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Moving in the Middle of the Night Like I Stole Something!

July 6, 2010

Yes, we’ve moved the site.  Mainly because so many of you have logged on in the past month and frankly, we needed to become legitimate.  SO…now you can drop the Alphabet Soup web address and go direct to  I promise not to put up any “Donate” buttons, but if you’d like to punch an ad link a few hundred times I won’t be mad at-cha.

See you on the other side!


Is Your Rainbow Man Secretly Having You Fitted for a Burqa?

July 5, 2010

Me, happily NOT in a burka.

The picture you see to the left is a backdrop of the Mexican Riviera.  I recall the scenery was beautiful–except for those Aztec temples where they threw the heads of decapitated futbol players down from the top of those pyramid thing-ys like in Apacalypto. sheesh.

I also remember a young married couple that we often ran into on the boat and on-shore excursions.  They stand out for me because of how odd I thought it was that the wife–a pretty Middle Eastern woman–wore a head cover, one short sleeve shirt over a long sleeve shirt, and long pants and sneakers, despite the temperature hovering around hot-as-hell degrees.  The husband?  Oh, he sported shorts and a tank top with snazzy sunglasses.  He and his buddy dressed in similar fashion, chuckling over whatever they thought was funny, while his wife maniacally snapped at her shirts, trying in vain to dry that bird bath of sweat accumulating between her breasts.

Even while we were on the beach snorkeling, her husband put on the wetsuit and had his fun while the wife sat on a towel with sweat beads this size of pearls dripping from her forehead, holding tight to a smile.

I kept elbowing my husband, hissing about how that jerk* stayed cool and could enjoy the sunshine without the threat of heat stroke while his wife veered on the brink of one.  Unless that girl had a pretty severe case of psoriasis, she wore all those clothes because she was expected to.

Now I’ll admit I have a really hard time understanding this, so that’s why I brought in Faizal Sahukhan, a psychologist and author of Dating the Ethnic Man: Strategies for Success.  Regardless of what race the girl an ethnic man is dating, he wants to present her as quiet, modest and subservient.  “In ethnic cultures, it is the women who are responsible for the husband and his family’s honor,” he said in the book.  When the wife carries herself modestly and virginal, it augments the status of the husband and the entire family.

That may be all well and good if that is how you are raised, but what if your rainbow man met you in a miniskirt but wants you to wear a burqa when his parents come for a visit?  As a modern Western woman, this may become a very real point of contention as a relationship becomes more serious.

But don’t be so quick to think your boo has suddenly been possessed by the Taliban–Dr. Sahukhan says that men often react in such a manner for reasons that are “often out of his control.”

So there you have it.  It certainly seems that one culture will have to bend and compromise, or else, how can it work?  I don’t know– I suppose I could wear a burka once a year on grandma’s birthday, but I’ll be damned if I give up ALL my miniskirts.

What say you?  Have any BB&W members faced cultural pressures related to modesty?  How the heck do you deal???

*Eh, chalk it up to my Western superiority complex

Freedom from Band Camp WTI!

July 5, 2010

That 12-year-old standing next to me is Maxi-Me. She used to be Mini-Me until she deliberately defied my orders to stop growing.

So tonight is our last night at Band Camp WTI, and I’ve got to say, despite it’s EPIC cheesiness, it has been a blast.  We went to the big shin dig on the lake, with pre-July 4th fireworks and a country band.  The whole thing reminded me of the Bernstein Bears.  The only thing missing was the banjo.  I must admit I was totally into the whole scene until they band played Dixie, and…well…I do not wish I was born in the Land of Cotton, because my butt would have been out there picking it, so I stood in silent protest for all the negroes (my mother included) who pricked their thumbs on those cotton needles and blistered in the sun to make someone else wealthy.  No thanks!  But!  Grand ‘Ol Flag was a song I could get down with, and well, with the beer flowing like Niagra Falls, it was  a beautiful thing.  Too bad I don’t have any pics from tonight; I was too drunk to hold the camera straight.  But here’s some other pretty ones:

Emma and I posing in Dowe's Cavern, but if you ask me it should be Snow's Canyon it was so cold!

Chloe caught many fish with Grandpa, but wouldn't touch it even if it had just swallowed her favorite Barbie!

Since I did a lot of's back to Barry's Bootcamp!

Zachary INSISTED I spin him around until he was near regurgitation.

...Then, we both almost threw up!

This Should Be Our BB&W Theme Song!

July 5, 2010

[Vodpod videos no longer available.

Special thanks to Afua (see my blog roll, Conversations with my Sisters) who brought this video to my attention.  I’ve been trying all darned day to get this thing up right and kept getting a lot of gobbledygook, but since I thought the message was so important, I persevered!  Now here it is.  I may be late, but what can I say?  I listen to talk radio.

What I love the most about this video is not so much the negativity this couple faced from generation to generation, but that last gesture Ms. Keyes made–that glimmer of hope that, despite the REALLY MAD LOOKING BLACK DUDE staring daggers at the guy, she would open the door…and her heart.

When’s a Good Time to Address the Elephant? Talking Race, Religion and Culture on your Rainbow Date

July 3, 2010

It's an obvious question, but when is the right time to bring it up?It’s like trying to ignore whip cream on someone’s nose, or spinach stuck in the teeth.  It just stares right at you, you try to ignore it, but eventually, it must be addressed.  Here’s some tips on how to talk about the race, culture, and creed issue with your rainbow date.  Janice, take the floor!


There are some people who relish the anticipation of that first date with all its hope and allure of something new, exciting and potentially worthwhile – kind of like the first day of senior year in high school (you know all you lived for was prom night and graduation day) or Christmas Eve night when you still believed in Santa Claus and had your fingers crossed that he was bringing you that fabulous toy on the top of your wish list because you had been SO good that year.

I, on the other hand, dread it as much as I did 10th grade picture day when I had braces and a Jheri curl. And as much as I’ve now started to enjoy dating again, I know I just over think the hell out of that first time out with a guy. What should I wear? How should I do my hair? Do I go with open-toed shoes or high heels? Cleavage? (Or more to the point, how do I get some?) If we go out to eat and something gets caught in my teeth, will he tell me or just stare stupidly at me? What will I do if the conversation goes south? Do I need an emergency out? (And what will it be?) Will I talk too much? (Well, duh, Janice of course you will.)

The hand-wringing is certainly exacerbated when the man in question is non-black or non-Christian. Then it’s: Will we have anything in common? What will I say if he brings up race or cultural issues? How will he react if people start to stare? What if I like him and turns out he’s an atheist?  Or, oh my God, what if this is nothing more than jungle fever? (Cue the Stevie Wonder soundtrack…)

Thankfully this has never been an issue for me in the past, but there’s always a first – and as a journalist, I like being prepared for anything. So as I prep for my first dates with Decio,* Ramon* and Chandler*, I’ve decided to chill out for a sec and revisit my interview with Detroit psychologist Gail Parker, PhD.  She’s an absolute fount of knowledge on the subject of interracial and intercultural relationships  and has three rules of thumb on addressing the conversation of race, culture or creed that might just help calm those first date jitters.

Is the timing right? “You wait until it spontaneously bubbles up,” says Dr. Parker. “If you are so anxious to have the conversation, I guess you can. But when you feel compelled to have that conversation up front, it’s almost like having the conversation of What are your intentions, up front. That’s like asking about marriage on a first date.  He doesn’t know you yet, so why have that conversation now?”

Is it relevant? “Let’s say you’re a Christian and you’re dating someone who is Islamic,” says Dr. Parker. “I’m sure there are a lot of curiosities about each other’s religious practices, so if it seems natural and normal to bring that up why wouldn’t you? But to impose it on the conversation because I’m anxious and in a hurry to find out if we are compatible seems to me to be putting an awful lot of pressure on a relationship that doesn’t exist yet. So if this is the first time I’m meeting you and you mention to me, I’m a Muslim or I’m a Christian or whatever, then the response is: Really? I’ve always been curious about that. Can we have that conversation? Otherwise it’s too soon. It’s not relevant.

Is it relationship enhancing or affirming? “Race and culture are relevant aspects of each persons identity,” says Dr. Parker, “and hopefully as we’re trying to get to know one another — and that’s what intimacy is based on, getting to know you – and that’s why it’s on-going. It’s not like, Okay, now I know this about you, end of conversation. No. It’s an on-going process and how relationships can deepen and continue to grow.”

Whew! Thanks Dr. Parker! My only dilemma now is what to wear. Paging Tim Gunn…

*Names have been changed.

(Early) Friday Funny: Truth to the Notion that Not All Rainbow Men are the BW’s Panacea

July 1, 2010

Now we KNOW why Mel had that gun thisclose to Danny!

As this website gains popularity, my detractors have accused me of elevating other races over black men.  I offer this post as PROOF to the contrary!

Oh Lawd.  Mel Gibson has misplaced his mind... AGAIN.  He needs to find it quickly.  I’d like to help.  I’m not completely certain where it might be, but his anus might be a good place to start.

Apparently, he is in real fear that his former lover and baby mama, Oksana Grigorieva, will be raped by a pack of negroes.  Okay…he didn’t say it quite that nice, but this blog is (mostly) PG-13.

It’s a shame too, because I liked me some Mel back in the day.  Who knew he was a raving, closeted Klu Klux Klan cartoon?  Has he been hiding that cone head hat underneath all that hair?  Up his ass maybe?  Maybe he just has a tattoo on his man parts that says, “White’s Only,” or “Coloreds go to the back.”

Boy.   As a former public relations person myself, I can only imagine how hard his publicist had to work to keep that crap about his personality under wraps:

Publicist: Mel, you simply can’t call Danny G. a gorilla.

Mel: Yes I can.

Publicist: No you can’t.

Mel: Yes I can, yes I can, yes I caaaaaaaaannnn!!!

Tsk, tsk.  Mel seems to have a distaste for Jews AND Negroes. Will he even try to talk his way out of this one?  I know we’re in the age of, doing something bad/evil and then saying you’re sorry, but….what the heck will be his comeback this time?

Maybe he could say something like this: “The recording is muffled!  It’s a trick! What I said was, I thought she might be raped by a pack of chiggers!”(damned chiggers!) AND THEN, he could parade the two black friends who wash his car out in front of the media to testify that Mel is really and nice guy– after he pays off their mortgages and fronts the bill for all their kids to attend Ivy League schools. After a little hand-greasing, they might say,” he just…gets a little nutty sometimes, you know, when he’s off his meds.”  Speaking of meds, maybe he could go into rehab like all the other celebrity losers do.  Is there such thing as anti-semetic/anti-racist rehab?  Is it anything like those places that try to make gay people straight?

Just a thought.

Question of the Week: “Why Won’t That Guy Staring at Me Just Ask Me Out Already?!”

July 1, 2010

Got a question too? Send me a message on Facebook!

The question is one I’ve often wondered about myself.  But since I’m no fancy schmancy dating expert or anything, I brought in (the now very famous) Deborrah Cooper to tackle it:

I have liked a guy for a long time now..over a year to be exact. I noticed that he was staring at me one day.   At first I was afraid to approach and assumed that he would eventually do it. So,week after week, I would go to his place of work at my school(which is accessible to all the college students) and wait for him to say something…never happened. So,after a number of months and a whole lot of guts and courage,  I went up and talked to him.  He was visibly nervous. I made a joke and he laughed(quite loudly-but it made my heart melt,lol) Then on occasion I would say “hi”,but he would never initiate it…ever. He would just stare and stare ,but never say anything,even when I came close he seemed to move away or not want to answer any of my questions…but sure enough when I turned around to look back, he would stare and not let go of the stare. So,here I am puzzled and annoyed.  What should I do?

Okay, Deborrah, be gentle!  She’s a college girl!

Short of this guy being in the Witness Protection program and afraid to be found out, a felon on the run using an assumed identity, or a spy, there is a simple explanation for this guy’s behavior.

Men are really not complicated creatures at all.  When they really want something, they go after it with everything they have.  A man that isn’t sure he wants something won’t move on it until he is.  A man that is only mildly interested in something won’t pay much attention long-term, though he may show intermittetent or brief interest in it. And a man that isn’t interested at all will just look to check the thing out, but he won’t say or do anything to acquire that item.

Sadly, these are the types of situations where women set themselves up to be used.  Women will decide they like/love a man that doesn’t really like/love them back.  She has sex, then when it becomes apparent that the high level of interest she seeks isn’t there, she feels shortchanged and manipulated.

What she hasn’t realized yet is this guy isn’t that interested in her. He may look at her because she is pretty and men (visual creatures that they are), love to look at pretty things.  He may look at her because he likes her ass.  He may look at her becasue she reminds him of someone else. There are many reasons a man will stare at a woman! But one thing she can bet on is if an entire year has gone by, and even with her friendliness and encouragement he barely speaks, I would venture to say that his interest in her is mild at best and that she should like someone else instead.

Get more of Deborrah’s sage advice on her site, Surviving Dating. And some of you ladies really, really need to check our her book, Sucka Free Love!

Part II of Rainbow Men Like ‘Em Skinny: Share the Secrets of Your Weight Loss Success!!

June 29, 2010

Okay.  So I’m determined NOT to let this blog be another navel-gazing site about how BW should be this, act like that, blah blah blah with no REAL solutions.  I hate hand wringing and inertia.  First and foremost, BB&W is a support group to exchange and benefit from ideas and sage advice from women who have “been there, done that.”

Normally on Wednesdays I reserve a “Question of the Week,” but due to the huge response of yesterday’s post, I thought it would be best to stop debating and start deliberating on how we can all get to our fittest and healthiest.  Let’s use today to exchange ideas on what has worked to help drop the fat.  Who’s going to start?  OOOOooo, me!  I’ll go first!

I’m 5’2.  I weigh 131 pounds, but most of it is muscle.  My biggest problem is my midsection, which is especially bad, because subcutaneous fat in this area can lead to diabetes, heart disease and cancer.  It’s an ongoing battle for me because I have a genetic predisposition to what I like to call, “Biggin-ism.”  I come from a family of Biggins, and I see what they go through–the medications, limitations, etc. and I’m determined to not let that be me.  Because I am the mother of four children, going to the gym is the biggest pain in the ass imaginable.  So I opt for Barry’s Bootcamp (fyi, Barry’s not paying me, but he sure the heck should be as much as I’m plugging him!).  I like BBC because it is a 21 minute workout with an option to do additional 10-minute workout on isolated areas such as abs, lower body and upper body.  WARNING: The first time you try it, you just might throw your guts up.  It gets a little easier after a week or two.

One other thing you need to know about me…I hate (most) vegetables, unless it’s sweet potato pie.  Fruits? Meh.  But I do like a smoothie.  So I invested $299 and bought a Vitamix blender, which can pulverize a whole apple, core and all, into smithereens.  I make at least two smoothies a day, containing anything from kale, strawberries, peaches, bananas, spinach, carrots, celery, whatever, and drink it.  I also add protein, vitamin powder and Green Vibrance, which I HIGHLY recommend.  It gives me energy, stamina, helps with concentration (I am a self-diagnosed ADD) and makes your skin look gaw-geous.  If you’re skeptical, just take a look at the reviews.  It makes 80-year-olds get up out of their wheelchairs and do the Cabbage Patch.

Then I eat a regular dinner–fat, calories and all–with the family in the evening.  I have four kids on the slim side, so feeding them any Cooking Light recipes might get me reported to Child Services.

So….I’ve been doing this regimen since January, and have gone from 143 (gasp!) to 131.  I wear a size 4, and now look like I did the day I got married.  Maybe better.

I'm not a skeleton, but you can call me "skinny" and I'll take it!

So now it’s your turn.  Share your fitness regimens, along with a link to a picture if you like.  If we work really hard, we can put all those skinny bitches to shame! *insert snicker here* (Janice, I see you; I’m looking at you and I know you’re mad at me for using that word!)

Get Over It! Rainbow Men Like Their Women Skinny!

June 28, 2010

Rainbow men, that is, non-black guys of varying hues, tend to prefer a svelte physique.  Now before you get all huffy about having to give up your daily donuts, deep-fried Twinkies and 500-calorie mochachocalattechai (and then try to be all, “no whip cream!” about it), just hear me out.

Both sexes do all sorts of things to attract the opposite sex.  Do you skip a shower before a date?  Fart during a movie with your guy?  If you do, you need more help than what this blog can give you!

For the sake of this argument, let’s break down what black men tend to find attractive: small waist with a big ‘ol stripper booty:

Many Black Men's Ideal Figure*

BUTT!  Most of the time, a little “junk in the trunk,” often means junk in the thighs, rubbish on the arms, and a land fill on the belly.  Black men find this attractive, so many black women who want to attract those men work (or not) to increase their desirability.  A few years ago a study came out that suggested black women were much more comfortable with their body image than their white female counterparts.  Despite 78 percent of us being overweight according to the American Obesity Association, apparently it’s all good.  You know why?  C’mon guess.  BECAUSE BLACK MEN FIND BOOTY MEAT ATTRACTIVE!

Conversely, white women (as well as other nationalities  besides, perhaps, Hispanics) are VERY weight conscious.  That same study showed that a large percentage of white women were unhappy with their weight.  Just a guess, but I’ll bet the farm it’s because white men tend to prefer a body type like this:

I don't care what color you are, that body is healthy and hawt!

So, it looks like both black women and white women tie their feelings about body image according to what the men of that race prefer.

I remember talking to someone at a mall I worked that was predominately frequented by African Americans.  My co-worker, who was young, small-waisted and a butt that looked like two basketballs fighting for space in her spandex, often told me that she was willing to do some exercises, but her boyfriend warned her not to do anything that would reduce her ass size.  She was happy to accomodate him.

So then, why are so many black women bent out of shape when rainbow men express their preference for thin women, in word and deed?  Why the resistance to accomodate them if we want to attract them?

On a post yesterday regarding the best/worst places in the world to have an interracial relationship, Ali went a little off topic to discuss how a friend of hers thought NYC was not conductive to her interracial dating prospects:

“This prob. belongs under another post, but I have a cousin who says NYC is bad for bw/wm interracial dating! NYC! The reason is, she’s never been asked out by a white guy. When I tell her I have, lots of times, she says – oh, you’ve just been lucky . . . . .What I’ve failed to mention is this – she’s nearly 250 POUNDS! And yet that doesn’t occur to her that that’s the problem. She blames her lack of interracial dates on her race – she says it’s because white guys are racist!”

For me, exercise and I go through stages. I get really gung-ho and then after a while I give the whole thing a heave-ho. But as I grow older I realize the necessity of being consistent with working out, because I have an almost irrational fear of arms that flap like wings while waving in a tank top. But money is tight and the gym is just a little too far, and frankly, I don’t see the point in having shower, brush my teeth and comb my hair to only become disheveled in some frenetic Tai Bo-hip hop-kick boxing-thingamajig workout class. So that’s why I do Barry’s Boot Camp and drink my fruits and vegetables with the help of my Vita Mix.  And you know what?  I’ll be working on keeping my body fit and healthy, first, because I don’t want to get diabetes like my mother, take high blood pressure pills like my dad did, and frankly, shopping at Lane Bryant will never turn me on no matter how cute they make those fat dummies look in their clothes!  And finally, I’ll do it because I know my husband likes me that way, and I love him and want to be desirable to him as he wishes to stay desirable to me, which is why Hair Club For Men will get a new client if his hairline recedes one more centimeter!  🙂

Now, I realize that I may have ruffled some feathers with this post, but ladies, we MUST face the truth, stop making excuses, and get ourselves fit, happy, sexy and healthy.  And if a rainbow man thinks you’re hot after all that effort, then all the better.

Janice on, “Where in the World?” The Best (and worst) Places to Have an Interracial Relationship

June 27, 2010

The Best and Worst Places to Get Your Swirl On

Living on the West Coast with all its liberal ideals and live-and-let-live attitudes is a great place for interracial and intercultural couples to thrive. Seattle and San Francisco are perpetually on the top of any list that tracks this sort of data – and my hometown, the wonderful City of Angels, is usually in the mix, too.  (Yeah L.A.!)

If you’re swirling, though, it’s probably best to keep your booty out of Detroit, Atlanta, Birmingham or New Orleans which aren’t as embracing of the whole relational melting pot idea.

But did you know Denver, CO and Minneapolis, MN are also hubs where mixed couples and their families flourish? Well, surprise surprise! They are indeed just two of the towns at the top of the most recent poll by Interrace Magazine which has been surveying its readers on the subject for over a decade.

So for those of you who are still in the market for a mate – or couples looking to move away from prying or unwelcoming eyes – here is a highlight of three of those top ten cities that embrace blended couples. Can’t afford to move? Well maybe it’s time you took a trip. (You know you’re so due for a vacation anyway.)

Minneapolis, MN The Twin Cities is not only one of the friendliest to interracial couples, but it’s also one of the fittest. Ranked third in each of two new national surveys—one on physical fitness and one on quality of life, the Minneapolis metropolitan area metro area boasts a high number of people who are involved in regular physical activity or exercise as well as the number of people in excellent or very good health. For those of you job hunting, Minneapolis has a low unemployment rate and loads of available parkland, recreation centers and physical education classes. And with ready access to golf courses, bike and walking paths, park facilities, and dog parks, it makes for a great place note only to live with a mate – but to find one.

San Diego, CA The Southernmost city in the Golden State, San Diego is a city that believes in community as a vital part of one’s quality of life in the region. Continuing its move toward a Clean Generation, the city provides programs offering financial incentives for renewable energy as well as energy efficiency and water conservation improvements by its residents. Already a national leader in solar energy, “green” home improvements in the city will not only has the potential to save money for countless homeowners, but will create jobs for those who live there. It’s a win-win for those who are looking for little economic stability in a city and environmental consciousness to go along with their swirl.

Honolulu, HI The 13th largest city in the nation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean where President Barack Obama once called home is a bastion of culture and art, be it in their museums and concert halls to the urban hubs which have been embraced by the Hollywood television and film communities. Hawaii’s economic base is primarily tourism and the city uses its cultural and artistic diversity to draw visitors into their eclectic ethnic mix that draws on Native Hawaiian traditions as well as the tremendous contributions of the Filipino, Chinese, Portuguese, Scottish, Greek, Okinawan and Samoan communities. Considered one of the world’s top 10 most livable cities, Honolulu has fashioned its culture and arts and a leading factor in building “strong cities (and) strong families for a strong America.” That, and it’s a great place to get lei’d.  Now that sounds like paradise to me.

Now we want to hear from you!  Where are the best (and worst) places (cities, states, counties) that you’d recommend and/or dissuade other interracial couples from migrating to?

ALERT: Karyn Folan and I must have some psychic voodoo magic, because she wrote a very good piece on this subject.  Take a look.