Island Soul City Dreams

I love New York, but my heart has a Caribbean beat. It pulsates to the traditions of my people. Attuned to the rhythms of this City, I stay West Indian to the bone. I reflect. I analyze. I speak my mind. ~ I Keep it Irie ~

Archive for the month “March, 2016”

Men, Please Stop Calling Women Hot

Hot Blog

In my book, it’s not physical attributes that truly make someone “hot.” 

About a year ago, I came across a video on my Facebook timeline of Nigel Hayes, then 20, and a sophomore forward for the Wisconsin Badgers, where he was caught in a slightly embarrassing situation. Well, I thought it was cute. But he, having realized that what he thought he’d said in secret to fellow players during a press conference was actually relayed over the microphone, quickly covered his face.

Hayes had spotted a stenographer for ASAP Sports, 40-something Debra Bollman, and was so enamored by her, he whispered to his teammates, “God, she’s beautiful.”

As I browsed through the comment thread, I noticed several people — both males and females — echoing exactly how I felt about his actions. And as I revisited the video in preparation for writing this post, I reviewed the comments on YouTube, again seeing responses that captured my take on the incident. One commenter, The XXI, puts it as thus: “Man I gotta take the habit to say “God she’s beautiful,” instead of “God damn she’s f**king hot.”

Yes, I love that Hayes’ instinctive response was to say beautiful and not hot. It comes across as if he were describing the entire person, inside and out, although it doesn’t appear that he knew Bollman personally. It comes across as if he saw her as a complete woman and not merely as an object of sexual attraction. Young Hayes came over as genuine, sweet, appreciative of the woman before him, respectful. What especially appealed to me is that he didn’t sound “thirsty.”

I hate it when men sound thirsty. I hate it when a man calls me hot, especially when I don’t know him and even more so if it’s a man who claims to be seriously interested in courting me. No men, I don’t want you to call me hot. I find it neither flattering nor does it validate my sex appeal, nor who or what I am as a woman. Were a man for example, to say he finds my intelligence, wit, industrious nature, fortitude and other intangible attributes hot, that, I would find complimentary.

Some men don’t get this. They think that because they tell a woman she’s hot, she should simply accept what they deem the “compliment” and move on. Men like Marco. I dated Marco on and off for a two-year period a few years ago before and during grad school while living in New York City. He was a lot of things I adored, but never ready for a committed relationship. So over time, I stopped communicating with him. I recently moved to Washington, D.C., and as it turns out, Marco beat me to it by a few months. We reconnected virtually and he invited me out to dinner to, in his words, “welcome you to D.C.”

It was delightful reconnecting with Marco. I remembered all the reasons why I’d liked and dated him, from his smarts to his inimitable sense of humor, ambition, his overall magnetic charm and yes, to keep it real, his enthralling physical attributes. We discussed our history and evaluated why “we” didn’t work as a couple before, our current respective relationship statuses and goals and we concluded that the time was ripe for us to give it another shot. A real shot this time.

I made it clear that a solely physical relationship was the furthest thing on my mind, that obviously that type of interaction will become a reality once I’m committed to someone, but at present it’s not what I seek. Marco said he was on the same page with me, that he wanted to court me, to date me, that he wanted for us to truly become one, for us to get married and have children. That from hence forth, he’ll be working toward that. For once, he sounded serious and I took him that way.

The next day, he practically disappeared, citing he’d been very busy on the job. I too had been busy at work, but had reached out. I decided to not sweat it and just responded cordially to his text which came at the end of the day. The following day out of the blue, he texts, “You’re hot.” No “Good day, how are you,” or “Have a great day,” or “Let’s plan to meet up again.” His message totally turned me off. I’m not saying he’s thirsty. He has no reason to be. But he sounded thirsty, purely carnal and I didn’t feel flattered.

I told him all this and explained that had he said something like, “Hi beautiful,” that would have come over as more appreciative of the whole me. I further explained that if he’s as serious as he claimed to be about building something with me that he needs to understand and respect my position on this matter. That whether his intention was “pure,” that I don’t like to be addressed in that manner. Marco disappeared for more than two weeks, no response, no returned calls, nothing.

When I finally heard from him, he argued that it was fine for him to act carnal merely because we had a dating history and that I was irrational in my response to his comment. No consideration was given to the fact that his comment did not sit well with me and why. It especially did not work for me because no, he wasn’t saying hot in the sapiosexual sense and no, that’s not what I want to hear from a man who’s trying show me he’s serious about being serious in pursuing me.

What exacerbates the situation is the fact that he disappeared after I’d voiced my opinion, instead of having an adult conversation on the matter. To me, that further makes the point that it’s not me the person – inside and out- he was trying to get close to, but me the “hot” object of his sexual attraction. Do I think I’m hot? I’m hot alright, hot as in mad that some grown men don’t get that some of us grown women don’t find it hot that you call us hot.

~ I Keep it Irie ~

 

Farewell My Beloved NYC, Hello New City

Hello DC

They say NYC is cold? Not as cold as this place lol!

The one phrase I’ve heard over and over prior to and living in New York for more than a decade has been, “If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere.” I’ve always thought New York was the toughest place to live. But gosh, I love this amazing city of blinding lights and so over the years I kept pushing on, no matter the challenge. And those of you who know my story, know there have been many a challenge.

These past few weeks have shown me more than ever just how much New York has made me grow, the strength it has given me, the lessons learnt, how it has enhanced my indomitable will to succeed, to go after my dreams, to never give up.

Yes, through smiles, tears, courage, fears, friends made, friends lost, dreams broken and some fulfilled beyond my imagination, moments of doubt and steps in faith, New York has given me far more than I ever could have imagined when I boarded that American Airlines Flight 1384 from a tiny beautiful island called Barbados, leaving all my family and dearest friends behind.

So as I bid farewell to New York City and say “see you later” to all those who’ve contributed to all I’ve become, to every Samaritan along the way, I say, “Thank you. One love and God bless.” Though now a couple of hundred miles apart, I hope you can continue to be a part of what remains an amazing journey for me in this country.

My new city has in my experience thus far, “done got New York beat” on merely surviving. Everything costs more here. Everything. Rent is far more exorbitant (although I do love the fancy amenities of swimming pool, roof deck, patio and more). Groceries are a prettier penny and one even has to pay for the plastic bags in which to pack them.

Gym membership is at least three to five times more than what I paid in NYC. Public transportation runs me a buck or more per trip than New York’s. Restaurants tax 10 percent unlike 8.875 percent in the Big Apple. And worse yet, I can no longer walk outside onto a Brooklyn street and get a nice mani/pedi for $19.99! I now have to fork out at least $50 in this new town.

Anyway, as I said, New York has prepared me well for whatever challenge may come my way. And so to my new city, I embrace an incredible career opportunity and I bring my NYC lessons, grits, curiosity, discipline, sense of adventure, hopes, dreams and faith in God. Someone living in my new neighborhood recently said to me, “If you want a friend in DC, get a dog.” _______________

~ I Keep it Irie ~

Food.jpg

First meal I made in this city, one way of surviving – more home-cooking, less eating out. Baked sweet yams/potatoes rubbed with my homemade virgin coconut oil, a dash of cinnamon and a lil organic honey served with baked cajun salmon and steamed vegetables. 

 

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