Because You Owe Me!

People like titles. Names. On resumes. For songs, names of our goldfishies, turtledoves, bunnies, names of our decrepit family members. It always sounds so much better when I speak to my waiter by name, maybe a wink or two. How much more personality did my car have to me when I gave her the name “Strawberry?” Tons.

But what about relationships? Do we title our relationships? And if not, do we eventually? How soon after we either begin dating someone or begin sleeping with a person do we say out loud or in our heads, that this person can formally be introduced as “my boyfriend/girlfriend?”

Is it subjective depending upon who the person is and the vibe/aura you feel, or the chemistry this person emits? Should there be standards and rules and when you meet the “Gamechanger” (the person that goes against said standards, rules, and supersedes expectations) do those rules stand to be broken?

Does any of it matter if you’re having a damn good time enjoying the person and getting to know whatever it is they’re about, or does the lack of title set you up (me up, us as women up) for heartbreak?

My friend and I were having this talk over Asti (sweet white wine) the other day. Initially she spoke about the title: “Enjoy yourself and see what it does.” (Her exact words were “See what it do”) and then you wait, you wait in what is unexpected. I haven’t mentioned yet that surprises annoy me a bit in this way:

Tangent alert: Surprises annoy me because they mess with my ability to plan, to deliver ready-conclusives, and OCD my way into or outta something. Surprises force me to relinquish control. We are talking about a person who generally knows what time a movie starts, ends, and is generally there to see the majority of the previews—why? Because of Moviefone. But that same urgency-adrenaline-wreck a surprise gives to me, is the same emotional tug that intrigues me. The break in monotony. The element of the unexpected causes me to come back for more, while the predictable bores me after what I’ve painfully realized more than once, is about ten days. —Lalanii, on surprises

Halfway through the bottle she confesses (aka contradicts) that the “title,” or rather, “recalling when she knew things were going in the right direction” was undoubtedly when her “Gamechanger” put his arms around her and whispered at the tip of her earlobe the musical words she longed to hear. She’d asked where they were going—or what they were going to do (I can’t remember which) and he’d responded with something to the likes of:

“You’re my girl, anywhere you wanna go, anything you wanna do is fine, jus’ wanna be with you.”

Realize that she ain’t heard a thing after You’re my Girl. Real Noah, in The Notebook-like. This is why us women are fucked up! If we keep waiting for Noah, the likelihood of anything really pretty happening is slim, because that was just a movie. A man on today’s market-menu expects a woman to do the majority of the work for him. Let me not generalize, I HATE categories as much as I love them, but it is true that a colossal majority of decent men like to be pursued these days, in my own humble experience.

I agree with reciprocation, although, I just can’t see myself chasing. After a certain amount of time—motives, perceptions, and possibilities become clear.

I remembered this guy I used to hang with, a while back. For me the most important things, the things that grab me in are:

  1. Intelligence
  2. Drive and potential
  3. Physical attributes
  4. Kismet and chemistry
  5. Consistency

Let’s not fail to say that in the story I’m going to quickly sum up—this man had all of these. Maybe a stretch to say his drive was uncommonly strong, but his potential made up for the lack of drive in the way people usually make excuses for the shortcomings of the people we like. He was incredible, he could’ve worn the red suit with the cartoon i, mid-chest, incredible. One of the very few people I used to stay up all night talking to and head straight to work after, never having closed my eyes. The type of person with an infectious demeanor. His presence was what I won’t forget, long after I’ve forgotten the emotions that developed over the 1.5 years we hung out frivolously. By hung out, I mean, I got attached. He got, high.

He broke the standards, as in, I don’t like men that smoke, generally. But I rationalized that he was a functional smoke-a-holic, though they rarely ever are. A week and maybe three days into the most rapturously enchanted delightful overflow, I was spent emotionally. What did I ask this man after knowing him for almost two-weeks?

“Where is this going? I mean, like, what do you want, or like, do you see yourself in a relationship? And if so, when?”

If I were on-stage somebody would’ve thrown a big ass avocado at my forehead. [klunk] It might have been the most brilliantly-idiotic and majorly-awesomely clumsy thing I’ve ever done. My best friend would’ve whispered “whooooooahh horsey!” His response:

“Man, you cool, but I on’t even really know you like that yet, I don’t really know you Lalanii”

Might I stress the usage of my name (the only title I have at this point) echoing melodically in my ear, confirming more strategically—my dumbassness. I spent the rest of the year with him. I’d meet other people, not like him, but other people, and I’d talk to them—but my nights belonged to him, and not always physically, but mostly—and always intimately. It got to the point where my call would cause him to answer the phone,

“What time?”

Yea, and this was the guy I would swear wasn’t anywhere near my type. If there is such a thing that matters enough.

“Time” was my title. I should’ve just changed my name to Time. Fix this whole mess up, right here and there. What I know now, that I didn’t know then is if someone is consistently giving you their time—the energy to speak to you, answer your calls, letting you in a bit—little by little, you have the answers to most of your questions. At least for the current frame of mind, which is all we can and need to see. If things don’t move along progressively, then you gauge what you’re willing to accept, and how long you’re willing to accept it for. Especially, without a title. So you see, not having a title can work in our favor, ladies and gentlemen, because we can essentially have less leeway—have less patience if so desired, and having a title can work less in our favor for the expectations that a “title” generally prematurely places on a relationship, usually before that relationship is ready.

If a name doesn’t matter try calling out the wrong one in the throws. No, I kid. I kid.

Not having a title coincides with surprises for me. The title behaves the same way in my mind. How marvelous is it to receive flowers you weren’t expecting? Very marveloso. But how fantastic is it to have your un-titled interest come over and replace a burned-out lightbulb? Unusually phenomenal. It’s the element of surprise. And practicality. And the fact that he noticed, and he gets triple points for me not having to ask for a teensy favor, ’cause you know how us damsels hate to have to ask.

Yes, there’s comfort in the feeling of “just knowing” when something is right, and leaving it at that. There’s more comfort in the things two people understand between each other that they don’t have to say or speak about at all. Often times, in the interest of understanding and communication it is best to ask more questions before you allow your heart to ask for anything as bigly as asking for a title.

It should be clear that when a woman (or man) wants a title what she is probably asking you for is your undivided attention. He or she is hoping for the grandiose introduction of belonging to someone. Namely, you. Problem is, it isn’t warranted because there are so many people that don’t respect it anyhow.

A quote I love from the movie Love Jones:

Nina Mosley: You always want what you want when you want it. Why is everything so urgent with you?
Darius Lovehall: Let me tell you somethin’. This here, right now, at this very moment, is all that matters to me. I love you. That’s urgent like a motherfucker.

The movie follows two young lovers who—if both were initially honest with their feelings for each other, could have avoided the heart-break, or the break up all together. It highlights that even through the harder moments we must all recognize what is there, what that Time means to us, the small Time. The large amounts of Time.

So much pride in courting these days. Tit for tat. When I watched Love Jones the other day it hit so close to home I had to re-think one of my all time favorite quotes:

“All of these people running around here jumping, falling in love ain’t s**t. Somebody talk to me, please, about how to stay there.” —Love Jones

So many superficial misconstrued shenanigans, so much hiding behind what has hurt us, or what we fear will. Yea, I’m human, so I want to be linked and relevant to someone other than myself, and correspond individually—while existing consecutively, yes… but sometimes I wonder why it can’t just be so wide—why for me it’s so hard to unfold and discover? Why do we need to owe each other anything?

How come we can’t just light up the sky with it?

The Man I’m In Love With

I’ve written poems for him. He’s innovative, incredibly creative, unique, marvelous to speak to and easy to learn from.  A friend of mine asked me the other day “if I even knew what I’d look for in a man if I were looking?” I suppose he meant to inquire about what the most attractive attributes the man I’d love and marry and potentially cook butterbuns in the oven for would have. I realized I hadn’t put too much thought into “Superman,” and who can ever be exactly correct in saying, but after a bit of thought some of those qualities and traits might be:

  1. Artistic
  2. Intelligent
  3. Honest
  4. Funny
  5. Eclectic
  6. Ambitious/Driven/Goal Oriented
  7. Empathetic
  8. Observant
  9. Level-headed
  10. Reliable
  11. Open Minded
  12. Respectful
  13. Faithful
  14. Experienced
  15. Expressive

As far as physical attributes he’d be handsome, a cul-de-sac type of smile that turns you around in a complete circle, pretty teeth, polished and well-put together look. He’d be well-dressed, confident, successful, and know how to take care of his family. What do you all look for in a significant lover?

I suppose the man I am in love with is also either the creator of these Lace Up Skate Boots (which I loOove more than any) or he is a fictional character that just doesn’t exist. I can’t tell which.

Desk Mess, Pretty Lamp, and Betsy Lerner love

I juggle: Write. Read The Forest for the Trees, Betsy Lerner. Study Craft. Sleep. Moscato Asti. Sleep. Fight Pillows. Poetry. Overthunk. Kiss Puppy. New Lamp. School Shopping for 6th grader. Play Writer’s Toolbox. Ipad2. Macbook. Writing Center later. French Vanilla. Revise: Chapters 1-4. PANIC. Backed up laundry. Fashion/Poetry Blog. 10 loads all waiting in my laundry room for me, to get it together. Rinse. Repeat.

I need intimacy!


I have been exposed to so many unhappily married people. I feel as though most of the time society (like fashion trends, fancy cars, or skinny women) gives people the impression that getting married is what they should do, or should force themselves to like, or should stay in even though they’re unhappy.


I think one of the most important prerequisites to marriage or relationships is not sex (really it’s not!), having things in common, trust, or even friendship… it’s intimacy. Intimacy meaning: having someone who is particularly interested in what you are about, your goals, someone who studies you so carefully (but comfortably! Keyword: COMFORT not overbearing) that they can predict the way you work, rather than just end up working with you.


Intimacy doesn’t just mean “pillow talk” or “spooning” before bedtime: but understanding that people make choices and choose to be in relationships, or choose not to. It means that they aren’t in relationships for the sake of not having to worry about what it’s like to be alone, or worry of not finding anyone better than the loser they’ve got, but intimacy in a way that means you love someone on an intimate level of value, not because they make you a better person (although that is erhm erh erhm great) but because they constantly better themselves as better people and they share knowledge, thoughts, and additionally all of the essential properties of marriage as well. They’re specialists in you who wouldn’t rather be flipping burgers. They are present and strive to stay present at all times in the relationship. That is intimacy. Many people do not understand.

Picture from a wonderful poetic prose book by Eula Biss: The Balloonists

Midnight in Paris: A Movie Review

Movie Review Grade: B

Comedy. Fantasy. Romance.

What writer’s dream isn’t to have their book reviewed by Gertrude Stein? Rachel McAdams (Inez) and Owen Wilson are stars in this romantic dramedy set in what some believe to be the most aesthetically beautiful place in the world… Paris. Ahhh, swoon. Owen plays Gil, a successful screenwriter struggling to try his luck at writing prose. He finds himself in wanderlust, off on his own after the midnight hour, discontent with his wife-to-be clumsily drooling over an old college professor.Gil manages to meander right into the 1920’s where he meets, such characters as Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

O, Paris how I love thee. Especially posed amongst such actors as Corey Stoll. Hemingway’s narcissistic arrogance gallivants across the screen—words flowing ever eloquently, as fitting as cobblestones and illusions.

More in love with this era than his own, Gil seemingly jabs at the belief that being alive in another time would prove better than the time they currently live in. This also falls near to the possibility that the dream is a bit more fluent and flickering than real life, as Gil encounters Adriana, (Marion Cotillard) a sultry fox trying to escape her own reality. Other reviews will say this movie strikes delusions that having a life different from their own would again be better, but more substantive and factual is that Midnight in Paris explores true happiness in being able to make one’s own decisions, live in the moment, and even make a few unexpected, and perhaps even unreasonable chances.

Ah Woody Allen, you’ve done it again, sir.

Also if you like this movie you’ll love: A Secret Affair, directed by Bobby Roth, written by Barbara Taylor Bradford. (On Netflix now!)

The Habitual Poet: Lalanii Grant


My interview has been published in Poemeleon’s Literary Journal.

You’ve just gotta read this post at my Journal. Click on my breakfast.


O, the things I’d do for love

This one. Takes the cake. The icing. I’d brave stomach aches for these entitled The Frame by United Nude. I’d prance around the kitchen cookin’ lemon chicken. I’d take them for a walk out on the town, nails and toenails flawless black matte like Nostalgia ——> Sometimes. I am finding, you have to make your dreams come true. So with that being said, anybody got $545 I can borrow forever? Happy Tuesday my good people.

  • New FICTION stories coming up! {I’m trying my luck, cause why not?}
  • I’m working on my critical paper, STILL
  • I wrote a research article, hopefully more to come… waiting to hear back from my copy editor on how that went. ;-/
  • I’m reading new books and posting them at Goodreads— if you have an account please follow me/so I can follow what you’re reading!

Unfortunate Unfortunate Dreams

My dreams are realities. They’re random, they’re painful, they’re rare manifestations of my imagination… and they come true. Like, seriously. This is what makes this so weirdly sad and irksome.

I remember pieces of my dreams and they always tend to kick me. Hard. In my face. There’s this one recurring dream that makes me shiver when I wake. Other times there’s a cliché tear in my eye. I’m dizzy upon waking.

It’s my wedding day. I am wearing this mystic white gown, ghostly and old-fashioned. I can feel myself, but I’m not actually there and everyone is a complete blur. I can sense who is in attendance from my immediate family, but the others I can’t see. The dream catches in that stupid second where the door opens up and the wife is supposed to walk down the aisle prettily, but what do I do?

-Pause like I’m dying, and one of two things happen; every single time this dream dreams. I faint. Done. On the floor. Whoops. Or two; have you seen Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride? I take to my Skechers Shape-Ups and dash down the cobblestone. Why in the middle of the most pressured time of my life am I having this slow motion nightmare? I mean yes, these dreams could be worse, I know. As they recur and I can foreshadow the dejavuish feeling in them- I can feel that I know (even in the dreams) that there won’t be anything I can do to change the fate of what is going to happen.

When I woke up this morning I said aloud to myself that there’s no point in dreaming anymore. My dreams belong in a circus.

Live What You Love

If there are two things I wish so badly that I could have known when I was ten years younger they would be:

  1. How to set a goal and stick to it and still love myself if it fails.
  2. How to Live What I Love: Fashion, Writing, and Personally.

I ran into this magical person yesterday. Sometimes it’s just when you feel you’ve hit every low, every bottom, every blow-bubbling pouty-lip- it’s just then that you meet a person who attempts to put everything in perspective for you. He explained to me that he’d been married some oddly wild number of years and been a millionaire owning more than 30+ properties, highs/lows, etc. and that once things went sour for his business etc. that his wife– left him because “women like security,” true, very true. But this story isn’t about him or his millions flowing out of the plane as his wife flew away. No. This story is about living what you LOVE and coming to terms with who you are.

I’m superficial. I mean, superficial to the extent of someone being attractive to me personally, and everyone’s attraction to someone is different… by different I mean unique. By unique I mean often times “my type” fluctuates but has a general standard. I fail to realize this standard because I’m busy and because I’m generally ashamed to admit how superficial I am. Case and point:

Not too long ago a friend of mine were having a “girl’s night out,” when she interrupted my blurting mouth with:

Her: “Grrrrrrl, did you see him?”

Me: “Who?”

Her: “That one, don’t look now, but over there… I thought for sure you’d seen him because he is… {insert dreamy batting eyes}”

Me: “Nuh-uh”


So as I looked around frantically I still didn’t see him. Looked around again, (o so not discreetly) and still had no clue about who it was she was desperately seeking attention from. The fact was that after a few moments, I gave up and changed the subject and the night carried on but the entire time I was secretly trying not to seem dense to figure out the inside joke of who it was (exactly) that was so “dreamerly” to her. I finally narrowed it down to a problem with my own eyes. I couldn’t even “see” her type because it was not my own. I couldn’t notice the person she noticed because my eyes weren’t at all trained to notice as poignantly as if he had been say– my type, ahem.. ahem…  Adam Rodriguez. Just for example.

Which leads me back to the coffee shop…

The man kept coming up with these stories of love, faithfulness, kindness, randomness, he went on about how there was no coincidence. Then comes his Jesus spiel. Of Course it were. He was very interesting. {I meet interesting. Lol.} But even through it all it was the message of pushing through despite the adversity, carrying along through huffs and puffs. I thought about how he had said he had to sleep in his car and how nonchalant he was about it all. How he mentioned anxiety, panic, growth, love, confusion, career, children, finances, and loving what it is that you do all before he knew a thing about me.

Additionally I was inspired by two blog posts by a writer named Jozen who once wrote about not dating a woman unless he was one of the best looking guys she’d ever dated, and also his take on not broadening your horizons.

“If anything, when a man says something like what I’m saying, when a man is encouraging women to go out there and date the man they find themselves staring at for an inappropriate amount of time, ‘they should feel empowered and go forth. Not just because I say so, but because that’s how I’m living my life and I must say, dating someone you’re very attracted to, someone who is beautiful in your eyes and is so fine you can watch her just sleep, it’s a pretty good feeling. It’s a pretty good feeling for me and it’s a pretty good feeling for her.” -Jozen

I absolutely love good thoughts and inspiration. I love to read things that teach me a bit more about what is inside of me.

The more I find out about myself the more I realize the steps I’ve missed. I haven’t yet learned myself enough to live in everything that I love, partly because so much of me still needs to be discovered. I realized that I have finally begun to touch on what that is. Loving and accepting my standards, my goals, my talents, and myself.

Original picture recommended found from the wonderful Library Adventures via original Limited Edition print from Heartfish Press.


I’m… pregnant…


and… it’s a girl… her name is “Notebook”

so far she’s 1 lb.  and I love her so much! 😉


Notebook pretending she’s a wii.




We pretend to nap.



















And brother and sister bonding…


Her new sleep playpen…

















And my new baby making a mess!


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