Categories
black women friendships relationships sisterhood Uncategorized

A Message to Molly

Molly, Molly, Molly! Child, what are you doing? I tried to root for you but this season you have made it extremely hard because you have definitely been on one. If this is what getting a man and being in a relationship does to you, stay single. I say that because since the beginning of the season and since you’ve been boo’d up with Andrew, you have been coming for Issa. It’s like Andrew gave you the courage to say the things you have always wanted to say.
Let me back up a bit. You have always been brutally honest with Issa. I don’t think you ever hid your discontent for her lack of motivation when she was with “We Got Y’all.” However, it was always clear that you wanted the best for her.
This season, though, your honesty has been tinted with an extra layer of cruelty. It’s been hard to watch. Your brutal honesty has been an excuse just to be mean and you fully mastered that. Is Andrew the catalyst for you revealing all of the things that you have always felt about Issa-she’s a user and a drama queen? Which begs the question, “Were you ever really Issa’s friend?’”
Honestly, all of your fan-friends ( we are part of the friend group too) are judging you. You seem to be the friend in the group who is only happy as long as you are on top. As soon as someone else starts to glow-up, even just a little bit, that green-eyed devil starts to rear its ugly head. You start making it a point to highlight every personal flaw you’ve ever noticed. Why? To keep it real. That’s not honesty, sis. That’s just jealousy and you should be a better friend than that.
Don’t get me wrong, Issa has been throwing slugs at you too. She certainly has her issues. However, as the last episode was so aptly named, she was at least “Lowkey Trying.”
I was so glad when you decided to go to therapy, but the crucial thing about therapy….listening to the therapist. I felt like your therapist was trying to get you to own your shit. If she’s wasn’t, then we, your fan-friends, definitely wanted you to own it. And so was Issa. She just wanted you to take the initiative to own your shit, be honest, and make things right. We all did! We wanted you to at least admit that you were wrong for charging that girl up at her block party. Your behavior was petty and, if not vindictive, certainly passive-aggressive. Admit it, apologize for it, and MEAN IT!
Some people naturally extend olive branches. We are just olive branch people. Olive-branchers if you will. Olive-branchers love our friends so we overlook a lot while constantly giving grace. You are giver too. Yet, you give material things, and giving grace is about being vulnerable. It is about meeting the other person half-way, and forgiving even when it isn’t deserved.
Issa wanted to know that you valued her enough to admit that you were wrong for your part. She wanted to know that she mattered enough to you for you to reach out first. Sometimes we, olive-branchers, just want to hear you say, “I’m sorry.” It means you care. And if you couldn’t do that, if you wouldn’t accept responsibility for hurting your friend with your words and try to make the relationship work, were you ever truly really her friend anyway? That was hard for her to digest.
And when we, fan-friends and Issa, realized that you weren’t willing to do that, we were hurt. Losing a friend is hurtful. It’s like getting a divorce- you have to tell people you broke up, split friends up, delete phone numbers, remove pics on Facebook and Instagram, etc. It’s too much!
The one thing I learned appreciate about you, Molly, was that your cut-off game. You were committed to not apologizing for the shit you meant to say. But, wasn’t that the sad part? You felt that your best friend was a “using ass bitch,” and your pride wouldn’t allow you to give in even a little bit.
Molly, you have been the common denominator-issues with Dro, your dad, Issa, and your co-workers. Stop, look in the mirror, and check yourself. Like they used to say back in the day, “Sweep around your own front door.”
So, on behalf of Issa and all of the fan-friends around the world, I am asking you, begging you, to get your shit together. Go back to your friend and work this shit out because if you don’t, we are all gonna be “Lowkey disappointed.”

Signed,

A Concerned Fan-Friend

Categories
black women health and wellness Uncategorized

Lysol Is My Superpower: Rules for Cold and Flu Season!

In honor of cold and flu season, I need some of y’all to know that Lysol is my superpower and I will use it on you!

First of all, I love y’all but do the world a favor and stay home. I know “The Man” got us out here thinking that it is shameful to call in sick. I tell you that it is a lie from the pit of hell! Use your PTO or sick days accordingly. It’s your time to take care of yourself. Instead of coming into the office coughing and sneezing all over your co-workers, use your time to stay in bed to heal! Because guess what? If you get near me with you phlegmy self, I will spray you.

Second, it’s just allergies or it’s just sinus is not a chance you should take when communing in the general public. What you think is an allergy or a sinus infection could very well be a cold, and your self-diagnosis has the potential to infect hundreds of people. Have you not seen Outbreak?! Bruh, hit that hand sanitizer before you touch that door handle.

Last but not least, when I ask you, ” Are you sick,” and you respond, “Yes, but I took Alka-seltzer,” or whatever over-the-counter cold and flu medicine you think might work…that does not appease me. Medicine that relieves your symptoms does not inoculate me! So, don’t be offended when I break out this Lysol can and wipe down everything in your vicinity. I’ll spray you like a hazmat worker at the airport!

Look, I’m getting old. In my younger days, I could bounce back from a cold in like 2-3 days. Now, 2-3 weeks. Walking pneumonia is real and the flu virus gets stronger every year. It’s not fair for you to subject us to your germs especially if you share an office or a cubicle–I didn’t choose my office space, but surely you can choose to stay home.

And, my beautiful black moms, that includes your cute kiddos too. I know back in the day our moms were like, “You ain’t got no fever? Take your ass to school.” I get it. However, our moms were made from sterner stuff. Besides, they didn’t live in such a global society as we do. It’s better to be safe than to have to shut down the whole school for an entire week because you think Devante (or Dianne) is lying. I know you remember swine flu? Come on now, you know your kids and you if he or she is faking. If they have the sniffles, let them stay home for the good of other students AND THEIR TEACHERS. There are not too many things a teacher hates more than a snotty nose kid trying to hand in homework. I won’t touch it,  “Place your paper in the basket (in my Hannibal Lecter voice). Now, hit that hand sanitizer and then I’m spraying you and the paper.”

It’s not worth us losing friendship because you feel some type of way about me spraying you. It’s not worth the awkward stares I give you when you walk through the copy room coughing. It’s not worth me getting a write up because I told the class that your kid “got that shit.” It’s not worth me being on my bed of affliction because I was too nice to tell you,  “Stay the F away from me. I don’t want your germs!” It’s just not worth it.

So…just do us all a favor and stay home. 😞😷

Categories
black women family Holidays Thanksgiving Uncategorized

10 things I’m looking forward to this Thanksgiving

1.) #thanksgivingwithblackfamilies memes-We’ve seen them “fiftyleven” times by now; however, they are still a source of comical entertainment. All 8,972 of them are pretty accurate!

2.) Turkey Trot! 🦃 🏃🏾‍♀️ -This is year 7 for me. And, no, I’m not looking for to getting up early on a chilly Texas morning, on day I should be sleeping late, to walk 3.1 miles with 10,000 people I don’t know. Not my idea of fun especially since I didn’t even train for this bad boy. I am, however, looking forward to guilt free eating. So when someone comments about me eating my 2nd piece of pie, I can respond with a straight face, “I did the Turkey Trot.” *drops🎤 😬

3.) Sweet Potato Pie, Dressing, and corn-Does this even need an explanation? 🤷🏽‍♀️ In essence, I love CARBS and all things sweet. Glory to God!

4.)The after dinner nap-There’s just something about that “holiday-itis” that’s quite refreshing. It just seems like at some point the whole house gets quiet…until it’s time to eat again. Then we are back talking loud and cracking jokes.

5.) Making my Uncle Marvin a plate. -He’s my uncle in the back room. He gets on my mama’s nerves. But, that is her brother dammit and she’s going to make sure he eats even though she will throw shade at him for 15 minutes on the ride home. It tickles me! 🤣

6.) Having all four sisters at the same time-Normally, at least one of my sisters is working on Thanksgiving. This year she is off. It’s just nice to know we will be in one place, at one time.

7.) Hollywood- That’s the name some of my friends call my 3rd oldest sister because of her fashion choices. She’s supadupa flyyy! Holidays are even better. She comes all the way thru!

My Sister…

Same sister…

🤦🏽‍♀️

8.) Happy Thanksgiving group texts- After the 10th notification it really does get annoying. Honestly though, it’s still nice to know that people think about you. 😘

9.) Dranks. Yes, DRANKS!!- In his his previous life my nephew must have been a bartender. If the itis don’t get us, his DRANKS surely will. And Hollywood, she’s a real one. No one can hang! Bring it on! 🍷 🍹 🍸 😴

10.) Getting ready for Christmas- come on now. We all know Thanksgiving is just pre-gaming time for Christmas! They don’t even hardly recognize it in the stores. We go from Halloween straight to Christmas. There are no Thanksgiving movies or Thanksgiving songs. We are all just trying to get past Thanksgiving to get to Christmas. Commercialism aside, isn’t Christmas the big deal anyway? Baby Jesus is the reason for the season. I think Thanksgiving gets a bad rap though. They should really flip it and put it after Jesus’s birthday. Maybe then the holiday will get more respect. Anyway, I’m looking forward to my tree, all of the Christmas songs, Black Christmas movies, and more cakes and pies! Thanksgiving/Christmas Pre-game is gone be LIT!!

P.S. Don’t post your dinner, if you know you can’t cook. We all know your food is nasty. Call DoorDash or UberEats. Your family will thank you. 🤗

Categories
African American Sports black women football sports Uncategorized

Myles Garrett’s suspension is a classic example of racist consequences and White privilege

If you know me, then you know I’m a Steelers fan. I’ve been a fan since I was a little girl when I watched football games with my mom. She was a Steelers fan, so I became a fan.
Being a fan, I know there are certain games that are going to be a street fight: Steelers vs. Bengals, Steelers vs. Ravens, and Steelers vs. Browns. Thursday night’s game (Nov. 14, 2019) against the Browns was no different. From the kickoff, it was a slugfest — hits-to-the-helmet, trash-talking, players locked in battle. It was no shock that we were getting our asses kicked because we were in Browns territory. We were down 14-0 at halftime, and we were struggling to convert on 3rd down. It didn’t look good. So I stopped watching, plus I was watching at a bowling alley. So, I went home. I just couldn’t watch anymore, I hate losing.

So, I wasn’t even shocked when my sorority sister texted me around 10:30pm and told me our Quarterback and O-Line were duking it out during the last 10 seconds of the game. It’s what our teams do when they play each other, but being curious, I went to YouTube (you can find just about anything on YouTube). Sure enough, someone had posted a 5 minute video of the entire brawl complete with replays and slow motion.

What was clear to me was that Mason Rudolph, our quarterback, started it. Myles Garrett breaks through our line and wraps Rudolph right on up and begins to take him down handily with a nice, clean tackle. Rudolph seems to flip Garrett around in a crazy wrestling move, but Garrett ends up on top anyway. It’s during this moment you can clearly see Rudolph try to take off Garrett’s helmet. What happens next will be talked about for years (well in the social media era for the next 24 hours). As Steeler lineman David DeCastro comes up to separate the two, Garrett snatched off Rudolph’s helmet. Rudolph is still in his face and appears to be talking a truckload of shit when Garrett clocks him with his own helmet as if to say, “BITCHHHHH! You got me fucked up!” At this point, Rudolph throws up his hands in the classic, “I’m innocent! Come on!” fashion. Anyone can see the suspensions coming against Rudolph, Garrett, Maurkice Pouncey who kicked Garrett in the head, and Larry Ogunjobi who pushed Mason down to which he replied, “Bitch!”

And sure enough, the NFL swiftly issued suspensions today! For Garrett, Pouncey, and Ogunjobi. But Mason Rudolph…crickets.

Here is where I’m bothered: Pouncey got a three-game suspension; Browns’ Ogunjobi got a one-game suspension, and Myles Garrett is suspended indefinitely — all without pay. I’m trying to figure out how Rudolph escaped this situation unscathed. Not one game. Not one fine. Racism and white privilege is how.

Garrett, Pouncey, and Ogunjobi are ALL men of color; Mason Rudolph is white. The nature of the assault gives the NFL an excuse to punish the three men of color and do absolutely nothing to Rudolph. Is it ok that Rudolph only tried to pull off Garrett’s helmet and didn’t actually do it? Is Garrett’s brain less important because he’s a defensive end and not a quarterback? No. It’s just easier for the NFL to bypass Rudolph’s transgressions because he’s a white male.

Even still, Rudolph refers to Garrett as a coward in a later. Only your privilege (and cowardice) would allow you to think it’s okay to attack someone and not expect them to retaliate. Like I tell my kids in high school, “You get to make the choices, but that doesn’t mean you get to choose the consequences.” Mason Rudolph, for whatever reason, chose to grab and try to take off Myles Garrett’s helmet. He doesn’t get to choose how Garrett responds. Garrett chose to whoop his ass…with said helmet.

I’m sure there are many football experts out there who will defend Rudolph and the NFL’s actions. I’m not a football expert. I love the game, even when it gets violent. However, to continue to ignore this type of blatant unfairness in punishment is foolish and unfair.

Black folks are tired — tired of ignoring the obvious. We can see it, and so can you, even in a game as minor and as frivolous as football. If black people have to fight these inequities in an entertaining game of sport, just imagine how hard real life must be.

P.S. As a fan, we look like some straight up B’s for starting a fight because we lost. Thanks, Mason. #notagoodlook👎🏾

Categories
aging black women dating Uncategorized

The Old and the Matchless!

I have learned to be pretty content in my singleness, but truth be told, every now and again a sister just wants a little bit of companionship. A friend to call and laugh with, catch a movie with, eat a meal with. And I mean a male friend. I love my homegirls, but they don’t replace that masculine energy, perspective, or presence. So, I decided to give online dating a try…another try…because I have tried it before and I just couldn’t! I think that I have ADHD when it comes to giving relationships the attention it requires for them to be successful.

Tinder, Plenty of Fish, Christian Mingle, Eharmony, and Match. They were all EPIC FAILURES.  And to be honest, I failed because I just didn’t put in the work necessary for me to be successful. Yet, you can’t succeed without failing. I had failed before. I wanted to see if this time would be different. This time I would TRULY have an open mind. This time I would be proactive. This time I would give it a strong effort without any expectations and see what the results would be. This time.

Babyyyy…let me tell you…I think I have been out of the game too long! What the heck is going on in these online streets?!

First off, I think I am too old. I was trained a bit different. I’m kind of old school, you know? Old school in the sense that if I ask you to go slow, you will respect my wishes and go SLOW. But not these dudes. “Sir, can we text first? Online dating is a bit scary and I would prefer to take my time.” A simple request, right? I think the guy responded, “Well, what’s the difference between talking to someone online and meeting someone in person?” Uhhh…I’m sorry. The difference is that I asked you to. BLOCK. I ain’t got time.

Next, there was…hmmm…let’s call him #youngbae. His intro. “Hey, pretty lady. You look familiar.” Me, “I was probably your teacher, you look pretty young, but your profile says you are 41.” “Oh that’s a mistake, I am really 28. Do you date younger? My ex was 49.” “I do, but not that young. I would feel like a pedophile. Besides that, you lied about your age.” He BLOCKED me! I deserved it. LOL!

I have been on this site for a while now. It has been interesting. There are a few things that I have discovered.

1.) I am old. Do you know how I made this discovery? My matches are old. I promise all of them remind me of my uncles. I get mad. “Why is this 55-year-old man liking my pic?” Then I remember, “Heifer, you are 47!” Yeah, but I don’t feel 47, and I don’t look 47. I don’t live 47! But this dude in these alligator shoes, now he looks old. I’m not old! Is this what dating is like in your 40’s?

2.) Old dudes want to talk right away. If they send you a message and you respond, they immediately want your number. “Whoa!! Slow down, buddy.” That is too much for me. As a purveyor of Lifetime movies, I am well aware of the risks of online relationships. Really all relationships. Let me take my time with exchanging personal info, please and thanks.

3.) Old dudes inherently want real relationships. I don’t know how many profiles that I read that say, “Looking for that special someone. Looking for that special lady in my life, etc… Trying to find my wife. Here for my helpmeet.” That’s great, if that is what you are looking for. But uhhhh…I just want to go out on a date or two and make friends. Then I remember again, you are 47 and not 27, and it’s highly probable that men at this stage of life are looking to settle down. However, relationships mean responsibilities. I don’t have room in my life for that. Company and friendship. That’s it. And I mean that literally.

4.) I just need people to teach their PawPaws how to take a profile pic. Stop taking pics with the Bluetooth in your ear. Please, please, please take a pic WITHOUT your sunglasses. I think two things: you are cross-eyed or high. If I see another pic of anyone sitting in the casino, I will scream! I promise. Finally, have at least one full-body pic. If you are a bit rotund, or a bit gangly, be proud! We all have things we are working on. I am no different. But be real about who and what you are. The right person will want to see and get to know the real you! Oh I forgot, please tell PawPaw the purple easter suit and gators…ummm might not be a crowd-pleaser, but then again it might. Just not for me.

5.) Be careful with your usernames. If you are serious about dating and picking a mate, then you need to pick a name that gives a good impression. That is one of the first things that people learn about you online. What you think is funny, might translate to creepy, rude, immature, or just plain dumb. I will swipe left because of it. @dwn4whateva just isn’t a good look for a 50-year-old male looking for his special lady in his life. IJS.

6.) What’s worse than the Bluetooth pic is the tank top/Bluetooth combo. And, it doesn’t matter what color in a tank top is just a big no-no. Unless, of course, you are built like Idris, the Rock, or Thor (Chris Hemsworth). Listen, it is ok if you have Dad-bod. We know you do. We are not young anymore. Heck, I have mom-bod and I don’t have not one damn kid! Just present your dad-bod in the best way possible. And I’m sorry, bruh! A dingy white t-shirt and a Bluetooth dangling from your ear, or neck, are not it. Your grandkids probably warned you. Listen to them! And the Bluetooth is just extra. Stop it.

7.) You must have a healthy dose of self-esteem. Dudes will literally ghost you or hide their profiles from you for no reason. A few years ago, I would have been in my feelings, judge myself as unattractive, or I might wonder what I said wrong, but now I celebrate just a little. At least dudes aren’t wasting my time. It is actually very freeing to realize some people just aren’t interested. In return, I realized I could be the same way. I don’t have to like or communicate with a man just because he likes or talks to me. Thus, the reason for my last two horrible situationships. There was one guy who just came across as an asshole to me. He wasn’t rude or anything. Just a contrarian. Everything was a debate or he had to be devil’s advocate. I realized I really didn’t like him. But he had a great profile (he looked great on paper) and I was like why not just keep talking to him for practice. I shared my experience with this dude with a Soror and she gave me some good advice, “Uh uh! Don’t do that! That’s how you end up in bad relationships. Eventually, he will grow on you and you’ll be like, ‘Well, he is kinda nice. Naw, girl! cut him loose.” And she was right. I was wasting the brothers time when he could focus on someone who really liked him.

8.) It’s harder than you think to just get a date. Part of it’s me. Part of it’s them. Niggas don’t ask and I don’t want to go (like I really want to go on dates, but then I really don’t). I know you all are thinking that this is totally my fault. I can read your minds, “Sis! You are too picky! Stop shooting dudes down before they have a chance.” Lies! I really am open to going out, but guys just don’t ask. I really think they don’t want to waste money on women that aren’t serious potential. I get that. Going out can get expensive. But can we meet up for coffee or ice cream? Can we go dutch? Can we meet for a workout or a run? All very inexpensive or free. At least in the beginning. Men make time and spend money on the things and people they want. So, I can only conclude that they just aren’t that serious about this, just like me. Maybe next year I will ask them out! All they can do is say no, and I am ok with that too.

9.) I learn more about myself than them—1.) I’m a job snob-in this season of my life, entry-level positions just aren’t attractive. Potential has a different look at 45 than it did when I was 25. I’m all for having dreams, but what are you doing or have you been doing to work towards those dreams. At my age, it is time to move from potential to purpose. Even if you have a full-time job, what are you called to do and are you working to fulfill that calling? And FYI, everybody ain’t called to preach (insert eye-roll). 2.) I don’t know what I want-I know more of what I don’t want. Sad but true. There’s not too much else to say about that other than I need to figure that shit out. 3.) I’m judgmental-I’m sure by this post you could already tell that. Well…it was eyeopening to me! LOL! I’ll work on it. 4.) I’m low-key ADHD-if your profile description is more than a paragraph, you lost me, bruh. I read books, not profiles; get to the point. 

I’m not really proud of these things

10.) This is actually quite fun! When I’m bored, I start swiping and I get a good laugh! The best part of this process has been sharing the fun with my friends Sonia and her sister Kiphani, who bullied us both into doing this foolishness. The group texts, screenshots, and comparative line-ups offer good laughs and fellowship. Who better to help you through an awkward dating phase than people you have known for more than 20 years. I also send them to my sisters and nieces who weigh-in on the selections. Their commentary can be comical. I send pics to my homeboys too who often say, “Give the dude a chance. You are being too hard!” Sharing the experience with family and friends reaffirms the idea that just because I’m almost 50 doesn’t mean my life is over. Love is still possible. It is still beautiful. Under the right circumstances, it should still be celebrated when it happens. Next up, our drunk swipe party. I can’t wait! I’m sure looking at profiles while slightly inebriated will be quite the experience. I’ll be sure to report back. After that, maybe I will get more serious about this process. Until then, why not have some fun.

11.) Men can be just as picky as women. Most of the time, their selectivity (is that a word) is related to physical appearance: “I like slender women. If you don’t meet this standard, please keep scrolling.” Or, “I like full-figured women! Looks like you fit the bill!” Really, dude? But the best one so far has been, “I am really looking for a woman with A-1 credit. No disrespect, but we all have our preferences.” I started to keep scrolling because you know that season in 2006 when I just stopped paying my bills and my student loans, but he hit me up in my inbox. He was cute so I said to myself, “Well, my credit isn’t A-1, but it’s decent.” I hit him back. When I tell you dude hid his profile! What the hell? Is this app giving credit scores? Or, did the Holy Spirit whisper, “She is not a good steward of her money, but she is working on it, bruh!” I couldn’t even be mad. Saved us an argument later in life. I was amused and at the same time validated. It is ok to ask for what you want in a mate. Closed mouths don’t get fed.

Last but not least…

12.) For all of my friends that dated a dude named Marquise or Demontae and they were f*ckboys  you put a bad taste in my mouth! They get automatic blocks.

I know I seem crazy and hard to please. I’m not. Am I set in my ways as my homies like to claim? Maybe. I just know that I have a good life. Dating is just another dimension to that life. It is not my whole existence. I am doing this because I want to, not because I have to. I want to learn about me. To see that I am brave enough and courageous enough to face any challenge, including a man…all except the PawPaws. I can’t do PawPaw. I’ll give Marquise or Demontae a chance before PawPaw.

Any who…I’ll keep you all posted with my online dating escapades. Until then, I am still old and matchless. And if by chance I am still single in 5, 10, 20 years don’t judge me. I’m probably doing some poor schmuck a favor. They don’t want to deal with the foolishness that is me.

P.S. This post is for entertainment purposes only. I am really laughing at myself and how absurd I am…but it is my real life. In the words of Kevin Hart, “Laugh at my pain.” LOL!!

Categories
black women Health and wellmess Uncategorized weightloss women

Yassss, Queen! Meet Tara Jackson McDow: Conquering Weight Loss 1bs At A Time!

Here’s the thing, I’m always sharing my story but so many of my friends have such amazing stories to share that I thought, “Hey! I can spotlight my friends!”

As many of you know, I meal prep and I workout. I get lots of messages encouraging me to keep pushing and posting because what I’ve been sharing has encouraged a few. What you guys don’t know is that so many of you inspire me more than I inspire you!

One of my inspirations is my Big Sister/Soror Tara Jackson McDow. Her weight loss journey is definitely one that needs to be shared, but because she is shy I am highjacking her story and telling it for her! Lol!!

Last month after we returned from our sorority convention she texted me and shared her story as to how she started losing weight. I won’t share the details because that’s for her to do. I will say that after season of grief she found herself using food as a way to cope with her emotions. She decided it was time for a change, and she has lost 37 lbs in 4 months!

I was impressed! “How did you do it?” Her success has been a team effort. Tara’s husband supports her by grilling her meat on Sunday. Along with her grilled meat and vegetables, she limits carbs and sugars. That’s it. No magic wand.

In addition, she walks everyday. We follow each other on our Apple watches and I get the alerts! I see it and it motivates me to move too.

One thing she has reinforced with me is CONSISTENCY! When we were in New Orleans at Cafe DuMonde, I think she was the only soror who turned down a beignet. I, however ate two! Plus, a cup of hot chocolate. 😬

I am so proud of her! I wanted to spotlight Tara because she deserves to be celebrated for her HARD WORK and DEDICATION!!

Congratulations, Tara! Keep up the good work!

Categories
black women marriage relationships Uncategorized

Black Men Don’t Cheat…Unless you Get Fat?

A couple of days have passed since The Shade Room or TMZ dropped the news Nicole Murphy was seen kissing Lela Rochon’s husband, Antoine Fuqua. I was tempted to let it pass without giving my two cents on it, but I just can’t.

I guess I want to start by saying that really this whole situation is none of our business, but we have become a culture of people that loves salacious news. What could be juicier than the used to be Eddie Murphy Vixen (Rochon) getting played by her husband with Murphy’s used to be wife (Murphy)? Whew, Chile! Folks’s comment sections were lit! “Is it really Fuqua?” “Nicole Murphy is fine. Is she really 50?” “Damn! He is fine. That kiss ain’t friendly.”  I mean this little tryst caused quite a commotion.  I was a bit amused until I started reading comments that blamed Lela Rochon for her husband’s alleged indiscretion. “She let herself go.” “She used to be fine. Now look at her.” “Ladies, if you want to keep your man, you have to keep yourself together.” “Look how much weight she’s gained. No wonder!” These comments didn’t just come from men,  but the women were attacking her too! I was shocked. And disgusted. And disappointed. I was also hurt. I hurt for Lela. Not only is she facing the embarrassment and humiliation of the WORLD knowing that her husband possibly cheated on her, but she also has to endure the shame of people blaming her for his adultery because she got fat. And FYI, Hollywood fat is not the same as regular people fat, so she’s probably still fine!

Really, world? This what we doing now? I don’t know everything about relationships, but I do know this-whenever someone cheats, it is NEVER the other person’s fault. Nope. Not at all. Not even the person he or she was cheating with.

When do we hold the cheater accountable for being a trash individual? Relationships are about making a commitment, and in a marriage, a covenant commitment. A commitment that says, “No matter what I choose YOU.” Times get hard and people change; however, for better or worse includes weight gain…or loss. Didn’t we learn our lesson about holding men accountable for their actions from Molly and Dro? (But y’all mad at Molly)

The fact that Lela’s weight and appearance are mentioned at all in this situation is problematic. What if the situation were reversed? He gained weight because of an unknown back injury that limits his activity, and Lela decided to step out on him with Dwayne Johnson? Would we blame him for letting himself go and celebrate Lela for keeping her body in shape and snagging a hunk of a fella like The Rock? No, we wouldn’t. The world would call her all kinds of names that do not include the one her mama gave her.

I’m not even mad at Nicole or women like her. I will not side-chick shame. I can only blame the person who made the commitment. In this situation, Antoine Fuqua. He’s married; and, if he stepped out on his wife then he’s the only person that should be ashamed of himself. Married with kids!! I just don’t understand the concept of putting your family at risk. But men do. Women do… people do. It’s sad.

Maybe I expect too much.

Bottom line, let’s stop adultery-shaming people (Yes, I made that up and side-chick shaming too) and blaming them for the indiscretions of their spouses. I don’t care if it’s weight-gain, unemployment, no ego-stroking, whatever. It is not their fault! You can only look at the person who decided, “I want that more than I want this!” But people aren’t shoes. They can’t be taken off and replaced with a new pair without significant consequences. If I were Lela, and if it’s true that her husband cheated, I would call Juanita Jordan’s divorce attorney, and then hire the best celebrity personal trainer in Hollywood with that large settlement that I just got from my now ex-husband. I would get my body back into that outfit from Boomerang, or the one from Harlem Nights that caused old boy to leave his wife. Most importantly, I’d make it a point to go holler at one of Antoine’s single homeboys and then flaunt it in his face. Take that, Cheater! I’m just petty like that.

But I’m not Lela. I’m just a girl with an opinion that people shouldn’t be made to feel bad because they have gained a few pounds as if that is an excuse to dishonor your vows. I am of the opinion that Antoine Fuqua and men like him use weight as an excuse to do trash things and hurt their families because not only will Lela suffer, but so will their children even if they are grown. All I can do is think, “How can we hold this dude, and others like him, accountable for being an asshole?” This is when I boycott. No more Antoine Fuqua directed movies for me. Matter of fact, I am boycotting Black Lightning too because Salim Akil needs the side-eye for that alleged 10-year relationship he had on Mara…and she was FINE!

All I know is that last year, y’all were shouting,” Black men don’t cheat!” I guess they don’t until you gain weight. Sad.

P.S. I really want to roast Nicole Murphy too because what has she really done for the culture besides hookup with rich men? At least Lela Rochon is a cultural icon…”Gold star for Marcus!” IJS. 🤷🏽‍♀️

Categories
black women health and wellness mental health Uncategorized women

Girlfriend, What’s Really Going On?

“Why you look so mad?” “Man, you are mean.” “She’s so unapproachable.” “Put a smile on your face.” “Y’all know she’s sensitive.”

It seems for the majority of my adult life that is how people have described me. In one way or another, people always found a way to say there was something wrong with me. Some days I didn’t let it bother me, other days I wanted to scream. What people didn’t understand is that most days I felt like I was in a fight that I was continuously losing. It felt like I had no one to look after or take up for me, so yeah, I was probably mad a lot of days. It’s hard walking around feeling alone and feeling like you are your own hero. Sometimes a girl just wants to be rescued.

Then one day after a horrible break-up and full-blown meltdown in the deli section at the local Walmart, I decided to get some help before I went to jail. Fortunately, my meltdown in Walmart happened before going viral was a thing. I’m so grateful. Had I got caught on camera blessing out the folks in the deli because they didn’t answer me in a tone I found appropriate or courteous enough, I would have surely lost my job. You see I felt disrespected, and I’d had enough of people disrespecting me. I had spent two years working as a parole officer, and after that, I worked 10 years in inner city schools where kids made the school in the movie Lean on Me look like daycare. Every day I had to be ready to defend myself. I couldn’t let my guard down—kids sense weakness and take full advantage of it. If I wanted to survive, if I wanted to be successful, I had to be strong, tough, and mean. No tears, unless I was mad, and I was mad often.

On top of that, my financial outlook was bleak. I made decent money, but not in relation to my student loan debt. My salary didn’t align to the cost of my education (that’s another post for another day), so, as they say in my family, I was robbing Peter to pay Paul. But, I did as I was taught: pray about it, shake it off, and keep going. Fast forward a few years, a few bad relationships, family drama, and people you love dying and you have me in the middle of the deli SHUTTING 👏🏾IT 👏🏾DOWN👏🏾. “What you not gone do is disrespect me! Where is your manager?” He showed up and I let him have it too. Over what? Because someone’s tone was a little snippy, short, snarky. “T, it’s not that serious. Calm down,” I tried to tell myself,” but I couldn’t. I couldn’t let go of my anger, my fury. I was big mad!

I left the store that night knowing something was wrong with me, and I couldn’t fix it by myself. I cried that night and went back to my tried and true solution: I prayed about it. This time I listened for an answer.

God reminded me of something my line sister had shared with me years earlier. She told me that she had gone to counseling for several years. I’m not sure what we were talking about that made that bit of information stick, but I do remember thinking and telling her, “I can’t afford therapy.” She told me, in her matter of fact way, that most people’s insurance companies would cover up to 25 sessions per year. She said, “You should try it. You pay for it anyway.” I wanted to try, but I never did because in my family talking to someone, a therapist, about your problems meant you were crazy. When I was a kid we called it “having a nervous breakdown.”

I wasn’t crazy, but I was hurting. I was scared, afraid, and I was grieving. There was a heaviness on me that I couldn’t shake. I was tired of the battles-those in my life and those in my mind. I needed help and I decided to get it.

I researched black, Christian therapists near me. This was prior to Therapy For Black Girls Podcast and Directory, so it was harder to find a therapist that was both Black and a Christian. Having a Christian therapist was more of a priority for me at the time. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I was doubtful in the beginning and sometimes throughout the process because it was awkward at first discussing my problems with a stranger. Who am I kidding? It was always awkward. I never got fully comfortable talking about myself; however, working with my counselor allowed me an opportunity to breathe. In talking out my problems, issues, and concerns, with a professional, I gained a new perspective. I learned that the anger that I was feeling had built up over time. It wasn’t just one issue. It was a series of triggers that happened over time that I had never dealt with, that I tried to bury but was now manifesting themselves in the form of outbursts and a negative attitude. However, talking out my problems wasn’t the only benefit. I was also able to learn practical strategies to have difficult conversations with the people in my life. My counselor was also able to show me in scripture what God said and how He felt about the things that I was dealing with.  Over time, I learned to apply both the strategies and the scriptures to my issues, and I started to recognize and deal with my triggers quickly before they turned into a behemoth of emotions that I couldn’t control.

We disagreed sometimes on my homework assignments, but for the most part, my counselor started the process of my ongoing healing. And the interesting thing is, the thing that I thought was bothering me, I barely talked about.

I discovered so much more about myself than I realized. I learned that being brave isn’t walking around pretending that nothing is wrong and then moving on. Quite the contrary, being brave means being vulnerable, honest, and transparent. When you operate in these spaces, there is a sense of peace and freedom that can’t be matched. It’s like no one can hold anything over you because you have already removed any ammunition that might be available.

I remember when I decided to share with my family that I was going to therapy. I don’t know why I decided to tell them, because no one had to know, but I wanted to. I can’t remember what I said, or how I said it. I clearly remember their reactions though. They laughed! I think it was more of an awkward reaction than ridicule. Therapy allowed me the freedom to see their reactions for what they truly were and not what I perceived them to be. I laughed too, and I think I said, “Y’all asses need to go too.” It didn’t matter how they reacted though because I was ok with them knowing. I just needed to be free from the weight I was carrying around everyday and sharing who I truly was with my family was part of that process.

There are so many women today struggling with so many things, and we have no recourse in managing the burdens we carry daily. Do you wake up every day tired? How often do you find yourself frowning? Check the wrinkle on your forehead. Do you feel overwhelmed or underwhelmed…all the time? Do you find yourself at the brink of tears or overreacting to the smallest things? Ask yourself what’s really going on. Don’t let it fester. Seek counseling.

If your friend is struggling, ask them what’s going on. They may not want to tell you. Most people don’t want to feel judged as weak or fragile especially in communities of color. Typically, there is a perception that we can handle anything. And we can…with HELP! Our villages are strong, but it is ok if your village includes a professional counselor.

So the next time you blow up at your kids, your husband, your friends, the manager at the deli ask yourself, “Girlfriend, what’s really going on? Then, go figure it out with a therapist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
African American Books African American Fiction Black Books black women books Uncategorized

Ratchet Review: The Proposal

I am not sure that I would have ever read this book if it were not recommended by my friend, Alesha. She’s not a fan of romance novels, but she happened upon this book, and said, “ Cass, this seems like a good book. You should check it out.” You see, she and I have “novel-beefs.” We both love African-American novels and authors, yet we just can’t seem to see eye-to-eye on the specific genre. She is really smart, I mean like she has a Master’s in English smart. I, on the other hand…well, I’m just happy I can read. Alesha tends to read books with the tragic heroes of historical literature, while I tend to lean ever so slightly toward the comical musings of street-lit a.k.a urban fiction!  Books like, Baby Mama Drama or Thugs and The Women Who Love Them…don’t judge me We argue all the time.  “Cass! Why are you reading that shit? ” Because it’s funny.

Anyway, I think she recommended this book because it seemed to fall somewhere in the middle, but honestly, I didn’t want to read it. It is…a romance novel. The gist of the story is that the main character, Nik, meets Carlos who rescues her from a humiliating marriage proposal at Dodger’s Stadium. Ever so grateful, she becomes his friend, and they embark on a gratuitous,  and mutually beneficial, friends-with-benefits relationship. It’s all good until one of them confesses love and the other one has to decide do they or don’t want to take the risk and open their heart for love to reside. 

Great premise and ripe with potential for hopeless romantics to enjoy. However, my hopeless romantic days died a long time ago. Like I said, initially I didn’t want to read it. Having grown up with Harlequin and Avon Romance novels, I should have been giddy. When I grew up, I realized that some of these books were just glorified porn, and having survived a few relationships of my own, I also realized that love just doesn’t happen like that. I’m jaded, but I thought I would give it a go. I was going to give the book one chapter, and if I didn’t like it I would put it down.

Well, I was pleasantly surprised! The author did a nice job telling a story of how the foundation for a healthy relationship begins with honesty, communication, and friendship. The Proposal was a light-hearted look at what could happen if two people are honest with each other, let go, and have fun. The author also explored how emotional baggage has an impact on how people relate to one another in relationships. Nik’s previous boyfriend was an asshole, a critical asshole at that. He criticized her, and he broke her heart. The result: Nik becomes a serial monogamist who tends to break-up with men before they break-up with her. Carlos, on the other hand,  has placed a large amount of pressure on himself to support and care for his family. He is the self-appointed father-figure and feels like he has no time for anything meaningful. They are both emotionally unavailable; consequently, they feel they are perfect for what they want from each other: just sex. 

As a reader and ex-hopeless romantic, I was sold. This is real-life. I didn’t want to read another book that lied to me about how great and easy it is for people to fall in love, I’m too old. I know the truth.  love is like meatloaf; you mix all of these different things together, blend it, and beat it until it’s smooth, then, you bake it for a couple of hours until it ends up being delicious. That’s love. You put in the work and effort, and it becomes great. 

Again, it is a romance novel, so I am sure you can predict the ending. And, it does have that bubbly, romance novel tone and feel to it. I needed just a little more “ratchetness!” OH!! And I LOVED that the characters were from diverse ethnicities, but I wish the author would have been more descriptive about their cultures and backgrounds. Sometimes I felt like I had to guess, “Is this person White, African-American or Hispanic?” 

Overall, it was a nice enjoyable read. I give it three and a half bookmarks out of five📚📚📚📖. Great for reading on the beach. Get you a copy before you go on summer vacation!

Categories
black women Uncategorized women Working

10 Things You Should Appreciate at Work

It’s Friday. I just got paid. And it is one of the rare occasions that the weather in Texas is pretty decent. I feel great!
Yet every day isn’t like this. If you are like me, you sometimes dread hearing your alarm go off. It is the signal that the peace and quiet that you have so carefully cultivated in your bed is about to come to a quick and dreadful end. It is time to get ready for work. If you are like me, you wake up with one consistent thought every day: I just want to be left alone. And, if you are like me, you know that is likely not going to happen. As you wash your face and choose which shoe works best with your professional style but also won’t pinch your right pinky toe, you know deep down that someone is waiting on you to arrive to help them solve a problem that they could have solved themselves two days ago. You also know that someone is waiting at work with the work-ethic of a snail. You know that there is a millennial waiting in the wings to tell you all of the ways that they are smarter and more efficient than you, the Gen-X relic, who is out of touch with reality, but yet, they still need your help to get their project done which, in fact, could have been done three weeks ago if they had just listened to you the first time.
If this is you, don’t give up! Focus on what is good and right on your job and I promise you will have a better time of it. Here are 10 things to appreciate at work that will help you have a better day. Enjoy!
1.) It’s so nice when you walk into work and the first thing someone says to you is GOOD MORNING with a big, bright smile! They aren’t waiting at your door ready to ask for something before you can even put your lunch kit down.
2.) Shout out to the people who show up to work and do what you ask them to do without complaining. They are the real MVPs!
3.) If I had a dollar for every time someone said let me help you with that or let me get the door for you, I would be a rich woman. Thank you so much. You are appreciated (in my Tupac voice).
4.) FLEX TIME is like manna from Heaven. 🙂
5.) So are lunch breaks! If you’ve ever worked in education then you know the value of being able to sit down and eat a nice sandwich in relative quiet for even 15 minutes. It’s more than a breath of fresh air. It’s an oxygen tank for a low capacity lung. I. Can. Breathe! And, guess what, I get one every day. LOOK AT GOD!!
6.) My kids steal books! What a blessing!!
7.) Note to self: when you feel like you don’t belong, remind yourself that you do! You got this!
8.) Special shout out to my colleagues who leave a friendly restroom. It’s the small things that matter most. 🙂
9.) I appreciate a person who gives me so much consideration that they give me at least 48 hours notice when they want me to give them some pertinent information. It lets me know they appreciate my time. And guess what? When you appreciate my time, I try to appreciate yours. You get the info early!
10.) It’s just good to have a job you like going to every day. Thanking God for His deliverance and covering!
P.S. When your day gets rough, make sure you turn on the Essential 90’s playlist on Google Play or Hip Hop BBQ on Pandora. They are fire! 🔥🔥 (I’m Dreamin’ by Christopher Williams makes it all better. He’s my boo! 🥰).
*the many faces I wear to work (educator, author, servant, and prayer warrior). 😊📚🙏🏾📝 💻