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 30, 2010

The Dates of Hazzard

So, once when I was about 17 years old, my older cousin who is like a big brother to me, remarked the following whilst I was driving, “you drive on the offense, like you’re waiting for things to happen. You need to learn how to drive defensively and anticipate their actions. You know you gotta drive for the other people.”

So for some reason this has been one of those things that stuck with me and while it definitely made me a better driver – as I debate daily whether to remove myself completely from this dating pool, or just stick my feet in, or stay in the shallow end (can’t get my hair wet), or just say f-it and cannon ball on in – my cousin’s words have me thinking not about driving, but dating. Now follow me as I beat this metaphor like a dead horse (oh wait that’s a simile) and get my Carrie Bradshaw on and ask the following: Do you date on the offensive or the defensive?

Now after having this epiphany, I had to figure out what in the hell I was tryna say – cause when I tried to told Minty and Dark n Stormy about this concept, they were both like, “say whaaaa?!?!” Stormy immediately recognized the offensive dating part. Minty could kinda see where I was going with it. But what I was thinking was…

Defensive dating involves bringing all your past baggage, hurt, pain, pre-conceived notions to the next person you meet/encounter/exchange numbers with/go on a first date with/start to dig/wanna maybe build something with. And the next person. And the next. Anticipating their moves, in the same way you just knooow that erratic driver you been watching weave through lanes is gonna jump in front of you and not use their blinker – so you fall back a little to give them needed space while simultaneously cussing em out, “like so you just gonna get over huh?” Even though you knew it was coming! So yeah you just know that this nig is not gonna call you when he says he will. Can’t be trusted. Is full of bull followed by that ish. Will probably cheat on you. Wants to hit it on the first night (well that one’s probably true). Tee hee. But here you go doing the dating for them.

Stormy brought the idea of offensive dating into focus and I’ll spin it like this, that here in this modern day, post the one house phone and no call waiting era, when public phones are non existent, and when strangers can see each other without leaving their living rooms, there are women adhering to traditional dating methods. A man needs to ask me out. He needs to call me. He needs to choose me. I'm not gonna put myself out there. Oh no. Before I do that, I'd rather just stay home and wait for my man to come a-knocking. Well unless it’s gonna be the pizza guy – logic says you need to get out in the world.

And not necessarily go for every guy you see – but place yourself in situations that you enjoy (lectures, art shows, the club, happy hours, volunteer activities) and if there's a guy you fancy, step to him, see if there's mutual interest (don't be no fool now and start sweatin him - key word is mutual), but don't be afraid to put in some effort, make it known that you're available – I’m just guessing here of course because obviously I’m still single – but I feel compelled to follow in the steps of other single Black women and develop random/common sense type dating theories to share with the masses. Now, y'all me know if it works! And be sure to give me a shout out in the wedding toasts!

There are obvious problems with both approaches. Offensive dating leaves things up to chance. And while timing is a huge factor in finding the “one,” um, you have to leave the house. The same way you have to keep your eyes on the road and notice that there are cars up ahead that are braking before the car in front of you brakes. Defensive dating is dangerous because…well the reasons are pretty clear – I mean you’re not getting to know the person in front of you if you bring all the other peope who done did you wrong to the first date, hello, or smile. It’s like, maybe the car will surprise you and not just hop their happy ass on over. Maybe they’ll signal. And maybe they’ll give you the wave! Hey now! Wasn’t that a pleasant surprise?

I can say that there are times when I've done both. Sat on the sidelines, on some Jesus work it out and send me a man. And I've made presumptions and assumptions when I finally am with a man. If there's a happy medium, I haven't developed a clever name for it yet - but it involves dating with both eyes on the road, being actively on the lookout for others, and being willing to let them in.

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

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

petty pioneers

time to venture to the wild, wild, west

at times we must reference history to understand the current musings of our days... back in the early 19th century, Americans wanted to expand and the promises of the gold rush was all it took for some to head west. quixiotic narratives of pioneers heading west and the trials and tribulations they endured, all stories surmised that the prioneers were big, bold, and brave...

and fast forward 200 years...

and you have the Southwest, the rust belt, retirement haven, causing some fuss - ok let's just isolate Arizona. Governor Jan Brewer, Senator John McCain and Co. figured they'll exercise state rights and firmly establish a police state. The Economist interviewed Arizona state senator, Mr. Russell Pearce, masterminder of Arizona's law, opines that the law "removes the handcuffs" from the police and sheriff deputies so they can do their work. Moreover he states, "illegal is not a race; it is a crime." Well aren't you crafty with words.

Little did Arizona know - that they will cause national ruckus or did they. Chief rabble rouser, Reverend Al is ready to bring it to the wild, wild, west. Let me ask this, where is Telemundo in all this? granted they're probably communicating in Spanish and I don't tune in for their regular programming. And all the nuyoricans in New England - what's up? and the Cubans in Miami. Now, the Chicanos in Texas and Cali are ready for this spirited fight. But I'm saying the Hispanic community, what's up?

According to the Economist, Arizona Latinos comprise 30% of the state's population and yet only 12% of the electorate. Interestingly enough, Hispanic American families who have lived here for generations are ambivalent. Unfortunately, they are either indifferent or don't care about their brethren south of the border. So, which one is it - (a) you're white and life is alright, (b) be'cuz you don't speak Spanish anymore - it's a technicality you happen to be Hispanic/ Latino, or (c) the onus is on the illegal immigrants to figure out the American way?

Some jewels of wisdom to our Latino brethren, if black folks make up 12% of the population nationally, and yet will shout, holler, and talk to death about issues, like we comprise 50% of the population nationally - then i need ya'll to beat your feet, cha cha the maracas, or do whateva to be heard.



Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Destined to Be...

Do ya’ll remember that scene in the Matrix when Neo is speaking with the Oracle and she says something to the effect of “Later you are going to wonder if I really foresaw what I told you, or because I told you this that is why it happened.” I am sure I am misquoting all up and down, but it’s been like a decade since I’ve seen that movie. But the line, or the gist of the line kind of stuck with me. How much is this life is predestined and how much of it changes because of our actions…and are the two working in tandem? Now it is too late in the day to swim in the deep end of the meaning of life. But my believes on destiny verses sheer determination have evolved over the years and when I heard the following story it gave me pause…

My man friend who has a single male church friend (we’ll call him Church Boy) in his late 30’s who has never been married, but would like to tie the knot one day. On paper, Church Boy has never been married, no children, working on his PhD, currently working on being a multiple homeowner and is an avid health freak. By my friend’s accounts Church Boy isn’t crazy… so that qualifies Church Boy as a catch! So why is this man single? Asked all the single ladies. Well the answer is a little tricky, because there could be a myriad of reasons, but bear with me. A couple years ago while attending a church workshop a prophetess told Church Boy that he would marry a short dark skin woman with natural hair. But Church Boy tends to date tall light skin women with long relaxed hair…because that’s what he likes. So how can this be? Should this even be believed? When my friend told me this story I wanted to ask if the prophetess was a short dark skin woman with locks (tee hee)…because I don’t put nothing pass church folks, especially single, never been married women!

To a degree my friend thinks Church Boy believes this prophesy because of his lack of a wifey and personal belief that he is a catch. But would Church Boy even have entertained this-destiny or not-if someone-a prophet for that matter-hadn’t told him so? My dad often said that he could have told me my middle name was Mudpie because how would I have know any better? Short answer-I wouldn’t until I learned to read and saw my birth certificate!

So maybe this post is less about destiny and determination, but more about trusting the source of our information. Surely if my friend had told Church Boy the same vision of his future wife, Church Boy would have scoffed, laughed and then asked him what he was dranking on. Just like if my friend Sally Lu from down the street had told me she knew my middle name was Mudpie I wouldn't have believed her for a second! I would have told her my middle name was Princess, and I was rubber and she was glue…so she was the Mudpie!

So the question of the day is…in this world of instantaneous gratification, internet, charlatans and photoshop how will we know who to believe and what we should believe in? I hope we aren't just destined to be fooled.

See You In Seven

Monday, April 26, 2010

The List

Sometimes over the weekend I allow myself to watch a show I consider non-sense to give my over thinking mind a break, knowing that, all that is going to happen is that I end up thinking some more about something else. This weekend I watched "What Chilli Wants" and let's just say I won't be watching another episode unless somebody forces me to, after telling me every detail of the episode. I understand making some money from the show and match-maker chick pushing her book and match-making skills but I am just not interested. This whole searching for man topic is old and exhausting. I am not sure what is going on right now... whether this is a conspiracy for black men to get black women to lower their standards so they could get a black woman to give them the time of day or a major distraction from what really going on in the world. What IS this?! I am having a hard time understanding why this is the next issue under attack with our race. Are black women secretly taking over the world and therefore they need to start making us doubt ourselves in efforts to slow us down. I say bring the change if this is the case!

A big point in the show is this list that Chilli has and how her man needs to meet most of them. The discussion of list always cracks me up and I am not even quite sure where this list idea came from in general. It made me think, do my friends have lists? And more importantly, what is my list? Again, what is my list? So I started writing and then I realized almost everything I wrote on my list I would compromise given the appropriate circumstance. Does that make me easy? (sigh) Back to the list. Given that I have been down this fall-in-love-get-married-live-happily-ever-after road before, I also wonder whether my list has changed. I don't think it has.

If I had to get to the nuts and bolts of my list it would be...

An emotionally mature individual that understands change, has a desire (fire) to be and do better, eager to learn and to share, respectful of things that are different from the norm, welcomes growth, ambitious, wise, loving, forgiving, sees beyond the aesthetics, views his excuses as personal challenges, supportive constructively and lastly, makes me laugh! This must be consistent.

These are all the things I concluded I just can't compromise on. At first my list was definitely that he needed to have a job, be educated, handsome, etc. but then I realized if you have the qualities listed above all that other things I listed before fall into place. Well at least that is how I see it.

This is how I live myself and I truly believe if I continue to live me life holding true to what I deem important then I will attract those qualities in others. Amaretto is always telling me that I attractive negative folks but I think I attract negative and positive personalities. My problem is I have yet to learn how to filter. How do you tell Mr. Handsome peace out, when he keeps calling? He knows the criteria (aka the list) but he does a lousy job at fulfilling them. The problem is he isn't consistent. What is a girl supposed to do with that? Well in the the friend/acquaintance box you will stay. I can't grant you the job just because you are attractive hence why those items don't exist on my list. (sigh)

Much luv until next week... peace :)