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, May 1, 2009

What's Your Girlfriend Got to Do With Me?

So, sometimes as a single person, you have to hear about the love lives of others. Sometimes, no make that most times, against your will. And sometimes, no make that often times these conversations make you want to kill yourself. Or if that’s too drastic, search for the nearest emergency exit you can rush through. Or start to fake stomach cramps so you can leave. Or just have the testicular fortitude to say, “no thank you to where this conversation is going” And then get up and walk away.

Now I’m not talking about when you and your friends get together to discuss current relationships, prospects, or lack of love, sex or anything in between. I’m talking about people, men in particular, who feel the need to flaunt their girlfriend in front of your face. For example…

I went to this cookout and I see this guy I used to date. We exchange that ‘what are you doing now’ banter. And for real, for real, we could have parted ways right there. Thrown up the deuces to one another and said, “see ya when I see ya.” But nooo… He hits me with, “so are you seeing anyone?” But it wasn't in that I’m interested kinda way. Let’s do this one mo’gin type of way. It was more in the way a little kid has a huge secret about somebody that they just HAVE to share with the first person they see. They just can’t hold it any longer. But they wanna make you guess what it is. And you just don’t want to play that game.

“Noooo. Not seeing anyone right now,” I drag out. And then. Long pause. We stand there looking at each other for a few seconds. And then inevitably, I feel/think that to be polite, I should probably ask him this question back. Because sometimes I'm ignorant and I don't reciprocate a question. And people be gettin all mad and stuff. On some, 'don't you wanna know about me?' Sigh. I guess...
“So. Are you dating anyone?”
“Why yes. I have a girlfriend.”
“Really? That’s nice.” Inner monologue: Ok. I should ask him a question about her. Shouldn’t I? But what should I ask? Why do I care? Wait a minute. Is he talking right now? About her? What is he saying? I should probably pay attention, so I can ask follow up questions. There may be a pop quiz. She may be here later tonight and he'll introduce us. And I can't ask her questions if he's already told me stuff about her... Oh shyt. He’s still talking. About her. I should focus. Oh who is that guy? He looks kinda cute. Hmmm... My drink is geting low. I need another. But he's still talking. Why are all these bugs around me? They are gonna tear me up. I should focus. Focus. Focus. Right now...
“Yeah she’s ………….. etc., etc., etc. And she's also. ........ And she's from.... And we met ..... And we've been dating since ....” And I sat and sipped my vodka and pineapple and cried on the inside.

Have you ever seen that Sex and the City when Sarah Jessica Parker aka Carrie first meets Jack Berger. And they have instant “chemistry.” And then when she asks him to escort her to her book signing, he says, “sorry my girlfriend’s parents are coming into town.” Shock and awe. So when she gathers with her friends, she’s like “how come he didn’t tell me he had a girlfriend? I hate when guys don’t tell you right away!” And Samantha says, “yeah but you don’t wanna find out too soon. I hate when they’re all, ‘I have a girlfriend.’ Calm down I just asked if that seat was taken!”

Church, synagogue! Check it. True story. I went to my cousin’s 30th birthday party. I saw this guy from high school. I said, “what’s up, Wesley?* How’s life of a grown up?” We commiserate briefly. And then silence. Which is totally cool with me cause I'm only still standing here cause I’m waiting for the bartender to bring me my drank.** And then he says, “Yeah. My girlfriend couldn’t come tonight because she had to do something for school.” Yes it really went like that. Yes there really was no segue. Yes I really just stood there and was like, “uh ok. Good to see you.” Inner monologue: Where the hell is my stoli and sprite? Ahh here it is. Now, don't say anything else to him. Don't even look him in the eye. Don't smile or nod. Just walk away. Right. Now.

I am perplexed. I don’t mind people wanting to talk about their love. I mean maybe if I were in a relationship, I too would shout it from the mountaintops. At this point, if and when I get a man, I will probably stop people on the street and be like, “yo. Let me tell you about my man. He is the absolute greatest. No, don't walk away. I have to tell you abot the cutest thing he did last night!!" And then follow them until they pull out their cell phones to call the police.

But a la Carrie Bradshaw, I wonder, are men rapidly telling me (and other women) about their girlfriends because they don’t trust themselves or because they don’t want me/us to push up on them? Is it like let me put this out in the atmosphere so all parties involved are clear about what can and cannot happen, before she seduces me, gives me a lap dance, offers to suck my dyck, tells me she wants to marry me, have my babies and run my bath every night, and then it’ll be way too late to tell her I have girlfriend… Or maybe they are really telling themselves, cause they see something they might could like, and they gotta remind themselves, "oh yeah I got a girlfriend." And they just happen to say it aloud.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I know that I have no interest in these guys, so I’m like ‘you ain’t got to worry bout me trying to get with you.' I do remember this guy I was crushing on hoard told me (seemingly) way too late that he had a girlfriend. And I was slightly devastated at the time. But now I rather appreciate it. I mean we had good conversations and it wasn’t until I showed my hand that he let me know what he was holding.

If he had told me off the break, I probably wouldn’t have even really conversed with him. I mean if he's off limits, why waste my time? Yes, that's how I get down. I mean we can make small talk, but there's no sense in putting on my Rum Punch ballet, tap and jazz show if you're not going to fully appreciate it. But this guy and I had great convo. He made me laugh. And when he told me he was with somebody, I thought, "of course. That woman ain't no fool. You're a great catch!" And then I kept it moving. But maybe too many women don't do that. And mayhap that's the problem...

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

*Name has been changed to protect the foolish
** I really don't drink as much as this post implies... Or do I?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

one mo'gin

photo courtesy of Karen Cunningham for the nytimes

i'm a big fan of the "come back around love". i don't know if that's what other people call it but in my head that's the perfect name for it. you know when two people meet, they click and everything just seems so right. but for whatever reason (timing, other loves, career commitments, fear) they can't make it work. and they part, looking longingly back down the road at one another.

but later down that road, maybe many years , marriages and kids later, they pass each other on the street, some things have changed, some's good, some for the bad, but seeing you reminds me of the precious times we had. she's unhappy and she miss the shit they used to do. he miss her smile, her mouth, her laughter, he never bumped into her kind before or after... that's the "come back around love." i think it's so romantic and i seem to find examples of it all the time.

enter michelle and david, this week's
featured couple on the nytimes vows page:

these two met at 23 while taking a class together. she "just knew I was going to marry him.” he thought “[t]he passion was going at warp speed...[t]here was nothing more I could have wanted.”
despite all the butterflies they didn't stay together.

Even so, he felt he was too young to settle down and suggested that they see other people.

A pained look appeared on her face. He said, “I remember walking away thinking: ‘You’re an idiot. This isn’t what you really want.’ But at that age you just keep walking.”

over the next few years after their initial meeting, they fell into an on-again, off-again pattern that ended in 1992 when she announced her engagement to someone else.

*cue jill scott*

"you know what this is, you knew what it was..."

or did he? sadness...

there in lies the risk of the "come back around love." as with michelle and david, either party can (and will) move on to someone else. she went on to flourish professionally as a marketing director and flounder personally through two failed marriages. he did the same
, marrying once and having two sons. luckily for them, these relationships didn't work out and they found their way back to each other.

but reading their story made me think about all the drama that may be attached to the "come back around love." how much "back around" is too much? michelle ran through two marriages before they reconnected. it seems like they both had hard lives while they were away from each other. think about all the money spent on weddings, alimony, and such. what about all these young kids, the drama of blended families, the stress of being a stepparent. would they have been better off just trying to make it work when they first met? would they still be together if they hadn't taken the time to grow in between away from each other?

these are the questions, the questions, that's what it's all about...

in my heart i still like the idea of the "come back around love" although it clearly presents a world of problems. i'm a right now kinda girl so i don't think i'd have the patience to wait for a man to decide whether he wants to be with me. but it's still sweet. i'll still go awwww when a friend tells me about how she ran into him at homecoming last year and they fell right back into each other, like they did when they first met at market friday in '01. it makes for a good story, just like michelle and david. but at what cost?

what say you?

think on it as d'angelo sings...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

interim report

Today officially marks President Obama's 100th day in office. Now that his administration has reached this milestone, it is time to assess what has transpired since his inaugural. We'll lead the discussion with Newsweek's Jonathan Alter's surmising the following:
Because no one ever marches for stimulus or a budget, maybe it's easier to assess Obama's achievements by thinking of the people on the receiving end. If you're a woman seeking pay equity, a child in need of health insurance, a nurse trying to avoid a layoff, a $25,000-a-year worker hoping for a tax credit, a passenger who would rather take the train, a group of parents trying to start a charter school, a homeowner facing foreclosure, a cancer researcher strapped for funding, a hiker looking for more wilderness, a small business tired of exorbitant federal loan fees, a historian trying to see some long-secret documents, a young person eager to take part in national service, a prisoner praying to avoid torture, then you got something tangible out of the president's debut.
oh and if you're still keeping score, he just scored his final cabinet appointment yesterday (former Kansas Governor, Kathleen Sebelius will head the department of Health and Human Services)

not bad -- right?

But folks, let's keep it funky for a minute. If not during his administration, definetely during the next administration -- Americans will be subject to paying higher taxes. You are a fool, if you think taxes won't be raised within the next 6 years. You might as well have stupid written on your forehead! And Americans should come to terms and accept the fact of keeping the economy afloat even if it's teetering on the edge was a price that has to be paid for sooner than later. There is no fuzzy math to finnagle the figures. that's my two-ok- more like 8 cents on that!

Tonight the President will address the American audience. My interest is piqued. Will he discuss waterboarding and segue to his position on torture? What about Detroit? Will he acknowledge Senator Arlen Specter's defection from the Republican Party and coyly express buh bye bipartisanship -- 'cuz he really doesn't have to tolerate republican recalcitrance anymore). Well, inquiring minds want to know --so tune in 8 p.m. est.(i think)

By the way he gets an A-.
If you asked me Sunday it would've been a B+, but the bump was given for the presidential coup exacted in the final hour. nice!



Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tap Tap Tapping Away

Today I am at an offsite meeting. Cry for me ya’ll! Shed some real tears! My manager wants us to be here for 3 days…From this, ya’ll should know how these things tend to go and should not be surprised that I dusted off my old Negro tap shoes and white gloves and danced for the man. *Jazz Hands*

By the time I was finished he agreed that I needed to hold down the fort and participate for only a day and a half. Praise Him! Massa knows what’s up. Now true I might be missing out on some life changing information…but nothing career changing and really in the world of work that’s all that matters. Riiiiiiiight? Right.

So as I twiddle my thumbs, doodle in my notebook, thank the Lord for air conditioning and contemplate the meaning of life as a twenty-something working among a sea of forty, fifty and sixty somethings…. Enjoy your Tuesday ya’ll!

See You In Seven

Sunday, April 26, 2009

On the Ocean, K'Jon

The moment I been waiting on 
And my soul is over flowing 
With anxieties and expectations 
I'm full of desires 
I just want it so bad 
You know 
And it just seem so real 
It's right there 
I just want reach out and touch it 
Before it all disappears 

It feels like 
Is passin' me by 
Every now and then 
It feels like (feels like) 
My ship has gone and sailed away 
But I 
I gonna be strong (gotta be strong) 
Gotta hold on 
It won't be too long 

Now the tide is coming near 
I see the waves flowing 
Out there on the ocean 
I know my ship is coming in 
Just pass the horizon 
And right where the sky ends 
Cause out there on the ocean 
Know my ship is coming in 
But don't leave me hanging 
I've been waiting to long 
But this moment 
My ship has finally come 

I would travel to the seven seas 
(I would even go) 
I would even go wherever the wind blows me 
(I'll do anything) 
I'll do anything to find my destiny 
It's like fightin' with gravity 
And it's bringin' me down 
If this world was really round then tell me how 
It's just a moment for you to come around 

Now the tide is coming near 
I see the waves flowing 
Out there on the ocean 
I know my ship is coming in (coming in baby) 
Just pass the horizon 
And right where the sky ends 
Cause out there on the ocean 
Know my ship is coming in 
But don't leave me hanging 
I've been waiting to long 
But this moment 
My ship has finally come 

Finally you come (around) 
Around, around 
I said finally baby 

Finally you come (around) 
Around, around 

Finally you come around, come around baby 

Finally you 
Finally you come 

Said finally you come around (around) 

Now the tide is coming near (now the tide is coming in) 
I see the waves flowing 
Out there on the ocean 
I know my ship is coming in (and I know my ship is coming in baby) 
Just pass the horizon 
(And where) And right where the sky ends 
Cause out there on the ocean 
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, is coming in 
Been waiting to long 
But this moment 
My ship has finally come 

Finally you come (around) 
Around, around [till fade]

Much Luv until next week... peace :)