They say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, but after a recent visit there, I learned a valuable lesson that I took back home with me: We have to improve the way we get women drinks at parties.
When we talk about intimacy, we often conveniently leave out the part about vulnerability. Getting close with our partners requires more than getting naked in front of them, it’s showing imperfections we don’t want anyone to see.
Anyone who has spent a significant amount of time around me knows I’m not nearly as smooth as I appear to be. I know I may come off as someone who is like water because on this blog or on social media, I’m well-spoken, articulate, and quick-witted, but I’m only not clumsy with my words. Physically, in person, I am fidgety, at times unkempt, and have the robotics of a clown. I may sound and at times dress like Stefan, but I move like Urkel.
My clumsiness, my tendency to run into stuff, to break and spill things, to slip and fall without anyone’s help used to not be a big deal. It used to be something I could laugh about and others would too. As a kid, my lack of spatial awareness could be dismissed by older people as cute. Look at Jozen falling over himself, isn’t that adorable?. In high school, I worked as a busboy, and I dropped so many plates as I took them to the dishwasher you would have thought there was a plate-breaking contest happening. Once again, it was laughed off by me and my co-workers.
Like other awkward parts about me, I figured at some point, this would be something I could grow out of. So instead of trying to be a more graceful person, I just worked on other parts of my game. It was social skills over motor skills.
For the second time in my life, I am going to give cohabitation a shot. There’s a new couch in my living room, a new stand for the television, and a new dresser in the bedroom. Gina has a key to my place, and spends more time there than she does at her place. She is scheduled to be all moved in by the beginning of October, at the earliest, beginning of November the latest.
I have done this before, with someone else, back in 2007-2008. Longtime readers of the blog may remember when I first started writing this blog in 2009, many posts referenced my experiences living with my ex-girlfriend. For a refresher, here is a quick post I wrote almost four years ago. “The One Who Got Away”
One would think having gone through so much after my first experience with living with someone, I would know better than to do it again. That is, after all, how many people feel after they try and fail to do something the first time. They change the rules, convincing themselves such a decision will prevent them from the same outcome as before.
But, I have always maintained, living together wasn’t a mistake. Of course, many mistakes were made, most of them by me, but those mistakes would have been made even if she didn’t live with me. If I’m being honest, the closeness of our living together, the fact that I couldn’t hide (and tried in vain to do so) with the person I shared a bed with every night, is what eventually became my downfall.
In spite of those mistakes, and going through the pain of not only a breakup but it being compounded with her moving out process, I had a blast living with my ex. It was such a good experience, I came away convinced I would do it again, I just needed to be sure I changed things about myself for it to be successful.
The time that has passed since my last experience and this one I’m going into with Gina does not feel like it flew by. I wasn’t an uncle, my biological father was still alive, I never stepped foot inside a therapists’ office, and I had no idea what it was like to live life unemployed. That’s just a brief highlight reel of my experiences post-living with someone, but you get it. Things changed a lot once I was living on my own again. Even though Gina will be moving into the same apartment I once shared with someone else, she is not moving in with the same man who once lived there, and I don’t have the same life I had when I lived with someone the first time.
Last week, after we wrapped up the final episode of House of Cards’ second season, Gina said, “I don’t ever watch that much TV.” That wasn’t shade thrown in my direction, even though I’m the one responsible for getting her hooked on the show. I understood what she meant as do most of us who watch HOC. That show is a marathon, even when we exercise a sort of portion control. Watching only one episode, knowing the next episode is just a click away, is a feat no one I know has figured out how to master.
But her comment did have me thinking how the two of us spend time together. I understand our relationship is still in its newborn phase, but we have spent a significant amount of that time together. Since she’s come into my life, I can honestly say the both of us have spent more time with each other than anyone else. And so there’s enough of a sample size to spot a trend in how we spend time together. When I thought about it, I realized, we very rarely have a quiet night inside watching something on television.
We like to party.
The same weekend we wrapped up House of Cards, we also worked on our individual projects together at a coffee shop. Then there were a couple of hours she spent cleaning up her place while I prepared things for my next trivia night. We were going to go running on Saturday, but what had happened was…We went out on Friday. We probably would have ran on Sunday, but what had happened was…we went out on Saturday. Both nights we were out until at least 3 AM. On Sunday night, went to go see Schoolboy Q and if it wasn’t for the fact that I was exhausted, we might have gone to the dance party that was happening in the same venue afterward.
I thought to myself, Damn, I haven’t slowed down since I’ve been in a relationship. If anything, I’m out more.
Guys, I don’t know if you know this but the bar to impress women has been lowered. The bar is so low we don’t even need to walk underneath it anymore. We can hop right over it. I don’t know exactly when this happened nor how it happened, though I do know I can point the blame to my no-good brethren. You guys have not been about a damn thing for so long, you got guys like myself out here looking like Jordan, and I can’t even dunk!
The bad news is, it’s built up a lot of cynism from women. The bar is lowered because frankly, women are tired of holding it up so high and seeing all us guys with our pathetic hops, fall short. So now these women are holding this bar right at their waste with nothing but attitude.
The good news is, there’s hope for us yet. I truly believe because of “Basketball Wives” and “Real Housewives” women who married into their fabulous lifestyle are less desirable than ever. Don’t get me wrong, the modern woman still loves nice things, but they have a more “Sex and The City” I-can-get-it-myself type attitude. Women don’t need men to make them fancy anymore. They don’t even want us to do that sort of thing.
You know what they want?
The bare freakin’ minimum.
Allow this list of five simple things to be your guide, fellas. Trust me when I say, if you do any one of these things or even all five (which is completely doable) the women will be lining up at your doorstep asking YOU out.
So no one will ask me at the end of the article what I think about Drake’s new album, Take Care, let me be clear: I like the album and I’ve had trouble playing anything else since I first listened to my leaked copy last week. Not only do I like the album because of its crisp production and Drake’s better-than-good skills as an MC, I like the album for all the reasons most others say they hate it.
Some say, It’s too emotional; I like it because it’s emotional. Some say he sings on it way too much, I don’t like it when he sings all the time either, but that strike against him isn’t enough to change my overall opinion on the album. Some say the combination of Drake’s emotional lyrics and constant singing make for a soft album, I say the art of the quiet, ambient rap album is under-appreciated, but I digress.
What I appreciate most about Take Care is the way it’s revealing how people really feel about men who not only are expressive about their feelings, but also men who know how to feel something, anything for the women who have come in and out of their life. Before Drake, the most emotional rapper I ever listened to was Tupac, and even if he wasn’t singing on half his records (he usually got singers to handle those duties), he talked about his struggle to make it work with another woman often. For years ‘Pac has been my go-to-artist when I was down about a woman, and by no means does Drake replace him, but he certainly adds to that otherwise small group of artists who can actually rap to how I’m feeling.
Now before everyone gets all up in their chest about me including ‘Pac in the same paragraph as Drake, take heed. By no means am I saying Drake is as good as ‘Pac…matter of fact, let’s move on. If you think that’s what I’m saying you’re not as smart as you think.
The title of this post is to denote two very random thoughts I had separate from one another but before I get into them, a response to some of the friendly and kind criticism I have received for not writing more often and when I do write, keeping the posts short.
People, you must chill.
I’m trying new things here, some of which involve writing shorter because the ability to do so is what separates great writers from people who want to be great writers. Mark Twain once said:
I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead
To my readers who have aspirations of writing or are pursuing a career in this field, remember that.
When I feel like I have something thoughtful to write about, I’ll do so at length. Also, I’m thinking about writing more about random topics, even if they have nothing to do with relationships. As most of you know, I write for a living, so I’ve entertained the idea of opening up the blog to include more of the things I write about in the pros. Who knows? Maybe I’ll give some back story behind a story I’ve written for some publication. Be on the look out for that, if it happens at all.
Okay, now that we have the formalities out of the way, onto black boxers and a weird girl I dated in high school.
There are a lot of things women told me they do because a man said they should.
Plenty of men do the same; take advice from a woman and apply it in hopes of landing more women. I don’t fault any woman who once heard a pearl of wisdom from a man and ran with it to increase the likelihood of her finding another man. I believe when it comes to advice about the opposite sex, seek it from the opposite sex.
But there is once piece of advice I wish women would stop entertaining, and it often comes from men. To paraphrase, it goes like this: “If you want a man to take you seriously, you need to make him wait for sex. Give it up too soon, that respect goes out the window.”
I had a real reaction when I heard about Nate Dogg’s death this morning. This is not to say I cried, or shed tears, but I did freeze up for a second. After all, I did grow up to the man’s music.
Like many who heard the news, I couldn’t believe it. Though I was more than aware of the strokes he suffered in 2007 and 2008, last I heard things weren’t getting any worse. If I can recall correctly, my former colleague at VIBE, Keith Murphy even did an interview with him in 2008. It was something small for VIBE, but I can’t really recall exactly what the story was, what I do remember is Keith telling me his condition was improving. Unfortunately, the man passed away last night at the young age of 41.
Of course, I immediately went into my catalog and dug up some of my favorite Nate Dogg records. In doing so, I had to chuckle to myself as I bobbed my head and sang along. If there’s one thing I have to give props to Nate Dogg for, it was the way he sang some of the lewdest, harshest lyrics about women and made them sound so, well, nice. Nate Dogg, for better or for worse, was one of the rudest singers ever, which may make a tribute to him sound like a smoothed-out playlist of woman bashing.
But every now and then, Nate Dogg would sing something a bit more female friendly. In honor of hip-hop’s greatest singer and his unfortunate passing, a list of the five Nate Dogg sounds a man can play and sing along to (if he dares) for his lady.
A holiday special! In this episode Jozen discusses hooking up with a good friend for the first time, relocating in the name of love, and why he wants to know what his readers look like in the latest installment of the Poppin’ Questions Podcast.
Take a listen, download, subscribe to iTunes via PodOmatic and click here to submit any questions for consideration on the next Poppin’ Questions Podcast or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org