WE ARE: 5 women navigating our twenties in search of peace, happiness and love (or not). WE WRITE: about everything and nothing. From the insane to the mundane- you will find different paths taken, lessons learned and lives lived. WE THINK: you’ll enjoy it...Warning: Consumption of these views may leave you enlightened while intoxicated.


The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot

Friday, October 19, 2007

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When Living At Home Is Enuf...

You know how people with kids have to make that crucial decision about when to tell someone they like about said kids. Well I probably should put that sentence in the past tense because these days “you got kids” is one of the first questions asked when you meet someone. But that’s a post for another day…

But when should you tell a potential date who could turn into a potential mate that you live at home? I mean they may ask, “so where do you stay?” You don’t have to say at my mama’s house. You can just say, “oh in [enter your city here]”. Or if they ask, “do you have roommates?” You can say yes. I mean are you lying if it just so happens to be your mama, your daddy and your grandmamma. Or does the grandmamma only apply to me?

The thing is once you reveal you live at home, it’s like you lose some credibility as an adult. The fact that you are a professional with a savings account, a 401k and a plan to start you own business goes out the window. People seem to be understanding and supportive. But are they really? They might say, “oh yeah well the cost of living is ridiculous”, whilst they are thinking about how they are living on their own and surviving. Or they might say and this is when you know they’re trying to make you feel better, “oooh that must be nice, I would live at home if I could.”

No, you wouldn’t. And here’s why: because once you’ve moved out and lived on your own, you know that moving back in with your parents can be a pain. Yes there is that whole no rent thing. But how many of y’all know nothing is free? Yes, even when it’s with your parents. Oh the errands that must be run, the things that must be retrieved for a parent and once again in my case grandparent, and the random things that they must be helped with. And I start to wonder, what would you do if I weren’t here?

“Ahhh…” you say, “but that all seems like a small price to pay”. And I guess it is but sometimes I just want to walk around the house naked, singing songs from the The Wiz, eating an ice cream sandwich or go into my room, close the door and not be disturbed. But then one day I came into my room and saw that on my daddy’s day off, in his “spare time”, he had decided to change my bed around and was trying to get my bookshelf out of the room, allegedly to maximize space. And you know why he could do that? Because it’s his house, therefore it’s his room. And so nothing really belongs to me. And that’s a hard pill to swallow.

On top of all that is the whole pesky dating and going out thing. When I say, “I’m leaving.” I hear, “where are you going?” And it’s not in the way my parents used to say it when I was in high school when they needed the run down, the particulars of my every movement; it’s more in a ‘I’m just curious way…’ But boy does it make me feel like I’m still in high school. And then there are those nights when I have a grown folks’ sleepover at someone else’s house. Oh the walk of shame that takes place in the morning. I mean let’s be honest, my parents know that I have had sex. But do they really need to know that I just got my back blown out last night as I greet them the next morning sitting at the table eating pancakes? Although free meals are another plus, the awkward conversation that happens after the morning, after, sometimes cancels that out.

I guess the obvious answer would be to move out, so I could have my own space and do what I want to do. But I’m not ready. So I have to take the good with the bad and accept the things I cannot change. Yes, living at home is kind of like being a recovering alcoholic. You can be on the edge at random times, ready to snap at any given moment, all the while desperately wanting a drink. On the oft chance that I have the house to myself (even for a few hours), please believe that as I walk around scantily clad, eating my ice cream sandwich, I will be singing my favorite line from The Wiz, “You can’t win, you can’t break even and you can’t get out of the game…”

That’s my time y’all! Happy Rum Punch Fridays!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

get yo back up off the wall and dance (by yo self)

Finished school, got a job, girl do your thang
it’s a lotta independent women wanna be claimed
marrying the money or marrying the fame…
(c) Rapper Big Pooh, "Take it Slow," Little Brother

For some women it starts as early as high school. Picture it…..(insert name of) high school, 1996. Homecoming dance, in the gym, a group of lil’ fresh teenage girls in a circle, dancing with one another while furtively looking over their half exposed shoulders, hoping that all their switchin’ and dippin’ will entice some yungin’ to come over, and pull one of them away from the sista-circle. He’ll be cute, a little arrogant and will want to dance with just her. And of course when he comes she’ll act slightly dismissive before slinking away into some dark musty corner where he will proceed to grind on her for the remainder of the night.

Fast forward ‘bout 10 years and instead of the high school gym, it’s the yuppie happy hour at Negril or Friday night at Love or that trip to South Beach with your girls or even the 11 o’clock service at New Birth (don’t get it twisted). Nothing’s changed…..the players remain the same with a little more skin exposed and a lot more male bravado in the air. Women look beautiful and available, stand on the sidelines and dance in those same sista-circles while men still doing the choosing. But now instead of just a dance as the goal, women are aiming for that illusive prize, the golden ticket…


Marriage....when life begins (don’t steal my slogan people). When all her dreams come true. Here’s how some women think even though you will never ever (eva… eva… eva…eva get a strong black woman to admit this): If I can just get married I’ll be ok. I’ll be complete. I’ll be able to buy my dream house (two wage earner household baby!) I can stop working and stay at home or at least change to the job that I really want. He’ll give me my beautiful brown babies, “boy for you and a girl for me.” My life will get better, I’ll be happier. The flowers will smell fresher, my butt will grow bigger and we’ll finally catch osama bin laden.

Uhhhhhh…..no. not gon happen (c) new new. Cause what if you never get claimed? Or worse still, what if you do get claimed errr...... married, and it doesn’t make you happier or sexier and your life isn’t richer or fuller? What then?

I say claim yo damn self!

Look at men, they don’t wait to be claimed. They are the claimers. They just live! They decide when and where they enter yo space and when they be up out that piece. That’s the difference….so simple isn’t it….yet so hard for us (yes….*dipping her head*….I’ve been known to subscribe to the claim-me school of thought a time or two) to wrap our heads around.

When women meet a man, we immediately think of the possibilities: will he be a good huzband? what will our kids look like? what is this we doing here? does he like me? does he wanna be my boyfriend? if I give him some cookie, will he like me more? how long are we going to date before we get engaged?

All this goes on while we completely forget about the real flesh and blood man who we’re supposed to be just getting to know. Just learning about, just enjoying his company. We create who he is in our heads without fully engaging in the man who is sitting across from us at dinner, laying next to us at night, and taking up space in our hearts. If we took a closer look, maybe we’d see he doesn’t have all the qualities we want (and preferably this would take place before any cookie got passed out but alas it doesn’t always happen that way). We make it work cause he claimed us and that counts for something right? We overlook his shortcomings, his mishaps, his slip-ups in maintaining the level of respect we deserve. Or we look for that man that claims us to be our savior: the greatest lover ever, our best friend, our travel partner, our benefactor, our shopping buddy, our stand-in daddy to tell us what to do every once in a while, and the greatest intellectual the world has ever seen, after Drs. West and Dyson of course, all rolled into one.

Gurl stop! (c) big boi. That’s why you have your best friends, your real daddy and mama, that gay dude from your job who always finds the best bargains, and most importantly……wait for it…..

yo damn self!

So then, why do we give up all of that, all these people, all of us, when Mr. Man approaches, asks us to dance, takes our hand, and claims us?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Blueprint, Part I

Good morning folks, I need your perspective . . .

A good friend of mine is pregnant with her second child, not married, a part of me can't comprehend why and let me tell you why. In the decade, since her first child was born, she graduated from college in 4 years (which is a feat in & of itself) landed a entry-level corporate America job and was holdin' steady, while in the works was her preparation for entering a graduate school program. We talk about buying homes, movin' out from mama n'em (shouts out to Rum Punch), pursuing the graduate degree . . . But now she's pregnant and I'm like WTF. Now wedding bells may not be far I hope, but I have to wonder why she chose this blueprint. I can truly say I was blindsided.

It has to be much easier being rest assured you can rely on two incomes. I'm not a preacher and I'm not here to preach, but logically speaking -- if you're married there's an income combo at play (the adage "2 heads are better than 1" -- comes to mind) so the reliance on 2 salaries is a "given" concept, but when not married are your "givens" are a whimsical afterthought. You forfeit the "givens" as a guarantee, until further notice. . . So with that being said, why choose this blueprint when prior experience taught you better or did it? Hmmm. . . that's the golden question and when I muster the gumption to ask her -- I will sooner than later -- and I'll let you know her reply. Through the test of time, tried & true, that's my girl for life and I'll be there for her, but I can't help but wonder why. . .

So, my question to you all is why do we choose certain blueprints? Knowing these blueprints are our foundation in life? Whether it's financing a car, or home we can't afford, or not sacrificing immediate luxuries for greater returns, why?

Life is all about decisions.



Tuesday, October 16, 2007

To Cliff and Claire-Thanks for Everything!

Um. Okay. Were the Huxtables just a hoax? As a girl who was born in the early 80s and lived for Thursday nights I am a believer in the nuclear family. The Huxtables displayed many ideal factors a Black family could possess. And even though they were fictional, realistic values were there. People did live that way once, even if I didn't. But as I peer into the dating pool and speak with some of the fishes swimming about I find that my idea of a family is in a rapid meltdown. I'm a woman who wonders why type of father my husband will be because I was a girl who sang about kissing boys in trees... "first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage." Yet, love and marriage have both become optional for baby filled carriages. It seems that my views are from an ancient era when dinosaurs roamed and the wheel was invented.
I wonder why few men share my vision of family, didn't they also watch the Cosby Show? At the mere mention of the M-word I have witnessed sweat form on foreheads and eyes instantly become vacant while moving up towards heaven. I suppose me asking for an opinion on the subject of marriage required a consultation with the Almighty first. But it wasn't like I was planning ring shopping at Tiffany's or even expecting the question to be popped on the next date. The topic was simply conversation fodder that would allow me to see where their head was on the family thing. There is no ball busting here folks; biologically these men are keeping true to nature. There is a two-to-one female to male ratio, and men carry plenty of "seed." The reasons for marriage in the days of old no longer exist. Parents aren't arranging unions for dowries or property acquisition. Sex is readily available without having to pay a girl for her time. And having children without being shackled to a ball and chain is no longer taboo. I'm thinking that maybe it's just easier for a man to commit to his kids than to a wife. Arrangements that only require daddies to write monthly checks and maintain bi-weekly visits seem to work for the parents of today. With deadbeat status avoided a baby daddy can proudly profess "I take care of my kids!" Yes LeRoy, and your award is on the way.

So why get married?

In an age of Maury Povich paternity shows, in which today's guest is here to test her third potential father, I long for a less complicated time. I'm not naive to the fact that back in the day wives creeped out on their husbands, and this might have resulted in their men raising children that weren't theirs. I'm sure there were cases of complex family relations-but I like to think those weren't the accepted norm. Now it seems that everyone wants to be a playa, dealing with baby drama while never having to commit to a co-parent. Why stay and endure even during the tough times when you don't have to? But it means something to me that I was able to see all my grandparents celebrate a Golden Anniversary after 50 years of marriage. Is it an archaic desire to want a man to commit to me and our family? Maybe.

And even beyond commitment, when our child has a fever in the middle of the night I want us both to freak out and call our mommas. I don't want him to explain to me that it's not a big deal because he's already seen this with Junior, and baby momma #1 handled it by... I would like to build a life with someone at the same time and on the same foundation. I know that life isn't a neatly scripted sitcom-my parents never made it to half of the married years of their parents. but I still believe in the power of nuclear. In a time when everyone is opting to leave when things get difficult will my generation celebrate Golden anniversaries after 10 years? I hope not. I might be the last girl beliving in the Huxtables but I think I can have a marriage that even Cliff and Claire would be envious of.

See You in Seven