What I love about Thanksgiving

This is not a drill. We are exactly one week away. I can’t wait. I love to eat. I love Thanksgiving for a few reasons. A lot of them has to do with how people act. It’s like the one time of the year for the most part that others around you lay their issues down. Now I know some folks turn up and like to ruin the day, but the folks and family I am around these last few years especially come together and celebrate what it’s all about.

We generally have no rules for Thanksgiving. We usually go to our uncle’s house where he graciously does all the cooking. I usually still cook my own meal at home too. Got to have more food for later in the week. Nothing is better than Thanksgiving food days later. We also started a new tradition where we go to the movies the day off too. I love it because it’s not crowded and we can see what’s coming out for the rest of the holiday season too. Also its about coming together and relaxing and enjoying one another’s companies. It’s a time to catch up before Christmas comes. I love it. I love to sip my wine pretty much all day. Thanks to my husband for being that designated driver because by end of the night we always end with a final glass together. It’s our way to tell each other how thankful we are for what we have. Its our own couple’s tradition. We  have a lot to be grateful for.

I love the traditional food. You know turkey, mac and cheese, greens, etc. However the only thing I don’t like is the struggle plates folks want to post. We all eating generally the same thing. No one’s plate looks great. It is a plate with every piece of food that could fit on plate number 1. I don’t post my plates and try my best to scroll past the other plates that day. I love how happy everyone is. I love how people give the best hugs that they must have been saving all year because hugs just feel warmer this day. I love watching my kids interact with family and how happy they are.  I love seeing my grandpa do his yearly dance and all of the kids try to teach him the newest and latest moves. I record it every year. I know eventually it will be a memory that we will hold on to. I love calling my family and hearing about what they are doing. We generally stay in Philadelphia for Thanksgiving so I call the Lancaster family or FaceTime them .  It’s always good to check on them and to see how much potato salad my mom made. I love talking to my friends and checking in on them. We have one set of friends this year who will be parents. So baby watch is in full effect. I love waking up to the smells of the kitchen.  The only thing about the holidays that we miss is my Mother in Law, Deborah, my great grand parents, Beverly and Olivia Sims, and my maternal grandfather Fred McGinnis. I always wake up and remember them on these big holidays. I wonder what they would be doing if they were. I know their memory will live on.

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I hope that as you prepare for the holiday of Thanksgiving that you remember what it’s about. That you take in the moments that you can. That you remember how grateful you should be on that day and everyday. I hope that you will have a great Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. I hope that it’s not ruined by anyone. If you know you are bound to cause issues don’t go to someone else’s home starting stuff. Stay home. Thanksgiving isn’t the arena to air out differences. It’s a time to come together. Go to those you need to make it right with, and do it before the dinner. Don’t come to the dinner table ready to start the mess that could have been worked out before the day. Work it out or find another home by which you can have a good time. Drama and holidays don’t have to mix. Also to some of my friends who I know the holidays trigger you, you don’t have to be the one to start issues to not go to a function that will further trigger you. I would rather you do a Friendsgiving than a family one if the family one is going to make you all kinds of upset. I don’t spend my time holidays or not around folks that I feel I can’t get along with. Life is too short to spend it with miserable people.

Also I know some deal with anxiety of getting together with others. I would try to take someone with you if you can. Also if there is a family member you get along with more, stay around them until you get comfortable. Especially if you haven’t seen others in quite some time. Be prepared for the 3rd degree. Those family members that’s asking others a thousand questions, leave folks alone. It’s no ones business why they aint married or have kids yet, worry about your own mate and kids. These types of situations make it hard for some folks to be around your nosey behind. Eat your turkey in peace and leave other folks lives alone.

Let folks come and enjoy their time together. That is what I love, the coming together without the issues. Eat and have a good time-sharing your gratefulness!

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Ask Toi: How Do You Deal with Being Uncomfortable Bumping Into Someone you Dated?

This encounter no matter how brief is always uncomfortable. I think its always in good gesture to if you can’t avoid seeing them to be gracious. If you don’t want to get into any heavy conversation to control the conversation and exit as soon as possible.

Also keep in mind the level of relationship. Dating someone may not necessarily mean that you were in a committed relationship. If that is the case, you may not have built up a strong enough relationship and that in itself can take the sting of the encounter down a bit. If this is someone you were in a committed relationship and they are an ex, it could get sticky. No matter who is at fault for ending things, you should remain calm, smile and again control the conversation. It’s perfectly fine to not have “time” to talk. This casual encounter should never to air out greivances unless both parties want to. It should be casual. If you see an ex or even someone you dated that caused you grief and you can’t be mature about it due to an issue that took place during your encounter together, its best to let them know that you would prefer that you keep it on a hi or a bye and then keep it moving.

Always know you are in control. Seeing someone that you haven’t seen may bring a plethora of feelings back but you are in control in how those feelings are managed. I have a few ex boyfriends and every time I control the tempo of the conversation and know that I am in control. I always remember that so when I don’t want to hear the mess that I left in the first place, I just roll. Now its easier since my kids are with me all the time. I have run into a few inside of a grocery store, and my kids are an automatic get out of a conversation card with just about anyone to be honest. With kids or no kids, you don’t owe anyone more time than your willing to give. Also know the encounter is going to linger inside of your head especially if very little conversation is had. I always hit the ex boyfriends with the basic, hey how are? How is your family? Let them ask me and then say it was nice to see you and roll. That’s really all it takes. Anything else and that means you wanted the conversation to linger. Turn the uncomfortable into a workable situation for you.

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Also they may attempt to not see you in that case, you won. If they see you and decide to not have a conversation which is possible too, keep moving. Do not I repeat make the situation more uncomfortable. This goes for folks in a fresh breakup-give that person the space they and you need! Get out!

Love Energy

If you ever worked out you know how it can feel. Sometimes you feel super motivated. Other times you have a love/hate relationship.  However if you are consistent in it you will notice how better you feel and eventually you will see results. When you are consistent and you see results it keeps you feeling amazing and keeps you going even when you have days when you slack off.

The energy behind that feeling of working out, eating better, or doing better is the same type of energy that needs to be put into your love relationship. You should feel loved on everyday. The days where arguments seem to be on a thousand, and you’re not getting along, should be way less than the days you and your partner spend loving on each other. One thing that I am realizing is the more energy into the relationship, the better the results. The times in your relationships where BOTH partners are attempting to meet in the middle is key to making it work.

Energy never lies. I don’t care what a person says, if the energy that a person is giving or lack thereof, is the key to how things hold up. You can never go on record with your spouse naming the things that you do in response to responsibilities alone if the energy in how you love isn’t being shown. I learned that in counseling on my own. I went to counseling about my life in general and if I am honest my marriage came up. My counselor was a man and he said to me that I know the energy in which my marriage is giving and if that energy is slacking, it won’t hold up. I either had to do my part, wait to see if my husband’s part would match, and if it don’t match, I knew what I had to do. This doesn’t mean my counselor was encouraging to divorce, etc, but he was making me aware of things that love blinds you to.

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Love is amazing. If you are being loved right, it shows. A woman glows better when she’s loving herself and her partner is loving her correctly. There is no denying that. Energy is all about what you give to your partner. If all you do is harp on what your partner does that is negative than don’t get mad when that person goes looking for someone to encourage them. Let me say it for the folks in the back, this is not a oh well if they cheat clause. I am saying if you’re honest and you know you aren’t speaking good into your relationship and over the person you claim to love and all you do is tearing that individual them, gaslighting them, and downing their every move, eventually that ugly side of you becomes less and less attractive. No ONE wants to be put down. You can’t come with a smile, ever? You don’t have not one nice thing to say, ever? There is something wrong, always? Don’t nobody got time for that. If you have an issue with something, speak up but it don’t have to be drawn into a picture with a neon sign everyday! Speak love. Speak encouragement. Put into the relationship what you want out of it.

One last nugget my counselor told me that we tend to say, if I was with “this” person whatever the “this” represents, we would….. If you don’t work out in yourself whatever negative issues you feel from what you get out of your mate, you can leave them and run right back into that same type of person later. Check your loves of the past, do they all share common traits? If so than maybe there’s something in you that needs to be worked out. Energy never lies. If you feel miserable and you’re working on yourself and find that the person you are with is not and its dragging you down, speak up. After awhile things will naturally take its course. Don’t ignore the warning signs cause you love this person!

Wife Appreciation Day

It’s wife appreciation day! So shout out to all the wives!  If you are married and love being a wife today is your day.  Now before the husbands get up in arms, your day will come.  But today is about the wives!

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Don’t need a Special Day

If more people would be consistent in the love they gave each other than maybe that can be said.  If you are a husband and you are mad at days like today, ask yourself a few questions.  When was the last time you gave your wife flowers just because?  When was the last time you took her out?  Did you offer to cook a meal this week? How about rub her feet? Did you allow her some me time just to refuel?  If you haven’t done one of more of those things this week, Houston we have a problem.  Showering your loved one with attention when things are great is easy.  Showing love in the little things when an argument occurs, when the bills are stressing, when life throws a curb ball, isn’t as easy!  It takes looking at the friendship you and your wife made to push through.

Little Ways to Show Appreciation Today:

  • Look your wife in her eyes and tell her you love her
  • Give her a break today-no cooking, no cleaning
  • Give her a gift card to her favorite place
  • Flowers
  • Complete a few items on the honey do list
  • Run her a bath
  • Let her watch her favorite shows
  • Take her to get her favorite treat
  • Write her a hand written note
  • Hold her hand
  • Take her on a date
  • Offer a massage
  • Play your “song” and dance in the living room
  • Play a game
  • Mani/Pedi at the salon
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There are a million ways that you can show the number wife that you love the ways she has turned your house into a home, how she supports you when the chips are down, loves on your children, keeps herself cute, gives you time to be you, and supports your endeavors.  Matter of fact, don’t do one thing, do a few! Smile hard, and let the love and energy flow.  Like they say, “keep that same energy!”  Keep it from the time you stood and made vows.  The same energy you had when you honeymooned.  The same energy as she was sick and you prayed for God to spare her life.  The same energy as she supported you through hard times and showed how awesome of a friend and wife she was.  The same energy when she dressed nice for you.  Keep the same energy and let the love flow from one another.  Take this day to show that love and then use the same energy to show the same love daily.  Happy Wife Appreciation Day!

Ask Toi: What are my rights with my boyfriend while he’s in the hospital?!

To be honest girlfriends don’t have rights! I know that sounds harsh but….. it’s the truth!

Even if you two live in the same house won’t matter in you making decisions because end of day, you’re not his wife. What I can say is going forward if he feels that he wants you to have more of a say he should have a power of attorney and health directives done and notarized that states you are the one to be in charge. You can’t just simply be in love and not have proper paperwork in place

Same as if you’re living together, check laws of your states. If you’re name isn’t on the lease you may find yourself in a sticky situation should he change his mind. Legal documentation should be the name of the game when you’re single or even engaged and feel as if you want to have marital responsibility without the actual marriage. Being engaged is not recognized as marriage regardless of how you feel. Feelings and legality do not always go hand in hand! People don’t think about that when you’re so in love and not thinking about protecting yourself. Also be sure your boyfriend even wants you to have that much say should he not be able to speak for himself. Your relationship might not have gotten to that level as you think.

Being a girlfriend or life partner is nice but if this is the notion you and your man choose be sure to get paperwork so that it can’t be disputed or else his actual next of kin will be the one making those decisions even if it’s not the decisions that the one incapable to make those decisions want! Your boyfriend needs to be clear that as an adult he does what he wants done for his own life and having the proper paperwork will help! Protection is the name of the game and I hope your boyfriend makes a speedy recovery!

Boyfriend Drama

Having a boyfriend or girlfriend should be a nice welcomed addition to your life.  It can be fun, exciting, and new.  Sometimes when the newness wears off you may have a few things that lust allow you to check in the beginning.

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Are You a Real Couple?

Huh? Yes did you know that some folks get together and think its all love between them but in the end you may not even have had the talk.  You actually need to communicate that you and your boo are really an official couple.  Do NOT ever miss this step.  Even if you two had this conversation over sex, have the conversation again outside of the actual bedroom.  This will save you a few weeks in and possibly a heartache.  Being on the same page is the biggest thing that couples will need to be sure they are on.  Also what is your dating goal?  Casual? Dating towards a future? Kicking it?  FYI kicking sometimes means kicking it for sex alone, so be clear!

Jealousy

There is a healthy dose of jealousy in any relationship but when you find that the jealousy leads you not to both be able to live active lives separately and come together then, sis you get a problem.  No relationship should have micromanaging as part as criteria.  This is unhealthy.  I am married and the thought that I would be micromanaging my husband or he me makes me tired just thinking of it.  Two individuals need to be that-two individuals that are dating to see if they are compatible or just dating to date. Also micromanaging someone is a lot of work.  Its draining! This energy could be used to start a business, get physically fit, make money, something other than knowing where another individual physically is.  I am not taking time to smell body parts, checking mileage, checking phones, etc

Cheating

Cheating isn’t everyone’s deal breakers.  I think it should be.  The amount of disrespect it takes to do the most against the one you claim you are in love with or even a strong like, is sheer madness to me!  Also keep in mind the amount of STD that are out here in world makes zero sense to put my life at risk for a relationship.  Let me plug that no relationship is cheat proof.  Please manage your sexual health.  Do not tell me how long you have been with your love a reason not to get checked on a regular basis.  I wrote a blog on a previous doctor telling me that as a married woman who I didn’t need to be checked regularly.  She got the business.  I would be less worried about body count and more concerned with clean sexual health and great health practices.

Space Please

When I met my husband back in 1999 he was my first and my first adult relationship.  Not having someone manage our time we found ourselves up under one another all the time.  In the beginning I thought how great it was but there came a time where it became unhealthy.  Being up under someone all the time will wear down one or both of you.  Back up! Give space.  Even if you and your boyfriend have decided to live with one another, space is necessary.  Go and still hang with friends, continue the same dreams you had before you got all Ella Mai “Boo’d up.” Did you go to work?  Yes still go and get work done.  Don’t mess up your coins just to be on your phones, losing focus, or taking off to spend days with no love interest.  Being employed and in love is better than Broke and in Love!

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All up in The Business

Learn to keep folks out of your business.  The more hands on deck, the more complicated things can and will be.  Everyone doesn’t need to know every time there is an argument or fall out.  You do know everyone is going  to be as forgiving.  People wonder why there friends and family members can barely have descent relationships with their significant others and one answer is they know all the tea.  It’s hard not to give a side eye to someone who keeps off as raggedy human beings.  So to keep the drama down, keep folks out of your business!

If you are embarking on a new love take precaution.  Get to know the one you are taking this chance on.  Keep your life as rich as it was! Take your time.  Get to know how this new person reacts when they get mad with you and others around them.  Also if they have kids but aren’t active with them, find that out too.  No man should be out here making a whole new life and neglecting their kids.  No man who won’t care about his own flesh and blood won’t care about the things that concern you.  That’s a word! Too many women letting me dick them down that don’t even know what grade their kids are in.  If your new love doesn’t want you to be healthy, run! A man should want to get his life together and definitely would want their new leading lady to live her “best life” too!

Love is….Making Room

So it’s another episode of Love Is. Let me say my recap is going to offend some but I’m not holding back.

Nuri and Yasir are getting super close and spending a lot of time together. They look like the perfect couple! However major red flags. As much as I love the realness of their relationship let me say, if I was in the dating world right now, I’m quite sure I would be in the sex store because my tolerance for some of this behavior I tolerated from the men I dated in my 20s could not and would not be tolerated now!

  • Yasir has a job! Thank the lord for employment. A man without a job is a hard pill to swallow. Only a woman who truly loves you will ride the unemployment rodeo but for so long!
  • Kudos to Nuri having the ability to support her man BUT ladies do not ever silence your voice to make your man feel like a man. He needs to be able to have his light next to yours without feeling a certain way! Period! This is not up for discussion!
  • Valentine’s Day foolery-Yasir doesn’t believe in it and Nuri does but like some women she muted that desire to make sure Yasir didn’t feel a certain way! This is a huge no no! Whatever you allow in the beginning and it’s not genuine you will lose in the end! Be honest with yourself and your new boo!
  • New love is great but lying in any way will lead down the wrong road!
  • Not all Hotep men, but some use intellect as the hustle. As articulate as Yasir is his demeanor is off putting. Not just based on my personal experiences, but be careful with any man who is a smooth talker. That smooth talk is the game. If a man is not sincere they will use that smooth talk to gain a place in your heart but will leave you lacking! Guard yourself!
  • Yasir thanks to Sean redeemed himself by making room, he finally found a way to come back to Nuri, and celebrate Valentine’s Day! Had Nuri been clear he would have had no choice to either shit or get off the pot! Relationships should be give and take and never one sided!
  • Yasir spent Valentine’s Day initially with Ruby! Technically he went home aka Ruby’s house and Ruby finally let Yasir know that she put the work into him and Nuri basically came in and reaped the benefits. Men are not projects if your man isn’t making moves it could be you are not the one he wants to make moves with. It’s sucks and maybe it hurts to hear but no truer words ever said! Stop investing years to a man who will not give you what you need. Yasir is making moves with Nuri because he loves Nuri! He was stagnant with Ruby because he no longer wanted to be!
  • Next week looks like an episode of Love and Hip Hop. So we shall see! Until then be careful with love, make sure that the person you are falling for is making room for you too!