The List

I’m fickle. I’m analytical. I’m not a great joke teller. I’m kind of nerdy. But, I’m divinely created and incredibly blessed. I have a wall up. I don’t let people in. I’m guarded. I’m annoying. I’m afraid of getting hurt. I’m human.

Recently, I’ve been going through a lot of emotional changes and my girlfriend asked me to do something. She asked me to write down what I want out of a partner and review my list to see if it’s reasonable. She said make revisions as you see fit, but keep it close and decide if the person you want to be with has those qualities. If not, thank them for the experience and keep it moving.

Simple huh? But, trying to date after being with someone so long has me feeling that I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m too ___ much? I’m too something. I can’t seem to figure out what. So, I struggle to define the undefinable and to try and confine that which can not be confined in hopes that I can figure it out.

What happened? Life. God. Conscious. That little voice that confirms what you know you need to do. It came in the form of Pandora. I was listening to my station and Lyfe Jennings song “Statistics” came on. I smiled. Confirmation of what my girlfriend said earlier rang in my ear. I had never heard this song.

Here are the lyrics to the song:

“Statistics”

Alright alright alright y’all settle down settle down settle down.

If you don’t know where you are this is STATISTICS 101
and I’m your teacher LYFE JENNINGS in the flesh baby.

Books out. Let’s go!

[CHORUS]

25% of all men are unstable
25% of all men can’t be faithful
30% of them don’t mean what they say
and 10% of the remaining 20 is gay

That leaves you a 10% chance of ever finding your mate

That means you better pay attention to these words that I say

I’m gonna teach you how expose the 90%

and show you what to do to keep the other 10.

RULE #1
Don’t be a booty call
If he don’t respect you girl he gon forget you girl

RULE #2
If he’s in a relationship
If he will cheat on her that means he will cheat on you

RULE #3
Tell him that you’re celibate
And if he wants some of your goodies he gon have to work for it

RULE #4
Be the person you wanna find
Don’t be a nickel out here lookin’ for a dime

STATISTICS!

15% of all men got a complex
15% of all men don’t practice safe sex
20% of them come from homes without a father
and there’s a 50/50 chance that you’ll marry a coward

Something to think about when you’re taking a shower
Something to swallow when you’re drinking bottled water

I’m gonna teach you how to expose the 90%
and show you what to do to keep the other 10

[REPEAT CHORUS]

Be patient! He’s waiting!
You don’t gotta settle for that
Leave what is past alone!
Get you a backbone!
Stop being (sorry for) yourself!

Have you no checklist?
It’s gonna take patience
Time is still wastin’

Don’t be a booty call
If he don’t respect you girl he gon forget you girl

If he’s in a relationship
If he will cheat on her that means he will cheat on you

Tell him that you’re celibate
and if he wants some of your goodies he gon have to work for it.

Be the person you wanna find
Don’t be a nickel out here lookin’ for a dime.

I loved it. What part? The last line “Be the person you wanna find. Don’t be a nickel out here lookin’ for a dime.” It reminded me that I needed to find like minded people and get to work on my checklist. My checklist won’t be a list of the impossible. I’m not looking for a Superman. I want someone who is the Man and knows it. A partner. A friend.

This song is for all the ladies out there. Make a list. Listen to the song and be patient. Great things come to those who wait (or so I’m told). Be authentically you and if it is meant to be it will be. No trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Don’t settle for dysfunction.

So, I’m starting on my list today. No rush. Just laying out what I expect in a partner so that if I should ever meet someone who is a match, I will know it. I won’t run. I won’t stumble and I will accept it. Whatever it is. I’m going to know that I’m worth it and more importantly…he will know it too.

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When Life Gives You Lemons

I’ve always loved that quote, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”  I don’t know why it’s one of my favorite quotes.  I think it has to do with the fact that I grew up poor and my Momma could make a meal out of anything.  I mean anything.  Have you ever had a taco salad with Doritos and French Dressing?  Yum.  



I was nine years old when my parents split up.  That was one of the hardest lessons I had to learn…responsibility.  I had to be responsible for the management of my household while my mother worked swing shifts in the military.  She cooked meals and left instructions for me on how to warm them up in the oven and feed my siblings.  She was serving our country and was serving dinner.  The roles had shifted in my family and I had to step up to the plate and learn responsibility.  But, I didn’t want to.  

I was nine and while I understood that there was no one but me to do it, I wanted to be a kid.  I never told my mom.  I did what any well behaved child with a crazy black momma would do.  I stepped up to the plate.  I became responsible.  I picked my sister up from school, walked her home and picked up my brother from the babysitter on my way in the house.  I warmed up dinner while helping my sister with her homework and playing with my little brother.  He was one.  I fed the kids, bathed them and put them to bed.  I sat down and did my homework, cleaned the kitchen, bathed and went to bed. I did this for a little less than three years until my mother decided to not re-enlist.  We relocated from Texas to Maryland and my life never was the same.

Life had given me lemons and I had to make lemonade.  I had to go to a new school, meet new people in a new state where I knew nothing about.  I hadn’t visited Maryland.  What is this state like?  I hated it.  I didn’t like change.  I wanted to stay in my house in Texas with my friends and make it work.  My mom wanted more.  More time with us and more opportunities for us.  But, I couldn’t see this.  

Of all of the things that happened in my past I realized that this statement about making lemonade out of lemons is my theme.  I’ve learned how to start over with nothing.  I’ve learned that life is not fair, but you keep pushing forward.  I’ve learned that the only shame one should ever feel is if they stop trying to make a better life for their family.  That’s what my mom did. She made a way out of a no way and when there was no money, she made miracles.  She was in God’s favor and he continually blessed us. 

The most important lesson I learned came from my momma:  She said as a parent you wish that you could wipe every tear that falls from your child’s face.  But, when I can’t I need you to go to God in prayer.  He will fix it.  She was right.  So, when life gives me lemonade, this is what I do now: