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 26, 2007

A Closed Mouth Don’t Get Fed (And Other Clichés)

This is about to be some serious stream of consciousness writing right here, so my apologies. So, last weekend I learned the true meaning of ‘A Closed Mouth Don’t Get Fed.’ You don’t need to know the sordid details, the basics involve: me, a man I was interested in (please notice the past tense) and me not speaking or saying my mind.

So, for a first date, I went to see Tyler Perry’s Why Did I get Married? No, not with the man I was interested in, with someone else, a filler let’s say. So when the movie was over, and the filler and I were having drinks, filler says to me, “did you identify with any character in the movie?” Now, my first inclination was to be like “hell no, I don’t know you, I’m not really feeling you and I don’t feel like sharing that much about myself…” But you know I realized that he was trying to be nice and get to know me, so I played along and said, “well maybe Janet Jackson’s character…” Now I don’t want to “spoil” the movie for you five Black people who haven’t seen it, but basically Janet’s character Patty referred to herself as ‘Perfect Patty’ and was upset that she had made a crucial mistake that changed the course of she and her husband’s life. And I completely understood that.

All my life I have done everything the way I “should”, more so what has always been expected of me. I did well in high school, went to college, graduated on time and with honors. Granted I lost my way for awhile and was bartending and waitressing to make ends meet, but no one expected that would last, and I got back on track like I was supposed to and went to graduate school and got myself a ‘good job.’ And I appear to have it all together, people look at me and want to be me, ok well not me per se, but they want to know how to replicate my accomplishments and success…So, see ‘Perfect Rum Punch…’ It doesn’t have the same effect as Perfect Patty, but I’m sure you understand. But after this past weekend I had to come to grips with the fact that I have some of Jill Scott’s character in me as well and that has me re-evaluating who I am and who I want to be.

Now Jill Scott’s character, Sheila was ‘meek’ (for lack of a better word), she was overweight and sad and accepted everything as it came to her, never challenging her displeasure with her husband, her body or her life. In essence, she had settled and was content to be there. Oh, she may have seemed unhappy, but she didn’t want to change her situation, so she was content and complacent where she was.

So this leads me to last weekend where I found myself with a man who I was interested in (notice the past tense) and I thought we were on the same page. Well I was quite mistaken and learned the hard way that we weren’t. Now I’m not saying I was completely off base, he was feeling me, but he didn’t want to explore taking it to a relationship level. And since I am in the business of finding my husband, keep it moving I must and did.

But when he first told me this, I was upset, pissed the fuck off…Why were we talking on the regular, seeing each other, etc, etc if he didn’t want to be with me? Well apparently it’s because he viewed us as “friends”, nothing more and nothing less. And if I had spoken up, been a woman about mine and said, “boy, I like you, so what is we gon’ do?’, then this whole situation could have been avoided. And in that moment, well maybe not in that moment because I was pissed the fuck off, but the next morning, I realized that I had been content and complacent. Content and complacent with hoping that he wanted what I wanted but afraid to find out because then if he didn’t want what I wanted, what would I do then? I was waiting and wanting him to call the shots, ready to follow his lead, letting him choose me (shouts out to
Mint Julep’s post) instead of being honest with both him and me about what I wanted. Period. What I wanted.

But instead of being upset with the situation, I have decided to take the Pollyanna approach, take lemons and make lemonade, if you will. You see, I want to learn from this situation and learn how I can improve myself, through self-evaluation and this blog though, because I can’t afford therapy. As “Perfect Rum Punch”, it’s hard for me to admit and accept my flaws or that I don’t know everything that I feel I’m supposed to at this age. It’s hard for me to accept the fact that there’s so much of Sheila inside of me. I am supposed to be Strong Black Woman, hear me roar. But I’m not all the time. Not when it’s supposed to count. I can be afraid of opening my damn mouth to vocalize my feelings, my needs and my wants. And that’s hard to admit to myself, but it’s the first step to changing my behavior. I mean, a sista has got to eat, right?

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

Thursday, October 25, 2007

pretty fly for a white guy

So I've been known to peruse the wedding announcements cause I just love to see people in love...especially Black love, it's the fishes in me I guess. and the new york times has some of the best wedding announcements I've seen. Their pages are so well written and always come from such a unique perspective, giving you amazing insight into how the couple met, the way their love grew and their decision to join together forever.... *sigh*

enter deneta and her white boy, this week's featured couple.

Aren't they cute jumpin' that broom!?!

"...both native Virginians and shared a passion for social justice, becoming friends while painting a mural at a homeless shelter in Boston. 'I was hoping we could be more than friends,' said Mr. Sells..."

deneta and bryan got me to thinking....
what kind of white guy would I even think about entertaining the possibility of maybe going out on a date with and/or in the remote, highly unlikely unlikelihood that I just so happened to fall in love with a white boy, would I marry him?
y'all know I had to make that as tenuous and hypothetical as possible. Can't have the revolutionary black gangsta posse swooping down to renege my black card and steal my flag. i'm just saying, what would my fly (yes he'd have to be to be with me) white boy look like?

1. he'd have to be a mr. whitey mcwhiterson. straight from the mid-west/west coast/europe or something. he could not be a wigger! I can't stand the whiteys that try to be down, na'mean, son. droppin' slang in the most ackward way and professing a love so deep for Black culture that he tries to out-Black me. he can't be on some, I hate white people shit.....wigger, please! I don't even tolerate Black people that hate Black people so why would I tolerate you hatin' on your own kind? Cause really people, self-hate is self-hate and I'm not tryin to slay that beast on top of all the sideways glances that are gonna be coming our way. If I'ma be with a white boy, he might as well be all the way white.

2. he's gonna have to know and accept that he's white, understand his white privilege and the way that will impact our interactions with each other and the world. don't ignore racism or brush me off when I come home talkin' bout how I hate the man, how smug white boys make me sick, and how white girls flippin' they hair all in my face on the train irks me to no end. I want you to be cognizant of all these things and intelligent enough for us to have serious conversations about it (at the end of which, you always concede that I am right in my assertions that white people think they own this world).

3. don't fetishsize me. let's NOT talk ad nauseum about how you luuuuvaahhh my dark skin and kinky hair. how you've always dated "exotic" women. how peoples' stares at our ebony and ivory pairing gets you all hot and bothered. and you damn sho betta not be tryin' to re-enact any slave-time scenarios in which I play the lusty housemaid to your massa.

and of course, let's not forget the less intellectualized, slightly mo' ig'nant requirements for this unicorn of a white boy...

4. he'd have to NOT smell like a dog...ever!

5. he'd have to have minimal body hair....that bushy back hair creepin' out your collar is not a good look.

6. he'd have to lay down a superb, dopalicious D game (i'm just sayin').

7. he'd have to have some money, and by money I mean a lot...like a trust fund or something.

8. he'd love me a whole lot more than I'd love him because he'd have to be willing to put up with my occasional rants against the white world without taking it personally.

9. I'd want him to look something like Brody from the Hills

with the quirky sense of humor of Seth from the OC

(love those rich cali white boys!)

If you can find me a white boy with all of these qualities, I might have to meet him...you know just in case.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Resurrection of the Buppie

Ooohhh. . . time to touch on a wonderful topic, HOLLYWOOD (he's on his way he's busting thru Hollywood -- shouts out to Chaka Khan and Erykah Badu since we're also talking about resurrection).

Last time Hollywood entertained the thought of a Black upper class was in 1992 . . .
with my favorite movie of all time -- "Boomerang"

To a pre-teen child with the dreams of "doin' the damn thing" the cast ensemble was the dream come true (Robin Givens, Eddie Murphy, Halle Berry, Martin Lawrence (he is so fine -- just like wine, only gets better with time).

This was truly Bellini's first epiphany in life (this is important to know folks particularly as you get to know me -- and I don't mean Martin!!!).

I knew I was going to make it, 'cuz Marcus and 'em made it. I mean really, "Boomerang" set the stage -- we had the senior executives, board meetings, and budget numbers: everything that spells professional -- hence the word buppie. "Boomerang" confirmed buppies were in existence.

Now fast forward to 2007 and Tyler Perry hit a home run with "Why Did I get Married" coupled with a grade A stamp of buppyness -- just wonderful! But, why did it take 15 freakin' years for the resurrection of the buppie??? Oh, Hollywood -- isn't it mainstream America's problem if they can't identify with a black lawyer-- who also happens to be partner at the firm, black doctor with own flourishing practice (ask my girl from the NO New Orleans and she says that's not practical to accomplish a practice at age 36 -- but that's irrlevant), black architect who won the major contract, and black entrepreneurs (all roles portrayed in "Why Did I get Married"). Hmmm. . . I'm lovin' it . . . I mean did you see the fabulousness of the cast in furs???

Back to my point, the buppies are back and hopefully here to stay in Hollywood. Since, I'm always hearing Hollywood responds to numbers. . . HELLO -- "Why Did I get Married" was number 1 , so that means Hollywood owes consumers more movies reflecting buppyness. I mean as a certified buppy myself (and I dare someone to say I'm not), who rarely flocks to the movie theatres (surenly not opening weekend) I spent my money. Hollywood, please take in to consideration that these forthcoming buppy movies should continue to have substance (so thank you Reginal Hudlin and Tyler Perry). Other buppy movies that were brillant in content include "Eve's Bayou" (thanks to Kasi Lemmons too), but you have to be a sophistacated soul -- it's kind of deep, but surely you can handle the content.

"Why Did I get Married" has provided reaffirmation that other buppies exist. I think I can speak for the millions of buppies and buppies-in-training, by proclaiming that we're here to stay. So, as we go through our journey called life if you need inspiration just pop in Boomerang (I do have the VHS version haven't upgraded to DVD, just yet). Oh, and for the rest of the buppies out there continue to stay on your grind, but remember to stay humble as apple pie -- 'cuz Tyler Perry reminded we us that we are fabulous, but our shit still stinks on occasion!

Remeber Hollywood, I ain't going nowhere --I'm here to stay--
BUPPY FOR LIFE . . . . . . . .



Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Okay Girlfriend...

You are daydreaming about the latest and greatest man in your life. This dude has a great personality, can make you laugh until your stomach aches, loves his momma, listens and actually hears what you have to say, and is a sexy motha--I'm shutting my mouth! Long walks have turned into movies and plays on Saturdays, cruising to the Roots and eating passion fruit...well ya'll know Jill's song. As you allow yourself to think about having a future together your cell phone rings and it's his name on display! You guys must be on some ESP, truly meant to be, soulmate type thing because you were just thinking about him! And so you answer with all the excitement that a coincidence like this incites: "Hey Boo! I was just thinking about you!" but then you hear someone, who ain't Boo, ask you "Who's this? And why are you in my man's phone?" Ummmm. Whatcha mean your man?"

And so begins the
Woman to Woman conversation...

While she tells her tale of how they have been together for a minute, have plans to buy a house, have a baby on the way and just went halfsies on an ice cream sundae-you start to feel OH SO FOOLISH! She explains that she just was going through his phone, because she just had to see-and you get to thinking about all those restrictions on his time. You couldn't have dinner because he had to help his cousin Ray-Ray move. Ya'll couldn't go to New York for the weekend because he had to drop moms off at the airport on Friday and pick her up on Saturday. You couldn't share your own freakin' ice cream sundae because he was busy finding a cure for cancer. And how about all your calls between 8pm and midnight that went straight to voicemail, and when he finally did call you back didn't it sound like he was speaking in hushed tones...in the bathroom? Naaaaaaw, you told yourself-he's just sounds like that when he's tired. And as the girlfriend continues about the life they have built together anger is growing inside of you because this "man" had you in some compromising positions. Maybe one that required knee pads, others that you ain't never done for nobody else! And had you known...well, far too many females have been here.

For me, when I was younger and dumber, it was Chris's girlfriend of several years who heralded the story of them to me. So I told her everything! Who I was, how we met, and what we did, and clearly how he lied to us both. She said thanks. There were no death threats, hair pulling or plans to come up to my job so we could settle this in a good ole
cat fight. I got lucky, no drama. He, on the other hand had the nerve to call me and ask me why I told her anything (insert your favorite series of expletives here). Excuuuuuuuuuse me? Is there some manual for when you find out that you're the side piece?! I've got one friend getting text messages from a wife on Sunday morning, to which my friend could only text "Sorry, I didn't know." And I've got another friend who opted not to tell the girlfriend the truth. And then foolishly invites the girlfriend to coffee and expressed her "sincere" desire that the two could become friends. Clearly when one realizes they're not supposed to exist responses will vary. And as for me, there were a few more chapters in the Chris and Amaretto book even after this point...but like I said I was dumb then.

As the conversation concludes the girlfriend and I both wonder what the hell just happened. She's been checking his phone, email, and waking up at ungodly hours to drive by his house just to see if some other chick has slept over. Girlfriend has been digging for weeks and has finally found me. She's been trying to save a relationship while losing her sanity. And after hearing all of this I'm feeling more sorry for her than for me.

Okay girlfriend...I feel you. I'm sorry he ain't no good!

But then I wonder why she didn't talk to him before calling me...

See You in Seven

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Different World... This ain't Hillman baby

"Ain't no tellin where I may be
May see me in DC at Howard Homes
Comin, with my man Capone, Dummin f**kin somethin..."
- Kick In the Door, Notorius B.I.G.

As a native of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and a current resident, I have had many opportunities to attend the infamous Howard University (HU) homecoming. Homecoming events include step shows, a parade, pep rally, the football game [of course], concerts… the usual spread that you would find at an HBCU. But unlike other HBCUs, Howard’s homecoming somehow became known nationwide as “the ultimate homecoming weekend” that literally shuts down parts of D.C. and sends residents running indoors like the air strikes of the 50’s. Biggie, Ludacris, The Game, and even Adina Howard have all mentioned HU’s homecoming in their song lyrics.

As a teenager I enjoyed walking the perimeters of the “Yard”, fantasizing about the fun and freedom of dorm life and the college experience. We may not have been old enough to attend anyone’s party but there was enough going on outside to fulfill our thirst for excitement. Freshman year of college- my friends and I came home the weekend of HU’s homecoming on the sneak tip and didn’t tell our parents. What fun we had! You couldn’t tell us nothin’. I still remember huggin the porcelain that Saturday night… oh what a mess! As a young adult, I have attended alumni parties here and there but the excitement has definitely slowly waned with the years.
This past weekend, HU homecoming was once again in full effect. The city was abuzz, as usual. There were at least twenty celebrity hosted parties happening each night. The Howard Bisons beat the North Carolina A&T Aggies, 35-20. My homegirl (we'll call her Tracy) who lives in Jersey came down and brought her niece and three of her niece’s friends. The niece and friends (we’ll call them the Brat Pack) were all seventeen or eighteen years old. Tracy wanted the Brat Pack to experience the college homecoming scene in hopes of evoking a yearning for higher education within their hearts. They had a chance to attend a couple of the homecoming events, the football game, and chilled on the Yard.

Unfortunately, it was our Saturday night stroll down the one and only Georgia Avenue that will forever be etched in the Brat Pack’s memories. Picture this: four blocks of black folks (mostly youngins) everywhere. I’m talking all over the sidewalks, standing in the streets, posted in the parking lots… Most of these folks are from the urrrea and don’t attend HU or any other university. A hood car show with every type of Caprice, Caddy, Lincoln, etc. you can name, freshly waxed, rolling at 3 seconds per hour so that you can admire their 24 inch rims while you feel the music reverberate throughout your chest. As we walked down the sidewalk, brothas to the left and the right hollerin “ay babay”, “what’s up shorty”, and “can I walk witchu?”

The Brat Pack was eating it up for the first 20 minutes. They’re young, beautiful, green as hell and the vultures could smell the fresh meat. The young ladies were teeheeheeing and cheesing and snapping pictures. My homegirl and I were a few feet behind them looking like somebody’s designated chaperone. Every once and again, we’d have to get a fool straight for comin out the mouth with something inappropriate. Within minutes, I had threatened to clock a sucka with the empty glass bottle in my hand. Tracy had to let some S.O.B. know that her husband is an officer with a license to carry a weapon, and that she was not afraid to shoot on his behalf. It was effin crazy! The Brat Pack started looking less impressed and more outraged. As we began our retreat to the car, two young girls no more than 16 years old started fighting. And when I say fighting, these chicks were scrappin. A mob rushed around them. The police came running from across the street. Effin crazy! These youngins ain’t even got no high school diploma and wanna come crashin a college homecoming with some ignorant shit! Not a damn shameful bone in their bodies… it’s really sad. An epidemic.

What was even sadder was the Brat Pack’s negative comments and feeling of defeat as we rode in the car that night. I hope they remember the pride they felt approaching the campus Friday morning rather than the despair felt as we left Saturday night. Maybe we should have attended University of Maryland’s homecoming instead…

My people.