Sunday, February 25, 2007


Mr. Ben and I met many years ago. We worked for the same employer. Back then Mr. Ben had already passed the age of retirement. Unfortunately, like many persons his age, retirement was not an option if he wanted to eat on a regular basis. He was uneducated, unskilled and his failing health and just the dynamics of old age limited what he was actually capable of doing. But Mr. Ben had been with this employer for over fifty years. He was a much-loved fixture of sorts and the owner of that business, understanding the nature of Mr. Ben’s circumstances, cut him much slack. What Mr. Ben was employed to do, we actually found others to do for him. It was through the generosity of caring individuals that Mr. Ben continued to get a weekly paycheck. That company continues to provide Mr. Ben with a small stipend just to come in once a week and say hello. I loved that job. I loved its owners and managers. I had great respect for what they did for their employees. It was a company, of sorts, that always put its people first, knowing that everything else would inevitably fall right in line.

Mr. Ben has seven children. His only son retired from a very prestigious city position recently. Mr. Ben’s six daughters haven’t lived their best lives and rarely keep in touch with their father. Only two seemed to have found some stability, but they and their families live too many miles away. The other four have battled drug abuse, prison, and other assorted ills too numerous to count. I saw Mr. Ben cry once, wondering what he could have done for their lives to have been different. I have heard him question whether or not he was a good parent. I’ve witnessed his son assure him that he was the best father any child could have ever asked for. He kept them fed and clothed, kept a roof over their heads, told them they were loved and made sure they had the opportunity to go to school and be educated. He proclaimed his father's only failing to be having spoiled his girls senselessly. But as the son said, Mr. Ben’s heart was “where their best love was found.”

The son has recently assumed full responsibility for his father’s care. He brought Mr. Ben to see me this week. The son is very much his father’s child. Together, the duo is quite a handful. A dirty old man and his very dusty sidekick. Mr. Ben was excited to give me an opinion about my book. “I got ‘cha now, Sug!” he exclaimed excitedly, a very toothless grin filling his face. “But you don’t know nothin’ about romance,” he was quick to add. And then he proceeded to tell me about all I didn’t know. Seems that back in the day, Mr. Ben had more than a few tricks up his sleeve. From all the son said, the late Mrs. Ben was one happy, happy woman.

I’m in the middle of writing a new book. Mr. Ben has truly redefined romance from the male perspective. He’s also tossed some great fuel onto my creative fire. I can’t wait until he comes back again next week.

DEAR DEBBY - 2/25/07

Dear Debby,
You really are a little full of yourself, aren’t you? I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now and I’d like to know what makes you qualified to do this?

Actually, I’m a lot full of myself. I would hope that every woman gets to that point in her life when she is confident in her strengths, understanding of her weaknesses, and generally comfortable with the person she has matured into. I’m there and that alone allows me to be as full of myself as I damn well please. Now, the better question is what makes me unqualified and why should I not do this? I have the right to share my opinions, my thoughts, and my stories, as I’m so inclined. You have the option to ignore me or not. This is like TV – good and bad. If the program offends or bores you, change the channel.

Dear Debby,
My best friend is in an abusive relationship. I have seen her boyfriend yell and scream at her and call her names many times. He’s extremely jealous and has to know where she is all the time. I have never seen him hit her but the way she acts around him I think it may have happened. What should I do?

Have an open and frank discussion with your friend about what you believe is happening. When she denies it, and more than likely she will deny it, just let her know that you will always be there for her no matter what. If she is a victim of domestic violence she needs to know the following: the abuse is not her fault; she doesn’t deserve to be abused; she can’t change someone who is abusive; staying in the relationship won’t stop the abuse; with time, the abuse will get worse; she needs a plan in case the abuse gets worse.

Should she ever need to get away, she should be prepared. She should document her abuse and keep evidence (pictures, police reports, etc.) in a safe place. She should know who she can turn to and where she can go if she needs to run. She should leave extra money, a spare set of car keys, important papers, and extra clothes with someone she trusts. Her emergency kit should also include a list of important numbers like insurance, driver’s license, medication, checkbook, credit cards, etc.

Then you be prepared should she turn her back on your friendship. If that happens remember it’s not about you but about her own fears. Many years ago I suspected a close friend was being abused by her husband. My suspicions were confirmed when I saw him hit her so hard that he sent her flying across the room. I picked up the telephone and called the police. He was arrested on the spot. I told her everything I knew I needed to say to her. An hour later she was trying to get him bailed out. They are still together. She and I will occasionally speak on holidays. I live with the knowledge that I did what I know I needed to do. I miss her dearly and as her friend, I am still here for her should she ever need me to be. I accept that there is little else that I can do.

Friday, February 23, 2007


I don’t usually bite my tongue over much. But I have a family member who has had me biting my tongue for most of her life and for no other reason than I have wanted to keep peace between me and the old people. I have, however, come to a point where peace may well be damned whether I bite or not.

As children we had imaginary playmates, fictional friends that may have disappeared as quickly as they revealed themselves. As teens, it became a joke between sisters that this family member was still playing with her imaginary friends, pretending they were real. And though we laughed behind cupped hands, there was something sad about a young woman who had no true friends or friendships to speak of.

This exceptionally bizarre behavior continued into adulthood and to this day, no one in the family has ever met any of the female friends or boyfriends that this person continually talks about. The men she has claimed to love or care for have typically gone by single syllable monikers with no known addresses or social security numbers. Mysteriously, folks were always away or unavailable to attend family functions or participate in our gatherings and activities. Her birthdays and graduations were missed and family dinners conveniently ignored or disregarded. The last time, the boyfriend of two years who allegedly lived some thirty miles from my Carolina home couldn’t make the half hour drive for Christmas dinner to meet the family because he was working late. Nor could they ever spare a moment to stop and say hello when they’d be passing through on a road trip.

We all ignored the strangeness for a very long time, and then one day I’d had enough. There was something disconcerting about her spending time with men who had no faces any of us could recognize. I imagined her disappearing into little jars in some freak’s refrigerator and I told her so. I envisioned trying to describe her associates to the police and not having a clue that anyone could follow. I told her that no matter how dysfunctional she believed our clan to be, we really were not so bad that she couldn’t bring her friends home to meet her family. Suddenly there was no more talk of boyfriends or female friends that shared her space and time.

And then came Fred. People knew Fred. Fred actually existed. And Fred apparently had bedroom skills that sent our girl right over the edge of what little sanity she ever had. She regaled a parent with story after story about all that she and Fred shared. Fred did this and Fred did that. She never told the rest of us anything, choosing to keep tales of her and Fred to herself as they got to know each other better. While all of us were celebrating her real relationship with a live human being, Fred was doing some celebrating of his own. Celebrating that clearly did not include our girl.

Fred was seen recently celebrating the birth of a new child. Celebrating with photos of the baby, the girlfriend, the new house, and a new car. Three of us have asked about this strange turn of events. Three of us have gotten very different answers to the same question. One was told that she and Fred really weren’t that serious. Another giggled as she claimed Fred was just a sex thing. The parent was told that folks are lying on Fred. That Fred claims to have never had any children. That we are all just trying to sabotage her chance at happiness.

I’m not biting my tongue any more. Girlfriend needs a serious reality check and some professional help as well. The old folks have come to her defense, wanting to believe that she would not purposely deceive them so. That most of her life couldn’t possible have been imagined. So peace be damned because I’m tired of pretending that imaginary friends are actually real and relatives aren’t acting like complete and utter fools believing the crazy crap our kin is spewing.


Love may well be a splendored thing, but it can also be something else altogether. Deirdre (not her real name) and Harry (not his either) have been a couple since she was nineteen and he was twenty. They have been in a relationship (or semblance there of) since they met in 1970. Shortly after meeting, Deirdre became pregnant with her only child. The daughter, who unfortunately was not fathered by Harry, soon became the light of his life. For years, Harry tried to move heaven and earth to give Deirdre everything her heart desired. Unfortunately, it was Deirdre’s heart that proved to be the thing most unmovable. After numerous marriage proposals, so many that folks have now lost count, Harry could do nothing to get Deirdre to feel for him what he felt for her. But Harry endured because of the daughter that he had claimed and raised as his, holding onto hope that one day Deirdre would be his as well. The daughter, now an adult, watched these two people pretend to be happy for her sake and it was only when Harry found love elsewhere that his child understood that love wasn’t always what it seemed and could be more than even her mother could have imagined.

While telling me her parent’s story I was moved by the daughter’s trust in love and her belief that such a thing is possible. I had expected some sense of disappointment and doubt after having experienced the tragic sadness of her parent’s love story. I had imagined that seeing her father now living the dreams he had once had for her and her mother with another woman and another child might have soured her toward love and relationships, but such was quite the opposite. Her heart is heavy for her mother’s losses, the woman living a sad and unhappy life because of the choices she made for herself. But it soars for the light that gleans in her father’s eyes when she is witness to the relationship he now shares with his new wife. The daughter understands that love can indeed be as splendid as one is inclined to let it be, or not.

Raymond has worshipped Yvonne since the beginning of forever. No other woman has captured his heart and soul as she has. Yvonne’s heart is elsewhere, pining after a man whose love is neither obsessive nor as intense as she would wish it to be. Yvonne has grown weary of waiting for the man who owns her heart. Settling for Raymond has become an acceptable alternative. It would seem that a man with insurance benefits, who will love her like no other man is now loving her, is better than no man at all. I do not see splendor in Raymond’s future and I predict something far worse for Yvonne’s. Something that borders too close to sad and unhappy because of choices made for very wrong reasons.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


It's my birthday and I'll do what I want what I want to...

Don't have a clue what I plan to do today, but hey, it's my birthday! And it's one of those milestone birthdays where someone might want to hang a few black balloons around but they know they better not if they'd like to be around to see my next birthday. Before you ask, I'm only 29. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. You see my mother swears she's only 35 so I can't possibly be older than she is. I do plan to forgo the diet today and eat me some birthday cake. Even got up early and went to the gym so I wouldn't feel guilty.

The weather fairies have smuggled in some warm weather and I am happy, happy, happy! Ten years ago when I celebrated that milestone birthday you would have thought the world was coming to an end. I was depressed for days. My best friend flew down to spend my birthday weekend with me and when I was bemoaning the fact that I was getting old, she rolled her eyes in my direction and asked if I would prefer the alternative instead. Suddenly getting older didn't seem like such a bad thing after all. And if I say so myself, I am aging quite nicely.

So, you all have a celebration drink on me. Chocolate martinis and angel food cake for everyone!

Enjoy the day. I certainly plan to.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Walter Mosley is the 54-year-old author of some thirty books ranging from mystery novels to young adult tomes. I’m a big Walter Mosley fan. I met him once a few years ago at one of his book signings here in the NC area. Like most of the women in the room that day I was bowled over by the man’s presence. He has great presence and I won’t lie, I think that Walter Mosley is sexy as hell.

He’s also an author I endeavor to emulate, a man not afraid to push the craft of writing in new directions. It helps that he has an abundance of pure, raw talent that cannot be denied. He is a master storyteller, no matter what the genre and his latest literary offering has left me stunned. My mouth is still hanging open like I’ve lost my mind.

Mosley’s newest book, Killing Johnny Fry is an exceptionally graphic expose of a man’s sexuality and insecurity gone awry. The story is an amalgamation of erotica, pornographic filth, and literary brilliance. It’s the story of a black man named Cordell who one day stumbles upon his longtime girlfriend in the throes of a sexual act with a white man named Johnny Fry. And Johnny happens to be exceptionally endowed. Cordell is so traumatized that he quits his job, takes up drinking, and plots the murder of Johnny Fry. Cordell also spends an exorbitant amount of time trying to satisfy a sudden insatiable sexual appetite. The man’s transformation as he goes in search of himself is based upon much insecurity, fear, and obsession. The writing is raw and brutal as well as totally captivating. Mosley has given us a male character dealing with feelings of betrayal and emasculation and with those feelings we are witness to the behavior and reaction of his mind and his body.

Not everyone is going to enjoy Killing Johnny Fry. Not everyone is going to understand it and every one who reads it is going to walk away with a different reaction to it. It has raised a number of questions for me. Questions I’ve been asking the hubby and other male friends brave enough to answer. It also has me looking at Walter Mosley differently. I still think he’s sexy as hell. But when you consider that he’s truly a writer who writes what he knows, and that he’s a writer who’s been quoted many times saying that he takes events from his own life to fuel his stories, that just sheds a whole other kind of light on the man.

Read the book at your own risk. Keep a fan, some tissues, a bottle of wine, some Barry White and a significant other close by when you do. This book is not for the faint of heart. I'm still breathing heavy and I'm not quite sure if it's because I'm excited to know what I've learned about my boy Walter or if I'm scared to death to know what I've learned about my boy Walter.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

DEAR DEBBY - 2/18/07

My apology for the delay but folks was all up in my way this week. As a result, I've decided that the Dear Debby column will run on Sundays. It seems to fit the schedule better for the moment. Enjoy!

Dear Debby,

I feel like my family and friends are walking all over me. For years I have helped my sisters with their children, buying gifts over the holidays and such, but not one of my sisters ever did the same for my kids. When my sister’s husband was sick this year I called her every day to check on her and her family to see if there was anything I could do to help but when my husband had a stroke, no one called me regularly to check on me. Am I wrong to feel the way I feel?

No, you are as entitled to your feelings as the next guy but whining about your feelings doesn't serve any grand purpose. It sounds like there are other issues eating away at you. First, you feel like everyone is walking all over you. Understand that people will only do to you what you allow them to do. If you don’t like how you’re being treated then put a stop to it. There’s a tactful way to say you’re not happy or if necessary, forget the tact and just say whatever is on your mind. As for doing things for others that they might not do in return for you, ask yourself why you did what you did in the first place. Did you buy gifts because you wanted to or felt it was the right thing to do? If so, then whether or not your family did the same in return is of no consequence. Obviously they didn’t want to, couldn’t, or didn’t feel they needed to. If you’ve only done the things you’ve done expecting to get the same in return, then you clearly set yourself up for disappointment. So suck it up, move on, and the next time wait for them to do for you first before you make the decision to do for them. Otherwise, do what you do because that’s what’s in your heart to do, then sit back and enjoy the knowledge that what you did do came from a purely unselfish place.

Dear Debby,

I’ve been dating Ron for three years now. We met in church and hit it off immediately. Ron is everything that I could ever wish for in a man. His business takes him out of country for extended periods of time but when he’s here we have a great time together. Neither Ron nor I have ever been married and we have no children. Ron is in his early fifties and I just turned 48. I own my home and Ron owns his own home with a business associate who travels as much as he does. Their house is situated so that the two men share the common areas, the kitchen, living and dining rooms, and then they have their own separate bedrooms and baths on different sides of the house. My friends think there’s something questionable about their living arrangements, but I’ve been in the house many times and haven’t found anything to be out of the normal. My problem is that I would love for us to take our relationship to the next level but can’t seem to get Ron motivated. In our three years we’ve never been intimate, just casual goodnight kisses and hugs, and not because I don’t want to but because Ron has always been a perfect gentleman and has never taken the initiative to get romantic. Any suggestions for me?

I suggest that you accept the fact that Ron is either not interested in you in that way or that he’s gay and not interested in you in that way. In three years there should have been some sign on either his part or yours that you wanted to be more than friends. Have you ever discussed the issue with him? Have you thought about asking Ron about his sexual orientation? In this day and age you don’t have time to play with your health, emotional or otherwise. Ask the man. We women need to do a better job of communicating with men if we ever want to get anywhere with them. Tell him what you’re thinking and be ready for answers that might not be what you want to hear. Then be ready to find a man who wants the same things you do. Ron may not be that man and friendship with the casual kisses may be all that you two will ever share.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


We’re celebrating love today! Personally, I don’t attach much significance to Valentine’s Day. Sure, it makes for a few great Hallmark moments, but I don’t need one specific day out of the year to tell the people who’ve captured a place in my heart that I love them. I do that every day, all year long. My son’s death taught me that time is too fleeting and relationships are too fragile to take them for granted. Red hearts, flowery cards, and little trinkets may feel good for the moment, but when the moment has passed I want to know that love still thrives and I want those I love to know it as well.

Tonight, the hubby and I are sending the son and his wife off for an evening of alone time, a little dinner and dancing if they’re so inclined. We understand that young parents need that time to recoup and be reminded of the emotions that brought them to this place to begin with. We plan to baby sit the munchkin and her big brother. Knowing I’ve got a tantrum or two or three ahead of me this evening will be a clear example of my love. My son and his wife can trust that no matter how much I might be tempted, I won’t be tying either of their children to a tree before they get back.

The hubby and I have settled into a comfortable routine for Valentine’s Day. Every year he leaves two cards on the kitchen counter for me to find before we head our separate ways for the day. One is sentimental and the other humorous. I rarely do cards. They hardly ever say what I’m actually feeling in my heart at the moment. Before the day is over I’ll surprise him somewhere with something I know he’s been wanting for a long time. Last year it was a kitchen gadget that we didn’t need but that he wanted. This year it’s a rotary tool. I’ll just pop up with my gift when he least expects me and I’ll just remind him why I’m still hanging in here after twenty-five-plus years. Then we plan a date night for later in the week, usually the Friday following Valentine’s Day. This year I want to just do dinner and a movie. Last year we did drag racing and hotdogs. His choice. I get to choose this year.

We’ve grown comfortable with our custom. Only once did I try to shake up the routine. It was early in our marriage and I thought I’d surprise him by picking him up at work in nothing but a trench coat. It was during a Connecticut winter. Slipping and sliding across the roads we landed in a snow bank. Three hours later, two state troopers and a tow truck finally got us home. Two children were running amuck as we walked in the door, the older brother in charge not having bothered to send them to bed. I had ice formations in every crease and crevice of my body and the hubby had attitude swearing that one of the troopers and the tow truck driver got a peek at my goodies when a gust of wind blew up the trench coat. Two days later I was bedridden, battling a nasty bronchial infection and a touch of pneumonia. I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day with my clothes off anymore, at least not if I’m planning to leave the house.

Enjoy the day! Celebrate it! Revel in the beauty of love and all it has to offer. And even if you don’t have a significant other to celebrate with, celebrate the beauty of you and the love you should have for yourself. You deserve it. And not only on this day, but everyday of the year.


Tyler Perry has a new movie out today and I want to show the brother some love by giving him, and it, a shout out. I adore me some Tyler Perry. If I were looking for a second husband Tyler would be at the top of my list. Tyler has taken some flap for his Madea character. Much like the flap Eddie Murphy is getting now with his new movie, Norbit. Folks are up in arms about men portraying and supposedly stereotyping black women. Folks just ain’t got nothing better to do with their time. I grew up with Flip Wilson and Geraldine. I don’t recall Flip getting a hard time. It’s almost as if we’ve forgotten what it means to just have a sense of humor and enjoy a good laugh. Folks just want to make things personal when there really isn’t anything personal about it. But I digress.

Tyler’s new movie, Daddy’s Little Girls, stars the lovely Gabrielle Union and fine-as-wine, Idris Elba. It’s a romantic comedy about family, community, and love against the odds. Single father, Monty (Elba) is a garage mechanic who lives in a poor neighborhood and struggles to make ends meet as he raises his three young daughters on his own. But when the courts award custody of his girls to his drug-dealing ex-wife, Monty tries desperately to win them back, enlisting the help of Julia (Union), a beautiful and hard-nosed attorney. While Monty and the Ivy-league educated Julia couldn’t be less alike, an unexpected romance blossom, and soon begins to feel like true love. But in order for their relationship to survive, the couple must reconcile their two very different worlds – and over come the forces that threaten to tear Monty’s family apart.

I love everything this movie represents. It shows a black couple in a positive, loving relationship. There is a decent, caring, hard-working black man doing right by his children. And their are little black girls, loving and worshiping a father who is deserving of and has earned every ounce of their love and respect. Once again, Tyler has demonstrated the magnitude and depths of his unlimited talent. I have so much respect for all he does and all he has accomplished that I can’t even begin to find the words to express it. If you love a good story, show the brother some love and go see this movie. You will not be disappointed.

Monday, February 12, 2007


We have a new grandbaby! A little girl weighing in at five pounds, four and one-half ounces. Her parents named her after an empire. They just spelled it different. I swear I’ve had to ask three times now what the new baby’s name is. The last time my child’s response held just enough attitude that I won’t be asking again. Instead, I’ll crown this new jewel with a nickname and just let it be what it’s going to be.

My late father-in-law had so many grandchildren that after a while he just refused to learn their names. Instead, he would call them all “Bill”, even the girls. There was never a funnier, laugh-out-loud moment than when he’d call, “come here, Bill”, and seven or eight little kids came running like their little lives depended on it. The first time my youngest child went to visit, he tried for days to convince “Papa” that his name wasn’t “Bill”. By the end of the visit, he was answering to “Bill” like all the others.

This baby is grandchild number nine. I’m planning on dispensing out birth control at our next family reunion. This is my husband’s fault. He was one of seven children. He fathered six. For some reason our offspring seem to think they need to keep up with their old man as if he’s set a world record they each need to try and beat. And we still have two children that haven’t even gotten into the race yet. All of these grandbabies are starting to age me and truth be told, the retirement I envisioned with our grandchildren running to and fro is starting to look like a Chucky Cheese promotion gone bad.

One of my sons is visiting with his two kids right now. The youngest is four. She’s grandbaby number seven and she’s an absolute delight. Pretty as a picture and as mean as spit. This child is a ball of fire and I can’t wait until she hits her teens. My kid isn’t going to know what hit him. I’ll remind him then of that moment in our basement when he was sixteen and the little hussy was crawling out of the window when neither thought anyone would know. I told him back then that one day he’d have a child of his own to turn his hair as gray as he turned mine. That day is soon coming and I personally, can’t wait!

Baby girl and I have been having a blast together. The child had me playing hoola hoop in the center of Wal Mart this afternoon. I was laughing too hard to be embarrassed. Of course when I tried to revive some semblance of adult decorum, she called me a “doo-doo head” and gave me a pinch that made my eyes water. Shocked her good when I pinched her little butt back. And no, I really didn’t push her into that beanbag chair. She tripped over my foot all on her own! The hubby says I’m bringing her into some bad habits, but what does he know. Like the munchkin is fond of saying, “Papa don’t know no girl things!”

Can’t wait to get my hands on the new baby. Me and the munchkin definitely have a few tricks up our sleeves to share with her. Her mama may call her a dynasty, but I’m starting to think that “Bill” might actually have a nice ring to it after all.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Dear Debby - Column 1

Welcome To Dear Debby! I was going to do this twice per week but I've decided to just see how it goes. So for now, Dear Debby will run every Friday. Do you have a pressing question you want to ask, a problem you want to air anonymously? Click the link in the sidebar to email me. And let's not forget the required legal yada-yada. This is for entertainment purposes only.

Dear Debby,
My sister and I are not close. Nor is she close to anyone else in the family. Historically she will come and go from our lives as the moment moves her. She has never held down a job for longer than a few months. She has had three husbands that we know of and gave up her only child for adoption without asking the family for help even though she knew any one of us would have taken the child in. This last time she stayed away for almost three years then showed up unannounced as if nothing had happened. Our father died this past year and she was not at the funeral, claiming she couldn’t get a flight home when we were finally able to track her down.. At a recent family gathering she took offense when our mother commented about her lifestyle and habits in front of other family members. Even though what our mother said was true, my sister has been in a rage ever since. I feel caught in the middle. Any advice on how I should handle this?

Let your sister rage all she wants to. Whatever choices she’s made for her life, she made without thought for anyone else and for her own personal reasons. Sometimes, in some places, the truth is best left unsaid. I have no doubts your sister didn’t appreciate having your mother air her dirty laundry out in public. But your sister will get over it. Sometimes the truth hurts but sometimes hearing the truth when we least want to serves to help open our eyes to what we need to change in our lives. Your sister is crying out for attention. Maybe facing the truth will help her seek the help she might need. Just let her know you’re there for her, that you love her, but that you won’t coddle her tantrums or pretend that her mistakes haven’t impacted your life and your mother’s life. Then just be ready to listen.

Dear Debby,
I am fourteen years old. My father is very strict. He won’t let me go out with my friends, not even to hang out at the mall. I have to get good grades in school or I’m not allowed to participate in drama, dance, or extra-curricular activities. I feel he is being very unfair. How can I convince him to give me more freedom like my friends have?

Okay, so you’re saying that if the grades are good, Dad lets you participate in drama, dance, and extra-curriclular activities? Seems to me that your father is giving you plenty of freedom as long as you’re doing the right things to earn that freedom. I’m sure your father is doing everything he has to do to keep you safe and secure because he knows it’s a big, scary world out here for a young girl with no one to look out for her. So suck it up. Be smart. Keep the grades up and I’m sure your father will continue to work with you. Life isn’t fair, especially when you’re thirteen. But trust me when I tell you that this will pass. Dad might be tough now but he is only preparing you for when you get his age and life really gets tough. So cut him some slack and I’m sure he’ll be more than willing to work with you as you get older and continue to make him proud.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


A guest co-host on the morning talk show, The View, irked me recently. The hot topic of the morning was about Barack Obama, a black man, and Hillary Clinton, a white woman, both announcing their intent to make a run for the Presidency of the United States. This co-host commented that “she wished a regular, white guy would join the race to make things easier”. The comment made me stop and pause. Easier for who? For what? Why? And what about all the regular white guys, like John Edwards, who have also tossed their names in the running? Would her regular, white guy be able to do something a black man or a white woman couldn’t do? We’ve already got a regular white guy in the office and if his record is any indication of what another regular white guy will do for us, then damn!

Then of course, presidential candidate Joe Biden showed his true color by commenting that Obama is “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean”. I guess Biden won’t ever be able to claim that some of his best friends are black ‘cause it would seem he doesn’t know any black people. I don’t know where the Delaware senator has been hiding his past 50-odd years but I was always under the impression that they had plenty of “articulate and bright and clean” black people in Delaware. Perhaps as he begins traversing the presidential trail he’ll pull his head out of his ass and actually open his eyes.

I actually abhor politics and I don’t like most politicians but I’ve come to realize that my disinterest will be a detriment to my grandchildren and to their children. The adage that if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything keeps sweeping through my mind. And so I’m standing.

I want an American president. I don’t care about his race or his religion and I sure don’t give a flying fig about his sexual predilections as long what he does is done in the privacy of his bedroom with a consenting partner. But I do care that he cares about America and Americans.

I want an American president who is concerned about American children and childcare and working parents. Who spends American money on America.

I want an American president who will fight for my rights and your rights and not just the rights of corporate business and international entities. A president who will treat the poor as well as he will treat the wealthy.

I want an American president whose presidential promises will be about feeding our hungry, helping our homeless, and protecting our elderly.

I want an America president whose campaign promises will actually be kept.

I want an American president who believes in telling the truth, an individual with integrity and character. A person who will stand tall and admit if he, or she, is wrong.

I want an American president who has actually read the American Constitution. Someone who remembers what the doctrines of free speech and the right to privacy were made for.

I want an American president who will fight a good and fair fight for Americans. An individual who will speak from his heart and not spout mindless rhetoric written to incite fear and loathing of people and things that have nothing to do with America.

I want an American president who puts Americans first. Someone who values its citizens and puts their needs before all else.

And, I’m ready and willing to stand up for any candidate who’s up for the challenge.


A friend recently suggested that I start my own advice column. I'd initially dismissed the thought, but have since reconsidered. I remember reading Dear Abby and Ann Landers growing up and thinking that in all their efforts to be politically correct there were times when they just needed to tell the writers to get a life and stop bitching and whining about crap. There are folks who continually seek out my advice and I think it’s because I have no qualms about telling them to get a life. I don’t have time to sugarcoat stuff. Besides, too much sugar coating usually taints the message and the person in need is so busy getting high off the sweet that they fail to get the substance of the advice all together. The more I've been thinking about the idea, the more I'm inclined to say, what the heck, why not? Of course, my Dear Debby column will just do what I do best: shoot straight from the hip after the appropriate warnings for one to duck.

Sage advice is truly not for the faint of heart. If you ask me what I think about something and I tell you the truth, don’t take offense. You ask and I’ll answer. If you want me to tell you what you think about something then that’s the question you should pose to me. Only then will you hear what you want to hear and not necessarily what you might need to hear. So, I’m hanging out my sign. The column is now open but know that you enter at your own risk and beware, you might want to duck.

Dear Debby will run ever Friday and Sunday starting Friday, February 9, 2007. I’m sure I probably should include one of those disclaimers that says this is for entertainment purposes only so here it is. Let’s hope you’ll be entertained.