Thanks, Lorraine for the link to this video about chocolates that also normalizes BWIR relationships. It certainly made me think about Valentine's Day and Darren in the same thought because--he's such a chocolate FIEND! I always get him his favorite Godiva chocolates 3 times each year, starting with Valentine's Day. I also get them for his birthday and for a holiday gift in December. Each time I give them to him, his whiskey brown eyes light up and dance. He loves Godiva chocolates ONLY, so nothing else will suffice. Sorry, Cadbury. Lol
I remember once, I didn't feel like driving 15 miles to the mall to get Godivas, so I picked up another brand of chocolates from the nearby CVS. OMG--he didn't like them! They just sat on the table for the longest time and got stale before he threw them out! So, I now plan in advance to always get him Godivas, no matter what and no--this is not a Godiva ad. LOL!
I like chocolate sometimes, but I absolutely cannot eat Godiva chocolates. They're way too rich for me: too fattening and I actually break out in lumps when I eat them since my skin is on the oily side! Darren is slim, always active, and has dry skin, so he can eat the whole box without any concern about the aftermath.
I fully realize that Valentine's Day is heavily advertised in order to get as many people as possible to spend gobs of money on flowers, jewelry, cards, candies, lingerie and other items. This is a capitalistic country after all. That is actually the everyday goal of capitalism--to get people to overspend. However, Valentine's Day gives us a chance to take a break from the humdrum or harsher view of life and view life with a softer lens. It's a ritual for some of us, and I believe in the transformative power of rituals. So for a brief time, we make it a priority to celebrate love and appreciation for selected others.
Many of y'all know by now that I urge bw to view and accept the REALITY of life. I believe in viewing the reality of life as it is, transforming it into the best of what it can and could be when possible, always wrestling with it, when necessary, with the determination to come out on top or at least break even, But Whew! That can be exhausting! So, I'm happy for ritual breaks. These days, the Valentine Day ritual of showing love and appreciation can be used by all of us to focus on anyone, NOT only towards a romantic partner or similar ones for whom you have tender feelings, as has been customary. These days the object of your Valentine feelings can be your best friend, a classmate, your cousin, your grandparent, the person at the checkout counter, or others you appreciate. Some people even choose their pet as their Valentine. LOL!
Darren always gives me jewelry and lovely scents for Valentine's Day and he makes reservations for us to go out to a special restaurant for a multi-course dinner in either PA or DE. The restaurant is always a surprise. I never know exactly where we're going until we're there. He loves surprises like that. During dinner, he always slips the jewelry gift on the table--when my attention is elsewhere. When I look back and notice the giftbox on the table, this always makes me well up with tears. I get mushy and speechless. LOL! This is a bit embarrassing for me since usually a member of the waitstaff is there waiting to clear the dishes from the previous course or is trying to serve the next course.
By now, I have a selection or a collection of jewelry he's given me over the years for birthdays, holidays, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, the earrings I wore to my son's wedding, and other special occasions! He believes in getting me real gold or silver jewelry and sometimes diamonds or gold or silver mixed with tiny diamonds since he dislikes fake jewelry. These are not large, expensive bling-type items. He's not a superficial person; he prefers quality and true value. Except for my engagement ring, these are usually small, relatively inexpensive pieces. They are real metals and semi-precious stones that will either maintain their value or appreciate in value over time. For ex., his favorite semi-precious stone is Tanzanite, so he searches for Tanzanite with just the right glint or shade for me. I love the small, dangly, Tanzanite earrings he gave me a few years ago so much that I wore them everyday 24-7 until I lost one of them. He found another similar pair for me, so I now wear one of the new set and one of the old set every day. I never take them off. Doesn't matter to me or him that they're mismatched. Lol
However, I rarely wear most of the jewelry that he's given me. It's so pretty and too fancy to wear most of the time, so, I'm always saving it to wear on special, dress-up occasions. I don't have a type of lifestyle in which dressing up is frequently required. We jes country. So, I told him a couple of years ago that one day, I plan to give it all to my granddaughter. He said that's perfectly fine with him.
He's that kind of man. He loves giving me these trinkets to show his love and appreciation. I love giving him Godivas and assorted items that I think he'll like. Having someone to show LOVE, to appreciate and someone who reciprocates that love and appreciation are key aspects of living well, of viewing life through a soft lens every day, of living a more refined life. Love and appreciation--the essence of the Valentine's Day ritual.
Happy Valentine Day to ALL!
Valentine Day Raucous CLAPPING for KWELI-TV - A black American woman from Memphis, TN, Deshuna Spencer has started a streaming service called KWELI TV ('nicknamed the Black Netflix') that presents and promotes positive, realistic, uplifting black imagery as shown through short films and other media from the global village. YAY! ARTICLE I checked it out and quickly became a financial subscriber to the service. I was happy to spend that money, and I'd even be happy to do what I could to help her find smaller investors, especially if her company is set up to sell shares. (I will contact her or if you know her, please have her contact me.) Please circulate this info about what she's doing and please SUPPORT what she is doing--in any and all ways possible! She shouldn't have to beg for money or support. We should be standing in line to SUPPORT HER! She has gone way beyond mere talking. She is DOING! I have not had a chance to watch most of the content over there, and I may not even like, have interest in, or approve of ALL of the content. She may actually disapprove of my content here, but from what I have seen on KWELI-TV, I will support what she's doing anyway.
Sometimes, you don't need to approve totally of what another person is doing in order to know that MUCH of what they're doing can and will lift you and yours up. This is a nuance that is beyond the grasp of some people who tend to find one thing they don't like about what someone is doing and will then throw out the baby with the bath water. Sadly, some people can't tell the difference between the baby and the bathwater and will literally keep the bathwater after they've they've gotten rid of the baby. LOL! This happens a LOT these days.
One thing I know for sure is that 99.999% of what I see in the main stream media about blacks--whether it's produced and put there by whites or blacks--is HIGHLY offensive to a proud black person like me. So, the only two shows I can be found watching on TV are 'Wheel of Fortune' and 'Jeopardy.'
So PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE KWELI-TV and contribute to Ms. Spencer's efforts in any way you can. That being said, IF anyone at KWELI-TV is promoting anything that you know of that most strongly contradicts my stance on important issues re bw, or is somehow degrading bw or not supporting bw's interests or going against the interests of bw, PLEASE let me know. Be my eyes and ears. LOL! But based on what I've seen, I am standing up CLAPPING FOR HER!
And if you don't support her efforts and if she does gain traction slowly, but gets weary of the struggle after awhile and sells her company to a larger entity like VIACOM or TIMES WARNER, don't YOU dare criticize her--which is typically what too many 'new school' blacks (meaning certain younger blacks who don't have a firm identity or any age person who is unconscious or confused about their ethnic identity or hates or devalues it) tend to do. Too many 'new school' black American women, in particular, will NOT support other bw who are doing positive things for bw, but will rush to support bm, in general, who have never declared or SHOWN any interest in supporting, reciprocating, or even liking bw. SHAME ON BW LIKE YOU!
More importantly, as a woman with multiple decades behind her, I want everyone to know that--though there have always been black American women 'fool-crazies over men' (as my grandmom used to call them)--the vast majority of black American women didn't used to be like that. The fool-crazies were in the minority and wiser blacks used to reprimand (actually berate them) and keep them suppressed and out of sight. As a proud black 'old school' person, I can firmly state that while black Americans used to have their share of faults, blacks of both genders used to know we were supposed to rally behind and give actual SUPPORT to blacks who were doing things to uplift and support the group's image and betterment. We also actively spoke out against black dimwits and other blacks who engaged in insane or destructive behavior. We may have even liked or loved some of the dimwits and fools, but we did NOT support other blacks simply because they were BLACK; we supported other blacks because what they were doing was supporting or helping the black American collective to move upwards. In those days, we had no choice but to do that, so we scrutinized the actions of black people. Unlike these days, we would never, ever defend or help an individual black person to move upwards at the expense of the black collective!!! A black person's accomplishment might be admirable, but their achievements were viewed as meaningless IF their actions weren't helping the group.
I realize that these days, it's just the opposite. Some blacks these days believe they have the right and therefore choose to support even racist whites and destructive blacks if they personally want to do so. We will see more and more blacks supporting racist whites during the upcoming presidential election. We will also see some of them boldly explaining to the world (because the TV cameras WILL definitely seek them out in order to show how mutated, suicidal, and genocidal some blacks have become) why they're doing it. They will flat out state they're doing it because it's their 'right' and because they CAN. What these blacks don't realize is that those smiling reporters and the TV cameras are showing the world just how deserving blacks are of our ultimate fate.
Whew! I'm so happy I grew up and came of age in 'another world.'
And re BWIR, this is exactly why I've never supported this whole idea of 'black love.' I can easily separate the 'black' from the 'love.' I know when a man loves me and when he doesn't. To an 'old school' black person, there is no such thing as 'black love.' It's simply 'LOVE.' And to a typical one of us, love is nothing if it's not a verb. It must be shown and when given to an adult, it's reciprocated, IF that other person loves you back. This is why I was never conflicted or had any confusion about marrying outside my ethnic group to men who were SHOWING me their love and their commitment. This was always and always will be very simple to me. I fervently want my granddaughter(s)--who will hopefully read my views--to be the same way. Either a man loves and appreciates a woman and will therefore SHOW his commitment and appreciation or he doesn't and won't. IF he doesn't, it doesn't make him a bad person, it just makes him NOT for her. So, she must quickly direct her full attention elsewhere, IF she's seeking love + commitment. But IF she's merely seeking to be with a man of the same background or hue, that should be very easy to get because it doesn't matter whether he loves her or whether he will commit to her or not.
Many times, you WILL not be able to get all you might think you prefer in ONE package. From experience culled over decades of watching relationships from start to finish, I've seen the whole cycle many times. I urge women to always choose the package with LOVE + commitment on it, and your regrets will be none or very few. Not much else is important.
Lastly, this is why the whole issue of my marriage to Darren, as well as my marriage to my ex-husband and similar BWIR and intercultural relationships and marriage are NOT particularly noteworthy, actually. I've often pointed out that no one was more surprised than me at the interest shown about my relationships/marriages with these men and the BWIM or BWIC areas in general. I was/am simply writing about MY life. I've accepted the fact that there is great interest in this slice of life though ( I STILL receive notes from researchers and others who are greatly interested in BWIR), but it's still kinda, sorta weird to me.