Sep 10, 2014

Debutante Goes Dating

For the past few months I've tried my hand at online dating. To say there are some interesting characters out there is a huge understatement. I was always that person that wanted the romantic story of boy meets girl, etc. Not boy clicks on girls photo and then sends nudes but in my circle of friends there are more success stories than horror stories so I decided to go for it. I'm one of those people that has forever friends and I'm hardly ever in the market for new ones. My closest friends include my mom (since birth of course), cousins Ronda, Ashleigh, Mikia, LaTrenda and Sondra (the lifers), Mandy (friends since 1st grade), Tricia (friends since our sophomore year at UT), and Jalaine (friends since our ESPN tour of duty). Let's put it this way I don't get out much and don't really want to. I'm set in my ways and good with my crew. However, I DO want to get married one day and have kids so I should really get started on this dating thing.

I got on Plenty of Fish and Tinder for a few reasons, one of them being that they were free. I also like the fact that Tinder won't connect you unless you both swipe right so that's good or so I thought. I set both profiles and narrowed my net to black, ages 30-40, no kids, near Nashville, taller than me and sat back and waited. Let me just stop here and say there are some very very attractive men with no kids online. I was shocked. I started getting messages on POF first and we were off and running. After ignoring a few guys that were around the just turned legal age (more on that later) or that just weren't my type I finally got a message from I guy that I thought was attractive. We'll call him Neo Soul Nazi.

Neo and I hit it off immediately. Lots of calls, texts, and he asked me out in what I thought was a reasonable amount of time. He was college educated, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, had a great career, liked sports, and was ready to find his nubian Queen. I should have known when he used the word nubian that we might not jive. I'm not Neo Soul. I'm not granola. I like pork. I like sports. I like hip-hop. I like sugar. He of course hated all of that. I brushed it off anyway and got ready for our first date. He was thinner than what I prefer and shorter but what's that phrase? "God's blessing doesn't always come in the package you thought it would" yeah that's the phrase. So I thought hey he might be short and skinny but he's cute! We hit it off that night after seeing a movie and getting dinner. Then the other shoe dropped. My family loves a good gathering. We like to be together and eat. So on the Fourth of July we had a cookout at the park. Neo got mad because I celebrated the Fourth when "we ain't free". He also sent me the full text of Frederick Douglass' speech "What to the slave is the Fourth of July". Sigh. I'm just trying to eat my fish sandwich and be with my family. I should have known then that something was up but I was trying new things. After he got over my family's betrayal I friended him on Facebook. Word to the wise always find them on Facebook at least to know if they have "friends". Once I accepted his request I did a little (a lot) of snooping on his page. He loved his mom, loved his sister and brother and was absolutely crazy about his 3 year old niece. I was kinda giddy at this point. But I kept scrolling and there they were. The religious posts. For those that don't know me I'm a Jesus-loving, born again Baptist and would like for my mate to be the same. Neo definitely did NOT love Jesus. His posts made a mockery of Christianity with memes and he started telling me about his "religion". I'm still not sure what it is but let's say it entailed the fact that I would not be allowed to take my kids to church, celebrate pagan holidays, or worship near him. Bruh what? He also stated that he would not get married in a church. After having what I'll call an interesting conversation about religion he also dropped this nugget: he's a vegetarian, his body is a temple, no swine will ever touch his lips but he smokes a lot of weed. NEXT.

After Neo came Neil Armstrong. Neil was FINE do you hear me. FINE. F-I-N-E. Just my type physically for sure. He was 6'9 (faints), dark chocolate, and very fit. He also had a fascinating job. He was an engineer for NASA. I'm lowkey obsessed with NASA so I loved our conversations but there were some pink flags early on. First, his pics on POF and those that he would send over the phone looked dated. Now I know everyone doesn't have a smart phone but these pics were grainy at best. I would ask him to send me a pic of him right then and he would take forever. I started feeling Catfished. Then he called. Y'all he sounded like somebody's wayward daddy who had smoked Kools for 25 years. He sounded OLD -older than my dad. Neil also had a bad habit of speaking about me in wife/future terms yet we had not met. That made me uncomfortable. He said he was falling for me and was ready to take me off the market. Dude...slow down. After a few weeks of this love affair in his mind I decided to Google him. I mean let's be real a 6'9 NASA engineer with no kids, no random girlfriends, and loves God seems like a catch.  So I took to the internet and there was nothing on him. Absolutely nothing. There was definitely an engineer at NASA with his name but that turned out to be a short, pudgy, white man. After ignoring his texts for a few weeks I received four pics from him. All of his very very old looking penis. NEXT!!!!

While Neo was ranting about white Jesus and Neil Armstrong was lying about his entire life Psycho Steve appeared online. I thought oh he's OK looking let's see what we have here. We began messaging on POF and although I like attention Steve took it to another level. I could not put the phone down, read, use the restroom, or get a manicure without being questioned. Where are you going? What are you doing? Why do you shower so long? How long does it take you to drive to work? Why can't you text during a manicure? Why are you ignoring me? Are you asleep? Are you in class? Luckily I changed my number around that time. I feel sorry for the poor sap in Illinois that gets my old number. Steve is probably still texting to this day.

After those three I thought let's go swiping on Tinder. Tinder feels more like a game anyway so I figured it would be much more fun. Just like on POF there were tons of cute guys there so I started looking. Every guy that I thought was cute had already swiped my pic so I had lots to choose from. But there was one guy, we'll call him the Kid,  who was the most attractive guy I'd seen online and he'd swiped yes for me first! He lived nearby and knew how to dance that fine line between attentive, take charge guy and psycho Steve. He was also extremely sweet. The kind of guy that you don't really think exists but secretly pray that they do. Oh and did I mention he was REALLY REALLY CUTE? I was already thinking of ways to pose with him on Instagram JUST to show y'all how cute he was. Now remember I had an age range/limit. I don't know what it is but younger men are always attracted to me. I've dated one older man in my life. All others have been younger from a few months to a few years but soon I found myself in new millennial territory. On his profile the Kid had his age listed as 33 very very age appropriate for me. However, one night on the phone he dropped the fact that he was still in undergrad on me and I thought I'd ask his age again just to be sure. Life happens. Maybe he'd been in the Armed forces, entered into the workforce early, etc. No. None of that. The Kid nonchalantly tells me he is in fact 25. I lost it. I think I screamed at him for a second. First of all why lie about your age? Second, what in the world do I have in common with a 25 year old man (other than the fact that I really liked looking at him)? I can't drop Smurfs or He-Man references, Cosby Show quotes, or early 90s R & B lyrics. I was born under President Carter. He was born under President Daddy Bush. When he started Kindergarten I was driving around town in my shiny red Prelude. I was at a loss but then I realized that I had actually started to like the Kid so I thought that since he's mature, FINE, sweet, and just a really nice guy who seemed to like me I wouldn't write him off. I then began to notice that he wouldn't tell me where he worked. Is he Tommy from Martin? Is he a stripper? He definitely has the body for it but I digress. After a few weeks of texting (not too much calling- he's a millennial) I asked him about the gap between high school and college since he was 25 and just now a senior. Acting as if he had no idea where I was going with my line of questioning he says "no I didn't have a break between high school and college". So in TLC Behind the Music fashion let's do the math. Most students graduate high school at 18. He's 25. If there is no gap he's been in college 7 years right? So I asked him how long had he been in college, he answers me with 4.5 years so he started at 20-21 right? No. I ask him again how old he is and I get 22 then half a second later 23. So let's recap. Tinder says he's 33, he says he's 25, then a few weeks later he's 22 and then a few seconds later he's 23. What? Do you know how old you are honey? Did I hang out with a child? Why are you lying? I haven't decided how I'll proceed with the Kid because he is in fact just the cutest! A young, millennial liar, who might be a stripper but cute nonetheless.

For the past few days I've been ignoring the notifications and messages from my dating apps just to take a breather but here are my observations:

1. Scorpios are psycho and are absolutely the worst. THE WORST and I see why they need help dating. Psycho Steve and Neil Armstrong are both Scorpios.

2. Younger men are all about Black Debutante. As long as younger equals 33 I'm game.

3. Redneck white men who live in cities known for being the birthplace of the KKK send me the sweetest messages. That's disturbing and unwanted.

4. I now start all conversations with do you believe in Jesus. If it scares them off oh well.

5. Guys...I DO NOT WANT PICS OF YOUR PENIS. WHY IS THAT A THING WE DO NOW?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm going to see what messages I've gotten in the last hour and keep you posted.

Until next time,

Jun 1, 2013

The Journey: June 1st, 2012-June 1st, 2013

252. 18. 41.9. My weight. My pants size. My BMI this time last year. When I realized I was halfway to 300 lbs. I decided it was time to do something drastic. I chose to go low carb. Now I know I know you LOVE carbs right. So do I. As a matter of fact I'd rather have carbs than any protein you put in front of me. There were times when I would go to Walgreens for lotion and come out with candy. Ashy but happy. For years my mom and my former trainer, Chad  tried their best to convince me that low carb or Atkins was the way to go. I fought and fought and gained and gained. And then it happened. Someone gave me the REASON that a diet with low carbs works. Now I'll explain it in Anetra-speak. Your body burns carbs, fat, and protein in that order for energy. If you deprive it of carbs it has no choice but to burn fat.  MY MIND WAS BLOWN. (Note-The body will burn protein as a last resort). I finally got it. Deprive the body of this and it will burn that. I also had horrible habits to break. I have a serious candy addiction. I also love regular Pepsi. Potatoes are my favorite food. This diet unlike Weight Watchers or calorie counting would help me get out of those habits.  

So on June 1st, 2012 I started my journey. Once I got rolling I started losing weight at a pace of 10 lbs. per month. So by January I had lost 70 lbs. 

During my journey I was asked the same questions daily so I will answer some of my most frequent ones here.

Is it hard? Absolutely. Outside of asking a man out on a date and passing Torts the Atkins diet is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. 

What can you eat/drink? All fish, all fowl, all shellfish, all meat, eggs any way you can stand them, cheese, pickles, green vegetables, cauliflower, any herbs and spices, any prepared salad dressing with no added sugar and no more than 2 grams of net carbs, butter, mayo, olive oil, vegetable oil, splenda, coffee(black), tea, diet drinks, WATER.

What can you not eat? Anything fun. Sugar, Rice, Bread, Potatoes, Fruit, Pasta, Dairy, Alcohol. Better known as things Anetra likes to eat. 

How much did you lose your first month? 10 lbs.

Did you hit a plateau? Why did you stop losing? I cheated hard on Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day, Memorial Day and days that I felt like cheating. I didn't plateau it was more like a mental health break. I didn't gain and I didn't lose. I ate what I wanted when I wanted then got back on the diet the next day and the cupcakes were good. I've now been back on for 5 days and have dropped 5 more lbs.

Can you eat any carb at all? Yeah you're going to inadvertently eat carbs. Cheese and salad dressing have them they're just low in the count. Also watch the batter on the fried foods. I also have a guy at work that gives me two jolly ranchers a day. I need these.

What's your motivation? I like how I look. I feel better. I like being able to run and climb steps without breathing hard. I'll be older when/if I have children and I'd like to be able to carry them in good health and run after them. I like designer clothes. I have purchased expensive clothes in sizes 10 and below. I want to be able to wear them. 

How much did you exercise? I didn't. I hate exercise. I'd rather watch tv while eating my bacon, which is allowed on my diet. I also walk at least 3 miles a day at my job (not on purpose). 

What was the weirdest thing that happened to your body? My feet shrank from a 9 to a 8.5. 

What size are you now? A 12 that can wear 10s if the designer is generous.  

What's your goal weight? 145-150.

What's your goal size? A 10 that can get into some 8s. If I hit 145 I'll be a solid 8.

How are you different? I actually like shopping. I have hated shopping my entire life (except for books and makeup) now I like looking at clothes. 

Why can't you eat fruit, it's healthy? Fruit is sugar. God's sugar. 

What did you miss the most? EVERY SINGLE CARB EVER MADE. As a matter of fact this diet will have you wanting things you don't normally eat. In my case candy is still an issue. I walk by the aisles quickly in stores. I'm a work in progress. 

Was there any carb that you just couldn't give up? I never gave up on sweet tea. I'm too southern for that. 

This diet isn't for everyone it just happen to work for me. If you have any questions just drop me a line and I'll be happy to answer! Here's to my last 35 lbs!!!!!

May 16, 2012

Monogram my A.S.S.

 I've always loved the idea of having monogrammed things. Shirts, weekly planners, cell phone cases, totes- you name it I've wanted it but due to a snafu concerning my initials I've had to forgo wearing anything monogrammed. You see way back when I was given the name Anetra Shivon Smith. Yes that's right. My initials are A.S.S. In the monogram world your last name or family name is in the center. So either way my initials are A.S.S. Around the age of six my mom asked me if I wanted to change my middle name to Watkins (her maiden name). At six Anetra Shivon Smith sounds WAY COOLER than Anetra Watkins Smith. Looking back I should have thought that through a little more. Don't get me wrong I absolutely love my name and the initials A. and S. but there's no way I'm walking around town with A.S.S. stamped across my chest. At this point in my life I am attached to my middle name so there's no going back but I think this is yet another reason I should get married. I want monogrammed THINGS! Now I know some of you are saying why not just do two letters. Those monograms aren't as cute. That's why. I do have a lot of A things around my room and on my keychain, etc but I want the three letters. Where is my prince charming with a last name that doesn't start with S?!

After much thought I decided to embrace my initials and enter Prep In Your Step's Monogram Necklace Giveaway. I love the look of this Marinette Jewelry necklace and hope I win!!! Check out Prep In Your Step's blog for all things preppy!

May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day Ma!!!!

Just wanted to tell my mom Happy Mother's Day (for the third time today)! You've been the best mom I could ever ask for. You love unconditionally, listen to my crazy discussions, nurture my dreams, make the best travel buddy and give GREAT handbags among other things. Can't wait to celebrate you with church, presents and dinner.

Anetra Shivon

May 4, 2012

Derby Days

Paula Patton
The Kentucky Derby is this weekend and there are several reasons why I love watching. The tradition is one but my main reason is the fashion. As you might have noticed from my Instagram and Facebook pics the women in my family love hats. I have decided that I won't wear a hat until I'm 40 but trust me I'm looking forward to it. Every year I say I'm going to the Kentucky Derby and I never make it. One day this will happen!

Wearing a hat to the Kentucky Derby is believed to bear good luck. The long-established fashion was started by the women, however, over the last few years, many men have taken part in the tradition as well. From the fantastic to the sublime, there are no rules or limits. In the clubhouse and paddock, women of grace and taste sport classy, fashionable styles. In the infield, the headwear has tendancy to take on a flashier tone.

When the Kentucky Derby was first held at the Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Ky., 137 years ago, hats were all the rage and regarded as an essential everyday accessory -- for those who could afford them. At special events such as the horse races, women wore fancy and extravagant hats to broadcast their social status and show off their expensive style. Men simply wore top hats.  

Over the years, the Churchill Downs hat tradition has remained for women and continues to be a Kentucky Derby staple. Although women aren't required to wear a hat to the races, most do. One common theme among Kentucky Derby hats is roses, since the race is known as the "run for the roses" because the winning horse receives a blanket made of more than 500 of the blossoms.

Take a look and let me know- What's your favorite look for the Kentucky Derby? 

May 3, 2012

We're 13!!!!!!!

Happy 13th AKAversary to my line sisters "The Firm". I love y'all!

May 2, 2012

Notre Dame Signing Day 2012

While I was away from the blog my job assignments got a bit more interesting. On February 1, 2012 I, along with twelve other producers were sent to colleges around the country to produce sixteen hours of National Signing Day coverage for ESPNU. As a college football fan I was elated. I realized I could mark that off my college bucket list. It was a place I'd never been and never had a reason to go.

As a producer most of my work is done before the shoot. I landed in South Bend on Monday to map out my plan for the Wednesday shoots. Tuesday Bob and I met with the SID Brian Harden and Head Coach Brian Kelly. Both men were gracious and gave us important information leading up to signing day. On Wednesday morning the coaches weren't expecting any surprises and had high hopes for their class. My morning began with a 6:00 am crew call to feed shoots of Notre Dame scenics back to ESPNU. Around 7:00am we were allowed access into the war room where Coach Kelly and his assistants were being contacted by players committing to Notre Dame. Then the coverage began. The 16 hour show was accented by live shots at 13 different schools. As the day went on they would come to Bob and I over headset and he would tell them the vibe of the schools and what recruits had committed.

 The Notre Dame Fighting Irish fared well in the process, grabbing 16 commitments from some top talent around the nation. Despite missing out on wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Deontay Greenberry, the Irish still managed to rake in the top 25 class in the nation. The biggest surprise of the day was Greenberry who chose Houston on Wednesday morning. Notre Dame's 17-man class seemed all but set entering the day, but Greenberry changed that with the last-minute decision. Having his cousin, Tee Shepard, already enrolled at Notre Dame certainly made that more surprising. Greenberry was the state of California's best wide receiver and somebody the Irish were counting on to play early and often with the departure of Michael Floyd. All was not lost as Notre Dame managed to pull in the number two overall player and Columbus (Ind.) quarterback Gunner Kiel and Greenberry's cousin, cornerback Tee Shepard. While disappionted with Greenberry's decicion Kelly remained upbeat and dedicated to the players he did sign. "It is hard for me to feel disappointed about something I have never had, or someone I have never coached," Kelly said. "I'm more excited about the 16 who did sign."

This 16 includes the aforementioned Five-star quarterback Gunner Kiel and top 100 cornerback Tee Shepard, as well as receivers Chris Brown and Justin Ferguson, along with the five defensive backs added at a need position.

Overall my experience at Notre Dame was awesome. The live shots went well, the weather was great for February in Indiana, and the Irish were wonderful hosts. Hopefully I can return for an actual football game.

***In March it was announced that Tee Shepard was no longer enrolled at Notre Dame and had returned to Fresno, CA.***