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Best Date Night Ever

What a night!  I was anxious to get back home to New York after 3 days in Washington, DC. The weather has been beautiful lately in NYC and lends itself to dining alfresco.  A night out at one of my favorite restaurants was in order.  No need to make a reservation.  They know us well there.  “How many in your party tonight, T.J.?”  “One and a half,” I replied.  “And, can we have a high chair, please?”

The two of us have been out to restuarants together plenty of times before.  It’s always fun and interesting, but we’ve always done breakfast or lunch.  Her age, bedtime, and mood often dictate that she can’t be out so late.  On this night, we were making an exception.  This was actually our first ever dinner date.  Just the two of us.

And my little dinner companion was a hit.  We sat at a great table situated on the corner of 3rd Avenue in Manhattan.  With the steady stream of pedestrians, we made a lot of new friends who kept stopping to check out my date’s big smile, big blue eyes, and bigger-by-the-day hair.  I always love when people are impressed by my date!  This was a little different, however.

It was all a little different.  This date didn’t mind that I ordered for her, or that I cut up her food into little pieces.  The conversation was good and constant, even though we speak two different languages. (English & baby babble)  And, at the end of dinner, there was no awkward moment over who would pay the bill.

A few years ago, I might have been racing home from an out-of-town trip so I could hook up with (fill in the blank) for a date night of dinner and drinking, with every intention of taking her back to my place.  Well, last night, at the end of the night, I took my date home.  Took her home, changed her diaper, put diaper rash paste on her butt, put her pajamas on, read through her “My Itsy Bitsy Spider Tab Book,” and rocked her to sleep.  What a night!

I wrote an article a few months ago about giving up my perfectly good bachelor life.  Who knew that giving it up would eventually lead to much better date nights.

Ladies, we only need two minutes of your time

It will take you longer to read this article than it takes nearly half of all men to finish having sex.  And this is a fairly short article.  But consider, if two people start having sex right now, the man will either be asleep or smoking a cigarette by the time you read the last word I’ve written here.

Two minutes, ladies. That’s all you’re going to get from a lot of guys.  Two minutes.   

I imagine a few women just exclaimed, “No s—, TJ!”  The fact that many men don’t last long during intercourse isn’t necessarily worthy of a breaking news alert.  But, new analysis is shedding more light on the situation, and men’s sexual shortcomings. (Pun intended)  READ MORE

Messed Up a Perfectly Good Bachelor Life

“It’s funny that when a man hasn’t anything in the world to worry about, he goes off and gets married.”  — Robert Frost

What the hell was I thinking?!  I was 31, single, making good money, & living in Atlanta, a city that’s been described as “happy hunting” for a single guy.  I was living the life my grandfather told me, as a small child, to live: “Why get married and try to make one woman happy … when you can stay single and make them all happy?”  Granddad would have been proud. READ MORE

Lessons learned that helped me make it to my 4-year wedding annivesary

1) The engagement ring is worth every penny.  It’s the one thing that will remind her of you every single day.

2) Don’t let your miserable married friends or your single friends give you marriage advice.

3) Stay in touch with her family without being prompted to do so.

4) Don’t ever put her in a position to have to track you down.  She should always know where you are.  You’re not “checking in.”  You’re being considerate.

5)  Don’t be annoyed, but appreciate when other men check out your wife or want to be around her.  It’s a compliment to you. READ MORE

Where the rules went wrong

After a debate erupted on twitter yesterday when I posted the Rules of the Modern Gentleman, I thought I’d call my mom for a little perspective.  She, afterall, is the woman who raised me.

“You are not going to win that argument,” Momma Holmes told me.  And, this is where she said I went wrong: not looking at a calendar.  “It’s 2014, baby.  It’s a different society, a different world.  It’s not what it used to be.”

Of course, I didn’t expect unanimous agreement from people on every one of the 30 “rules.”  And as the originators of the list (@TMFMag) tweeted me yesterday, “unfortunately, many take them (the rules) too seriously…they are just basic foundations…not an all-encompassing manual.”  Still, I didn’t expect some people to so fervently disagree with a couple of them. READ MORE

A different New Year’s Eve?

This is how I spent my last 5 New Year’s Eves:

Mexico City in 2008. (12 grapes and the Zocalo, oh my!)

Beale Street in Memphis, TN in 2009. (They actually have a guitar drop.)

Charles Barkley’s NYE party in Arizona in 2010. (I plead the 5th.)

The Dominican Republic in 2011. (I’m going to move to the DR eventually.)

Atlanta in 2012. (They actually do a peach drop.)

And, this year, I’ll be bringing in 2014 in New York City, the New Year’s Eve mecca!  But, don’t let that fool you.  I won’t be partying.  I won’t be in Times Square.  I won’t be attending a friend’s house party.  I won’t be at a sexy Manhattan event.   I’ll be in the house and steps away from my sleeping 11-month-old who has a bedtime of 6 p.m.

Given my proclivity for partying on New Year’s Eves in the past, this year’s “celebration” seems out of character, but truth is, there’s something sweet, symbolic, and satisfactory about starting the year this way: steps away from my sleeping daughter … who can sleep a little more soundly knowing that daddy is right there watching over her as she starts the first full year of her life.  That is how 2014 should start, and symbolically sets a tone for my 2014 priorities.

OK, who am I kidding?!  We’re looking for a last-minute babysitter right now!  It’s New Year’s Eve in New York City!!!!!!!!  We’re about to go get it on!

In search of one woman

In a packed convention hall, a woman stood up in front of thousands of strangers and painfully admitted that her husband is a cheater and that they may not make it to their next wedding anniversary.  I nearly cried.  The crowd nearly crucified her.

She was among the crowd that gathered to hear me and my fellow panelists at the Circle of Sisters Expo in New York on Saturday.  The panel (“Black Men Reveal“) was billed as “an insider’s guide to what every man is thinking and what every woman wants to know.”  My fellow panelists were singer Eric Benet, actor Gbenga Akinnagbe, and radio host Lenny GreenTamar Braxton (in her unique style) moderated the discussion before opening it up to audience questions.  There were questions about dating, sex, finances, having friends of the opposite sex, and of course, cheating. READ MORE