Six Signs She’s Trying to Take Your Man

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Happy homes attract more snakes in the grass…slutty, insecure snakes with fake smiles.  Good men are hard to find, but even if you have a trifling one he will encounter a female at some point or another who either has no respect for your relationship or gets her jollies off on trying to take what’s already taken.  So you don’t end up like Kelly Price crying to Mr. Biggs on some “She was a Friend of Mine” type ish, open your eyes and ears to some clues that she’s making a move on your man:

1.  She gets too friendly with you too fast.

Your man introduces you to his very close and very female friend and soon she’s trying to be your bestie.  WARNING: She’s trying to throw you off her scent.  Any normal female friend that has been around for what seems like forever, will keep a bit of distance and will be leery of your intentions if she is really worried about his well-being and not waiting for him to fall for her. An overzealous attempt to be your bestie by planning mani-pedi’s  two minutes after you meet may be her trying to overcompensate for her feelings of rejection and forcing herself to believe she is really at peace with the fact that he’s checking for someone else.  It’s like Pebbles warned us in her single Backyard, “You get suspicious when they call you their ‘girlfriend’ and you don’t know them really well.”

2.  She always at his disposal.

She’s making him dinner, running errands and takes his momma to church as if she doesn’t have her own man to fulfill girlfriend duties for.  Oh wait, she doesn’t because she’s plotting on yours.  If your man has a friend like this, you have to question if she has respect for boundaries.  Anyone with good intentions and common sense will respect when they have to fall back on the girlfriend responsibilities when there is an actual girlfriend around to do those things.

3.  Beware of the line, “She’s like my little sister.”

So it’s my junior year of high school and I had just broken up with a guy who was pretty popular in the neighborhood.  I’m walking down the street with a friend and I pass a group of drama hungry hood rats who at one time had been introduced to me by my ex-boyfriend as you guessed it: his little sisters.  When we had first started dating these 3 girls would smile in my face and tell me how happy they were we were together.  But something always seemed a little fake about them.  I always suspected that their crush on him had been met with rejection so they settled for being fake family members.  So I wasn’t surprised when these girls initiated a fight out of absolutely nowhere.  You know the kind of fight you were waiting for to happen because you know a girl just doesn’t like you and is waiting for any minor slight as an excuse to fight you.

Usually women settle for being the honorary “sister” because they are hoping by being close to the guy and being his shoulder to cry on he will eventually wake up and realize he’s in love with her.  Being a “little sister” is equivalent to a girl telling a guy “I just don’t look at you that way,” or “You’re like a brother to me.”

Does this mean all substitute siblings are trying to volunteer for some imitation incest?  Not necessarily, but just keep in mind there are those who are settling for the “little sister” role hoping it will turn into romance who might feel like you’re stepping on their toes.

4.  You make your personal issues public record.

If the neighbor’s know your man’s name, they also may be plotting to yell it themselves.  As much as you may want to scream from the rooftops about the good man you’ve landed, you may have to sometimes stifle your excitement.  I try not to discuss too much of my sex life with my friends.  It’s not that I don’t trust them, but certain things should only be on a need to know basis.  Too much information might breed a bit of curiosity that would otherwise not exist.  You might want to stay mum about your multiple orgasms before your girlies want a sample for themselves.  Be careful with the venting too.  You might have a lot to get off your chest during your weekly wine session about how you’re tired of holding it down while he chasing dreams of being a rapper, but pointing out the weaknesses in your relationship will only give a girl with evil intentions material to use against you.

5.  She’s either worshipping him or dogging him.

Got a girlfriend who’s constantly dogging your man for everything he does?  She’ll comment on things she feels should bother you even though they actually don’t: “Why didn’t he call you back last night? Ummhmm, he was probably with what’s her name.”  Even though you know damn well your man was sleep.  Then there’s the other extreme; the friend you have that acts like his personal PR coach.  She’ll tell other people about all of the great things he does for you before you even have a chance to and bring him up randomly so she can remind you how great of a man you have.  WATCH THIS GROUPIE BROAD! She’s plotting.  This is the same girl who will try to catch him on the sly and whisper in his ear, “She doesn’t appreciate you.”  I’ve had one in my midst.  Years after we had broken up an ex told me about a “friend” I had who would try to subliminally mention to him how I was a garden tool, every time I turned my back.  The truth is a real friend will have your back even if you are doing your man dirty, because she’s YOUR friend, not his. If she’s breaking that code she’s only out for self.  Usher said it best on his song, Echo: “Your girlfriend’s  lovin the way I do what I do. I met her long ago and she’s mad cause now I’m with you.”  If you trust that you’ve got a good thing, be leery of the girl whose always trying to find a reason to screw it up.

6.  She has a point to prove.

Whether it’s low self-esteem, or the sick confidence she gets from “making” a man leave or cheat on his woman, you have to be leery of envious and insecure friends and associates.  Your man will be just as much to blame for taking the bait, but let’s be honest: Women can be just as, if not more than shady, conniving and manipulative as men.  My boyfriend and I just recently discussed the idea of wearing wedding rings.  He suggested we get a little creative about the symbols we choose for our matrimonial bond since due to his line of work wearing a ring would be impractical (he does a lot of work with his hands).  While I whined, “How will women know you’re married?”  He replied, “I’ll tell them. But I hate to break it to you babe, that will probably just make them want me more.”

My motto has always been to never try to steal a woman’s man, because I would never want that done to me.   But let’s be honest, some of these heffas have no shame. In fact for some women, stealing another woman’s man gives them some sick and twisted sense of power.  But most of the time that power is vacant; if anything the man gets some new vagina and returns home to the relationship he truly wants to be in.  Definitely makes him trifling too, but the woman who worked overtime to try to get a man who she knows was in a relationship is just as scandalous and has no respect for what a loving relationship is. She usually ends up just settling for being the side piece.

On the other hand the boyfriend explained to me that some women purposely pursue men in committed relationship because they’re “safe” meaning they get all of the perks of committed sex (no STD’s most likely) without the responsibilities of a committed relationship (he won’t be calling you all of the time or wanting to stay over and “cuddle” since he has a girl to get back to).

When you’ve got a good thing going, be cautious and peep game.  Hip your man to it too since some men are oblivious to when a female is flirting with them.  Some women are just addicted to drama and want what they can’t have.  Professor Klump suddenly becomes the sexiest man in the world to an insecure woman when it appears that he doesn’t want her.  It may not even be that the spiteful broad is even attracted to your man, she just wants to prove that on some level he’s attracted to her.

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Are You Marrying Your Father or Your Best Friend?

I don’t want to feel like my blog is on a bashing the Sister,Sister twins binge.  But if there is one thing reality shows can do is change the way you look at your favorite celebs; either you end up loving them even more or you quickly learn that they’re kind of annoying.  Although any one with working pupils can tell that the “nanny cam” shenanigans and emotional therapy sessions are clearly edited for our entertainment, you do get to see some parts of twin’s personality that didn’t always come shining through on their sitcom or even on their cheesy Disney Channel specials.  Tia and Tamera shows a grown up side of the girls complete with their drastically different career paths, relationship choices and ideas about building a family and balancing it all.

Every sunflower-hat topped teen in the 90’s had a favorite twin and mine was Tamera.  On the show she was rebellious, funky and fun and if you weren’t making the grades like Tia there was comfort a young girl could find in the crazy, creative Tamera who was confident in breaking the rules and not caring about anyone’s opinion.  Little did I know at the time that the two were actually instructed to adopt the other’s personality for the show as a testament to their acting skills.  They surely had me fooled, because it becomes extremely clear through their reality show that Tia is a little bit more “around the way girl” and Tamera is still struggling to find where she fits in a world of wine and cheese.

Last night’s episode I found a bit hard to digest, and I’ve been noticing more and more that I can only take Tamera in small doses.  She overanalyzes everything and just seems generally insecure about her purpose in life.  It seems as if Tia is the trailblazer: Marrying her best friend, balancing a baby and a marriage, and landing some stellar roles in the past few years that have proven that she can break the Disney bubble into a mature, dramatic actress.  Tamera’s path in life seems to be a little more meandering.  Last season we were left with a newlywed who really wanted to prove to the public she was more than cute and quirky.  Her auditions and classes prove that there was some talent there some where, she just had to be brave enough to bring it forward. Suddenly season two came and it seems that all Tamera had was baby on the brain, developed a passion for peddling wine and couldn’t choose a couch without asking for “Housely’s” approval.

There’s just something about that relationship that doesn’t fit right with me. I guess Tamera and Adam are just doing them; she’s clearly submissive and doesn’t feel comfortable making decisions without first consulting her husband.  But there are things that Tamera blurts out that really make me wonder did she marry her best friend of her father.  On a recent episode where the couple take a trip to Africa accompanied by the ever clever cousin Jerome, Tamera couldn’t seem to define anything she was doing without her husband.  “I want to do charity because you know Adam thinkis it’s important to give back.” “I’m only going to get in this shark cage because I don’t want to disappoint Adam by not facing my fears.” “I think we should wait to tell friends and family about the pregnancy since Tia waited blah blah blah…”  I want to tell Tamera to have 3 seats and finally do something because it’s what she wants to do, not because Adam will approve or because it worked out for Tia.

It seems like the Mowry-Housely marriage is built on pep talks by Coach Adam for Tamera to be more confident.  Where he seems content and clear about his place in the world, Tamera seems to define herself by his interests and a need to consult him about every decision.  I hate to compare, but Tia and husband Corey seem to function well independently and it seems they have fun together because they both are confident in what they bring to the relationship.  Tamera always seems to question and second guess herself.

I just don’t get it, and based on the kind of person I am I probably never will.  Maybe my frustration with how Tamera’s marriage is portrayed is my failure to understand it.  I’m not married yet, but my life will not be defined by my husband. I don’t think a special set of rules about no calls after 10 pm and magically becoming domestic come into play after you say “I do”.  If you’re relationship doesn’t include basic levels of respect, a willingness to compromise and being confident about who you are besides a wife and mother before he puts a ring on it, then you have problems that marriage and a baby can’t solve (and it’s not fair to expect them to).  Marriage to me is about compromising to make each other more comfortable, but not sacrificing your own comfort to do so.Marriage is about being a team player, but functioning independently if necessary.  While you’re life may dramatically change, it doesn’t mean you should.

On Tamera’s best day she truly is a sweetheart.  She’s supportive, caring and truly commits herself to her family.  My only wish is that we see a little more of Tamera committing to herself in season three and following her heart without being influenced by anyone else.  As proven by her recent blog she may very well be beginning to learn the most important opinion in her life is her own, “My OB/GYN did say that as your pregnancy progresses, you will tend to sift out all outside advice and find yourself worrying less. I’ve found this to be true. Now don’t get me wrong, I still worry about my pregnancy, but not half as much I did before. I’ve gotten to this point by doing research of my OWN and just plainly standing still and looking within.”

To read more about Tamera’s pregnancy epiphanies and finding her OWN voice visit her blog: http://celebritybabies.people.com/2012/08/27/tamera-mowry-housley-pregnancy-blog-third-trimester/

 

Putting Your Pride to the Side When the Recession Gets Real

July is always a stressful time of the year when working in the non-profit sector.  It’s usually filled with freshening up the old resumé and scouting Idealist.org for what could very well possibly be my next career.  As co-workers pack their careers in a box I either want to celebrate or become sick with worry that I’m the next to go.  That’s because every July marks the end of the fiscal year and non-profits usually have a good idea of how much funding they have, who they can afford to pay and who is costing them more money than they’re worth.

If you end up being the burden thrown overboard, it doesn’t have to mean the end of the world.  You’ll probably want to scream, cry and crawl into a hole giving “the man” your ass to kiss on the way down.  Unfortunately what happens a lot when people are laid off is that pride gets in the way.  Pride is great until it starts blocking opportunities for you to get back on your feet fast. When the recession gets real, it’s important to stop caring about what others think and get creative so that you can get yourself out that hole and back to financial stability.

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1.  Don’t be afraid to try something new.

Many people who were in the words of Lil’ Wayne, “feelin’ irreplaceable, listenin’ to Beyoncé” were recently blind-sided with layoffs at companies who were struggling to find ways to cut costs and consolidate job responsibilities.  The people who were able to keep their jobs at the end of the day were people who could honestly, “Get in where they fit in.”  If you’re lucky enough to be employed, remain humble and open to learning new things.  Even if your only job responsibility is to answer the phones, it wouldn’t hurt to learn how to use the fax machine, the copier and find out how to navigate Excel.  Realize that anyone can be replaced, but make it a point to be as indispensable as you possibly can, so if your position is eliminated you can easily slip into something else.

2.  Collecting unemployment or government assistance doesn’t automatically enroll you into the Shiftless, Trifling and Lazy Local Union.

For a person raised in generations of poverty or who looks at receiving government aid as a regular part of life, it may not a be a big deal to pull out an Access card to pay for food, or to have to reveal personal details about their lifestyle to a case worker all so that they can feed their child.  But for people who are accustomed to paying their own way having to wait on unemployment check or go to a free clinic can feel humiliating, violating and degrading.  There is nothing wrong with receiving government assistance, and everyone on welfare isn’t lazy and trifling.  The very purpose of government assistance is to aid in tough times; hell, it’s why we pay taxes.  Unfortunately, there are people who feel entitled to take advantage of the system that give “welfare” a bad name.

Understandably when it comes to not caring what strangers think, it’s easier said than done.  After graduating college at 25, I found myself under-employed and having to rely on a government funded women’s health program just to make sure I was able to get medical care without declaring bankruptcy.  As much as I hated writing that the insurance I was using was on tax payer’s dime, I preferred maintaining my health over being sickly with my pride.  People turn up their noses when they witness someone pull out a government issued debit card and it can be easy to adopt a mindset of, “I’m better than this.”  But no one is better than putting food on the table and providing for their family, and sometimes that means swallowing your pride and accepting help.

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3.  Don’t depend so much on that degree.

As I write this I can think of at least three friends I have who still don’t get it.  By “it” I mean that a college degree no longer makes the difference between employment and unemployment.  I’m not saying job seeking isn’t difficult, but I’m leery of people who have degrees but claim they can’t find employment.  You have to be willing to work outside your field.  Even if you have a biochemistry degree, if it means your bills getting paid or getting your car repossessed, you might just have to deliver some mail until you can find something in your field.  You don’t have to settle for just any old job, but in this economy recent grads can no longer afford to be picky about a paycheck, because honestly the pickings are slim.  I hope I don’t seem anti-school, but I went to school because I actually wanted an education, not just because I thought it would land me a gig.  And most importantly, I didn’t think the hard work was over once they handed me my diploma.  In fact I knew that it had just begun.

4.  Recognize that part-time positions can lead to full-time opportunities.

Don’t be afraid to piece together part-time jobs to pay your full-time bills until you are able to find full-time work.  For most companies, it’s cheaper to employ a part-time employee since they don’t have to spend money on benefits.  If there is an organization you are particularly interested in working with, don’t be afraid to accept less hours or a different position in order to work your way over to where you want to be.  Many jobs use part-time positions as a type of audition process and will invest into employees that prove they are worth investing in.  The important part is that you find a way in; it’s easier to work your way up the ropes from inside a company than the outside.

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5.  Re-evaluate your lifestyle.

One of the things I am noticing as I navigate my professional path is that the more money I make, the more lavish my lifestyle becomes. For most people the same is true: the more zeros in your salary, the more you spend because you can.  When making purchases keep things in perspective.  Ask yourself several questions while shopping such as, “Will this purchase make or break my life?” or try taking 24 hours to think about expensive purchases.  If you don’t remember what you were going to buy the next day, the truth is you probably don’t need it.  People are creatures of habit and it’s important to evaluate exactly where your money is going every once in a while.  For example, does it make sense to really spend $100 on satellite television, if you’re never home to watch it?  Many times we spend money on things we only THINK we need and want when in reality if we were to eliminate it from our lives, it probably wouldn’t make that big of a difference.

6.  Don’t be quick to dismiss working for free.

Like part-time jobs, volunteering is a way to work your way into a company that you’ve had no luck being employed by and the good news is companies like free work.  The great thing about volunteering is that although you may not be getting paid, you are building up valuable experience that may place you ahead of the competition.  In fact, before being hired as a sexual health educator, most of my knowledge about sex-ed was gained through volunteering opportunities.  When a position did pop up, my resumé stood out above those that were actually employed because I had experience with that actual organization and showed a commitment and passion since I was willing to work for free.  Volunteering is also a great way to build your professional network.  Sometimes the in-the-flesh interaction that comes with volunteering will gain you more results than an e-mailed resumé ever will.

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7.  Understand that we are living in different times, and make your peace with it.

It’s becoming clearer and clearer that the traditional American Dream is drifting farther and farther out of most people’s reach and studies suggest that we are living in times where most children will not meet the simple goals of adult life such as buying a house or being able to purchase a brand new car as easily as their parents once did. But sitting around pouting about that revelation will not improve your situation.  My hope is that the recession and job scarcity will force people to get more creative about how they approach their professional careers.  It’s no longer enough to go to school and get a four-year degree and wait for the job offers to come flying in. It’s really important to understand how big of a part schooling comes in your career path and question if the debt you’re building is worth it.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned while job seeking in this economy is that while a degree will open the door for you, your grind, work ethic and experience play a profound part in helping you find and keep opportunities.

8.  Never burn bridges.

When someone is laid off or an employer is forced to make cuts, sometimes there’s no one to blame.  If you ever unfortunately have to experience being let go from a job, it can be easy to jump on the defense and take your panic out on your supervisor who may not even be to blame.  I’ve worked in non-profits for two years and thankfully I’ve managed to bob and weave past the pink slip, but in this economy especially, federal budget cuts are the norm and grants are becoming harder and harder to come by.  You can’t squeeze water from a turnip and if there’s no money to pay you, there’s no money to pay you.  Think twice before you flip everyone in the office the bird and update your Facebook status to, “Now I don’t regret cleaning the boss’s mug with the bathroom sponge.”

The point is that you never know who you might need, and even if your employer has the etiquette of a drunken frat pledge, that doesn’t mean that you should come all up out of your character.  The end of that position doesn’t signal the end of your career and you never know when you may need a reference letter or might be partnered up with that employer on a future project.  Before you pull out the kerosene, keep your cool.   It’s a small world and word travels fast.  Don’t give anybody material to use against you that could compromise your reputation.

FanMail: Dear Tia Mowry

Dear Tia,

Let me start by saying that I truly am a Tia and Tamera Mowry fan.  Ever since the palazzo pants and polka dots of Sister, Sister I’ve always loved how you and your sister have been positive and drama-free.  But if there’s anything the internet can do it’s bring out the ugliness of any situation and make some of our sunniest celebs “go there” all up out of their character.  And for that reason I am going to have to play devil’s advocate for this edition of Fan Mail.

Since the beginning of time opinions have been like assholes; that’s nothing new.  But in 2012 thanks to Twitter, Instagram and the big bright world of blogging, you can now invite those opinions into the privacy of your bedroom with a double-click on Google Chrome.  Unfortunately all of those opinions aren’t pretty as proven by your recent address to criticism being posted in the comments sections of celebrity blogs everywhere about the lack of appreciation people have for how your baby boy, Cree looks.

Just like every friend I have on Facebook isn’t a bestie, every follower you have on Twitter isn’t a fan.  If you put on a show people will watch and not everyone is going to like it.  You can’t expect to invite strangers into your personal life and then catch feelings when someone isn’t in love with every aspect of it, or worse actively hates it.   When you’re a celeb, posting a photo on Instagram is not like looking through a yearbook with old high school buddies.  I wouldn’t share parts of my personal life with all 288 of my Facebook friends (most of whom I have met in person), let alone hundreds of thousands of folks I’ve never laid eyes on.  But then again, maybe that’s why I am not a celebrity for a living.  I personally think it’s unfair that these celebrity kids don’t have a say in whether they want to share in the limelight with their parents.  OK, it’s understandable that as a celeb there will be parts of your personal life that by default are shared with the public.  But with everyone and their mama getting a reality show and allowing their kids to be their co-stars, I can’t help but wonder what happens when those kids become adults and question the say they weren’t allowed to have in their childhood memories being shared with the world.  I’m an average joe and you won’t catch me volunteering pictures of my momma and ‘nem on social networks especially if it isn’t something that they themselves choose to be a part of via their own profile.  It’s not because I can’t handle the criticism that comes with sharing the things and people you love with the public, it’s because I don’t want to have to.  It’s as if these celebs are inviting criticism and drama into their sanctity.

Does that justify the shade being thrown your way and the cruel comments towards a child that isn’t even old enough to understand what’s going on? Absolutely, not but for you to respond to the fuckery just proves that you’re not about that internet life and that maybe more celebs need to think twice before pressing that “post” or signing that reality show contract.  Just like certain opinions shouldn’t be shared, certain parts of people’s life should be kept private especially if they start taking the backlash personally.  It’s probably part of the reason you won’t catch Beyoncé inviting her whole fan base inside of Baby Blue’s bedtime story.  It’s all fun and games when the publicity is poppin’ and everyone is telling you how great your life is but a major problem when a few folks express their disdain.  Just like when Dream Hampton dramatically left Twitter after her child was insulted only to shortly return. I just don’t get it.  If you’re going to share the life of you and your child with the world you’re going to have to learn how to focus on the positive and cease to acknowledge the negative.

And for the record, I don’t know why everyone thinks babies are somehow exempt from being called unattractive.  Would I harass the baby’s parents about what went genetically went wrong or write a monologue in a comments section of MediaTakeout about how facially compromised some celebrity’s kid is?  Of course not, but I know I am not the only one whose taken a look in a friend’s bassinet and had to fight a cringe with a, “Her little booties are so cute!” and you can miss me with the Grimm fairytale curse that will result in me having a beauty challenged newborn just because I don’t think every baby born into this world is adorable just because they are a baby.  What we should be focusing on is if that baby is healthy and happy, because believe it or not there are far worse things in life than being labeled “ugly”.

Sincerely,

Management

To read more about Tia’s clap back to the Cree criticism, visit HelloBeautiful.com: http://hellobeautiful.com/2532925/tia-mowry-responds-to-critics-who-call-her-son-ugly/