Unsocial Media

 

Tell the truth: when you hear that a friend doesn’t have a Facebook account, don’t you look at them with a side eye? If someone you just met tells you they aren’t on Instagram, don’t you feel some type of way?  If the guy you just went out with doesn’t know what Twitter is, are you thinking of brushing him off? If you’re a person who spends a significant amount of time on one or more of the aforementioned websites, imagining a person who DOESN’T spend time on these seems a bit odd. You may even start to think they have some type of social issues, perhaps being introverts who have few friends and family, because these sites bring you closer to everyone, right?

The world of social media has definitely taken this world by storm. If you ask anyone to define the term, they would say something along the lines of this: the overall interaction of people through networking on various online websites, geared towards reconnecting with friends, family, colleagues, and creating new networking opportunities. If you asked someone to keep it real and tell you what social media truly is, they would describe to you a universe of self-taken photographs, narcissism, secret stalking, time-wasting, selective life-sharing, abusive over-sharing, and a place that gives stupid videos a larger audience, and longer shelf life than necessary.

You probably know of someone who is utterly consumed by all of these sites, and often cannot go a day without logging on, posting on their wall, re-tweeting, or filtering their 30th photo of the day. This person sounds completely crazy and you might even make fun of them- but you do it all the same and it just may be YOU. As you try to defend your um, “friend”, or yourself, you might plead to the skeptic that Facebook allows you to connect with your high school buddies. Twitter lets you share your thoughts without all the extra-ness of the Book. And Instagram is a cool way to post pictures to share with said friends and family. Again, it’s all about connection, right?  You’re closer to your people, right? WRONG. It couldn’t be further from the truth.

Think about it. Try and recall the last time you were out to dinner with your friends. I’ll give you my own example- last night. I went out for a party, and while at dinner, the majority of the table was on their phones all at once. Now, this is not a knock on anyone, because I was on mine too. I felt the need to send a picture of my margarita with a bachelorette party themed straw in it to my buddy. I thought it was hilarious and felt that in THAT moment, he really needed to see this photograph. Well, because he wasn’t there and of course his life would not go on if I didn’t send him the pic. After I made a few people blind with the flash on my camera, I looked up and smiled. The smile came from a sense of hilarious embarrassment, as I made a comment to the group inquiring what on Earth we did without smartphones. We all kind of just of just laughed and said we talked to each other more. And that night, there was definitely a lot of conversation, laughter, and general fun, but the phone distraction was always lingering. Whatever happened to just living in the moment? When did it become so crucial to let everyone else know what we’re doing right at the moment it happens? and send them a picture of it in the best of lighting?

I feel this is the most ironic aspect of “unsocial” media. Rather than allowing the universe to learn of events in a normal sequence of time, we have now grown accustomed to letting everyone know what’s going on RIGHT NOW. Even if you are not the most forthcoming individual, you now have it ingrained in you that you must tell everyone who wants to pause their newsfeed that you got engaged or that your child pooped for the first time. I must reiterate that there is nothing wrong with sharing this type of information. I’ve blogged previously about avoiding “selfie” hate and also have a general feeling that everyone should be able to do what the F they want. However, this need to instantly provide this information to everyone has taken out the true joy of a lot of the feelings, emotions, and events.

I truly think that people forget that they are sharing these precious moments with people who probably shouldn’t be so privy to this information in the first place. For the avid social media user, your “friends” list or people you allow to look at your photos is definitely a larger list than the people who you have on speed dial in your phone. Granted, you accepted that friend request from the guy who had a crush on you in 3rd grade and he looks to be a cool guy, but should he really be a part of your moment when you post your ultrasound photo announcing to the world you’re having a baby boy? Is your coworker’s kid sister who you hung out with at a party once seriously special enough to learn that your boyfriend asked you to spend the rest of your lives together? Which leads to my last question, if you’re freshly engaged and Facebook/Instagram/Twitter had not been created, what would you do? That’s right, you’d call your mom and then your BFF next- and have a CONVERSATION about it. You might even visit them. Because that’s the way it should be- not the first thing your ex-boyfriend sees on his newsfeed when he wakes up in the morning.

 

Picking Up The Scent

The last time I had an actual boyfriend:

  • “If You Had My Love” By JLo was a #1 hit
  • “The Blair Witch Project” was the surprise movie hit of the year
  • I was rocking a silver, “No Limit Soldier” chain and thought I was pretty cool
  • Gas was around $1.17 per gallon
  • I was still having long, drawn-out AOL Instant Messenger sessions with my friends back home
  • I was drinking St. Ides Special Brews

For the last decade, I have been involved in several scenarios, arrangements, and “situations”. I never liked anyone long enough to call them my own, and during this tenure of single life, I was only approached sporadically. I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. Over the years, I’ve been constantly asked, “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?”, and I became sick of replying that no one ever really asks me out. Everyone would always say that they didn’t believe me; that I was being bashful, but it’s always been the honest truth.

I know many of you can relate to that odd phenomenon of never being approached when you’re single and hoping that someone will soon make you half of their Bonnie/Clyde, Ike/Tina, Kim Kardashian/Some Random Dude (maybe not the best examples, but hey, they were all couples). You are trying to patiently wait for love to come find you, but all you get is the weird guy in the corner of the bar, who smells funny and is currently “between gigs”. It’s as if the raw scent of singledom is man-repellant- something you spray on, resulting in the absence of any quality man-candy, and the attraction of the occasional gnat.

And then a miracle happens… love comes along, and knocks you right off your feet! You turn in your third-wheel card and boom! You have yourself a man!

I recently ended my drought of being the single one in the bunch, and got myself a boo. A Boyfriend. A man. A partner. A person who I can make do stuff. And I haven’t been happier. After countless horrible dates, questionable lapses in judgement, and about 5 male friendships ruined, I have a person again. But along with that, there’s been a renewed interest in me, which has been pretty much been absent since I was dating Usher’s dopppledanger in the summer of 1999.

Now, I’m not saying that I have never been approached over the years, because I most certainly have- but not to the degree of fervor that’s happening now that I’m taken. This recent interest in me has confirmed that there is a physical scent that newly, coupled women (and men) give off that causes the dogs, leeches, scallywags, and skanks to come out of the woodwork and try to ruin a good thing.

Men who never returned my phone calls are suddenly texting me out of the blue. Guys who didn’t make it to a second date are shooting me “Let’s get together emails”. The chaps I used to fawn over who didn’t give a second look are now falling over themselves to talk to me. Where were you people when I was going to Kings of Leon concerts by myself? Why were you not around when I was chanting “Let’s Go Heat” with an empty seat next to, pretending that my “friend” was running late? I must also divulge another side effect of  what I like to coin “The Fresh Off the Market Scent”. The aura around me has also lured a freakishly large number of married and taken men. What is that all about? They should be the last ones approaching attached women, but apparently I have an iridescent hologram flashing “JUMP-OFF” on my forehead. And they won’t go away. Some of them actually think that they’re going to get somewhere. Must we revisit Delivery Boy from the Valentine’s Day fiasco? He questioned the validity of my newly minted union due to the impending Doomsday- perhaps that was his way of trying to get a date. EPIC FAIL.

And women aren’t the only ones who give off this scent. I imagine that it’s even worse for unavailable men. We’ve all heard of the “ring” trick- this involves single men purposely wearing a wedding ring in order to attract more women. And apparently it works. Which means our world is in a pretty sad state of affairs- no one wants you when you’re single, and everybody is scrambling for you once you become attached. Perhaps it’s the thrill of the chase, or the excitement of going after the unknown. But a warning to all of those who want to chase after danger: If you keep running after something that belongs to someone else, you may end up with one of two things: heartache and/or a prescription (no explanation needed).

 

Watch My Throne


“The pinnacle of success can be determined by one’s access to their own private, office restroom.”

How do you know that you’ve made it in the corporate world? Is it the CEO title after your name? Your moniker on all the office letterhead? The corner office with the view? The hot assistant with no brains, but who wears those pants you like? You may think that those extra zeros in your paycheck or use of the company’s expense account means that you “made it”, but it’s actually the use of your own water closet that let’s the world know that you’re a BOSS.

This concept may sound completely absurd, but let’s sit back and think about this for a minute. When I worked for the University of Miami, I worked in a two-story building with limited bathrooms. Although I was lucky enough to work on the first floor that only housed three departments and MAYBE 20 people, it was still unheard of to take care of one’s business in the sole bathroom on the 1st floor. Let’s just say if one decided to do the deed on site, you were found out pretty quick- plus no one would eat with you for a week.

Everyone in my office joked about having their own “secret spot” hidden away on campus that they could go to if things got out of control. None if us ever revealed our locations, in fear that someone else would steal our secret loo spot and our sanctuary would be no more. Our office was located on the far end of campus, away from civilization and most foot traffic, so many of us had to trek quite a hike to reach our destinations. There was also an unwritten rule amongst us to never question the length of time someone was missing from the office.

My bathroom oasis was the newly built facilities on the Intramural Fields at the time. The great thing about this place was that it was ALWAYS empty and completely pristine- most of the campus didn’t even know it was there! And since students never played Ultimate Frisbee at 1pm, I was good to go! Mind you, I had several other options to choose from before I reached the fields, but all proved to be disappointments. Initially, I had to cut across the football practice fields (THAT’S A NO), the Sports Information Office (they only had 1 bathroom, where no one’s secret was safe), and finally through the tennis courts. Now, if anyone is familiar with the Schiff Tennis Center, you know there is minimal lighting in the women’s bathroom, and the places had the eerie feeling of being a back drop for a murder scene in a horrendous teen fright flick. Needless to say, I vowed NEVER to get too comfortable in a place like that, so the tennis courts were out. I hope they fixed that…

Now, I’m sure this woman doesn’t have to worry about searching through her office park to find a place to shut it down in peace. She appears happy in her office. Looks like she enjoys going to work for herself, and breezes through her day. This means that she most likely she does not work for $10 an hour, has her own toilet behind that glass window, and go to the bathroom at will! For goodness sakes, she sits on an exercise ball and has her feet all out. She’s living the life!

I’m sure there are people out there who don’t give a “crap” (THE IRONY!) about going to the bathroom at work. But I believe that everyone can definitely relate to experiencing some hesitancy when it comes doing the their dirty work AT WORK. Call me Emily Post, paranoid, or just plain weird, but I refuse to conduct my bathroom business at the office if it is not absolutely necessary. I am fortunate enough to live literally 3 minutes away from work, and can be seen sprinting away from my cubicle during the lunch hour. Unfortunately, I can no longer fool the receptionist at the front desk who has seen me go off to a “business meeting” at home, like 10 times.

In the instance where I am unable to make it to my boardroom at the crib, I liken myself to a Marine carrying out a Black Ops mission when entering the ladies’ room. I check for other occupants, the time of the day, and the severity of the mission at hand. You know the drill. You go in, wait for the last person to leave, then run into the last stall like your life depended on it. You ponder if you are actually going to do this, and pray that no one walks into the restroom. Just as you are about to exhale, you hear the door open. You gasp, and then pray that all she does is wash her hands. But she doesn’t. She takes her sweet time, as her best friend saunters in to wash her Tupperware and reapply her lipstick. You think you can hold out until they leave, but they continue to chit-chat about homegirl’s recent gallbladder surgery and her cats, all named after the Jackson 5. You realize that you just.can’t. do.this, and sulk out the stall, realizing that your 15-minute trip to the bathroom will only result in a measly hand-washing. On the flip side, if you are ever successful in your mission, you hope that you will be able to escape the restroom without anyone having an inkling of what just happened. I have such a distaste of doing such a thing at work, that I’d rather fake morning sickness than having Anne from Payroll know what just occurred in the handicap stall.

 

Choppa Style, Chop, Chop, Choppa Style

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(my face after 3 hours of doing my hair with my baby t-Rex arms)

I’ve made it this far, but I’m not ready to give it up. It’s been almost a year since I last had some, and overall, I don’t miss it. Don’t get me wrong, I get tempted from time to time, but I realize I’m a better person for abstaining from this type of behavior. But I am about to explode right now! Is it because I’m finally going on a date? Am I about to be up all night to get lucky? No, it’s because my relaxer has almost grown out completely and I’m ready to perm my hair again.

I made the decision to stop perming my hair two Thanksgivings ago. I was okay with this because my “new growth” would get pretty straight on its own, with help from a bomb blowout from my stylist, of course. As my hair started to grow out more and more as the months went by, I noticed just how awful my permed ends looked, especially when I attempted to wear my hair curly. I was falling in love with my fresh hair and it looked FANTASTIC, but the ends just sat there, lifeless and depressing. I no longer wanted to rock the “curly look”, as my hair resembled an out of control weeping willow tree. Seriously, this is what my hair looks after I initially wash it. Women out there who haven’t let go of their ends know exactly what I’m talking about. Up top, it’s very buoyant and poufy, and as you near the ends of the strands, they start to hang down like wet noodles ( it’s described as “weeping” for a reason):

Then I remembered something called the “Big Chop”. I had heard the term before, and it seemed to be the answer to my dead-ends depression. The process involves a woman making the decision to cut off the permed, relaxed ends of her hair and BOOM- now she has this awesome natural curliness to deal with. The thing is, I don’t want to cut my hair! I know I am not my hair, but I also know I’m not Little Richard or James Brown, who I now start to resemble when my natural hair sweats out ( combined with those ends, forget it!). Seriously, my bangs now have a mind of their own and apparently they want to be flamboyant, old-school Black male entertainers.

Looking for inspiration, I searched for the “Big Chop” on the Internet for testimonials and before/after photographs, but I was immediately overwhelmed with all the information being thrown at me. Most of the photographs looked similar, with women holding on to the ends of their strands, to show the contrast of the thick and wavy new growth with the permed ends. Some “BEFORE” pictures showed women with confused and fearful scowls prior to their stylists cutting their hair, and “AFTER” photos of women cheesing from ear to ear with their freshly coiffed short curls. I wonder about the women who were not so happy with their decision. Where were the sob stories? The majority of the blogs and articles were composed of women who were both hesitant as well as eager to go “au natural”, but virtually everyone’s “after” story consisted of a woman who was ecstatic she made the cut, so to speak. There has to be numerous women out there who feel like they made a terrible decision, or at least have not come to grips with their new ‘do. For me, I am deathly afraid of humidity, combined with the fact that I have a large head. My longer hair works in my favor right now. If I have to wait for it to grow to its current length again, I’m not sure I would survive.

We know how important hair is. If you have a bad hair day, don’t you feel like you can be a productive member of society? Your time is better spent hidden in the house or under a satin cap. Then there’s the ongoing debate of “Team Natural” vs. “The Evil Idiots Who Continue to Pray to the Creamy Crack”. I’ve written about this topic before, but everyone should have the right to do what they want to with their hair. But has anyone thought about making the Big Chop and regretted it? Is there a reason any of you are holding on to your dead ends for dear life? Should I shouldn’t I? Because I’m confident that I know what I have and I will be sad when it’s gone…

 

Tyler Perry Presents “Bamboozled Parts 2-22″

( Nothing to do with Tyler Perry, but this was my favorite part of ‘Bamboozled’)

In the year 2000, the movie “Bamboozled” was released, which put a satirical spin on a major television network’s decision to broadcast an extremely controversial show in which the main characters wore blackface. The unique twist on the movie’s premise was the fact that the show’s producer ( played by Damon Wayans) and the stars ( Tommy Davidson and Savion Glover), were all African-American. And initially, they all relished in the exploitation of their people after the huge success the show had. Eventually, the thrill died down and they realized how detrimental and damaging to their own psyche the show was, as well as the African-American race and society as a whole. If the idea of the show “Bamboozled” was actually brought to life in our current society, we could easily switch out Mr. Wayans and insert none other than Mr. Tyler Perry. Oh, and the stars would be played by, well, Tyler Perry too, who would star as HIS beloved Madea character, alongside the 3 African-American actors who make up the other 60% of the cast in all his other movies.

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(how about stereotype free, buddy?)

I’ll let you all know right now on a little secret. I don’t like Tyler Perry. Not in a personal way ( I’ve never gone on vacation with him or play spades like real friends do), but more so what he represents as a prodcuer, actor, writer, and horrid cross-dresser. His body of work is the epitome of a hot mess. In case you live under a rock, Mr. Perry and Madea have the black entertainment audience ON LOCK. Or at least is appears that way. In a time where we no longer wish to see color as a factor in quality television and movie entertainment (which should be made for all audiences in mind), the OTHER Tyler the Creator has cranked out the following in recent years:

  • 612 Madea movies
  • 10 movies entitled “Thy Woman is Scorned into Joining the Single Black Mom’s Club Because She Can do Bad By Herself, so Don’t Get Married”
  • Oh, and I forgot to mention the shows that are currently invading our TV airways like “Meet the Browns”, which airs on TBS, Monday through Friday, from 7:30pm to 5:00am.

I actually like some of the non-Madea movies, like the “Why did I Get Married” franchise and “Daddy’s Little Girls. Mostly for Janet Jackson and Idris Elba ( I’m kidding. No I’m not). Seriously, though they weren’t Oscar winners, I felt a little less ManTan and SleepN’Eat from the characters in these movies, and more of a universal feel that anyone in the world could enjoy. But the rest of that crap? I can most certainly do without. I tried to watch a Madea movie once, and couldn’t get through more than 20 minutes because I felt like I was getting punked. Tyler, is it really necessary to have your heroine as a loud, buffoonish, cursin’ woman who’s surrounded by the stereotypical “angry black woman”, “hood guy gone good”, and “loud ghetto uncle”? I guess so, because homeboy is making straight BANK off his Madea franchise and other ventures. So he’s making money, but at the expense of who? Mr. Perry has mentioned that he has wanted to end racial stereotypes, but doesn’t he constantly perpetuate them? He has had concrete success with movies that don’t necessarily have some black person shucking and jiving every 5 minutes. So why go back to the shameless depiction of African-American’s acting a fool time and time again? BECAUSE WE EAT THAT MESS UP. I’m sure Tyler wouldn’t crank out constant crap if you didn’t have a mother, cousin, next-door neighbor, or client at the hair salon breaking down the theatres doors to get to the premiere of ‘Madea Goes to Jury Duty”. If everyone got up one day and decided they no longer wanted to see terrible movies that seem to set back Black folks an additional 50 years every time they went to the movies, I think Tyler Perry would be forced to rethink his blockbuster formula.

Again, this is my opinion and my words only, but I KNOW I’m not alone with my train of thought? Am I being too sensitive? Too harsh? Am I drunk on Haterade? What say you? Are you going to see ” Madea Gets Road Rage?”

Is this the Rise of the SideChick?

Apparently, 2014 is the year of the sidechick.  It’s no secret that pop culture has played a part in making the sidechick acceptable. Thanks to shows like Scandal and Being Mary Jane, it would appear that the side piece has crossed over from the underground and into mainstream consciousness.Rottenecards_56348525_fv4sfrc8nk

The younger women of today seem to be more open to the idea of being a sidechick, in part, due to pop culture’s influence. At any given time, turn on the  radio and you will hear countless songs about a woman being praised for “playing her part”.  The majority of these songs talk about a man’s side piece being someone who they can always count on in the crutch, and is willing to do anything for him.

While it’s easy to blame the male rappers and singers for these songs, women are twerking in the clubs to these songs and singing along with them, almost co-signing the behavior.

Let’s not forget the show, Love and Hip Hop, which follows ratchetness in Atlanta, New York and soon-to-be Los Angeles (you know it’s coming).  This circus of a show not only proudly displays women reveling in their side chickness, but they display the rules to this sidechick  shit; there’s a step-by-step booklet on how to get your game on track  and the “Ten Crack Commandments” teaches on how not to get your wig pushed back .  Obviously, you can see how one would think that the last couple of years has been the “reign of the jump off”.

We are allowing and condoning further this behavior  by not owning up and taking responsibility. You see, it’s not the year of the jump off, sidepiece, sidechick, or whatever you want to call them, and they do not have Hall of Fame career years either. We’ve become so ‘laxed in our morals and standards, that we’ve allowed  no open doors for what many consider a shameful act to be celebrated.

The gradual acceptance of the side chick is becoming very much real. So much so, that our younger generation will grow up thinking this is the norm, and standard male behavior to have a sidepiece. Young women will enter “relationships” expecting to be the sidechick while at the same time having aspirations of  becoming possibly the main girl. If not, then she’ll be content in her number two status, as long as some type of compensation is given.

So, again, to say that the sidechick is having a good year is lazy and dangerous. We should ask ourselves, where did we go wrong? Behavior that was once despised is now being proudly displayed through the air waves and on TV.

What do yo think? Do you think this is the year of the sidechick? Or do you think that we’ve just allowed it to be accepted?

Talk to me, I’ll talk back.

Breazy Donahue.

21 Questions

stupid-questions

I definitely consider myself an impatient person. Someone at work called me “mean” the other day, I am very sarcastic, and I usually don’t have time for stupidity. Besides being late as my Number One Pet Peeve, people asking stupid and unnecessary questions comes in at a close second. We all know the phrase “There are no stupid questions”. Wrong. I hear dumb questions on a daily basis. On television. At the grocery store. At work. In the gym. At the pool. At happy hour. I try to ignore them and be polite, but my mind is screaming ” Why in the world would you ask me that?”. Because I try not to be rude whenever possible, I just smile, nod, and answer the question. Is anyone else out there as fed up as I am? How many times have you heard these beauties:

  1. “HOW ARE YOU?”: This question is only acceptable if you are not a moving target. I am totally fine with you asking me how I am if we are actually standing still and in the same place. If you have me cornered in the elevator and we are forced to say hello, then I may even ask you the same. And will be genuinely be interested in hearing your answer. But the drive-by “how you doin’” is absolutely ridiculous. If someone walks by you and inquires how you’re doing, and they keep on walking, they don’t really care. Otherwise, they would stop and have a conversation with you. So please, stop asking folks how they are if you don’t plan on standing still to hear the answer.
  2. “CAN I HAVE SOME?”: No, this is not the polite way of asking if you can get down and dirty, I’m talking about trying to eat someone else’s  food. I think this is the rudest question out there, besides “Are you pregnant?”, and “do these pants make my butt look big?”. First of all, you should never ask someone if you can have what’s on THEIR plate. Proper protocol calls for the one with the plate to inquire if anyone would like a bite of their delicious meal. Many people do this even when they are in hopes everyone will say no, but they say it out of having good manners. If this question is posed to you, then go for it. Have a piece of my steak. But if I don’t say anything, neither should you. How awkward is it going to be if you pose that question and I say no? Now I look the jerk who won’t give you a piece of my NY strip. If you really wanted some of my Outback special, you should have ordered it yourself.
  3. “DO YOU MISS ME?”: I have been guilty of using this one on people, and only when someone asked me for the hundredth time, did I realize how stupid of a question it was. Stupid in the sense that it’s not genuine. When someone asks you this question, they are simply fishing for feelings. If these words have ever been uttered your way, did you notice it was never in a normal, conversational tone of voice? It’s always whispered, uttered in a sing-songy voice, and can sometimes sound just plain ol’ creepy. This is another question that will make the recipient seem like a jackass if they answer a truthful no. What would be appropriate if someone just straight up told you that they missed you, with no pretense. Grow some cojones and just tell me how you feel, instead of hoping I’ll do the same.
  4. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?”: This one annoys people the most, but hardly anyone says anything about this idiotic question. 99.9% of the time, it’s a no-brainer question, but some people feel the need to say it anyway. If I’m at the Jeezy concert and you’re at the Jeezy concert, 10 times out of 10 we’re both here to see a concert. It blows my mind that there are so many mindless questions thrown out there in people’s conversations. When your friend runs into you at Whole Foods and says “Hey, what are you doing here?”, fight the urge to smack them. Maybe they really don’t know that you’re there to pick up some Naked juice and fresh scallops. In this situation, a nice ” Hey it’s nice to see you” would suffice. I even give you permission to say “Hey, how are you?”.
  5. “YOU HAVE A BATHROOM I CAN USE?”: No I do not. I have an outhouse in the back- watch out for the flies. So many people head to book club meetings, game nights, and dinner parties and arrive at their host’s abode, only to ask this silly question. A better way to find the loo would be to say “Hey buddy, where’s your bathroom?”.  Seems pretty sensible and straight-forward. Now, I’m no Einstein, but I’m pretty sure there aren’t many houses and apartments that have been built-in the last 100 years that aren’t equipped with a water closet. There may be a few people who live in motels with no bathroom in their place, like Prince Hakeem and Simmy from Coming To America, but all they had to was go down the hall.