Don’t You Wish Your Girlfriend was Fun Like Me?: On Being the Life of the Party


I’m writing this from home tonight.  I am at  home—on a Friday night. This isn’t supposed to happen to me……

You see:  I’m the life of the party. Eddie Murphy could have dedicated “Party All the Time” to me. I’m the queen of charisma and my cup runneth over with personality.  I am am off a scales extrovert, a maverick, and a some may argue a certified wild child.  While I’d push back on that last moniker—admittedly—I like to be on the scene. Shaking hands and kissing babies is my thing. I got it honest. Both my parents were parties and growing up we were always celebrating life. Because I get my energy by engaging with others, and I am an awesome dancer (you should see me hit the dougie), I have always embraced the intrigues of night life.  What’s better than getting all glammed out in lashes and stilettos, and tipping on the scene with your gal pals? Not much!

However, while my outgoing  personality and reputation for being out in about is great for creative work, awesome for networking, and fantastic for reality TV shows, sadly it is not ideal for landing Mr. Right.  I am finding that being  Ms. Champagne Life is busting up my dating life.

I never really thought of myself as a party girl, but I’ve noticed, as my friends have begun to settle down that my latent post-adolescent desire to hit the streets is pretty remarkable amongst my set.  As many of my peers are picking out china patterns or pushing strollers,  my attentions are drawn to much lighter diversions.  Sure, I am striving towards my professional goals, and busy with community service, but nevertheless the streets keep calling. Perhaps, it is because I got married and divorced by like twelve, but I’m definitely on the scene now harder than any other damn near thirty-year-old I know.  Ten years ago, while my girls were in the club, I was cooking, cleaning, and doing the best impersonation of a young Claire Huxtable I could muster.  Since my divorce, I have done plenty of  healing, growing, maturing…but I’ve been doing a whole helluva of  a lot of partying.

I’m having a great time living the champagne life, the only problem is when the party is over, every one wants someone to go home to. A guy friend kicked some knowledge to me on the whole matter that was really a revelation.  You see it turns out, a lot of guys don’t really go for the so-called party girl  or at worst we get stereotyped as the good time girl.  Here are a few reasons why getting to wifey and/or girlfriend status is a herculean challenge for a girl like me:

  1. Men assume you have someone or a lot of someones
  2. Men are intimidated and or overwhelmed by your confidence and won’t approach
  3. A certain kind of guy isn’t willing to share the spotlight and will opt for quiet eye candy or vocal charisma
  4. Your awesome is generally misunderstood

Here is where I’m come out on this whole analytical conundrum.  For a brief moment, I really considered  being less: a bit more quiet and adopting the homebody swag, under the misguided hope that prince charming would gallantly ride to my door atop a white horse, my size Louboutins in hand.  However, like lightning it occurs to me:  I am not willing to CHANGE  for any dude.  I’ve been there done that, and bought the t-shirt.  I will never go there again.  I was only a pale and less interesting version of myself, when I lived that way and all in all life is too short to be something you or not.  I figure, the right guy will be handle me and all my awesome no problem.  Better yet, he’ll want to party with me!  So here it is:  They say life is a party, so we might as well dance!  You with me?

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Hoop Ho Diaries: In Defense of Evelyn


Ah Basketball wives…how do I love thee…..let me count the ways….

Basketball Wives is everything great about bad reality TV: conspicuous consumption, beautiful women, melodrama, sex, gossip, enough cats fight to rival your local all girls parochial school, and if that wasn’t enough; they even gave us a little Al Reynolds this season to boot.  The show chronicles the lives of women who are married to or in most cases divorced, separated, or otherwise presently/formerly copulating with NBA players.  We watch them argue, back bite, and generally go at it for an hour each week, with no clear path for redemption , growth, or other identified higher purpose.  The show more or less plays like a post-post-adolescent mean girls, but yet I really dig it.

The intellectual in me realizes that this show is fraught with problematic images for minority women, and for that matter women in  general.  The characters are petty, superficial, and oft-times morally debased.  Nevertheless, it provides a  perverse and painful adrenaline rush, somewhat akin to popping a pre-date zit.

I’ve said only half in jest that Basketball Wives is the only sports that I’ll willingly watch.The recently aired reunion specials had all the spectacle of a championship basketball game with better shoes. There was man-to-man defense with little Royce outmatched by the lengthy Boricua show-stopper Evelyn, with host John Salley playing the referee.

Since bedding Cincinnati Bengals Chad Ochocinco on their first date (***clears throat*** 5x) and admitting to sleeping with co-star Tami Roman’s  then husband Kenny Anderson, Evelyn has been catching a lot of shade for being a ho, trash box, alley-cat, or any other synonym one might come up with for a so-called loose woman.

Yet, I find something fascinating about Evelyn.  I kind of admire how she has strategically positioned herself as the show’s archetypal villain; the move shows a unique kind of genius.  All good reality shows need a “bad guy” and on Basketball Wives Evelyn has earned her place among the Natalie Nunns, Omarosas,  New Yorks,  and Jade Coles of reality TV’s past.  She has leveraged her sexuality, fire-sharp tongue, and power over the other women to create her brand.

Mark my words she will leverage this brand into her own reality series, which will more than likely co-star her newly-minted fiancée: none other than  Ochocinco, another reality TV star.    Apparently, ho-dum has its benefits because she is sporting one hell of a rock.  The extent to which the engagement is spectacle or a publicity stunt is anyones guess, but I can appreciate a woman who goes after what she wants.  As  she so rawly put it: who I f**ked and how I f**ked him is none of your motherf**king business.”

I mean even considering that she has exposed her life to the cameras of a national reality show, she still has a point.  It amazes me that a American’s still maintain highfalutin airs around this sort of artificial puritanical sexuality, which is ironically set against the back drop of a culture driven by an orgie of sex, commerce, and power. For all intensive purposes, Evelyn is operating within a culture that values and rewards beauty, and in which  sex can be more than marketed.

Sex has become entrepreneurial.

I’ll miss Basketball Wives until next season, but I’m waiting with bated breath for Evelyn and Ochocinco: Married to the Green.  It will be as artificial as Astroturf but it will be entertaining.   Sports, sex, and entertainment; it’s the American way.

So what do you think?  Anyone else out there willing to admit they are on #teamevelyn? Is Shani O’neal wrong for promoting these characterizations of black and minority women to enrich herself?  Does anyone view Evelyn’s moves as empowering rather than classless?

I Do This For My Culture……..


I am a writer. I write, therefore I am. I was born for this and it’s  time I act accordingly.

There is a certain kind of freedom that emerges when you have identified your call in life.  When you know your definite purpose and the reason you have been given a particular talent, there is to my mind an obligation to give it back to the world.  My writing on this blog, my poetry, and my fiction are all bound to this single purpose—to help others.  I started this blog a little over a year ago as an outlet for me to practice and refine my craft and as a platform for my creative and intellectual self-expression. However, my foundational purpose was to start a conversation around the politics of pop-culture and the culture of politics.   I’ve written about everything from Nicki Minaj to Antoine Dodson and let me tell you it has been fun, challenging, and inspirational.  Your comments and insights—particularly when you disagree with me—fuel my desire to charge forward with this “little blog that could”.

Admittedly, I’ve been a bit absent lately and I apologize to my faithful readers.  Please know that I am so humbled by your support and my plan is to grow and expand the blog over this year.  I have battled a bit of writer’s block lately.  Apparently, my muse was a bit exhausted but she has returned and once again the keyboard beckons.

This project has helped me grow in so many ways and this is only the start.  I’ve also been remiss in introducing myself to my readers, though we have been together for some time now.  So who am I? As you know, my pen name is Bohemian Comedian, primarily because people tell me I’m witty and I wish real life was Trader Joe’s (the food is good, the people are friendly, and good tunes are always playing).  I am many things but primarily I am a writer. I write, therefore I am.  I am a person inspired by the power of words and their boundless ability to effect positive change in the world.  Me in a nutshell:

Deborah’s Daughter, Annie’s Granddaughter,the Kabosh Blogger, Humorist, Urban Socialite, Fashionista, Shoe Whore,  Last Train to Paris Passenger, Shower Singer, Free Love Advocate, Virgo, Perfect Imperfection, Bravebird, Lady of AKA, Wordsmith, Black Swan, Aspiring Reality TV Star, diva, hustla, shower singer, shooting star, George Mason and Georgetown grad, and  generally awesome brown girl =)

Thanks in advance for your support, as I work to evolve the blog over the next year. Make sure you are following me on Twitter at @thekabosh and like our Facebook page.

New post once a week. My renewed promise to you.

I’m a Black Girl and I am not Broken


I am many things.   Among them—I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, a poet, a writer, and  a lover of love and admirer of creation. I am a person of deep faith, a survivor, and a brave bird.  But for all the things that I  am—both good and bad—there is one thing I am not:

I am in no way and by no measure broken.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve been all up and through some hurt, but I am increasingly more intentional about emerging from those experiences stronger and more definite in my purpose.  I am grateful to the universe for every door that opens for me and even more gratified for the wisdom to know which one to walk through.

I guess this is why I am troubled by a representation I see in the larger culture: Black women as “inherently broken”.  These representations are adopted wholesale and perhaps more damaging internalized, when they should be interrogated, and even outrightly refuted.  Hence, this post emerged after a misguided attempt to garner my affections. The unrelenting pursuant diagnosed my disinterest, as follows:

“I’m saying bay [urban colloquialism for the term of endearment baby] I’m perceptive but even a simpleton could see you’re going though an internal struggle based on previous trauma…..[it continued] Bay don’t be scared to take assistance while moving on…Those chains aren’t  going to protect u nor make u whole…”

Delivery aside, the notion put forth in this ghetto soliloquy shook me to my core.  Nothing about our interactions up and until this point had communicated either directly or indirectly anything about my past or any pain that was a part of it.  I can say this with confidence because our conversations had been limited to text messaging—clearly not a communication medium optimal for real human connections.  I can also tell you as a matter of fact that this person was by no means perceptive or intuitive.  He was not even smart. We had spoken maybe three times in life.  What I see is that he had clearly ingested a narrative of what Black woman are as a collective, and projected this myth on to me—a practical stranger. For this he was unceremoniously dismissed.

Honestly, I did not need to be healed; dinner and a movie would have been enough.

The Broken Black Girl archetype—not unlike the lonely Black girl narrative— is ubiquitous throughout pop-culture.  Our struggle for identity, voice, and healing from the historical remnants of our storied collective experience is one the should emerge from the margins. Yet, I am convinced that the redemptive power of such stories is often lost.  In particular, this plays out in film:   The Color Purple, Waiting To Exhale, Precious, and  For Colored Girls are immediate examples. Each of the creative works tell the story of a Black woman or multiple Black woman in the throes of pain, hurt, anger and general brokenness.  In fact, Tyler Perry has made an empire on capitalizing from the well-worn tales of damaged Black women.  In his work, they are often redeemed by faith, however, the message of redemption is never the dominant narrative in the story arc.  It is the hurt experience of the “damaged” Black woman that is the focus.

It is time we started telling the stories of not only survival, but emergence and optimization.  I want to hear about Black women doing amazing things and living amazing lives on their own terms.  I want to wrap myself in the stories of yes strong black women, another archetype that is getting a bit stale, but more so fully developed women who are vulnerable, talented, smart, funny, and dynamic as the Black women I know.

I’ve lived a lot of life in these near thirty years, but more than bearing the scars of past hurts—I am embodying the power of resilience that manifest  from the downturns in life. I’ve emerged from each hurt experience more wise, and grateful to the universe for trusting me to be a teller of my story and our stories.

I am intentional.  I am courageous.  I am beautiful. I am smart. I am multi-dimensional. I am witty.  I am connected to nature and one with creation.  I am strong and weak.  I am prone to mistakes, but eternally evolving. I am at once grounded, but flying high in the skies.

I am a Black Girl and I am Not Broken.

Sports, Sex, and Entertainment: One Girl’s Search for Fandom


I wish I was one of those girls who could feign interest in sports.  Even more—I wish I could evolve into one of those women who are legitimate sports fans.  You know the girl who has season tickets for the home team, doesn’t have to rush to Modells and buy a jersey for a sports themed happy-hour.  The girl who does not mind watching ESPN ad nauseam, and picks her team not because her boo loves them or they have nice colors, but because she followed them year after year and actually knows the players.

Unfortunately, watching sports for me falls somewhere between  an OB appointment and a 8:00 Friday meeting.  I do it because I have too.  Boys like sports; I like boys and the joy for me ends there.

The all-encompassing comprehension my male friends have for sports of all kinds amazes me. These seemingly average guys from all walks of life—blue-collar and white-collar, black and white, Jew and gentile, gay and straight—are like a legion of idiot-savants able to spit sports statistics with the encyclopedic knowledge to rival that of a paid sports commentator.

Which brings me to my other issue with sports: its ubiquity. This time of year you have the NBA, NFL, NHL, and college seasons intersecting into a veritable sports orgie.  ESPN, MASN, and Fox Sports will bring you sports 24/7. Get the NFL Sunday ticket and you can watch football games all day, everyday.

Then there is not just the watching but the sports betting, sports video games, and fantasy sports leagues that give men their sports fix when real sports aren’t being aired (whenever that is).  And don’t get me started on the adult sports leagues, which are a whole other issue entirely.  Grown men subjecting their bodies to punishment and pain to live out their unrequited hoop dreams.  For me, men thirty and over playing basketball and football Saturday morning is akin to me and the girls going out in the yard doing cheerleading stunts;  despite my high school regrets I can tell you unequivocally there will be no basket tossing on my watch.

Nevertheless, I want to find that passion for sports; the all-consuming lust that captivates every man I know from age 9 to 69.  The extent to which the men and even a few of the women in my life love sports suggests to me that there must be some sort of life improving quality to them.  I just haven’t identified what it is.

I can subscribe to the whole clash of the titans, metaphor for life, poetry in motion,  triumph over struggle rationale for why sports are so ingrained in American culture and really cultures world-wide.  As stated by Cosell, “Sports is human life in microcosm” and  at its best, it shows human beings conquering their physical and mental limits.   Accordingly, I can appreciate the way sports reflects the culture and I truly value the contributions Owens, Ali, and Robinson have made to civil rights.

In fact, sports as a narrative for the stories of our life and our collective history is endlessly fascinating to me.  I can watch marathons of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, and I truly enjoy the HBO 24/7 documentaries. However, sports and I reach an impasse when its time to sit down two halves or four quarters.   The games are long  and  the rules are arbitrary.  I am a verbal person so you would think the color commentary could sell me, but so far it has yet to do the job.

So ladies and gentleman if the key to a man’s heart is truly sports, sex, and food, and I can’t get on board with one of these major categories, am I destined for eternal singledom?   If the extent of my sports knowledge ends at naming the cast of NBA and NFL Wives, am I a hopeless case?  To my ladies who love sports, how did you become a fan? Is faking it a real option?  How can I become one of the fans?

Balls and Strikes: Boy versus Girl in the World Series of Love


Single Ladies: it’s cold outside and as the Celsius drops you might find your stock going up. Seemingly out of nowhere, men you have not heard from in months are contacting you  just to sayhello”, “what’s up”, or “would you like to accompany me for a week-long, all expenses paid vacation to the Cayman Islands” (seriously dude I haven’t talk to you in like 5 months…we are not going international…that is how people end up on Snapped).

Basking in the glow of this onslaught of attention, you might assume that you suddenly got more gorgeous, intelligent, and charismatic than you were in say July or the fella(s) in question finally wised up to how awesome you are.  However, sadly this is not likely the case.  This time of year many men are simply looking for—and I’ll put it delicately—a winter cuddle buddy.

All my professional daters know that  the end of August through Thanksgiving represents peak hunting season for the men folk.  I will guess that first chilly nip in the air marked the return of some long-lost friends for many of you ladies.  That said, this sudden shift in your dating fortune may present some challenges for the choosey lovers among you—those who have no real desire to jump from bed to bed, but are seeking intimacy and daytime activities along with the passion filled nights of winter.   So how do you keep your winter snugfest alive through the holidays and past the darling buds of May?   Suffice it to say, you are going to want to be strategic about whose tree you tinsel this year.

Men want to have sex.  Women want to have sex too.  However, women often prefer a relationship to provide a context for the sex. Accordingly, we seek them out to accommodate this desire for security and essentially love. I mean there are exceptions.  There are many women who are perfectly content to engage in relations with a man with no strings attached; however, a large percentage of us are looking for more.  Accordingly, the idea of casual sex particularly among élite and well-educated Black women is a sensitive topic because so many of us feel bound by our sexuality, when we should feel empowered.

Being a choosey lover is  your prerogative and saying “no” or “let’s wait a while” is a real option. A quality man will actually find this appealing and may even pursue you because you are a challenge.  That doesn’t mean get all Doris Day on them; men are driven in many ways by sex.  Yet, I urge finding a happy space where you are being true to yourself and your needs, while respecting those of your potential partner.

One of my favorite stand-up routines is Dave Chappelle’s women killed chivalry bit.  He humorously posits that as a collective women have devalued their self-worth by being overtly sexually accessible and even promiscuous.  In this way, we have essentially put our sexual agency in a box, wrapped it in Christmas paper, topped it with a bow and turned it over men.  Chappelle states, “if p***y was a stock it would be plummeting because women give it away to easy”.  Touché.

Our society allows our male counterparts to penetrate ad nauesem every trash-box rocking a cheap Forever 21  Herve Leger knock-off  without penalty or judgement, while we women often feel bound by certain rules—rules from the Bible, the Koran, Steve Harvey, or whoever.  The extent to which this reality is a result of patriarchy is important, but nonetheless it remains a reality.  While shows like Girlfriends and Sex and the City worked to subvert these rules; they are woven in our Puritan cultural fabric.  And it is within this context, men and women become like two nations caught up in nuclear brinksmanship, rather than impassioned lovers caught in an intimate embrace.

Because women are aware or even perceive that men have many options for copulating— particularly in our large urban cities (like D.C.), we feel a pressure to engage in this kind of relating early on to attract or keep a man. Society tells women to play the game to get the guy by either being sexually inaccessible or overtly sexual.  Both of these behaviors are imposed constructs and I would argue not aligned to really connecting with another person.  Many times the internal pressure to give it up is almost as bad as the external.  We have needs too.

Quite frankly I know many men and women I have talked to are exhausted, by this whole tango.  They are fed-up with checklist, game playing, timelines, dreams deferred, minimal treatment,  and manipulative tactics that we use on each other to get what we want or need.   Essentially…

Men want this…..


Women want that and this…..

 

Both wouldn’t mind this ultimately…

 

but as a collective we often end up like this…


Frankly, I find the term casual sex sort of misplaced. The fact that an act so connected to the universe and the God within us can be reduced to khakis and a polo is odd to me.  Yet, I cannot accept the whole puritanical wait until marriage construct as natural, healthy, or realistic for most women and men.  While I know some choose to live this way, many of us heathens cannot.   For instance, many people are not looking for marriage.  Companionship—yes, but marriage—no.

So what happens to those of us in the badlands of dating purgatory where we believe in the possibility of love but are stifled by the dual desires to keep self-respect and dignity and yet find unbelievable passion?  How do we negotiate and balance love and lust in our life?  How do we connect our mind, bodies and spirits to another’s?   How do we begin respecting the God within ourselves and someone else and stop using each other as a means to an end?  Essentially,  I asking how do we make love and not war?

Let’s Have A Toast to the Assholes: Leave Kanye Alone….No Really


Google the search terms Kanye West + Asshole, and as you might imagine; you will get a surplus of returns.  Kanye’s manic form of genius combined with a decidedly lax brain to mouth filter has resulted in his name becoming almost synonymous with the insult in certain circles—amongst Taylor Swift fans for instance.

With the recent brouhaha over the Matt Lauer interview and Bush’s claim that West’s infamous black people gaff was the worst moment of  his presidency (apparently worst than Katrina itself, the domestic economic meltdown, Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Valerie Plame, Harriet Miers….I’ll stop in the interest of time), Kanye is back in the headlines again.  And the coverage ain’t good.

Lauer’s interview with West was at best poor journalism and at worst an intentional attempt to create another Kanye moment.  You know Kanye moments: insulting the Commander and Chief by implying he was a racist, interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the MTV movie awards, as well a series of rants, interruptions, politically incorrect pop-offs, tantrums and most recently rogue tweets.  Yet it’s these moments combined with leveraging the most creative musical brain in hip-hop to make hit after consecutive hit that makes Kanye both genius and walking spectacle.

He  has been called the villain,the asshole, the jerk, the douche bag but he is more accurately described as a man in progress.  He occasionally back slides but this understandable for someone burden by an ego the size of the twitterverse. He is admittedly self-conscience and evidently a driven perfectionist—who really does love his art.  Over the years, Kanye has had a series of personal dramas play-out within the pages tabloids and on gossip blogs.  Despite a life threatening car accident, the untimely and tragic loss of his mother, and a series of public break-ups, he has continued to be a prolific and evolving artist.  I believe this is because he is driven first by a desire to create and is more conflicted and quite frankly limited in his ability to manage the fame.

Kanye is  the modern Andy Warhol.  Both aesthetically driven workaholics bound by an excess of personality, they have in common a vision to achieve wealth through their art  and an unfettered desire to see their dreams manifest. In another time, Kanye might be considered colorful or brash.  However, with a 24-hour news cycle largely padded by entertainment news, he provides the  perfect patsy for a world dominated by far less ingenious and productive assholes.  So I’m saying: leave Kanye alone.

Admittedly, I have a soft spot for Kanye.  Okay its more than a soft spot.  I date him in my mind and we are in love, but in the interest of a neutral analysis I have put that aside.  Instead I have tried to speak to the madness at the heart of his genius or the genius at the heart of his madness—depending on where you stand.  Suffice it to say whether you love him or hate him, everyone has an opinion of Kanye.

If  Kanye is anything, he is unapologetic.  He is unapologetically Black, unapologetically brilliant, unapologetically flawed, and unapologetically wealthy. “Wake Up Mr. West”, said the late great Bernie Mac in the opening of the Kanye’s classic Late Registration album and I do mean; recall Touch the Sky, Gold Digger, Diamonds From Sierra Leone. Wake up indeed and recently Kanye has woken up.  Sure he is still brash, cocky, fashionable, and manic; yet he has managed to temper his special brand of swagga-dopeness with a swig of humble juice.  He kind of apologized to the president, though he did refuse to perform on the Today show plaza in a return visit.  With an album on the way perhaps this wasn’t the most expedient choice from marketing stand point, but it was aligned to his convictions and you cannot be mad at that.

Wherever you stand, you have to respect Kanye for his what he is doing with music.  I appreciate and salute him for his authenticity even in his most ungraceful moments. My only hope is that the tedium of fame that he both craves and despises does not stifle his creativity or leave him jaded .  I want Kanye to be his irrepressible self.  Hollywood is so celluloid that it is nice to see someone so completely themselves.  Suffice it to say: Kanye I love you—flaws and all.

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