Archive for August, 2010

August 31, 2010

Her Husband’s Best Friend

by Vonda Howard

Best Friends

Hey Vonda,

I hope this letter finds you well.  I have a question for you.  I have a best friend that I have known since we were in grade school.  We talk about everything, we go almost everywhere together, we talk on the phone everyday…we are literally like siblings.  One thing I didn’t mention is that he is a guy.  Now, that has never been an issue with us, there has never been any fooling around, no longing stares…we are just friends.  I really consider him my brother.

Recently he got married and I couldn’t have been happier for him that he found such a great lady to spend his life with.  Things were okay while they were dating, we even double dated quite a few times.  Now, since they are married, he says that she all of a sudden wants him to “cut some of the ties” with me.  What?  He was and is very baffled by how she is acting and he refuses to cut me off.  Which needless to say, is causing a bit of tension in the relationship.

Vonda, I don’t want to be the cause of problems in his house, but I don’t want to lose my best friend of over 35 years either!  I have scaled back how much I call him, but miss talking to him every day like we are used to doing.  He tells me that he is not going to destroy a relationship of over 30 years for one that is only 4.  What should I do?   I don’t want to lose my best friend in the world, but I also don’t want to be the reason his marriage fails either. Help!!

“Her Husband’s Best Friend”

Dear Her Husband’s Best Friend,

This is an hard question with an easy answer.  Actually, the answer is in the title…HER HUSBAND.  I understand that you two have been friends for the long amount of time you have, but you both have to realize that there is another party in this now…HIS WIFE.    Although, I understand the concept of having guy friends that are just that friends, I have to check the both of you on this one.  It would be blatant disrespect on your part and his to ignore her feelings in this situation.  Frankly, the fact that he said that “he wont destroy a relationship of over 30 for one that has lasted only 4” really stands out to me.  YOU say there are no dormant feelings involved on your part, but what about him?  The fact that he is willing to possibly demolish his relationship with his wife just to make sure he maintains a very active “friendship” with you is a bit suspect.  Considering that all of you used to double date and seemed to have a okay relationship, this change of heart with her probably comes from her picking up on something you may not be. Also, he SHOULD NOT be relaying to you any private conversations he is having with his wife.  That is a big no-no.

Basically, my advice to you is to respect her wishes.  She asked him to “cut SOME of the ties”, not all of them.  To me, she is being very accommodating in not asking him to cut you off completely.  She deserves to have the type of relationship you guys have together with him for herself.  Honestly, the moment he said “I do”, SHE became his new best friend, regardless of how long you two have known one another.  You as his friend, should allow her that.  You never know, you may even gain a new friend.

Good luck to you!

Vonda

About the Author: Vonda Howard is the author of the new hot book series, The D-Cup Divas™, a graphic designer of her own graphic design firm, Cupcake Creative Studio, mom to two, wife to her one and only and a domestic goddess (not really…LOL). She does not profess to be an expert, but just that one opinionated girlfriend you go to for the straight nitty-gritty. So just relax and enjoy. ;o) Do you have a question? Send it to this address:heyvonda@thedcupdivas.com and you may get featured!

August 28, 2010

Shhh, I’m working: The Dangers (Or Perks!) of an Office Romance

by Donya B
Office_Romance

Is office romance a pro or con in your view? Discuss in the Comments below!

He drew his lips close enough to her ear that she could feel the warmth of his breath as he whispered, “Next time you wear that perfume here, I promise I’m going to eat you up like my favorite cookie.”  Her face flushed hot, a grin drew up her cheek and her desk chair instantly felt like a waterbed.

“Yes sir,” she replied, “I can check to see if we still have the conference rate available for your stay, Mr. Johnson.”  He laughed as she readjusted her headset and continued to assist her caller, avoiding his lustful glare.  She would repay him later as they stole after-hours moments together, away from their fellow co-workers…

Interoffice romance can make a job worth going to, but at the same time create a living hell.  At some point, most of us have encountered (or been) the Office Flirt, the Cubicle Casanova, or the Corner Office Harasser.  Whether we’ve been the object of their affection or an innocent bystander watching the situation unfold, most of us know how this goes.  Either it burns like flash paper, hot and then suddenly gone without a trace, or it burns slowly, creating an inferno that traps everyone in the office.  Tread lightly; it only takes one change of perspective to turn flirting into a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Then again, there are the quiet romances… The soft glances across the room, the synchronized visits to the lunchroom, the “accidental” run-in on the stairwell…  No one in the office is sure if you’re interested in each other or not.  And you are in no rush to fill them in.  You meet for dinner far enough away that it’s not likely you’ll run into anyone.  You don’t have the same days off, so a half-day absence here and there goes unnoticed.  You have company shirts, so no one realized that you borrowed one of his this morning.  You’re truly happy in your secret little world…

But what happens when it escalates?  What happens when you’re ready to take that next step?  Do you tell?  Do you let people find out?  What could the backlash be?  How will you deal with it?  A friend of mine has been seeing a co-worker and all was fine and dandy and under the radar until she got pregnant.  They’re happier than ever, but now the office dynamic has changed.  Neither was the other’s superior, so that isn’t an issue.  It’s just that now they’re the watercooler topic.  Everyone is in their business.  Well, truth of the matter, their business is now on display, however unintentionally.  But despite the nosiness, the questions and the whispers, she says it’s a relief to not have to carry around that secret anymore.

On TV, office romance is all well and good, but be very careful in the real world.  Consider whether or not this relationship is worth your job, your career or your reputation.  Is one of you willing to change departments, locations or even pay grades to stay together?  Is the chemistry hot enough to weather the potential fallout?  Who quits if the relationship falls apart?  Keep both eyes open when entering this territory.  Only the strong – of heart – survive…

Two,

Ms. De

Hard Truffle:  No, hooking up with the Human Resources Manager does not put you in the “Safe Zone”.

About Donya: Donya Vaughn is a So Cal native, collegiate of San Diego State University and graduate of the University of Life, mastering in “Wow, That Was Harder Than It Needed To Be”. Known to her close friends as “The Walking Encyclopedia”, Donya prides herself in being helpful, knowledgeable and ready to serve. She uses these traits along with unwavering optimism and Christian good spirit regularly as owner and consultant of As You Like… Wedding & Event Services.

August 24, 2010

In Love With The Man That Signs The Checks

by Vonda Howard

man with cashHey Vonda,

First let me say I love your column!  I have been reading them since the beginning and you always give such great advice!  Hopefully, you can help me with my little bit of drama.

I will get right to it…I’m in love, I mean head over heels, in love with my boss.  I know it sounds a bit cliche, but I am.  Vonda, he is like Morris Chestnut and Idris Elba all wrapped up in one tall, sexy, chocolate package.  Let me put out there that he is single (I am and will never be the other woman).

Now, I THINK he likes me too.  There has been flirting going both ways at after-work events and social engagements we have both attended, but there has never really been any action on anything.  There have been “secret admirer” gifts sent to me, and we get one another gifts every year for each other’s birthday.

Vonda, I dream about this man and often cannot concentrate because he is on my mind.  What should I do?  I want to approach him and see if he wants to go out on a date, but I don’t want to look like an idiot if I’m wrong.  Help!!

In Love With The Man That Signs The Checks

Dear In Love With The Man That Signs The Checks,

First, thank you so much for the awesome compliments!  I really appreciate the love.

Now, let’s get to your drama.  It’s great that you found someone that makes your heart go “pitter-patter”.  Everyone deserves that, but I would say to tread lightly on this one.  You said that you THINK he feels the same about you.  That little bit of doubt can make a huge difference not only in your job, but whether or not you get humiliated.  The fact that in this long amount of time he has NEVER acted on any (of what you may perceive as) flirtations says a lot to me.  I would not suggest you approaching this head on unless you are sure without a shadow of a doubt that he feels the same way.  Are you sure you’re not looking too deep into any of it?  You can’t really say the secret admirer gifts are from him, unless he revealed it was him and birthday gifts can be just that…birthday gifts.

As it stands on office romances in general, I tend to lean on the “stay away” side.  What happens if the relationship crashes and burns?  It will certainly create a hostile and uncomfortable working environment for the both of you.  Again, the fact that nothing has been acted on may signal that even if there are feelings or attractions involved, he know that this would just be an inappropriate situation if it went any further. I know this is probably not what you want to hear, but trust me, I’m saving you a lot of heartache and embarrassment.  Outside of you finding another job and THEN approaching him, I REALLY don’t think its a good idea to pursue any type of romantic relationship with your boss.

Good luck to you!!

Vonda

About the Author: Vonda Howard is the author of the new hot book series, The D-Cup Divas™, a graphic designer of her own graphic design firm, Cupcake Creative Studio, mom to two, wife to her one and only and a domestic goddess (not really…LOL). She does not profess to be an expert, but just that one opinionated girlfriend you go to for the straight nitty-gritty. So just relax and enjoy. ;o) Do you have a question? Send it to this address:heyvonda@thedcupdivas.com and you may get featured!

August 23, 2010

Curvy + Profile: ChaChanna Simpson

by M Stagg | The Voluptua Project™

ChaChanna Simpson

ChaChanna Simpson pictured with her book "Life After College: What Your Parents and Professors Never Taught You"

Curvy +/Suave Gents Profiles feature the men and women of the curvy community doing something to better the lives of others. Anyone is eligible for a feature. All that is required is a desire to uplift the community in which you live. Please provide the information below to be considered via the contact page:

Name | Business Name (if applicable) | Location (City/State/Province) | Contact # (Optional) | Primary Business Email Address | Your Background/Why You Started Your Business | Product/Service Offering (if applicable) | How are you/will you be of service to the community | A Brief Bio – Please Limit to 300 Words | 1 Full Body Image (3/4 images are also acceptable)

This week, TVP is proud to present ChaChanna Simpson!

ChaChanna is Introduced to the “Real World”

ChaChanna is a native of Norwalk, CT. She is a graduate of The College of New Rochelle, NY, this Norwalk, CT resident is an active member of Stamford Chamber of Commerce and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. ChaChanna, like many college graduates, had no inkling of what to do once they received completed college. Sure, she was an intelligent and resourceful young woman, but certain nuances of being an adult escaped her – like knowing you are responsible for getting your own utilities turned on before you move in to your new apartment! She remembers the experience all too well and:

“…decided that if I didn’t have this knowledge after all my years of higher education, neither did a lot of other people my age. My friends were as clueless as me. And sometimes when people don’t know, they make it up so they don’t look stupid and since you trust them, you listen and end up worse than you started. I decided I didn’t want that to happen to anyone else.”

Fueled with a desire to empower others with information and skills they required for life after college – and beyond – Twentity.com LLC was born.

ChaChanna the Professional

ChaChanna wears many hats in her professional life. She is the author of Life After College: What Your Parents and Professors Never Taught You as well as life coach, radio personality and speaker. Her website, Twentity.com is one of those ideas that makes you think “Why didn’t I come up with that!” The premise behind her offering is a simple one: provide twentysomethings with essential life skills to help steer them in the right direction after college. This means helping them make sensible choices not only in their professional lives but in their personal ones as well.

ChaChanna in the Community

When she’s not coaching one of her clients or captivating a crowd of twentysomethings with her insight and wisdom you can find ChaChanna preparing meals for St. Luke’s Lifeworks community center once a month. Additionally, you can find her contributing her time to the Give ‘N Take Network, The Urban Professionals Network. To learn more about ChaChanna or Twentity.com click on the links below.

Blog Talk Radio | Email | Facebook | Official Twentity Site | Twitter

August 21, 2010

Insert Puppy Dog Eyes Here…

by Donya B

puppy-dog-eyes[Editor’s Note: Sorry for the delay in posting. I’ve been in the bed all day battling allergies (Oh, what fun!). Without further ado, please enjoy Donya’s Relatables.]

You know you’re wrong, right?  You know good and well that what you did, or what you’re about to do, could be the dumbest thing you could possibly do in the course of your relationship.  You know that if your mate ever found out, their trust in you, your credibility and the future of your relationship would all be jeopardized.  But if you told on yourself, you know for certain you’d lose it all.  So instead, you apologize.  Not in words, but in actions.

First comes the extra attention.  Then a few more stolen kisses.  Then you surprise him with his favorite ice cream.  Or you buy her flowers.   You know, just because…

You do realize that if you keep it up for too long, they’ll catch on right?  Even though you’ll try hard to ease back into whatever routine you were in before you screwed up, something will be askew.  You always were attentive and affectionate, but you also helped out around the house.  Now the trash is overflowing.  But there are extra kisses!  You always made dinner, something different every night, but now there’s no cornbread with it.  But the sex is off the chain!  Like the song says, something something, something something just ain’t right…

How long can you keep up the charade?  How long do you think your mate will accept your extra love without starting to question it?  Before the scent of the roses and stargazers finishes flooding her nostrils, the words, “what did you do” will start rolling off her tongue.  Suspicion lurks and the only thing you can do is play dumb, get defensive or confess.  Pick your poison.

Of course the smartest idea was not to have done (or stop considering doing) whatever you’re trying to hide.  Guilt is a mother sublime!  Like I said the other week about lying; if you’ll have to lie to cover it up, don’t do it!  That little white is going to continue to snowball and catch up to you at the worst possible moment.  Next smartest course of action: confess and apologize from your heart.  Be sure to either be completely naked and defenseless or completely covered in armor from head to toe because it’s not going to be pretty.  But you know you deserve whatever comes…

If your mate is like me, you’ll have no idea what to expect.  I’m not a scrapper; I don’t fight, so you don’t have to worry about physical harm.  But white hot anger is not unfamiliar to me.  It’s that kind of heat that blisters the skin slowly and makes it peel away like melted wax.  Then I’ll smile, patch it up and wait for it to scab.  Then I’ll pick at it again, smiling all the while, when you’re not expecting it… Eventually I’ll let go and let God handle it, but I succumb to humanity over divinity for just a moment.  But will I walk away completely?  Possibly not.  If the love is strong enough and the confession sincere enough and the plan of correction plausible enough, anything is possible.  I’ve never been one to throw out the baby with the bathwater, so another try is not out of the realm.

Maybe he’ll forgive you, maybe he won’t.  But you can’t keep it bottled up inside and keep playing this game.  It’s like putting perfume on a pig.  Doesn’t make it clean, and it only smells better for a second.  Clean up your messes before they become disasters.  It will hurt and you may lose, but what you will have gained is a valuable lesson in integrity.  Play smart, not dirty.

Two,

Ms. De

Smooth Truffle: Anita said it best, “I apologize, believe me I do. I apologize, honest and true. Cuz I knew I was wrong, that’s why I’m singing this song, tryna get through…” Try it.  She might put the skillet down.

About Donya: Donya Vaughn is a So Cal native, collegiate of San Diego State University and graduate of the University of Life, mastering in “Wow, That Was Harder Than It Needed To Be”. Known to her close friends as “The Walking Encyclopedia”, Donya prides herself in being helpful, knowledgeable and ready to serve. She uses these traits along with unwavering optimism and Christian good spirit regularly as owner and consultant of As You Like… Wedding & Event Services.

August 18, 2010

Using Your New Empty Nest to Allow Focused “Me Time” to Roost

by youcannow

empty-nest-syndrome

[This is a Wellness Wednesday contribution with Fitness & Nutrition Life Coach Flossie Alexander of You Can NOW! Coaching.]

As Tiffanee and I walked up to the school I said to her, “Do you realize this is the last first day of elementary school that we will ever have?” And she says with a smile, “Ya, that’s weird mom.” It is weird to me too with her being the last of 7 kids in elementary school with 3 in college now. Can you say EMPTY NEST SYNDROME comin’ my way!?

Millions of mothers and fathers every year experience sending their baby off to school for the very last day of the first day of elementary. What does this mean with our kids growing up? With my own experience, I know once they hit middle school, it seems that time flies by super-fast. There aren’t many parties to host in school anymore or field trips that need chaperoned anymore. Our kids develop and independence. We start to feel the breeze of free time floating into our space for the first time in years. I started realizing this last year when I sat in my house alone while everyone else was off doing “their own thing” and I had no idea what to do with myself. The bottom line: this means we more time to focus on ourselves.

With your new found “YOU TIME,” do an inventory of where you are health wise. Do you feel good about you? Is it time to join some social groups to get you out and making friends? Do you need to join a gym or get a health/weight loss coach to create a new you? Do you have the career you want? Have you accomplished everything you wanted to do when you were planning your future at 18? Where do you want to be in 5 years when your baby is on his or her way to graduate from high school? Where do you want to be in 10 years? How do you want to retire from the working world?

The “Where do you want to be?” question is something I ask myself EVERY day now. When you come to that moment when your world has been interrupted by your kids pitter patting off into their own world and you realize the colors on the walls aren’t as bright as they used to be, it is time to create the YOU world and get back to accomplishing everything you ever wanted.

Be Healthy Every Day, You Are Worth It!

Flossie Alexander

Fitness & Nutrition Life Coach
You Can NOW! Coaching
Where Results ARE Typical!

About Flossie: Flossie is currently a member of the National Association of Professional Women and Toastmaster’s International. She is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Coach as well as a Certified Wellness Coach with a successful track record in leading organizations and individuals into achieving healthy lifestyle goals. After overcoming obesity, losing 165 pounds in 18 months, she has developed a passion to help others through public speaking and one-on-one weight loss coaching. Visit Flossie at http://www.youcannowcoaching.com to start creating your new healthy lifestyle and lose unhealthy weight permanently.

August 17, 2010

Unintentional Other Woman

by Vonda Howard

theotherwomanHey Vonda,

I really hope you pick my question for the next column.  I have been dating this guy for about 3 months now and I can truly say that I am in love with him and he is in love with me.  Recently, while out with some friends at a mall, I saw him walking hand and hand with some woman I had never seen before.  That’s not even the kicker…they both had on wedding rings!  Now, I can truly say that I DID NOT KNOW HE WAS MARRIED.  He never showed any of the tell tale signs; he is always available when I call him, we eat out a public places, he even spends the night!

I called him up later that night and he admitted to me that, yes, he was married, but they are going through a “trial separation”.  He also said that in the time that he has been apart from her, he has fallen totally in love with me and just hasn’t found the right way to let her know that they are over.

Vonda, I really love this man and want to be with him, but don’t want to be an idiot and DEFINITELY don’t want to be the other woman.  What should I do?

Unintentional Other Woman

Dear Unintentional Other Woman,

I don’t even have to spend a lot of time on this.  You know and I know what has to happen here…this has to end…NOW.  I understand and I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt that you didn’t know he was married, but now that you do, there is no excuse.  I’m sure you’ve heard all the excuses men give to keep you around, like “I’m going to leave her, but can’t right now because *insert bullsh#t here*”. If this is a trial separation, I can guarantee his wife is probably expecting this relationship to be repaired at some point. So, it’s really low-down that he is using this time to lie to her and you.

It also seems a little suspect because they both were wearing rings when they were out together? Why would a couple that is separated wear rings?   You really need to think about these things.

Honey, you cannot allow this man to use you.  (Yes, use you.)  If this relationship is truly meant to be, it will be there for both of you AFTER he breaks things off with his wife.  Yes, that’s right…HIS WIFE…which is what she still is right now.  So, if you continue to see him, you will be just what you say you don’t want to be… the other woman.  I can assume from this letter that you have more respect for yourself  and won’t allow this this to continue.

Like I said, if this is truly meant to be, the relationship will withstand you two breaking things off until he closes the door on his marriage first.  Until then you need to show him the door.  Hope I helped!

Vonda

About the Author: Vonda Howard is the author of the new hot book series, The D-Cup Divas™, a graphic designer of her own graphic design firm, Cupcake Creative Studio, mom to two, wife to her one and only and a domestic goddess (not really…LOL). She does not profess to be an expert, but just that one opinionated girlfriend you go to for the straight nitty-gritty. So just relax and enjoy. ;o) Do you have a question? Send it to this address:heyvonda@thedcupdivas.com and you may get featured!

August 14, 2010

Let Go Sometimes…

by Donya B

I have lived in my body for nearly 40 years.  I have had complete control of my comings and goings, likes and dislikes, desires and aversions.  No one has had the audacity to even attempt to exhibit corporal control over my life.  Yes, I was with a Dictator for almost 6 years, but even he couldn’t tell me what to eat and what not to wear.  I have been my own person my whole life.  Until now.  If you’ve seen me on Facebook, then you know I’m pregnant.

(Since I spoke on one mother-child relationship last week, it’s only fair to speak on the other now.  I know there probably aren’t many of you out there that can “Relate to my Relatables” this week, but humor me and keep reading anyway…)

You remember in Men In Black the little alien that was inside the guy’s head?  It was his command center, his bridge for the human body ship?  Yeah, that’s what’s going on.  My life is under the control of a miniature Dictator who exhibits no specific regard for what I think, how I feel or what I want.  In this relationship, I have been forced into the Pleaser quadrant with Doormat tendencies (you didn’t think I could tie this together with my other blogs, did you? Ha!!).  My focus in this relationship is to keep my Dictator happy.  S/he gets what s/he asks for and my “satisfaction” comes from knowing s/he is sated.

This is soooo not my element.  I’m a Butterfly!! I’m supposed to be in control.  I say yea or nay, now or not now.  I make the decisions around here!  Control Freak much? No, I’m a single mom with a home-based business; my life is about being in control.  I’m even the dominant in my romantic relationship, though my Pleaser has been flexing his muscles lately (no worries, I’ll put a stop to that too).

When a dominant is challenged, a power struggle ensues.  In any other relationship, I would advise you to sit down and talk.  Work out what the power issues are.  Take the time to uncover what is really creating this dissidence.  Yeah… not an option here.  It’s difficult to converse with someone who only hears the sound, not the clarity of your voice.  Someone who has a physical but not emotional action/reaction reflex.   I am under the complete control of a 5 inch tall alien who doesn’t even speak English!  For four months we’ve battled and we still have six to go!

(Yes, contrary to popular belief, pregnancy is not 9 months long, it’s 10.  Forty weeks has never and will never divide into 9 months.   That myth was created by some guy who wanted to give his wife a glimmer of hope that this would all be over sooner than she anticipated.  Buster.)

If you’ve ever watched Animal Kingdom, you know that when a dominant is stripped of its title, it can cause a temporary state of confusion, panic or anxiety, and that period is typically followed by malaise or depression.  Got the hat and t-shirt for those phases on my dresser.  Now I’ve moved into a general state of bliss.  You know they say ignorance is bliss, right?  I can claim all the ignorance I want because I’m not in control anymore.  The baby says it’s okay to have a Slurpee at 830 in the morning.  The baby says it’s okay to take two naps every day.  It’s not up to me anymore… la tee dah tee dah…  I love this time and I fully relinquish control.  I’m going to go have some cereal, eggs, fish sticks and greens now.  I’ll catch y’all later.

Two,

Ms. De

Squishy Truffle:  Sometimes life isn’t about what you make it; it’s about what it makes you.

About Donya: Donya Vaughn is a So Cal native, collegiate of San Diego State University and graduate of the University of Life, mastering in “Wow, That Was Harder Than It Needed To Be”. Known to her close friends as “The Walking Encyclopedia”, Donya prides herself in being helpful, knowledgeable and ready to serve. She uses these traits along with unwavering optimism and Christian good spirit regularly as owner and consultant of As You Like… Wedding & Event Services.

%d bloggers like this: