Wednesday, September 2, 2009

L'AIMguage For LAMEguists

One of my bestest BFFs, Jah, moved to Atlanta a few years back. I thought the long distance would take a toll on our relationship, but we've managed to hold it down via AOL Instant Messenger. We AIM each other at work non-stop on a daily basis (weekends excluded). It's like she never even left. Since we chat on our respective companies' time, dime, and computers we've learned to censor our conversations in fear of "The MAN" covertly reading our scandalous and sometimes plain stupid dialogue.

Obviously, we keep foul language down to a minimum, because that's a sure way to get us shut down by the corporate IT gatekeepers. But we don't just stop there. We're convinced that even the most subtle and random words will raise red flags for The Man to sneak a peek at our verbal exchange. This paranoia induced us to practically invent our own AIM language. It's not a complete language- it's more of an array of substitute vocabulary words. Actually, it's really just our personal slang, but it feels like a language. However, our "AIMguage" is not to be confused with standard E-speak, where words are shortened for space sake. We use that too. But there's actually a full thought process and rationale behind our phraseology. The funny part is, we've been typing this in this manner for so long, that we've adapted it into our regular speaking jargon- and it totally works. As a matter of fact, I'd like to share some of our AIM slang, and you can decide for yourself whether it's brilliant :) or psychotic :( Either way, I think it's quite amusing.

Everybody knows The MAN is of European descent, so we try to limit talking about White people because we don't want him reading it and telling human resources we're racist or anything like that. Not that we're saying awful things about White people- they just happen to come up rather frequently in a conversation between two women of color working in corporate amerikkka (j/k). To avoid being tagged for this we refer to Caucasians as NABISCOS. I cannot take responsibility for this word. The Queen of All Media, Wendy Williams, actually coined this term. "Cracker" or "Cracka" is an old derogatory word for Whites. Nabisco is a leading manufacturer of the cracker food. You get the logic.

Race seems to always come up when Jah and I chat. We joke about it. We use race to describe people. We have serious debates about it. It isn't always offensive talk; however, people are just soooooo sensitive nowadays. THE MAN could hypothetically read our exchange and pin all kinds of race infractions against us. To play it safe, we expounded on the Nabisco logic with the following code words:

CORNBREAD - Black person
TACO - Latino person
FORTUNE COOKIE - Asian person
NAN - Indian person
MATZOH or JEWBISCO (we alternate) - Jewish person

You don't have to be super geniuses (like us) to figure out that the word corresponds to a bread popular in that particular race's culture. I know- a fortune cookie isn't a bread. It's not that serious.

Moving on...

Jah and I are pretty much thirty years old; and although we don't look a day over twenty-four, our bodies are definitely feeling the effects of old age. As a result, we're constantly discussing our physical ailments and gross bodily functions. Imagine if THE MAN got a hold of our AIM and revealed this information to the world. How embarrassing. To maintain a little couth during our distasteful moments, we use the following key words:

AUNT FLO - popular expression for menstruation.
#2 - to make doodie.
and both of those could lead to BUBBLEGUTS - tummy discomfort

Another daily topic of conversation is our weight. Jah and I are always struggling to lose fifteen to twenty pounds, which seems impervious despite all of our efforts. We both dream of the day when we'll shed those extra pounds and become BOBBLES. A bobble is short for a Bobblehead, or a girl so skinny her head looks unnaturally huge in contrast to her body. As of late, this word morphed from a noun into a verb (probably because we'll NEVER achieve bobble status). Now BOBBLE simply means to exercise.

This level of sophistication may be too much for some of you, but please try to keep up. The next group of our fab vocab consists of nicknames of people we know. Being the social butterflies that we are, Jah and I meet tons of people and can't be bothered remembering everyone's name. These nicknames actually serve as mnemonic devices to help us eliminate all the backtracking and redundancy of reminding one another of who this person is and where/when/why we know them. They also come in handy if someone we're talking about is milling about while we're AIM'ing not so nice things about them.

BL - Boss Lady. Jah and I both have female bosses, and talking junk about them using their governments would be definite grounds for termination.

DING - Two specific co-workers who regularly interrupt Jah and I, respectively, while we're "working." Their visits are like bells- and we type "ding" to signal one another of their presence, which causes a pause in our very important conversation.

LAMO - Jah's male friend, companion, sometimes designated driver, man servant, etc. who is completely enamoured with her, but is too wack for her to date. I'm convinced they will marry in twenty years.

LAMO #2 - Another of Jah's suitors. He's in the military, has money and some magical hookup to free album downloads, but is still equal in wackness to the first Lamo.

BDD - Triple Baby Daddy - Cute guy in which Jah is actually halfway interested, but he has too many offspring. We used to call him BDDD for Baby Daddy Daddy Daddy, but we just shortened it.

MIMBO - a male bimbo who Jah's mom hooked her up with in Florida. He doesn't have enough mental capacity to keep Jah's interest.

EL BROKO - a broke loser with whom I used to jump off. I can't remember much else about him except he was really, really, really, really poor and smoked a lot of weed. He doesn't even deserve to go on the list because we don't talk about him anymore. However, since I aired so much of Jah's dirty laundry, he made the cut. He is NOT to be confused with an ex-boyfriend of mine who was also financially-challenged. I always used his "real" name since I was in luv.

MILK - A homosexual. We used to call them "How You Doins," before Wendy Williams blew up and made the word oh-so ubiquitous and way too conspicuous. Milk derives from Harvey Milk. Google him if you still don't get it.

This post will probably continue to grow as more words come to mind. I love the idea of us longtime friends creating our own little idioms and totally getting one another on that level. It makes me nostalgic for those childhood days when we made up secret codes and special clubs to certify our friendships.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Me and My Pooch

For the past few days my AIM status has read, "I'm fine with my pooch...really." No, I don't own a dog. I'm referring to my tummy pooch or lower abdominal region. I've struggled with my size for as long as I can remember. In elementary school, I was always relegated to the back of the line right in front of Emma*, the amazonian African girl in my classes. Sometimes we made the line so long that we would have to double up onto the boys line, which made me feel like I was too huge to even be a girl. She seemed to embrace her stature, whereas I just couldn't wait until the class reached its final destination, so that I could jump outta line and rush over to my midget friends. (Sidebar: My chiropractor subsequently diagnosed me with "Tall Girl Syndrome," which is when a tall girl's back tends to stoop over a result constantly lowering herself around short people.)

Puberty hit me hard around age eleven. I was socked with lop-sided boobs, menstruation and a whooping 181 pounds of fat. People told me it was merely "baby" fat, but just because the word "baby" prefaces something, doesn't make it any better (e.g. - BABY hur). Add that to my height and I was a freaking enormous giant with pigtails. Thankfully that phase only lasted a couple of years. Most of my "baby" fat melted away by my freshman year of high school and I had the mini skirts to prove that I was somewhat proud of my new body. Only I was never completely satisfied with my figure A) because my butt never grew; and B) because my tummy was never completely flat. Don't get me wrong- my stomach never bulged out of control over my waistband or anything. When I looked down, my feet were still visible. My stomach just had a tendency to make a roll whenever I sat down or wore anything tight. Even at my skinniest, I can recall feeling like my fat "gut" was the ultimate bane of my existence. When I stood up, it pretty much disappeared, but if I ever saw even a hit of protrusion in my profile, I would freak out. I was never athletic, but I am sure, with my teenage metabolism, if I'd attempted to do ten crunches and eased up on the high school diet of Mcdonald's and pizza, my issue would've been resolved. However, hindsight is 20/20 so I just whined endlessly about my tummy tire.

My pooch and I survived four years of college- late night fast food runs, alcohol binges and ironically, Spring Breaks in South Beach and the Caribbean. Before every vacation I would crash diet and fret over how I was going to pull off a bikini with my jelly belly. My friends thought I was a nut because I clearly wasn't overweight. They couldn't tell because I was such a master at hiding it. Besides, they were too busy flaunting their rotund behinds, double Ds and/or killer legs to obsess over their little paunches.

Truthfully, I didn't look bad back then. Heck, I WISH I could get my college body back- stomach and all. But that's the point- ten years from now, I'm going to long for my body today. The other day I wore the tightest pencil skirt ever with a tank top. When I turned to the side, my gut was somewhat apparent, although the dark colors camouflaged it very well. And guess what? I still looked hot to death. Everyone complimented me and the dudes tried to holler- as usual. It was such a relief to just not care. I'm not saying that I should wild out with my potbelly. Occasionally, it is necessary to tame it with a pair of Spanx. However, after almost thirty years of tormenting myself over something so trivial, it feels so good to finally let it go. Face it, I've never had and probably won't ever achieve a six pack- and that is okay. A little softness in a woman's midsection may not be "perfect," but it is perfectly normal... and even kind of sexy. Now, I won't play myself and go outside with my full midriff on display. But I've gotten cocky enough to rock a low-slung bottom that showed a hint of belly button with my newfound body acceptance.

I am so glad to be over that mental-physical hurdle. As long as I don't get pregnant, my pooch and I will get along just fine :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

No Homo, But...

Let me preface this entry with the following five words: I am not a lesbian. Not that there's anything wrong with that and some of my best friends are gay (no they're not). But for real- I am "strictly dickly" and a fan of the phallus. Oh- and I like guys too. However, I might say that I display certain behaviors that are inconsistent with my hetero-status. I am just being completely honest here, so please don't judge because you probably do some of the same things. And if you don't, you're probably suppressing some secret "homo" tendencies and you may want to let them out. This will be short and sweet because I'm not 100% comfortable with this side of myself, but I must release.

No homo, but-

1) I stare at female booties (and sometimes other body parts). No, I do not lust after said females. Nor do I feel any sexual arousal or fantasize about their behinds. This obsessive butt-gazing can probably be attributed to my ill feelings towards my own derriere. You see- when the Creator was handing out round rumps, I was on the other line getting extra brains and beauty- so I ended up with a little "badinky-dink." I'm sure I'm looking at other butts out of sheer envy, but the way my head automatically turns to look at another chick's bum still freaks me out.

2) I'm absolutely fine with the fact that I may not find a man to marry- and as a result will have to make one of my homegirls my life partner. I have way more substantial relationships with my girlfriends (friends who are girls) than I've ever had with any man. The only thing that'll be missing is the sex. Hmm... about that.

3) I think women are beautiful. Face it- we go through a lot to make ourselves aesthetically pleasing to men. The make-up, hair, clothes, SHOES. We have so much going on- and I appreciate that. Don't get me wrong- nothing catches my eye faster than a fine ass man. Unfortunately, I've found that a good amount of the dudes who look too good are too good to be true- meaning they are gay. Straight guys are all scruffy and they usually have to exhibit some type of distinct behavior [swag] or do something [buy a drink] to make me really like them. For the record, I've never seen a woman so beautiful that I wanted to switch teams.

4) I've had "girl-crushes." I used to obsess over my next door neighbor. She was pretty, always had a dope haircut and cute clothes. She also possessed a certain "something" that made me blush and smile every time I was around her. I would synch leaving my apartment with her departure just so we could share an intimate elevator ride. She wasn't gay and neither was I. It was just one of those things, I guess. Like all of my other crushes (male and female) it was was fleeting.

5) I secretly get offended when I'm someplace with a lesbian population and no one tries to hit on me. Why don't they like me? I'm no bomb shell or anything- but men have certainly taken double takes of me. What's up with the lesbians? They barely glance in my direction. Besides, they're women- shouldn't they be looking for something deeper than a big butt and a smile? Maybe they can tell that I wouldn't be interested? But that's never stopped them from trying to pick up some of my straight friends.

6) I totally get the appeal of Ellen. I can't really explain it- but I "get" it.

That's all for now. I bet you thought I was going to add "i kissed a girl and I liked it" or something like that to the list. My "no homo-homo" ways haven't gone that far.

A recent terrifying experience prompted to include a small addendum to this post. The next point on my "No Homo, But..." list is:

7) I wish I had a penis. Aside from the obvious reasons - no menstruation and easy urination- men don't even realize how sweet it is to possess their member.
Almost every woman I know dreads going to the gynecologist for her annual pap. Personally, I never saw what the big deal was. It's pretty much a quick in and out (no pun intended) procedure and you're on your merry way for the next 12 months. Not this year. My annual gyno check up was followed by an ominous phone call from my doc explaining that my pap came back IRREGULAR and I'd have to return so that she could take a closer look. Nooooo! WTF does that mean? I'd been so good all year. No birth control hormones, regular periods (sorry for the guys reading this post) and no s-e-x. ARRGGHHH!! What could be wrong down there? I immediately suspected the worst case scenario- CERVICAL CANCER. Seriously, that isth is all over the place now. And my trendy self is always up on the new stuff, so go figure I've come down with the latest cooch issue.
Men don't have to deal with this scary crap because their organ is external. If there's a problem, it's easily identifiable. No closer inspection beyond a glance, tug and a cough is required. Please allow me to explain the "closer inspection" I had to endure. Basically, my doctor dug inside of me and cut off samples of my parts for testing- all while I was awake and forced to make small talk about some stupid book to allay my discomfort.
I think I'd rather suffer the embarrassment of an inadvertent erection over another colposcopy any day. Penis please.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Just a Dream?

Went on a date last night. New guy, total sweetheart- kinda cute, nice smile, great upbeat personality- and best of all he paid for everything. I know that's to be expected, but you have no idea about the messes I've dealt with in my past. I'll spare the details of the date. It was your typical "first date-date." Everybody on his/her best to impress behavior. Future looking bright, etcetera. Although something could be said about a first date, I had a bizarre experience AFTER the date- which my be cause for some speculation. Turns out this dude ended up being the "man of my dreams." Later that night, he appeared in my sleep.

I dreamt that dude and I went to a ghetto club. It was "ghetto" because we were frisked at the door by huge angry bouncers. After we made it in, the deejay was playing Britney Spears. I don't recall the song, but either way, that's so not-ghetto (white trash, but not ghetto), and the crowd was mixed. The club was veiled in some kind of red lighting and the dance floor was kinda small, but dude and I headed straight to the middle and began to slow dance to either "Toxic," "Gimme More," or "Circus." Apparently, I didn't care about the poor choice of music because I was swooning in this guy's arms. After a while, the crowd slowly dispersed around us and I sensed some mild commotion. Then lo and behold J.W., a party promoter I know, was coming through with random electrical equipment forcing everyone to get out of his way while he set up for his event. My date and I temporarily took notice of this interruption, then continued to slow jam. And then, he kissed me. The kiss was light and delicate- yet passionate. (FYI- this guy and I have never kissed in real life). Meanwhile, J.W. was was stomping all around us, and moving random isht. Somewhere in my reverie, I felt something tugging at my ankles, and I looked down to find myself tangled in a pool of J.W.'s wires. I nervously looked up at my date and before I could say anything, J.W. tugged the wires from his end, causing me to fall HARD on my ass. As J.W. continued to pull the electrical ropes- some of which were still knotted around my ankles- I was being dragged on the dance floor away from my man- who just stood there all cool watching me slide away.

That's it. What does it mean?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sucka Punch Drunk... again

If you recall from previous posts such "Dangerously in Like," and "How He Doin' part 1," I tend to fall truly, madly and deeply in like with whomever is courting me at the moment. Of course those posts were written at the height of dating bliss. For some reason, I rarely ever follow up with the "What a D!@khead" sequel that always occurs about three to four months down the line. Guess I'm just trying to keep my blog nice and pleasant. Besides, I've learned my lesson on more than one occasion about posting slanderous accounts about my exes online.

Call me a sucker, but I absolutely adore the behavior males exhibit during the early stages of dating. Sure, deep down inside I know that it's all an act- but who doesn't enjoy a good show every now and then? Once upon a time, I was afraid to admit to prematurely liking a guy because I didn't want to seem too gullible. A man wasn't worthy of my fondness until after he took me out on about three dates. Only then could I freely share my feelings about the guy, because I had the time and money spent to validate liking him. Peculiarly though- now that I'm older and (wiser?) I've let my guard down (just a little) enough to appreciate the more modest acts of courtship. Random, thoughtful text messages make me cheese. Minor public displays of affection get me all gushy inside. I could forever listen to stupid, sweet nothings whispered in my ear. For someone who doesn't consider herself a "Hopeless Romantic," I sure am acting all "pink." Tee hee hee.

Whatever, I'm just in one of those moods. Of course there's a new guy who is sweet as pie right now and I am absolutely enjoying every minute of it. Unfortunately, I still have that cynical bitch side telling me that he is full of doo-doo and I kind of believe her. But hey, if someone really wants to put in the time and effort pretending to be someone he is not, then his ailment is far worse than my temporary love-sickness. Who knows? Maybe guys are genuine in the beginning and us ladies turn them into the lying, cheating, monster a-holes that they inevitably become. Ummm... not likely. Look, I don't even have enough time to delve into why men suck. I just know they usually don't start out sucking; and, those brief moments are why I continue to date and unabashedly share my heart.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Black Buccaneers- R.I.P.

Move over Jack Sparrow! There are some new Jacks taking over the high seas- The Somalian Seasters. I gave them that moniker because these brothas totally deserve a cool name. For over a year now these Maritime Mobsters (I have a million of em) have been jacking cargo ships and putting it down on the sea streets. Seriously, these are not your average round-the-way hustlers who consider trivial CD/DVD-peddling on 125th Street piracy. These men are running isht on another level- claiming oil and other major commodities.

I first read about the Somalian pirates last year when I came across a blurb in the paper about "pirates hijacking some foreign vessel." My initial reaction was a befuddled, "who knew there were still actual PIRATES out there?" Over the next few months, I kept peeping tiny articles buried in the International section of the AM daily about these pirates successfully seizing more and more ships. My interest was really piqued when they were later revealed to be Somali. Get the eff outta here- there are still actual PIRATES and they are BLACK?!

One newspaper released a photo of these Black Buccaneers (that has a nice ring to it) and I was floored. Forget what you heard from old Walt Disney. These dudes were clearly NOT of the Caribbean. They were young, very "Somali-looking," with those prominent foreheads and pointy noses, and they wore hot little jackets and fatigues. Not one puffy shirt in sight. While I love me some Johnny Depp, these dudes could probably "get it" too. Hell, unlike traditional pirates, they look like they might actually want IT from a lady.

Anyway, these pirates have finally plundered their way to international notoriety with all of their swash buckling hi-jinx. They recently took over a United States NAVY ship and held the captain hostage. I'm not sure if they took anything else, but as of this morning the U.S. Captain was released unharmed and three of the Somalian Sea Soldiers (THAT'S a good one) were killed by NAVY Snipers. They just had to mess with the U.S. didn't they? Sidebar: If memory serves me right, they've pretty much pillaged without ridiculous violent sword fighting and plank-walking. Yeah- they carry assault weapons- but, I'm sure that's just an intimidation tactic... They once came aboard a cruise ship, barely rattled any feathers and left peacefully. I'm sure now that the Big BAd U.S. has been victimized- the SSS's reputation will sorely suffer. From what i could gather, they weren't looking for trouble- just for the LOOT, which they allegedly stole about $70 million worth. WOW! Maybe they'll lay low for a while and decide to trick some of that booty on some real booty- preferably mine. Unless of course, that whole PIRATE stereotype is true- to which I'll say to them "how YOU doin'?

Friday, March 27, 2009

HATE Rising

My friend left me a frantic voicemail message yesterday telling me to call her back ASAP to help her decode some "weird" phone call she received. I was convinced that this was going to be another one of her wacky "Dating-in Durham" stories, so i called her back immediately. Here's how the conversation ensued:

ME: Hey girl. Got your message. What's up?

SHE: Girl, some man called me today and said he got my information from ______, a girl I went to Columbia J-School with...

ME: OMG- is she setting you up on a blind date with some random down there?

SHE: Well, not really. He manages a Black online newspaper in New York and- I'm pretty sure he's offering me a job to be a journalist.

ME: (less excited) Great- so what's the problem?

SHE: (super excited) Well, I can't just leave my cushy, but lame, job here in Durham to live in one of my favorite cities to finally do exactly what I want to do- and work for my biggest idol- Cathy Hughes (black female media magnate- NOT OPRAH)! OMG- can you believe it?!

Of course I can believe it. Why- because she is not me and this sort of thing happens to her all of the time. A cool job just lands in her lap in the middle of a friggin' recession. I've sent out four cover letters requesting mere informational interviews and haven't heard so much as a peep. But that's not the real problem here. She is a good journalist- award-winning, in fact; and, she's passionate about what she does. Kudos for her! I say it and I absolutely want to mean it, but I am so consumed with my dissatisfying life that I have difficulty accepting my friend's good news.

I've been plagued by this issue for quite some time now. The "HATE" is what I call it. As with most of my "disorders," it helps me to cope with them when I write. With me, the HATE is so dire that I wrote an entire article about it, which I am in the process of shopping around to publications. Unfortunately, because my life is so sucky, I have yet to get a response to my countless query letters. Actually, one online publication expressed interest, but they only wanted to pay me thirty bucks for it. So what if I'm an unpublished novice- I know my worth. I want at least three figures for my thoughts. Of course, if nobody else wants it, I can always just publish it for free on my own damn blog- so here it is. Here for all two of you to read. Oh, I'm still shopping it around.


Maino’s “Hi Hater” is more than just a hot song- it also happens to be my personal anthem. Just the other day, my homegirl announced that she got a promotion. I was ecstatic for her- proud even. She worked hard and put up with a lot of crap to earn her merit. All while I was smiling in her face and congratulating her, I could not seem to shake that familiar sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach along with the tiny imp on my shoulder whispering despicableness in my ear like: “She doesn’t need more money;” “She’s not even all that qualified;” “Where's my damn promotion?” I felt guilty for thinking such awful thoughts about my friend, but I just couldn’t help it.

I have a disease. It’s not really a disease in the terminal-go-to-the-hospital-need- medication sense. It’s more of a mental condition. I am a HATER.

Why would I admit that? Well, because it is a problem and the first step to conquering any issue is to confess. Though I am pretty sure everyone drinks his or her share of HATERade, I’m concerned that my consumption of the bitter beverage is about a gallon more than average.

Seriously, anyone can fall victim to my askance glare, eye rolls and acidic remarks- friends, enemies, men, women, educated people, not-so-educated people who are doing “better” than me, women with nice bodies, black men with white women, married people, rich people... must I continue? Most of the time, my adverse emotions are not even intentional. I will see or hear about something at random and suddenly SNAP. I need help.

While researching my condition I learned that “hating” manifests itself in a variety of ways. As a matter of fact, has approximately seventy-three definitions for the word “hater.” With a term this broad, I am definitely not the only person suffering from this disorder. I pinpointed my particular strain of “hate” as:

A person that simply cannot be happy for another person’s success… they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person.

That certainly describes the bulk of my symptoms.

Sometimes my hate is justified. I refuse to give props where none is due. As hateful as it might sound, I think most reality stars are untalented media whores who are not worthy of the attention or money they attract. That's clearly a mere casual observation; however, it could easily be misconstrued as “hate.” Whatever- I have a tendency to say what’s on my mind- negative or positive. I do not know or care about reality people anyway. The simple cure for that form or hateration would be to heed to the old adage, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

What worries me more is the hate geared towards my friends and loved ones. When this hate hits me, I am capable of curbing my verbal remarks, but I tend to experience an emotional Tourette’s where I can’t stop my terrible feelings and thoughts- even against people I truly care for. A situation this dire requires a professional’s diagnosis. I turned to North Carolina A&T's Professor of Psychology (and my BFF), Dr. Renee Alleyne, for a more in-depth analysis of my disorder.

According to Dr. Alleyne, there is no concrete psychological definition for the contemporary syndrome of “hate.” “I think what you are referring to is jealousy…or even envy,” states Dr. Alleyne. Certainly I am already familiar with feelings of jealousy and envy, but just to be clear, we checked and found their definitions to be pretty similar to my symptoms.

Jealousy can be used to describe feelings of “resentment or anger against a rival or another’s success.” Okay, that sounds like hate. Envy is a “feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another's advantages, success, possessions, etc.” Bingo. For further elucidation, Dr. Alleyne and I also looked up the word hate, and lo and behold- “to feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward” jumped right at me like a fake booty on the cover of King magazine (I hate King too).

Apparently, I suffer from a jealous-envy-hate amalgamation of “Hate.” Those emotions are completely natural and fairly easy to cope with separately. However, the hybrid of them all- under the dark cloud of “Hate” is a whole other beast.

Dr. Alleyne assured me that although jealousy is a part of human nature, the amount of jealousy one possesses and the effect it has determines whether or not it is healthy or normal. “Small amounts of jealousy may serve as motivation to do better. However, if you are so jealous that you experience a significant level of distress, then that is a clear indication of how unhealthy jealousy can be,” says Dr. Alleyne.

The envious feelings I direct towards strangers is usually superficial and fleeting. The hate I inflict on my peers is the result of something deeper and more profound. Dr. Alleyne cited the Appraisal Theories of Emotion
Frijda (1986), Lazarus (1991), which suggest “that emotions are a result of people’s interpretations and explanations of the events. Specifically, an individual’s emotions will be based on the good or bad implications that the event has
for the individual, as well as how the individual explains the cause of the event.”

“When your friend announced her promotion, right away you interpreted this situation as a threat to your success, which caused you to have negative emotions,” surmised Dr. Alleyne. She was right. My friend and I work in the same industry and I sometimes feel that I could- or should be in her shoes.

My professional circle is rather small, so I constantly hear of some acquaintance’s progress. I get so frustrated because I tend to compare my status to theirs and project my shortcomings on them. Dr. Alleyne suggests that if my friends and I were in totally different fields, I would less likely have negative feelings about their success.

I explained to Dr. Alleyne that sometimes my hate gets so severe, that I lose sleep due to my ruminating thoughts. One night after seeing one of my peers in a magazine ad, another in a movie, and hearing about yet another’s career success I actually broke out in hives! Dr. Alleyne confirmed that an excess of negative emotions could indeed cause both psychological and physical ailments. “Jealousy leads to stress and stress has been linked to a number of physical illnesses including severe headaches, common colds, heart attacks and strokes.”

The very thought of my hate causing serious damage to my overall health is quite unsettling. I need to take action. Dr. Alleyne says that my self-awareness is already a good start. “If you become aware of your hater ways, then you are in a position to do something about it.” She recommends that haters try identifying the positive aspects of their lives and focusing on achieving their own goals instead of on someone else’s prosperity.

In a case as severe as mine, Dr. Alleyne thinks speaking to a professional to help deal with underlying contributing factors would be a good idea.

Hating in excess is not healthy or beneficial to anyone- no matter how natural it may be. Although, I sometimes feel that my hating is uncontrollable, it would behoove me to get a handle on it to at least avoid hurting my friends and loved ones. I definitely don’t want be labeled as a hateful, jealous person who can’t appreciate another’s success. Armed with my newfound understanding of “hate,” I am on the road to recovery.

If all else fails, I could always attempt to make a successful career out of hating like a popular New York City radio disc jockey. Wait- I meant EX-NYC radio disc jockey. Look at where the HATE landed him.