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, December 5, 2008

Can We Sing For A Minute?

So allegedly and apparently once you reach a certain age you have to be a grown-up and be grown about yours. Sigh. Paying bills. Buying homes. OK, at least one home, maybe not multiple. Getting into relationships. Let's pause right here, shall we?

So let's say you've been kickin' it with a nice fella, y'all talk via a variety of mediums, go on dates, have great conversations, mayhap you've gotten phyiscal, physical (if not you've at least exchanged a kiss or two), and most importantly y'all genuinely enjoy each other's company. You're feelin' him and it's clear that he's feelin' you. And you could just float on, float on through life like this forever. Or maybe not. Because there comes a time when you have to have the TALK.

The where is this going, what do you want from me, am I "wasting" my time with you cause I want a relationship and you ain't ready for that next step, talk? Because as much as people proclaim to wanna 'go with the flow', 'live and let live' and other cliches, it's just human nature to want to put "labels" on things or get clarification so you can maintain sanity and a criminal free record.* I mean you don't wanna be bustin' nobody's windows out, flattening tires, hiding in bushes, telling yo' momma's prayer circle to keep on prayin cause you made a mistake and it turns out that last man isn't gonna be yo' huzband, cause you thought y'all were together or building towards something until you saw him out on a date with somebody else. Awkward.

Now in the best of all possible worlds, you should have this talk before (as Steve Harvey would say), you give him the cookies. But you know what happens to good intentions. They come tumbling down like panties. Anywho. So just the thought of having the talk can cause panic, upset stomachs, lightheadedness, night sweats, a burning sensation, because what if you want one thing and the person wants another? And what if you're not even sure what you want? And what if you just want to convey that you're a great chick and he needs to get up on this?

And then on top of the fact that you have to have the talk, you also gotta pick the right time to do it. I mean men are always saying they don't like it when a woman is all quick with the 'where is this going' question. Not to mention that some men don't even like for women to bring up the topic, but we shan't go there today. And so you if you're gonna get your grown woman on and find out the deal, then you gotta do some algebra type equations that factor: how long have y'all been going out, how much do you like him, what do you want from him. Divide that by the year you were born. And then add the number of people you've slept with. Subtract the men who weren't shit. And then you have your answer of when to pounce talk.

But wouldn't it be sooo great if instead of the talk, you could just play songs that have already been written and express everything you already feel about possible relationships?! Oh yes! You could momentarily take off your grown-up hat and coat, make a mix CD, hand it to him, and watch his reaction as each song plays. Maybe you could take it old school and start off with a lil' Chaka to find out what he's feeling

And then after he confesses that he really does actually like you, then you could hit him with a little Jaguar Wright

and try to decide if you really wanna tell him how you feel. And then once you get up the nerve to tell him exactly how you feel, you can do like Teedra Moses

and let him know that you don't usually fall hard this way, and all you wanna do is him. And then you could hit him with a little Alice Smith

and let him know what exactly you like about him and what you want to be to him. And if that isn't enough, if he still needs more, then you leave the ultimate song by Ms. E. Badu herself for last, the song that puts it all out there, yet says just what you've been trying to say so effortlessly, so beautifully, so simply, with three little words: I Want You. And then throws the ball in his court with: So What We Gon' Do?

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

*Speaking of criminal records, the person who allegedly (that's for you Mint Julep) broke into my car last week has been apprehended. Sadly, he's a juvenile. Thanks for all the nice comments y'all left last week!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

michelle, ma belle

Since November 4th folks (read: Black folks) have been talking bout, "Well, now that Obama is president...[fill in your random request here]." Most of these requests are a little far fetched but I came across one that may actually have some merit. The other day while chatting with one of my co-workers, she hoped that with the O-man in office, Black men would follow in his footsteps and get themselves a Michelle! And being the perceptive Black educated woman that I am, I immediately knew exactly what she meant.

See Barack could have done the Harold Ford and came off less threatening. Or he could have gotten himself a lady who lunches. Someone who looked good on his arm but served no real purpose beyond political eye candy. But it seems, as with all things in his life, he was thinking ahead, like I-wanna-be-president-of-this-motha ahead. Barack is a man of great strategery, if you will. He wrote books about himself and his thoughts on America when no one really knew who the hell he was. He picked a city that he had absolutely no ties to, moved to one of its poorest neighborhoods, joined one of the most influential churches in that area and became a community organizer when he coulda been Chief Lottsadough. This was no accident. He wanted authenticity. He wanted to become a Chicagoan coming from the south, the south, the south side of the Chi!

But he didn't stop there. He chose Michelle. Slave stock from South Cakalak Michelle. South-side born and bred Michelle. There is no denying it. Michelle is all the way Black, with thick shiny Black hair, long elegant limbs, piercing eyes, strong cheekbones and much junk in her trunk. Michelle is strikingly Black. She might not be the most beautiful woman (to some) but I guarantee that when she walks into a room, all eyes on her!

To be sure, Barack loves him some Michelle and the weeMichelles. Cause he loves whatever he commits himself to, whether it be a woman, a job, this country. But the beauty of the thing is that she (and any Black woman of her kind) is the perfect compliment to him (or any ambitious Black man). She upgrades him. She's an equal who will play her part but still let him take the lead role, believe me. Michelle challenges him (see: Barbara Walters) when she thinks that he’s wrong, but hits him with the terrorist fist jab when homeboy is doin' the damn thang. And she’s super smart and can provide him with some strategery of her own during their late night pillow talk. She is a co-mate and co-pilot. Down for the cause, but the cause better be a well-thought-out, exquisitely-executed, I'm-only-doin'-this-on-time-negro cause. Reliable, dependable, sweet and sassy. Ok, I'll stop for I could go on and on because I heart Michelle.

So that’s why Black men need to get them some Michelle in they life. Most striving Black men go for the easy or should I say a fair amount, approaching many but don't want to generalize, ambitious men go for a woman who they are not threatened or intimidated by (read: young and slightly dumb). They want the woman who will sit back and shut the fuck up. Who they can tell what to do and she will say baby I already did it without and independent thought as to whether it should have been done. Who won’t challenge them or make them think outside the box. To each his own I guess but from a productivity prospective, this is not a good look.

It's like when a woman decides to stay home and watch the kids. Aint nothing wrong with that but the family unit then loses 50% of its potential income. Or mayhap everybody doesn't want an equal. Maybe men are scared or threatened by a Michelle. I would not begin to presume to know what men think or want. I'ma just over here being me. But maybe the real life Michelle, as she glows as first lady before our eyes will teach these brothas a thing or two. Cause you know every Black man in America loves them some Barack. Tap on any Black man's iphone and see what wallpaper he has sitting there. Ask a random Black man on the street where he’ll be on January 20th. Exactly!

For wanna-be Michelle's like me, let's hope they are dissecting his choice of a mate as well. And let's hope that they see that for all of Michelle’s strength, for all that she challenges and equals Barack, look at the way she supports him. How ride or die she is. How she pushes him to excellence and always brings her A game to the table. How she may not be light skin with long hair but homegirl is fierce! And maybe they’ll think outside the box as well.

Yes you can, my brotha, yes you can!

Photo by Courtesy Photo

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

vacuous vocabulary

First my dad, then Rum Punch. Both sent me links to an op/ed piece in the Washington Post – He’s Not Black. So, I read it. Yet prior to reading it, I read I’m Not Post-Racial– another op-ed featured in the Post too. Read them both – and hear me out.

Kudos for Krissah Williams Thompson for being a member of the media and distancing herself from the trend du jour. I know many of my friends and myself included cringe when hearing or reading the words post-racial, a term that seems to have plagued the very existence of Barack’s senatorial and presidential campaign. What does it mean? What are you trying to imply? White folks we understand you want your kumbaya moment, however if we’re to come together it won’t be exclusively on your terms.

Marie Arana, it’s nice that you’re able to identify with President Elect Obama as you see yourself as a mut. However, the immigrant experience is not the same as the black American experience. So, granted you perceive the President-Elect’s presidency a certain way, many do not share your perception. Many immigrants who come to the United States view this nation as the beacon of light on top of the hill, they recite and echo Horatio Alger’s principles. And yet for many citizens of the land – black Americans -- they endured and fought for basic rights, only denied because they were black. And these same black Americans are mixed too – don’t be fooled and think miscegenation didn’t occur over the 400 years during slavery because it did. Now what the mainstream has exercised the fancy of not discussing is that many blacks have white blood runnin’ through their veins – although for the most part not by choice (that’s neither here nor there, it’s history). And in addition to Caucasian ancestry, many blacks have native, indigenous blood runnin’ through them too. And although, many blacks are are aware of this miscegenation in their family tree, this country forbade them from acknowledging who they were. So, now the one thing that sets blacks apart— albeit skin color-- will not nor should be expected to be dismissed or diminished of its inherent value since the President-Elect is being openly acknowledged by the mainstream media as black. Many of us already know several US presidents who had negroid blood runnin’ through their veins (but again, it’s neither or here nor there, it's history).

So, Marie you accurately state, "Progress has outpaced vocabulary."interesting observation. Although, lets not forget progress has a subjective quality. So, yes the President-Elect’s historic presidential candidacy is progress, yet I’m sure you and I can have a lively debate about whether we’ve moved a foot or mile. Many black folks would challenge you on the progress made in American society. Let’s see many of us ain’t feelin’ the criminal justice system, labor statistics, media/Hollywood diversity. The other day when I was in the grocery story at the checkout counter 20 magazines were within my reach only 3 had black women on the cover and if you control for black ownership of magazines than none of the magazines featured a black women on the cover. Progress? Be careful what you say Marie. In the world of high-fashion, there’s a black-out of models. Progress?

Marie, clearly you missed the interview with the Greta van Sustern and the President-Elect as a presidential contender when he reminds Ms. van Sustern that race is still relevant in the United States, because upon departure he was fully aware nary one cabbie would stop for him New York City. Progress? Marie, race is still a salient factor of the American experience. And as that realization torments you rest assured, it torments us too. If you thought Americans could reconcile 4 centuries as a cliff note in the history books due to this historic election – your naivete has got the best of you.

Black folks we’ve got to be a bit more audible and visible when the mainstream tries to hurl these packaged soundbites. White folks we understand your hastiness to run away from the dark passages from American history, but check with us first – so we can keep it real wit’ cha!



Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lifestyles of the Famously Rich

So I have one question for the rich and famous, WTF? I just don’t understand it. While I come to work 5 days a week for 8 hours a day to make a salary that goes to pay Peter, Paul and Pookie the Plaxico Burresses of the world are throwing their money away on foolishness! Oh the lifestyles of the rich and famous!

Do ya’ll understand that if I could afford to make it rain on someone else to do my laundry, cook and dress me I would. This includes paying someone else to drive me-DUIs are neither sexy nor smart. And someone else to carry my guns, well actually if I liked guns I would carry my own but I would make sure I had the corresponding permit, which I’m sure costs much less than the $100,000 bail Plaxico just posted. Having a gun go off in the club is soooooo
Puffy 1999. Take dat. Take dat. Badboy. Dance J.Lo.

I must admit the famously rich fascinate me when they ignore their common sense and expect their dollars to make up the difference. Their entitlement issues make me laugh. You best believe if I’m making a wage living at a hangbag store where I couldn’t afford to buy anything I sold, and half my check goes to pay for someone to watch my kids, I’ll be damned if I’m reopening my store just so Oprah can shop. I mean I’ve worked a retail job before…well shoot, even the job that I currently have has me counting the moments until I can get the heck up and out of dodge! Dueces Lady O, its five o’clock!

I guess because I am of the thinking that mo money could solve a lot mo of my problems leaving me free to do whatever I wanted (a growing list that doesn’t include drug overdosing or court time of any sort); it’s difficult for me to imagine being stupid about mine. Mine being-my conduct, my character and my clothing, money should improve all three elements. It bothers me that some of these rich-n-famous folks started from rags and are still trying to find a way to get over, not out of poverty’s necessity, but because it in some way shows they are still down with the hood. Say whaaaat? When was the last time anyone ate chicken flavor Ramen noodles just because they wanted to?

But you know, maybe I just don’t understand the Plaxicos and the Britneys of the world because I and my parents were raised in the
unglamorous, even kilter middle class. I have no idea what it’s like to want to keep it real, or stay gully, or show how hood I am after I've made it. I do know that if the good Lord wants me to be rich I darn sure don’t want to be famous for it. It just makes more sense for me to sip champagne when I’m thirsty in the background with close personal friends who knew me way back when I use to drink coke from a can.

See You In Seven

Monday, December 1, 2008

America’s Place of Worship

It seems that despite the current state of the economy, American’s haven’t forgotten to pay homage to their favorite place of worship, the departmental store. The need to obtain more STUFF was so dire this year that we were willing to pay with someone’s life. I will never understand it…maybe you can help me to.


Please put your life in perspective.
Stepping down from my soap box now…

Much luv until next week…peace :)