All Articles Tagged "family matters"

Family Matters: My Father Wants Us To Spend Thanksgiving With Him–And His Former Mistress

November 24th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful, to eat a large helping of a variety of foods, to come together with family and friends, and to get mentally prepared for all the money you will likely waste on Black Friday.

But Thanksgiving can also be a time for drama.

Like the drama my neighbor has found herself dealing with. While catching up with her in the hallway over the weekend, she filled me in on her complicated situation when I asked her about holiday plans. According to her, her father wants her and her adult siblings to spend the holidays at his home this Thursday. And while other family members would be coming to eat and bond, my neighbor, who’ll we’ll call Sheena, said that her problem is with the hostess. Her father’s girlfriend will be cooking most of the food and will obviously be present for all the festivities, and Sheena is not okay with that. Why?

Because her father’s girlfriend was the same woman he was seeing while still married to her mother. She’s part of the reason Sheena’s dad left her mom.

Sheena is uncomfortable around the woman because of the pain that she knows the situation caused her mother, and also because of the way her father’s affair tore up her immediate family. And while it has been a few years and Sheena’s father has been in a pretty loving relationship with the woman ever since, Sheena isn’t here for it, even if her brothers have been able to move on.

“She knew what was up with my mom and dad, and she didn’t care,” Sheena said. “She used to call my mom talking so greasy. Talking about she was just trying to help my mom out by satisfying my dad and that if she did right by him maybe he wouldn’t step out. Naw, I’ll never forget that. I can forgive him for it, but I will never forget that sh-t.”

Over the last year and a half, Sheena has tried to work on her relationship with her father, but according to her, mending things with him never meant getting close to his girlfriend. That’s a no-no. Sheena’s loyalty to her mother wouldn’t allow it. That has upset her father’s girlfriend, who feels as though Sheena, not her brothers, won’t won’t even attempt to be “civil.”

Sheena said she told him that she can’t come because she doesn’t want to share the same air, let alone space with the woman. Plus, her mother has also encouraged her and her brothers not to go over to their father’s home while the girlfriend is there. So that influence is making them feel like they would betray her if they were to make an appearance. They’re stuck in the middle.

“She thinks that woman has a negative energy, but really, I know my mom just doesn’t want us over there because she hates her. I would feel like I wasn’t loyal if I went.”

Sheena doesn’t want to disappoint her dad, but after watching her mother go through so much, that’s where her support lies. She said that’s something that her father has openly been salty about.

“But I don’t really know what he expects. These are the consequences of messing around and being selfish. I mean, c’mon. I love him to death, but things will never be how he wants. I could care less if he marries her, or whatever. She will never be family.”

While talking with Sheena, I found myself thinking that I couldn’t even imagine being in such a situation. I’m very close to both my parents, but as the child of a stay-at-home mom, I just always had that extra attachment to my mother over my father. If he hurt her and left to be with someone else, I would probably feel and react the same way. And if the tables were turned and my mother inflicted such pain upon my dad, I would probably react the same way towards her and her man. But as I’ve stated before, I am the leader of the Petty Gang.

Sheena’s father’s girlfriend is technically someone who strong-armed her way into a family and now hopes that everyone can respect her and be close. But you can’t always get what you want–especially when you try to obtain it through messy means.

Well, here’s to hoping that your family situation is a little less scandalous, and more focused on food and fun this Thanksgiving. Happy holidays!

Family Matters: My Mother Won’t Give Her Blessing For Marriage Because My Boyfriend Has 3 Kids

November 18th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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How important is the blessing of your mother and father when it comes to tying the knot? Could you go into a marriage knowing your parents didn’t approve of your spouse or your decision? And if they don’t, how much attention do you pay to their reservations?

I’m asking because a young woman (let’s call her Efie) I know is struggling with this. She’s in love with her boyfriend, and he feels the same. They’ve been together for about a year now and have been talking about marriage here and there. But being a Ghanaian woman, it is important that her family have a say and approve of her taking that next step.

The problem is, they don’t.

According to Efie, her mother is not a fan of her boyfriend. Not because he isn’t a good man, but because he comes with three children from previous relationships. He’s in his mid-30s if you were wondering.

Efie is rightfully upset about this and feels like she can’t freely move forward in her relationship with her boyfriend. Her father actually gave his blessing, but her mother wants her to date someone else, someone with less (or preferably no) kids, someone with a bit more “potential.” So when her boyfriend came to her family’s home bearing gifts of goodwill and looking for a “Yes, you can marry our daughter,” they were both shocked when her mother said “No.” It’s created quite a bit of drama, not only between Efie and her mom but between Efie and her boyfriend.

He wants her to think for herself since she’s an adult. And while he would have loved to receive the blessings of her parents, he asked more so out of respect, and for Efie, than for himself.

So she’s caught between a rock and a hard place, feeling like her mother is holding her back from being with the man she truly loves, and, at the same time, being hesitant about going against the people whose opinions and approval matter so much to her. Complicated or nah?

So what is a girl to do? The support of my parents is extremely important to me, as it is to many young women out there. And while I would keep in mind their reservations to ensure that my fiancé was, in fact, the right guy for me (and maybe give myself time to see where things go between us), if my heart were telling me he was the man for me, I’d politely have to tell my parents to either support me or mind their business. (I’m Nigerian though, so it would be much less curt and probably a lot more Nollywood-esque.)

There are some times where parents do know best, and base their decisions on how they’ve seen you treated. And then there are times when they simply, stubbornly believe they know best because they have certain expectations, hopes, and goals for you. But at the end of the day, it’s not their life. And if you’re making a mistake, well, such is life. It’s a mistake you will have to live with and learn from. But again, it’s your, or Efie’s, mistake to make.

How would you handle it if your parents didn’t approve of the man you wanted to marry?

Family Matters: My Mother Put Her Hands On My Son And I Don’t Know How To Feel About It

November 10th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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When I was young, I was bad. Well, actually, I wasn’t a really bad child, as in the kind that bullies other kids, tears up public property and always get in trouble with teachers. But I was a mischievous child who complained a lot, didn’t listen the first time when I was told not to do something, and would draw on walls or make a small hole in the TV speaker a big one.

And for that, I used to get my butt whooped. My mom had this fancy red belt, a small leather joint that used to tear my legs and butt up! Enough whoopings with that stylish accessory, and by junior high I knew better than to keep testing her. As the youngest of six children my mother had raised in her lifetime, her patience had pretty much worn by the time I hit adolescence in the late ’90s. She didn’t have any more time for the shenanigans.

So it’s so interesting to see her with my nieces and nephews so many years later. While they have and still do throw their tantrums and make messes, she doesn’t have to do much to get them to sit down somewhere. She just looks them sternly in their little, round eyes and says, “That’s enough now.” And just like that, they stop whatever irritating thing they were doing.

Yes, my mom has come a long way from pulling out the skinny red belt and whooping behind and has moved on to Jedi mind tricks. In fact, she’s pretty docile now and spends more time playing with my nieces and nephews than she does yelling at or heavily disciplining them. Despite her past with my siblings and I, especially me, my mom keeps her hands to herself these days–unless she’s tickling my nieces and nephews.

But some mothers don’t change, and they grow up to be no-nonsense grandmothers. And if you don’t get their grandbabies in check, they will. Like one woman online who admitted that the first person to spank her child was not her–but her mother.

“I think the right for someone else to spank your child should be reserved for close relatives and family friends. My mother was actually the first one to spank my child…but she didn’t put up with fall out tantrums with me so I know she wouldn’t for my son.”

This particular woman didn’t really say how the spanking made her feel, but referenced her own encounters with her mother’s iron fist. And despite not exacting whoopings upon her son in the hopes of disciplining him in another way, her mother decided to do what she wanted and knows best, which is lay hands. And that got me to thinking: Is it ever okay for your mother, father or any of your relatives to put their hands on your child?

I have quite a few nieces and nephews. But I often feel a little odd or uncomfortable in the presence of my sister when one of my youngest nephews acts up or tries to whine, and I find myself loudly saying, “Uh uh! Stop that!”

Right after showing my obvious exasperation, I end up feeling like I overstepped my boundaries. And while she doesn’t blink twice at my attempts to get him together, I often feel awkward. The reality is that the patience you or I may have with a child, even if he is family, is not the same level of patience a mother or father has. And while I might easily get frustrated with my nephew or niece’s attitudes and exploits, I try to remember that their parent knows best and knows what they need to say and do when said child decides to show out. I never want my sisters or brothers to feel like I’m trying to fill in where I assume they’re slipping. And just because someone may have their own child that they discipline hardcore with positive results, that doesn’t mean the same works for every kid. Instead, I think it’s good to let people know when their children might be misbehaving and then let them handle it in whichever manner they decide. And if the parent isn’t around, it’s best to let a child know what isn’t acceptable and do it with love–and a stern voice.

That’s what’s so refreshing about watching my mom with her grandchildren nowadays. She knows that her children have their own expectations and ways of dealing with their kids, so there’s no need to intervene as though her way of parenting is the end all, be all. Instead, she spends her time talking to them like little human beings and lets them know where they’re going wrong and that they need to act like the big boy or girl they are. At the end of the day, that (coupled with the regretful emotions a child feels knowing they disappointed their granny) can do a lot more than any ass-whooping ever could.

Family Matters: When Social Media Makes Brings Out The Worst, And The Troll, In Your Relatives

November 3rd, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Social media can bring out a lot of things in a lot of people.

Like a provocative/scandalous side. Hence the reason some young women post half-naked pictures on sites like Instagram and Facebook, all looking for validation from men they’ll never meet.

It can also bring out one’s often hidden political ties. Like the people who you know from your neighborhood but never realized they hated President Obama and Democrats in general. Awkward.

And then there’s that volatile emotional side with a hint of TMI that you forgot about. Like the high school classmate who lets everyone know that her son’s father is a deadbeat on Father’s Day.

And who could forget the troll side? Like the Black guy from college who says, “Why do we care so much when police kill us, but not when we kill one another?” Aaaaaaand block.

And in some cases, social media can just bring out the absolute worst in people. Like your family. While they show one side of themselves in your face at family gatherings, some do the absolute most on social media because they either want attention, or because you never actually realized how big of an asshole they really are. Their behavior is almost block-worthy.

Like the family member who feels the need to debate you on damn near everything you say.

A few years ago, I said that I wasn’t really a fan of Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls. Not because I have some sort of vendetta against Perry, but because I felt that the stories of some characters were poorly developed compared to others. Around that time, every person I knew thought For Colored Girls would get nominated for an Academy Award and become a modern-day classic (it didn’t). And being the odd voice out, I was immediately side-eyed and called out–by my cousin nonetheless.

“Wow. How do you not like the movie? Those were real women with real stories. Just be glad that you’ve never had to go through anything cuz.”

But, of course, my lack of appreciation for one film about a group of Black women facing personal crises had to be a testament to the fact that I’d never gone through anything and only disliked the film because I couldn’t relate. Thanks a lot, “cuz.”

That same cousin has since made it their mission to get on my very last nerve each and every time I post a status on social media. So I refrain from doing so these days to keep the peace.

What about the family member who throws you under the bus to gain sympathy from fake “friends”?

You know who I’m talking about. The plan is simple enough: Paint the rest of your family members as ungrateful, trifling, conniving, unsupportive, hurtful and narcissistic individuals, play victim, and in turn, get people to tell you how awesome of a person you are and how sucky said family members are in comparison.

Like my friend’s cousin who took to social media to call out “so-called family” she felt weren’t doing enough to support her mother, who is battling Alzheimers. The cousin, who looks after her ailing mother during the evenings and barely likes to, said that if it weren’t for her husband and son, she wouldn’t be able to hold on to her sanity and take care of her mom. They have been her anchor because the rest of her family, including my friend, had allegedly up and left her to do everything for her mother on her own.

“All that my mom has done for all these so-called family members and they haven’t called, nobody checks on her. I do this on my own.”

And as my friend read her cousin’s status in disgust, she was even more appalled to see complete strangers attacking her and the rest of the family based on a status.

“Forget them,” one man said. “You can do this. Your mother is blessed to have someone so supportive on her side.”

“You don’t need them,” another said.

“Let me know if you need anything, I’ll be praying for you, girl,” another colleague chimed in.

Instead of telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, my friend’s cousin soaked up the praises and tainted her family’s name for likes: “Thanks so much for the support. I really needed it!”

And how about the family member who posts all kinds of strange things? You know the ones. When you try to tell them that they’re doing too much, they post froggy viral threats?

You’ve read the statuses. They usually read, and look, something like this: I WISH some body would TELL ME what I can and cannot put on my Facebook page!!! If you don’t like it DELETE ME!!!!! Your lost! Cause I’m grown!”

They’re the same family members who send subliminal shots calling folks everything but a child of God, only to turn around and post Bible passages one minute and WorldStar videos the next. Who can keep up?

Yes, social media brings out a whole different side of people, including family, that you would prefer not to be bothered with. While your cousin or your uncle may seem sweet and tame at the family reunion and Christmas gathering, they might be nothing but a troll on these Internet streets, looking to debate, overshare and write angry messages in all caps on Facebook (because you know there’s no word count on Facebook).

But pat yourself on the back. Despite their shenanigans, you’ve managed not to unfriend them or tell them how you really feel. You didn’t block them. And you didn’t completely abandon your social media pages in order to avoid them. Probably because at the end of the day, it’s just the Internet. And until there’s a button to easily block people in real life, you’re just going to have to play nice and try not take it all too personal.

Or start denying and ignoring family friend requests…


Family Matters: I Love My Sister, But I Don’t Like Her As A Person

October 27th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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I was catching up recently with a colleague who told me about some issues that she was having with one of her sisters. While they had always seemed thick as thieves back when we were in elementary school and high school, she shared some current feelings with me about her sister that were surprising.

“She’s just got a crazy temper and is way too irresponsible. I try to tell her stuff for her own good and she just blacks out on me. I’m over it. You know I haven’t talked to her in a year? It’s crazy. But it is what it is. I love my sister to death and would do anything for her, but I swear, as a person, I don’t like her. If she weren’t family, she wouldn’t be someone I would have anything to do with.”


And while most of us wouldn’t say that we don’t like our loved ones, as in their personality, their character and what they stand for, if some of us are honest, we sometimes feel somewhat obligated to love certain people. You love all of your family. Don’t know what you would do without them! But there’s always a few in the bunch who bring nothing but grief. Who have a negative disposition. Who take and take and take. Who judge you and make you feel less than. Who say hurtful things because they’re hurt.

You love them and put up with their foolishness, but you know that if any other person in life treated you like they do, you would probably run for the hills.

Nope, we don’t say it to them. But it shows in the way that folks interact with those loved ones.

Take, for instance, Love and Hip Hop Hollywood star Moniece Slaughter and her mother, Marla. I don’t know if you watch the show, but Slaughter, the mother of former B2K member Lil Fizz’s son, Kamron, has stated in the past that her mother was one of the reasons she lost custody of her son. According to her, Marla took Lil Fizz’s side after the former couple got into a fight soon after Kamron was born. And when police came, Marla took Lil Fizz’s side, which, down the line, allegedly aided in the rapper securing primary custody of their son. He has been the custodial parent since. It’s something Slaughter has held against her mom for years. And despite her own irresponsible behavior and confused priorities at times, I can see why.

Marla is cold.

So cold that she not only gave Rich Dollaz of all people a warning about dating her daughter but instead of stepping in to help or agreeing to talk to Slaughter about making more time to watch her son when Fizz needs to work, Marla encouraged him to seek full custody. She told him to go after her daughter’s money and just hire a nanny because taking care of her daughter’s son/responsibilities is not her obligation. And yes, I know that people say reality TV is fraudulent, but the tears of stress from both Lil Fizz and Slaughter’s eyes, and the clear exasperation Marla had when speaking of her daughter, made me a believer. Not only does Slaughter not have a support system, but her mother, who also struggled to raise her as a single parent many years ago, does not like her.

And then there’s the mother I watched on an episode of Iyanla, Fix My Life this past weekend. The woman, Norma, was at odds with a daughter, Domonique, who was seeking to take back the son she left behind during hard times. And while the past reckless conduct of the daughter couldn’t be overlooked, it was evident that her mother just couldn’t stand her. Over the years, Norma called Domonique everything from “classless” to “deadbeat mom” and a “hoe.” And as Norma tried to share her pain with her mom through a letter with Iyanla Vanzant as a mediator, Norma interrupted her over and over, attempting to refute everything her daughter said. It was so bad that eventually, Vanzant told the struggling young woman, “Dominique, you’re absolutely right: she doesn’t like you. And I don’t know why. And my heart weeps for you.”

So yes, disliking your blood, whether it’s your sibling or your own child, is not uncommon. But it should be.

Some people you just can’t reach, and others are just difficult with everyone in the family. But in the case of my former classmate, I had to remind her of how significant and precious it really is to have a sister. And after losing one of my siblings almost a decade ago, I don’t believe in holding grudges with people who are a part of you. Because you just never know what tomorrow will bring or take away. Yes, some family members can be toxic, and they likely deserve to be kept back at an arm’s length. But I think most just need a good talking to.

Therefore, I encouraged her, as I would any of you avoiding a family member who is important to you, to try and be the bigger person and reach out. If her sister chooses to keep her wall up, at least my colleague knows that she tried to make things right and could leave the ball and the burden in her sibling’s court.

We do so much talking about our family members but fail to talk to them when they make us feel disrespected. And instead of letting them know what behaviors you can’t tolerate, we say nothing, allowing them and their behavior to get worse. Allowing our anger to build. Allowing the distance between our loved one and ourselves to grow further and further. But there’s nobody in the word like your blood. And while you might be just fine with dropping friends and making new ones, and dumping boyfriends and trying your luck out there in the dating field, you only get one family.


Family Matters: My Smartphone-Seeking, Money-Hungry Relatives Ain’t Too Proud To Beg–And I’m Sick Of It

October 20th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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finances can affect friendships


You know what’s incredibly annoying?

When family members you’ve seen less than a handful of times contact you about buying them a pricey gadget or product that you can’t even afford to have in your possession at the moment. And yet, they assume you have two, or three, of everything collecting dust in your home.

This is something that I, as well as many of my colleagues, have had to deal with.

It’s that needy relative who lives in a place far off, maybe even in another country, and still expects you or your loved ones to provide them with things they need, but mostly, things they want. The cousin in Guyana who wants Jordans. The aunt in Barbados who wants an iPhone. The sister-in-law in Britain who wants you to buy everything she wrote down on a long list from Macy’s and bring it with you when you visit.

I’ve probably already mentioned to you that I’m Nigerian, and something a lot of Nigerians do when they travel back home is put aside things for their relatives. A bag full of new or gently-used clothes here and there. Toys for the kids. A little bit of this, a little bit of that. My father is going back home this week to help say goodbye to one of his childhood friends. Surprisingly, it’s not the bereaved family in need of money or items, but rather, his siblings who are making requests.

You think wealth inequality is bad here? It doesn’t compare to how things are back home. Rich Nigerians are extremely rich while impoverished ones struggle daily. Those in between struggle to find work and keep it, and that’s where some of my relatives find themselves. And I get that. But the things they often ask for feel over the top. A smartphone? A new car? Even my uncle, who has opened a few businesses back home, still expects my dad, retired, to give him a few thousand here and there. Once you start offering handouts, everybody wants something. But since leaving full-time work behind, my dad is nowhere near Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks.

I was worried about asking my father to contribute, if possible, to my wedding next year (God willing) as I assumed he needed to hold onto his funds as a retiree. I don’t want to drain their only source of income. But as it turns out, he’s giving a lot of those funds to able-bodied grown men and women. And that pisses me off.

But I’m not pissed with my dad. You see, I know firsthand the lightweight pressure put on folks to give up what you’ve got for a relative, so I can’t even imagine the heavyweight pressure my father deals with.

A few years ago, as I prepared to take the nearly eight-hour flight to Nigeria, one of my cousins, who was about 20 at the time, reached out to me. His message, via Facebook, started off sweet enough. He said hello and asked me how I was doing, and I assumed he was trying to catch up before seeing me for the first time in six years.


He knew I had just graduated from college and was living on my own, so he was ready and willing to ask me for something. And not just anything: A Blackberry phone and a laptop.

“I don’t know if getting me a Blackberry or a laptop for my school would be too big a request. Please, cousin, I really do need it.”

I was taken aback. But considering that I wasn’t doing that well for myself straight out of school (and I only heard from him every once in a while),  I kept it real.

“Yeah, that’s a big request. Lol That stuff isn’t cheap, and I just got out of school so I can’t help you with that. Sorry”

Instead of accepting what I had to say, he got defensive.

“You can easily get a secondhand laptop there. If you can, please help me.”

When I told him that money, Blackberry phones and laptops don’t grow on trees and that I didn’t understand why he needed a Blackberry of all things for school, he admitted that he just wanted to have one for the picture quality. You know, to stunt on social media.

Womp. Womp. Womp.

I couldn’t help him, and, as it turned out, neither could my sister, whom he reached out to around the same time. Eventually, he let me know almost a year later that, of course, my father had given him the laptop he needed–when he informed me that he needed me to help him fix an issue with it.

It’s always something.

And I mean that. Whether it’s money, electronics, cars, clothes or a place for a friend, cousin or friend of a friend to stay when they’re in your area, my relatives and family friends ain’t too proud to beg. And while I have no problem helping out who I can and saying “no” to whomever I can’t, my father, on the other hand, feels obligated to provide. I realized this after, stressed and irritated by being called a “Yankee” by some of his siblings and being expected to dole out naira left and right, my father lost his composure during our first trip back home as a family 15 years ago. Exasperated in the wee hours of the morning as he prepared to bury his own father.

Giving is swell and all, but I worry that he’s going to be taken advantage of to the point that he will find himself in a financial hole. And instead of chipping in to help him out, my relatives will run to the next family member in order to get broke off.

Or worse, they’ll start calling my phone.

Can you relate? How do you deal with family members who almost always come at you with their hand out?


Family Matters: My Divorcee Dad Is Dating A Woman My Age

October 13th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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"Father and daughter pf"

While hanging out with one of my best friend’s last week during my last vacation of the year, I caught up with her about her family. I asked her how her sisters, her former stepmom, and how her father were all doing. While going down the list of loved ones, she shared a bit of information with me that raised my eyebrows:

“My dad’s good. You know he lives in Florida now. He’s got a girlfriend…and she’s like my age.”

In true Jim Carrey as Ace Ventura fashion, I responded with “Oh re-he-he-heeeeeally?

“Mhmm,” she responded. “They’ve been dating for like a year now. I don’t really know how to feel about it. She has a kid and everything. He calls her his ‘friend’ but it’s obvious that they’re kind of serious.”

Not serious enough to walk down the aisle, though. You see, my friend’s father has already been married twice: Once to my friend’s late mother, and the second time, to her former stepmother, who she remains friendly with. As it turns out, he told my BFF that he had no plans to marry again, but rather, he was just happy enjoying the company of this beautiful young woman who liked having him around too.

For most of us, the idea of our parents dating is hard. But the concept of them dating someone our age is even harder to fathom. In fact, considering how flirtatious the young girls we grew up with used to be around my friend’s dad (myself included–shamefully), it’s definitely interesting that he’s dating a woman our age. But to my friend, it’s not as interesting as it is suspicious and a little embarrassing. And I get it. She could have been one of our classmates for goodness sake. And when your parents start rocking the cradle, you often have to face the fact that, in case you forgot, they’re sexual beings too. That’s how you got here, boo! They’re sexually attracted to someone around your age and probably engaging in some sexual acts with them (*gags*). Acts you’re also probably engaging in with your own significant other (*gags some more*).

And you also have to think about the fact that you never know when a person is actually interested in your parent and when they could just be taking advantage of them. While not every PYT is looking to make their way into someone’s will, some are looking for sugar daddies and mamas to help pay their way. If your parent is going through a midlife crisis and just so happens to think that particular young’n is really into them, you don’t want to see them get hurt.

And then there’s the basic matter of it just feeling unseemly. Out of all the fish in the sea, why someone around the age of the child you reared? A big part of the reason why Mathew Knowles’s relationship with TaQoya Branscomb, the mother of his 5-year-old daughter, Koi, seemed so inappropriate was not because of the fact that he had a baby with a scandalous lingerie model. But because he did so with a woman who was right between Solange and Beyoncé in age (and the woman met and took a picture with Solange at one point as a fan). But then again, let’s be honest: Most of Knowles’s moves, both business and romantic, are inappropriate, mkay?

But what makes this particular situation different is that it seems as though my friend’s father and his new boo, despite her age, seem to genuinely care for one another. As my friend shared with me, the young woman encourages her father, who has diabetes, to eat better and cooks for him. She also ensures that he takes whatever medications he needs to on time. And as it turns out, he’s a father figure of sorts to the woman’s young son. The father of the child isn’t in the picture and my friend’s dad has taken a vested interest in the boy’s life and future. So instead of being out here running wild, spending money and being in a stereotypical older-man-meets-and-dates-young-girl-while-driving-a-sports-car-through-a-midlife-crisis situation, they enrich one another’s life, and I can respect that.

And while it may be hard, so should my friend. I wouldn’t say that she should let her guard down completely just because her father has. But if he’s happy, and homegirl doesn’t seem shady, she shouldn’t try and get in the way of that. No matter how awkward the situation may be.

How would you feel if your parent started dating someone around your age? Have they already done so? If so, how did you handle it?

Tears Of A Clown: Comedic Characters Who Had Sad Backstories

September 8th, 2015 - By Kendra Koger
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I don’t want to be a kill-joy, but in the midst of laughing, have you ever sat back and listened to some of the back stories of some of your favorite characters?

Sometimes the writers allude to it and slightly reference it; however, when you really digest the background of some of these characters, it can make you really sad, especially since they’re in comedy shows.

Let’s take a look at some of these down, but not out, characters, and add your favorites (or any that I missed) in the comment section (and maybe there will be a part 2).

Keep It Trill Part II: 15 Black TV Dads Who Played No Games

June 19th, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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Daddy Pope


Parenthood is not all sunshine and lollipops. Sometimes, you have to come correct and keep it trill with the kids. Good cop, bad cop. As Father’s Day approaches, we take a look at Black TV dads who did not mess around and faithfully kept it 100 with their offspring. And in case you missed the trill TV moms edition we did for Mother’s Day, you can check it out here.

Retro TV Shows To Help This Current Generation

August 25th, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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Dear 90s Babies and Millennials,

I’m not going to pretend that my generation has it all together.  Yes, there are some things that we have not done right.  However, I find myself puzzled by certain actions a few of you commit.  I’m not saying all of you, but some of you all… what’s going on?

I try to figure out what is a big difference between my generation (80s babies), and the current one and the easiest thing that I could tackle is that our taste of entertainment during our formative years.

Since networks are flooding our TV airwaves with reality shows, I’m gonna say that maybe people are indulging too much into that.  Reality television should be seen like junk food.  Of course you’re gonna indulge in it, and enjoy it, but if that’s what you’re feeding yourself constantly, you’re going to become obese.  So, what I’m trying to say is… some of you are mentally obese, and it’s not healthy.

So to you, dear 90s and millennial babies, here are a few shows that I think if they were still on, they could help expand your minds.  Now, some of my picks might seem a little crazy, but I’ll give my reasons why and hopefully you’ll see that there’s a method to my madness.


Kendra Koger

(Dictated, not read.)