Levi and Hali Do America

Levi and Hali Do America

hali

Salam, guys! God willing, everyone is doing well!

This summer has been pretty good to my son and I. We have gone to the beach a few times, gone to the park, went on bike rides through the neighborhood and take the dog on long walks. Despite the Humidity that South Florida has to offer, we try to do an outdoor activity every week. To most, that doesn’t sound like a lot, but I share 50\50 custody of my son with his father, so, we each have 3.5 days with him, and only one of them falls on a weekend. I was talking to one of my closest friends on the phone on a Monday, and we decided there and then that Levi and I would come for a visit. He and his wife live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. As a single parent, driving isn’t easier, but it is the cheaper option. By hundreds of dollars! I spoke with Levi’s dad, got an oil change on my car, bought a small cooler and Wednesday morning Levi, and I were off for our first real adventure together.  Here are some tips!! I hope you enjoy!

Visit as many people as you can along the way!

america

 

My family is huge. My friend base is huge. I was in the Military for six years, and I am pretty close with even the third cousins in my family. Close enough to call them the day before the trip and say ‘Hey, Levi and I are going on a road trip, can we visit?’ And it is not a big deal. We have loved ones all across the US and it was such a blessing to be able to see most of them. I hope to see the rest on our next big adventure! Levi got to hang with cousins he’s never met, meet aunties and uncles he’s never seen and visit two of my closest friends with whom I have been friends with for ten years or more. It’s also fun to see cities you would have never considered visiting. I (and a country singer I can’t remember the name of) call those ‘Fly over states.’ Had I never driven to Colorado, I would have never gone to Junction City, Kansas, I would have never stopped and spent so much time in Tennessee with family, and I wouldn’t have swooped over and visited friends near Fort Bragg, North Carolina. I wouldn’t have eaten cheese Kurds in some random city in Kansas; I wouldn’t have realized exactly how crappy of a state Missouri is (there were a lot of Trump stickers, Southern pride flags and the abundance of anti-abortion signs was kind of a huge bummer).

memory

Take as many pictures as possible

Self-explanatory, but just in case, it’s because #memories.

 

Pack a cooler (I have no pictures of the cooler)

cooler

Eating healthy is kind of difficult, especially if you are on a time crunch. I packed a cooler with fruits and healthy snacks, along with water bottles and cold brews (coffee, not beer, for me). It kept me from having to stop at the gas station every time the little man wanted to snack on something, which saved money and time. We only stopped for actual meals, potty breaks, and photo-ops.

Don’t let the long drive make you grumpy!!dontbegrumpy

I chose to look ugly instead of being grumpy, instead of doing makeup I slept the extra 30 minutes. Also, I chose to drive, no one made me, so don’t be a dick! They all know you’re tired.

 

Be in the moment.

moment

I have never had so much one on one time with my son. We talked a lot. We argued a lot. We saw a lot of spectacular views. I told him as many times as I could to enjoy this. Enjoy the moment because you never know what tomorrow will bring and next summer we might not make it to the Rocky mountains or the Smokey mountains. We held hands as much as possible, I explained as much about what we were looking at as I could, and we really just connected. He was such a champ that I have dubbed him ‘Road trip buddy.’ He hardly complained. By the end of the trip, he knew what getting in my car meant and would ask for his Tablet and water bottle as soon as he buckled himself into his seat.

I wouldn’t trade that trip for the world. The look on my son’s face when he saw his first mountain is the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

 

Xoxo,

Hali and Levi #LeviandHalidoamerica (Instagram).

Shameless Trump

I have taken a back seat to politics on my blog because I was simply exhausted from all of it. My blood pressure couldn’t take it, and the administration would piss me off every day. But I got time today.
I am OUTRAGED. I am outraged that the media is re-branding racists as “Alt-Right,” I am outraged at how many Nazi apologist I know.
CaptureI am outraged because like the late Heather Heyer had posted on her social media, I AM  AND HAVE BEEN PAYING ATTENTION. I am mad, and I have been mad since this country allowed Trump to continue to run after he continually showed his true colors to us. It was like half of the country was on Xanax and kept dozing off when Donald Trump would do something out of line.
But you know what really pissed me the fuck off today? Watching Donald J. Trump the President of the United States use this terrorist attack from White Supremacist / Neo-Nazi’s and shamelessly plug one of his businesses during a press conference where he was talking about Charlottesville.
Maybe; if you weren’t paying attention. Let me tell you what happened: at the end of yesterday’s press conference where reporters rightfully so were grilling 45 on why he waited so long to denounce Neo-Nazi’s. Little Donald went on the defense and claimed that he “wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct. Not make a quick statement.” Now If you know Donald J. Trump the way, most of Americans, heck the world knows him by now, you know that this statement like 96% of the statements he makes is full of shit. This guy is known for shooting off at the mouth with his little twitter fingers without facts on issues like President Obama’s birth certificate to him weighing in on Rob Pattinson and Kristen Stewart’s relationship. So to hear him say that he wanted to analyze all the data and make an informed statement on the matter just sounds like an excuse. So if I am playing devil’s advocate I could say that yes, maybe 45 is learning and is trying to make an effort to sound more educated and more poised as President but on the other hand, you have to wonder, why now? Why is this the issue Little Donald decided to wait to speak on? For me it’s just The Don showing his ass again, this is who he is.
I have come to expect this type of despicable behavior from our Man-child President. But what I wasn’t expecting was the self-proclaimed Deal Maker to shamelessly plug one of his businesses while making statements on the loss of human life.

If you didn’t catch how he used this moment to advertise his brand here is how it went:

Reporter: President Trump will you be going to Charlottesville? 

Trump: I actually own one of the largest winery’s in the United States and it’s in Charlottesville.

He is not allowed to do that as commander in chief.  But hey, aparently no one cares. 

Play date Edicate 

The other day one of my daughter’s friend’s mom sent me a friend request on Facebook. We had only met once for my daughters birthday party, but I added her anyways. Immediately she hits up my DM and says that we should get the girls together for a play date. I told her absolutely and to let me know when she wanted to get together. She quickly responded saying “great I can drop her off tomorrow after Girl Scouts.”
I was a little annoyed. For one this lady doesn’t even really know me, nor does she know my boyfriend who lives with me. (Not saying that we are bad people because we’re not. But what if we were? She wouldn’t have known because we never actually hung out and had no mutual friends according to our Facebook friends list.)
I was also annoyed because this “play date” sounded more like “I need a babysitter.”
So I compiled a list of Play date dos and don’ts:
Do: if it is indeed a play date, you should accompany your kid
Feed your child something before you come over unless the other Mom said she was making lunch or something.
Bring a bottle of wine! Get to know the other mom while the kids play!
Lastly, encourage your child to help clean up any mess the kids may have made together.
Don’ts:
Don’t assume that the other mom set up a play date so you could get some errands done.
If you do have to leave to run an errand, make it quick. I’ve had moms say they were just running home to grab something only to return four hours later. It’s just rude, it’s one thing if you and the mom are close friends, but if you’re just acquaintances, it can feel like you’re just dumping your kid off on her.
We’re all just trying to raise good kids and socializing outside of school is a big part of that so play dates are important.
Comment with some of your Play Date dos or don’ts. Or tell us a play date horror story haha!

Dear Dad: An unanswered Reply to Your Suicide Note.

Dear Dad,
You killed yourself today. 

Yesterday you asked me for forgiveness. I grew up, became a woman, became a mom without you. I went through all my childhood milestones without you. But none the less I forgave you. I told you that all of that was in the past. The only thing that mattered now was today and the future.
You cried over the phone and told me you loved me, and I had no idea how much it meant to hear those words. You kept repeating that; “you have no idea, you have no idea how it makes me feel to hear you say that. I love you. I love you. I love you.” Click.
That was the last time we spoke. I went out that night to celebrate my birthday with my boyfriend as we had discussed the day before. You told me you were happy that I was going out and that I should enjoy my birthday. You said “Happy Birthday.” 28 birthdays had passed, this was the first one you got to say Happy Birthday. This one was special. 29, the last year in my twenties and I had finally started a meaningful/healing relationship with my long lost biological dad.
We were talking every day, sometimes three times a day. I knew you were going through a tough time. I made sure to answer every single one of your calls. I thought I was making a difference in your life. I figured I was helping you get through your issues. I knew you were in pain. I knew you were suffering. The morning before you ended your suffering you texted me a picture from the post office of a box that you said held my inheritance. I thought nothing of it. I thought that you were just giving me this gift as a birthday present. I didn’t put two and two together…
You left me here, alone to pick up the pieces. The first thought that goes through my mind is that I cannot imagine the pain you must have been feeling to decide to take your life; that the pain you felt was so intense that you felt that if you just stopped breathing that you would finally have some peace, then I feel it. I feel the pain you felt because by deciding to end your life you did not stop the pain, you just passed it on to me. You left me wondering what could I have said or done differently to let you know that you mattered to me. I tried to be there for you as much as I could daddy. I thought that I was lifting your spirits through your rough time. Were our talks not enough? Was it something I said or didn’t say?
I am angry with you papi. You hurt me by doing this. You left me with so many unanswered questions that I deserved to have answered after all this time.
Did I cross your mind when you decided to sit on the floor against your bed and put my grandfather’s pistol to your head? Did you know the damage it would do to me? We healed one wound I had carried for a very long time,  only for you to break my heart all over again in a permanent way.
I love you and pray for your soul daddy. I pray you found peace. I’m sorry I couldn’t save you.

 

If you are contemplating ending your pain please remember: SOMEONE OUT THERE NEEDS YOU TO KEEP LIVING.

1-800-273-8255 Call the National Suicide hotline

or text LIFE to 61222.

BBQ Ranch Chicken

I saw a recipe on Pinterest that looked delicious. When I looked in the comment section, I saw a lot of people who had tried it said it could have been better, so I decided to make it and put my own spin on it.
So here it is MomJawn style:
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Ingredients:
2 lbs of chicken drumsticks
Two packets of Ranch seasoning
Bottle of BBQ Sauce
Garlic powder
First, season thawed chicken with garlic power.
Place chicken in crockpot for about 3 hours (2 and half hours usually does the trick)
Then take the drumsticks out of crockpot and put on a plate
Mix Ranch packets in a bowl with BBQ sauce.
Empty crockpot and wash it out.
Put the chicken back in the crockpot and pour over the BBQ / Ranch sauce
Turn the crockpot on for another half hour.
After 30 minutes; place aluminum foil on a baking pan and set the oven to broil and take out when the chicken looks crispy! Enjoy!

This week: Investigations, The Blaze

I am just tickled. The FBI is investigating Donald Trump, there was no evidence of wiretapping, Tomi Lahren got suspended AND its the first day of Spring!
In case you have been ignoring the news (I know I want to ignore the news too sometimes. However, I love reality TV and at this point the never ending shit-show saga that is the Trump administration is almost more entertaining than Love and Hip Hop. But then I remember that the news is actually real (Despite what our small handed leader says.), and I get depressed again. Anyways, if you have been ignoring it here is what you missed:
The FBI director James Comey said in sworn testimony to the House Intelligence Committee that the FBI launched an investigation into 2016 Trump campaign’s links with Russia in their efforts to intervene in the presidential election.
Comey also refused Trump’s claim that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the election, “There was no evidence.” No shit, we all knew the truth, but I am glad they are calling him out. They are letting Little Donald know in front of the whole world that when you spread lies about someone, it only makes the person spreading the lie look bad.
“The Department of Justice and Trump administration must allow Director Comey’s investigation to move forward without any interference, meddling, or political pressure of any kind whatsoever,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.
This historic investigation could potentially open Pandora’s box for the Trump administration and spill all of the tea. And I will be right here like:
Speaking of taking seats, what’s her name? Tammy Lahren right? Tomi, that’s it, she was forced by TheBlaze to have a seat for, guess what? HAVING AN OPINION THAT DIFFERED FROM THEIRS!
Yup that is right, the conservative darling is getting the cold shoulder for statements she made on The View. ICYM The View, Lahren said that she is Pro-choice and called Pro-life conservatives hypocrites saying: I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say I’m for limited government, but I think the government should decide what women do with their bodies. Sheesh, if only there were a movement out there of women fighting to make sure that Tomi Lahren’s could keep her abortion rights. If only there were like a March millions of women, showing up and taking a stand for her right to be Pro-choice. I wonder if Tomi’s stance on sexism will change if she gets fired from The Blaze. I wonder if she will take her own advice: that all she will need to do is work hard to succeed as a woman in America. It’s almost as if she didn’t realize that she was accountable to the same people who were paying her to bash women in the first place. Oh no, no, no, no Tomi, you didn’t realize the way this patriarchy thing was built? No woman is immune, not even you Tomi. I am sorry you had to learn the hard way. But, it’s okay if you are ready Tomi, my friends in the feminist community are willing to welcome you in and show you a thing or two.
Be ready for some juicy articles to come!
-Winter Olivia

A Pagan, an Atheist and a Muslim Walked into a bar …

A Pagan, an Atheist, and a Muslim walked into a bar …
Salam, guys! I am so tired today; I went out with some friends for a birthday last night. We scooted around Downtown St. Pete, chatted over cheap cocktails, saw a local band and reminisced over our 20-year friendship. 20 YEARS!! I love my old friends. One is Atheist, and the other is Pagan. I am Muslim. You would be unable to tell by just looking at me. I don’t fit the MO. I have tattoos, and I go out with friends to places I probably shouldn’t be. We share fireball shots, and we laugh louder than anyone around us. I am a ‘split personality’ Muslim: I abstain from eating pork, I pray, I tend to dress modestly (except on occasions that call for a little black dress). I am always reading about Prophet Mohammed (SAW*), I play verses from the Quran over speaker throughout my apartment a few times a week. I sometimes drink; even though I say I won’t anymore. I don’t wear a Hijab even though I say that I will one day. I haven’t gotten rid of my tattoos, even though I made it a goal. I am not perfect, God is. If you’re an Internet Sheikh, the exit is at the top right corner of the browser 😃.
My Muslim friends try to be understanding because of my culture  (I am American: 100%, and let’s face it, we Americans like to drink, party, have co-ed friendships, hug those of the opposite sex, etc.) I talk to them regularly about the things that I want to change in myself. I think they get it, and if they don’t at least, they are still my friends despite my spiritual short comings. Every day feels like a personal Jihad in my head. I go back and forth with the things that I do wrong as a Muslim. I give myself pep talks. I set goals. I put them on paper and even sometimes put them into action.
My Non-Muslim friends try to be understanding during Ramadan. They don’t wince when they see me in a Turban or a scarf. If I need to pray they will stay quiet for the few minutes that it takes for me to get it done. One of my favorite couples said they ‘wished all Muslims were like me.” I pardoned their ignorance since I am probably the only Muslim they know on a personal level. They are Marines who served in predominantly Muslim countries, so in all their experience, “Muslims” have always been shooting at them. What they, and many other people, don’t realize is that there are a lot of Muslims that are like me. People often mistake them for Spanish people. Even if they wear a scarf and don’t drink or go to clubs, it doesn’t mean they aren’t like you. They have dreams. They share recipes, go shopping, send each other funny memes, and go to brunch. They have Christmas, Birthday and dinner parties constantly. Just because we are Muslim doesn’t mean we are Alien. It doesn’t mean we are oppressed. Do I look oppressed? I have a neck tattoo, and I am drinking a Latte in the greatest country in the world. What is oppressing, is YOU trying to make ME feel like my friends and I are oppressed. The problem is people mistake culture for Islam. They let the want for power, get in the way of the message.
Islam gave women rights 1400 years ago. Rights that women in the West weren’t afforded until the fucking 1930s. BUT ONCE AGAIN, people are mistaking Islam for culture. Religion isn’t dangerous, people are. I’ve met plenty of White male Christians who slap their girlfriends around, but it doesn’t mean Christianity promotes abuse.
I am sorry that you haven’t spent any real time with Muslims. I am sorry you haven’t sipped coffee and smoked hookah with us on Friday nights. I am sorry you think we are so foreign and evil. You want us to ‘go back to where we came from, but I was born in Orlando, Florida. You think I am ‘just like you’ when you see me pushing a bottle of wine around in my Target cart but when you see me on Fridays before or after Jummah (Friday Prayer. Christians go to Church on Sunday, we go on Friday),  you treat me like a spectacle. You look at me like you fear me as if I am the enemy. When I go to breakfast with my friends you look at them from the corners of your eyes like you are uncomfortable. As if we shouldn’t be in Cracker Barrel because they are wearing a hijab paired with matching heels. They are the nicest people I’ve ever met and your looks of disapproval/fear make me disgusted. It makes me want to curse you out, cause a scene, make you feel stupid. I can’t, though, I must mind my manners. I have to smile at you. I have to make it a point to have a good time with them in public. I feel as though I am some type of liaison between the White Suburbs of America and the local hookah lounge.  I have to display our friendship because I couldn’t possibly be Muslim, too. We are all Human. Believe it or not, we have a lot more in common than you all think.
A Muslim, a Pagan and an Athiest walked into a bar, they took shots and remained best friends, despite their completely different beliefs on the ‘Hereafter.’ This is America ❤
Also, for you young Muslims that may be reading, I am not condoning the consumption of Alcohol. It’s not worth it. It dries your skin and makes you act like an ass. Stay the path and pray for me.
Also, Check out this spoken word poem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II42IpzskRI
Xoxo,
Hali
*SAW is an acronym for the Arabic phrase “SallAllahu Alaihi Wa’Salaam.” It translates to ‘Peace and Blessings unto him.’ We say this after mentioning any prophet. Including Isa (Jesus, SAW).

Big News!

Ten years ago, I was 18 and I boarded a plane that would eventually lead me to one of the greatest adventures of my lifetime. When I arrived at my first stop, I was greeted by another group of soldiers who were going to continue with us to Missouri. Immediately I saw one of the most beautiful girls I had ever seen. She was sporting a tom boy look complete with overalls, a striped shirt and a cigarette in her mouth. She was giving off serious no fucks given vibes and I instantly knew we were going to be friends. Fast forward to now and life is completely different from our drunken escapades overseas. I am happy to introduce Mom Jawn’s newest writer and partner Halima Hammad!

-Winter

 

Salaam everyone! I hope you are all doing fabulous! If you’re not, I hope you’re finding a way to change it 😊. If I seem to bounce around here a bit, I apologize, I am blogging in between house chores (I just moved and I now have tile floor. The sweeping and mopping never ends).

I am exceedingly excited to be a new edition to Mom Jawn!! I have known the founder, Winter Olivia, for about ten years now. I never thought our journey would take us from E-Nothings in the Military to this!! I also just realized that we are old enough to measure friendships by decade. Now, I need a wine spritzer.

I live in Tampa, Florida with my four-year-old (Leviticus) and our dog, Pico. I am a Muslim woman; not a very good one but I do my best and I get better at it every day, Alhamdulillah. (Any of you Internet Sheiks want to have a go at me, don’t waste your time. There is nothing you can tell me about myself that I don’t tell my reflection on the daily). We spend a ton of time at the beach, enjoying the local foodie joints that the Tampa bay area has to offer, indoor rock climbing and going to artsy kid friendly festivals. I do have 50/50 custody, so I get to party a little more than most moms. I live about ten minutes from my ex-husband (my son’s father), we have a pretty bad ass co-parent life. There are ups and downs, but, we love our son more than we hated each other. Our biggest fight is usually about the kids’ underwear or his new girlfriend’s poor manners. We will talk all about all of this in upcoming post! It makes me want to rip my skin off so I have a lot to say about these types of things.

 Other things we will chat about include, but are not limited to:

Good days                                                                                    Fillers

Messy hair days (as my friend Rachael calls them)              weddings

Islam                                                                                             Travel

Orange lies                                                                                  Should I wear a Hijab?

Parenting                                                                                     The Military

When do kids start wiping their own ass?                             Why am I constantly losing my Tupperware?!

Florida                                                                                           Style

Food                                                                                               Current events

Syria                                                                                               whatever the fuck else tickles my fancy.

Old Gregg (Youtube his name 😊you will probably hate me for it haha)

Make-up

Tootles for now, I need to build a bookcase so I can finish unpacking. The joys of living alone as a woman! I am looking forward to chatting with all of you. Don’t forget to catch us on The Twitter and Insta! You know you want to see what we made for dinner!

-Halima

IG: Halibear1216

Twitter: @Halibear1216 and @momjawn

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woke White Women

My blog writing has been all over the place. Seriously, I will sit down to write about whatever is  going on in politics, and the shit show that is the Trump administration and before I even get the chance to edit my latest blog post, President Trump and his people have either said something that is offensive, racist, or outright stupid (e.i. “alternative facts”) or have tried to silence the media when they call him and his group of white collar thugs out. I find myself thinking of the next post I would write about the madness and leave the one I was editing in my drafts. It all happens too fast; it seems every 12 hours there is a new scandal or tweet that is put out to distract the American people while someone is stepping down or some new scumbag is sworn into Trumps administration (e.i. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigned because of his illegal contacts with Russia, a severe political scandal. Or the confirming Scott Pruitt as the administrator of the EPA, a man who is completely in the tank with the oil and coal industries, a man who’s first order of business after being sworn in is to scrap the Clean Power Plan, the signature climate regulation of the Obama administration. A man who has sued the EPA fourteen times before becoming the administrator.)
I am unable to keep up. However, I have been getting emails asking when my next post will be up, so I will try.
Anyways,
I have a feminist friend who is White, who comes from an affluent White section of town and works in academia, with her White colleagues who teach kids from different backgrounds.
Up until this election, she was blissfully unaware of the extra burdens placed on the shoulders of women of color.
How do I know? She admitted it. One day it dawned on her. She ranted on Facebook “I finally realize what privilege my White skin gives me and I am disgusted.”
The wool was eventually pulled off of her eyes, and she became “woke”-aware of what is actually going on for the rest of us. It reminded me of something I have always known, and felt in professional settings, that although women are still fighting for equality, women of color, are at the very bottom of the women totem pole.
I can appreciate her finally realizing her privilege and owning it. It still is not enough.
Okay, you’re woke… Now what?
Remember, Solidarity is for White women hashtag? It’s ironic because the first time I heard someone say “Solidarity is for White women” it came from the mouth of the white feminist that this post is partially based off. She had mentioned it in passing as a joke that she heard from her other White colleague.  The hashtag stemmed from White feminist dismissing women of color for a narrative of solidarity that centers itself on the safety and comfort of White women. It is not a new issue in feminism. White feminists have long argued that gender should trump race, but the fact is: when you whitewash the issue of equality, it paints over the experiences of women of color.
I googled where the phrase “Solidarity is for White Women” came from and discovered that its creator was a woman named Mikki Kendall, a writer, diversity consultant and self-proclaimed occasional feminist.
I reached out to her via Twitter, and she gave me her email address. I wrote her and asked her if she felt that her message got across and what does she think White women should do if they feel they have fallen into the category of non-inclusive feminism.
She wrote me back with these words:

“I think the message got across to some white women. The ones who were most likely to be willing to give up some privilege & who had the self-awareness to interrogate their own role in oppressive structures. I think that those who feel like they aren’t coming from a place of being inclusive should start doing some work on why that is. What are they reading? Who are their friends? What causes are they drawn to & can they help those with less privilege? Doing the work isn’t a single day or a single decision. It’s a commitment that spans a lot of spaces in anyone’s life. We all have our biases, it’s really a question of whether we let them guide our decisions or if we choose to confront and dismantle them.”
She was right. If you are woke, we need more from you than your Facebook rants. As far as equality goes, it has to be all the voices being heard to get the point across, that includes all women, regardless of skin color. The battles women of color and White women may fight in any setting may be different, but we are all fighting the same war.
And if that last sentence made you roll your eyes a bit, then maybe you are not as woke as you think you are. If you didn’t roll your eyes maybe the message is getting across, so this last part of this post is not for you. If you did roll your eyes I would leave you with this prime example of the difference: think of the tee shirt line that was started by two frustrated White women after Trump got elected as president. They were shocked at the fact that the majority of White women voted for Trump. They decided to make tee shirts that said Not this White woman. They felt like they wanted to let everyone know it was not their fault he got put in office. But in reality, the frustration they were feeling, in my opinion, may be the closest they ever got to feeling how we feel every day. When walking into a new job, we automatically know we will be getting pre-judged purely on how we look, by men and women.  See the difference?

It Goes Down in the DM

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I had sold all my worldly possessions and had moved to the island of Puerto Rico in the attempt to break free from my boyfriend. He wouldn’t give up on me but I kept pushing him away. I knew he had just signed up for school and wouldn’t be able to move with me to the island and I figured we would breakup because distance has a way of doing that to a relationship. It didn’t work. He was in there for the long haul. I was mean to him and yet he stayed. I finally told him I was over it, and I stopped taking his calls. I was ready to move on. I loved him. He was a good man. We were just too different. With his hand tattoos and criminal background, we were just…different.

“Winter, you just need to find a guy who is on your level,” my best friend who I spoke to multiple times a day on the phone said. “You know, a guy who wears a suit to work. Someone who could take care of you and your girls. A guy who drives a nice car and has his shit together.” She was right, I needed someone who looked good on paper, who has a degree, and has a good job with benefits. These qualities were more consistent and more in line with where I wanted to be in life.

When I met my boyfriend, he was living in his cousin’s finished basement, didn’t have a car, and worked at McDonald’s. People were so confused when we got together.  It was confusing to people how the high school virgin / Army Veteran fell for the hometown drug dealer. Minus his former drug dealing, he had all the qualities I wanted in a man. He was sweet, loyal, and treated my children as his own. He didn’t have a baby mama, and he was so smart, despite all this I was still was hung up on his past.

Life has taught me one lesson, and ladies I’m talking to you here, if there is one thing you take from this post it’s this, listen up: A DOG IS A DOG IS A DOG. A man either comes to you faithful or he doesn’t. You cannot teach an old dog new tricks. Trust me, I know. If he’s a cheater, he will always be. If he’s crossed the line once, he will do it again. The thing about lines are, once you cross them, they become easier and easier to cross every time. My ex-boyfriend was a diamond in the rough and it would take some polishing, but I knew there was a gem in there.  During our relationship, he got his own apartment, got his CDL, quit McDonalds and got a good paying job. He had even signed up for another trade school. He was on his way. But I got tired of putting him together, tired of molding him into the man I wanted him to be. I wanted to go out and find a new doll that already came assembled.  So, I was on the prowl to catch a good one. But my options were limited, I was living on an island, and the town I lived in was a very old town. I was the youngest adult in my neighborhood and the youngest mom at my kid’s school. The only way to find a new boo my age would be to go to San Juan on the weekend and hit the clubs, but most of the people who party there were tourists so that wasn’t a good idea.

Then one night as I was scrolling my Twitter timeline (TL), it hit me. A tweet retweeted on to my timeline that referenced Drake’s song saying, “Started From a DM Now We’re Here.”  In the four pictures allotted in the tweet it showed the Direct Message between a guy and a girl who were strangers once and by the fourth picture they’re married! I’m a realist and a pessimist by nature so I wasn’t expecting to find my future husband on Twitter, but it was a starting point to find a new boo thing.

There was a guy who follows me on twitter who was mutual friends with all my friends back home from high school. I went to public high school and he had gone to Catholic high school. Therefore, even though I knew who he was, I had never actually met him. He would “sub tweet” me on the timeline every once in a while, to see if I would bite but I had a boyfriend so I never took the bait. Based off info I had gathered from the TL for a few years of mutually following each other I knew he had a good job working for the government (Check), graduated from college (Check), and played college football (don’t really care but bonus check I guess.) This guy was six foot five (Check), and was well liked by our peers (heart emoji). Oh, yeah and he liked red heads apparently (Bitcchhhh I got this J).

I thought, maybe I’ll DM him and see where it goes. After he responded we exchanged numbers and began talking on the phone all day every day. He was fascinated by my stories and I enjoyed talking to someone who had the same interests as I did and generally the same views as me. The conversations were fun and light. I looked forward to our daily conversations and our way of flirting with each other on the TL via subtweet.  I got so wrapped up with this Twitter love affair that I began ignoring my ex-boyfriend’s texts. He would text me and tell me he still loved me and I would rudely respond back to him as if our year and a half long relationship meant nothing. I would tell my new twitter boo about how he was texting me and he would eagerly engage in his slander. Twitter boo would even bring up my ex to trash talk him, when I wasn’t even thinking about him (red flag number 1.)

“Your ex followed me on twitter today,” my twitter boo told me one day over the phone. In my head, I found that REALLY odd because my ex wasn’t the type. I called my ex and asked him why he followed that guy and he said, “I didn’t follow that nigga, he followed me! So I followed him back to see what’s up.” In my heart I believed my ex and I knew that my new twitter boo had lied and started wondering why he would do this (red flag number 2.)

Then, after the Super Bowl my new boo called and said that he had seen my ex at a Super Bowl party. He then went on to say my ex had said he was going to surprise me by flying out to see me when he had a break from school. Again in my head, I said to myself, this doesn’t sound like my ex. He wouldn’t tell his business like that (red flag number 3.) I went along with it and called my ex to tell him I didn’t really want to see him and he would be wasting his money on coming to see me because there was no point. We were over.

I think what I liked the most about this twitter boo was the fact that he would sit there and gossip on the phone with me non-stop. SIREN SOUNDS. Why was I missing all these red flags?

My Twitter boo would also send me a text that read, “Check your Paypal,” and there would just be money in my account, for no reason. He just wanted to surprise me.

“So, he just sends you money out of the blue?” my best friend said over the phone. Low-key she was jealous.

“Yeah sometimes he will just tweet on the timeline ‘Check ya Paypal Bae’ but really he’s subtweeting  me. I go check my Paypal and there’s money in there!”

“He is a keeper, Winter, he hasn’t even met you and he spoils you already. That’s the type of guy you need.”

Soon there was talk of a fly out. Now I don’t know if you are familiar with Twitter culture, but on twitter there is a tale as old as time. People meet on twitter, engage in some online flirting eventually someone “Flies out” the other party and it almost ALWAYS ends up in drama for all of the twitter community to read. But I wasn’t worried about that. This was my boo, right? He was handsome, he was successful, he was educated, and he treated me like a princess. The perfect guy, the whole package. I was with it! I even sent him some nudes, which was something I only did with my ex-boyfriend because I trusted him. But nowadays people were sending nudes like they were trading cards so I figured why not? I trusted him, we had been having a long-distance relationship for months. (Don’t worry my face wasn’t in them.)

I agreed to him flying out to come see me. He set the date, Valentine’s Day Weekend…How romantic.

The day had arrived and I drove to San Juan to pick up my Twitter boo. I was so nervous! I would finally get to meet this great guy! Even though he would tell me he was in love with me, I wouldn’t say it back because I wanted to know if it was the real deal when we were actually to meet IRL. But nonetheless I was very much in Like with him. As I pulled up to the airport my heart was pounding and the dead butterflies in my stomach came back to life. My head was full of thoughts. “I hope this goes well.” Even though we had never facetimed (I was team iPhone and he was team Android), it never crossed my mind that the person I had such an intimate long distance relationship with wasn’t the person he said he was.

And then I saw him. My heart kind of sank a bit. A tall, brown skinned, heavy set man was not hard to miss. Immediately I began internally panicking. My thoughts went a little something like this: “There is no way those photos he sent me or his twitter avi were recent! Why is he so big? Well he is wearing a heavy jacket, maybe that’s it.”

All ready I was turned off and wanted him to turn around and get back on that plane. His clean shaven blemish-less face I had seen on twitter was riddled in razor bumps, he was overweight, I mean he was big. And his walk, ugh… He walked as if someone was pulling his toes in the opposite direction. He was swaggarless and just not attractive to me.

I opened my trunk and he threw down his bag and hoisted me up by my waist and spun me around, I guess in an attempt to be romantic, but I was skeeved out. The words were loud and clear in my mind, Ew, don’t touch me.  And then he went to plant a kiss on my lips. I have never been more happy to have ninja skills than I was in that moment. I wiggled my way out of his grasp and turned my head. We got in the car and he kept smiling at me as we made our two-hour journey back to my house. Immediately he could tell something was off.

“I thought you would be more excited. Is everything okay?” Me, never wanting to be the bad guy, said that I was just tired from the trip.

What was supposed to be our romantic first date ended up being super awkward. I just wasn’t into him. And he was either in denial or was just not getting the hints I was dropping. His final night there I had to tell him. I just wasn’t attracted to him. We sat at a restaurant in the heart of Old San Juan. Music was playing, people were dancing, candles were lit. He would just sit there enamored by me. Like how a puppy looks at you when you are holding a bone. Confessing his love for me and telling me that he was planning on taking me ring shopping the next day. (Super Red Flag-this guy wanted to lock me down right away. In my experience whenever a man tries to lock you down right away- it usually means he’s hiding a flaw and wants to lock you down before you figure it out.) But it was too late: I was already not interested. I hadn’t yet found the character flaw, but I wasn’t willing to stick around and find out.

“So, I have something to tell you,” I said to him awkwardly. “Yes love?” (gag emoji) he replied, completely unaware that I was about to hurt his feelings.

“I have to be honest. And I’m saying this in the nicest way possible, but I think I’m not as into this as you are. I hope you can understand I think you’re a great guy, but we just don’t click.”

His face looked like he had just watched the Titanic movie for the first time. “What do you mean? I love you. I want to give you the world.”

In my head I started cursing, and reminding myself not to be the bad guy and break this man’s ego. “Well, I am just not into it. I’m sorry.”

He continued to pry and I eventually had to tell him the truth. “I’m just not into you, bro!” The words came out of my mouth a little louder than I had anticipated but I was already over the conversation and wanted him to get the point.

Hand on the Bible, this man began to cry. I felt so bad.

“Why aren’t you into me? What is it? Did I do something to you? I’ve been nothing but nice to you. I bought you nice things, I sent you money. What could you possibly not like about me? I am an educated black man, you don’t find men like me easily.” (BARF)

“First of all, I never asked you for anything. Second, whenever you would send me money, or gifts I would adamantly say that you shouldn’t have done so. And third, who do you think you are?”

We walked across the cobble stone streets back to our Airbnb in silence.

“Just tell me what it is? I have to know,” he pleaded one last time as we walked into the Airbnb rental.

I had to be the bad guy. “I am just not attracted to you. I am sorry. I liked you over the phone but in person I just don’t like what I see. Okay?”

He was so offended and hurt. He walked, went into the other room, and put his Beats by Dr. Dre headphones on full blast. I can only assume it was for me to hear Ellie Golding’s “Love me Like You Do” and change my mind. It backfired because I was laughing so hard in my head. I had found the character flaw. This man was a Fuck Boy. For everyone reading, a fuck boy is a boy who can’t handle the truth. Someone who thinks that they are God’s gift to women and is entitled your affection. He did not get what he had wanted and now was throwing a tantrum.

What else could I do? Naturally I unlocked my phone and opened my twitter app only to see that my Twitter boo was throwing himself a public pity party for the whole Twitterverse to see. At my request, we had kept our relationship a secret, our local twitter community knew we had both met new boos but no one suspected that we were actually talking about each other. The twitter community rallied behind him, tweeting to him to “Keep your head up” and “Fuck that Ho.” I was annoyed. Even though these people did not know who he was talking about it still got under my skin to read. With every tweet he would glare up at me, a mixture of hurt and anger in his eyes. It was actually very hard to hold in my laughter at that point. There was a 6’5 grown man sitting on the couch with Beats by Dr. Dre headphones on with Love Me Like You Do blasting through, furiously typing away and angrily looking at me every time he sent out a tweet. He looked like a child.

I had fallen asleep and he awoke me by running his hand through my hair, my eyes shot open because again I was skeeved out. “Fuck that. You think I’m fat right? I really think you are being shallow. You like our talks and we vibe, you cannot deny that, can you just give me a chance?”

I struggled internally with myself. Was I shallow? I did like him up until the point I laid eyes on him. Maybe I was being too harsh on him?

I reluctantly agreed to give him another shot, he told me that he would get into the gym and in a few months, he would be back in shape. “Okay, we’ll see,” I said sheepishly.

He went back home and we fell back into the routine of talking on the phone and texting. I would forget how he looked in person at times. The months rolled by and he flew out to see me yet again. I trekked out to San Juan once more with an open mind only to feel duped again. He looked even bigger!

He again tried to bribe the love out of me by taking me shopping. I told him he shouldn’t spend his money on me but he insisted. We walked passed a jewelry store and he grabbed my hand and pulled me in. “Pick one out,” he said with the biggest smile. I looked around and told him I didn’t like any of them but this was my nice way of saying I didn’t want a ring from him.

That night at dinner he could tell that I had been distant the whole time he was there. And once again I had to have the awkward conversation as to why I wasn’t into him.

He was offended, and not in the sense of “You hurt my feelings.” He was offended in the sense of “Bitch, how dare you, do you not know that I’m Top five dude in my area” type of offended.

“Well I’ll have you know that you are missing out. You remember two weeks ago I said I had some life changing news but I wouldn’t tell you what it was?”  he frantically said.

“Okay?” I responded confused about where he was going with that statement.

“Well, you know my best friend Chris? The one with millionaire parents? Yeah well they just wrote me in their will, when they die, I am going to be getting 2 million dollars! That could have been the life I would have given you.”

The face I made must have said what I was thinking but he was so enraged that I didn’t love him he didn’t notice. “So what? Now you’re trying to buy me on the promise of a will that you may get in the future? TUHHHHHH,” I scoffed. Now I was offended. I am entitled to my preferences and he just had to accept that.

He left the island and again threw himself a pity party for all of the TL to see.  Months had past and we unfollowed each other. I stayed on my corner of the internet and he stayed on his.

One day, my old Twitter boo and his friends from college went out for drinks at his alma matter and took a picture. They were all ex-college football types who had let themselves go after college. The TL began to roast the picture. On twitter, when someone is getting roasted, everyone else tweets reaction pics or gifs that make the roasting even more fun. So, when someone tweeted, “It looks like BET IT department went out for drinks,” I put up a laughing reaction meme because it was indeed funny because they did actually look like a bunch of overweight nerds out on the town. At that moment the other boys in the photo turned on me. “Bitch don’t be laughing when your selling pussy on back-page! We heard about you!”                                                                                                                                                        At that moment, I learned that in true Fuck Boy fashion, my twitter boo had lied on my name. At the time I had just gotten a big disability check from the Veterans Affairs office and had bought a red Mercedes, moved to an island, and bought a GMC Terrain. I never told anyone where the money came from because it was no one’s business, but to outsiders, I was just a stay-at-home mom, so when my twitter boo told them he had found my profile on back-page and that I was a prostitute they believed him.                                                                                                                                                                      I was enraged! Not only was this a lie, it was such a disgusting lie. I had the reputation of a good girl. That was my reputation in my hometown. This is who I was. With one tweet, it was all destroyed. My DM started ringing, girls I had known since the tenth grade reaching out to me saying things like, “Winter, I really used to look up to you. You’re better than that.” I was so angry! I was even angrier that the TL took his side. Local twitter started out in 2009, with most of my high school class. Throughout the years, most of the female tweeters were bullied and “ran off” twitter by harassment. Before, when I would see this happening to other girls, I would believe the things the guys were saying and watch these girls drop like flies and delete their accounts, only to be continually brought up throughout the years to poke fun of the time they “ran that girl off twitter.” I finally understood that they were bullies. That maybe these were boys who didn’t get what they wanted and were trying to save face. What my ex-boyfriend had been saying this whole time that “Twitter is all fake” was true. I wasn’t about to be ran off twitter. The problem was I had already sent out nudes so I couldn’t even defend myself and tell them the truth. I called my ex and asked him if he had been watching the TL. He told me he hadn’t. My ex asked me what happened and I told him. He was furious. He immediately got on twitter and challenged any man friend or stranger that called me out of my name. And they all grew silent.

There are many things to take away from this post, but the overall message is don’t lose a diamond trying to pick up stones.  Even though the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, that lawn is covered in shit.