Posts Tagged ‘note to self’

Sleeveless: The New Micro Mini?


The right to bear arms.

Absentmindedly, while giving myself a pedi, I was watching a show on Fashion Television, where Jeanne Beker was interviewing two sisters, who I believe were writers – forgive me,  for I only caught the show well into more than half of it. In the interview, she asked if, in their opinion, people, specifically women, ought to dress their age. This question was met with dead silence, which seemed to have lasted forever, but I’m sure in reality only lasted a couple seconds. The writers looked at each other with a bit of a puzzled look, followed by a smirk, and then a huge grin.

Indeed, a controversial topic, if ever there was one.

Should we dress our age?

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In the end, it seemed that the both writers agreed that it would be recommended, although one was more emphatic about that view than the other, expressing utter shock and horror at women ‘of a certain age’ wearing sleeveless tops… or exposing their necks.

Poor Jeanne, who was visibly shocked at the response, or perhaps I should say more so disappointed. In light of the fact as, in light of the fact that she revealed that, though she was currently wearing a turtleneck, she is, in fact, a lover of the sleeveless. It was evident that she didn’t share the same view, though, though she was aware that, in some circles, this may be considered a major fashion “don’t”, as she recalled commenting on her arms – on camera, during one of her shows. See for Jeanne, she sees fashion as more of a mindset than an age thing.

Or should we dress our minds?

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Maybe there is no black and white answer.

Perhaps we ought to dress how we wish others to perceive us, or at least dress in what we feel most comfortable and powerful in, – outside of sweats *cough*.

“Dress your lifestyle, and you’ll always be relevant.”

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If one’s clothing doesn’t match one’s lifestyle, there will never be balance, and so, perhaps the problem is bigger than the clothes.  Just my opinion.

I’d be the last to condone dressing to please anyone else, but there must be the acceptance that there is a generally understood concept – how you present yourself to the world, is one of the factors which help communicate to the world exactly which point of view you are coming from.  It’s all a part of the ‘body language’ conversation really, and less so rocket science. Though complex as individuals, as a species humans are simple – It the end, it’s all about vibes.

What vibes are you giving off?

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Side note: The writers threw out an interesting statistic – That one in three (3) things we purchase, is a mistake, i.e. it either is not flattering, or is not the best look for us, aka it’s just wrong. E. Gad, say it ain’t so.

Perhaps the whole notion of dressing your age may be related to that. Logically speaking, the older we get, the more in tune with our personal style we ought to be, and so the less mistakes we are likely to make. But of course, it’s never that simple, is it. That high-waisted, fuschia, American Apparel leggings for example that I purchased with a matching navy one, and standard black long tank comes to mind – Yeah, about that statistic, I get you.

Having it all

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Something else that caught my attention was a conversation about “Having it all’. One of the writers said that she found it interesting that at every graduation, at every turning point in young woman’s life, there is a well accomplished woman who, by all appearances has it all, (which is why I suppose she was asked to address the young women in the first place), who is usually the greatest advocator that it’s not possible to have it all. Funny. She later concluded, less often regarded fact to this discussion is that to have it all requires a great deal of hard work, sweat and perhaps more than a few tears. That, perhaps that it’s less so that it’s not possible and more that it’s not a path for the weak willed, or lazy among us.

Right about here the sister of the first writer offered her two cents – that having it all simply means that you are at a point where

“…what you want, and what you currently have are in balance.”

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Simply, it does not necessarily reflect the balance on your chequing account, the number of kids you have, or if you are married or in any sort of committed relationship or not. She then recounted a time when she had just gotten a divorce, was living in a tiny apartment, and was a struggling writer, but at that moment in her life she felt like she had it all – that is to say, she was in a place where she was happy. She was doing exactly what she wanted to do, at that point in time, and felt that she was well on her way to success on her terms.

I’ve read that success is not the key to happiness, but that happiness is the key to success. So ya, I get it. I get it now.

In the end, it always seems to come down to balance, doesn’t it?

b FiercelyFabulous

Photo Credit

Elevate Your Summer Style.


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Summer Staples: A wide-brimmed hat. Vintage shades. Sandals. A good book. Sangria.

Carry your Summer Style to another level with these few tips.

1. Lighten Up

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In every aspect of your life. Starting with your:

- Clothing
Starting with the colours and fabrics of your summer wardrobe. Cotton blends work best to beat the heat and still look fashionably crisp. The words ‘wool’, ‘ flannel’ and/ or ‘tweed’ have no place in a summer wardrobe.

- Makeup
Start with swapping your cream foundation for loose (or compact) powder, and coloured cosmetics in deep rich hues for fresh, golden ones. Or skip the powder altogether and just apply a bit of bronzer on cheeks and the bridge of your noze, a coat or two of mascara and some lip gloss. No long talkin’.

- Food
Swap ground provisions and hearty soups for lighter fare that doesn’t weigh you down, and keeps you hydrated while you check out the various scenes and festivals of the season with your chosen few.

- Drinks
Substitute the hard liquour for the season’s crisp wines. If you insist on beer, try the ‘lite’-r versions.

- Attitude
Quit taking yourself so seriously. Noone else does.

Half the year is gone. There is great opportunity for physical and emotional cleansing during Summer; Take advantage of it.

2. Accessorize

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Layer chunky necklaces, bangles, and rings. Don statement bags, hair, lightweight scarves/ pashminas (for when the temperature drops in the evenings). Step out of your tunnel and get creative.

And colour it up. Add colour wherever you can – busy patterns, loud and proud brights, neon nails, coloured capris (guys included), colourful kicks… just one at a time though.

3. Keep a clean scene

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Hygiene. It is imperative that this is kept at an all-time high.

Keep nails clean and at a decent length. Exfoliate heels regularly and moisturize with a thick cream at night. As gloriously, luxurious as reality TV may make this appear, this process doesn’t have to be expensive. Invest in a nail file, a nail clipper, a foot file (or pumice stone if you prefer). In terms of moisturizing, you’d be surprised how effective cocoa/ shea/ coconut butter, applied to heels at night before bed, is against ashy feet/ cracked heels. Even olive oil from your pantry can work, so there is really no excuse.

Keep hair at bay, especially in the pits and nether regions. For women it’s best if the pit area is all clear. For men, well the jury is out on that, but at least control the “RARH” effect with a trim every so often. Line up the nether regions and keep it low, if not only because the heat and humidity of the summer climate increases the chance of [foul] odours.

Ladies, I think it’s generally accepted that all hair be removed from legs if you are going to put them on display. Different hair removal methods are discussed here.

In a crunch and didn’t have time to wax/ shave? Wear sheer, coloured, leggings under a short frock. The general public would be non the wiser, unless of course you are over 2 weeks overdue. In that case. opt for opaque ones.

4. Underwear

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Because of climate and temperature restrictions, there’s only so much $$ I’m willing on spend on summer gear that I can wear for, and within, a maximum of about 8 weeks from the purchase date.  As such, my Summer season wardrobe is probably the collection that consists of the most ‘disposable’ elements – You know, brand, spanking new items  that cost $21.50 or less, tax inclusive. The jersey dresses, maxi or otherwise, the light-weight knit bodycon  dresses, and the ever present racer-back-tees-and-lightweight-knit-pencil-skirts combo are staples. Simple, easy to pack and carry, can be dressed up or down, and effortless to pair with anything at anytime. Can go from work to patio dinners to the club. Plus no ironing necessary; Everything in life should be this simple.

Perfect for the most part, only thing is that lightweight materials provide very little structure in terms of holding the body parts in. Invest in some decent shapewear with the money that you’ve saved on copping inexpensive summer gear. And most importantly of all use it, especially under that white, stretch, H&M, tube, Maxi dress… O_o

Oh, and brightly-coloured, thong underwear under white clothing naaaaaah mek it.

5. Swimsuits

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Surprise us. Do something different and try a fashion forward, one-piece why not.

Carry on.

b Freakin’Fabulous

5 Things NOT To Do To Your Skin this Summer.

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5 of the worst things you can do to your skin during Summer.

1. Aggressive Facials

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By aggressive I mean any treatments that involve advanced exfoliation techniques, or includes terms such as chemical peels or microdermabrasion.

Also any facial procedures involving invasive techniques – cosmetic surgeries, nips, lifts, tucks – anything that pierces the face, should also be put off until the fall or winter, unless you would be recuperating in some retreat, indoors and far, far away from the hustle of life in the fast lane where the rest of us will be. If you would be at such a retreat, gwaan on along with your treatment and please do us all a favour and, like a good friend, not mention how ‘ super awesome’ it was.

Exposure to UV rays already increases skin’s sensitivity. No need to make this sensitivity worse by dousing your face in glycolic acid. This combination can result in your worse nightmare, including, but not limited to blisters, darkening of skin areas and disfigurement.

2. Skipping moisturizer

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Typically most skin types are more oily during the summer months. Those of us with naturally oily/ acne prone skin tend to forgo moisturizer altogether, thinking that this excess oil means that the skin moisturizes itself on it’s own. Increased oil production is usually a sign of dehydration, therefore it is important to replenish water levels in skin by increasing the amount of water you drink yes, but it’s said that only something like 10% of the water we drink actually make it to the skin. This is not something that you can quote me on, but considering that most of us barely pass the 2-glass mark daily for water, anything less than 115% absorption of this water we drink is cause for concern.

Therefore, applying a water-based, oil free moisturizer can help replenish the water levels in the skin. These types of moisturizers usually are labeled as such, may be referred to as a ‘gel’ or ‘fluid’ moisturizer and usually list ‘Water’ as the first ingredient.

Stay clear of anything that is labeled a ‘cream’, passes the ‘Dairy Queen’ test (you can turn the opened jar upside down and the contents not fall out), or contains mineral oil (or any such oil) in it’s ingredient listing.

3. Showering less

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“So many fun things to do, so little time!”

No papi. Not so fast.

It’s summer. It’s warm, and it’s humid. Bacteria are in love. They breed, and they multiply, which inevitably results in an odour. YOUR odour, aka B.O.

Hygiene in general needs to be thrown into high gear, and on autopilot. Automatic. Noone wants to out more fires than necessary at the BBQ lime.

Let’s remember the Summer watchwords – Shower & Shave.

4. Not exfoliating

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Closely related to #3, exfoliation of the body helps to remove excess oil buildup that may occur during the day. It helps skin to breathe, look instantly refreshed and ‘glow’, as manually exfoliating the body increases blood circulation.

You can cop one of those kazillion commercial body scrubs on the market and and get it on in the shower. However, I find most of them oily, and hardly worth their cost as most contain very little exfoliating ingredients.

Alternatives?

Dry brush your skin using a dry body brush before you shower, brushing in strokes that lead toward your heart (the direction in which your blood flows). I’ve read that dry brushing, among many other benefits such as shedding dead skin cells, rejuvenating the nervous system and assisting in lymphatic cleansing to name a few, also assists with decreasing the appearance of cellulite… could be as good a reason as any to try it I’d say. Hey, I’ve done more for the promise of far less.

I find dry brushing more effective than brushing your skin in the shower (wet brushing I presume, though this term makes me feel like I need handcuffs), as  the bristles of the brushes, shown to the left, get softer in the shower.

I prefer my massage-pressure firm though, so if you are more of a light-pressure person, perhaps an in-shower brush-exfoliation may work. I do this twice a day – morning and evening.

For good measure, once a week I also do a body scrub, using a combination of cornmeal, honey and, for some slip, a bit of whatever body wash I’m using at the time.  Sometimes I just use ground coffee beans and body wash. Whatever is convenient. For more on body exfoliation see Smooth Criminal.

5. Not using sunscreen

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To my melanin-challenged folks, we aren’t all skin-kissed, bronze goddesses, I get that. But that is no reason to opt to play Cancer Roulette. Besides, sun-burns aren’t sexy, no matter what reality TV says. If wanting a tan is your reason to ride the sun-wave buck nekked, get a sun-less tan. There are tons on the market. I’m familiar with the brand Fake Bake – it’s fairly easy to use, it’s sold where I work, doesn’t leave you looking like like you belong on the Jersey Shore cast, and so this particular brand comes to mind, but there are many other brands. Try that route.

For those of us who are doing backstrokes in the melanin pond, don’t believe the hype that “Black Don’t Crack”. Not only can it crack, it can get mad spotty and unslightly – dark spots, light spots, uneven skin tone – you name it. Skin damage is not known to discriminate.

Be responsible with your skin, and, for wrinkles sake, use sunscreen.

Party on!

b FiercelyFabulous

image credit

Springing Forward —–>


Spring time!

Well, with the temperatures that I’ve been experiencing over the past week in these parts, it feels more like summer but I know better than to say it too loud let alone BELIEVE temperatures may not dip again until September.

Still, gotta love Spring though.

It brings with it a sense of renewal, endless possibilities and just a general feeling of rebirth. And why not? The days are longer – extended by an easy 5 hours at least, the sun is out, the place is brighter and the great depression that is winter season is but a distant memory. Hell, I feel like I’ve moved cities. Winter blues what? Arguably, the best of all, there’s little [no] need to pop those ‘happy’ [Vitamin D] pills – Goodbye Seasonal Affective Disorder!

It’s like the ‘April showers’ washed away the proverbial death, darkness and gloom and have made way for the reawakening of the earth.

Just yesterday, I peered out my window – my view of the road below obscured by bare and barren sticks attached to branches on the grandfather tree that appeared to have called it quits after the winter had it’s way with it; All signs of life removed.

Only to wake up this morning and there is it – LIFE. Leaves a’ sproutin’, branches be swayin’ in the wind, and once again, there is abundant life. As harsh as the winter wants to be, with every spring hope returns. Without fail, there is renewal every year.

“Do you worst…”, said the tree, “.. for I have what I need to weather your fiercest storm”.

You see, though all of the auxiliaries may be lost – the flowers, the leaves, even some of the branches – the root… the core… the soul remains in tact, and therefore regeneration is always possible.

Likewise, in our trials, sometimes we may lose some stuff along the way – people, possessions, sometimes even family, but as long as we hold tight to our core self, we are possible. It is when we are stripped down to our bare selves, that we find there is opportunity to re-emerge – Fresher. Healthier. Happier, and with any hope, smarter.

After all, when we’ve hit rock bottom, and dug downward the furthest we can go till we hear the ‘klang ‘klang of metal against metal, there is really no other direction left to go but up. And on this trek back upward, with the help of the sun shining  though, we can see clearly now, because guess what, we’ve past it all on the way down!

Only now, we’re armed with the knowledge of what is and isn’t for us this ’rounds. So it’s really up to us to choose not to pay that tuition twice.

Just now to pull out the microfiber and dust off our [vintage] glare blockers, aka hater mace, and, with a little a pep in our step, move smartly along with our determination to push on through.

b Freakin’Fabulous

Photo: razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Please Make the Stupid People Shut Up.


One of the most challenging things about parenting  for me is that, invariably, I have to deal with people who, in my individual life, I would not in a million years choose to associate with in any way, shape, form or manner whatsoever. As a matter of fact said folks would not so much as be identified on my human radar.

You see homo sapiens in fine form when they are dealing with their kids, especially when their kids are in a group with other people’s kids.

How we deal with ‘challenging circumstances’ that we never saw coming, like when you feel like your kid is has a personal vendetta against you, and so tries to embarrass you  by telling the parent of one of his friends that you are having a ‘playdate’ with  that s/he “doesn’t eat kind of food, no thanks”, how we deal with ‘other people’s kids’, who, as we deem it, have no broughtupcy, or my personal favorite, how we as parents, deal with those issues that we are again faced with; the same said issues that perhaps we didn’t get over as a kid. After all, just because you stretched out of your uncoordinated limbs and managed to escape the nightmare that you may have experienced in elementary or high school, doesn’t mean that you’re over it.

Regardless of what the retail stores are trying to tell me, it is winter. I live in the northern part of North America – A human refrigerator for most of the year, a freezer for the other few months. So hell, you need to learn to do something with all that white stuff – whether it’s shaved or frozen. There’s a rink on the other side of the road, so I decided that the Guy and I would pick up ice skating. I figured, whether it’s recreational or for that dangerous looking sport that they call ice hockey, what’s the use of being a boy in these parts if you can’t hold your own on the ice? So… ice skating here we come. As it turned out, the ice skating classes that you can sign up for are all full, but so what. I was never one to accept that I couldn’t do something because the most obvious path was under construction.

Now, as a child of the 80s, I donned the white-and -red roller skates with the mismatched florescent bobby socks, complete with matching hair ribbons, and my half-and-half,  bikini-cut, panty-looking, acid-wash, denim that was  precariously attached to a pouffy, white, cotton fabric, like no other, with matching moves of course. Just call me the Roller Skating Ninja.

Then came the Roller Blade. Not as comfy as the Roller Skate in my opinion, but it was new and my aunt got a pair from one some family that lived in NY, so I of course took a borrows from time to time and got the hang of it.

Conceptually, the Roller Blade and the Ice Skate looked similar to me. I could at least manage to hold my own on the ice, and the Guy, just like I did when I was his age, will practice and practice, (i.e. fall and fall) until he can figure out how to hold his own,  I thought. After all, in this activity, more than anything else, balance is key. You can do almost anything if you know how to recover, if not maintain, your balance I mused.

In my desire to just “shoot the breeze and bond” on the rink, I realized a few things,  one of which was that his activity ain’t cheap. Helleeeer!

One hundred plus bills later we hit the rink. That was funny in so many ways I can’t even count them.

I fell once, and I’m proud about that, if only because my shins and knee caps are living proof of months and months of learning to skate by any means necessary. A couple of those scrapes resulted from scaling chain linked fences and climbing mango and guava trees -survival of the fittest when you grow up with only boy cousins in Barataria, but I digress.

The state of my knees is always a topic of conversation with guys I meet. They try to non-nonchalantly comment on it, and then I glance over at their silky smooth, hairless gams, and well manicured nails and a customary awkward silence follows. Pretty predictable but always amusing.

Maybe that’s what you get for growing up in the Caribbean back then, or maybe I was just a tomboy, who was never impressed by the fact that I was  born a girl  [the latter I know for sure]. Either way, I saw roller skating on TV, but I never had any cool roller skating parties to attend, so I learned it the only way I know how – on the everlastingly long, red, concrete, walkway with  a  pair of matching  concrete embankments with an uncanny affinity for my shins, that led to  the front door of my grandmother’s house. I think these days employers lump that under ‘The ability to use your available resources wisely’. So, after picking up a similar contraption some 20 years after, dammit yes, I’m proud that I fell just once this time.

Day 3 at the rink, the Guy sees a fellow Grade-mate and, of course, is  excited. I cringe a bit after seeing who the kid is – a whiny, know it all  who always finds the need to highlight what’s wrong with all the other kids- but relief soon follows as perhaps, I think, this means that I can spend less time on the ice, and more time on the side banks with the other parents. The class that I missed the sign-up date for, was about to start shortly so there was some time for the boys to kick it on the ice before they parted ways.

It’s all going skatingly well. I’m about to leave for the sidelines when I overhear the kid whisper:

“My dad thinks you’re a pretty lousy skater and that you can’t glide well… but I think that you’re doing pretty well… for your 3rd time. This is my 13th time skating”.

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Because, of course Dad, your kid is Wayne Gretzky. What a nosebleed.

Ohh! It’s YOU who is the idiot Dad, for picking on a kid. That’s where the kid gets it from.

Truth is, I’ve realized that Guy is a whole lot tougher than I will ever be. I suppose part of it can be attributed to going to a public school in a Big City. I’ll just leave it at the fact that Guy handled the situation a whole lot better than I did on the rink. At school the day after, Guy and the kid swapped ice skating war stories, how excited they are to meet up on the rink again, next weekend.

I, however, am dreading seeing the Dad again, because the good Lord alone knows how I was able to hold it together to walk past him on the way out of the rink without clobbering him the first time.

If practice makes better, Guy will be better by the end of Winter.

However, that also means that, when Guy is running things in this world, the Dad will continue to be an even better Idiot, because the habit of practicing doesn’t discriminate between constructive and not-so-constructive behaviours and/ or outcomes.

“Dear God,

Please continue to give me the serenity, strength, and wisdom to deal with other parents.

Amen.”

Freakin’Fabulous.

That’s the Spirit

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If I’ve ever had a doubt about my ability to make lemon martinis, well not anymore!

Call me a bartender.

Being doused in freshly squeezed, premium lime does burn a little, hell a lot, but it sure does clean you up well. *Sparkel*

Lemon juice gets rid of all the dirt and grime, the excess layers, and magnificently leaves a shine in areas that were over scuffed.

2010 is soon coming to a close. For most of us its a happy time of year. People generally have, at least, decent moods, companies give away food and booze, and you get to see your boss behaving in ways you’d never imagine, which of course ensures that your job is secure for at least another year. Guilt is a hell of a thing.

Living in Canada, I get to celebrate Thanksgiving twice. The first time, when Canada celebrates it, and then another when the ‘rest of the world’ , or so the US believes, celebrates it.

  • More food.
  • More good times
  • More shopping sure, but more importantly,

more time to reflect on why I ought to be thankful, and, despite however I may feel during what can seem to be an incalculable amount of  ceiling-mounted, fire-blazing hoops, why I am truly blessed.

Blessed beyond measure.

Then, on the heels of Thanksgiving, comes the jolly old Ho.

Well, the Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho-liday Season. A time where kids believe and receive; something that we often seem to lose as ‘adults’ because, oh…

“Santa isn’t real”

Some of us can be such party poppers. What IS real?

My perception, IS my reality. Party poop that.

After all, isn’t that what ‘Santa’ is really about? ….Believing?

It’s not about being able to circle the globe in one night, Stupid. We all got over that decades ago. It’s not about religion or politics, or about who got the best present, who’s sucked, and who got none at all, because we all get presents.

We get presents everyday. We get the gift of opportunity; the opportunity to create or squander, to live and learn or to mentally and emotionally succumb to our thought processes.

“Santa” is about  the spirit of happiness; that of thankfulness; that of believing.

The selfless act of giving and receiving, of sharing fun times with family and friends, and learning how best to endure those members of your family, who,  at some point in your life you’ve secretly prayed to, one day, not be related to – not in public at any rate.

I believe in Santa. Party Poop that.

Know that you will never receive anything unless you believe. Not happiness, not material gain, not friends (outside of the electric friend generator) and definitely not presents.

So yeah, I’m reflecting a bit early this year. Hell, this year was so special I was reflecting since March.

Reflecting on what I’ve achieved this past year, how my plans have panned out or not, the wagons that I jumped on and those that i was violently thrown off. Reflecting on the experiences that I enjoyed, but would never in life do again. On the goals that I’ve attained and the ones that no longer fit into my life script. Giving thought to those individuals who I have had the privilege to meet – those who have helped me unveil a landscape that I’ve neither seen nor experienced before, and who I’ve been sanctified to finally depart ways from.

Hallelujah and Amen.

Departure from what was once good, but has over time become rancid and toxic is good all the time, and all the time it is good. It’s like a fantastically yummy nugget of self-renewal; a guilty pleasure. The euphoria associated with finally being able to put down that knapsack full of porous, limestone rock that you’ve been carrying around on your shoulder blade for a minute, only to discover that you never, ever in life have to pick it up again.

Relief!

There’s some good to grating a barrel of limes after all. For in the end, no matter how haphazardly things are thrown in the air, all must fall and settle on the ground once again. I am most appreciative of the fact that no sharp objects collided with me on the way down.

There’s lots to be thankful for in this life.

I am thankful for my lemons; all of them, for it is because of them I know who I am.

Pieces.

be Freakin’Fabulous

Inappropriate Much?

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I was privy to a child of about 8 years old dressed in the same outfit as her mother.

Umm. Why?

I find this disturbing. Porque? Because that mother should have some sense not to dress her child in a Halter top and matching short, shorts and boots. It’s bad enough on the mother, who managed to look like a stuffed sausage in stilettos, but the child, dressed in what was an obvious attempt to appear cute, just looked like a little Jon-Bennet on steroids.

What mother in their right minds would dress their little precious like a hoochie mama from Murray street corner? How is that cute? and lemme at the person who invented children’s shoes with high heels! There are medical reasons why children should not wear high heels, the decision to wear them is purely an adult one, as the repercussions range from mild discomfort to bunions and back pain. Have we taken leave of our senses?

Gone are the days of those cute little dresses with the frills that actually said “little girl here”. The days of the T-Shirts and jeans that didn’t cup the buttocks, the ones with the pony tails and ‘My Little Pony’ skirts.

Not to mention children today don’t even look like children physically. I happened to see a little one the other day. Was that the beginning of boobs? Hips? a butt?

“But wait!”

I wailed to my sister.

“She’s only 8!”

This could not be happening. But it was. It is. I have realised that the time is now if we are going to grip the bulls by the horns and start to teach our daughters that the human body is a temple. That should be treated with respect. It’s now.

I’m really disturbed. If we as mothers are not teaching our children, by word or deed, to respect themselves, then are we really so surprised when they don’t know their own worth and accept other peoples disrespectful treatment of them?

This is a trend that is getting worse as the ‘little girls’ are getting younger and younger. Babies are toddling about in leggings and t-backed tops or pint sized bikinis for the beach… 15 year olds are dressed like show girls from las Vegas to go to Prom/Graduation.

Where does it end? You can’t dress your little one like an adult and then go off the deep end when she mouths off on you – she thinks she is a little adult and so she’s confused when you smack the teeth out her mouth ( which is incidentally the correct response for back talk – forget the police, send the army cause I’m about the bring it like Saddam.)

And these days these little children are coming out with their hands on their hips and a “NOW WHAT?” attitude, the days of little bobble head babies are long gone – these coming out with swag.

All the more reason to let these children be children for as long as possible.

Teaching respect for oneself is something that is taught by actions, the everyday living of it, not the talk.

As it is right now I am fully aware that there are crazies out there who can get high off those baby commercials where the baby is licking a spoon.  EW.

So how much more will they be triggered by the sight of your sexily dressed little one?

As adults we can handle the results of our actions, and so its much more acceptable if you want to wear a nice pair of (tasteful) shortpants that flatter your shapely legs. Good for you if your halter show’s off your baby soft skin , and boobies to make a priest cry.

But We’re adults. And therefore more equipped to handle any weirdos that may blow our way.

As Parents we must protect our children as much as we can. Chances are we wont see when the weirdo passes by, casing out the joint looking for his next victim. Chances are we won’t even see his face. But we should be damned if we make his choices any easier for him.

Children should look like children, and dress like it, and I believe that this goes across the board – from zero months – 12 years, they should look like children. Teens are a different story – but the same thought process applies. If they are treated like teens – then they will act like it.

Forward ever…

I Dream of California King

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When I first came to GC, one of the things I mentioned is that I was looking to make a move out from the parental home.  Well y’all, as my American cousins would say, this thing called apartment hunting in this island just plain sucks!

First of all, everyone is asking for rent in US dollars.

What de A-double snakes is that! I live on an island and work for island dollars.

US dollars you say?  Where do I begin?

I guess from the beginning.

I hooked up with a real estate friend of mine.  She is a sweet thing; a mother of two grown kids who still live with her, so she is confused as to why I want to rent.  After I explained my need to have my own space, turn my own key and have my own kitchen (my most fervent desire), she nodded and we opened the conversation and the search for Island Girl’s new ‘Island’.

When I told her my budget, she almost fainted from laughter, but said she would try and find some decent places. I have a few demands. One or two bedrooms, clean, safe, preferably furnished, preferably northwest. So my informal ‘real estate’ agent got together a few properties and our month-long adventure began. We saw about eight places. Four stood out to me.  Indulge me.

Property One:

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Before we viewed, she let me know that property one was not all to spec – a fixer-upper of sorts. I followed her to Prop One. Jesus Christ!  The moment I saw the warped kitchen counters I wanted to cry. Iron furniture that clearly dated back to that time devoid of some style, aka the seventies, was styling in the kitchen. The cupboards needed a lot of work.  I could hear the termites planning the three-course dinner.

As we moved to the cubbyhole, sorry, the bedroom, I was ready to run. The bathroom…there is nothing to say but hell no!  Anyone who knows me can tell you my face is an open book.  You can read my hurt, my anger, my joy and my disgust! She read the latter.  She quickly ushered me out of the apartment and we were off again. It was in my budget though.  My heart sank.

Property Four:

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Properties Two and Three were okay, locations sucked though. She called to tell me Prop Four was a bit beyond the budget, but it was negotiable.  Beautiful view, access to a swimming pool, new furnishings, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a garden, a gated community. Can we say excited? I watched the clock tick that day at work and at four on the dot – I was out the door.

The drive up was full of promise and hope. It did not disappoint, initially. Beautiful. well-appointed rooms, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops; from heaven. The master bedroom – can we say  –  a view of the pool. I could not ask for more.  I was frothing from the mouth by the time I saw the bathroom, all white and shiny! And then, the rug was pulled out from under me.  Negotiable price out the door.  A lot of people are looking at this and are willing to pay more! The tears were in my eyes as I was led out from what could have possibly been my dream apartment.

Property Six:

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Property Five was okay, but the bug ambling along the kitchen counter caught my attention before the owner could sweep him away.  I made a tack back to the car while my lady dealt with the owner.  So Property Six came along.  A guy working in New York was renting and he had it in the newspaper.  I decided to contact him.

Sounded decent, one bedroom studio in the right area. He sounded excited too! Told me he would have his uncle take pictures so I could see it and then I could come up and take a closer look.  Sure! Fine! Great! Oh boy.

What came to me was, well to put it nicely, was, well… not what I was looking for.  Dark panelling facing a wall painted with a mermaid – yes that is what I said. A bathroom that looked like a relic of the seventies (what is it with seventies?) It was just not what I was looking for.

So I kindly noted to the owner that it was much more masculine than I had anticipated and wished him luck in finding a tenant.  What happened next was surprising.  The man sent me an email, in caps, telling me essentially why did I bother to waste his time,

” …A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED IN THE PLACE!”

“Excuse me!” I wanted to write back, but I just lost his email and thought, okay, classifieds, not for me!

Property Eight:

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Property Seven was interesting. Drove along the longest road ever, looking for the apartments.  Saw a lot of young men hanging out at the corner, pants below bottom, CKs out, and the requisite gold teeth.  The smell of reefer hit me like a whammy! Hell no.

My lady told me that Property Eight was well out of my budget, but she wanted me to see it.  Boy did I see it. Gorgeous, beautiful. Rent quoted in US of course. Kitchen out of Home and Gardens. I was drooling, touching the appliances with a reverence one usually reserves for Saints. She told me to lay on the California King bed.  Oh God! I was in having a mini org by that time. Real estate heaven!  The owners were in Azerbijan or Uzbekistan or one of those. The pool glistening, the birds in the garden singing. I saw me and ‘my guy’ having breakfast in the nook. I saw us swimming in the pool, enjoying the pleasures of a sunken bubble bath together.

The boom of thunder awakened me. No way! Not right now! My lady telling me I needed to get a man to pay for all this.  Why does it always have to come back to that! I left depressed on a rainy Sunday.

Will I ever be able to move?  Will I find anything? People are telling me get a starter. It does not have to be a dream. I know, logically I know this.  But that dream I had of awakening on a Sunday morning and rolling on my California King and connecting with a warm body; breakfast in the nook, nookie in the nook…I am so frustrated! I should have never gone to that apartment.

But my lady continues.   She has a new crop of things for me to see come November. So I take my California King fantasy with a dose of reality and will begin the search again.

Real estate is a ridiculous business.  I am hearing things are going to go down soon.  Crossing fingers, toes, eyes and hairs!  I know I have to move out.  And I know there is some place out there for me. I guess I just have to keep searching.

But for now….on to other things!

The Frog Prince | Is that YO’ man?


Sitting in a car stuck in traffic, my attention is caught by a small, but noticeable brawl happening in the car next to me. The driver of the car was being verbally whipped by his female companion.

Chick: “Wa yuh watching she so for eh!?

Dude: Baby, I wasn watching nobody.”

Chick: “Yes! ah see yuh! yuh was watching that skinny Bi-atch. Yuh fine she nice, eh?”

Two slap pelt.

Chick: “Eh? eh? whey she is? lemme firetruck she up.”

I have to admit the ish was funny, I mean who doesn’t like a little gridlock drama to break up the monotony of the red-light that will not turn.

But  when their car pulled up level with mine and she started cursing ME? Well that was a different set of laughter altogether. Why was she angry with me? What did I do? Driving off, the last I saw, chick was jumping out the car to get over to the driver’s side.

I didn’t think about it much, until I was forced to remember the episode when I was at dinner later that same week.

Now, first things first, you know this diva. She don’t leave her house looking like no VIT [Vagrant in Training]. Skinny Jeans, nice shirt and, since I really liked the fella who was taking me out, he was worthy of me bringing out the big guns –  SLAMMIN’ heels.

Oblivious to anyone other than my my date, I take my seat, and the night begins on a lovely note.

Enter twenty minutes, and I become conscious of not one but two pairs of eyes glaring at me. Two ladies, both on their own dates, are giving me LEVEL cut eye. They’re strangers to one another and they are unaware of each other, but from my vantage point I can see that this is not going to turn out well if I am not careful. Simply because, try as they hard as they could, their male counterparts are trying not to look as if they are looking at me, and one idiot just gave up the fight and stared at me without any thought for his companion.

Now, please do not think that I am standing on a corner toot-toot-tooting on my little rusty horn. I am by no means a pagent queen, and would be the first to tell you that I ain’t no exotic beauty. I should have known that those shoes would have that kind of effect on men. They were my CFMs/ FMPs, [if you are unsure about what THAT is click here] and NO MAN can resist.

But I get away from my topic.

I am wondering why it is that we ladies are quick to attack another woman, an innocent woman, just because she exists, when the problem is clearly the fault of the toads we sometimes try to turn into princes?

How is it my fault that their MAN (temporary or not) does not respect them. I have been there too, sitting in the front seat of a car and my companion is distracted by a pair of long legs or a buxom beauty. Out comes the tongue, looney tunes style, eyes bug out on springs, and the hearts fly above the ears. The brave ones (or the stupid ones – you pick) may even go so far as to say:

“Pssst, O lord gyal, yuh sexy too bad! MMM! Ah HONG-gry!

If I am out on a date, or its my BF, then I find some way to politely remind him that I am still breathing beside him, and then I either let this disaster take its course and remind myself that I am quite capable of taking a taxi, head for the hills, never again to return.

Ladies: Life Lesson # 456.

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Never tolerate your date/boyfriend disrespecting you in any way whatsoever.

Take into consideration, however, that if he takes a peep, without hurting your feelings. He’s trying. After all he ain’t dead or blind. But at least he has taken into consideration that you are there beside him and he is  aware that you have feelings. Never make a scene. You are just opening the door for him to disrespect you some more. Possibly to give his card to the lady he was oogling when you leave to go to the bathroom, having just written you off as drama he could do without.

And, # 678,

Never EVER blame the other woman.

Unless she sashays brazenly over to the table where you are sitting enjoying your meal, looking at each other all googly-eyed, drinking your champagne, all arms curled, you know honeymoon style, Unless she offers her self to him and makes and holds eye contact with your stallion, inviting him to mount, Unless she takes out her boob and flings it at him thereby catching and keeping his attention, you need to be taking out whatever vexation you have on your man.

Rinse and Repeat.

YOU accepted the responsibility of training a toddler, didn’t you?

You, my friend, are the one who chose this poor excuse for a human being, and let him share the divine castle that is your life. You saw the signs; you know how he do. What you fretting with the innocent for?

In fact, I’d even go so far as to say: It’s YOUR issue. Take it up with yourself.

Because you are the one who is sending the message that you are not worthy of being treated like the ‘princess’ that you obviously think you are. Wake up! If you have kissed this frog a thousand times and he still doesn’t go POOF! and turn into the handsome, gallant prince – smoke, mice and footman included – see him for what he is, a toad, gather him up, and take him back to the sewer where you found him. *splish!* He’s home now, and believe me he’s happy.

But if you keep him *smile* and he treats you the only way he knows how being a toad from the sewer, i.e. like ish, then who’s fault is that? The hot W.O.W. wearing the killer heels, sitting with her own Prince, who incidentally is not looking anywhere else but at her object of affection, who couldn’t be bothered with the chicken heads.

“No ma’am sorry but I don’t feel like chicken today. How about a rump roast, medium rare, sauce on the side please and thank you.”

And resumes staring lovingly at his companion? My fault? NOOOO. Its YOUR fault baby, for not reading GC more often, and applying the tips we share every damn day for cleaning out your closet.

Trust me, these dramatic displays of emotion never do anything but paint you as the needy, emotionally unbalanced, grasping, human being you are, [or are not].

Try this instead:

In carefully modulated tones, and with the sweetest smile that you can conjure up on your face, say:

“Um, hey hun – are you about to go give her your number? Cause if you are, let me give her for you. I was just thinking that you two would make a lovely couple. She is so your type.

Sooo…  Should we order now?”

And then make a mental note to call your friend when you get to the ladies, and see if they still wanna hit the club after this dinner is over, cause if homeboy don’t realize that you are Fabulously Fierce, then he deserves to be left behind, sitting next to his sewer waiting for his next victim to come along and mistake him for a Frog Prince.

Let someone else handle that mess.

Forward ever.

Sometimes the clothes do not make the man

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I have always felt that in order for one to achieve true happiness, one must follow one’s life path, while stepping on the least  number of toes possible, or causing hurt to anyone around you otherwise.

I have been privy to many ideas and notions of what makes a man, a man. The alpha male. The good man. The elusive one as I like to call it.

There is the physical attribute bit – tall, easy on the eye, strong shoulders, shoulders straight not rounded, generally fit … My  ideal man does have a resemblance to a certain shape-shifting wolf, in a certain series of sunsetting of movies…

Back to the point at hand, there are lots of ideas of what a real man should look  like, and how he should act. I overheard an idea this week, which spoke of men as powerful creatures,  who ruled the world with just a hint of a smile and charisma, with firmness, and of course people follow him every where like slaves, or mice stumbling after the pied piper.

The true male – at least by society’s standards – is without fault, and without failure.

Hmm. Good luck with that.

I find that hard to believe. In fact I will go so far as to say the Alpha male, as was just described, does not exist.

I’ve had a lot of interaction with the male species of human being, but first let me give you some insight into who I am as a woman.

I am not lacking in intelligence. I am not in the habit of allowing situations that occur in and around my personal space to colour my feelings – ( that all men are horrid, horrid creatures), though I will admit to having used it at one point or another,  in a natural fit of rage, for example when the child’s father insists on not purchasing the stuff for the child like he said he would.

In my experiences, it would appear that men can swing either which way when it comes to being a good or bad one. But this isn’t limited to only men – each person has the potential to become either the best that they can be, or the worst  being mankind has ever seen.

The notion that men are these invincible beings, at the top of the food chain, who possess the power to screw with my life as they see fit is the part that I don’t subscribe to. This is real life not “Twilight” dammit.

What we have is the Individual Man, the one who does not fit in to any mould cut out for him by any society, but tries to live his life as best he can without consciously hurting anyone that he may meet – male or female

Now we talking.

I could care less whether a man displays Alpha male tenancies, from what I read these are easy to imitate, so easy  I see an entirely different species – women – imitating it quite convincingly.

What I’d rather see is a man who has the guts and the gumption to own his actions.

Trust me when I say that I don’t want to hear the excuse,

” Well I was hurt by another woman long time ago ,and so I just going to do the same thing to every other woman I meet until I feel that I have squeezed out of life what is due to me.”

That doesn’t make you a Pretend Alpha Male, or an Alpha Male who’s been hurt and isn’t really like that , that just makes you a vindictive douche.

And I don’t want to know that you “have respect for every woman” as an Alpha male, because you and I know that is also a load of crock. Ish on a stick. If you can drop your pants and share some sugar stick without having feelings for your lady friend that doesn’t make you a bad person, that just means that you are taking what is being offered. What defines you is whether you are being HONEST about it.

I believe in the actions of the Individual Male.

I believe that each person should do what is right for him/her without actively causing pain to another by their actions. What I hate most about any man is the justification for their actions.

“Well I didn’t tell you I loved you back because I was taken off guard”…

“Well yes I did cheat on you, but you never give me attention anymore.”

“Well, I was hurt by another woman that you don’t know at all, and that is why I acted how I did, treated you how I did, I’m really a swell person and you should love me now, I’m all better…”

“I respect women across the board, I love and cherish women, what? Relationship you say? um nah – lets just have some quick sex – but doh tell anyone eh? I don’t want my friends to know that we are having sex. It would complicate things and people would know that, well… we’re having sex.”

“I hit you but you made me do it, no honey I wasn’t listening to Chris Brown or Eminem at the time.”

When I do my wrongs and I’m found out, I accept that I’ve been caught ,and I brace myself for whatever the consequences may be. I won’t say I’ve never told a lie, or ever hurt someone by my actions – that would be an untruth. But, when presented by the irrefutable evidence of misbehaviour as I would see it – I always judge a person by themselves – Never with the weight of their predecessors on them. Its oh – so tempting but really? What good would that serve?

I cannot and will not allow society to corral me into what they think  should be as a “Woman”.

So what if I’m not married at 32, and so what if I didn’t go to college? So what if I am not a Beauty Queen, or have life handed to me on a silver platter, So what? If they think I don’t fit the mould of what they think I should be – then they missing out on a great person. Their loss.

Likewise, I refuse to buy into what society thinks is what a man should be, or how he should act. The only thing I want from a man is that he be honest with him self and me.

Yuh like plenty woman? Say so.

Yuh like to party at the night club? Say so.

Yuh just want to have a sexual relationship – no feelings or emotions involved? Tell me.

Tell me up front and then let me make the decision whether I want to deal with that isht or not.

Who knows maybe I might say - “yeah ok… cool” or perhaps “Nah I’m on a different path right now.”

But don’t lie to and make people think, by word or deed, that there is a chance, for something greater, or  (the best one) that the other person is at fault, To me this is what defines a man as a man.

We all know that some people may think that its ok to subscribe to this kind of nonsense. I’m not judging them for that, but I refuse for anyone to think I am less for my choices , because my choices are not their choices.

Everyone is always quick to point fingers, to judge, but I am a strong advocate of fixing what is in your house first before you lend me your hammer to nail down meh roof.

All of us are human. We all have to deal with our choices in life. But there is not one rule that states that we have to be silent about it – just because society does not agree with what they believe is right.

Men to me are just that. Men.

Capable of fault, and making mistakes. And choosing that path to where ever it is they need to go. Equipped with the knowledge of right and wrong. What makes you a better MAN is not your animalistic tendencies. What makes you a REAL man is not whether you display societies definition of the Alpha male.

Its your compassion for your fellow man. Your Ability to lead despite what society says about you. The knowledge of what is right and what is wrong and the implementation of this into your everyday life.

The ability to say:

“Hey there. I made a terrible mistake. I do think you are a swell lady. But when you were ready for love I was not. its not that I didn’t feel the same way, its just that i wasnt ready for any kind of feeling at all…”

The presence of mind to say – “This is me.  You may not like it but here I am. Take it or leave it.”

And of course the ability to see when you have a good woman who loves you. Chances are she won’t be your ideal woman either (not every one looks like Aishwarya Rai).

Its so NOT you talking about your fellow man, behind his back, trying to make another man look small, pointing fingers at someone because their choices are not your choices. Its not you trying to make them look a certain way in the eyes of the lady who used to be in love with you but now has fallen in love with someone else. Someone you may not consider worthy of her. Someone you may think is not society’s  idea of a Real Man.

But look at it this way.

If she were so great, and worthy of a good man when you had her in your sights? What stopped you from showing her off to the world? What made you let her go?

A real man would say: “I had a good woman. I messed it up. She’s happy now. I want her to be happy.”

A real man would concentrate on making himself better. He would not think that he is above reproach, he would try to make him self better for the next lucky lady who happens to choose to be in love with him.

A real man is just that -REAL.

Forward ever.

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