If It Ain't Broke, Don't Mix It: The Disastrous Nature of the Mixed Signal

He texts you and says that he’s going to hang out with his friends tonight. You respond, “Have fun.” He reads your text and follows your instruction. The next day, he walks up to you and you greet him with a stiff kiss and cold nature. Silly him, thinking he should have fun when you told him to.

Oh, the beautiful mixed signal. How women adore thee.

I’d like for women to understand the catastrophic nature of mixed signals. Similarly, I’d like for guys to understand where it can come from at times. Most (but not all) women have fallen victim to mixed signals. We say one thing and mean something else. Or, our feelings can be so complex that we think we want something until … we don’t. I have to imagine that it can be hard on the opposite sex. Consider his frustration- trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube everyday just to get on your good side. I come across a lot of these scenarios in conversation:

-You tell a potential suitor that you’re not interested and then you become angry when he stops pursuing you. You wanted him to chase you and “fight for you”.  Women, you need to stop pretending that you are the director in your own romantic comedy. It’ll rarely go as you planned… primarily because you cannot write his script. He’s a human being with his own thoughts and actions. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don’t try to “trick” him into staying with you. Don’t try to trick him into the chase…cause that could be all he’s attracted to. That kind of logic backfires.

-A lot of times, you get nervous about being deemed as “nagging” or “emotional”. So, instead of saying what’s on your mind, you suppress your feelings. You don’t say anything about the all of the times your boyfriend cancelled on dinner plans. You won’t open up about your problems with family. You try to be as chill and easy-going as possibleuntil you explode. Then your guy is standing their looking confused and calling you crazy. It’s not “nagging” if you feel disrespected and it’s not “overly emotional” if it’s driving you insane.  Every guy has an “emotional cap” to deal with when it pertains to women. Some caps are higher than others. You need to stop trying to fit the mold for every guy- it’s a waste of time. Instead, find someone who will appreciate your honesty and vulnerability. Stop inadvertently apologizing for who you are. a lot of women are emotional ... that's nothing to be ashamed of...

We live in an era full of mixed signals and indirect communication. We communicate via text instead of the telephone. We talk on the phone instead of speaking in person. We use our Facebook and Instagram pages as smoke and mirror magic tricks to depict our lives. We care more about how things are perceived than how they actually are. Those priorities and mentalities leak into our relationships (or attempted ones). Personally, I have had my share of text message confusions and social network mishaps. We all fall victim (lol). Instead of hinting at what you mean, don't mix it ...SIMPLY SAY IT. 


Aliens & Robots

I only endorse things that i believe in. I believe in Iman Europe's musical vision. I honestly do not know anyone more musically inclined and passionate about her journey as an artist. I have to support her project because I'm so excited to see what she is going to contribute to the body of music. Her Aliens and Robots EP will drop October 16th, 2012.
twitter: @imaneurope
check her out: imaneurope.bandcamp.com


diamond-studded overalls.

During my last semester at Spelman (that statement made me sound so old), I took a class about the construction of “The South” in America. In the midst of my research, I found a distinct and valuable pride in African Americans. We were given some of the most “demeaning”, labor-intensive jobs and we still did them with a sense of pride. Even more so, we worked ten times harder to hold down our own households. We wanted to pay for our kids’ schooling, invest in their spirituality, and make time for them. I think of my grandfather who worked until he was in his sixties- giving his everything. Until this day, he takes pride in everything he does. He gives his all.

It may sound stupid to you, but I see value in a strong work ethic. After all, when God created Adam, he put my man straight to work. He was given a job to overlook the land and make it prosperous. I always hear old folks talking about how “kids these days” are lazy. I hear about how we do not know about “hard work”. While some of that is true, they do not understand what kind of society this is for us.

As youth, we are saturated with celebrities and socialites who do absolutely NOTHING and have all of the wealth in the world. These same wealthy people are more attainable to us now more than ever. Because we can talk to them via Twitter and Instagram, we see how “easily” we could be in their shoes. (Outside of my college atmosphere) The only time I hear about “grinding” these days is in reference to sports and the music industry. That’s a shame.

Your work ethic is a reflection of you. At the end of the day, your name is all you have. Whether you are working in finance, the arts, burger king, or domestic services, GRIND. People will notice that you are always on time. People will notice that you’re a professional. People will notice that you give all you have. Honestly, they may not notice. You should work hard for your own satisfaction. Then again, you never know who is watching and who will vouch for you when the opportunity approaches. If you’re dismissive of your job because you do not think it’s “big” enough, then you lack imagination. Huge fruit can sprout from the meekest seeds. 


Bridging the Infidelity Gaps.

I was sitting at a bar Wednesday night with some friends. We began to discuss the perimeters of love. “Can you even define love,” my friend said. As I suppressed the urge to quote (the very cliché) 1 Corinthians “Love is patient, love is kind…”, we stumbled across infidelity. Can you cheat on someone that you truly love? Can you cheat on them numerous times if you truly love them? Needless to say, the conversation was very heated.

Personally, I believe that we all fall short at times. We disappoint our family and friends- even though we love them. Hell, we definitely disappoint ourselves (the person we tend to love the most). During the conversation, a particular point stood out to me: Men are logical creatures, not emotional. We don’t look at sex as an emotional thing. We know we want it, we go after it. “PRETTY GIRL. WHAT GIRLFRIEND? ME CHEAT. ARGGGG.” If, in fact, men are simply chimpanzees with careers and iphone 5s then I plead insanity.  I refuse to believe that men are that painfully simple and/or mentally retarded. If a man's girlfriend never crosses his mind, then that is a bigger issue in itself.

I do, however, believe that men and women tend to see cheating differently. So, for all of the men who claim that they do not understand what the big “whoop” is with infidelity, let me paint a picture. When a woman is in love with you and you cheat on her:

She literally feels like an eighteen-wheeler truck is sitting on her chest. She feels like she was hugging, kissing, confiding in, and laughing with a serial killer. She thinks you are a stranger now, “How can someone be so dishonest and despicable?” She is humiliated that another woman can brag about the fact that she had you. She will regret all of the times that she was proud to show you off to her family and friends. She will feel weak. She will be mad at you because you ruined the trust. You did the unthinkable. Who’s to say the sky won’t fall again? She will mentally replay all of the times that you said she could "trust you". Now, all of her hopes for the relationship are tainted with a murky, grey film of betrayal, dishonesty, and coldness. Psh, I can’t even begin to explain how she’ll feel if you two are having sex (which 8 times out of 10, you are).] She will feel like she lost her best friend. 

Uncle Ben (Peter Parker’s uncle, not the man on the rice box) said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” You can no longer claim that you are ignorant to the effects of your infidelity. Now that you know what cheating will do to your girlfriend (or boyfriend), you have to evaluate if you could do that to someone you truly love.  I think the basis of true, authentic love is the quality of selflessness. Your needs become their needs and you develop an innate desire to protect the other person. Personally, I don’t think that you can continuously cheat on a person that you truly love.

But hey, what do I know? What do you think?


Watch This:

Fox's New Girl

New Girl with Zooey Deschanel is absolutely hilarious. Jess (Deschanel), a peppy, corny school teacher, moves into an apartment with three dysfunctional guys. Schmidt- the used-to-be fat, arrogant, anal roommate. Nick- the "too old" bartender with a credit score lower than a dead man. Winston- the black guy lmao. The show is hilarious. If you have a ... modern family-family guy-the office type of sense of humor (and you are a bit dorky), you should enjoy New Girl. The season premier comes on Fox, September 25th at 8 o' clock.

ABC's Scandal

Everyone (on twitter lol) knows that my favorite television writer is Shonda Rhimes (Grey's Anatomy). Whenever I talk to people about Grey's, they say the show is too far in to watch. I understand. HOWEVER, Rhimes' new show is on ABC. Scandal, starring the flippin' gorgeous Kerry Washington (as Olivia Pope), is a phenomenal show. Ladies, Columbus Short isn't too hard to stare at for an hour either lol. The show is about a former presidential administration aide who breaks free and starts her own top secret crisis-aide firm. Kidnappings, killings, and sex affairs are only the icing on the cake ... well it is the cake. BUT IT'S SOME GOOD CAKE! The second season premiers September 27th at 9pm.

So, go onto Netflix or some pirated website and watch the episodes before the next season starts! You don't want to miss the wave.


Red, White & You [part 2]

You know, I grew up in a traditional southern-style Baptist church. While there is definitely some stigma attached to that institutionalized faith, I am extremely proud of the family that helped my spiritual growth. My church family instilled confidence in me, encouraged me during hard times, and invested tremendously in my education. In fact, without my church family, I wouldn’t be a graduate of Spelman. However, when the 2008 election rolled around, I was in an awkward place.

I kept on hearing how the “bible toting” religious conservatives were Republicans. Nevertheless, I had to come to grips with my spirituality and understand that there are Christian concepts in both parties. I, however, had to read both arguments and decide what aligns best with me. Ultimately, I need you to understand that God transcends partisanship and party stigma.

While the Republican party tends to push certain issues such as the "sanctity of marriage" and "pro-life" women's rights, they fall short on some other aspects of Christianity. When I listened to the RNC speeches, I heard claims based in greed, pride, cruelty and all around hate. George W. Bush let people in New Orleans die for five days before intervening. There is nothing Christian about that. Shoving second-generation immigrants back to a country that they never knew isn’t compassionate; it is cruel. If the goal of the Republican Party is to bring back the “old America” then I imagine the same America that lynched my ancestors in Mississippi and Georgia. I imagine burning bodies and raped women. I imagine racial slurs and hateful legislation.  That is the antithesis of love. Marginalizing poorer citizens and turning your back on those in need is not of God. My faith is grounded in the concept and theme of love- not legislative logistics.

“But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?”
          -1 John 3:17

I do not agree with all of the Democratic views, honestly. However, the views expressed at the DNC resembled love to me. Instead of stiff smiles and disingenuous eyes, I see a passion for the well-being of American citizens- collectively. I see an effort to include all parties in the progression of this country. I see themes of compassion, sacrifice, humility, honesty, and “citizenship” in Obama's campaign. "Obamacare" attempts to provide lifesaving coverage. That is loving. Attempting to cap the interest rates on my college loans is compassionate. Obama wants to end a spiteful, hateful war and bring our troops home. That is peaceful. I see a difference. I see hope.

“That there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.”
          – 1 Corinthians 12:25-26

As Americans, we are apart of a body. We are neck-high in a new era and we have to approach politics differently. We have to seek out the powerful themes of our spiritual faith to stay grounded and see clearly. Do not let partisanship stop you from voting.  I know a lot Christians (and people in general) feel like they’re voting for the lesser of two evils. I get it. There is a skepticism associated with politics and rightfully so. On both sides, politicians lie, steal and cheat. Nothing is black and white. However, we are called to make tough decisions. Make one. You have until October 9th to register, get to it.


Red, White, & You. [Part I]

I watched the Republican National Conference (*convention. didn't even notice i said that haha , thanks) Honestly, I watched the conference with an open mind and heart because I thought I deserved that much. “Maybe there is something that I am missing,” I thought. I was right. The Republicans have legitimate concerns: They want to protect their businesses, their money, and their families. Don’t we all? They want to decrease taxes because it is an inconvenience for them to spend money helping us “needy, poor, lazy” folk on the blue side of things. I get it. 

You know, when I was studying at UCLA my junior year in high school, we discussed the tracking method in schools. (For those of you who don’t know, tracking is AP placement, honors classes, “regular” courses, and even remedial classes). We (my classmates and I) advocated for the underdog and claimed that tracking included lack of resources for students, attention for students, and caused a lack of educational confidence. Then, my professor asked, “Great. So, how many of you are willing to give up your AP credit and honors courses so everyone can feel equal?” Everyone grew silent. 

I understand that Republicans- primarily affluent, conservative, business driven white people do not want to sacrifice for the people that they do not understand. However, my problem with the RNC is their apprehensive attitude towards understanding. The poor, hard-working, underrepresented MAJORITY make up America. Mitt Romney constantly talks about taking back America and the “old America”. Whose America is he referring to? It cannot be mine. He talks about America as a land made entirely from immigrants. Not my ancestors. Romney recently spoke to a group of inner-city youth and told them that they could make it with hard work and borrowed money from their parents. In what world is he living? His ignorance is terrifying. 

Quite frankly, Mitt has no interest in my reality. I am a college graduate and unlike some blessed individuals, I have loans...plenty. I am a woman who deserves to be paid at the same rate as my male counterparts. Romney doesn’t seem to care. I surveyed the crowd at the RNC and no one looked like me. I did not see my issues addressed. I heard about big-stick, bullying homeland security. I heard about financial protection for millionaires. I heard a bunch of country-club conservatives saying that the rest of us are on our own. That’s scary to me. They can afford college out of pocket. They can afford to start their own businesses without assistance. They can afford high health care prices. They represent a small percentage of America.

You may feel that politics are far removed from you. You may think that national security, taxes, and loans are something for “old people” to deal with. As youth, we tend to live impulsively day-to-day. Nevertheless, I need all of my peers (ages 18 to 120) to sit down and understand how voting affects them. The prices for college, your paycheck, your daughters or sons, your job pool, your hospital bills, personal rights, and safety are INTIMATE issues that will affect you sooner than later. Whether you’re voting for Obama or Romney, it is important to construct the America that you want for yourself.


Why We Love Queen Bey

[All of the girls and gay guys of america are frolicking around the streets of their cities in a glorious glee over Beyonce's birthday. A lot of people do not understand why she gets so much love from us. I can only answer subjectively (but that should not be a problem seeing how this is my blog- filled to the brim with my observations and opinions lol). For me, it is not Beyonce's personal style or her hair (because honestly, I am not the biggest fan of either). For me, there are three reasons why I love Beyonce:]

1. She is an exceptional artist. I don't believe that her talent is debatable- it's undeniable. Her vocal range is outstanding and her tone is truly beautiful. She can hit you with a Toni Braxton low alto or a pitch so high and winding that it makes your stomach drop in awe. She takes pride in her craft. She sings in different languages and writes her own music from time to time. Most importantly, she appreciates her fans. She doesn't call them "barbs" or "monsters". Instead, she gives 110% when she performs. She will dance her ass off while cartwheeling on stilts- on fire. She is going to sweat and scream and cry for her audience. Her performances are more than gimmicks, they are a reflection of her dedication to excellence.

2. I grew up with Beyonce! She is like the consistent, entertainment sister that we never had in anyone else. There are plenty of R&B artist that started with us and fell off the map. We had the Ashanti's, Jennifer Lopez's, Ciara's, Faith Evans, and the list goes on and on. From Destiny's Child to 4, Beyonce has been present in our ears from a young age. We can ALWAYS depend on Beyonce to uplift us, understand us, and make us feel beautiful, sexy- hell, like a damn Queen! Her music is our consistent, combative force against a degrading, confusing, hip-hop era. I love her because she loves me. Irreplaceable, Single Ladies, Diva, Dangerously In Love, Baby Boy, Kitty Cat, Halo, Upgrade You? When Resentment dropped, ... nevermind, women know how they felt.

3. She is a muthaeffing lady. She is classy. She understands that there is a fine line between sexy and skanky-whore. Sure, she may wear some provocative clothes on stage and in her music videos. Nevertheless, she seems to understand the difference between a musical persona and her home life. She is a loving wife, mother, sister and daughter. She protects her personal life like a real woman should. She has no problem saying that she'll cater to her man. Similarly, she has no problem saying, "there's the door" if things ain't up to par. Look, if Rihanna screams to the inner rebellious child within us, then Beyonce speaks to the inner goddess we aspire to be. No diss to Rihanna, but Beyonce transcends all of her contemporaries. She has never had to say she was the best. She just is.

You don't have to understand it, but you gotta respect it.

Happy Birthday Bey.

** Jay-Z films beyonce backstage, before her concert :)