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Thank You

To Our Ben Rich, You have been there for our biggest moments, capturing our hearts biggest joys through your wonderful gift of photography. You’ve even put up with a little Twitter bullying. Thank you for being the first brother to our team. May success follow every step of your days, and every snap of your shutter. Say Cheese! The ShhGirl! Team

Sept. ⎮⎮ 2

P.s. Congrats on your beautiful engagement!!!!

Our Director of Community Relations & Managing Editor Chat Top Ten Moments Had While Working On the Men’s Issue Cristin.Noel: Men don't like to be called "sensitive". They're just opinionated! (Yeah, right.) Aretha.Monique: If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s a DUCK! Cristin.Noel: There is such a thing as "Daddy issues". Aretha.Monique: Buy a good journal and a shrink and call me in the morning. Cristin.Noel: Guys have a serious thing for chicks in high-heels. Aretha.Monique: I hope he can pay for these 4” shoes too. I wear an 8. I like Nine West. Prefer Coach. Cristin.Noel: Even in 2010, there are defined roles for each gender. How those roles are defined varies from relationship to relationship. Aretha.Monique: I ain’t taking care of no… Cristin.Noel: Men can't help but to look at big ole booties! Aretha.Monique: They need to be looking at those PAPERS! Cristin.Noel: Most men don't see sex as the most important factor to a successful relationship. Aretha.Monique: They don’t see anything…duh. Cristin.Noel: Some women use sex as a punishment!!? (Where do they do that?) Aretha.Monique: On the next episode of Young and the Restless.

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Cristin.Noel: As a society, we must do better in the messages we send to future generations about the sexes. Aretha.Monique: It’s simple, men are from Venus and women are from Mars. Cristin.Noel: Everybody has a juicy story about that one person.(Getting them to spill the deets on that one person is something completely different). Aretha.Monique: Uh, have you seen Twitter lately? Cristin.Noel: Men and women both want the same things: to be loved, valued, and respected. (They also want some good nookie!). Aretha.Monique: Men and women both want the same things: clean underwear, a clean toilet, and clean sheets (All of which must be white. Men, no stripes.)

Publishing ShhGirl! Enterprises

Executive Team Founder / Editorial Director SERITA BELTON Director of Community Relations ARETHA PERRY Managing Editor CRISTIN BLUNT Pencil Project Coordinator HASHINA WEBSTER

Marketing Team Marketing / Social Networking ROBBY MALONE Marketing LATHASIA CARPENTER

Photography Ben Rich Photography

Quiana Darcell Jeremy Raymond April Noel Kyle Ashley Phire Capri LouAnn Jessica Elizabeth Adrianne Nichole Emily Loretta Jennifer Grace Carol Faye Jen Kim Brittney Monique Lakecia Tina Amanda Marie Rebecca Lynn Anthony Charles Tahmeka Michelle LindseyDiane

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ShhGirl! Team

Sept. ⎮⎮ 5

Jesse Ray, Kyle Ashley, Lindsey Diane, Katie Mary, Kina Skye, Jessica Elizabeth, Phire Capri, Emily Loretta, Tasha Marie, LeAndrea Charnee`, Ericka Denise, Charles Robert, Jeremy Raymond, Ben Maurice, Jennifer Grace, Brittney Monique, Adrianne Nichole, Lou Ann, Cristin Noel, Jennifer Kim, Carol Faye, Rebecca Lynn, Amanda Marie Anthony Charles, Tahmeka Michelle, Hashina Abeni Lakecia Tina, April Noel, Aretha Monique, Serita Monet`

ShhGirl! Speaks ⎮Letter from the Editor

September is already here! Boy, where has the time gone? Summer is ending and fall is fast approaching. This time last year we were preparing for the launch of ShhGirl! With that done and in full swing, we promise to continue bringing you an uncensored look at everyday living. We excitedly bring you... “The Men’s Issue” ! This issue was truly informational and even lifechanging to work on. In this issue, as with all our issues, we look at life how we see it through our own eyes. We take a listen to some Kansas City bred musical artists, admire the man that is seen as the perfect mate, stand sexy in our stilettos to keep our men’s eyes from wandering, all while continuing to date our mates, and letting our men play their own role.

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Through all this we learned through our feature, “The Conversation”, that men talk! As a matter of fact, they may talk more than the ladies do! In our feature we dove deep into relationships, family, kids, and what makes a man a man with a very diverse group of men that were willing to give it all up. Stay tuned the ladies will have a chance to follow up the Men’s Conversation in an upcoming issue. “Live by your own music and Rock your own style”

Serita M. Belton Founder / Editorial Director

Editor’s Favorite Things

Music Here’s what’s in heavy rotation right now….

My iPhone I am a die hard fan! I can do everything from my phone— from editing articles to buying music on iTunes!

Other Must Haves

Can’t Be Friends - Trey Songz Vanilla Twilight - Owl City Chillin - Wale ft. Lady Gaga Gravity - Sara Bareilles RockStar 101 - Rihanna Forever Young - Jay-Z The Kids - B.O.B. ft. Janelle Monae I Can’t Get Next to You - Al Green Angels - Diddy Dirty Money Fireworks - Drake ft. Alica Keys It Would Be You - Trey Songz H.A.T.E.U - Mariah Carey Unthinkable (I’m Ready) - Alicia Keys Disappear - Beyonce Broken Promises - Q(Day26) Dawn Richard Love Remains the Same - Gavin Rossdale Dreaming with a Broken Heart - John Mayer


A Magazine A Cute Notebook & Pen to jot down random notes My Planner A Flash Drive

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Smart Water


Culture ShhGirl! Playlist pg. 12 Music Reviews pg. 13 Book Review pg. 15 Movie Review pg. 17 The Burger Challenge pg.19 Behind the Headlines pg. 21

College & Career Assertive without being an A$$ pg. 26 Don’t expect to find your mate on U.S.S. University pg. 28

Family The Perfect Mate pg. 38 Date your Husband pg.40 Reflection on the Men in my Life pg. 42 Fathers, A Poem pg. 44

Inspired...Reaching Higher Sept. ⎮⎮ 9

The Ultimate Man pg. 74

Lifestyle An Interview with Erron Jay pg. 57 A Day in the Life….Through Music pg.69 These Heels weren’t Made for Walking pg. 63 The Body Parts Men Love pg.65

Feature The Conversation pg.31

Wandering Eyes pg. 48 “He Did It” The Blame Game pg. 50 Interracial Dating pg. 53

Contribute to a Cause The Pencil Project pg. 77 Midtown Family & Activities Center pg. 78


Women Vs. Men

Livin’ La Vida Sola pg. 80 Mean Girls pg. 85 Awl Heyal Nawl pg. 87 Dealing with Divorce pg. 89

Confetti Launch Party in Photos pg. 23 Calendar pg. 97

Sept. ⎮⎮ 10


You Can Advertise Here Find out how by emailing:


ShhGirl! Playlist Adrianne Nichole Letting Go - Janelle Monae The Day - The Roots I learned the Hard Way - Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

Phire Capri Drop the World - Eminem & Lil Wayne All I Want is You - Miguel ft. J. Cole I wanna be a Billionaire - Travis McCoy

Hashina Abeni UnThinkable - Alicia Keys Get Ya Money Up - Rihanna Bittersweet - Fantasia

Kyle Ashley Sex Intelligent (remix) - The Dream Country Shit - Big K.R.I.T. General Patton - Big Boi

Jennifer Grace Shades On (Instrumental) - Panjabi MC Get Down - Groove Armada Glitter in the Air - Pink

Lakecia Tina He Wants it All - Forever Jones Hate On Me - Jill Scott Blame It - Chrisette Michelle

Lonely - Janet Jackson Com’n Out Hard - 8ball & MJG Lie About Us - Avant

Aretha Monique I Desire More - Crystal Aikin Can’t Be Friends—Trey Songz Pretty Boy Swag - Soulja Boy

Rebecca Lynn Hey Soul Sister - Train Bad Romance - Lady Gaga Halfway Gone - Lifehouse

LouAnn One In A Lifetime - Monica Close to You - BeBe & CeCe Winans I Pray - CeCe Winans

* Submit your top 3 songs to become a part of ShhGirl’s Playlist at

Sept. ⎮⎮ 12

April Noel

Culture Kyle Ashley

Music “You” (Bright Lights) Tey Martel featuring Bobby V Single from the upcoming album

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Expec-Tey-Tions Who doesn't love a song for the ladies? Especially one that's not aggressive, misogynistic, or just plain out crass. Fellow Hickman Mills High School Alum Tarik Lartey aka Tey Martel may have scored himself a hit with "You (Bright Lights)" with the help of Atlantabased singer Bobby Valentino. Although the concept of taking a woman and "upgrading" her is a bit dated and trite, this song is a woman's fantasy, as long as she earns and plays her position correctly. There will be no hand outs here. If you are a fan of old school music, you will take immediate notice of the synthesizing, which is reminiscent of Kool and the Gang's hit "Summer Madness". This song has appeal because it can fit any kind of mood: whether you're getting ready for a night out with the girls, cruising with your lady on a warm summer night and you want to tell her you want to give her the world, or it's the last song of the night at the club before the lights come up and everyone starts choosing. What better song than a laid back track where you can let someone do the talking for you? Rappers should take note from this track on HOW to talk TO a woman and not AT her. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar right? The other downside to the song is that it's quite short and feels incomplete. It just cuts off and you're left wondering if that's the end or is there a part two coming along. Perhaps a verse from Bobby V would be the right and final touch this song needs to reach its potential. But incomplete song notwithstanding, Tey is someone to keep on your radar and "You" is definitely a sleeper hit. My grade: B+ Noteworthy Appearance: Bobby V Single available at iTunes and Amazon For Booking:



“Stay Out of My Phone” KoChz featuring Tey Martel Single from the album

The first word that came to mind during my initial listen of Kochz's (pronounced Cochise; think: Cooley High) A "Stay Out of My Phone" was ‘simple'. That's not necessarily a bad thing if you fancy music without complex rhyme schemes, metaphors, cleverly placed punch lines that make you run the track back, and a distinguishable cadence. Kochz can potentially carve out a nichethose who want to hear music shot straight from the hip without having to think too hard nor too much (and the fact that he sounds like Devin the Dude taking a slight hit of helium doesn't hurt either). "Stay Out of My Phone" could EASILY be an anthem to those who have untrustworthy partners who choose to do things the hard way instead of coming to the source. If you hear this song being played incessantly in your presence, consider yourself busted. The demand to tell his main chick/side piece/jump off to mind her business is delivered over a mid-tempo, laid back track emphasized with hand claps and a bass guitar that lays the foundation for a song that makes for good summer riding the down the highway doing 80 with the windows down music. Conversely, the delivery and content leaves much to be desired, as I found with a lot of the other tracks I listened to. In a nutshell, Pros: superb beat selection which is enough to catch your attention. Cons: the content is not enough to keep your attention and the beats seem to carry the songs. But there is most definitely room for growth. If you love organic Kansas City hip-hop, this will be your cup of tea. My grade: C Noteworthy appearance: West-coast artist Game

Single available at iTunes and Amazon For Booking:

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Beats, Bucks & Backpacks


Book Review

Adrianne Nichole

The Hand I Fan With (1996) Author : Tina McElroy Ansa Publisher: Doubleday *photo courtesy of Amazon

“Everybody expects you to give. You’re expected to give everything you have and you’re expected to give it effortlessly…not to make demands, not to keep a little something for yourself. That’s considered selfish.” –Tina McElroy Ansa, Doubleday interview, 1998.

T Sept. ⎮⎮ 15

he Hand I Fan With continues the story of Lena McPherson, previously introduced in

Ansa’s Baby of the Family, now in her mid-forties and still residing in the fictional small town of Mulberry, Georgia. Born with a caul over her face (a thin membrane of skin that brings good luck, clairvoyance and the ability to interact with spirits) she has lived both a charmed and cursed life. She is the wealthiest woman in the county who seems to have it all but is expected to give it all, without question. Her gifts have plagued her as much as blessed her. She could neither prevent the deaths of her mother, father and brothers, tune out the misogynistic thoughts of her potential suitors, nor stop the constant stream of unsettled, evil spirits hell-bent on torturing her. She has everything anyone could wish for, except someone to share it with—namely, a man.

He arrives first as a feather-soft breeze on her neck, a puff of warm air tickling down her spine, an insistent, unseen hand insistently exploring her nether regions in direct response to her spoken prayer of “God, I wish I had somebody.” Although accustomed to hearing and seeing things that no one else can, Lena is stymied by the brazen familiarity of the intruder, something she has never experienced before. He finally calls her name, reveals that he is Herman, the man she prayed for, that he is a 100year old spirit who was able to materialize by the sheer force of her power, and that he has been watching Lena her entire life. She is mesmerized by him, attracted to his caring eyes, sculpted brown body and warm smile. Though she can hardly believe it, she instantly falls in love.

Now I have to stop there, because I don’t believe in spoilers, but I can definitely tell you that once Herman arrives, it is on like Donkey Kong. Ansa has a remarkable talent for descriptive prose and the romantic encounters between Lena and Herman are so vivid and intimate, you almost feel like a pervy voyeur, but that’s part of the fun! They definitely take an anytime, anyplace approach that will have you gasping, clutching the pearls, raising an eyebrow or two, or simply thinking, you go, girl. Put it like this: when my mother describes a novel as “juicy”, you know you’ve struck gold. Although Herman puts it down on the regular like a good man should, what is even more remarkable is the way his quiet, consistent presence changes Lena for the better. Imagine realizing that you no longer have to live an unfulfilled life, that you can completely step into your power knowing that no matter what may come, you have the support and strength of someone who means the world to you. Buoyed by Herman’s love, Lena learns that it is perfectly fine to say no, that it is mandatory to claim what is yours, that you don’t have to apologize for your success and you cannot allow yourself to be defined by others. Those are lessons that we can all stand to learn. And if they come by way of a wonderful companion, all the better .

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Now before you think someone’s about to set fire to a BMW, this isn’t one of those, “Woe is me, I can’t find no man, all men are dogs” kind of stories. This tale speaks to the emotional, physical and spiritual damage that accumulates when everything you do is in service to others without concern for your own needs, what happens when you meet someone who allows you to finally, completely let it all go. Lena is weary of being “the hand that everyone fans with” and longs for someone to keep her counsel and care for her for a change. Weary, she reluctantly allows her best friend and former college roommate, Sister (who reasons, “All you need is just to have your cat scratched.”), to perform a ritual to bring her the man she needs.

Movie Reviews

Culture Brittney Monique


hat’s better than being cuddled up next to your main man

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on the couch? Watching some hot, sweaty, ass-kicking guys….while being cuddled up with yours. Check out these recommended flicks from our film guru, Brittney Monique. These movies will get you and your honey excited for some action and adventure, even if it’s to race for the popcorn.

Fight Club First rule of Fight Club: don’t talk about fight club. In spite of the bloody and grungy basement fight scenes; this movie is about more than just an underground fighting ring. There is a method to their madness; these guys want a revolution. Brad Pitt and Edward Norton do a superb job playing two radical characters who want to end capitalism and free you from yourself so that you can really begin to live. “…you’re not your fucking khaki’s”. It’s this generation’s ‘stick it to the man’ haiku. Even the supporting characters shine in this piece and while the action will keep you entertained, you will really appreciate the intricacy and depth of the story. This movie has a surprise twist that will definitely have you watching a second time around, and thinking your man has the capability to beat anyone down.

Scarface “First you get the money, and then you get the power…” A Cuban boy comes to America to live the American dream. His dream, however, involves becoming a coldblooded cocaine drug lord. Scarface, arguably Al Pacino’s best work ever, is a highly involved masterpiece of a legend’s rise to power and tragic demise. Tony Montana has a goal, for the world to be his. He conquers the woman he wants, he conquers a drug empire but some things, like the approval and love of his mother he cannot. Scarface is the bad guy you root for to succeed, his ability to connect make this movie the timeless classic it is. Hands down this is a must see.

Any three of these movies will definitely impress your man. They may be a little outside your comfort zone but each has something to offer, so give them a try. You might find yourself actually enjoying the plot (or enjoying the hotness). Either way, pop one of these in on a Red Box night and he’ll remember why you’re the coolest chick he knows.

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Bad Boys II Undercover work can be dangerous but Will Smith and Martin Lawrence have never made it look so fun. In this sequel, our favorite love-hate dynamic duo is back, this time taking down a ruthless Cuban drug smuggler played by steamy Spanish actor Jordi Mollá. It’s basically your typical vice-cop movie yet director Michael Bay does a great job not letting the movie stall. Gabrielle Union also joins the cast as Lawrence’s sister, along with the return some old favorite characters. This action packed movie will take you for a wild ride and will also keep you laughing. Still, know this is not a comedy, there is violence, but you’ll have a great time.



Jeremy Raymond

When you hit a certain age McDonald’s doesn’t fulfill that craving of a tasty burger anymore. Yet you still want a great burger once in awhile. Come along with me as I try to find the ultimate burger for the adult taste buds. But then again kids love a great burger too.

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The Spot: Smash burger 119th and Glenwood 6551 West 199th St. Overland Park, Kansas 66209

Rating scale: The Pickle Scale P= Save your buds (taste buds that is, feel free to recommend this spot to your favorite enemy) PP=If you just need something in your belly, try me. Taste sold separately. PPP=Decent. Good enou1gh to consider on a late night. PPPP=Mmmm! Delicious! Will go back and bring friends. PPPPP=SUPERB!! The goodness of this burger will be tweeted, facebooked, skyped, and spoken of in all of inner and outer circles!

I place my order with a friendly young person who seems well versed on what she is serving, and made it very clear that there was no hurry for me to order (I felt a bit of self pressure though…there was a small line constructing behind me). Once my order is placed, I am given a number to put on the table for it to be delivered. Five to ten minutes later, I receive a small Chinese pick-up style box, containing inside a neatly papoosed burger in wax paper. Now, traditionally when I am trying a burger for the first time (or beer, but that’s a different review), I thoroughly examine it first, and this time was no different. When taking my first exploratory glance, I noticed a few things:

THE BUN: The classic egg bun that I chose for this particular challenge was interesting to say the least. It had an almost shiny top and a slick cushy feel. If I would compare it to your typical bun using a shoe analogy…Smashburger bun=Air Max, Typical burger bun=shell toe’s. One for “comfort” and style the other for hitting the streets with the wearer not too concerned about grass stains or scuffs. THE CONDIMENTS AND ADD-ONS: This may seem strange, but I appreciated that everything was evenly spread on the burger. Even my grilled onions were distributed well and a more than fair amount was placed on top. THE PATTY: A very thick patty is the substance of this burger, and it was apparent that it was either juicy and/or greasy. It is very important to have a good balance of both. Very juicy, not greasy, this burger encompassed the complete opposite of dry. Finally…THE TASTE: At first bite I could recognize that this was quality beef, no gristly parts (later discovering they only use Angus). An instant burst of flavor flooded my taste buds. Far from bland but also not overpowered with seasoning. The bun lived up to its look. It was soft yet, manages to keep its consistency in spite of the juiciness of the patty. This classic egg-bun also does not stick to the roof of your mouth as I have experienced with some other burger buns. The grilled onions were a nice touch for some additional flavor. All the components of this burger came together almost perfectly, like a delicious symphony in my mouth. As I continue to eat, my newly discovered gem became much messier with each bite. For some that may be a problem, but for me it is a reminder that I am eating a “real” American man’s burger (excuse me while I beat my chest, followed by a series of grunts)…. RATING: PPPPP=SUPERB…the goodness of this burger will be tweeted, facebooked, skyped, and spoken of in all of my inner and outer circles!

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Before entering this Overland Park establishment, the first thing I notice is the smell. Not just any smell, but the smell that makes you think or say while passing Where is that coming from? I’m starving! kind of smell. I know what you’re thinking…This is gonna be a great review! But wait…smells can sometimes be deceiving (I once thought I smelled a delicious grilled onion burger while riding the bus, but it turns out my buddy just forgot to put on his deodorant, so…yeah). Walking in, it is glaringly obvious that this is not your typical fast food burger joint. With its sectioned off booth areas for dining, straight lines and recessed lighting, it is apparent that this is a “grown-up” burger eatery. No clowns or kid’s meal trinkets here. The menu is fairly easy to navigate: You’ve got seven signature burgers including the “Kansas City Smashburger” (apparently they localize a burger for their nationwide locations) and a “Create Your Own” burger option. Smashburger also boasts some atypical add-ons, such as beefy chili, fried egg, and fried pickles. The menu also has signature Smashsalads, Smashdogs, and amazing Hagen-Daas shakes. There is a limited kids menu, but as said before, this place is for serious burger eating.


Behind the Headlines

Lakecia Tina


n 2010 there are many current events allowing us the opportunity to discuss what’s wrong

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(and right!) with our men. You can’t turn on the TV without a guy trying to take the “leading” role. We have Mel Gibson proving that racism still exist in the heart when doors are closed. I will tell you one thing… he is fair! He started with Jews, Latinos, and now Blacks. Mel, what do you have up your sleeve for the Asians? Well, another man’s mistake is a learning opportunity for the rest of us. Here is the lesson: though most of us don’t have to worry about being recorded, we do need to watch what we say, and who we say it in front of.

Even though LeBron turned his unwarranted media blitz into a charitable cause, his attention-whoring magnified expectations of what type of player he will be. Like LeBron, some guys magnify and enlarge their own issues. Does the name Tony Hayward ring a bell? How about BP oil spill? It would suck to be Tony Hayward, former CEO of BP (most recently fired). I remember a few years ago sending the wrong package to a company. You know what happened? A week later no one remembered it. Sorry Tony, but your ‘oops’ is not going away so easily. You killed wild life, slowed and stopped some businesses, all while sinking the reputation of your company. No matter what I do from this point on, at least I can say I wasn’t responsible for the disaster known as the 2010 BP oil spill.

Did these guys deserve to get lambasted in the media? Sure. But let’s think about what message this sends to society when it becomes the norm. When we beat our men up over making a mistake, we force them to walk on egg shells and try to do the impossible – be perfect. Though it is an impossible task, some of our greatest men are measured by it every day. President Obama has slowed down the recession; relaxed Anti-American tension throughout the world; attacked the monster Health Care reform initiative; even closed a prison torture camp. Still not good enough! Even his wife gets slammed for wanting to take vacations. Speaking of women, we are getting the same heat as men. The Shirley Sherrod fiasco proves the American people are just hungry for good controversy. Though the media is fair in giving attention to both genders, the level of criticism tends to be much more hard-hitting for men. Maybe deservedly so, but as we prepare to raise men as mothers and wives for our next generation, let us be reminded that the reflection of men can be the projection of our men for the future. As we prepare a nation of hard-working citizens, it is important that we look at how we evaluate them in the public eye.

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Not all men standing in the spotlight should be beaten down. Some are using their fame to create positive public relation opportunities. If you are going to be in the spotlight, you might as well make it work for you and your cause. That’s exactly what LeBron James did. For all those who couldn’t understand why it took so long to say, “I-am-choosing-the-Miami -Heat” there’s a method to the madness. Instead of just making an announcement, he turned it into an opportunity to donate the sponsorship money to the Boys & Girls Club of America. LeBron, let me be the first to say thank you for turning another boring sport news event into another boring sport news event with a cause!

Sept. ⎮⎮ 23


ShhGirl! Launch Party in Photos

* All Photos courtesy of Ben Rich Photography

Sept. ⎮⎮ 24


College & Career Rebecca Lynn

Assertive Without being an

A$$ Y

Loft, and you are having a frizz free hair day. So why are you worrying about that meeting with the manager by mangling that signature green straw and rocking your cubicle with your toe tapping? You wouldn’t be in the position you are in if you didn’t have something to offer! Obviously you learned something at school and/or your years on the job. So toss out that straw and stop wearing down the soles on your new shoes. Take a second, straighten yourself out and realize you are worthy of your place. You can be assertive without being aggressive... or an ASS! Why are women worried about having their own voice at work? Is it because women are worried if they are successful it will intimidate the men in their lives? That hasn’t phased Angela Merkel, Chancellor, or the other three female presidents in Forbes “Top 25 of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World”.

Sept. ⎮⎮ 26

ou’ve got your Starbucks latte, you are wearing your favorite top from Ann Taylor

Sept. ⎮⎮ 27

Assertive without Being an A$$ continued

We’ve come a long way from Don Draper’s world in “Mad Men”, where women had to sit in those smoke-filled firms, typing memos, fetching coffee and fielding advances from their bosses. Those well-dressed women helped pave the way for us... so now we should be able to be welldressed and successful at the same time! Women don’t only have to worry about men being intimidated by their power... our gender can be our own worst enemies! You may have thought you left those cliques back in high school, but they’ve found ways into our workplace as well. Don’t let jealousy hold you back from your full potential. The key to being assertive is to be confident and self-assured. The way to do that is to back -up your actions with skill and knowledge. Well, of course we can’t be great at everything, but sometimes it just takes experience and awareness! Then, when you find your own voice, you can grow your confidence and be assertive without even thinking about it! I work at a TV station in St. Louis as a producer. About a year ago, I got to start a brand new news program at noon. While I had six years of experience, I was nervous about this new venture. There were so many moving parts for this new show. I wasn’t sure if we were going to pull it off. It wasn’t perfect at first and we still have our occasional bumps. However, I realized I had enough skills and knowledge to get by in the beginning, then start to grow in my role as the show’s producer. Now I realize my own voice is louder than I ever thought (quite literally because I naturally have a loud voice).

I am now more confident in my abilities and what it takes to make the show a success. When something needs to be addressed I am not hesitant to speak up and share my input. One of the most difficult roles in my job is that I have to give direction to anchors and reporters (many have had more experience than years I have been alive). This was especially tough when I was just out of school. I would often think why should these people listen to me? However, when I started learning the area and station’s needs better, I started making better decisions. Then I began to be more assertive. Again, if you become knowledgeable and an expert at what you do, being assertive becomes easier. There may also be those co-workers that try to talk their way out of more work. In my profession, no one ever wants to go out in the extreme hot or cold to cover a weather story, or be sent out on breaking news when their shift is about to be done. That is where I have to be assertive again. Before I send someone out, I know I have to be prepared with a good reason and be ready to explain it. backing it up and being confident. If people hear doubt in your voice, they will take advantage of it! Here is another thing that has really helped; I live by the saying, “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”. Basically, that means it is easier to persuade people if you are nice than if you are confrontational. I know playing the DIVA card isn’t going to get me anywhere. Taking a few minutes out of your day to connect with a co-worker could pay off big dividends down the road. When you need to get something accomplished, you will have a personal connection with that person. You will feel more comfortable being confident with your skills and will perform that much better. People will respect your assertiveness, and not your assholishness.

College & Career Jennifer Grace

Don’t expect to find your

Mate on the

U.S.S. University


h, college. Those glorious four (five? six? SEVEN?!) years wherein the world becomes ours

and new experiences illuminate our lives. That time between high school and adulthood where we learn, we grow, we experiment, we develop, and we finalize those last few steps on our journeys to “the rest of our lives.” As we look toward the upcoming fall semester, we here at ShhGirl! wanted to talk a little bit about love on campus and the quest to find “Mr. Right” between classes and coffee and late night study sessions.

Sept. ⎮⎮ 28

“America’s future walks through the doors of our schools every day.” –Mary Jean LeTendre

Don’t expect to find your Mate on the U.S.S. University continued Sept. ⎮⎮ 29

Anyone who has spent any time at all on a college campus will tell you that men abound. Sexy men. Hot men. Gorgeous, shirtless, hunky men playing football on campus on random Saturday mornings or congregating en masse together at fraternity functions or at other gatherings on campus. I too was once an incoming college freshman who was somewhat, ahem, surprisingly overwhelmed by the mass amount of gorgeous young men with whom I shared a campus.

I was the “Social Susie” sort when I was in college. It was important to me to cast forth my net and to make as many friends as I possibly could. I took full advantage of the many organizations and opportunities that were available to me on campus, and I truly believe that my academic experience was significantly enhanced because of it. I’d like to share one of my experiences with you.

Always having been the starry-eyed, can’t-wait-to-fall-inlove sort, I set my sights early on finding one of those strapping, gorgeous young men and making him my own. Enter Cute Fraternity Boy A, an adorable Pi Kappa Alpha guy I had a morning class with and whose eyes always twinkled when he looked at me. To say that I was smitten would be the understatement of the century. Unfortunately, disappointment soon set in when I learned that the fraternity boy of my dreams had (a) eyes that sparkled whenever he looked at anyone and (b) an equally gorgeous girlfriend. My heartbreaking disappointment happened quickly, thankfully, before I’d spent any significant amount of time focusing my efforts on snagging this guy.

Yes, the chubby, nerdy girl with the big Coke-bottle glasses did indeed survive sorority rush, sign a bid card, and don Greek letters throughout her collegiate experience. (Try to control your shock, oh snobby girls with whom I went to high school!) Again, always having been the social sort who wanted to surround herself with good friends, going Greek seemed to be a natural choice for me. As an only child, to be suddenly thrust upon a group of 50 other young women was a very abrupt and very sudden eyeopener for me! I learned very quickly that there were many, many, many types of other people in the world with ideas and backgrounds and beliefs much different than my own. I learned and grew tremendously as a person for having known these women. Laughter, tears, shared experiences, memories. I also held numerous leadership positions within my organization, which provided me with invaluable experience that I could use within the workplace later in my life. And on the topic of “later in my life,” having been a Greek woman provided me a secondary gift in the way of new friends in a brand new city. When I relocated from Indianapolis to Kansas City in 2000, the Kansas City alumnae chapter of my sorority was my first stop. In this wonderful group of women with whom I shared only a bond, a badge, and Greek letters, I found an instant connection. New friends who helped me navigate the city, who ensured I was never alone, and who helped to connect me to resources and people within my new hometown. Leadership opportunities were available within my alumnae chapter as well, and I served as the president of our chapter for three years and as an adviser to a collegiate chapter here in Kansas.

I was never the sort of person who put all my eggs in one basket, or to set aside other interests and dreams to focus solely on one (which, given my strapping success with Mr. Pi Kappa Alpha, was a good thing), but all too often, young women focus a significant amount of their energies and time devoted to finding love on campus, often to the exclusion of so many other wonderful opportunities. College is the one time in your life where so many doors are open to you. Where it’s expected, nary encouraged, for you to blossom, explore, try new things, and enjoy. While I understand that it’s not at all uncommon to find the love of your life (and the future father of your children) on campus, it’s not something that you should focus on to the exclusion of everything else. To do so is to miss out on amazing opportunities for joy and growth that you will never, and I do mean never, get again in your life.

I joined a sorority

While I realize that going Greek isn’t for everyone, it illustrates my point by showing that opportunities for growth, leadership, laughter, and joy await you on campus. I’m not saying DON’T look at/for those hunky, shirtless, gorgeous guys, but don’t spend your every waking second doing so. Get out there. Meet new people. Laugh! Have FUN! The overwhelming lessons and memories I have of college were those learned in the rush of laughter and the disappointment of tears. Those spent in moments of development and reflection with friends, sorority sisters, professors, and other students with whom I shared my academic walk. Had my focus been exclusively on finding that one man with whom I’d spend my eternity, I would have lost out on the amazing opportunities that made my five years as a college undergraduate so amazing. With all my heart, I encourage all of you collegian women to give yourselves plenty of room to grow and develop during your years on campus. Find your niche. Join that club (or start your own!) Stay after class and actually talk (and listen!) to your professors. Have coffee with them. Spend late nights laughing with your friends, and answer that 2 a.m. call and support your girlfriend whose heart was just broken or whose parent just died. Please believe me when I say that it is in those moments where your greatest growth will occur, not waiting by the phone for HIM to call.

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The Conversation O

kay Ladies, there is an old saying, “Be careful what you ask for.” Well this

is it and there is no turning back now. You have made the request and ShhGirl! has answered the call. If you are not ready for this grown and sexy conversation, then we must urge you to turn the pages now, because ShhGirl! contributor Lindsey Diane has unveiled the secret. No questions were taboo in The Conversation that you are about to experience. Brace yourself for this pulsating experience.

Feature ShhGirl!: Okay L.B., tell me a little bit about yourself. L.B.: As far as relationships go, I’ve been with my girlfriend for about a year and a half now. We’ve avoided children so far. [J.R. silently claps] We live downtown, so the social life is pretty good. ShhGirl!: You live together? L.B.: Yes. Neither one of us is from Kansas City, so it makes it a pretty adventurous part of our lives. J.R.: I’m old school, so I like a woman who takes care of her man. What I mean by that is affectionately… ShhGirl!: In the bedroom? J.R.: Well you know, I think it starts outside of the bedroom. I think it starts from…you know…I like a woman who is the first one to do something. Like the first person to lean on your shoulder, first person to hug you, first person to tell you that you look nice today, first person to say bye have a nice day. That’s how you know a woman really cares about you. That’s the type of woman…you know…I will bust a wall in for this woman, because I know she’s in my corner, she got my back.

ShhGirl!: Okay, if a woman is confident in the bedroom and as you two are getting your groove on in the bedroom, what really turns you on about her? [J.R. smiles and looks towards L.B.] Does she say something? Does she wear something? What really gets you going? J.R.: Go ahead man [with laughter he allows L.B. to answer first]. L.B.: I think you got to have foreplay, but you have to have a little control on their end. That’s the attraction. J.R.: You know my thing is a woman who doesn’t……who just let’s herself go. You know, who isn’t shy. Who doesn’t care about, Oh my God is he worried about what my thigh looks like? Just free your mind and the purpose of what we’re doing might happen. You know the purpose. Well anyway I just…..

Sept. ⎮⎮ 32

ShhGirl!: J.R. tell me what turns you on most about a woman physically? J.R.: [He sits back and replies] You know what? I’m weird and that’s cool. I’m attracted to a woman that smells good and I’m into natural beauty. I don’t mind make, but a lot of it is kind of about being what you are. You asked me about, What I’m attracted to? What turns me on? It’s just a woman with confidence and I like women’s eyes too. It takes more too. To go beyond that it’s how they carry themselves. It’s the confidence, you know, that’s what’s attractive to me. [L.B. agreed].

ShhGirl!: No holding back. J.R.: The purpose is to have…to come through with everything, right? [laughter] ShhGirl!: To cum. Okay I’ll say it. J.R.: Yes. I just like for a woman not to have any hang-ups about what she looks like or what’s on her mind. Just come in and it’s I’m here to take care of him, so he can take care of me. We’re all good and having fun.

The Conversation


ShhGirl!: Okay. You guys are both in relationships. What… L.B.: He’s in a different one than I am in. ShhGirl!: That’s true, but you both have significant women in your life. What is something that women, I’m not talking about necessarily your woman, but think back to past relationships too, what was something that they could do that totally turned you off? Deal breakers. L.B.: Heavy make-up is one and bitching. J.R.: Yeah, I agree with that. ShhGirl!: Bitching? L.B.: That’s a very big and general term cause it… J.R.: Yeah, cause you all do it (said in a sarcastic manner. Lindsey laughs). ShhGirl!: Well you all talked about confidence with women and how you find that very attractive. With confidence comes a lot of power and with power sometimes money comes. Is that an issue for you, if your spouse or significant other makes more money that you? J.R.: No. I think that’s attractive. Well, see what a woman has to be careful with is that you have to have confidence, but there is a thin line between being confident and kind of stepping out of a feminine role. I’m not a chauvinist by any stretch, but I think some women can confuse being a strong woman as overtaking what…trying to be a “man of a house” if you will. I know of situations, close situations, in which a woman has acted a certain way to “try to bring the man out” of her significant other. When in my opinion, part of being a supportive woman is allowing him to be a man. There is a way a woman can bring out a soft spoken man without tearing him down or making him feel like he’s less than a man. So there is confidence, but there is also saying, Hey

Sept. ⎮⎮ 33

I’m his help-mate, I’m going to stay with him, I can be strong and still not be overbearing or over powerful. L.B.: If you go out to the suburbs you’re going to see three general types of relationships. You got one extreme which is the man taking complete care of the wife. You got the other extreme which is the woman taking care of the man. What do they call it? The stay at home dad? J.R.: Right, Right. L.B.: [Smiles] There’s not many of them out there, but there are. And then you got the in-between. Like I saw one today, the wife was mowing the lawn. And you got this working partnership that’s mutual and it’s all a matter of what you want. Where I trend, is more towards, uh, I’m not looking for the woman to take care of me and I don’t trend over here [referring to the man totally taking care of the wife]. I trend toward more so in the middle. ShhGirl!: Well that brings me to another question then. So, you don’t really go for the house wife? [J.R. and L.B. shake their heads “no”.] Do you like the little slutty-poos and freaks or something in-between? Would you rather have a whore or a housewife? L.B.: I don’t know if you can necessarily connect those types to what you would expect in a married relationship. Women will surprise you and the ones with the tats and the rings and all that stuff, you just got to stay away from them in general. [J.R. chuckles.]

ShhGirl!: Well, I want to get a little deep here real quick with Y’all. I’m going to say a word and I want you tell me the first thing that comes to your mind. Okay? And it could be a couple of words, but keep it short. ShhGirl!: “LADY”. J.R.? J.R.: Classy. L.B.: Elegant. ShhGirl!: “Thong”. J.R.: Sexy. [Laughter] L.B.: I depends if it’s twisted that way or that way. J.R.: It’ gotta be right. L.B.: Yeah, It’s gotta be good.

The Conversation

ShhGirl!: What defines you as a man? You’ve talked a lot about the roles. What a man should do and what a woman should do, but what truly defines you as a man? L.B.: That’s tough I think. You know the role of women in society is changing. Significantly for the better from what it used to be, in my opinion. And it makes it harder to define that, what you’re the answer that you’re looking for in that question. Traditionally, it’s what are we physically capable of doing and handling in the world and then, of course, where we fit in the more male dominated society. It’s a bit looser in today’s age. So for me, I’m going back again to that continuum of at least bringing something back, as appropriate. I’m not saying it has to be dominated, in terms of the relationship as a whole, but to be the one of stability I think. J.R.: I’m pretty old school. When I grew up there was six of us, my mom and my dad. I’ve never remembered my dad not working. You know it was six of us and I remember peeping into his top drawer in looking at his check stub. It was like one-hundred and seventy something dollars that he was making to support his six kids. Now, I don’t know how he did it. I don’t recall us ever having lights cut off. Sure stuff was late, but he did a lot to try to handle the family and I think that’s something that I took from that. I just believe in… L.B.: Consistency, right? J.R.: Yeah, being responsible, being consistent. You know I don’t mind the weight being on me, but let me do it. Don’t mess with me, you need to help me. Don’t push me, roll with me. So having been married for eleven years, we ain’t got enough time to be answering a lot of these questions, but so I’ve kind of seen it all and have done it all.

Sept. ⎮⎮ 34

ShhGirl!: What do you [J.R.] prefer?J.R.: You know. I’m pretty old school. I don’t allow my wife to cut the grass. I don’t allow her to take out the trash. If I forget to do it, because I’m running off to work [then I will say] Hey baby, can you? I forgot to take out the trash. I expect you to do it. Just like if I don’t really like to wash dishes. I grew up where my momma did everything. I’m a momma’s boy. But, I also understand that my wife works and so I can wash the dishes. I mean, I cook as well. So I like the roles to be kind of blended, but there are certain things that, as a man, I just really don’t particularly want to leave to her [in particular] taking out the trash or cutting the grass. If she wants to cut the grass, yes I will let her. If she wants to take out the trash, yes I will let her. But you know, I kind of like that we’re in this all together. Let me be a man, but I mean if you want to do it I won’t stop you.


ShhGirl!: The tattoos and rings? L.B.: I mean like, the fully dressed tattoos and nose rings and types. You know who I’m talking about. So, there are certain types you have to stay away from. But really I think the fun thing, especially at my age, is to let somebody be themselves or discover that. If you find that it’s not your match, then move on.

ShhGirl!: [Laughs] Hmm. Let’s go with “boobs”. [J.R. swallows]. L.B.? L.B.: Uh, nurturing. [Laughs and animated faces] J.R.: Uh, thirsty. No uh, don’t put that.

Sept. ⎮⎮ 35

The Conversation


ShhGirl!: “Vagina”. J.R.: Beautiful. I’m sorry, I’m fascinated with… L.B.: Welcoming. J.R.: Yes! [Said with conviction] ShhGirl!: You said, “Welcoming”? L.B.: Welcoming, yeah, I mean once it’s visible you know what’s happening. J.R.: And it’s hard not to… L.B.: Once it’s out… ShhGirl!: “Dildo”. [J.R. frowns and his expression turns sour] L.B.: Dirty. J.R.: Why? [Asked in a brief moment of disgust and L.B. agrees] ShhGirl!: Why? What would you do if you found out that your girlfriend or wife had dildo? How would that make you feel? What would you do? L.B.: I mean if she’s using it alone, that’s her business. J.R.: I second that, I mean, I would ask her, Why you didn’t tell me you had a little rabbit? But it’s better to find that then a guy in the closet. You know what I mean? ShhGirl!: Does that make you wonder, Damn. I’m not doing it right? J.R.: No, because I know that it’s impossible for her to supply me with what I need one hundred percent of the time. You can only do so much and if I’m not there or you can feel an itch, then as long as there’s not another cat in the house, you know what I mean? So I believe it’s her business. Because I’ve had a couple of videos hidden that she’s found and I don’t know what happened to them. They’re probably in the trash now. But I’m with him. That’s her business and if she needs that to keep it moist, then fine. Yeah, moist is good. [Smiles] ShhGirl!: Hmm. Well do you think that women fake orgasms a lot? Like, you guys probably wouldn’t really know. Do you think they do? How does that make you feel? J.R.: I do think that women do, but when you’ve been with so many women you kind of know when they haven’t. Some women pulsate down there and you can’t fake that. When a male and a female body are together and when they are bonding like that, you can feel when a woman is having a real orgasm. I mean, that has just been my experience. And I know when a woman goes Uhhh! Come on now. I mean, you’re pulsating and you got one eye done shot back and you’re leg done jiggled. Plus [men] can kind of feel it, and when you’re close there are some tell, tell signs when it’s real. I mean, I’ve faked one before. [Laughter] L.B.: You just got to find where their physical response goes beyond just pulsating, so then you don’t have to worry about it, because some girls can just lay there and not be going through one. ShhGirl!: Do guys like it when a woman does the role play during sex? Do guys like that? What is just really exciting? Is it just typical, traditional things you do during sex or getting intimate? What is something that is really just fun and exciting? L.B.: Okay, maybe when it’s a time when you have exhausted yourself on the sex. Yeah it can come into play as a possible factor, but under a sensual, romantic experience? Absolutely not. J.R.: I guess I’m not real wild, but I’m not lame. Meaning, I don’t bring like toys in to the bedroom. I guess maybe that’s something I can try. I’m just all about, well, I’m a pleaser. I just like to do whatever a woman wants because I know I’m going to get mines. So, I pretty much am the doer. I’m the giver. You know so basically whatever she wants. I’m open to anything except… ShhGirl!: No toys? Like a cock ring…..would you use that? J.R.: Yeah, I mean, if the occasion calls for it, but it has to be on her [to initiate]. I don’t get down real wild and crazy, but I’ll try anything. So I’m pretty open in that way - when it’s dealing with just me and her.

ShhGirl!: That’s a lie. J.R.: Being facetious with it, but for the most part. We were wild before we got married. Really it’s the kids. It just changes. What used to be three or four times a week turns into you putting me on your calendar. ShhGirl!: Are you saying that kids can change your sex pattern? J.R.: Yes, they will. They do and they will. My five year old is real affectionate. She will come and jump in the bed. She will sleep there and the you’re like, It’s eleven o’clock. I gotta get some sleep and I’m not getting none. You just write that night off. The kids are all up on mommy. They’re all up on daddy. You just learn how to accept it. I’m not trying to put a damper on marriage, because it’s beautiful, but it [sex] will get compromised.


ShhGirl!: Well how many times in a week is healthy for a relationship? L.B.: I think twice is healthy, because it takes three days to build up. I’m not saying male supply. I’m saying where it’s optimal. J.R.: You don’t want to ask me, because when you’re married you stop having sex.

The Conversation

ShhGirl!: What is something so fun and exciting that maybe she, past relationships, or just anyone in general has not done? What would provide that whoa-factor? L.B.: A little public in nature to it. J.R.: That’s what I was thinking to. I mean. L.B.: Places. J.R.: Places. I’ve never been on a wild beach, but one of the things that we are going to do is we’re gonna get beach wild. [Rubbing his hands together in thought] When it’s night time and the moon is shimmying off….you know just getting wild like that. They can walk by and see whatever. I don’t even care. Just something wild like that, I just gotta work that out. L.B.: Making your way to the water is pretty fun too. [At this point L.B.’s body language is telling us that he’s all open to the thought].

ShhGirl!: L.B., what is better than sex to you? L.B.: I know you’re looking for me to say a three-some, but I’m not going to say it. J.R.: I was going to say four-some, no I’m just kidding. [Laughs] Three women by the way. L.B.: I mean if its sensual, deep, compassionate sex, then I has to rank as one of the top things. ShhGirl!: So nothing is better than sex? J.R.: I’m really trying to think, but being that I want it all the time and everyday….I don’t know if I can answer that. This means a gold star for women, the welcoming vagina, gets a gold star. ShhGirl!: You brought up threesomes and I wasn’t every thinking about bring that up at all [Smile]. Is that something that is exciting to guys? Is that something that you would want to incorporate into your relationship or marriage? L.B.: I’m not at that point yet. Maybe it’s because I’m twenty-four. I’m just not there. J.R.: It’s something that I would never bring into my marriage, but I wasn’t married my whole life. So that could be something that is very exciting.

Sept. ⎮⎮ 36

ShhGirl!: Tell me what makes her wifey or mother material? J.R.: When I met her, I didn’t think that I was going to marry her. I had just gotten out of a relationship where it was my first time getting hurt by a woman. So, I told myself that the next woman that I was going to get with that I was going to marry, but I wasn’t ready to get with that. What made me interested and stick around was that I didn’t hit it when I thought I was going to hit it. I thought I was gonna hit it that night and I didn’t. My boy hit her friend. So I was like mad. I was like, How are you gonna play these coochie games? [Laughs] So it was a challenge for me and she made date two. Then date two, you know she still didn’t, so then we started talking and then it was like, She’s alright…her head is alright. She was just back from college and I was like, Okay she look nice and she actually got at little upstairs, so let me see what she’s talking about. Then I kept trying and it wasn’t working. She almost made me wait like a month! So by then, I was liking her. You know, so the “hit and run” was gone by then. L.B.: Mines is not tested yet. But I look for two key features being loyalty and trust.

At this time, our third panelist jumps in head first into The Conversation. Ladies, meet M.M.

The Conversation


ShhGirl!: Tell me if you have pet names for your penis. M.M.: Mini me. J.R.: I don’t. Just don’t. ShhGirl!: What would you call it, if you could? M.M.: Giganticsaur. J.R.: Hungry. [Laughs] I don’t know, Always wanting something. L.B.: We got a name for hers, but we don’t have a name for mine. It’s more playful than it is formal for sex. You know, jokingly. ShhGirl!: I would hope it would be, because I wouldn’t be like, Oh give me your mini-me. M.M.: Mine is more just because it acts like me. It get’s horny just at the most inopportune times. L.B.: So you are one? M.M.: We are. That’s my buddy. [Laughs] It goes everywhere with me. J.R.: It looks up to me. M.M.: You see, I’m secure enough in my manhood not to be like I have to call it something of a big reference. It’s my Mini Me. It’s me. It’s not as long as me. ShhGirl!: Do you think guys lie about their penis size? All: No. Naw. L.B.: Ask us if guys even talk to each other about their penis size. M.M.: That’s why you stand one stall away in the bathroom. J.R.: Yeah, you don’t even want to know. I don’t want to know what you’re working with. Nobody’s say Hey dude, I’m working with 3. Well I got 12. It ain’t like that.

Sept. ⎮⎮ 36.5

ShhGirl!: Give me one for a girl that you want to hit for like fifteen minutes and then a girl that you want a relationship with? M.M.: A one night stand depends on how many adult beverages that I have had and where we are. When I used to do one night stands years and years and years ago, it was really just someone who is cute. Someone who was up for having fun and someone who wasn’t restricted in what they were thinking or feeling. L.B.: Signal is huge. If a girl is licking her lips every five seconds then you got the go ahead at that point. [Lorenzo tosses a thumb up]. So it’s all about whether or not you want to do it. ShhGirl!: Let’s talk about orgasms for a second. Do you believe that there are different levels of orgasms. All: [Simultaneously] Yes. M.M.: I’ve had a woman to cry one time. I mean…that’s fake? [His facial expression is saying no] Naw that ain’t fake.

That’s what she said.

Family Amanda Marie

Look, in my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person is still going to think the sun shines out your ass. That's the

Sept. ⎮⎮ 38

kind of person that's worth sticking with. – Juno

The Perfect Mate

In the midst of this little back-and-forth, I realized I kinda sorta liked him. I’d learned his basics: where he grew up, where he went to high school, his major, etc. At first, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of him; he was nothing like any of the guys I’d dated before. With as stellar as all those relationships were – from the guy who tried to convince me that the woman sharing a bedroom with his mom was his aunt to the cheating frat boy following in his alcoholic father’s footsteps – I quickly realized that this could be a very, very good thing. So it's not gonna be easy. It's gonna be really hard. We're gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, for ever, you and me, every day. – The Notebook

It wasn’t just that he was different from those guys – we were different from each other (aside from the obvious ways). I was raised Catholic, lived in St. Louis my entire life, and had only attended private schools. Matt was Lutheran, grew up in Michigan before moving to Missouri and was a “public school boy.” I was more serious and focused where Matt was laidback and laughed constantly. It was a million little differences that, in the early stages of our relationship, worried me.

For our honeymoon, we spent three weeks traveling through Europe. We left with flights and hotel reservations and no real plan. We had to rely entirely on each other as we navigated unfamiliar cities where we didn’t speak the language. On our last stop, Venice, we bought lunch at a small sandwich shop and headed to St. Mark’s Basilica. Touring the basilica, I started to get a headache and feel sick to my stomach. Not long after getting to our hotel, I sent Matt exploring, hoping I’d feel better after a nap. Instead, a mere 20 minutes after he left, I got sick. Violently sick. Did-21-shots-on-your-birthday sick. My new husband came back to our hotel to find me sequestered in the bathroom, refusing to venture more than two inches from the toilet. The next wave came over me and Matt stood outside the bathroom asking if I wanted him to come in. I adamantly refused, but in the midst of the vomit and tears, he came in, held my hair and rubbed my back while I had my head in a lovely Venetian toilet. The “in sickness and health vow” that we’d recently said suddenly felt very real, and at that point, the honeymoon was definitely over.

You're not perfect sport, and let me save you the suspense, this girl you met, she isn't perfect either. But the question is whether or not you're perfect for each other. -- Good Will Hunting


The Perfect Mate

One night after that, several guys in our dorm were engaged in a game called Nerf Wars, which involved running throughout the dorm shooting Nerf darts at each other. Caught in the crossfire, Random Tall Guy shot one in my room – the college equivalent of pulling a girl’s pigtails on the playground. After that, during his frequent stops by my room asking for his dart, I learned his name was Matt. I started looking forward to the little game we were playing. I kept the dart, he kept stopping by.

But in the midst of our relationship, I realized that our differences were actually a good thing. It caused us to challenge one another and to open each other to new experiences. And for almost ten years, our differences are what have kept us going and kept our relationship fresh. I’ve shown him how fabulous musicals can be (well, he tolerates them), and he’s made me appreciate and actually understand college football. His optimism balances my pessimism. His laidback attitude has rubbed off on me, and I’ve helped him become slightly more punctual. He’s come to my church, and I’ve gone to his. He’s encouraged me to venture outside my comfort zone. We have different tastes in music, but we always manage to find some that’s common ground. We’ve traveled to Europe, partied in Vegas and drank hurricanes on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras.

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My junior year of college, I’d seen this really tall guy walking through the halls of my dorm, but I didn’t pay attention to him until a random weekday at 2 a.m. He was sitting in the hallway of my dorm, laughing and talking with a group of guys. I had to step over his long legs on my way to the bathroom after a long night of studying for a sociology exam. Needless to say, I wasn’t looking my best, nor was I impressed with him. It was late, I was tired and these guys were loud.

Family Adrianne Nichole

Date Your Husband


V shows like Bridezillas, Say

Yes to the Dress, My Fair Wedding and Platinum Weddings would have

Sept. ⎮⎮ 40

you believe that every little girl obsessively fantasizes about her wedding day. I’m sorry to break it to you, but that is a myth! I can say that because I was not one of those little girls. My adulthood dreams centered around driving cars, being an author, traveling around the world, staying up as late as I wanted and having ice cream for breakfast. I didn’t give any thought to who might be experiencing all of those things beside me. Well, I take that back—I assumed I’d have a least one pet.

So no one was more surprised than me when after spending a fantastic chunk of my 20s ferociously mingling, I managed to find someone worth dissolving the dating rotation for who was willing to ignore my many idiosyncrasies and jump the broom with me (hereafter referred to as The Roommate). I speak metaphorically because after only two weeks of trying to plan a David Tuteraworthy soirée, I reached a breaking point. That weekend, fresh marriage license in hand, we hightailed it down to the Jackson County courthouse and made it official. Later that weekend as we “honeymooned” in the ‘burbs, we hand-crafted notes informing our loved ones that we were married and to not bother us for the next few days!

Date Your Husband continued

Be Open to Trying New Things Mixed martial arts makes you cringe and you’d rather rip your toenails off than watch another testosteronefueled flick? Suck it up! Make a quick mental list of all the things you enjoy that your spouse endures: opera, your vampire fantasies, Ghost Whisperer. After you thank him profusely, sit back and observe how sexy he is when he’s fired up watching men pound the crap out of each other. And then make good use of those endorphins immediately! Besides, taking participating in the things he loves helps you discover something new about your spouse. Contrary to popular belief, men are multi-layered and wonderfully complex creatures. They need to know that you are willing to support them and their interests. Keeping Up Appearances Start by looking at yourself in the mirror right now. How’s the hair? Did you brush your teeth today? How long have you been wearing those pajama bottoms? I’m all about having a positive body image, no matter the size or shape, so please don’t think that I’m suggesting you do something drastic to yourselves in order to emulate some unrealistic beauty standard. Your man chose you just the way you are for a reason, and I would lay bets that it was at least partly due to how you looked. The Roommate tells me all the time that he’s shallow and wouldn’t be with me if he didn’t think I was cute. So it is important to stay mindful of how you present yourself each day. Think about how much time and care you put into your presentation when you were dating and the hotness you exuded. Did you wear makeup or perfume? Pluck your eyebrows? Make sure your knees and elbows weren’t ashy? Why should that stop now? Feeling positive about your appearance leads to super-sexy confidence. Believe me, your spouse will notice when you start dangling that carrot. If anything, he may take a cue from you and start sprucing himself up too lest you start looking elsewhere! So ladies, I really try to keep marriage advice to a minimum, so hopefully I haven’t come off like one of those “smug marrieds” that Bridget Jones despised. But in my house, the way to keep a marriage running smoothly is two-fold: If you have to fight, fight naked. And don’t forget to date your husband.

Sept. ⎮⎮ 41

So now what? The build-up to the wedding can often lead directly to a post-marital letdown. After months, sometimes years, of planning and basking in the super-bright spotlight, many women say “I do” and are left wondering what’s next. Remember those pesky vows? Please keep those in mind as the days go by. In theory, you meant those words. If it turns out you didn’t mean them, please acknowledge that immediately and seek counseling. Maybe it can still be fixed. If not, give it up and turn it loose! Everyone will be much happier in the end. But I digress. Date who? Your husband, silly. The one you drove your friends crazy talking about, lusted over, the chief architect of your fantasies. Just the sound of his name made your stomach do a back handspring. Most of us are all about the chase and once that adrenaline wears off, something has to sustain it. With work, social and family obligations, it’s very easy to lose sight of your spouse. But if you keep in mind what attracted you—and hopefully stillattracts you—it’s easy to make those feelings more than a distant memory. So how do you do it? Schedule Time Together This is handy for any couple, whether you have children or not. The Roommate and I don’t have kids, so everyone assumes that there is ample free time to connect. That is not the case! Believe me, your time quickly fills with stuff that has little or nothing to do with your spouse and before you know it, you haven’t had a meaningful talk in forever. It could be a certain time that you check in with each other during the day, or scheduling some “gardening” (that’s code for getting busy) on a certain day of the week, but you must make time for the two of you alone. I cannot stress that enough. Those crumbcrushers that call you Mama and Daddy will be all right! Your girl NeNe’s latest work drama can wait! Do not allow anyone to intrude on your private time. Write it down if you have to or put it in the techie gadget of your choice, but respect and value that time like any other appointment you would make. Staying emotionally connected is critical and, according to marriage counselor, M. Gary Neuman (author of The Truth About Cheating), one of the ways to “affair-proof” your marriage.

Family Carol Faye

Sept. ⎮⎮ 42



On the Men in My Life Reflect--to reflect--reflection. To look back over ones life to see if anything was learned, gained or lost--to see what’s useful to you and what’s so not useful.

One of the flashbacks that occupied my thoughts the most was when my dad used to preach to me, “No young person has any business in the streets partying after midnight!” Being a teenage girl with a social agenda, I pushed the envelope by saying “Anything that I can do before midnight I can do after midnight!” His standard answer was, “You better not!” I was an obedient child so I was home by whatever time I was told. However, obedience has its limits. One night I came home literally one minute late, with my father waiting at the door for me. “Where were you?” he commanded. When I squeaked out that I had been at a party, he was adamant,”No party has ever been that good to make you late!” Several months ago, my husband and I made a call to the hospital, visiting the sister of a young lady who attends our church. She and her date were out one Thursday evening enjoying the Kansas City night life. They were leaving a bar when it closed between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. Several people that were not well-meaning robbed and beat the couple severely. They were found in the early morning hours lying unconscious, and were taken to the hospital. It was well after 11:00 a.m. when the hospital could identify them. Families had to be notified and treatments had to be administered. The young lady had to have surgery. Her face was very badly bruised and swollen. She looked horrible, but fortunately she was not as bad as she looked! She had blood around her finger nails and her ears were bloody from the impressions of her earrings while being beaten. Thinking about this young woman made me recall my father’s words and strict rules. I did not understand nor appreciate my dad’s request to be home at a specific time. Out of respect for my dad, staying out until 2:00 a.m. has never been a choice of things to do. Now I get it. I did not have the opportunity to say thank you to my dad for caring for me and wanting me to be safe! I am thankful for those parameters he set, eve n if I didn’t understand it at the time. The physical scars may fade, the emotional scars are damaging for that lady, and because of my father, I was spared both.

How many times have you heard that it is different raising boys and girls? I have heard it all my life and believe me it is! God blessed me with this beautiful baby girl! My husband and I were so excited! We were so proud of her, her grandparents doted on her! Strangers stopped to look at this beautiful baby! She grew up and everyone that knew her knew she was special. We had no problems raising her. She was quiet for the most part. She always wanted to be read to and that was perfectly fine. Nine years later, here comes little brother! He also was a beautiful baby, the grandparents were crazy about him and so was everyone else. BUT He always had an agenda, always something in his hands to keep him busy! He often times found it, like touching his hand to the hot oven and having to be rushed to the doctor. The whole bottom part of his hand was burnedthe doctor put his hand and arm in a big bucket of ice water so that it would blister! The joy he felt the day his blister burst! That burn healed with no scarring at all. In kindergarten, my son called 911 at about 1:30 a.m. I heard him say, “My Mommy is not coming to the phone, she is in bed!” I got up and had to explain to the operator that he had just learned this in school, and wanted to see if it really worked. She forgave us, and fortunately, did not dispatch patrol. Needless to say, parenting a boy is a lot different than parenting a girl. Girls make you get prayerful and boys wear your knees off from being on them so much! As women, we are defined by many attributes, but we would not be what we are without the reflection of the men in our life; good or bad. What they have to offer, or the lack thereof, teaches us how to be daughters, mothers, wives, and sisters at the same time. Though some women may not want to admit it, we are what we are because of how we perceive the men in our life, and what they mean to us.

Reflection on the Men in My Life continued

After many hours of reflection, I had many thoughts. Some comical and some not so comical… actually some thoughts were very painful.

On My Son

Sept. ⎮⎮ 43

On My Father


Sept. ⎎⎎ 44

Phire Capri


A Poem

From conception to birth, he's bestowed a mighty duty given by The Father himself, the pillar of a child's emotional health the nucleus of the nuclear family the provider of stability to teach, protect and provide for thee He is the patriarch..... Father See, so much of what they do will ultimately start with you Today I give props, to you pops, who may not know exactly where to start but I'm sure it does somewhere deep within your heart that which forever changes a man a purpose that extends beyond that of his own he sees through their innocence and in a sense the chance to finally make wrongs right to face his own life's plight See mothers position is naturally given cuz you know, it's mama's baby and daddy's maybe but.... Father is truly a decision he makes a sacrifice made for the greater generational good in hopes that his seed will reap two fold of what he has to add to life by way of what is within his grasp for future boys to become men to be outstanding as Dads to exemplify humility, confidence and Gods capability.....

Fathers A Poem continued Sept. ⎎⎎ 45

Father today's may not be the classic Ward Cleaver he may be puttin in the work by silent voice on the heels of a poor relationship choice where mama knew but didn't do what she was called to and he must be.... Father Or he could be a man after my own heart steppin in to fill a gap in a needing child's life cuz the natural daddy won't step up and do what he knows is right for his own but he says , "this baby won't go without" and the child now knows what being selfless and what Godly love is about Makin it look effortless, hidden from the masses seen with no rose colored glasses no time for women in the clubs shaking their asses his mission is different, veraciously all that is saucy flossy bossy..... Father Cuz what is he doin? raisin babies, lil Ms. Ladies I'm talkin very little sleep workin overtime so his kids can eat and showing up first for that sporting event and talking with his child infusing confidence when life tells him he isn't measuring up and other kids hit em with cruel words like "you suck" he steps in to inspirit THE highest influence next to God's his is unparalleled in powerfulness I'm talking, taking time to teach his baby boy you're still a man when you cry and that women will respect you more if you come with truth and not lies and telling his daughter she must love herself first to withstand all the knuckleheads who only want what's under her skirt never mind that cuz we all know how fathers react to their little girls and when the boys approach he'll be sitting on the porch...with his rifle and his shells THESE are the truly admirable men who see the grand scheme of things who face like warriors all that raising the youth brings and believe me, it ain't all pretty..... Putting up with bullshit off the immature counterpart with which they lied or maybe there WAS love at first but as we know, that love can die but he sees past it, cuz all he can think of is his little one and their care and how hurt they'd be if they came home one day and he wasn't there

Fathers A Poem continued Sept. ⎎⎎ 46

and so he stays and tries to hide the worries his face wears but only damages himself emotionally suppressing his own feelings for family..... YEP!! Somebody feels me.....we've seen it countless times worthless women out here spoiling good men for us true dimes Fathers and in his free time he still thinks of them first and every Sunday you'll find him in church because he believes life's mystery and key to longevity starts with he he knows his example will be the one they look to to see in any any situation what a real man is to do he understands the impact of his responsibility and honors commitment The captain of his ship and he takes no shit tired with is own issues he goes on anyway, day to day for his lady?...... maybe.... but most certainly for his babies he can be found in the pull pit, on the job site, in the daycare, in the kitchen but always, with his children and the smartest of woman know that instead of chasin that superficial brother, checkin for dollas, trynna holla on some worldly, materialistic tip the man with the most riches finds his worth not in what he owns women he sleeps with or to how many he's known he is impressed by seeing his child act out a lesson he taught, for these are the rewards that can never be bought knowing that his imprint is genetically stamped within the seed he planted Ladies...This is NOT the brotha you wanna take for granted HE is the man your heart seeks..... I've gotten a glimpse of the type of father my man will be and I have to be honest that it made him even more attractive to me to see him love my kids as an extension of the love he feels for me shows me he is in the world, but not of the world simply he knows God's expectation as first created head of the body head of the family head of the household There's nothing sexier than a man that loves his kids so go out and tell a Father today, some of what I just did that you see and love all the ways he holds life down for his own that as much as mother's do, we can't do it all alone Every Queen needs her King to balance her out dutifully and together we produce family by choice Copyright2009 One Love. One Life. One Identity.

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Women Vs. Men Quiana Darcell

Wandering Eyes...

Sept. ⎎⎎ 48


hy is it that

I can't stop having

this bad feeling? Every time we pass another woman or he is out alone, I wonder what he could be doing. When he picks up his phone, I wonder who he is texting or who is calling him. Is it because I am jealous beyond control or maybe it is the things that I try to look past? Or is it that his wandering eye is out of control? Ladies I know it is not just me! We all have a bit of jealousy in us (even if it isn't about another woman). I recognize men look at other women, just as we notice other men. Where is the line drawn, though? There are just certain things that we cannot allow for our man to do; so when is looking but not touching too much?

3) Work- we all have to work, and we often build relationships with coworkers. But a work relationship is just that; a working relationship. So when your man has to work with a woman on a project and she just happens to be a beautiful, educated, hard working woman, don’t go into jealous mode. As long as your man keeps that relationship professional it is ok. But if he starts to work late nights, and often mentions long lunches with her then...VIOLATION…looking may be too much. The most important thing to remember when dealing with the wandering eye is that you must have confidence in yourself and in your relationship. If you know that you have a good man and he has never given you a good reason to believe otherwise, you should not worry about his eyes. God gave us eyes to see and if you see the woman you have to know that he will too. He can look all he wants but he belongs to you and you belong to him. When he touches, he is touching you. Stay secure in knowing that his love for you is greater than her outside appearance. Just keep an eye on how long his eye lingers!

Sept. ⎮⎮ 49

2) Men will be men- there are occasions such as a bachelor party where your man might go to the strip club. As we all know for some reason men take this last night as a bachelor seriously. But if your man goes above and beyond and cops a little feel on the dancer, then…VIOLATION…he's gone too far. Yes, the right parts may be hanging out, but he should know that there is a line that just shouldn't be crossed.

Wandering Eyes continued

1) You're walking in the store with your boo and a beautiful woman is walking past you. If you notice that she is beautiful, don't fault your man for noticing as well. But if moments later he walks away from you in the direction of that beautiful woman for more than a second glance...VIOLATION...he has taken looking too far!

Women Vs. Men Phire Capri

“He Did It!” The Blame Game

“H Sept. ⎮⎮ 50

e did it!” Sounds like the statement my son makes when trying to avoid trouble! Speaking

of trouble…that leads me to a topic every woman can internalize and analyze. When relationships end, when we are hit with tough blows in life, we are not always left in the most desirable predicament. Maybe we have experienced loss, our significant left us for another, cheated on us, has some sort of addiction, was emotionally (or God forbid) physically abusive, is not emotionally available, abandoned his children financially and emotionally…the list goes on. So many things can happen that make you feel victimized by your circumstance. Robbed, cheated and cast out. Many of us have this varied, but similar experience and carry the residual effects with us in our daily life. Nevertheless, ladies, we have to do better! We must claim what is ours and let go of what is not. We were not born angry, bitter, envious, discouraged, worrisome or selfish. These attributes are not to live within us. They are toxic and change the natural state of our personalities. The point is we cannot change what has happened by chance, or at the hands of the men in our lives. So, STOP BLAMING MEN! We must always claim our own and be accountable for what we do and what is taking root in us. We can only change our own behavior. We cannot give others power over us, fueling the very fires we want to put out! When we are unable to move forward past the hurt inflicted upon us, it has a backfire effect in our daily lives, leaving us crippled, preventing us from being our authentic selves—the beautiful beings we were created to be.

“Never put off till tomorrow, what you can do today.” Thomas Jefferson advised us of this long ago, and today, I present it again, for placement in the recesses of your mind. What are you blaming on the men who hurt and disappointed you? What’s your excuse? Whose fault is it really?

We create our own happiness and truly different things make different people happy. In the end though, we only have one life to live, one attempt to get to where we want to be in life. Having said that, I am not blind to the notion that sometimes our circumstances make it hard to make moves. I get it. So many of us take the easy route because it is just that, easier. Everything that’s worth having is worth working for and why not work toward what makes you feel good from the inside out, using what you have inside of you, to get what you want. I encourage you to set your dreams ablaze! Make moves to position yourself if only one small step at a time for healing. Every time you find yourself blaming him for where you are in your life, stop! Look down and see that while the long finger is pointing his way, the other three are pointing right back at you. Yes, it is cliché, but so true. When it’s all said and done, when our days expire, there will be no one to blame for our lack of happiness, no one to pass off our lack of action on, except ourselves. Indeed, it always takes two to tango, but only one can lead! Lead your life, make your peace and keep it moving to a happier you. Remind yourself, sis, that the same people who we allow to keep us as emotional prisoners have long since moved on! Ain’t that something?

Be Strong. Be Encouraged. Be Love.

Sept. ⎮⎮ 51

I pose all these questions to you in an attempt to get you to examine you and all the ways you could be excusing your behavior, blaming men and everyone else for what happens to you, looking at everyone and everything, except you. Whatever that man did to you, however you have been hurt, challenged, broken up, beaten up by life…remember, you’re still the one in the driver’s seat! Whatever it is, I challenge you to give it up, turn it loose, (like En Vogue says)! Change it up! After you ask yourself how the path you’re walking on is working for you. If it’s not working, change the path. Re-structure your world for what makes you be your best. Do the best with what you have and understand that you have made it! You’re still here. Breathing. Living. Learning. Loving.

“He Did It” The Blame Game continued

Are you full of excuses, wasting energy, looking to everyone else to make you happy? To supplement your goals? To heal you, help you? Are you just going through the motions of life, not passionate about anything, blaming everyone, just mad at the world?

Women Vs. Men


From Both A Man & Woman’s Perspective

Sept. ⎮⎮ 53


The Woman’s Perspective Tahmeka Michelle


Sept. ⎎⎎ 54

he Black community has chosen sides on the interracial dating topics and either side refuses to

budge. Those that are opposed to interracial dating have sited every reason from loyalty to our race to outright fear of the social repercussions of dating a non black person. Then there are those of us who see no problem with interracial relationships. We say love those who love you, see past color, don't knock it until you try it. Books have been written, movies have been made, songs have been recorded. The conversation has been had in classrooms, around coffee house tables, and on our favorite social media sites. Like abortion, the death penalty, and euthanasia, the topic of interracial relationships is a controversial topic that has no resolution or room for compromise. This topic needs to die. This topic is messy. This topic is painful. As a Black woman who has had more interracial relationships than relationships with Black men, I have always been fascinated by the discourse this matter brings. Not so much the act of dating outside of one's race, but the emotions that rise to the surface when the subject is brought up in conversation or when a mixed race couple is seen holding hands on the street. The conversation in the Black community has been a mixed bag of anger, confusion, curiosity, betrayal, and ignorance. We see the other races, specifically Whites, as either threats or trophies. And this is where the discussion gets disturbing. There is a belief that the non-Black partner in an interracial relationship is either savior or villain (or in my experience he is either saving me from something or using me for some reason). If a Black woman is dating a White man it must be because she's had her heart broken one too many times by Black men and she's given up and thrown herself over the color line. And should a Black man decide he wants to date Asian women, he must hate himself, his mama, his hair... The interracial relationship conversation that takes place in the Black community has dehumanized the non Black partner, turned them into caricatures therefore making it difficult to have an honest discussion on the topic. Andrea (not her real name), a close friend of mine, has strong opinions about dating outside of the Black race. She would sooner date a fish than a White man. Her opposition stems from her belief that White men who date Black women are fetishists whose preference for Black women is akin to a foot or latex fetish. Andrea exhausts me. A relative of mine, Dawn, believes that White women who prefer Black men are doing it for no other reason than to piss off Black women. She thinks that White women believe that they are superior to Black women, so they "take" our men because they know that they can. Yes, Dawn is serious. There are more:

The Woman’s Perspective


"I can't date Whites because I would always be thinking about how White people have treated us in the past." "I think she's only dating him to piss off her parents." "He must have good credit." This debate needs to die. Like any other controversial topic, the arguments get thin and ignorant when we take out the "human" factor, when we are so focused on points and counterpoints and being right, that we lose sight of the fact that we are talking about people. We have focused too much on the "interracial" and not enough on the "relationship" in this discussion. It's easy to paint a White woman as an enemy who is taking all of the good men and could never love him through the trials and struggle and pain of being a Black man in this country. Or to paint a White man as a villain who only wants to "try" a Black woman and experience her mythical sexual prowess but can never really love and appreciate her physical attributes, her passion, her strength, or most importantly, her intelligence. This debate needs to end because we have taken love out of the equation and made caricatures of those that are non Blacks in order to assuage our fears and strengthen our resolve against letting the other race love our brothers and sisters as much as we do.

The Man’s Perspective

Anthony Charles


should it? There are many different misperceptions of interracial dating. This has dated back to the early years where families didn’t approve of it nor did they accept it. These were the times where children were bred not to date outside of their race, and if they did, they were looked down upon. I was one of those children. Well fortunately those times are over. The year is 2010 and interracial dating is alive and in full throttle! These days Blacks are dating Whites, Asians are dating Mexicans, and, well, you pretty much get the idea. Frankly, I couldn’t care less. No one should ever be judged by the color of his or her skin. I’ve dated Blacks, Asians, Whites, and Hispanics. I’ll admit, they were all different in their own little ways. Some were a bit crazier than others. Some never met my standards in the kitchen. Some didn’t vibe well with the family. I guess it’s safe to say I’m pretty experienced with this whole interracial dating thing. I personally don’t have a preference. Some may beg to differ, but it’s the truth.

Sept. ⎮⎮ 55

n the words of the late great Michael Jackson, “It doesn’t matter if your Black or White.” And why

The Man’s Perspective


Sept. ⎮⎮ 56

I’m sure all you ladies out there want to know why “brothers” date outside of their race. My answer is simple. I want a woman who is faithful, honest, generous, God-fearing, respectful, independent, loving, and caring. If you can give me that, the color of your skin could be yellow (even though jaundice isn’t a good look). I have never been the type of guy to assume that a woman cannot satisfy my needs based on the color of her skin. I’ll try anything at least once. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I think that most interracial dating is prevalent due to people like myself; the people who were told not to cross “the fence.” My grandmother is one of the sweetest ladies I know, but, unfortunately for me, she was raised with a different ideology that she thought was right, passing it on to me. She always told me, “You can date’em. Just don’t bring em to my house.” I can’t fault granny. She didn’t really understand. As time went on granny got the picture. My generation is doing the exact opposite of what it was raised to avoid. We live in a world full of curious folk. People want to explore things that they have never had before. The same goes for relationships. We venture out to different ethnicities to understand our world. I think it’s a good thing. Looking at the past, we as a society have come a long way. Years ago we were not allowed to drink from the same water fountain. Now two people of different ethnic backgrounds can be wed in holy matrimony (or at the least, bump uglies without getting roped up). People are becoming more accustomed to seeing interracial dating. You see it on TV, at the grocery store. You even see it at church. There are still some that are prejudice against it. A few years ago I was dating a woman outside of my race. It was her first experience with someone of a different ethnicity. Her family always made me feel comfortable, and I felt comfortable around them because I know how to adapt to my surroundings. They smiled in my face, laughed at my jokes, even bought me a birthday gift. Come to find out through a very reliable source, they could not stand my ass! The whole time we were together they only put on a front to see their daughter happy. Turns out they wanted to see her with a person of the same ethnicity. I was devastated to find out this information. I actually liked the fam. (As a heads up, pay close attention to the family. It could save you a lot of trouble). Clearly, the influence of family and societal expectations are overwhelming factors for a mixed couple. Once those barriers are broken, it is evident that it’s not about the color of skin, but the content of the character. Or at least how well they get down in the kitchen. Regardless, I advise that you keep an open heart. That person of color could wind up being your lover.


Flyyy-Errr Sits down with ShhGirl! An interview with Erron Jay

Sept. ⎮⎮ 57

Cristin Noel


t’s a surreal feeling, sitting across from your childhood friend, recanting old memo-

ries, mutual friends that aren’t so mutual to either party, and laughing at forgotten pranks. The feeling is more surreal when the childhood friend is a big-time Hollywood actor and this isn’t just buddies reliving old times. We are sitting in one of our old classrooms in our old high school. Erron has just given a speech to the student body of Hickman Mills High School on the last day. Students and teachers are excited to meet “that guy from the Flyyy-Errrr” commercial. I’m excited to talk with my friend.

Sept. ⎮⎮ 58

Erron Jay (his professional name) grew up in south Kansas City. Reared by his single mother (dad split when he was two months), Erron had room and freedom to be the dynamic person he is. In high school, Erron was often slighted for roles in plays and musicals because the drama teacher didn’t think he fit many of the parts offered. That might have been the case, but the sting of rejection propelled Erron to continue to pursue what his heart knew was right for him: acting.

Upon graduation from high school, E.J. (as his friends call him) went to what is now know as Missouri State, and learned the craft and art of theater. Earning a bachelor’s degree, Erron moved to Chicago and was accepted in to the prestigious DePaul university, finishing his master’s degree. Getting small bites of fame while facing a tough Chicago economy, Erron’s mentor suggested he make the big jump to La La Land. Mr. Shaw is best known as Mr. Flyyy-Errrr from the AT&T commercials, as well as his VH1 portrayal of The Notorious B.I.G. Get to know Erron on a personal level.

SG: Tell us about your move to Hollywood. Erron Jay: Moving to L.A. with little to no resources, having to sleep in my car and on and off couches for five months was a struggle. If you popped the trunk of my ’01 Pontiac Grand Am, you could see I had my clothes set up like a closet. Good nights were when I slept on friend’s couch. I often showered in community centers. SG: How did you get out of your car? Erron Jay: I got a regular job. I worked at AAA (insurance) from 11:00 p.m. to 7:45 a.m. with mandatory overtime. It was a relatively easy job, but one of the most stressful in my life. My mom used to call and say, “Come home. We’ll paint the room!” I haven’t lived in Kansas City since I was 18, and I have no intention to do so now. No offense. SG: None taken. Let’s talk relationships. Ever been in love? Erron Jay: Dang. You just go right for it.

SG: Wow…so are you looking for love? EJ: No, I don’t think you can look for love. I’m so career-oriented right now. My career is my wife right now. SG: How has this acting thing affected dating or relationships? EJ: I have to approach relationships differently now because of my profession. There is a lot of conversation before anything progresses. I really need to know what they are going to bring to the table, what they are about. I’m all about being friends with someone first before a relationship happens.

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SG: Yes. Now answer. EJ: Yes. Once. She cheated on me three times with three different guys. We were in a long distance relationship. I was planning on visiting her at Thanksgiving, and I was going to propose. I had saved up, asked her father for permission, everything. Two weeks prior to coming, she called me up and told me she had cheated on me with three different guys.

SG: Are you seeing anyone? EJ: I was kind of talking to this one girl, but it’s not going to work out. I’m a Midwestern boy, and I respect old people. She curses at her mother, and my mother and I have such a close relationship. I can’t imagine telling my mother to “fuck off” or “eat an ass”. She curses too much. Sometimes I think she’s like a dude. She’s really obsessive. Two worst things in a woman; lack of self esteem, and the other is possessiveness. Don’t send me a lot of texts. SG: So what are you attracted to? EJ: A woman’s back. I mean, their actual back. Humans hold a lot of stuff in their backs, so if I see a woman standing up straight with a strong back, I know she’s a strong woman. SG: And what size shoe do you wear? EJ: Ha. A 14. I also opt for boxer briefs. And reverse cowgirl. SG: Okay, okay. We’re off that subject now. If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing? EJ: Teaching college, but teaching theatre. (At this point, Erron corrects my typing of theater to theatre explaining the difference between the two. Turns out, it’s a matter of semantics, but those involved in stage productions tend to prefer theatre…a bit snobby, eh?) I do like singing, and I would love to sing.

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SG: What’s important to you? EJ: My mother. My faith is very important to me. Favorite scripture is Matthew 22:14. Look it up. SG: Duly noted. Since you’re Mr. Flyyy-Errrr, what makes someone fly? EJ: How you carry yourself. Having your own personal style. You don’t have to have money, you just have to look like you do. And it’s not just having clothes, but a personal belief. SG: What does life look like at 40 for you? EJ: I will have a family. I will be in a position to afford having a family, and not having to worry about anything when it comes to providing a high quality of life for them. I will have the option to choose what I want to do, versus having to do stuff to put myself out there. That’s my life. I’ll be there in ten years.


A Day in the life…. Through Music Name: Mykael C. Wright

Leaving for work Everybody's Working for the Weekend - Loverboy

* Photos taken by Kimberly Wright

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Age: 29 Relationship Status: Married Favorite Song: "The Fire" by The Roots feat. John Legend Words to live by: "Carpe Diem" Most Embarassing Moment: Missing a dunk on Senior Night in high school against our cross town rivals. Team I root for: My Mizzou Tigers! (University of Missouri-Columbia) Secret: I have never been to Disney Land and don't plan on going Random (you have some stuff to choose from because I'm weird): Boycotting Wendy's and the movie "Titanic." I wear a different scent of deodorant under each arm (same brand though). My shoe size kept up with my age until my jr year of high school.

Grading Three Nights in Rio (Mucho trabajo poquito dinero) by Wyclef Jean

Computer Sitting on the Dock of the Bay Otis Reading

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Grill Master Summer Time Will Smith

Basketball (photo by Lorissa Richmond)

Video Games Oh My Stars Talib Kweli feat. Musiq

Basketball Kurtis Blow

LifeStyle Emily Loretta



Weren’t made for


“For the love of high heels; just call me Marcos…Imelda Marcos that is…” By Emily Stout


sitting on the porch as I drive down our street and almost slam to a halt before going down our driveway in anticipation of getting my new shoes! I rush inside say “hi!” to our barking doggies and throw the front door open to grab my precious package. I hardly miss a beat as I scoop the package up into my arms. My heart is thudding in my chest, my palms are getting clammy, my breath is coming in short gasps, and my head is spinning with the glorious visions of these shoes on my feet. I finally get to the kitchen counter and grab a knife to cut through the tape and packaging material, I pull the top of the box back and there they are, tucked securely in tissue, awaiting my hands to bring them into the light and onto my feet. Angels sing *Hallelujah* as I pull the first shoe out and inhale deeply…Mmmmmmm….the smell of new high heels…there’s nothing better in this world. I gently caress each one as I bring them out of the box. I check them over for nicks and defects as any mother would check her children for cuts and bruises. Feeling satisfied they are in pristine condition I slip them onto my feet….ahhhh, pure nirvana. I strut around the room trying them out; and start dreaming up the outfits I will wear these with. Oh the FUN we will have, me and my new shoes, how I love thee!

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t arrived today, the package I’ve been waiting for with bated breath from I see it

My husband comes home from a long grueling day at work and I greet him in my new shoes. A smile playing on his lips and with his eyebrows raised he takes one look and says “Nothin’ better than a pair of heels on a pretty lady.” This statement made me wonder;* why* do men love high heels? So I thought I would ask some of my gentlemen friends why they liked high heels on women and the general consensus was this...

“Love them! It lengthens the legs and entire body and I think it makes a woman more confident which then has a trickle-down effect on everything...just looks super sexy.”

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So ponder this if you will fellow shoe lover, who are you buying the shoes for? Yourself, your husband, your boyfriend? Or is it in pursuit of *the* perfect pair of heels, or having more than you know what to do with? Whatever the case may be, it’s a wonderful love affair to nurture don’t you think? Growing up my father called me Imelda Marcos, and continues to do so to this day. Are you familiar with Imelda Marcos? She is best known for having over 3000 pairs of shoes. I’m sorry, excuse me?? Did you say THREE THOUSAND PAIRS OF SHOES?! Oh Mamma wants a new closet! I can’t even imagine it, the scope, the immensity of it all…wow! I may need a minute here. Ladies; I don’t know about you but I know I’m a bonafied shoe-whore and my collection doesn’t even come close to hers.

People think that I have a large collection of shoes and quite possibly among my circle of friends I just might…but up against *the* Imelda Marcos? I don’t stand a chance nor will I ever soar that high. I just can’t resist new shoes, mostly high heels, but all types for sure. They call to me, caress me with their looks, and then yet some challenge me, even *dare* me to come and get them…and I do. Wedges, Peep-toe Pumps, Platform, Wrap up the leg, Flip-flops, 5” stiletto’s that you can only be comfortable in for 30min but they’re so *hawt* you just have to get them! Boots of all styles; round toe, pointy toe, calf high, knee high, stiletto heels, square heel, you name it and I’ll take it; Sandals, Espadrilles, Kitten Heels galore, Sling-backs, Slip-ons, and Ballet flats to name some more. Leopard prints, animal skins, leather, synthetics, satin, canvas, jeweled up, nice and basic, patterns, solids, all the colors of the rainbow. In the end it doesn’t matter what they’re made of or what they look like because one of us is going to fall in love with them and take them home until the next one comes calling. *all pictures courtesy of*

LifeStyle Jen Kim


Body Parts Men Love


like to think that the majority of the attraction is based upon our amazing personalities, we all know that our physical appearance is a large factor. Men have different preferences as to what physical characteristics they like. However, being physically fit and tone definitely doesn’t hurt. Being physically fit not only looks good, but it tends to improve a woman’s confidence and selfimage. This can also be a turn-on for guys. When men are asked what body parts they love about women, the #1 and #2 answers are usually sexy legs and a nice butt. Chest (the boobies!), arms, and abs follow closely behind. In my opinion, women should make physical activity a priority to improve our health and wellness, relieve stress, and to increase our confidence and selfimage. We should also want to please our men so that they have something good to look at! We want our men to keep in shape and looking good for us, so it’s only fair to return the favor. With that being said, here are a number of exercises that target the body parts men love. Check out the pictures showing each exercise as well as step-by-step instructions on how to properly perform them. Let’s all make physical activity a priority and an everyday part of life!

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here are a lot of things that attract men to women. Even though most of us would

Squats Targets: Legs and butt Step 1: Start with your feet shoulder width apart and arms straight out in front of you. Step 2: While keeping your head up and your back straight, bend your knees and lower your butt as if you are sitting in a chair. Step 3: Using your legs and butt, slowly come back up to standing position. Step 4: Repeat the cycle over again. Suggested cycle: 3 sets of 12, with 30 seconds in between each set

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Jumping Lunges Targets: Legs and butt Step 1: Start with feet together, standing up straight, head up looking forward, arms to your side. Step 2: Jump and bring right leg forward into a lunge, left leg behind with knee 1-2 inches from the ground. Keep your back straight, head up, with left arm up in running position and right arm slightly behind you. Step 3: Jump and alternate arms and legs. Step 4: Repeat the cycle over again. Suggested cycle: 3 sets of 10, with 1 minute in between each set

Side leg Raises Targets: Legs, butt, hips Step 1: Start on your hands and knees. Step 2: Keeping left leg on the ground, bend your right knee at a 90 degree angle and raise it up so that your right knee is pointing out. Step 3: Repeat cycle on same leg. Step 4: Switch legs: keeping right leg on the ground, bend your left knee at a 90 degree angle and raise it up so that your left knee is pointing out. Step 5: Repeat cycle on same leg. Suggested cycle: 3 sets of 12 with each leg


Step 1: Start on your hands and knees. Step 2: Keeping left leg on the ground, bend your right knee at a 90 degree angle and raise it up to hip level. Step 3: Keeping your knee bent, raise your right heel up in the air and slowly bring back down to hip level. Step 4: Repeat cycle on same leg. Step 5: Switch legs: keeping right leg on the ground, bend your left knee at a 90 degree angle and raise it up to hip level. Keeping your knee bent, raise your left heel up in the air and slowly bring back down to hip level. Step 6: Repeat cycle on same leg. Suggested cycle: 3 sets of 12 with each leg.


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Upper leg Raises Targets: Legs, butt, hips

Straight leg Raises Targets: Legs, butt, hips Step 1: Start on your hands and knees. Step 2: Keeping left leg on the ground, straighten your right leg and raise it up to hip level. Step 3: Keeping your leg straight, raise your leg up in the air and slowly bring back down to hip level. Step 4: Repeat cycle on same leg. Step 5: Switch legs: keeping right leg on the ground, straighten your left leg and raise it up to hip level. Keeping your leg straight, raise your leg up in the air and slowly bring back down to hip level. Step 6: Repeat cycle on same leg. Suggested cycle: 3 sets of 12 with each leg

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Hip Raises Targets: Legs, butt, hips Step 1: Start by lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Your hands should be palms down on the ground at your sides. Step 2: Keeping your shoulders and back on the ground, put your body weight on your heels and push your hips up in the air. Step 3: Slowly bring your hips back down to the ground and repeat cycle. Suggested cycle: 3 sets of 12, with 30 seconds in between each set

Push-ups Targets: Chest, arms

Modified push-ups Targets: Chest, arms Step 1: Start by lying flat on the ground, palms on the ground. Step 2: Keeping your knees on the ground, keep your head down and use your upper body to push up off the ground and lock your elbows. Step 3: Keeping your back flat and butt down, slowly come back down to where your chest is about 1-2 inches from the ground. Step 4: Repeat cycle. Suggested cycle: 3 sets of 12, with 1 minute in between each set.

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Step 1: Start by lying flat on the ground, palms on the ground, and toes on the ground. Step 2: Keeping your head down, use your upper body to push up off the ground and lock your elbows. Step 3: Keeping your back flat and butt down, slowly come back down to where your chest is about 1-2 inches from the ground. Step 4: Repeat cycle. Suggested cycle: 3 sets of 12, with 1 minute in between each set.

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Wall push-ups Targets: Chest, arms Step 1: Start with hands on a wall, forming a diamond with your 2 hands. Step 2: Step back about 2 big steps from the wall and bend your elbows so that your weight is on your upper body. Step 3: Keeping your back straight and head up, extend your elbows and push back. Step 4: Repeat cycle. Suggested cycle: 3 sets of 12, with 30 seconds in between each set.

Crunches Targets: Abs Step 1: Lay flat on back and keep your hands behind your ears with your elbows out to the side. Bend your knees and raise up off the ground at a 90 degree angle. Step 2: Using your abdominal muscles, crunch up toward your knees. Step 3: Slowly lower your body back to the ground, keeping your hands behind your ears and elbows out to the side. Step 4: Repeat cycle. Suggested cycle: 3 sets of 20, with 30 seconds in between each set.

Leg Raises Targets: Abs Step 1: Lay flat on back with hands under your hips. Step 2: Keeping your legs straight, raise them 3 inches off the ground. Step 3: Keeping your legs straight, raise them 12 inches off the ground. Step 4: Slowly bring legs back to 3 inches off the ground. Step 5: Repeat cycle. Suggested cycle: 3 sets of 10, with 1 minute in between each set.

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Single leg crunch Targets: Abs Step 1: Lay flat on back with legs and arms extended out. Step 2: Sit up and bring your right knee towards your chest. Step 3: Extend right leg out and lay back. Step 4: Alternate: sit up and bring your left knee towards your chest. Step 5: Extend left leg out and lay back. Step 6: Repeat cycle. Suggested cycle: 3 sets of 12, with 1 minute in between each set.

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Scissor kicks Targets: Abs Step 1: Lay flat on back with hands under your hips. Step 2: Keep one leg straight and 3 inches off the ground, the other leg straight and raised at about 12 inches of the ground. Step 3: As one leg goes up to 12 inches, other leg lowers to 3 inches. Be sure to keep legs straight through the process. Step 4: Repeat cycle. Suggested cycle: 3 sets of 12, with 1 minute in between each set.

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Inspired ….Reaching Higher LouAnn

The Ultimate Man


very man strives to be or claim to be “Da Man”. Why is that? They have been

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wired to be protectors, providers, and leaders. So they stand as the stud that women are looking for. They make us feel as if they’re capable of giving us that and much more. But many times they fall short of the expectations that have been placed on them. As women, we fail to realize their ability to protect, provide, and lead is limited to their earthly ability.

We must stop pressuring the men in our lives and stop putting all our faith and trust in them. They are earthly men. They cannot be nor fulfill our everything. If we continue to expect and seek after our earthly men, as if they’re the only thing that will complete us, fulfill us, and give us high status in society, we will be disappointed and let down every time. This doesn’t mean we abandon our relationship with the men in our lives. No, it simple means we must place our trust and faith in “The Ultimate Man”—God who can touch and change the heart of our men.

He becomes the man we look to for protection, provides, and leadership. He is the only one to trust and depend on to not fail us. His love is unshakable. It’s genuine and true. And as you depend on God you will be strengthen in your time of weakness. God can give you supernatural confidence, comfort and the capability to deal with and overcome any situation. You need God’s help on your side; there-

Lou Ann Kent is a Christian Life Deign Coach who helps you live the life you desire through her coaching programs, classes, and teachings. Go to to download your Free E-book and audio teaching that can help you live the life you desire.

The Ultimate Man continued

For example, when your man, whether it’s your boyfriend or husband, is messing around with other women and lying to you, he is performing at his earthly ability. So, are we suppose to just pray about it, ignore it, give them a pass, because after all, they’re just men and they can only rise to their earthly ability? No we don’t! Again, we shift our expectations and dependence on “The Ultimate Man” – God.

He becomes the man we look to for protection, provides, and leadership. He is the only one to trust and depend on to not fail us. His love is unshakable. It’s genuine and true. And as you depend on God you will be strengthen in your time of weakness. God can give you supernatural confidence, comfort and the capability to deal with and overcome any situation. You need God’s help on your side; therefore, don’t mess up your commitment to God. So the question becomes “how do we handle our relationship with our men while at the same time relying on God’s inner strength and help”? We must set up boundaries for ourselves. It’s about protecting yourself. Doing what is best for you. Therefore, we must have set standards for ourselves not for our men. It’s time to decide what you will not tolerate in the relationship. Then let the men in your life whether it’s your father, son, husband, or brother know what you are planning to do if they violate the standard and expectation you have set in the relationship. Not what you are going to do to them. But what you’re planning to do for yourself. Set boundaries you know you are capable of following through on. Your firmness and strength to stand up for yourself will build your self esteem and self worth which ultimately teaches others how to treat you. If you fail to make them aware of the boundary you’ve set for yourself, the unacceptable behavior of men will simply continue until they have destroyed your spirit and self worth. Don’t lose who you are trying to make a man act right. Remember, you can’t make him be committed to you. Only his level of commitment to God can determine that.

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Don’t get me wrong. Still have your high expectations of what you desire in your men. Just know they’re only capable of meeting those standards based on their level of commitment to “The Ultimate Man” – God. When their commitment to God is true and authentic, their commitment to you will be true and authentic. How he honors God is how he will honor you. So you can look at the men in your life---father, husband, son, or uncle and determine his level of commitment to you by observing his level of commitment to God. Once you know their level of commitment to God, you know what to expect of them.

Contribute to a Cause

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t ShhGirl! we have been blessed with so much from our supportive network. That’s

why we firmly believe in giving back to the community through philanthropy. In order for us to continue to live in a global society filled with hope and promise for the future, we challenge every reader to “Contribute to a Cause” Giving takes no money, but a lot of heart. What are you giving? Need ideas or suggestions?

Checkout how ShhGirl! is contributing to a cause. Readers! Send in pictures and information to You may be featured in an upcoming issue.

Knowledge. Empowerment. It is the aim of ShhGirl! Magazine to give the empowering tool of knowledge to youth. How are we going to do that? Meet The Pencil Project. The Pencil Project is an initiative for students entering into the 10th-12th grades to gain one-on-one access to mentoring and coaching from professionals. Know a teen interested in media? Marketing? Finance? Public relations? Education? The Pencil Project is their opportunity to get the RIGHT foot in the door by learning from these professionals in a workshop format.

Click on the logo for more details on The Pencil Project

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Students who are selected to The Pencil Project will not only be learning about the industry, but will also be producing and marketing their very own issue of ShhGirl! Teen. In addition, there is an opportunity for participants to apply for an internship with ShhGirl! Magazine. We believe in investing in the abilities of women and children, creating powerful minds and ensuring a stable future.

Contribute to a Cause continued

Midtown Family Activities Center at Harris Park

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The Harris Foundation 4029 Wayne Avenue Kansas City, MO 64110 Tel. (816) 921-0982 Fax. (816) 921-3287

As a budding athlete, Christopher Harris always had a penchant for reaching out to Kansas City’s youth. He turned his athletic abilities into civic leadership, and with support of family, The Harris Foundation was born. Offering programs such as adult men’s basketball, coed volleyball, girl’s and boy’s basketball, and girl’s cheerleading, The Harris Foundation strives to bridge athletic participation with community services to ensure healthy living. Get involved with your local youth organizations.

You Can Advertise Here Find out how by emailing:

Reveal Rebecca Lynn

Livin La Vida Sola Enjoying the Single Life

R Sept. ⎮⎮ 80

icky Martin has Livin’ la Vida Loca. I’ve got my own version: LIvin La Vida Sola. While I am

writing this article, I am sitting in my favorite coffee shop, listening to the new Tom Petty album before tonight’s concert and catching up on email after my week long vacation with some of my best college friends. Doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

Living the single life is all what you make of it. It is not lame unless you let it be that way. According to a statistic from the US Census Bureau in 2008, there are nearly 96 million unmarried Americans, representing roughly 43% of the adult population. Well, that doesn’t sound so bad when you put it in perspective.

Single or not, we can live vicariously through Carrie Bradshaw and the girls in “Sex and the City”. Together, they’ve been through as many relationships as Carrie has Manolo Blahniks. While she may finally have Mr. Big, there is a relationship you may not remember her talking about, “The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous!” That’s the tough part, loving the real you.

For me, I like being the social butterfly. When I moved to St. Louis I decided to start a social networking group for people new to the area. This would allow me to get out and meet new people and check out all the cool things the city had to offer. Then, I could meet people that like the same things I do and grow my social network. I also love field hockey (yes it is really a sport). So, I started emailing around, got on a few listservs, and now this will be my third year as an assistant coach for a high school field hockey team. I love to travel and explore new places. I didn’t think twice about going to Italy with another single friend or taking weekend trips to visit friends throughout the area. Oh, and how can I forget, I am also an avid Mizzou fan who bleeds black and gold and love going to games where I am not alone, but surrounded by thousands of people who share my same enthusiasm for our team.

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Before the DVR era, Meg Ryan gave all women words of wisdom in “You’ve Got Mail”. Her character said she’ll never be happy in life if she doesn’t know what makes her happy first! Well, she did get Tom Hanks in the end of that romantic comedy, but I am still optimistic that I can have my own story book ending as well. While I am waiting for Mr. Right to meet me at the top of the Empire State Building or a closer location like the top of the Arch, I am just living a passionate, full life.

Livin La Vida Sola continued

I have to be honest. I am not against being in a relationship. I don’t want to be the third wheel when I’m with my coupled friends for the rest of my life. just want to live my life. If the options are sitting home alone catching up on DVR or checking out a cool new bar or event with my friends, (and their significant others), I am going to take the later, depending on what is on my DVR. (Just joking! That is why DVR is great…I can do both)..

OK, so some of you may think, Of course she’s single…she doesn’t have any time to date. Though that does cross my mind when I am running all over the place, I am doing what I enjoy, and even if I was in a relationship, these are things I wouldn’t want to give up! Plus, you never know whose path I may cross at that next MU tailgate (probably not a KU fan unless you really believe opposites attract).

Livin La Vida Sola continued

Here are some suggestions from relationship expert Dr. Phil in his book “Love Smart” on what he calls target-rich environment places where you can meet guys: 1. church 2. baseball games 3. sports bars 4. sporting good stores 5. music festivals/concerts 6. art galleries 7. car shows 8. golf courses 9. workplace 10.park

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11.internet 12.gym shop 14.NAME YOUR OWN PASSION!!!! We all know women who are in or have stayed in bad relationships because they just can’t be without a relationship. I would rather be single than stuck in a dead-end relationship preventing me from living my life. Catch me shaking my bon bon.

Mean Girls


Reveal Tahmeka Michelle

confess! I am a social

networking junkie. I love Facebook and I have an unhealthy obsession with Twitter. There is nothing better than catching up with 423 of my friends in a matter of minutes. I love to share my thought, observations, and snark with the people in my little virtual world. The other day, I was on Twitter and someone tweeted the following: Ugly girls with no fashion sense should not be allowed to show their faces. (I'm paraphrasing, but you get the idea). Now we all know that social networking sites are heavily populated by teenagers and everyone knows that teenagers can be cruel. Except in this case, it was written by a woman—a woman approaching 30.

Unfortunately, this behavior has been observed then emulated by regular, working class women. These women say unimaginable things about other people either to their face or using the aforementioned social networking formats as their sounding boards. Insults are hurled and mean comments are spewed with no regard for the impact that they might have on the recipients of these hurtful messages. In other words, grown, tax-paying women with jobs and children and responsibilities are reverting back to adolescent behavior and being reckless with their words for no clear reason. Why are we taking our conflict management cues from Natalie Nunn of The Bad Girls Club? Where did our kindergarten teachers go wrong? Intentionally hurting other people is never cute or funny, especially if you are an adult. It never works in the mean girl's favor; without fail, she comes off like the insecure bully that she probably is, and her victim wins. Forget sexy…can we bring nice back? Let's stop celebrating the tearing down of other human beings for the sake of entertainment. Let's deal with insecurities by working on those areas that are lacking in our lives instead of expending energy pointing out other people's shortcomings.

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The grown up mean girl has become a fixture in our culture. I believe that she is a monster created from reality television and our country's obsession with women who are famous and privileged for no apparent reason. Reality television has brought us Keeping up with the Kardashians, Real Housewives of Atlanta, and The Bad Girls Club. The common thread in these top rated shows: 'characters' that are rude, self-indulgent, and obnoxious. The casts of these shows verbally and sometimes physically tear each other down. They wear their rudeness like a badge of honor and it appears to work in their favor. They get cars, designer clothes, and lavish homes without having to do much of anything but exist and bark orders and insults at others.

Reveal Kyle Ashley


HEYAL Nawl ! One woman’s rant on the world.

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(oh hell no!)


eople have no souls. I’m not talking about absolutely everyone, but I'm speaking in gen-

eral terms. People seem to be devoid of feeling and empathy, unless it benefits them. I like to refer to these people as “God's Table Scraps”. They're useful for something, right? I can't wrap my head around the fact that there are some people who just use others as a means to an end, whatever that end might be. They know their intentions are worth diarrhea baby shit, but still choose to "prey" upon the unsuspecting, and project their bullshit upon others and think that this is OKAY. The good thing about that is the facade will crack sooner or later. Little by little, they will reveal themselves until they're stripped raw, but the sad part is that some of their "prey" will have lost themselves in the process and can't see the forest from the trees. What REALLY grinds my gears is when someone who has hip to the game calls said Table Scrap out on their BS, they'll have one the following reactions: A) they'll become indignant B) they'll try to turn it around on YOU

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C) they’ll admit they're wrong, And will commit to change and then do enough to keep you around and/or stop you from nagging for the time being to recuperate and think of Plan B. I hate that people play a game they are CLEARLY not built for. If you get busted, take your lumps and move on. I'm sure you have more victims out there so if you just lost one, you have more time and energy to mind rape the others. It sucks that people operate this way, but all I ask is this: if you don't have my best intentions at heart, and not everyone will, leave me be. You're not doing me any favors by dealing with me, and I'm sure being able to get away with said Table Scrappish behavior is stroking your ego. But that is not my purpose on Earth. Karma is a bitch who doesn't wear condoms or believe in lube! Roger that! KaYo over and out.

Reveal Phire Capri

Dealing with Divorce


od hates Divorce. I remember

The hurt I speak of is the exact reason God hates divorce so much. He loves us, no matter what, but hates our decision to divorce because he knows families will be broken and people, who once loved each other, will hurt each other in ways that can snowball and have lifelong effects. No one gets married thinking they will ultimately be divorced. We may marry for many reasons, with the highest of hopes and best of intentions, trying our best to make our families work. I know many of us fight our way out, struggle and hold on through years of pain trying to honor marriage. In no way am I saying we should stay in marriages that are abusive or unhealthy. Divorce happens, and in this country, at very high rates. What I am saying is that divorce has residual damage, maybe not as much when there are no children involved, but it influences who we are. We must know that it requires a grieving, healing and growing process in order for our lives to be restored to a healthy, happy, functional state.

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my pastor saying these words to me and my not wanting to receive them. I was held prisoner in my mind by guilt. I have since received wisdom and insight on the topic and realize that what I was feeling was conviction. I needed to acknowledge and examine what my divorce said about my life and how I would resolve this, and move forward. I have since received grace, wisdom and the forgiveness that I needed to move on and recover from the hurts that divorce brings.

Divorce can display the ugliest, most selfish sides of people and it is quite sad for all involved. No one really gets what all they want; you are going to lose something. You may lose many things that are dear to you. You lose time, money, and the most precious relationships in your life. The children are often the most hurt and confused, left to try to figure out adult decisions mentally, and cope in environments they would never want to live in. I remember my daughter saying to me, “Mommy, it just all got messed up. Now you and Daddy don’t live together and it’s just all messed up!” These words from my baby girl cut deep and I have to live with my choice daily and how I will explain to her that though Mommy and Daddy do not live together anymore and may not love each other, we will always love her and her brother and she we will always be her family. I believe two things that I hear Dr. Phil McGraw say on his show all the time. “You can’t give away what you don’t have.” and “Children would rather be from a broken home, then live in one.” Both of these statements were ones that fit my life so I am sure they fit some of yours. I was so unhappy in my marriage; I was becoming toxic in my home, affecting everyone around me negatively. I did not have the right to do that to that sort of damage to my children so despite all my thwarted efforts, I had to say enough. I came to see that with all that mother’s do, if we do not have anything for ourselves, we have nothing to give to those who depend on us on a daily basis. I had lost myself and this had to change! The good news is that there are many lessons to learn from divorce and opportunities to help others avoid the pitfalls that are common in marriage through our shared testimony. It also helps us to be accountable as parents and many times, become more prepared for the spouse we are meant to have in the first place. Additionally, our attention and passion for our families is restored because of the need to help our children adjust and know they are loved, despite it all. We become more accountable to them and to ourselves to be our best in order to make the best of an unfortunate life change.

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I am stronger, wiser, and more aware of my limitations due to my failed marriage. My children have a happier, more fulfilled and available mother. Their father has moved on and is adapting to his changed position in their life but we are still bonded by the best thing we ever did together, our children. I believe that no matter who you are, you will grow from the experience and learn how to get it right because of your wrongs. There is life after divorce, joy that comes in the morning. Our goal as savvy individuals should be to do better when we know better. That, is all anyone can ask of us. Be blessed. Today and Always.

Women Vs. Men

A Man’s Role… 2010 A Man’s Perspective Jeremy Raymond


way lands, ruthless sword yielding warriors, tireless hunters and gathers…ok let’s face it our accomplishments as men have been and still are extremely impressive, right? Well, whether your answer to the above question is "Yes" or "No", you do have to admit that men do play a pretty significant role in society, family and relationships in some shape or fashion. As far as relationships are concerned we are no longer merely hairy knuckled Neanderthals clubbing our desired mates over the head, only to drag her to our nearby caves to claim her as our own. However, I have seen a few fellas out “clubbing” eyeing that same desired mate, only to creep over to the nearest hole in the wall. Over time we, like almost everything around us (minus Nike Cortez, and Cross Colours- what? Am I the only one), have changed over time. So the question is have the roles of the man changed in 2010, and if so, how?

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he mighty discovers of new and fara-

What are the roles of men in 2010?

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The protector: Sounds like a super hero alias. Well, guys, put on your spandex and capes because in many ways that is what you need to be. Women need to feel safety and security when with you and also know that if some drama were to go down that, you would do nothing short of diving in front of that bullet for her. Oh and the bullet does not hit chivalry, because it is alive and well! Small gestures included in this: When on the sidewalk, be the one to walk nearest the street just in case a car happens to meander of the road. Yes, guys, take a hit for your lady! Also, before turning in for the night, make sure to always check all doors, to avoid any random home invasions. If there does happen to be a noise in the still of the night, YOU need to go check that out. It's not very protective when you nudge her, from under the blanket, begging her to “go check that out”. Open the door for your lady. The reasoning for this well known gesture is so that you can ensure that she is safely inside before you-simple.

The Shoulder: All together now: “We all need somebody to leeeaaann ooon”. Yes, superman, women get sad sometimes and the worries and challenges of the day can get to them. Being that shoulder to lean on is an all important role of the 2010 gent. Now, the shoulder and mouth are pretty far apart so do not get the two confused when fulfilling your role here. They don’t want the answers or a lecture on what needs/can be done the next time. They only need that shoulder to lean on when going through the ills of their lives. So, even though it’s agonizingly difficult, the guy must remember to shut the hell up and clear a space on his shoulder.

The Guru: When it comes to spiritual leadership in a relationship the role of the fella should be just that; the leader. Not saying women cannot be given insight from the Almighty (for those of you who did not click to the next article out of anger, stay with me). However, women have a naturally nurturing and caring nature which may make it difficult to stay grounded when it comes to such matters. Also because of that, it can become a challenge due to women to feeling “bogged down” and “overwhelmed” by the day to day stresses of life--loving and caring about others. Let’s keep it honest, in general, men stay more grounded and do not necessarily think in an overly caring manner (we’re pretty bad at that), but that does give us some free-space in the ol’ noggin. Trust us; we’ll get us in good standing with “Creator of all” in no time! The Provider: I know what you’re thinking “BRING HOME THAT BACON”…yea…no it’s 2010, not 1950. The awesome attribute that the women of 2010 possess is their independence, smarts, and tenacity. Women in this country have taken extraordinary strides in showing the world that not only can they do what men do, but in many cases surpass men when doing the same task (not counting the WNBA of course). On the whole, men bringing home the moolah while Susie homemaker prepares fresh baked cookies after taking the fine linens off of the line mind set is dead and gone. So, what do I mean by “provider” then? Provide that trust, compassion, love, support, patience, and understanding consistently in your kinship. As men, it is imperative that we go above and beyond to fully understand what our women need and give that to them when it is needed. This takes time, and sometimes it may go against what we are naturally drawn to do (i.e., we do not always need to be the problem solvers; sometimes our ladies just want us to listen-see “The shoulder”. Yes sometimes we need to be reminded guys). “If we’re growing we will always be out of our comfort zone” –John Maxwell Put the clubs down, its 2010, and that won’t go over very well anymore. We have evolved gentlemen, and it’s time to wear our capes proudly.

A Womans Perspective Quiana Darcell

What are the roles of men in 2010?


e have become the man of the house for so many

The man’s role in 2010 has changed but there are certain things that a man should do: Be the provider not the reminder – It is your job to take care of the household so do it with joy and be glad that you can provide. If you do then you know that we are appreciative of the things that you do. There is no need to bring up in an argument that you pay all the bills and that we should be grateful.

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different reasons that it is hard to define what the man’s role is anymore. We fought so hard to become independent that now it is the norm for women to do everything, and men expect it. There are even songs written about the lack of a need for a man. So does that mean that the role of what the head of the household does or looks like has changed? In the past the man was the “head of the household” because he provided for the home. Now that women are in some cases the provider or bread winner, does the man still consider himself as the head of household? Well, if we go by the Bible, the man’s role is to be the head of his household; doesn't matter if we are nurses and doctors and our men are janitors or top flight security--they are still the head. Being the head of the household, he provides the security to your home and the house follows his rules.

Physical - There are just certain things that a man was built for that a woman was not. Climbing on top of the house to check the roof, taking care of the car, and killing bugs. Things like this are beyond my reach and you should do these things.

Love me in a special way – Our relationship is special and different so treat it as such. Don’t mistake me for the other woman that did you wrong. I am not her and she is not me. Do and say the things that you know make me feel special; just because you did it in the past and it worked doesn’t mean that it is something that I will like. Take the time to learn what I want and I will do the same in return.

What makes a man “A Man” besides the obvious of what is between his legs? He is strong and independent. He commands attention without being overbearing when he walks into a room. He is hardworking and responsible. He takes care of business first and plays second. He knows what is important and what can wait.

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The role of the man has changed in the past 20 years, again from the man being the sole provider to now in certain homes being the stay at home dad. He has been the one asking you out on a date to becoming the one that accepts the invitation. He is the assistant to the CEO who is a woman. None the less with all these changes he still remains the strong link that keeps our families together. Because of the fact that there are many failed marriages, single parent homes with the mother playing both parts, and simply when there are relationships where things go wrong, men are receiving a bad reputation. We point the finger and say they are the ones that cheat in a relationship, walk away from their children, and play games. While this may sometimes be true, there are still a number of good men who get this bad reputation because of a few bad apples in the bunch. With all this being said in 2010 most things for the role of the man remain the same – He is still the man, a partner and help mate to his woman.

Women Vs. Men Cristin Noel

We’re Just Friends


covered how fun it was to spend Thursday nights, Friday nights, Saturday nights…okay, you get the idea…in a fraternity house. I had a fantastic group of girlfriends who all shared the same desire for adventure and laughs with a group of ridiculous and silly boys living in a house full of beer and irresponsibility. Though I have always maintained very close relationships with my girls, there is something different that males can give in a friendship. Not necessarily better, but just different. After college, making friends was a little bit more difficult. I met my husband, and he was my only nearby friend for a few years (My other friends were off living in different cities, starting families, or just plain distancing themselves from my life. Hey, it happens). Cleary my husband was a little bit more than a friend *nudge, wink, nudge* but it wasn’t fair to make him my only friend; men don’t like to be dragged from women’s clothing to women’s shoes to women’s accessories in a department store. Well, some men do, but not the ones that would want to be married to a girl like me. Some things are just meant for girlfriends to do.

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’ve always been a bit of a social Papilionoidea, made only worse when I went off to college and dis-

After many tears, snotty tissues, and prayers asking for God to plop some girls in my life, He did just that. Through work, I have made the most incredible circle of girlfriends. In doing so, I realized that I needed to treasure and maintain the close relationships of my girlfriends from college as well, and to make more of an effort to see them and communicate with them. It hasn’t always been easy, but very much well worth it. With the welcoming of friends comes the introduction of other ones. The past couple of years have ushered in the most fascinating people into my life; people with diverse viewpoints but the same moral values. I love that my circle is growing, but… What happens when a married spouse becomes friends with someone of the opposite sex? This is a slippery slope, for sure. I have a few guy friends at work, and they are well-acquainted with my spouse. We spend our time eating our sorry lunches, complaining about this, that, and the other, and inquiring about weekend plans. Maybe we should all get together this weekend? Let’s do happy hour! Yet, it rarely happens and Monday rolls around again with no hurt feelings. When it does happen, it’s with a large group of people and spouses are always welcomed. No harm, no foul.

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This mindset changes when the friendship isn’t based upon employment. As mentioned before, my husband and I have had the great pleasure of making friends, some through other friends, some through social media and networking. Yet, even when one of us makes a friend, they become our friend, and not just my friend or his friend. This happens rather naturally since my husband and I do everything together. I come from a rather small family, so whenever friends become close with me, that will likely become close to my parents, my husband, and my younger sibling. I see them as extended family, adopting them as the older brother I never had, or claiming a guy as my male cousin figure that is non-existent in my life. Even though new friends become our friends, I tend to stand with those that believe that it’s acceptable for a married spouse to have friends of their own with the opposite sex. If you were to ask my husband, he would probably wince a little. You know, he’s the man; I’m his wife. He beats chest. He flings poop. Tarzan. Jane. Honestly, a man doesn’t want his wife with another guy when he’s not around. Conversely, too, most women don’t want to have to compete with another woman in their life. Now we are getting to the crux of the matter. At the end of the day, we all know that instinctively, men and women are inclined to be attracted to each other. They may not be, but they are definitely inclined to be. Plain and simple, this creates an atmosphere of mistrust in a relationship. After all, it doesn’t seem appropriate for a married woman to be meeting with a man for happy hour, but it’s totally cool for the girls to go have martinis after work. It seems disrespectful for a married man to text a woman late at night, but it’s downright necessary to text your girl at midnight to see if you can borrow a necklace for the next day.

There are a few unspoken rules that are put on this friendship that most wouldn’t think to apply for same-gendered relationships. Unspoken Rule 1: Friends with one, friends with both. Look, ladies and gents, regardless if you’re single or not, if you’re friends with someone who is in a committed relationship, you have to be friendly with their mate. This doesn’t mean that you have to set up lunch or happy hour dates with them. Nothing is more uncomfortable than being friends with someone who has a wife or a husband that doesn’t trust you. The rule applies to you as well; if you’re in a committed relationship, grant your spouse the courtesy to meet your new bud and assess the situation. If there is a spouse or mate that doesn’t feel comfortable with the blooming friendship, then default to their feelings first. After all, you made a commitment to them.

Unspoken Rule 2: Don’t talk about sex. It is natural for people to talk about sex with their friends because we want to make sure we’re doing things right! However, talking about sex with a platonic friend is opening up Pandora’s box of subconscious feelings. Even joking about sex can get the wheels spinning of “What if…” and “Maybe we could…” Along with not talking about sex, don’t talk about what your mate is/isn’t doing for you. That’s only going to breed a cesspool of disdain in your friend toward your better half. Though you might need to vent about your relationship, a caring friend might innocently seize this opportunity as validation for why you shouldn’t be with him or her. What can you talk about? Sports! Work! Music! Art! Books! Food! Just don’t talk about anything that deals with hanky panky…or the lack thereof.

Learn the value of a side hug. Men are men, and when a woman presses her boobies against a guy in the most platonic of hugs, things can happen! Simple things such as touching on the arm, playing in the hair, or even roughhousing can signal that more is wanted in this platonic friendship. If you find yourself spending time (or wanting to spend time) with this one person away from your other friends, curb that. Intimacy can easily begin to grow when contact is oneon-one without the diversity of other people to interrupt it.

Maintaining a friendship with someone from the opposite sex is completely possible when both of you understand that the friendship is strictly platonic. When waters become muddy, check your actions and your words first to see if you’re giving off vibes that are saying you want something different. Use terms such as “brother” and “sister” to offset that possibility that any other kind of relationship is plausible for the future. Most importantly, enjoy the company of all your friends and respect what their goodness can do for your life.

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Unspoken Rule 3: Watch the physical contact.




Buy tix to

a professional sports game & don’t wait for Christmas or his birthday to give it to him.

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and clean his car. Or have it professionally done by the person who usually does it.

September 13 17 Plan a

boy’s night. Invite all of his buddies and have snacks and drinks readily available


Say yes

to everything he asks for that day.

For Lunch,

Send a pizza to the office for him and his co-workers.


Take sexy

pictures and give them to him.


Breakfast in


There is always

that one thing your guy likes that you can’t stand. Today let him enjoy it and you fake it.

Write a

note on a pair of sexy panties and leave in his gym bag or briefcase.




an album on his iPod that would make him happy.

complain for the whole day, ask him for help looking for things, or ask for assistance in getting housework

Halloween costume just for him. Let him take it off.


Do not

Make your

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October 7 12

November 2010 Giving Thanks Issue Tell us what you want to see‌.

Sept Issue  

The Men's Issue

Sept Issue  

The Men's Issue