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by Jennifer Brown Banks

Cell Hell
And Other Perspectives...

Call me dumb and dumbfounded. But I say that there ought to be more legislation governing the use of cell phones. Not only should there be penalties for those who talk with hand-held devices while driving, but perhaps an ignorance ordinance as well. Or at least etiquette classes educating certain violators on proper public behavior.

These measures would be aimed at folks that increase our wait time in lines while they engage in lengthy conversations as they try to transact business. Or those who speak in tones louder than the color red. And last but not least, users who victimize us with vulgar and public dialogue that should be kept in the privacy of their own trailer parks.

One such conversation occurred this morning while riding the bus. It went down like this:

“That 'B’ can kiss my 'A'. She just mad ‘cause I didn’t come to her party. She just wanted me to buy her kids something for their party. She's always in my pockets! Anyway, if she really wanted me to come she shoulda’ picked me up.
My sister is crazy. That 'B' can kiss my 'A'.

The conversation went on and on.

There were kids and elderly with "delicate ears" right within hearing range, defenseless, and outwardly embarrassed.

Don’t get me wrong, as a professional writer, I strongly uphold the right to freedom of speech. And some of the conversations have truly made my commute interesting, to say the least.

But some folks are carrying things just a bit too far, and in doing so, have committed innocent bystanders to cell hell! If you’re one of them, please stop the madness!

In the words of the Verizon Wireless commercial:
"Can you hear me now?!"

They’ve done it again! People Magazine has compiled and published their yearly round-up of men that make us girls go goo-goo eyed!

And once again, my picks are positioned nowhere on the list. With perhaps the exception of Mathew McCounaghey (who graces the front cover).

Who do they poll? What criteria do they use? Is it a status thing? Can anybody vote? These are but a few things that come to mind.

Anyhow, to give a more realistic and well-rounded perspective
I’ve decided to produce my own list…drum roll please!!!!


For reasons I can’t put in print! (But to get a clue, check out his new movie GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN’).

For the obvious reasons (his smile, his charisma, and the “it” factor).

For his gorgeous eyes, his body, and his chemistry on camera.

For his confidence, his coolness, his puckers, and his bedroom eyes.

For the “it” factor.

For reasons too numerous to list!

For being adorable, well-rounded, (ex-boxer, singer, actor, talk show host) and warm. And he cooks! And I’m a huge fan of any man who knows his way around a kitchen.

For his athletic build, million dollar smile, and playful personality.

Do you really need a reason?

Because I love guys who can make me laugh. Because he’s a family man, a stylish dresser, and he cares for kids.

Unless you’re into poetry, don’t wrack your brain — you won’t know him. But a man who allows himself to be vulnerable, and is eloquently expressive is definitely a turn-on in my book!

Six ways to be a great guest

It’s the holiday season. And chances are, your social calendar will be filled with invitations for festive gatherings with family and friends.

Whether your visit will be for one hour or one week, You’ll want to observe the following measures to make sure your name is on the guest list the next go around!

1. Be Gracious
If your opinion is not sought, please don’t take the liberty of offering decorating tips, advice on parenting, marriage counseling, etc. In other words…mind your business and your manners.

2. Don't Complain
If you could have made a moister turkey then you should have! These days everybody wants to be a critic. If something is not to your liking, don’t complain, just don’t take seconds!

3. If You Came Empty Handed You Should Leave That Way!

4. Offer a Helping Hand to the Hostess Before and After the Affair.

5. Hold Your Liquor and Your Tongue!

6. Don't Overstay Your Welcome
A good rule of thumb is that you should probably leave 2-3 hours after eating, or before the effects of the booze kicks in!

> - The best approach to find the one. <

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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.

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