Why Don’t You Let Me Know?

It’s that time of year where holiday parties abound. We get an email, a text, an evite, a hard invite. Do you respond? I recently heard on The Today Show that most people no longer rsvp.

Why have we stopped R.S.V.Ping?

As a cosmo girl who loves to throw a gathering, I am big on rsvping. I know how much effort goes into putting together a shindig, especially one that requires others to bring things. Or if I am cooking (or ordering up) food, I need to know how much to order. I need to know how much alcohol/wine to purchase. I basically need to know if anyone is coming

and if I should instead cancel! 3

And nothing makes a cosmo girl more annoyed than planning a party and people who were supposed to show don’t show or if more show up than you knew were coming. I’m not renting out a hall, space (and budget) is limited. I get we may not want to commit to something, but hey, what’s wrong with just updating a rsvp (at a reasonable time, after the fact doesn’t count)? If you don’t want to come, put “maybe” with an explanation so we know the likelihood of you showing up.

Because this bugs me to no end, I try my best to respond to all invites I get because I know how it feels. When you don’t rsvp, you show little regard for the person who took the time to think of you when they sent the invite. And the more formal the invite the more you should respond. A group text, not a big deal. A wedding paper invite, a cute evite- yes, respond! Even if it’s a no. And if it’s from a friend, coworker or family member- always respond. People like to feel as if they are considered. Especially amongst their own friends. And really, how much effort does a simple “yes, no, maybe so” take?

Do you still rsvp? Do you think it’s rude not to? Let me know your thoughts!

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My Top Christmas Songs That Bring Good Cheer

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Ok so I’m pretty unique in that I love Christmas (voice laced in sarcasm) but nothing makes me more happy besides spending time with family, eating yummy food and watching holiday movies than hearing a good Christmas tune. It just puts me in a festive mood. I can be scrubbing the floors and having a blast if I’m doing it while listening to a jingle melody. And it’s not just the music but the memories and feelings that come along with it.

So I asked myself, I said, “Cosmo Girl”, because that’s what I call myself, “If you had to pick, what would be your top five Christmas songs?” And so I present to you my holly, jolly, feeling the holidays top songs.

  • All I Want For Christmas Is You- Mariah Carey- I wish I had her voice, pre- Nick Cannon. Every time I hear this song I have to bob my head. And of course it brings back memories of my favorite romance movie (and that’s a short list since I don’t like that sappy stuff), Love Actually (really sweet movie, dude from The Walking Dead is in it).
  • This Christmas- Donny Hathaway- This is the all time favorite/must on any play list for a soulful Christmas sound. Christmas will not come and go without this song playing in my vicinity.

  • Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer- The Temptations- This is all pure nostalgia. When I was a little girl I loved listening to my parents records and a Motown Christmas was one of them. I remember doing my own little performance to this song when I was little so when I hear it now it makes me smile and think of childhood.

  • What Christmas Means To Me- Stevie Wonder- It’s Stevie, he is awesome.  It’s got a happy beat. That is all.

  •  The Christmas Song- Nat King Cole- I grew up with a fire place and played this song. Felt cool. Plus I like to sing and I would slay this song (at least I thought so). Plus it gives me the warm n fuzzes.

Don’t see your favorite song? What songs get you in the holiday spirit?

The Don’ts of Online Dating Part Two

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Now I’m not doing this to be shady. I just really think that this could be helpful to those who care. And if there was a guy out there that has written a post to women about the dos and don’ts of online dating and what guys are really thinking or what works, I’d  want to read it.
I can’t say I represent all women but most if not all of my circle of friends and acquaintances have dabbled in the tricky realm of online dating. So I prepared a follow up to my previous post to men about our gripes. This comes from women of different ages, races and backgrounds. If none of this applies to you, please ignore, but if you have ever done this before, well, here’s a good guess about how it was received.
 
Here are my next top three online gripes to ponder:
 
Pictures- We all know, whether we want to admit it or not, when it comes to online dating, a picture says a thousand words.  If you are on a site like Tinder, where you don’t have much room to tell your life story, a picture becomes even more important. So guys, here is what I would suggest regarding the pictures you choose to post if you are looking for a gal who wants to settle down (if you are just in the market for a good time, disregard)
  • Pictures!
·        Pics of you and other women- Not a good look especially if none of the women look remotely like the girl you are winking at (unless its family). Ok, women like you. We get it. But you didn’t have to post a pic of you and all the women on your softball team to prove it. Women don’t sell other women. I don’t go from thinking, eh, if only this guy had some chicks crowded around him in his pictures, then he’d be hot. It makes me think you are a bit douchy. And do these women know you have their faces out there like that?
·        Pics of you being inappropriate- Especially if you are over 30 and definitely if you are over 40. I don’t know what messauntitled2ge you are sending with you giving the camera the middle finger or mid action attempting some crazy activity when you are drunk.  It makes me think that you are not serious at all especially about getting to know someone. A silly expression or funny costume is fine but there is a fine line between guy with a light/funny side and guy who is forever “drunk frat boy”.
·        Pics of a car- And with you not in them too!? Okay, you drive. This is important but the picture doesn’t prove anything. Could be a nice car you just took a picture of for all I know. But really is this something we need to know via pictures? If this is important enough a woman will ask. The picture is wasted because it doesn’t tell me anything about you. Almost makes you look superficial unless you are appealing to car aficionados.
·        Pics of pets- Most sites have a box to show if you have a pet or not. I don’t need to see you and your dog, especially in every picture. It starts to look unhealthy. Now if you have a snake, spider, tiger (I don’t know), just highlight that in your profile. If you want your dog to be part of the relationship (sighs) keep one picture up but limit it to one. If I put up a pic of me and my cat, especially more than one, I don’t think I’d be sending a positive message about myself.
  • Not reading the profile.  Many times I have received a boilerplate email that I know a guy has cut and pasted and sent out to twentyuntitled other women. The longer it is the more sure of that I am. But if you aren’t going to read a girl’s intro paragraph at least peruse her specifications of what she’s looking for.  If a woman 10 or more years younger than you doesn’t have you in her age range, don’t write to her unless you are certain you can be an exception and that usually means you look like you are in the age range that she desires. A 20/30 year old doesn’t want to date Captain Kangaroo and if she does, you can probably assume you should be rich. If she’s agnostic and you are a preacher why are you writing to her?  Focus, instead, on women/men who have no preferences or include you in their preferences.
  • Don’t lie! Women might lie about weight online. I get it.  But men lie too. About their age and so do women. This is a joint one. I mean I see some pictures and I think, surely IMG_161295928804024they have knocked off ten years when listing their age, perhaps they were in a coma and didn’t know time had passed or maybe had a hard life, a really, really like national geographic, living in the dessert, hard life. I judge age by what I and my friends look like in our age group. If you look 10 years older than me but claim you’re actually a year or two younger, I’m raising an eyebrow. The eyebrow further reaches my hairline if all you post are pics of “hard” photos. Meaning you have no camera phone or digital camera photos you can upload. This makes me think that this Kodak photo you took a picture of is old and I get squinty eyed trying to figure out why you didn’t post a recent photo from this decade ( or are there really still people out there who only have non digital photos that they have to get developed now a days?) Just be honest. No one wants to be catfished. Sooner or later, the truth will reveal itself and if you watched catfish, the moral of the story is, no matter how long you’ve talked and how much phone chemistry you developed if you said you looked like Boris Kodjoe and show up looking like Flavor Flav, a person is not going to be forgiving.
Because sharing is caring…

Traveling While Black: Amsterdam and Brussels

 And so my mini series on traveling concludes (for now) with my trip to Amsterdam and Brussels, Belgium. I had no expectations regarding race here. I read an article about the growing African American expats in Amsterdam and wanted to know what was pulling them there. And I liked chocolate so Belgium felt right for a greedy gal like me.
                                 
First up, Brussels. Again, other town with a growing Africa population. There are several languages spoken in Brussels but French is a popular one. Therefore it attracted a lot of Africans that came from French speaking countries. There were also a lot middle easterners (although they could have been north Africans too). The result meant that I didn’t feel like a “stranger in Moscow” (aka sticking out). We got a few stares but most of that just came from fellow black folk checking us out (heeeyyy). I’m not going to wrack my brain thinking of a racial moment there. Nothing stood out. I felt comfortable being a person of color there.
On to Amsterdam, now this is a diverse town. Loads of biracial and people of African decent. I blended so well a European tourist came up to me asking me for directions. I felt irrationally proud of that. Couldn’t help him though.  I’d like to think it was my natural hair. There was a lot of the curly fro going on, what with the blending of the races. So, yep, his girl found a black hair care store. And this store carried loads of my favorite natural hair care products too. I was good ta go!
In all honestly, I found Amsterdam really attractive. It was a small town with a lot of style and a openness I found quite refreshing. The night life was great and diverse. Even had a white guy (and I mean Nordic white- super tall and blond) accuse me of turning him down for a dance because he was white! Me, racist? Nah. I just didn’t want to dance with the drunk frat type dude (drunk dancing not my thing).  The jazz scene is super strong here as well. I can easily understand why a town like this could appeal to an artsy, hipsterish black person. It just didn’t feel pretentious.  The only negative event occured in a cab.
We told the cabbie where our hotel was (in a very pricey, snazzy side of town). Instead he took us to a hotel of the same name in a not so pleasant part of town. Now we very clearly told him the address but he took us to the wrong spot anyway. Both me and my friend couldn’t help but wonder if he didn’t bother to hear us and just assumed we couldn’t possibly be in the expensive part of town. Was it our youngish age? Our color? Or was he just used to going to the other hotel? Who knows, but it left a bad taste in my mouth.
Outside of that one incident, I had a blast there and would go again for sure. Wish I had the strength to learn dutch because I wouldn’t mind living there.
So for now dears, this concludes my series on traveling while black. But I have more trips in store for the new year. Regardless of anything, I will not be scared off or dissuaded from traveling. I only see our world becoming a more diverse and open-minded place and something you should explore to the fullest.

Win a copy of my ebook: The Mission

Just in time for Christmas folks, check out my new contest to win a free copy of my ebook The Mission. Just visit this link for details. book cover 2

Here’s a little info about the chick lit/romantic comedy:

Rule #6: Be mysterious, but always approachable…keep him wanting more!

Rule #11: Always remember, no sex in the beginning. Make him wait!

Rule #19: You’ve got to give a little to get a little. Be giving of yourself, and it will make a lasting impression to keep your Mr. Right.

Sheila and Denise are successful, funny and attractive, but very single women. Not that being single is horrible; but when Denise is hassled to have a date to an old friend’s wedding-of-the-century, and Shelia needs an escort to an industry banquet where everyone who’s anyone will be in attendance, being single loses its perks. To add to the dilemma, Sheila tells a little white lie to her workplace nemesis about dating a successful music producer, which explodes into a career-threatening rumor. Under extreme pressure from family, friends and coworkers, they resort to making a pact. Their Mission: Get A Man in Three Months. They will use “proven” rules to finding their Mr. Rights. Rules that worked for a friend of a friend …how hard could it be?

Join them in their hilarious, and sometimes heartbreaking adventures as chapter by chapter they follow a new rule, and delve into the treacherous world of Washington, D.C. dating. The gal pals suffer through speed dating (Sam Needs-a-Bath). They allow themselves to be set up on blind dates (Bitter Crying Kevin). They try a dating service (Apron-Strings Adrian). They try the bar scene (Smoky the Bear who smokes more than cigars). They even meet men in the beauty salon (Javier Not Quite Straight). And there’s more, much more. Surrounded by family drama, workplace stressors and their own hang-ups about love, will the rules actually help them find their Mr. Rights in time for their events?