Friday, April 12, 2013

My Hair Journey - 2013

I have a new obsession.  My hair.
While I was pregnant, I stopped getting relaxers.  I expected to go completely crazy trying to get my hair under control.  However, I came to a whole new discovery.  My discovery was that I have really nice natural hair.  Not the 'white' or 'slave mentality' definition of nice hair, but what I consider nice. Thick and healthy and tightly really curly hair.
Anyway, during this time, I started researching ways to control and take care of my natural hair.....thus my obsession began.  Apparently, there is a whole community of African-American hair aficionados out there that have mastered natural, relaxed and texlaxed hair care.  They often do a big hair chop and then go on what they call a 'hair journey.'  Two years later, they have hair down there backs and in some cases it's down to their waist....and it's thick and healthy.
So, knowing that I have these preconceived 'age laws' that I have about hair that includes not wearing long hair past the age of 40 and not allowing your gray to show until you turn 50, I have decided that I only have a few years left to go on a hair growth journey.  Of course, I will always want healthy hair at any age, but once I'm 40, I really don't think it will be appropriate for me to have hair past my shoulders.  So......I really need to get a move on it.
First, I have decided to stop getting bone straight relaxers and begin under processing my hair into a texlax stage.  This will, over time, allow me to wear my hair straight when I want and also be able to wear it curly when the mood hits me.  It will also allow my hair to be healthier, thicker and stronger, as well as making it easier for my hair to take color.  Since little grays are sprouting up in various places in my hair, color will be very important for the next decade and a half.  I am also going to stretch my relaxers to no more than 4 times per basically, I will only be getting a relaxer once a quarter.  I used to get relaxers every 6-8 weeks.  I leave for Jamaica next Wednesday, so will be getting a texlax (or mild relaxer) tomorrow.  My hair's in pretty good condition, so I don't think I need to do a big chop, but if a trim is needed, I will get it.
Thus, tomorrow begins my hair journey.  :-D
My hair regimen will be as follows for the remainder of 2013.  I will evaluate and modify it at the end of the year, if necessary.
- moisturize and seal nightly
- wear protective and/or low manipulation styles on hair
- wear a silk or satin scarf/bonnet on hair or sleep on a silk or satin pillow case
- oil and massage scalp
- pre-poo hair
- Wash hair with a moisturizing shampoo
- Deep condition hair with a moisturizing conditioner
- apply leave-in conditioner
- air-dry hair (using scarf method or natural styles) or roller-set hair (using heat protectant and only blowing the roots)
- direct heat will only be used on my hair once a month and/or on special occasions/events
- protein treatment 2 weeks before texlax
- light or mild relaxer (texlax)
- clip damaged ends and dust ends, where needed
- protein treatment 2 weeks after texlax
- Get ends trimmed
- reevaluate hair regimen
* A texlax can be performed in a variety of ways.
  - quickly put a normal relaxer in hair and rinse out within half the time recommended
  - add natural oils into your relaxer to slow down the relaxing process
  - add protective oils/gel directly to your new growth and remaining hair to slow down relaxing process
  - use a mild relaxer (assuming you have coarse hair)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Why You're Not Married

I'm not saying it.  She is!
There was a new show that came on after The Voice on Tuesday night, called "Ready for Love."  Ready for Love  is a new reality show, where 3 guys are in search for love with the help of 3 matchmakers.  I really wasn't interested in the show, but since nothing else was on at the time, my husband and I watched.  On this night, Tim, the lead singer of the Plain White T's rock group was the focus.  Of the many females that was vying for Tim's attention, one of the girls was a 'friend' from his past that has secretly loved him and decided to audition for the show when she found out that he would be the main prospect.  While she was able to get through the initial filtering process, she was gone by the end of the night.  He eliminated her.  Although she didn't completely admit this, it was obvious that they were a little more than friends....they were more like friends with benefits.  However, Tim was clearly interested in more at this stage in his life and this 'friend' of his was clearly not what he was looking for.
Leah (the 'friend') was definitely one of the more attractive girls on the show, had a career and seemed to be well spoken.  The fact that they have been friends for many years tells me that she had a pretty decent personality.  However, Tim was not interested.  Why?  What makes a girl marriage material for a guy?  Sure, lots of girls feel that they are marriage material, but many of these same women can't get a man/husband to save their lives. 
Well, according to one of the matchmakers on the show, Tracy McMillan, there are definitely reasons why these women are not married.....and it's not the fault of the man.  The below article was written by Tracy McMillan and entitled, "Why You're Not Married."  She has also written a book of a similar title called, "Why You're Not Married....Yet: The straight talk you need to get the relationship you deserve." 
While I am clearly married, I still have interest in reading this book.  My focus will be on making sure that I strengthen those weaker characteristics that I may have, so that my husband doesn't feel regret for marrying me.  I'm constantly trying to improve in all aspects of my life and they always say that how you get them is how you keep them, so...... I take all things into consideration, including to maintain the characteristics that made/makes me the material that a guy (the right guy) has no choice but to put a ring on it.
Unrelated SideNote Alert: I was watching "The Talk" the other day and one of the hosts, Aisha Tyler mentioned the mantra she believes about her husband/marriage, which I decided was my manta, as well.  All females before me were a mistake and any after me are a downgrade.  Hahaha!  This is so true.....I really feel this way. 

Why You're Not Married

You want to get married. It's taken a while to admit it. Saying it out loud -- even in your mind -- feels kind of desperate, kind of unfeminist, kind of definitely not you, or at least not any you that you recognize. Because you're hardly like those girls on TLC saying yes to the dress and you would never compete for a man like those poor actress-wannabes on The Bachelor.

You've never dreamt of an aqua-blue ring box.

Then, something happened. Another birthday, maybe. A breakup. Your brother's wedding. His wife-elect asked you to be a bridesmaid, and suddenly there you were, wondering how in hell you came to be 36-years-old, walking down the aisle wearing something halfway decent from J. Crew that you could totally repurpose with a cute pair of boots and a jean jacket. You started to hate the bride -- she was so effing happy -- and for the first time ever you began to have feelings about the fact that you're not married. You never really cared that much before. But suddenly (it was so sudden) you found yourself wondering... Deep, deep breath... Why you're not married.

Well, I know why.

How? It basically comes down to this: I've been married three times. Yes, three. To a very nice mba at 19; a very nice minister's son at 32 (and pregnant); and at 40, to a very nice liar and cheater who was just like my dad, if my dad had gone to Harvard instead of doing multiple stints in federal prison.

I was, for some reason, born knowing how to get married. Growing up in foster care is a big part of it. The need for security made me look for very specific traits in the men I dated -- traits it turns out lead to marriage a surprisingly high percentage of the time. Without really trying to, I've become a sort of jailhouse lawyer of relationships -- someone who's had to do so much work on her own case that I can now help you with yours.

But I won't lie. The problem is not men, it's you. Sure, there are lame men out there, but they're not really standing in your way. Because the fact is -- if whatever you're doing right now was going to get you married, you'd already have a ring on. So without further ado, let's look at the top six reasons why you're not married.

1. You're a Bitch.
Here's what I mean by bitch. I mean you're angry. You probably don't think you're angry. You think you're super smart, or if you've been to a lot of therapy, that you're setting boundaries. But the truth is you're pissed. At your mom. At the military-industrial complex. At Sarah Palin. And it's scaring men off.

The deal is: most men just want to marry someone who is nice to them. I am the mother of a 13-year-old boy, which is like living with the single-cell protozoa version of a husband. Here's what my son wants out of life: macaroni and cheese, a video game, and Kim Kardashian. Have you ever seen Kim Kardashian angry? I didn't think so. You've seen Kim Kardashian smile, wiggle, and make a sex tape. Female anger terrifies men. I know it seems unfair that you have to work around a man's fear and insecurity in order to get married -- but actually, it's perfect, since working around a man's fear and insecurity is big part of what you'll be doing as a wife.

2. You're Shallow.

When it comes to choosing a husband, only one thing really, truly matters: character. So it stands to reason that a man's character should be at the top of the list of things you are looking for, right? But if you're not married, I already know it isn't. Because if you were looking for a man of character, you would have found one by now. Men of character are, by definition, willing to commit.

Instead, you are looking for someone tall. Or rich. Or someone who knows what an Eames chair is. Unfortunately, this is not the thinking of a wife. This is the thinking of a teenaged girl. And men of character do not want to marry teenaged girls. Because teenage girls are never happy. And they never feel like cooking, either.

3. You're a Slut.

Hooking up with some guy in a hot tub on a rooftop is fine for the ladies of Jersey Shore -- but they're not trying to get married. You are. Which means, unfortunately, that if you're having sex outside committed relationships, you will have to stop. Why? Because past a certain age, casual sex is like recreational heroin -- it doesn't stay recreational for long.

That's due in part to this thing called oxytocin -- a bonding hormone that is released when a woman a) nurses her baby and b) has an orgasm -- that will totally mess up your casual-sex game. It's why you can be f**k-buddying with some dude who isn't even all that great and the next thing you know, you're totally strung out on him. And you have no idea how it happened. Oxytocin, that's how it happened. And since nature can't discriminate between marriage material and Charlie Sheen, you're going to have to start being way more selective than you are right now.

4. You're a Liar.
It usually goes something like this: you meet a guy who is cute and likes you, but he's not really available for a relationship. He has some condition that absolutely precludes his availability, like he's married, or he gets around town on a skateboard. Or maybe he just comes right out and says something cryptic and open to interpretation like, "I'm not really available for a relationship right now."

You know if you tell him the truth -- that you're ready for marriage -- he will stop calling. Usually that day. And you don't want that. So you just tell him how perfect this is because you only want to have sex for fun! You love having fun sex! And you don't want to get in a relationship at all! You swear!

About ten minutes later, the oxytocin kicks in. You start wanting more. But you don't tell him that. That's your secret -- just between you and 22,000 of your closest girlfriends. Instead, you hang around, having sex with him, waiting for him to figure out that he can't live without you. I have news: he will never "figure" this out. He already knows he can live without you just fine. And so do you. Or you wouldn't be lying to him in the first place.

5. You're Selfish.
If you're not married, chances are you think a lot about you. You think about your thighs, your outfits, your naso-labial folds. You think about your career, or if you don't have one, you think about doing yoga teacher training. Sometimes you think about how marrying a wealthy guy -- or at least a guy with a really, really good job -- would solve all your problems.

Howevs, a good wife, even a halfway decent one, does not spend most of her day thinking about herself. She has too much s**t to do, especially after having kids. This is why you see a lot of celebrity women getting husbands after they adopt. The kids put the woman on notice: Bitch, hello! It's not all about you anymore! After a year or two of thinking about someone other than herself, suddenly, Brad Pitt or Harrison Ford comes along and decides to significantly other her. Which is also to say -- if what you really want is a baby, go get you one. Your husband will be along shortly. Motherhood has a way of weeding out the lotharios.

6. You're Not Good Enough.
Oh, I don't think that. You do. I can tell because you're not looking for a partner who is your equal. No, you want someone better than you are: better looking, better family, better job.

Here is what you need to know: You are enough right this minute. Period. Not understanding this is a major obstacle to getting married, since women who don't know their own worth make terrible wives. Why? You can fake it for a while, but ultimately you won't love your spouse any better than you love yourself. Smart men know this.

I see this at my son's artsy, progressive school. Of 183 kids, maybe six have moms who are as cute as you're trying to be. They're attractive, sure. They're just not objects. Their husbands (wisely) chose them for their character, not their cup size.

Alright, so that's the bad news. The good news is that I believe every woman who wants to can find a great partner. You're just going to need to get rid of the idea that marriage will make you happy. It won't. Once the initial high wears off, you'll just be you, except with twice as much laundry.

Because ultimately, marriage is not about getting something -- it's about giving it. Strangely, men understand this more than we do. Probably because for them marriage involves sacrificing their most treasured possession -- a free-agent penis -- and for us, it's the culmination of a princess fantasy so universal, it built Disneyland.

The bottom line is that marriage is just a long-term opportunity to practice loving someone even when they don't deserve it. Because most of the time, your messy, farting, macaroni-and-cheese eating man will not be doing what you want him to. But as you give him love anyway -- because you have made up your mind to transform yourself into a person who is practicing being kind, deep, virtuous, truthful, giving, and most of all, accepting of your own dear self -- you will find that you will experience the very thing you wanted all along:


Friday, April 5, 2013

The Mermaid Theory

Some people call it getting "Caught Up."  I refer to it as "The Mermaid Theory."
During my 6-week short-term disability stint, I have been able to catch up on loads of television (For the record, I am also getting much needed rest and catching up on household chores, reading, meditating, etc., etc.) that I would normally miss because I'm too busy with work, errands, household chores and my close to 4 hours a day commute.  Yesterday, I was watching back-to-back episodes of 'How I Met Your Mother,' which introduced me to a theory that I always kind of believed in, but never had a name.

The Mermaid Theory provides a reasonable explanation to why an attractive young girl would develop a crush on an otherwise unattractive male, while they are both attending a summer program together in another town where they do not know anyone but each other.
The Mermaid Theory provides a reasonable explanation to why a male would become enamored with an unattractive female colleague with decent conversation, but an otherwise repulsive lifestyle that would/could never match his.
The Mermaid Theory provides a reasonable explanation to why Bill Clinton had an affair with Monica Lewinsky, why my step dad moved on to the legal secretary at his job and why countless men/women have affairs and become obsessed with less than ideal people of the opposite sex, with which they work with or otherwise come in contact with on a regular basis.
The Mermaid Theory is as follows:
The Mermaid Theory proves that a chick's hotness – as measured in units of how much you want to bone her – increases in direct proportion to the time exposed to her.  The theory draws its uniquely and incredibly creative nomenclature from the olden days, before airplanes made boats obsolete…
Sailors and explorers on particularly long voyages found that manatees – those large blubbery water creatures – would magically morph into beautiful mermaids that said sailors wanted to knock flippers with. Thus, the legend of mermaids was born, straight out of the male mind's unfaltering desire to find something, anything, to stick it to.
For the modern male the theory translates as follows: No matter how hot or unhot a woman is, eventually you will want to sleep with her. The time it takes for this process to occur is the chick's "Mermaid Clock." It starts the first time you lay eyes on a chick* and stops ticking the instant you want to get your jam on.
In my research on The Mermaid Theory, I also came across another blog that explores the accuracy of The Mermaid Theory.  I actually stole some of my examples from this blog, as well as used this blog as a starting point to come up with some examples of my own.  Think about it.  The Mermaid Theory; is it true?

The Mermaid Theory: Is it True?

 August 7, 2011 | Posted by Johnny Sacks
If you're a fan of the CBS show How I Met Your Mother, then you know that Barney Stinson, who is famous for his womanizing on the sitcom, has an abundance of social theories, most of which revolve around getting laid.

One of these theories is "The Mermaid Theory." According to Barney, The Mermaid Theory is based off the legend that hundreds of years ago, sailors who were at sea for long periods of time would be so desperate for female companionship that they would see manatees in the water as beautiful mermaids.

In modern day terms, Stinson describes the mermaid theory as so:

Every woman, no matter how initially unattractive, has a clock that represents the time it takes for a man to realize he wants to "bone her." Typically the woman in question is someone close to you that you see on a regular basis. Perhaps it's a co-worker, a friend or a neighbor. Upon your initial meeting, you won't find this woman attractive at all, but over time, slowly but surely, you will want to have sex with her.

So is Barney right about the Mermaid Theory? To a certain extent he is. Certainly if the woman in question weighs 300 pounds and is disgusting in every way imaginable, not even an eternity would be enough to find her attractive. But for plain, slightly below average women (view my hotness scale for reference) this absolutely holds true. Allow me to explain why…

There are three reasons for this. The first reason is availability. Most men aren't close with many women outside of someone they are dating. It's hard for us to meet women. We try to pick up chicks at bars and parties but more often than not we fail miserably. Our success rate is worse than Adam Dunn's batting average. We come up with awful methods for picking up chicks, like hollering at a girl passing by a construction site or beeping the horn at a hot girl jogging. Like Jerry Seinfeld says, sadly these are the best ideas we have. We see these women on an everyday basis and that alone makes them more attractive over time.

The second reason is our imagination. Often times, particularly in a work environment, these mermaids must interact with us on a daily basis. If this woman is the slightest bit friendly, most men we will immediately begin to think she wants to sleep together. I can't really explain this phenomenon but for some reason men think life is like an episode of Mad Men. We think any woman who gives us the time of day is down to fuck.

Once we entertain the idea that having sex with this person is plausible, our imagination goes to work. We start playing out fantasies in our head such as thinking what it would be like to have sex on our desks during a lunch break. The more wild scenarios we can conjure up in our head, the more attractive this woman becomes to us.

The final reason the Mermaid Theory holds true is because of laziness. Men have a lot going on in their lives. We're very busy earning a living and running our fantasy football teams. We don't have the time or the energy to try picking up women. We just want to have sex without having to put out much of an effort. These "mermaids," are our best chances to have sex without going through the hassle of dating first.

To further prove Barney's theory, let me illustrate two real-world examples of the Mermaid Theory in action.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is probably most famous for the "sexual relations" he had with a large, unattractive White House intern by the name of Monica Lewinsky. Clinton, as the most powerful man in the world, probably could have had his pick of any woman he wanted but he chose to sleep with a fatty. So why would the Leader of the Free World do this?

Because of The Mermaid Theory of course!

Clinton ended up fooling around with Lewisnky because she was readily available, he didn't have a lot of free time and he fantasized about sticking a cigar up her vagina in the Oval Office.

Our second example involves Steve Phillips. Phillips was a former baseball general manager and an analyst for ESPN. He ruined his entire career by cheating on his wife and having sex with a fat production assistant who was much less attractive than his wife. Once again, The Mermaid Theory was to blame. The production assistant was around often and Phillips probably liked the idea of banging a 22-year old on road trips and couldn't shake that temptation. So he slept with her and lost a nice gig at ESPN in the process.

So as you can see, the Mermaid Theory is indeed true and as men we must be careful when it happens in our life. As you saw in this clip, Marshall took precautions to avoid the Mermaid Theory and so should you. More often than not, having sex with the mermaid will have bad results.