Monday, February 22, 2016

Ghosts do exist....

You meet someone, exchange numbers, spend time together,
are in constant communication with each other for a period of time then.....
Whoosh! They disappear.

Ghosting (according to urban dictionary): The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date. This is done in hopes that the ghostee will just "get the hint" and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested. Ghosting is not specific to a certain gender and is closely related to the subject's maturity and communication skills. Many attempt to justify ghosting as a way to cease dating the ghostee without hurting their feelings, but it in fact proves the subject is thinking more of themselves, as ghosting often creates more confusion for the ghostee than if the subject kindly stated how he/she feels.

I'm sure most of us have experienced this, on some level. He may not respond to your texts for days. She may not answer your calls for weeks. You begin stalking your phone, making sure all wires, buttons, screens, ringtones and sound effects are in working order. Nothing is amiss. You start wondering what you did wrong. Was it something you said? Did you turn her off with your corny jokes? Did you turn him off by playing hard to get? By being too easy? Wait, did your last text offend her? Did you answer his question with too much attitude? Are you too sexy for him? Too prudish? Did your breath stink? Were your lips dry? Was your style wack? Was your hair too nappy? Too curly? Too straight? Wrong color? Not long enough? Not short enough? Is your skin too dark? Too light? Too perfect?  Is your voice too deep? Too high? Too sweet?

Ridiculous right? Totally! Yet, these are some of the questions we ask ourselves when someone ghosts on us. Oh, not you? Ok, well I have.

One minute, he was here, next minute, he was gone.........
I wasn't immediately attracted to him, romantically but I was open to getting to know what he was about. After a few conversations that often lasted for hours, it seemed I had finally met someone who was on the same page as me. I was feeling him, he was feeling me. I looked forward to his texts and calls. Suddenly, after a few weeks of almost daily contact, things changed. My phone wasn't buzzing with anything from him. My texts were ignored, phone calls went unanswered and unreturned. Immediately, I thought, 'What did I do or say?' After a few moments of insanity (I know, I know...I never should've questioned myself. Unfortunately, my insecurities kicked in), I realized I wasn't to blame. I didn't say or do anything wrong. Obviously, something was awry in his world so I decided to wait it out. I figured, if he wanted to talk to me, he would contact me. After nearly a week of nothing, he called. I answered. We talked. I accepted the reason he gave for his lack of communication. Life went on.

Eventually, this is the way he would end things with me. I shouldn't have been surprised, given the history of his rocky style of communication. But, after months of ebbing and flowing, it seemed we were more into a steady flow. I mistakenly believed we had reached a new level of understanding so I didn't think the disappearing act would happen again. After not talking to him for a couple days, I received a text saying he wasn't going to call me anymore because he had been calling me and his calls were going to voicemail. Immediately, I thought, 'Bullshnoggit!' I had received no calls from him. I responded with a ''re full of it' text, thinking it was just his way of trying to gauge my attitude since I hadn't heard from him for a few days prior. I expected an immediate response to my text and figured we would have a conversation soon thereafter. But, he never responded to that text or the two subsequent texts I sent. He never called...that night or again. After a couple weeks of no communication from him, I realized, that was his out.

What a lame, immature and cowardly thing to do.

Everyone is entitled to their feelings. Things change, people change, you get turned on, you get turned off, you meet someone else, you decide to go back to your ex, you think you'll be better off single, etc. Whatever the case, own it and be real about it....or better yet, be a man about it.

As Toni Braxton sang,

"Just don't make no excuses, no no
Why you gotta lie to me
Just be a man about it
Baby, you don't gotta lie to me, no
Just be a man about it
If you wanna leave go on
Just be a man about it
Come and grab your things and go on
Right now
Just be a man about it"

Friday, February 19, 2016


Most people think of a soul mate as a romantic partner who will enter their lives, bring sunshine and happiness and live happily ever after with them. A partner who will understand them better than anyone else has or can; a partner who will love them unconditionally and support them wholeheartedly; a partner who loves them as they are but constantly inspires them to be better; a partner who takes care of them, mind body and soul. I am one of those people. However, I also believe we have soul mates who serve different purposes, in different areas and at different stages of our lives. For instance.......

As an adolescent, I had a best friend who I believe is my soul mate. We did everything together. We worked together, played together, dressed alike and had each other's backs. We confided in each other, encouraged each other and shared very important milestones together. To this day, we are one of each other's best friends and will remain so until death do us part.

As a teenager/young adult, I had a boyfriend with whom I had no doubt I'd spend the rest of my life. He treated me like a princess, took care of me and made me a promise of 'forevermore.' We were a match made in heaven. We were together for 9 years; nine years of raw, unadulterated growing pains. During those years, life happened. We loved each other madly and betrayed each other badly. In the end, our romantic relationship did not prevail but our co-creation of life preserved our love as family. As co-parents and co-grandparents, our souls are mated, forevermore.

Since then, I thought I had a romantic soul mate or two but the truth of the matter is, I have not. A few may have connected with my heart, my body and/or my mind but none with my soul. I am still patiently waiting for that connection.

In the meantime, I've realized, my siblings are my soul mates. They know me almost as well as I know myself. They know what to do to piss me off, make me happy, make me cry, make me laugh, make me scream, jump for joy, sit down and be quiet, sing at the top of my lungs, dance til my feet are on fire or just be still. I have a sister who knows how to dress me without making me look too young or feel too old; a sister who protects me like a bodyguard and feeds me like star chef; a sister I can call on, any time of day or night and not wonder for one second whether or not she will come to my aid; a sister who can make me laugh for 24 hours straight, if I sit there that long; a sister who, as my emotional mirror, constantly shows me ways to be and do better; a sister who will dance with me all night long to damn near any song; a sister who serves up dollops of inspiration, motivation, encouragement and guidance at a moment's notice; a brother who, as a celebrated athlete, dedicated employee and family man, serves as a daily example of strength, determination and perseverance and, last but not least, a brother who, through his tragic death, reminds me every day to never give up and live life to the fullest.
I think it's safe to say, though the king to my queen has yet to take his place in my life, I have made acquaintance with my soul's mates.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

POETRY CORNER: Quality Time #mylovelanguage

by Sameialika Tarver 2011

Yes, money makes the world go round
and affords one nice things too
But time with you is what makes my heart pound
without your money, I can do

when dollars just don't make sense
when I'm longing for your touch
I need you to clock in on my shift
to remind me of just how much

You love, adore & appreciate me
that your day is brighter because it includes me
that in your arms is where you like me to be
giving me butterfly kisses oh-so-softly....

Yeah babe, I know
you gotta do what u do
at the end of some days
you need 'me time' too
some nights you may cherish your bed alone
don't wanna DM, text or talk on the phone

All I'm sayin is,
don't take for granted my heart
even though we know it was love from the start
You said it, now show me
your heart is mine
not by buying me gifts but by spending time

Every moment with you
I cherish beyond measure
every memory we make will be treasured forever
so while you're on your grind
makin dollars out of dimes
just keep in mind the bottom line


Thursday, February 11, 2016

I Love My Family!

So, it is Black History Month. In the past, I have considered whether or not we still need 28 days (or 29 in the leap year) set aside to celebrate black history. If it were up to me, the answer would be 'nope,' but not for the reasons stated by the misguided and clueless actress, Stacey Dash. I believe our history, accomplishments and contributions to this world should be acknowledged, highlighted & celebrated throughout the year, not one measly month. But since I have not a nickel in that decision-making dime, I will embrace and honor the tradition. In celebration of Black History Month, and Buttafly Diaries' month of love, I'm going to talk about my black history. My lineage. My family.

They say you must know where you came from to know where you're going but does anyone REALLY know from whence they came? I don't know about you, but I have limited (and selective) knowledge about my family history. Some things, I learned through discussions with my elders, other things I learned from being nosy conversations I overheard and some tidbits I got from my friends/peers (who got it from their parents). Growing up, I knew I was connected to a lot of people, through family ties, but didn't always know how that connection came to be. It wasn't until I was an adult that I became aware of what was real and what was make-believe. I learned the truth. I heard the real story from behind the scenes. I was given facts that were previously hidden, lied about, changed. Facts that were refreshing in some cases, enlightening in others, disappointing at times and downright heartbreaking in a few. Some of what I learned helped me to understand family dynamics (various levels of love, respect, regard, consideration, inclusion and exclusion). Some of what I learned gave me answers I was seeking or, still left me full of questions (so that's why she never came around or now I know why he looks so different; but why didn't she tell somebody or what happened after that??). Some of what I learned had me wishing I could unlearn it (Nooooooo that didn't happen to her?! or Nooooooo my fave didn't doooooo that?!).

Of course, I'm not going to spread my family's ugly business. My Mama and Daddy taught me better than that. However, there are a couple situations that I'm sure a lot of you can relate to.

For instance, I learned some relatives weren't really related, just close family friends. It was just a coincidence that my grandmother and her best friend married guys with the same last name but were no relation to each other. I grew up calling my grandmother's best friend and her husband 'Auntie' and 'Uncle,' believing their offspring were my cousins. It wasn't until one of them passed away that I learned we weren't related after all. It was something like a heartbreak. I wanted to un-hear it, to make the untruth true. I wanted to keep my family the way it was. Good thing family isn't required to be blood related. So, after learning the truth of the matter, our attitude was/is, 'You still my cousin though!'

Or when I learned both of my grandmothers gave birth to children before they met, married and had children with my grandfathers. It made me look at my grandparents in different lights. Whereas, I once viewed my grandmothers as pure, angelic and fortunate for marrying, bearing children and remaining with one man their entire lives, this new information showed me a more flawed and beautiful side of them. They were not perfect, they were human, just like me. In that, I felt a closer connection to them. Finding out my grandfathers not only raised other men's children as their own, but raised them so well that, if one wasn't told, they would have never known the biological truth, made me have more respect for them. It made me see the love, compassion and understanding behind their strong, masculine personas. It made me love them more.

There are sad, bad and even sinister patches in the quilt of my family's history. Things I would have never thought, imagined or believed to be true. Things that nobody likes to talk about, hear about, listen to or share. Experiences that have changed the trajectory of some people's lives. Issues that could change the trajectory of some people's lives if they would face them. Situations that caused some people their livelihood, their freedom, their lives. History that cannot be relived, rewritten or undone. History that makes us who we are today.

In light of all I've learned, and have yet to learn, about my own black family history, I stand tall, strong and proud. I am strengthened by my family's ingrained support, encouraged by the examples I have been raised with, inspired by my family legacy and uplifted by the truth. I love my family and the strong roots from which our formidable tree sprouted.

Love is family and family is love.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

I Loved Me Some Him.....

"I love me some him, I'll never feel this way again, I love me some you, another man will never do...." - Toni Braxton, 'I Love Me Some Him'

There was a time I sang this song with just one particular man in my mind. Despite the fact that I had 'fallen for' others before and after 'him,' none made me feel the words to this song quite like 'he' did. You see, this man not only 'tickled my fancy,' he truly had my heart. He had my heart in his back pocket, shirt pocket, jacket pocket, chokehold, stronghold, death grip, locked up, locked down and completely covered. The feelings I had for 'him' were not your usual lovey-dovey, topsy-turvy, he-loves-me-he-loves-me-not kind of flutters. It was the kind of love where you see yourself in 50 years, sitting on the front porch, rocking in your chair with him by your side; you sipping on a sweetly mixed cocktail while he sips straight up gin (what? old people can't sip??). The kind of love where, if something tragic, exciting, inspiring, upsetting or hilarious happens to you or around you, he's the first person you want to call & share the news with. The kind of love where, when you get home from work, or get ready for bed or wake up in the morning, his face is the only face you want to see. The kind of love where, no matter what other guys offer, look like, are capable of or willing to do, they cannot sway you from 'his' grasp. Yeah, that kind of love.

Yet, all of this loving was getting Our relationship was stuck in 'neutral.' There was no commitment made nor labels established. Each of us had entertained others, at one time or another, yet we always found our way back to each other. As much as some things changed around us, things remained the same between us. At first, I thought, he must not realize how much I care for him. So, I started to do things I believed would prove to him just how deep my feelings were. Things that showed that, no matter who else I may take a liking to, he was the man for me. Things I thought would shake him up and make him see that I was, indisputably, the woman for him. What kinds of things, you're wondering? Let's just say, he received middle-management benefits while performing entry level work.

No, I wasn't stupid (stop calling me names, that's not nice!). No, I'm not blind (though the prescription in my glasses is pretty strong). No, I'm not desperate (I mean, I could have somebody.....anybody....if I wanted but, I told you, I loved me some him!). I loved everything....well, almost everything....about him. From the way he scratched his head to the way he chewed his food to the way he said my name to the way he boyishly laughed to the way he clumsily held me in his arms to the way he....well, you get the picture.

I loved me some him.

Yes, I knew he didn't deserve the treatment, consideration and pieces of me I gave to him. Yet, I always found a reason to excuse his behavior and justify this pattern of mine. I never stopped to think about how little effort he put into making me smile or satisfying my needs or fulfilling my wants and desires. He would always tell me how much he loved me and how special I am to him, but his actions never backed up those claims. His 'love' for me never inspired or motivated him to change his ways, treat me the way a special love should be treated or take any action towards upgrading the quality of our relationship. So, his 'love' wasn't worth much.

I began to question myself.

How do you love this man so much when you are not loving yourself enough? 
This love you have for him is unrequited, so what is your point of participating in this relationship?
Do you believe you can't find some other 'him' to love....a 'him' that will love you back?

It became clear to me: while I was loving me some him, I was not loving me.

I made the decision to, finally and permanently, stop the madness. I didn't tell myself the lie that I would just cut him off cold turkey and never talk to him again. I didn't send him 'dear john' texts or give him an ultimatum (as I had in the past). I knew the 'all or nothing' tactic didn't work because I never stuck to my guns. So, I tried a different approach. I weaned myself off of him. I decreased the amount of time I spent communicating and interacting with him. Eventually, it became crystal clear to him that I was serious about ending his chapter in my life. It was then that he offered to do things for me and with me that I had longed for him to do in the past; but it was too little, too late.

I was filling my own love tank, quenching my own thirst for companionship and paying attention to my own wants and desires. Although I still loved me some him, I finally focused on loving me some me! 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Grand-ness of it All

When I became a mother, it was the most joyous experience of my life. My heart was filled to the brim with so much love, I didn't think it could hold another ounce. Then along came a lil diva and, I swear, God must've increased my heart's capacity. Since the day my granddaughter was born, she has been the butter to my toast, cream to my coffee, the sugar to my sweet. I often wondered how any other grandchild to come along would ever fit in our grand lil world. Then we received a beautiful bundle of boy. Big difference. New kid in town. Whole otha ball game. Boy vs. Girl. Brand New Heart Compartment. Love overflowing. No competition necessary.

I have the best of both worlds.

Two hands full.
Wonderful additions.
Immeasurable pleasure.

Of course, life with/for them is sometimes stressful, frustrating and difficult, as well but my daughter can better attest to that aspect. When it comes to Gida (that's me), life with the grands is pure bliss. I'm not the kind of grandmother who takes the kids to church or sits in a rocking chair to read a story or bakes cookies, pies and cakes but I do schedule, spend and enjoy quality time with them. And I must admit, they are great little people to be around.

My oldest grandchild is an outgoing, talkative, busy, inquisitive, energetic, beautiful, intelligent, outspoken little girl who has personality for days. She loves to take pictures, of herself and others. She enjoys all the lil girly things, like nail polish and pretty clothes, yet she will get down in the dirt or climb the highest tree right along with the boys. She makes a friend wherever she goes and her 'claim to fame' is telling it like it is. She is known as our 'grandiva,' and at just five years old, she lives up to every letter of that name.

My grandson, aka the grandada, is 3 months shy of 2 years old and is quite the character, in his own right. He is the yin to his big sister's yang. Where she's loud & obnoxious, he's cool, calm & collected. Where she's sensitive and tender, he's strong and tough. She pushes him down, he gets back up.....and still worships the ground she walks on. In real life and play, she's the teacher and he's the attentive student; which has been a blessing and a curse. In trying to keep up with 'Sis' (as he calls her), he quickly learned to walk, talk and throw tantrums. He communicates well, with words and in sentences, asserts his independence regularly, commands and demands attention. He also loves the camera and knows how to take selfies, is quite skilled in basketball and is already a heartthrob.

It's truly amazing, how smart and insightful these two kids are. No, seriously. I'm really not just saying this because they are mine. Every time I am with them, I learn something new. Whenever I am around them, they remind me, or give me new reasons, why they are so awesome. Make no mistake, I'm not one of those grandparents who thinks every little thing they do is cute, wonderful and supercallifragilisticexpialidocious. I do redirect, correct and discipline them, when necessary. However, even in their brattiest moments, I think they are the best kids ever. From the start, being a grandparent has been a beautiful and incomparable experience. There really are no words to fully describe just how special grand-love is. I often tell people, "It's love on a whole 'nother level." The feelings I get when they exclaim my name or hug me ever-so-tightly or give me sweet, butterfly kisses are like sunbursts to my soul. One day, I learned, those sunbursts come through even when the grands are not around.

Perched upon my desk at work are two frames of the grandiva and grandada together; one photo of them in their holiday best and the other, their fashionable school flick. This particular day wasn't special or extraordinary; nor was it the first time I looked at (those particular) pictures of my grandchildren. I just happened to glance that way and, once they caught my attention, I lingered for a moment and smiled. Then, suddenly, I felt a lump in my throat and tears began to sting my eyes. There was a swirling in my chest and I thought, 'What the hell is going on here?!' I was overwhelmed with emotion. I literally had to talk myself out of crying. Once the moment passed, I laughed and shook my head at myself for being such a sap.

It was in that moment I realized, with that kind of joy in my world, life surely is grand!

Monday, February 1, 2016

FEBRUARY: The month of love

FEBRUARY. It's the time of year where you find out if you're truly loved or not. It's the month in which relationships are confirmed or denied. It contains the day in which men better get it right or face the wrath of the woman they do wrong. It's when a relationship makes it or somebody breaks it.

Ok, I'm kidding......kind of.

VALENTINE'S DAY. February 14th. The day most women look forward to and a lot of men wish they could avoid. It's the day true romantics get to shine on and real critics get their whine on. The most hated, love-filled day of the year. Although critics of Valentine's Day do make valid points, it's not so serious that they need to rain on the hearts and candy parade lovers choose to participate in. True, if you're in a relationship, you should show, give and receive love every day. However, there is nothing wrong with acknowledging the existence, participating in the fun and indulging the ones you love, just a bit more, for the sake of Valentine's Day. Sure, Hallmark (and other companies like it) makes a killing, some people go overboard, some people miss the mark entirely and others get depressed. However, it's not the (designation of the) day itself that is to blame; it's all about perspective.

As a kid, I loved Valentine's Day because it was a day in which you found out who liked you, how popular you were and who gave the best valentines. It was a day for which you gained permission to interact with boys with no consequence and, most of all, it was about how much candy your stomach could tolerate before nausea set in.

As a teen, Valentine's Day became a tad bit more serious because a competitive component was added. Between the ladies, it was all about whose boyfriend gave them the best gift or whose crush was most bold and creative. If you had a boyfriend but didn't get anything for Valentine's Day, that was grounds for a break-up. If you had a boyfriend who gave you and someone else a Valentine's Day gift, that was grounds for a fight (between you and his other amour). If you didn't have a boyfriend, or at least, a crush, for Valentine's Day, it was simply a bad day.

As a young woman, I learned I should reciprocate the love on Valentine's Day. I expected to get gifts and be treated extra-special; however, I had to find a way to do the same for my valentine. This is when Valentine's Day got better and worse. Better because more thought went into celebrating this special day, therefore more fun was had. Worse if it came around a time when I didn't have a valentine or my relationship was in a bad space. It was during the bad times that I determined Valentine's Day wasn't just for lovers. I could do something special with/for my daughter, my mother, sisters or friends. Not as much fun but still an option.

As a mature woman (ok, older woman), I see, and understand, Valentine's Day from many different perspectives. For some, it can be a love-dipped, soul-stirring, boot-knocking, body-rocking, heart-stopping, irresistible, kissable kind of day; for others, it can be a fun-filled, lighthearted, self-loving, self-indulgent, me-time kind of day; and, unfortunately, there will be those for which Valentine's Day will be heart-breaking, disappointing, disjointing, misunderstood, mistaken or just plain miserable. I have experienced Valentine's Day on all three levels. Currently, I am single....and no, I'm not happy about it. Like most women, I would love to be showered with sweet cards, gifts, candy and experiences by an attentive lover. But just because I don't have one, doesn't mean I have to wallow the day away. I know, I know..... I still have 12 days to be shot by Cupid but that's unlikely. So, I've decided to be my own valentine.

Not only will I treat myself to something beautiful, loving and sweet on February 14th but I am going to do those things every day of this month (and aim to keep it going every day I am blessed to be alive). There are many ways one can show love and, starting today, I will consciously do something, daily, that is loving towards my self. Every day, I will find a way to make myself happy, my life better or my outlook brighter. Each day of the month, I will rise up to the challenge of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, redirecting unfulfilling experiences towards uplifting ones, reshaping unfavorable circumstances into more appealing ones and remembering that happiness, love and joy come from the inside of me.

In addition to treating myself, I will also treat you (my readers) to a reading experience filled with love through stories, poetry, music and more. Throughout the month, I will post about love lost, found, ignited, unrequited, appreciated, underestimated, incomparable, unbelievable, unforgettable and most regrettable. If you'd like to share your love story, please do so by sending to and be sure to put 'Love Story' in the subject line. I will not publish names, unless asked to do so.

In the meantime, keep living, laughing and loving!