Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Growing Pains

This week has been a true lesson in growth.  I feel like I’ve had a mirror put up to myself, and I’ve been able to see a reflection of the good and the not so good.  I  knew that I wasn’t perfect before, but I had no idea that there was still so much work to be done.   I wish that I could fix all those bad habits that took years to develop  overnight, but it’s just not possible.  It seems, I learn best through experiences, and recently I’ve  have been given enough to have grown about  5”.   If the day should ever come when I've finished learning all my life lessons, I will be a 7’ tall Amazon lady with a morphine drip running through my veins  as a result of my “GROWING PAINS.” (thought I’d throw it in there)

 One of the biggest areas of development has been in relationship arena, that of which I liken to hair.  Why you ask?  In order for hair to be healthy, it needs to be well maintained; washed, conditioned, treated, and trimmed.  In order to achieve the fabulous looks that our hair really isn’t meant to do, many  of us process the life out of hair.   Like a relationship, we need to take the necessary steps in order for it to be healthy, and free from signs of damage.  As for me, there are some people in my life that I care about and would like to build a stronger connection with, but I don’t always make the time to do that.  It’s wrong of me because I have come to realize that most of us just don’t read minds.  Even a simple phone call could fill the void and show them, although I am super busy, they are on my mind.  Relationships of this nature need general maintenance with the right conditioner to keep the status in good standings. 

 Then I’ve  also had to address some unhealthy relationships in my life.  I wouldn’t even know if I would classify them as toxic friends, but  I would say that they are people with whom I generally never  feel one hundred percent myself around them.  In one instance, I was trying to connect with some of  the ultra Nigerian only circle, and  now am completely over it!   I am too old to feel squeamish around someone who isn’t giving me a paycheck.  I’ve come to recognize this feeling as a big red  flag, and would rather go with my mom to the old ANN & HOPE in Cranston to look for drapes, then put myself through that.   I think that the more you “try”  and be friends with some one, the more drama and inconsistency you will see in the uncertain friendship.  I am a Nigerian- American, and have been blessed with two socially aware parents who have taught to me focus on what’s in a person heart, not what’s stamped on their passport.  With that said, they are some people who will accept me as I am, and there are those who will never appreciate my ability to work within many circles.    My recommended course of action is  to get a trim.  Yup!  If you recognize these type of people in your life, cut off those dead ends that stunt growth.   Free yourself  of anything that is unhealthy; if left untreated, it will eventually break itself off far worse than if you had taken charge and cut it off the correct way.

 Lastly, I want to acknowledge the relationship that I have with myself, Adenike.  I forget sometimes that I need to maintain this deep kinship, and really pay attention to what is going on with me, just as I would any other relationship.  I  have the tendency to skip over myself, and add just keep going, and going.  It’s an unhealthy way to conduct your life.   I am making an effort to put myself first .   Maybe it’s taking time to treat myself to relaxing  walk in the park, or not scheduling  ANYTHING during free time and staying  home on a nice Saturday afternoon and watching classic movies.   Maybe it is even as indulgent as waking up and going to the gym before I sit down to open even one email.   It may seem self-centered, but really it isn’t.  The way in which one cares for herself, is synonymous with the way one  treats others.   I’m giving  myself a good old weekly deep conditioning treatment called TLC, and hope that it works.

Hair is not even remotely as important or relevant,  as the connection you have with others and yourself.  I threw it in their because I know that many of us are so into hair care, but not as attentive to other needs (myself included).   I plan to create strong, healthy associations, which require the right kind of maintenance with the correct course of action.  This is a must in order for there to be a strong and healthy development with the potential to grow.  At the end of the day, all we really have is relationships. 

 As Always Adenike

Monday, May 4, 2009

Can't Stop the Sexy!

Transitions Championship - Round One
Last Sunday, I was sitting in the park, watching the trees bloom because I knew it was a scene that wasn't going to last.  I started to watch a squirrel run around in front of me, and make little nature noises.  A nice lazy Sunday in the park,  like a page out of National Geographic.  
Then all of the sudden, the squirrel stopped running.  It stood up, faced me, and began to beat on it's chest, like Tarzan.  I could not stop laughing and couldn't believe what I had just seen.  Only me right?  

 Ever have that feeling like the jokes on you?

I put that odd little occurrence behind me and headed back to my apartment to prepare for a fashionable brunch in the meatpacking district where I'd be able to smitchz and schmooze with fabulous industry creatives.  I put on a crowd-pleaser dress with my grey Jessica Bennett gladiator heels; was feeling great, and looking good.  I began to walk, ok... so I was sauntering down the street, and I came across a woman, who had long since skipped, splashed, and then sprawled down the slippery slope of  "I'm a mom, so I don't need to try anymore" with her daughter.  She unabashedly looked me up and down, and then asked, " Those shoes don't hurt?!!?" Followed by, "My goodness, I don't know how you can where those heels, I can't do it anymore!"  I was a little caught off guard with her comment, In my head I heard a record get suddenly get cut off, you know that sound, kinds like zzzeeerruuppp! 

I thought to myself, should they hurt?   Clearly, I am wearing these shoes, and do not plan on taking them off because a complete stranger suggested that they should hurt.  If they did hurt, I think I would have realized that before I left the house, or even as I was buying them, and since I have them on, and that wasn't enough to keep me from putting them on MY feet.  At that point something clicked.  I distinctively heard the use of the word "anymore" in her chastising speech.  Possibly, she misses wearing heels?  Was the green eyed monster rearing it's ugly head?  Whatevs!!!   It was too hot, to be bothered.  I smiled, replied, "na" and kept on walking.  I actually own heels that don't hurt.  I love shoes, and buy good ones, in my size, or else it's just a waste of limited closet space.  

 I went to the Sunday brunch, listened to good music, met some really cool people, drank Mimosas, (well what else would I be drinking at 4pm on a Sunday) and had a great time.  It was the perfect day for it, a little hot, with an occasional, needed breeze.   It was great!  After long winter hibernation it felt good to be out there mingling, and seeing what the streets were saying about fashion.  From my observations, the finger wave is making a come back, muted colors paired with pops of brights work wonderfully, and sun hats are doing big things.   I got some great inspirations!

 On the way back home, I was content with a slight twist of tipsy.  I had not a care in the world.   My friends and I stopped to get a slice of pizza then jumped on the train.  We were laughing and talking; making plans for my new haircut, and discussing what celebrity I want to look like.  After a few minutes on the ride, we said our goodbyes and they got off.  My stop was next, so I was about to stand up and walk towards the door, and then I felt someone staring at me from the corner of my eye.  It was another mother daughter duo!!!!  This time the daughter spoke (in a very audible tone).  She said, "Mommy, I like her shoes, yeah they're nice, but her dress is OK. They don't really match; there's no grey in her dress.  Actually, I don't like it.” I turned, and looked.  The girl appeared to be about 8 or 9yrs old, so I was expecting her surly looking mother to correct her behavior. But instead, she looked at me and thens turns to face her daughter and says, "Me neither."    

That was it!!!!   The train doors opened, I got off the train and bid adieu to all the "fashion critics."   

This couldn't have been a coincidence.  There was a secret alliance of mommies sent out to annoy me that day.  There just had to be!  I began to wonder whether the squirrel beating it's chest at me was a sign to expect major b.s.  Their comments didn't bruise my ego, but I did get an insight as to how women see other women when they themselves have stopped caring.  I believe that it is not required to let yourself go once you are a mother.   It's a choice, as anything else is.  

 When I become a mom, I plan on being the sexiest thing pushing a stroller!  How I feel on the inside, and the way I represent that on the outside will always matter.


You better make way for this stiletto Mama!Thinkstock Single Image Set  



As Always Adenike

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fashion and Facebook

My dear friend, Facebook…...How we have become so close is beyond me, but now that I have you in my life, I hope we never part.  We are like the modern day Celie and Nettie.    Actually, I receive tutorials on a regular basis from my fb-devoted sister.  To be honest, not too long ago, I was sending replies to other people’s comments that were ending up on my page, so it looked like I was having an incoherent, cyber chat with myself.  I’ve since moved far beyond that point, and have even taken a quiz or two. It is a great thing, really!  Yet, as all other wondrous and mighty things, there is a dark side!  For Facebook-ers, (or should I refer to them as Lambs, like Mariah Carey does?), it is an issue that I’d like to call Wardrobe Re-Runism.

 Before we dive  in, I would like to state that I am not making fb the problem, but scratching at the fact that it can create itchy situations for some.  It is a circumstance that could possibly ignite pure hysteria amongst women and men who don’t want to appear as if they have a problem with the “Wardrobe Re-Runism”.  That is defined as a condition  where people who go out, and where the same clothes over and over.   So let’s address the issue with an objective stance, shall we?   I see fb as a vehicle to share good times, memorable events, and networking opportunities with friends, family and associates.  I also see fb, as an awesome tool to remind your arch-enemies that you haven’t fallen off and you are still as fabu as ever. Ha!

Yet it also leaves room for the unthinkable.  In many cases of the Wardrobe Re-Runs, the accused may not be completely guilty of the crime.   In my hypothetical scenario: subject A has worn a garment to a celebration that took place last year, and has taken pictures that were later posted on fb.  Subject A was wearing her favorite dress, and hasn’t worn it since.  But recently, she’s decided she wants to wear it to another event.  Problem!  Her friends have posted and tagged pictures of her in this dress, which are still viewable to her online friends. Subject A, is sure that many people will be taking pictures at this event, yet she decided to wear it anyway because it’s her favorite dress, and she looks great in it. The next day loads of pictures are posted on fb.  So what happens? Cop cars pull up, siren’s swirl, yellow tape gets draped, and detectives loom!  There’s been a crime committed right!

Is she now a perpetuator of the crime? 

I reply with a glorious and resounding, No!  If subject A is on fb, then I’m sure you’ve seen her in other head-turning ensembles, so there’s need to worry about the Wardrobe Re-Run issue.  It’s been a year already, how often do you really think that people rotate their outfits?  When I was a college student, working in Nordstrom’s shoe department, I believe the average was every 3-5 days; seeing someone in the same dress 365 days later is fine with me.  And is she really supposed to never where her favorite dress again, because she’s afraid someone will whisper?  Unfortunately for us, we are not celebrities and do not have designer dresses thrown at us all the time.  We can't all be Halle!  

Essence Magazines Black Woman in Hollywood Awards Luncheon, Beverly Hills
The fact that this dress is still hot, is a testimony to her serious shopping skills.  A dress that can stand the test of time and fashion gets an A+ in my book. Lastly, what if she doesn't own a ton of clothes?  Maybe she likes a few, yet glorious pieces to complete her wardrobe.

 Point blank…..This dress was purchased by Subject A. so she gets to decide when and where she’ll where the dress.  So my summation is that she is not the criminal.  You are!  That's right, all you Lamb wannabes!  Why the hell do you remember what you saw on her a year ago anyway, get a life, and quit being a Facebook stalker. 

Stop poking her and sending all those stupid hugs! 

Case Dismissed!

As Always Adenike


Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Hmmm factor!

Sometimes I wear my 2 inches too short “not even looking” sweats and men in my neighborhood shout out catcalls. In the whole of NYC, I have to walk around with my head down, not because I'm sad, but to make sure I avoid the poop bombs on the ground. I don't understand my manicurist, and she probably doesn't understand me, but I continue to go to her on a bi-weekly basis.  What else.... Oh, and my favorite thing to do on Sunday is to go to church 15-20 minutes late so I can make a grand entrance.  All things that may make me say, hmmmm, and shake my head with a bit of confusion.


I am aware of how off and warped all of these occurrences are, but for me it’s just par for the course and come with a simple explanation really.  Certain men don't care about women's fashion etiquette or their own for that matter, some lazy people find the energy to wake up extra early so that no one who cares will see some them dodge the pop-n-scoop, where my manicurist comes from, people stay home and do their own damn nails, thus there’s no need to practice small talk over paint fumes, and me showing up to church late for attention is just a minute window into my secret self obsessed ways.     Yeah, I get how those things could annoy anyone, but right now, I’d like to take a look at a topic that we really should push to the forefront.


Let's focus on department store makeup artists that try to sell you on what new look is in.  Should I remind them that "Barbie Doll Pink" lipstick, and "Neon Lights Yellow" eye shadow will never be "in" on my face?   So far, I have noticed that my nose, eyes, lips, and features don't seem to change with make up trends, and probably never will. What works, is what works! Maybe I'll work in slight variations, but I'm willing to go out on a limb and say that I won't wake up one day and think that I can try green lipstick. I don't care what discount I will get on my next purchase.  The fact that some crazy looking Mac operative is usually the one spewing this rubbish, makes it even more unnerving. Would I take anyone seriously, whose self-inflicted makeup application would make any clown-phobic child scream bloody murder?  Many times, I have to retrain myself from asking them if they actually walk around in public like that or they wait until they get to work to put their face on for the sake of public safety.  Next time, I'll teach the misguided make up artist a lesson; the minute they start that wacky talk, I'll run for the door like I've just seen a ghost. 

This is not an attack on any one particular makeup company. It's more of an affront on over zealous salesmen.  Many makeup lovers, may be thinking that I have no platform to stand on since I am not an expert.  That is my point exactly.  I am a stylist, designer, writer, and most relevant, I am a consumer, whom happens to appreciate the results of a good job.   Makeup, as an extension of a fashionable presentation, should be suitable to your features, coloring, and your personal style. You know what enhances your God given features. Looking like you, only better is the optimal goal. Don’t fall victim to the “next big look” or what’s on the cover of magazines.  It doesn’t usually translate well in your day-to-day life. I am speaking as someone who wants to betaken seriously. Not recognizing this may result in a similar appearance to Homie D. Clown. 


Next up…. My fabu finds, and dealing with Wardrobe Repetition Run-ins