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Ben & Jerry's Milk & Cookies ⏤ Vol 37
Signs you should stop it, the down-low era, and the real reason Destiny's Child broke up.
I’m still pregnant! 39 weeks and 1 day, to be exact. This belly is still sitting hippity high, so who knows what will happen. While we are ready to meet our little one, I am patient. These are the last few days that I will be childless.
Today we are eating this MF’ing delicious Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. My husband randomly picked up this flavor at the grocery store, and I’ve been hooked ever since, to the point where I need my own pint.
If you haven’t tried this one yet, you’ve been warned. It’s me and baby’s favorite treat and rather addicting.
Alright, we are eating the ENTIRE pint of ice cream today for lunch. Meaning, we have a big lunch. I am manifesting our next lunch date (2/21) to include our firstborn, and who knows how much we will be able to chit chat about, so let’s have a good one today. I hope you are ready for some good storytelling.
On the DL
Where the Party At?!
I’ve been into real estate reality shows lately. I thoroughly enjoyed Selling Sunset and Selling Tampa (both on Netflix), and now the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) has Ladies Who List Atlanta.
Of course, I will watch an all-Black female cast of boss ass women sell luxury real estate in a place I called home for almost nine years.
While watching episode 4 of the series, two of the ladies were having lunch talking about listening to the signs around you when you feel unsure about a situation or relationship.
This got me thinking about some of the signs, specifically relationship signs, I’ve received over my adult life and how I am incredibly thankful that I paid attention and listened to those signs.
The first sign I had was in November 2014. I was driving my car to a place of business I had no business going. I was going there to appease the person I was dating at the time, not for myself. If I listened to what he was indirectly telling me, I thought there would be some positive shift in our relationship that was on a fast spiral downwards.
One day while he was out of town, I mustered up the courage to do something I did not want to do. And on my way there, I totaled my car.
I was less than three blocks from the place. All I had to do was make a left and then turn into the parking lot, turn off the car and go inside for my scheduled appointment.
But all of that came to a halt when I slammed into a car, thinking the coast was clear, making a left turn into oncoming traffic.
Everyone knows the areas in their city that have blindspots; this was one of them. I wasn’t a stranger to this left turn; I had made it several times before. I always look three and four times before venturing across the busy two-lane road. But this day, the car appeared out of nowhere. Next thing I know, my airbag deploys, and my car is slowly rolling across the street.
I was out of it for a few, not knowing what just happened. It wasn’t until a bystander rushed over to the driver’s side, attempting to open up my car door to help me out of the car.
It took two men to pry open my door and get me out of the car, but I walked away with not one scratch, and the same went for the people in the car that I hit. *hits praise dance*
At that moment, all I could do was fall on my knees and cry. I immediately said out loud, “I knew I wasn’t supposed to make that appointment.” Because it was true, I had no business doing something I had no desire to do to keep a man who was treating me like shit anyways.
That was a HUGE sign to me. It was a sign that it was time to walk away from the entire relationship because it was destructive and not good for me. Two weeks later, it was over.
Talk about a wake-up call, right?!
I had another sign, not as dramatic as the car accident, but it was a crystal clear sign the person I was dating was not for me.
At the end of 2016, I started dating a super nice guy. At the time, he was the nicest guy I had ever dated. I thought this must be it, so put your all into Jemia.
Well, it wasn’t it.
While he was an extremely caring, sincere, and great guy, but he was not my guy. I tried to break it off, but I let him talk me back into it, not once but twice.
I felt like I was forcing myself to be with the nice guy because that is what I prayed about and wanted out of a life partner, a good human being. I got one. Now I am being ungrateful is how I felt.
Somehow, I talked myself into pushing my true feelings to the side and believed I would grow to love this person eventually. I even agreed to move into a brand new apartment with him to jumpstart our “lives together.”
And this is when the STOP signs started flashing in big red lights.
After selecting a chic high-rise building to share, we put in an application, he paid the deposit, and we were waiting on approval. In the interim, the leasing agent gave me her email address and told me she needed a few more items from me and to email her.
Over the weekend, I gathered the documents and sent an email to her. When I didn’t receive a response by mid-week, I called her. She said she never got an email. So I tried again while she was on the phone, and still nothing; she wasn’t getting any of my emails. She had to end our call for an appointment, and I told her I would figure it out.
But instead of figuring it out, I sat with what had just happened. I sent this lady a total of four emails, and she didn’t receive not one. The email address was correct, and I even sent several test emails to myself to make sure nothing was wrong.
I called my then-boyfriend and asked him if the leasing agent responded to his emails; he said yes. We both were using Gmail, so it’s not like something was out of the ordinary.
And then it hit me. I’m not supposed to move in with this guy. I am not even supposed to be with him.
The following week I told him I didn’t think it was a good idea to move in together, and he should still move to the building. After a lot of back and forth (mainly from him), he let it go and said OK.
I called the leasing agent back and told her that I would no longer be on the lease. She said I would have to email her that in writing. Instead of reminding her of our previous email challenges, I re-verified her email and sent the email.
And guess what, the bish immediately got it! She got that email but never got any of my previous emails when I tried to move in with buddy.
Another sign I am glad I listened to!
What are some signs you have listened to? Or is there a glaring sign in front of you right now that you are ignoring. Things are revealed to us for a reason.
Don’t ignore the signs.
On the DL
During my last Goodwill book haul, I picked up Any Way the Wind Blows by the late E. Lynn Harris.
I chose this book hoping to indulge in some early 00s nostalgia, and I got exactly what I was looking for. This book was written in 2001, which was the prime era for the Down Low brotha.
I was probably too young, maybe 16, during this time, but I still was familiar with the phrase and term. It was like everyone suspected every Black man to be living a double life.
Even almost 20somethings were asking their barely legal boyfriends if they were on the DL. Crazy how 20+ years later, the phrase is fazed out, but the taboo still exists.
E. Lynn Harris was an openly gay best-selling author that brought his readers into the world of gay Black male characters, something at that time I don’t think most were ready for.
If this book was written today, I don’t think it wouldn’t have gotten so much praise because of how it portrays Black male sexuality. It’s like how standup comedians from 15-20 years ago were praised for their line-crossing jokes, but now they can’t get within 20 yards of that line before folks come after them. I think the same thing goes for some of the phrases, terms, and words used in this book. Either way, it was a damn good read.
When I finished the book, I immediately thought about when I felt a guy I was casually dating was on the DL. It was not my finest moment, but I outright asked him if he was gay during one of the dates.
While my question and responses were not right nor appropriate (I was all the way wrong), it makes for a good story with a surprise ending.
At this point, I am trying on shoes and immediately walking over to the floor-length mirror to check them out. And when I would walk back over to the bench to take them off and put on another pair, he would ask me to stand in front of him so he could take a look too.
The first pair he said he didn’t like. I wanted to be like, “what you know about women’s shoes,” but I just said, “ok cool, these are out.” After a couple more pairs, he finally picks a pair of shoes he likes on my feet and says, “these are the ones.” I just agreed and told the sales rep to ring these up for me without much thought.
While both of my bare feet are exposed on the shoe store floor, he leans over to me and whispers in my ear, “next time we go shoe shopping, make sure you lotion your feet and ankles.”
If I had water in my mouth, I would have spit it all out on the floor at that very moment. Did he just carry the hell out of me about my feet? I looked down at my feet, and I honestly didn’t see any ash, and I guess he knew what I was thinking and said, “your heels need some moisture.”
Where The Party At?!
If you are a lover of R&B music, you cannot imagine the early 00s without Jagged Edge. While their first album dropped in 1997 with the major hit I Gotta Be, it didn’t do the numbers that their second album, J.E. Heartbreak, did when released in ‘99.
But before we dig into the crates and vibe for a little bit, let’s play a little game called did we know.
Did we know that before Wingo became the last member of JE? He originally was in a group that went on to become 112.
Before being called Jagged Edge, some say it’s after an ‘85 thriller film featuring Glenn Close, others say it came from a line RZA said on ODB’s Snake Record, Brandon, Brian, Kyle, and some other dude were named Twin AK, and it was a flop. No name left the group, and Wingo was introduced to them. He sang for them, they weren’t super impressed, but they thought he looked like Kyle. They figured they could play off the “two sets of twins in an R&B group” look. And that’s how our beloved Jagged Edge became.
Did we know that JE’s first hit, I Gotta Be was a song about Brandon & Kandi’s relationship?
Apparently, the two were in a serious relationship, living together and all. Kandi was also responsible for bringing the group to the attention of producer Jermaine Dupri. Kandi ended up managing the group until Brandon and her broke up. Brandon was the very opinionated, outspoken group leader, which showed up at work and in their relationship. Kandi was basically like, “yea this ain’t it,” and she parted ways.
Rumor has it, one of Kandi’s songs she wrote was about Brandon, but she pleads the fifth. Hmmm…which one is it Sis?
Did we know that the twins Brandon & Brian dated Latavia & LeToya of Destiny’s Child? Yes, we did. BUT did we know that JE was to “blame” for the break up of DC and opened the door for Michelle and short-lived Farrah to join the group?
JE’s first two tours were with Destiny’s Child. Somewhere after that first encounter, Brandon & Latavia started dating. They were together for almost 7/8 years, even after she departed from DC.
During the second tour, everyone shared a tour bus; JE, DC, and Jon B. Matthew Knowles, Bey Daddy, got a call saying JE was harassing his group, so they decided to kick them off the bus. But that isn’t the actual story. Matthew was claiming the girls were 16 when they were all almost 18 years old. He said JE was inappropriate with underage girls, which was his reason for removing them from the bus.
But the real story is Ms. Pam, LeToya’s momma, was on the bus asking to see the DC contracts. Matthew wasn’t on the bus, but I guess wind got back to him, and he was like, she can’t be on the bus. Probably because there was some shady ish in those management contracts Matthew drew up and Ms. Pam smelled it.
Being the good boyfriend he was, Brian stood up for his girlfriend momma and was like, “you can’t kick her off the bus,” and the rest of his group agreed.
Next thing you know, Jagged Edge and Ms. Pam were kicked off the bus, and a few days later, LeToya and Latavia were no longer members of Destiny’s Child.
Did we know Jagged Edge was pulled from performing and put in a daily 8-week anger management program?
After Where The Party At feat. Nelly dropped in ‘01 the group got big-headed. Trashing hotel rooms, cussing out camera and concert crews, Brian got two DUI’s in one week, and they all lived like they were untouchable. So they got in trouble. And the last day of their daily 8-week program, the group ended up fighting each other right in the anger management room.
Did we know they released an album on Slip-N-Slide records in 2011?
Nope. I can’t tell you much this group did after their 4th album Hard. To me, that is when their reign and classics ended. Well, they did have the hit Good Luck Charm on their 5th album, but that was it. Slip-N-Slide doesn’t even seem like their lane, but hey, I guess you go where the coin is.
Did we know Wingo tried to leave the group and start a new group with Q from 112 and RL from Next while JE attempted to record J.E. Heartbreak 2?
Nothing ever came to fruition, but these supergroups never work from what we all know. Think about it. What happened to LSG, Gerald Levert, Keith Sweat, and Johnny Gill? Or what about TGT, Tank, Ginuwine, and Tyrese?
Now that we’ve gossiped a tad let’s talk Jagged Edge hits!
What’s your favorite JE song? Mine has to be In Private off their 4th album, Hard; it’s my favorite album from their catalog. It’s also the first album they did without Jermaine Dupri.
Remixes were everything at one point. And the Let’s Get Married Remix was jawn you could play at your wedding, at the club, or if you were at home doing nothing. It always bops. Did you know Young Bow Wow, Mary J. Blige, and Carl Thomas all had cameos in this video?
This group knew how to sing to the women. From He Can’t Love You to Promise, which was written about Brandon & Latavia’s relationship, to Walked Out of Heaven, this foursome knew their lane and the assignment every time.
Well friend, I hope you are mighty full from today’s lunch. It was a special treat. And lunch is dedicated to the beautiful soul Cheslie Kryst. I pray her soul has found peace, and she is resting easily. I share more here: Thoughts from a former pageant girl.
See you on the 21st!