Posts in Love and War
The Double Text (Snippet)

First Encounter
She stood in the self-checkout lane with her favorite pair of sweats and a hoodie-nothing fancy. Her hair was in a messy bun with cute earrings to match the casual occasion. After all, it was just the grocery store. She was aware that men are visual. Old ladies often told her that a little "color" to her face would make a big difference but she wasn't interested. She would know that a man was into her for her, for sure, if she didn't do any of the bonus things but he approached her anyway.

There were a couple of people between them in line. He couldn't help but notice her physique. Not that he was some perv trying to catch glances, but it was a sight for the sore eye. He was reluctant to approach her. There had been too many instances that a woman's physique had gotten him into the "oh-my-bad-I-thought-you-were-someone-I-knew " kind of trouble. This was his way of politely excusing himself from a woman he chose to approach solely based on what he saw from behind; the kind that her face didn’t match her shape. He could tell by the way she matched her sweats that she cleaned up nice. The side profile revealed her beauty. Her skin was clear and glowing. "Unless that's makeup. You never know with women these days." He thought. She looked to be cute enough from a distance.

Plus, there wasn't much time before he would have to run her down to catch up with her if she got away. There were only two items left in her basket. The time he spent in his head delayed his return to reality. He noticed that her basket was now empty and she was completing her transaction. It was now or never. He wasn't chasing anyone down.

Another lane opened so, the person in front of him moved accordingly. The move provided the opportunity to stand next to her as she was collecting her bags. He was pleased by what he saw as he arrived at the checkout system beside her. He mumbled "thank you, Yahweh" before he hopped into the process of getting her number. There was no time for small talk. "Excuse me!" The exclamation came out a little squeaky. He cleared his throat. She stopped and turned around, bags doubled in each hand. They were heavy. She was not in the mood for games and it was interwoven in her facial expression. He proceeded with caution: “My name is Dallas. Can I talk to you for a minute?”

"Uggghhhhhh! I know he sees me with these bags in my hands,” she thought to herself. It had been a while since she swerved a guy so she would allow him to humor her. "Sure, what's up?" She responded. And so it began: he inquired her name, where she was from, and her number, making it obvious that he would like to get to know her. Maybe it was the one dimple in his left cheek or his manners; shucks, it could have been a little of everything about him; either way, shooting him down was not as easy it initially seemed it would be. In fact, it didn't feel like a good idea at all. She gave him her telephone number- the correct one and headed to her car, wondering what she'd gotten herself into.

Good Vibes
30 minutes later her phone rang from a number she didn’t recognize. She answered to learn it was Dallas from the grocery store. They spoke for 2 hours straight. No dead space or awkward moments. And get this: he was saved! "How saved" had yet to be determined but knowing that much was good enough for the time being. It was getting late and she still needed to complete her devotion. She concluded the conversation. She had a rule that she never ended her night with a man as the last thing on her mind. Plus, the flow of the conversation peaked her interest. Prayer was necessary. Two weeks of consistent conversation and the interest was mutual and growing. Long discussions, laughs from the belly, good morning texts, and pleasantly surprising “thinking-of-you” messages had become regular. He had his own ringtone. It was a little something to make her reach for the phone quicker.

Selfies were cool. So were the Facetime sessions, but they weren't sufficient. The more he spoke to her the more he wanted to see her. Women have it easy: all they have to do is answer “yes” or “no.” It's the man that has to muster the heart to invite a lady out; that was really all it was, an invitation. One that could be accepted or declined. On top of mustering the courage, he has to have tact with how he "accepts" her decline; like his ego isn't crushed or that he’s not angered by the response. All of the above was worth the risk. He didn't usually call during the work day but he was making the exception today. He had to know if she would see him again. He grabbed her number from his "favorites" tab in his phone and tapped her picture. The phone rang once and she answered the phone puzzled.

"Hey! Are you okay?" She was concerned. "Yeah, yeah. I'm cool. How are you?" He tried to sound smooth. He would have loved to continue with the small talk as usual. But the way his anticipation was set up, he couldn't wait: "hey, you want to link up soon? I mean, it doesn't have to be anything special; just to you know..." In that instant, the storm to the walls of her fortress had begun. He was coming for her heart. It wasn't that she didn't want to go. She was delighted and wondered if he would ever ask. There was no point in fronting. She let him and saved him the need to try to save face by her clear-cut reply: "I'd love to."

Good Company
She'd been in the mirror for hours; blending her foundation, comparing faux eyelashes between flirty and bold, and lining her eyes. Although she was the what-you-see-is-what-you-get type, the natural look wasn't what she was going for tonight. She wanted her eyes to pop as she sat across from him at the dinner table. This date would only be her second time seeing him in person. She struggled to find something to wear. She searched her closet for the perfect combination, aiming to send a message that she was stylish but far from fast. She was finally ready after several second-guesses. She grabbed her pudge as she felt a flutter in her belly that she'd not felt in a while. Now all she had to do was meet him at the restaurant and sashay in there like she did this type of stuff all the time. Truth is, her phone had been dry for months. It was the vibes through the phone that heightened her excitement about tonight. Here he was, someone that she could talk to for hours; conversations that went beyond the rigid rigmarole of getting to know someone.

His mom called him on the way to his date. She must've asked a hundred questions within their first 5 minutes of chatting. He was a mama's boy. He didn't mind it. Although it was a bit embarrassing that his mother caught onto the excitement in his voice. He was able to downplay tonight with his boys, but he couldn't fool his mom. A mama always knows. He was dressed in a button-down that flattered his complexion. It looked to be something from the Ralph Lauren line, but it was Izod. She didn't seem to be the gold-digger type and he liked that.

Dinner was everything they both hoped. She was happy to have a free meal that was worth the date and he was happy to pay for it. They sat sharing laughs and meaningful conversation until they were subliminally alerted that it was time for them to go. All the chairs had been straightened, the booths had been wiped out, and the waiter had returned his card over an hour ago. The restaurant manager and staff shut the lights down in the establishment like a nosy neighbor peering through vinyl blinds. That was their cue.

Never mind the sashay. There didn't seem to be any further need for facades. She walked slowly as he strolled behind her, both hating that the night had come to an end. They could've gone back to one another's places and chatted the night away but that would not have been wise. So, they reluctantly parted ways with a warm hug. He told her he would call her later. That was at 12:08 a.m.

Second Guesses
She arrived home safe but worried. She had already checked twice to make sure that her phone wasn't on vibrate. She even reset it to make sure that her calls would come through. No sign of him. She went to bed crushed and angry at herself for believing he was different. She didn't wake up feeling any differently. The second day passed and she found herself contemplating things that could have happened: was he faking that he enjoyed himself? Did he wreck on the way home? Was he seeing someone and no longer had free time or privacy to keep his word? Did men still play the "2-day wait game?" What was it? Maybe she said something wrong or talked too much at the dinner table. "Whatever it was, he could've just been honest," she concluded.

Best friend called to inquire how the date went and so began the "that's how guys do" convo. That was why she loved her best friend. She was always down to ride and she always matched her indignation during conversations. Best friend was a bit more forward: "well, did you call him? Did you text him? Well, maybe you should shoot him a text and see what's up. Maybe he went home and fell asleep or something. But real talk, he could have at least followed up with an apology." Old girl wasn't that type. Pursuing a man was un-lady like and she wasn't about to be chasing anyone. Forget him!

Three more days passed and she officially felt stupid. She should have known that this was how things would end. It was always risky business to assume that a guy was a good one. She did that many times to learn that her assumptions were wrong. Each lesson cost her heartache. The fight didn't seem worth it after a while. Especially, when all she had to do was dismiss him and his bad vibes, wait for the next one, and hope for the best. It was peculiar: she wanted a real chance at love but hated the work that came with it. She was willing to use a little elbow grease when necessary but how could she determine if it was worth the try? And then there were the times that she tried to make them a good guy. That only ended with frustration. Besides, differences were one of the many beautiful aspects of it all. There was a cool kind of groove to being with someone that could provide a different point-of-view, something new to try, or simply put a slight spin on how she always knew things to be. She thought that was where she was headed. Maybe not.

Her phone vibrated at work. It was him. Old girl was in her office silently screaming at the phone with her lips poked out and an attitude. "This dude is really texting me ‘hey sis’ like we cool!" She told herself to get it together as she calmed down and sent a blunt text in response: "hey."

"Hey!?" We vibed so well the other night and the only response she had was a ‘hey?’ Oh, she tripping. I guess the other night wasn't all that I thought it was. Chicks stay scavenging for a free meal." He shook his head and laid his phone down.

Visit Books.NoiseTrade.com/marishamathis/the-double-text to download the full version of the Double Text.

Grace and peace,

Risha

[From] The Mind of a Savage Woman

I’m going to do my best to approach this unbiasedly.  As a wordsmith I pay close attention to words: trends, wordplay, context, things that are said without being said, etc. I remember when something was said to be bad, it was supposed to be interpreted as good. (Ie. “Girl those shoes are bad.”) A person that is “dope” is awesome, when in the dominant culture, drugs are referred to as “dope” with negative connotation. “The B word” was once offensive but now  comes in the form of a double negative “Bad B*tch.”  That’s a woman that has it all together and is especially attractive.  The saying “times are changing” is everlasting. The role and characteristics of women has changed throughout the centuries and as of now it has become agreeable and respected for women to be “savages.”

A savage is a woman that overcomes heartbreak and becomes a heartbreaker.  She may be manipulative, a player, “sexually liberated,” a user, so-on, so-forth.  She’s the embodiment of Steven Harvey’s concept “think like a man, act like a woman.”  It’s disturbing that women have to use these types of mindsets as guards for the heart.  A savage is a woman that can enter a relationship or relationships without emotional commitment and return the favor to the stereotypical cheating man.  While on the surface, a woman who can engage with a man without emotional ties seems praiseworthy, it should be alarming.  The “savage” women is actually a bitter one.

Bitterness presents itself in many forms: grudges, vindication, anger, Depression, pettiness, [covert] fear, jealousy-the list is extensive.  One of the more saddening facts about the bitter or savage woman is how she seems to fail to see the damaged condition she’s in.  Woman was created for the pleasure of a man; not because a woman is a second-class human, but because the man was created first. God is a God of love. I honestly believe that humanity was created to love because man took on attributes of God.  I further believe, it is our makeup as women to love and be loved, nurture, and wallow in the strength of a man.  Unfortunately, the greater representation of men do not always present character that would make a woman comfortable in falling back into the words (or “promises” of a man).  My point: we as women were not created to be savages.  It is unnatural.  We are literally not built for it.  Although the savage mindset is one that seems to be easier and is widely accepted these days, it’s unhealthy and devastating to emotional growth.  All in all, I don’t think there is one savage that can step forward and truthfully express happiness in her state of fragment.  Why is fragment even mentioned? Because a bitter woman is a broken one.  A woman that gives her body but not her heart is only giving a piece of herself.  A woman that gives her time but not her attention is giving a piece of herself.  A woman that offers portions of herself to someone but keeps other portions to herself cannot fully experience love and that’s what the savage woman wants; to control how deep things go and walk away victimizing without being victimized herself. Why? Because the savage woman is a bitter woman with patchwork and self-medicated wounds.

My theory: The newer generations are doing too much. No one wants to show their cards or be hurt.  Former hurts are released because forgiving and forgetting is seen as weak.  Commitment is taboo. Standards are despised. Love is misused and and altogether misrepresented. Relationship goals are based on social media posts and reality shows. People have recreated a facet of God that was here before we ever existed (love). Relationships have been manufactured based on trends.  Pride fuels heartbreak and revenge. However, I can assure the savage woman that life will be much more beautiful when you heal and and move forward with full knowledge of true love and a willingness to embrace it.  I really want to “take it there” and mention the role of the irresponsible man in a bitter woman’s life but I’ll save that for “another day.”  Ladies don’t be afraid to love and be loved.

Peace,

Risha

Why we Should Love Side Chicks

I do not condone infidelity in any way shape or form, but there are some things about side chicks that should be considered the next time we blast or glorify them.  Let's have an educational moment; a side chick is a woman who is "the other woman" in a relationship.  Here are a few names: Monica Lewinski, Olivia Pope, or "Barbara"-for those who need to go a little further back in references ("Woman to Woman").

Society has really distorted common principles.  Presently, it's acceptable and a form of bragging rights to be a "savage"or cold-hearted.  Love has been used as a means to manipulate, control, abuse, and other things so much that people claim to no longer want it.  Marriages are no longer sacred.  Monogamous relationships are no longer respected.  A man is respected for having more than one significant other.  Nowadays, women boast about "stealing" someone else's man or having their resources provided from another household.

There are two extremes to every point of view so let's take a moment and look at the other extreme.  Side chicks are typically frowned upon for being classless, home wreckers, or worse.  I believe we were created to love.  We all want love whether we are willing to admit it or not.  This includes the side chick. I do not have stats or surveys but somewhere down the line, the disdain for love has evolved from hurt or having an incorrect understanding of it.  Some women want it because they fear serious monogamous relationships of their own, some reek of misery and want to spread it to others, some have low self-esteem and look for validation in being pursued by a man. 

I'm not saying that side relationships should be accepted or encouraged.  I'm saying that we should consider that everyone needs love.  We as women should build each other up: point out beautiful attributes about each other, encourage each other, and share words of wisdom.  We should respect ourselves and each other.  Men (who also seem to seek a form of validation) should consider the emotions of both women involved and think of how their decisions impact others.

Case and point: there's nothing cute about having or being O.P.P.

There's a passage in Matthew 22 in which a lawyer tries Jesus (in a bad way) and asks which of the 10 commandments is greater.  Jesus tells him two commandments: to love God with our entire beings and to love others as we love ourselves.  When we love God with our entire beings and love others as we love ourselves, we won't violate any of the 10 commandments or do anything that would hurt ourselves or anyone else.  It's simple: The side chick should love herself because she deserves it.  Once she masters it, she can love others.  We as onlookers should love the side chick because she needs it.

Sleeping with the Enemy

Truthfully, I don’t know that this blog will make much sense to one who has never seen Twilight or one of the movies in the saga.  For the sake of understanding, I’ll briefly provide background.  Twilight has a “vampire and werewolf” background with an undertone of romance.  Before you grow disinterested I ask that you continue reading. I promise that I’m going somewhere with this. Okay, so, there is a teen named “Bella.”  She falls in love with a guy to later learn that this guy is a vampire. A blood sucking vampire, so his nature is to kill humans and consume their blood as they have throughout history.  She spends time with him. Their love is mutual.  The saga continues over a few years as their relationship grows and they have to overcome several obstacles in their relationship.  It’s a movie so of course love prevails. Ultimately Bella is turned into a vampire (sorry to ruin it for you).  

When I used to watch the movie(s) I would always say Bella is an idiot.  Why would she lay in bed with a man who’s nature is to destroy her?  Why would she continue to put herself in harm’s way? Why would she allow herself to fall in love with someone who has made it known that ultimately he could hurt her?  He even goes as far to describe her as her own brand of Heroin.  In retrospect, I realized that I have been Bella. It wasn’t that I fell in love with a man that was a monster, but I put myself in harms way on several occasions by simply playing with temptation-things that [I knew] were intended by nature to destroy me. It’s not always sexual.  I have found myself in various situations that I knew at any moment things could go south but the desired outcome, or in this analogy “love”, outweighed every pending negative consequence.

As the saga continues we see Bella fall deeper into love with Edward (the vampire).  She has close encounters with death as a result of her association and love for him.  She is forced to choose sides and eventually becomes a vampire. What I gather from the fate of Bella is that one cannot lie in bed with something without ultimately subjecting themselves to the fate of that temptation-Death.

It’s imperative to closely consider what we entertain and allow in our lives. Let’s not  ignore warning signs. They are there for a reason.