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, February 1, 2008

Wedding Dress Blues

Y’all, I have found my wedding dress! Say word, Rum Punch? Word! I know what you readers are thinking: you didn’t even know that I was engaged, I don’t talk about it in my weekly posts and it’s not even in my description on the right side of the page. And that’s because, I’m not engaged, nowhere close, but I have found my wedding dress. And if I may say so, it’s simply divine!

Now to prove that I’m not crazy, (cause isn’t that what sane people do), I have to tell y’all that I am not one of those women who has been planning her wedding since the age of 5. I don’t have everything picked out: invitations, venue, colors, bridesmaids, reception place, flowers, etc, etc. I didn’t even have an idea for my wedding dress. But I have been watching this show on TLC, Say Yes to the Dress which follows employees who work at a fabulous bridal store in New York. So in my down time, I just happened to mosey on over to the bridal store’s web site and lo and behold, I found my wedding dress! Now onto finding my husband!

Or not.

As I get older, I have tried to stay away from making definitive statements, saying things like: when I get married, or my husband is gonna be x,y,z, or I can’t wait until my husband and I get our dream house, travel the world, have 6 babies and a dog. Cause truth be told, I don’t like dogs and who knows when and damn sure if I’ll get married. Some people call that pessimistic, that if you don’t believe it, then it won’t happen. I call it realistic. Because the truth is that part of growing up is accepting that you don’t always get what you want when you want it and sometimes you just don't get it at all... Now, I know a lot of women are part of the name it, claim it, believe it, receive it school of thought. And I understand the importance of wanting something and believing that it will happen. Nothing wrong with that. But what if it doesn’t happen on your timeline? What will happen to your life? What will you do then?

I can recall my associate pastor sharing this pearl of wisdom with me: “I had reached a certain age, and I had watched all my girlfriends get married, but not me, and I had to accept the fact that I might never get married.” Wow. You need a spoonful of sugar to get that reality pill down. That’s not the life so many girls who become women envision for themselves. My associate pastor eventually did get married in her late forties, past child bearing age, but there was still time to build a life with somebody. Two of my mother’s friends, one in her early fifties and the other in her late sixties are getting married for the first time (not to each other obviously)...

Last week I wrote about witnessing my parents’ successful marriage of nearly 35 years. However, the rest of my family (on my mother’s side at least) tell a different tale. I have female family members who are divorced or even “worse” have never been married and dare I say that they seem to have survived in this world and enjoyed their lives sans (that's without- for those who don't parle francais) a husband. I have older female family members who were married, but their husbands (my grandfather included) passed away long before I was born so they have been widowed for 25+ years. So as I got older I realized that marriage was not necessarily the path that every woman took; and just because you got married didn’t mean that shit would last forever and there wouldn’t be the possibility that you might have to walk alone again…

Then why oh why am I looking, dreaming and tempted to buy this wedding dress and keep it in the closet until I find the “one”? I told Amaretto that this dress would be the perfect dress, if I were dating someone right now and if they were going to propose and if I were going to be married soon. Her response: that’s a lot of ifs. And then my grandma hit me with more truth and logic talking abou: “you found the dress but have you found the man?” Oh my goodness granny! No, I haven't. And who's to say that when and if I do find him, this will be the perfect dress for our big day? It should be reflective of our courtship, our vision, who we are...Maybe we'll decide to have a casual wedding (that would be such a reach for me though) or maybe we'll elope or go to the courthouse or get married in the backyard like my family constantly suggests...the possibilities are endless...

So now I'm left with all these feelings and emotions...Am I becoming one of those women who is dreaming about the wedding (cause I know I would look f-a-b-o) but not about the marriage, the making a life with someone... What has happened to my carpe diem attitude? I had promised myself to stop fantasizing and just take life day by day, working on my personal goals and letting love come when it’s time. Where is my ‘your life won’t end if you never get married’ mentality? I saw that damn dress and all that went out the window! I know that I can regain my composure and get this out my system. This was just a glitch in the matrix. All I need to do is try that dress on one time! Who’s down for a road trip to New York City?

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

Thursday, January 31, 2008

pour out a little...

last night i was avoiding my father. he called and i didn't answered. i just didn't feel like it. see my dad rambles. and he mumbles. and he slurs. and he talks real fast so that i can't understand what he's saying.

he's a vietnam veteran. with post tramautic stress syndrome. and a mean off-and-on drug addiction.

this is my father.

he and my mom divorced when i was about 8 and thankfully i had a sometimes annoying but none-the-less-there stepfather who has not hesitated to do anything within his power for me and my sisters. thank God for him.

meanwhile my father was absent for much of my growing up, although we saw him every now and then through the years. just recently in the last 5 years, my contact with him has been more frequent and i've grown to understand who he is and what he couldn't be with such clarity that at times i deal with him not as my father but as a dear old man who i am fond of.

so when i was startled awake by my sister calling me at 6am this morning I was shocked at what she had to say.

her baby's father is dead.

and i cried.

those who know the back story would be a little surprised that i cried. because dude has not won any baby daddy of the year awards in the 5 years my beautiful wonderful smart funny cool-ass niece has been on this earth. he's ducked and dodged and a few years ago was laid up on a ventilator after being shot several times.


but i cried for his soul, for my sister, for baby daddy's family, and most of all for my niece who has lost her father. who she adored despite his absences. whose height she has. whose aunt's gap she has.

and in my mind i connect her loss with my loss of my father to war and drugs.

how will this change her? some shit she aint want no parts to. she want her daddy. always.

shit sucks...

R.I.P. Young Man

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

January Digest

Folks it’s been a long month. New Hampshire feels like last year, and that was only a few weeks ago. The preliminary primaries have all been accounted for and the emergence of the parties players are visible. Obama, Hillary, McCain – please stand up!
Sayonara Edwards (ooopps – the cat is out the bag), Guiliani, Thompson, Huckabee, Romney (I’m calling you out now).
Let’s press on with analysis. . .

I told you folks, South Carolina would be the bellweather state.

What we learned about Barack’s candidacy?
The Palmetto State was the first encounter Barack had with a core constituency of the Democratic Party to support his presidential candidacy. Not only did he garner the black vote, but he mobilized them to come out and vote in record numbers. Also, I can’t forget to mention that he beat Hillary in a 2-1 margin. He and Hillary split the white male vote and she won white women.

What Hillary failed to learn?
When you choose to switch your candidacy to a co-candidacy the same rules don’t apply. Bill is dually your asset and liability; we knew that going into the race. Currently, I only see liability – although things could change. You have let your husband run amok; you gave him license because he used to be president. You decide to leave the Palmetto state to concert resources for Tsunami Tuesday, the decision was made for Bill to hang around ‘cuz he knows how to communicate with black folks. Tst.tst... Well, that plan didn’t work out, so you decide to dismiss Saturday’s outcome and instead the co-candidate masqueraded defeat? Where were you? And to add insult to injury your co-candidate trivializes your opponent’s victory by inadvertently surmising the win was a “fairy tale” -- incredulous!
This lesson should have been learned by now – obviously it hasn’t – you do not play Russian Roulette with the foundation of your core constituency. Did your advisors care to share with you Kathleen Kennedy Townsend’s fate in Maryland’s gubernatorial race? (quick synopsis – she bailed on her core constituency by overlooking qualified members of her party’s core constituency for Lt. Governor) She didn’t win. . . do you want to win?

Hillary you’re a quick study (New Hamsphire taught us a lot about you) take notes.
A. The race for your party’s nomination might be won with the Clintonian tactics you currently employ, but you will lose the election. I’m still leery of the fact that a person with high negatives is the serious contender.

B. If you choose to still adopt a platform of change “breaking the glass ceiling” –speak on that message. You are muddying your platform, so I’m not listening. I want to see you, not Bill. Bill you had your turn – the innocuous effect you thought your husband wielded – he does not. Tell him to go tend to his foundation and exercise good there.

C. Be a fool and listen to Pat Buchanan (McLaughlin Group -- January 27,2008) if you want to, rather I would think you would be receptive to the prudent advice of colleagues in your party. They told you to chill, get to it Ice Queen!

McCain won Florida -- folks couldn't take no more of flip-floppin Mitt. If you compare the amount of money Romney spent to receive the votes -- McCain wiped Romney out. Although, the question must be asked, how will the evangelicals -- the core constituency for 18 years --react to McCain? Tsunami Tuesday, we're ready, time to shake things up!



Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Scratching Off Luck

So last week dude from the mail room crew hunted me down to ask if he could borrow 20 bucks. Um. Okay. I work two jobs, had it spare, and we are cool like that. I mean I understand what it’s like on that Monday through Thursday before payday Friday. Sometimes you’re calling out because you don’t have the gas or bus money to get to work. Or you are sitting hoping someone’s ordering lunch for the office so you can sneak a sandwich. Plus my mail room friend has 5 kids, 3 baby’s mommas, 1 ailing mother, a conviction, and is a black man in America. Working a legit job. Struggling to do right. So me going to the ATM wasn’t a grave sacrifice…

But the whole exchange of my money got me to thinking about my buddy’s finances. His tendency to play the numbers and hang with his man (a professional gambler) in Atlantic City on the weekends. I mean every time we get paid he’s on his way to get his money orders…and to play the numbers. The week I couldn’t fall asleep before 1am, he took it as a sign for him to play the number 1. He swore that he’d give me half of whatever he got. Well what is halvsies of nothing? Exactly.

But I have empathy towards this dude because I-myself-personally had a love for scratch-offs, back, back, back in the day when I was young. Whaaaaaaaaaat! A chance to win a thousand or even thousands of dollars and at most all I was paying was 2 measly bucks! I gotta tell you, there were scratch-offs in my car, on the floor of my room heck even in my cat’s pile of toys. Those of course were the losing tickets, the winning ones (the YOU’VE WON a dollar) were used to purchase more tickets. Can we say vicious cycle? And on one of the brokest days of my life…I hit it BIG! It was all about Ulysses S. Grant, what? 50 bucks! But that only happened like one time out of hundreds. Let’s think about the numbers. 2 dollars a day, 4 weeks, 12 months in a year!

Dizzzzzzzaum! It nearly cost me $500!

And no one is thinking about the folks who have been playing numbers since prohibition. Using birthdates, the number they dreamt about back in ’75 or the number of blue cars they saw that day. I mean it is only a few bucks a day, but spanned out over a lifetime….

Well it just got me to wondering who is really winning off this lottery and general gambling thing. I mean it’s not like I’m seeing Bill Gates picking numbers. I ain’t seeing scratch-offs as any of Oprah’s favorite things. Of course I don’t know what the uber rich do, but it would be ludicrous if they played right?

But isn’t it more ludicrous that the folks funding these mega million jackpots are the hopeful poor? That commercials like
THIS-that I can’t get that beat out of my head-are made to target the hard working, but can’t quite make ends meet. Folks, who let’s be honest, are typically on the browner side of the spectrum.

It just saddens me that folks like my friend spend money hoping that Luck will be a loose and giving whore. Ha! Well I think folks would be better burying their lotto dollars in their yards, because truth is that Luck, more often than not is going to be a lady. An elusive, prudish. stingy ole lady, who ain’t giving it up any time soon!

See You in Seven

Monday, January 28, 2008

Bull, Hare, Stallion... Or A Blind Man

The past couple of days have been quite enjoyable as I celebrated my birthday over the weekend. Saturday, I had dinner with Bellini & Rum Punch. Then we chilled at a local bar and some more friends joined us for drinks and a lil' two step while watching a live band perform. Yesterday, I spent the anniversary of my birth with the woman who made it possible. We attended a fundraiser for an organization that I volunteer a lot of my time with and saw a brother named Baratunde Thurston perform. You could say he's a comedian (he is funny as hell); I'd say he's more of a social humorist. The native Washingtonian is not only witty, but also insightful and revolutionary. Check him out when you get a chance. Moms enjoyed him as well. After Baratunde's performance, we stopped by a bar down the street for a lil' toast and chit chat.

My parents will tell you that I wasn't born 'til a lil' after 6PM, therefore they don't officially wish me happy birthday until around that time. During the earlier hours of the day, they'll tell a version of the same story about my mother's water breaking on the day she was scheduled for a C-section (I came pushing into this world 12 days late) and her 12 hours of labor and my father getting cursed out for looking for parking instead of dropping my mom off at the emergency room door ... lol. You get the picture. So by the time mom and I sat down and were served our drinks, it was 6:15. How perfect was that?

Those who know Mama Stormy know she is an unforgettable woman. She is warm and comical. She will talk to anybody, which can be annoying at times. She gives it to you straight, with no chaser. And I swear this woman knows a little bit about everything! Any subject... she got a lil known history fact or random tidbit of information tucked into her brain. So of course, it was only a matter of minutes before she made friends with the folks sitting at the bar. Within half an hour, the bartender had become a part of her captivated audience as well.

Once mom spilled the beans about it being my birthday, it was a wrap. The bartender made me a drink- on the house. A man sitting right next to mom, who had been giving me the eye for a minute, made his way over to me. He introduced himself, told me how much he enjoyed mom's words of wisdom, and ordered us another round of drinks. Three hours later (yes really) we had discussed the presidential primaries, gentrification, the value of the Euro, gas prices, social uprising in Kenya, colonization in Africa... And sex.

As I returned from a trip to the bathroom, I heard my mom say "If you don't do anything else, be sure to make love to a blind person before you die. Or rather, before your pipes dry up, if you know what I mean." WTF??? Oh it's time to go home. Apparently, she somehow had landed on the topic of how our hangups about visual appearances can get in the way of us enjoying sex. Furthermore, a blind person's heightened sense of touch, taste, smell, and hearing increase their ability to awaken these senses within their sex partner. Her words y'all, not mine. And I did not even ask how she knew this. I simply assisted her in putting on her coat and scarf.

The guy from the bar gave me his number and expressed his interest in seeing me again. I enjoyed his company and I find him attractive, so I'm thinking about giving him a call. I do have one reservation. Our sexual compatibility.

Some would say I'm jumping the gun with such a thought. That's just how my mind works. It's not so much that I have only sex on the brain... I just like to evaluate compatibility on all levels. And sexual compatibility is very important to me. So I got up the nerve to mention it to my mom on the way home. I have a theory about the shape of a man's hands in relation to the shape of his sexual organ. The shape of his fingers, for example long and bony vs. short and stubby, give a good indication of the shape of his love below. Just my theory.

I didn't share the theory with mom, but I shared another related concern. This brother's ethnicity. I have heard that men within this particular ethnic group are not very well endowed. Though I have never witnessed it for myself. My mom started laughing and told me she has heard the same. She mentioned dating a man of the same ethnicity back in the day, whom she described as "depressingly small." She also said you can never know until you see it. There are exceptions to every rule.

Very true. In the book 'The Complete Kama Sutra', there is a breakdown of physical sexual compatibility and erotic science. It categorizes men's genitals in three types-bull, hare, and stallion; and women in three types- doe, mare, and cow-elephant. Obviously a matchup of an equal type is preferred to one that is unbalanced. Because I want to experience pleasure when making love.

My mom said to me "When you look for a potential mate/spouse, you are looking for pleasure, in addition to someone who can support you financially and with whom you can start a family with, right?" Absolutely. "In many cultures, still today, pleasure ain't part of the equation. It's about getting married, continuing a lineage, preserving a family name or legacy. There are no sexual expectations." Mmm hmm... I'm listening. "Therefore, in western cultures such as ours, women have a harder time finding suitable mates and become much more frustrated with not being able to find suitable mates, because they have higher expectations. They want it all. Not saying it's right or wrong, but the search and need for pleasure leaves most of us rarely or never satisfied."

Where the blind brother's at? I got small wrists and forearms... LOL!

Tumultuously Yours,

Dark & Stormy