Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hey Dude, You Have a Dimple...

There's never a dull moment at work.

If I need a break from my exhaustive workload, I can just step right outside of my office and walk ear-first into some of the most entertaining debates you can imagine. Two dudes in particular usually spar against one another. We'll call them Shawn and Dwight, two debaters who quickly go for the jugular whenever the other slips.

In any event, they both suggested that I write an entry about one of their latest battles. In the middle of a recent debate, Shawn thought it was a good idea to mention, "hey, you have a dimple" to Dwight. Needless to say Dwight seized the moment and tortured Shawn for his slip-up. He immediately gave him grief for telling another man about his dimple. Though the original debate took place two days ago, I just called them into my office so they can re-state their case for you guys. Here's how it went.

[Shawn and Dwight both step into my office]

Me: So, I'm bout to blog about this and I want to get it right. What's your take on the dimple thing?

Dwight: I don’t think it’s appropriate for a man to bring notice, compliment, anything of another man’s dimple. Some things God invented for women to compliment and dimples are one of them.

Shawn: [Rolls his eyes] All I said, was, "Yo, you have a dimple. I pointed it out, because you have one. I didn’t say your dimple is cute, I said you got a dimple when you smile. It’s an observation I made.

Dwight: So if I got nice pearly white teeth, you gon tell me about it?

Shawn: Shit, if you got nice teeth, you got a nice smile, yea.

[Me and Dwight shake our heads in disagreement]

Shawn: Y’all niggas are so homophobic.

[Dwight walks out and closes the door behind him.]

Me: Yo, leave the door open.

Dwight: [Laughs]

Actually, I don't think there's anything homophobic about it. I don't really think Shawn's comment made Dwight uncomfortable. He was bustin' his balls, pause, because he could. It's the same reason we pause. It's for the sport, nothing else. If you slip up and say something that can be perceived as questionable in front of other men, be prepared to face the consequences. That's just how it is? And frankly, it usually makes for memorable comedy.

So, what do you guys think? Should Shawn have told Dwight about his dimple? Was Dwight too hard on Shawn, pause? Has pausing gone too far? Let's talk about it!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Did You Really Just Ask Me That On Facebook?

I love facebook. Through it, I’ve been able to get in contact with a good number of folks I otherwise never would have been able to reconnect with—people I haven’t seen in roughly 10-13 years.

So yea, I love facebook. It’s an application on my phone, so when I’m out and about you may get one of my random updates. I don’t like twitter, so I usually use facebook to satisfy my urges for public randomness. Maybe it has to do with those damn updates, but there’s some definite inappropriateness going on on facebook.

I could be wrong, but I don’t remember myspace having the same problem. I noticed that people love asking personal questions on fb. Like, rather than send a message, they'll inquire, " are you dating anybody right now" or "got any kids yet" right on your freakin' wall for your 500 to 1000 friends to see. Needless to say, I always respond in an email. Now, I won’t make any excuses, but those long-lost friends are more focused on the fact that they haven't heard from you in years, not that their means of communication is questionable. In that sense, they almost (but not quite) get a pass. Now, I really have a bone to pick with people I communicate with often. Some will text me all day and then ask me a question on fb. Dude, why? You couldn’t send me one more text? What’s even worse is they’ll keep hitting you on facebook, not via text, if you ignore their question.

You see, I’m particular. “Looking forward to this weekend” is an acceptable wall post. You and the poster know exactly what it’s about, but it’s vague enough that no one else is in your business. Now, “you still coming to Marquee Tuesday?” is absolutely unacceptable. The post mentions a date and location. That's just too much information. It's probably isn't a big deal for some. I know a lot of you only accept people you know, so you don't mind any of that information going around. But for me, facebook isn't only family and friends. I accept everyone blindly, so some of fb friends don't know me from a can of paint.

Have you guys noticed the same thing? Has someone posted a personal question your wall before? If you don't mind sharing it, what was it?

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Blacker the Berry...

I'm sorry, but this never-ending conversation doesn't get old for me— perhaps 'cause it hits home.

Since I've already written about my alleged light skin preference on this blog, I thought I'd bring up an angle we haven't discussed before. Now, I'll say it again. I don't think there's anything wrong with having a complexion preference. I personally don't have one, but I typically can't blog or mention my appreciation for Paula Patton without being called out on it. But here's what I've noticed, at least in my circles. It seems like a lighter guy can mention his red bone penchant with little to no reproach. I, on the other hand, usually get crucified for being attracted to a woman who supposedly isn't dark enough. A person I've never met (I actually don't know who she is) once commented, "Funny, none of your examples even had your skin color...hmmmmm" when I posted images of Patton, Kim Kardashian, Amerie and Lauren London in an old post discussing beauty. So the fruck what? I've also heard, "I know Nia Long is your personal G.O.A.T., but she's not even that dark." So, you mean to tell me I should prefer women closer to my complexion? Isn't that discriminatory?

The thing that always gets me is that these allegations are never based on anything tangible. Most of the morons who've accused me of being a light skin lover are people who have never seen a single person I've dated. Now, I could try to dig up photos of ex girlfriends and past flings, but then I'd be as bad as white people who say they aren't racist because they have black friends.

Though I refuse to acknowledge a preference, I admit the ratio of women I've dated has been on the lighter side the past year or so. But it wasn't by design, just coincidental. The crazy thing is that once I realized it, I momentarily thought the next woman I date should be dark skinned in order to break the cycle. Nonsense! I seem to stumble on patterns. That's what I do. I'm pretty sure I had a darker streak at some point. How come no one said anything then? Isn't it prejudice if I only date dark skinned women? Or is it cool because I'm also dark? On another note, I always hear women, light and dark, say how they prefer darker men. I don't hear anybody complaining there, especially not me. This is clearly not a generalization, at least maybe not outside my circles.

Now, I'm really about to get in trouble. Sorry, but I don't hear too many pretty dark skin women complaining about this dark skin/light skin crap. Again, that's my personal experience, not a generalization. And don't y'all have the nerve to tell me Serena Williams is pretty. FOH! I wouldn't pick Tiny over Gabrielle Union and I shouldn't be expected to choose India Arie over Sanaa Lathan.

I'm not saying there are no complexion-related injustices out there. I'm not sure a candidate of my color would get too far in the presidential race. And there's no denying that the light/dark ratio for women is absurdly disproportionate in Hollywood. But it has nothing to do with my preference or lack thereof.

Free Wesley Snipes!

PS: Reading is fundamental.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Garbage Man...

You guys will have to excuse me if this entry comes off a bit cocky in the beginning, but it's needed to put things into perspective.

Simply put, I've never played a sport I wasn't good at. At 5, I was already playing soccer with my 15-year-old brother and my dad, both excellent soccer players in their own right. By the time I got to the little leagues, these kids didn't stand a chance. I remember just killing the tryouts one year. I must have been 7 or 8. My team was ahead by a few goals when the coaches had the brilliant idea to switch me over to the other team. Ppff! We came right back and beat my old team. My World Cup ambitions didn't last too long, though. Soon enough, I was obsessed with baseball. To this day, my brother Gary thinks I could have made the pros if I stuck with it. But then I started playing basketball.

Now, things got to a slower start with bball. The other kids were pretty experienced by the time I started balling so I had to play catch-up. I eventually did and became a pretty good player. Well, not NBA good, but good enough to compete with the best I've played against. But like soccer and baseball, my hoop dreams eventually came to an end. This time, it wasn't for lack of interest, I knew I wasn't draft material, so I TRIED (key word) focusing on school instead. I haven't played consistent ball since maybe 2001, so needless to say my skills have greatly deteriorated since then. It was slow road, though.

Once I stopped playing, I got into the bad habit of playing once or twice a year. I remember playing for the first time in about a year back in '02, '03. My cousins Diddy and Frantz are witnesses. "I haven't played in like a year," I disclaimed minutes before the game started. By the fourth or fifth possession, I got by my defender with a jab step, cradled the ball Stacey Augmon-style, and went up for a dunk over my cousin's neighbor. "You haven't played in a year my ass," the anonymous neighbor complained. I missed the dunk. But the point was, despite having been away from the game for so long, I could still play.

About two years ago, I had some memorable playground 2 on 2 games with my boys Ed, Fred and Guytwin. Though rusty, I clearly still had some ball left in me, pause. Feeling good at the time, I told myself (as I had a million times before) that I had to get back on the court before it was too late. I was still hopeful when I played a few games after work last summer. I was leaning towards the awful side, but nothing a few pick-up games wouldn't have fixed. As many times as my boy Hobbs invited me to play ball on Saturdays, I declined to watch Curb Your Enthusiasm all day. It's not like I hadn't seen the episodes before. I mean, I own the entire series on DVD for God's sake.

Anyway, my boy Jax hit me to join his basketball team last week. Hmmmmmmmmm! Why not? I figured I'd been putting the game off all those years, so it was finally time to get back to it before I reached the point of no return. Well, apparently it's too late. We had our first scrimmage this past Monday to determine what division we'll play in. Like I said, despite being on the suckier side, I had some moments the last few times I played ball. Well, there were no moments on Monday. Man, I sucked hard, pause! The funny thing is I observed the other team during the warm-ups and thought to myself, "these guys suck, (1) I probably won't look too bad." Please! I sucked against sucky players— the kind of guys I probably would have embarrassed back in the day. It was so bad! I had all these great moves in mind, but it's like my body wouldn't follow. And let's not even talk about my cardio. I was Allen Iverson out there, hitting the floor and stuff. Sure, my sneakers are done and the floor was slippery, but I didn't see anybody else take a dive. And I'm not talking Dennis Rodman hustle dives. I'm talking fall off my ass dives. Man, I'm garbage. Fittingly, I've become a garbage man— the type that has to settle for rebounds off good positioning and contribute with hustle plays 'cause he doesn't have the talent to keep up in other areas. What a mess! SMH!

I'm glad I'm able to poke fun, but it does hurt a bit. All those inactive years, basketball never left me. I'm at home shadow dribbling on my way to the kitchen on a daily basis. Either that, or I flick my wrist (pause) to motion jumpers at any random moment. Too bad those non-exercises didn't help preserve my game. I'll probably never be the same player, but I hope I can get back to a decent level.

What about you guys? Have you had similar experiences playing the sports you've played growing up? Maybe it was dancing, or something else. In any event, I'd like to know about it. If y'all suck too, it may just make me feel a bit better.

(1) I don't pause in my thoughts