A Regular Day

It was a regular morning in my life. My cell phone rang. It was my best friend at the time. She wanted me to contact Carlos about something when I interrupted her. I asked why she could not call him herself. She sounded as if she was going to drop the phone when she responded with, “I don’t have his number”. It is hard to believe that she spent thousands of dollars with this individual and did not have his phone number. Why didn’t she ask me for it? He would not mind if I gave it to her. The answer is very simple. It was easier to get me to do her bidding whenever she wanted. I responded with, “Hang up, I will text it to you.”. It was that morning that the nails in her coffin began. Slowly but surely, her bullshit was being thrown out with the trash.
Weight began dropping off me. It was a very difficult process but attention was being showered upon me like rain. I started dressing differently and wearing make up. There was an intention with my outfits: I feel good. Everyone took notice and shared their enthusiasm with the exception of one person. There was the off colored comment to my brother which visibly upset me to the point that I left her alone in the room.
We would hang out almost every night in a restaurant somewhere. We would eat expensive food and do so late at night. The summer brought about pilates in the morning and bellydancing at night. That interrupted our lifestyle. New people entered my entourage and they showed me new things that capture my interest. The invites to drum circles began to come in. Womens’ Festivals and henna were placed on my schedule. Water and healthy cooking became a part of my days. Someone took notice and held her jealousy like a backed up colon holds shit.
My days as a wallflower were over. I was no longer the friend that was preparing her for her dates or picking her up for yet another food run. Other people requested my presence for healthier forays and positive input. She would always talk about her lackluster life and how she wished she could change it. The power was hers all along but she simply wanted to stay put. Complacent. The problem was that I was no longer around to hear it and had flown away without her. Apparently, that was not a welcome change for my so called best friend of eight years.
Betrayal soon followed and I sent her packing. Her jealousy was evident to everyone except for me. This was ten years ago and I can still tell you the entire story word for word. Her negativity taught me a lot. It made me understand the nature of a broken woman. Control and victimization go hand in hand. You can’t be friends with someone that is not happy to see you happy. You can’t be friends with someone that screams in the middle of a parking lot, “I just want the old Crystal back…”.
This life was not meant for me to have a best friend. While it is a staple in most lives, it does not exist for me. I have a small circle of friends that rotate to keep me enthused. This is the way my life is on yet another regular day.

Mother to Daughter: Heart to Heart

As an adult, I have come to realize that I always hated when my mother would try to talk to me about personal matters: my first kiss, my first boyfriend, always asking questions about my menstrual cycle. In my opinion she simply was not the right person to have an open conversation with and still is not. Why?
Imagine wanting to have a genuine conversation with an individual that is supposed to automatically be on your side. Now you hear criticism that is not constructive for every action or feeling that you have followed by negative commentary. Throw in unsolicited advice here and there for situations that were never brought to said individual’s attention. Why on earth would anyone subject themselves to such misery?
Serious relationships have come and gone. Pain and heartbreak. Joy & euphoria. None of it has been shared with her. I look at other mother daughter relationships and admire how close they are. What is it like to have a mother that is fierce with her support of her daughter? Even without this important relationship in my life, there are still many blessings.
There are other maternal women that treat me like their own daughters. There are friends that treat me more like family than a friend. Such bonds help me to remain thankful for the life that I have and the people that I know. There is more to life than a text or FB messenger.

Church Discomfort

It was another church service. I must have been in middle school. There I sat in the church service next to my mother. We never sat in the front but more towards the back. People were going up to the altar as the pastor gave his call. This is something that never resonated with me. It was a very emotional time for many people but it simply left me in an unbothered state. However, on this day, my mother decided that both of us were going to the altar.
She was sitting to my left instead of my right. I would have to move in order for her to leave the pew. She stood there hastening me to get up and go with her. It was the last thing on earth that I wanted to do. My eyes could have cried tears of embarrassment. There I was in front of the entire church; uncomfortable.

Stories from the Vault of Crystal

It was a 3 day cruise. I covered both tickets. I made arrangements to get both of us to the ship and I would ride home solo so that I could get to work. Also, I was informed, “I’m a grown ass man and can take care of myself.” We shall revisit that statement.

This was in the time way before Uber was even a twinkle in transportation’s eye. It was taxi cab or taxi cab. Upon arrival to the port, my luggage was ready to go. He began calling friends at 6am to come get him. No one answered. Not a one. All of the men that frequented his home on a regular basis and not one person responded. I began to hear the frustration in the form of low “man”, sighs, and the sucking of teeth.

I pretended not to notice the sudden gaze upon my person as a solution. “Eh”. I’m assuming that translates to hey. I looked in his general direction. “Let me hold ten dollars.” I blinked and asked why. “So I can catch a cab…”. I don’t know a lot about cab fare but I’m going to venture that a ride from the port of Miami to Miami Lakes and then to Miami Gardens was way more than $10.00. However, I brought enough cash to take care of myself…especially since I was told, “I’m a grown ass man and can take care of myself…”

Six Months

It was six months of me not getting what I wanted. Adults have needs that can be met by being with other adults in intimate 1:1 situations. That was the sole purpose of the association. After a one time encounter, it never happened again much to my dismay. My invitations were met with, “you play too much”. Instead, I received occasional visits which were filled with luke warm conversation. Small talk is nice. Since it was all that was being offered, my invitations stopped. I accepted the small talk. Six months passed and a train hit me like a ton of bricks.
Out of the middle of nowhere, I was invited to a night of adult fun. If I said that I was not pleased, it would not properly describe the magnitude of disdain in which I responded. The next day brought the offer of a date. My silence was deafening. It was not long before text messages about games and the real me appeared. My response was simple, “I do not play games. For six months, you were not interested in me. I stopped requesting your company and accepted the fact that you just wanted to be friends. My life continued.” As the sun rose the next day, I was informed that after work, a shower would be taken and that I would have company for the evening. My growing fear did not allow me to respond. Imagine my shock when I found out that company appeared on my property without invitation. Fortunately, my schedule had me elsewhere. I asked for all future communication to halt. My request was denied.
Phone calls from a friend started to hit my phone. Gifts began to appear on my porch. My rage began. The gifts were promptly collected and delivered to the local Goodwill where someone else could appreciate them. I was insulted by the fact that all of this effort was now being made to chase me when it could have been made well over six months ago. You were not interested in me and placed me on a shelf. I do not belong on a shelf. After a mutual friend stepped in, all attempts to flatter me ceased.
This experience proved many things to me. You need to appreciate opportunities when they present themselves to you. Time will make you appreciate what you had. Intentions should be communicated from day one. Too little too late will leave people alone in the dust. Life does not stop simply because someone does not know your worth. What you want for yourself, is not always what you need; this situation is the perfect example of this.
Ten years ago, I would have sat around twiddling my thumbs awaiting my turn in the spotlight. Now, I am forty and forty pounds lighter. Not only do I have options in my life, but I also want to be with someone that wants to be with me and makes that clear as day. There are people in the world that would shout from the top of mountains that you are their beloved regardless of what is happening in their life. That is the type of person that I want to be with. Make me feel like you know that I exist. Put forth actual effort into making me feel special. It does not require the budget of a millionaire; it is free. Acknowledge my presence in spite of the fact that you have the entire world on your schedule. A morning text message goes a long way, and so does a good night text. It is the little things that make the heart of a woman melt. It is the moments in which words are not shared and feelings are that connect two people. At the end of the day, that is all any of us want. A meaningful connection with another human being in an intimate relationship. It has nothing to do with sex, and everything to do with the basic human need of togetherness.

Love: The Red Flags

In an effort to find love, we have all been guilty of ignoring the warning signs. While it is important to see the good in every person, it is also important to know when two people do not belong together. Communication styles must be similar. Common interests are a major plus. While it is possible to have different religious beliefs, it helps if there is some sort of connection between the two. Here is a list of common red flags that everyone is familiar with:

1.) Jealousy: This is an evil form of insecurity. It ruins relationships and divides entire communities. When someone has a problem with another person in your life, be aware of how this affects you. Unfortunately, you may be forced to choose sides. I can say that I have always chosen in favor of the person that was present first. 9 out of 10 times, the new person is the true issue.

2.) Neediness: When an individual expects you to be at their beck and call 24hrs a day, regardless of your work, bathroom, or sleep requirements, you need to put a great space in between the two of you. A human being is allowed to be without their significant other during various periods during the day. You are not responsible for the needs of another adult that is perfectly capable of taking care of themselves.

3.) Tantrums: People that throw adult sized tantrums whenever they do not get exactly what they want from you, should be left in their crib to knock themselves out.

4.) Excuses: Recognize when you are not a priority. When someone says to you, “I was not able to call you back because I was walking my dogs…..”, do not call that person anymore. “Let me think about it” is another phrase that is used to waste your time.

This list is small but speaks volumes. Sometimes, it is better to stay home on a Friday night and watch Netflix vs. dealing with individuals that do not know what they want and should truly be in therapy vs. any social arena.

James: THE CHEATER

He was attractive and had a skill. We exchanged numbers. Within a week, his kisses were accompanied with fondling. I blinked and he asked me point blank, “When are we going to have sex?”. Unfortunately for me, I tend to give people too much credit. This was a red flag yet I trudged ahead. He soon vanished to New York for a week without letting me know. Upon returning, he asked me, “How jealous are you on a scale of 1-10? Because if I saw you in the street with someone else, I would not approach you in an inappropriate manner.” It was one of the strangest conversations of my entire life.
When I told him that his boss hit on me, he told me not to be mean to the individual because his boss was his friend. One evening, I asked him to take me to the movies. His response, “Oh, so you want to take your man to the movies!”. I ended up going with a friend. All of these circus acts were extremely strange to me because I do not play games with people. As a result, they often go unnoticed by me with serious questions. While explaining his behavior to a friend one evening, something dawned on me. He soon heard his phone ringing. He soon heard me asking him if he was sleeping with someone. All of a sudden he claimed that he had to go. He heard the same question again to which he finally relented, “I can not tell a lie. I am seeing someone else.” My voice declared that he had a girlfriend and that he was trying to cheat on her with me. It was not going to happen. He said that he did not see it that way. I screamed at him that he should never call me again in his life. Messages started coming in along the lines of, “I am sorry that I could not take you to the movies.”.
This happened a long time ago. A lot has changed since then. Now, I know what I want. I am in tune with my feelings, and there it is not a problem for me to cut someone off or subtract myself from the equation. This man never gave me any reason to give him the benefit of the doubt. He earned suspicion and a lot interrogation. Instead he received the benefit of the doubt, and two weeks of my life. It was not a waste because this was a lesson for me. Now, it is a lesson for anyone that cares to read it.

Vive La France

There are private experiences that a girl has that she never tells anyone. There are other private experiences that a girl has that are too good to keep to herself. This will be one of those posts…….
It was the Spring of 2010. Bellydance had given way to the scandalous world of pole. New sights and sounds were captivating me and a new lifestyle held me in its arms. Hip scarves, coins, and glitter, had been traded in for heels, skin, and lots of naughtiness. It was great and exactly what a repressed Lady needed to allow the abundance of her sacral chakra to manifest. That is my attempt at being subtle. Allow me to be direct: pole turned me into a Lady on the prowl.
Easter Sunday was when I received the call. An artist friend wanted me to assist him with a project. He wanted to created a brotherhood circle with a new artist in town from France. He wanted people to be able to go back and forth between the two galleries and enjoy culture: art, music, dance, food, wine. Life at its finest. Within days, I visited his gallery to get a feel for the entertainment space. I was soon taken to the gallery of the visiting artist from France.
The meeting must have caused quite a sensation amongst sensitive people. My friend told me prior to entering the gallery that I should do something that called upon Egypt of yesteryear. As my feet carried me into the all white gallery, my eyes turned to the left and there was a painting of a harpist in the court of a pharaoh. What are the chances….
After admiring the artwork, I followed the sounds of Creole and French. Apparently, the artists were having a conversation. As my eyes took in the sight of the gorgeous piece of chocolate from France, strange things began to happen. Lots of blinking was necessary because a large white light was surrounding him. I felt calm and happy at the same time. We did not exchange a lot of words because neither of us knew what to say. I had to step away for a moment to take in everything that had transpired. Who was this gorgeous foreigner and how did I end up in his presence? I was the person that was going to arrange the entertainment between both galleries?! How did I get this lucky. He immediately invited me to have a drink with him. All of us ended up in the previous gallery dancing and making general merriment well into the night. It was official. The art world had swallowed me whole.
Gallery night soon appeared. One by one all of the dancers that had been confirmed vanished for one reason or another. The entire performance segment fell onto my shoulders. With my cd in tow, I danced to my own music. It was a surreal experience for me. It was a lovely evening. People gazed upon the art with sheer admiration. Wine was poured and laughter was everywhere. As my night came to a close, I found myself in the arms of the handsome Frenchman who had captivated my attention only days before.
It was necessary for me to go home as a pole class was on my schedule for the next day. I packed the harp and left.
The next day, the handsome Frenchman invited me to visit him at his gallery. I politely declined because of pole class when it hit me. There was a very strong attraction happening between us. He was leaving for France in a matter of days, and I probably would never see him again. It would be okay for me to visit him for a nice friendly chat. Perhaps he woulds serve tea and crumpets. I decided to stop by his gallery prior to pole class in the Grove.
My hair was perfect. My outfit was also quite nice. I waltzed up to the gallery and knocked on the door. He unlocked it and allowed me to enter. I asked him if we were alone. He responded yes. There was not a lot of conversation after that. All I can say is that for the next three days, we were inseparable. Before he boarded the plane to return to France, he thanked me for a wonderful visit. I thanked him for the memory of a lifetime. This is the reason that I will always have a special place in my heart for the country of France.

MEN

As my feet walked me away from the drum circle, the sand clumped along my legs. My multi colored scarf covered my lower portion as I simply couldn’t resist not taking a dip in the moon kissed ocean. A feeling of attention hit me. It occurred to me that a drummer was going to ask me out. As soon as I got to the fence, he turned around and acknowledged me. He introduced himself and got down to business.
My mind, my heart, my spirit all agree…there is no way that I can get involved with another human being right now. It is not the time in my life to be romantic or entertain such notions. However, the idea that men are noticing me during this period of my life is a form of entertainment for me. A few weeks ago, an old flame contacted me for lunch. He was in town and wanted to reconnect. What in the world is the universe laying at my feet?

The Advantages of Being in a Relationship

1.) There is someone to share your life with. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
2.) You always have a date to functions including the movies.
3.) There is someone to share meals with on a regular basis.
4.) There is a sense of comfort that fuels you throughout the day.
5.) A nice warm hug is never too far away.
6.) You have an automatic emergency contact.
7.) You can hang out with other couples without being the odd one.
8.) There are shared experiences that become pleasant memories for both of you.
9.) Plans are no longer one sided.
10.) When the world is captured by night, there is someone by your side.

Of course, I have to talk about the cons……

1.) You have to coordinate personal time in order to avoid feelings of neglect.
2.) Family involvement becomes a whole new scenario.
3.) The word emotion is always spelled with an upper case E.
4.) Decisions are no longer made alone because you have to consult your other half.
5.) Long periods of separation may cause angst.

Overall, I will say that a relationship can be a beautiful thing to experience especially with the right person. Everyone should have the blessing of such joy at least once in their lives.