Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pay to Play

So a friend and I were discussing paying while dating and in a relationship. Both of us admitted that we are old fashioned kind of gals and don't care much for the 50/50 bit. We also stated that we don't much care for a guy asking us to pay either. But we aren't stingy. I don't mind paying for dates, I just like to feel like a lady who is being courted. If we are doing 50/50 then it doesn't feel that way. I don't have a formula for what percentage is should be. It differs depending on the guy for various reasons.

The key is that I do like to contribute in a relationship. I don't want a guy to end up asking me to start paying for things but I have found that, inevitabely, this will happen. But here's how it goes:

Date 1 - guy pays, no questions
Date 2- guy pays again
Date 3- I offer to help, he says no, sometimes adds an insulted face or an "I'm the man, I pay"
Sometime during the dating game the guy ask in some way or another when I will pay.
Umm, K. I pay. No problem. And then I find myself paying more and more.

Morale of the story, those guys wanted to show off in the beginining which then lead the woman to be accostumed to a certain behavior. Then the guy may not be able to keep up with the expense or start to feel taken advantage of. The woman, assuming she is not selfish, wants to show she isn't all about self and she agrees to pay. But then she finds herself paying more than she thought. Maybe even 50/50 and she starts to become resentful. And who wants to have that conversation about money? Not comfortable.

So what's the fix? I think women need to be clear about their views regarding financially contributing  when dating. I have a friend who states it point blank early on in dating and she hasn't raised a complaint. I think if you tell a guy, hey, I do like to be courted but I'm not selfish and will contribute from time to time (and then actually do that, maybe, earlier on in the relationship) then everyone should be clear on what's expected. On the guys front, do what you can afford to do and if a woman offers then accept that (although not before the first two dates, real talk- if she offers before that she's just doing what she thinks is nice).

But that's just my thoughts.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Youth of a Nation

Recently someone close to me had her house burglarized, not once, but twice. In another part of town a woman heading into her suburban house from her car at night was robbed of her purse. Still another area of the state a person pulls out a gun and starts shooting at people in the middle of the day also in the suburbs.
What do they all have in common?
The perpetrators were all teenagers.
I won't spend too long on my soapbox but I had to get this off my chess. Crime is nothing new. Crime by teens is not new but it seems to be growing. From the much publicized mass killings we hear about on TV by young men to the quieter crimes.
What has happened in our world where some kids are raised not to care about and respect others? Has parenting changed? Is the community less involved which effects the moral development of the child?
This is not a white/black, rich/poor thing. It has crossed all lines. Of course it's not everyone and perhaps part of the problem is that we spotlight and give attention to these criminals which only encourages others who are desperate and disturbed.
What bothers me about the teens who committed the robberies was that they did not respect the fact that these were women who lived in that house and a woman whose purse they snatched. These males weren't concerned about protecting these females. Instead they caused harm. Perhaps this is old school thinking but I'm not giving up on the idea that there should be a certain level of respect that men should have for women. Especially women in their own community.
The whole thing makes me sad really. When and why do some stop caring about their community?
To see people within your own neighborhood/school/job have such little respect for those around them drives me insane. I was blessed with never being in a state of mind where I'd want to harm others or have no respect for the life others have built.
At some point we have to respond differently to these acts. It's not working.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Mission: Get Dolled Up...For the Store

So from time to time I will blog about the rules I wrote about in my novel, The Mission. Most of the rules are things I've heard from family, friends, TV or books and I decided to write a novel about a fictional try at following these popular "suggestions". Some of these rules I have actually tried. Others I am conflicted about.

For instance:

Rule #3: Men can be found almost anywhere; you never know who’s out there so always look your best, even when taking out the garbage!
I met my first date since the “mission” began at the grocery store that Monday evening. Per the rules, I had to make an effort to look good wherever I went, so I dressed up for my weekly grocery shopping. Tight jeans, heels, hair down, make up fresh. I spent less time getting ready for work. 

Personally, this has been my hardship. I am one who will go to the grocery store right after a workout. Sweaty, frizzy haired. Guys still flirt because I have nice gym clothes on (hey, it's half the battle of getting me out the door to workout) and they appreciate someone who works out. I actually feel good and therefore am exuding positive energy. The only negative is that I have my earphones in. If I'm jogging/walking from my house to the store I have to have my music and I carry that into the store. The side effect is that it cuts me off from communicating with those around me. 

On the flip side, when I'm out wearing some heels, made up and the like, my energy is also positive and I have actually met people at the grocery store like that as well. I have a friend who said something to the effect when we might want to go out for drinks, that she wanted to get dressed up and "be seen". In basic terms she was feeling herself when she got dressed up and felt she was hot and wanted others to see her at her best thus attracting their attention. It wasn't just the looks, it was the positive energy that came along with getting all dolled up and thinking she was looking good.

I think the morale is, if you are feeling good about yourself, whether it's in your form fitting Pilate pants after a successful workout or a cute dress, that feel good energy is communicated to those around you. So put your best face forward to the world, you never know who's looking. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sample: The Mission

HI Good people, as I hope you know I have a book out called The Mission. If you are curious about the book and want a snippet here is a scene from the book (and possible future web series).

                                         Chapter Three
Rule #2: Go to friends for possible dates. Having a friend introduce you to someone they know can be a great and safe alternative.
Let me start by saying Sheila does not do set-ups of any kind. Don’t frame me. I don’t want to be your fall guy. I don’t want to be the butt of your joke. And I really, really don’t want to be hooked up with one of your friends you claim is a great catch, but who you really want to pair me up with just because of one of the following: he is male, he is also black, he is also an attorney, he too wants to get married, you want a couple friend to hang out with and/or he has a car. My answer to that is, boo, I’m not going. You gotta come better than that.
But alas, the darn rules say give it a shot, and this gal was single and sort of ready to mingle. So when Greg said he actually had someone for me, well, I said sure. I figure, birds of a feather flock together, so surely this guy would at least be cute and successful like Greg.
So here it was, Friday night, and I was getting gorgeous in my Bethesda, Maryland condo for my blind date with Kevin. We were going out to dinner and a movie. The usual first date activity. I played it casual but sexy in my tight, dark jeans with black sling-back heels and a black silk wrap blouse. My hair was in a low bun and long, dangling gold earrings accentuated my face. I applied shimmer-gold eye shadow, mascara, pressed powder, and M.A.C. red lip- gloss expertly. I sprayed on my favorite floral perfume, and then examined myself in the mirror. Watch out, Kevin!
I continued my primping until I heard the doorbell  ring. I glanced over at my clock. Seven o’clock on the dot. If that was Kevin, I was liking him already.
I sauntered to the door and swung it open. A smile touched my face as I saw an ebony vision standing before me. This had to be Kevin. He was tall. About 6’3. Slender. Dark-brown eyes and short black hair. Clean-cut with a mahogany complexion. He wore a pair of jeans with a blue collared shirt that fit him right. A dark, fitted jacket hugged his upper body. He had to be no older than 30. And I … was… in … love.
“Hi, I’m Kevin, Greg’s friend,” he said, extending a hand.
I went to shake it. “I’m Sheila,” I whispered.
“Greg was right. You are beautiful,” he replied, and then turned my hand to kiss it lightly.
Well, all right. Greg so far would be getting my praises from now on.
“Shall we?” he asked, extending his elbow for me to hook on to.
I had my purse in hand, hooked my arm to his, and left.
This was going to be a wonderful night.
             * * *
Kevin took me to a movie. Some adventure/comedy. I spent half the time sneaking looks at him. I was in heaven sitting next to every woman’s dream, inhaling his masculine cologne.
He then took me to an Italian restaurant in Georgetown, where we talked about any and everything. I found out he was a computer engineer for the federal government and originally from New York. Had two siblings, parents were still together. Had his own house. Loved the Lord. Was world-traveled. I was practically salivating, and it was not for the delicious-looking food put in front of us. This man had it all. And I wanted it. I wondered if he would mind being called James for one evening.
“What’s your take on relationships and love?” I asked, twirling my fork around the angel hair pasta on my plate. I wanted to know everything about him, down to boxers or briefs.
Kevin took a sip of his wine and looked above my head. He was going to answer this like a true politician. I could wait.
“Well,” he began. He put a bite of food in his mouth and chewed. Damn, was my question that hard to answer? He finished chewing. “I think love is a good thing.”
It took him all that long just to say that? Oh, no, there had to be more. I continued to stare at him quietly.
He sensed that that answer would not suffice and then sighed. “I guess Greg didn’t tell you.”
I raised an eyebrow, getting nervous.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Summer For a TV Addict

I like TV. Probably too much. I don't live by it. That's what DVRs are for and binge watching. It used to be that summer was my break but now its becoming just as filled up as my fall/winter/spring line up. So while I wait for Scandal and The Walking Dead to come back on I'm excited about the premire and return of some of these summer shows:

Orphan Black- already airing in its second season on BBC America, the concept is a woman who finds out she is a clone. One of many clone copies and the conspiracy and deception is high level. The actress who regularly plays 3-5 roles in one episode should win a Globe or Emmy by now. This is no Nutty Professor/Eddie Murphy playing a bunch of roles in makeup. The clones only have minor differences (hair style, hair color, accent) and still you think its a totally different person. And her brother is a charmer. Someone you want for your bestie. Love it.

Last Ship-  coming out in July on TNT, based on a book about a disease that wipes out much of humanity and survivors on, well, the last ship, trying to find a cure. Post apocalyptic goodness.

The Leftovers- coming out in late June on HBO this is another series based on a novel about what happens to those left on earth after a Rapture like disappearance of a portion of the world's population. HBO pulls out good drama for the most part so I'm intrigued.

Penny Dreadful- cool concept period horror series currently on Showtime with my boyfriend in my head Josh Hartnett who is part of a team of folk looking into the weird/paranormal (including Dracula, Frankenstein monster, Dorian Gray and more!). Creepy goodness.

True Blood- final season airing in late June on HBO. I was dismayed with the last season but since this is wraping up I'll stick with it. I loved how Bell ended his other series Six Feet Under (who can forget the finale final moments as it displayed the life and eventual death of the main characters to Sia's song Breathe Me, haunting). So I have high hopes.

The Strain- yep another series based on a book (series of books) coming on FX in July but its not just any series, this is based on the books by writer/director Guillermo del Toro and if you know his work (Pans Labyrinth, The Orphanage (one of my favorite horror films), Pacific Rim) and are into horror you want to see this series based on a vampire out break (and these aren't your Twilight/True Blood vamps, these are the stuff of nightmares). I just bought the first book (I have to keep the cover covered because it scares me) so I'll be paying close attention.

Falling Skies- I'm a true fan of this TNT series coming back in late June. It's about an alien invasion, the resistance, and a family fighting to stay together in the midst of this horror. Pretty compelling.And its got ER alums Noah Wyle and Gloria Ruben.

Mistresses- this ABC series out now, has my attention, first because I loved the British show (such drama) and I love Ms. Alisa Milano so if you like soap operas and Sex and the City you will dig this show about diverse gal pals.

Extant - coming out in July on CBS. All I know is this: Steven Spielberg (who also is behind Falling Skies), Halle Berry, science fiction- I'm there.

The Partnership- FX in August. Kelsey Grammar and Martin Lawrence star- loved both their sitcoms so I have to check this out because their comedies were worlds apart, curious to see how it will mix.

Murder In the First- serial detective drama out early June on TNT. Taye Diggs. Nuff said

Dominion- July on SyFy. Their movies suck but darn does SyFy whip out some great series. Based on the movie no one saw but me, Legion. I'm very intrigued about the idea of angry, fighting angels and in a post-apocalyptic world.

My DVR is gonna burst.