Archive for February, 2011

Hitch Kiss

My friend Zee (the one who asked about baby knuckles) recently changed her dating status to “in a relationship,” and both of us are pretty sure he just may be the one. I won’t go into to all the reasons why both of us (including her BFF) think this guy is a keeper. Suffice it to say that he’s a perfect gentleman and has shown such consistency in all the major areas that Zee is pretty sure he’s the genuine article.

What she found particularly endearing very early on is the fact that he never tried to “force” a kiss on her. Not that she’s averse to a first or second-date kiss, mind you, but she LOVED the fact that Mr. Gentleman wasn’t pushy.

“Did you and SM kiss on the first date?” Zee asked.

Her question gave me pause – and made me blush.

“Ahh . . . well . . . .no, not the first date . . . ” I stumbled.

“All right, spill it!” she said triumphantly.

“Well, what had happened was . . . .”

Sidebar: [Whenever anyone says, “What had happened was . . .” then just know you’re in for a doozy].

I was living in Dallas at the time. SM had surprised me with a Friday night cooking class at Central Market. The class was for Louisiana cuisine (I know; thoughtful, right?) and attendees ate the meal they cooked. Afterward he escorted me to a co-worker’s 70’s birthday party waaaaay across town. We’d had a wonderful evening with a lot of conversation and laughs, and we felt comfortably at ease with each other. He’d been divorced for five years and hadn’t dated much; I’d been widowed for even longer than that and hadn’t dated much either.

He saw me to my door at the end of the date. Inside, my Shih Tzu Nibbles was going berserk, barking up a storm and pretty much embarrassing me. I saw my roommate peeping thorough a crack in the curtain with a grin so wide I could see all 32. And me? I stood there and tried to remember the scene from the movie Hitch, where Hitch tries to school his hapless client on the art of kissing after a date.

I closed my eyes. Was I supposed to lean in to him??? Was he supposed to lean in to me??? If he leaned first, was I supposed to follow – or was I supposed to meet him halfway? Was he supposed to lean first??? Wasn’t he supposed to follow my lead???? Or was I supposed to follow his lead???? Doesn’t the girl set the pace for a gentleman??? Was I supposed to pucker first, or was he??? It was our first date – was I even supposed to be puckering???? Nibbles, SHUT UP!!! I can’t think!!!! What did Hitch say the woman was supposed to do???

I finally decided to pucker and lean in first . . . and  . . . felt nothing but air. When I opened my eyes, SM had already bounded down the steps and was on the sidewalk – almost to his car. He looked stricken.

“G’nite . . . “he waved shyly. “I’ll stand here till you go in the house. And, uh, I’ll call you.”

I was floored. And mortified beyond belief.

“Good night!” I choked.

And dropped my keys. Picked them up – then dropped my purse.

Needless to say, I couldn’t get into the house fast enough. I stood there, waiting and hoping that the floor swallowed me up or I died from shame – I didn’t care which one came first.

I stood numbly as Nibbles jumped up and down on my skirt and registered on some level that he was ripping my brand new hose . . . but I was too embarrassed to care.

My roommate was on the floor, howling with laughter.

Zee was, too.

“You were literally standing there thinking about that movie Hitch???!!! Are you kidding me???”

Thankfully, SM did call me the next day, and he even showed up (we had already planned in advance to go out on both Friday and Saturday night).

We had a wonderful dinner and marveled at how much we liked each other.

“Man, I was wondering if you really liked me – the way our date ended last night was very weird” he said.

(The best defense is a good offense, right?)

“I know!” I exclaimed. “What in the world was wrong with you????”

He said I acted weird – and of course I said it was him. I had to tell him about Hitch, and I think that was the hardest I’d seen him laugh since we’d met. We came away with a great story to tell our grandkids-and my friend Zee appreciates her new beau even more.

And thankfully, we had our last first kiss.

Join in the fray:

Do you have an embarrassing date story? Leave a comment and tell me about it!

February 26, 2011 at 1:28 AM 9 comments

When a Man Loves (or Likes) a Woman

I recently experienced an “Aha!” moment with my Swirl Man. Not that I had any doubt, but I know he loves me.

See, when I was in college I had a wonderful friend-guy named *Harry. I’d graduated from high school at 16 and went to a university in Florida on a full scholarship. I didn’t know a soul, and I purposed that I would meet at least three people every day – even if I had to walk up to the person and introduce myself. I met Harry on my first day, and he was the first person I met. Harry had beautiful hazel eyes, a very high IQ, and a horrible potty mouth – and I liked him on sight. Harry hailed from the South Side of Chicago and introduced me to his male and female buds. I fell right in and we all became fast friends.

(What does this have to do with my Swirl Man, you ask? No need to call Elmo – I’m getting there; really I am).

Fast forward to the summer after freshman year. I had learned the ancient art of embroidery and grew fascinated with putting designs on denim button-down chambray shirts (remember those?). I decided to do a special shirt for Harry (if you hadn’t guessed it already, yes, I had a major crush on him for the longest. We never really moved past the “good friends” stage – he had a girl back home who had been his sweetheart since junior high; she was so nice and sweet I just couldn’t hate her – but that was all right with me. He was the first guy I’d ever met that I instantly liked, had the most beautiful eyes, was beyond smart, and he never ceased to fascinate me).

E.L.M.O. . . . . .

Anyway, I spent at least a month embroidering this shirt, and looked forward to returning to school in the fall just so I could give it to him. I decided to go with a Southwestern theme just so I could use a new embroidery pattern I had: sombreros, cacti, donkeys . . . it was colorful and SO beautiful! Sure, I thought about mailing it to him, but decided to keep it till August just so I could see his face when he opened it.

Sidebar: [To this day, I still like to give gifts in person so I can see facial expressions. My Swirl Man and I have a long-distance relationship, and we specialize in celebrating Valentine’s Day after the fact for this same reason].

Anyway, Harry seemed genuinely surprised and appreciative when I gave him the shirt, and he actually wore it even though it was a size too small. I beamed with pride – Harry wore the shirt that I embroidered for him, and he wore it often. One day after class we walked across the yard to join some of our other friends for lunch. As I was walking around greeting everyone, I happened to turn around in time to see *Jack (also from the South Side of Chicago) doubled over in laughter. His back was to me so he didn’t realize I was looking.

Jack (bursting with laughter): “What up, Dawg? I see you wore your (more laughter) . . . shirt.”

Harry (trying not to grin): “&*^% you, &^#$%^-*&^*@#!” (I did tell you he had a potty mouth, right??)

They both jumped guiltily when I walked up.

Me (confused): “Something wrong with the shirt?”

Jack (really laughing hard now): “Well, it does have two donkeys on the front . . .”

Harry (flushed and wanting Jack to shut up): “Be quiet, &^#$@%-&%+*&^! This is my &%$-*&+#@% shirt!”

Jack (snickering): “All right, Man . . . all right!”

I stood there, noticing that the other guys were also trying to not laugh. Comprehension slowly began to set in . . . . the shirt had two donkeys on the front.

[You know how you can think a shoe is really cute until your BFF says it’s hideous – and then once she says it, you notice that the buckles really are too big and the heel really is too clunky, and the shoe is . . . really not cute?]

We went in the cafeteria and not another word was said about the shirt, but I couldn’t wait to corner Harry.

Me (quietly): “Jack and ‘nem have been teasing you about the shirt, haven’t they?”

Harry (just as quietly): “Yeah. But don’t worry about those &^%#$*-&^%&#@*. You made me that shirt, and I appreciate it. I don’t care what they say; I’m going to wear it. &$%^ them.”

Me (BEYOND mortified): “Harry, thanks, but you don’t have to do that. Really, you don’t.”

Harry: “Naw, now . . . .”

Me: “No, REALLY. PLEASE don’t wear it anymore. It’s too small, anyway.”

Even though I was dying with shame on the inside, I burst out laughing so Harry would think I was ok.

Harry (somewhat relieved): “You sure?  &%$* those &^%#$*-&^%&#@*’s.”

Harry wore the shirt a couple more times after that just to show Jack that he wasn’t running anything, but put it away soon after.

When I went back to the dorm and thought about it, I realized that though I’d never be Harry’s girlfriend, he genuinely cared about me. That shirt was beyond hideous, and he wore it. At least once a week. To class.

I’ve since moved beyond embroidery (and beyond Harry), but this past Christmas I made my Swirl Man a Christmas stocking: Deep blue velvet, with light blue faux fur trim three inches wide around the rim (blue is his favorite color). I put his initials on the rim and then hand-sewed rhinestones in various colors, shapes, and sizes all over the stocking. That wasn’t enough: I hot glued faux gemstones and sparkly snowflakes to mix with the rhinestones, then filled it with lots of interesting goodies (did I mention that the stocking was . . . uh . . . fairly big?).

My Swirl Man oooed and aahed over it; flattered that I’d taken the time to sew it by hand for him. He proudly displayed it for everyone to see and kept telling me how amazing I was. I was inspired:

Me (excitedly): “This will be one of our Christmas traditions! I’ll make you a stocking every year!”

SM (slowly): “Um . . . great. Um  . . . . Darling?

Me: “Yes?”

SM (slowly): “The stocking is great, but . . . um . . . when you make it, don’t make it with all that  . . . um . . . bling on it, ok?”

Me (shocked): “Bling???!!!”

SM: “Yeah . . . bling.”

When he saw my shocked expression, he said, “Well, you had . . . glitter on it. And  . . . stones . . . and . . . stuff. Don’t get me wrong – I love it – but from now on, you don’t have to  . . . decorate it as much. I’m. .  Uh . . . conservative, you know?”

Needless to say, I experienced déjà vu in addition to my “Aha!” moment. My fiancé had displayed that stocking so everyone could see it – all the while inwardly cringing at the “bling” in pretty much the same way Harry had cringed at the donkeys. Never mind his personal taste (and my lack of it); the fact that it was made in love caused him to not care about who saw it or what anyone thought. When a man (Harry) likes a woman, and when a man (my fiancé) loves a woman, it’s amazing how many donkeys – and how much bling – he’ll endure.

Lucky me: I have the rest of my life to show him how very much I love him and appreciate him.

*Names have been changed to protect the guilty

Join in the fray:

What have you “endured” in the name of love? Leave a comment and tell me about it!

February 19, 2011 at 12:39 AM 6 comments

A Whole Lotta Lip

zee2bluphi: Girl, I have a question

ASwirlGirl: Sure!

zee2bluphi: *and I’m almost dying laughing inside*

ASwirlGirl: ?

zee2bluphi: being that SM is white, I would think his lips are thinner than that of a Black man. Is it like *Bruce says???? Is it like kissing baby knuckles????

ASwirlGirl: F D L O L !

ASwirlGirl: ;-0

ASwirlGirl: Bruce is STEWPID

zee2bluphi: I’m freak’n cracking up over here, but now I want to know

zee2bluphi: ;-0

ASwirlGirl: no, it’s not that bad

ASwirlGirl: it’s different, true

ASwirlGirl: but not like “kissing baby knuckles” smh

zee2bluphi: LMBO

zee2bluphi: OH GOSH

ASwirlGirl: actually, my husband’s lips were like SM’s, pretty much

Sidebar: [my husband is deceased]

ASwirlGirl: I mean, a couple of Black guys I’ve dated had “thin” lips

ASwirlGirl: Trynna think if I’ve dated someone who had big, huge, puffy lips . . . . .

ASwirlGirl: Kevin and Martin [my brothers] don’t have thick lips . . . Kevin sure doesn’t

ASwirlGirl: hmmm . . . I’m thinking this thru . . . .

ASwirlGirl: lol

ASwirlGirl: hmmmmm . . . . . .

zee2bluphi: I see that 4 Kev

zee2bluphi: lol

zee2bluphi: baby knuckles. lmbo!

ASwirlGirl: that is HILARIOUS

zee2bluphi: i kissed one thin lipped man ever and i don’t remember what it was like

zee2bluphi: i mean, they don’t have lips my size either

ASwirlGirl: yeah . . . I think mine are medium

ASwirlGirl: lol

ASwirlGirl: of course SM loves them!


zee2bluphi: of course he does. LOL!

ASwirlGirl: lol

zee2bluphi: but i think what’s important is that they kiss well and don’t leave me with a spit covered face

ASwirlGirl: RIGHT

zee2bluphi: smh

zee2bluphi: Bruce has jacked it up for me!

ASwirlGirl: FDLOL!

ASwirlGirl: Girl, for me too! I hope I don’t laugh next time SM kisses me . . . I’ll be trying to see if I feel baby knuckles!

zee2bluphi: LMBO!

zee2bluphi: aiight… gotta go. l8r

ASwirlGirl: toodles!

Baby knuckles??? Really??? Needless to say, those of us who swirl often get questions leading to “the things you people do” kind of conversations. Not to perpetuate stereotypes, but Black people have been known for their lips – and White people are known for not having them (can anybody say, “Collagen implants?” You don’t hear about Black people doing that, do you??? I’m just saying).

Physical attributes (or lack thereof) aside, I revel in the smorgasbord that is humanity. Regardless of our relationship – be it coworker, family member, friend – individually we each are “brave new worlds” to explore. Imagine how wonderful and engrossing life would be if instead of looking at each other askance, allowing ourselves to be distanced by prejudices, presuppositions, and stereotypes, we view each other and think, “What a wonderful world!”

Baby knuckles, indeed. Whether the lips are large or small, thick or thin, Black, White, Yellow, or Brown, I think every woman would agree:

When you give me some lip, just kiss me real good and don’t leave spit all over my face!

*Names changed to protect the guilty

Join in the fray:

What “presuppositions” do you hold concerning other races? Leave a comment and tell me about them!

February 11, 2011 at 4:05 PM 4 comments

Party of Five

When you meet a potential love interest, what are the first 3 -5 things you immediately want to know about him/her? For me, if it was a guy a friend or acquaintance was trying to sell me on, the number ONE thing I wanted to know about was his height. A minimum of six feet was my benchmark, though if the guy had enough other desirable attributes I could be persuaded to consider someone who was 5’10”. All through life I said I couldn’t/wouldn’t marry a short man, and what did I do? Marry one who was about 5’6”!

Sidebar: [I eventually learned where my preoccupation with height originated. I’m probably the biggest Daddy’s girl in the world, but my beloved Father is only about what, 5’4”? At some point in life I realized that my fascination with height stemmed from the fact that my Dad’s height was the only thing about him I didn’t like. How tall am I, you ask? About 5’1” – and yes, good things do come in small packages!]

E.L.M.O. . . . . .

Anyway, height was number one for me, followed very closely by intelligence level, teeth, religion, and political affiliation . . . and probably pretty much in that order. As I grew older, some of the variables shifted and religion moved a little higher on my list – maybe right before teeth – but those have always been my rock-solid five. As for my Swirl Man . . . Height: check. (6’3”). Intelligence level: check. (He’s the math/numbers/engineering person that I always admired, but could never be because I’m a letters person and I loathe numbers and detest anything that smacks of being more complicated than 1 + 1 = 2). Teeth: check. (Beautiful and straight and perfect). Religion: Check. (Not just “check,” but Great. My Mother will accept him).

Political party: CHECK. BIG SIGH OF RELIEF. CHECK. AND CHECK AGAIN. (Whew. No issues. THANK GOD). Not just “check,” but GREAT. My Dad will accept him).

You see, fortunately for my Swirl Man and me, we don’t have any issues with religion, and belong to the same political party. I say “fortunately” because having no theological issues and the same party affiliation means having two fewer hurdles to face. And yes, whereas one would think being of different ethnicities was enough of a hurdle, not so. I certainly admire the power couples in Washington who are able to enjoy successful relationships in spite of being at polar ends of the political spectrum. While I’d like to think that I’m broad-minded, erudite, and cosmopolitan enough to handle it, I’m not sure I’d want to.  Besides, having different political parties may have been a deal breaker, especially when it came to dear old Dad.

Me (hands on the steering wheel, trying to give off a cool, calm, and collected vibe): “Daddy, I have something I need to talk to you about . . . .”

Daddy (looking at me sideways, eyes narrowing): “Oh, Lawd, Girl . . . what?”

(Now, he already knows what I’m going to say, mind you, because I told my Mother first – and of course she spilled the beans to him just as soon as I was out of her sight)

Me: (still cool and calm and breezy, playing the I-have-parents-who-have-been-married-so-long-I-know-they-tell-each-other-everything game) “I met this wonderful guy that I really, really love and care about, and I want you to meet him. I’m pretty sure he’s ‘The One.’”

Daddy (deciding he’s gonna cut to the chase and get it over with since he already knows and at the moment has something more important he wants to know): “Uh huh . . . I already know what you’re gonna say, Little Girl, because your Mother already told me.” (he already knows that I know her well enough to know that she’s already told him – so he knows she’s not under the bus).

Me (thinking about stringing my Dad along and getting all indignant, but I want to get it over with, too. After all, I’m my Father’s daughter): Ok; then you know SM is White.”

Daddy (shrugs; gives me the cool and calm and breezy vibe right back): “Yeah, I know. Look: (here it comes) What I wanna know is this: Is he a ______________, or a  ______________?” (I can always count on Daddy to be concerned about the important stuff)

Me (trying to decide if I’m gonna make his blood pressure go up by stringing him along, then looking at him and deciding that this is not the time to fall into my old habit of playing too much so I decide to get indignant): “Now Daddy, you know he’s a ________________, because there’s no way I could be with a ______________________!”

Daddy (looking younger by 100 years): “Then you have my blessing, Little Girl. I know you wouldn’t pick somebody who wasn’t a good man. All I want is for you to be happy. When do I get to meet my future son-in-law? Uh, what’s his name????”

I stifled my laughter, and then started telling him about my wonderful man.

Should I be ashamed of what appears to be a certain degree of closed-mindedness, political intolerance, apparent shallowness, yada, yada, yada? Um, maybe. But I’m not. I’m just happy that my party of five was able to get a table.

February 4, 2011 at 6:23 PM 6 comments

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