I Can’t Stand The Rain

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I live in Los Angeles and this winter has been filled with gloomy precipitation. Not figuratively, but actual inches of rain. One night, it stormed so badly, rainwater seeped through my bedroom window and woke me up with a splash. That is a pretty random occurrence when you sleep alone… OH right… remember that guy from my last blog post in 2013?

Well we broke up. I spent the past 3+ years going through quite a rocky relationship. In December 2015 he proposed and about six months later I gave the ring back. Boo-hoo. Sad story. Don’t worry, though. I won’t waste your time with the details because there are funner (yeah, funner) things to talk about!

I’m back on my single shit and dating has gotten MUCH more interesting since I’ve learned a few more tricks. If you are at all interested in my dating escapades, stay tuned. But if you’re the subject of one of these stories, I promise I won’t publish your name.

Furthermore, the ‘New Edition Story‘ which aired on BET in January was quite possibly the best three nights of my television history. I mean, nothing had me glued to the screen more than The Box, Orange Is the New Black, and every episode of Flavor of Love. Luke James (blesssss that man and everything he pursues in life!) as Johnny Gill had me on fire. And still does. Kudos to the entire cast; they were spot on.

But can I just vent for a moment? The boys sang “Can You Stand the Rain” (like no other rendition you’ve ever heard, might I add) and I got caught in my feelings. The lyrics say:

On a perfect day I know that I can count on you
When that’s not possible, tell me, can you weather the storm?
‘Cause I need somebody who will stand by me
Through the good times and the bad times
She will always, always be right there
Sunny days – everybody loves them
Tell me, baby, can you stand the rain?
Storms will come, this we know for sure
Can you stand the rain?
Love unconditional I’m not asking this of you
And, girl, to make it last I’ll do whatever needs to be done
But I need somebody who will stand by me
When it’s tough she won’t run
She will always be right there for me.
Speaking on behalf of my last relationship, how long is it supposed to rain? Los Angeles has no idea where to store all of our water and we are still in a drought. Seattle gets rain damn near daily and it suits them fine. But rain in a relationship–are we supposed to ALWAYS BE RIGHT THERE? Hmm. Thoughts?

Ode to 2013

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Has it been a year since my last post on relationships? Wow. I must have spoken some positive things into my life because I just celebrated my first anniversary with my significant other on April 18. And I still can’t fuckin’ believe it’s happening!

Let me see, where did I leave off…oh yeah. I was wanting and wishing for love in the form of a 6’2″ chocolate package with broad shoulders and a great smile. I got three out of four! No complaints. So I met this guy at the Kiss ‘n Grind party. It’s an event which comes 5-8 times a year to a spot in Los Angeles featuring exclusive DJ sets.  Long story short, he approached me and said I was gorgeous and he’d like to buy me a drink (and maybe dance) later. I agreed, we exchanged numbers, I enjoyed my drink, our first date was at Bossa Nova, and here we are today.

The first few months were full of arguments and conflict, mostly started by me (yeah, I confess). Inviting someone into your life and learning their character, mannerisms, and habits can prove to be quite challenging. Ultimately, you’re trying to figure out how they fit into your life and vice versa. The hardest part is breaking down walls of secrecy and fear. Operating a relationship out of any sort or toxic behaviors will lead you to doom.

Once we learned how to navigate day-to-day and keep each other happy without yelling insults, things got fun! All in all, I’m really looking forward to a great future with this man. Might have to consider him a beneficiary on some accounts. But the funny thing is, this blog is likely to turn into one of those ‘savvy homemaker’ blogs where I post about DIY projects, recipes, and how to manage babies’ hair. I can feel it coming.

Stay tuned.

I Don’t Like Telling People I Love Them

Maybe I’m insecure and have way too much regard for others’ opinions of me. I don’t like saying ‘I love you’ because I don’t want there to ever come a time when they doubt my love. I get mad a lot. I get attitudes. But I still love you.

I once told someone I loved them before they ever said it to me. For a couple days, I had that take-my-love-back feeling since I was in limbo waiting for them to return the phrase. Then after a while, I let it sink in. I love you. That’s how Rhonda felt; Rhonda doesn’t control your actions, only hers. Eventually…they said it back.

In another incident, I said ‘I love you’ to someone following a very intense argument. The way they snapped, “And I love you, too” back at me wasn’t convincing at all! Where is your love in the midst of those harsh words you just spoke? Then I began to doubt their love for me.

So what does it really mean to say ‘I love you’? And what does it mean to hear it back at you? My guess is all of our interpretations are different. But one thing’s for sure: love doesn’t hurt.

Drive-Thru Relationships

I’ve been in love once. Twice. Okay three times. Who knows. Clearly this, um, lack of understand shows I know all about love and what I’m looking for, right? So let’s talk about what I have learned.

There was a spark of something in San Francisco that opened a new chapter for me and I really wanted it to go further. Had all the indications that it might look good dressed up in a suit. iCan’t do the long-distance thing, so it fallowed.

Flashback to the holidays of 2012. I met a guy online (I’ll never use that site again!) and I was interested in seeing what would blossom. And after our first date, we dived straight in–but not literally, so stop thinkin’ nasty. It was phone calls everyday, meet for dinner every other day, and then it happened. He called me ‘baby’.

I let it slide on at least eight different times, but after a while, I couldn’t take it! Something in me was screaming, “This is too much too fast and I HATE ‘baby’!” I had to tell him this.

But I tried to play it smooth, though. He was closing the car door and said, “Have a safe drive home, baby.” I reopened the door, got out of my car, and said ever so slightly to his chocolate face, “I really, really don’t like that. Can’t you just call me Rhonda?”

He argued at me for a couple of minutes. I listened. But deep down I felt a huge knot growing in my stomach; and it was saying I don’t feel the same way about you.  

A few days went by, Christmas came, we exchanged gifts, I made plans for his birthday, and then somewhere along the way our communication fizzled. The calls were less frequent. The morning gym pics stopped. And through a disturbing tone in his voice while on the phone one day, I stepped foot into Chipotle just as he muttered the words ‘maybe this isn’t working out.’ The end.

Of course we’ve had the occasional Just Friends phone call/text here & there since then. But it’s really over! Lasted all of a month. And I’m okay with that…partially. Here’s the thing: I can honestly say that I’m content with just dating and not being in a relationship. When you commit to someone, you have to give them all of you. Or at least enough of you to actually begin building a foundation. I don’t think I’m ready to do that.

I like being me. At the end of my 13hr work day, I want to come home and sit in the corner of my couch under a quilt with some pita chips + hummus and watch the first two shows on my DVR. In silence. That’s what I do, it’s how I unwind. Do I want to cuddle with you in bed & listen to your crappy workday stories? Or gain unnecessary weight eat some heavy dinner (over candlelight blah blah) just because you haven’t eaten since breakfast time? Or rip off my clothes and jump on top of you? Not all the time. And FYI, in a so-called ‘relationship’ there’s a lot of ME being sacrificed for US. Fuck that. I ain’t ready yet.

I look forward to wearing too-tight clothes to a lounge and have *clearing throat* gentlemen gawk at me. I get excited each time I go to the gym simply because there’s always a new hot guy on the weights. I love to flirt with a cutie at the gas station. All these indicators let me know that I’m just not ready.

So until next time, unless I land an extra value meal on my next drive-thru relationship, let’s all cross our fingers in hopes they don’t forget the cheese on my chicken sandwich. Swiss cheese.

This Is How It Goes Un-noticed

What on EARTH is a boundary?

Alright, alright. Before you get your panties in a bunch, let me explain. I found this picture on a blog yesterday & it has sparked a TON of outcry, controversy, and comments.

The man pictured in the photo is Bishop Larry Trotter of a church in Chicago, Illinois. He is seen with his four-year-old granddaughter; apparently she had wandered into the bathroom and wanted to take part in playing with bubbles. According to the report from Current.com, both the grandfather & the child put on swim trunks then she got in the tub with him. Of course in the picture, it’s not obvious whether they are fully nude. Anther article also proclaims the mother of the child took the picture.

After reading several blog sites where this image was posted and seeing viewer comments, I need to vouch my opinion. Shall we proceed? Good….

1) How was this little girl wandering into the bathroom? Granted, I didn’t grow up in a house with my dad, but I spent several nights at Grandma’s house with her & Grandpa. He never went into the toilet without locking the door. I don’t know the specific circumstances around Trotter’s household, but something about that fact didn’t seem right.

2) Why is the (grown ass) mother in the bathroom as well? TAKING THE PICTURE? Again, something about this shit is way too liberal.

3) The kid is age 4 or 5. I know how inquisitive kids are at age 2, so by 5, their tiny brains are cranking like factory machines. Fa sho. Even if she was wearing swim trunks, girls should wear a whole swimsuit. Period. She is at a very vulnerable age where it shouldn’t be okay to take a picture “topless” in the bathtub.

4) Did he forget he was a pastor? With social media being as powerful as it is, you can never be too careful. And as a man in the public eye, you KNOW you gotta watch your back!!! You mean to tell me the picture miraculously appeared to your Instagram page without your permission? Wake up & smell the rhinestones, dude…someone is trying to frame you.

5) This is how perverts slip through the cracks and we (as humans) end up on the news with the I-don’t-know-how-this-happened-because-he-wasn’t-like-that face. Lookin’ stupid. Not saying Trotter is by any means a child predator, I’m simply stating that parents overlook too many things and write them off as innocent.

All in all, I have to go with my girl Tamar Braxton on this one and tell this pastor’s whole family GET YO’ LIFE! Yes. Get it.

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808s and Cheesecake

I hate cheesecake. All kinds. Never liked it.

But you know what people say when tell I them that? “Oh, that’s because you haven’t tried the (fill in the blank) kind,” or “Oh, that’s because you haven’t tried mine.” Well guess what? I’ve tasted them all.

As a chocolate lover, I did those first: cookies ‘n’ cream, Snickers, chocolate chip, etc. But I don’t eat anything with fruit topping or filling, and I don’t like caramel. So that pretty much eliminates all other varieties!

But dislike for this indulgence places me in a unique category that further defines my being. And I’m pretty damn satisfied with it! Nothing you can say/do/try will sway me to other side, which can cause me to reconsider my viewpoints. How dare you do such a thing…and try to change me.

Boy, I could write a book from this. But I’ll refrain.

I get so sick and tired of people trying to change me! If I say I’m one way or another, let’s just leave it at that. Ex: I have a strict weight requirement for the men I date, so NO I don’t wanna meet your scrawny ass co-worker. When I go out on the town heels are mandatory, so NO I didn’t pack flip-flops in my purse. I have sported my natural hair for more than a year now, so NO I don’t want your ‘weave specialist’ recommendation.

Bottom line is this: it took me a while to like Me for Me. And now that I do, I’m sticking with her. She’s the chick who gets excited when hearing bass coming from a 745Li down the block. She’s the chick who genuinely watches Rams games. She’s the girl who only shaves her legs only when they’re going to be exposed.

And that’s perfectly ok.

Rental Units

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST WILL BE OFFENSIVE TO MANY PEOPLE WHO CONSIDER THEMSELVES GOOD PARENTS.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. And I’m about to agree with that notion. The first thought that comes to mind is the African village from the movie “Roots” where there were tons of close-knit people living in separate huts. Each hut family was a part of the bigger family which was the village. Now I don’t know if Hut #2 could whoop the kids in Hut #7, or if Hut #3 arranged marriages with Hut #9. But everything in my gut tells me that these people at least had each other’s back: they went to the lake (or whatever) together for water, Kunta’s mom shared recipes with the aunt in Hut #6, and no White man was gonna sneak in at night without somebody screaming. I believe all of this to be true!

Here we are now in weak ass 2012 (ask me later on why I hate this life and much rather be partying with MJ) and the family unit still exists in some capacities. Personally, I have a huge net of folks who have my back when I need, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Not one time has my Granny not answered the phone when I called unless she was out getting cigarettes. Not one time did a cousin cry out for anything, and some aunt/uncle didn’t figure out a way to make it happen. And please believe we’re coming with guns & knives that might land us in jail really harsh words for anybody who ‘jumps stupid.’ That is what family is for.

But something happened along the way for me…just speaking for me… and I seem to have lost a couple of MAJOR members of this supposed family unit. And I can’t fucking believe it.

One of them we’ll call Stapleton. He’s a gotdamn idiot in all aspects of the word. No brain exists inside his skull. He has continuously made mistakes throughout his crummy life and runs from the consequences. And is still running!

Another member of this unit is perhaps the one who lets me down the most. I don’t know how many times we have to fight, kiss, then make-up, but I’m sick of that shit, too. For real. “Sorry” loses it’s connotation when you say it more than once and it pertains to the same situation. If the only (late working) employee gets your order wrong at White Castle [sorry], then corrects it and drops it to the floor before bringing it to you [sorry], THEN makes the same incorrect order yet again [sorry], how long before you say fuck it, I wanted McNuggets anyway??? My point exactly.

Pay attention folks–it’s about to get good.

Before I continue this rant, I must admit that I have no children. Never bore any, never conceived any. So I am not a parent in any sense of the word until I can claim Mona The Mazda on my income tax return. But I can probably tell you what a parent is NOT all day and all night. Still got your attention? Shall we?

1) A parent doesn’t put the needs of others before their children. The child comes first.

2) A parent doesn’t run away when shit hits the fan. Run away from a bad date or Freddy Krueger, but not your problems.

3) A parent listens to the needs of their children then responds accordingly. (Good ex: teenager needs help with Algebra, you find a tutor. Bad ex: teenager needs help with Algebra, you find a psycho-therapist. PROBLEM: you weren’t listening and completely missed the point.)

4) A parent should not use their child’s name/identity to open store card or credit card accounts. Grow the fuck up.

5) A parent wants to see their child succeed and become an adult who is not dependent on them. This is a helluva lot different than pushing the child away. Don’t do that.

6) A parent gives their child advice based on their own experiences so the child can hopefully not make the parent’s mistake. The parent also listens to the shit they say themselves because they can learn from it.

7) A parent does not monetize their relationship with the child (re-read that & think about it). They should teach them about money and it’s value, and learn from that shit as well.

8) A parent should provide a stable environment in which the child will grow.

9) A parent is an adult, therefore should act like one.

alright i’m done.

Panty Problems? Solved.

I don’t support hoes. However, I do support hoe tendencies. I consider myself to be a rather classy woman, but sometimes…at certain moments…my inner-hoe (her name is Trixie) comes out. Allow me to explain.

There are RULES to being a classy woman in public. One of these rules is that underwear should remain under where? Under your clothes. At no point should a man (or anyone in public) be able to guess what color they are, see them through anything, or even guess what type of cut they are! The point, the blank, the period. I know some of you ladies out there have huge knockers, so the jury is still out on how to handle bra issues. But when it comes to panties? The verdict is in: take them off and they won’t show! Please note none of the following applies to my plus-sized fashionistas. For you all, the answer to every dilemma is Spanx and more Spanx (if I’m wrong, leave a note in the comments section).

LEGGINGS

Problem: This one is major. Personally, I’ve gone back and forth in my mind on how to deal with hiding panties while wearing leggings. If you wear boyshorts or cheeksters, then your panty-lines show. And briefs are definitely out of the question. If you wear a thong, either the imprint shows or in many cases, your cheeks show through the thin material. Major no-no (this girl was at the gym in leggings and clearly wasn’t wearing any under garments at all. You know we can see your flower bomb through those things!). We shouldn’t see your crack in broad daylight.

Solution: There are a couple of options in this case. If they’re really thin leggings, double up. Wear some black or brown tights underneath and they provide a good barrier for thongs or cheeksters. They also give the necessary protection so you can go commando without your camel toe peeking. Or you can just cough up the money for a nice, thicker pair of leggings. You know, the kind that gives great cellulite control. Some of these can be worn with lace-back or lace trim panties and you’re good to go.

JEANS

Problem: Undies like to poke from the top of low-rise jeans. Very distasteful. And jeans are a go-to for that time of the month, so we need a great pair of strong soldiers underneath to handle the day. No one said being classy is easy, but it’s understood that panty lines must not show through.

Solution: In this case, I recommend boyshorts or cheeksters. There are some good brands of seamless briefs that will do the trick, however, so invest in a good pair. And thank me later. For my edgy girls, thongs will cooperate with jeans but they’ve got to be low-rise. If you’re not in a Britney Spears video, then thongs shouldn’t be revealed when you sit down or bend over.

DRESSES

Problem: You have a banging dress that hugs your body the way you want it. It’s a guaranteed winner in the game of catching husbands (Note that Rhonda Mae does not condone adultery in any situation). But the fabric isn’t friendly to any cut of panties so that the lining shows or you can see underwear through the dress.

Solution: Take them off. That doesn’t mean we should see your crack (refer to ‘leggings’ above) through your dress either. If we do, then I’m afraid your hoe tendencies are too extreme for this post. But please note that this also doesn’t apply to “t-shirt dresses,” ones you know are way too short and you flash flower bombs with each step. No-no boo-boo.

Of course my solutions aren’t set in stone, but they definitely prove to be winners on my end. And all of the above mentioned garments can be purchased at Victoria’s Secret. But at the end of the day, if all else fails what do you do? Let your inner hoe shine through and be open to a good inner-thigh breeze!

Gucci-opoly

I’m writing this through watery eyes and a series of uncontrolled sneezes. It’s gross. Let’s just say I learned the hard way that I’m allergic to cats. We’ll talk about that later.

I joke a lot about being The Golden Child simply due to the fact that the most random things happen to me. And only me. Like what, you say? Well I’m glad you asked!

Recently I went to deposit a payroll check into my bank. I was smokin’ hot that day. For some reason, I was really feeling my slick edges & new pedicure. That means ‘all this’ would go to waste if I had deposited the check into the ATM. In retrospect, that would’ve been a much better idea. An-tyhow, I go inside the branch, walked up to the teller with a big smile on my face, and slid her my signed check. We held small talk. I blushed at the security camera. Few minutes later, I pranced back to my car & drove to Chipotle. Ballin’.

The next morning, I had big plans to spend at least half of that money between Target and Trader Joe’s. Okay, not half, but you get my point. I checked my account (which I freakishly do every single morning—no lie) only to find my balance was SIGNIFICANTLY lower than it was the day before. I hopped online. I called customer service. I went back to the branch…they were closed…I went to another one. Thank God I kept my deposit receipt as proof. After four long, draining hours, they all confirm there is no record of my transaction! Hell to the naw.

I was furious. And I also had to wait until Monday morning when the branch was open in order to complete my dispute. Long story shorty, there was an “encoding error” and the check was rejected from my account. So then they credited my account and things seemed okay. For the moment. Not only had they given me my money, but the transaction posted three times and—basically I heard my bank account sing “Rack City” through the ATM. Hell to the naw.

So what did I do to overcome the stress of these financial ‘issues’? I went to church! What else? I’m kidding, I don’t run to church every time something bad happens, rather I do the opposite. I don’t even GO to church (we’ll talk about that later) but this particular Sunday, the sun was tapping me on my shoulder. So I got up & went.

There was a church I’d heard about when I first moved to LA. I probably visited six different ones in just a few months. Well a group of buddies decided we should all go to this particular church together. Okay, I’m in.

I get there and while walking across the parking lot, a grandpa-looking man stopped me. “Hey sistah! This must be yo first time herre, I ain’t seent you befo!” He reached for a handshake. “Yes, this is my first time.” He smiled big, “Well come on in herre so we can sho ya some love!!” His enthusiasm scared me.

I sat down in an open row near the middle. Not too close, but not too far in the back. And I’ve already made up my mind not to stand during the recognition of visitors. The service begins and suddenly, I’m pushed aside. Wayyyy aside…for some lady and her two kids. I couldn’t help but notice all the flashy jewelry she was wearing and her Gucci purse she placed by her feet (Gucci on the floor?). Her curly-haired little girls were quietly drawing on their iPads. I’m thinking I’ve seen this lady somewhere before. Somewhere.

And whaddya know, she was the first person to stand up when the pastor inquired about visitors. All eyes on me her now. As I hear her voice, it took me 2 seconds to remember where I knew her from. Basketball Wives LA. That explains her gaudy bracelets and perfected praise clap.

The whole situation made me laugh. I’m looking at her, the kids, that Gucci bag (it was nice, y’all) and thinking about all the viewers who envy the lives of women like this and would love to trade places with me. Trust me, I read their comments on Twitter. And here I was sitting next to her… with a banking error in my favor… and an attitude! In all the open seats, I had to move for her?!

So I lived in that moment, although I didn’t make it rain, I felt a complete sense of peace. I stopped worrying about my minor crisis & tried to open my eyes to the bigger picture. And don’t ask me what the big picture is because I was too distracted to pay attention to the preaching. Kidding.

But I hear there’s a lot to be said about where a woman places her purse; I picked mine up off the floor and put it on the bench right next to me.

I’ll Keep Holding On

While watching Love and Basketball these lyrics are playing as Monica watches Quincy pack his old room. I happened to land upon this scene as I’m flicking through channels to avoid being flooded by more recaps of Whitney Houston’s funeral. Oh that funeral…

It was probably the most beautiful home-going service I had ever seen. In my lifetime, I only recall seeing three. I went to four, but the last one was mostly a blur and I like to think that it never happened. But it did (now’s a good time to grab some tissue).

I was completely saddened by the loss of Whitney because like everyone says, she was like family even to her fans. We were rooting for Whitney. And to follow the death of Don Cornelius? Man, this proves that most times we have no idea what a person is facing. Just think about how much we hide behind our smiles. Personally, I hide most of my whole life. No one really knows the things that I  go through because I don’t know how want to say it. There’s no point. What would be your initial reaction after hearing something sad? “Awe, that’s messed up. I’m sorry to hear that.” Save it. Those words mean nothing without action.

One of the hardest times of my life was having to deal with the death of a close family member shortly after I relocated to LA. As I stated before, I haven’t faced death of loved ones very often. So when I heard that my cousin died, I was ruined. And on top of that, I was alone. Sure, I called a few friends to let them know I would be going home for a funeral, but only two of them reached out to me. I’d have to say I guess these friends did the best they could to…you know, be a friend for me. However, I needed so much more.

No one was there when I came home from work everyday crying. No one was there to take me to the airport crying. No one is here when, years later, I still cry. What I did feel was overbearing love from my family once I got to St. Louis. It’s amazing how tragedy brings people closer.

When something weighs heavy on my heart, I call my best friend, aka my Granny.  I was discussing the Whitney Houston situation with her and how it got me thinking: Hmm. I’m not gonna be okay if we ever have to bury you. I had to whisper it under my breath since the mere thought of it turns my stomach (I can’t even ride past Normandy High School without getting queasy, it’s next to the cemetery). But Granny assured me that I would be just fine. She said I have enough memories of her and anybody else to move on, knowing that they’re watching over us. Then she got off the phone with me to go celebrate Mardi Gras.

Granny, you’re trippin’! There is no way I can go day-to-day knowing someone I cherish will never be on the other end of the phone line again. One small part (or in my case, huge part) of us will grieve forever and another piece of you is tugged with every memory. Admit it. You keep holding on.

So I hope that the Houston/Brown family can learn to live with their loss because she’ll never be forgotten. Neither will my cousin. Hell, he’d probably be offended to know we’re trying to move one without him; he was always the center of attention.

I hold on to thousands, if not, millions of his memories. I remember when we buried watermelon seeds in the back yard just to see if they would grow. I remember how we used to read the booklet for Mortal Kombat and try new combos for ‘finishing him’. And I’ll definitely never forget the Booty Dance we made up to Outkast’s “Roses” while cleaning the grill at McDonald’s. Note to self–teach his kids this dance.

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