#135 Pay back money that you owe.

30 Aug

Most financial advisors will tell you, “Don’t lend money to family or friends.”  They advise that lending money to family and friends will lead to strained relationships.  But if you MUST lend money, they say, don’t lend money that you need; lend money that you can afford to give away and never get back. 

That sounds like great advice to me.  What more needs to be said?  Unfortunately, for most people, that’s not where it ends.  Once you give someone money under the condition that it is a loan, even if you tell yourself that you don’t expect to get it back, it’s hard to completely let go of that money.  You still see it as “your money”.  You want to know where it’s going, what it’s being used for, and whose hands it will touch.  Will it be used to pay the water bill, settle a gambling debt, or fund a “dancer’s” college education?

And then it happens.  You learn through Twitter than the person you loaned money to just bought a new designer handbag.  Or the person you loaned money to texts you from the airport as they prepare to leave for their vacation.  They appear to be living the life; they are doing a whole lot more than you.  And don’t let them come to your house fresh out of the salon (oh, you fancy huh?) when your own hair looks like it needs to become reacquainted with a comb.  In your head you begin to let them have it:

Excuse me if I’m not excited about any of this.  That’s because I’m working hard to make sure I have money to give you the next time you need it support my habits–you know, like eating three meals a day.  I’m delaying my vacation because I can’t afford it right now.  Maybe if I hadn’t loaned you that money I could have taken a vacation too, but whatever.  You needed the money and I gave it to you so I’m not going to dwell on it.  So you go ahead and enjoy your little vacation on my dime (whether they actually used your money to take their vacation is beside the point at this moment.  Let you tell it, every penny to their name came from you).  As soon as I get my money back, I will be excited for you too. 

Maybe some of you will actually let these thoughts cross your lips, but no one wants to be the intended target of these words.  If you owe someone money, do your best to pay it back (especially before you go flaunting your new shoes in their face) and remember that the person who loaned it to you might have denied themself something in order to give to you.  Come up with a payment plan or set money aside so you can give it all to them in one lump sum.  Do whatever you can to show that you intend to pay the money back and then follow through with it.  If you make a habit of never paying money back, eventually people will stop lending it to you.

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#121 Don’t have frenemies. A person is either your friend or they’re not your friend.

24 Aug

(Cue music)

“What about your friends 
Will they stand their ground
Will they let you down again
What about your friends are they gonna be low down
Will they ever be around or will they turn their backs on you”

“What About Your Friends” – TLC

Lucinda Rosenfeld, author of I’m So Happy For You: A Novel About Best Friends, once wrote a New York Post article about women and frenemies.  In it she implies that the root of most female frenemy relationships is jealousy.  “For girls in their early 20s, rivalries tend to revolve around beauty and the attention of men. Later, it becomes easy to measure your lot in life (against that of your best friends) by the size of your wedding ring, the square footage of your apartment, the number of zeros in your or your husband or partner’s salary, and whether or not your kids got into a gifted-and-talented program.”

This made me sit back and take a look at my friends, my real friends, and ask “are there any frenemies disguised as friends?”  I feel a sense of relief as I can honestly say “no.”  While there aren’t any frenemies in my own life, reality TV has given us plenty of good (or bad) examples (in case you haven’t figured it out, I like reality TV).  A long time fan of Bravo’s Real Housewives series, from the very first episode introducing us to the ladies of the gated community of Orange County to the most recent installment focusing on the movers and shakers (and White House party crashers, allegedly) of  Washington, D.C., I can’t get enough of these women ( I hear that Beverly Hills is on deck!).  My advice to them and all women is this:  If we are friends, then let’s be friends and accept each others faults and imperfections.  If we are not friends, then:

We don’t need to go to a horse race together and share a suite just so you can snub me and talk about me behind my back.  (Yes, you, Vicki – Real Housewives of Orange County)

I don’t need you to invite me to lunch just to tell me we’re not friends.  I’m sure I’m well aware of that fact.  (I’m looking at you, Kelly Bensimon – Real Housewives of New York). 

I don’t need you to invite me to sit down to talk so you can tell me I’m garbage.  You don’t like me and I don’t like you, so lose my number.  (Just let it go, Caroline – Real Housewives of New Jersey)

I don’t need you staging a “Kim-tervention” after calling me a “low down dirty monkey with a wig on” behind my back, and I don’t need you trying to snatch that wig off (did you really have good intentions, NeNe and Sheree? – Real Housewives of Atlanta)

I don’t need you to offer to host a birthday party for me and then have your lawyer contact my people to get in writing that you don’t have to pay for anything for the party or else you won’t attend (thought you were too new to make the list, did you, Mr. and Mrs. Salahi? – Real Housewives of DC)

Have you ever had any frenemies?  How did you handle it?  How would you complete the sentence, “If we are not friends, then…”?  How would you complete the sentence, “If we are friends, then…”?

(Image courtesy of Bravo.com)

#14 Guys do a lot of talking. Let their actions speak for them.

15 Aug

“Everytime I see you with your boys, you pretend as if you don’t want me.  When you get home you call me on the phone and tell me how much you care.”  -Destiny’s Child “No, No, No” Part 2

How many times have you sung this line in your head or actually spoken these words to the man in your life?  Or remember at the end of that date when he said, “I had a great time.  I would love to see you again,” but you never heard from him again?  Or when he said, “I will call you” and your phone never rang.  Yeah, I know you remember. 

Well, in case you never read the book or saw the movie He’s Just Not That Into You, let me be the one to tell you–if he wanted to see you again, he would ask you on another date.  If he wanted to talk to you again, he would call you.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I know what he said.  I’ve heard those lines myself a time or two…or three…or ten.  I know you’re telling yourself, trying to convince yourself, wanting to make yourself believe that he meant what he said, but if he meant it he would follow-up with actions proving it. 

I decided to write about this after watching an episode of MTV’s Jersey Shore (there are so many WHY moments on this show).  Let me set it up for you.  So apparently Sammi Sweetheart and Ronnie (who looks like he’s all too familiar with roid rage) used to date, but now they are broken up.  After a few minutes of watching this episode, it became clear that Sammi is not over Ronnie.  So Ronnie and Sammi get into an argument and he completely disrespects her and calls her the “c” word.  He goes to the club and kisses and grinds on anything and everything in a skirt.  He comes home from the club and climbs in bed with Sammi and is kissing on her and loving on her and she accepts it like its ok.  Like she forgot what happened earlier in the night.  Like she was hit with a case of amnesia.  After watching a little more, it is so clear that Ronnie “loves” Sammi when it’s convenient, but his actions tell a completely different story.  Ladies, actions speak so much louder than words.  Make him prove what he says. 

Of all the relationship advice books, is there one that you think offers the best advice?  Do you disagree with them?  Is there any advice that you would give?

(Image courtesy of Amazon.com)

#146 Don’t be ashamed to tell someone your age.

8 Aug

On the Eve of my birthday, I thought it was very appropriate to give this bit of advice.  When asked their age, so many women state, “You aren’t supposed to ask a woman her age.”  Or when asked what birthday they are celebrating, some women will say, “I’m celebrating my 25th birthday” even though its clear that 25 came and left a long time ago.  And here’s another one that I hear–“I’m celebrating the 9th anniversary of my 21st birthday.” 

Ladies, we should never be ashamed of our age.  Every year, every birthday, every minute that you are given is a gift from God and should be regarded as the BEST gift you could ever receive.  So when you refuse to tell someone your real age, it’s as if you are saying that you are ashamed of the gift you’ve been given, and surely you’re not ashamed.  So embrace it!  Be proud!  Show the world how good 30, 40, 50, or even 80, looks and feels!

#22 Just say no to drugs.

3 Aug

Some news that you may have missed today:  President Obama signed a bill reducing the disparity in penalties for the use of crack and powder cocaine.  Under the old law, a person received a mandatory 5 years in prison for possessing 5 grams of crack cocaine, whereas a person in possession of powder cocaine had to be holding 100 times that amount to receive the same mandatory sentence.  This disparity in sentencing has been a concern in the African-American community because African-Americans are more likely than Whites and Hispanics to be charged with possession of crack cocaine, while White and Hispanic defendants are more likely to be charged with possession of powder cocaine. 

Before anyone gets too excited about their man getting his sentence reduced because of this new law,This new law is not retroactive and it applies only to federal defendants.  Although most drug arrests happen on the state level, states have already begun moving away from mandatory sentencing and most are already treating crack and powder cocaine the same.  The takeaway from this news story?  You will still go to prison for possession of the right amount of crack cocaine and powder cocaine.  Former First Lady Nancy Reagan’s advice is just as relevant today as it was in the early 80s when I was in elementary school and we had to watch a special drug episode of Punky Brewster in the school assembly: Just Say No.

 

#50 Don’t go on a reality TV show to find love.

1 Aug

Jillian and Ed.  Jake and Vienna.  Ray J and Cocktail.  Ray J and Mz. Berry.  Flavor Flav and Hoopz.  Flavor Flav and Deelishis.  Flavor Flav and Thing 2 (I just chuckled to myself as I typed that name).  Fourteen seasons of The Bachelor and no marriages.*  Two Seasons of Ray J of Love and I don’t even think they dated after the season ended.  Three seasons of Flavor of Love and I still wonder how there was even a Season 1 of that show (I know I’m not the only one wondering why one young woman would want a then almost 50 year old recovering drug addict with 7 kids much less 65 women over 3 seasons). 

Do you really think that in a couple of months of living in a house with a bunch of other women, going on a few group dates, getting 5 minutes of his time every few days, having a couple of one-on-one dates, meeting the  family, and one overnight date that you will know the guy well enough to find a husband?  Most men are naturally competitive so they will do what it takes to win, because after all, it is a competition.  So how will you know what’s real on this reality show?  And how many times have we seen people get busted for having a boyfriend or girlfriend back home or slip up and tell someone that they aspire to be a model, actress, or singer (many of whom will sing every chance they get while the cameras are rolling)?

If you just want 15 minutes to shine, then go ahead, be on a reality dating show, get yourself a little nickname and a couple of roses and then move on with your life.  Please don’t try to stretch your 15 minutes as “Mz. Applebottom” into a career.  Three years later I don’t want to hear on the local radio station that “Mz. Applebottom” is hosting a party for the grown and sexy at a local club.  Please go back to whatever your life was before the show or perhaps use your new-found face recognition to get yourself into a legitimate career.  But whatever you do, don’t shed a tear on the reunion show when the bachelor says that he doesn’t think that the relationship will work, because (a) it was a reality show and you should have known better and (b) you should have already known it wasn’t going anywhere when the man you chose or the man who chose you never called you after filming ended. 

*After 6 seasons of The Bachelorette, there has been one marriage that 7 years later appears to still be going strong.  Congrats to Trista and Ryan for beating the odds and finding true love on a reality TV show. 

(Image courtesy of People.com)

#21.1 Read books and watch the news.

30 Jul

Remember what I said in #21 about watching the local news?  (https://whydidshedothat.wordpress.com/2010/07/25/21-read-books-and-watch-the-news/)  Right.  Well, if this is your local news, this does not apply to you (and I can say this because this is my hometown’s local news).  How many WHY DID SHE DO THAT moments can you count?  (Hint:  Don’t forget to count the reporter.)