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, July 25, 2008

Friendship At All Costs

Hey y’all! How goes it this Friday? So sometimes I like to take a break from real life and drift off to my happy place, that girly place where I plan my imaginary wedding: my dress, bridesmaids, reception, colors, the groom-you know the important things. And then I’m forced back to reality because a little voice (not a crazy voice though) goes off in my head and says, “Hey you’re in a real life, real live, for real, for real wedding, silly.” That’s right, I Rum Punch am off to Atlanta today for a wedding where I will be a bridesmaid. This is my first time as a bridesmaid. And I wouldn’t be completely disappointed if it were my last. Apparently though there are women in this world who are pressed to be in someone else’s wedding. Say word? Word. My friend has 14 bridesmaids, that's right 14! And there were people who were upset that they didn't get chosen. It was like being on Wedding Party Survivor. I don't know what those women were expecting, because I have found that this whole bridesmaid thing is not the business.

First off no one hipped me to the costs of being in someone’s wedding. Oh we’ll get to that in a minute, but let’s start off with the dress shall we? Has anyone seen that A Different World episode where Jasmine Guy aka Whitley Gilbert was in her father’s wedding (and she has this satiny bight green bridesmaid dress? Well she holds it up for the audience to see and says in that memorable southern drawl, “I’m gonna look like a refugee from The Wiz.” I’m not saying my bridesmaid dress is bad, but um, it ain’t great. Let’s just say that I’m gonna look like Scarlett ‘I’ll never go hungry again’ O’Hara crossed with Little ‘I’ve lost my sheep’ Bo Peep. But it’s not my wedding. It’s not my choice. So I can’t really complain. But I am seriously considering doing what a fellow suffering bridesmaid said she did on the Style Network’s Wedding Do’s and Don’t’s show and leaving my dress behind in the hotel room for Maria to snatch up for her daughter's quinceanera.

Of course I’m happy for my friend. I have to be because I want a husband of my own and I believe in karma. So I have just ridden this ride full of the bride’s color coded emails filled with somewhat crazy/ridiculous/what the hell has she been smoking demands & links to 'How to be the perfect bridesmaid' articles, ignored the feelings of being nickled and dimed (somebody tell me why I have to bring $10 for the make up artist), tried to stop wondering why we bridesmaids have been given the task of "breaking down" the reception, tried not to start senteneces with: this heffa done..., lent an ear when things weren't going as planned, refrained from calling the producers of Bridezilla, and have filed it all under: Things I'm Not Gonna Do When I Get Married. But yesterday I was tallying up the costs of this blessed event in my head and was like “DAYUM! I spent how much?” Let’s review the costs, shall we?

Bridesmaid Dress (that needs its own seat on the plane): $150
Matching Shoes (which you can’t even see underneath the huge dress): $50
Dress Alterations: $35
Hair Appointment (to get bride’s requested good grade of weave sewn in): $300
Manicure & Pedicure (French mani & pedi mandated by the bride): $45
Waxing (Well I would have done this anyway-but I’m still putting it down): $40
Plane Ticket: $200
Hotel: $120
Contribution to Bachelorette Party: $30
Being in one of your best friend’s wedding: Pricey. I mean priceless of course.
In all seriousness, I am looking forward to witnessing my friend exchange (long awaited) vows with her soul mate. But please believe that today, right here at 5 and a pos, I’m promising God and three white men, that the next wedding I’m in will be my own!*

That’s my time y’all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!
*Unless someone else from the 5 spot gets married first... :-)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

encourage yourself

so I really wanted to write something interesting to follow up last week's ode to the grudge but unfortunately kids I just could not muster the strength. you see, I'm in the middle of possibly the most exhausting week ever, thanks to the kind folks known as the louis.i.ana bar exam.iners. they would not be satisfied with just two days of testing or even three days in a row, they had to have a whole week of studying and writing and studying and writing. thankfully, I'm in the home stretch. not so thankfully, I can not squeeze out anything beyond crim law, con law and federal jurisdiction and I know ya'll don't wanna read about that. I will leave ya'll with a little encouragement since I'm sure somebody out there is having a bad day of some sort....

Sometimes you have to speak victory during the TEST!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

state of affairs, vol.ii--education chronicles

It's been 6 onths since I last broached this subject. And after viewing CNN over the weekend and mulling over Soledad O'Brien's special--Reclaiming the Dream, I learned something about black folks. Half of us are elitists-- and it doesn't necessarily mean they're pompous or arrogant. We mean well, but sometimes we must admit we're clueless. Okay Bellini, what are you gettin' at?

So, there was a segment on education-- how to increase the graduation rates of the youth. And, so they feature an economist (and forgive me be'cuz I can't recall the brotha's name) whose applying his theories into practice in a school district in Texas. And one of his solutions is to pay the students money to learn -- a nominal fee ~$250 for the year. Dr. Juliane Malveaux, another renowned economist and college president (Bennett College), wasn't having it. She couldn't fathom giving children money to learn and of course she was wating for the logitudinal study to affirm or undermine the other economist's theory. I must admit 5 years ago, I would have shared the same sentiments as Dr. Malveaux. But now, not so sure. I say go ahead and give the students the money. A friend of mine who teaches at an inner-city arts magnet high school has acknowledged that the students aren't amped up to do projects or extra without the lure of the carrot ta da money! Damn, his it come to this?

My rationalization for giving the students money is this: if students are more inclined to do their studies and perform better due to the lure of money --is that a bad thing-- when we have an exceedingly high dropout rate? And if we can grasp a child's attention from grammar school thru secondary school and perhaps they'll have greater self-assuredness to complete high school and thus graduate. And maybe I'm reaching (hold on folks), but perhaps the kids will associate brain power with higher pay and understand their worth?

When did it all get so complicated and convoluted like this ?

For those of you who don't agree, you're probably an elitist. Sorry folks, I got to call it as I see it. Unless you're able to state otherwise. And I will remind you being an elitist ain't doing the current generation or the next generation of children any good. The inner-city students is facing a different set of issues than most have been accustomed too.

If you're able to view CNN tonight (i think 9p.m. EST) they will debut their 2 part-series: Being Black in America. Watch it.



Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tempted to Touch

Why do children love touching hot stoves…especially after being warned not to? Why did Eve eat the cursed fruit, after God said that she could have everything else but? What is it about the things we are forbidden to do that draw us like moths to flames, sometimes we get singed, other times burned beyond recognition…but rarely during these taboo adventures do we walk away unscathed.

I want all the scientists (and other learned folks) out there to conduct a study…because I need to know why people are compelled to just throw caution into the wind and do what they know they should not (read: drugs, people, eating daddy’s big piece of fried chicken).

I’m thinking its because for the most part life gets very routine for most of us. For me there’s work. Then church. Shopping. And hanging out with friends. You have yet to see me call in sick to work and just drive someplace for a couple of days. I’ve never been to a restaurant and asked the waiter to just bring me something on the menu….because hey, I need to know what I’m getting before I get it.

Though I consider myself the furthest thing from a Type A
personality…when it comes to taking action I tend to ponder. Then mull over. Then ponder. Then table. Then scratch my head before I seriously think about doing something.

But there was that one time… I like to share this story with people who are new to my world. I guess I think it makes me interesting or gives me street cred (either way its sad) but back in my teen years I got catch shoplifting. Now I can enjoy the shocked responses I receive with this fun fact about me...Really Amaretto? You? Ah yes, even me. And I continue to explain that I had more than enough money to cover the items that I took. But I just wanted to see what would happen next. See if I could get away with stuffing sunglasses and jeans in my bag. Plus it was spring break and my friend and I were bored…out of our minds. And in hindsight the thrill of the crime didn’t outweigh the consequences I received from my parents and the law…

Sometimes though, the revelation of consequences is not strong enough to combat the catalytic power of both boredom and curiosity. Life gets more interesting when we wander off the paved path and we get to learn from our transgressions. There is a luring appeal when we ignore the black and white and meander into the forbidden shades of grey. And knowing that sometimes consequences can be too costly to pay I still can’t help but debate how hot that stove really be…

It’s just too tempting to touch!

See You in Seven

Monday, July 21, 2008

love don't live here anymore

5 And A Possible Presents a Possible: Bahama Mama

Why do we say one thing and mean another? The father of my children (he hates to be called my baby’s daddy) and I have developed a new relationship. I think that we are friends committed to raising our children together for the next seventeen years. He on the other hand refuses to label anything and always brings up the fact that we are not together. N@#ga please! Don’t you think I know that? Every time our girls ask about daddy, or I look through the “family” photo album I am reminded that we are not together. Or better yet, every time I look at another tall, well-built man that she is attracted to (the “she” I speak of is my female equivalent of the other male brain), and approach him, I am blissfully aware of my new found freedom.

Yes, I know that we are not together, but does he? I found myself wondering why he brings up the subject when we are so far from the topic that even mentioning our current predicament seems a bit insane and desperate on his part. At one point I thought that he was off doing his thing, and simply wanted to make sure that we were on the same page. But come on! You got to remind me of this during every conversation? Nah, he has to remind himself. It’s cool that like most men, that his actions don’t run parallel with his words. Somewhere in there he is missing the connection, so typically male.

So, I listen, at times calling him on his BS, but never blurring the lines of our friendship. I don’t sit around waiting for him to come crawling back to us. He goes out, so do I. He gets his, so do I. He admits that he hasn’t explored the sexual world lately leading me to believe that he’s up to his old games again. When I met him he thought that he was saying all the right things and that he got me. If truth be told, I would say I was laughing at all the right moments, inserting my usual smart comments to capture his attention, and let’s face it I knew I was going to sleep with him when I shook his hand and introduced myself. So who got who?

I think what men don’t know and what women forget is that we are rarely coerced into doing something. Many women have an inkling of what they are going to do before they do it. What’s that called? Oh yeah, our intuition. Trust it. If you have a feeling he’s cheating, he probably is. If your gut tells you he ain’t the one, he probably isn’t. Don’t let you’re that intuition tell you one thing, and you do another. It almost always ends up in a disaster. As for me and the father of my children I let his words stand we ain't together. So don’t be mad, labeling me as your main (even though you don’t want to label our relationship) when you feel like you might wanna be with me again. I ain’t his main nothing right now. I am the mother of his children. That’s what I said and that’s what I mean.

until next time,

Bahama Mama