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The Wedding Day

December 31st, 2009 7 comments

So today is the big day for my sharefriends, Ladreena and David. At 5:00 PM in San Francisco, I will stand on David’s left hand side as one of his groomsmen to witness the beautiful, young couple, with God’s blessing, transform into husband and wife in front of a church full of people. Few in the house will be more proud than me.

I have known Ladreena for going on 10 years, David half that time, and my love for them, both as individuals and as a couple, knows no bounds.

Ladreena is a no-nonsense, honesty queen, who on the surface, can appear to be a mean girl. I tell everyone when we met out freshman year at Howard through another mutual friend of ours, I didn’t speak for 20 minutes because I was afraid she would snap on anything I said. But once I got comfortable being around her and we started making jokes about other people (which is always a great way for people to break the ice), our friendship blossomed into something like family. We’ve met each others families, shared holidays together (as two West Coast transplants going to school in D.C., this was necessary), and before she met David, I was kind of like her big brother when it came to the matters of men. And she, like my older sister, always shaking her head in disapproval about some girl I introduced her to, or giving me a thumbs up when I met someone she liked.

Of course, it was through Ladreena, I met David. As I explained before, being the best male friend with a woman involves a little bit of savvy. One must know how to play the role of her brother without coming across as the guy who just never got a chance.

This can be an especially tricky balance when the woman starts to get serious about another guy, and when David and Ladreena started to date, I will be the first to admit I didn’t think it was going to last. But then again, I don’t think Ladreena did either. David took her out for her birthday, which to me already was a wack move just because it was Ladreena’s birthday and who takes someone out for a first date on their birthday? But I digress…

A couple days later I saw Ladreena and asked her how the date went. She said she enjoyed herself, but as far as first dates go, it was a little heavy. David pulled out all the bells and whistles one could. The restaurant was real nice, and had a house band playing during dinner, so David had them play her happy birthday. A sweet gesture no doubt, but again, it all seemed kind of heavy. During the dinner, he also peppered her with some rather serious questions: Things like, “When do you want to get married?” and “Do you want children?”As Ladreena is telling me these things, she’s kind of laughing, and I’m definitely laughing. She’s insisting it was cute, and I’m insisting David is crazy.

Well, five years, one child, and a wedding later, David looks like he was crazy right. And no one is happier being crazy wrong than me.

Congratulations to the beautiful couple.


P.S. Those interested in knowing about whether or not I found a wedding date, let’s just say I’m fine. Happy New Year, folks!

Categories: weddings Tags:

Five Ways A Woman Emasculates Me By Accident

December 30th, 2009 28 comments

Anyone who has ever dated me knows I’m somewhat flexible on gender roles. For instance, when it comes to something like cooking, my woman doesn’t have to be the one in the kitchen. I love to cook all the time, probably more than most women I’ve dated, so it’s nothing for me to put on an apron and an oven mitt, talking about “Dinner’s ready!” I also enjoy a woman who makes more money than me, especially if she doesn’t have kids because financially stable women always get me nice shoes.

I’m kidding about that last one.

Sort of.

But there are some moments when I do wish a woman was, well, more like a woman, or she treated me more like a man. I’m not talking about things like calling me the b-word or saying things like, “Man up!” I would never tolerate such talk. What I’m talking about are emasculating moments that are a little more subtle, the times when it wasn’t a woman’s intent to make me feel less like a man, but she did it anyway.

Here are five of those moments.

SHE LIKES HER FOOD SPICY

I enjoy Buffalo wings just like the next man. Also on the list, spicy chips, spicy salsa, and some popcorn with some hot sauce on it. Pretty much, if it’s spicy, I’m eating it. But ever date a woman who really, really likes spicy food? I have, and there’s always a moment in the dating cycle where she is going to see my love for spicy food and raise it up to some hazardous level. Like the time a girl and I went to go get some Buffalo wings at a sports bar. Me? I was content with getting an order of the hot wings. Her? She wanted to get the wings that involved signing waivers, ridding the restaurant of any responsibility should something bad happen to a customer as a result of eating them. Luckily, I won a heated competition of Rock/Paper/Scissors and we ordered the hot wings, but the emasculation still came in the form of my four cups of water to her one.

SHE LIKES HER WATER HOT

One day, somebody needs to do a scientific study on why women like their shower and bath water so fucking hot. Any time I try to do the romantic thing by joining a woman I’m dating for a shower I’m spending half the time secretly trying to turn up the cold water knob, hoping she won’t notice. If it’s a bath, I have to count to ten before I take a full plunge into this body of water from which I see steam rising, because I just know the minute I plop down, my testicles are getting singed. And of course I count to ten in my head so she can’t hear me. And of course I act like the water’s just fine.

SHE STARES, SMACKS, OR GRABS MY A**

It’s not so much the act of grabbing or smacking that makes me feel less like a man. It’s really the rejection of it whenever she does it out in public. No man ever sounds like a man when he says, “Quit grabbing my ass!” As far as the stares I get from a woman whenever I’m wearing a pair of dress pants, it’s almost enough to make me stop doing the same to a woman. Not quite, but almost.

SHE THOROUGHLY BREAKS DOWN GAMES

There is the type of woman who is into sports and doesn’t need me to explain something every five minutes in order to follow the game, and then there’s this type of woman:

“All I’m saying is our team shouldn’t of  punted on that last series.We should’ve gone for it. I know it’s 4th and 2, but we had the defense on their heels. Meanwhile, our special teams have been playing horribly all season, what made him think this was going to be any different? It was gut check time, and now it’s clear our coach has no guts.”

This type of woman is  special, but I don’t know if she’s special to me.

SHE FIXES SOMETHING I CAN’T

Let the record show, I am not the handiest of men, but for the fairer sex I have changed plenty of flat tires, installed a ceiling fan, and assembled a few pieces of furniture in my lifetime. But every once in a while, in my efforts to do something like keep a hanging picture from falling or opening up a jammed drawer, there has been some woman behind me who says, “Move. Let me do this.” And she does it. Easily. Damn her.

Categories: dating, guys, women Tags:

Happy New Day

December 29th, 2009 16 comments

It’s happening right now.

Somewhere, some girl who has been dealing with me and all my crazy ways is making a resolution to leave me behind in the ’09. She is erasing my phone number out of her Contacts, probably blocking me on Gchat, and maybe, just maybe, De-friending me on Facebook and un-following me on Twitter.

She has vowed to herself and maybe one or two of her friends that she will not pick up the phone when I call, will not pick up the phone to call me when she feels like having sex, when it comes to guys, she’s all Jay-Z with it – on to the next one.

And none of this bothers me, the whole getting rid of me thing is something I can get behind because we all do it, every year. I’m just wondering why we wait until January 1 to start.

This year especially, 2009, most of the people I talk to are salivating for a new year, a fresh start, and I completely understand.

I want a new year too, a new opportunity to make new mistakes with new people. I want to make some new money to get rid of old debts and maybe, just maybe live a new life in an old place (that means I want to live in D.C.). I want new girls, new lovers, new fighters, all new everything.

After all, isn’t that what we all want? We want every year to be better than it was the year before. We wanted it in ’09, we wanted it in ’08, we wanted it in ’07. New years always make us want to leave behind old problems and exchange them for new ones, but I wish people would stop forcing it.

True change takes time and if anyone wanted to change their lives around, they should have been on that in October or August or May. We’re days away from a new year and a new decade, and as someone who came of age in the aughts, I feel the pressure of 2010 because in 10 years, I could be writing a blog entitled Until I Get Re-Married. Then again, I could still be writing this blog, living the same title. Who knows?

The pressure of a new decade only comes along every ten years, and the pressure of a new year only comes along every 365 days, but the pressure of a new day comes along every 24 hours and every morning I wake up, it is right there staring me right in the eyes and asking, What are you going to do today?

Well last week, a girl I dated recently for a couple of months decided December 24 was a fitting day to tell me she never wants to talk to me again, or she doesn’t want to talk to me for a very long time. And I don’t bring this up to brag or to boast or to seek pity. I bring this up because it illustrates the point I am trying to make.

We don’t have to wait for new years to change our life around, we could do it right now.

Happy New Day to everyone.

Categories: dating, guys, women Tags:

Stories: Story of the Year

December 28th, 2009 16 comments

February, 2009

Funny how we never remember much about our drunkest night ever, but we always do remember it was our drunkest night ever.

The week our father died, my brothers and I met in D.C.  to square away all his  funeral arrangements. I decided to stay down there for the weekend, so I could spend time with a couple of my best friends from college. It was a Friday night, only four days  after my father’s passing, so I was in the need for a good night of debauchery and from the minute I saw my friends, they had all the ingredients to cook such a night up.

They said the lounge was already picked out, packed, and there would be no cover.

They said drinks were on them.

They said, “Drink up,” and threw a bottle of something in my hand soon as I stepped foot into my friend’s apartment.

And of course, I also made plans to meet up with a girl I met two days prior.

I was drinking by myself, at the bar of a lounge located across the street from my hotel and she came from out of nowhere, or actually, she came from the ladies restroom.  For the sake of this story, I will call her Panama because she was part Panamanian and that’s what my brothers called her. We struck up a good conversation, largely consisting of my mixed feelings regarding the death of a man who was my father but never acted like it. Any time a conversation like that happens and it’s mixed with alcohol, a bond, however temporary, is going to form.

So Panama was going to join me and my friends for this night of debauchery, but she was going to meet up with us later.

Already wet, my boys and I entered the lounge fully charged. I recall there being some Notorious B.I.G. blasting through the speakers and a round of Patron ordered and consumed before I could finish rapping along to the first Biggie couplet. We repeated that sequence – Patron order, consume – two or six more times before Panama came walking in. But her timing was all bad, or was it my timing? Because as she was walking in, I decided it was okay for me to start necking with a girl one of my boys introduced me to  and when Panama saw this, she looked at me with eyes that said, Did you form a bond with her too?

I went over to Panama and spoke in drunk tongue about how I barely knew that girl and how happy I was she could join us. Then I ordered her some drinks. Then I drank some of the drinks I ordered for her. And then, then I could feel I had had enough to drink, which was a good thing, because in the lounge, the lights came on and it was time to head home. Time to bond some more, with Panama.

Panama grabbed my hand and led me outside where my boys were waiting for me.

“I’m going with her,” I told them. They were going with some other girls, probably with plans to bond with them as well. Peace signs were thrown, folks walked their separate ways.

Panama and I got into a cab, but it only took one sharp right turn for my stomach to get the feeling that it wasn’t getting along with the alcohol I consumed. I was going to throw up and I told her I was going to throw up.

Me: I’m going to throw up.

Panama: Don’t. We’re almost to my place.

She reached over and  put my head in her lap.

Two more sharp rights and sure enough we were back at Panama’s place. I hopped out of the cab, ran to Panama’s door and as soon as she opened it, ran inside like I knew exactly where I was headed.

She grabbed my shoulders, steered me in the direction of the bathroom and I dropped down to my knees right in front of the toilet. Then, nothing.

Nothing was coming up at all, even as I attempted to gag myself. It’s as though the alcohol was staging a sit-in in my stomach and refused to leave. I gagged, I heaved, I made all kinds of sounds that sounded like death. Still, nothing and then, the second stage of too much liquor began to come over me.

The second stage of being drunk concerns the mind. My mind took over my body, which was aching from my efforts to throw up and for some reason my mind conjured up this theory that I was about to go the way of my father. I was convinced I was about to die and I needed an ambulance.

Me: Call the ambulance.

Panama: What? No.

Me: Call them, now. I need you to do that, I’m about to die here. I swear.

Panama: You don’t need an ambulance, you need to pass out. Come on. Get up, let’s go to bed.

Me: No! Please! Call the ambulance, or wait, call my boy.

One of my boys, who I was with that night, just graduated from medical school and about to begin his residency as an Emergency Medicine Physician. For the sake of this story, we will call him ER.

I told Panama my password, so she could unlock my phone and made her make the call, and I could hear her telling ER everything I was doing. “Give me the phone!” I yelled.

Me: ER, I’m about to die. I swear. I’m going the route my father. Tell me what I need to do. I don’t want to die, man.

ER: Hey, hey, Jozen. Do you know what it means when you say you’re about to die?

Me: What?

ER: It means you’re still alive! Now drink some fucking water and get your ass to bed. Pass out.

Me: You don’t even know what you’re talking about! You don’t know what’s going on over here!

I hung up the phone and turned to Panama. “He hasn’t even done his residency yet. He doesn’t know shit. Call the ambulance!”

By this time, I’m hyperventilating or at least I think I am. I continue to try and throw up, to the point where my stomach is cramping up. And my drunk mind has taken over my common sense entirely. I’m convinced I’m going to die and I tell Panama, beg her practically, to please call the ambulance.

Panama finally obliged and just as I heard her talking to the 911 Emergency operator, I blacked out right in the toilet bowl. I know I blacked out because I don’t remember being lifted up on the stretcher. I don’t remember anything except for the cold February air hitting my skin as I was being taken from Panama’s house to the ambulance truck. And I also remember being asked by one of the EMT workers, “Dude, are you sure you want to go with me? You’ll feel a lot better in the morning waking up to her.”

I would’ve given him the middle finger as my answer, but I passed out again and didn’t wake up until the next morning in a hospital, with an IV stuck to my arm. When I turned my head to the left, I saw Panama was there, asleep in a chair, hoodie covering her eyes.

A bond was formed.

Categories: guys, Stories, women Tags:

Home For The Holidays

December 24th, 2009 15 comments

To all the folks who are home for the holidays or away from home on the holidays, a story before I take the next four days off from blogging.

For the first 26 years of my life, I woke up Christmas morning at my house with my mom and my sister. It was a tradition I appreciated more so after I started attending college clear across the country and couldn’t come home but once a year. Thanksgiving, Easter, even my birthday, none of those occasions were important enough for me to make the trip home, but Christmas always was.

Then, two years ago, tradition went undone.

I did it for my girlfriend at the time. Her family wasn’t nearly as big on the Christmas holiday as mine was. Her family was all about Thanksgiving and since she just moved out to New York City to be with me four months prior, I compromised. Instead of going home for Christmas to be with my family, I would go to her home to be with her family for Thanksgiving. Seeing that both our families only lived a two-hour drive away from one another, I would still get a chance to see my mom and my sister.

At the time, breaking tradition didn’t really faze me. As a matter of fact, I was kind of excited about my first Christmas in New York with a woman who at the time I thought was going to be with me at every Christmas moving forward. To me, it felt like something adults did.

But when we arrived back in New York City after Thanksgiving, everything between us was rocky and I don’t even remember why. Thinking back on it, maybe it was the stress of the holidays or maybe there was a little resentment from me regarding my not going home for Christmas. Whatever it was, Christmas time 2007 was a roller coaster ride and it took it’s biggest dip on Christmas Eve.

We had some argument, about what, again I can’t remember. But I do remember it being a perfect excuse for me to leave the apartment and get some last minute Christmas shopping done, all for her. I cannot emphasize this enough. My ex-girlfriend and I got into a huge argument on Christmas Eve, so I left the apartment to go and finish up some last minute Christmas shopping for her. The way I saw it, naughty behavior withstanding, she deserved everything I planned to get her and I was determined to get these things.

The way I figured out what to get my ex was real simple. Whenever the two of us went walking around the city, I would pay attention to things she said she liked and if I could afford those things, I would make a mental note to buy it for her for Christmas. This started around the beginning of December, so I had three weeks worth of stuff she casually mentioned she would like stored in my memory bank, the last of which I wasn’t able to get to until Christmas Eve.

Since we were arguing, I decided to take my time getting the gifts, figuring the space would be good for both of us. I went downtown, midtown, uptown, and even back downtown. All in all, I probably spent close to five hours shopping and walking and thinking.

As I stepped off the subway to walk home, I received a call from my girlfriend asking where I was and where had I been. I could already hear the confrontation in her voice, but seeing as I was carrying a bag full of gifts for her, I wasn’t about to start arguing with her. There were too many trash cans nearby for me to throw the bags in. So I told her I was around the corner and I would be home in five minutes.Then, I hung up.

Then, I got home, walked upstairs to the apartment, turned the key, opened the door and was immediately stopped. My girlfriend locked me out of the apartment. She took the chain bolt and latched it on and would not let me into the apartment. On Christmas Eve, with a bag full of gifts, I was locked out of our apartment.

After what felt like forever but was probably only 10 minutes, she let me inside and from there of course we argued some more. And I still cannot recall what about, but I definitely do know it had something to do with the nerve of her locking me out of the apartment on Christmas Eve.

Eventually, we both got tired of arguing with one another, and went to bed, with our backs facing each other. Seeing as it was Christmas and all, I refused to sleep on the couch, per her request. But something happened the next morning to the both of us.

I don’t remember why were so happy, acting as though we hadn’t argued in like 50 years, but I do remember the sun was shining straight into our bedroom. I remember being excited about giving her the gifts and her giving me mine and how great those gifts were. (Two tickets to see Chris Rock at Madison Square Garden for New Year’s Eve and a pick-up ticket for one of my suits she had tailored for me.) Then, we opened the gifts our parents sent to us. After the gift giving, we went to the Upper West Side to go grocery shopping because we had this urge to make a huge Christmas breakfast. We did that and then we went to the movies to go see The Great Debaters. After, we took a long walk home, and when we got there, had some hot chocolate, watched some television, and went to bed, not with our backs facing each other. Our first Christmas away from our families, complete.

And I know I said I don’t remember why were so happy on Christmas morning, especially when just the night before we were at each others throats. But in retrospect, I remember exactly why we were happy: We were together on Christmas and whatever we fought about the day before took a back seat to the fact that  we loved each other dearly.

If there’s one tradition I have always kept with me on Christmas, it is the tradition of waking up that morning to someone I love. For 26 years of my life, those people were my mom and my sister, and for the past two years tradition has righted itself, and it has been my mom and my sister again. But for one year, it was another woman, and though I will never forget it was the same woman who locked me out of an apartment on Christmas Eve, the memory I will keep close with me, is waking up to her on Christmas Day.

Happy Holidays y’all. Make sure to spend them with people you love.

Categories: Stories Tags:

And I Quote…

December 23rd, 2009 15 comments

Quoting oneself is one of the most egotistical, self-involved acts we can indulge ourselves in and since I am egotistical and self-involved, I quote myself often. But as someone who writes not for myself but for an audience of any size, there is nothing more flattering than when someone quotes me because I myself am a fan of the good quote. To me,  it’s like the next great song: I haven’t heard it yet, but I’m always in search of it.

Those who know me know like to say I write the way I talk, and I find that to be a good thing, because even when I’m talking, I’m writing.  If I say something I like, I write it down and put it away so maybe I can use it for later. Sometimes, a simple phrase I have in my head is nothing more than that, but sometimes, it’s the first step towards another 800 or so words. Even the title of this blog came out of a casual conversation I was having with a friend of mine when we were talking about some crazy night we had in New York. “Man, I’m telling you, until I get married, I’m rolling just like that.”

Today, I’m lacking the energy to come up with a single focused rant on a specific topic, so I have decided instead to write a bunch of quotes about things related to love, relationships, dating, and sex. Think Esquire magazine’s, “What I’ve Learned”.

All of these are things I have said in casual conversations with friends on Twitter, or maybe even in a past blog entry. I encourage everyone to quote them aloud to friends and family,  share them in status messages on a platform of your choosing, or put them on Twitter. I have no idea if they’re worthy of such treatment, but if they are, you’re welcome.

And please, feel free to share any words of wisdom you have either come up with yourself or heard from others. Just please, make it original, none of that “I love you is never having to say you’re sorry” type of stuff.

RE: SEX ON THE FIRST DATE

All women have that no-sex-on-the-first-date rule, and all women want a reason to break it.

RE: BUYING DRINKS FOR A WOMAN

I don’t buy a drink until 2:00, because usually by that time, all they really need is a bottle of water.

If she’s empty-handed, don’t do it.

RE: BEING FRIENDS WITH AN EX

You weren’t friends in the first place, so why bother? You can’t bring a two-seater sports car back to the lot and ask for an SUV.

The key to being cool with an ex is dating someone who was cool in the first place.

RE: THE RIGHT TIME TO HAVE SEX WITH SOMEONE

If you ever thought it was too soon, then it wasn’t that good.

RE: BIRTHDAY SEX AS A GIFT

There’s nothing special about birthday sex. That’s like wrapping my television, talking about SURPRISE!

Bring another woman into the mix. That’s a gift.

RE: NEVER TALKING AGAIN

Time will take care of that, trust me.

RE: LIVING WITH A WOMAN OR A MAN

The relationship goes into dog years. After just one year of living with that person, you will feel like you’ve been with them for seven years.

You see them go to the bathroom, and you have to act like that’s perfectly okay, like it’s natural, because it is. But then later on, when she wants to get busy, you have to act like you never saw it.

RE: THE RIGHT TIME TO BREAK UP WITH SOMEONE

When you’re mad at the person, that’s not a good enough reason. It’s when you’re mad at yourself for dealing with the person that it’s time to move on.

RE: MARRIED MEN

We are not alike, and if we are, that’s a problem.

RE: THE TREATMENT OF WOMEN

Why treat her as though they were my mom or my sister when she wouldn’t treat me like her father or brother? I haven’t always been the perfect son or the perfect brother, but no matter what I’ve done, my mom and my sister never wanted to disown me. But when I haven’t been the perfect boyfriend, those girls bounce.

You can treat a woman right and still do the wrong thing, and sometimes, that’s all it takes.

RE: CRYING OVER A WOMAN

I’ve seen men cry and I’ve seen men cry over a woman, and the difference is like the difference between practice and a real game.

RE: DATING ME

It’s a lot of fun, a lot of work.

I will never beat you, I can promise you that. But the whole breaking-your-heart-thing, that might happen.

RE: LYING

I have always regretted it, even when I never got caught because I always wonder what would happen if  I just would’ve told the truth.

There is no lying. There’s just two truths to every story, one of which is made up.

RE: THE TRUTH

There’s consequences to that too, and they’re almost always easier to deal with than the ones we suffer because of lying.

When I have told the truth, I never question the outcome because everything that happened is exactly what was supposed to happen.

RE: BEING SINGLE

Trust me, I’m doing every woman a favor right now.

Categories: dating, quotables, writing Tags:

Five Things That Make Me Want To Marry Her Instantly

December 22nd, 2009 29 comments

This list is a lot different from the one I wrote a two months ago (“A Rather Odd List Of Things That Turn Me On“) because whereas the list of things that turn me on get my attention, this list of things get my heart. Theyhave more to do with her character and the type of woman she is, than what she does for me.

For example, in the post of odd list of things that turn me on, I say I love a woman who can make me a good taco, because I do. That is a turn on. But a woman who doesn’t know the first thing about making a good taco, so she calls my mom up to find out how she used to make tacos for me, then gives it a try herself…that woman has my heart.

So here it is: Five things that make me want to marry her instantly.

SHE DOESN’T WANT A WEDDING

I don’t want a wedding either! Great! Let’s go to the Justice of the Peace, handle our business, and have the party to end all parties at a reception with friends.

SHE LOVES THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS

A woman who is down to watch the game is a turn on, but a woman who has grown up loving the same football team I love will get me to the altar quicker than a quarterback can say, “HUT!” I dated a woman last year who was a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan just like me and she still has a piece of my heart.

SHE DOESN’T LIKE ROLLER COASTERS

I hate roller coasters, absolutely deplore them as a matter of fact. There is no reason I want to go that high that fast all upside down and stuff. So it feels good to know the woman I’m dating will never be the type to drag me by my hand to some hair-raising contraption, talking about, “Oh come on, don’t be a baby!”

SHE HAS THE SAME SLEEPING PATTERN AS ME

I’ve written at length about how frustrating it is to date someone whose sleep regimen is the polar opposite of my own, but I can’t stress how important this is. I truly do believe the woman who is meant for me is the woman who wants to be in bed by 12 a.m. and up by 6 a.m.

SHE FORWARDS ME ARTICLES ABOUT THINGS I CARE ABOUT

“Saw this article, and I thought you might find it interesting. Check it out and we can talk about it.”

I don’t remember what the article was about, but I do remember receiving this email from a woman I once dated and thinking how I would so marry her if it wasn’t for the fact that she went to bed all late and loved riding roller coasters.

Categories: Uncategorized, women Tags:

On Laughing

December 21st, 2009 22 comments

Last night, as I was getting into my bed, from the kitchen, I heard my mom laugh. Then, right behind her, my step-dad laughed too. They weren’t guffaws, the kinds of laughs that come from the gut, they were chuckles, stuttered, and through the teeth. One might even say, they were audible smiles.

It made my night, to hear those laughs, because, I honestly can’t remember hearing my mom ever laugh like that with any man. Well, any man besides her son of course. One time, when I was in the fourth grade, one of my homework assignments was to use the week’s list of spelling words in a story. And I don’t remember the exact combination of words I used in this one sentence of the story, but I do remember telling my mom the sentence, while we were driving in the car. I remember thinking it was funny when I wrote it so I wanted to share it with her and sure enough it made her laugh. I mean laugh, like, wiping-tears-from-her-eyes laugh. And that made me feel so good, to make my mom laugh so hard and I think it was then I kind of understood how important it is to make any woman I care about laugh.

If I were to ask the women I dated to list the reasons why they liked me so much, let my ability to make them laugh be in all of their top three. It’s important to me, because laughter is the sound happy makes, and I don’t only want to do it in public for everyone else to see, but in private too. Especially in private. When it’s just me and her acting as audience to each other.

When a joke has hit my woman right, and got her laughing to the point where whatever she was doing would have to wait until her laughing ceased, I never forget those jokes. The funniest jokes we tell to one another are like the greatest sex we have with one another. We don’t ever forget, and when we go back to that place in our heads, they stir up nothing but good feelings.

Men who want to stare angrily at the other men staring at their woman act as though their intensity will make men back off. But nothing says “back off” like a man making his woman laugh. No man will touch such a moment.

Things I will tell my son or any young man who asks me about love will include: Always try to be the funniest man she ever dated, and I don’t care if one of her ex-boyfriends is named Chris Rock or Eddie Murphy. Crack her up. But be careful because once a funny man, always a funny man, and if she’s not laughing like she used to it isn’t because you’re any less funny. At some point in the relationship, she had the schtick down pat, could see the jokes coming from a mile away, and still she laughed. So why did she stop? Why is she now rolling her eyes when you make a funny instead of showing her teeth? There’s something else wrong and you need to figure out what that is before giving up and going out with your boys to meet new girls who will laugh at your old jokes.

Because there is nothing more addictive than the sound of a woman’s laugh, whether it’s from our mom, our partner or the woman checking us out at the grocery store. Good laughs are like the great songs I hear on the radio, or a great quote I hear from someone else’s mouth, they stick. I never forget the good ones, the ones like I heard last night from my mother and my step-dad. They were the sound of happy.

More About The Writer

December 18th, 2009 7 comments

Sorry everyone, the three hour time difference has my mind playing tricks on me. Right now, it’s not even noon over here in Cali, but I know back in New York, where I’m usually blogging, it’s already going on 3 p.m.

That being said, instead of racing the clock, trying to give everyone something before 5 p.m. EST (2 p.m. PST), I’m going to hit you all with a couple of links to things I did outside of the blog over the last week..

But before I even get into that, I want to encourage all of you to go pick up the latest issue of ESSENCE magazine. Page 62, bottom right-hand page, you will see a brief write-up about Until I Get Married. I want to thank Demetria Lucas, Relationships Editor at ESSENCE for her continued support. And of course, I also want to thank all of you, the readers.

Yes Demetria and I are cool people outside of the work place, but trust me, she didn’t give me the ESSENCE look just because we’re friends. She did it because she saw how many of you all continue to support my work. I have a lot of friends in real life who support my blog, and every time I see them face-to-face I make sure to thank them, but to all the people I have never had the good fortune of meeting in the real world, let me extend a special thanks to all of you. All the emails, Facebook friend requests, Twitter shout-outs, and comments mean a lot to me, and I will continue to work hard for all of you. The way I see it, we’re in this together. My writing, your reading, both are labors of love and I can’t think of a better way to reward your patience and support than continuing to come up with the type of content that make you all mad, happy, laugh, seethe, and eye-roll. Things like this:

One day this will all pay off, I will be a big deal, and all of  my readers will see me on TV or the page of a magazine and say, “Pssshhhh, I stopped reading Jozen a long time ago. He got too Hollywood, but he used to be good.” Or something else along those lines.

Thank you a million times over. See you all next week.

Now for the links, click on each headline to go to the story.

Lil Wayne’s “Rebirth”: An Early Listen To The Leaked Songs

The Roots’ “Sandwiches”: Jimmy Fallon’s House Band Gives Away Jams Free of Charge

Anika Noni Rose Talks About “The Princess and The Frog”

Categories: guys, writing Tags:

On Passion

December 17th, 2009 40 comments

Passion, that thing right there is a doozy. For men especially.

It’s different from love, different from strong feelings for someone or thing. It isn’t shown through textbook phrases, because nobody ever says, “I feel passionate for you.” Passion is a show-me type of thing, a look-what-I-did-for-you type of thing; never expressed in words, only in actions.

Before a man has any type of passion for a woman, he desires her, he likes her a lot. He may even love her. But passion comes later, often times last, because when a man is passionate about a woman it means he’s had her all and he doesn’t want any of that to leave. Not ever.

Passion makes men do stupid things that at the time seem like the smartest things in the world. Things like, looking online to buy a $600 airplane ticket just so you can patch things up with the woman you feel most passionate about. She doesn’t ask you to do it, tries to discourage you from doing it, but you think, Maybe if I do this, you will understand that I don’t just love you. I don’t just have strong feelings for you. I am passionate about you and keeping you in my life. Oh yeah, passion also makes us do things like type emails in all italic letters just so we can emphasize our feelings.

What’s the difference between passion and love? I think love can be extended no matter the distance. Like I always told my ex, “We don’t have to be together to love each other.” But passion? Passion is about doing whatever it takes to stay with the person we love. Whatever. It. Takes. Passion kills. Think O.J. Simpson. Think Bengals Wide Receiver, Chris Henry. Men, think about you and the lengths you’ve gone to keep a woman in your life. Go into debt, get into trouble, act a fool, all of that. Passion.

Men are passionate about becoming men first, loving a woman, second. So what they do is they concentrate on things that don’t entirely have to do with loving a woman. They’re passionate about things like sports, establishing a career for themselves, making money and becoming caretakers. Then, when they find a woman they do love, the same mentality they took to something like establishing their career is the same mentality they have in making her happy. And with the same passion they exhibited when it came time to fix a mistake they made on the job, they will exhibit when it comes time to fix whatever needs to be fixed in the relationship.

Passion is messy, out of control, and it’s understood to be those things. When people say they love someone, but mess up, the victim of said person’s mistake always says, “But I thought you loved me.” Because we think love means right, never means wrong. But passion? Passion means being wrong and trying over and over and over again to be right.

Love is quite simply love. It’s complicated, sure, but only like Algebra is complicated. Even a few idiots are able to understand Algebra. Passion, on the other hand,  is straight calculus because it’s more than love. It’s love, hate, happiness, sadness, anger, and joy all wrapped into one. Fools need not apply to it.

Even as I sit here typing this, I’m wondering if any of these words about passion are making sense  and coming out the way I want them too. But I’m not quite sure, I just know this morning, I saw the story about Chris Henry, who died after falling out of the back of the truck his fiancee was driving. According to the news reports, they were in a domestic dispute, and as  she was driving away, Henry hopped into the back of the truck, in what I can only assume was his attempt at making her stay. As a result, he lost his life.

And I don’t know that man, as a matter of fact, he played for the team that I, as a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, am raised to hate. But when I saw the news and I saw how it came to this – a man running after a car as though he could actually catch it with his bare hands and hold it in his arms – I understood what he was doing. He was doing what all men do when they feel passionate about anything; he risked his life to go after it. That’s deeper than love, that’s passion, and that thing right there is a doozy.

Categories: on something, women Tags: