I’d Like to Take This Moment to Discuss the Ineptitude of Men.

If you don’t know what ineptitude means, get out. Or grab a dictionary. But, I’d rather you just get out.

Let’s continue.

Last Thursday night, I should have been fulfilling my role as 21st century control freak by pre-packing everything the mover guys would pack the following day. Instead, I sat in the parking lot of a Chick-fil-a venting to one of my girlfriends about how men are complete idiots. I was feeling particularly angsty last week, especially once HCM from my “So, I Kinda, Sorta Went on a Date” post turned out not to be Hot Chicago Man but instead Hellish Crazed Maniac who couldn’t lay off the clingy text messages. But, HCM didn’t spark this post. Another guy did and he may or may not read this and I may or may not care.

“He’s known me for three months and he decides to hang out the night before I leave!?” I shouted to my friend. “It has to be age. I have to start dating older guys.”

“No, older guys can be just as dumb,” she replied.

Well there goes that hope.

We went back and forth about how men are just plain stupid. There are no fancy words. No cute phrases. No euphemisms. Just. Plain. Stupid.

I get it. Women are usually characterized as complicated, crazed, and cracked out. And, that’s because there are a handful who are while the rest of us are fully capable of exhibiting one or more of those qualities if you cross us on the wrong day or in the wrong way.

But, I really think most of us want the same simple things. We want you to talk to us like we’re human beings; not barbies, not bobbleheads and definitely not your bros. We want you to treat us like human beings. We want you to call back when you say you will. We want you to tell us we’re beautiful because yes, we are vulnerable even if we pretend we are anything but. We want consistency. We yearn for consistency. Damnit, we need consistency. We will spontaneously combust in to 1,000 teeny tiny flames if one day you love us and the next day you ignore us. We want you to ask us out. Stop saying, “Let’s hang” or “We should grab a drink” or “I don’t know; whatever you want to do.” No, really ask us out. Come up with a plan and a place and a day and a time and you will instantly be the sexiest thing to ever walk the face of this planet. We want you to ask what’s our middle name or how did we get that scar on our left hand. We want you to care and invest. Care and invest.

Because, isn’t that the basis of all human relationships? Consideration and investment. Oh, and loyalty. Oh, hallelujah, loyalty.

In the end, I ask from men the same things I ask for from women (well…almost the same things.) I ask that you engage. That you own a brain. That you use that brain. That you make me laugh. That you have something intelligent and meaningful to say and that when I respond to that intelligent and meaninful comment, you don’t keep talking about yourself. Oh em gee, some men LOVE talking about themselves. Hey, buddy, shut up. Don’t respond to everything I say with something about how amazing or successful or smart you are. I don’t give an F or an E or any other letter of the alphabet for that matter.

In the end, we’re all just people. We all want affection and attention and all those other lovey-dovey cupcakey words. We all want to be recognized and loved. We all are stitched together by unique fibers of triumph and tumult. We all want our stories to be heard and our scars to be wrapped in an ace bandage of acceptance.

It’s truly not that complicated. We’re all just people.



This is My Goodbye Texas Post.

Texas going away drinks. That’s Ashley. She’s pretty. That other girl is kind of cheesy though.

There was one key thing I knew about Texas prior to moving there in February: rent was cheap. Dirt cheap. As someone whose student loans were/are giving her a firm kick in the ass, I welcomed Texas with open arms and empty pockets.

On February 18, 2012, I schlepped through Boston Logan Airport with pounds upon pounds of luggage and a live cat by the name of Roxy. I smiled and tried to appear pleasant despite the onset of sweat rising beneath my winter coat and scarf. It was moving day. It was time to go to Texas. Yeehaw and all that.

On October 27, 2012, I schlepped through Dallas Love Field–the orphan equivalent of its monstrous counterpart Dallas Fort Worth International. But, I wanted to fly Southwest, damnit, and SW only flies out of Love Field. I can’t stand American with its first class passengers who scowl at the rest of us plebians as we traipse our way through their special first class cabin in all of its glory. But, I digress. October 27, 2012, was also moving day. But this time it was time to leave Texas and return to the East and best Coast.

I’m not sure where this post begins and ends. It had an entire eight months to brew. There were days in Texas when I would leave work and, as I walked to my car in 100 degree heat, think of some great line that I would use in my farewell Texas blog post. (Yes, at this point you should know, I think and feel and breathe in blog posts.) But, now, I’m here writing the post and I haven’t retained those lines.

All I have is a potpourri of memories, big memories juxtaposed with ordinary memories, but mostly ordinary memories. Taking a lunch break and going to my favorite bookstore, Half Price Books. Spending a Sunday evening outside reading. The nice people at Kroger grocery store. A Saturday afternoon at the pool with sangria.  The luxury of purchasing wine at Target, Walmart and Walgreens. A rare Texas rainfall. Driving 80 MPH on the highway and whizzing past any franchise ever created. Heat clinging to my body the minute I escaped the air-conditioned office. My lovely neighbor and our here-and-there conversations centered around his health. Wednesday night margaritas with my co-workers. Waving and smiling at complete strangers. My hairstylist and her endlessly entertaining stories. Morning coffee and the latest life gossip with my co-worker homie. Easy parking. Cheap and chill bars. Loud laughter. These are not big memories. They are not cowboy boots or trips to the rodeo. They are not quintessential Texas memories. But, I do not care. Because these are the simple fixtures that will forever decorate my Texas experience.

The weeks leading up to my move back east were filled with a blend of emotions and though the word bittersweet is completely trite, it’s also completely true. Last Sunday as I drove home from dinner with my aunt, the windows were down and my life was full. And, it hit me. There will never be another eight months in Texas. Maybe I will go back; maybe I will not. But, there will never be a time like the eight months I just lived. I trekked there in February with high hopes and that state leapt and soared above any standard I could have ever set.

But, as I mused in a late night Tumblr post a few weeks ago, maybe it’s not just Texas. Maybe it’s also me. Maybe I’ve given the place too much credit. When I arrived there, I was broken. The trebuchet for my early adult life had only fired off a mere eight months prior and I had spent most of it in a doubtful and unimpressed daze. But, I went to Texas feeling like it was finally time to marry the Tyece I had always known with the adult Tyece. Or, better yet, it was time to stop seeing them as two separate entities but instead one whole person colored by different experiences, various sentences still carving out the prologue to my life’s narrative. I knew I had major work to do, monumental life matters to sort through, and an indispensable need to clean the clutter out of my mind once and for all. And, that I did. It was the perfect place to quiet my brain and confront my shit.

When I landed at BWI today and got ready to drive over to Virginia, it didn’t feel real. It felt amazing but unreal. It felt like my dad was going to show up, give me a big hug, and drive me to our house for another one of my long weekends home. But, oh, hey, I actually live here now. My parents are 1.5 hours away; my sisters 1.5 hours and 4 hours away. My best friend is 45 minutes up the highway. Everyone I love is close and accessible and right here. And, this is what I wanted. At this juncture in my life, it’s what I needed. On the lonely nights 1800 miles away when all I wanted was to call up a friend who I didn’t have to bullshit with, a friend who knew my ins and outs, to just grab a drink and talk about everything and nothing, this is what I wanted.

Thank you, Texas, for eight months of beautiful memories. It feels good to be home.



So, I Kinda Sorta Went on a Date?

I had every intention of spending my Friday night with Fashion Police and Chipotle. This was my intent on Friday morning while I was brushing my teeth. It was my intent on Friday afternoon while finishing work emails. It was my intent until Friday night when I met a character who I will refer to as Hot Chicago Man (HCM).

I once told a friend of mine that my blog is off-limits for my dating life unless that dating life is non-existent. So, perhaps I am about to violate that line in the code of conduct; or, perhaps my dating life is really still non-existent so I’m not breaching any rules. I’ll go with the latter.

The back story for how I met HCM isn’t the stuff novels are made of. I was visiting my beloved hair stylist for my last excursion while here in Texas. HCM, a barber at the same set of salon suites, came to talk to my hair stylist. When he left, I told her I thought he was attractive and voila, my hair stylist turned in to a magician and made something happen. (also known as she played messenger.)

HCM asked what I was doing later that night. And, just like that, my plans to crack up at Joan Rivers’ commentary over a plate of tacos were trumped, tackled, and obliterated.

I tossed clothes around my room for 45 minutes because my closet has become a treasure chest for cardigans and pencil skirts–not exactly date night attire. I settled on one dress and soon realized before I even walked out the door that I was already sweating  right through the thin material. Negative. I kept remembering some date rule I’ve heard of, I think from my sister, that on a date, you should only accent one asset. Boobs, booty, or legs. I checked the ticking clock, pulled a different, more sweat-friendly dress, and decided that night, it would be legs.

It was the kind of outing with a guy I have conjured up in my head a thousand times but never actually gone on. There was live music and good wine and it was dark and loud and sexy. We drank. We danced. We drank and we danced a lot more. He had the kind of laugh that made me laugh. We didn’t talk about my job–aside from the fact that said job would be shipping me across the country in a week. Minor detail. We didn’t talk about politics or our dreams or how many siblings we have. We didn’t talk about anything substantial and something about our mindless banter was completely reassuring.

He told me he liked my lace dress and he liked my eyes and though he’s probably used both lines a million times, I absolutely did not care. I smiled and I batted my eyelashes and I threw back my head when I laughed. I shimmied and I shook and I swayed on that damn dance floor. I shed the thick mama bear sweater that has cloaked my spontaneity for the past year. I threw caution to the wind and let that bitch float with the leaves. I gave a big fat middle finger to all of my inhibitions. And I absolutely did not care.

Now you want to know how the night ended. So, I guess this is the part where I’m supposed to be all coy and say something like, “Ladies never kiss and tell.” But, to hell with that. We kissed until my insides did 100 jumping jacks. And, it was good. So effing good.

I’m leaving Texas in a week. HCM and I will never be more than one really great night. A sentence in my life’s narrative, if even that. Maybe that is what makes it 100 watts better.

But, it would be a complete lie to tell you I didn’t wake up the following morning with a smile on my face. Because, despite being “violently independent” as one of my friends has said, I am vulnerable. And, during lots of grandmotherly nights in my apartment digging through hundreds of pages in a novel, I wondered if I had lost my mojo. I’ve wondered if I could ever take risks or put myself back out there. I wondered if I could even dip my toe back in to the dating pool without feeling like I would completely drown.  And, I realized, just like Stella, Tyece can get her groove back, too. Even single power bitches can not affirm themselves. They need their family. They need their friends. And, sometimes, just an ultra sexy stranger and a good make out session will do the trick.

Yes, it’s nice to be doted on. It’s nice to feel wanted. It’s nice to dance with a hot man and forget about the past or the present or the future until the last song in the set.




The 23rd Birthday Post: So Damn Young And It’s So Damn Great

Happy birthday to me.

In one of my favorite blog posts of all time entitled “The Future Has An Ancient Heart,” a sage by the name of Sugar writes, “You are so damn young. Which means about eight of the ten things you have decided about yourself will over time prove to be false. The other two things will prove to be so true that you’ll look back in twenty years and howl.”

So, according to Sugar, the things I write in this blog post could quite possibly not be true in the next 30 years. Maybe not even in the next 30 seconds. I’ll take responsibility for that.

Confession: I turned 23 on Friday, October 12, 2012, officially at 9:35 a.m. Twenty three is not a milestone age. I still can’t rent a car without some dumb ass underage driving fee attached. So, instead, last Friday, I cut some cake, donned a top hat with three candles (guess it’s tough to fit twenty more on it) and spent a cozy and amazing weekend with family and friends.

I guess this is the blog post where I’m supposed to mull over my life, contemplate its meaning, and use decayed words including but not limited to “reflect,” “grateful” and “dreams.” This is the blog post where I’m supposed to tell you how I’ve had to slay my demons over the past year and see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. This is the blog post that is supposed to be deep and dark and encapsulate the zillions of miniscule thoughts I have had since October 12, 2011.

Shall we skip that? Yes, let’s.

Instead, I say get that electric wine opener, let’s crack a bottle of red and celebrate a damn good year.

Because, as Sugar said, 23 is young. So young. So freaking young. When I was in kindergarten, I used to wear pretend plastic high heels from Rite Aid. When I was in elementary school, I pretended to be a teacher with teddy bears as my pupils (and later, imaginary students, but that’s neither here nor there.) When I was in high school, I only wanted to forego Advanced Placement classes and apply to college and when I was in college, I just wanted a salary and an apartment with real curtains. But now? Now, I am perfectly happy to be so damn young. Because while waiting for my flight back to Dallas on Sunday, it occured to me that I’m at the age where I can float or flounder or completely f*** up and hey, it’s still OK. I’m at the age where most of the pressure is self-inflicted and therefore invisible to everyone outside of the little fairies in my head. I am at the age where no one is pestering me about babies or deeming me a pariah for being unwed. Oh, I am perfectly happy being so damn young.

Because, despite being so damn young, I have learned a few things along the way. I’ve learned you need a good mechanic or a reliable man in your life to point you to one. (see “I’m Not Really a Grown Up Because When My Car Broke Down, I Called Dad”) I’ve learned nothing replaces a great book, particularly right before bed or in a waiting room where strained conversations with strangers are not pleasant. I’ve learned to keep a bottle of red wine for the good nights, the bad nights, and just the nights. I’ve learned why it’s important to have a hobby other than Facebook stalking and/or receiving self-validation through an endless string of Instagram posts in order to sustain you. I’ve gained the willpower to sit, squirm and wince through a wax. I’ve dug down deep and learned to appreciate my parents for the sacrifices they made to put my tired ass through undergrad. I’ve learned the pricelessness of platonic male friends and their ability to call BS when I say “I just want closure” in a feeble attempt to justify any and all interactions with ex-boyfriends, hook-ups, and low-lifes I placed on pedestals. I’ve learned how to appreciate a quiet Saturday night alone. And, I’ve learned how to appreciate my friends, my tribe, the people I lean on when I unravel the most. But, maybe what’s most important is that I’ve learned how to appreciate my life for the beauty and uncertainty and absolute mess that it is.

And, I’ve learned that being so damn young ain’t so damn bad.

Happy Birthday to me.



Wait, Am I A Relationship Girl?

This is a face contemplating life’s deepest mysteries such as whether or not I’m a relationship girl.

Today, I heard someone call herself a “relationship girl.” Usually such phrases make me want to throw a snow globe at a brick wall. But, today I resisted the impulse and instead thought: what is a relationship girl and could I possibly be in this category of homo sapiens?

I spent the greater part of Monday’s 6am hour mentally spinning through the past year and feeling less than stellar about my dating life before the sun could even rise. I knew I had to take action.

No, this did not entail catapulting myself in to the dating world with a blackpeoplemeet.com account (yes, it’s a real website) or Googling “speed dating Dallas.” No, it entailed doing something far more shallow. Instead, it meant it was time to open up the flood gates and let advice from pals, male and female, roll on it. Rain, baby, rain. I started many sentences on Monday with, “Hey, I’m feeling kind of slum about my dating life,” slum being a synonym for “I’m feeling like a piece of Doublemint stuck to the bottom of a pair of chucks when it comes to my dating life but I am too cool to say that so I’m just going to say ‘slum’ instead.” I threw a blanket statement out there in the hopes that most of my friends would grab it and snuggle up. And, snuggle up they did.

Ok, so we are at the point in the story where I am supposed to hang my head in shame while all of you reprimand me for even requiring reassurance about my dating life because I am a strong, independent woman, damnit! How could I ever feel the least bit insecure? Aren’t I the self-proclaimed poster child for single women? Uh oh. Guess you finally saw me drop the cape. Hopefully I’m sexier this way. Ow ow.

Yep. I consider my singlehood a conscious choice every day but that’s an inflated statement that really deserves to reside on a t-shirt at a women’s convention. I have actively chosen to occupy a one person cocoon rather than entertain morons, assholes, snorefests, or all of the above. I have chosen to wait for someone who is simply effing amazing. And, yep, sometimes that’s a decision that leaves you feeling a little less than stellar. Sometimes that’s a decision that requires you to lay off the social media binging that is fatal to your self-esteem’s diet. Sometimes that’s a decision that requires some coaxing from your friends that, no, really, you’re not a complete pariah. We promise. 

I used to think I sucked at relationships but then I realized, oh, wait, those were just sucky relationships. Perhaps I have been known to be selfish, stubborn, and far too opinionated–all adjectives that do not serve you well when you’re trying to maintain strong ties with your boo. But I’m learning the best times to work on such vices are when you are riding solo. When you have the room and the space and the freedom to grow without the paranoia that your significant other may hold up scorecards for your performance.

Thinking about 6am Monday musings paired with my thoughts today and the phrase “relationship girl,” I’m wondering if maybe, just maybe, I fall in to this category. I always considered relationship girls the ones who actively sought relationships out and only felt happy or whole when in them. If we stick to this definition, well, obviously I am running for the hills and never turning back. But, if we’re going to get new-age and define a relationship girl as someone who is all or nothing, relationship or screw it, I’m in and I’m in big. Because somewhere along the line I admitted to myself that I had a heart and expelling energy pretending that I did not was a huge fat waste of time. I admitted that the only three letters really associated with FWB are WTF. I admitted that I want it all and if I can’t have it all, then I simply do not want it.