One of the reasons writing will always have a place in our society is because it allows you to explain yourself. Unlike Twitter which gives you a character limit and you can easily be misquoted or Instagram which gives you one minute and someone can take a fifteen second soundbite and ruin your life, articles allow you to give your entire side.

I have a lot of thoughts on my grandparents generation. I do believe in a sense they were the best of us, they were brave and professional and they built homes, communities and families. But they also had their flaws, they spoiled their children and made a lot of them lazy which led to being bad parents. They cheated in a way in which they would have entire families across town.

They are just such a confusing yet interesting generation. I won’t  get too deep into it but I’m sure a lot of it has to do with being raised by parents that were heavy in Jim Crow and segregation. They saw their parents and grandparents struggle and not know how to read in a lot of cases so they wanted more. More often included sin.

The one thing they did that I did respect, is they always knew to take care of home first. There’s a part on Fences that goes unnoticed. He gives his check to his wife faithfully to pay the bills before he buys his liquor, hangs with his friends, cheats. He knew to take care of home before anything else and when he stopped taking care of home, his life fell apart.

Women were the same way. A woman may have had all the chores to do in the world or may have worked her ass off but she knew when her man walked through the door there would be dinner. She knew that no matter what he was taking care of home so she took care of him.

Our generation has lost that. We live in this constant state of taking care of everything and everyone but home. It’s a bunch of things, it’s technology, it’s circumstance, it’s social media. But they all lead to the same conclusion. We are a generation of selfish people.

In the 90’s a man or woman would work all day and when they got home from work they would call their friend and have a conversation about what went on. Maybe if they have an office phone, they’ll call during lunch. Now we’re in an era where people have 24/7 access to you. If you aren’t talking in a group chat, you’re on the phone, if you aren’t on the phone, you’re on Facebook. Everything feels urgent when the truth is, it isn’t. We carry our phones around like slaves. We neglect those closes to us in hopes a stranger likes a picture.

We don’t take care of home. Getting online and pretending to be in love means more than coming home and making sure someone ate. Going to hang out with friend’s matters more than coming home and surprising your significant other. Everything becomes an argument about who did what or who does more because the truth is our generation just doesn’t care about home.

So we end up with blended families and regret. We end up with people not appreciating what they had until it’s gone when the truth of the matter is, the same people you neglect your family for. The same strangers you crave attention from, once you lose the person that was there for you when the camera phone was off, none of that attention will feel as important.

Life has been and will always be about priorities. Every decision we make leads to the next decision. You can try and justify them but in your heart you know, we all know.

Our grandparents didn’t always do things the right way but they knew to take care of home first.

Confident Black Men and Women Scare America

I have written about LaVar Ball since he popped on the scene because in the beginning I felt like it was a click bait story. You want to get a couple shares, a couple retweets, write about LaVar Ball. So I stayed away from it but then something happened. I started to see the hypocrisy in the way we society views black men and independence. Let me give you a couple of examples.

  1. Nike exec George Raveling on LaVar Ball: “The worst thing to happen to basketball in the last hundred years.”
  2. Unnamed NFL Coaches, “Colin Kaepernick is a traitor and I would never want him on my team.”
  3. Republican Congressman, “Obama took 400,000 for a speech; we need to take his pension.”

What do all three of these things have in common?  The black men involved weren’t docile enough.

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Why is that whenever I hear about Lavar Ball I never hear that he’s been convicted of any crimes? Why is it that I’ve never heard of his sons getting in trouble or of him hitting his wife? Why is it that I haven’t seen one piece on him being a good father and mentor while I’ve seen two hundred stories on black boys and them surviving without fathers? That’s not the story they want to put out there, they’d rather focus on how bad of a guy he is because he doesn’t want to take their handouts.

Now let’s talk about Kaepernick, teams were saying he’s asking for too much money and most people were happy to accept that was the truth. Meanwhile he comes out and says, “No one has talked to me or returned my calls so how would they know what I’m asking?” Guys have beat their wives, killed people drunk driving, fixed games and the worst person in the league is a guy that took a knee to bring awareness to cops killing black men and women?

Lastly, President Obama was criticized and attacked more than any President in history when there was no basis for it. The worst thing he probably did was wear that tan suit that time. After eight years of this Republicans lost their minds seeing him on vacations and smiling. They lost their minds that he and his wife got this huge book deal and they lost their minds even more when it came out that he was getting 400k for a speech. I live in Texas, ex-politicians and athletes have been getting paid for years to give speeches but now it’s a problem?

Confident Black Men scare America because they hate our strength. When Tiger Woods was winning Majors he was “Blasian,” I’d honestly never heard that term in my life. When he got caught cheating, he was a black man. When Kanye West said, “Yeezy’s will jump over Jordan’s,” we laughed and said no one buys Adidas. Now you can’t find a pair of Yeezy’s anywhere, they stay sold out.

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Lavar Ball says, “If the Lakers draft my son, they’ll make the playoffs next year.” He didn’t say they’ll win a Championship or that his son will be the best Laker of all time. He said a team full of young talent with a pass first point guard could make the playoffs. People are literally hostile at that. He has confidence in his son and that makes you uncomfortable? Just because Archie Manning wasn’t on TV every day doesn’t mean he wasn’t behind the scenes making sure his sons were taken care of.

What Do You Get For Having the Perfect Social Media Relationship… Nothing. Nothing At All

perfect-couple-2I love watching documentaries; I could literally sit up all night searching for the perfect one on Netflix. One of the things I love most about documentaries is that they’re true stories. These are real people that went through real things and we’re seeing it unfold through the eyes of their friends, family and co-workers. What I notice most about documentaries is that often times the people that seem the most perfect have the most secrets. By no means am I saying that that’s the same as couples that are perfect on social media but there is a correlation.

I saw a meme the other day that said, “It’s not fair that you share your entire relationship with us and then when you break up we don’t hear anything from you. That’s OUR RELATIONSHIP, we want to know what happened?” As funny as that may sound there’s actually some truth to that. Social media is a platform, you can build a business, build a brand, be a fan but more than anything you choose what you share. If you decide to share nothing but the good news and the romantic nights and the dope trips that’s your choice but understand something. If that’s not real, if you know in your heart that the image you’re projecting is simply for likes or to be in a competition with some woman you hated in high school. You’re doing yourself and your relationship a disservice.

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By no means am I saying that you should hop on social media and share hurtful and dark secrets about your relationship. What I am saying is that you should not get on social media and pretend. Putting a filter on a crappy relationship just so you can get notifications from Instagram is ignoring the problem. You don’t get any medals or gold stars for comments under a picture when you know the two of you barely talk at home.

Tomorrow someone could unplug the internet. We could wake up and our smart phones that we don’t go to the bathroom or eat lunch without could be as useless as iPhone chargers. The pictures you’ve posted about how great your relationship is vanished into Facebook and iCloud Heaven. Will the man or woman you’re in love with go to the ends of earth to find you? Are there pictures printed out on his desk of you?

You can remember how many likes the picture you posted of your date night got but can you remember the last time he smiled at you and you felt as though there were no doubts, no secrets, no hesitation. You get nothing for looking the part, playing the part. You get everything for seeing the flaws and working towards fixing them. You can pretend and have regrets or you can be honest and let people that may look to you and your relationship as an example know; we aren’t always perfect and sometimes I’m not even sure if we’re perfect for each other but we’re authentic and we never stop working towards where we want to be.

 

 

It’s Not Okay to Propose to Your Woman At Someone Else’s Wedding!

IMG_0141It’s Not Okay to Propose to Your Woman At Someone Else’s Wedding!

It Can’t Always Be About You

We all have that one friend that’s a one upper. Maybe they’re not your real friend but they’re a social media friend. You tell them you’re excited about Miami and they tell you, “You should see Spain!” You tell them your kid just got accepted into a college and they tell you how their kid got accepted into a better college.

One upper guy or gal doesn’t always do it because they’re jerks that lack common sense and etiquette. Sometimes they don’t have malicious intent at all; sometimes they just need the conversation to be about them.

The thing we all learn in like 1st grade though is that it can’t always be about you. There will be days where you don’t win the spelling bee and days where you aren’t the best kick ball player in the world. Adult life is sort of the same way. Every conversation doesn’t have to be about YOU. It’s okay to sit back and let someone tell you about their weekend without you telling them how much better your weekend was.

The one upper isn’t always interrupting with good news either. It can be something as simple as, “I cut my finger shaving,” and one upper will let you know how they broke their arm changing the channel with the remote. Anything to have people talk about or look at them instead of talking about or looking at you.

I had a conversation once about wedding proposals and the simple truth is people are so blinded by love that they don’t often realize what’s okay and what’s not okay. Asking your woman to get married on a beach in Spain is dope. Asking your woman to get married at a reception your boy paid 85 dollars a plate for. That’s not too cool.

Why do people think this is okay? This is the ultimate level of one upperness! I’m going to choose the most important day of your life and turn it into a joint venture? This is not okay and a fight has to come with that.

Your friend goes through a horrible breakup and is crying and heartbroken and you sit there like, “I remember when I lost my dog; girl I didn’t think I would recover but I did.” Yo, this isn’t about your dog, this is about your friend.

One upping/ scene stealing has ruined more friendships than borrowing money and shoes and spring breaks where someone forgot to pay their half on the room. It’s okay for it not to always be about you. It’s okay to listen, to be happy for someone, to not turn the day or night or conversation into your show.

One Year Later; I Still Suck At Being A Boyfriend

Bell and I I’m not sure if I’ll be a good husband, I’m not even sure I will be a good father. Sometimes I don’t know if I’m a great man but I know for a fact I’m not a great boyfriend. I can be cold when I need to be caring, I can be quiet when I need to talk. I can be loud when I should be listening. I could go on forever but you get it.

Through all of that this woman has put up with it. Put up with it is the wrong word, she’s accepted that I suck at being a boyfriend but she loves me regardless.
Let me say that again. She’s accepted that I suck at being a boyfriend and she loves me regardless.

There were a lot of post yesterday about love and relationships. Engagements and admiration. This is my truth. I have never argued as much with anyone about anything than I have argued with this woman this past year. I have never had so many memorable moments and so many moments that I wanted to take back. We haven’t lived a fairytale where I’ve been Prince Charming but most importantly; we haven’t given up on each other because we see the value in each other.

We’ve walked hand in hand on foreign beaches watching the sun rise and we’ve driven 45 minutes not speaking to each other for some of the pettiest reasons you can imagine. There’s been private ballrooms at Perry’s and then there was nights were there were gourmet hot dogs with sliced bread and those wieners that have 23 different types of meats in them. Happiness isn’t perfect moments and perfect chemistry because life can never be those things all the time. Happiness is knowing that a Walking Dead Marathon and cheap wine are just as special as the best steak in the world because it’s about the time spent more than anything.
Yesterday marked one year of me being a horrible boyfriend.

And you want to know something, I wouldn’t change any of it for the world! You can have your perfect love stories with your perfect scripts and I’ll take chaos, passion, hope, talent and endurance.

She’s an incredibly dope woman that will do incredibly dope things and I’m just happy I have a front row seat for it.

The Butterfly Effect (The Smallest Decisions Matter)

Author Demez F. White

Author Demez F. White

One of my favorite movies, not necessarily because of the acting, is the Butterfly Effect with Ashton Kutcher. A quick synopsis of the movie is: A professor or Kutcher builds a time machine and the machine allows you to go back and fix the smallest mistake that changed the course of people’s lives. It could be something as simple as going home instead of to the park or calling one person to hang out instead of another.

The movie got me to thinking about the decisions I’ve made in life. Now I won’t pretend that I’ve been to prison or made mistakes that will haunt me but I do think about small things that happened that may have seemed small but in reality they altered the course of my life. Whether it was not re-taking my SAT’s to get a better score or not doing a semester at sea.

There are so many and to think about them all would not make much sense but it doesn’t mean that occasionally I don’t wonder. It’s such an old concept that never really gets old when you think about it. Like what if great generals would have gotten shot right before the war started. What if Rosa Parks wouldn’t have gotten on that bus because she got a phone call that her sister was sick. The effect that one decision can make on who we become and our legacies are exponential.

If I’m being honest I can’t say I regret a lot of decisions I’ve made but I can say that as I get older I regret missed opportunities and where those opportunities could have taken me. The good thing about the Butterfly Effect and life in general is that with each day comes a new opportunity to make decisions that will shape our lives and effect not just us but so many people around us.

Struggle is sort of a foreign concept to me. I’ve had disappointments and setbacks but I can’t say I’ve ever really felt helpless or thought that things wouldn’t work out. That’s mostly because of family and the people I’ve had on my life but struggle scares me. Death doesn’t, we all have to die, I just hope I die accomplished and loved. But struggle, that’s not something I ever want to experience. It’s okay to lose occasionally, you aren’t going to win at everything you do in life but struggling and losing are just different. Losing means you gave your all and you have to formulate a new plan. Struggling is losing on a consistent basis. It’s feeling as though no matter what you’re doing things just aren’t working. That haunts me, the idea that anyone could get comfortable with struggling and not want to fight. Not want to win.

Maturity and Honesty Are Worth It

20140701-070314.jpg Maturity and Honesty Are Worth It

When I was younger I tried to justify lying. The logic was if the truth was going to hurt someone; lying couldn’t hurt them. They would never find out the truth right? I’m not just talking about dating but in a lot of aspects of life.

The truth can be awkward, it can be uncomfortable but the truth is also liberating. Once you take the route of lying to yourself and others, you have to keep lying. Maybe the truth never comes out but most of the time; it will. Maturity means accepting responsibility and dealing with that awkwardness and accepting the consequences.

The truth means the door is always open even if it’s only cracked. Relationships can become fractured, friendships broken but if you’re honest anything’s possible. Maybe you can’t fix it today or tomorrow but overtime the fact that you were honest will mean something. When you lie though, it’s a mirage. A figment of your imagination. You feel like everything is fine but there’s an expiration date on that happiness.

Free yourself from that bondage that comes with lies. Maturity comes with a peace of mind you can’t imagine. If the truth means you’ll lose some friends, a job, a man/ woman then so be it. It’s better than living a lie or lying to get some ass.

~ Demez F. White