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, March 27, 2009

Tired of Being Alone

So, one beautiful spring day, when I was a wee lad, and by wee, I mean about 22-23 years old, I went to a brunch that was specifically for black women. So it was supposed to be an “uplifting” brunch with a guest speaker a la Iyanla Vanzant. Anyway. Most of the women were late twenties, early thirties. Professionals. Home owners. And a majority of them were single. Now, to me, at the time, they seemed soo old. And established. And quite lonely. And just tipping the bitter, black woman scale. And I remember thinking, “Lord, please don’t let me become this type of black woman.” Oh no.

So, we’re sitting around munching on skrimp and grits, chicken and waffles, etc., etc., and one of the women starts talking about how she doesn’t have a man. And that she wishes, sometimes, that she had a man. And then she says, softly, and dare I say kind of sadly, “I just wish that I had someone, so they could wash my car on a day like today.” And I remember thinking, “say what?” That’s all you want? Pitiful. And now. Five years later. I am that woman. Well, okay, I’m not a homeowner. But I am that black, professional woman, quickly approaching 30. Single. But trying not to be bitter about it. Not trying to let it get me down. You know keeping my mind stayed on Jesus and ery’thang, but ummm, how many of y'all know it gets hard.

Earlier this week I had a little bit of meltdown. Basically, as I’m driving without a care in the world, I learn from a fellow driver that my new (all of four days old) back tire was low. FRRRICCKK! I pull up to the conveniently nearby tire spot. They tell me I’ll probably need a patch for $19.99. Ok, I can handle that. 20 minutes later, they tell me I need a whole new tire. Now it’s time to put on my sista girl coat, hat and boots. Let the neck roll and the finger wag. Oh hell no, I said. I just got these tires. “Well you’re gonna have to take it to the place you got it from," they said.

And that’s when the meltdown occurred. I’m not exactly sure what I said. I think it was something along the lines of, “Why Lord, why? Why am I by myself? I hate being single! I don’t wanna do this shyt by myself anymore.” Ok. Admittedly it was a little extreme. It was only a tire. And I had the people put the doughnut on my car, drove to the other place and got a new tire for free. But in that moment, in that wtf, this is truly messing with my day moment, I wanted a man to complain to. To gripe to. To call and be like, “you won’t believe this shyt!” But I had no one. Well no one of substance and worth my time, anyway.

I mean I just wanted to be able to be a baby with someone for like two seconds, two seconds. Take off this independent woman protective covering for a few moments and be vulnerable, upset, pissed off, the total opposite of clear headed. I mean of course I was going to get the tire fixed. But that day, it hit me, I be tired man. Tired of carrying this load by myself. And so now, at this point in my life, I totally understand ol’ girl’s comment about wanting a man to just wash her car. Cause it’s that seemingly little shyt, that in actuality is the important, big shyt. It's the little shyt that soothes your soul, makes you smile, helps you get through today and tomorow and the next day... Saying to a man, “Baby I had a hard day.” And then him, rubbing your feet, or kissing your fo’head, or running a bath, or just replying with these magic words, “Baby, what happened?” Doing something. Anything.

But when you have nothing. No one. Well, it starts to suck. No matter how many girlfriends you have to go to concerts and plays with. No matter how much your family loves you. No matter how many Bible Study classes you go to. No matter how many times you recite your single girl mantras in front of the mirror: “What God has for me is for me.” “I’m just going to work on me and the right person will come.” “This too shall pass.” “Shyt, I know I look good. And I need a man who can appreciate it.” It starts to all feel for naught.

Cause you don't know what's coming around the corner. What God has in store for you. What tomorrow is going to bring. And other cliches. And you start to get worried. But everyone says, don't worry. And so I'm trying not to. And so, while I live my life (oh yes that's another mantra) and make plans for my future, and eat this pan of brownies, I guess I've got to come out of my funk, cause this too shall pass...

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

Thursday, March 26, 2009

just in case you were wondering, i love you

last summer at my cousin's wedding reception she danced with her mama and her daddy to musiq soulchild's "Mother/Father." twas one of those classic wedding awwwww moments. and i thought to myself, when i get married, i want to dance to that song with my stepfather.

now me and my stepfather haven't always had the best relationship. he's one of those people who is stubborn and always thinks they are right about everything, and will tell you bout yourself even if you didn't ask to hear it. he wouldn't hesitate to tell one of my friends that she was gettin fat when she came by the house. or to point out to some dude i brought over to meet him that he didn't seem very bright (to his face!)

he irritated me to no end because he always seemed to think he knew what was best for meand he never listened to a word i had to say once he made up his mind. one time in particular he threatened to "wash his hands of me" if i didn't accept a full scholarship and go to famu like he decided i should instead of going to spelman, the school i'd been dreaming about for most of my high school years. nevermind that i wasn't asking him for a dime to fund my college education. he just wanted me to do what he said. and i just wanted his approval of my choice.

i was mad behind that for about a week or two before i decided that i only had a few more months of living in his house anyway. but over the years since then, with time and space between us, those hard feelings have given way to love and respect. for he has been one of the contsant encouragers in my life, even if i had to swallow a handful of nails before i got to the honey in his words.

he was the one who went down to my elementary school and demanded that they test me for the gifted and talented program because he noticed that i didn't seem challenged by my school work.

he was the one i could call when i was down to my last $100 during those couple of weeks at the end of the semester when the refund money had run dry.

he is the one who tells me that out of all of his children, he is most proud of me.

past differences aside, he has been the best father to me, better than my real father could ever hope to be. right now he's goin through something so heavy that i honestly don't know if i'll be able to dance with him at my wedding like i want to. i try to picture us there, in the middle of some grand hall, swaying softly to the music. memories of my debutante presentation give me a glimpse of what it could be like. i pray that he gets well but to my stepfather before I forget, thank you for all that you have been to me and just in case you are wondering I love you...

I know that our differencse caused us to waste so much of our time we could have used getting to know each and one another/But now that I've grown into my own and learned some things about life I now can see that it wasn't easy to raise someone like me.

I remember those days when you used to sit me down and try to school me about the plenty opportunities in life/Hoping and wishing and praying that something would stick and somehow click within this mind of mine/See you used to say, if you throw enough on the wall something is bound to rub off and I'm here to tell you that you don't have to really worry about me at all

There was no limit to all the things that you've done and would have for me my sister and I'll never understand how you would talk all day long and just as you said, in one ear and out the other/Isn't it funny how things change when you get older? (And you start to see things for yourself)/Now I know that I'll never find another love like yours inside anyone else

Mother-Father before I forget/Thank you for all that you have been to me and just in case you are wondering I love you...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

life ain't fair...

As we all know life ain't fair, but you have to take the lemons and make lemonade -- right. The financial mess on Wall Street with AIG as the nexus is fueling all fears. Those of you that believe that AIG can collapse, that's a bluff that you don't want to be called -- at least right now. This company insures 70% of small businesses and small businesses are barely hanging on a thread. The problem is AIG is a matrix, and there is no clear authority on whom knows the structure of the company. Somebody needs to their homework and figure that shit out -- that's the million dollar question. If we figured that out, then the Treasury Department would be in a position to make prudent decisions about company's future. However, I'm not giving Geither & Co. any slack because he seems a lil' green, but time will tell. And, so just when populist outcry is ready to hang AIG employees, Jake makes you think twice.

And now it's safe to assume, AIG lost one -- a good one, that shouldn't have left. And as Jake shared, for the most part, the dishonorable have skipped town with bonuses intact. Unfortunately, Wall Street and finance is one thing, but when Wall Street has to meet up with Main Street vis-a-vis Capitol Hill, you better know how to play politics. Chris Matthews embodies it best -- it's Hardball! Now Wall Street may want to pontificate and such and think jobs are plentiful, but when 1 job announcement for a janitor receives 500 applicants--think again. And yes, we get that everyone in Wall Street didn't fcuk up, however, ya'll just have to face the scorn of the public. Hopefully, the industry will be shamed enough to change its ways (platinum parachutes for less than stellar peformance). The fact of the matter is tensions are runnin' high, and answers are few and far in between. So, life ain't fair, and Wall Street, accept the fact that you're the receipient of the brunt of anger and frustrations--justly or unjustly so.



Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Momma's Baby

Okay, so to update ya’ll on my workplace faux pas…I apologized the next day while gently flogging him for looking at my computer, and he accepted while explaining that it was just a misunderstanding he wanted to make sure we weren’t duplicating efforts. Yeah right, and my name is Vodka. But I am happy to report that things are a little less awkward now…not back to good but as my momma said…at least he’s staying out your cube. Amen mom! Amen.

And speaking of mothers… my mom came to visit me for a couple of days last week. Can I just say that I love my mom beyond any words that I can articulate. She’s always been the young, fun, humorous and understanding type and all my friends who have met her say she’s cool. And she is…but she’s also a mother. And with that comes a special little brand mothering that Amaretto ain’t been exposed to since we haven’t lived together for almost five years now. I can remember, back in the day when we shared space we would have discourse slash disputes over things like how to fold the towels. That’s right, how to fold towels! I can’t begin to tell ya’ll, I think there should be laws banning two adult related women from living together. Seriously!

And while we didn’t get into a towel folding contest this time, it truly surprised me how my mother is. I mean I don’t know if she’s changed or if I have changed, or if neither of us have changed and she’s doing her usual mom thing. But I think I have just forgotten what it was like to be mothered without a phone and a couple hundred miles in between us. And for almost four days, I had the woman who helped bring me into this world up close and personal. Live and in living color. Straight with no chaser!

Please enjoy some of last week's highlights...


Scenario: Amaretto is dressing for another day of work. She takes out black pants.

Mom says: Are you really going to wear black again today? You wore black yesterday. Amaretto thinks: Well I bought these clothes with my own money so what? Amaretto says: Yes mom. I like wearing black. Mom says: Humph. You need to wear color…looks like you’re going to a funeral. Amaretto thinks: Well if its any consolation going to work makes me feel like I’m dying a little bit each day…so I guess I’m dressed appropriately. Amaretto says: Yes mom.


Scenario: After much discussion mom has selected a restaurant to go to. Amaretto is driving in the direction of said restaurant.

Mom says: On second thought, I would like to go to Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah-being a restaurant behind us. Amaretto says: Okay. Mom says: It’s behind us, you have to turn around. Amaretto continues to drive forward. Mom says: You have to turn around. Amaretto thinks: Lord, have I sinned greatly against you lately? And knowing the answer says: I know mom, but I can’t turn around in the middle of the street during rush hour. Mom says: Oh. I just wanted to make sure you knew. Amaretto thinks: I know where the place is, I do still live in the area. Amaretto says: Yes mom.


Scenario: Food finally arrives at the table. Mom offers a prayer to God thanking him for the food but more importantly our time together.

Mom Says: How blessed she is to have a daughter and how thankful she is for all the wonderful things He is doing in Amaretto’s life. Amaretto thinks: Wow. I miss my mommy. There nothing like having a mother who cares enough to continue mothering while baby is an adult. I am blessed. Amaretto almost tearfully says: Amen. Then eats. And listens to mom talk about how good it would be to have unlimited money and to also have some grandkids. Most of her friends have grandbabies, some got two or three of them. Afterall it would be nice to have some while she is still young enough to recognize them and their mother… Amaretto thinks: Really mom? Maybe I should get her a puppy and put a bow on it. Amaretto says: Yes mom, I hear everything that you are saying.

See You In Seven

Monday, March 23, 2009

Living in the truth?

I found myself today contemplating What is the difference between the chick who sticks around knowing he is lying and the chick who believes the lies and sticks around?

Okay before I begin... let me paint the scene. This scenario involves two women...Jack-kay! and Jacquelyn. Both women are well educated, independent, and of course...single. Both understand the desire for a man in their life and both are involved in the same type relationship.

Each woman is seeing a guy who is sauve, smart, funny and charismatic...everybody loves them some of this golden boy. (Of course golden boy knows this too.) And did I mention golden boy is super busy cause he is forever getting invited somewhere.

Nonetheless, Jack-kay! and Jacquelyn are hard working chicks. Their calendars too are always booked. But each knows that GB (golden boy) is a smooth brother. Each believes that the ladies must be throwing the panties at him because they have each been tempted in the past to do so. Each knows deep down inside that he is not right for them and he doesn't want a relationship. But no matter how many dinners he cooks and sweet love letters he writes, he knows that GB loves them as a friend and would do whatever it takes to keep them as a friend, with or without benefits.

SO here is where the two differ...

Jack-kay! is quick to remind GB, "I know you don't want a relationship, which I am not even sure if that is something I want from you, so I will accept what you have to offer right now because it is fun." Whereas, Jacquelyn is like "Why won't you be with me? You say you love me..." and we know how that story goes. Jacquelyn pines for GB to wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee and demand to be her man. Jack-kay! stays on the grind dating but still allows GB to come and go as he pleases.

I know how most people feel about Jacquelyn--her scenario is somewhat sad. BUT Jack-kay! is she sad also?

Much luv until next week...peace :)