Many of you may not know this, but along with bad grammar, I do have another category that encompasses a large number of pet peeves for me (that made sense in my head). WEDDINGS! Below follows the list of things that you as a guest- or non-guest of a wedding should not do!
Be careful... chances are I will step on some toes with this note!... and yes you should be embarrassed.
1.FIRST AND FOREMOST: Know that ONLY those listed on the invitation that you receive are invited.
There is a lot of work that goes into addressing [proper] wedding invitations. Most are hand-written either by the bride/groom(if he has good penmanship-not likely)/brides's friend or family/ or a really expensive calligrapher. The names that they put on the envelope were very intentional.... Simply put ... if the invitation says Miss Juanita Hancock... then ONLY Juanita should show up. If it says Miss Juanita Hancock and guest then fine, bring a date... otherwise fly solo... just know that by you being selfish and deciding to bring someone who was not invited you just added another $25-$100 [easily] to the bride and groom's tab.
2. That brings me to my second point. DON'T BE A CHEAPO AND NOT GET A GIFT. Folks pay lots of money PER PERSON that attends their wedding. It is really unexcusable to go to a wedding without bringing a gift or having one sent to them in advance [the latter is preferable]. The way I see it, if they would haveknown you were going to be a cheap-o then they could have saved the $20-$100+ it cost to have you at their wedding and bought themselves something nice... while your cheap-o-self stayed at home!
2b. DON'T GET CREATIVE! Brides and Grooms [i will refer to them as BGs] spend lots of time picking out things that they want for their house/apartment/room in their parents' house/etc.. This is NOT the time to re-gift or get them that nice pot set that you saw at Family Dollar! Just go to the registry, at least a few days before the wedding, order online and ship to the address listed on file. Bringing the gift to the wedding is really old school, and should be done only if the registry is not online. If there is something that you really really want to get for them that's not on the registry you have one of two options. 1. Call and let them know that you'd like to get them something off registry that you think they will really like ... you may even tell them what it is... and if they agree it's okay ... INCLUDE A GIFT RECEIPT! Other than that ... get a token thing off the registry AND get the thing you want to get them off-registry and INCLUDE A GIFT RECEIPT--because 9/10 they are going to have the maid of honor return it because ya'll do not have the same taste!
3. DON'T BRING KIDS TO AN ADULTS ONLY WEDDING/RECEPTION: I don't care how cute you think your child is. If that bride and groom SPECIFIED on the INVITATION or anywhere else that it's an adult affair... do like every parent going to a movie SHOULD do and GET A BABYSITTER or stay HOME! My sister had a wedding reception at the SkyBar, and specified not to bring kids, and some folks thought that part just didn't apply to them. It's the bride and groom's day, your opinion, and convenience DOES NOT MATTER.
4. DO NOT ASK FOR AN INVITATION! It takes FOREVER for BGs to come up with their guest list. Often times they go through the painstaking process of having to cut a significant number of folks form the guest list because of budget limitations. If you do not receive an invitation, PLEASE for the love of God do not put the BGs in the awkward position of having to tell you that they can't send you an invite or worse because they may have no backbone, they invite you even though it's not an economically sound decision for them... and let me tell you something... if they invite you and you have the audacity to bring a date, and i find out about it... don't be surprised if i punched you in the face upon sight! If they didn't really want you there what makes you think they'd want to pay for your date too!?!?! Morons.
5. If you don't come to the ceremony... then DON'T YOU DARE COME TO THE RECEPTION! The reception is a party to celebrate the fact that two people publicly made a choice to spend the rest of their lives together. If you weren't there for that... then don't come to the reception because we all know you are just coming for the food... if that's the case, then take your tacky self to McDonald's and be among others with the same about of class as yourself.
6. Do NOT sit at the reserved tables!!!! Most weddings have tables reserved for the family of the BGs and the wedding party... NOT thewedding party's family, and NOT folks who came late and have nowhere else to sit. Chances are there are folks at the reception who were NOT invited which is why the late people have nowhere to sit. If folks would adhere to number 1 and 5 then the latter would not be aproblem. I recently went to a wedding where the bridal party had nowhere to sit once they finished taking pictures because folks had taken the reserved tables because obviously folks who were NOT invited showed up... TACKY!
7. This one should have definitely been HIGHER on this list, and I can't believe that I'd forgotten about it until now.... but this is as big as number 1... When you get a wedding invitation, you are SUPPOSED to RSVP!!!! Now I shouldn't have to go into details on this one but some folks just don't get it. SOME folks don't understand that the thought "Oh they know I'm coming" is just NOT ACCEPTABLE. Do you NOT realize that a headcount must be given to the caterers and venue and other vendors BEFORE the services! And when extra folks [beyond the headcount] show up this is all bad for the BGs. Being the French master that I am... Ima teach you a little lesson RSVP = "Répondez, s'il vous plait" TRANSLATION: Resond, please. They are asking nicely... the least you can do is to write yes or no on the card and send it back in the mail in the prestamped envelope provided by the BGs. And if it says to RSVP to a specific person... respond to THAT person... don't tell the BorG's mamma's sister's cousin's husband's divorced auntie who's already pissed that she couldn't salvage her own marriage!!! FYI should you be so fortunate to be invited to my wedding and you do not RSVP then you will NOT be allowed!
8. If you are coming to "see" as opposed to CELEBRATE... stay at home! In the words of one of my best friends in the world: "It's not areunion or a house party. It's a WEDDING!" If you are going to a wedding to "see" who's there, what they are wearing, who's gained weight, if the bride lost the 32lbs that she set out to lose before the big day, or if the groom still really has the hots for you.... for the Loveof God, stay at home! You wanna see who's gotten fat, who still has no fashion sense, if you can see someone's engagement ring from the back of the church, then just stay at home.. you obviously do not know the reason to attend a wedding. You make me sick.
9. Get there on Early, ON TIME, or NOT AT ALL!! This should go without saying. I know some folks have a tendency to operate on CP time.. I can say that because I am CP. And in Hollywood, I've been told it's often appropriate to be late, make an entrance. Well let me tell you, the LAST entrance that should be made at at wedding is the BRIDE'S not yours because you couldn't manage your time well enough to get to the wedding ON TIME. Even on time is not really acceptable. If I learned anythinG from my tenure at Hampton University: "To be early is to on time, and to be on time is to be late. And to be late is UNACCEPTABLE!" If you get there and the parents of the BGs are being seated, if any part of the procession has begun, turn your tardy self around and go home, and don't you dare go to the reception either! Late is completely unacceptable! Period. Just don't do it.
10. Know the dress code. If you don't have something to wear that's in line, borrow or go buy... I guarantee you your outfit won't set you back as much as the bride's or bridesmaid's cost them... suck it up or stay home. If the wedding says black tie... then jeans are INAPPROPRIATE; linen slacks looking like you are going to a beach wedding is INAPPROPRIATE; sundress is INAPPROPRAITE. If thewedding invitation says after-five don't come in your bright easter clothes! For those of you who just don't get it really... here is a nice little guide for you: because I'm nice like that!
Black Tie Attire For him, wear a formal tuxedo; for her wear a long evening gown.
Semi-Formal (After Five Attire) For him, wear a dark suit; for her wear a cocktail dress.
Cocktail Attire For him wear a dark suit; for her wear a slim shorter dress.
Festive Attire For him, wear a dark suit and funky tie; for her a jewel toned cocktail dress
Informal Attire For him, wear a dark suit; for her wear a shorter cocktail dress.
Cosmopolitan For him, slim cut suit coat; for her, slinky snug fitting dress
Beach Formal For him, light and airy suit, For her, sun dress with sandals
Boating Elegant For him, navy blazer, linen sundress with sandals for her
Dressy Casual For him, button down shirt but no jacket, for her dressy shirt and top
Casual For him and her anything goes
LASTLY -- IF YOU WEAR ALL WHITE, CREAM, IVORY, OR ANYTHING IN THE WHITE FAMILY AND YOU ARE NOT THE BRIDE... THEN KNOW THAT SHE OR ANYONE CLOSE TO HER IS COMPLETELY JUSTIFIED WHEN THEY SHOOT YOU IN THE HEAD FOR BEING THAT STUPID (that includes family members... understand WHITES are for THE BRIDE ONLY)!!! [I wouldn't even call the ambulance for you until after the wedding was over-- your stupidity and the consequences they brought on isn't just cause to delay the nuptials!!]
That's all for now!!
11. Oh I forgot one... sorry... DON'T ASK FOR A FOIL, A DOGGIE BAG, OR A PLATE to take away with you... if you are going to be that hungry, then go BUY something from the fast food joint on your way home... or here's a thought... GO HOME AND COOK YOURSELF. Not EVERY occasion that has food is meant as an opportunity to stack up on left-overs!!!!!!!!!
In order to bring me back to a point of grace with my finances, I am going to go on a spending hiatus. While showering this morning, I remembered that a middle/high school buddy of mine did something like this a year or so ago, and I thought she was crazy to say the least! How can you do that? How can you not.buy.anything!! Well needless to say crazy saved her a ton of money.
So today when I got to work, after eating the breakfast and lunch that I brought from home, I hit her up on GChat to ask for the guidelines.
Well that seems simple enough, but with my history, I know this is going to be worse for me than that time Krystal Willis gave up Facebook for her lent (yeah I'm still salty about that).
I could only spend money on things that would keep me (1) not starving; (2) clean; and (3) not nakedi.e. if I really didn't NEED it, I couldn't buy it.
Plea to my friends:
Keep me honest, and understand that that means there won't be anymore parties at The Villa for a while (it was so hard for me to type that). It's a really good thing that I quit Williams-Sonoma when I did, or I'd.be.screwed!
Disclaimer: This does NOT mean that I am going to start buying generic brands of food though. I'm.just.saying!
Starting tomorrow, I'll truly be a pauper.
In our society, so many seem to quantify necessity based on an ability to financially sustain a partner, family, or lifestyle. When really, we need to take a step back and realize that needs go far beyond and are far greater than who is or can pay for what. I'm not taking to task anyone, male or female, but I'd like to use a very personal story to illustrate how what a (n independent) woman needs from her man.
For all intent and purposes, one could label me an independent woman. I won't go into the list of things that I have/do that qualifies me as such because that is silly. I have always said that independence is like beauty, and for someone to walk around screaming, "I'm independent" is as ridiculous as someone walking around saying, "Look at me; I'm beautiful." It's okay to know who and what you are, but it is not always necessary to discuss it.
Nearly two years ago, my family discovered that my father was really very sick. Now my older sister is married and my younger sister was in a very long term relationship at the time, and they both had the shoulder of their sig others on which they could cry. During that time I'd played the role of a typical career-driven chick who focused only on doing what she needed to do to be comfortable knowing she'd not have to hustle for anything since it seemed as though I was destined to be single anyway. I'd just come out of a very healthy relationship which came to an unfortunate end mysteriously when I was offered my present job. The point being, when I needed an emotional outlet, a non-familial shoulder to cry on, I was lacking.
Now do not misunderstand, I have amazing friends, and I knew that I could call any one of them at any time day or night and they would be there to support me. But what I was accustomed to growing up was being able to look to my father for emotional support. I, being fortunate enough to have grown up having one of the most amazing men in history as a father, was used to being able to go to a strong man when I needed to be rescued emotionally. However, given his current state, he could not be my emotional outlet. My sisters, mom and I determined that it was our turn to support him as he'd supported us our entire lives.
Someone once told me that two of the hardest things to go through are the death of a loved one, and caring for a very sick loved one. Little did I know that I was at a point where I was about to deal with both, in conjunction with my very sick father being moved from his home because, though the family was already struggling with the declining health of our patriarch, Hurricane Ike showed no mercy and ravished the house that he'd worked to provide for his family.
Over the course of the most torturous 4.5 months of my life I found myself finding solace in a parking lot. While my sister had her husband to support her, and my younger sister her amazing boyfriend, all I could do was drive. I'd end up in a parking lot scrolling through my cell phone looking for someone to call. I'd need to cry, and what I really needed was a shoulder, what I really needed was someone to wrap their arms around me, and wipe the tears from my eyes as they'd come. I needed someone to let me just snot all over them. I needed someone to listen as a I challenged and questioned God and his omnipotence. And I didn't need just someone, I needed and wanted someone who too knew my father. I needed someone who understood why me being mad at God was different from every other person in the world being mad at God when their loved-ones become terminally ill. I needed someone who knew that man that I called daddy, because he would then know that what I needed was not someone who could help me with the house that I was having built at the time, or my car, or my bills. He would know that what I needed all I needed was someone to be there for me, and that need was greater than any financial support I could ever ask for.
So as I sat in the parking lot I scrolled for names of men who knew my father, there were about 4 guys that I could call, and would let me cry to them. 4 guys who knew my father, and understood my frustration, and my plight. And I wanted to talk to guys, there is a calmness that I felt like I could get from the depth of a male's voice; I could pretend that voice loved me like my daddy loved me. Though those 4 guys were there to listen when I called, not one of them (for one reason or another) came to daddy's service when the time came when I needed them then.
Am I independent? Yeah I guess... who cares. But I wish above all else that I had someone I could depend on in a situation like that, and not even just those situations, situations where I am emotionally spent even if it's just a bad day at work, a tough time with the kids (future kids obviously). That need isn't just for the bad times, but the good times as well. I need someone that I know who is always going to be there to rejoice with me, to celebrate with me, and those are needs that just cannot be fulfilled with money.
And it shall be the cry of Black American boy babies...
Yes, I am calling for a cry similar to Pharoah's of the Egyptian babies... only in the reverse.
Earlier today, a friend of mine sent me an article from ABC News entitled "Why are There So Many Single Black Females?" and after reading it I realized that I am truly not alone, and the question that my sister's boyfriend asked of me months ago holds true for so many: if the statistics in this article are correct, then at least one in twelve. You are you have money, you can cook, you are fun, and you actually like sports; why don't you have a man?
This article uses the same old black women outnumber men, and the men that are available (meaning the ones that are not in jail or undereducated -- as in no high school diploma-- or unemployed) are either dating and marrying white women or are playing the field because why should he settle down with one woman when he has four quality women to rotate between?
I am not getting into the details of those issues of do black women have to settle for someone beneath them to stay in the same race. I am only going to say that the fact (so this article says) is that black women outnumber black men by 1.8 million.
After reading this article, I thought about it and was reassured in knowing that I was not alone. Now, personally, I am not dead set on marrying a black man. If I marry I am going to marry a man who loves me unconditionally; if he's black great, and if he isn't that's fine with me too. But like I was saying after reading this article I realized that I had come up with a solution to this epidemic.
These women should become single parents.
This article describes a mentality among successful black women that is accepting of the reality that they may never ever be able to append the title Mrs. in front of a name which is followed by M.D., or J.D., etc. But the problem is that this mentality also has the majority of these women accepting that they will also never have children.
My solution is not impossible, but it unfortunately will come too late to help the women of my generation who are like me, but we can setup future generations to not have the same outcome. I think we should all have babies---and pray that we birth boys.
For years there has been this stigma that has come along with being a single or unwed mother. But we are now in the age of interractial, same-sex, and open marriage... all which at some point or another carried the same stigma, but over time have come to (in most cases) make sense. Becoming a single mother at 32 years of age, is really not so bad when you look at the long term ramifications.
I believe that if women who are financially stable, and successful in other capacities as well have kids we can curve this problem for the next generation; however if we continue to let only the married couples have and raise little brown children, this problem will be on-going. The average family has two children, and if only 68 percent of African American women are marrying, then the 2 children from each of those families is not going to curve the present problem.
Ladies, we need to breed little black boys, and raise them to be black men. We have the capability to be single mothers, who don't have to struggle like younger, and less financially stable women do. We have the capability to raise these young men bred to keep the race alive to do just that. Be men who will settle down (personally I don't care if black men chose to date/marry white women) and marry and have children and not have four quality women on rotation. We have the capability to raise these little boys in loving, and "struggle-free" environments, leading them to be more progressive in their adulthood and less likely to be another black man in jail or under educated. As women who have been educated, the likelihood of raising kids who will not value education is slim. Therefore we'd slowly but surely be able to change the "more black men in jail than college" statistic that haunts us.
I spoke to my sister about this and she did ask some good questions regarding to how this would work. If it were me this is something like how it would go.
Because I am pretty adamant about my children all having the same father (whether I am married or not), and because there are certain pastimes in which I like to take part, I would probably not go the route of a sperm bank. More than likely, I would find someone who I trust (and who I think would produce attractive offspring) and be completely honest with him. I would let him know of my desire to have a child(ren) and that I want him to be my "donor". I would explain that this is really like a business transaction and would have a copy of the sample parental waiver form for him to read and agree to before we decide to commence trying to conceive MY child. I would also include in my discussion that should I conceive, and if at any point post conception he decides to get married, he would oblige me and make a donation to an agreed upon sperm bank, and that donation would be held in reserve for me for later use in case I want more kids. It would also be important that this guy understands that he's just the sperm donor, and not the father of my child.
I'd raise my son to be a MAN. Respectful of women but, he'd be out in the dirt doing manish things.
- He'd play little league football (obviously because I selfishly really want to be a football mother).
- He would not accompany me on trips to the beautyshop/ nailshop/ or hangout with my female friends and myself as we gossip about whatever it is women gossip about.
- I would surround him with a network of wonderful "uncles" who can show him the aspects of "mandom" that I cannot teach him.
- I will raise him to know that he's special because he is not a kid who had a father who left him, but he is a kid who has a mother who wanted him, and wanted him for a great purpose.
1. I buy apologies because I don't know how to apologize any other way:
- I bitched out these people at 24 hour fitness... realized I was wrong and bought them gifts as an apology. I felt like Ike Turner buying Tina the gift after he beat the crap out of her.
- I was washing a this dude's hair once after his weekly haircut (don't ask there is no story here) and I accidently turned the cold water off before the hot... eventually scolding his head. I felt terrible but since I didn't know what else to do I left immediately and bought him a video game (I was already planning on getting it but I expedited the purchase in attempts to make it my apology). I hear a female would have stayed and "nursed" it but well... I haven't been to nursing school.
2. If I have to pick between DSW and Best Buy... I chose the latter (and I have the gamers package on my silver status reward zone membership to prove it).
more to come... gotta clean up
I have spent the past few weeks observing, and obviously consumed with my own situation, I didn't give enough thought to what I was seeing in others. What I have discovered though is one truth: one person cannot love enough for the two. It. Will. Never. Work.
Those of you who have read my blog know there is this guy. He has been here. He has gone. He has returned, and my heart transitioned every time he made a move, but inevitably every time the bottle of sand and water was shaken, the sand always settled back to love. But THANKFULLY today is not about me. It's not about him. It's most definitely not about us. It's about every one else.
I can think of many couples upon immediate recollection where one person is doing the loving. One person is doing the catering. One person is doing the work, and I believe that is because at some point along the way (as I had) that one person decided that s/he could love enough for the two of them.
There are many senerios, but in order to not protect the privacy of those who have entrusted their stories to me, I won't go into detail. I will only say that I am reassured to learn that guys deal with this just as hard as we gals do.
I have this one dear friend, and he loves. He loves hard, and harder than the one the loves. I used to believe, "well that I how it's supposed to be. The guy is supposed to love first. The guy is supposed to love harder." But after watching my friend love, and love, and not get nearly half of what he's reciprocated back, quite frankly it pisses me off. And maybe he should love hard. Maybe he should love first, but that word in itself indicates there is or should be a second, and that second should be the one he loves meeting him more than halfway.
The title of this blog says reassurance and disturbance. I am DISTURBed because I wonder WHO THE HELL CAME UP WITH THIS METHOD?!?! I have always-- for obvious reasons- had issues with love unrequited. But it really leaves you to wonder what SICKO could come up with such a thing. Love, unconditional love, true love, is hard enough as it is. Why would someone allow love to be one-sided. Does the keeper and bestower of emotion really not have a clue to how absolutely painful to continuously pour your love and wait with the smallest ounce of hope that it will at some point be poured back.
I still believe the guy should love first. He should love hard, but that is because his charge is great. He is to be the provider, the protector, the head of his home. Just like presidency that title is great but with such a great title comes great responsibility. Therefore, I too believe that the the responsibility of the recipient of that love is great. One cannot successfully provide, protect, and lead without support. So should a woman -- the recipient of this great love-- cater to her protector, provider? Yes. Please understand i am not using protector-- provider in the "normal sense." I am not saying women should be barefoot pregnant home/baby makers... I am all about women independence. But in the context of relationship, she should support her man -- ideally this is the same person who should without hesitation give his life for hers.
This doesn't nearly come close to all that I have to say on this subject. But I had to get that part out -- but now I have to get back to cleaning my house (it's a seven hour process-- but it looks like help has arrived!).
The last thing I will say, is that things would be tons easier if we just used Cupid and his arrows, or went back to the bethrotal process.... I know my life would be easier, and my heart would have a lot less superglue residue from the rebonding of pieces that have been shattered repeatedly over the past decade.
Right now I am sitting on the private patio of my room at an exclusive resort in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I am listening to the waves of the beach as they roll in in consistent seven second increments. When I look up, though it is nearly seven o’clock in the morning I can still see the stars peering through the crack of the tall palm trees overhead. I wonder if one of those stars is my father, and that is his way of being with us this Christmas Day.
Today is Christmas: the first one without my daddy here. This is largely the reason (if not solely) the reason for this winter vacation to Mexico. None of us really wanted to spend our holidays at home without daddy; it’s hard to feel at home anywhere knowing that daddy is gone.
We arrived in PV yesterday on a Continental Express Jet around eleven in the morning. Customs were a breeze as there were no lines. I’m concerned it won’t always be that way. This is my first trip out of the country --at twenty-five (just short of twenty-six) years-old. Todo aqui es muy contigo. I have been working on my spanish since I have been here, though most, but not everyone who works at this resort speaks English.
My sister, the elder one, did a great job of picking out this resort. It’s all-inclusive which means that I really don’t have to pick up my wallet again until I am heading back to the airport and will have to give the valet a tip.
I am looking forward to what today holds. I am sad though that I am missing all of my friends who came into town (Houston) for the holidays, many of whom will leave before I return. Back at home, The Villa is being cared for by one of my closest friends in the world, and my baby, Texas is being taken care of by one of my favorite acting students. Life continues to go on. Many days I don’t know how, but it does.
Well the sun is starting to rise, and I can now see the formation of the mountains’ silhouette to my left, and the stars-- i can’t see them anymore.
In the last 13 months I have...
- Written and Directed a full length musical: On April 1st of 2007, I sat down in my bed with my laptop on my lap and began to pen The KidsLife Musical. This hour and a half long musical, featured, 5 original song (one of those was penned by me), the others were written by A. Beard and the ever talented M. Woelfel. The musical opened to a full house of over 1000 people. All five shows on its debut weekend met full houses with attendance totally over 5000 people in one weekend. Because of the response to the show we were asked for an encore performance in a much larger arena (it was once called the Compaq center or the Summit). Our encore show was held as a Halloween alternative and was received by an audience of nearly 9,000 people for one show. So at the age of 24 I was able to look out onto a crowd of 9,000 people who were all there to watch the fruits of the labor of myself, my cast, and production team totally over 45 people. Just to think, I'd always hated musicals.
- On September 24, 2007 I began my new job as a CRM Analyst at one of the world's largest oil companies. This amazes me because I currently do not have a college degree, and the other contenders for the job were all degreed. What is even more amazing still is that this job boost my previous salary by nearly 300%. I have been blessed to make 3x what I was making at my previous company-- without really being qualified (on paper).
- I have paid off nearly 90% of all of my debt -- including student loans, credit cards, and a loan from a family member.
- I have officially purchased my own vehicle, although I am grateful for the sweet 16th Ford Escort that I received (brand new) 8 years. This year I purchased [with my own] money a beautiful 2008 Black Jeep Liberty with the 5ft long SkySlider Sun Roof.
- I am in the process of buying my own house: 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 3 stories. Granite in every bathroom, and 42" espresso stained cabinets.
- I have adopted a beautiful grey (she was black when I got her) YorkiePoo named Almond. And she has FINALLY learned to go peepee poohpooh outside!
- I have dated, and stopped dating a great guy who treated me very well. Then I realized he was a liar and a shitty friend, so we aren't really on speaking terms right now.... hey you can't have it all.
"Keep believing God that your best days are yet to come!" Joel Osteen
If he has better for it... I hope he prepares me because I'm overwhelmed with what I've already been given!