so had to play the ‘Protectron 007′ game where I ran into the house to grab one before the timer on the alarm ran all the down because it’s a pain to have to reset the whole thing again if I didn’t have to. I had 16 seconds on the clock! It was GO time!!! Ran to the closet, luckily the scarf was on top…the beeps got faster… 8 seconds left…there was an almighty, hail-mary, last minute dive to the door and BAM!!! I was safe with 3 seconds to SPARE!! Felt like Usain Bolt runnin’ across that Olympic 100m line! MIGHTY fine….

Opened the garage door, drove on out…CLOSED the garage door from the comfort of the driver’s seat (never gonna get sick of that!) and proceeded to vroom vroom myself all the way down the street……………………

…made my first turn, singing along to my music….

And THEN realized that my steaming hot French Vanilla coffee that I had so painstakingly prepared the night before by preparing the beans in the grinder and setting the morning timer so it would be FRESHER than farm egg, and then poured oh-so-lovingly into my cup  and made so ratio-perfect it could put any Starbucks Barista to absolute SHAME…..

Was sitting its ratio-perfect ass on my counter….
in my kitchen…
AT! HOME!

‘Ok…’ I say. ‘That’s fine. I’ll just turn around and get it.’ Which is exactly what I did, thus having to reset the alarm anyways and the whole 007 operation was for nothing! (Protectron-1, Me-0)….

‘OK! Take TWO!!’ I say…

ACT ONE, SCENE TWO:

The drive into work was more pleasant than usual (I should have known it was a set up!) and it took all of 20 mins to boot it across town on the highway.

‘HAZAAAAAA!’ I think. “This day is shaping up after all!!”

I EVEN find THE LAST SPOT to park in my favorite section on the parking lot by work, and back up wonderfully into the zone and happily put my parking brake on…..(The cosmic ‘PUNK’D’ set up is complete!)

…..Then I realize that I can’t find the parking pass I need to put in the window.

‘No PROB!’ I think…’Must be around here SOMEWHERE!!’

I look….and look…find a CD…. but don’t find my pass….

‘OK. Plan B. I’ll go get the day pass from the admin peeps. Cool!’ I say….

Sure enough, that goes off without a hitch, except now I have to walk back and put the pass in the window…

*sigh* ‘Ok fine. Do what you gotta do. Handle your business.’ I think…

I finally start the walk to work…get to the street….

And with an all mighty ‘F&*K!!’ that made this junkie look at ME funny, REALIZE that YET AGAIN, I FORGOT the BLOODY, EFFIN, COFFEE in my CAR!!!!!!

I WHEEL around (Now it’s just the principle of the matter! I will DRINK that COFFEE if it KILLS me!!!) and go back and picks up the mug, cussin the ENTIRE way.

(Car 2, Me 0)

ACT ONE: SCENE 3:

I finally walk into the office building, and feel around in my coat pocket for my pass….it’s not there. (YA! I can hear y’all saying ‘UH ohhhhhh’ out there in E-mail Land!!)

“Hmm..’I say. ‘Must be in my purse.’  but since I have so many things in my hand, I have to sit down at a bench to riffle through the purse properly.

I do this. And STILL can’t find my pass. BUT, as a wonderful SLAP in the FACE, I DO find the OLD pass that looks EXACTLY like my current pass but is deactivated because I lost it a long time ago, and brought it in to return it.

So I just chuckled to myself (cause Really!? At this point…what-the-eff-ever!), went to the security office, returned the old pass, and then explained that I needed a temp pass for the morning.

‘ Do you have any ID on you?’ the Security guard asked.

‘Normal question.’ I think, as this is the process that normally happens, so I pull out my purse and goes for my Driver’s license….

Which OF COURSE…ISN’T THERE!

Trying very hard not to pull a Rambo up in there out of PURE frustration, I explain this to the guard, who just used my old pass as ID (Thanks God!) and filled out the paperwork which I then sign.

I make my way to the elevator, then go Up! Up! Up! to my office, take off my coat……sit down and prepare to FINALLY start my day….

*Hour or two passes*

I glance down at my purse, which I always puts on my right hand side under my desk, and WHAT! DO! I! SEE?!!?

There…ON MY FRICKIN` HIP….HANGING THERE LIKE A GIANT,FLAT, PLASTIC ENCASED, SHINY, MIDDLE FINGER…IS!! MY!!! PASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At this point, I just friggin’ put my head in my hands and called myself a Dork. Out loud. Cause I deserved it.

And THAT dear friends….was my morning!! I am afraid to get up because I just don’t know what else is going to happen to me today…

Never have I been so close to kicking my OWN ass for stupidity.

Posted in Life, Welcome! | 2 Comments

Go On…Get Scappy!

It’s surprising how you can see a life lesson in the most unexpected places.

I saw this hilarious YouTube Video that’s been making the rounds lately. The video image is of this adorable 5 or 6 months old baby in his play structure. Every time his mother blows her nose off camera, the baby’s eyes get wide and he freaks out and starts reeling back, TERRIFIED of the noise, but as soon as it stops, he guffaws with laughter. It was cute the first time, but it quickly reached the hilarious level because he kept having the same reaction over and over again, as though he couldn’t decide if the sound was PETRIFYING or HILARIOUS.

As I watched the video, laughing to myself (I dare you to watch the video and NOT laugh!), I actually started to think about how the baby`s reaction is a kind of metaphor for life.

How many times do we look at a life decision with absolute TERROR, and then after it`s happened realize that it was probably one of the best things we ever did? Going away to school for the first time, making a major purchase, or getting up the courage to talk to that special someone…all things that scare the living bejeezus out of us when we look at it head on, but every once in a while, there is such a FANTASTIC reward that it’s worth being scared in the first place! Indeed, it may make the victory that much sweeter because you know that you overcame your own fear in order to get to that happy point.

It’s all about the art of being Scappy – Scared about something that could potentially make you happy.

It’s true that sometimes there isn’t a happy ending to go along with our courage. You could go away to school and hate it, something could go terribly wrong with your big purchase, or you could walk up to that special person and find out that they’re attached or worse, just not that into you. You would think that that would diminish the act, but in actuality, that probably makes it better! Not only have you plucked up the courage to do something you wanted to do, and were petrified to, but you’ve survived the aftermath and you’re still standing! You don’t have to live with the ‘coulda, shoulda, woulda’s of life because you stuck to your guns and went for it. So it didn’t work out…but at least, you’ll know that you weren’t afraid to go for yours.

I’ve always said that I don’t want to live a life with any regrets. It’s not easy- trying to make sure that you take advantage of all the opportunities that life puts in front of you is no small task. I’ve talked myself out of potentially rewarding situations in the past, because I was afraid of looking like an absolute fool.

But after a few of those huge gambles led to experiences that literally changed the course of my life, I’ve learned to appreciate the daunting, yet exhilarating lifestyle of living ‘Scappy’. Now I try to talk myself into taking more risks and trying new things (I’m not perfect yet, but I’m trying!) because I’ve learned the surest way  to fail at something is to NOT try it in the first place.

Fear, doubt and insecurities can be overwhelming.  If you let it take over, you`re avoiding the bad, but you`re keeping out the GREAT. Nothing beats the sheer high of taking that risk- digging deep inside yourself to challenge and find that part of yourself that you never knew existed, coming out on top, and knowing that you had it in you to take that first step.

So go ahead…do something that makes you Scappy today!

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Learning to Listen

I was reading an article recently about how to tell if a guy likes you.

You’ve seen these articles in Cosmo, in Essence, and practically every other woman’s magazine on Earth.  A top 10 list, or a commentary of all the things a guy will do if he likes you- smile a lot when he talks to you, or call before the third day, or angle his body towards you, or smile with his eyes….

Basically… a whole lot of nonsense.

People are so concerned with what his body language tells you, and how his eyes, lips or the way he buttons up his shirt will tell you what kind of guy he is and how much he cares about you…

But does anyone really stop to consider what his words and actions are ACTUALLY saying?

I recently learned some of these lessons- rather painfully at times -but that I now think are revolutionary in how I’ll approach relationships in the future.

I’ve learned that you don’t have to go looking for all the signs.

Good or Bad- men will tell you exactly who they are.

The problem is, a lot of the time, women just don’t want to hear what’s being said.

I find that whenever my friends and I are interested in someone, we begin to try to ‘decipher’ them like they’re a rubik`s cube.
Suddenly, the time that he calls is just as important as the conversation itself. Whether or not he makes plans with us, how he acts around us, and every other nuance is dissected and analyzed from every single angle imaginable. Conversations are quoted verbatim, and situations are painstakingly re-enacted to our friends, and it always ends with the age-old, inevitable yet multiple answer question: “What does that MEAN???”

And THEN we`ll try to explain what`s going on and decide what our `plan` will be, all in the hopes of FINALLY getting an answer to the question we`ve been asking since we were old enough to know what a boy was: ` Does he like me?`

And why do we do this?  I think it`s because we know that the situation is not what we want it to be, so we are manipulating it to meet our expectations and trying to justify it every step along the way.

Without going into too much detail, I had feelings for someone whom I thought would be perfect for me. And by perfect, I mean he was ‘my list’- physically, emotionally, intellectually…EVERYTHING.

I had it all planned out. We`d hang out for a while so he could get to know me better that way, and then we would start spending more and more time together, and then eventually, we would seamlessly fall for each other and live happily ever after as the 21st century Cosby Show.

Except that it went anything BUT seamlessly, and when push came to shove, it turned out he WASN’T all that perfect for me after all.

Which left me with a daunting question: How did something I thought would work out SO perfectly blow up in my face so spectacularly?

It’s taken a while, but I think I’ve come to my answer. (And I do mean MY answer because, while I cannot pretend to be some kind of guru or expert on the dealings of mankind, I am an expert of the dealings of ‘me’ and can only offer myself as an example, not the rule.)

What I’ve realized is that person that I had feelings for…  didn’t actually exist.

Crazy hunh?

Granted, at the core, there was the guy that I knew and whose company I enjoyed, but over the years and unbeknownst to me, I had taken all these expectations, and feelings, and perceptions, and ‘what if’ scenarios that I had, and began building and moulding and shaping this OTHER person. Someone I could fall for, and have a meaningful relationship with. Someone who wouldn`t hurt me, or disappoint me terribly because hey- he was PERFECT for me.

Of course he was. I made him.

Without knowing it, I started falling for more and more for the person that I had CREATED, than for the person that truly existed.

I’m not saying it’s right. In fact, it’s quite the opposite (and OK- maybe a little crazy), but it was such a gradual and unassuming process, that I didn’t even notice.

That is until the real person and MY person collided…and sent me reeling.

I just couldn’t believe that the person I had had such strong feelings for, and the person who was now in front of me could be SUCH different people.

But the REAL head scratcher is that this dude TRIED to tell me. Throughout our conversations and our encounters, he tried to warn me, but I told myself he was scared, and that HE didn’t know what HE wanted (because how could he NOT want me!?), and gave him every chance in the book, and by extension, gave myself every excuse to keep trying.

I tried to be the supportive one who gave him all the room that he ‘needed’ because he was supposed to ‘come around’. In MY reality (because it’s not a fantasy if I BELIEVE it’s real…), he was suddenly going to wake up and realize that the person he was looking for was right in front of him and MIRACULOUSLY, she was going to have my shape, my eyes, my skin and my personality (GO FIGURE!!).

However, in ACTUAL reality, I ended up getting hurt again and again, while believing that it was for some greater good that was never going to come.

I didn’t want to see or hear the truth that was right in front of me.

Now I’m not going to sit and absolutely absolve him of all his faults either. He did have a mighty large part to play because as willing as I was to offer my affection, he was more than willing to receive it. He made plenty of bad mistakes and choices and I was all too willing to let him, but if I am truly honest with myself, I was hurt not because he had done me some immortal wrong, but primarily because I had set my bar so high that there was nowhere to go BUT down. We all know that it sucks if someone is mad at you, but it is like a dagger to the soul to know that you have truly disappointed someone…and while I was disappointed in him, but I was also disappointed in myself for letting it get that far.

People are going to come and go in our lives. Some are going to enrich it for the better, and others are going to teach us valuable and sometimes, emotionally expensive lessons. Learning to listen to what the people are ACTUALLY communicating to us, without trying to filter it through our own expectations, or manipulating it into what we want to believe, is our best chance to tell the difference.

Life is what you make it.

The trick is making sure that it’s a life worth living.

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