Saturday, September 27, 2008


An old friend is having some relationship issues. He and the wife seem to have lost their balance with each other. Both brought two kids into the marriage. The wife is adamant he be a father to hers but she’s not much willing to be a mother to his. When they wage battle the wife tends to exacerbate the problem further by denying her man sex. She also tends to use her feminine ways to manipulate things she does or doesn’t want to happen in her home.

My brother has hit a wall of sheer frustration. The wife crippled his last nerve when in the throes of passion, while trying to avoid mussing up her new hairdo, she looks over her shoulder and asks him if he’s going to be there much longer. Seems there was something coming on television that she wanted to see and taking care of his needs was interrupting her flow. With one swipe of her tongue the woman annihilated the man’s self-esteem.

His partner in crime shook his head listening to him complain. Buddy-friend has never run into that problem with his wife. He had to brag that his wife is always excited to make love to him. He went on to explain thought that he’s only interested in making love to his wife every other month or so. I’m sure she’s damn excited if he’s only giving her some lovin’ once or twice every 45 days. Buddy friend seemed perfectly content with his arrangement. I had to ask if his woman was feeling the same way. Since he was so excited to share I didn’t mind pointing out that maybe the wife might be having her own issues with their arrangement. Personally, I know I’d have a lot of issues if my man, who was reasonably healthy and functioning, was only interested in making love to me once every other month. I gave him reason to pause.

I asked both men if they ever bothered to talk to their wives as readily as they talk to me. The two of them looked at me like I’d lost my mind. But talking to me wasn’t going to fix what was broke in their homes. Talking to their women, however, might.


Sharon’s Mr. Right would seem to have become her Mr. Right Now. The good as gold personality who’d captured her heart is now good and tarnished. And Sharon can’t figure out when it all went bad. Explaining the situation proved to be more of an emotional journey than a recall of exact instances. Sharon says what they currently share feels very different from what she use to feel. She insists that there is no longer any joy in Mr. Right’s eyes when she walks into a room. “He doesn’t get excited about seeing me,” she exclaimed in a small voice as if she were afraid someone might hear her. “We don’t spend any time together,” she extolled, reflecting back on the last time they’d made love. She shook her head when she’d run out of fingers and toes to count on, more days having passed them by than she was wanting to admit. “I never have his full attention,” she mused wishing away the other things and other people who seemed to have more of him than she did. “We listen to each breathe more than we talk and listen to each other,” she said with a nervous chuckle. “I’m not happy,” she finally admitted, her eyes brimming sadly with tears.

Clearly, there is something there that keeps Sharon hanging on or she could have walked away. Those right now moments with her Mr. Right might be few and far between but Sharon is putting much effort existing in that realm of hurt and heartache that she keeps laying claim to. Sharon’s fighting for something and I had to ask. Is she really fighting for what she wants with this man or is she simply settling because she doesn’t believe she deserves what she wants?


I recorded the Presidential debates last night. I was just too tired and too unenthused to watch them. I may watch them later today. Then again I just might pass. I'm actually more interested in seeing Palin and Biden go toe to toe. And I say all this as I sit here remembering just how much I use to actually hate politics.


Okay, so let me get this straight. Suddenly, the economy is a mess. Folks can’t pay their bills and businesses are folding. I’m sorry…let me step back and clarify that…RICH folks can’t pay their bills and multi-billion dollar businesses and banks are suddenly folding. NOW the powers that be recognize that there is a problem with the economy. But no one was much concerned when average Joe was down on his luck with no job prospects, mortgage past due, and the collection man biting at his heels.

Now, the boys on Washington Hill are tossing ideas around to fix this mess but they’re having some issues coming up with a mutually agreeable plan of attack. Right now the plan they have has us po’ folk bearing a $700 billion dollar tax burden to fix this mess.

Our Presidential candidates decide to weigh in with their two-cents. Obama calls up McCain and says, “Hey, Johnnie, I think we should issue a joint statement to let the people know we’re on their side. We should show them we’re both committed to fixing this problem because it’s everyone’s problem, not a party problem.”

McCain calls him back and says, “’Bama, I got your back. Let’s do this.” Then McCain calls a press conference and says “I’m gonna’ suspend my campaign and ride my white horse into Washington and show them boys how we do this thing.” He then leans over to his personal secretary and says, “Give ‘Bama a call and tell him I can’t make that TV chat on Friday. I’m gonna go save America!”

Obama gets that message and raises an eyebrow. He doesn’t’ quite understand why McCain can’t keep us Americans in the loop about what he plans to do for us in 40-some odd days from now should he be voted Prez AND go help the boys in Washington tell their heads from their asses. I raised an eyebrow as well.

Now, I’m watching CNN and both candidates are in Washington, sitting in a room with Heir W and a few other over-paid suits talking tactics. So, I’m thinking, McCain suspended his campaign to go do some work in Washington while Obama didn’t and has gone to do the exact same work in Washington.

So, what happens in 40-odd some days if we’re in a crisis and while our Presidential Elect is working on that problem, another problem breaks out. Does he SUSPEND work on one until he can figure out the other? I don’t know about you but I would really like an American President who can walk and chew gum at the same time. If my President has to stop to chew, or not chew at all to walk, I’m going to be a little concerned.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


It is the opinion of my very special friend that a mother can prove to be a male child’s greatest liability. It seems that we are quick to excuse our baby boys’ bad behavior and we can be much too tolerant of their idiosyncrasies. He and I have had this discussion many times, me arguing that such is not true. Regrettably though I find myself having to own that estimation and it is killing me to have to do so.

I have raised five male children. I have to acknowledge that my parenting skills changed considerably with my youngest son. My baby boy didn’t get the same “tough love” his brothers experienced. The love he got was no less than theirs, but he was clearly spoiled more than them. That lack of “tough” love has not served him well.

After the success I’ve seen my older boys attain, I was not prepared for my baby boy to cause me any angst as he approached adulthood. I was not prepared because he was a model child, never causing me an ounce of grief. But my child is now causing me much anxiety and it dawned on me today that I am very much responsible.

Kids make mistakes. Lord knows I made more than my fair share. But my son seems to be racking up mishaps like he’s collecting trading cards. His last disasters have cost me much money and put me in a seriously compromising position with people who respect and trust my judgment. What galls me most is the kid is walking around like he doesn’t have a clue just how this has devastated me. He has shrugged it off, mulling along like throwing away money, time, and trust is no big deal.

And through it all I have been keep trying to make excuses for him. Today, however, the last straw snapped every ounce of my resolve away. I have to own as much of his mess as he does. I allowed him to continue to make mistakes because I didn’t put my foot far enough up his narrow behind for him to get a clue. Today though, he saw another side to dear old Mom and it wasn’t’ pretty. Right now my knee cap is firmly implanted in his colon and I might not see my toes again until they’re tickling the back of his throat.

I have been my child’s greatest liability. I own that. I have not clearly detailed my expectations of him. I gave him more slack than he should have ever had. But him trying to find himself has taxed my very last nerve. He is still young and there is much life ahead of him. He will not however weigh me down one minute longer to get where he needs to go. He may fall and I will offer the best advice I can to get him back up and on his feet but I will no longer lift him and stand him up like he is incapable of doing so for himself. Not allowing him to crash and burn when he’s been jetting out of control didn’t do him an ounce of good. He has grown comfortable knowing that no matter what, Mommy will pick up the pieces and make it all better.

Well, no more.

This mommy loves her baby boy beyond reason. But newsflash, kiddo, the Mommy Band-Aid store is officially out of business.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Last night I had one of the most stimulating movie experiences that I’ve had in a good long while. Tyler Perry has done it again with his newest release, The Family That Preys. This movie had me on the edge of my seat, talking to the screen. Y’all know how some of us can do!

The Family That Preys is a story of family, friendship and betrayal. Legends, Alfre Woodard and Kathy Bates play Alice and Charlotte respectively, two strong-willed friends and very Southern matriarchs. Both have children with some serious issues. Charlote’s son William played by Cole Hauser wants to steal away his mother’s control of their high-end construction firm. Alice’s daughter Andrea played with absolute brilliance by Sanaa Lathan is on a quest for the good life, looking to run fast from her humble upbringing. Andrea is less than satisfied by her stuttering, country-boy slow, construction-worker husband Chris (Rockmond Dunbar) and his many get rich quick schemes that lead to nowhere.

Preying on opportunity, Andrea gets a job working for William and soon lands on her back with her legs up, servicing him after hours. Things get interesting real quick as Andrea’s sister played by Taraji P. Henson and her husband, Ben (Tyler Perry) toss in their two-cents. As the drama brews, Charlotte and Alice embark on a cross country drive that had me wishing for a convertible VW Beetle to go cruising the Grand Canyons in to shake up my own life. Two life changing revelations and a slap that made my jaw drop made this one movie well worth the $9.00 ticket price.

Two lines in this movie have had my mind racing all night long. At one point William asks his mother if she trusts him. Her response. “It’s not you that I don’t trust, darlin’, it’s your private thoughts that give me pause!” The second line came from Alice as she pointed out a life lesson to her daughter. “Be careful how you treat people. You just might be entertaining an angel.”

Show my boy Tyler some serious love and just try to ignore the bad wig choice. Not everything can be perfect.

Monday, September 08, 2008


When you’re just minutes away from a deadline and you realize that you’ve completely botched the details of your storyline, it’s not pretty. In fact, it’s downright ugly, you get uglier and ugly starts raining down like a hurricane in severe weather mode. That’s where I’ve been for the past week. But ugly didn’t prevail and the fix came in the guise of a man whose calm, rational approach forced me to be calm and rational as well. Once that mess was cleaned up nice and pretty and the sun was shining and life was good again I found myself back in relationship mode.

I’m navigating this couple thing. I was operating under the assumption that I knew how to be one half of a couple. I mean, really, after 28 years with the same man you figure you’ve made enough mistakes to have learned some valuable lessons and with that experience you know what needs to be done. Right? How wrong I was!

Somewhere along the way someone changed the rules and I’m quickly discovering I don’t know how to play this dating game as well as I thought I could. I find myself seriously challenged. There’s timing to consider: how much time together is too much time? Not enough time? Then that prickly independence thing: How dependent should one be? Or not? And let’s not forget the compromising and sharing that needs to happen. My space or his?

Then of course there are the emotional bombs that are suddenly exploding when you least expect them. Jealousy has devastated some serious quality time. Frustration knocked us both on our collective butts a time or two. Toss in family and children and I’ll be damned if being a couple is suddenly a whole lot of hard work!

What I am discovering about my new relationship is that I want to work at it. I can’t fathom tossing in the towel and giving up. My very special friend inspires me to be better and do more and I like how that feels. He doesn’t give me any slack either. I’ve had to give up some bad relationship habits, forced to drop them cold turkey or else. I’m learning about myself and him and just how this couple’s thing should work versus how I might want it to work.

And, I am understanding much more about relationships as a whole. So in a nutshell, here’s my short list to navigate being the better half of any partnership:

You are each responsible for your own happiness.
You must respect the other’s differences.
Communication is KEY!
Every minute of the experience will be a learning experience.
The unarguable truth will never fail you.
Do nothing if it comes with an expectation of reciprocation.
Know how to forgive.
Know your own expectations.
Admit your mistakes and don’t hesitate to apologize.

I'm an expert at some of it. I'm working on the rest of it. I'm sure something else will need to be learned before all is said and done. Love is making it well worth the effort.