Posts Tagged "men"

The (Mis)Classification of Menfolk: Why You’ve Been Friend-Zoned

Posted by on Jul 14, 2012 in Being Single, Dating & Relationships, For the Brothers, Uncategorized | 2 comments

The (Mis)Classification of Menfolk: Why You’ve Been Friend-Zoned


Dear Fellas,

You absolutely must know why we limit our interactions with you to equal to or less than platonic measures. To be perfectly honest, it may be your fault. Then again, it may not be. This is going to hurt a little, but don’t squirm too much or others will notice.

No point in belaboring the introduction. Let’s get right to it!

 

We may not be dating.

It seems I’m not the only person on a dating sabbatical. If a woman says she’s not dating, let it be. I don’t mind answering “why”, but there’s nothing you’re going to tell me that will change my mind. God knows the time we’ve committed to Him, and if you’re the one, then you’ll wait patiently til the egg timer goes off.

 

We’re just not attracted to you in that way.

Incredibly witty, unattractive men greatly abound in this world. Let’s face it… attraction, subjective as it may be, is still very important to us (but not quite as important as it is to you). Fret not. We won’t tell you that’s the reason. We will keep our fingers crossed that someone will soon swoon for your looks and charm. I’d be remissed to imply that only physical attraction matters here. Sometimes there’s simply no common interest. So you’re big into Hip Hop culture? Cool. That’s not me. No need to hobble down that path…

 

You’ve talked yourself out of a chance.

Within two conversations some of you list everything that everyone has ever rejected you for. You’re too short. Too tall. You have really bad breath in the morning. Something’s wrong with your man meat. T–M-FREAKING-I! We care very little as to why someone else has rejected you, but we care very much that you still care. Women are attracted to confident, not cocky, men. We’re not asking you to brag or impress, but to show that you have a healthy love and respect for yourself. After all, if you make it to hubby status then you must love us as you love yourself. And if you don’t love yourself, well, the converse is true. There’s a time and place for transparency, but the first few conversations is not it.

 

Because when I called you “bro” you took it the wrong way.

If we address you as “bro” that does NOT mean, you don’t have a chance. It simply means we have not yet discerned the type of fella you are. We can’t call you “boo” without sending the wrong message about our intentions. I guess “sir” will do. But if you get upset over a simple “bro” then you will most likely get upset over something else just as minuscule. And let’s be for real– Not every woman wants you, and that’s ok too.

 

You’ve already made it clear that I’m not your type.

Everyone has preferences, and that’s fine. But if you constantly talk about the light-skinned, baby-haired woman who wears a size 6 with triple D cups…. Bro, that’s just not me or 99.999% of the women on this planet. Many of us are attracted to the very thing that will keep us in trouble. Sort out what you want and what you need. But I can’t be the person to help you bridge that gap. Once I’ve assessed that I’m not what you like, I will put you in a zone far from anything that resembles a romantic relationship. THIS is why you all get the pats on the backs during the hugs!! Farbeit from me to ask you to make an exception. Farbeit from you to make me your second, third, or fourth choice.

 

You’re far too aggressive.

I’ll be the first to say I love a manly man. But, sir, you cannot grab and kiss me the first time we meet. You cannot tell me what you want to do to me every time we chat. It’s far too much. Are you trying to conquer me, or get to know me? One will get you far. The other will get you in the SMS-zoned. (SMS zone is beneath the friend zone.) Keep it up, and you’ll land a spot on our Blacklist and receive an automatic SMS reply that reads “This text has been declined by the receiver because you are an @$$!”

 

One final thought… don’t take the friend zone personally. It’s quite alright if a woman doesn’t want to pursue anything more with you, and if you can’t handle that, then you really aren’t ready to date. If you are truly interested and your heart is in the right place concerning her, then you will wait and continue to pursue her until things change. In the meantime, be a great friend and show her that your integrity and charm is worth making her reconsider your (mis)classification.

 

What mistakes have led you to the friend zone of a woman you cared for?
What changes can you make in yourself to prevent this from happening time and time again? Would YOU date YOU?

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future freedom from friend-zoning,

Alana

Image by Paul Goyette via Compfight

Read More

The Art of Submission: Anecdotal Evidence

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in Dating & Relationships, Family, Uncategorized | 1 comment

The Art of Submission: Anecdotal Evidence

Last Sunday, I left you hanging…

On purpose.

I know it’s a cold thing to do, but there was a method behind my apparent madness. The teacher in me wanted you to draw your own conclusions before I placed further ideas into your head. It is my sincere hope that you, my cyber sister friend, have considered my last few points regarding your relationship. I hope that you’ve asked yourself if your significant other is really loving you the way God intended, if he is handling business as the leader of your home, and if he is one to whom you can submit.

So many “good, Christian girls” marry in hopes to actually be able to submit to a man of God only to realize he’s not half a man and has even less of God. And so we don’t know what to do because we think that in order to please God we must please our unplease-able husbands. But I laugh at the enemy… There is a solution to your problem.
At the risk of bearing too much of my past, I’d like to revisit my previous points and support them with anecdotal evidence, some of my own and some of someone else’s.
  1. He’s your husband, not God.  Yes, we must honor, love, and obey, but there must always be a place that you preserve for you and your God alone. Elevating anyone, children included, above the place of the Almighty will open you to heartache and disappointment. I remember being torn between my relationship with God and my relationship with my ex-husband. It seemed I couldn’t maintain my walk with Christ as long as I was trying to please the other. I would imagine Adam felt the same ambivalence when he watched his beloved taste the forbidden fruit. Imagine what he must have thought in that moment. She knows this is wrong. She knows this will separate her from God. So will it separate her from me too? But I LOVE her. Icannot live without her… But God loved me first, and I love Him! God or Woman? Woman or God? So he ate the fruit. He chose Woman over God, and as a result all of mankind fell. What if Adam had not eaten the fruit? Would God have allowed him to redeem the woman he loved so much keeping our heritage in Eden intact?Could God redeem your spouse as a response to your faithfulness to Him?Absolutely! Could things fall into place should you decide to focus solely on the other person? It’s possible, but not likely. I wish you well either way.
  2. If he doesn’t demonstrate Christ-like love for you, be careful about submitting. It could cost you more than you’re willing, or even able, to pay. The Bible says that a man must love his wife as he loves himself. So if he hates himself……………. Oh ok. A self-loathing person is bitter, self-destructive, angry, manipulative, and unforgiving. If these devices are demonstrated in your husband’s interactions with you, do what you can to keep order in the home, but anything that is detrimental to you and the family or feels out of sorts, you MUST stand your ground. I’ve known women who had unfaithful spouses that felt obligated to sleep with their husbands. Don’t lay yourself down under a man that you know (or even with legitimate reason, think) is being unfaithful to you. Don’t leave bills unpaid that could affect you in the long run because he’s “got it under control.” Do what you know is right to do when it’s time to do it. You’ll have pay later. I had to pay later when I could’ve stepped up and handled things when I knew he wouldn’t.
  3. If his life is out of order, he cannot be your head. Don’t allow someone who lacks self-control to control you.Two big points here… It seems this would be common sense, but how many of us chase behind brothers who lack any restraint in their personal lives? The purpose of a relationship is to build something. You cannot build with a person who chases thrills, emotional highs, or any other high for that matter… Strangely enough, folks who lack self-control attempt to control everything around them. Don’t be that kind of victim.I wish a brotha would ask to see my grocery store receipt to calculate my drivetime home. I have a Chemistry degree, and I know how to use it.
  4. Submission is mutual. He needs to submit to you as well. I laugh when I hear stories of young grooms demanding their brides to do as they say because the bride must submit. Submission,in its finest form, is mutual. He should think enough of you to discuss matters before making a decision. I can’t think of one woman in her right mind who wants to be the man and take full responsibility for a family, but I also can’t think of one who wants all the decisions made for her without consideration for her needs. The pendulum swings both ways, folks… both ways. Menfolk would do well to allow us to take the lead from time to time.
  5. If he is not submitted to God and your pastor, don’t expect him to submit to you. The strongest, wisest, most prosperous men on this planet answer to someone somewhere. If your boo-bah-dee-boo-boo claims to love God but won’t submit to a pastor, don’t expect him to submit to you. The concept of respecting authority eludes some people. So not only do these misguided fellas lose jobs and underperform at work, but they also fail to walkin the proper authority as the man, husband, and father. Men at their best when they are accountable to other men.
  6. You don’t have to agree or even take his advice for yourself. I looooove to wear make-up. Love love love! I don’t wear a lot, nor do I wear anything crazy, but I do like to highlight my features. Well, when I wasmarried it was strongly suggested that I stop wearing make-up. In fact, it became a source of tension between us, particularly if I was going out to the store without him though he neeever wanted to go along. That’s another matter altogether. But the tension remained until I made it clear that I wasn’t going to stop wearing it. Before long, he’d just stare at me while I put it on… in awe of my beauty of course. He learned to respect something small that mattered to me. See– *pulls out church lady glasses*—folks have the tendency to project their own insecurities on others. There is no need for me to feel unattractive because you have an issue. If I love you, make-up won’t make me cheat. If I don’t love you, nothing short of God’s hand will stop me. Ladies, you can comply if you so choose, but make sure you choose to do so for the right reasons.
  7. If he’s not pleased with you now, then he won’t be pleased with you after you do everything he claims he wants you to do. That’s not your issue…it’s his! Bigger boobs, longer hair, more/less make-up never changed an unfaithful heart. Ladies, some things we just cannot compete with. Some things we should not have to compete with. If he truly loves you, then he will learn over time to keep his eyes only for you. Don’t expect this to be an overnight process, but cover yourself in prayer as you fight the battle against insecurity and low self-esteem. But in the meantime, you don’t have to do,wear, or behave as some fantasy woman who has no emotion or need. You don’t have to bare it all like women on television. We don’t have to be overly outspoken to be heard, or wearing a nappy fro to be appropriately Black. (Oh gosh… did I type that? Yeah, I did. Team relaxer, baby!)  But let me qualify this… Some of us DO need to lose weight. Some of us DO need to grow our hair out. Some of us DO need to find out what it means to be feminine. Some of us DO need to learn how to cook and clean a house.
I think I’ve picked enough on the fellas, don’t you agree? I mean all the good menfolk are screeeeaming at me wondering why I’m talking about these bad dudes when there are bad women out there too. Don’t worry… that’s the next topic. So I’ll see you same time next week?? *raises eyebrows looking for your agreeable smile* I look forward to it.
I look forward to reading your comments. As always please tweet, post, share, email, SUBSCRIBE! Let me know you’re out there! I’ve made it to the other side of the planet a few times now, so send me a cyberwave if you please! Until next time…
With love, sincerity, and hope for the future, 
Alana
Photo Credit: By SidewaysSarah on Flickr
Read More

The Art of Submission: Serving Two Masters

Posted by on Mar 18, 2012 in Being Saved, Dating & Relationships, Family, Uncategorized | 2 comments

The Art of Submission: Serving Two Masters

This entry is for the married ladies and those in serious relationships. For several reasons, I’ve neglected to write about my experience as a married woman. The Bible says a poor man’s wisdom is despised, so I thought no one would want to hear how you should or shouldn’t interact with your husband from a woman who doesn’t have one anymore. There’s no shame on my end, but certainly, people have said they didn’t want my opinion because I failed at it. 


But where I may have a void in your eyes, I’ve got a wealth of experience and understanding in my own. So take it or leave it… just read it, and decide later. :)


Life, for me, is better on this side. And some of you ladies are married to a man with the same or similar *ahem* demeanor as my ex-husband. You need to know how to handle him whether you choose to stay with him or not.


I’ve spent some time in my singleness wondering how this love thing is supposed to go. After applying the truth to my failed experience(s), this is what I believe.

A man and woman meet and become friends. Their friendship grows and neither person expects more from the other than they ought. They’re simply getting to know each other. Because they like what they find in each other, they decide to enter an exclusive romantic relationship where they can grow together with the future possibility of being one. As the couple becomes more committed to one another, the intimacy between them increases. They protect the relationship by never allowing the intimacy to exceed the level of commitment. In doing so, the man expresses his sincere, heartfelt, “I’ll die for you” type of love for the woman in constructive ways. Once she knows his love is real, she learns how to demonstrate her love for him. The couple marries, and the woman, as her expression of love to the man, willingly submits to him. She knows she is safe, that he won’t harm her, that he will always protect her because he has already demonstrated this WITHOUT marital benefits. So if he did it then, surely he will do it now. Woman says “I can trust this man, so I will love him and submit to him.”



Hindsight is 20/20. And you’se married nah….


Looking back to your courtship may help identify where things didn’t go quite the right way, but doesn’t tell you how to fix the situation you’re already in nor does it tell you how to change the future. You’ve exchanged those til-death-do-us-part’s and you meant them. But you may often feel that submitting to him just doesn’t feel right. You know you’re supposed to let him lead, but his leadership abilities may be in question. But first, let’s chat about what submission looks like.


Or better yet, what it doesn’t. Submission is not doing everything he says, being everything he wants you to be, giving when he demands that you give, and taking whatever he demands you take. It is not compliance, nor does it force one to become a doormat. You are an adult women with your own sensibilities, personality, and goals. Submission simply means you support his mission for building a life for your family. In submitting to your mate, you gladly defer to him and support him as the leader and protector of your home. 


At the risk of writing a blog that’s entirely too long, I will make the following statements and allow you to dissect them for yourself. 

  1. He’s your husband, not God.
  2. If he doesn’t demonstrate Christlike love for you, be careful about submitting. It could cost you more than you’re willing, or even able, to pay.
  3. If his life is out of order, he cannot be your head. Don’t allow someone who lacks self-control to control you.
  4. Submission is mutual. He needs to submit to you as well.
  5. If he is not submitted to God and your pastor, don’t expect him to submit to you.
  6. You don’t have to agree or even take his advice for yourself. (I’ve got a story for this, but I’ll save it.)
  7. If he’s not pleased with you now, then he won’t be pleased with you after you do everything he claims he wants you to do. That’s not your issue… it’s his! Bigger boobs, longer hair, more/less make-up never changed an unfaithful heart.
Final thought!

Churchfolk tend to get submission wrong. Don’t mind them… It’s what mama’nem were taught by some passa generations ago. Passa couldn’t read, so he had to take his passa’s word for it. But now it’s time to get these things in order. 

Submission is not the laying down of your life. It is an attitude of gratitude, a natural response, to one who has already laid down His, and his, life for you….

Selah.

And with that, I wish you all a happy Sunday. Please post, share, tweet, retweet, and email if this has helped you! I look forward to reading your comments below! Take some time to fish through my previous posts as well… I’m as nutty as I am serious. 

Happy Sunday to you all!


With love, sincerity, and hope for the future,


Alana 

Photo Credit:
Read More

A Woman Would Rather Be Single than to Date…

Posted by on Dec 18, 2011 in Being Single, Dating & Relationships, For the Brothers, Uncategorized | 6 comments

A Woman Would Rather Be Single than to Date…


You.


Yep. I said it. This might hurt a little, but I’ll offer you a cyberhug when you’re through reading.


I see so many good-looking, single, well-paid brothers living the same type of life year after year. Some of you want to get married soon, but you’ve yet to find a good woman that will take you seriously. You keep meeting the same super needy, whiny, self-deprecating, manic-depressive nutcase with a cute face, small waist and booty that almost makes you forget her aforementioned flaws… until, of course, she opens her mouth.


That specimen is far cry from a good woman, and the only reason you’ve attracted her is because there are little tidbits in you that keep the good ones away. 


I hate to tell you this, but good women– we turn our heads away when we see you coming. You’re handsome, intelligent, well-dressed, have some promise of a great future, a good man… but there’s that one little nagging thing you do that screams “Stay away from me. I’m just going to play with your emotions.”


Don’t believe me? I invite you to take a look into the cybermirror of introspection. Go somewhere private and grab a tissue… 

  1. You have unrealistic expectations. There is NO SUCH THING as a party girl that dresses to show off her 36-24-46, cooks and cleans like your momma, pays all her bills on time, makes your toes pop three times a week, AND serves the Lord faithfully on Sunday mornings but let’s you stay home to watch TV. If you want that party girl, then go get one, but if you want a wife you’ve got to look a little deeper than her Facebook photos.
  2. You have feminine energy. Nah, dog… don’t skip past this one just because you’re not effeminate. Feminine energy is something TOTALLY different. If you’ve ever found yourself saying “I just want a woman to take care of me, chase me, sweat me, make ME happy” that’s feminine energy. A man is supposed to cover, protect, and care for the woman, not the other way around. Yes, there are some things we tend to as women, but those things are benefits of committed relationships… not dinner and a movie. And to be totally honest, it’s downright girly of you… Man up.
  3. Everything is about sex! Are we really still doing this? Fellas, you’re in your 30’s now. There is no need to EVER say “I’ll have you addicted to me.” That’s the fastest way to lose a good woman. We don’t care to be addicted to anything, and if it’s soooo good (*rolls eyes*) shouldn’t you have someone already? Oh wait… you still have that crazy chick calling and texting you everyday that’s two days away from busting out your car windows. No thanks! If a woman tells you that you can’t have her cookies, but you know you want some cookies, don’t try to change her mind. Get your cookies elsewhere and lose our numbers on the way.
  4. Your interest is feigned, and/or you’re inconsistent. I really think this comes from insecurity issues. Bless your broken heart, brother. But don’t lead a woman on just for your ego’s sake. A good woman will quickly forget the inconsistent caller. 
  5. BIG OL’ EGO! Tiny little huevos. If you find yourself crafting your words very carefully, chances are you’re afraid of rejection. You don’t want to make a woman say “yes”, but you don’t want to hear a “Heck-no-negro-get-out-my-face” either. Understood. We all hate rejection. But sometimes you all get a little too goofy. If you don’t have the confidence to ask a question directly, then don’t ask until you do.    
  6. You are bossy, critical, or judgmental. Do you want a woman like that? No?! But you just said I should go out more, take more pictures, wear my hair up, paint my living room red, not buy my kids those toys but pay extra on my credit card instead, AND eat a salad for dinner. Stop it. If a woman doesn’t interest you, it’s not her responsibility to change for you. Accept her, or choose to part ways. 
  7. And here’s the big one…. YOU LACK DISCRETION!!! Many of you are starting to want a wife which is so beautiful and precious. So when you ask a woman out on a date, do it privately. And when you ask another woman out on a date that same week, do it privately. These activities are NOT for social networking sites because said women seeeeee them! We are not blind. We are not going to take you seriously if you click “like” on every half-naked woman’s photo (the FB ticker tells all) and subtweet another woman about how wonderful last night’s conversation was. We can tell the difference between the comments that are just for fun and those that are real.  And most of you have realized that checking in on FourSquare while on a date is a BIG no-no.
Now ease yourself out of that cybermirror of introspection and inquire within… Would you have a relationship with a woman who participated in all this foolishness? I’ll wait… because one person said “It wouldn’t bother me… She can do whatever she wants.” You, sir, should not be dating anybody.

I wish you all well. There will be wonderful love stories in Spring 2012 from at least a few of you, so choose wisely, protect the love you foster, and leave the aforementioned foolishness behind.

I’m hoping and praying for your best!



With love, sincerity and hope for the future,

Alana
Read More

Other Side of the Game

Posted by on Apr 13, 2011 in Dating & Relationships | 1 comment

Other Side of the Game

“Don’t worry, baby. I know there’s confusion. God’s gonna see us through yeah…”

I love the tune and the soulful crooning of a lovedrunk Badu, but when I break down the lyrics (i.e. overanalyze), I wonder why so many of us women end up on the other side of an ugly game. I know she’s talking about the drug game in the song, but I’m using my blogtistic license here.

It’s an epidemic. Woman meets man. Man turns on game. Woman falls for game. Man reveals that he’s playing and blames woman for falling because she should’ve known better. Woman sticks around dissatisfied, disgruntled, and disillusioned hoping for the impossible. Yeah, I know women run game too, so guys, apply accordingly.

So, ladies & gents, where do we go wrong when we meet a potential love? I could write ten steps to choosing the wrong person to love, which I’m TOTALLY qualified to do… Or I could just let Badu do the talking.

“It ain’t that he don’t have education cuz I was right there at his graduation.”

So, he’s got an education? He gets some respect for that. He works hard? That’s even better! But is he demonstrating what he’s learned at whatever level of education he’s attained? Potential is never good enough. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those educated snobs who only talks to men with the degree qualifications that meet or exceed my own. I tend to find many highly-educated men… well, boring. But nothing’s worse than a flirty brother with poor spelling, poor grammar and a lot to say. We all get those messages on Facebook that are hard to decipher. “You used to look good in high school but now you still do too.” Yeah, that’s in my inbox. I have yet to reply.

“But it’s me and baby that he hurts.”

So he loves you so much that he keeps doing what hurts you and hurts the kids too? Let me guess. He’s either doing it for you or he can’t help it. Badu needs to read “The Doormat People.” She’s an accessory to her own victimization, and the children will only resent her later.

“Because I tell him right, he thinks I’m wrong. But our love is strong.”

Sorry, Badu. Even the good ones don’t want to know when they’re wrong. That’s just the nature of a man. Even my six-year old son has to always be right. If he puts his underwear on backwards, he’ll argue with me even though he can’t find a way to pee straight. But there is a way to let a man know when things are starting to sour… that’s another blog for another day.

“Gave me the life that I came to live.”

What the heck? No, he didn’t. JESUS did that! Get your priorities straight…

“Pressure’s on me, but the seed is grown. I can’t make it on my own.”

A real man will always take the pressure OFF, and he’ll never take your power away by planting seeds of insecurity. God gave man authority, but the woman has power. Wield it wisely, ladies. Never give away what God has given you!

Let’s backtrack to when Erykah first met this fella. At some point she knew that he had some other stuff going on and decided  to roll the dice anyway.  Why would anyone ignore the obvious signs? Well, loneliness can get the best of us. But one thing is certain; desperation landed our beloved Badu in another bad relationship. (And when I say Badu, I mean krazy me and maybe krazy you too…) Not too long thereafter, she’s telling her boo that he needs to call Tyrone…

So how do we keep ourselves on the other side of the game? If we want love, do we have to play along? I will admit I’ve gone out with people that I didn’t really like for boredom’s sake. One guy (who’s reading from his iPad) posted on Facebook that a certain woman (me) was making him rethink his game. Just that admission has disqualified him from having a chance at spending anymore time with me. (Angry text ensuing…)

I’ve discovered a few tactics to maintaining a “game-free” life. So here goes. If you meet someone and think you might be interested…

  1. Listen for what he wants. I like to know what a man ultimately wants from a relationship. Some day (not any time soon), I’d like to be married again. If he never wants to be married, then we don’t have the same aspiration, and I’ll end up wasting my time if I continue with him. People tend to be more honest early on because the stakes are low. Believe a person when they tell you or show you who they are.
  2. Listen for how he wants it. You want to know what his religious and moral beliefs are, but other convictions matter too. Life perspective is a HUGE consideration for me. For example, I subscribe to the “Life is short, so do it right the first time” way of living. I can’t be with someone who subscribes to the “Life is short, so live it up at all costs” way of living. Judgments aside, it just doesn’t work.
  3. Listen to how much he’s saying. Does he talk too much? One of my associates talks so much that he just bores me to tears. He’s a sweet guy, but boring! Does he talk too little? Ummm… did you call me so I could listen to you watch the basketball game? I have better things to do… like talk to myself. Does he do a disappearing act and a random check-up to make sure you don’t forget him? Play along for fun, but don’t get sucked in… LOL!
  4. Listen to what he’s NOT saying. Recently a fella asked me what I’d heard about him because I didn’t seem to be interested. My response: “What have you done that you don’t want me to know about?” Oh… and there’s the guy who has options. What he’s not saying is that if I don’t give him what he wants, he can get it elsewhere. My response: “Use your options. Not me…”
  5. Listen! That means be quiet!  Smile outside and scream inside. Think critically, but don’t breathe a word of it. Instead, ask a follow-up question. And don’t tell him too much about your personal convictions up front. Guys with weak game always play the “me too” game. If I say that I’m a Christian, he says “Oh yeah? Me too!”

With all of that said, there is hope for those us want the real thing. There’s no need to settle for a silly player and then ask God to bless our mess. Eventually Badu had to put Tyrone out, but only after suffering more damage than any person should sustain.

I won’t say that my transition to this point was quick or even easy. I won’t even say that where I am now is all that much fun. It’s been a while since I’ve been on a date that I’ve truly enjoyed. But what I can say is that I’m not lonely, and I enjoy possessing my soul. And when the time comes for my future husband to enter my life, I will be ready because I kept myself on the other side of very dirty and damaging game.

For those of you struggling, my heart goes out to you… Here’s some encouragement from a more positive and empowering song.

I’m coming out of krazy and taking all the broken-hearted Badus with me…
Your cyber-sister,
Alana
Read More