I have stopped and started in the sharing of the information that I am about to give. It has been on my mind for some time. I wrote a couple months ago about the MeToo movement and my experience. I explained my situations and why I didn’t say anything. It was because of my own insecurities and not wanting to be “the one” that I have failed to protect future victims. Now I want to share more. I want to discuss why it is so important to speak up even when you feel like it is too late.
It is critical that we tell people and the proper authorities when sick people do horrendous things. We should no longer remain in silence and speak up. I have feared for months that my inability to come forth with my secret may be the reason why a town hero, father, pastor, and community activist is no longer with his family. I have changed the name of the town, dates, and places visited because unfortunately I am still scared of the repercussions of discussing this story.
On New Year’s Eve I received a text from a long-time friend, NaTasha, asking me to call her. I did what I was asked because I knew it had to be something major. When I called NaTasha, she whispered that a local favorite was shot and killed by his cousin, Greg. I gasped and stuttered to catch my breath as I held my chest when she named the killer. We both became silent and the conversation ended.
Greg was someone we both had familiar experiences with and I am certain we aren’t the only ones. He had terrorized the community throughout his brief stints out of jail. No one ever had anything good to say about him. Everyone tolerated him because he was related to damn near the entire town. We all knew he ruined lives. NaTasha and I were witnesses to his brutal behavior. Greg raped both of us and I’m sure of others. I think more women in the community would have came forward if he wasn’t handsome, tall, strong, and charismatic. But because he was, we silently discussed how he had his way with us. Greg openly bragged to others about how he would overtake other women and men who defied him. His company usually laughed it off as if it were a joke. I think consciously everyone was aware that he wasn’t playing, he was speaking his truth.
It was Christmas weekend in 2009 when he violated me. That night I went out with Greg’s brother girlfriend, Vanessa, and had plenty of drinks. We were at Chuck’s Place. A small hole in the wall where locals could go for good drinks, recognizable people, and fun times. It was a small club but it did the job. I flirted the night a way as usual. I was a new mom for third time indulging in temporary freedom from my almost 2-year-old and 8-month-old baby. When Chuck’s Place had run its course, ending at a respectable 2am, I jetted across the tiresome town of Hazelwood and headed to the late-night weekend danger spot, Club Fire. I met up with another close friend, Carly. She was still interested in continuing the night. Vanessa decided to retreat back to my house. She was always a lightweight drinker.
At Club Fire, I continued to drown my spirits in alcohol in combination with marijuana. Not only was I escaping the freedom of being a new mother again, I was also getting over a heartbreak. Sinking all those feelings that anchored me down into a deep abyss. I don’t remember how I made it home that night. I suppose I was used to the routine drive. Hazelwood is a small town without many twist and turns and there are only three traffic lights between Club Fire and my house.
I walked through my side door into my den and noticed Vanessa laying on the couch in a fetal position. The desktop computer was on giving off a faint light that helped me navigate through the dark hallway to my bedroom. I don’t recall the time span between hitting the bed and waking up in total darkness with a heavy body on top of me. I smelled the warm stench of alcohol hit my nostrils as I went in and out of consciousness trying to come to grasp with what was happening. I recall trying to fight but I couldn’t. The drinks and the smoking had succumbed my body. I was weak. All I can remember saying is, “Stop, get off of me – you sleep with men.” After that everything went to black.
The next day I woke up and Vanessa was gone. I panicked feeling that something wasn’t right. I called her, I texted her, and finally around 2pm Vanessa texted back. I called her and told her what had happened. Vanessa apologized and said that she let Greg in because he was running from the police. She explained that she fell asleep and thought he had left. Apparently, he didn’t.
I called my mother crying and told her what happened. Mom worked with his Greg’s father and knew the family very well. Turns out we’re distant relatives. I told my kid’s father what happened and it made the situation more awkward since Greg grew up less than a mile from him. I was hurt and afraid. Afraid to be alone in my own house. I felt like I couldn’t go to the police because there wasn’t a forced entry, I was intoxicated, and I had smoked marijuana. There was no evidence of a struggle. So, I did like most girls and women do - I remained quiet and I cut Vanessa off.
I shared my story with NaTasha the following day. She told me her story about him violating her several years earlier. She shared how he came to her house and raped. Her experience was similar to mines, she was intoxicated and had left a club. I’ve reevaluated our stories repeatedly in my head thinking that this loving father would be alive if we had opened our mouths and told the authorities. Is it our fault that Greg was able to wreak havoc on so many people’s lives?
It’s been nearly 8 years since Greg raped me. I wish I would’ve said something back then, even 5 months ago when I was writing my MeToo story. I cannot help but to feel a bit responsible for his continuous actions. I don’t want another person who has been victimized to hold their tongue. If you have been victimized please speak up. It doesn’t matter how many years have passed. Your voice can prevent the next person from a horrible life altering experience. Your voice can be the very reason why someone doesn’t have to die. I do realize the hypocrisy in my telling you what you should do while I sit behind my laptop changing the names of people and places out fear. I want you to be better than me and help me gain the strength to do what you can do.
You ever wake up and feel like today is not the day for me? Well if not, lucky you. I don’t know what has my mojo in a headlock. I’m not even sure why I feel like I am in a slump. It could be the sight of cleaning my lovely home (Jesus I always wanted a big home but cleaning it YIKES). It could be the end of the year and feeling like I didn’t accomplish much. Who knows what is bothering me?! I’m just hoping my attitude will change soon because Christmas is around the corner and I have to put on a happy face.
Or Do I?
I don’t believe that I’m alone in having the winter blues. I think the pressure of being seasonally happy is probably what initiate my seasonal funk. Why must I be jolly? For fuck sake, it’s the ending of the year and with every day passing by I get a lump in my throat that reminds me that I’m getting older. Not to mention I’m slowly watching my children’s youth dissipate into the dreaded preteen years. My energy – it’s shot to hell and my metabolism is sluggish af. Did I mention that I’m only 35? A good age in my book but why am I so sluggish?! Ugh!
Houston Holiday Memories
I remember when I first moved to Houston three years ago I positively looked forward to the holiday season. Due to the joint custody agreement this was my first time alone for the holidays since I became a mother. I didn’t know what to do with myself. It was my first Christmas in the city and in my mind (as a single woman back then who didn’t have to worry about being related to anyone) it equated to feeling like Samantha in Sex in City. I glammed up and went club hopping alone. I was literally Dora the Explorer and at my physical best (back then I used to run 5 days a week).
Along the way I made a friend who was also new to Houston. We became bff’s over the holidays because we didn’t have anyone else and we gelled. We shared an awkwardness that wasn’t appreciated in our small hometowns. Since, I’ve always felt weird about myself I found comfort in east Texas by hanging out at gay bars. I told my new bff about this and she agreed that it would be fun to spend Christmas and New Year’s in Montrose. Montrose is an exciting neighborhood in Houston where it stays lit with club trotting gorgeous intelligent gays and no judgement. We went there and baby WE LIVED. The drag shows, the drinks, the male dancers were like Christmas lights (lively, colorful, and attention grabbing). We enjoyed the night like celebrities and partied with complete strangers who felt like lifelong friends. At the end of the night we parted ways and didn’t keep in touch. It was a unique first Christmas in Houston and set an interesting holiday tone.
An Intimate Holiday
The following holiday season was totally different. By this time, I had a boyfriend (now my husband) and I had ditched my new bff. Turns out she was kind of aggressive and had too many things to say about my dating life. I couldn’t deal. I liked Donald and she thought it was too soon and swear he would kill me. Yeah – we’re married now and that was 3 years ago. Anyhow, that year Donald and I started a holiday tradition of ditching Houston and going to our favorite nearby city, New Orleans. We did this for two consecutive years. We visited our favorite hotel, Le Pavillon, and ate at our traditional spot. The most nostalgic part of being in The Big Easy was getting served by the same waitress at our go to restaurant, it was everything. We would hold hands, stroll the streets, and visit Kenzic art gallery. We usually ended the weekend at Patrick’s Bar Vin in a wine binge.
After going through the holiday memories, I think I have finally figured out why I may be a bit down this season. Times have changed including our availability to travel to New Orleans. I should be happy and not sad that for the past three years my Christmas and New Years were awesome. It was only four years ago that I would catch a movie in my hometown with the kids and sit at home wishing that we had a complete family. That complete family included my oldest son, my two younger kids, my mother and a future husband. And guess what…this is the first Christmas that it’ll happen. I do realize that this new Christmas tradition of having my entire immediate family under one roof, since grandma’s passing, is what the holidays is all about. Thanks for listening to me vent and helping me come to the realization that the winter blues for me is just a phase of realizing that time is passing, we’re getting older, and a traditional family holiday is what I've always wanted.
The recent headlines seem to uncover new sexual misconduct allegations every day. Sexual misconduct is taking a front seat and pushing other relevant topics to the back of the political bus. We're no longer discussing police brutality, Russian gate, natural disasters, immigration, equal rights, and foreign policy. Instead, we've become distracted by information that we’ve known existed throughout our history. Many of the allegations that are coming to light are supported by statements from additional victims including bystanders who validate their story. It seems as if everyone knew, but no one publicly came forward until the trending hashtag #MeToo. And I am not here to throw shade because I want to yell MeToo.
Girls are Women in the South
Growing up in a small town that was documented earlier this year as a place that voted for Trump, I'm not that surprised by the sexual misconduct of men. I'm numb to the entire experience because it was a part of my daily life. So much so, I like others who have come forward with their story, joked about unwanted sexual advances. I engaged in the attitude that I'm a woman who should understand that an inappropriate sexual gesture from a man is natural.
Growing up in the South, in a small rural area, it's common knowledge that men are more prestigious than women. Women are to be seen and not heard. Women in the South are supposed to be submissive, needy, and a woman of God. We're to be lovers whenever a man is horny, happy housekeepers, and proud caretakers. Not only that, our voices should echo the sound of a mouse.
Molestation in small towns is a well-known secret and unfortunately is the victim’s fault, regardless of her age. She is responsible for a grown man's behavior. She should have known better than to be alone with an older man. She could have just left, kicked him in his testicles, and got him off of her. These are some of the words that I've heard from women who were young victims. They've been through it but programmed to believe that a young child is accountable for an adult’s actions. It bothers me when people feel this way (especially when it’s a woman who has shared a similar experience). My grandmother used to say such things. She married my grandfather when she was 15 while pregnant with my mother. My grandfather was 25 at the time. To her, their marriage was natural. To me, it was a grown man preying on a child. My grandmother was pregnant for the first ten years of her marriage, bearing eight children barely two years apart.
From Girl to a Woman Experience
I can recall the first couple of times young men molested me as a child. I didn't say anything because no one asked. I didn't know any better, and this happened between the ages of 5 - 9. I remember getting raped, being called a whore, and bullied into silence around 14. The sexual predators had no shame by the time I turned 15, I was a teen mother, a baby with a baby. This circumstance catapulted me into adulthood, recognizable fresh bait for any man.
I felt there was no way I could tell my stories about rape or sexual harassment in east Texas. I always kept my mouth shut because telling the truth about perverted men could get me a label that I didn't want. Furthermore, I wasn’t keen to embarrass my mother. Of course, the man is always presumed innocent even when people in the community know his sexual behavior. I guess the Southern rule kept my mouth zipped too – “What goes on in this house, stays in this house.” So who could I tell? Besides that, if people found out, including the women in the community and their kids, I would be punished severely by public opinion. After all, a man’s sexually aggressive behavior is typical.
Not Speaking Up
If I had to total all the sexual misconducts, harassment, and rapes in my life than I am sure I could have stopped others from being victimized. But I didn't. I didn't say a word about it because I didn't feel violated enough to share my story with the world. It wasn't like I was a virgin. I mean, who would believe me? Besides, when you're accustomed to being oppressed, you blame yourself for someone’s behavior. You bury the story and attempt to move on until you can no longer suppress the feeling.
I wonder if the women who are now coming forward share the same feelings as I do about men’s sexual behavior. I see comments on stories continually asking why the women waited so long to tell their story. Comments about how she must want to join the bandwagon to get her 15 minutes of fame. Sadly enough, a lot of these comments come from women. Women who I believe are programmed and think this is just manly behavior. These women come from my mother's generation. Women who voted for Trump because they wanted to support their husbands. It won't surprise me if these are the same women who blame Hillary for Bill's infidelity. However, I know for a fact it’s the women who stood behind Roy Moore's wife, Kayla, at last week’s press conference cheering for him as they show their female descendants and young women across the United States the essence of being a man’s footstool.
These women support a male chauvinist agenda and won't admit they’ve been through similar situations. It is because of their silence we’re fighting the problems they could’ve solved. I refuse to remain silent. I can't let the cycle repeat especially with my only girl looking up to me.
I cried when the news broke that Donald J. Trump is the 45th president of the United States. Yes. I cried. I took a shot of my husband's whiskey on election night thinking Americans hate women, people of color, LGBTQ, and people with disabilities. But most importantly, who were my friends who voted for him to hold the most valuable position in the world.
I use to be very lax about politics. I like to think that my husband's constant viewing of political pundits along with listening to Sirius political stations made me care just a little more. Heck, not just a little more, I put my entire heart into the big election. I finally felt the defeat that die-hard fans experience when their favorite team loses a championship.
The media catapult my interest as well due to the 24/7 coverage about Donny and Hilly. The majority of my Facebook timeline consists of friends in total agreement that we (black folks) were doomed either way. However, I always felt that Hillary is a far better option than The Don. The Facebook memories of yesteryear now show me how bothered I was about the election. Before the announcement of Donny's victory, I have to admit that I was naive about the world.
I recall watching the post-election Saturday Night Live bit featuring Dave Chapelle and Chris Rock. The legendary comedians sarcastically teased the liberal white characters as if all of us Millennials were living in an unrealistic reality. I suppose the comedians were right. The country elected a man who did not reflect my American values, in fact; he practically shitted on the system publically with no regrets. Yes, this person who we wouldn't want our kids mimicking made it to the presidential office.
Weeks past and I wasn't so fearful about America's future anymore. I knew that I wasn't the only person in my feelings. Protests were taking place nearly every day. People were standing up and resisting the Trump establishment. Newly elected president Trump's inaugural turnout was shallow af. However less than 24 hours later, a women's march that took place at the same location drew a massive crowd. The movement streamed through various social media platforms showing the world that we knew we made a mistake. Women all over stood up, and some chanted, "This pussy bites back." in response to Trump's boasting remark about grabbing a woman's vagina.
Since that moment we have witnessed the daily falls of Trump publically. We've watched Trump stand up for the new Nazis, create hardships for immigrants, allegedly conspired with foreign powers against America's democracy, use Twitter to bully people, constantly lie and casually devote his presidency to dividing the nation.
Through all of Trump's shenanigans, the minorities have held steadfast to advance a moment that is now revolutionizing America. Women are no longer hiding and keeping secrets about abuse. They're speaking out, and #metoo is trending. Minorities (people of color, LGBTQ, individuals with disabilities and women) are winning. Even America's country music stars are joining the bandwagon with Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley remixing the classic "Before he Cheats" into "Before he Tweets."
The group that I thought Americans hate, minorities, are incrementally prevailing and ironically it is because Trump is president. Who knew a year later that Fox would falter, Hollywood's white male executives would face the fiery for their years of sexual misconduct, minority Democrats would sweep elections, and just about anyone affiliated with the Trump camp would lose credibility. And now, because of Trump's erratic childish unplanned behavior, many folks finally recognize Obama as GOAT, and we realize that George W. Bush isn't that bad after all. GW is kind of funny in retrospect (I love his love for Michelle Obama).
I feel like 2016 ended with the death of naivety and a lot of celebrities, 2017 will be cast as our modern day woke period, and 2018 will be about the rise of equality for all and hopefully initiate police reform (wishful thinking never hurts). God willing, I will be able to witness a great manifestation of Americans working to right a wrong - the Trump era.
The neighborhood where I live.
I woke up on August 28th shook. I work, live, and play in Houston and as of right now, the city, the place that gives me life, is Bikini Bottom thanks to Hurricane Harvey. I love humor and a bit of sarcasm. It gets me through life. I made Harvey a joking matter, thinking that it wasn’t going to be that big of a deal. I mean this is Houston – it floods pretty often, and within two days the city is good, and traffic is back to normal. But no, not with Harvey, this beast was something that is absolutely beyond Houstonians understanding. What in the hell kind of natural disaster is this? The memes and jokes for the first 24 hours provided comfort, like food. We sat in, ate, watched social media, distracted ourselves with the Floyd and McGregor fight while drinking bottles of wine (yes, bottles). We felt safe and content in our homes and prepared quietly expecting a mediocre storm.
Then it started, the winds, the rain, and it didn’t stop. It.did.not.stop! This is not the usual Houston rain. Houston’s usual rain only last for about 15 minutes, and it is very selective. The rain decides which areas deserve attention. But with Harvey, there was no selection. The entire city got it. And it lasted longer than 15 minutes. It lasted days. No sun, only rain, no relief in sight. The humor left, the sarcasm went away, 'I’m with the shits set in', and as it did my attitude changed.
I’m usually interested in hearing dialog from non- Houstonian's perspective however on August 28th I wasn’t with it. The only conversation I wanted to hear was from those who were affected by the storm. I wanted to know if they were okay and if we would be okay. I admit, my family is lucky that our house sits on a slight hill. Things looked to be fine at the moment however we were nervous. The rain kept coming, and four blocks over our neighbor’s houses were flooded. Less than a mile away the route to the grocery store adjacent to the beautiful golf course across from spectacular homes was now a lake. We listened to the engines of the boats traveling through searching and rescuing people. It was scary. No humor could be found, no sarcasm nearby.
Exit leaving our neighborhood going towards Houston downtown
On August 28th, I was not up to hearing people’s thoughts about what Houstonians should’ve done. Why didn’t we evacuate? Why didn’t we leave? These were the questions that I found on my timeline and in a group chat. I didn’t want to see it nor did I want to participate in it. My city is hurting, and people are blaming those who love it for sticking around meanwhile they’re dry and 200 miles away. Other people on social media was claiming that flooding was what Texas deserves because it is a “red” state. As if the entire city of Houston voted for Trump and even though some people did – so fucking what – we’re human, we matter.
Was I salty about all of this bullshit that was being said? Hell yes! And you would be too if your community surroundings are submerged in water. People are hurting, dead, and at a lost. This is not the time to say dumb things. I am not the only person who felt this way. I know this for a fact. I found unity with other strangers who love Houston. They responded with stories about evacuating when Hurricane Rita touched down, and they told stories about waiting in traffic for 16-24 hours. People died trying to leave, meanwhile, their homes were left untouched by Rita.
The people of Houston are resilient. This is not our first but hopefully the last horrific natural disaster we experience in our lifetime living in Houston. We will rebuild, and the most uplifting thing about this experience is seeing the compassion, love, and unity that has been missing due to political association.
Last week was tragic to the pop culture of the late 1990s and 2000s. We sat here and witnessed the unraveling of several black entertainers who brought us through our wonder years. We quickly found out that fame, money, looks, and charisma doesn't exempt anyone from having a misguided mentality.
I know somewhere out there Kevin Hart has to be turning back flips about everything that went down last week. Thanks to Usher's herpes situation and R. Kreepy being a sex driven pedo reincarnation of David Koresh, Kevin's cheating looked almost harmless.
In reality we all know that Kevin's affair is far from innocent and it's unfortunate that his pregnant wife is having to play somewhat of a fool and swallow her pride. But hey, at least she can be proud that Kevin isn't drugging women, holding young girls captive or giving them some wasabi peen.
Kevin is lucky that he managed to get busted the same week we found out that R. Kreepy (originally R. Kelly) is a cult leader, Usher is leaking radiator fluid from his penis, and the juice is loose. Yes, last week was a scorching fest of straight up messcapade.
But what is the underlining issue of all this and why am I going on about it?
I care about all of this because it is a wake up call for women to do better. Yes, I said it. We, women of all color need to do better.
What happen to us protecting ourselves and not being gullible to stardom? These men (with the exception of OJ because he really loves black women enough to leave us alone) are taking us for granted and pissing all over our hopes and dreams with viruses and cheating. Many of the women who are fallen victim to it are those who went in with their eyes on the prize of being future cast member on Bravo's Real Housewives series while believing they have a magical box.
But the problem is - their box is not magical and unfortunately they got played. I can't say I feel sorry for any of the women. I am not condoning what happened but simply implying that WE have to be more careful! We have to do better!
Don't let any male sword glide in your kingdom without seeing papers. I don't care how much money, power, or influence a man has - protect yourself. You only have one box and you have to protect it with your life. Settlement monies will help ease the pain but isn't everlasting. When the money is gone, you're left with a Goodwill box and skeptical luck that someone will like you enough to not care about your health status. Always keep in mind that good looks, charm, and endless pockets, doesn't mean his peen is clean.
So what's next? What can you do to protect you, your daughter, family member or bff? You can be honest, upfront, smarter and less occupied with a man's material possessions, looks, or influence.
As women, it should be our goal to prepare ourselves and caution young women about unhealthy and healthy traits to look for in a man. And most importantly - we need to LOVE our daughters, sisters, nieces, aunts, cousins, and friends because when we do the likelihood that they'll look for love in the wrong places diminishes.
Okay, so if you have no clue about the Rob and Chyna fiasco you must have a very important life. Well guess what, some of us don't, well we do, but this episode of juiciness is better than any Netflix show that is being scripted by talented writers or Shonda Rhimes imagination.
The real life, real time of watching and waiting while drama implodes and explodes has given many of us a reason to ditch our mundane problems to forecast judgment in the Rob Loves Chyna ratchetrama series. Yes, this gives us life because unlike reading television show reviews or waiting for our friends to give us the scoop - this shit is going down in front of our eyes with a ringside seat.
As someone who loves social media, I couldn't help noticing how the reactions towards the drama unfolded on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The firestorm of automatic slugs happened first on Instagram. Now I am into Instagram but not like you would think. Hell, check out my page and you can see for yourself. However, in a ploy to break a record in giving the most Facebook love reactions, I decided to befriend a lot of beautiful makeup driven divas to my timeline, and it was through them that I witnessed the realness of Rob Kardashian.
Many of the ladies were supportive of Rob and blamed Chyna for messing up a good thing due his genuine love for her which makes him a perfect ten in many women eyes (I'm sure being a Kardashian doesn't hurt either). But Rob's narration of being heartbroken quickly spiraled into an abyss as he unfortunately came across as a bitter but funny clapbacking baby daddy. He gave us pictures, stories and scandal even Olivia Pope would have hell diverting (did he say TI and Tiny paid for Chyna's box?!?!). YES, this shit is messier than eating a slab of saucy ribs.
But it is the witty Twitter folks who cleverly mixed in creative gifs that made this soap opera solid gold. The comments gave me hyena laughter. Snoop's antecedent of Rob being a sucker vibrated my funny bone and the fact that he resembled my messy aunt who loves slaying her truth had me in tears. This dramamedy is the entertainment we need to feel a little bit better about our current situation. Finally something not presidential but more Hip Hop and Hoochieish but real (thanks Dette for that awesome phrase) to ease our hardship for a day. After all, it's not every day a black woman get over on a Kardashian.
There were a couple great parts for me: understanding why folks questioning Rob's need not to have surgery when he paid for Chyna's, Rob naively believing his love could conquer Chyna, his announcement as being his wife certified drug dealer but couldn't keep her loyal, and most importantly his fabulous skills in building up publicity for Chyna and her new boo. Meanwhile, Chyna ate up the attention faster than Kylie can appropriate black culture. I have to admit he threw a blanket of shade when he said Chyna was mad that his little sister took her man. I hollered.
YAS!! The drama is solid gold, I give it 4 stars, two thumbs up, and can you believe it was for free! This rachetragedy is better than watching The Transformers at the movies (spare your coins and 3 hours and thank me later). Rob K gave the world a break by entertaining us for 3 hours, across 2 social networks, with nudes, costly robes, drugs, babies, money, TI and Tiny, and more for free.
The only thing I'm waiting for is 45 to tweet how the Kardashians' are making America great again by being rating machines. Rob got me sipping on lemonade tea instead of recapping the live anniversary of slain unarmed POC and halfway forgetting Trump's game of Russian roulette with our democracy. In the voice of my great hellish Christian friend, "Won't the Kardashians do it!"
By the way - who side are you on?
No one's I am just taking in all the sauce and tea
Rob because he was blindsided by love
Chyna because she finally got over on a Kardashian
A couple of months ago my daughter, Danni, and I attended a mother and daughter luncheon hosted by Stephanie's Dollhouse. I was excited about the event since it would be the first mother daughter social gathering for us. Besides that, it was an opportunity to witness a milestone in Stephanie's fruition of her nonprofit organization.
I made it a mission not to miss the luncheon because I knew it would be a quality event and an excellent chance to create a great memory with Danni. To start off, we decided to go shopping (something I don't care for but Danni adores) for dresses that fit our style. Danni tried on several churchy and princess type of gowns while I found comfort in a yellow flowing sun dress. We didn't go for the standard matching dress ensemble. Danni and I have too much individuality to feel ourselves twining and winning.
After finding our perfect dresses, I asked Danni how she wanted her hair styled for the luncheon. I'm not for sure if most mothers let their 8 year old decide how they want their hair comb. I know for certain my mother didn't until I was in middle school. I pride myself on doing things differently by giving Danni options with her physical appearance. She always pulls her look off even when the patterns and colors don't make sense to me. Donald often jokes that she mismatches so much that it actually ends up not clashing.
Danni expressed that she wanted her hair styled in an afro, I was pleased. Her Irish twin* brother (only older by 1.5 years) advised her that she should go with another look until I gave a beaming look of disdain. Afterwards, he quickly corrected his statement telling her that he wouldn't pick a fro (ha you see what I did there) but it's not his decision therefore she should style her hair as she pleases.
Danni gave a big smile and insisted that an afro was her final choice. In that moment I was proud. I know it sounds strange being proud of a hair choice but it was the fact that she didn't let another person's opinion sway her that impressed me. I am fortunate enough to have a confident daughter who loves her natural self.
Stephanie started the luncheon with a celebration of what her organization, Stephanie's Dollhouse, represent. In her speech she discussed the importance of mother daughter bonding and how her mother influences her daily. We listened to testimonies from women who beat the odds by carving out a strategic path to their success. The women showed their gratitude and attributed their can-do attitude to having loving, smart, and driven mothers who gave unconditional support and love.
Afterwards we participated in games and ate brunch. We took pictures and gave praise to Stephanie for her hard work in bringing all of us together to celebrate womanhood through mother and daughter bonding.
The mother and daughter luncheon was a special day that I will always cherish. A dress up brunch with mothers and daughters while supporting a great friend and creating memories in a warm and inviting atmosphere was exactly what Danni and I needed to create a wonderful memory. Thanks Stephanie and Stephanie's Dollhouse for the invitation to a great experience.
Again and again across my time line I see my perfect, successful, attractive Facebook friends make a fool of themselves over their relationship status. If only I could reach out to them and let it be known that even though you look great on paper your Facebook page indicate something different. Truth is, we (your audience) know why you're single.
Now this article isn't about every body who is single and hopefully a lot of my message won't apply to you BUT if it does take the information in slowly, digest it, and let it settle in. After all, I do not personally know you but from what I can see online - I know enough. Below are my top reasons of why you are still on the shelf.
You're giving away the farm for free
You're a walking billboard giving everything about you away for free. There is no guessing about you and it leaves little to the imagination and no room to ask questions. A man can look at your Facebook page and automatically tell what you're all about. By analyzing your post, comments and pictures he can assume how life will be with you and this may cause fear that you'll overshare information about y'alls situation without it actually being official.
You are doing the most for no reason
There are days when you're cool as fuck and other days your bipolarness breaks through and you're going through it. The struggle between being a victim, whining, and being independent overrides your dateablity. Settle down, pace yourself and realize what your message is saying about your temperament and most importantly you. You should always think before you speak including when you post.
Your kinda desperate and it's showing
Too many times you brag about being a strong, independent, woman with the signature stamp - single by choice. Everyone goes through some type of heartbreak in life so dust your shoulders off and know that relationship pitfalls are experiences that make us better partners. The no pain no gain cliche is real. So, yes you will strike out several times but that's life. It's completely normal and okay to be lonely but when you boast about being independent then switch it up to wanting someone every other day, it shows desperation and yields a yellow flag to potential suitors.
You don't have your shit together
No man wants to give their best and time to someone who doesn't know what they want in life. If you can't make appropriate life decisions how can you trust your instinct to find a man who is right for you? Being aware of what you want is a major key in attracting your ideal man. Being unaware will show a potential man that you may just be a ghost shell (someone who is great on the outside but lacks substance within). A wise man once told me, "A beautiful woman is great to look at but you can only have sex so many times during the day. Eventually you're going to want a conversation and if she can't give you that, then you have nothing."
You're not perfect
I hate to burst your bubble (yes I took it all the way back there) but you're not perfect so the perception of finding someone who is is crazy! You should look for the person who is the most compatible to you - not your friends, BUT you. Also look beyond their flaws and understand that you have some too. After all, you are single and hot right?! So there is a reason why no one has put a ring on it - okay, I think you get what I am saying.
You're too busy trying to impress other women
Instead of trying to impress women who are in a similar situation as you how about turning your attention towards working on you. Let people know you have substance and avoid being thirsty, a single woman crusader, and "preaching" the gospel about not settling and waiting. Here is another truth - avoid being the successful spokeswoman of singlehood unless you absolutely want to live like a hermit.
This week my son and I watched The Fate of the Furious. I wasn't sure if it was something that I wanted to see since I have not followed the collection of films but I knew it would be a great opportunity to bond with my 18-year-old son.
My son and I have had a rocky relationship throughout the years but the older we get the more it seems to mellow itself out. We don't argue like we use to and we take the time to listen to each other. I don't like the decisions that he makes, and I am pretty vocal about it, and he doesn't mind letting me know that he is going to follow his own path and I respect that. It took a long time to get to this point. I had to mature, and so did he. Overall I am proud of the young man that he is becoming.
During the movie, we talked and laughed. We shared our thoughts on what we would've done differently and how the main character, Dom, was so into his perception of "family" that he was willing to lose everything. His motivation, inspiration, life choices and ultimate decisions were enthralled in this one word, family.
My son and I discussed family on the way home. Us being only 15 years apart with a tumultuous relationship was a conversation worth exploring. It opened a dialog to things that we did to each other in the past that were hurtful. We now laughed at issues we use to cry about and understood that those difficult situations helped developed us into the people we are. We know that we are each other's best and worst enemy. We can see why we think the way we do and most importantly we know what family is all about.
Family to us is the people who are there. The people who love, bother and annoy you. The people who have your back no matter what and will tell you the truth despite how it may make you feel. The people who want you to do better in life. The people who don't want you to suffer but understand that you have your own path. The people who take up for you when you are right and let you know when you are wrong. The people who only want what is in your best interest, who unselfishly puts you first without any hidden agendas. Family is the ones you can't let go or ignore. The ones who will get over pettiness, bickering, backbiting, and ridicule because they don't want to hold you back or down from a fulfilling life. Family is unconditional love that can't be bought or sold. Family is so much more than blood. Like Dom said, family is everything.