Wednesday, December 22, 2010


This is my first serious attempt to get back to blogging so bear with me. I haven’t had anything to write about and if I did I didn’t have the energy to write it unless it was 140 characters or less. (Tweeting @wifemomcynic is so much easier.) That’s what being knocked up’ll do to you. Yep…we’ve got another kid on the way…a girl this time. She should be here by Feb. 6. I hope she comes before then because I’m sick and tired of carrying around this extra 23 pounds. But I really hope she’s here before Feb. 12. That’s my husband’s grandmother’s birthday. She died this year and I promised my father-in-law that if the baby was born on her birthday, we’d name her after her beloved great grandmother…Flossie. Flossie was indeed a delightful soul, but I don’t think even she would be okay with naming a young child that in 2011.

In other news, for the past several months I’ve been toying with the idea of launching a new blog about dating. I want to call it Guerrilla Dating for Black Chicks. Think guerrilla warfare tactics applied to dating. But I hesitate because there’s so much to cover and it’s really been kind of hard to get my arms around the unique and multi-layered, multi-faceted issues that black women (and men, for that matter) deal with in the dating world. It’s a conversation that seems to have reached a fever pitch this year and having spent so many of my adult years on the dating scene I feel compelled to weigh in…heavily. And you can tell by the title I’ve got tons to say…tons.

So that’s where Wife.Mom.Cynic. is…the last eight or nine months with no blog posts can pretty much be summated in two paragraphs. Right now I need an injection of clarity and creativity to get Guerrilla Dating for Black Chicks going because I promise it will be a wellspring of unfiltered admonishment, guidance and guerrilla tactics that are guaranteed to work...maybe.

Stay tuned…and feel free to shoot me your ideas, two cents or questions.

In the meantime, isn’t this the most disturbing depiction of a child conceived in love that you’ve ever seen?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Post, New Look and Badu's Badonk

The reason I haven’t blogged since January is because I’ve been in Europe and I’ve been trying to get pregnant. You really should be rolling your eyes right now because the truth is we were only in Europe for 10 days in March and I center “trying to get pregnant” around two to three fertile days each month. So really the only real reason I haven’t blogged is because I’ve been lazy and scared.

We all understand lazy, or at least most of us do, so I won’t deal with that issue now (and it is an issue), but the scared part? Uh, yeah, that’s been a problem. I’ve talked here and here about my debilitating fear of failure. Seriously, I really should make another appointment with my therapist to cover some of the things we didn’t get to when we last met. I swear, I wish they offered month long sessions where you could just move in with your therapist and unload on them all day. Oh. I guess that’s called rehab. Yeah, I’ll take some of that too. But anyway, I get all caught up in whether or not a blog entry is going to be Pulitzer Prize material, and if not, I scrap it, turn on TV and lament the passing of my writing life.


Ok, so enough of that. I’ll work on doing better.

Sweetness and I did have a great time in Europe. My brother Jonathan tweeted a prediction that Zach’s little sister “Paris” would be conceived on our trip. Didn’t happen, in fact, I got my period at the Louvre. I hope that doesn’t discourage Jonathan from finishing fortune telling school.

Anyway, London was nice, but Paris stole my heart. It’s a fantastic city with lights and jaw-dropping architecture and passion for food and drink. The men wear slim trousers and interesting shoes and the women are thin, but unashamedly eat large wedges of quiche and drink the goodness they call cocoa. It’s pure chocolate, people, melted into a cup! I’ll go back to that city again and again.

In other news,
• I’m excited about healthcare reform. I didn’t have insurance throughout grad school and it sucked. Can’t imagine never being able to have access.
• I’m a little disturbed by Erykah Badu’s butt in her new, controversial video Window Seat. It sure is big for such a small person. Sweetness and me watched it together last night.
Me: Oh. My. God. Becky…look at her butt!
Sweetness: *fixated, silence…hits replay*
• I didn’t spend 300 bucks on that My Baby Can Read program, but my baby CAN read. Proof is here.

Until next time...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Please It. Tease It. Take It Away.

Ah, the life of a stripper. Flexible work schedules, daily affirmation from men, throwing yourself around a pole and landing in a big ‘ol pile of hundred dollar bills. It’s no wonder us girls with regular jobs secretly long to be like them. Yes, I said what others won’t admit. We envy them with their ultra-glam, showgirl makeup and great bodies and gold medal-worthy acrobatics. We long to walk in their clear, acrylic shoes, if only for a moment. Well, last Saturday I got my moment.

A week or so ago, a friend, who shall remain nameless, emailed me to see if I wanted to join her and a group of girls for a pole dancing “exercise” class at a place called The Girls Room on lower Greenville here in Dallas. It took me all of one second to email her back, “Sign me up.”

So we get there around 1 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon and dozens of women are filing in to a single room with about 20 or so stripper poles in it. I’m thinking, uh, there’s not enough poles in here for all these women. But far be it from our lovely hostesses to leave any of us poleless, we got to double up. Yep, two to a pole. Each lady and her partner had to take turns. Luckily, I took a good friend with me so I didn’t have to slither down the same pole as some strange wanna-be stripper I didn’t know.

The lady who led the class was quite engaging. I don’t know what her background was, but let’s just say she had skills. She’d definitely done this a time or two. She taught us what she called “stripology.” In a nutshell, it’s the science of the tease. It’s the art of creating fantasy. All of us eager pupils leaned in and listened intently as Sexy Socrates explained the three-step process to us:

1. Please it. This involves showcasing the goods. It’s why your audience is there – to see something.
2. Tease it. This is the fantasy part. You’re supposed to be suggestive, but not indulgent.
3. Take it away. This is your money-maker, she explained. The idea is look, but don’t touch. Everyone goes away empty-handed, but always come back for more.

Please It. Tease It. Take it Away. This, my friends, is the secret. It’s the reason why even in a weak economy, not one strip club in America has had to downsize. “Please it. Tease it. Take it Away”, we repeated as we moved through our “exercises.” “Please it, Tease it. Take Away,” we chanted as we gyrated around the base of the stripper pole. It was kind of empowering actually; exhilarating even. I mean seriously, how often do women get to boldly and publicly embrace our God-given femininity and sexuality; to scream from the mountain top, I am woman; hear me roar? Never. So, say it loud (but not if you're at work): Please it! Tease it! Take it Away!

And then it was time to get on the pole. Surprisingly enough, it was a lot easier than I thought. I was under the impression that it was going to take a whole lot of upper body strength to get up and around the pole, but actually it’s all physics. When you grab the top of the pole with your right hand and wrap your right leg around it at the knee, really all you have to do is push off and lean forward and away you go. Momentum does the rest. Amazing, huh? And to think, I thought I didn’t have what it takes to work at a gentleman’s club. By the end of the class, I was making two complete revolutions around that thing. The challenging part is the landing. It’s hard to gather yourself fast enough to land softly on pointed toes, but I figure if I keep going I’ll get that down too.

A co-worker told me there’s a formula to use to come up with a good stripper name. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with Stephanie Graves, but I guess it’s not catchy enough. Anyway, she said to take the name of the family pet you had growing up and use that as your first name. And then take the name of the street you grew up on and use that as your last name. My dog’s name was Sadie and we lived on Vapor Dr. I can hear it now. “Fellas, get yo’self a cold drink now, ‘cuz it’s about to get steamy up in HERE! Puh-leeze welcome to the stage Saaaaaaaadieeeee Vaaaaaaaaapoooooorrrrr.

Then I’d, please it, tease it and take it away!

One more thing, I have video of this. I thought about posting it here, but it contains extreme sexiness, and I don’t want every strip club manager in Dallas trying to get me to come on board. No sir, I DON’T want the opportunity to make in two nights what I make in a whole month as a publicist. You can’t lure me in with your thousand-dollar per shift job, but thanks anyway, sleazebag. I did, however, show the footage to Sweetness. I swear I thought he was going to pat me on the head. He was like, “Yeah, uuuh, well that was hot, baby. You did good.”

I don’t think I’ll be getting any of his dollars…yet.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Guerrilla Dating for Black Chicks

So ABC’s Nightline ran a story the other night about how 42 percent of black women are single and have never been married. According to the report, that’s double the number of their white counterparts. I have exactly one million things to say about this subject, but I can’t even begin to touch on all of them. I will, however, take this opportunity to blog about one little tiny aspect of the situation that I think demands commentary. And that is the black woman’s approach to dating.

First, there is no such thing as a black girl curse as one of the women in the Nightline piece says. Trust me, if you’re walking around thinking that some kind of curse is preventing you from snagging a man, then your attitude, demeanor and body language is going to reflect that.

I’ve never subscribed to the notion that there are no good black men. In fact, I believe the exact opposite. There are tons of good black men out there. There are plenty that are marriage material too. It’s astonishing how often I hear women say that all the good men are gone and all black men are dogs. This is a lie from the pit of hell and if you choose to believe it, you’re doing yourself and black men a great disservice.

The issue is not a shortage of good black men, the issue, I would argue, is your ability to snag one of the good ones.

If marriage is not high on your priority list then read no further, but if you’re frustrated with being single here are a few tactics you should try. (Of course I’m the expert because not only have I spent a good portion of my adult life single, I’ve been married to two black men; happily to the second one. AND I’ve had two or three almost proposals by black men, and all of them were fairly decent guys. So listen to me. I can help you.)

Move through your day-to-day life with a happy, positive effervescence and glow.
Friends, I’m going to be really honest with you. I don’t believe there’s such a thing as the black girl curse, but I do believe there is a black girl attitude that NEEDS TO GO! I’m generalizing, so don’t get mad at me if this doesn’t apply to you, but we all know that black women are good for walking around looking pissed off all the time. Smile, get that scowl off of your face. It’s not attractive. In fact, it’s downright scary. Unfold your arms. Walk around with an air of happiness and excitement to be one of God’s creations. Stop looking like you’re about to curse somebody out for speaking to you. It’s not cute, nor is it attractive to men. Remember men have fragile egos. They don’t like being rejected. If men don’t talk to you, maybe you look like you don’t want to be talked to. You have to give men the green light. Say hello, look approachable. You know why so many black men date white women? Because white girls are nice! They’re friendly... Black women on the other hand, well, half the time we look like we never had a happy day in our lives. We know it’s not true so don’t be afraid to show off the happy you. It looks good!

Live life well.
Have a good time while you’re single. You’ll never have the kind of freedom you have when you’re single once you’ve married. Travel. Move to New York, then Milan, then back home…do it all! Party it up with your girlfriends. I’m telling you, if you’re out having a good time with your girls, and not spending the whole evening focusing on what dudes are there and if your potential husband is in the room, then you’re going to be more attractive to men. Men are competitive by nature. They like to hunt unsuspecting prey. Even if you have to fake it, immerse yourself in your good time with your friends and I guarantee someone from afar will be noticing how pretty you are when you laugh or how you’re able to captivate your audience with your extraordinary storytelling. Also, be sure to hang out with other happy black chicks. There's nothing uglier than a table full of mean looking women drinking strawberry daiquiris. Women who look like they’re on the prowl, OR mad at the world, are not as attractive as women who are just out having fun and enjoying life. Good men like secure, cheerful women.

Look Good.
Men are visual. We’re not going to change this, ladies. None of this is rocket science or unique to black women, but if you want to land a hubby, you need to look cute and have a sexiness about yourself when you’re out and about. I’m not saying you have to put on a full-face of make-up and get completely done up to go to the grocery store, but you can pull together a nice, easy ponytail and a little bit of lip gloss. Pull your shoulders back when you walk. Add a cute little bounce to your step. Something, anything that appeals to men’s visual-ness. Make eye contact, smile…these things are little, but go along way. I’m sorry, unless you look like Halle Berry or Angelina Jolie or one of the other most beautiful women in the world, men aren’t going to approach you if you look a mess. They’re just not.

Chill Out.
When you meet a guy you like…be easy…chill out…don’t play all your cards at once. If you’re an emotional basket case, have tons of baggage and are extremely needy, you need to hold it all in until after you’re married. If you don’t, you’re going to scare him away. You need to come off as sane as possible. Men can’t handle too much emotion, too early. If Sweetness--God love him--knew the extent of my issues before we got married, well, let’s just say I don’t know if he would’ve had my hand. If anyone knew the extent of their spouse’s issues, I don’t think anybody would get married. Anyway, show off your positive traits so that when the negative ones come to light, he’ll already be in love. If he’s a good, mature man you guys can work through your issues together. (Note: Keep in mind, you don’t need to get married, let alone be dating, if you’re too screwed up. There’s a maximum level of screwed-upness that a marriage can tolerate, beyond that, it’s probably not a good idea for you to try to get hitched until you’ve gotten your issues worked out with a professional. I have a great therapist if you need her number.)

Be the kind of girl a guy could see himself married to – this involves a little trickery.
Again, this means being really cool. It actually may require a little acting. Basically, a guy wants a girl that’s kind of like his guy friends, but prettier and sexier. What this means for you is that you are relatively low-maintenance. You’re interested in him, but not overly-so. You need to have your own things going. Have your own career and goals, but call on him every now and then to help you out. (You may not need it, but it makes them feel good so just do it.) This may fly in the face of our “strong black woman” mantra, but it’s okay for the strong black woman to be a delicate flower sometimes. It’s okay to show some vulnerability. The key is finding the balance between being a little vulnerable and not being too needy. Also, help him out in areas where men feel like they are the weakest, like relationships. I once had a suitor who thought I was the “one” because I helped him think through life-long issues he’d had with his mother. For him, it was a big deal, but as women, we know we have these types of conversations with our girlfriends once a week. No big deal. Oh, and you need to watch a little football too. Case-in-point: When Sweetness and I were dating, I initiated Operation Monday Night Football. I would take lemon pepper wings from Wing Stop over to his apartment on Mondays at 8 p.m. and we’d watch football together. Wear something cute every time you do this. You want to make him believe that for the rest of his life, he’ll be able to eat wings and watch football with a warm bundle of sexiness at his side. No man can resist this and he will marry you if he believes this is what his life will be like with you.

Touch down!

Like I said, there are a million other things to be considered, so I don’t mean to imply that my guerrilla dating tactics are an exact science. I just can’t cover everything here. For example, we could talk about the good guys who just aren’t ready to be married…move on, don’t waste your time with them. We could also tackle the subject of raising and lowering standards, and how if a brother looks good, has the right degrees, the right watch and the right shoes, you would sacrifice your first born for him. But if another guy lacks swagger and is too in to you, you’re not feeling him, when in all actuality, he’s the dude you need to be trying to marry; somebody that’ll treat you right. We could also talk about the women that have no trouble attracting men, but can never land one. And most importantly, we could have a discussion about what marriage is actually like. And trust me, if we had a real honest conversation about that, you might not want to employ my guerrilla tactics at all.

Until next time…

Friday, December 11, 2009

If Jerry Seinfeld can make "nothing" work, then so can Wife.Mom.Cynic.

I haven’t posted anything in awhile because I haven’t had anything particularly interesting or entertaining happen in several days. Unless you think one of the following counts:

• I put up our Christmas tree and realized that the holidays have become slightly depressing for me. Not sure why…maybe because most of our Christmas ornaments are brown. Anyway, to get in the spirit I’ve been listening to Mariah Carey Christmas carols and pouring Bailey’s in my hot chocolate.

• Yesterday a guy in Walmart stopped and asked if he had seen me on VH1’s For the Love of Ray J. I was flattered...easy mistake.

• I invested in a really good pair of leggings.

• Someone called to offer me a PR job…in Tempe.

• I became hooked on the total waste of time also known as Twitter. I'm following cool kids like Sarah Silverman and Mo Rocca and Questlove from The Roots. And now I think I’m a cool kid too.

• I got a headband for New Year’s Eve with wispy black feathers that stick up off the top of it. I like it because it makes me feel like a fairy princess when I put it on.

• Zach screamed when he met Santa for the first time.

• Got an email from the Pastor’s assistant at our new church. They’d like Sweetness and me to volunteer in the marriage program...Ha! I wonder if they read Wife.Mom.Cynic will they still have us.

• Lost a pound eating ginger snaps and marshmallows for lunch.

That’s it. Pray next week is better so you don’t have to read anything like this again.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What do you get when you cross a mustang and a bobcat?... Marital Problems.

When I started working on Wife. Mom. Cynic., I was looking to arguments between Sweetness and me to serve as a constant source of material for my blog. Our fights can, after all, be quite entertaining. Take the time we had a knock-down-drag-out over which onesie Zach was going to wear to the SMU vs. Texas State football game – our alma maters. Zach had a SMU onesie that Sweetness insisted that he wear, but I had made a big sign that read, “What do you get when you cross a Mustang and a Bobcat?” And then it had an arrow that pointed down off the sign. The idea was to hold the sign up and then put Zach underneath the sign – as in, this is what you get when you cross the two. Get the idea? Well, if the point of the sign that I worked so hard on, was to show what you get when you cross a Mustang and a Bobcat, my argument was, "Why the heck would he be wearing a SMU Mustangs onesie?" That doesn’t reflect hybrid!

We almost didn’t go to the game over that one.

But somewhere along the way our arguments have begun to taper off. Not completely because we had a good one yesterday. One of those pre-work fights that start in the bathroom, move to the kitchen and end up in the garage when one person tears off to the office. It’d been awhile, so we were due for another one. This one was because Zach’s nanny was really late getting to our house and we both needed to leave to get to work, so the argument was over who was going to stay home with Zach and wait for her.

This is where it gets ugly.

Sweetness proceeds to say, and I paraphrase, that he needed to be the one to leave because his job was more important than mine.

*Gasp*...Clutch my pearls...regain composure.

Through clenched teeth, I explained to him that although I work from home most of the time, my job goes far beyond what I do professionally. Let’s talk about all those loads of clothes I washed and folded the night before, or that dinner I cooked and the dishes I washed (put in the dishwasher.) And let’s not forget about who, most days, gets to be locked in the house with a 2-year-old having conversations about cookies and counting to five and watching television shows, like the one on now, where a family of brown bear puppets is in the bed, dressed in pajamas, teaching us what it means to hibernate.

Seriously, I should’ve grabbed my own golf club and nine-ironed somebody with it.

We both went to work pissed off. But then at about 2:15 p.m., in a much appreciated act of contrition, Sweetness sent me a text message. I sexted him back. And it was aaaaaall good in the ‘hood.

We’re getting better at communicating and it makes a big difference. I guess we figure if we want to be old people together, it would probably be in our best interest not to kill each other before then. So that means we have to be nice when we don’t feel like it. We have to always forgive the other person’s many screw-ups. We have to pick our battles, which is very difficult for me because I would argue over sunshine if given the opportunity. And most importantly, we have to accept each other’s differences. Why somebody would ever brush their teeth, then put their entire head in the bathroom sink and put their mouth on the faucet to collect water to rinse with, I’ll never understand, but I’ve accepted it. Guh-ross.

Oh and by the way, the sign I made for the SMU/Texas State football game got us on NBC 5’s sports highlights that night, just as I intended.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Wife.Mom.Cynic. is thankful for...Women's work.

This is a picture of my husband, brothers and my baby not giving a rat's ass that I was cleaning up the kitchen by myself. Aren't they adorable?

Today I cooked a full Thanksgiving dinner for Sweetness, Zach and my two brothers. I guess it wasn't quite a full Thanksgiving meal, we didn’t have turkey. I opted for honey glazed ham and a stuffed chicken from Central Market. Good enough.

I did, however, work very hard on this meal. I wanted it to be really yummy so I got up at 7 a.m. to get the ball rolling; we were ready to eat at 1:30 p.m., exactly when I said we’d eat.

So I cooked and they ate and it was great. They watched football and ate more, creating all manner of mess in the kitchen.

It took me an hour to clean it up. I was in there scraping plates, scrubbing baked on macaroni and cheese off the sides of a dish, wiping down cabinets, transferring leftovers into Tupperware, covering up pies with foil, etc.

When I re-joined the crew in the living room, I had a question:

“Guys. I’m not mad. The work is already done. But I’d like to know something. Did it occur to any one of you for one iota of second that I might need or like some help in that kitchen? Huh? I’m genuinely curious. How did three grown men and a baby, who ate heartily, pulling plate after plate, and fork after fork out of the cabinets, make peace within themselves to sit there burping and watching football, and not even so much as ask if I’d like a little assistance?”

They all looked desperately confused and offered the following sincere responses:

Brother #1: "I thought about it when you went in there and were making a lot of noise."

Sweetness: "I just figured it was teamwork since I went to the grocery store yesterday. You like to clean, don’t you?"

Brother #2: "I thought about it when you first started, but you just seemed to kind of tackle it."

He had the nerve to use a football term.


Anyway, the original point of this post was to tell you what I'm thankful for this year. Here it is:

I’m thankful for my boss who earlier this year agreed to a flex schedule which allows me to work from home. As a result, I’m quite a bit more sane than I was at this time last year. I’m thankful for Zach and Sweetness, friends and family. I’m thankful to Bravo for this season of Real Housewives of Atlanta. And most importantly, I’m thankful for cosmetic dentistry and my dear Dr. Margolis! 2009 was pretty awesome.