We'll just pretend this never happened.....

I finally did it.  The thing I've been privately threatening to do for the past month and a half, but never really had the courage to publicly admit.  I got tired of the curiosity fueled by all the stories of how it was so great and wonderful and life-altering.  So after much internal struggle and debate, I mustered up the courage and did it.

I bought a Snuggie.

Since I have now become incredibly lame spend more time at home out of trouble watching movies, my interest in lounge comfort has increased.  And since I despise Old Man Winter and all the misery he brings, it is very important for me to be warm and comfortable as I lounge.  Literally my favorite place in my apartment is my bed under my aging down comforter, all soft and snuggly and warm next to a nice piece of African-American man candy. But since I no longer have a TV in my room, I want to feel just as comfortable out on the couch as I watch my Netflix movies as I am in my bed.

When I first heard about the Snuggie (and the more expensive Slanket) I thought it was the dumbest thing in the world.  A blanket with sleeves??  Just wear a freaking sweatshirt, I said to myself.  But even more disdainful were the obnoxious infomercials, particularly the one where the dog sits in his Snuggie and a pair of glasses while dude raises the roof in his Snuggie:




*retch*

Then I started hearing about people doing bar crawls, and plane rides, and other such public activities in their Snuggies, which was a complete turn-off (the Snuggie Sutra did raise an eyebrow, though).  The Snuggie craze was getting out of hand, and if there's one thing that makes me break out in hives and run for the hills, it's mainstream hype.

But..... I'm human.  I started hearing the testimonials of friends on Twitter, people whose opinions I (somewhat) trust, and whom I don't considering to be bandwagon hopping douche bags easily swayed by mainstream hype.  Thinking, independent minded, rational people were talking about how warm and cozy they were at home with their Snuggie, remote and hot chocolate on a cold Friday night.  I sat back quietly, observing the Tweets of people whom I'd never imagine would be caught dead in a Snuggie talking about how they wanted one or how much they loved theirs.  And I admit, I was a wee bit jealous.

At first I tried to drop the hint that I might want one for Christmas, thinking that someone would trip over it or see it as an easy grab requiring little thought and would snatch it up.  I figured that if I didn't actually buy it myself I wouldn't be giving into the commercial machine.  But no dice.  Everyone was a lot more thoughtful than that this year.  So the other day I was going through my mail (a once a month endeavor) and came across a 20% off Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon, and my brain began to plot against itself.  I was having trouble justifying paying $15 for a Snuggie, but if it were only $12, well, then that's a whole different story.  I thought I was going to go hang out and watch Monday Night Football and eat free wings at my local watering hole (emphasis on the word hole) tonight, but due to unforeseen circumstances my presence really wasn't a good idea.  Instead I was stuck at home alone catching up on old episodes of Nip/Tuck (again) and I thought to myself, "Self, you would have probably spent at least $12 on beers tonight, so why don't you use that money to make yourself more warm and comfortable at home instead?"  Guess I must have bought my own argument because off I went with my 20% coupon to Bed, Bath & Beyond.

I walked through the sliding glass doors, firstly embarrassed to be in a store such as Bed, Bath & Beyond (I'm more of a Pier 1, IKEA and Target housewares kind of girl) and secondly even more embarrassed that I was giving into the marketing machine and actually going to get a Snuggie.  Right at the door I almost tripped over a display of Snuggies, both for humans AND dogs.  However, they were all blue, and there was an old lady sitting next to the display staring at me, so I figured I'd venture further into the store and hopefully find more privacy color selection.  I loitered by the reed diffusers for just a little bit too long looking for a scent to replace the obnoxious lavender that came with the diffuser my mother bought me (reminds me of lavender public bathroom air freshener; I like more earthy scents), admittedly stalling.  After finding nothing that suited my olfactory senses or my wallet, I set off in search for what I knew had to be the Main Snuggie Display.  As I approached I was disappointed to find that all the adult Snuggies were blue (I really wanted a red one), but as I walked around the display I saw them: two lone boxes of Wild Side leopard print Snuggies.

Let me stop and clarify: I hate animal print, especially leopard.  It, along with gold lame, reminds me of my ex-mother-in-law's horrific and tacky sense of style (notice that it's a heteronym for LAME). Yet I stood there for several minutes debating between the plain blue Snuggie and the Wild Side Snuggie.  Ultimately I decided that since I was getting something so obnoxious and ridiculous as a Snuggie, I might as well go all out and be as obnoxious as possible and get the leopard print, also ensuring that I would not have a stroke of insanity and actually think it was ok to take the damn thing out of the house.  It would be my own dirty little secret. *rubs hands like Mr. Burns*

I get my bounty home, take a shower (so I can fully relax), heat up my leftover Khoresh Fesenjan, cue up season 3, episode 8 of Nip/Tuck, poured myself a glass of sparking grape juice, and then opened the package.  It was just as obnoxious as I dreamed it would be.  I unfolded it, slipped it on my arms, and......

I was pissed.

This is it??  It felt like someone's failed attempt to make a deluxe hospital gown.  Sure the front was covered, but what about my ass??  My ass was cold!  I tried wrapping it around my backside, but the oversized shoulders kept slipping off, and to wrap it all the way around made it feel like a cocoon.  I would have had to put another blanket under the Snuggie so my tush would not freeze on my leather couch.  And I'm not a tall woman, maybe slightly above average height, but I had the damnedest time keeping my feet covered as I sat in my chair.  Then there was the "super-soft plush" claim..... it felt like a cheap blanket that I could pick up at Big Lots for $12.99.  Maybe it was just the Wild Side Snuggie that wasn't all it claimed to be (because I was assured that I must be doing something wrong and that others' Snuggies were not like that), but for whatever reason, I wasn't impressed.  After about 5 minutes of attempting to love it as much as everyone else does, I gave up on it.  Instead I went and got my almost, but not quite, just as obnoxious black Baby Phat 3/4 length robe that my mother got me for Christmas (it's trimmed in leopard) that actually IS super-soft and warm and keeps my buns toasty.  I've been assured that the Slanket is superior to the Snuggie, but my robe, coupled with either some lounge pants and socks or a blanket burritoed around my legs, works just fine for me, thank you very much.

As for the Snuggie.... it is now shoved back in the box getting ready to go back to the store tomorrow, where I will get my money back and go buy myself some beers.

Can't say I didn't try.

That New Ish: Formspring.me

So now this seems to be the new hot thing in the blogosphere and the world of social networking.  As if randomly sharing my mental outbursts on Twitter isn't enough.... now you can ask about all the spaces in between that I don't spontaneously reveal..... anonymously if you're so inclined.

So go ahead.......ask me anything.  You know you want to: http://formspring.me/DaughterOfPriam

One Month Down

Wanted to update you all on the progress of my loc journey.  About a month ago (November 7th) I started my second set of locs after having a personal crisis need for change in my life.  Well, it's been a month so far, and here's where things stand:


Although my loctician had advised me not to wash my locs for 2 months (?!?!!) I couldn't take it anymore and went against her orders and washed it a few days before this picture was taken.  Cleaning my scalp with astringent just wasn't cutting it, and if anything was making my scalp go berserk (I have dermatitis issues that get worse in the winter).  I also work out at marital arts class 2 to 3 times a week.  I needed water and soap. 

So here's what I did: I rubber banded the ends of my hair in about 5 sections in attempts to minimize untwisting.  I didn't use the shower head to wet my hair; rather, I used a water bottle and poured the water gently over my head.  This was to cause the least amount of disturbance to the coils.  I used T-Gel shampoo (remember, no "creamy" shampoos cuz they contain conditioner.... a no-no for new locs) which I applied using my fingertips and gently rubbed my scalp. Again I rinsed using the water bottle.  I wrapped a towel around my head for several minutes and squeezed, not rubbed, to dry off the excess water.  The goal in this whole process is to hold the coils intact as much as possible.

I retwisted my hair using double prong clips, diluted setting lotion and a very small amount of Organic Root Stimulator Loc 'n Twist Gel.  I didn't really use a palm rolling technique since the twists are still mostly hollow coils, but instead I very gently twisted them with my fingertips to smooth down the loose hairs, useing just enough ORS gel to barely coat my fingertip. I finished off with some oil and let it dry. Everything turned out beautifully, although it was a little flat at first, but a few days and an evening of sweating in tae kwon do class took care of that. 

I've since switched from using astringent in between washing to using witch hazel, which also has astringent properties but contains a lot less alcohol to dry and irritate your scalp.  I do this about once a week and very gently retwist (over twisting can cause breakage). I just can't go weeks without doing anything to them, one because of my scalp issues, and two because I believe that just because you have locs it does not mean you cannot groom your hair. 

So far I am absolutely loving my hair and am not regretting starting over for one minute.  I think the curly-qs at the ends are rather adorable, and I'm starting to see the beginning of budding about 1/2 inch from the roots which I'm very excited about because it means I can shampoo more often.  I'm still taking things slowly because, like many things in life, when you get to eager and rush you make mistakes.  But so far, so good.

Stay tuned for more updates, my pretties!

A Heart of Paper

Last night I spent a lame Saturday night at home alone on the couch watched the movie Paper Heart, which is a documentary about love written and produced by actress and comedian Charlyne Yi (Jodi from Knocked Up).




(sorry, that's one of my favorite scenes.... I just had to include it)

Basically, Charlyne doesn't believe in love, doesn't know what love feels like, and doesn't ever believe she will be, or is capable of being, in love.  So she sets out to interview people from all across the country to find out what is this thing called love, where to find it, and how you know that you're in it.  The movie takes an interesting turn, however, when she meets Michael Cera (Paulie Bleeker from Juno) and the movie shows the real-life evolution of the relationship between Charlyne and Michael.  Throughout the entire movie, Charlyne denies that she is in love with Michael, and insists (and believes) that they're just friends.  There's one part (and this is in the trailer, so no spoiler) where she's interviewing a little girl who claimed to be in love with Chris Brown and the girl tells Charlyne that she's in obviously love with Michael, which Charlyne vehemently denies and replies "I'm not in love, YOU'RE in love!"....... and then the girl says "At least I admitted it!!" (Out of the mouths of babes.....)

I would have to say that this is the best movie about love that I have ever seen. Period. (no @DatNUPE)  Forget The Notebook, forget Love Jones, forget Titanic (and Wall-E?? I saw this on a "Most Romantic Movies" list).  These movies are the reason why people like Charlyne (and most of my friends) don't believe in love or that they are in love.  These (fake) stories are presented to us as the truth of what love is, what it feels like, what it looks like, and how it happens.  It's all passion and fireworks and butterflies and monologues.  Paper Heart, through it's interviews with various couples and in seeing the development of Charlyne and Michael's relationship itself, reveals that's not the way it usually goes down. 

I really identified with Charlyne and Michael in this movie and saw a lot of parallels to their relationship and my own.  I'm not going to spoil it for you, but basically when they first met it definitely wasn't love at first sight, definitely didn't involve the traditional ideas of romance. But while their and many other's stories of "how we met" was lackluster by Hollywood standards, in hindsight there is something endearing in even the most bizarre, obscure, and inappropriate (a-hem) meetings and first dates.  And relationships don't always follow the pattern of Boy meets Girl + Boy goes on dates with Girl + Boy and Girl realize the other is "the one" + Boy proposes to Girl + Boy marries Girl = love.  There are many crazy twists and turns, start and stops, detours, loss of direction and surprise destinations. But with our Hollywood images of love we often don't recognize the other ways in which love arises, and thus are lead to believe we are not in love.  Love is not only blind, but also deaf, dumb and directionally challenged.

This is my "how we met" story (sorry if you've heard it or read it before on AID): I was heading out to a Memorial Day barbecue and was pissed cuz the guy who I had been kinda dating (mostly talking to actually, cuz gas was $4.35 at the time) who was supposed to come with me canceled on me in favor of going to another (female) friend's event.  I had to stop to put the tags on my car since it had almost gotten towed by my bitchassed apartment complex for being 2 weeks expired.  As I was squatted down in my long hippie skirt and tank top, he walked by with his roommate and son.  They stopped and introduced themselves, I introduced myself, and we went on our separate ways.  I honestly thought nothing of it.   A few days later I was at the pool with Mini-Me and I saw him again walking up to the leasing office, and he stopped to talk (asking me why I was at the pool at noon on a Tuesday) and handed me his card (which, BTW, is the classiest way to hand out your number) and told me that they sometimes play cards and drink with some other people that lived in his building.  I used the card as a bookmark.  Maybe that day or the next I came across the card while reading and for some reason sent him a text telling him that I don't play cards, but I do drink.  This was completely, totally and utterly out of my character.  Guys introduce themselves to me all the time and I NEVER reach out to them.  I was also trying to get out of one dysfunctional and unhealthy "relationship" and get into another going-nowhere relationship, plus my divorce had just been finalized, so the last thing I was looking for was a new boo-thang.  After that I invited him over to chill that Saturday.  Something about him just put me at ease and it was so easy to talk to him, and I don't typically do well with new people.  Longer story a little bit shorter, we drank, went to my Saturday spot, I introduced him to Djarum Blacks, went back to his place, threw up all over his toilet, and we had sex (thus our inside joke about Vanilla Mint Listerine).  Romantic, huh?  And we've been kickin' ever since for the past year and a half. 

Was this love at first sight?? Happily ever after??  I could leave the story there and lead you to believe that.  Assuming that I'd put myself into the automatic jump-off category, I kind of X'd him off the potential boyfriend list.  He was also younger than me, really into the fraternity thing (which I'm not) and gave me a copy of a Lil Wayne CD, which caused me to (mistakenly) put him into the category of "typical" (but once he gave me a Little Brother CD, and I saw the can of yeast flakes on top of his fridge, I started to think maybe there was a little more to him).  We hung out for months with no label, telling people that it was nothing, that we were just friends. I remember being out once a few months after we met and one of his friends asked about me, and he told him that I wasn't his girl and he could go ahead and holla (which hurt my feelings a bit, honestly).  My friends kept asking me what the deal was with us, and I kept telling them I didn't know, probably because it wasn't smacking me in the forehead with the cliche stars and butterflies.  I knew I liked him, I knew I liked spending time with him, I knew I liked having sex with him, but there was none of the typical Hollywood romance.  

The same thing happened with Charlyne in Paper Heart.  Their "romance" consisted of hanging out together, playing music, eating at crappy diners and chatting on IM.  Likewise, my beau and I spent a lot of time chillin' on the couch watching free cable, eating home cooked meals and drinking cheap booze (Aldi Winking Owl Chardonnay and J. Roget champagne were staples).  It took us a year to go on our first "real" date.  But despite all that, I had fun.... he made me laugh, we had adventures (like our 3 hour excursion from the south to the west side looking for a movie and something to eat, only to end up right back at home doing the same thing I'd originally suggested: Chinese and  DVD), and it didn't matter that it didn't look like the Hollywood version of romance.

Hindsight is 20/20 though, and I'm still a product of my social environment, so of course like an idiot I missed it for a loooong time.  And I think this is not unusual.  I talk with my friends about guys they are non-dating, and it's obvious that they like-like each other, but there is this resistance to the thought that maybe this is love, or at least the beginnings of it.  Or, like Charlyne, they don't think they have ever been in love and aren't sure what love feels like.  All they know is what the movies and songs tell them is supposed to be love.  But how can you know you've never seen something if you don't know what it looks like?

I hate to tell you this, loved ones.... there is no definitive sign or feeling to look for to determine if you love someone aside from the basic requirements that you enjoy spending time with the person, you care about the well being of this person, and if the person were gone you'd be really bummed.  But, you say, that's how I feel about all of my good friends!  True.  And that's why love is so hard to spot, because it does, and should, look a lot like friendship.  There's definitely something more to it, though...... like I have good friends that I love to death, but I can go weeks or months without seeing them.  I can't say the same thing about my beau..... through all our ups, downs, drama and break-ups, from day one I don't think I've never gone a week without seeing him.  Because it hurts my soul not to see him.  And I'm not even the type of chick that needs (or wants) someone up under her all the time.  It's like the floater that you pay an extra $2 for in your drink..... there's that extra something that takes it to the next level.

Anyway..... see Paper Heart.  Seeing and hearing the stories and viewpoints of the people in the movie gives a great perspective on love--real life love--much better than any blogger, song or romantic movie can.  Then look around and see if maybe you've been missing something and that all this time love has been right in front of you.

"It's a dangerous necessity..... a world famous mystery...... love." ~ Mos Def

DOP[e] Mind Music



I've started a new thing on Twitter that I called Daughter of Priam Mind Music, or, as it's hash tag labeled, #DOPMindMusic. I got the idea from Got SOLE Boutique, who pretty much only Tweets the music currently playing in the shop (it's some good ish, too). And, like Got SOLE, most of the time people post songs they are currently listening to.

My list is a little different.

First of all, I LOVE music. I couldn't imagine a world without it, or how people drive without it, or how people are not interested in it period. I can't say I'm a connoisseur who knows every song title, artist, album, producer and sample origin, but I can just say I love all types of music.  I don't believe in only sticking with one genre, or completely excluding a genre.  Good music is just good music.

Secondly, I don't know what everyone else has going on in the background of their mind throughout the course of the day, but in my head there's always music. When I'm sitting around thinking about nothing in particular, or working on something mundane, or really just all the damn time, I have a melody or a hook or a line playing in my head. I hate the question "What are you thinking about right now?" because honestly it's rarely anything profound, and most likely the honest answer is going to be something like "The hook of Bonita Applebum by ATCQ" or "'What kind of fuckery is this? You made me miss the Slick Rick gig. And thought I didn't love you when I did.....' from Amy Winehouse's Me and Mr. Jones." Everyone gets songs stuck in their heads, but I have a whole iPod playlist stuck in my head about 85% of the time.

So the other day I had Guns 'n Roses "Welcome to the Jungle" and Dude 'N Nem "Watch My Feet" playing in my head almost simultaneously and was thinking "Where in the hell did these come from??" So I decided to start posting in real time what songs were going on in my head, and created the #DOPMindMusic hash tag to keep track. So far there have been songs such as:

Missy Elliott | Pussycat
Jodeci | Cry For You
Dvorak | Slavonic Dances
Kimya Dawson | Loose Lips
J. Dilla | One For Ghost & Don't Cry
Bilal | Love Poems
DJ Quick | Bomb Bud
Mavado | So Special ("I'm so special, so special, so special...")
Outkast | Stanklove
Dido | Thank You

The music spans all genres and decades.  Sometimes a song in my head is triggered by something I see or hear, but most of the time it's completely and utterly out of the blue (although, perhaps my subconscious picked up on something). If I consciously try and put a random song in my head, it doesn't work.  But I've just been trying to catch myself and keep track of the various songs that run through my head throughout the day.

Not sure what I'm going to do with it this yet, or if I'll do anything at all, but like all my blogging/tweeting/journaling, it's interesting to see if there's a pattern over time. Or maybe I'll make actual playlists. And actually I would LOVE if someone (i.e. a DJ) would take the list and make me a schweet mix. *hint hint*

Perhaps this means I'm crazy.... I dunno. But this is just a little insight into one of the ways in which my brain works. Hope you enjoy my Mind Music.

Santa, baby... been an awful good girl

Comes now, the 4th Semi-Annual Wish List of Things I'd Really Like to Receive as Gifts But Won't, or, more simply stated, my Christmas Wish List (I also do one for my birthday with the same concept).  My lists always range from the perfectly doable to the next to impossible, so feel free to select one or more gifts within your means, money or magic-wise.  So..... wanna hear it?  Here it go:

1.  Some 2 gauge plugs and/or tunnels for my ears.  I recently went down from zero to 2, and I gave all my 2s away except for 1 pair (cuz they were girlie).  Something like these:



















2. A silver Tiffany necklace. I have a lock pendant that my ex husband bought as somewhat of a joke, as if to say he had me on lockdown...... um, yea. So what I want now is a key. I control the locks, I control the access, I control me:










3. A cruise. Somewhere in the Caribbean. Or Mexico. I'm not picky.

4. A trip to Las Vegas to stay in the Luxor Hotel. Mmmm, Egyptian Musk and money.
















5. A Snuggie.  Ok, I really don't want a Snuggie.  But yet, I do.  I'm just too ashamed to admit it.  *hides face*
















Just look at all the possibilities!

6. A ball python. Yes, I know I neglected my first one....I know.  I was going thru some thangs.  But I promise to do better this time.

7.  A better paying job.  Nuff said.

8.  A new iPod.  I've finally accepted that mine is old and janky.  I just want another Nano.  No fancy iPod Touch.  Or maybe an iPod Classic. Surprise me.

9.  A broadsword.  No, not a real one, just an aluminum one for class.  Like this one:














10. Some earrings from For Love 21. Or just a plethora of inexpensive, funky earrings from anywhere. Mine seem to have all simultaneously disintegrated.

11. A bottle of Versace Bright Crystal. (I'm almost out)












12. A Sephora gift card of any denomination.

13. A corset, perhaps something similar to this:













 14. And of course, to go along with the corset (or not, cuz I already have garters), some back seam stockings (preferably Cuban heeled):



















15. A silver Twitter username necklace from Survival of the Hippest (@DaughterOfPriam in case you didn't know).  Yes, I know it's trendy, and I'd probably only wear it a few months, but it's cute and it's actually related to my real name.












16. Anything, so long as it's thoughtful and from the heart. I'm not a materialistic person... not even close. But I appreciate gifts that people had to think about-- a red velvet cupcake, a box of Chick-fil-A sauce, a set of Anne Taintor pictures, handmade jewelry-- all of those things mean a lot to me because the person had to listen, pay attention, and care. Money can't buy that.

Happy Holidays (I'm not going to list them all out), loved ones.  Hope you were good this year.


Got my Tweets in the Clouds

Words..... oh how I love them.   The written word more so than the spoken.  Word choice says so much about a person, and very writer has a certain "feel" to their writing that you sense on a subconscious level when you read their work.  But what if you could actually quantify that feeling?  Well, I did.

Below is my Tweet Cloud containing my most frequently tweeted words (in no particular order), and below that is a list of the most often used words ordered by most to least used:




words (ordered by most used)

  • time
  • love
  • hair
  • feel
  • locs
  • movie
  • baby
  • makes
  • maybe
  • look
  • people
  • blog
  • damn
  • watching
  • kids
  • life
  • nite
  • wanna
  • actually
  • hate
  • post
  • thru
  • soul
  • black
  • gonna
  • getting
  • real
  • home
  • trying
  • feeling
Just by reading down the list you can get a feel of my personality and what I focus on most often when I do my (seemingly) random Tweeting.  I found it very interesting that my top 3 words are time, love and hair...... 

Still not getting the picture even though I just gave you a picture?  Well, Analyze Words does exactly what it says.... it analyzes your tweets and actually "reveals" your personality traits based on how you use words. *brief logogasm*  Ok, I'm back.  Anyway, it breaks it down by emotional style, social style and thinking style (in the Twittosphere at least).

Analysis of tweets from daughterofpriam
(2243 most recent words - 1st December, 2009)


Emotional Style

 Upbeat (Low)
 24


 Worried (High)
 65


 Angry (Average)
 54


 Depressed (High)
 69


Social Style

 Plugged In (High)
 61


 Personable (Average)
 59


 Arrogant/Distant (Low)
 35


 Spacy/Valley girl (Average)
 55


Thinking Style

 Analytic (Average)
 59


 Sensory (Average)
 57


 In-the-moment (High)
 65


 ( you can see a full explanation of the categories, here: DaugtherOfPriam's Word Analysis)

So apparently I'm worried, depressed, "plugged in" (which means I engage with people on Twitter often.... not just some creepy lurking cyber stalker), and "in the moment" (talking about what's going on in the present moment, today).  *kanye shrug*  Eh, I guess.... the words don't lie. Unless they do. Oh never mind........ I really don't think I'm that bad off, I just have a very dark sense of humor, kind of Daria-like.  I guess you can't measure everything, some things are just best left to feeling.

No, I will not do your hair

Back in the good old days when I had a full head of long, happy, mature locs, I used to do my own hair.  I had my locs started by a loctician, but I quickly figured out how to wash and retwist them myself ($65 every two weeks is one helluva incentive to figure it out). It's not rocket science and locticians aren't doing anything fancy in a basic loc grooming appointment. I would reserve my trips to the loctician for color and trims, and maybe the occasional special occasion style. After awhile I started to figure out how to do more than just retwisting and loc grooming. I read discussion forums and watched YouTube tutorials (Shawnta715 has some good ones) and just started playing in my locs. Roller sets, crinkles, flat twists, up-dos....I taught myself to do all that. Because my hair was hardly ever worn straight down the way most people are used to seeing locs, I would get tons of compliments with people asking who my stylist was. They were astounded when I said I did my own hair.

And then the dreaded (no pun intended) question would inevitably follow from any guy (and a few women) who himself had locs: "Can you do my hair??" I've always seen it as a lame attempt at a pick up line, but even if it's not and you really just want need someone to do your hair, the answer is still the same:  NO.

And here is why:

1. I don't KNOW you!! I'm not about to be all up in your house or have you all up in mine doing your hair! I don't know what sinister plans you may have for me at your place, or whether you'd believe that the lame pick up line actually worked and assume that I'd accept payment in sexual favors.  I'm really not cool with just anybody knowing where I live either. I have stranger danger, and that's just.....no. McGruff the Crime Dog would be disappointed.

2. Whatever you're gonna pay me isn't worth it. There's an element of economies of scale with stylists.  They are getting $50+ per head all day, every day. They have all their supplies there and ready to go. And in bulk. I would have to take time to go to your house (but see #1), bring all my products (because obviously if you are needing someone else to do your hair, you don't have much by way of your own), and work with some ill equipped bath tub or shower (I have a WaterPik.... it's great, but still not a shampoo bowl), which is way more time and hassle than the average stylist who is set up to do hair. Add to that the fact that you will probably want a hook-up on the price, and after all that $40 just wouldn't be worth my time.

3. I only deal with the dirt of people I love. Being that you don't know how to groom your own hair, I would be willing to guess that it doesn't get done as regularly as it should. And by regularly, in my world that's once a week to every 1.5 weeks.  Washed, oiled, retwisted, everything. I have a 15 year old son who plays football and lives with his dad, so I've seen (and smelled) what neglected locs are like (as much as I'm on him about doing his own hair regularly). I will get down and dirty and use some elbow grease (and clarifying shampoo) to get all the dirt and buildup out of my kids' hair, but I birthed them and have been dealing with their disgustingness for 15 years (diapers, puke, sweaty uniforms, etc.) Yours.... um, not so much.

4. Doing hair is kind of.... well.... intimate.  My weakness.... the thing that will have my knees weak and, um.... well yea..... is for someone to play in my hair. There is nothing like a good scalp massage. Stylists are different because they tend to be very business-like with their hands (i.e. heavy handed) even though it still feels good. But when I do hair, I have to get a little more involved in the process because this isn't just another day at the office for me. First of all, think about washing.... I don't know too many people with a shampoo bowl in their house (except for my friend's momma who still did curls for those who just couldn't let go), which means that I have to be leaned over the tub scrubbing locs (because, see # 3 above, it probably needs it). I'm not too comfortable with having my DDs hanging 5 inches above your head for 20 minutes while I wash your hair (even though you might be). Plus it makes my back hurt, so add that to # 2 above. Then the retwisting..... keep in mind I've been doing my kids' locs for 5 years, and for 5 years my goal has been to cause the least amount of pain (i.e. crying) as possible.  No matter how frustrated I get, doing their hair has always been approached as a labor of love. And for that reason I only do the hair of people I care about, because I really have no other motivation.

5. There's a mirror image problem. This particularly is an issue when doing styles (which are most often requested by women). Styling my locs with my hands above my head while looking in a mirror is a totally different thing from doing a style with someone sitting in front of me. My hands, arms and eyes are used to seeing and feeling my hair in a certain way. The different approach is disorienting and it just doesn't come out the same. I can throw some flat twists in my hair in 5 minutes, but doing the same thing to my daughter's locs takes a bit more effort. I would hate for someone to come to me thinking they are gonna get the same style they see on my head and end up with some travesty of a style instead.

So what's the lesson here, loved ones? Just because a person has locs does not mean we do locs.  Stylists chose that profession for a reason, and on the flip side I did not choose it for a reason. So if you ask if I can do your hair and I hesitate or outright say no (my usual response is "I only do my and my kids' hair... that's enough"), don't take it personal. Unless you are my friend-- and a good friend at that-- do not ask me to do your hair. And even in that case, see # 4 above.

Really, what everyone with locs should do is learn how to do them yourself. It's not mission impossible. Locticians aren't doing anything magical up there. Twist and clip, that's basically all it is (maybe I'll give you a step-by-step blog post later). I did the equivalent of throwing my son in the swimming pool by refusing to do his hair again until he learned how to do it himself, and eventually he did (and I agreed to do his hair for him again, but now he can keep it up in between seeing me). In this economy it would behoove you to take an evening, pull up a YouTube tutorial and just try it. That way when you have that extra sweaty workout, or walk through that raging dust storm, or want to go swimming, you don't have to wait til your next appointment and drop $75 to get your hair back looking right. Then eventually random people in the mall will be asking you to do their hair, too.

Maybe.....

Zen Koan titled “Maybe”.
(A Koan is a story, dialogue, question, or statement in the history and lore of Zen Buddhism.)

A farmer’s horse ran away. His neighbors gathered upon hearing the news and said sympathetically, “That’s such bad luck.”

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The horse returned on his own the next morning, and brought seven wild horses with it. “Look how many more horses you have now,” the neighbors exclaimed. “How lucky!”

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next day, the farmer’s son attempted to ride one of the wild horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. “How awful,” the neighbors said. “It looks like your luck has turned for the worse again.”

The farmer simply replied, “Maybe.”

The following day, military officers came to town to conscript young men into the service. Seeing the son’s broken leg, they rejected him. The neighbors gathered round the farmer to tell him how fortunate he was.

“Maybe,” said the farmer.

****************

This koan is a perfect illustration of my attitude toward life that has gotten me through everything of the past few years.... my divorce, my job change, and all the upheaval in between. When you're going through a divorce -- or any major life change for that matter -- it's easy to feel like everything is going wrong, you life is destructing before your eyes, and it's tempting to view every setback as the worst thing that could possibly happen.

The reality is that we never know what life has in store for us next, and what events in life are setting us up for the next good (or bad) thing. I can't even describe all of the positive things that have arisen from the negatives in my life over the past 2 years..... people I've met, relationships I've formed, experiences that I've had, opportunities that have arisen. It's important to open up your heart and your mind to the possibilities of life.... THAT is what will help get you through the hard times. So the next time something seemingly bad happens and you're thinking that your life has just taken a turn for the very worse, just stop and think...... maybe.

(Originally posted on AID on March 9, 2009)

***************************************************

Or, if you're not into the Zen thing, here's another way of putting it:

"Sometimes life leaves a hundred dollar bill on your dresser, and you don't realize until later that it's because it fucked you."  @shitmydadsays

(For)give a little


Forgiveness Mandala

Recently I completed an exercise on http://www.radicalforgiveness.com/ called the Radical Self-Forgiveness/Acceptance Worksheet. It is a counterpart to the Radical Forgiveness Worksheet (which I have not yet completed).

The purpose is pretty self-explanatory..... it's an exercise to help you forgive yourself or someone else. Many people throw around the word "forgiveness" and don't truly understand or appreciate what it means. "I forgive you" does not simply mean "I'm not busting out your windows throwing a fit every time I see and talk to you" or "I just won't talk about it anymore." True forgiveness is truly letting go, and that's the end of it. One of my favorite definitions of forgiveness is "Giving up the hope for a different past." When I say that you can't go back and change the past, people think I am being flippant and dismissive. No, I mean exactly what I am saying..... I CAN'T go back and change anything. Last time I checked, the DeLorean was not sitting outside my apartment building. So to truly forgive is to quit hoping Doc shows up to scoop you (or the other person) up.

So at the suggestion of another Twittizen (@basseyworld) I went to go check out this Radical Forgiveness Worksheet. However, when I got to the site I realized the person I most need to work on forgiving first is myself. Self-forgiveness is the hardest type of forgiveness because we are constantly in our own heads with the negative thoughts about ourselves swirling about. We feel like we shouldn't or can't forgive ourselves, especially when we are in a situation where we don't feel like the other individual(s) involved have forgiven us. After all, why should we feel good about ourselves when nobody else does?

But this is flawed thinking. You cannot wait around for someone else to forgive you before you forgive yourself, because they may NEVER forgive you. They may always be mired in the past wanting you to go back and make things better, or dwelling on the fact that you can't and taking every opportunity to remind you of that ("woulda", "shoulda", "coulda"). Forgiveness of yourself is mutually exclusive of forgiveness received from other people. Even when there is nobody else to forgive you for some real or perceived wrongdoing, there is still a need to atone. Well, atonement can only go on for so long before it starts to eat at you from the inside out. At some point you must say "What's done is done. I'm sorry it happened, but I can't change that it did. That does not define who I am, and I am allowed to release the feelings surrounding it and move forward with my life."

So what is this Radical Self Forgiveness/Acceptance Worksheet thingy all about? It's an online form that takes about 30 minutes to complete (or more, depending on how much you write). It starts off with detailing what you have done/failed to do and how you feel about yourself over it. It's kind of brutal, especially if you've never taken the time to admit it to yourself (this includes admitting it in such a way where you're not enveloping it in justifications and excuses). After you have stated your feelings about yourself and the situation, you then work through a series of questions where you are asked to recognize and accept those feelings, and that there is purpose behind what happened by answering Accept, Willing, Open, Skeptical or Unwilling.  A few of the statements that stood out most to me were:

"Even though I don’t know why or how, I now see that my soul has created this situation in order that I learn and grow."

"I am willing to see that my mission or ‘soul contract’ included my doing this thing for whatever reason."  This one was particularly interesting to me once I read the definition of a "soul contract":
A soul contract is an agreement that we made with other souls, prior to coming into the human experience, to carry out certain pre-planned missions — to balance karmic energies, to heal group pain, to raise consciousness around some issue, etc.  Who could possibly know what the mission really was? We just need to be open to the possibility that the situation we have guilt around might have involved a soul contract and, if there are others involved in the situation, they may well have been the other souls with whom the contract was struck.

(Sidenote: One question that I couldn't really "accept" was the notion that nothing anyone has ever done is right or wrong because it is just all part of the divine order. The best I could do was to put "Open" because while I know that in every shitty situation there can be something good that results, I do have an awareness of right and wrong.... can't just be out here all willy nilly saying that it's just all part of the divine plan.  Even if it ultimately is.)

Next you work through a series of statements in which you release your negative feelings and forgive and accept yourself.

Easy, no??

Naw, not that easy. I felt a little better after I did it, but I can't say it was some miraculous instantaneous transformation. I printed out my answers and have reviewed them once or twice, and each time I feel just a little teeny bit better.  You may not feel instantly absolved, but at least it's a start and gets you thinking about yourself and your life and your feelings and other people's lives and see how they all inter mesh.

Try it. It might be helpful. Might be a little too New Agey for you. If you're not really a person who gets the concept of Divine Order (I definitely do..... I have a HUGE tattoo of her (the Egyptian goddess Ma'at) across my back, which you can see in the picture in this post here) and spiritual energy, you will probably use this worksheet to line your bird cage. For everyone else, it really is worth 30 minutes of your life.

The Family that Kicks Together....

....sticks together!

In the beginning, I was a white belt....
In March of this year I started taking martial arts with my daughter as a way to have an activity that we could both do together. She started taking classes in December and I ended up getting talked into putting on a (free) uniform and taking a few classes along side her. At first I thought it was kind of corny and only did it because my daughter was in it and seemed to enjoy it a lot. As I got into it and started moving up in rank, I really started getting into it and actually enjoying it.

I'll admit... I really don't like or have the self-discipline to exercise. Treadmills and bikes are just boring.... running and cycling to nowhere just doesn't appeal to me. Martial arts, on the other hand, gives me more structure and a goals to actually achieve. While trying to master tae kwon do routines, kung fu forms, weapons and kicks (and soon sparring), a nice side effect results.... I work physically (and mentally) harder than I've ever worked before, walking out of each class drenched in sweat. Since April I've dropped two sizes and developed better muscle tone (I love feeling on my flexed quads... yea, it's a bit narcissistic). I also like the idea of being a bad ass and the thought that maybe one day I could beat someone up (but only if I really needed to).  I also still achieve my original goal of connecting and bonding with my daugther through working together toward a common goal, and our friendly competition because she's a rank ahead of me.

So this past weekend we went to our first tae kwon do invitational tournament.... well, my daughter competed anyway (I just couldn't afford for both of us to compete this time). Mini-Me made me SO proud, coming in first in her division in forms and second in board breaks. Stay tuned for my debut in the next tournament hosted by our school in March.

Check out my Mini-Me as she does our tae kwon do form.... Bad Assery, Jr.:


And you should also check out our instructor's incredibly impressive performance at the tournament. His entire family are bad asses. Wow.

Randomly Numbered Haiku No. 294: Overslept

Dreaming of the ball
Woke up late and discovered
I'd slept all through it

To Write Love on Her Arms


If you were a follower of my old blog, you know about my personal struggles with depression and anxiety. I was very candid about my experiences in hope that maybe I could connect with someone out there to let them know that they are not alone. Sometimes just reaching out to people in that manner makes a world of difference.... just to let them know you empathize with what they are going through.

Well, now is your chance to do the same.

Friday, November 13th is To Write Love on Her Arms Day, a day to raise awareness about depression, self-injury, addiction, and suicide.

To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

To Write Love On Her Arms Day is a day where anyone can write the words LOVE on their arms, to support those who are fighting against depression and those who are trying to recovering. On this day, just write love on your arms, and show it off, other people will ask why you have love written on your arms, and you tell them you are supporting to write love on her arms day, and how its benefiting a non profit organization helping stop depression, and make love the movement.

About Depression:

  • 121 million people worldwide suffer from depression. (The World Health Organization)
  • 18 million of these cases are happening in the United States. (The National Institute of Mental Health)
  • Between 20% and 50% of children and teens struggling with depression have a family history of this struggle and the offspring of depressed parents are more than three times as likely to suffer from depression. (U.S. Surgeon General's Survey, 1999)
  • Depression often co-occurs with anxiety disorders and substance abuse, with 30 percent of teens with depression also developing a substance abuse problem. (NIMH)
  • 2/3 of those suffering from depression never seek treatment.
  • Untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide, and suicide is the third leading cause of death among teenagers. (NIMH)
About Suicide:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that each year approximately one million people die from suicide, which represents a global mortality rate of 16 people per 100,000 or one death every 40 seconds. It is predicted that by 2020 the rate of death will increase to one every 20 seconds.
  • In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide. Suicide is now among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 (male and female). Suicide attempts are up to 20 times more frequent than completed suicides.
  • Mental health disorders (particularly depression and substance abuse) are associated with more than 90% of all cases of suicide.
  • However, suicide results from many complex sociocultural factors and is more likely to occur during periods of socioeconomic, family and individual crisis (e.g. loss of a loved one, unemployment, sexual orientation, difficulties with developing one's identity, disassociation from one's community or other social/belief group, and honour).
  • In the US, overall, suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death for all US Americans, and is the third leading cause of death for young people 15-24 years.
  • Although suicide is a serious problem among the young and adults, death rates continue to be highest among older adults ages 65 years and over.
  • Males are four times more likely to die from suicide than are females. However, females are more likely to attempt suicide than are males.
(stats from To Write Love On Her Arms website)

HELPLINES - IF YOU NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO:

National Hopeline Network (U.S.A.) - http://www.hopeline.com/ - 1-800-SUICIDE

S.A.F.E. Alternatives - http://www.selfinjury.com/ - Self Abuse Finally Ends

Childhelp – http://www.childhelp.org/ - 1-800-4-A-CHILD - National Child Abuse Hotline

National Domestic Violence Helpline - http://www.ndvh.org/ - 1-800-799-SAFE

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network - http://www.rainn.org/ – 1-800-656-HOPE National Sexual Assault Hotline

National Eating Disorders Association - http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/ - 1-800-931-2237

If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health issues such as depression, addiction, self-injury or suicide.... PLEASE get help.  Don't ignore them, don't ignore yourself.  This isn't a joke, or an attention seeking thing, or something someone can just "snap out of".  This is a real medical issue that too often gets ignored.  Please.....

And so it begins.... again

That's it....I couldn't take it anymore. I desperately miss my locs. Yes, that first set had to go, and I'd had all intentions to "enjoy" my un-loc'd hair... the curls, the two-strand twists, the afro puffs. But I've come to the conclusion that I hate doing my hair every morning locs are just more.... Me.

I went to a new loctician/natural hair stylist this time named Eboni. For reasons I'm not going to go into here, going to my old stylist just wasn't in the stars (but mainly because he never responded to my messages). It's cool because it fits with this whole notion of "change" and I'd seen Eboni's work on one of my good friends, plus she did my daughter's locs (my stylist wouldn't do kids' hair). I had her start them smaller this time and she did them perfectly... the size seems to conform much better to my natural curl pattern and (so far) seems to stay better.  I'm still taken aback from time to time when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror because it's just so short.... the shortest it's been in over a decade.  But.... oh well.  It's hair.  It'll grow back.

So for anyone out there who has ever been curious as to how locs "work", I'll enlighten you with a few of the basics of the loc cultivation process:

1) You don't have to "do" anything to locs to create them.

One of the most common questions I used to get was "how do you get your hair to do that??" The simple answer is... nothing. Locking is a completely natural process in which the curls of the hair intertwine with each other over time to form locs. If all you did was simply quit combing your hair, you would eventually end up with locs (albeit rather lumpy and uneven locs, better known as "freeform" locs). Yes, I go to a loctician for the initial twisting to form the base pattern for the locs, but after that it's all about time and proper care. Retwisting and palm rolling are grooming techniques, NOT locking techniques. You may do a search for locking techniques and come across sites that talk about backcombing and such.... this is NOT for black hair. Locs on caucasian hair (or any other extremely fine hair texture) is a totally different thing. Black hair locs on its own.

2) People with "good hair" have locs, too.

In the month since I took my locs down, I've been telling people that I eventually planned to start another set. The response across the board has been "Whyyyy?? Your hair is so PRETTY!" or, the response that makes me cringe, "Girl, you've got that 'good hair' why would you want to loc it?" (the term "good hair" makes me see red).  When I went to my appointment, Eboni tried to talk me out of starting my locs, even jokingly refusing to twist my hair. Yes, coarser hair textures tend to loc easier.... in fact, that's the main reason I started my daughter's locs, because combing her hair was torture (for us both). But locs aren't just a last resort for those who are happy to be extra nappy. But "good hair" will loc, too. It may take a little more patience, but that aspect actually appeals to me. Everything worth having is worth working and waiting for.

3) Locs can (and should) be washed..... but just not at first.

This is my least favorite part of the locking process. I'm used to washing my hair at least every 3 or 4 days. Eboni said not to wash my hair for the next 2 MONTHS, meaning basically I can't wash my hair until 2010. Not to get all Mr. Wizard on you, but water breaks the molecular bonds between strands of hair. This is why curls (and presses) die in humidity and rain. When locking, you want those strands of hair to stay as close and intimate as possible until they start to intertwine and tangle together. Before you say "ewwwwwww!" let me stress that not washing does not mean not cleaning. During those initial few weeks (and in between periodic washings) the scalp should be thoroughly cleaned with an astringent like SeaBreeze.

(Tip: if your boo-thang has locs, sitting and helping them SeaBreeze their scalp is a great way to ensure that your night ends happily. Trust me.)

4) When it comes to products, more is less.

You don't need any products to form locs. It's very common for new loc-ees to get excited and join all kinds of forums where people are telling you to try this product and that product, and before you know it you're a product junkie. People will espouse to using bees wax or pomades or gels that are supposedly designed to form locs.... wholly unnecessary. Not only will this stuff build up in your locs, but it also attracts dirt. Think about what happens when you spill something sticky on the floor and don't clean it up all the way. You know how that spot gets dirtier than the rest of the floor? Yea, same concept. This was one big eff up that I made with my first set of locs. I used way too much Organic Root Stimulator Loc 'n Twist gel, noticed it was building up, then tried a regimen to remove the buildup. Well, in the process I basically removed the budding locs.... or rather, the buds (the part that starts to tangle) came unraveled and slid down the locs, making them lumpy and uneven. Eventually they looked ok, but my hair never really recovered from that initial screw up and they were always lumpy in some places.

Basically all you need is a light oil (shea butter or olive oil based oils are good, as well as a few others), water and some setting lotion. The only product I might recommend is the ORS Loc 'n Twist gel, but even this should be used very sparingly. Run your finger over the surface of the gel to put just a thin coating on your fingertip. Again, I will stress.... locs form on their own. The products do NOT form the locs, just groom them.

5) The main key to locs is patience.

There is no way to speed up the locking process. It's all about time. It takes at least 9 months to a year for locs to form, and even after that they continue to mature and firm up. The locking process starts about an inch or two from the root with "budding". Small masses of tangled hair start to form that look like... well.... buds (yes, those types of buds). These buds continue to extend down the loc as the hair further intertwines and the locs mature. If you want to read about the 5 stages of locking, you can find a good blog post here.  For me, locs are a labor of love, and it's something that many people admire but few have the patience to actually do.

So, ready to see the beginning of my new crown?  *drumroll*




 *claps hands excitedly* (and yes, that is my kung fu uniform, and yes, they actually held up pretty well through my workout)

So there it is.  I'll keep you periodically posted and updated on the progress (for anyone who's ever wanted to know how all this works).  With my first set of locs I had a whole blog dedicated to my loc journey.  I think it's gone now, though.... it may be some poor abandoned zombie blog out there in the blogosphere.

"You're a part time lover & a full time friend....."

I am not a mushy girlie-girl.  I'm very much womanly, but not girlie.  Traditional romantical [sic] stuff is ok and all, and I like it every once and awhile, but I like real, customized romance that fits my idiosyncrasies.  After all, it's about the people in the romance, not the abstract idea of romance.

So, this is more of my idea of a good love song.....enjoy:



You're a part time lover and a full time friend
The monkey on you're back is the latest trend
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you

I kiss you on the brain in the shadow of a train
I kiss you all starry eyed, my body's swings from side to side
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you

Here is the church and here is the steeple
We sure are cute for two ugly people
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you

The pebbles forgive me, the trees forgive me
So why can't, you forgive me?
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you

I will find my nitch in your car
With my mp3 DVD rumble-pack guitar
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you

Du du du du du du dudu
Du du du du du du dudu
Du du du du du du dudu du











I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you

You are always trying to keep it real
I'm in love with how you feel
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you

We both have shiny happy fits of rage
You want more fans, I want more stage
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you

Don Quixote was a steel driving man
My name is Adam I'm your biggest fan
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you

Squinched up your face and did a dance
You shook a little turd out of the bottom of your pants
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you

Du du du du du du dudu
Du du du du du du dudu
Du du du du du du dudu du
But you

~Anything Else But You, Kimya Dawson of the Moldy Peaches

Indecent proposals?

 
No.  Just...... no.

Last night I was sitting at home searching for bootleg movies to watch online watching one of my favorite TV shows online (which I can't watch due to my crappy sans FX satellite package), Nip/Tuck (and I watched it on Hulu, so it was perfectly legal..... well, except for that last episode.....). In one of the episodes, Sean's girlfriend proposes marriage to him..... presented a ring and everything. After which he ended up taking too many sleeping pills and booze and damn near killed himself (sorry if that was a spoiler for anyone, but you knew they were not going to let him actually die).

So that got me thinking... do women actually do that, or was this just another wild scenario on this wild ass show (see photo of Mario Lopez, supra)? And, if not, SHOULD women start doing this? After all, I always hear men talking about how they would love if a woman approached them and asked them out, a situation that I'm sure was unfathomable 50 years ago. Is the marriage proposal next on the feminist agenda's chopping block? Should I get on the next wave and come up with a line of male engagement rings, make lots of money and retire to Mexico with a Mario Lopez body double?

I conducted a scientific survey.... ok, so I asked some folks on Twitter.... to see how people felt about women getting down on one knee (but not two, cuz that's an entirely different discussion). The overwhelming response was NO....this is a man's job, period.
loryn24 @DaughterOfPriam times have def changed, I believe in wmn's equality, but there r SOME things better left to a man. Proposals are 1 of them

kellinikole @DaughterOfPriam I think that tends to be a little emasculating. I don't think there is anything wrong with bringing up the convo, but I'd leave it up to the dude, to do the knee and ring deal.

WifeofUriah @DaughterOfPriam NO way. We are equal 2 men in some ways, other ways we are not. Marriage is equal, roles are different. proposal is his.

gabeflowers @DaughterOfPriam It can work 4 some but I would never have the balls! There's something about a man knowing he's ready and taking that step.

gabeflowers @DaughterOfPriam Plus, I wouldn't want to rob him of that moment!
And these responses came from educated, free-thinking, independent women. And as another woman who fits that description, I'm inclined to agree.

I would consider myself to be not so much old fashioned, but more like retro. I recognize not everything from the past is outdated and that timeless things should be preserved. I shake my head at the ultra feminists.... women who refuse to take their husband's name (aside from some VERY compelling professional reason, and even then there's hyphenation), women who name their daughters junior, women who really need to go put on a bra and women who just take "equality" to its illogical extreme. I believe in fairness, but fairness does not equal mirror image equality. There are just certain roles that a man should play and certain roles a woman should play in this complicated game we call relationships.

For example, as a woman I don't feel like I should have to do things like make all the the trips to Home Depot, and I don't expect my man to be all up in Pier 1. Sure, there's overlap and we can help each other (I really do enjoy putting furniture together). But if I'm the one constantly pulling out the lawnmower and putting in the rocks in the landscaping and installing the ceiling fan (these are true stories, BTW), there's a problem. And if he's wearing my fishnets, there's DEFINITELY a problem. Yes, I can stain and polyurethane, but dammit I shouldn't HAVE to. Not as my primary role, anyway.

Men and women each bring something unique to a relationship, and when you try and serve in the other person's role you're going to either get a) a bootleg job, b) that person not receiving what they need from you because you are too occupied with doing their job, c) resentment, or d) all of the above. You should be able to own your unique gender attributes without the distraction of having to take on and compensate for the other gender's, too.

So going back to my original point.... Men should be the ones doing the proposing. Period. You can discuss the issue and arrive at an agreement together that marriage is the next step for your relationship (I don't believe in blindsiding someone with a ring), but the actual question popping should be reserved for the man. I'm inclined to agree with the one response that opined that the woman proposing is somewhat emasculating (but not quite as emasculating as what was done to Mario, supra). There may be women out there who LIKE their men neutered, but personally I don't. I like gender roles, I like the idea of the man being the head of my household, I like the idea of just being able to be a woman.

So ladies, I'm sorry if you are just dying to get engaged....this is still something you're just going to have to wait for him to do.