Today’s Word is… SIMILARITIES

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My favorite thing about social media is that no matter where you are or what you’re doing, there’s someone else.  I can tweet who’s up at 2 am and get a response,  I can live tweet anything on TV and click the hash tag and find someone else discussing.  We’re not so different you and I.  So if we’re so alike why front like you’re not just as weird a person as I am on occasion? Just I know I’m not the only one who laughs at awkward moments, thinks Stevie Wonder ain’t blind or reads random Wikipedia articles for no reason.  Or just read “I’m Not the Only One” in a singing voice.   

Or….

- Thinks of a random list when they can’t think of a better topic

- Will mute the TV while they are writing

- Hit a random time on the microwave and take it out before the timer hits 0

- Then when there’s a cold spot just eat around it because you don’t wanna walk back

- Wanted to give a bad Uber review but then remembered this stranger has your home address now

- Gets offended when the cashier uses that pen on your money so when you get change you hold it up to the light in front of them

- Shares your own Instagram picture on Twitter because you didn’t get that 11th like yet

- Hear any phone ringing and check mine even if the ringtone is nothing close to mine

- Use “hakuna mutata” in everyday conversation

- Still doesn’t quite understand Pinterest and doesn’t care to learn

- Ordering out after going grocery shopping because after putting everything away you don’t feel like cooking

- Will dress from the bag days after doing laundry

- Wouldn’t watch half of the shows you watch if not for live tweeting

- Send old pictures they haven’t seen when you don’t feel like taking a new one

- Refuse to say bless you after the 2nd sneeze

- Will leave emojis on a picture instead of liking because you don’t want your thirst showing in the following tab

- Seeing an option for a coupon code in an online checkout and spending 15 minutes looking for one

- Always browsing on Incognito mode but hate having to log into social media

- Text who’s this when you know you still have the number

- Use increasingly bigger words in an argument and then mock them because they don’t even know what you’re talking about

- Make up cover stories in your head in case you run into someone you know while you’re out by yourself

- Rather text than call because you don’t want to stop listening to music

- Email/Call out of work at like 4am so they can’t respond

-Sees no reason to put pizza on a plate

- Will leave a website forthwith if the article is just a slideshow

- Act like a secret agent when you’re trying to take a selfie in public

- Always losing your phone because its on silent 95% of the time

- Only knows like 3 drinks to order at the bar

Or maybe you’re not like me at all.  I just hope you knows that this then makes you ISIS.   That is all

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… PARTNER

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We can talk all day about sports and our favorite TV shows

We talk all night over dinner and TV

We give each other advice

We vent to each other

We make fun of each other

We make love to each other

Everything sounds ideal right….except these are all different people.

A girlfriend and friends.  Separate but unequal, obviously, but both very vital to me and in a way to each other.   You see, I’ve never been big on the whole be with your best friend narrative they sell on TV, I need a friend to be a friend, a lover to be a lover.  Took some trial and error to get to this conclusion,  I tried doubling down on a friend and losing, distancing from friends for my relationship and not being happy.  By human nature we’re possessive;  “why can’t I be X, Y and Z?  Or they view the friend more as competition than complement.  “I married my best friend” sounds sweet in wedding vows but in reality there’s homies, there’s lovers, and there’s friends.  I don’t need my girl to be my friend, there’s obviously a friendship but it’s…..different.

To love someone is to know them on a level that’s above friendship. The connection is intimate, it’s passionate, it’s sexuality feelings that shouldn’t be shared with a friend, otherwise what separates the two?  Now some friends might know some things your partner doesn’t know but your partner knows things they don’t like your bedroom finishing moves.  I believe there is room for 3rd party objectivity and that doesn’t replace normal communication between significant others. Everything doesn’t need to be said to one another, sometimes you just wanna say “______ getting on my damn nerves” and you know they gonna be all on your social media so you can’t vent there (more on that later).  Sometimes you just need a break when you really don’t wanna hear the same work stories or celebrity gossip, there’s a balance needed.  Sometimes you just want your partner to be your partner; if that makes sense. 

I ran this theory by some friends who disagreed.  They immediately alluded to cheating (because literally everything a man does without her is damn near cheating these days….but that’s another post, maybe.)  They want their man to be their best friend, the first one they talk about  anything with, they down to watch the game,  play XBox, text all day….cute, but no.  While well intentioned, the full court press on one’s social life does more harm than good.  My boy chimed in with “wifey material cut from a different cloth” (anyone else hate that word).  He has a point; there’s just something different in the way someone behaves when they want to be a partner and when they (even inadvertently) heading over to the homie section.  My theory on this is…..*Sopranos blackout*

-Stan-
    

    

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Today’s Word is… ASTROLOGY

[Editors Note: An oldie but goodie...]

TWO SIIIIIIIIIIIDEZ

“Tristan? that’s like my favorite guy name”

<line so cheesy I won’t play myself by posting>

“You seem like a Scorpio”

“No I’m a Gemini”

“That would’ve been my second guess”

Now who she attracting with that line whats your name, whats your sign? I played along though, she was cute and I love bold women who approach so I don’t have to.  In reality I’m not into astrology, well most men aren’t, it’s a convenient icebreaker but any dude that interrupts your Sudoku to check his horoscope deserves the sidest of eyes.  Admittedly I’m slightly amused by astrology,  I will rep team gemini just like I repped classes of 2006 and 2010, team android and team darkskinned. Some horoscopes even hit the nail on the head, but even a dead clock is right twice a day.  As far as dating goes, in my experience Geminis are pretty much hit and miss, everyone seems to have a few Geminis they can’t stand.  They also have some good qualities that I will use at my own convenience, mostly tongue in cheek mocking those who read way too much into it.  Not knocking ones beliefs but I hate being generalized; stop being lazy and googling Gemini horoscopes and get to know me, the actual person who happens to be born in mid-June.

The main reason I don’t care for astrology is it seems every sign is sooooo great.  Most horoscopes are sugarcoating and pandering, the worst horoscope I ever read might have been: someone you know is having a bad day, avoid them.  Social media has taken the annoyance to another level with accounts who do nothing but spit out meaningless positive generalizations about a sign so people can say omg thats so me…yeah you and 56897394 other Tauruses, have a seat.  It’s almost like the evil queen’s magic mirror, tell me how sweet I am, tell me general things that no one else understands about me, tell me she’s not just being a b*tch the stars are aligned that way.

Relationship astrology is perhaps the worst of all.  From the exes birthdays I cared to or was easy enough remember, I dated mainly Libras, a couple Sagittariuses, two Scorpios and a partridge in a pear tree.

Astrology says 

Gemini and Libra have an easy rapport since they’re genuinely curious about other people. Libra loves to entertain, and Gemini is a people person, too. This sets them up to be great hosts, a couple that has lots of “couple friends.” At home, they’ll share the minutia of their lives, observations, jokes, analysis and brilliant inspiration

Stan says

Wrong.  I’m far from a people person.  Most of the time I had “couple friends” was with a Capricorn and a Scorpio.

Astrology says

When Gemini and Sagittarius come together in a love affair, it can be a truly spectacular match! These two are extremely compatible; any rough spots they encounter during the course of the relationship are sure to be smoothed over with a minimum of effort. Gemini and Sagittarius are great friends, besides being well-matched lovers.

Stan  says

Astrology says

Gemini and Scorpio share an endless curiosity about human behavior, which gives them a lot to talk about.  Scorpio will try to read Gemini at a deep level, while the nature of the Twins is to constantly change.  Gemini feels just as deeply as Scorpio, though they might dance around it, or fill the space with chatter as a defense.

Stan says

Okay maybe astrology wins one.

There’s so much more to astrology that taking billions of people and putting them in 12 categories so perhaps I’m woefully ignorant on the subject.  However, I still can’t take it seriously, you need more people.  I’m much more complexed than a birthday, no star alignment can figure me out.  I’m a product of my mother’s compassion and my father’s determination. I get annoyed easily but I just as quickly let things go.  I’m a hopeless romantic but have too much pride to show it to just anyone. And that’s barely the surface.  A “Gemini” is not enough to describe me. Oh and Scorpios aren’t as freaky as they like to take credit for. But you’ll never read that in the paper.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… OVER

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So it’s the same old story; boy meets girl, boy courts girl, boy dates girl, boy dumps girl.  Now its a shame she has to go through this, they don’t even talk, they don’t even kiss, and she never thought they’d be breaking up like this, but its over now….its over now.  Theoretically, no one owes the other anything once the relationship is over but there’s a decorum expected after a breakup.  Take some time to mourn the relationship, don’t try to reestablish contact when the wound is still fresh, don’t smash their homies or besties.  So then comes that awkward phase of seeing who blinks first and starts jumps back into that dating pool.  Personally I rather ladies first; in my experience I’m able to stomach that ego hit better than some of my exes.  They were so fixated on trying to salvage the relationship that if/when you date again its going to be a punch in the gut. I’ve been on that rescue mission before only to look up and see she’s already moved on……it sucks.

We all have egos, we all have this myopic view of self that says “replace me? Good luck” (see 85% of women R&B singers) only to be humbled that they found someone more attractive, someone who makes more, hell just someone who makes them as happy as you did….maybe even more.  Rather than accept this, we try to rationalize; it was way too soon and must’ve had him/her on deck for months, they never loved me they used me otherwise they’d be still listening to Drake and lurking my Facebook.  We accept a breakup as they don’t want to be in a relationship not that they no longer want to be committed to us, the glaring difference between the two is that one is accountable one is not.  Its a copout most break uppers will take if offered, “I got some things going on” “if not for XYZ” and they leave the relationship with a glimmer of hope that someone will take and hold on to for dear life.  I’ve seen it…..I’ve done it. 

I was talking about this with a couple friends, the most respectful timeframe to give a failed relationship before moving on (had to give a definitively timed answer).  Not surprisingly the longest answers came from women, from 3 months to 1/3rd the length of the relationship (when we get to using algebra we doing way too much).  One said they wouldn’t even date a man less than 12 weeks removed from their last relationship.  Male consensus averaged to about a month, I said about 6-8 weeks.  Of course people grieve differently, but in a month or two most couples should either worked it out or accepted that okay, this is over.  You get evicted 30 days, you pawn something 30 days, 6-8 weeks is being generous by those standards.  Also, you’re not even owed that, it could be 6-8 hours and all you can do is buy the 11 millionth copy of Adele’s 21 and get over it.  Or just be so amazing it can’t possibly take 6-8 weeks to get over your ass. Like I am. Just saying.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… PRAY

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I’m not the most religious person as much as I’m spiritual.  I say prayers of gratitude, prayers for forgiveness, prayers for others, but seldom prayers for myself. Philippeans 2.3 says Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  I’ve been unemployed, I’ve been homeless, I’ve been depressed, yet and still I just don’t pray for myself.  And to be perfrctly honest, I don’t like to.

Maybe I don’t feel worthy? All the perils of the world, does He really need to bother with my life.  Perhaps its not that  I don’t feel worthy as much as I always feel I got this.  That He would never give me anything I can’t handle.  I would always joke God has a spam folder, filled with nonsensical prayers like passing a test, sports victories, R Kelly’s Gospel album and anything Eddie Long has to say.  I would think I’m inbox worthy, I just want health and satisfaction, that’s slight work.

Maybe I don’t like feeling small- Prayer is humbling.  Theres a cognitive dissonance in knowing that there is a power much greater than my own action and to my first point, feeling like “I got this”.  There’s also the fact its easier to pray for others because its easier to see themselves as needing it than looking in the mirror and accepting that you yourself need that same compassion. 

Maybe I don’t want to be disappointed- a little over 5 years ago, I left my mother and prayed that she would recover.  She would pass the next morning and days later I would sit in a church and listen to how she’s somewhere far better than here.  Why pray for good health when this world is only temporary anyway (like literally 100 years tops, climate change is a myth tho)

In spite of this I don’t feel its selfish to pray for self.  We all need love, compassion, peace.  I had a discussion with a friend and she made the point that Spirituality starts with self – if you yourself cannot humble yourself to God, you cannot really help others in the truest sense. Having compassion for yourself allows you to extend compassion to others.  I’m blessed to be in a better position than others but that doesn’t exempt me from needing guidance and serenity that I hope for others.  So, maybe I should work on that.

#LettucePrey.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… ROMANTIC

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For the most part, I would say I’m a romantic. In an age of casual hookups, long distance twitter baes, these heauxs ain’t loyal, side chicks, a ridiculously low value of black women, convenient traditionalists, fake deep memes, and calling chivalry and effort “thirst”, its increasingly harder to hold on a rather simple concept of find one woman, court her, love her, build with her, and die.  I don’t consider myself a “hopeless romantic” which seems to implicate that such a quest is futile, or that it’s laden with delusion of finding your soul mate who is set at this simply unachievable standard based off books and TV.  Hopeless romantics “love hard” (I abhor that expression btw) and they go all in every time only to be shattered.  I’m not that extreme. 

I’m also a realist.  Which has also taken on a loaded meaning and suggests one who is jaded or bitter.  They took a shot at love, missed and now its f ck love as staff, a label, and a muhfuggin crew.  They poopoo on any semblance of romance with stats, anecdotes, surveys because if they got it wrong, it must not exist.  Some realists were former romantics and that also lends credence to the idea that maybe marriage is antiquated, perhaps mutually beneficial arrangements are the way to go.  Maybe as humans we just aren’t wired for monogamy.  I’m not this extreme either; its hard to ignore history and math but some things just aren’t made to be quantified.  People are different, exceptions can be made, we evolve, we adapt.

So I say all that to say, I fall in the middle.  I believe in the possibility of true love, not necessarily a soul mate.  It’s perhaps the reason that sometimes, even if everything seems good on paper, she’s just not……her.   Which is one of the most frustrating things about being a romantic realist; every one is the one, until she isn’t.  I’ve met incredible women over the years only to watch it go from 100 to a 0, real quick.  This doesn’t feel right anymore, do I cut my losses now or keep going and hope things change?  Is it fair to hold her to standard of gut feelings and projection?  If she was unsure about me, wouldn’t I want to know?  How would I process this information, would I try and disprove her doubts or just take my ball and go home?  These thoughts run through my mind as I tell her that “this isn’t working”, I try to explain but the reason will never be good enough, I was just bored/wanted to hit/ain’t shit whatever makes this easier.  And then…..back to the drawing board.

I look back on the moments I knew I was in love with someone, sometimes it was losing them in the first place, sometimes it was after a good laugh, or holding my hand, a funny look, a kiss, a gesture.  At that moment, I wanted to feel that way for the rest of my life but that’s where I was wrong, it’s more than a feeling (*opens Spotify cuz that song gonna be stuck in my head*) it requires work that I just expected to do itself.  Even if “the one” existed, I could blow it with her like any other woman and then what? Do I get a do over?  Pray for another one?  Or is that it?

Hopeless romantics and realists operate on two extremes but both think that things just ARE the way they are. A hopeless romantic just expects to see their soul mate across the room and live happily ever after, the realist expects a marriage to fail, men to cheat, women to take him down.  I believe that I just have to find one, and love her as hard as I can until I can’t anymore.  Its not destiny, its not statistics, its just…life.  And I plan to live it that way.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… BLACKISH

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So I ended up watching “Black-ish” last night.  I really hated the trailers but I gave it a shot, I’ve spent 30 minutes of my life doing worse.  I was also mildly amused by white people and for some reason Crystal “GOP BLACK chick”  Wright calling the show’s existence racist, especially since its just an overly neurotic Dad sitcom, a common trope in television (Home Improvement, Family Matters, According to Jim, My Wife and Kids, Modern Family also all ABC shows, and I didn’t even mean to, boom, nailed it).  Anyway, the show itself was….coo.  Not bad, not excellent, but coo.  What I found most interesting about the show was the initial scenes when the protagonist Andre, played by Anthony “I killed Law and Order” Anderson briefly narrates his black experience at work.  I don’t have a wife out my league and raising naive millennials but being the token black in a corporate setting? Now you’re talking my language, now you’re talking my language.  

At my job, I’m not only a sparce black but also one of the youngest there.  And I love my job, and I’ve grown used to a certain standard of living (glosses over me writing about leaving my comfort zone about a week ago *resists urge to toss hat and shmoney dance*).  But being the black sheep in the herd isn’t the greatest arrangement. So while Black-ish isn’t anything spectacular; I did appreciate those scenes For Colored Boys Who Considered Self Employment When Side Eyes and Blank Stares Wasn’t Enuf. The struggle is indeed real.

Especially when coworkers want to ask you about Ferguson and it feels like an interview more than a conversation.

Or you let your hair grow out and you’re asked what did you do to it to make it so curly

Or when you give the head nod to another brother and they ask “how you know them”

Or when you’re listening to ratchet music or a podcast and they ask what you’re listening to and you really don’t want to say

Or when they make a Chappelle’s Show reference and expect props…..okay, I usually give props.

Or its just assumed that I have at least a kid

Or they reference a Rolling Stones song and they are surprised by that same props

Or when you hear them refer to an athlete as a thug and you really wonder what they really meant.

Or when a black woman is hired they assume we’re going to date soon

Or you speak and everything grows silent and you wonder if its respect or fear

Or they say who you look like and you know it’s about to be any black person

I dont work in a racist workplace, they mean well but sometimes you just want to freeze time like Zack Morris and exit immediately.  Like Anderson’s character sometimes  I’m just thinking too much but most of the time I can just let things ride.  Another aspect of the show I hope they explore is how the kids of this new age sees race less.  I let more things slide than my father would, my kids will hopefully have nothing to let slide in the first place (wishful thinking).  Life is too short, sometimes the blinders are necessary for ones own sanity.  Society isnt perfect, like not even remotely but I’m strutting into a nice building listening to Jeezy and getting paid for it.  Things could be much worse.

-Stan-

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