Dating in the Digital Age

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red-phone1I cannot begin to tell you how relieved I am that I am not part of the current dating scene. This is not just because the idea of someone besides my husband seeing my 38 year old naked body immediately sends me into a cold sweat. (Or maybe I’m just pre-menopausal?) No, it’s because dating today involves modern “conveniences” guaranteed to turn what is already an impossible challenge to find everlasting love into a veritable minefield where you must tread carefully in order to avoid miscommunications, bruised egos, and blistered genitalia.

My husband, Bryan, and I met in 1999. That’s right – we started dating right before the turn of the century. We didn’t have cell phones; those were still pretty much reserved for corporate executives and drug dealers. Bryan did carry a pager, though. He’s an engineer, and in the beginning of our relationship he was often “on call” at the manufacturing plant where he worked. On one of our first dates, we were walking through the park when Bryan was paged. We had to stop what we were doing in order to find a pay phone. Suddenly, this guy I was with seemed very important, and I was quite impressed. (It really didn’t take much to impress a girl back in the 90’s. Or maybe it was just me.)

I don’t think young people today can grasp what it was like to not have a phone with you at all times. In my early 20’s, my girlfriends and I would go out to the bar and have a good time, but then what? At the end of the night, if I wanted to see a “special friend”, there was only one option: the pay phone in the bar lobby. Here’s the thing: in my day, if you wanted to make a booty call, it was going to cost you $0.35. You had better think long and hard about whom your first choice was, the chances of him being home, and count up how much spare change you had on you. This couldn’t be a capricious decision. If you reached an answering machine, you weren’t getting your money back. And let’s be honest here – a collect booty call isn’t sexy.

The best thing about not having to deal with cell phones while dating was that I didn’t have to deal with text messages. Text messages! Oh, the humanity! Text messages are destroying us all. “What does he mean by that?” “I texted him, ‘What’s up’ and it’s been 32 minutes and he hasn’t responded. What does that mean?” “OMG, IDK, LOL, CU L8R!” It all makes me head explode. Don’t even get me started on the naked pictures. Are you people fucking crazy? You know that shit is going to end up online, right? In my day, we had Polaroid cameras. To my knowledge, they were invented for the express purpose of taking naked pictures and this was all they were ever used for. You can Google it.

Once you’ve navigated the murky waters of dating via text messaging, don’t forget to update your Facebook status! “We’ve been dating for a month and his Facebook status still says, ‘single’. WTF?” “I see you’ve changed your Facebook status to ‘It’s complicated’ – is there something you want to tell me?” For fuck’s sake. How about if we don’t use a social platform invented by someone with no social skills to communicate our feelings to each other? Or you could follow in the footsteps of the broken-hearted and use Facebook as a means for contacting your old high school girlfriend, relive your nostalgic fantasies and be surprised when your marriage disintegrates. Yay, technology!

As I’ve said before, I’m not a technophobe. I have a smartphone. I haven’t had a landline since 2002. I’m just glad I didn’t have to try and navigate my fragile 20’s or God forbid, my teen years, using one. You know what I feel worst about kids missing out on as they grow up, as far as cell phones are concerned? I think one of the quintessential rites of adulthood is when you get your own apartment for the first time, and the phone book arrives, and you get to look yourself up and see yourself listed. That is one of the first things that made me feel like an adult. Maybe that’s why these little Millennials are having a hard time growing up; they don’t get to have these little experiences.

Well, one thing hasn’t changed since I was young and still dating: you still need to wear a rubber when you carry out that (now free) booty call. So get yourself to the pharmacy, kids. As far as I know, there is NOT an app for that. (Yet.)

The Writing’s on the Wall

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pencilI work for a company that provides “educational services”. (My boss says that is as specific as I can be without getting sued.) In my line of work, I come into contact with the written work of students of various grade levels and abilities.

If there is one thing that haunts me endlessly about my work, besides the state of public education in this country and the fact that the children are our future and we aren’t necessarily teaching them well so they can lead the way (RIP Whitney Houston), it’s the ridiculously bad handwriting I see on a continual basis.

Their fucking handwriting! Christ. Some of them look like they wrote with their feet. Seeing as how I spent my first three years of college as a psychology major, I feel pretty comfortable making broad, sweeping generalizations about children based solely on their handwriting. Here are a few types:

  • Teeny Tiny Printing: Some of these kids can fit 50 words on a single line. I swear they can hand-print in a size 6 font. I don’t know how often these children’s helicopter parents (Dr. and Mrs. Teeny Tiny Printing) are making them rewrite their homework, but these kids must only have one bowel movement per month, that’s how anal retentive they are. Don’t get me wrong – these kids generally write pretty well, but damn. I’m 38 years old and on the verge of needing bifocals. Give me a break, kid.
  • Fat Loopy Cursive with Hearts Over the I’s: These girls don’t generally knock it out of the park academically. I’m sure they are popular, have their own credit cards and drive a Volkswagen Beetle, but they aren’t going to change the world. They will do an excellent job decorating it.
  • Doctor Scrawl: I don’t know if these particular kids will ever actually make it to medical school, but their careless, “I can’t be bothered” handwriting has me convinced that these entitled average-achievers already possess one of the personality traits necessary to sustain a thriving private practice: they don’t mind inconveniencing others.
  • Serial Killer Handwriting: The stuff written in this hand is either terrible or fucking brilliant. The pages look like ransom notes: the letters vary in size and sometimes the pencil presses so hard against the paper it’s amazing it didn’t tear. You never know what kind of manifesto this crazy bastard is going to turn out when you start reading this mess. These are my favorite.

Although those are the main types, sometimes I get bored, like today, and I have to invent games to keep myself entertained. I came across something unusual that sparked my imagination, hence:

  • Secret Encoded Message Writing: This occurs when, due to the student’s hand or a computer glitch, random words appear several times darker than the surrounding text. It might look like this.

In my post-afternoon-break haze, I decided that the student was trying to send me a secret message. I tried reading just the darkened words, but they didn’t make any sense. Damn. I thought about rearranging the words and trying again. (Hey, what do I know? Maybe they didn’t want to make their secret code too obvious.) Instead, I just let it go. I was ready to move on, but that was a fun 30 second diversion. I can’t wait for the next one.

If you’ve recognized yourself in any of these psychological profiles, you’re welcome. This is the first step. I’m sure if you “Google” or check WebMD or something, they’ll have some answers for you that will get your life right back on track. Or maybe you can just type everything from now on.

Disclaimer: When it comes to talking about children, schools, and education, it can sometimes be an “If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry” situation. I take my job seriously, and I’m awesome at it. I joke because I care.

Joel Stein, Free Wine, and Why I’m Exactly Like Dorothy Parker

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smallconversation1I didn’t plan on being in a drunken stupor when I met Time columnist and author of Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity, Joel Stein, but that’s what happened. For the record, I think hiring twenty-two-year-old male models to serve free wine at your event can be considered nothing short of entrapment. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I’m not Joel Stein’s “biggest fan.” I mean, if his car ran off the road and he was trapped in a snow bank, I would rescue him, sure. But I would immediately take him to the hospital for the proper medical treatment. I would not strap him to my bed and hobble his ankles with a sledgehammer. I just want to make it clear that this is not a Misery situation.

That being said, I’ve been following Joel’s writing for several years. The first time I contacted him wasn’t just to tell him that I thought he was awesome, but also to send him a copy of my first post from this blog. Most people probably don’t attempt to impress another writer with a detailed account of their colon cleanse escapades, but that’s how I roll. He responded with a perfectly proportionate response – something along the lines of, “Wow. That was detailed. And honest. Good job.”

As the years rolled by, I got my weekly Time magazine in the mail and occasionally sent Joel a message commenting on articles he’d written, and he would reply.  Not only is Joel Stein a writer who wins over his audience by projecting this seemingly impossible dichotomy of simultaneous superiority and self-deprecation, but he’s friendly and accessible as well. Is it any wonder I’m a big fan? (But not in a creepy way. We covered that already, remember?)

When Joel forwarded me the invite for his book signing in Tampa, I was delighted to attend. (I’m pretty sure I’ve never used the word “delighted” in real life, but it seems appropriate.) I had never been to a book signing before. I did line up to get Detroit Piston John Salley’s autograph when I was a freshman in high school. I was fourteen years old, there was no wine, and everything pretty much transpired the way I expected.

That was not the case this time around.

When I got to the book signing/free wine/food truck extravaganza, it wasn’t quite what I had anticipated. I mean, I knew it wasn’t your typical book signing based on the invitation, which mentioned free wine and food trucks, but it was still a bit strange. First of all, the entire thing was outdoors. I figured that the book signing portion, at the very least, would be confined to an indoor area where people would line up in an orderly fashion to meet Joel. After all, that’s how John Salley did it.

This was a festival atmosphere. There was music playing and people were milling about. I had already had a cocktail across the street with my friend Laura, who was with me for the evening, but I stopped at the wine table anyway for my first glass of the night. I was admittedly a bit nervous at the prospect of meeting someone I admired. In retrospect, being dorky and nervous would have been a better choice.

Laura and I hung around, drank more wine, hung around some more, and wondered why things weren’t getting started. (Everything made more sense the next morning when I described the event to my husband. He said he read the promotions for the event in the Tampa Bay Times, and it was definitely marketed as a Hyde Park food and wine festival with this and that and by the way, Joel Stein will be there too.)

I should say at this point that I had seen Joel in the crowd, talking to people. Laura and I bought our books, hung out, and I drank more wine. I was trying to play it cool, which is code for “drink enough wine to not care about embarrassing myself.” When I decided that maybe nothing more than what was happening was ever going to happen, and that since Joel was talking to random people already and I had nothing to lose by approaching him, that’s what I did. At least I had the good sense to put down one of the two glasses of wine I was carrying and approach him with only one in my hand. I’m sure that helped me make a better impression.

I had planned on introducing myself with all three names, Hillary Rodham Clinton style, since I use my maiden name and married name interchangeably online, shaking his hand, and seeing if he knew who I was without further explanation. To my surprise, he saw me standing nearby, said, “Hi, Tina!” and gave me a quick hug. That was nice. (It wasn’t as nice as if he had hugged me long enough for me to thrust my face into his neck and see if he smelled like that guy I used to work with whose cologne always made me think distracting thoughts during our supervisor meetings, but I think that might have veered into creepy fan territory, so it’s probably for the best.)

He introduced me to a woman whose name I’m still unsure of. I could have sworn he said it was “Pip” as in “Gladys Knight and the…” and Laura and I spent most of the night debating this. I’m guessing she was some kind of assistant, publicist, bodyguard, or navy seal. She was nice when I first met her, but I felt her assessing my threat level. Laura later told me that Pip asked her, “So, what does she do?“ in a way that suggested she wanted to check my back pockets for copies of Catcher in the Rye.

Joel stepped aside for a moment to talk with me, and although it was the least drunk I would be from that moment on, I was still nowhere near capable of the smart, witty repartee one imagines oneself having in these situations. At one point, I compared myself to Dorothy Parker, which I would have preferred to demonstrate by engaging in clever banter rather than stumbling around drunk. Either way, I suppose it was an apt comparison. After a minute, Pip came by and rescued Joel by telling him he needed to “circulate.” I needed to circulate too. I circulated back over to the wine table.

I accosted Joel several more times that evening, or what seems like several more times. I don’t really remember. At one point, I harassed him with something along the lines of, “When is the fucking show going to get started?” Yikes. That sounds terrible. I really wasn’t looking for dancing monkey entertainment, so let me try to explain.

I wasn’t frustrated with Joel. I need to make that clear in case any of this comes across that way. Throughout the entire evening, Joel treated me with the patience typically reserved for toddlers and drunken women, who, in all fairness, do seem to have similar temperaments and motor skills. (This explains why I have no desire to be a parent.) It all goes back to my initial interpretation of this event being Joel!Stein!Tampa! I talked to a lot of people there while I was drinking my wine, and the first thing I asked all of them was, “Did you read the book?” Nobody had. Nobody. Actually, I think one woman might have, but then she quickly segued into the Aerosmith concert she had just gone to and how great it was and how Steven Tyler was snorting coke the whole time and…I’m almost positive she didn’t read the book either. Everybody told me they were there for the free wine. So, I made it my business to do free drunken PR for Joel and tell everyone about the book and why they should read it. See? It was really in the best interest of someone else to take control of things so Joel could talk about his book and get on with the signing of the books and the uncapping and capping of the pens.

If it sounds like I was just following Joel around the entire night, I assure you I found time to do other things. I tried to hook Laura up with a guy who worked at a movie theatre while we were standing in line at a sandwich truck. I thought free movies sounded great, but she wasn’t into it. When that went bust, I talked to a very handsome EMT who told me I was beautiful but wasn’t particularly interested in discussing the fundamental philosophical differences between civil rights leaders W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington. On my way to the restroom, I stopped to talk to two Tampa police officers. They were a bit older than me, but I love men in uniform and told them so. Then I did something that I never would have gotten away with if I wasn’t small, female, and white. I said, “So, are you guys carrying?” Of course they were – they’re cops. So I asked them, “What do you carry? Glocks? Or Sig Sauers?” They paused a beat and apparently decided that I was harmless. One of them said, “I carry a Glock.” The other said, “I have a Sig.” If I had drunk one more glass of wine, I probably would have asked to see them. My audacity (stupidity) is not limited to interaction with journalists.

Time slipped away and at some point Joel signed books, standing on a stage in the center of the pavilion. I was pretty unsteady on my high heels by that point so it’s lucky I didn’t break a leg getting up there. His message to me references some guy named Jose who started following me around at some point in the evening and wouldn’t go away and who I will now remember forever because his name is preserved in Sharpie in Joel Stein’s book. When Joel asked me for something about Laura to write in her book, I blurted out the first personal, embarrassing thing I could think of, which I won’t mention here, rather than the more appropriate, “She’s a brilliant aspiring author.” I’m sorry, Laura. I hope you didn’t want to show your autographed book to anyone. Ever. At least you didn’t have to explain to your husband who the hell Jose was.

At the end of the night, after Pip had forcibly shoved a bottle of water in my hand and asked me repeatedly how I was going to get home, I called my husband for a ride and waited with Laura and Jose in the empty courtyard. (Seriously, who WAS that guy?) My saint of a husband drove 45 minutes to pick me up, late on a work night, and then drove with his left hand on the steering wheel of his pickup and his right hand rubbing my back while I barfed wine into my shopping bag. (Don’t worry – I had removed my autographed book moments before in anticipation of this occurrence.) Of course, I apologized to my better half the next morning, and thanked him for picking me up and being so cool about it, but he just shrugged his shoulders and said, “That’s what we do for each other.”

So, Joel, if you’re reading this, I apologize for acting like what I hope was only kind of an asshole. I know I joked that after reading your book I realized that my husband, who I used to think wasn’t masculine enough, was indeed a man. Unlike you, he likes to camp and hunt, watches action movies and owns his own steel toes. But the truth is, the real thing that makes my husband a man is that he has put up with my obnoxious antics for the last thirteen years, and after doing the same for even one evening, I can definitely confirm that you are, without a doubt, all man. It was a pleasure to meet you, and I’ll treasure my autographed copy of Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity. But I’m whiting out the part about Jose.

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Excuse Me, Stewardess? I Speak Jive.

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jive_dictionaryJust like Barbara Billingsly’s helpful white character in the 1980 comedy film Airplane, I’ve often found myself in a position to translate the urban vernacular to my fellow Caucasians. (This mostly comes into play at my standardized test scoring job where I am one of the few employees under 75 years of age. Some of these kids use a lot of slang in their essays. I once had to explain to a group of senior citizens what a chickenhead was.)

I don’t have any actual street cred or anything. I did grow up in Michigan, but I’ve only been to Detroit twice. I didn’t grow up on Eight Mile. I just love rap music – the angrier the better. If I had a 40 oz. of Old English right now, I’d pour some out for Easy E.

For the record, I don’t really speak jive. Jive grew out of the jazz culture in Harlem in the 1940’s and doesn’t share much actual terminology with the slang you hear in rap music today.  But the idea is the same: develop your own language so only people of the same mindset will understand what you’re saying. It’s like a secret handshake. (But while we’re on the subject, can we bring back jive? It sounds really cool.)

Anyway, people, you shouldn’t be afraid of something just because you don’t understand it. For this reason, I’m providing a service to those who aren’t “down”. I’m translating a couple of popular hip hop songs into Uptighty Whitey Vernacular (UWV) so that the parents of the world can rest assured that their children are simply enjoying some bumping tunes and not plotting world domination. Not yet anyway.

Song: Pop, Lock and Drop It
Artist: Huey

[Chorus]
Toot that thang up mami make it roll
[Lovely lady, shake your rear end around while dancing.]
Once you pop pop lock it for me girl get low
[When you find a comfortable position, freeze and bend your knees, getting closer to the floor.]
If your mama gave it to you baby girl let it show
[If you inherited an attractive derriere from your mother, we would like to see it.]
Once you pop lock drop it for me maybe we can roll (oh)
[Perhaps after you complete this dance, we can leave this venue and spend some time getting to know each other.]

Pop lock and drop it [8x]

[Verse 1:]
Baby Huey
Tonight it’s gon’ be some changes
[Things will change tonight.]
No acting sadity
[Do not act conceited.]
So stop acting and get it clapping
[Stop being so full of yourself and join along in the fun.]
‘Cause I’m knowing you feeling me
[I suspect you are interested in me.]
Yeah you cute
[I admit you are attractive,]
But don’t let that shit go to your head
[But I would prefer you don’t act conceited.]
‘Cause with this cutie won’t do
[If there are sexual activities you choose not to engage in with me,]
Pimping another one will
[That’s ok because I can find another woman who will.]
You prepared rocking a skirt
[You are dressed to impress tonight with a lovely skirt,]
And your heels so tall
[And sexy high heels.]
And we ain’t with none of that tricking but our bills so tall
[Although we will not fall prey to your womanly wiles, I must admit we do have quite a bit of money.]
I’ve been peeping you for a while and you’re throwing it back
[I have been watching you from afar and I suspect you have been interested in me also.]
If you looking for you balla we got dough in the back
[If you are interested in a man with a lot of money, power, and influence, I have more than you even see here.]
Look your color carmello brown
[Your skin is a rich, caramel brown color,]
And your skin so smooth
[It is smooth and beautiful.]
I’m having fantasies about what you and me can do
[I am indulging myself in sexual fantasies about you.]
And you an undercover freak
[I suspect you enjoy the kinkier forms of sexual relations.]
You probably thinking the same
[I imagine you suspect the same of me.]
I’m seeing light up on your face because you peeping my chain
[You are excited because you notice that I am displaying my wealth through my expensive jewelry.]
And I ain’t tryna put you out there as if you a freak
[Make no mistake, I’m not suggesting you are a loose or lascivious woman.]
So don’t even take it that way just say you did it for me
[Don’t worry about that. We’ll pretend you only do those kinky things with me because I am special.]
And yeah you probably roll with me ’cause it’s money in my pockets
[I imagine you will go home with me because you are interested in my wealth,]
So before then I gotta see you pop lock and drop it
[But before I take you home for some affection, I would like to see you dance a little more.]

[Chorus 1x]

[Verse 2:]
Baby Huey
I ain’t gotta be your man
[We don’t have to engage in a long term relationship,]
But I really wouldn’t mind
[Although I may be amenable to that.]
We ain’t got to talk again I’m just tryna have a time
[If you want to cease contact after this encounter, that’s fine with me.]
If you a balla pulla stack out and smack her on the ayyy
[Hey fellas, if you are wealthy and powerful like me, show her your money and tease her with it!]
Pop locking cock blockas get up out the way
[If you are trying to stop me from making time with this lady, I must ask you to leave.]
Let lil mami get low
[Sweetheart, do that dance again where you bend your knees and squat.]
Give a space let her sweat
[Fellas! Give her some room so she can do her dancing.]
The club turning to Hooters ’cause they shirts is so wet
[The women dancing here are getting so sweaty that their t-shirts are wet. It almost looks like the club “Hooters” where women where tight t-shirts and serve buffalo wings.]
From the window to the wall
[Throughout the entire venue,]
Lil mama showing her thong
[My lady friend is showing her g-string underwear]
The broad freaking herself it’s telling me that it’s on
[My lady friend is now rubbing herself suggestively and indicating to me that she is ready for a sexual encounter.]
You ready then we can roll I’m telling you we can go
[If you are ready to leave and commence sexual relations, I am also ready.]
I’m thinking if I can handle it the way you make it roll
[I think I can show you a good time based on the skills you are exhibiting.]
You grooving and speeding up
[You are dancing more and more suggestively.]
You right in between us
[You are dancing between my friend and I].
If you a stripteaser then baby don’t tease us
[You are being very suggestive; I hope you aren’t just teasing us with no intention of fulfilling our desires.]
At first I thought I was tripping
[Initially, I thought I was mistaken,]
But my vision getting clearer
[But now I can see more clearly.]
You moving that thang around as if you practice in the mirror
[You dance so well, I suspect you practice at home in front of the mirror.]
She doing a new dance
[You are now engaging in a new dance,]
What the next man said
[Another man watching your moves thought you were beginning a new dance.]
I’m like naw she just pop locking on a headstand
[I corrected him by informing him you were just adding some finishing moves to your previous effort.]

[Chorus 1x]

Song: In the Club
Artist: 50 Cent

Go, go, go, go, go, go Go, shorty
[Dance, attractive woman!]
It’s your birthday
[It’s a celebration!]
We gon’ party like it’s your birthday
[We are going to enjoy this evening as if it were your birthday.]
We gon’ sip Bacardi like it’s your birthday
[We are going to drink Bacardi Rum in celebration.]
And you know we don’t give a fuck
[We are not going to let any worries impede our enjoyment]
cause it’s not your birthday!
[It’s not really your birthday, just a fun celebration of life!]

[Chorus (2x)]

You can find me in the club, bottle full of bub
[I’ll be in the dance club, drinking champagne.]
Look mami i got the X ,if you into takin drugs
[Sweetheart, if you enjoy using illegal substances, I have procured some Ecstasy.]
Im into havin sex i aint into makin love
[I’m interested in the physical act of procreating, but not necessarily the emotional involvement generally associated with it.]
So come give me a hug if you into getting rubbed
[If you would like to engage in sexual relations with me, embrace me to let me know.]

[Verse]
When I pull out up front, you see the Benz on dubs
[When I drive my car up to the front of the club, you notice my fancy Mercedes car with it’s custom 20 inch rims.]
When I roll 20 deep, it’s 20 knives in the club
[I have 20 other fellows with me; They are armed to protect me in case any violence occurs.]
N*ggas heard I fuck with Dre, now they wanna show me love
[Potentially unpleasant associates are aware that I am friends with famous businessman and rapper Dr. Dre, and consequently, they are interested in being my friend rather than being contentious with me.]
When you sell like Eminem, and the hoes they wanna fuck
[When you have exceptional record sales, like my colleague Marshal Mathers, you may find that lascivious women want to engage in intercourse with you.]
But homie ain’t nothing change hoes down, G’s up
[I haven’t changed though. I still prioritize time with my friends over evenings with loose women.]
I see Xzibit in the Cut that n*gga roll that weed up
[There’s my friend Xzibit! Let’s share a marijuana cigarette, buddy.]
If you watch how I move you’ll mistake me for a playa or pimp
[You may observe my walk and suspect that I am putting on false airs by strolling in a manner that is overly affected.]
Been hit wit a few shells but I dont walk wit a limp(Im ight)
[As a matter of fact, I do not walk with a limp, despite being shot nine times. I’m actually quite fine.]
In the hood, In L.A, they saying “50 you hot”
[From the old neighborhood to Los Angeles, all the people are admiring my music and congratulating me on my success.]
They like me, I want them to love me like they love ‘Pac
[Although people seem to like me, I would prefer that they hold me in the highest exultation, much like they hold the late rapper Tupac Shakur.]
But holla in New York them n*ggas’ll tell ya im loco
[Unfortunately, on the East Coast, you’ll find that my peers are not as fond of me.]
And the plan is to put the rap game in a choke hold
[As a matter of fact, they would like to see me fail.]
I’m full of focused man, my money on my mind
[I remained focused on my career, and the money I earn from working diligently.]
I got a mill out the deal and I’m still on the grind
[I’ve made a million dollars, but I’m still putting forth considerable effort to improve my craft.]
Now shorty said she feeling my style, she feeling my flow
[This attractive lady had indicated to me that she is interested in my persona and my talent.]
Her girlfriend wanna get bi and they ready to go
[Her bisexual girlfriend is with her and they would both like to retire for the evening with me.]

[Chorus (2x)][Bridge]
My flow, my show brought me the dough
[My incredible rapping skills have allowed me to earn a substantial income.]
That bought me all my fancy things
[I’ve been able to purchase many fine items,]
My crib, my cars, my clothes, my jewels
[I bought a new house, several fine automobiles, new clothing, and jewelry as well.]
Look n*gga i done came up and i ain’t change.
[Fellas, rest assured that despite my success and money, I’m still the person I always was.]

[Verse]
And you should love it, way more then you hate it
[I would expect you to be proud of my success, not jealous or angry.]
N*gga you mad? I thought that you’d be happy I made it
[Why are you so upset? Aren’t you feeling congratulatory towards me?]
I’m that cat by the bar toasting to the good life
[I’m that guy having a good time, pleased with his good fortune.]
You that faggot ass n*gga trying to pull me back right?
[I suspect you are jealous and would prefer to keep me from continued success.]
When my jaws get to bumpin in the club it’s on
[Once I begin rapping, my fans are powerless under my control.]
I wink my eye at you bitch, if she smiles she gone
[All I have to do is wink at your girlfriend and she will gladly leave with me.]
If the roof on fire, let the motherfucker burn
[It may be getting hot and contentious in this venue, but that’s ok; I’m not worried about it.]
If you talking bout money homie, I ain’t concerned
[If you are suggesting that my money won’t last forever, I’m not concerned about that either.]
I’m a tell you what Banks told me cause go ‘head switch the style up
[I’ve been told I can change around my rapping style and still be successful]
If the n*ggas hate then let ’em hate
[If my colleagues are jealous of my talent and success, I can’t let that bother me.]
and watch the money pile up
[I will continue earning substantial money with my talent and hard work.]
Or we go upside they head wit a bottle of bub
[If all else fails, I will assault you with this bottle of champagne once it is empty.]
They know where we fuckin’ be
[I believe you now understand my position.]

[Chorus (2x)]