Friday, February 27, 2009

Photography by j.a.c.

Yesterday's sky was absolutely beautiful.
Today's sky wasn't as magnificant.
But it doesn't matter because I still have yesterday.
Yesterday isn't going anywhere.
It's locked in a vault somewhere near.
There's no way that it can fade.
I've captured what I loved most about yesterday.
The tranquility of that random moment.
I will always have a piece of the past.
It's not going anywhere.
That piece remains just for me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Brainstorming - Masters?

My sister and I have always tossed around the idea of producing our own magazine. When we see magazines related to topics of our interest, we get disappointed. "We could have done this J!" While working at Essence, I grew an affinity for magazines that present meaningful issues. Ones that not only entertain but educate.

I am a photographer. I haven't been honining my skills as I would like to partly due to circumstances and partly due to laziness and a lack of drive. But as I toured the exhibit of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture and saw all of Addison, George and Robert Scurlock's photographs, I became jealous. "This is what I should be doing." Portraits of prominent members of the DC society, famous landmarks of my native home, and images of the upwardly mobile African-American DC community made me believe that I was slacking. As I stood looking at the photos, I had a flashback to another exhibit where I felt this same feeling. The Gordon Parks exhibition another Smithsonian museum.

I am a writer. I know that I need to put my hands in the dirt and sharpen my creative writing skills. I keep telling myself that I belong in a writing workshop. The idea of gathering special written pieces I have churned out have been haunting me.

During my time in the publishing industry, I often stuck my nose where it didn't belong and got a hold of a few PR and advertising presentations that thrilled me. My sister went to school for PR and communication and I'm always interested in what she learned. Wouldn't it be a step in the right direction if I just learned it myself?

So writing, photography, publishing, PR, communication...
Masters Program...
In the DMV area...
I need to be able to dabble in all areas...
How am I going to pay for a masters?

Howard University - Department of Journalism, Radio/TV/Film, and Communication & Culture
Mass Communication & Media Studies Program
This program allows me to take classes at other schools within the Metropolitan Washington Consortium of Schools & Colleges....
Perhaps I can get my photography instruction from a school within that collection?

And I would finally get to go to a HBCU!

Just thinking.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Re-Post : Knight In Shining Armor

Goodness gracious! I can't believe I wrote this. I should go back and read some of my stuff more often. This is from July 2007. Enjoy.

"he left it all behind. for the sake of our love. nothing could keep us apart. not distance. not time. nor money. he loved me more than life itself. so he showed up at my door. across the country. with calla lilies and a letter. in his back pocket a ring. you are my perfect view. you are my soul. you are more than everything. perfection for me. so passionate and vigilant. my knight in shining armor. coming to fly me away. standing on my doorstep. kidnapping my heart. you told me to come. so here i am. join with me your love. i swear it'll never end. he came to get me. just like i knew he would. i prayed and prayed. just as promised. finally, my reward. a perfect dream's end. fantasies fullfilled. a girl's hearts content. do i dare ever stop dreaming?

Ladies, I don't care who you are, I know for certain that all of you want a knight in shining armor. We all want our guys to ride in on white horses and save us from the burning tower. We all dream of him saying the perfect thing - telling us that he'll always be there and can't live without us. We all want him to take us in his arms and never let go. It really doesn't matter if you've never met him, if you're currently with him, or you've gone your separate ways, 99% of us crave for that man to run to us on some magical whim. We dream of him 'getting it' one day; of having some life-altering revelation and choosing us over everything else. We fantasize that he'll run out the door and break all barriers and obstacles to catch up to us. Remember that scene in Love Jones where Daruis runs through the train station in hopes of catching Nina? That's what you want, isn't it? Believe me, I know. We crave for men to have that burning passion for us that makes it sure he'll do anything and everything; that he won't take no for an answer. You want him to tell you that he understands, he grew, and he changed. Even if you haven't said anything, you want him to magically know your heart's desires and say that he gets it. You want him to say that he's an idiot, and he would be even more of an idiot to loose you or let you walk away. You want your man to run up to you with passion in his heart and tears in his eyes, bearing his entire soul. Men ask us all the time what we want. They tell us to just tell them what to do. Fortunately, the answer is pretty universal. It's pretty much the same for all of us. We want a knight in shining armor. We want him to 'get it' and then proceed to overcome mountains to save us. It's no secret that we're emotional, fantasy-driven, human beings. But in this day and age, we surpress it. We resort to believing there are no fairytales. When we look around, we fall back to remembering that knights in shining armor do not exist. We remind ourselves that this is the real world and not a movie or fantasy land. There are no Nina Mosley's and Darius Lovehall's. So we keep our heads up and we keep pushing on. We sew our hearts back together and pray for the best. Silently, we pray that one day we get a slight taste of what it's like to live in a dream... To all my strong ladies who are waiting for your knight in shining armor, I pray that one day you'll see your dream. Until then, live your life full of love and passion. You shall have your heart's desire. If you don't believe, I'll do all the believing for you."

Sporadic Life Lessons

I have so much to say, and none of it is related. Here it goes.

My ex-fiance sent me a message the other day. We haven't talked in a while so it was a very bittersweet note. In it, he mentioned how we must be getting over each other because it's getting a little easier to be apart. He made it known however that he still wishes we would have gotten married and that he thinks about me everyday. His note got me thinking about the idea of heartbreak, because sadly, it's something I associate with him. Yes, we shared some great times and I have plenty of happy memories with him, but the lasting emotional ride I took with him was one of terrible, terrible pain. When I think back to the weeks and months after we broke up, I have to stop and catch my breath. Flashing back, I remember laying on the bed in the den curled up into a tight ball, seeing through blurs of tears. Streams and streams of tears. I wanted to rip my heart out of my chest just so I might have the hope of living again. I had never experienced a pain like that. Not even when I was recooperating from surgery. It is with that experience that I have promised myself that I will NEVER hurt that like again because of my own choices. I ultimately hurt myself by risking everything and by following my heart and not my head. Now, today on this day, I can say that I am so smart. So S-M-A-R-T when it comes to men. No no no. I don't think you understand me. I mean smart in the true essence of the word smart. As in having or showing quick intelligence or ready mental capability. There is nothing wishy washy about where my next decisions will lead me in terms of men. All the guessing work in this stuff we call relationships has been eliminated.

The ski trip was fun, but it was filled with so much debauchery. The Eastern Light Getaway vacations are more so for people who are looking to get away and cut as loose as humanly possible before returning to work on Monday. When I say that people were getting it in, I really mean they were Getting It In. I can't even talk about some of the stuff that went on but just know that I had to sit down a few times out of shock. My genre of party is definitely more grown and classy than what I got on this trip. I'm not knocking anyone though! I can tell that people had the absolute time of their lives, which is great. It's just that my idea of partying didn't mesh well with the environment. But all in all, I had a good time with my girls. I'm not a snob so it's not hard to make memories and have some good laughs when you are in good close company, even when everyone around you is acting absurd. I think that's the key to a lot of situations, and maybe to life in general. Just be yourself, and enjoy your days no matter what's going on around you. Let people be who they are. It's no one else's business to judge another. Feel me?

I think I'm beginning to master the quality of patience. Well not master, but it's coming a lot easier to me now-a-days. No matter whether it's in the areas of job or love, I'm sitting pretty. I could easily jump into something right now within both of the areas I mentioned above, but for some reason, I'm extremely calm and am really getting this idea of having a waiting attitude. I certainly did not used to be like this. The last time I was on the hunt for a job, I was under so much pressure that I stressed myself out about it. When I did not get the job at Mattel, I cried my eyes out. After interview after interview after interview with company after company, I became so frustrated at my situation and made myself so unhappy that I walked out of work one day and had to take a week of sick leave. I remember crying on the phone to my mother, who was 3,000 miles away, that I wanted to be fullfilled doing something that I love and it was unfair that I had to wait so long to get it. Who would have known that less than 3 months later, I would be working at Essence. I could have avoided a lot of maddening moments if I would have been patient. So that is my resolve. To be patient. To apply that to my situation now, I have to display that waiting attitude. I know that I will be taken care of, so there's no need to make myself sick about anything. Not even about finding love. Speaking of love though... I'm pretty sure that I've found love. I just have to wait for them to find God. Lol. And that, my friends, is a whole 'nother discussion for a whole 'nother day. =)

I'm going to read "Get Yours!" again. I need a little inspiration.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, New York, Fall 2009 Collections

I am peppering my day of laundry, packing for my ski trip, and doing my hair with New York's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week runway shows for the Fall 2009 Collections. All of the designers have not yet premiered their line (still waiting on Zac Posen, Calvin Klein, Christian Siriano, Custo Barcelona and Ralph Lauren), but I already have my pick of favorites. I very much love a designer who knows how to create the look of a powerful woman and/or a classy lady. These designers below do that for me. Take a look at their shows using the links below.

Carolina Herrera - My mouth was open the entire time. STUNNING. This is by far the richest- looking line I have ever seen in my life. Those pant suits/ensembles! OMG. I want one now!

Badgley Mischka - These men surely do know how to dress a woman. There's a simplicity about the elegance that I adore. The line is not too in your face, but it definitely stands out.

Diane von Furstenberg - DVF gets a little animal and tribal inspired in her line, which made the show pop. Her line is definitely for the younger consumer like me. DVF created a fun line this time around.

Narcisco Rodgriguez - I've been a fan of his ever since T.C. bought me his perfume. But as for the line, can you say BOLD?! I have to say that his line was probably the most creative. The white tights, the yellows, the hoods, THE HAT, the hot pink splashes. That black and white coat with the pink accents...FIERCE. Even the runway disposition was neat.

Max Azria - This line has a futuristic and hard edge to it that I like, i.e. the skinny, black pants with the booties and the long, leather gloves. There's lots of sheer and lace combinations going on in here, which I wouldn't mind working into my wardrobe somehow.

BCBGMaxAzria (honorable mention) - Because I've always been a fan of the soft with the hard, I love love love the gold (and sometimes grey) leggings and clunky platform shoes/booties paired with the softness of the clothes.

And just because...
Barbie Runway Show - This is quite interesting now isn't it? lol.

I'm expecting big things from Zac Posen and Christian Siriano, so I'll keep you posted.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Spring/Summer Fashion Necessities

With NY Fashion Week on the roll as we speak, I was motivated to take a look at last season's fashion shows and pick out some staple themes from the spring line. I looked at a lot of shows and came up with the following 5 must havs for the upcoming season. Enjoy and happy shopping!

White Out - This is one staple that I've been thinking about for a long time. I need an all white affair.

Flower Power - A must have for any female this spring season.

Layered and Lax - This theme is my favorite by far. I would easily wear this style to work and still be classy. Lovin the last look in this section.

Shortie Do Wop - Shorts are back. Buy you a short set soon!

Onsies - Two pieces are out. Cover it up under the sun.

Job To Career To Passion

Alert! Alert! My money is looking REAL funny people! This is not good. When I looked at my account this morning, I had to suck in a large breathe of air to keep from passing out. It's always amazing to me how you can have so much money one day, and none the next!! What is that all about? Well it is abundantly clear. It's time to get on my grind. I'm unpacked, my room is cute, all the suitcases are in the attic, and my car situation is handled. It's time to find a job. *grumble grumble* I hate this process. I did good this morning though. I spent a few hours looking for jobs and found a couple that I thought fit me. Beggars can't be choosers, but I'm extremely picky when it comes to where I'll work. I just can not be bored. If I am bored, I'll die. I'm serious! I'll die! I found a job in particular that would be perfect. It's at the Washington Post. I want it soooo bad, that I even contacted an old co-worker from Time Inc. who now works there and asked if she could slip my cover letter and resume on the hiring manager's desk. It's not a game people! I want this job!

My sister starts work tomorrow. We've been chillin together for a while, but she's going back on her money grind before she goes away to start training for her Teach for America position. It was nice to have her around. I probably came home at the perfect time...when my sister didn't have a job and my dad was off on medical. If I moved home and was the only bum, then I would've have felt like a loser. But for all of us, each day blended into the next. It was cool. But with four grown adults in one house, it was inevitable that issues would arise. There's one going on right now that I pray subsides, but I don't know. We'll see what happens. Thankfully I'm watching from the sidelines on this one.

(A huge advantage of being home was that I got into a nice little routine for my personal Bible study stuff. I don't think I've ever done so much Bible reading, meditation, research and studying in my life. It's helped me too. I feel like I'm filled. Prayerfully, when I get a job, I can keep the routinue and stay just as spiritually educated. But now that I've felt the benefits from study and meditation, I'll do my best to incorporate them no matter how busy my schedule gets.)

Did I tell you that I'm interested in photojournalism? Well kinda. I don't necessarily want to write about the topics that most photojournalists shoot. I can't see myself shooting a group of young Iraqi boys with machine guns on their backs to write a story about the atrocities of the war going on right now. Or maybe I can. Cuz I have some things to say about wars. I'm not sure yet. But I more so want to take pictures of things that hit me and mean something to me. The beautiful things of the world whether sad or joyous. I don't want the pressure of seeking out the most desperate images to snag a story. I walk to be able to walk around with my camera on my back and shoot at my leisure with no particular story in mind. I need freedom to enjoy the art of photography and then put my own randome words to it. But either way, I need to get into some classes as soon as I find a job. Work, class, church, Kiamsha and dance. That exactly what I'll need. Nice and busy. Just like the good old times.

If I wrote and published a book, would you buy it? Someone has mentioned the idea to me before, but it came up again yesterday. I don't know the first thing about publishing a book, but all it takes is a little bit of research right? I probably would do an assortment of things in the book for coffee table purposes. My very own coffee table book. How intriguing!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Favorite Song on Bey's Album - Halo

Cot Dang!

Lookie Here. Lookie Here!

L.A.M.B. Felix Sandal

"The Lord Disciplines Everyone He Loves" - Heb. 12:6

God is a good God. How do I know? Because there have been times when I have seriously done God dirty. And it's just sad because He doesn't ask for much. Obedience is pretty much it, coupled with exclusive devotion. It's not like He asks me to heal the physically diseased like Jesus did or to walk miles and miles across the desert in some thin, leather sandals to preach to the Texans or Californians. He's not asking me to go to Pakistan and face the al-Qaida in the likeness that He asked Moses to face the Egyptians. Nor is He asking me to eat only of the vegetation like He asked Adam and Eve to do in the garden. Jehovah God (J.G.) has given me so much and asked for so little in return. So it bothers me when I reflect and think about the times when I couldn't even give Him the time of day. There are specific situations that I can remember where I deliberately told Jehovah no and did whatever it was that I wanted to do. For example, J.G. told me not to get involved with certain people who did not feel the same way about God as I did. But did I listen? Nope. I thought that I could handle it. I thought that I was strong and big and invincible, but on the contrary, I was weak, small and destructible. To this day, I can feel the pain that I felt from getting involved way beyond what was required of me. It's a pain that I can not for the life of me seem to forget (which means that obviously I'm not supposed to). But when I think of all the consequences that I've suffered for trying to be big and bad and for deliberately disobeying J.G., I think of how refined I have become. Follow me for a second while I try to explain this. Por favor. Because I'm a female and into the pretty lady things like bags, makeup and nail polish, I think of myself like a fingernail. When I fail to take care of my nails, my nails become chipped and damaged. In the same way, when I fail to listen to J.G.'s counsel, I likewise become damaged and just plain ugly. My insides (heart, soul, mind, etc.) become just as tainted as my nails look, which is not a good look at all. So of course, when your nails become a hot mess, the first thing you do is look for a nail clipper or a nail file to refine them; to cut off and file down the cracks, chips and unevenness. Now, because I like long and healthy nails, I always become a little melancholy for the minute and a half when I find myself having to cut my nails down. It just sucks. But after I've done so, they look 100x better, and then I feel better again. The same is true with me. The consequences that I have to endure for being disobedient are like the friction that a nail file causes on a nail. The consequences for the most part are painful, especially since I may have to cut down or cut out some things, but after the refinment process is done, after I've gotten rid of the cracks, I look and feel so much better! Have you ever noticed that nails do not grow when they are damaged? Well I do not grow when I am damaged either. After the nails are cut and filed, it is a fact that they grow faster and stronger than before. In the same way, after I am disciplined and have dealt with the consequences, I can grow faster and stronger than before. I think the Bible says it best at Hebrews 12:11 when it reads, "True, no discipline seems for the present to be joyous, but grevious; yet afterward to those who have been trained by it it yields peacable fruit, namely, righteousness." Another translation says, "We don't enjoy discipline when we get it. It is painful. But later, after we have learned our lesson from it, we will enjoy the peace that comes from doing what is right." Notice how Hebrews 12:11 makes a promise. It says that afterwards, if we learn from it, we WILL have peace. Now that's a blessing. Even if we mess up, we can still have peace. In the words of baby Hilton, that's hot. Now of course that doesn't mean that we can keep disobeying and expect that later on you'll get that peace back. My man J.G. ain't no fool. He knows your heart and knows when you're playing Him.

So Jehovah, since I know You discipline the ones that You love, thank You for disciplining me. It let's me know that You have not left me out here to live in this craziness all by myself. And if You were to leave me, I wouldn't be as healthy, as cared for, and as fortunate as I am. Thank You for always being there. Through Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


It's been a while since I've posted. Not much to tell though. I've just been wrapping my mind around my transition. I'm pretty busy. Didn't think I would be, but that's the way life goes. My spirit is still pretty quiet. No nervousness or large volumes of energy pumping through my veins. It's different. I'm learning to agree with it. My family helped me create a sanctuary of a room. I feel like I'm living in a hotel in the French quarter. I could stay in here forever. There's a picture of Audrey Hepburn on my wall. A black and wite one where the only dash of color is her red lips to match my red comforter. The picture is intoxicating. Her beauty is matchless. She makes me want to look like her. Last night's meeting was full of newness. A new this and a new that. I like newness. As I've come to learn myself, I even like change. My Nana said that she's glad I'm back home. She says that I have an opportunity to build a foundation. She's right. So building it is. I have a recurring dream that I wish I could get rid of. I've only had it maybe 4 times in the last past year, but I had it again last night. It's one of those dreams where just before I see his face, I wake up. It always leaves me empty. My pms has been bad this month. Emotion-wise that is. I go from angry to frustrated to happy to calm to hurt in the matter of a day. I'm so glad that it's a temporary situation. No matter what, if I keep remembering that in reality I'm having a quieted spirit time of life, I'll be okay. I'll be better than okay. During pms, nothing is reality. Soon enough, it'll be time to put my professional j.a.c. on. I've had a break from her for a while, but I feel her silently knocking on my door. I think I'm ready. Or at least I'll be ready when her silent knocking because rude and heavy pounding. I think the only reason I want to work is so I can afford photography school. I have about eight bags hanging off hooks on my wall. And about 20 belts hanging beside them. My short beaded necklaces are crowding my closet doorknob and the long ones are hidden behind the belts. Accessories are everything. My mother told me that I didn't need all of the shoes that I have. I told her that I do. I keep thinking about this specific feathery headpiece that I want. That's my next purchase. Hopefully it's under $30. Tv wise, Mondays and Tuesdays are my favorites. Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, The City, Daddy's Girls and Privileged. I really like being a lady. There are so many benefits to being one. Too many. I really can't explain it. Fini.

The Most Beautiful Flower

I am the most beautiful flower in the entire world.
When men see me, touch me, smell me, understand me, they can't help but to fall in love.
I don't mean for them to though.
Because I know what's going to happen.
When it's time for them to go, their hearts will be crushed.
They'll be swept by unswerving sadness.
They all want to know why.
Why can't we just be.
But I'm the most beautiful flower in the entire world.
My exquisteness must be matched.
No regular man can survive.
No measure of mediocrity can I accept.

I have a way in which I can save their hearts.
The venom inside of my petals can drive them away.
Even before they have a chance, I can make them hate me.
But I never use my weapon of destruction.
I'm addicted to the affection I receive.
Nor can I bear to have someone hate me.
Then, if hated, would I be the most beautiful flower in the world?
Nevertheless, I don't like breaking hearts.
Instead, I want them to realize that there's more.
A beauty like mine should be the norm.
Settling for a rose is not enough.
Settling for her is not enough.
Require a hire existance just like I have.

So while I break hearts, I also change lives.
Is that a good trade-off?
Do you think that's enough?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Finding Your Mr. Obama

When I clicked onto the Essence website this morning, I didn't intend to be hit with so much wisdom. This article "Finding Your Mr. Obama" has so many hidden jewels and gold keys in it that it's not even funny. It's the kind of stuff you've heard from your mother, grandmother and other womanly mentors and figures in your life on what keeps their lasting marriages so tight. While clicking through the slides, I actually stopped half way through and evaluated my roll in past relationships. It's so cool and refreshing to see this kind of quality advice on Essence did an incredible job with this one, ladies and gentleman. I took the liberty of copying and pasting the advice, but click on this link to go through the slides. The pictures add so much. Enjoy and learn.

And when you're done, I'm just curious, what did you take away from this? Did it move you like it moved me, or am I just crazy at the impact that this had? Which piece of advice was your favorite? Which do you need to work on and which gem was new to you?

Again, enjoy.

Make It Last Forever
America and the world are captivated by the country’s new First Lady and President. Many single ladies are out to meet a Mr. Obama of their own. We’ve studied the strong bond between our First Couple for tips to find and keep a first-class guy. Just remember that no relationship is perfect, as you discover the love of a lifetime.

Think Outside of the Box
Having grown up in Hawaii and Indonesia and with half of his family in Kenya, President Obama had a background a lot different than the First Lady or anyone she knew. She embraced his unique cultural background and was exposed to exciting new things in the process. Keep in mind that you may have something to learn from the delivery man you’ve been secretly eyeing and you could probably teach him a few things.

No Money, Mo’ Problems?
Despite driving a car with a frayed floorboard and no hope of a new automobile in sight, Mr. Obama was enough man for our First Lady. She stood by the man who started out as her mentee. The Chicago native could’ve possessed the “I’m better than this” mentality and found a mate who was more on her “level,” but instead she took a ride through the rough roads, kept the faith and let go of the ego. Don’t let his lack of material things blind your perception of him. Give him a head start and later on he could give you the world.

Be Open to Love From the Most Unexpected Places
At her Chicago law firm, First Lady Michelle Obama heard all about the bright new intern who would go on to be her husband and the President of the United States. But in the summer of 1989, she wasn’t impressed, and even after meeting him, she was extremely hesitant to go out with a subordinate. After trying to set him up with other friends, she finally accepted his offer for a date and has never looked back. Instead of keeping your eyes straight ahead for Mr. Right, look around for the great guys that cross your path in your daily life.

Kick the List
At one point in time, we’ve all written out our list of the top 100 things we want in a man, but take a note from Mrs. Obama’s book. Mr. Obama possessed a habit deemed unpleasant to many (smoking), but the First Lady didn’t write him off because of his vice. Be lenient on “deal breakers” and give some guys a chance. He may not be No. 1 in your mind, but at the blink of an eye, he could top this list: Person of the Year.

Don't Stop Grinding
Mrs. Obama held on to her $200,000-plus salary as a high-ranking hospital executive even after her husband accepted his position as a state senator. She could’ve chosen to stop working and become a trophy wife but she remained true to her own dreams and desires as a career woman. Something tells us that ambition is one of the reasons Mr. Obama still looks at her with a twinkle in his eye.

Get Over His Wardrobe
Mrs. Obama discovered a diamond in the rough when she began dating the President, if you judge by the latest fashion trends. She looked past his well-worn shoes and suits to see a heart of gold, a passion to change the world and sex appeal that transcends the latest fashion craze. And 15 years later, while on the campaign trail, Mrs. Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha ratted out Dad for the pants he was wearing for being a decade old and his far-from-new belt and shoes. A man who chooses substance over style will make a great choice in the long run.

Always Have His Back
President Obama has mentioned that the First Lady always vouches for his good sense of humor when others say otherwise, but most importantly she showed the world her undying support for his decision to lead the nation. “You’ve got to make trade-offs in life,” Mrs. Obama told ESSENCE in September 2007. “I’m okay with that. I’ve come to realize I am sacrificing one set of things in my life for something else potentially really positive.” Learn to be his confidant and also his reality check.

Don’t Neglect Your Inner Circle
We’ve all had that girlfriend who finds a man and becomes missing in action for everyone else. But not our First Lady. Not only did Mrs. Obama’s friends become the President’s friends, but she also kept her mom with her all the way to the White House (literally). Bring along the people who played an integral part in the person you are. Just like your mate, these people also play a vital part in your happiness and wholeness. Always keep friends and family close to heart to make for a healthy relationship.

Make Your Desires Known
Mr. and Mrs. Barack Obama may appear like the perfect married couple, but getting the President down the aisle wasn’t a sure thing. The duo had many back and forth discussions on if marriage meant anything, but Mrs. Obama was vocal of her want for him to put a ring on it. Over an upscale dinner in 1991, again Mrs. Obama laid out the reasons for them to get married and was speechless when dessert was served and she discovered an engagement ring, as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times. Be upfront on what you want out of the relationship when you meet a special guy and share the benefits for both of you, without giving an ultimatum.

Join Forces for a Greater “Us”
With a successful career of her own and potential to go even higher, First Lady Michelle Obama left her top job to campaign full-time for her husband’s presidential bid and tend to their family. She continues to be one of his biggest cheerleaders. Whether it’s your man’s barbershop goal or graphic designer desires, be creative and supportive to help him be successful, while humming along to Fabolous and Ne-Yo’s hit: “I’m a movement by myself, but I’m a force when we’re together.” When one partner achieves his or her goals, you both win.

Take Me As I Am
Our President decided to become a community organizer on Chicago’s Southside although he had the option to work at major law firms with his enviable credentials. Instead of thinking he was nuts for passing up the high-paying salary and fancy title, Mrs. Obama accepted and supported his passion. Said the First Lady in our September 2007 issue when she recalled hearing her husband speak to a group of inner-city women in a church basement for the first time, “Right then and there, I decided this guy was special. And that’s why I fell in love with him.”

Consider Waiting to Have Junior
Mr. and Mrs. Obama waited six years to begin a family, and for them, it seems as though that wait paid off. While we’re certainly not knocking anyone who chooses to have children early on in a relationship, there does seem to be benefits to waiting for offspring. The Obamas had the opportunity to travel the world together, establish their careers and further build their union before little Malia and Sasha entered the picture. Couples should try to have children on their timetable, not anyone else’s.

Don’t Take Yourself or Your Relationship Too Seriously
Part of the appeal of the President and First Lady is their ability to relate to the everyday person by being approachable, and there unaffected attitude also keeps their love going strong. Mr. and Mrs. Obama may be Ivy League-educated lawyers and he the Leader of the Free World, but neither was above shaking a tail feather with Ellen DeGeneres on her show. Couples that can laugh at themselves and each other can keep things that matter in perspective and find peace when the tough times come. So, loosen up in love!

Don't Stop Dating
When pictures surfaced of the Obamas happily having a “date night” last fall, women around the world quietly cheered. Far too many couples stop engaging in such acts once they’ve been together for a few years or after the children come along. Consider establishing a dinner and a movie night even if it is just once a month to keep the fire burning in your own relationship.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Last October, the President admitted to reporters at the Chicago Sun-Times that he actually forgot his wedding anniversary the first year of his marriage. Imagine if that had been a deal breaker for Mrs. Obama! When asked by the paper about his secret for staying married 16 years, the Commander-In-Chief responded, “never get so mad that you forget why you love them." Duly noted, Mr. President.

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Shoulder Snapping Arm Grab

On my way out of My Place in Mitchellville Plaza, I briefly caught eyes with one of the many baseball hat clad dark brothers in the spot. Taking my eye contact as a sign of attraction and a signal of my permission, he waited until I got near enough to reach out and wrap his manly hand around my tiny brown wrist. I threw him a polite smile that read 'thank you but no thank you' and turned my focus towards the crowded aisle. My little sisters were following closely behind me and as the front lady, it was critical that I focused to find a path of least resistance towards the door. As I took a step, I realized that my arm was no longer beside me but at a 35 degree angle behind me. Hmm... If I'm not mistaken, it seems as if he's still holding my wrist. I heightened my sensory receptors and confirmed my observation. I didn't want to look back so as to encourage him so I took stepped forward another inch. My arm heightened to a 45 degree angle. Hmm... Is he not going to let go? Another inch. 65 degrees. Another inch. His hold was now kinda tight. 80 degrees. Mister prince george's county was not only maintaining his hold on my fragile wrist, but was now cutting off my circulation. I winced slightly as a sharp pain shot up my arm towards my shoulder. At this time, as my arm was now tautly pulled at a 90 degree angle blocking the path of others behind me, I figured I better stop moving. Since it was clear he was not giving in, I decided I had to choose between losing out on a valuable minute of my life and a functioning arm. I acquiesced to his more than firm grab and followed the direction in which he led me. I smiled the smile I knew he wanted to see and stepped up closely to his body and waited for his most amazing, stellar introductory line that must have been of the utmost importance to cause me such pain. He smiled that smug little smile of his as I stood in his space, pleased with himself. He still hadn't released my wrist which was now red with an Indian burn likeness. He glanced at his surrounding boys, who were all fixated on our exchange, in that i-got-this kinda way that overconfident men do. That's when I rolled my eyes in my heart. I looked up into his eyes the way a girlfriend would look into her man's after he just finished saying I love you for the first time, and motioned for him to come closer so he could hear me over the music. "What's your name?" I asked sweetly into his ear. After he responded, I motioned for him to come closer again. I put my hand on his arm so that he could bulge his muscle under my touch and feel more of a man for it. By now, he was wide open. "I understand that you find me attractive and am in request of my attention. But I would like to ask you a question." I continued without waiting for his response. "Is it really your unrequited desire to restrain me so forcefully that you maneuver me into some sort of WWF dead lock position that causes sharp pains to shoot up the posterior ligaments of my arm? I deduce that since you are here tonight celebrating the Pittsburg Steelers 27-23 Superbowl victory over the Arizona Cardinals along with the other civilized inhabitants of this establishment, you are not a prehistoric barbarian that beats his mates over the head with a club to show affection. If my assumption is correct, I want you to know that my shoulder is not double jointed, nor am I a circus act. Now if you would so oblige me... please let go." I drew back slightly to see his face. As if on cue, his smile dropped and he released his claws on my irritated wrist. I counted to three just in case he wanted to respond. When I realized he had nothing to say, as I knew would be the case, I said thank you and patted him on top of his now deflated muscle. I smiled my sweet smile once again, looked towards my little sisters and nodded towards the door.

Or at least that's what I should have done. Instead, my little sisters shot mister prince george's county that good old stank, are-you-out-of-your-mind, venom face that us black woman have become so talented at giving (because of jerks like mister prince george's county) and forcibly released my arm from his grasp. Thanks little sis' for saving my arm. Next time j.a.c. Next time.
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