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, April 23, 2010

My Latest, Greatest Inspiration

As Wednesday evening drew to a close, Minty mentioned that Steve Harvey was gonna be on Nightline. I guess I was the only Black woman who didn’t know about this, so I genuinely asked, “for why?” For a discussion on why Black women are single of course. Of course. And since I was gonna be off on Thursday, I decided to tune in.

Y’all. There are no words. And yet there are many words. Other than the fact that I think the media and the man have conspired to keep putting out these stories, so Black women will just kill themselves, thus eliminating the Black race – I also think it’s a shame that these are the voices that are speaking on this issue. I mean W.E.B. DuBois wrote that the problem of the 20th century would be the color line. Ida B. Wells spent a good portion of her life writing against lynching. James Baldwin came with the fire next time.

But apparently in the 21st century, the issue that is most pressing for Black folk is not education, it's not crime, it's not economics - nope. It's why are all these single, successful Black women single? And for the answers. Let's go to the "experts" - Steve Harvey, Sherri Shepherd, Hill Harper, Jacque Reid, and some random dude with dreadlocks. Yes, I think this is what Dr. King was talmbout when he said he had seen the Promised Land – his vision clearly involved a national platform for Negroes to look foolish. Now that's equal opportunity. We done arrived y'all!

But aside from alladat. The one word that kept being repeated was ‘potential’. You just need to find yo’self a man with potential. Never mind that this is never really described – it’s just this vague notion - like ignore that man's bad credit, two baby mamas, and prison record - and pay attention to his business plan scribbled on that cocktail napkin. He has potential! And when an example is needed, well we can just pull out the trusty Obamas. Don't you see, Black women, Barack had potential? Every Black man just might be a President in waiting. Umm…no. As Sherri pointed out – he also had/s a Harvard Law Degree. And dare I say a plan? So, this leads me to repeat a kernel of wisdom I heard recently –


I mean in theory, if we are all God's chillun, then we all have potential to be great. But do we all have the ambition to get there? Me thinks not.

But what I have really been wondering about (mainly due to traumatic events that have happened in my own "love" life) is how much can a partner influence or inspire someone to be "great?" Or to fulfill their potential? This is a debate that MJ and I have all the time. I feel like there's a fine line between supporting someone’s dreams and dreaming for them. Here are two examples that come to mind.

Scenario A: Y’all remember how on Girlfriends (yeah I don't have cable), William wanted to be Senior Partner, but he just couldn’t quite get there. Enter Monica. As William remarked, she was the, “right, conniving woman by his side.” First of all she went after him knowing that he had “potential”. And then once she got him, she pushed him. Hoard. Urged him to think bigger. Dream more. Smooth talked her way to having him host that Christmas party for the partners. And then said, “when you become President….” To which he replied, “I could never become President.” And she went on about how he wasn’t built for a life of mediocrity - that he deserved more. So I ask, did he always want more? And just didn't know how to get it on his own? If he hadn't gotten to be Senior Partner, would he have kept pressing or settled? Did she dream for him? Or were these dreams all his own and he just needed her to help bring them to fruition?

Scenario B:
My cousin was in his thirties living an aimless life. Waiting tables, drankin and smokin hard, fake taking a college class here and there. Some woman (and because of Bellini’s post this week – I’ll set the table and say she is Anglo) came along and fell in love with him. I mean my cousin is intelligent, funny and has a sparkling personality. But once they got together she was clearly unhappy with his lack of goals. Now while he had kept saying to us, “I’m gonna go to nursing school. I will.” It wasn’t until he hooked up with her and she made her intentions known – marriage and babies and this waiting tables ain’t gon fly – that he actually enrolled in school and is doing great. They are both living with his mama (my aunt), have both stopped smoking, are saving money, and have plans to move to the West Coast where she’s from when he’s done with school and has secured employment. So, did my cousin have the potential and just needed someone to help direct him? Was there ambition hidden somewhere inside him and she had to dig deep and find it? Or maybe it was perculating on the surface and she knew what to do with it. And dare I ask, if a Black woman would have even glanced in his direction if he had stepped (like literally stepped cause he doesn't have a car) to her after clearing her plate from the table.* Heh.

So can you inspire someone to be great? Or must they have a desire (that mayhap they kept hidden from the world for fear of ridicule) and you're the first person to come along and say, 'no you can do this.' But more importantly - I will help you get there. This seems like a very wobbly table on which to build your relationship. And I always thought that true partnership involves both people encouraging each other to swim a river, climb a hill, reach for the stars. And taking turns to give each other a needed push to keep going. But of course that's the ideal. And I don't know if I have time for alladay cause my clock is a'tickin. So, today, I'm gonna be like a Tyler Perry character, soften my skrongness, and find the potential in the gold tooth, kinda short, got three daughters he's trying to get custody of from his crazy baby mama, UPS man, named Jamal. With me by his side, we fina take over the world y'all! Watch out now...

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

*The only good thing that came out of the Nightline discussion was the following story - that back in the dizzay, Hill (allegedly - I'm still givin him the o_O) whilst he was waiting tables, just tryna get one acting gig, approached Sherri at a Taco Bell. And she said, "you ain't even pull up in nothing. I need a man who's pulling up in something." Sherri tried to explain herself, talmbout she was saving money for a car and was on some 'how we gon' get round on your bus pass?' So she couldn't go for that. So Hill came back with, "but I had potential." Ouch! And the crowd coes wild as if Holyfield has just won the fight. :-)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

why can't sherri find a man?

by now you've all probably seen that excuse for real dialouge: nightline face off -- why successful black women can't find a man?

so what did you think?  really i wanna know.  i could write a post discussing the ridculousness of it all but i'd rather read your comments.

i do have a few takeaways:

1.  sherri shepherd is evil, EVIL!!! (in Marcus' voice from Why Did I Get Married?).  she is bitter and angry and should never ever ever ever (ever ever) speak for single black women again.

2. why can't a discussion about black women and getting married include black psychologists, sociologists, writers, thinkers, happily married only 1 or even 2 times (i'm lookin at you Steve), non-dysfunctional folk?  the people on the panel had no credibility in my opinion, no knowledge base to tell any single person about getting and staying married.  vsb p said it best:
 Having suspect ass “dating experts” tell suspect ass single women why they can’t get a man
Steve Harvey, Hill Harper, and Jimi Izreal? Really? Sherri “my hips are too gone to box with God” and Jacque “How’d I End Up On this Panel” Reed? Overmarried, undermarried and overmarried?  Oversingle and Ovaries on fire? Really Nightline? You gonna tell Black women they can’t find a man by having a bad comic, a gay dude, and a dude who’s shirt hates women chop it up with two women who can’t find a man for good reasons? That right there, ninja? That sh*t right there?
Is just disrespectful.
3. i hate when people say things to sound deep but just end up repeating some cliche or "reframing the question/issue/topic," making you scratch your head like huh?   for example: helena andrews prolific soundbite: blah blah blah the question shouldn't be why can't successful black women find a man, it should be can we find each other?  ahhhh yessss.  that's it.  the bitch is the new black has solved our relationship problems.  we asking the wrong questions.

what say ya'll?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The All American Team

A Message from Amaretto: Greetings and salutations all! It's been one of those weeks where I have spent countless hours and dollars dealing with various departments of motor vehicles and have concluded that customer service has been replaced by sheer evil and it's cousin stank a** attitude! While I'm still processing my DMV tramas I bring you a post from A MAN... Our dear ole pal and sometimes possible Mudslide!

Enjoy! See You In Seven

Being a fan of all types of sports, I often enjoy a few games of basketball, watch the baseball World Series and indulge in a few NFL games a weekend during the season. I couldn’t help but notice the change in all 3 of the major American sports. I’m not talking about the change of rules, uniforms, player athleticism, or lack of discipline… but rather the change in the race of the each sport’s SUPERSTAR.

No disrespect to my Latin and Asian brethren and sisteren-but for this post I’m really focusing on the white and black players, especially since these two races have been stewing in the American melting pot for awhile now.

Baseball – America’s favorite pastime? Where are all the negroes???? Gone are the days of black superstars like Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, and Reggie Jackson or more recent stars like Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Bonds (wait, scratch off Barry), Darryl Strawberry. (that’s really been all the superstars in the last 20 yrs…really). Currently the game is completely being dominated by people from the Dominican Republic, Cuba and white Americans. The numbers of black Americans (not just superstars) has dwindled enormously. My prediction: in 10-15 years there will be no black Americans in baseball.

BasketballUmmm… white American superstars don’t exist here. On to the next…

Football – Football may contain the most diverse group of superstars out of all three sports. But if you really look at it… the positions in football are not all that diverse. If you need someone to run the ball… get a black guy. If you need someone to throw the ball, get a white guy. If you need someone to hit or cover – black guy. Kicker, blocker or big 300lbs+ guy – white dude. If you don’t believe me, take a glimpse at the NFL draft this week or reflect on this past Super Bowl (booooo Saints). Show me a white superstar running back or a hall of fame black QB in the last 20 years. Yes, there are few current exceptions to the good black QB like Donovan McNabb and...ummm…well…Donovan McNabb. And white running backs?? Heck, forget a white superstar running back, show me a starting white running back!

Okay, but back to basketball. Jordan vs. Bird and Magic vs. Bird. Seriously, who has there been since Larry Bird... maybe John Stockton from the Utah Jazz? The USA Olympic team hasn’t had a single white guy on the Olympic team since Stockton in 1996 and he was the only one…the rest were black. In the last ten years, the NBA All-Star game has had only 4 white American players out of 267 (2 of em played in the 2010 game). However, there have been plenty of European players selected for the All-Star game and of course they play for their own countries during the Olympics. You can’t tell me that there aren’t any whites guys that can play ball. The NCAA is full of em, but somehow and for some reason they don’t make it to the NBA. Yes, I’ve heard that white guys can’t jump, but Europeans don’t really jump out the gym either and there are more of them in the NBA than whites. So I guess I have to plan to wear a Bird throwback jersey indefinitely if I’m going to cheer for a white superstar in the NBA.

For America to be the big melting pot of races, and with sports having a huge impact on our economy and culture, we really don’t have a good representation of white and black folks. Maybe this is all in my dream world of sports… to have a team of black and white American superstars across the board. Aren’t we all just people? Black men can throw footballs just like white men can dunk, but our professional sport teams don’t support this idea. I guess this is a reality that I have to accept, not expect much change.

At least tennis, golf, boxing, auto racing, soccer, hockey and in the other Olympic sports there is a pretty even race representation... it’s just unfortunate that I see this race melting on the teams for other countries. Maybe one day I'll live to see an all American team!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

preface with disclaimer

back in the college days whenever i shared some stories about black folks who happen to be Greek, yet omitted that fact - it drove Rummy crazzzyyyy!!! LOL

she felt i denied her of wearing her rose-colored glasses so that the story would have the necessary hue... remember this tidbit as i proceed to tell you about a lunch encounter with some coworkers.

so yesterday, two co-workers decided to have lunch together. we discussed signs and their significance, the role of sexual attraction, distinguished between friends and friends with benefits, etc... now one of my co-workers, *Akemi shares that a guy she views as her lil' brother is dating an older woman. here are a quick few stats...

youngin' is 22
cougar is 31

youngin' definitely cares about cougar
cougar likes a boytoy

cougar wants kids
youngin' is not ready for kids right now

do you all need more stats?

so, i ask Akemi, "how is this gonna work for the long-term?"
'cuz she probably has career stability and fatter 401K than he
and as my stylist just mentioned last week you don't want to be wrinklin' and envy his super fineness!

as i continued to devise additional scenarios that could plague this union...
Akemi mentions by the way she's white


"girl, why you didn't you tell Bellini this in the beginning?"

so, my other co-worker, DC All-Star states white women are submissive and yet Bellini's face expressed reservation about the comment. Akemi picked up my sentiments and said, "No-they're more accomodating."

Yup, Bellini could live with that. All that other shit I listed that could be potential problems are neither here nor there; this relationship odds are slightly better now.

initially, when Akemi was sharing the story, i know too many sistas that would never compromise to make a relationship of those dynamics work. and really, i think the baby issue will be a thorn to both backsides.

and what happens if cougar becomes pregnant and decides to keep "her" baby and ensure the baby is accustomed to a lifestyle she can definitely afford and the father is not. and he becomes resentful because cougar was aware of his situation... so many potential headaches...

was the disclaimer really needed or is Bellini buggin'

things that make you go hmmmm....



Monday, April 19, 2010

Sweetheart, all you got to tell me...

I will never understand why all these hoes are coming out... are they really getting paid that much? Do they not understand that out the gate, they are at the disadvantage? For odd reason we rather believe the man before we believe the woman. Then when she presents the evidence, people start believing. Let's not forget the infamous dress. But what happens when she can't present the proof? It goes right back to believing the man.

Case and Point: Not that I really cared about Kat, but Nelly just put you on blast!? How in 5 minutes could you not drop just a little bit of fact. That is how you build anticipation for your book. Put Nelly in his place... BUT you couldn't. (sigh) Now what?

I am glad he said something, even if he could have possibly been lying and it was funny... check it out.