Friday, December 22, 2017

December 22nd: B-DAY

This is told from my point-of-view, feelings...

I'm just going to go ahead and tell you, I'm a mess today. I won't even lie to you. Hell, I'm a mess most days. My Father's sudden tragic passing has affected me in ways that I can't describe. The pain and hurt run so deep. I feel robbed. It doesn't feel fair to me. I know life isn't fair but his passing has broken my heart beyond words. He has missed so much including his first grandson, graduating. He was so proud of Tyler and he played a big part in his making it. I thought he deserved to at least be here for that. He more than earned that.

He was my dog. He was so charismatic, always had a joke, always sarcastic and always loads of fun. You never had to wonder where you stood with him. A real stand up guy. He was an amazing cook, line dancer, and friend as well as husband, father, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin, and colleague. He was so many things. He treated the women in the family so well. He always did something for us for Valentine's Day and Mother's Day AT least. And you could count on a call on your birthday at the butt crack of dawn.

The holidays or pretty much any day isn't the same without him. Family and getting together was his thing! It doesn't feel right celebrating without him (to me) and it's very noticeable that he isn't here. He had a huge presence and you can walk in a room now and know that he is what's missing. 

He loved to talk. He loved all his classmates & neighbors. He would feed anyone and give you the clothes off of his back and the shoes off of his feet. He was a big advocate for voting and community involvement and he had a special place in his heart for West Tuscaloosa. You could often find him out in the streets in Tuscaloosa talking to different community members, business owners, residents, and friends.

He had two jobs after he retired: golf and tailgating/being at/helping Stillman. First, let's talk about golf. After experiencing racism and bias at different country clubs, he and his friends decided to start The Links Golf Club so that they didn't have to beg anyone to allow them to play or have to worry about being accepted. They could also use it to teach the children from the neighborhood whose parents may not have been able to afford golf lessons. He also wanted to expose those same children to something other than football, basketball, and baseball. My Dad and his friends, or homeboys if you will, played at different tournaments around the world and he always brought back the coolest swag gifts. I'm wearing one of his jackets today from the Diamondback Country Club. After googling the location, I'm not sure which one it came from because he played all over the country.

My older brother Damon and I took golf lessons when we were younger. I had a jheri curl at the time & it was summer. That was "fun" lol. The best part of it to me was knowing my Dad had a golf bag full of change. After our lesson, my brother and I would sit in the clubhouse buying up all the snacks. :) 

Yeah, I'm not inserting those pix lol

He had a warm place in his heart for his home church, Weeping Mary Missionary Baptist Church where he served as a Deacon until his passing. He loved his church members and drove the church van sometimes. He would also sometimes use his personal vehicle to transport members. He and my Mother also loved to visit the sick and shut-in not only at the church but family members and friends.

The compassion that they showed, both parents, to those bereaved family and friends was just nothing short of amazing. From the time they learned of the passing through days after the funeral, you could count on them showing up in some kind of way to comfort you, bring you things, make you laugh and just be good company. 

And when his turn came, people showed out. I've never seen that amount of love in person. From the procession to the church, to the ride downtown and to the cemetery on 69. People pulled over. Flags were at half-staff. Police officers, EMT's and Firefighters were in front of their vehicles in their funeral blues standing at attention when we passed by. People pulled over on the highway. And at the cemetery, there was a fire truck with the ladder extended and the flag was hanging off of it. The City did that for him and I'll be forever grateful. It was emotional to see but it made me so full that the works that he had done, the lives that he touched, truly did speak for him. Not only did they speak, they shouted: WE LOVE YOU! He would've love to see it and in my mind, he did.

My reason for this post was to get some things out about the man that I loved, adored and took care of me until the day he died. As a matter of fact, because of problems with my house and a pending surgery, he had the kids and me to move in with him and my Mom until I could get better and we could get the house situated. I had my gallbladder removed in November 2014 that was supposed to be a same day surgery. I ended up being in there an additional 5 days. When I went to my post op check up, my lungs had collapsed. Came back to their house to recover some more and went for another checkup and I had pneumonia. Last checkup? Lungs had collapsed again. But throughout my recovery and all of this, he made sure I had 3 meals a day. He and my Mom picked up all my prescriptions, made sure I was comfortable, looked after my children, fed them, took them to their extracurricular activities, picked them up, checked homework, I mean, you name it. I can't describe how amazing they were and my Mom still is. In spite of.

I have relived this day over and over again and recently started going to therapy because I didn't feel like I had grieved properly and I was struggling with the why of it all. I felt like it was affecting my mental and physical health, my relationships and just my quality of life. I felt like one day I was going to snap. And I didn't know nor want to know, what that was going to look like. But I thank God for my loves. My children are resilient and my friends are amazing. All of them. Sometimes it's just a word, a meme, a joke, a "guess what happened to me" story, a post, a picture, a comment: ALL OF IT is helping me through whether you know it or not. You guys are the real MVP's. If I want to cry, you let me cry. If I want to be angry, you allow that too. You let me scream, vent, be sad, be happy, be whatever. You let me be me while I figure out what me is. I am forever indebted to you & will always have your back.

Let me also add that he had a soft spot for children but especially his grandchildren. Mess around and disappear for a few days & he doesn't see them, he's coming to get them. And in a few hours? he's calling you saying Aye, come get em! LOL! He would only be half kidding :P This sounds more like a eulogy ha? Bare with me.

But back to his love for Stillman & the ultimate reason for me writing this piece (other than to share my thoughts). I wanted to share this story that my great friend Dee Nyte shared with me. It took me a year to be able to share this. Dee is a people person much like my Dad and she ran into this gentleman here named Pierre Goode. 

They began to talk and she found out that he had lived in Tuscaloosa and was the Track and Field Coach for Stillman. So whenever she meets someone from Tuscaloosa or Stillman, she always asks if they know us. He did. He told her how much love and respect he had for my Dad and that he had seen him 3 weeks prior to his passing on the Stillman field. He also showed her his Track and Field rings. Stillman's Track and Field team had won their championship but they were unable to buy the championship rings. As we learned with Bryant's Championship this year, the school is not allowed to pay for anything like this. He said my Dad purchased the rings for the team (I want to say both times but I'll have to double check with Dee).

That's my understanding. He talked about how your Dad and he cried on the field when he saw him about 3 weeks before you know what happened. He almost cried talking about how much he loved your Dad. He said he, Charles Barkley, and Bo Jackson hang out all the time.

 It blew me away. I never know that. Here are pix of the rings that he proudly and emotionally displayed as Dee said he was nearly in tears as he spoke about him. And I was nearly in tears reading and listening to it.

I told y'all he rocks and baby, he rolled for Stillman. He loved his Alma Mater. #SCbaby

I just don't understand, with all the terrible, horrible, sadistic people in this world that the world would benefit from being 6 feet under, why is this man gone? It has truly been a tough pill to swallow and I haven't fully digested it yet. I know it will take time but that is a portion of how I feel. I'm still grieving.

If you don't mind, I'd like to share a few hundred photos and memories. I had to narrow it down, which was hard lol but here they are:

I am so very proud to be the eldest daughter of this incredible man and today, I honor him. 

I wear this shirt and his jacket and bask in the wonderful memories. And if you wouldn't mind, taking a cue from Britney Smith, if you would share any memories that you have of him or us, with us today, I know it will do my heart good.

Love Always & Forever,

Your Pig

Well, because, you knew!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Plenty of...Foolishness?

So...if you ask my partner in crime, she'll tell you, I love rabbit holes. Think Alice In Wonderland. When things intrigue me, I'm lost for days learning any and everything I can about it. It almost consumes me.

Or, when I'm involved in something or with someone for reasons that I can't explain. I get a kick out of talking to different people, learn about their upbringing, discovering their behaviors, reasonings, their pasts, and just having conversations with people once I find them interesting. Being that for most of my life I unknowingly assumed that everyone grew up the same way that I grew up, it's always a delight for me. So when anyone acted out of MY character, I was thoroughly confused. And I would spend days, weeks, months and a few times, years, trying to figure out why they would do something like that? And did I play a role in why they did this or that? I tried really hard to understand what happened in their life to make them mistreat me.

Then my brother Phil gave me the best advice. I'd heard it before but it didn't really connect until he said it. It wasn't until that day, at that moment, that it made sense to me. He said:

I'm not about to drive myself crazy trying to figure out why the f**k you crazy!


So this brings me to my latest rabbit hole: online dating. Why is it so taboo? Why is dating so damn hard? Why is it so potentially dangerous? Why do people judge you when you say you met someone online? You lived to tell the tale right? Can people really find genuine relationships via an online dating site? 

I started down this rabbit hole because I generally wanted answers. I wanted to write a story that was nothing like the cautionary tales of others. I wanted to prove that you could have a great experience. I wanted to come away with helpful tips, advice, and encouragement for those that wanted to try this method of dating. 

Boy, was I wrong. I had planned to stay at least 30 days. I lasted 5.

Just like the organic method of dating, it's ugly. Dating has just become...I don't have the words. It's turrible. So after researching a little about where to start, I joined Plenty of Fish dot com on December 7th. Let me preface this by saying that some sites have had to BAN men either from uploading pix or sharing pix in the private messages. I can give you one guess why:


Anyway, when I joined I put the bare minimum needed to get on. I wanted to browse the pix without getting attention just so I could see what was out there. There were some very nice looking guys on there. Beautiful even. And of course, a lot of sexual memes, pix of guys with towels wrapped around their waist as low as they could go, more regular memes, pictures of money, cars, jewelry, and other materialistic things, pictures of them smoking, their gun collection, etc.  There were also decent selfies and pictures with women's belongings in the background, etc. Everything that you could think of was there. I mean, people are putting forth their best selves to attract someone, right? 

I must add that the app will drain the hell out of your battery and that there are people in prison on there. The site is free but there are certain portions of the site that are paid. These prisoners have paid subscriptions on POF. Where are we going on a date bruh, the commissary? Are you looking for a pen pal and/or somewhere to go when your time is up, IF you are getting out? I need answers! I then had to add to my profile that if you are married or in prison, there's nothing that I can do for you. Moving on...later that day I said to myself, for this to be anything close to authentic to get the responses for this social experiment, you have to be vulnerable. I hate being vulnerable. I almost always instantly regret it. And I was right.

So I updated my profile, again, with pics and my likes/dislikes. I immediately got multiple messages. It was as if fresh blood had been dropped into a sea of sharks. Out of 100 messages, 75 of em were:

Them: Hello. You're beautiful.
Me: Hello! Thank you!
Them: (one of these combos) hru? wyd? a/s/l? Can we go on a date? Ooh lil mama, you a bad bitch.
Me: *silence* 

I didn't learn what "hru" is until I got on there and after I was told, I never answered those again. Pet peeve of mine. Type out the damn words! I also refused to answer questions that were already answered on my page. READ!!! And the spelling? It was atrocious. Not the I typed too fast or my brain is moving faster than my hands atrocious but replies like -  what make heart happy and you fell in love.

20 of em were:

Them: Hi Beautiful Queen, can we have a conversation?
Me: Hi, Sure!!
Them: My number is or I'm not on here much or any other way to work in giving me their phone number and having a phone conversation.
Me: Nah, I'm not that comfortable yet.

I mean, I'm on a dating site right? The point is, to date, right? But something didn't feel right just passing out my number within my first 3 hours. I needed to get a feel for the site and the people first. 

3 of em were:

Them: I must say, I loved reading your profile. You are very beautiful. Hi, my name is ___________. I am a Leo. I am divorced with two children. I like _________. My favorite movies are __________. This is what I give in relationships ____________. This is what I expect in relationships ___________. But I'd like to develop a friendship first. If you read my profile and like what you see, maybe we can have a conversation to see if we're compatible.
Me: *pleasantly surprised*

The last 2: 

Them: OMG! I've been searching all over and I think I finally found my Queen! You are the one for me! Please call me! My number is _____________
How are you today Queen?
Here is my number __________, call me.
You're everything I've ever wanted. I know I can make you happy. Please give me a chance. Call me.
Call me.
Where are you?


I no longer wanted any parts of it lol but I endured for what ended up being four more days. So I tried a different approach. I tried to be proactive and speak first because the communication portion of this was lacking to say the least. 

Me: Good Morning, how are you doing today?
Them: GM, I'm doing good thanks for asking. How are you?
Me: I'm well thank you. So I see that you are in school, what is your major?

Those kinds of conversations, with the 3 turned out very well. Others? Not so much. They were hell-bent on getting my phone number, giving me theirs, calling me baby, honey, bae and other pet names. It alarmed me that so many guys would be willing to risk it all just because of my physical appearance. I was told I bet you a good woman and we could be happy together. All of this was based on how I looked. 

Beauty fades, guys. Well, at least it can. You need to be attracted to something else. Is my head on straight? How's my heart? How do I treat my Mother? My children? My family? My friends? I could be batshit crazy but they were willing to risk that to meet me. I really have a problem with that b/c if they are doing it, I know others are too. I have homeboys like that. They want the girl that their boys will lust over and everything else that comes along with her is just the cost of doing business. Until she sleeps with his homeboys and then she's all kinds of bitches and hoes. But you brought her into that environment. You wanted her because of how she looked and knew nothing else about her nor cared to learn.

It is beyond alarming or maybe it's just me?

And by the way, I am slightly batshit crazy.

Moving on to common questions asked on POF:
-are you single?
-what brings you to POF?
-how long have you been on here?
-how long ago was your last relationship?
-why did your last relationship end?
-do you want to get married one day?
-how has your POF experience been thus far?
-what are you looking for?

That last I answer that honestly or give a general answer? I was actually stumped. It took me a minute to answer because I questioned that myself. What AM I looking for? Like, in real life? I threw my list away a long time ago. It was a list of almost impossible standards anyway. It made me more cynical because I couldn't find anyone that could check off most of what was on there. So I started settling and overlooking things *insert exasperated sigh accompanied by a hard eye roll*.  If you asked me before I joined POF, I would've said he would need to have a pulse, be completely single, employed, maintaining a relationship with God or a higher power, have goals and ambitions and AT LEAST enough teeth to fill a smile. I meant that. That s'all I got. Anything other than that seems to be a bonus.

I should also mention that POF also seems to be primarily a hook up site. Most are on there just to have sex. Even if you explicitly express that sex is not what you're looking for, they will try you anyway.

I started to see more and more local people so that made me kind of uneasy. Why? Because they probably know somebody that knows somebody that knows me. They'd blow my cover or really try to get at me. I see you locally and hadn't expressed any interest whatsoever. So why would POF be any different? And they got aggressive. And then I started seeing downlow people (who are also on Grinder, the gay Tinder site. My gay friend showed me) and married people. That made me truly sad. 

And then I thought of my daughter. Is this what she has to look forward to? Will there be anyone for her to date? Will she find companionship? Will she get married? Hell, will I find companionship? Will I get married? I know marriage doesn't seem to be what it used to be, but it still means something to me. My father passed shortly after he and my Mom's 42nd wedding anniversary so statistically, it's supposed to happen, right? I had both parents & they were married, so I should be able to cultivate a lasting relationship, right? All 3 of my siblings are married so it shouldn't be far fetched, right?

Well after this experience I can truly say: either I'm too old-fashioned, too slow or destined to be single for life because I couldn't put up with ANY of this. Other than those 3 that read my profile, didn't pressure me and actually initiated conversations about my likes/dislikes, movie choices, etc it was a bust. I don't have a success story or hardly any hope left. I ended up getting kicked off of POF after someone reported me for rejecting them. LOL! They didn't believe that I was a real person anyway! #amIaUnicorn?

It was probably Divine Intervention. I look at it like I was being saved from some hellish fate. The other day I was trying to decide when I'd write this article and what I would say. Then Pills & Automobiles came on and something Gotti said in his verse stuck out to me:

Really wanna be faithful but this shit hard, baby
Yup, I got the p***y first and then I ignored you
You f**ked another ni**a, you ain't loyal
I told you bring a friend, this shit gettin' borin'
She asked me what we are, we just cordial

#FirstOfAll - this is what episodes of Snapped are made of. If you're expecting loyalty, monogamy and for the woman to entertain your sexual fantasies and then turn around and say you're just cordial? You must be out of your rabid ass mind homeboy. Unless that's what she signs up for but you need to have that discussion up front. *sigh* But sadly, he isn't far off.

His lines are what dating has become. A bunch of humans expecting loyalty but not giving it. Expecting relationship benefits without the responsibilities. Expecting a la carte relationships - taking all the good and running from/not dealing with the bad. Do you know what makes a rainbow? Sunshine AND rain. And you know what the biggest disappointment is in dating in this day and age? Because pickings are so few and far between, because of how we are raised, because we want those #RelationshipGoals that we see but know NOTHING of the behind the scenes, what they had to do to get there, what they are having to endure to stay there, WE ARE GIVING IT TO THEM! We are giving it to these narcissistic, selfish, emotionless, scared little humans. Just to say that we have something. Just so we can stop avoiding the family gatherings solo. Just so we can soothe that aching pain at night. Just so we can be held, even if it's a lie.

Just so we can show it off on social media.

To sum it up? Dating is the pits, organically, online or whatsoever. If you have someone, short of them abusing you, your kids and being a molester, hold on to em. Make it work. You don't want to be out here. It's hell. Find you some hobbies and interests and focus on those. Finish that novel. Write that novel. Take that class. Call your college roommate and catch up. Join a book club. Get your passport. Travel and see the world. Take that real estate exam. Learn a 2nd language. Pick up an instrument. Join the Usher Board. Update your resume. Get a library card. Volunteer at a local school.

Do ANYthing but try online dating.

It's okay to be single. Be confident in your singleness. You may or may not get into a relationship, find companionship, find a significant other or get married but be happy with yourself either way. Life just may reward you.

Meanwhile...this is my mood:

Have you tried online dating? How was your experience? Tell us about it in the comments or email it to me at We will not share any portions of it without your permission.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

5 Topics All Couples Should Be Comfortable Talking About

If you're like most people, then the mere thought of bringing up a tough subject in a relationship probably makes you cringe so hard that your face cramps up.
And with good reason!
Whether you're just starting to fall for someone or your relationship is older than some Millennials, the last thing you want to do is initiate a conversation that could cause awkwardness and conflict with the person you love (or are on your way to loving).
Here's the truth, though: Regardless of whether you feel like discussing challenging topics, sometimes you have no choice in the matter. If you want to have a healthy, honest relationship that has the potential for real longevity, then those potentially awkward discussions are a non-negotiable.
Avoiding difficult subjects won't lead to anything but anxiety and wasted time, and when we're talking about love and life, who has time for that?
Not us — and certainly not you.
Here are five topics that all couples should be comfortable talking about — even though many aren't.

1. Past relationships

2. Spending habits

3. Career goals

4. Plans for kids (or lack thereof)

5. Financial health

Do you agree or disagree with this list? Would you add any topics or take away any?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Matthew 7:3

"Why do you see the speck that is in your brothers eye, but do not notice the log that is in your eye?"

Some of y'all do not understand things unless a bible verse is thrown at ya. Hey the things I am about to say pertain to my ass too. I am not throwing a rock and hiding my hands. We all need to do better. Social media is spiraling out of control and reminds me of being bullied on the playground. A group of people that never met me and knew nothing about me decided I could not be liked and decided to make my life a living hell. In order to have peace I first had to go to war and then we became friends. That was stupid then and we were kids so imagine what I feel bout it now as an adult...

I did not watch the parade video and I care not to because I have not danced nor did my daughter so my opinion has no merit because I do not know whats normal in that world and what's excessive. I have met a few of these directors and I commend them for spending countless thankless hours with kids in our community. I do know that a lot of these directors are an inbox, phone call, or email away from us. A lot of us also know the parents and a lot of the young ladies that were involved and guess what...we failed them. A lot of people jumped on the bashing bandwagon that helped boost the negativity on a thousand and caused some people to feel comfortable in referencing these young women as whores and sluts. Y'all feel better now? Is this what the plan was...

You may not think your comment led to that but think about it. Once one person says what you are thinking, you feel free to voice your opinion and then it becomes a snowball effect. I know because I am the queen of blurting my opinion but I do not play about kids. Kids are innocent and their choices are made for them so when it comes to them, I tread lightly. What happens in these children's lives now has potential to shape their entire life. So how you think this fiasco turned out for them?

I will end this with words from my partner in crime Leigh bka LitLeigh:

"Instead of berating and shaming these children that unfortunately have to go to school with your children who no doubt repeat what they hear/see, why don't you contact the program directors/coordinators of the organization(s) that concerned you? Have an effing conversation with the people that have the authority to change what you're seeing. Speak and be heard as well as listen and work together. Obviously, so many more of you could have put together a better and dare I say a more "decent" parade. Sign up! Join a committee! Lend a hand! Volunteer! All this grandstanding with no action is exhausting & we'll be right here again next year. #NoneGiven"