Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Strictly for My Ladies: I'm So OVAH It. I'm Grown.

By Carah L. Herring

*** Disclaimer: You might not be able to relate to this until you’re at least 24, but hey, feel free to read on anyway***

Ladies, have you begun going through ‘the change’?

Of course, we're too young to be menopausal. No hot flashes or mood swings here, babe (well, aside from the ill-tempered ‘tudes that comes out as PMS or circumstances dictate). Yet you’re not alone if it feels like your entire being is evolving; as you make the transition from a young woman into a bona fide adult.

Your 20s have probably been an emotional roller coaster, with the highs reaching Mt. Everest and the lows being nothing short of rock bottom. In other words, the Quarter Life Crisis was in full-swing. From missing college after graduating, to embarking on a frustrating job search, breaking the collegiate mentality and learning the ‘image is everything’ game of office politics, falling out with a few old friends, attempting to make new friends, and dealing with the huge life-changing steps from currents friends and associates (marriage, children, relocation, grad school)... it's been a ride we'll never forget. And it ain't over!

Throughout everything life has thrown at me – the good and the bad – I’ve learned that the keys to surviving and thriving are to never ever give up on your dream(s), have supportive, yet frank associates/mentors/ friends who are more successful and established than you, and to have a strong faith in God. That’s the only way to come out of your Quarter Life Crisis unscathed. Okay, that sounded so ‘after-school-special’-esque, but it’s the truth!

Aiight, so back to ‘the change.’

As I approach 25, I’m starting to be on some new shit. I’m switching up my style on so many levels – where I go, what I consider fun, my outlook on dating and my priorities, among other things.

What do we call this phenomena? G.A.W. Mode . Grown Ass Woman Mode .

It may not hit you at 25. Maybe earlier. Maybe later. But it’s inevitable. You’ll get to a point where the “same ol’, same ol’” habits that you’ve established throughout life thus far just don’t work anymore. There are some behaviors and routines that you now look at, shaking your head with the ‘stank face,’ like: “I’m so OVAH it.”

Ladies in G.A.W. Mode can probably feel me on the following:

Grown Ass Women are so OVAH… the club. This is not to say we’ll never do the club again, but it gets so predictable after while. It’s the same people, the same music (the chart-topper set, the reggae set, the NYC set, the ATL down south-get crunk-she gotta donk set, the go-go set, the old school set – which wouldn’t be complete without Maze f/ Frankie Beverly’s Before I let go, and >depending on your area< the House music set), the same overpriced drinks, the same camera guy taking pics for the same website… just different outfits and possibly a different venue. It gets old. So why be so pressed every weekend? Perhaps every other weekend ;o) I’m so lovin’ lounges, house parties and cook-outs, instead. They’re more personable, and add a little variety to the tried-and-true-but-waaaay-overdone typical social options.

And since, we’re on the club:

Grown Ass Women are so OVAH… droppin’ it like it’s hot. No, I’m not going to groan about getting old and only being able to drop it like it’s lukewarm. Trust, I can still get it (and I hope you can, too!), but I probably have to be inebriated or out of town. On the dance floor as a G.A.W, the two-step usually reigns. And don’t even think about putting your crotch near my bon-bon unless I know you like that or there’s some pre-established chemistry. Ew! Wow – a totally different tune from our college days. Lol.

Grown Ass Women are so OVAH… the whole drink whore thing. Saving $5 to $10 on a drink by banking on someone else shelling out the cash isn’t worth having that worrisome ass guy following you around the bar or the club all night. I’d rather foot the tab myself and have peace of mind. It’s okay to accept free drinks, but it’s not worth being on the prowl for them. If it happens, it happens. If not, no sweat. G.A.W.s can even flip the script, and offer to buy the guy a drink. It totally catches them off guard…

Grown Ass Women are so OVAH… friends with benefits. Well, in theory. We’re torn . We like the closeness, the intimacy and the >cough< head, especially following a stressful day at work, a week from hell, or hearing Chris Brown’s “Take you down” for the 22nd time on the radio – and you feel ready to jump somebody’s bones. Yet we know how the situation normally plays out (Please take a looksie at my previous piece, Strictly for My Ladies: Friends w/ Benefits – Can it REALLY work? if you haven’t already). Sometimes the short-term benefits outweigh the guaranteed long-term harsh realities. And other times, the benefits don’t outweigh the drawbacks, but we do it anyway… and are grown enough not to fault anybody but ourselves when our emotions start going berserk.

Grown Ass Women are so OVAH… a certain caliber of men. It varies. Trap boys are FUN – especially when there’s cash to blow. They don’t give a damn and they have no fear. Older men are an amusing adventure, too. It’s a definite ego boost to be the ‘PYT’ or ‘trophy’ – getting lots of attention and boukou freebies. Yet, as we approach our 30s, degrees, stability and social appropriateness seem to be more attractive. Even sexy. Med school? Love it! No kids? Let’s get married tomorrow! We’re talking long-term now. We don’t want someone that we love behind closed doors, yet can’t take out in public (work functions, reunions, church, social events).

Grown Ass Women are so OVAH… retail therapy. Okay, let me explain this one before I toally lose all my credibility. Lol. Who doesn’t love a new outfit? But honestly, our closets are packed; bursting at the seams. Instead of running to the mall every weekend, spending my hard-earned income, blowing my budget on items that will be out of style by next season, I now try to run to one of the following with the same intensity:
• to the gym to exercise
• to the bookshelf to read the oodles of paperbacks I’ve been meaning to tackle
• to the phone to catch up with friends I may not speak with that often
• to the DVD player to check out my newest Netflix pick

I still love to shop, but I’m woman enough to possess the self-control of balling on a budget.

Grown Ass Women are so OVAH… some aspects of hip-hop. I love hip-hop – I grew up with it, so I’m not going to turn my back on it now. But baby, I have to be in the right mood for ‘Marco Polo,’ ‘Get Silly’ or anything by Yung Berg, Plies, Ray J and Souljah Boy. I don’t always want to hear about a chick’s fat ass, skills on the stripper pole or how much money you supposedly have to blow. You need to meet with a financial planner and invest that shit anyway . Give me Jazmine Sullivan, Estelle, Teedra Moses, Ledisi or Kanye instead. Something with substance. While, you're at it, throw in some jazz, smooth r&b, pop and >cringe< easy listening . Don't front, you listen to it at work, too! Phil Collins for life! Lol.

I’m not the official spokesperson for the Grown Ass Women of America. Hell, I’m not quite an official GAW myself...yet. I haven’t fully arrived, but I'm definitely not the same person I was last year, or even 6 months ago! But as I go through 'the change,' I just thought somebody out here could feel me. Please list some of your GAW Mode changes below in the comment section, if you’d like.

If you still hit up the club every weekend, that’s fine. If Plies is your favorite musical artist, hey, I’m not looking down on you. It’s all a process. It’s all a journey. Enjoy where you are, but continue moving forward. Don't get stuck, because we've still got a whole lot of road to cover... and a whole lot of drinks to buy (on our own!) as we reflect upon the trip thus far and look to the horizon for what lies ahead.


1 comment:

Yvette said...

This blog is so's like you were reading my mind! I enjoyed it so much I forwarded it to all my girls.