What You Not Gonna Do

Relationship Killers

If you are reading this, you might want to go make yourself a steaming hot cup of tea because I’m about to dish about my personal life. I always weigh these things and decide just how much I am willing to share for the overall message and purpose of the blog and my underlying thought is that it is always worth it to reveal personal things about my life if especially if it will save a another woman from having to do so. That being said, think of the title of this post as an instructional guide—and I will provide tips not only on what you’re not gonna do but what you should not do when you run into situations such as this.

Back Story

About a year ago I wrote a tongue in cheek blog post about an altercation I had with my boyfriend’s upstairs neighbor called The Price of Slapping A Bitch. The post was basically a tale of one of those frustrating situations of not getting along with someone and wanting badly to invoke the spirits of violence but knowing that you can’t because jail time. Anyway, referenced in the post is the fact that his neighbor left a cheerfully hateful note on the windshield of my car the next morning—and in the post I didn’t reveal all of what she said but I hit the highlights that really irritated me (and was the most fun to write about and rebut). What I did not reveal is that in the note she referred to the boyfriend as “Community dick” and claimed that there was a lazy susan of women rotating in and out of his apartment quite often.

Reasons for not revealing this information:

  • This is the jugular that every woman goes for when they have beef! Second to commenting on how ugly they think you are, they always accuse your man of either cheating in general or cheating with them. The beauty of not being defined by looks or romantic relationship with a male is that these things don’t hold as much weight. As a woman who has been cheated on in EVERY RELATIONSHIP EVER, yes that is my worst nightmare but at the end of the day, you do some yelling and confronting and if there’s no concrete evidence you let it go. Paranoia cannot dictate a relationship.

 

  • Because I’m the fucking police and I know the importance of not releasing all the damn details to the public. I spill lots of tea—who am I kidding, it’s raining tea all over these pages—but believe it or not, I keep some things to myself in an effort to be considerate of privacy.

But I digress, the note was ultimately ignored and forgotten; the relationship continued. Fast forward to January of this year I received a comment on the aforementioned post in the middle of the morning and I go to give it a look. (It’s still there if you want to take a peek). It is supposedly the cousin of the upstairs neighbor who recognized the scenario and then proceeds to warn me of two things: 1. Her cousin will crush my life if she reads the post and 2. That I should pop by the boyfriend’s house to see for myself that he was cheating because I was being played.

NO. THANK YOU.

I was going to save a list for later but I can’t hold it in. WHAT YOU NOT GONNA DO is tell me that someone is going to do me bodily harm over something I’ve written on my blog. If you don’t like it don’t read it, and who the fuck are you that you are going around threatening folks? Because as much as I would love to slap a bitch, there is a lot more value in waiting for a bitch to hit me first so I can sue the shit out of her and pay for my children’s college. Also what you not gonna do is suggest I pop by a nigga’s house to catch him in the act of cheating. To be frank, pop-ups are for losers. Once you’ve reached that point in your relationship you are losing and I refuse to be Nancy Drew over any of this shit. I have things to do, and if he’s cheating he’s cheating and I will either eventually find out OR he’ll do something reckless and I’ll get a horrible STD. Who knows? This is what life and relationships are—you take the risk of loving and trusting someone and you stick with it until proven otherwise. Rude notes and blog post comments are not going to motivate suspicion within me. (Also, fun fact: if you are a first time commenter on the blog I am given the authority to approve or reject your comment; I chose to approve this particular comment because yolo, or whatever…)

Let Me Tell You What A Bitch Did

Fast forward to yesterday I am playing on my cell phone, exhausted from the day’s activities and fantasizing about skipping out on what I had planned for the evening, when I get a request that someone on Instagram wants to send me a picture. Sure! (I was secretly hoping it was my very first dick pic. Disgusting I know, but I feel like there’s some sort of rite of passage in getting your first random dick pic on the internet…anywho). What it was…a screenshot of the boyfriend’s picture on a dating site with a message from a random IG user (hard to trace and private, I tried!) with the message that simply read: FYI.

OK

Is it obvious this is my favorite meme?

I had so many questions! I didn’t get the immediate visceral reaction of “omg he’s cheating” I just kind of wasn’t surprised because the picture was from the dating site we had actually met on and I know my profile pic is floating out there on the same site. Only because it was nearly impossible to deactivate my account so I just hid my profile. Someone could easily screenshot my shit and send it to him and it would look bad but there would be an explanation. I needed more information.

So I requested it. And was immediately given the “What more evidence do you need? If you feel in your heart that maybe he is cheating here is your proof. Pay attention be smart about it and love yourself enough not to be played.”

What You Not Gonna Do

…is drop me a random screenshot of the boyfriend, try to plant a seed of discord in my life and drop the mic. I got questions! First of all, how do you know me? How do you know that this is my dude? It’s not impossible to figure out who the boyfriend is—but it is difficult since we don’t follow or have any links to each other on any social media. So you either have to do some digging or you have to know me personally. What’s your backstory?

You also not gonna condescend to me like you are a loving mentor or big sister. You are a complete stranger and I have no context about your intentions whatsoever. Being smart is not accepting a public photo of your s/o with no other explanation or background about how the pic was obtained, etc. Screenshots of explicit conversations (with number displayed) and dated dick pics are acceptable along with further explanation about who you are. This humanizes you and at the very least makes me more willing to believe this random ass information that you’re supplying me. In 2016, side bitch culture has become the norm, there are plenty of women that have been scarred by the horrors of cheating and are simply waiting on the next ball to drop. Accusing a man of cheating is the easiest thing to do and something you really don’t need a lot of supporting evidence to prove anymore. A woman on the receiving end of the non-information usually just flies off the handle and starts making a list of names of people she wants to fight. As for me and my house, you need more people and more facts.

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There are women that forgive after cheating, and good for them! As for me…

And lastly, what you not gonna do is assume that I don’t love myself because you think and/or know that my man is cheating on me. Holy accountability, Batman! If a man cheats that’s on him, that shit is his choice and my ignorance of the fact does not make me a walking pile of low self-esteem. Furthermore, self-respect and choosing to forgive a partner for infidelity is not mutually exclusive. Women choose to forgive and work on their relationships with cheaters everyday—it is up to the people in the relationship to decide how they will handle such a situation. My eyes were opened to this fact just before my divorce—I thought I was the type of woman to stay in spite of infidelity and work on the relationship but then I slowly came to the realization that it’s not really the type of woman I am. That is my choice and in turn, I don’t look down on the women who decide to stay and work it out. God bless ‘em!

What You Should Do

I write this because the sad reality of life is that people—and dare I say, women specifically (sorry feminists)—are petty and vindictive and some actually want to see you completely fail at life. Revenge is a thing and arch nemeses are no longer just the stuff of comic books. I was driving around a crowded parking lot just the other day and I thought I happened upon an empty space. I darted over to claim it and just before pulling in I noticed an SUV hovering nearby. Not wanting to be the douchebag to steal his space I hesitated to allow the SUV the opportunity to claim it. About three seconds later I heard an angry voice yell “I DO NOT WANT THE FUCKING PARKING SPACE!” And there you have it…

People are assholes that don’t give a shit about politeness your feelings or anything of the sort. And the harsh reality is, if people are given the opportunity to be mean and shit all over your feelings they will choose to do so more often than not. I don’t automatically assume that strange women who approach me are good Samaritans worried about me and my self worth. On some level I believe that these incidents are related to the upstairs neighbor, but when I think about it all it honestly makes my brain hurt. I’m a regular ass woman, I don’t have time for sleuthing I have shit to do—but I will make time to share my experience and leave these thoughts with you.

If you are on the receiving end of this kind of thing my only advice would be for you to think before you act. It has nothing to do with trusting your intuition because when folk are coming at you sideways it fucks your intuition all the way up. You are not acting on a gut feeling but reacting to feelings of anger, hurt and maybe a little bit of embarrassment. No matter what you post on social media, in a blog or tell to friends—no one knows the inner workings of your relationship, how you choose to function, what you will and will not put up with and the reality behind appearances. I reject embarrassment and choose to put my business out there in moments like these in order to connect with others dealing with similar situations. Are there folks reading this shaking their heads and thinking “oh yeah she’s getting played” OF COURSE—but who cares? Those opinions, shaking heads and sounds of sympathy do nothing for my everyday life. I will handle as I see fit and I recommend the same for everybody because in the aftermath of it all the person bringing forward this juicy information never has to deal with the consequences of the events that unfold after the fact.

For those of you on the giving end of this kind of thing, I get it! A man is out there cheating and you are a super hero called to right the wrongs and bring a motherfucker to justice! However, do it like a lawyer and not a superhero. Provide the evidence, statistics, facts and be available to answer follow up questions—my GOD! You are a random woman coming out of the woodwork and accusing someone’s intimate partner of foul play, you are never going to be well received. Do yourself a favor and it keep it short and be precise and exact with how you choose to present the information. Realize that you are not this woman’s friend—this is not the movies and it will not be a meet-cute about how you met your future bff. You are coming in as the enemy by default so be cognizant and respectful of the fact. Wave the white flag of irrefutable evidence because planting a seed of doubt with faulty information is bullshit and will only be seen as shade and sabotage.

By that same token, there is also the option of not saying anything. What’s done in the dark comes to light—trust and believe. Whether you are involved as whistleblower or not that relationship will take the course it is supposed to and that will be that.

This isn’t my first rodeo.

Life goes on.

Cheating is not the end all be all.

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I have dealt with worse drama and yes I’m too old for this shit but that’s life. Bring it and I will handle it. I’m that bitch, and I won’t be harassed or passive aggressively bullied about no dumb shit.

 

 

 

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#TeamNoSleep

I stumbled into the elevator at my place of work, avoiding eye contact with the other riders and praying no one bothered me by talking. No such luck. I receive a cheerful good morning greeting from a co-worker and was asked that dreaded question, “How are you?” I wanted to answer “fine” and keep it moving, but smudges from last night’s make up and my poorly put together outfit was silently screaming the contrary. I was tired—so I yawned defeatedly and admitted as much. As the laws of small talk mandate, he then continued the conversation by mentioned that Arianna Huffington is actually on a crusade, touring college campuses even, preaching on the benefits and the value of a good night’s sleep.

Hmmm…Ok

OK

Where Do You Want Me to Put It?

Thanks for the advice Arianna, but I remain skeptical, though I agree with the theory 100%. I believe that our culture of #teamnosleep is absolutely idiotic, and I used to laze away my weekends on social media with wine glass in hand, laughing at the all the #onmygrind posts. Well, good for them—meanwhile, I was #onmycouch resting and relaxing and enjoying time away from my 9 to 5. Fast forward to today and yes, I am on still on my couch but I am also on my laptop writing 1 of 3 blog posts, writing poetry for collaboration projects, plotting out my marketing schedule and trying to put together pieces for an upcoming event I am planning. I am working for myself, yes but I’m still WORKING! All of this wonderful extra sleep that I need in my life that will increase my productivity, appearance and overall life enjoyment—where do you want me to put it?

HOW

Whenever someone asks me if I had a good night’s sleep…

 

One thing I am discovering is that in the DMV area, for every hour you are inactive—doing frivolous things like sleeping, eating, enjoying time with friends, etc – you are missing out on opportunities. The very sad thing is that I don’t have an end game…I am not necessarily looking for national fame, I will settle for (as Kevin Hart would say) being a Local Ass Bitch, but even in that pursuit it takes a monumental amount of time and effort. The boyfriend works 18 jobs so we are always stealing pockets of time together, while time with the kids is condensed to weekends only and I’m spending a good amount of that time struggling to stay awake or sleeping while they are at play.  (I actually just dozed a little in the middle of writing this. It was glorious…) I am convinced that this is life—I have officially and reluctantly joined #TeamNoSleep; somebody shoot me.

The Problem with Celebrity Advice

…is that it’s well-meaning but not always practical. I have not read the book (The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night At a Time), but I do know that Arianna spent years and years building her empire before a bout of sleep deprivation caused her to pass out and hit her face on a desk on the way down. Perhaps if this had happened in the midst of her establishing her career and reputation it wouldn’t have had such a major impact and caused this crusade, nay this REVOLUTION! I mean, the way I am living my life now I would consider a head injury a minor inconvenience and have to keep it moving, because  once you stop or take a break, even for a moment,  people will forget you in a heartbeat.

I know that I am no good when I am rushing and when I am sleep deprived but I really don’t have a choice. Once I made the decision to attempt to pursue my writing goals, I signed a deal with the devil not for my soul but for my time (which is about the same value!) I am perpetually tired and cranky and I admit it: I am a little discouraged. Maybe single moms don’t get to carve out our own individuality outside of our children. Maybe raising and loving my children is the only thing I am called to do  and in my late forties I can pursue outside dreams– you know, if  I don’t get hit by a bus tomorrow.

I don’t know—it’s just rough trying to maintain Super Momdom, financial stability, figure, romantic relationship etc without enough time in the day and it always seems like a toss up. Maybe my writing/poetry career WILL take off, but I’ll also be morbidly obese and have terrible bags under my eyes and my kids will hate me for never being around. Where is the balance? IS it too much to ask to be hot and talented and successful? Can a bitch have it all?

Sighhhh, I really don’t have any answers. Needless to say, I am open to any tips or ideas you would like to share! In the meantime, can someone loan me $30.00 so I can buy this stupid book…?

Rum

Rum was my first drink of choice when I realized my life was falling a part
I needed something to help me medicate
Today’s sips still flavored with brokenness and divorce. ..
I’ve since changed course, I chug whiskey now
Because life is a son of a bitch
I need that bit of grit
To get by

Found

I can be found not so surreptitiously picking my nose behind the driver’s wheel of my car
Sipping hard on ice cold slimfast shakes
Judging others, making too many mistakes
At the center of attention wanting to be left alone
Somewhere between completely lost and googling the definition of rusty trombone

I can be found micro managing the sleep of children
Wiping drool from little mouths and tucking sheets back in
I can be found wide awake at 2am watching murder mysteries
Getting contact high from the smoke while rubbing his tired feet
Up at 6am giving half awake head
Over sleeping in comfy platform bed
I can be found in the bathroom, because I drink too much water
At McDonald’s the day before payday scraping up quarters
I am always looking for change,
I get bored easily
I believe in tangents and I prefer my conversations deep
You can find me
Ending poems abruptly

Power

Bully

Anyone who has ever had the misfortune of riding in the car with me knows that I am a TERRIBLE driver! I am a daydreamer, I am always either going too fast or too slow—and driving anywhere in Washington, DC I am a confused mess of a person. I am not perfect, and neither is anyone else. I get bullied on a daily basis in my tiny Honda Civic and people speed up and NEVER let me over whenever I put on my turning signal. Driving in the DC area is a dog eat dog world. It is frustrating and infuriating but I accept it and I move on.

The other day, after a VERY long weekend spent running errands with my nine and four year old, it was time to leave the grocery store, get some gas and go the FUCK home! As I was exiting the shopping center there was a bus to my right on the main road picking up passengers and obscuring my view of traffic in the opposite direction. Like a true asshole DMV area driver I didn’t simply wait until the bus moved so I could see, I chose to dart across traffic because I am impatient, a little stupid and #YOLO. As I completed my left turn accelerating at full speed because I didn’t know what was behind me, I noticed that in my little misadventure I cut off a minivan innocently traveling along his path. It wasn’t a heart stopping near miss that would make me re-evaluate my life or at least rethink my driving habits but it was enough of a close call for me to feel guilty about cutting the vehicle off. But alas, we were all safe—perhaps the other driver butt hurt but no love lost.

Already on to the next thing, I pulled into the nearest cheapie gas station (you know, the kind with 4 lone pumps on a darkened semi-paved side street that screams “YOU WILL BE MURDERED HERE!” but you go anyway because the gas is 14 cents a gallon…) and as I am leaving my car to pay who pulls up but the minivan I just cut off less than a minute ago. The van pulls around and I get a good look at the driver, a man in his early 50s complete with scowling face and angry stare. Immediately I know that HE knows that I am the douchebag that pulled the risky traffic move at his expense. I feign confidence while walking to the cashier’s window but I’m nervous. Is this a coincidence or is this about to be a road rage incident taken way too far? I pay at the cashier’s window and as I am walking back to the car the guy is already out of his and making his way toward the window. I couldn’t mistake the antagonism in his voice as he spoke at me, “You were in that much of a rush just to get some gas?!”

The cloud of fear that hovered around me now settled onto me and began to seep in. And I get it—I did a stupid, dangerous thing and I could have seriously harmed us both—but is that what this was about? Was he here to harm me or to teach me a lesson? I walk over to my car and start pumping gas praying this was the end of our interaction. I crossed my arms trying to look tough but frightened out of my yoga pants that something sinister was about to pop off. He was parked at the pump directly on the other side of mine and as he walked back to his minivan I wished on everything holy that his lecture was over. He fixed the gas pump into his tank then he moved over to come closer to me, peered at the kids in the back seat and shook his head. “And you have kids in the car?! Why would you do something like that? Just to get gas? Really?!”

I didn’t know where this is going. The day was long, my pockets were empty I had just moved out of an expensive rental house I couldn’t afford with a landlord from the pit of hell, I was running on little time and no sleep and I didn’t NEED this! He didn’t know my story, he was not my father or a police officer I didn’t understand why he couldn’t let this go. People screw me over on the road every single day but I would never think to confront them about their transgressions—on the streets we are supposed to be anonymous. I felt intimidated but I wasn’t trying to show it so I decided to do my best to stay calm and be as direct as possible. “Sir, would you like me to apologize? I can apologize. What do you want to get out of this?”

He immediately says no, he did not want an apology and goes back into his rant basically calling me an idiot and irresponsible for my actions. I wasn’t scared because he was a black man, I was scared because he was a man here with me and my children in this darkened place trying to escalate a situation that was already over. It was subtle and clever and more power to him but I felt I was being bullied, I didn’t like it or invite it and I was helpless in the situation.

refusing advances

I asked him point blank if he was going to hurt me and he looked at me slightly taken aback by my reaction. I tell him, “You have me here in this darkened gas station at night, you are yelling at me in anger in front of my little girls, you don’t want my apology—what do you want? For me to listen to your verbal abuse or to punish me for what I did? I am at your mercy I am exposed and you are accosting me I don’t know you. You could have a gun, I don’t know what you want me to do?” I was feeling the same emotion I feel whenever I’m walking in public and a man makes a lewd comment and I have to be polite and laugh it off because people are crazy nowadays and rejecting a man’s advances can lead to the ending of your life. Or when I am on the inside seat of a nearly empty metro car train and a man sits next to me, traps me into conversation and asks me for my number, or even at work listening to sexist comments and choosing to ignore it because I don’t want to cause a shitstorm. I have no power in these situations, I feel trapped and at a clear disadvantage. Perhaps some may call it extreme language but I view it as an abuse of power. Men should always be subconsciously aware of their physical power over women and never misuse it to bully women into acquiescence—this is NOT ok!

About a year ago I came home to two of my brother’s friends in my living room. I had no problem with their presence, they were drinking buddies and it was Friday so the more the merrier. My girls were engaged in what look like a delightful pillow fight with one of the guys so I poured myself a glass of wine and watched them at play while chatting with the other friend. Suddenly, the friend playing with the children began to taunt me about being uptight and requesting that I join the pillow fight. I laughed it off and made it clear that I’d had a long day and I just wanted to drink and relax. My answer wasn’t enough for him, he kept up the teasing and next thing I know he was hitting me with the pillow. My response, “No, I am not going to play, don’t include me in this.” His response—another hit with the pillow. Three more hits with the pillow and my fury had boiled over. I am in my own house, in my own living room telling a guest NO, why was my NO not enough? And would a grown man do the same this same thing to another grown ass man? I doubt it. I jumped out of my seat and screamed for him to get the fuck out of my house because no means no and if I don’t want to you hit me in the face with a pillow repeatedly then DON’T!

Man Yelling at Woman

My power had been revoked from me. His other friend hopped up to back him away from me because I was hysterical. My brother came from downstairs to see what all the fuss and commotion was about and the way they all looked at me was as if I was a crazy black woman being all crazy and black again…popping off at the slightest provocation. But few men will understand what it is to lose your voice in that way. I was looked upon as disrespectful for kicking out house guests that were not mine but for me, anyone in your presence, let alone your house, cannot be around you if they can’t follow basic instructions to respect you and your space. The friend has since apologized and this is water under the bridge but this incident sticks with me—the powerlessness and the frustration of my wishes being so irrelevant to a person more physically powerful than me.

I lament about this a lot and I know it might make feminists hate me but I reiterate: men take care of us! If you feel no obligation to protect us at least don’t bully us or flaunt your physical power and control over us in these types of situations. I want my voice to matter just like any other human being (that pays taxes and rent and works and EXISTS ON THE PLANET) and I understand elevated emotional situations but even then there is a way to communicate and reason with people without manipulation.

There is a good chance I could be alone in these sentiments—but at least I feel better having gotten it off my chest.

 

To the Restaurant that Doesn’t Serve Bacon After Noon

To the restaurant that doesn’t serve bacon after noon

Fuck you

Who are you to confine bacon to a box that’s not Styrofoam to keep my bacon hot for me to take home

You are the same forces of evil behind happy hour

I don’t need a certain time slot to be happy

I have joy as long as a drink is in me

You cannot control the amounts of alcohol that I choose take in

And when

Just as you can’t regulate quality time with my new delicious friend

Or even begin to understand the lust, the trust the faith I have in

bacon

Unexpected

I wish I had saved all of those text messages

You were so corny and I didn’t know that I loved it yet

I didn’t know your “good morning, pumpkin” wasn’t just to get some pussy

It was a mark of your consistency; a reflection of how often you think of me

You weren’t gaming me

you were simply

Being yourself