Have you ever met someone and knew for sure you wouldn’t like them? The first time I came across a blog post by http://bottomlesscoffee007.com I was so sure the post was written by someone I could never like. His views didn’t align with mine at all and he was harsh in his criticism of “the other side”; and since I am here (on WordPress) for some lighthearted conversation and humor, I stopped myself from leaving a commentary with my opposing views and just moved along to someone else’s blog post.
It was only a couple of days later when BottomlessCoffee007 showed up again. This time he was in the comment section of my blog post. I rolled my eyes when I first got the notification that he had left a comment on one of my posts. What did he have to say about what I had written? As luck would have it he had left a humorous comment. I chuckled as I read it and then I replied. A few minutes later I got a notification that he was now “following” my Blog and since I am a big advocate of reciprocity I followed him back and that was how 007 and I started.
He would show up in my Inbox daily, sometimes twice or thrice with his controversial opinions, arguments, and rants. Admittedly, his pieces were thought-provoking and gave rise to discourse, even though they were views I didn’t readily share. I eventually started commenting on some of his posts and lo and behold he wasn’t miffed whenever I didn’t agree with him, which happens frequently.😃 We would oftentimes go back and forth several times on just one of his post and in the end, we would always agree to disagree.
I came to admire the manner in which he wrote his pieces and invited dialogue. He addresses every issue you put forth before him and he is never obnoxious in his response to your comments even when you have opposing views. It’s surprising to me that 007 has become one of my favorites on WordPress, despite his controversy, and I am learning to embrace our differences.
007’s blog has taken on a life of its own and now he even has his very own Podcast, which has risen in popularity in only a few months. I am honored to have been the first Blogger he interviewed on his Podcast back in December. You can listen to that interview here: The Art of Conversation. We recently switched seats and he allowed me to interview him, in an effort to have his readers learn more about him. It was truly an interesting and fun conversation that lasted over an hour and forty-five minutes. If you’re interested in listening the link appears below. I promise you won’t be bored.
What 007 has taught me in this extremely divisive climate that we live in is that we don’t have to see eye to eye to get along. If we would only pause and listen, I mean really listen, to others who do not share the same perspectives and views as us we could possibly learn something; and not because we are not on similar sides of the coin it doesn’t mean we can’t have a decent conversation punctuated with a few deep down, genuine, belly laughs.
“Mr. Pannell asked me to participate in your school’s career day.”
“Noooooooo!” said my 15-year-old son. He was visibly annoyed.
“Why not? I want to do it.”
“Mom, no! I’ll talk to Mr. Pannell in the morning.”
“No, you’re not gonna talk to anyone because it’s something I want to….” My son cuts me off abruptly.
“Do you know that you’re a meme in my school?”
“What? A what?” I was a little confused.
Blake was getting more annoyed by the moment. “You do know what a meme is, don’t you?” He said while rolling his eyes.
“Of course I know what a meme is. How am I a meme? That doesn’t even make sense.”
He sighed, “All my friends think you’re hot. You’re like the Mom with the body. I don’t want you around my friends.”
“Well, aren’t you happy you have a hot Mom? I mean…” I trailed off as he interrupts me again.
“No, I don’t! No!” with that final statement my 15-year-old walks away.
I’m left standing there a bit befuddled thinking to myself, “What just happened? Is this kid for real?”
This was a conversation that took place last week between me and my 15-year-old son, Blake, who attends an all-boys private school. A few days later I posted the conversation on Facebook as my status update and my friends, for the most part, were amused, and to tell you the truth I am a little amused by the entire thing myself. My Facebook friends, who are all people I know in real life, most of them even know Blake personally, started to weigh in on whether or not I should participate in Career Day.
The opinions were split down the middle, 50% who gave their point of view believe I should adhere to Blake’s wishes and not participate in Career Day, some of which were my male friends indicating that I just wouldn’t understand since I am not driven by testosterone and raging hormones. The other 50% were of the opinion that Blake will always have to deal with his “Mama being hot” so I should indeed attend and Blake will just have to get over it.
My take on the matter is that I should go, for several reasons, the main one being that I can motivate and inspire by giving a talk to young, impressionable minds on the benefits of entering the legal profession. These days we never know where someone’s inspiration can come from and I think it would be a wonderful thing if I am able to reach even one student and inspire said student to one day apply to Law School.
I mean, to this day, I remember the lawyer I met while I was in high school that made me want to become an attorney. Well, I didn’t really “meet” her, she was in the bank conducting business, where I was waiting on my father while he too conducted business in the same bank. This woman was striking and fierce, as I eavesdropped on her conversation with the banker, I realized that she was a lawyer. She was well-spoken and polished, and she had the bank employees eating out of the palm of her hands. She had a commanding presence, and I remember thinking, “Damn, I wanna be like her when I grow up.” 😃 That was the moment when the seed of becoming a lawyer was planted into my brain. Obviously, there were several other circumstances, over the course of the following years, that made my determination to become an attorney a growing ambition but it started in the Cross Roads Branch of the National Commercial Bank in Jamaica.
I get it, teenagers are going to ogle. Blake is uncomfortable with his friends ogling. He probably ogles his friends’ moms too. It’s life, maybe even a rite of passage for teenage boys, if you will. I don’t know – I have never been a teenage boy – but what I do know is that Blake needs to get over himself and stop telling me what to do. As it stands, I am forbidden from attending his basketball games because his friends “look at me and talk about me”. Really?! My son plays Center for the Junior Varsity team for his school and I am so proud of him for even making the team and now I am not permitted to go cheer him on because he is “uncomfortable”. Mind you, my husband is allowed to attend the games but I cannot.
I have gotten to the point where I want to tell my 15-year-old to get over himself and his discomfort. My patience is wearing thin with him and this foolishness. I will respect his stance on the basketball games (even though I did sneak into one of the games a couple of weeks ago) because it is a mere social activity, but I was invited by a faculty member to participate in Career Day and I think it is very important that I attend.
One of my very good friends from Law School, a male, has been advocating for Blake all week. He has even sent me private messages saying I should sit this one out. He totally understands Blake’s “plight” since he “was once a teenager with a hot Mom too”. He says it “can be a lot for a young man to deal with”. My response to that is the fact that I have to sit out the basketball games and now he wants me to sit out Career Day, it would seem as if Blake wants me to sit out the remainder of his teenage years. My former Law School buddy promises that “it will get better” as Blake “matures”; but what if it doesn’t? Should I really wait for Blake to get over his “discomfort”? His teenage years will be over in the blink of an eye. He’ll be going off to University in just 2.5 more years. Am I to miss out on the limited time I have left with him, as my child in my house, because of such unbelievable nonsense?
I asked my husband, Greg, the neutral party and always the go-between for me and Blake, what he thought of the entire situation. He supports my perspective and thinks Blake should learn to start properly handling the situation instead of giving his friends too much of a voice. Greg states that in years to come when Blake’s buddies are all adults, he will still have friends that ogle me because some dudes are just “disrespectful” like that and Blake needs to learn as early as possible how to handle those “friends”, the sooner he learns, the better. Blake’s advocate disagrees with Greg and believes “friendships are important at any age, that life is never easy for teenage boys and young men, who go through a lot and are oftentimes told to put on a brave face and act tough because society expects them to”. According to my Law School buddy, what all young men need is “those they love to listen and understand their point of view”.
Now, I am at the point where I am going back and forth in my mind about this situation. I love my son, obviously, and want to make him happy, but for me, this shouldn’t even be a discussion. Like seriously, back in my day, my brother wouldn’t dare tell my mother not to show up to his school for Career Day, there wouldn’t have been a discussion. Hot mom or not.
According to my husband, the situation could be worse, the situation could have been such that he was being teased for having an unattractive mom. One that no one wanted to look at. Despite, the disagreement among my Facebook friends on the topic, the general consensus is that I ought to be “proud” that I am a hot Mom and that this is a “good” problem to have.
I have verbally agreed to participate in Career Day but I still haven’t handed in my formal notice of participation yet. Career Day isn’t until mid-March so I do have some time to think about it. I would love to hear your take on the matter. Should I go or not? What’d you think?
The plan was to burst into 2019 fist pumping, screaming “Rah – Rah!” Ready and raring to go, to take on any and all challenges, fix my less than stellar habits and to toss my absolute worst habit, procrastination, out the window. The plan was to make a list of everything I wanted to achieve in 2019; followed by another much longer list outlining all the necessary steps that I needed to take in order to achieve those goals. By now I should have been well on my way to cultivating the good habits needed to kickstart my ambitions, but alas that is not quite the case.
Instead, it has been 3 weeks and a day into the new year and this is my first time blogging, not because I didn’t want to or I couldn’t; but because I am overwhelmed. You know the feeling; the one where you look at your daily To Do List, cringe a bit at the length of it, yet promise yourself, that despite the length you’ll get everything done before you roll into bed at the end of the day.
Well, it has been three weeks and a day into 2019 and I have not been able to complete any of my daily To Do Lists; instead, I keep adding to the list as opposed to completing the tasks already outlined. *Sigh*
The laundry gets done, but then it takes days to get it folded and put away. Or I’ll start working on a case and while focusing on one element of the case, something else, I hadn’t previously thought of, will pop into my head and I’ll spend hours exploring another approach to handling the matter instead of sticking to my original plan of attack because God forbid I could get an idea and not follow it to see where it leads.
I complained to my husband this past weekend that I have not blogged since the year started and his immediate response was, “Why not? You love to blog. Why aren’t you doing it?” I shrugged. Then he smartly added, “Well, you’ve been doing so much. You really haven’t slowed down for a minute.” That’s when it dawned on me that I should focus and what I have done instead of beating myself up for the things I haven’t.
The Christmas decorations had all been taken down and placed back into its storage area well before the first week of the year was completed. As small a task as this may seem you have no idea how proud I am of actually completing it in a timely manner. In past years this daunting task usually takes weeks into the year to get done. Is there anyone else out there like that? I once met a guy, who told me he didn’t take down his fully decorated Christmas tree until June, and the only reason he did was to make room for a new piece of furniture he had purchased. No judgment here, because I am a hell of a procrastinator myself.
I am also proud of the fact that I have been sticking to and committing to my year of yes. At the end of last year, I proclaimed 2019 to be my year of yes, a year in which instead of doubt and too much contemplation and general over thinking I would just say yes to “sane” proposals in an effort to think and act outside of my comfort zone.
So far my year of yes has me adopting a new, healthier lifestyle, going to the Cinema to watch a foreign film entirely in subtitles (which turned out to be one of the most riveting films I have ever seen), and even have me agreeing to go snow tubing, which for a 45-year-old Jamaican female is a big deal.
My year of yes also has me agreeing to invitations to social activities that I would normally have zero interest in, like when my 35-year-old niece, who is all about manifestations and positive thinking, invited me to her Vision Board Making Party. My initial inkling was to flat-out decline the invitation but I reminded myself that it was my year of yes so I gracefully accepted, went and I had a blast. I spent the better part of the first Saturday of 2019 with a bunch of vibrant, proactive, confident ladies, who are all about setting intentions for their lives. It was such an uplifting, exhilarating experience.
It’s so easy for us to focus on what we are not doing, or what we should be doing instead of what we have done. Self-doubt coupled with the notion of “not doing enough” has completely taken over today’s society. We are always striving for bigger and greater things, we always want to do more or be more, I know I am guilty of that, and if we dare fall short of our aspirations, we beat ourselves up, another thing I am guilty of.
Well, this year, I have decided to be nicer to myself. No more drowning myself in guilt for not completing the daily To Do Lists. I will be content with whatever it is that I get done and if for some reason I get absolutely nothing done well tomorrow ushers in another day filled with more opportunities, where I can attempt to make strides or baby steps towards my goals.
Last week I was mulling around on Instagram and saw how an acquaintance published the top ten highlights of her year via her IG story. Man, what an exciting and adventurous 2018 she had visiting new, exotic countries and parachuting out of airplanes.
I was so thrilled looking at her photos that I started going through my own social media 2018 photo History in an attempt to compile my own Top Ten Highlights. The compilation didn’t go quite the way I thought it would because as I scrolled through my pictures I realized that some of my funniest and best moments were not actually captured on camera. They were just sweet, tiny moments that might have taken place during a conversation, something my husband may have said to me, or maybe even the way he looked at me; or even that time in June, on our romantic getaway to Montauk, when I fell flat on my ass after attempting to ride a bicycle, even though I had not ridden a bike since I was 16 years old – that’s almost 3 decades ago.
I did take a ton of pictures though and I was reminded of the good, the bad and, yes, even the ugly experiences. What I also realized was that 2018 was a pretty good year. Yeah, there were both highs and lows, as with most things, but the highs far outweighed the lows.
I measure my success at my ability to smile at my memories as opposed to cringing. The cringe-worthy moments did exist but I am thankful that I can count them, on one hand, and I wouldn’t have enough fingers to count the happy, laugh-out-loud moments and the number of times I have paused and thought about how lucky I am.
Scrolling through my memory bank I realize that most of the time I was at my ‘unhappiest’ was while I was at work – either standing in the Courtroom or sitting at my desk. The practice of law has become a daunting task for me. I feel absolutely ungrateful for feeling this way. How many people have I met who want to go to Law School? Or want the opportunity to capture an audience with their wit and intellect in a Courtroom? I used to be one of those people, I used to look forward to “winning” in Court, I used to want to stay up all night and read the precedents in order to prepare my case. I use to practice my oral arguments in my mirror, my pose, my stance, everything – going over all that needed to be said over and over and over until it was perfected. I used to look forward to the back and forth banter with opposing counsel. Hell, I used to get a kind of high from it, but now, now it’s just meh.
I am ashamed to admit that my zeal is gone. Not sure when it left or how it left but what is certain is that it has left and I am not even sure I want to go searching for it. Nowadays, I get headaches, real serious headaches when a case gets too complicated. I am just not intrigued anymore. Could this feeling possibly be from burnout? Maybe! I don’t have a solution for this and I am really not trying to find one, I am also not trying to analyze anything, I am just speaking my truth. Further, I am not trying to make any promises to myself that I am going “to figure it out’ in 2019.
What I know for sure is that years of practicing law have allowed me to develop great skill in the Courtroom and I am a damn good litigator. I will always do my best for my clients; always! However, if I am being completely honest with myself I am over it. I wish I had another means to make money, a means by which I could be extremely enthusiastic and happy while pursuing my passion and bringing home the bank.
In May of 2018, I tried something called Velashape. Velashape is a non-invasive treatment which is “supposed to” result in the reduction of cellulite. Yes, the ugly came in the form of a ton of cellulite on what used to be my gorgeous legs.
I once had voluptuous, long, thick, toned legs. Legs I use to get all kinds of compliments on. I lived in mini-skirts, dresses, and short shorts because I loved my legs. I feel like I had these beautiful legs as recently as last year and then out of nowhere came the hideous cellulite. Like a ton of them, both on the front and back of my thighs. (Sigh)! Was it age? Was it my food consumption? Was I not doing enough cardio? Should I try to squeeze another leg day into my already tight weight training workout routine? Maybe I should consider taking up running?
I did my research and learned about a cellulite treatment called Velashape, further research led to a reasonably priced aesthetician, only a few miles away from my office, who would be able to perform these treatments. I was excited! I was going to get my gorgeous cellulite free legs back in time for Summer.
The research said results varied but typically started to show between 3 to 6 sessions, so I purchased the package with 6 sessions of Velashape treatment. I did 2 of my 6 weekly sessions and on the morning of my third session I got a call from the aesthetician saying that the Velashape machine had broken down the night before, that it was in the process of being fixed and she would call me as soon as it was up and running again. This happened during the third week of May, by the time mid- June rolled around and the machine still had not been fixed, I went in, canceled the rest of the sessions, got a full refund and that was the end of that.
My Velashape treatment was an epic fail. I thought of trying to find another Spa to get it done, Lord knows there are scores of them in Manhattan that provide such services, but I kind of saw the breaking down of the machine as a sign to embrace my cellulite and let go off of my vanity. Truth be told, I detest my cellulite, like seriously. I can’t stand them but I used my refund to pay for Blog Writing Classes, which I did from July to August, and I couldn’t be happier with that choice.
My marriage has not been without its challenges, we hadn’t lived together before we got married and the first year was, to say the least, a bit tough, the 2nd year was better and by golly this year I think we finally found our groove.
Time spent with my husband has been part of the best memories of my year. We seemed to have unintentionally found a way to read each others’ minds and act accordingly. He still gets frustrated when I stretch him too thin socially, he’s not much of a people person, like I am, but if he doesn’t feel like going somewhere he just won’t go and these days I’m over getting mad about it and I’ll just go by myself.
I also now realize that he wants his time to himself, no social events, no movies, no family time, he just wants to lie by himself in the man-cave part of our house and watch his conspiracy theorist documentaries. When I visit the man-cave I pick up on when it’s my cue to leave and I do so without protest and give him his space. It has been a really good year for our marriage and I hope we continue to grow in the same manner we did in 2018.
Similarly, I hope to grow as an individual in the upcoming year. The New Year is always a time for reflections and resolutions but this year I won’t do too much of that lest I get caught up in the “what could have been” and the “what I hope will be” instead of just living in the present and enjoying the here and now.
I had the privilege of being “interviewed” by my fellow Blogger, http://www.bottomlesscoffee007.com. I put the word “interview” in quotes because it wasn’t an interview per say but simply a conversation, and I had a blast.
WordPress has really afforded me the good fortune of connecting with some genuinely fun, interesting people and 007 is one of them. When he asked me to appear on his podcast I was flattered but a little nervous, since he and I don’t always share the same views but I thought to myself why not. I have pledged 2019 as my year of “yes” so I figured I’ll start practicing saying yes to everything as early as now.
Well, I am sure glad I did. What ensued was a lovely, warm conversation between friends, yes, it actually felt like we were friends. We had some real laugh out loud moments and it was authentic, natural and real; completely unscripted. It was the highlight of my day.
Take a listen and let me know what you think. Admittedly, it is very long (we chatted for an hour and a half) so it’s totally okay if you don’t listen to all of it, I mean really who has that kind of time to listen to a podcast anyway, but I’d encourage you to listen to at least some of it and please, please share your thoughts on the parts that you listened to.
I enjoyed the playback to all of it but I’ll be honest and let you know that I enjoyed the last half of the conversation more, by then 007 and I had settled into a cozy tete-a-tete.
Whichever parts of the podcast you choose to listen to we would love your feedback. I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed participating.😀
Wait! What?! Why am I in your inbox again when I was here only 2 days ago. My readers know me as a weekly Blogger so why am I showing up again??!!
I admire those who make the time to blog daily, sometimes even several times a day, but I always thought I just don’t have the time or enough topics of interest to blog with such frequency. However, I have laid down the gauntlet and issued a personal challenge for myself. I have decided to end the year with a bang by completing 30 blog posts by December 31st, this is blog post # 24.
My first blog post was on July 14, 2018, and so far I have posted an average of once per week. Considering that I get bored with things easily I think there is something to be said about the fact that I have been able to maintain my Blog with some amount of consistency. I am rather proud of myself and I hope to continue the pace well into 2019.
WordPress has been a wonderful yet daunting place. I like to reciprocate so I read posts by other Bloggers who take the time to read my own. I follow those who follow me and I always “like” and “comment” on those posts I find fun and or interesting. All of this reciprocity does take time though and sometimes I find myself on WordPress for hours, which can be daunting when you have a ton of work to do, the type of work you get paid for, and let’s face it with only 24 hours in the day, and since I’m a girl who needs to get her beauty sleep, finding the time to search out new bloggers and read their well-written, interesting posts can be formidable when considering time constraints.
WordPress, however, has brought with it new “friends”. The anonymity on the site is real so half the people I don’t even know by their real names or what they look like, but what we do share is a desire to write and share our personal thoughts. We also like the validation of being “read” and for the most part the interaction with others, especially those who share our opinions, makes WordPress a fun place to escape to.
From the very beginning, there have been people I just clicked with and connected with, some even have differing views and opinions from mine but they are open to discussion and it is always good gaining another perspective, especially when it’s done in a non-confrontational manner.
I would never have thought when I created my Blog that I would have had this decent a connection with other WordPress users, when you think about it, I really didn’t even know what to expect. I mean there are people on here who actually look forward to my posts, that just blows my mind; and if I am late with posting I get an email inquiring about my whereabouts. Do you know how good that feels?! It’s awesome! Similarly, if a few of my “peeps” are off the grid for a couple of days, especially if they are daily bloggers I actually miss them and I wonder about them.
Recently I have had the privilege and pleasure of meeting in real life someone I connected with on WordPress. Yes, this actually happened. Heather and I first connected not on her Blog or even my own, but on someone else’s in the comment section when we both shared a similar opinion that one can, in fact, write a successful Blog about one own’s life, with general stories and anecdotes without a running theme. The writer of that particular Blog didn’t agree and Heather and I bonded over the fact that we “disagreed” with Mr. KnowItAll. Soon we had subscribed to each other’s Blogs and the rest as they say is history.
Heather has become an avid reader of mine and I don’t think she has missed even one of my posts. I try to do the same but I am pretty sure I have missed a couple of hers. Heather is a beauty blogger and self-proclaimed Avon Lady. Her posts are interesting and chock full of beauty tips that actually work. Like, who knew we were using hairpins incorrectly all along.😃 I have learned a lot from Heather and just last night I learned that eyelash curlers are not a thing of the past and that one can actually perm one’s eyelashes. Who knew?!
Heather and I took our communication off of WordPress only a couple of weeks after “meeting” and started doing regular email exchanges. She is funny and sweet, even though she doesn’t seem to think so. She is an excellent writer and can hold my interest even when writing about the most mundane subjects such as hairpins and what kind of rags to bring while traveling.😁
Heather is also a technical whiz and I have often called on her to assist me with WordPress technical stuff. I am a writer, not a techie, even though I am quickly learning that these days both things go hand in hand, especially around here.
Heather lives in Oregon and recently visited New York City with her husband. We planned a double date (with our spouses) months in advance of her trip and by golly we actually made it happen. We dined at the trendy Tao restaurant and it was a fun, festive evening filled with good conversation and laughter. My husband, who is the complete opposite of me, and frowns upon social media and meeting strangers therefrom actually enjoyed meeting Heather and her husband.
WordPress has turned out to be a pretty interesting place. I never really considered it a social media platform, but I guess it is. I have discovered a whole new world of adventurous, mysterious, entertaining cohorts, which, in my opinion, is so very cool.
Why is everyone so sensitive these days??? Why is everyone taking everything so seriously??? Can we lighten up a bit, please?
Last week I learned that one of my favorite Christmas songs will not make it to the airwaves this Christmas because the lyrics are too “suggestive”. Say what?!
Baby, It’s Cold Outside is a classic tune usually played around Christmastime that gives me a delightful, warm, fuzzy feeling whenever it comes on the radio, it is way better listening pleasure than Jingle Bells. It’s catchy and it’s fun, and it is one of my faves along with Eartha Kitt’s Santa Baby. Now in light of the #metoo movement, it is being said that the song connotes a hidden agenda of sexual harassment and as such should no longer be played on the radio. Say what?!
Are the powers that be for real with this nonsense? This song was first recorded all the way back in 1944, even before my mother was born, for the movie, Neptune’s Daughter. Over the years it has grown in popularity and has been recorded and covered by several contemporary popular artists including Rod Stewart, Dolly Parton, Michael Buble, Norah Jones, and even Lady Gaga. So why all of a sudden it is not fit for the airwaves and will lead to the promotion of “date rape culture”? Say what now?! I can’t, I just can’t.
Who are the ones making these decisions? The gist of the song, which is usually recorded by a male and female duo, has the female singer, who is in the company of the male singer saying she needs to leave, she has to get home but each time she says she has to go the male singer interrupts her by reminding her that she should stay because “it’s really cold outside”. That’s it! That is the general gist of the song, no mention of sex, no mention of let’s go to into the bedroom and do the nasty. Just a guy enjoying the company of a female companion and he does not want her to leave.
Such a delightful and catchy tune and now it’s forbidden because as a society we have gotten just a bit too sensitive and everything has to be misconstrued and misinterpreted and taken to the ith power.
Here’s the link to the original scene where the song was first recorded for a movie, very cute and fun to watch https://youtu.be/7MFJ7ie_yGU.
In conversation with my husband tonight he told me of a co-worker who recently found out that his children’s elementary school will no longer be having a Halloween party, this year’s party was the last because it caused an uproar among a few parents (just a few) who are offended by the concept of Halloween and the fact that a party is being “forced down their throats”. Here is my solution to that – You don’t like it keep your kids at home on the day of…Like really; why is everyone so offended by every little thing these days?!
I get it, not everything is for everyone and if for some reason you’re not into whatever then stay away. Don’t spoil everybody else’s fun, just keep your mouth shut and stay away. Don’t petition the Board of Ed by inundating them with your selfish letters to the point where now there has been a ruling that there will be no more Halloween parties.
Thankfully those parents were not a part of my elementary school when my kid was much younger because they would be getting a hell of a fight from me if they tried that nonsense. It’s not even that I’m a huge fan of Halloween, I grew up in Jamaica, my childhood was Halloween free, but on a matter of principle alone I would jump to oppose those that feel the need to spoil everybody else’s fun. How about you go somewhere quiet and practice removing that stick from your you know where?
There are certain things, words, and terminologies that are downright derogatory and are generally offensive; and the use of such words and promotion of such things are inexcusable. However, songs that have been around and has been playing on the radio for decades are not offensive, neither is a Halloween party for grammar school students.
Everyone is so offended by everything these days, you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. What about the concept of “live and let live” and “to each his own”. Why should everyone else suffer because you get butthurt about everything?
Toughen up, people! Not everyone is on the attack not everything is meant to hurt your pretty little feelings. Enough already! Enough!
It’s that time of the year when we string the lights, decorate the tree, bake cookies, drink too much eggnog and overeat; but before we do all of that I’d like to first acknowledge the human who gave my life added purpose. My life always had meaning but I got a swift kick in the behind to make sure I do it right 15 years ago today when my obstetrician handed me a 10 lb bundle and said, “Here he is. What’d you think?”
Honestly, my first thought wasn’t, “Oh my gosh, he’s so precious. I’m in love.” Instead, my very first thought was, “Who’s baby is this? This kid doesn’t look like me. Why is he so light?”
I quickly got over the lack of resemblance when I took a closer look at the nose. Yep, he was mine alright, that nose is unmistakable. Blake didn’t scream or cry when he first got here, instead, he just stared, he actually seemed to look around the room, observing his new surroundings. Fifteen years later and by golly he still does the same thing, I’m always in awe when I watch him carefully observe his surroundings instead of just walking right in.
My next thoughts as I held him was “What do I do now? What I am I supposed to do with him now?” Blake seemed to read my mind as he nuzzled against my chest and started searching, he found his food supply, latched on and went to town, pulling and sucking and feeding hungrily. Damn, that shit hurt!
It’s been 15 years and Blake’s appetite has not changed. He still has a voracious, healthy appetite. The kid will eat anything.
It’s astounding how much Blake’s current persona mirrors my labor experience. I was scheduled to deliver the baby on December 4th, which I thought was kind of cool since it was rapper Jay-Z’s birthday; but Blake had other plans and arrived at 12:06 am the next day. He was not to be rushed and to this day, he still does things on his own terms and refuses to be rushed or cajoled into anything, which can be both good and bad.
My labor was fairly painless, I had a surge of pain for a few minutes, called for the epidural, which I had initially thought I wouldn’t want since I always saw myself as an Amazonian natural labor type of girl but when that indescribable pain ripped through me and I wasn’t dilated enough to push I quickly called for the epidural in order to get some kind of relief. Honestly, the only pain I felt during labor wasn’t more than about 15 minutes but it was the longest 15 minutes of my life.
Similarly, raising Blake, luckily, has been rather painless. Yeah, there are the usual ups and downs that come with parenting but thankfully he has made it relatively easy for me. The disappointments and WTF moments have been few and far between and for that, I am eternally gratefully.
Does he make me repeat myself too much? Sure! One day I decided to count how many times I had to tell him to clean his room before he actually cleaned it and it turned out to be 8 times, all of 8 times before I had to threaten him with the wrath of God in order to get him moving.
I am in sheer disbelief at how lazy my teenager can be. Like, seriously, how hard can it be to put your clothes in the laundry basket when you take them off instead of tossing them on the floor; and how many times do I have to tell my child to make his bed before he leaves for school in the mornings and for God’s sake why won’t he hang his wet towel back in the bathroom after he has used it instead of throwing it on his unmade bed?
The kid is as loving as he is lazy so even though I bitch at him to clean up after himself I still get all the hugs and kisses and “I love you” that I can handle despite him being at that age where it isn’t considered cool to do so.
It has been a tumultuous, loving, exasperating, sweet, mind-boggling and beautiful 15 years of motherhood. Blake was sent here to get me out of my comfort zone, the one where everything I did I got it right and was so self-assured and confident about all my endeavors. Motherhood has had me second guessing every decision I have ever made. Am I doing it properly? Am I getting it right? Am I too strict or am I too lenient? Should I impose a weekend bedtime or allow him to stay up as late as he wants as long as he gets all his homework done? Should I have the password to his phone? Or should I allow him his privacy?
It’s crazy that after all these years together, I am still not sure if my parenting method is correct. I figured by the time I got to child #2, I would have had it all figured out but it is obvious that child # 2 is not happening. Growing up I always thought I was going to have a few kids of my own, at least 3 or 4, but as faith would have it that was not in the cards. However, every day I thank my lucky stars that since I only got one I am thankful it’s this one. I couldn’t have picked a more ideal kid that compliments my own personality.
Blake is not perfect but he’s perfect for me. Happy Birthday to the biggest reality check I’ve ever experienced. The kid keeps me on my toes in a such a crazy, weird yet fantastic way. Not only do I love him but I like him too.
Here’s to Big Blake! My 6′ 2 15-year-old who makes me oh so proud to be his Mom.
I am a little late with my Reader Request Friday responses to the questions put forth by my treasured readers, two days late in fact, but I was assured by my dearest Heather over at https://www.hopelesslyheather.com that my readers would understand me not meeting my deadline, after all, it is Thanksgiving weekend.
Reader Request Friday was created by fellow blogger, the fascinating and intriguing https://www.bottomlesscoffee.007.com, who invited me to interact with my readers by encouraging them to ask me anything. I was happily overwhelmed with a lot of questions, which in the interest of brevity, I elected to answer in two parts, in case you missed part one of my answers you can find it at Ask Me Anything – The Answers (Part One)
Without further adieu, let’s get on with part two (Hey; that rhymed…Ha!).
Q 43. Do you have Netflix? Yep. Doesn’t everyone these days?
Q 44. Do you eat beef liver or pork liver? Beef liver, yes, and I quite enjoy it too.
Q 45. Do you ice skate?
About a decade ago I decided I wanted to learn how to ice skate so I actually paid for a round of ice skating lessons.
I paid for a half a dozen lessons and was in the middle of lesson #2 when I fell down so hard on the ice I couldn’t get back up. It took 3 instructors to help me back up. The pain across my lower back after that fall was so intense that I couldn’t even finish lesson # 2. It took me at least 2 weeks to properly heal and feel like myself again. The pain was so severe every time I walked I felt the fall all over again. That was it for me…I never went back to the lessons and I never got my money back either.
I quickly deleted “learning how to ice skate” off of my bucket list. Not everything is for everyone and I painfully learned that ice-skating wasn’t for this island girl. 😒
Q 46. What is the best icing for cakes?
There are so many but if I could only pick one I would say chocolate fudge icing. Yummy!
Q 47. What is the best place to get a pizza you like?
So many places especially here in NYC, which is known for having some of the best pizzas. My husband and I like to head over to Harry’s, in Battery Park, for their brick oven pizza.
Q 48. Would you love to have a vegetable garden on the roof of your building? Nope.
Q 49. What is your favorite car to drive around to show off?
I’m not much of a show-off. However, if I had to choose to drive around in a car to show off in it would be a flashy, red, 2 door sports car; something like a Ferrari, although I have never driven one myself. I would opt for one that looked like this
My girl, River Girl, over at https://www.riversworld.live, a one of a kind travel blog I discovered here at WordPress had me thinking really hard about this one –
Q 50. You seem like a woman who has it all together. Strong, smart, independent. So what’s your deepest, darkest, irrational fear?
Firstly, River, thank you for such compliments – strong, smart and independent. I’d like to think I’m all that but we all have insecurities and unwarranted fears.
My biggest fear is that I won’t live much longer. This irrational fear surrounds dying before my son becomes an adult before I can live to see what he makes of himself before he gets married and has his own children. I would love to see the kind of woman he would choose to partner with for the rest of his life, I’d also like to see what kind of parent he would be but I’m not sure I’ll be around for it.
I am afraid of dying.
My friend (in real life), wedding photographer extraordinaire, Carmen at http://www.carmenrubiophotography.com, who I am surprised didn’t ask me something about the movies since we both share a love for the movies asked the following…
Q 51. Who (living or dead) would you like to meet and have a conversation with? And why?
I’d like to break bread with Oprah Winfrey and share some laugh out loud girl talk.
Everyone knows Oprah’s story, she came from nothing, born in poverty, she was dirt poor growing up. Talk about a self-made woman, she was fired from one of her first gigs in broadcasting and demoted yet she was able to come back from that to build a multi-million dollar production company and has been named Forbes first black multi-billionaire. Yes! Multi-billionaire, that is a billionaire (not millionaire) several times over.
It doesn’t matter how you feel about Ms. Winfrey one has to put that respect at the end of her name. She is one of the most influential people in the World. I don’t have enough words to express the sheer joy and excitement I would feel meeting and having an actual conversation with her. I bet I would leave a lasting impression too.😉
Q 52. What is your dream car?
Let’s go with the flashy, red Ferrari above. See Q & A 49.
Another real-life friend, Alicia, a couples’ therapist and published author, Alicia’s book, No More Fighting: The Relationship Book for Couples: 20 Minutes a Week to a Stronger Relationship, will be released on December 4th and can be pre-ordered on Amazon right now. You can also find more of Alicia’s words of wisdom and valuable tips for re-igniting the passion in your marriage at http://www.aliciamunoz.com.
Alicia asked the following question…
Q 53. How do you think writing your bestselling book is going to change the important relationships in your life, including your relationship with yourself?
Damn, Alicia! Could you think of a harder question…Hahaha.
Alicia, my darling, I am honored that you think I will one day write a bestseller. I love the way you believe in me, love the way you always encourage me. Let me see if I can do some justice to your question.
My relationship with myself probably won’t change much. Yes, I’d be more confident in my writing. I’d be encouraged to write more, tell more stories and I’d certainly feel more accomplished but I honestly feel like my humility and authenticity would remain the same. I like who I am and I am pretty sure I’ll remain the same. I would never be the self-acclaimed pompous author, I can’t stand those.
My relationship with my husband – I can only imagine how much greater this would be. Writing a bestseller means more disposable income for our family; which translates into more money to do whatever we want; more vacations, more adventures, even more, grand memories; our marriage would swell and expand with more happiness. It is said that money doesn’t buy happiness, but Greg and I would certainly like the chance to disprove this theory.
My relationship with my son – Like he needs another thing to live up to. Having a Mom, who is an attorney already puts a tremendous amount of pressure on him. Since the generation that follows is expected to outperform the current generation, my expectation of him would be even more than it already is. I am pretty sure me writing a bestseller would result in more tension between me and my teenager since my expectations of him would be even higher than they already are, especially regarding his academic performance.
My Mom, yes you read that correctly, my Mom who reads my blog weekly, asked the all-important question…
Q 54. If you could go back to your childhood and change anything, what would you change and why?
This has to be a trick question, right?! My childhood was perfect and I wouldn’t change anything.😁
Seriously though, my honest answer to that would be that your husband (my Dad) was way too strict, like seriously, there was no need for all that. I would make my Dad more lenient and a lot less rigid in his rearing and discipline. I am 100% sure we would have still turned out alright despite all the rules.
Q 57. If you could sell years from your life with ten thousand dollars each, how many years would you sell and why?
Ha! Good one! I prefer living over money, I’m not inclined to sell any years off of my life. I figured once I’m alive and healthy I have the potential to make money.
Kimberley, my real life friend, asked the following –
Q 58. How did you find the courage and enthusiasm to continue dating as you moved closer to 40?
I met my current husband when I was 39 and I was a 42-year-old bride but it was so worth all the years of dating to finally come across my ideal and to have my feelings reciprocated; see My Guy.
Kimmie, I’m not sure if I’d call it “courage and enthusiasm”, I’m a relationship type of girl, I like being a part of a committed, monogamous relationship, more than I like being by myself so I was willing to do and give what it takes until I found someone I was compatible with. I knew deep down that “he” was out there and I never gave up on the hope of finding “him”.
Q 59. If your house was on fire what is the one item you would save?
Since you said item and not person, I guess I would grab my laptop, the very one I’m typing on right now.
While my new buddy and incredible long-distance runner PK Adams, who blogs over at https://www.eatthesky.com asked the following…
Q 60. How did you choose your career?
It’s more like my career chose me…All my life I was told that I argued like a lawyer, ever since I was a little girl. I guess I was contentious; I’m not anymore though 😉.
Wow…I’m up to question 60 and I’m still not done with all my questions yet. I guess there’ll be a part 3 to this Reader Request Fridays because this blog post is already way too long. I appreciate all the questions though and I promise to answer all of them, someday.
I’ll leave you with the colored version of my current WordPress profile picture, a photo I took last month while attending the Bruno Mars concert, which was one of the best concerts I have ever experienced. How come no one asked me to describe the best musician I have ever seen in concert? I would love to have answered that one. 😊
I am seated in a crowded airport waiting to get on my flight to JFK. I am tired and I am miserable. My flight has already been delayed more hours than I can count because of snow on the ground at home in New York. We were originally scheduled to leave at 6:15 pm, well it’s now 10:45 pm and we still have no idea when we will actually be departing. Not the most ideal situation for creativity and or writing but since I am committed to fulfilling my promise to participate in Reader Request Fridays I just pulled my laptop out of my carry-on and we shall now begin.
Thanks to all of you who took the time to ask me fun, interesting, provocative questions, some of the answers came to me quickly and easily, while others gave me food for thought. I was asked way more questions than I had anticipated, some of the questions even came from my Facebook friends and one Twitter follower, while others came from real life friends.
In the interest of brevity, I’ll be doing my Reader Request Friday responses in 2 parts, that is in 2 separate posts, I don’t want to make it too long and I especially don’t want to bore anyone so please note if you don’t see your question posted here this week, rest assured I’ll be responding to it in my next installment of Reader Request Fridays.
Without further adieu let’s get to the questions and, of course, my answers:
Reader Request Fridays was created by my fellow blogger the controversial https://bottomlesscoffee007.com, who provided me with the first set of questions to respond to:
Q1. I would like to hear the story of you growing up in the Islands.
I was born and raised in Jamaica. We were a typical middle-class family. We didn’t want for anything because my father worked hard and was able to more than adequately provide for his family. I am the eldest of my parents’ three children and I am the only girl.
My father, a former military man, was all about discipline and raised us in a very strict, rigid household with a thousand rules. My mother, on the other hand, was quite liberal in her parenting style (thankfully) so this kind of created a tolerable balance.
I think I might have been the toughest of the 3 children to raise since I was quite the opposite of everyone in my family. I was an extrovert growing up in a household of introverts. I always wanted to go out partying, socialize with the other kids next door, listen to all kinds of loud music with somewhat raunchy lyrics, namely Rock and Jamaican Dancehall, talk loudly and generally just hang out. My father didn’t think any of that behavior was very ladylike at all, so I just kind of kept in line so I wouldn’t get in trouble with him. Growing up I was very scared of my father. Truth be told I was still kind of scared of him even in my adult years, he was a no-nonsense kind of guy, who expected the best from his children, and I never wanted to disappoint him.
Q2. When and why did you move to New York and what was the transition like?
In the Summer of 1998, I was visiting New York and met a very, cool, confident guy that swept me off of my feet. We spent the entire summer hanging out and by the time I was ready to go back home to Law School I was in love. We did the long distance thing for a few years and every opportunity I got to come back to New York, during school breaks, he would send me an airline ticket. When I graduated Law School he encouraged me to move to New York to be with him so I did, much to my father’s displeasure. We later got married, had a child, then divorced.
Despite the divorce and circumstances that caused the divorce, I have no regrets about giving up my solid life in Jamaica and moving to NYC. I love living in New York and I enjoy being a mother, which I don’t think I would have been if not for my Ex, so zero regrets here.
The transition from Jamaica to New York was fairly easy, the only thing I had to get used to was the Winters; but I am so in love with Winter fashion; coats, knee-high boots, gloves, scarves etc., that not even the Winters bothered me much.
Q3. What do you miss about the Islands and how often do you go back there?
I miss my Mom, who still lives there. My Dad passed away a few years ago so in some strange way I miss him too.
I miss the food, the freshness of the food. The way everything tastes light and organic, as opposed to being heavily chemicalized or fertilized.
I miss the greenery, the lushness of the backdrop of the Blue Mountains as I drive through certain parts of the island.
I miss listening to our dialect every day. I also miss the very special way in which we (Jamaicans) create and invent new words all the time to perfectly fit any given situation and circumstance. Gosh, I love my people. 😂
I go home at least once a year. A trip I always look forward to.
Q4. Also, have you taught your children about the culture and traditions of the Islands?
Child – not children – just one. Yes, I most certainly have. My son has been going to Jamaica every year, sometimes twice a year, since he was only six months old. He will be 15, in a matter of weeks, and you can’t tell him he isn’t Jamaican himself. He understands the dialect and speaks it better than most American children born to Jamaican parents. He loves the food, the music and the dances, which he surprisingly does very well. My son has claimed Jamaica as his own and doesn’t like it when I refer to him as a “fareign pickney”. 😂
Q5. Do you spread spaghetti sauce all on top of your noodle or mix it all together?
Mix it all together.
Q6. What was your favorite snack as a kid? When did you last have it?
Chippies Banana Chips, which, of course, is from Jamaica. However, I find it in New York from time to time. I recently had some.
Q7. Do you have a monthly subscription box? If so, which?
Q8. What’s your favorite perfume?
Good ole classic Chanel No. 5.
Q9. Top pet peeves.
i) People who spit in public.
ii) People who act like they know everything.
iii) Unsolicited advice.
iv) People who talk during a movie.
v) Long recorded messages that ask you to press a thousand different numbers before you can actually talk to a real live person.
Q10. Do you own a dishwasher?
Yes. Believe it or not, I hardly use it though, I like doing my dishes the old fashion way.
Q11. What would the warning label to your life say?
Combustible! She goes from 0 to 100 in under 60 seconds.
Q12. If you could meet anyone who would it be?
Q13. What food can you absolutely not eat?
Frogs. I hear it’s a delicacy in some countries but I’ll pass.
Q14. If you weren’t in the profession you are in right now what would you choose to do for work?
A Writer, of course. It’s my dream to get paid for my writing.
Q15. If you could use one superpower for a day, which would it be?
Ha! I’d want to be invisible. Imagine the things you could find out if you were invisible. 👀
Q16. What allergies do you have?
Q17. Do you read magazines?
I use to but in this day and age of the World Wide Web, I don’t really read print magazines anymore. I use to have subscriptions to O (The Oprah Magazine), Essence, Cosmopolitan, and Parenting Magazine.
Q18. What has been your hardest challenge this month?
A particular case I have. Well, it’s not even the case, it’s really the client that has been challenging.
Q19. Do you have a Thanksgiving tradition? If so, what?
Not really. We usually eat Thanksgiving Dinner with another family at their house. I rarely ever host Thanksgiving, I did it once and I don’t think I want to do it again.
Q20. What’s something you do without realizing it?
Raise my voice. I do it out of excitement, annoyance or anger and don’t even realize it until I’m asked, “Why are you yelling?”
Q21. What would be in your self-care kit? Lip-gloss, mint-flavored gum, movie tickets, a pair of dumbbells, a great book and my debit card.
Red!!! I adore everything red. Red cars, red dresses, red sofas, red walls, red lipstick, red cell phone covers; I always go with red. All kinds of red; fire-engine red, apple red, brick red, wine red…Red! Red! Red!
Q23. If you could go to any play or musical what would it be?
Hands down Springsteen on Broadway; mezzanine tickets are going for at least $1,200 a piece. Of course, I can’t afford to go at those prices but oh how I wish I could.
I also have an interest in seeing Hamilton, another ridiculously priced Broadway play.
Q24. Who would you invite to a dinner party? Ahh, let’s see…
Serena Williams, and
Q25. Where would you like to vacation? I’d like to go to Egypt to see the pyramids.
Q26. Can you recommend any good books?
Of course! Here are some favorites:
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Defending Jacob by William Landay
A Time to Kill by John Grisham
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
The Stand by Stephen King
11/22/63 by Stephen King
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseinei
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Black Boy by Richard Wright
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
A House for Mr. Biswas by V.S. Naipaul
Q25. What pets do you have or would you like? I wasn’t blessed with a love for animals.
Q26. What types of music do you like?
I listen to just about anything but I do have an affinity for Rock, Reggae and Jamaican Dancehall. I even enjoy some of the rap music my son likes to listen to.
Q27. Did you enjoy school? If yes what subjects?
For the most part, I did. Favorite subject, hands down anything to do with English Langauge Arts; both English and English Literature were favorites of mine.
Q28. Were you ever a girl guide? Nope.
Q29. Do you like fun fairs? Yes, I like fairs. b) Favorite fair food? Cotton Candy.
Q30. Do you prefer wine or cocktails or soft drinks? I like red wine but I prefer a tangy tasting cocktail and if I opt for soda, it’s usually the diet version, like Coke Zero. My favorite drink is water though.
Q31. What would your favorite dinner be if you could pick anything?
Well, since I’m a carnivore I’d have to go with a porterhouse. Next up would be a nice roast chicken complete with stuffing.
Q32. Kiss, Kill, Marry; who gets what?
Kiss – Bruno Mars/ Kill – (I can’t think of anyone I want to see dead)/ Marry – Chris Hemsworth.
Q33. Is there anywhere in the US you’d like to live more than where you are now?
Nope! I love living in New York. I might opt to move around in different parts of New York but I really like it here. My favorite thing about New York is its diversity and inclusivity, all are welcome, everyone has a home here.
Q34. What TV shows do you like?
I like laugh out loud comedies. I’m a big fan of The Big Bang Theory, Black-ish, Modern Family and I always watch The Jeffersons re-runs.
I can also sit and watch endless hours of Law and Order.
Q35. What are your favorite clothes shops?
Lord and Taylor
Q36. Who is your favorite historical man and woman?
Bob Marley and Rosa Parks.
Q37. Do you prefer to fly or drive?
Flying gets you there quicker but considering that I am still waiting around in this damn airport after 7 hours of checking-in for my flight, I am not feeling flying right now. 😟
Q38. Baking is important to me. If I was to bake for you, what cake would you like me to make most?
I’d probably go with anything chocolate, with chocolate fudge and chocolate chips.
Me, right now, in the airport trying to get this Blog done.
I’ll just keep going until they call my flight – Up next we have questions from the illustrious Claudette over at https://writerofwordsetc.com
Q39. Favorite Bon Jovi song
The irony here is that my favorite Bon Jovi song wasn’t even done by Bon Jovi, the band, but by Jon Bon Jovi, as a soloist, when he recorded Blaze of Glory for the movie, Young Guns II.
My favorites from the band would be Bad Medicine and I’ll Be There for You.
Q41. Do you have a phobia or aversion to something?
I freak out around creepy, crawly, slithery things. The give me the heebie-jeebies.
Like you, Claudette, I went down the rabbit hole called the Internet and found out that my phobias have names – Ready for this? Entomophobia is the fear of one or more classes of insect while Ophidiophobia describes the abnormal fear of snakes, and herpetophobia relates to the fear of reptiles in general.
I suffer from all three.😒
Q40. Did you ever watch the Walking Dead and if yes do you have a favorite season or character? If no, why not?
So I got hip to the Walking Dead when it was already well on the way to becoming one of the most popular shows on television. Me being me tried to get in on the excitement and watched the first couple of episodes of Season One but I wasn’t feeling it. I thought the zombies looked fake and they weren’t scary, not that I like scary, but it just looked like a B-rated 90s Horror film to me. I couldn’t get into it.