HAPPY NEW YEAR FOLKS!!!
Yikes... 2014 is here! It seems like it just came out of nowhere. One day it was February 2013 then all of a sudden it was December 2013. So much happened last year and it got me to thinking: A lot of what I went through might have been avoided or I would have been better prepared had I simply started asking questions. And not just me asking questions, but if people had asked me questions then I would've been honest and when I gave the answers maybe I would've realized the truths I was hiding from everyone else all for the sake of pride. This revelation came to me while having lunch with my good girlfriends on New Year's Eve and they were shocked by some of the things I was revealing. Granted there were some things I was just too shamed to tell them because ...well never mind, that's another story for another day. Just know there is truth in the saying "Why do fools fall in love?" But for the most part I'm very transparent with my friends and if you ask me something I will tell you what really went down. I told them they should have just asked.
Not only did my conversation with my girls get my wheels turning, but I thought about how my best friend (who's a guy) knows just about everything there is to know about me because he ask questions. Never pushy, he just has a way of casually getting information out of people. He can talk to a complete stranger in the grocery store line and get their personal version of "ROOTS" between the Pepsi cooler and the plastic bags. Meanwhile, I can go out with someone for lunch 3 times in the same week and not know their hometown. I'm exaggerating, but not by much. He's always getting on me for not asking questions or not getting enough details. (this has caused countless arguments and frustrating moments when we get asked to perform. I'm like "If we got mics, keyboard and amp, I'm good. He's all "How high are the ceilings and how many chairs cause that will determine the acoustics...yada yada") *shrugs*
Not only have my in-person conversations made me scratch my temples, but in this age of social media and texting and such, I've realized questions need to be asked for the sake of clarification. Tone and inflection isn't always interpreted via text, even when you use emojis (Watch out for that semi-colon winky smiley cause he/she is breaking up happy homes) Sarcasm and rhetorical questions don't always go over well via text. Inside jokes are taken out of context to people who aren't in the know. Facebook isn't the place for innocent nicknames that could also be used as a term of endearment or perhaps one person is posting something the other party isn't fully committed to. For example: You're tagged in a picture with someone of the opposite sex out on the town and the caption says "Me and my boo. I love me some him/her!" And folks are commenting "Awww...Y'all make a cute couple." (cause it seems like y'all are very coupled up) but then the tagged person status and inbox says "Oh no, I'm still VERY single". Someone needs to ask questions for the sake of clarity in this season coming off Christmas headed into Valentine's Day! (not saying it happened, just saying)
So to keep history from preventing itself I've proclaimed 2014: The YEAR OF DIRECT INQUIRY!!! I'm asking questions folks!!! It's up to the people I ask to be honest when I ask them, but I promise you I'm about to ask. I've even come up with a list of top 10 questions that I should've asked in the past but I think may work in 2014. (in no particular order)
1.Are you single AND available? Follow-up: You're not in a sketchy marriage, you don't live with your baby mama, I won't see you on Instagram kissing a woman at a party in a post from last Saturday???
2. Have you recently been arrested and for what? White collar, blue collar, misdemeanor, child support, sex offender, domestic violence, bad checks??? (Note: you can also ask this same question about loss of job)
3. Do you work a real job? As in you file taxes, you're not on mental disability, or stealing your parents/grandparents SSI.
4. (For employers) Have you ever had payroll checks bounce? Will I be shamed at the bank on payday? (Note: Question #2 might also need to be asked of a new boss or employer)
5. Before we go out, do you have money? Follow up: Do you have enough money for the date we're going on? Do you have more than 5 dollars in your pocket and/or bank account combined because I will not help you if you have to go to your car and get change out of the ashtray?
6. Do you have kids? If so how many? And how often do you see them? Is there anyone who could possibly be currently pregnant with your child?
7. Are you a Christian? Are you saved? Like for real saved or are you trying to make me one of the "Sister Wives" or part of a sex cult?
8. May I see a copy of your 3rd grade report card or school records? Follow up or in lieu of: Your 6th and 8th grade writing competency tests, CATs, SATs, ACTs and/or High School senior class project.
9.Tell me about your best friend? Follow up: Are you referring to an imaginary friend?
10. Are you crazy? (Note: if they adamantly say they are NOT crazy and get offended by this question, the answer is YES, they are crazy and trumps any of the other answers)
Now of course, always go with your instinct but this year my inquisitiveness will fuel my instinct. The Bible says the people will perish for a lack of knowledge and I'm not going down this year because I didn't ask!!! I'm asking folks and I'm asking the Lord for guidance cause another year like 2013... AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!!!
*starts singing The Winans *
Let's make it a good one y'all!