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Tips for Avoiding Phone Calls

This post comes by request of my bestie, Summer. If there are people in your life whose phone calls you want to avoid, I have a few tips…read on.

Quite a few women, including myself, use code words when saving some men’s phone numbers in their cell phones. The codes are a way to signal calls that you don’t want to answer. I’ve heard of different codes, but I use two: DA and Caution.

DA stands for “don’t answer”, and it is a designation for people who I never want to speak to again ever in life (like forever ever). I save it in front of a persons name. For instance, DA-John Doe. This allows me to keep the person’s name attached to their phone number. I’ve heard of people who just save multiple numbers in their phone as Don’t Answer. However, if you have 6 different people all saved in your phone the same way, you don’t know which one is attempting to contact you. If you don’t want to talk to them I suppose not knowing who is calling doesn’t really matter, but I prefer to know. Thus, I opt for the DA-[insert name here] method.

Caution is used very similarly to DA but it means something different. I save it in front of a person’s name (example: Caution-Douglas Yardley). When someone’s phone number is saved with a caution tag, it means that I have probably had some emotionally-taxing or less than pleasant exchange with this person in the past. A simple disagreement or argument isn’t enough for someone to be placed into the caution zone. When someone gets placed in the caution zone, they are just a few steps away from being deginated as a DA. I am allowed to answer calls from people who have been placed in the caution zone. However, when I see a caution zone phone number come across my phone, it is a signal to me to do 2 things: (1) pause and take a quick moment to reflect on whether or not I am capable of having a civil conversation with this person right now, and (2) prepare to approach the conversation with an awareness that this person has been relegated to the edge of the friend zone and has some work to do if they want to breach the barrier of the caution zone.

These are the two categories I use–keeping it to two makes for an easy coding scheme. I know that other people have different ways of categorizing. Rather than code words, my sister (Imani) used to have a personalized ringtone saved to certain phone numbers. When someone called who she did not want to speak to, her phone would play her own voice saying, “Imani, whatever you do, do not pick up this phone right now!” It was comical to hear, but probably a good tactic. There are definitely times when the ringtone method could have saved me from undue stress. If your call log can benefit from developing a method of identifying the people to avoid, I recommend playing around with different techniques and seeing what works best for you.

For the curious, here are the answers to what I imagine will be FAQs on this post:

1. Why don’t you just delete phone numbers you don’t want? Deleting phone numbers is not effective if there are people who I want to avoid that are actively calling my phone. Unfortunately, phones do not work the same as facebook. If I de-friend someone by deleting their number, they can still contact me. If I do not have the number saved, I am at risk of anwering a phone call or text message from someone I’m attempting to avoid.

2. Why don’t you just tell people to stop calling you? In my experience, it’s not that simple with persistent men. Even when I say that I am no longer interested in communicating with or seeing them, they continue to contact me. I should mention, however, that most of my DAs and Cautions are people who, at least at this point, call or text every blue moon.

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Posted by on September 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Overheard Randomosity

Sooooo, I was in the airport the other day. As I tend to do, I walked into a jewelry/accessory/gift shop. I was the only customer in the store, and the attendant was pottering around on the the store’s cordless phone. As I began to browse, she called out “Welcome to our store.” from across the (small) shop. I thanked her and continued to browse. Robin Thicke’s “Complicated” was playing over the store’s speakers as I heard the next words out of her mouth: “Our love making session last night was…[imagine a silence just long enough for the person on the other end to fill in the next word]…EXACTLY!”

Startled by her nonchalant broadcast, I turned around slightly to notice that she was completely engrossed in her phone conversation, and clearly unconcerned that I as in earshot. In the next 7 minutes of my browsing/eavesdropping, I learned the name of her girlfriend with whom she was chatting, that she’s putting out more than she was at the beginning of this relationship, that the “relationship” title is still new to her and “him”, that they see each other almost daily, and other small anecdotes about the relationship. As I listened, I found myself evaluating her relationship with this man and tottering back and forth between thinking their relationship was on the rocks and thinking it was pure romantic bliss. It’s funny how one’s choice in adjectives and the inflections in their voice can give you that impression.

Anyhoo, this is post really has no point. The privately public announcement of this woman’s “love making session” just had a lot of shock value for me…and I wanted to share. So there. I’ve shared.

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

The Talk

In almost every conversation I have with other SBFs about the men in their lives, there is one common thread: the talk. [Cue music: dun, Dun, DUN!] Oddly, we each seem to have some type of anxiety-inducing fear surrounding “the talk”. Often times, we are so afraid of “the talk” that the thought of it makes us revert to a passive, preteen version of ourselves that passes notes rather than engages in an adult dialogue.

For those who may not know what “the talk” is, it’s the conversation where two people (in this case, a man and a woman) explicitly state and work out the details of their relationship. In my experience, it most often begins with some version of the question, “What are we doing?” It involves a discussion about whether or not you’re exclusively dating someone and what you want or expect from each other.

What’s interesting about the women I talk to (including myself) is that we wait too late to have “the talk”. We only take the initiative to begin “the talk” after we’ve become too far invested in someone. By the time we’re sitting around with our girlfriends discussing whether or not we should have the talk, we’ve already been dating (or sometimes, doing) some man for so long that our emotions are completely tied up with him. We are so far into liking him that we can’t in good conscience date (or do) other people without feeling as if we are somehow stepping out on him (the non-boyfriend). In fact, by the time we pose the “What is this?” question, we already know the response we want is for him to say that we are in a monogamous relationship. And thus, it’s easy to see why “the talk” induces anxiety. The stakes are too high. Any conversation that has the potential to either end in bliss or heartbreak (because we’re so dramatic that we actually can’t see past these two extremes) is too risky. But what’s even riskier is never bridging the conversation and slipping emotionally deeper into something that can’t be easily reversed.

That said, it seems that it’s better to have “the talk” earlier on in a budding relationship. However, I should note that women just as hesitant to bridge “the talk” too early, usually for fear of scaring a man away. In attempts to protect a man’s ‘fight or flight’ reflexes, we sit back enjoying the ride…only the look up several months into an almost-relationship, emotionally-invested, and afraid to ask “the question” for fear that the response won’t be favorable.

Geez, my head hurts just thinking about it all. I do wonder, though, if most (not all) men who allow a relationship fester in neverneverland long enough that it needs some clarity aren’t truly ready to be in a relationship. I mean, honestly, should a woman have to be the one to begin that conversation? Shouldn’t a man be clear enough about his desire take a particular woman off the market that he steps up to the plate and exposes his feelings with the hope that she’ll reciprocate?

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in Dating, Uncategorized

 

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Guest Bloggers!

It’s finally happening. I’ve got some guest bloggers on deck! A few of my SBF girlfriends are preparing to divulge their stories and thoughts on dating. My goal is to diversify the viewpoints and experiences shared in this space.  I hope this will provide a more well-rounded idea of what it means to be a super duper fly single, black female.

As we work this process out, the posts may not be as frequent as usual, but they will definitely be entertaining and thought-provoking. Until then…

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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