Monday, February 28, 2005

It's a Free Country and I B' weave in America

Beyonce caught in action, minus her weave...

"Is it my imagination or is black women's collective national hairline receding from the weight of extensions and hair weaves?" -Jill Nelson, Straight, No Chaser
How I became a Grown-up Black Woman

I pulled my A-A card in the culmination of Black History Month and in defense of all who choose to take advantage of the liberties of this country and wear hair extentions.

It is a free country and I can wear a weave if I want to. Jill Nelson accuses Black women of self-hatred, wearing "yards of blonde" to avoid the acceptance of themselves. I guess if one should be self-accepting they may not par take in this form of self improvement. I wouldn't be surprised though if she wears acrylic nails. I guess because all races run to paint french tips on chemically engineered (cancer causing I'm sure...) nails this isn't self-hatred at all.

I LOVE myself, I wear weave and I shouldn't feel any slack for it. This is America, we're at war with Terrorism. I should not live in fear of someone spreading a picture of me without my extentions. I should never hear a guy say he doesn't date a girl with a weave (especialy when I can see his girlfriend's tracks). I should not have to feel a bit of shame when my braids slip out in public and have to hide it before others notice. Neither should I have to hear a song in the club I paid 15 of my hard earned dollars, telling me NOT to raise my hand...all because of the authenticity of my hair. This is an extention of terror and something should be woven into the constitution to protect my rights.

In further defense, I have extentions to grow my relaxer out. I am taking that self-embracing step to go natural. My extentions are blonde because they can be,I paid for it and Zuki Liu at the hair store said it looked nice. This weave matter is obviously multiracial.

In addition to that, hair weaves are more acceptable today than ever. Everyone on T.V. wears them. Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears, That Gotti woman, Nicole Richie and her dog.
Yep, all weave. Perhaps, you are thinking 'well, these aren't exactly...ahem...quality names.' Well, Halle's curly mass of hair, any sighting of Whitney Houston after 1983, Michael Jackson, and Oprah. Yes, Oprah has a weave!!! She's has enough money to replace every part of her body. Don't be surprised her hair isn't real.

My parents came to this country to ensure that I could be anything I wanted to be. All this darn freedom and no one takes advantage of it! Think of it as an extention of my self esteem and not a demerit. Weave me alone! I weave because I'm happy and weave because I 'm free...I wrote this to vent and take up for 'B.

I got your back girl.
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Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Oscars and the Grouch

"Are you throwing an Oscar's party or are you going to Ben's?" Um, I'm sorry...are we referring to the Oscar's or the Superbowl?

When it comes to the Oscar's I am certainly Oscar the Grouch. I'm the girliest of girls and I couldn't give two hoots about the red carpet or what Halle Berry and Nicole Kidman wore to yet another awards show. Well, alright I care but I don't need to actually WATCH the darn thing to find out. I buy "In Touch Weekly" and the line is always long at Super Wal-mart.

Seriously, the primary reason I am not too particular about the show is I don't watch "Oscar movies". Was "Legally Blonde" or "You've Got Mail" ever nominated for an award? No? How about movies with Chris Tucker or Jim Carrey? No? Then really what's the point? No one sees the movies nominated anyway. Of all the movies listed ( It's really 8-10 just nominated over and over) I may have only seen Collateral, Ray, and Shrek2. And Shrek better take home an Oscar!

So since this is a self-help blog...Here is a guide for those like myself who really couldn't care less for this year's Oscar's. After all, every one is talking about it and you don't want seem like a grouch.

• There is an official site Yep, and the producer of the show even has a blog.
• Chris Rock is the host. That's a reason to watch if there ever was one. He doesn't even like the Oscars and has made that clear in recent interviews.
• "Million Dollar Baby" is not about smuggling diamonds from Africa in the diapers of babies. Nor is it about some expensive kid. As long as you know that, who cares what it's about.
• You want Jamie Foxx to win best actor for his performance in "Ray". If he doesn't win there will be a riot transcending across all races and socio-economic status. Clarify what side you are on now.
• There are other categories such as music, costume design, sound mixing and editing, visual effects. These are negligible. If you have seen any of the movies nominated for these categories and they aren't nominated for anything else...they don't count as "Oscar movies". For example, "Troy" "Spider-Man2" and "Harry Potter"
• "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "The Passion" weren't nominated for best picture, documentary or much of anything else. Have an opinion about that.
• Don Cheadle has always been a talented actor and acts his butt off in every film...though you can't think of any right away (unless you are me) Here are a few: "Rosewood", "Ocean's Eleven", "Devil in a Blue Dress", "Swordfish" and "Boogie Nights".

Now you are set. You can go to work on Monday,add to the distracting dialogue and not seem grouchy. If you are advanced, go to the Oscar party. There's going to be dip...and we all like dip.
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Friday, February 25, 2005

Nothin' Feeds a Family of Six Like a Bucket O' Crabs

The "crabs in a bucket" concept is often used to illustrate the incohesiveness and disunity of a people or community. However, when I think of crabs in a bucket I think of family night when I still lived at home. Bad day at work, Mom and Dad? Bad report card, Bro? Just want to be left alone, sis? Is it only the 2nd night of a month-long phone punishment? Well have no fear...nothing brings my family together like a bucket o' snow crabs!

Even now in our teens and early adulthood, if my Mommy and Daddy came home from the grocery with some crabs...Even on a Saturday night with movie tickets in better believe we will be present and accounted for. 'Cause my little brother is just waiting for you to be 10 minutes late so he can eat your share and pretend he thought it was his.

I look back on these moments with warmth and tenderness in my heart. I am a cancer and you know we crabs are sentimental. I love my immediate family; we are a tight-knit bunch. While most families get together with other families on holidays, my family makes it a point to have no outsiders. We stay at home, ignore the doorbell and may take a call or two. Like hermit crabs. But we have a bucket o'laughs.

It wasn't always this way. Like every healthy teenager, I couldn't stand my parents. Loved them to pieces, just...couldn't stand them. But the thing is, they couldn't stand me either. I was a crabby little girl trying to make it in America with loving but over-protective parents who watched just a little too much of CNN and "60 minutes" specials on out of control teens. You don't know if a crab is going to just pass on by or attack you, same with moody cancer teens frequently on phone punishment. I am sure there were a few times they plotted my death mentally...for their safety. I understand, it was self-defense. As an adult, I feel like I am meeting my parents for the first time. The funniest, most profound, well-educated attractively cynical personality...stuffed inside the cutest 5 foot middle-aged woman you have ever seen. And the sweetest man who listens to me, takes care of me, calls to see how I am doing almost everyday...sends me Valentines in the mail and has the greatest fashion sense. The man of my dreams except he's (of course) taken, and a bit too old for me...and my dad.

My siblings are my posse, my heart, my team. The four of us been forced to share one bed in numerous cramped hotel rooms and suffer through 12-hour car's kinda natural for us to commune in the closet and discuss South Park...just for kicks.

Search for those who are still there for you after you put them in a pot of boiling water. (And vise-versa) Cherish the love of the hard-fought, not the uneventful.

I have the unconditional love, support and outrageous humor of my family and they have helped me through some TOUGH times. No matter what has happened we still remain closer than ever. So as for the "crabs in a bucket" family never holds me back for their gain and if we are all present...every last one of those crabs are coming out.
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How to Lose a Mate in 10 Days

I LOVE this movie. It always lifts my spirits like a new sweet smelling salt scrub. (Guys, this is equivalent to a new video game or the Monday morning after your favorite team wins the game of the weekend.) I am a hopeless romantic and they of course, end up together.
But c’mon! There isn’t a bit of realism present in the entire film. They fall in love, IN LOVE now, in ten days. I repeat… ten days, in New York City. If the movie wasn’t so funny and Matthew McConaughey so cute, the movie would be sooo depressing. I can’t manage to have three dates with a man in ten days. Have you been dating someone for 8 weeks unable to get them to commit to you exclusively? Guys, do you wish your girl of a billion years could play cards (or PlayStation 2) and for just once hang out with your friends? Then don’t watch this movie. She brought him a love fern for goodness sake! A plant. And she never lost the guy so we didn’t learn anything. What are your turn-offs? I challenge you to revisit those painful moments when it was in fact you who pulled the plug on the operation. But because I am itching to put another list together…

How To Lose A Mate In 10 Days or any specified amount of time.
(Why? Because I'm an expert)

• Tell him you love him first. Tell him you love him the first month, week, or year. Tell him you love him on the first date, first day of the month, first time you meet his dog…Anything with “first” in it.

• Miraculously befriend her evil, cheating ex-boyfriend.

• During your first overnight stay, use the last of her Victoria’s Secret shower gel when she specifically laid out the Dove soap for you.

• Utter the phase “are you a new chapter in my life or just a footnote” on the first day or date.

• Over dinner, mention the exact number of people you’ve slept with…especially if it’s a three-digit number.

• Jokingly accuse her of stealing your wallet when the waitress brings the check

• Say you are going to the restroom and cruise around for hotties. Take your time after all, your date has nothing better to do.

• Explain that you forgot your toothbrush…while brushing your teeth with their toothbrush. Love is sharing and this way you are saying it first. (see #1)

Lastly, Guys show up at her place at 12:53am without calling on a Tuesday night. You are surprising her with dinner so have YOUR favorite Chinese entree, Swedish meatballs and Hawaiian bread that feeds two. Bring Roman candles and the best bottle of sangria you can find. When she opens the door, French kiss her immediately. Don't let her talk, you are trying to be exotic. If she insists on breathing, rub noses like the Eskimos do. She's going to ask you what you're doing and tell you she's going to bed. Insist that you lead her prayers tonight and explain that the night's theme is International. When she gives you the easily identifiable look of puzzlement...lean in and whisper in her ear... "Tonight I'm taking you around the world, missionary style."

If she has a real job in the morning and was deep in sleep when you showed up, you lost her...for good.
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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Food Harlot

It is Lenten season and I don’t particularly observe lent. I live in a predominantly Catholic city so I am usually the only one in McDonald’s on a Friday night ordering a double yes, double quarter-pounder with cheese combo. Part of me shows up on Fridays with the hopes that one day they are just going to give me a discount…or a free beef sandwich that they were otherwise going to throw away. So far I have been unsuccessful.

Outside of lent I still am surrounded by picky eaters.

Let’s see we have:
A friend who doesn’t eat chicken.
A friend who doesn’t eat chicken wings.
Someone who doesn’t eat meat on bones. (It reminds them it was once alive)
Countless people who only eat kosher.
Countless people who don’t eat scavengers or bottom-feeders.
Countless people who don’t eat beef or pork.
Countless people who don’t eat meat at all
A number of friends who don’t drink alcoholic beverages.
My cousin who won’t drink regular milk.
A girl who won’t eat onions, at all.
A grown man in his mid-twenties who still won’t eat his vegetables.
My ex-boyfriend is allergic to shell-fish.
My sister hates peanut butter and I have two friends that are breast-feeding so they must watch what they eat.

I on the other hand am not selective in the slightest. I eat everything and I love to eat. When it comes to food I have no discretion. No pickles, no onions? Puh-leeze. As long as its free, I want it on my burger. I will never be that disappointing person you spent $12.95 on at the all-you-can-eat buffet. I take advantage of the variety.

Does your food discrimination or lack thereof, say something about your personality or character?

I just had dinner with a friend. He had pesto chicken pasta. I...crawfish-stuffed pork chops. Crawfish-stuffed PORK CHOPS!!! What kind of person of sound body and mind...? Tomorrow its chicken-fried bacon and moonshine martinis!

One guy I used to date told me that what he found unattractive about me was that I "had no real convictions", that I didn't have strong beliefs and that I "lacked all validity". Yeah, I think his diet consisted of sticks that frequently got caught towards the end of his digestive system and cow manure because he was certainly full of it.

But let's say there is a truth to his statement that is microscopic in size. There are a lot of things that I don't take seriously. I really don't like coleslaw but if I didn't have any money for lunch and it was the only thing in the community fridge at work...I'll eat it. I did so not too long ago. Jill Nelson alluded her strength of conviction during the civil-rights movement to that of her brother when he was three. He hated vegetables and once when his father suddenly tried to force him to eat his peas he gasped, milk flying out of his nose, choking. He would rather risk his life than eat his peas. I on the other hand, love peas. Squash too and chicken gizzards, liver, cow knees...yeah, I don't have real convictions. I have no discretion and am excited to eat! It doesn't take much for me. I open my mouth to anything that's edible. And, yes I eat left-overs, sloppy seconds and thirds.(hahaha, that was funny!) I pose the question again, what does your food(or drink)discrimination or lack thereof say about you?
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He's Just Not That Into You

He's Just Not That Into You
A book that has swept through the millions of single women in America. Every single woman knows at least one person who has read this book. I have read the book 2.5 times. And I highlighted. I am able to admit this because so many women have read this book. There has to be at least one other than myself with yellow lines in her book. Secondly, Wal-mart now has the book on sale for $8.50 when I purchased the book shortly after it's release for $13.99. I am making certain to get my money's worth.

After endless phone conversations about how "on the money" or "one-sided" or even "insensitive" the book is. I decided to take a poll, consider my experiences and those of my friends and situations illustrated by the authors...and compile a list of clues that he is indeed just not that into you. This by all means is not exhaustive, though it is a bit more inclusive. There is something here for everyone!

* If you are reading a book called "He's Just Not That Into You", He's probably not.

* If he could not be your date to the wedding this weekend because he had to stand at the alter... and get married, maybe he's not into you.

* If he brought you a Coke and you specifically asked for a Pepsi...

* If he says he doesn't believe in long-distance relationships and he didn't just graduate from high school. We no longer need our parents permission to go on road trips...He's just not that into you.

* If he takes you to the movies on the other side of town on a Sunday afternoon to "avoid the crowd"...

* If he says that he has commitment issues...(p.s. Yes, this is even if he's 40 with no kids and never been married. He is just not that into you or anyone else)

* If his father always has a heart-attack, or his mother seems to have cancer or his awful, evil ex-wife always wants to call to discuss alimony...when you have a dinner date. He's not that into you. (p.s. even if he always sets the date and you hear his mother choking on the phone. Remember, she had her jaw removed last week, that's why you didn't meet the play he bought tickets for. She's not choking and if she is, she'll be fine.)

* If he steals from you...anything. He's not that into you.

* If he ever calls the police on you...for whatever reason. (p.s. if you are thinking of an instance where he could still be into you after a 911 call, I advice you to abandon it)

* If he's an uncompromising bedmate i.e steals all the covers in the middle of the night, cuts you repeatedly with his toenails, snores like a hippopotamus and pushes you to the edge and God forbid, even off the bed! He's just not that into you. (p.s. yes, even if you are married to him. If you are, I am really sorry)

* If he suddenly "misplaces" or "broke" his phone for long periods of time. (p.s. or habitually)

* He's not that into you if he already has a wife or a girlfriend. (p.s. yes, I have considered the notion that he may not be that into HER if he is seeing you on the side. However, this is not entitled He's not that into her because he's into ME"

* He's not that into you if he's cheating on you. (p.s. I don't strongly agree with this because some cheat on the ones they love. But as the co-author Greg Behrendt puts it, he's not into you enough to be faithful.)

* He's not that into you if you are NOT his girlfriend...and he has made that clear.

* If he drives your car and doesn't EVER put gas in it

* If you two are out together and he walks ahead of you...he's just not that into you and just a jerk.

* If your former flame has a new girlfriend immediately after dating you and she looks like a banshee...he was never that into you.

* If your successful husband all of a sudden decides to mentor a hot, smart and ambitious 22 year old and they are always meeting at the W for drinks...Guess what.

* If he doesn't pay his half of the rent because he is unemployed and the house is not spotless when you get home. Believe me he's not into you, at all.

* If he's not in the mood because he's tired, his back hurts or he's stressed out...he's not that into you and he's cheating.

* If he continues to tease you about your short hair, flat chest, unwanted facial-hair, thunder-thighs or your intense fear of turtles after you repeatedly told him to stop. He's not that into you and he's emotionally abusive.

* He's just not that into you if he says he's just not that into you. (p.s. you can't change his mind so stop trying)
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The Purpose of This Site

In the resent months I have read a large number of books. I decided to "grow" if you will, from the steamy scandals and romantic plots of Danielle Steele, E. Lynn Harris and Eric Jerome Dickey. I have made it a point to read non-fiction. Many of these books are in the embarrassing sub-genre of self-help books. Afterwards, I felt somewhat inspired to share what I had learned; to really examine my life and my experiences(no matter how mundane)critically.

So this is a self-help blog. I am helping myself.(I haven't finished the book about selfishness) Hopefully in the process I will help you. If you feel as though you don't need help, there is a place for commentary. Add to your community service (which I am so sure you do) and help me. I don't really give answers here, I ask questions. But should I come across something I will share. (See, sharing.)
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Ghetto Loser

How many of us are really true to ourselves? If you were really true to yourself you would know that if you mentally raised your right-hand in response to that question...You're are a liar. This is something that comes slowly. So I encourage you to admit your personal lies one by one. I'll go first.

I am not ghetto. I am an urban aspirer. My country-grammar, my down-south slang...All a lie. As a child my proper language was often pointed out by my peers and listening adults. My immigrant parents emphasized the use of proper "queen's English", so really I am a grammar queen. I tried with all my might to use the words of the day and sound cool. "That is so live!" I know I am using the same words as every one else but I sounded like a dork. When I reached high school my ability to imitate the ghetto-sassy was fostered by other middle-class girls like myself alienated by our use of proper English. I was able to wear my new found urban-ability like a magic Starter jacket allowing me to navigate through the halls of my south-side school (or inner-city, if you will) undetected. Like Harry Potter. Now I can pop my neck, roll my eyes and talk slick like the best of them!

What started as a personal joke has now become a part of me. It is the way I correspond with my friends. Especially my best-friends. The word "be" is a verb, noun and adjective in our vocabulary, indicating that no matter how progressive I am...I ain't never too far from da' hood.

I admit it, I am not 'hood. I can't be 'hood. I had to have someone show me where the projects were in middle school. Free lunch? Well, considering I couldn't work at 13... Sure, I had free lunch, from my mommy. Not my mommy. I have no street credibility. I am not Ghetto Barbie. My father now wears my newsboy Kangol hat. My green-colored contacts and baby-phat jeans were purely functional. Green is my favorite color and Baby-Phat jeans fit my butt for $19.99 at TJ-Maxx. TJ-Maxx exists only in Suburbia.

I am not a gangsta gyrl looking for a soldier with the highest baller status. I am a former urban aspirer and I am so grown-up now. There is no room for my polished "street" slang in the halls of higher academia and cocktails with city mayors. With that said... I can blast my Ludacris with a clear conscience.
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Dear John...My Imaginary Partner

I have an imaginary boyfriend.

His name is John. Just John, no last name needed (it’s not like he has to pay taxes or anything). He is 6’2 and 225 pounds of pure unadulterated imagination. John and I talk all the time. Our conversations are flirty, witty, intense, and sensitive. He talks freely about his childhood aspirations and embarrassing crush on Lisa from Saved by the Bell. We laugh at the mere sound of each others voices. He brings out the inner lamer in me. Every time my phone rings I hope it’s him. He’s never hesitant to discuss his shortcomings with me and he doesn’t present them in a way that makes him seem “better and stronger today because of it.” He is not self-righteous. He is just John and just human and embraces that.

He is gainfully employed and passionate about where his career is headed. He has a plan and has made apparent strides towards his goals. His presence inspires me to be better though I know he loves me just the way I am. Sometimes I can even see how I inspire him. He’s so versatile. He has the smile of Morris Chestnut, rugged appeal of Russell Crowe, sexy southern banter of Matthew McConaughey and distinguished swagger of Denzel Washington. Sometimes he’s Gottfried the 7-Up guy, sometimes The Rock. He goes to great lengths to make me happy. He is just that sexy.

He is an attentive and passionate lover. With him I feel whole and no longer ponder what he is thinking, where this is leading, if there is someone else. For the first time in my life I can believe in the good of the moment and breathe. I can breathe instead of pant and scream in attempts to drown out my inner voices telling me he's going to lose interest and stop calling me. Afterwards, he does not spend that annoying hour in the bathroom. I fall asleep first.

He doesn't snore or have nasty smelling feet. He LOVES shopping with me and giving me dresses to try on. He tells me that I am pretty not just because he thinks so, but because he knows I like it. He NEVER looks at other women when we are together. He isn't a booty or boobs guy. He is a soul man, to him this is my best attribute and he loves feelin' on that.

I don't mind if he shows up without calling. Infact, he has a key to my apartment. Depending on the way you look at it we live together-OR-we have a long distance relationship.(Imaginary land is um, next to Montana right?) Either way we don't need space from each other, nor do I feel the distance is tearing us apart. He's a busy guy with lot's of imaginary things to do. I am an understanding person.

He likes jazz...beyond "In a Sentimental Mood" and the Charlie Brown song. He is a gift giver like just now. He got me this nice white spring jacket like the one we saw together at the Gap. Except this one has lots of buckles. Honey, I think I am going to need help putting this on. The buckles are the back...oh. Oh. I get it. He's funny.

I can admit that my partner is a figment of my imagination. Well, because he is. However, some of our partners though real and with us everyday aren't real. Our perfect relationship exists only in our heads. Perhaps we live in that imaginary land called "The Future" waiting, molding, hoping. One day that person will be the person I want him/her to be. My imaginary partner
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It's Not That Easy Being Green...

"You are so green!" I was told my sophmore year of college, refering to my lack of knowledge in the ways of the world. I feel as though I have read that text book on the "ways of the world". I have highlighted its words, folded its pages, jotted my notes. I am still green. Still...that bright hue of lush forests, apple blow-pops and backsides of dollar bills. Or is that mold?...hmm I have grown a great deal since my sophmore year of college however, I am still asking the same questions: Why me? Is this what I really want to do with my life? Why are the shoes I spent a small fortune on 50% off only after I have bought and worn them? Why do I continue to spend a small fortune on shoes?.

I am green because I am no closer to the answer of ANY of my life's questions.Anytime I feel as though I have had a handle on even a small part of life...Oh life hits me dead in the mouth with the green stick. For example, I love the Simpsons. Lisa Simpson carries the frustration of being a young intellect with grace. Though flat chested, she manages to wear a tube dress and it never falls down. I envy her. I have watched the Simpsons faithfully since its creation and owe my sexy wit and hint of cynicism to its influence in my youth. But excuse me? when did they change the voices of the characters? I swear I was sitting in front of the TV the whole time!! I am so green.

"It's not that easy being green...having to spend each day the color of the leaves...When I think it would be nicer being red or yellow or gold...or something much more colorful like that." Kermit is so profound. Personal insecurites to a melody you can actually sing to. The grass couldn't be greener.

Green is for the money, gold is for the honeys. And honey, I would rather take the money. Green is my favorite color. Any shade, any expression of green. Kermit illustrates my daily struggles with self-appreciation in song and in a color in tune with my spirit. What is your favorite color and what is it doing for you?
It's Not That Easy Being Green...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Valentine Phenomena

There is a twilight-zone before the establishment of a committed relationship that 94% of my relationships get caught in. This is called the "what are we?" The endless chill moments, the purgatory of getting to know each other better and better...And better. No pressure, pressure is bad. We are operating under this assumption.

I meet this nice guy. He calls me every day and our conversations are great. We have nice dates, nice restaurants, great movie experiences. He pays, so I think we are dating here. Our first kiss...Nice, very. I have even started to introduce him to my friends...As what? I don't know, this indicates the twilight factor. All I know is that it's February 2 and the next three days are crucial. February 3 or 4 he mysteriously disappears, only to reappear between the 17 and 20th.

This is the Valentine Phenom. It happens to me every year, except when I have an actual established committed relationship. Even then I am half-expecting him to break up with me days before Valentine's day. (hey, it has happened before...) This year I wasn't even surprised when he disappeared, I just looked at the calendar and said "oh, it is Februrary the 4th". I was more upset when he reappeared on the 20th. "I lost my phone." I'm so sure. Really, no excuses needed.

What I really want to know is where do they go? Do they feel at least the slightest pang of guilt amongst all that chocolate, red and roses? Do they have out of body experiences? Like...farewell to the flesh, because these guys seem unaware of these "happenings". Do these guys all commune in a Pizza-Hut on the cruddy side of town and discuss how they go to great lengths to avoid running into me? They can't be too cheap. Dinner at Emeril's costs more than a box of chocolates and I accept hand-written notes.

Is February 14th scarier than Friday 13th? I'll ask the Candyman.
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