I probably would have preferred to title this post “Man an ‘oman cyaan be fren?!”, but I figured that the appeal of it to non-patois speakers/readers, would be diminished. This is how a Jamaican would say it. In this instance, a statement of question-exclamation, implying…Didn’t you know that? But at the same time quizzically unsure of whether this perception is really true. Is it true that men and women can’t be friends?
A few girlfriends and many female friends later, I was the guy that thought he knew all about women. A great relationship with my mother, friends with many of my exes and a myriad of female friends, if anyone would know about women, it would be me. My belief was clearly one of youth, and my wisdom has now taught me that I will never know or fully understand the beautifully mystical creature we call woman. I can share some of what I’ve learned along the way though.
MEN AND WOMEN CAN’T BE FRIENDS BECAUSE:
1. Someone is always interested - This is the fundamental theme of the blog, that man and woman were essentially made to be attracted to each other and complement each other. Men inherently simple, and women inherently complex (at least in my opinion; I’m sure the women think opposite). One person always wants more than friendship. They want a kiss, sex, to cuddle, just more attention than common conversation. With this desire, someone’s longing will lead to a confession or simply uncontrollable actions that dictate their desires, and ultimately the less interested party will pull away. A potential love interest…dead by imbalance.
LESSON: Friends and definitely lovers have to be on the same page, and if not then they can’t be friends.
MEN AND WOMEN CAN BE FRIENDS IF:
1. Something breaks the imbalance - ‘Breaking the imbalance’ occurs when someone’s heart is broken, or someone gets over the other person for some reason, and they choose to be friends after this event. This can happen in a myriad of ways, which include:
- One party point blank tells the other that they are not interested. This may or may not work because someone usually is convinced that they can mold the situation, or that determination will persevere, which is usually not the case.
- Bad intimate experience. This could be from as simple as a bad kiss to really bad sex, but this is basically where the fantasy crashes and burns. This can lead to friendship the very next day. Ha.
- One party gets into a new relationship - This is the worst way to break the imbalance, because one person usually gets hurt really bad, but it is often the best way for that person to realize that what they thought was a relationship was probably something else (like a frelationship ; Read my post on this).
- Miscellaneous Imbalance breakers - Bad culinary experience; Bad dance floor experience; Bad intoxication experience; Bad breath experience; Bad flatulence experience; Bad manners experience. I think you get the drift, but sometimes the deal breaker for a relationship is just lurking in the shadows, and once it happens, a friendship is really easy to obtain.
LESSON: Once the imbalance is broken you essentially become equal again, and usually by that point you have learned so much about the other person that you respect them enough to be their friend. So after storm, in this case, there is calm.
2. You get together - Of course if you both love each other, and are on the same page, then you can be friends. Hopefully you will both have a great friendship, then relationship, and may eventually get married, and nothing beats marrying your best friend.
3. You HAVE to be friends - This includes your friend’s husband or wife…You can’t be in a relationship with them. It’s not allowed, even if you think they are gorgeous, plus you’re married, so that’s just wrong. Your sibling or close friend’s boyfriend or girlfriend…Just cross that person off the list cuz it’s off limits, unless you are a bad sibling/friend. There are a few more in this category that elude me right now, but just know in these special cases, YOU HAVE TO BE FRIENDS.
CONCLUSION: In concluding I would say it’s all pretty simple. Men and women can’t be friends because they are inherently attracted, and one person will always want more than the other (imbalance). It will only work if they are on the same page as friends or lovers and want the same thing (balance). If they want everything together then they get married, and if the want some things or nothing together then they become friends.
Ain’t that grand! Now go figure out if you really are friends with that person you thought you were JUST friends with.
Skin Bleaching, as we popularly call it in Jamaica, refers to the practice of using chemical substances in an attempt to lighten skin tone or provide an even skin complexion by lessening the concentration of melanin.
The above link will take you to a Wiki page which explains all the different chemicals that have been used for this skin-altering process, but that is not my focus today. Without giving a history lesson, as a Jamaican I can speak on what I refer to as ‘Internal Racism’, which I describe as discrimination within a race based on complexion or skin tone. I’m sure it links strongly to a time of slavery, and to the association of lighter colour being more superior, and that perception has remained over the years. In this day and age it is always hard to really measure how significant these scars of slavery are, but the presence of skin bleaching in 2011 is a sign that all is not well.
White is better than brown is better than black, has been the driving force behind the cultural phenomenon of skin bleaching. Lighter skin means a better job, a cleaner finish, and probably even a ticket out of the ghetto. The exact psychology of a skin bleacher has never been completely clear to me, but there is a dislike for how one was originally created, and a need to at least externally be more like something else.
Here is a small lesson on terms commonly used in Jamaica to describe different complexions:
Browning - This is a lighter skinned black person. The actual term browning is more commonly used for females, but occasionally for males. Men tend to be called variations such as ‘brown man’ etc. The term has been popularized by dancehall songs such as ‘Browning’ by DJ, Buju Banton.
Black - In a population where about 90% or more are black, the use of the term black refers to a dark skinned black person, as oppose to the entire race of black people.
Red - Within the spectrum of brown comes certain hues, of which we have the ‘Red’ person e.g. ’ Red man’. Commonly associated with persons from a parish called St. Elizabeth, where many Germans once settled. This is a very light skinned person, but with a red hue. Some are often mistaken as white, but they are not.
Yellow - Another common hue of the browns, and as the name implies the skin tends to be of a more yellow hue than a red hue.
All of this may seem ridiculous to some, but this is what we live in JA on a day to day basis. They can be viewed as simple descriptive words, but many have tied great significance to each of these words and how it has affected their lives in good or bad ways, so no wonder some people may think it necessary to ‘make it better’ and make their skin lighter.
This phenomenon currently is being popularized by Jamaican DJ, Vybz Kartel, who has bleached his skin and speaks openly about it (not to mention his new hair extensions, which have been the rave in Jamaica these past few weeks). He has a significant amount of impact on the youth, and they look up to him, and they think it is ok to do the same…this bothers me.
In concluding I will say that I don’t believe in skin bleaching. I also have issues with persons of influence and intelligence inspiring the lesser educated youth to follow suit. And especially since I have a deeper knowledge of the side effects of these agents, I know this is not a natural or healthy process, and the damage is way worse than the cosmetic benefit.
“I am happy to be as I was born. This is how I was created. This is how I was meant to be.” - M.E.
25 years is the life of a young adult, and it’s hard to believe I experienced all 25 of them. It isn’t easy to explain to someone under 25 why Oprah is who she is, because there are many under 25 who began to experience Oprah at a time when she would just seem like another talk show host. For me she is a humanitarian, a brave and bold leader, not ashamed to push boundaries and to bring to light many of the issues a lot of us are afraid to talk about. It has been 25 years of education.
In me, a small Jamaican boy with a satellite dish, taking this journey with this black girl from Mississippi, I would learn a lot of lessons unknowingly, and I’m definitely going to miss her classes tremendously. I could rant on and on about the many shows I loved, and the ones that had my mind in twists, but as she spent her last episode with her supporters, with no gimmicks, and no free cars, I will simply just recap a few things Oprah had to say in her last hour on daytime TV, that had a huge impact on M.E.
There is always confusion between FAME and SERVICE.
It was important for me to hear this as a recording artist, and essentially someone pursuing a career that can attract a lot of attention to self. I recently wrote a blog which sarcastically alluded to loving the idea of being popular, and this statement encompasses it. I don’t do music because of fame. I do it because of love, but more importantly because of service to God for a gift, and service to the people who enjoy what I do because I can heal them though music, through a feeling, or with a message. Fame and Service are very different.
Use your life to save the world, and do so on whatever platform you have, to whatever audience.
Oprah-level success is not necessary to inspire another. This is powerful because we often feel that world success and world domination is key to inspiring others, but if you teach five kids, those five kids will love you, respect you and learn from you like nothing you can imagine. One of those five kids will go on to be the next President or Prime Minister of a country. It’s really that simple.
A passion turns on a light inside of you that let’s you know you are WHERE you are supposed to be, doing WHAT you are supposed to be doing.
For all the people who whisper SAFE nothings in my ear about keeping my old career…I’m passionate about MUSIC. The end. Oprah alluded to being cautious of safety when you know there is something you could be doing that brings you complete joy, so I wish for all of you to think about whether you are pursuing happiness in your lives.
No one is responsible for your life but You/You are responsible for YOUR life.
Stop blaming your parents, your siblings, your friends, the person that raped you, the childhood bully. It’s time to pick up yourself, brush off, and face the music with a new vengeance. No more pity parties, just a brand new plan, a new approach. Just be responsible for yourself and just DO IT!
We are Life Energy - “Please be responsible for the energy that you bring into this space” (Dr. Taylor).
We are life energy and without speaking we exude it. Don’t feel that not saying it with words makes it non-apparent. You said it with your entire body, and we all felt it. Don’t deny your life energy. It is always coming off of you, and you reek of it, so be responsible for it, and ensuring it is a good energy.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction (Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion) - This speaks for it self, as does the next quote.
“Do onto others as you would have them do onto you”
Don’t wait for someone else to fix or complete you.
This comes back to taking personal responsibility for yourself. In relationships, 100% and 100% combine to form another 100%; 1+1 = 1, and not 50% + 50% = 100%. Two wholes make a whole.
Thinking you DESERVE TO BE HAPPY and knowing YOU ARE WORTHY OF HAPPINESS are different things. “We block our own blessings because we don’t think we are good enough or pretty enough or…”
You are worthy because you are BORN and you are HERE. - I love this, and I truly believe it :)
Everybody wants validation. Everyone wants to be seen and feel like what they say matters.
Some of us got degrees to be validated. Some of us made friendships to be validated, got tattoos or piercings or branded…to be validated. It is human nature. We need to be validated in all that we do. So take the time to validate someone. Let them know that you love what they do and why you love it. It will make a world of a difference in their life.
“I have felt the presence of God even when I didn’t know what to call it”
I’ll just say I believe this. I know some praise other higher powers and some don’t believe in any higher powers, but I will just say that my journey and my life as it is has been covered by God’s presence, and there are so many things that are beyond me, that it must be coming from somewhere else, somewhere greater, somewhere divine.
THERE ARE NO COINCIDENCES ONLY DIVINE ORDER.
So I just want to say thank you to Oprah for molding my mind even when I didn’t know it was being molded. What a great 25 years, and once again, thank you, thank you and thank you.
I didn’t know that :O I was like daz some recessive genetics there coming from God knows where.