On Keeping Your Hands To Yourself

When I was 25, I was living with my then boyfriend in a cute little 2 bedroom apartment on the southwest side of Houston. I was footloose, fancy free and I-N-D-P-E-N-D-E-N-T. (Word to Lil Boosie!) And typical of most 20 somethings, I really didn’t know that much at all and very often thought first of myself and not much of others, including him.

I’ve always been a mouthy chick, slick with the tongue and nice with my words. My ex-boyfriend was a very nice guy,  extremely laid back and very slow to anger. We rarely had cross words. Until that night I my mouth wrote a check my ass couldn’t cash.

I don’t remember what instigated the argument and it doesn’t really matter now anyway. What do I know is that I went for the jugular with my words and said something about my ex-boyfriend’s father. I was deliberately trying to hurt him because I knew that my ex didn’t have much of a relationship with his father and it pained him deeply. We’d talked about it on numerous occasions. The look on his face let me know that I’d hit WAY below the belt. Then in my infinite brilliance, I decided I’d get up in his face, talk even more shit, and PUSH him a few times. Did I mention that my ex at the time was 6’2’’ and around 275 pounds and had played college football?

Something in him broke. He grabbed me in a bear hug, shook me REALLY hard and left the room. He then closed the door and managed to lock me in the room so that I couldn’t get out. I could hear him outside in the living room. He was crying.

Eventually he did something to the door so that I could get out. I came out and he was gone. He left the house and stayed with a friend that night.

Fortunately I had the sense enough to be ashamed and embarrassed. When he came back home, he apologized for shaking me and said he cried because I hurt him so bad and because he shook me. And I apologized for putting my hands on him. I was dead ass wrong.

And to this day, I’ve never put my hands on any other man I’ve been involved with.

Like many people I’ve followed the Ray Rice case with interest. I think that the 2 game suspension from the NFL was too light. Domestic violence is WRONG and I want to make sure that I make that clear to anyone who may read this post on that. Victims of domestic violence should never be blamed for what happens to them.

Yet I understand what Stephen A Smith was trying to say in his very inarticulate and very clumsy remarks. And I understand what Whoopi Goldberg was getting at when she asserted that women should keep their hands to themselves.  Human beings have breaking points. And sometimes conflicts get escalated by one party or the other.  Neither gender should seek to deal with any conflict by using violence.

I think that the real message that’s being lost in all ranting and raving is this:

MEN, KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF.

WOMEN, KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF.

EVERYONE, KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF.

The lessons that we learned in nursery school, as little children, still do apply to our lives as adults. We should do well to remember them.

The View From Here – 2013

I think I stopped blogging in August. I turned 40 this year and though I was not depressed or despondent about doing so..I think I ran out of words. I felt like I didn’t have anything to talk about and the blogging mojo was gone. So I took a break…for about 5 months..LOL!

But the thing about writing is that it’s just like riding a bike, you never forget how, you just get back on and start pedaling.

2013, in retrospect, was better than 2012 (which totally sucked ass BTW). But it was just average, no razzle dazzle or pizazz, just kind of lackluster. I felt somewhat meh about this year, like I was just in a holding pattern so to speak. I don’t feel like I made the progress towards some of the goals I wanted to accomplish, so I plan to do a reset and attack them again in the new year.

I entered my third year of marriage in 2013 with my husband being in the hospital which was a scary reminder of our mortality. He’s a LOT better now thank God. Lifestyle changes are in process, slowly but surely. And my husband is still truly a blessing in my life. I am lucky to have married such a great guy.

I ended 2013 still working on a contract basis at my current gig but immensely grateful to have gainful steady employment and work at a company that treats me decently and doesn’t work me too hard. I’m still looking for the right opportunity on a full time basis, but I have a measure of comfort knowing that I have somewhere to go each weekday morning to earn a living.

My family is healthy, my niece and nephew are growing like weeds, and my brother found some gainful employment that suits him. They are happy which makes me happy. Many of my friends had personal triumphs this year such as new jobs, new homes, new marriages and new babies, which is always a good thing.

So more than anything, I’m grateful for being able to have a 2013. Some folks will not see this upcoming new year. And I look forward to 2014, where I have another chance to get it right. Another chance to go get my blessings and what God has for me.

With that being said, let’s do this. Allow me to re-introduce myself…

Bowlarama!

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Above are a few pictures from Myron and I’s 40th birthday bowling party on this past Saturday.  (And yes, I semi-bowled in a dress..LOL!)

We had a really good time, despite the fact I stressed myself out unnecessarily about the guest list. We paid for 20 folks to bowl, eat and drink which as you can imagine wasn’t all that cheap.  I had to chase folks down for responses and some people that I thought we going to come declined to show. And I was upset about that I must admit. It’s not that I don’t think folks don’t have their own lives and social calendars, but my husband and I really try hard to support folks when they have an event so I was a bit salty about some of the folks who declined. And of course I was all in my feelings about it, because I consider myself a loyal friend. But much like my peeps on Twitter and my husband pointed out, I have to give people the opportunity to explain themselves and they did. After a lecture from my husband (he secretly enjoys that, I think) about getting my mind right, I was OK and got my grown and sexy on to go kick it!

But at any rate, we had a good turn out! I had all that anxiety and drama for nothing.  We ate, drank and were very merry and got some nice gifts. I wasn’t expecting anything so that was such a nice blessing. I really appreciated the thoughtfulness. And I collected some rain checks for birthday lunches from some of my friends who couldn’t make it! #WINNING

Forty is starting out on a high note thus far!! I’m ready to keep it rolling!

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Baby??? Maybe. Maybe Not.

I haven’t talked much about children much on my blog, partially because it’s me and my husband’s private business and partially because there isn’t much to report.

I just turned 40 and we looked into IVF but we can’t afford it. It’s ridiculously expensive, even if you make a decent living like we do.  In June, we went to a training session and got some information about adoption. We are not interested in foster care at all, as I do not want my home to become a revolving door for children that we get attached to and then they go back to their family of origin.  Yet, the application to begin the process sits on the kitchen table, uncompleted.

The upside to having kids is of course being able to carry on your family name, and being able to shape and mold the next generation as well as having a little person around to bring you the remote when you don’t feel like getting up to look for it (lol). Let’s not forget how entertaining and fun kids can be as well. I have 2 little people in my life right now (my niece and nephew) that I absolutely love to pieces.

I remain conflicted about having kids, whether naturally or via adoption to be honest. I like my married, childfree life more than I thought I would. I observe with amusement my friends children and love how cute they are, but note how they can be demanding and time consuming. My parent friends entire weekends are consumed with sports and other kid activities. Some of my parent friends complain about having little time for themselves, and if they are married, for their marriages once kids come along. But perhaps parents also felt like I do, prior to having their children. But the default is to have children, especially if you are married and if you don’t, people either eye you with suspicion or treat you with pity.

My husband is, blessedly, open to whatever I decide. I am very grateful for that. But I realize time isn’t on my side at this point and I need to make up my mind. Will I regret it if we don’t have children? Will I regret it if we do?

I just don’t know right now.

Thirty Nine

Today is the last day of my fourth decade on this planet. I turn 40 tomorrow. I’m still unpacking that in my head. I. AM. TURNING. FORTY. YEARS. OLD.

I feel some kind of way about it ..I think.

It seems like yesterday that I was graduating from college, then hustling to find a job, then moving to Dallas for said job, then hating Dallas and running back home after 6 months, leaving my college boyfriend in the process. Then I dated a good friend that I’d known since college, then broke up with him, started and finished grad school, bought a house, ran the streets with my sorors and other girlfriends, traveled out of the country for the first time, had good dates and horrible ones and suddenly I was 30. It’s like my twenties were a blur.

At 39, the memories of my fourth decade are more crystalline, more frozen in time, more focused. I guess as you get older, you want to trap more of those memories in your subconscious.

In my thirties I:

• Sold my house
• Moved to Minnesota for my then boyfriend
• Proved to myself I could live somewhere else and have a good life
• Left a relationship that wasn’t going anywhere and moved back home
• Dated an ex (for the second time) that I shouldn’t have
• Got therapy when I needed it
• Went to the Bahamas and swam with dolphins
• Saw Prince in concert
• Bought another house
• Got laid off/fired a couple of times
• Lost my final remaining grandparent
• Met the coolest dude on the planet
• Planned and pulled off a wedding for 150 people
• Married that really cool dude
• Got a lesson about who is a true friend and who wasn’t
• Saw the Grand Canyon
• Became an aunt to my brother’s 2 adorable children
• Put my feet in the Atlantic, Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico
• Supported my spouse in the loss of his dear mother
• And really for the most part came into my own

I’m sure my life event list could be longer but those are some of the ones that really stick out to me. And that’s what is so wild, that’s just ten years’ worth of stuff. Now that I read that, I guess I don’t feel so uneasy about turning the big four oh after all. It might be just another day, but it’s another day I get to learn, growth, evolve and LIVE.

Now that’s worth celebrating, don’t you think?

On Mamas And Marriage

I woke up this morning and looked at my FB feed and my Instagram and saw all of the pictures of kids and their moms and I was loving it all. It made my heart so full and it was so fun to look at my friends and realize from whence they came and see them looking like mini-me’s.

But in the Mack household it was bittersweet. It was very bitter for my dear husband. He lost his mom a year ago on May 9, 2012. Yep, right before Mother’s Day. It’s sweet for me because I am blessed to have my mom still here with me, to love on and to cherish.

So it was hard for him, and it was hard for me because it’s awkward when one spouse’s parent has gone to be home with the Lord and the others is still here. Especially when it’s the FIRST anniversary. Those firsts are always the hardest. And it’s hard because you don’t always know what to say. And so I was stressed out about it. And when we went to the store to get peach roses for his mom to place on her grave and to get a gift card to my mom’s favorite store, it just doesn’t seem fair. And it isn’t, because life isn’t fair. When he hurts, I hurt too.

But my husband is so wise and so brave, and he reassured me that I need not be subdued in my celebration of my mama. After all, that’s what I should do and he was happy to celebrate her, after she was his family now too. And I was able to exhale, and to relax, and to be thankful for the gift HIS mom gave to me: which is him. And this is why I love him so.

And so we remembered his mom with peach roses. And celebrated my mom with cards, gifts, a fine dinner, and lots of hugs and kisses.

Happy Mother’s Day Frances. Happy Mother’s Day Ruthie. Our love overflows for you both.

Odds And Ends: Hump Day Edition

  • I’m thinking about doing a vlog for ya’ll. Do I need to set up a YouTube channel and alla that? Do I have to wear make-up? Where is the best place to film a vlog in your house? As you can see I have questions..lots of them.
  • Do you have the Songza app on your phone? This Essential Motown playlist is giving me ALL OF THE LIFE right now!
  • I’m eating cake right now at work. Don’t tell Myron.
  • I’ve been trying to get the energy up to do some real blogging instead of all these Odds and Ends random ass posts but every time I think of a topic I want to talk about, I forget it.
  • Cassandra at Cohab Chronicles links to this blog called Friday 5 for post ideas. I think I’m going to start using some of these prompts. I really want to write, it’s just sometimes the flesh is weak…and then it falls asleep.
  • Shit married people do: walk around the house singing the operatic version of “As Long As My B*tches Love Me” by Lil Wayne/Future/Drake. Said lyrics go like this:I’m on that good kush and alcohol/I got some down b*tches I can call
    I don’t know what I would do without y’all/I’mma ball til the day I fall
  • Yeah, we’re a bit ratchet and a whole lot of silly. But it was funny though! LMAO!!!
  • Are ya’ll watching House of Cards on NetFlix? That shit is crazy good!!!
  • We are history nuts so we are looking forward to watching The Bible and Vikings on the History Channel. March 3rd cant get here fast enough.
  • March 3rd is also my brother’s birthday. He’ll be 28. I feel really old now.  *sigh*
  • I normally look forward to the NBA All-Star games and skill challenges like the 3 Point Shoot Out and Slam Dunk contests. They were absolutely horrible this year. And I didn’t even bother to watch the actual All Star game. I did turn back long enough to see Alicia Keys crash and burn. That was vindication enough. :-)
  • How does a grown man slap a toddler on a plane, call the kid a racial slur, and be able to walk off the plane under his own power?? Shouldn’t there be dismemberment involved?
  • I have eaten ALL this cake and drunk some punch. I really need a nap now.
  • That’s all I got for a Wednesday afternoon. What are ya’ll doing??