Joy’s Rant List Volume 55: How NOT to Do It: Vacation Violations

Okay so I lied. The last rant said that the next one would be about sex. Well, I went on vacation and decided to tell you all about that instead.

So – sex next time. I promise. (Do I sound like every married couple with small kids? Yes. LMAO!)

Now, back to this vacation violation. I call it this because, while I had a wonderful time in Belize on the island of San Pedro, I also encountered so many violations that I felt I had to share them with you. I will be including the girls I went with, but have changed the names to protect the innocent.

Bootlegging Belize

So it all starts with my friend… um… Brandy. Brandy texts me and asks “What are you doing for Labor Day?” “Nothing.” I respond. “Wanna go to Belize? Southwest has cheap flights!”

Hell yeah, I wanna go to Belize! I bought the ticket before she had even given me any more details than the dates of travel. Done, son! Let’s go! … Where is Belize? Out in the water somewhere, right? WRONG. Belize is actually part of Central America. And if my raggedy “Americans don’t know shyt beyond Florida” ass had bothered to look at a map, I would have known what I was getting into.

Things I looked up about Belize after I got back:

  1. It is 3 feet under sea level
  2. It has no natural beaches (there is a man-made beach, but it erodes – see #1)
  3. It’s on the eastern end of Central America – dipping into the Caribbean. (That’s kinda what I thought but I really didn’t know.)

All I knew was that Southwest Airlines flew directly there from Houston. Hey – all I needed to know!!  The next step was to secure a hotel. One of the other members of the group that was going – we’ll call her Alizay – mentioned that she saw a Groupon for a discount at a hotel in Belize City. Several of the members of the group were interested in the discount price. But no ma’am. Not having it.

What Not To Do: Use a Groupon for Out-of-Country travel

I have heard that some people have good luck with using Groupon, but I have also heard horror stories. I’m far too delicate to be in a place with no air conditioning. Just because I am from the South doesn’t mean I LIKE the heat. Any vacation I take has to be at or above my standard of living at home. If not, hell, I can stay on the couch!

I also am not about that ‘Robbed in Rio’ life. What you ain’t gone do is have me hobbling down the street with a broken shoe and a bum knee, with mud on my face, trying to stop some teenaged Usain Bolt wannabe who has my purse tucked under his arm like a football. Nope. Avoiding that all together.

SHAWN!!!!

Shawn is my friend and travel planner extraordinaire. He, Eric and Rebekah are in a travel planning group that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND.  They have been planning my trips for 3 years now, and each one is to die for.  I wish I had gotten them in on this earlier.  If you want to travel with no worries, hit Rebekah up at Emotive Travel.  What I like about their group is that they will do reconnaissance on a location before they send you out. I even have my other friends using them now.  And I am SO thankful that Rebekah hooked us up with a good hotel – and at a good price! Because when we got there… But that’s later on in the story… First we had to actually leave Houston…

It’s Going Down in the DF

Okay, so we have only made it as far as the international terminal IN HOUSTON and we are already spending money. What is it about going on vacation that just loosens all your purse strings? I bought makeup. Y’all know good and damn well that I don’t wear makeup unless someone is going on a stage! But there I am, at the MAC counter, buying some limited edition nonsense.

(Actually, that lipstick was FIYAH! #noregrets)

Once we exit the MAC store, Alizay sees the Duty-Free Shop.

“Ooh! Duty Free! I haven’t been through there in so long!” She runs off like Alice in Wonderland and we have to remind her that we are about to BOARD a plane and what is she going to do with a handle of Ciroc on the flight? Girl, put that down.

We board our plane, have… a few drinks… on the plane and then touch down in Belize City. I’d like to take a moment to thank the pilot for not dropping us out of the sky. Because he tried. You know how you hit turbulence and you try to be cool about it? Like you pretend that you didn’t really grab the seat in front of you, and you giggle off the tension? Welp, everybody screamed on this flight. We fell about 50 feet. Enough to think we were gonna die. It was more than a roller coaster, I’ll tell you that! Suffice it to say, we were stone cold sober when we landed. Time to start over. First thing we look for? Duty Free.

As we peruse the selection of the same shit we see every day at the liquor store, Alizay begins to look for some “authentic” rum. From Belize. Does Belize even make rum? We don’t know. But lo and behold, there is some Belizean rum sold there. Uh, okay. Let’s skip that and get this Van Gogh vodka because I KNOW about that! And it was at a good price! That vodka was going to keep us tight for the whole weekend! That, and the Ciroc that we wouldn’t let her buy beforehand. Why buy watered down mojitos on the beach when you can get lifted with your own stash in your room?  If you don’t know the ‘refilled water bottle’ trick by now, you’re doing it wrong.

A Three Hour Tour

The next step in this adventure is to take a ferry from Belize City to San Pedro Island. Now here’s where my ignorance first kicked in. When we booked the hotel, Rebekah told us to be sure to fly in early enough to catch the last ferry out. No sweat. She also told us it would be about a 90 minute ride. Okay. Cool. Nice lazy ferry over to the island, kind of like a day cruise. Sweet!

NO.

What Not To Do: Be a Pirate in 2016

We get our tickets and watch the “porter” move our luggage off to the side with the rest. He then gives us tags for it and takes it all outside. We don’t see him leave because we are busy ‘turning up’ in the air conditioned building. But when they say it is time to board, we hand over our tickets and walk outside to “What the hell is this?!” They have stowed our luggage on a speedboat. Granted, it’s a large speedboat, but a speedboat nonetheless. And we board this speedboat and take off at a brisk 40-50 miles an hour. Alizay has never been to the Caribbean before so she is looking out the porthole window like a new puppy. For a minute… Now if you know speedboats, you will know that 40 miles an hour means you are bouncing across waves. Now think back a moment to when I said Rebekah told us this was a 90 minute ride. Yeahhhh. I’m surprised we didn’t throw up.

So there we are, out in the middle of whatever ocean (geography fail) on a speedboat with a hold full of luggage. And produce. And furniture. And a drum set. And a twin mattress. And a guitar. Who? What? Why? Y’all, they start pulling stuff out of the ‘hold’ like it’s a damn clown car. I feel like either someone was moving to the island for good, or we just discovered how they make their money in the off season.

When we first docked on San Pedro Island, all I could think was “Thank you Jesus and Rebekah!”  Our hotel was the best one in the area.  It was ‘downtown’ but still on the beach.  And the locals were very accommodating – if you helped them get their hustle on.

Portrait of a Hustler

hustlersLook at these little faces! Aren’t they cute?! Yes, of course they are! So adorable! And they are the new face of commerce in San Pedro. They are sitting under this table while their mother strings together beads for bracelets and necklaces. Then they hit the strip. These kids were throwing puppydog eyes and hawking their goods like grown-assed veterans. I bought a bracelet from the little girl, and then the little boy runs up. I tell him that I just bought a bracelet…

Boy: “That’s her business. We have separate businesses. I sell necklaces.”

Me: “Well, I don’t need a necklace.”

Boy: “Yes, you do. It will match that bracelet you have.”

Blank stare.

Me: “Okay well I am out of money today so come back tomorrow.

Boy: “What time?” He side eyes me.

Me: “Same time, same place.”

Boy: “Okay so I will come back to this hotel tomorrow at 10 AM for you.”

He leaves and I continue to enjoy my 10 feet of beach sun. (More on that in a minute.)

What Not to Do: Lie to Hustling Ass Children

The next morning, around 10:30, I am eating breakfast at a restaurant further down the beach. I ain’t thinking about this kid from yesterday. I see his little sister selling bracelets in the restaurant and she waves at me. Awww, so cute!! I sip some coffee. Brandy starts laughing and I turn around. There is Hustle Boy staring at me with a ‘gotcha’ grin on his face. He wastes no time.

Boy: “So – what necklace would you like?”

I was so ‘dead’ at this point that I bought two items off of him. I can respect his hustle!!

You Can’t Pool With Us – And Neither Can We

I’m going to skip some things in the interest of time. The hotel was bombhotel pool.JPG   Even though the beach was only 10 feet wide and covered with piers and boats. 10 foot beach.JPG

It was like trying to ‘profile’ at a shipyard.

And the whole ‘downtown San Pedro’ experience was cool. We had good food, a great staff, and even found San Pedro’s version of Rio’s Christ the Redeemer…Jwtgh.JPG

We called him Jesus with the Good Hair.

But this was not quite the level of 5-star luxury and amenity that I am used to. So we decide* to go further up the island to the more exclusive resorts. It was only a 20-minute speedboat ride.

*By ‘decide’, I mean I said I was going, and they could come or not but I was going, dammit. And they came with me. LOL

So we take a water taxi to the northern part of the island, and my first reaction is “I HAVE FOUND MY PEOPLE!!” Compare the pool from earlier with THIS pool…resort-pool

 

you-cant-pool-with-usStaying at this resort was outside our budget (remember the Groupon issue?!) so we only stayed for the day. But if you’re ballin’, holler at Rebekah and she can hook you up!  Notice how I took pictures in the pool at somebody else’s resort. And then had the nerve to make it a meme!!

This is the vacation equivalent of taking a picture with someone else’s BMW. (Side note, I totally took pictures in my editor’s BMW once.) Once we were done pretending, we were ready to head back to our hotel. The water taxi was supposed to be there at 7:00, so at 6:45 we are on the dock.

What Not to Do: TRUST THE DAMN LOCALS

Y’all. The water taxi company has earned my eternal enmity for this. Those futhamuckas left us out there on the dock because “we didn’t call to say we wanted them to pick us up.” BITCH, I TOLD YOU WHEN WE LEFT THAT WE WANTED THE 7:00 TAXI!!!!!! DID YOU THINK I CHANGED MY MIND?!?! WHY DO YOU POST A SCHEDULE OF STOPS IF YOU AIN’T GONE STOP HERE?! WHAT IN ALL OF THE PHUCKS?!?!?

And let me tell you something, city people, you don’t know what “pitch black” is until you are on an island with no overhead lights. Or lights of any kind.

In just 3 hours it went from this…

.pier-daylight

 

To this…

pier-nighttime

So, what started out as a visit to a remote part of the island turned into a scene from a B-movie slasher film. Jason was just waiting on his chance to come running out of the bushes with a machete. We waited and waited and finally found someone to call us a cab (the resort staff had almost all gone home). And then we took the cab ride from hell home. Not because of the cabbie – because of the streets.

LOOK AT THESE DAMN STREETS!!!

roads

This was a 45 minute drive through what I now know can NOT be my ‘home away from home’. Get yo’ infrastructure life, Belize!!

So we made it back and obviously made it home without incident. Make no mistake – we had a great time!!  But you’d better believe my next vacation is going to be better thought out, and I am going to save up more money to get into the fancy ‘can’t pool with us’ type of resort. And I will reserve my own transportation or just not leave the damn resort.

 

 

Ummm… Where is Bora Bora…? LOL!

 

Rant 55 done, and I’m out!    (Yes, sex is next. Ugh. Sigh… LOL!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joy’s Rant List Volume 54: How NOT to Do It, Part 2: Natural Disasters

Welcome back, fam! I’m sitting here at my computer in the middle of another “system cleanse.” Of course, in typical “I forgot what I was JUST doing” fashion, I decided to start my next blog. For those of you who read the last installment and know what a “system cleanse” is, don’t worry! I am not more than 12 feet from my bathroom. LOL!

This chapter of “How Not to Do It” is not about actual disasters in nature. It is a nostalgic review of me joining #TeamNatural, AND the disasters I encountered along the way. For the uninitiated, “#TeamNatural” refers to women of color who decided in the last 3-5 years to stop straightening their hair (either through chemical relaxers or other means), and start wearing their hair as it grows naturally from their scalp. This is also referred to as being a “curly girl”. I put the stipulation on the time frame because women of color wearing their naturally curly hair just became a full-fledged-media-attention “thing” about 5 years ago. Women have been doing it since forever. How do I know? Well, what the hell do you think they did BEFORE Dudleys, Hawaiian Silky and Bronner Brothers came on the scene? Coconut oil is NOT NEW. Ask your grandmother. There are plenty of women who have been wearing their hair natural for decades, if not for their entire lives.

OG natural

I call them “Team O.G. Natural”

 

As for how *I* made the decision …

to go from this in 2011…                                            to this in 2013…

2011 long hair dont care                                      2013 big chop

It had a lot to do with Chris Rock’s movie, “Good Hair.” I think if we are being honest, a LOT of the recent influx of women going natural can be laid at his feet. His movie didn’t tell us anything we didn’t know or experience firsthand. It just reminded us of it all. But please believe that the transition period from the first picture to the last is a funny journey. Soooo many disasters…

Now the bulk of this rant will be about my current state of naturalism. I am still trying to do different ‘protective’ styles, and manage my ‘curl pattern’, and all that #TeamNatural lingo you learn along the way. Sooner or later, I will probably go the way of all the O.G. Naturals. If you pay attention, you will see that women who have been natural long enough either cut it all off or lock it all up. This picture is PROOF!

 

friends 4ever

#Team Natural!! Left to Right: 18 Months, 10+ yrs, 15+ yrs

I will skip the rest of the boring rationale behind why I went natural. It involved a hair stylist that was NEVER on time, and an unwavering belief in my own superior smarts [Editor’s Comment: *ahem* #TeamBadDecisions] and styling skills. Ask me if you want to know. Now WHAT I did –that’s where it gets interesting. Let’s start with general maintenance.

Step 1: Oil Changes

Once I cut my hair off and was completely natural, I decided that I could take care of it on my own. I had been managing just fine my whole life. Sure, I went to the salon to get cuts, perms, and color. But washing and styling it? Pffft. I got this. I decided to start looking for products that worked well with my hair. That’s what all the thousands of vlogs on YouTube told me to do. So I will run down the list of everything I tried, in order:

  • Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus line
  • Other stuff…blah blah blah
  • Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter line
  • More whack, expensive garbage
  • Miss Jessie’s line (I’m too broke for this!)
  • Carol’s Daughter
  • Pantene
  • Dove
  • Paul Mitchell
  • Everything else at Ulta…

After TWO YEARS of product junkie bingeing, I settled on Dove’s new line of Intensive Moisture shampoo and reconstructing mask for ‘coarse and curly hair’ plus Eden Body Works, Coconut Shea line of styling products. That ish is the bomb-dot-com! I have … exhaled…

(Side note: I took a break from writing this entry for about a month, and now I am COMPLETELY on the Eden Body Works product line. I’m exhaling again. #fickleass)

Now let’s revisit the time I spent at Ulta because here is your first What NOT to do!

Becky31) WHAT NOT TO DO: Let a random white woman color your natural hair.

That sounds racist. It’s totally not. Natural hair is a challenge. If you have not been trained how to handle it, you will f@#k it up. Period. Yeah, I said it. The color of the person doesn’t even matter. That was a shameless click-bait tactic. There are plenty of black stylists who don’t know WTF they are doing either. If you don’t understand the porosity, tensile strength, and moisture needs of naturally curly hair, you will dry it out, over process it, and break it all off.

Which is what happened to me when I went into Ulta on a product search.

Why Ulta? Simple. I had an Ulta card, and Sally’s was farther away…

 THAT IS A LIE!!! I WAS BEING BOUGIE!!!

I thought I could get what I needed out of the “refined and calming” Ulta store instead of the “Why is it always in the hood?” Sally’s Beauty Supply. My bougie butt paid well for the lesson in marketing and location. The reason Sally’s flourishes in the ‘hood’ is because THAT IS WHERE THEIR MARKET IS. I deserved what happened to me.

I now stay out of Ulta, and shop at CVS and Sally’s exclusively for hair products. But while I was in Ulta, a very nice young employee started talking to me about my hair. I asked her: “Where is your natural section?”…becky1

After 2 seconds of blank stare, she directed me to the organic section because there was not a section for ‘black hair’. Okay, close enough. I mentioned to her that I wanted to put highlights in my hair, and she said she was a colorist and that Ulta had a 50% off special going right then. Okay great! But c’mon son! I should have known ON SITE (racial profiling, I know) that Becky With the Good Hair wasn’t going to know crap about MY struggle!!!

Despite my internal warning signals going off, I get in her chair. She proceeds to bleach my hair. I tell her that my hair lifts very quickly, and try to remember all the things that my former stylist in Orlando (Wizard Billi) used to say, She just pooh-poohs me and says that all of that is just extra steps and that I will be fine. The color comes out great. The style … not so much.

Y’all… O_o

becky2You shoulda seen this little 20-something white woman trying to tell me how much I looked like Angela Davis. I think that was the only afro reference she had. I didn’t look a thing like Angela! First of all, I was transitioning, so I had a TWA underneath and stringy straight hair on top -hich she then tried to “pick out”. She kept telling me she loved it and I should wear it like that. But I peeped the sweat droplet running down the side of her face. I knew it was a fail. But at least the color was right. I walked out of Ulta with a multicolored, half-assed-blown-out afro. And a $70 chunk taken out of my wallet.

A day later, I still smell chemicals in my hair. Why, you ask? My hair has high porosity. You can’t just “rinse” things out of my hair. You have to get in there and really put an ocean of water through it. So I wash my hair again. And again. Trying to remove the chemical smell. I finally do, and I think everything is great. In my infinite wisdom, I decide to let it air dry. Because – stupid. And then I try to comb it. I can’t get the comb through my hair. Not even a little. I had a head full of dry, brittle, split hair.

Now here is where some black women would mistakenly think that their hair is just nappy. Nappy is not actually a thing.

blue magicSOAPBOX MOMENT: NAPPY IS NOT A THING. Your hair might be tightly curled, or zig-zag, but it is not nappy. If you can’t comb through it, it’s not because it grows that way or is not “good enough.” (Lord, the things we believe about ourselves…)   You can’t get a comb through your hair because the cuticles are raised up and your hair is overly dry. The hair strands will tangle and latch on to each other – it’s like Velcro. Your ends are probably split. Wet your hair and put more oil than you feel comfortable with into it. You should be greasy. Then start combing from the bottom and work your way up to the scalp. THERE WAS A REASON YOUR GRANDMOTHER USED TO GET OUT THE BLUE MAGIC GREASE TO DO YOUR HAIR.

ghetto grocery bag

Just let it sit. And yes this is a ghetto grocery bag.

Sadly, I can give you this advice now, but a couple months after I left Ulta, I had to cut all my hair off and start over again. SIX months down the drain!! If I knew then what I know now, I would have soaked my head in Blue Magic and a hot towel. Now, I can’t actually advocate for Blue Magic, because God knows what’s actually in it. But I DO advocate for oil. LOTS of oil. My rule (and it should be your rule too) is that if you can’t eat it, don’t put it in your hair. Examples of good oils to use: Extra Virgin Olive Oil – straight out of the kitchen. Coconut oil, saffron oil, sesame oil, avocado oil, shea butter and cocoa butter (which is what makes white chocolate, so yes you have eaten it). If it grows, it’s probably a’ight. I have never seen a seed packet that grows 2-2 dimethylcone.

 

Step 2: Protective Styling

So remember the first rant in this series where I said that to truly be a victim of your own stupidity, you have to COMMIT to your path, regardless of (multiple) failures? This is where we are now. I have been doing ‘curl pattern’ styles and ‘protective’ styles for the last two years. I have tried flat twists. Flat twist outs. Two-strand twists and twist outs, THREE-strand twists and twist outs. Most recently, Bantu knots (and knot outs, naturally). For those that don’t know, the “twist/knot” is the protective style, and the “__ -out” is when you take your hair down and wear it loose. I’ve watched hundreds of hours of YouTube videos and practiced until my hands cramped, trying to perfect “a look” I saw someone else rocking.

 2) WHAT NOT TO DO: Care about what someone else’s hair is doing. 

HERE IS A SECRET: IT DOESN’T F@#KING MATTER.

You can NOT “train” your hair. No matter what you do to your hair, it will ultimately revert back to its happy place – usually in anywhere from 2 to 4 days. And that’s even LESS time if you get it wet or live somewhere humid like the Gulf Coast. And once you get it wet….

 

shrinkage

You see this bull$hit?!

Shrinkage is the bane of my existence.

You have NO idea how much your hair is going to shrink up until it grows out. Right now, my hair can be anywhere from 5” to 15” long, depending on the humidity.

highlights 1 And the irony of ironies, people actually like my hair the most when it is in its no-effort, “I woke up like this” curly afro puff state.

Step 3: Adding that “flavor”.

I love having highlights in my hair. The highlights in this picture were professionally done on a trip to California. And I wanted that back. I love me some honey-colored streaks! Of course, in true “Joy can’t learn” fashion, I tried to highlight my hair myself.

3) WHAT NOT TO DO: Refuse to Listen to EVERYONE ELSE

Here is the thing: I think I’m smart. I think I can do anything. I think that I am capable. I don’t lack in self-esteem (brain-wise, anyway). So in my egotistical mind, why SHOULDN’T I be able to highlight my own hair? [Editor’s comment: #TeamBadDecisions for real!]

I actually did have a moment of clarity where I thought “You know, I should let Lamonica do this.” Lamonica Sharp, of So Sharp Salon in Pearland TX, is my stylist. She has rescued me from myself time and again. Most recently, she called me out because I hadn’t been to see her in about six months. She saw my blow-out on FB and said “You trying to set me up. Bring yourself in here.” So I made an appointment. Now in my mind, I am going to get a cut and color. And in Lamonica’s appointment book, she had cut. Not color. So when I start talking about highlights, she (correctly) told me she wasn’t prepared for that and to make another appointment. Cool. She was right. She was smart. She wasn’t about to take on something she didn’t have the right products for and have it come out crazy and have me blame her.

….But I wanted some highlights though! Hnnnnggghhhuuuhhh (*insert whiny teenager voice here*)

So I’m in CVS with my sister, and I pass by the area with hair color…

ego And my evil ego kicks in…

Ego: “Just do it yourself. I’m sure there’s a YouTube video saying how to do it…”

To the Internets!!!

don't do itNow here’s where things really get silly. EVERY VIDEO I saw on the internet said – and I quote – “If you have never done this before, do NOT try this yourself.” Or, “I am showing you only how to prep your hair, go to a salon to get the color.” Or, “You are going to damage your hair if you don’t know what you are doing. Seek professional help.”

egoEgo: “Nah Joy, you got this. You can do it. You’re smart. It doesn’t look that hard…”

 

Then my ace Ericka sent me a picture of her hair, where she had dyed it blonde herself. Ericka is the one in the middle with the short haircut. Her dye job came out cute!

ego

Ego: “If she can do it, YOU can do it, right?”

 

common senseSensible Voice: “Bitch, her hair is ¼” long. If she messed up, she’d be back in business in a week! You have 2 years of hair. Do you REALLY want to try this!?!?!?!”

 

ego

Ego: “…Do it.”

So there I am, in the Sally’s getting the Textures and Tones coloring system that I saw on YouTube. (Because I had already picked up the Feria color system from CVS and done a strand test and failed. That bougie chick just will not die.) I also picked up a cap with the little holes in it and accompanying crochet needle – because I had seen Billi do this once when my hair was permed. SEEN not DONE. And only seen ONCE. But now, I think I can do it. Because Ego.

My ego knows no bounds, y’all. Not only did I try to highlight my hair, I bought TWO DIFFERENT colors of dye so I could put in blonde and russet highlights and lowlights. Because I’m not a professional stylist, but I’ve seen one do it so… (So disrespectful!!!)

Let me break this down for you: I separate the crown of my hair from the rest. Tie off the rest and put it in a shower cap. I use the holey cap and pull out the pieces to be dyed (which hurt like a sonofabitch) and then applied the darker color to the lower part and the blonde color to the top. Then I covered all that with another shower cap. Then I let it sit for an hour. Because after the required time nothing had happened. Then I got scared and pulled off the holey cap – which stripped out all the liquid dye and caused me to have a back full of dye as it dripped down. Good thing I didn’t have a good shirt on. But there was dye all over the floor. I rinse out all the dye and wash my hair and deep condition it and PRAISE JESUS! All my hair is still there. But the color is not. BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE F@#K I AM DOING. I tried to convince myself that I had “subtle” highlights, and I almost believed it. Until my sister got in the car with me a couple days later and said “I thought you were going to dye your hair?” #fail

[editor’s comment: #TeamYouGoneLearnToday]

And do you know that I had to stop myself from trying again?! I actually had to call Ericka and get her to talk me out of getting in the car and going back into another Sally’s for more dye. I have a problem. I clearly cannot be left unsupervised. Luckily for me, I had to go to Atlanta for a meeting and Ericka suggested (i.e. bugged the crap out of me) that I go to her stylist to get color because he was a natural hair professional. #PROFESSIONAL. So I went. And he #SLAYED y’all! I felt bad for cheating on Lamonica, but Ericka wisely intervened before I could get in trouble again. Check out this color!!

 New Color

And also, after watching him I learned a few things about how to TRULY do a wash and go. I did one just now, and I had mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I did it!!! It looks great! On the other… I confirmed that I had been doing all these damn twist outs and shyt and all I had to do was run some damn gel through my hair and be still… Ugh. DAYS of my life lost to the twist out efforts. LOL

 

 

pookie-new-jackNow you know when this grows out I’m going to be right back in front of Sally’s looking like Pookie from New Jack City. “The products… they be calling me…” LOL

[Editor’s comment: Jesus be a ‘closed’ sign.]

 

But after two – almost three – years, I have at last learned the following:

  1. Pick a damn product and roll with it.
  2. If you are leaving “soul glo” stains everywhere, cut back on that coconut oil.
  3. You. Are Not. A professional.
  4. “Training” your hair is not a thing.

car profile But still…  I Got This

Rant 54 and I’m out! But, stay tuned for my final series installment which will come around to my favorite topic. Wait for it… Yeah, sex.

[Editor’s comment: Lord Jesus…]

Joy’s Rant List, Volume 53: How NOT to Do It (A new Series)

Hello world. I’m baaaack.  Sorry for the long hiatus (Lies – I’m not sorry). Actually, let me explain the rules I play by when I do this blog.  It must be funny.  It must be an escape for the reader.  It must be relatable for the audience (as much as possible).  Lastly, it must be genuine. I’ve had trouble being funny recently because…  Well, you know…  Life just ain’t been funny and folks are still trying to figure out why #BlackLivesMatter.  No, wait!  I promise!  I got my groove back.  So, let’s go!

Joy’s Rant List Volume 53: How NOT to Do It – Part 1: The Juice Cleanse

You know, a lot of people like to remark about how smart I am. I have 3 degrees from 3 different schools.  I am a chemist, and an engineer.  I have an MBA and a high emotional IQ.  I’m pretty awesome.  But I’m not awesome ALL the time.  Sometimes I do some pretty stupid things.  I’m talking monumentally stupid, definitely memorably stupid and basically egregiously stupid.  Sometimes other people do colossally stupid things too.  So, we’re going to discuss these near-miss Darwin Awards in this series.  I’m even gracious enough to go first…

Image result for darwin awards

A couple of weeks ago I decided to do a juice cleanse. I figured that it would be good for me, and it would jump start my metabolism.  I’ve been trying to lose weight (More Lies – Not really, but I kinda am) and eat healthier.  Truth be told, one of my besties, Dr. Ericka, started eating twigs and leaves… and then one day she was fine as hell.  When did THAT happen?  Say what?  You eat Kale? Quinoa?  And what the hell is “kwi-NO-ah” anyway?  Oh, it’s pronounced “keen-wah”?  Yeah I ain’t eating it.  But, if I can get fine like Ericka, then I will!!!

So, let’s pause to make sure you understand the fundamental element needed to cause good intentions to go horribly wrong (AKA bad life choices that can haunt you forever). If you want to know how you get into the pattern of doing something wrong, it’s so simple.  It’s what the previous generation called “hard-headed”.  COMMIT to the high potential for failure.  OWN your lack of research and information.  You must REFUSE to adhere to any instructions or rules.  Just, you know, go for what you know.  Now if you don’t KNOW anything about what you are trying to do, then guess what? You get this blog.  You might even BE in this blog one day soon.

Step 1: The System Cleanse (AKA “Colon Blow”)

So I decided to start my new healthy kale and quinoa eating habit with a good system cleanse. Many people know the benefits of the sea salt cleanse.  This works.  It always works.  That is key – it ALWAYS works.  You take 2 teaspoons of sea salt, mix it with room-temp water (4 cups) and then CHUG it.  Chug it ALL. … Then you wait… You normally have to wait anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes for it to take effect.  And you will KNOW when it does.  This concoction will literally spray-jet-wash the inside of your colon.  You will push out anything between your stomach and your sphincter.  Eventually you will just be farting water.  No… FOR REAL… The abdominal pressure created by sea salt and water is hurricane force REAL.  Therefore, it is ill-advised to move more than 20 feet from your toilet for at least an hour, just to make sure your category 4 bubble gut situation is truly back to normal skies and sunshine.

HERE IS WHAT NOT TO DO…

I chugged my concoction, sat on the couch for about 10 minutes, and then absent mindedly decided to go downstairs to check my mail. My mailbox is about a 3-4 minute round trip in the elevator.  And just as I was getting to the mailbox to open it – KABLAM!  The shit literally decided to hit the fan!!  Well – almost.  With mail in hand, I had to decide what to do.  Do I try to fart-water-jog up the stairs to make my trip quicker?  Or, do I do the slowest ass-clinching walk of all time to the elevator and hope that if I stay still, I can hold it?  I chose #2.  (Ha! See what I did there!?!)

Anyway, I barely make it back into my place to jump onto the toilet. We are talking photo finish here, people.  It was close.  But I made it.

The End…? Of course not.  That hardly qualifies as monumentally stupid…  Surely, I have the ability to reach a Darwin Award level of greatness with my stupidity!  Let’s keep going, shall we?

Step 2: The Smoothie (ahem) Situation (AKA “Metal Mishap”)

I decided that I would purchase some kale and spinach mix and eat salad every day. I would even grab some grapes for snacks, and why not buy the strawberries and mangos and other fruits that I had seen at Smoothie King so I could make smoothies?  I had tried a frozen fruit smoothie at my friend Janelle’s house, so I knew I liked them. (Special shout-out to Paul who makes his wife awesome breakfast smoothies).  Plus, Ericka eats smoothies for breakfast every day with her twigs and leaves which is why she is all fine as hell now.

(Fast Forward One Week)

The frozen fruit is still unopened in the freezer. The kale and spinach mix is looking suspect in the refrigerator, and the grapes are about to go bad.  That’s the problem with organic fruit – It rots.  Wal-Mart fruit lasts for like 2-3 months.  McDonald’s is probably still serving 2012 fruit parfaits.

So I have this bad fruit and suspicious looking salad mix. Let’s mix it all together and make a green smoothie!  Why the hell not?  (*Remember my earlier comment about COMMITTING to the failure…)  A green smoothie will be healthy and keep me from wasting the paycheck I spent to buy organic.  Now, I didn’t research any recipes, read any directions or ask anyone anything about amounts for measuring.  I just pulled out my Hamilton Beach blender that I use for margaritas, put in a handful of kale/spinach, a handful of grapes and tossed in some Ocean Spray cranberry juice (for liquid) before hitting the “smoothie” button on my blender.

The result? It was a lumpy green mess of strange bits and pieces of formerly edible fruits and vegetables.  It was watery and thick at the same time.  Imagine finely ground mulch and freshly cut grass – in a glass.  So that’s what I decided to call it – salad in a glass.  I took a chance and sipped/chewed a bit of it.  And you know what? It wasn’t that bad.  But then I poured it into a glass and realized that I had made about 40 ounces of this salad smoothie concoction.  You just can’t drink a 40 oz smoothie.  You lose all street cred.  That is not the 40 they talk about.  At any rate, I put the rest in the fridge to save for later… And then forgot about it until the following day…

A day and a half later, I open the fridge and see some tri-layered green-brown-clear liquid in the glass. What the hell is this?  Apparently – you can’t “hold on” to a green smoothie.  I tried to stir it up to rekindle my decent experiment from before but…nah.  Down the drain.  There is no “do over” for salad in a glass.  I actually did make another smaller batch because it really did taste alright though.  In the future, this will be how I take all my veggies – pulverized for quick chugging.  I only savor meats and desserts.  I mean, if you are supposed to eat better to be healthy, then eating salad really is like taking medicine, right?

Don’t forget that I’m an engineer and scientist! If at first you don’t succeed, set up another experiment!  The next smoothie I tried was a frozen fruit smoothie.  I’d seen this done before. Well – I’d been nearby when it was done, and that counts for credit.  Of course, I didn’t really pay attention to what making a smoothie entailed.  And remember how I didn’t research any recipes, read any directions or know anything about amounts for measuring the last time?  Yeah, it didn’t occur to me change any of those conditions for this experiment.  (COMMIT to being hard-headed!)

So, I threw in slightly less fruit than a handful, poured out some almond milk to make it creamy (in my mind) and added a touch of stevia because I didn’t trust the fruit to be sweet. What came out of the blender was the best hand-made sorbet ever!  It was SO delicious!!!  And it probably was low calorie, right?  It was just frozen berries, almond milk and water!  YES! We have a winner!  So I poured out a glass – but once again realized that I made too much.  What to do with the rest?  I knew the refrigerator was not an option (See how smart I am!?!)  Well, usually when I make margaritas, I just leave the leftovers in the pitcher and then put it in the freezer.  So, let’s do that.  I’ll come back and eat the rest for dessert!  YAY for healthy desserts!!!

A few hours later, I come back and open the freezer to find a pink rock sitting in the blender. My fruit smoothie was frozen solid.  Why? Because there is no alcohol in this smoothie like there is in my margaritas to keep that pleasant slushy texture.  But I was jonesin’ for something sweet.  I tried to take an ice pick and chip off some smoothie, but that took too long.  So then I tried to run it under the hot water tap, but it burned my hand where I was holding it.

HERE IS WHAT NOT TO DO…

Next, I decided to try and quickly soften the sorbet the same way I soften ice cream – by putting it in the microwave for about 10 seconds. …Yes, you read that right. Yes, it’s what you think.  I put the ENTIRE PITCHER from my blender in the microwave and hit “plus 30”.  FIVE seconds later I remembered, “Hey fool! There are metal blades in the bottom of that pitcher!”

HERE IS WHAT (ELSE) NOT TO DO…

I wanted to make sure that the metal didn’t spark so I got close to the microwave to SEE if I could see it sparking. I wanted to be able to remove it before it exploded.  Now here’s what I didn’t take into account: the spark would BE the explosion.  Not enough reflexes in the world to avoid that.  And my face was inches from the microwave door!  This was monumentally stupid!  Not only did I put metal – SHARP BLADES of metal – in the microwave, I then proceeded to WATCH it up close to see if it would explode!!!  They say God looks out for babies and fools.  Clearly, they are right.  I came to my senses and removed the pitcher, put some hot water inside it, stabbed it with a steely knife (Eagles!) and then ate what ended up being shaved ice.

Now you know why they put warnings on blow driers for you not to use it in the bathtub. It’s for people like me.  Remember – I have THREE college degrees.  I didn’t use a single one of them while I was staring at sharp metal cooking in a microwave!  And I did eventually get my act together and got a nutri-ninja smoothie maker.  No more oversized portions.  No more microwave shenanigans. But just remember – I almost blew my face off trying to melt a strawberry rock.

Rant 53 and I’m out! But, stay tuned for my next installment – How Not To Go Natural.

Joy’s Rant List, Volume 52: I’m Glad I Got That Off My Chest

It’s funny that this rant is volume 52. That used to be the measurement around my upper chest. lol

Well, family, it has been almost 5 months since I had breast reduction surgery. And I told you all that once I was back to normal I would give an update. All I can say is…

I AM DELIVERT!!! I’m not a “J” no more!! I like cotton bras! COTTON COTTON COTTON COTTOSHALAHAMABRAYA!!!

(Side note – if you didn’t get that reference, you need to see this: I’m Not Gay No More)

In my last blog I gave you the rundown of what it was like living with 42-J breasts. It was … not fun. It had its perks but by and large I was suffering under the weight of having large boobs. Literally. They were about 15 pounds. But I had a GENIUS plastic surgeon. Dr. Arturo Armenta – aside from looking like he just left the set of Grey’s Anatomy – worked magic on me. He took out SEVEN POUNDS of breast tissue during the reduction. As a comparison, my godson Jacob was born the same day and he weighed seven pounds. I was literally carrying around the equivalent of twins in my shirt. Dr. Armenta took out HALF my chest – and I am still a DDD. And he was also able to keep the nerve endings alive in my nipples. That is a big deal. In a reduction this large, the surgeon normally can’t save the nipples and they end up just being lifeless decoration. Lifeless. Decoration. Can you imagine going through the next 30 to 40 years of your life with no nipple action?!?!  Dr. Armenta said that although I was not the biggest reduction he’d ever done, I was in the top 5. So here’s how the pre-surgery conversation went…

Me: Okay, look, doc. I really want to go down as small as I can – BUT – without losing feeling in my nipples. Can you do that?

Doc: No promises. I think I can, but it is a real concern. I’m thinking –

Me: Triple D? E?

Doc: (side-eyeing me) More like Double D.

Me: Okay, then let’s just say that I want to be as small as I can be while saving the nipple.

Doc: Um, okay –

Me: Let nipple-saving be the main priority during surgery.

Doc: …Look, I’m going to do what’s best for you. I think you will be happy. But I will do everything I can to save your nipples.

Me: Thank you, Dr. Armenta!! (whisper: wit’ yo’ fine self!)

I was gonna hook him up with my BFF but he’s married. Oh well. I still would recommend him to anyone in the Houston area looking for a good plastic surgeon.

So remember this dress from my “before” rant?

Look how my boob reaches my elbow... Ugh!

Look how my boob reaches my elbow… Ugh!

Well here is me, in the SAME dress, after my surgery.

First night out on the town (with no bra!) Freedom!

First night out on the town (with no bra!) Freedom!

I know right?!? So this is what has happened all through my wardrobe. It’s not that I have dramatically changed my height or weight, but that everything I own now fits the way it’s supposed to. This dress went from ‘sausage stuffing’ to ‘sexy’. My blazers now button, and I don’t rip out the inner linings. I can buy a two-piece suit off the rack. I DID drop 2 dress sizes – mostly because I formerly had to buy larger dresses to accommodate the boobs.

Here is a before and after bra shot.bras

See how the smaller new bra fits completely inside the older bra? Additionally, see how the new bra is PRETTY and the old bra is BLAH!! As soon as I am sure that everything is settled, I am going to go buy all new bras. I couldn’t resist and I bought a couple already.

 

 

So you may be wondering – how was surgery and recovery? Well let me break it down for you month by month.

Month One

Painkillers. Is it time yet to take the next painkiller? Well how much time? That long? Fix it Jesus! I was in pain for the entire month. I am SO thankful to my editor and one of my employees for coming to take care of me. And what’s funny is that before my editor left, she gave specific instructions to my employee like “Don’t talk to her – she will not go to sleep.” And “Don’t bring her anything salty to eat. Fresh fruit only.” Can I tell you I would have given my left ovary for some popcorn?!? LOL! I know it was for my own good though. I healed like a champ. And lost another 10 lbs on top of the surgery! Although, the loss of the giant boobs revealed the hidden gut that was under them. I’ll work that off later. Everything was either numb, or in pain. And my boobs were chunky squares. It was like having two boxes of animal crackers on your sternum. But it got better…

Month Two

The boobs are rounding out. They are more like square pillows now. But. Everything. Itches!!! OMG! All those healing stitches itch like the devil. And remember when I said I wanted to save the nerves in my nipples? Well – they were definitely alive. The left and right nipples were doing their own interpretive dances.

"Birds in the sky... You know how I feel..."

Left Nipple: “Birds in the sky… You know how I feel…”

TURN DOWN FOR WHAT?!!

Right Nipple: “TURN DOWN FOR WHAT?!!”

Every so often – like every 36 seconds – my nipples would erupt into interpretive dance and I would have to rub them to calm them down. Now I know why I was encouraged to take time off from work. I can imagine I would be fired if I showed up in a meeting, and every few minutes I did this:

Farmer Ted

Month Three

Whew! My skin is healing. Even though the itching has abated, now I have to work on controlling the scarring. So every morning and night I am rubbing shea butter into my skin. I was using cocoa butter, but all that did was make me greasy. On a lark, I tried my whipped shea butter by Nature by Design (www.mynaturebydesign.com) and it did in a few hours what store-bought Palmer’s cocoa butter couldn’t do for days. I really think it helped my skin heal faster. Although I continue to look like a pervert as I slap a glob of shea butter into my hands and then rub my boobs for 10 minutes. I look like a low-budget amateur porn star for 20 minutes a day.

In other news – I can work out again. Now I want to try to keep off this roughly 20 pounds that I’ve lost, and get this gut under control. Yoga is a snap now. No more suffocation (I am delivert!)

I went swimming for the first time and – just like the rest of my wardrobe – I now know how this swimsuit is supposed to fit. Apparently it is supposed to COVER my boobs. Who knew? I went from stretch marks on my swimsuit to having (gasp!) extra space up top! LOL! I also can swim easier and faster than I did before. But my stamina has taken a hit. My first day back in the pool, I could only do about 1/8 mile. 8 laps and I was winded. But it felt good to be back!

I also tried push-ups and discovered that I have been doing them wrong my whole life. No wonder I never had good definition in my arms! I wasn’t going all the way to the floor! With roughly 10 inches of breasts in front of me, I was only getting about half-way to the ground before my boobs hit and I would push back up. When I tried my first post-op push-up, my first thought was that if my life depended on my upper body strength, I was a dead woman. And crunches! Now I can reach my elbows to my knees! Boobs were in the way before. I really think I am going to be able to get my sexy back by summer time. I thought I could get it back by my birthday, but fried chicken and wine slowed me down.

The New Me – Finally!

Pssst. Hey. Over here. Guess what?… I’m outside without a bra on!!! For the first time since I was 10 years old, I went outside without a bra on. I’m free!! I can do things other girls take for granted! Special thanks to my ace Ericka Goodwin for my very first ladies’ tee – also known as a babydoll tee. I have never been able to squeeze into one of those – hence all the Hot Topic men’s tee shirts. But she sent me one in the mail and it fit! Praise the Lord, Saints!!

And speaking of clothing – true story: A couple years ago, I had bought these little maxi-dresses for lounging around the house. They are hideous, but they are just for lounging anyway. Well, I bought them because I was excited to finally find a maxi-dress that had room in the bodice for my gigantic 42-J boobs. Fast forward to my post-reduction self. I put my ugly little maxi-dress on and guess what? That was not a ‘bodice’. That elastic was the WAISTLINE. What used to gather right up under my breasts now goes down to my navel – like it was supposed to do in the first place. Who knew? LOL! When I tell you my whole torso was boobs – mannnnn…..

One other thing before I go. I got my swagger back. Those of you who have known me for years know that I had a certain ‘walk’. I lost that walk when my boobs got so heavy that it took all my concentration just to keep my hips and knees in alignment. Now – with the lighter me – I am in ‘full swing’ again! I didn’t realize how much I missed my natural walk until I had it again. I strutted around downtown Houston for a good 20 minutes yesterday, just to see if it was real. And based on a couple of stares, yeah, it’s real. LOL. But the walk is only half physical. The other half is mental. And now that my physical body is able to walk without pain, my mind has re-released my strutting theme song. Yes, I have a real theme song that plays when I walk and it is “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees. I got my strut from John Travolta. It looks good on him but better on me. Ha!

Killing it.

Killing it.

 

So – new lease on my wardrobe, new outlook on going to the gym – 2015 is going to be awesome! And I now have what one of my friends dubbed “college titties” because they are lifted and firm again. You know what time it is? Time to STRUT!

Rant 52 done, and I’m out!

 

 

Joy’s Rant List, Volume 51: I Just Had to Get This off My Chest

Date of writing: September 23, 2014…
I can’t sleep. I’m so excited!! I am two days away from undergoing breast reduction surgery, and I just can’t wait. So since it’s 3:30 AM and I don’t have to be to work for hours yet, I decided to blog about what led me to this point.
This blog is about my gargantuan boobies, and how I had to get them literally off. my. chest.
For those of you who know me – you know that I have been the chairwoman of the Tig-Ol-Bitty Committee since its inception. No lie – I was wearing a C cup in elementary school. Now think about that for a minute. Think about all the running around that kids do. Think about how you, with your adult C cup (or your wife’s) may not like to jump up and down a lot without a bra on. Now imagine an 8-year old girl having to sit back and NOT jump rope with the other kids. Children are assholes and I just didn’t want to be the brunt of the bouncy jokes. Now you may say to your adult self that I should have been stronger. Or if you know me now you can never imagine that I would be too timid to do ANYTHING. Well, that’s Adult Joy. Child and Teenager Joy let her bra size rule her life. Here is a list of things that I DIDN’T do because I thought I was too heavy-chested:
Cheerleader. My friend Melita was a cheerleader in middle school and I was SO jealous. Not in a mean-spirited kind of way, but in a “gee, I wish I could do that” kind of way. But here’s the thing – I didn’t even try out. It never occurred to me that I might have been able to make the squad, because I had never seen a cheerleader with oversized boobs. I also didn’t try to run track, or play sports.
Dancer. I love dancing. I really do. But again – no dancers with giant boobs. A gym teacher actually said this to me in high school. He was very compassionate about it, by trying to tell me that my proportions were probably going to stop me from getting very far in dance, because my balance would be affected. So from that point on, I just gave up trying to be sporty. My last hurrah in dance was when I helped my friend Ayanay choreograph her tryout piece for the Mahogany in Motion dancers at Morehouse College. I helped her with the intro. It gave me immense pleasure to know that she made the team, and I helped a little bit. For me, it was like I made the team. That was a great feeling, even if it was mostly vicarious. LOL! I often wonder how my life might have been different if I had been a dancer, or a cheer leader, or ran track, or something.
The one thing I was good at (that was dance-adjacent) was stepping. That was my thing! I had one thing I could do and I wore it out! Shout out to Takasha and the rest of the D.O.A. crew from high school!! I went on to step with my college freshman dorm, and later with my sorority – at least until my knee crapped out on me for good. Then I coached. Now I just watch So You Think You Can Dance. LOL.
SN: I did like to ride my bike, but one day in the summer before 6th grade, I rode to a neighbor’s house and got bit by their dog. That was the last time my mom let me out. A couch potato was born. Hello, Atari. And I still play video games. Like, I’m probably doing that right now somewhere. Xbox is my competitive sport.
Sigh – I know I am painting a very sad picture, but I need people to understand exactly how this works. And if you have a female child who is developing fast, this might help you a little bit.
So let’s move beyond the high school drama and get deeper into college. It wasn’t until I got to college that I even began to realize that big boobs could be an asset. Aside from the male attention I was getting, I discovered that if I put on my one-and-only interview suit, and went to the liquor store at 6:00 pm, I didn’t get carded. Apparently nobody would think that a 5’7” woman with DD’s, in heels and a suit would be less than 21. I was 18. Ha! Take THAT America! I also got my share of free stuff – extra candy at the movies, maybe a free soda at the bar, or whatever. Perks. Gotta love ‘em. Back then I was a 38DD. Ah, the good old days.
Now, let’s move into Adult Joy – the Joy that most of you are familiar with. Hard-won self-esteem, great personality, seemingly fearless, you know – ME. And by the time I was out of college, I had fully embraced my giant knockers. By this time I was a 38DDD. Extra D means another inch to the boobs. I think they grew because I had tried birth control pills for a year to try to mitigate some uterine fibroid issues (and here’s a big MIDDLE FINGER to anyone who tries to deny birth control to women. It’s not about being a whore – it’s about migraines and anemia and 7 day-periods and a bunch of other shyt. So bite me!!)
Where was I? Oh yeah – so adult Joy is now a 38DDD and I’m cool with it. I can’t close a blazer or wear button-down shirts, but that’s okay. I look like this:

They're real, and they're fabulous!

They’re real, and they’re fabulous!

And I looked like this for TEN YEARS. I’m actually 32 or so in this picture. But then, hormones or body changes or something kicked in, and my boobs started to GROW. AGAIN!! (cue Psycho horror music)
The first thing I noticed was that my boobs were sticking out the tops of my bras. I had the quadraboob thing going on. Big-breasted girls know what I mean. My bras were too small. Since when? I’m thinking. Then I noticed that I was starting to get irritation under my arms from the underwires, and I developed other skin issues associated with large breasts. Ugh! Dammit! Why is this happening? I’m still not 100% sure what was going on, but just know that between 2003 and 2013, I jumped from a 38DDD to a 42-J. Yes, that is a J as in “Jesus! Those are some big tit-tays!” LOL
For those that are not sure what that means, here are a few ways to think about it.
1) Each additional letter beyond DDD is another inch in cup size (distance from rib cage to boob tip). DDD is already 8 inches. Count with me. E-F-G-H-I-J. That is ANOTHER 6 inches. I have the equivalent of twice as much boob as I did when I graduated from college. Or add another 6 inches to the picture above.
2) Pick up two newborn babies and strap them both to your rib cage. Walk around for a few years.
3) Try this. Sit in a chair, and put your hands on your upper thighs. At this point, my boobs touch my wrists. When I say my ENTIRE torso is covered in breasteses, I mean it. I mean – look at this nonsense…

Look how my boob reaches my elbow... Ugh!

Look how my boob reaches my elbow… Ugh!

So now that you understand exactly how big 42-J is, let me tell you all the funny things that happened to me in the last 6 months that made me decide to finally go through with the breast reduction.
Trauma #1: Vacation Dismay
I went to Puerto Vallarta for my 40th birthday this year, with my girlfriends. And I bought a new swimsuit for the trip. Now, I have been wearing standard one-piece suits my whole life. But I’m feeling fancy so I go buy a tank-top two piece. It’s a boy-short bottom with a little dress-type tank top that flares out from the ribs. Really cute. But I’m not going to even tell you how emotionally disturbing it is to know that you have to buy a size 26 swimsuit top. That’s the size I had to go up to in order for my boobs to fit in the bra part of the top. I was determined to get it though.
Day three of vacation – I take my new swimsuit to the public beach about ½ mile from our villa. That was the LONGEST WALK OF MY LIFE. I am not a gym rat, but I’m not THAT damn out of shape either. Yo, I couldn’t even WALK 0.5 miles down the beach! The tank top tied around my neck – something I had never tried before – and my boobs pulled SO HARD on my neck that it was pulling my whole torso forward and I was literally carrying my boobs in a sling down the beach. It was too much. True story – I had so much trouble walking in the sand with this dead weight on my neck that at one point I just gave my towel to my friends and jumped in the water and SWAM down the beach. It was easier to swim than to walk, because boobs float. I almost took my top OFF, it hurt so bad. (I didn’t. I ain’t crazy). And speaking of swimming…
Trauma #2: Pool Problems
After I got back from vacation I decided that I needed to focus on losing weight and maybe getting some relief from my lower back problems through swimming and stretching. Let’s address swimming first. I have been swimming for years. I actually swam a mile as my new record last year. I can swim. I know I can. But all of a sudden, my new Speedo swimsuit – exact same make and model as the previous version that died in the washing machine – it didn’t fit. The chest stretched so far as to make fuzzy stretch marks on the lycra. YES. MY SWIMSUIT HAD STRETCH MARKS. I wanted to swim though, so I figured I would go ahead and hit the pool, and worry about the suit later. Mistake. I start swimming and I slowly realize that my stroke feels strange. I am not coordinated like I used to be just last year. Only 6 months since I’d done my mile in the pool. Nobody forgets that fast. Then I realize – my boobs are messing with my stroke. They extend out under my arm and were totally screwing up my rhythm. I adjusted by torqueing my upper body more in order to clear my boob, when – surprise – my left breast decides to just jump out of my suit. So now I am trying to swim in a public pool with one toddler-sized titty hanging out of the top of my suit. And by the way – I am light-skinned and the suit is black, so you immediately could see that something was ‘off’ under the water. I had to stop every 4-5 strokes to put my boobs back together. Finally, after maybe three laps, I just got out. I gave up. It was like swimming with loose balloons tied to my neck. At least I know I will never drown.
Trauma #3: Yoga Death
This last example is the most ridiculous. I mentioned earlier that I was trying swimming AND stretching to relieve my lower back issues, and at the suggestion of my chiropractor I took a yoga class. Well, the first class went pretty well. I did about 80% of the poses and had improved by the end of the class. I felt good enough about it that I went back. And this time, I tried all of the poses including the one where you really stretch your lower back. I think it’s called ‘plow pose’. So here’s how you do this pose: you lie on your back and bring your legs up off the ground, straight into the air. Then you try to bring your toes down over the top of your head to touch the floor. So in essence you bend yourself in half, with your back on the ground. I could do this. I am very flexible. I bend over and touch my toes all the time. But what I didn’t plan for was gravity. I had to rock back and forth a couple of times to get my but high enough to fold over on myself, and when I did I got an unexpected surprise. Just as I am exhaling to put my toes over my head, here come the boobies, like an avalanche, headed straight for my face. And then this position forced them to be squished into my face. Yes, I motorboated myself. The only issue was that there was no room to move – or breathe. I had just exhaled and my boobs created a seal with my nose and mouth in between them. So I laid there, suffocating, trying to hold the pose for at least a few seconds. And then, in the middle of this quiet meditative room you hear “……..GASP!” Like Wesley and Buttercup coming up out of the sand pit in The Princess Bride.
That’s enough of the traumatization of having big boobs. Here are some other things that I have noticed that I do, that other people do not do:
1) I tend to sit leaning forward; trying to hide my boobs under the table, which in actuality only forces my cleavage forward into eyesight. Whoops. This also makes me seem like I am not taking whatever meeting I am in seriously, because I used to lean on one hand. I have modified this to look like I am totally engaged. But really I’m hiding my boobs.
2) I lean forward to eat because if I drop food, it doesn’t land in my lap. It lands 4 inches from my chin, on my boobs. And I look like a slob. This is why you hardly ever see me eat anything with sauce or gravy in public.
3) When nobody is around… I rest my boobs on the table in front of me to give my back a break.
4) I am constantly adjusting my bra. I thought everyone had issues with this, until someone pointed out to me that I was the only person doing that all the time. Like – all the time.
5) When I try to paint my toes myself, I have to move my boobs out of the way to reach my toes. What I usually do is put one boob on the outside of my thigh, and one on the inside, so I can lean down far enough to get to my toes. Normally, I just go get a pedicure. It’s easier.
6) We won’t even talk about how many showers I take in the summer to alleviate boob sweat.
Well, a month has passed since the day I wrote this. I had my reduction on Thursday September 25th. They removed a total of 7 POUNDS from my chest. I’M FREE!!!! And as soon as I come down off the painkillers, I might tell you how it’s going. So far – best decision I’ve made since I decided to go to Spelman. It’s THAT life-changing. More to come!
Rant 51 done, and I’m out!!!

Joy’s Rant List: Volume 50: Sex Packets, Part 4-B: MORE Sex, Lies and Videotape

Previously, on “Sex Packets…”

(Nah, I ain’t recapping. Just go read the previous entry or this won’t make sense.)

SEX

Tyrese looked down at the bed where his wife was passed out. What the hell? He thought. Is she dead? He poked her.  “T… T, wake up…Taraji?”  He shook her hard enough to wake her.  And he ignored the fact that it felt good to his ego to shake her kinda hard.

Taraji moaned and opened her eyes. She realized where she was, and what was happening. She hastily remove the vibrator, but she couldn’t suppress an ‘aftershock’ shudder as she removed it.  When she sat up, it was to face an angry husband.  “…What’s wrong?”  She was truly confused as to why he was frowning at her.  “Did you get the shot you wanted?” She asked.

“Yeah, I got the shot. The shot of you passing out with that damn vibrator.  What was that about?” Tyrese accused her with his eyes.

Taraji just stared dumbfounded at him. “I don’t know.  You told me to use it, so I did.  It felt good.  So I came.  What’s wrong with that?”  She asked as she rose to approach him.

“Nothing.” Tyrese snatched the vibrator from her hand and tossed it to the floor.  “I’m just saying.  We’ve been married for 7 years, been banging for 9, and you’ve never passed out before.  Makes me wonder…”  He started to position the camera on the tripod, and got busy fumbling with the controls again and pointedly not making eye contact with Taraji.  She reached for his chin to get him to face her but he jerked away.  “Just go lay down on the bed so we can finish this movie.”  He snapped at her.

 “HEY!” Taraji got up in Tyrese’s face.  “Looka here – it was YOUR idea to make a movie.  YOUR idea to use a vibrator YOU bought. And now you wanna get mad because I liked it?  Go to hell, ‘Reese!”  Taraji pushed at his chest and tried to leave the room, but he grabbed her in a bear hug.

Tyrese looked at his wife and accepted the fact that he put them in this place. He was NOT going to puss out about the damn vibrator.  It was a freaking machine.  He took a deep breath and shook off his bullshit.  He’d just gotten his wife to star in a home porno.  He’d better suck it up or else.  “I’m sorry baby.  I’m just tripping.  I just didn’t have any idea you would react so… strongly to it.  Let’s finish the movie.”  He started rubbing her back and rocking back and forth with her – actions that he knew would calm her down.  After a while, she agreed to get back to filming.

This time, there was no vibrator. Tyrese set up the camera, and they started over with foreplay.  She played with him, and he played with her – for a really long time, just to be sure…  Then, they played with each other.  After a few minutes, Tyrese added a little Astro-glide before getting down to his business.

She wants a machine, I’ll give her a machine. With those thoughts driving him, he commenced to putting in back breaking work on her.  He lifted her up, tossed her around, even held her upside down.  All the while, Tyrese kept checking the camera to make sure it was still recording.

Taraji hissed “Stop looking at the camera!” She was certain it was going to mess up the movie. He dismounted and went over to the tripod.

“I want to get some close up shots,” he said. “Get into doggie for me.” He came up behind her and tried to enter her while holding the camera.  After a couple of pumps, he slipped out.  He tried again, angling the camera to get a good view of himself at the point of penetration.  He slipped out again.  “How do the porn stars get these close up shots without slipping out?”

“They are longer so…” Immediately, Taraji cursed her loose tongue and analytical mind.  Had she just insulted her husband in the middle of sex?  She closed her eyes when she felt him pause and pull out.  

LIES

“I mean they have a third person holding the camera so it’s easier.” Taraji tried to clean it up.

“That’s not what you said. But whatever.  Those guys are freaks of nature.  Whatever.  Just… just lay on your back and pull your legs up.  Let’s try it that way.”  Taraji complied with Tyrese’s request and spread herself as wide as she could so he could get his shot.  He stroked for a long time trying to get it right…  Too long.

“Uhh – baby can you grab the lube? I’m starting to dry out.”  The friction was becoming uncomfortable.

“Oh so now I’m small AND can’t keep you wet?” He tried to say it jokingly, but Tyrese was clearly starting to get in his feelings more than a little bit.

“No babe! It’s just the air in here is drying me out.  You’ve got me all spread-eagled to the sky.  Help a sister out.”  She tried to lighten his mood.

Tyrese grumbled as he got off the bed. “You could at least act like you want it.  I mean this is a movie.” Tyrese mumbled.

Taraji sat up. “Okay, see, I knew this was a bad idea.  You’re all pissy now because I’m drying out?  It’s 60 freaking degrees in here – what do you expect?  And it’s not like I don’t want you.  But this isn’t sexy!! This is crazy.  You keep stopping mid-stroke to look at the camera!  Where is the ‘romance’ in that?”  She was starting to get really angry at him for his attitude.  “If this is going to make you get all insecure we can just stop right now.”  She reached for her robe.

“No! No!  I want this – for real.  Let’s just put the camera back on the stand and keep going.”  He replaced the camera and looked down at himself.  And down was the appropriate word.  He started stroking himself to get back in the game, but every time he looked at her, he thought of her comment.  He knew she was right.  They’d even discussed the crazy size of the porn stars before.  But still.  He stood there for a moment, stewing in his internal strife.

Taraji looked at him, and her eyes softened. “Come here baby, let me take care of you.”  She crawled across the bed and took him in hand.  “Awww, is the baby sleepy?  Let’s see if I can wake him up.”  She began to work him over with her mouth, and he was back in the saddle in no time.

Tyrese shook off his attitude and got back to business. He would show her who was the man around here!  He ran through everything in his arsenal:  Missionary.  Doggie style. Cowgirl.  Reverse Cowgirl. Some ol’ Kama Sutra shit they found online, but that gave Tyrese a cramp in his calf so it was back to doggie style.  As he got close to finishing, he whispered “Bae, turn over…”

Taraji turned over, expecting to go back into cowgirl – and got hit with a face full of hot and sticky…

That son of a bitch! was all she could think. This was NOT agreed to!  But, she let him completely finish with her lips pursed and eyes shut tight.  She absolutely did not want it in her eyes.  She was convinced it was why all the hoes in her high school had gotten the pink-eye back in the day.  She could feel it going everywhere, and knew she would never feel clean again. When he was done, she just sat perfectly still.  Eyes still closed.  She could hear him going around and turning off the music, the camera, and then opening the door.

“So you’re just gonna clean the room up and not get this shit off me, huh?” she yelled out. “Can you at least bring me a towel, muthafucka?” She kept her eyes closed until she felt a warm towel hit her hand, which she grabbed and scrubbed at her face like leprosy was on it.

“Sorry baby.” Tyrese watched her clean herself like a cat on cocaine. “You know, in the movies, the girls always take it in the face and rub it in and wipe it around….”

“Don’t make me beat yo’ ass, ‘Reese.” Taraji was no longer in the mood – for anything.  She got up and went to the bathroom to take the longest, hottest shower she could.

VIDEOTAPE/DVD/BLUE RAY in HD (HD – High Definition)

An hour later, they sat in front of the TV to watch the playback in the living room. “Here goes nothing,” Tyrese said.  “Thanks for doing this, T.  I love you.”  He kissed her on the cheek.

“I love you too, darling. But just so we’re clear – that was your one movie, got it?”  In Taraji’s opinion, this was just too much trouble.  She leaned into him as they started the movie.

Both were silent as they watched themselves on the big screen. Taraji broke the silence.  “Look at those muscles flexing!  You look good, boo.”  She smiled at him.

“So do you, bae. I just wish I had known this was the angle.  We can’t really see your body, just mine.  I’d rather see yours.”  He leaned forward and started watching with a critical eye.

As she began to service him on screen, he noticed that her facial expression was one of annoyance. Tyrese turned and looked at her with a raised eyebrow.  “Why do you look mad?”

“What?” She said innocently.  “I was focused.  That’s hard work, son!”  She giggled.  “Besides, look at me now!”  On screen, she was riding him like a prized stallion.  As she looked at herself, she thought: Wow, he was right about the Brazilian. I’ll never say that out loud, though.

“I was right about the Brazilian, huh?” Tyrese chimed in as if he’d read her mind.

She punched him in the shoulder playfully. “Yeah, but you should have shaved your hairy ass too!”  She shot back.

“You’re right. Too bad this is the only movie we’re making!”  He chuckled.  They continued to watch until they got to the attempted close up shots.  You could hear them arguing.  Tyrese ground his molars together for a second.  He felt Taraji gearing up to give him a pep talk that might possibly have emasculated him for life.

She began in an irritatingly patronizing voice: “It’s really just –“

“I’ll just edit out all the bad stuff later,” he said, cutting her off before she got started. “And I’m leaving in your little line about taking care of me.  That sounds straight out of a 70’s movie.”  He chuckled.

“You calling me corny?” She playfully smacked at his butt.

“Noooo… Yes.”  They both laughed, easing the tension.  They watched in relative silence up to the end– where he sprayed her.  “Oh man – look at your face!  You look like I was peeing on you or something!”  He doubled over laughing.

“I’m glad you think this is funny, you jerk. You know how I feel about cum.  I never said you could do that!”  She was mad all over again.

“Yeah, but you didn’t say I couldn’t”. Tyrese smiled at her. Secretly, that was the only reason he’d listened to her extended list of rules – to make sure that she didn’t say it.  She’d forgotten about that part, and he knew that was a one-time shot.   “Actually, the whole movie turned out pretty good.  I just wish we could get some better close-up shots of me and you.  My hand was shaking…”  He looked at her.

“ONE TIME, ‘Reese. That’s what we agreed to and that’s all you’re going to get!  There’s no way I’m letting you cum on me like that again. AND, you got it in my hair so that’s $100 out the damn door.  Your little porn career is about to start costing too much.”   She crossed her arms and gave him her best mean mug.

MORE LIES

Two weeks later…

“Thanks for lettin’ me crash here tonight, ‘Reese.” Omar said, slurring his words.  “I don’t think I coulda made it home.”  He tripped into the house behind Tyrese.  “I’mma just lay on the floor right here.”

“Shhh – Taraji is probably asleep. Just get to the couch and – …da fuck?”  Tyrese and Omar came around the corner to find Taraji – very much NOT asleep.  She had the TV on loud and was watching a vintage porno… and using the vibrator.  She was moaning so loudly that she hadn’t heard the door open.

Taraji gasped “What the hell!!”

“Oh shit!!” yelled Omar

“What is going on in here?” asked Tyrese, his eyes spitting fire.

“What the hell are YOU doing bringing people to the house? You coulda called before you came!”  Taraji tried to sound indignant as she wrapped a blanket around herself.

“And YOU coulda waited for ME before YOU came! Damn, T, for real!” Tyrese crossed his arms, waiting for an explanation. Taraji just stood there, looking uncomfortable.

“Hey, lishen, I don’ wanna be in the middle of this, with your dildoes, and your freaky things –“

“Shut up Omar!”

“And your sex tape –“

“Wait WHAT!?!?!” Taraji turned to Tyrese, now spitting fire from her own eyes.  “You TOLD him about our movie? You said you wouldn’t tell anyone!  I can’t believe you!”  Taraji looked hurt and disappointed.

“Don’t try to turn this around on me, Taraji. Why.  Were.   You. Using. A. Vibrator?”  Tyrese stood his ground and demanded an answer.

“You were supposed to be out all night! I was horny.  And it was just sitting in that box.  I still would have set you out when you got home IF you hadn’t been bringing people with you!” Taraji screamed back at him.

“Lower your voice woman. You starting to act like a real unstable creature right now.  Real unstable, Taraji.  I’m just saying.  Tell me the truth.  You been using that thing on the regular?”

“She probably has. My ex-wife loves hers.  She keeps extra rechargeable batteries in her night stand.” Omar contributed to the conversation with a hiccup.  “And Tarashee, you gon’ ease up on my man tryna act all holy.  Don’t act like you ain’t told nobody.”

Taraji looked at Omar warily. “We both said we wouldn’t tell ANYONE –“

“Yeah, but Monique called me the night it all went down. So you told her, huh? So why can’t he tell me?  See, ‘Reese, you can’t trust broads.”  Omar sat down on the couch and almost immediately started snoring.

Tyrese and Taraji just stared at each other. Neither made a move towards reconciliation.

“I think I’m going to sleep in the guest room.” Tyrese said.

“Yeah, you do that.” Replied Taraji.

“Why don’t you take your little battery operated boyfriend with you, then?” he shouted.

“I think I will! At least my vibrator doesn’t get all in his feelings like you!” she screamed.

“Fine! Maybe I will just go out to Magic City and find me a girlfriend!” Tyrese shot back.  He immediately regretted his words when he saw the hurt look on his wife’s face.  “T…  I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean it.  I’m so sorr – ooof!!” He lost his breath when Taraji kicked him in the solar plexus and knocked him to the floor.  She jumped on top of him and started windmilling her arms, forcing him to protect himself.

MORE VIDEOTAPE/DVD/BLUERAY in HR (HR – Hood Ratchetness)

“Muthafucka don’t you EVER think you gonna cheat on me ‘cuz I will kill YOU AND HER if you even so much as breathe on another female and don’t think I can’t do it because I will go in that kitchen right now and –“ Tyrese had to flip her and pin her to the floor.  By this time the blanket had come off.  The anger Taraji was feeling only escalated as Tyrese laughed at her attempts to beat on him.  She squirmed against him, but he held her still.

“Calm down, wildcat! You aint’ gotta be jealous.  I was just talking noise.  You know I love you.”  He started to kiss her and let her feel his erection.  Her naked squirming had gotten him heated.  He unzipped himself and nudged his way into her.  She started to protest but angry sex had also always been one of their ‘things’.  As he started to press into her she stopped him.

“Wait – what about Omar? He’s right over there!”  She tried to look over Tyrese’s shoulder.

“He had a whole bottle of Grey Goose. He ain’t waking up for a while.” Tyrese said.  Then he lifted her legs to seat himself even deeper inside her.  The idea of getting caught was turning him on, anyway.  And judging from her response it was turning her on too.  She started to open more for him.  He cupped her behind to bring her closer.  Both of them were riding a fast wave to the top –

“Damn, if this is what y’all’s movie looked like, that shit must be boring as hell.” Omar said from the couch.  He got up and weaved toward the door.  “Take me home, ‘Reese.  Y’all are getting on my nerves with this freaky shit.  Brother can’t even get a nap up in here.”

Rant #50 AND the Sex Packets series are done, and I’m out!!

Joy’s Rant List, Volume 49: Sex Packets, Part 4-A: Sex, Lies & Videotape

In case you forgot… Yadda yadda yadda – None of this is me. Yadda yadda yadda – Remember “a hit dog hollers”.  This time, names from the ghetto-classic movie “Baby Boy” will be used because this is some stupid ish they would do.  LOL!  

SEX

“And so Jerry said they argued all the way to the hospital! He was driving slower than normal so he could keep laughing at them!“  Taraji continued to regale Tyrese with the crazy ambulance adventures of her cousin Jerry.

“And you’re saying this guy got beads stuck up his behind and he didn’t know?” Tyrese was cracking up laughing, any pity long gone.

“Yes! And then he got mad at his wife for putting them in there! Apparently she made them herself. Do-it-yourself anal beads?  Who does that?” Taraji finished pouring the wine and moved to join Tyrese on the couch.  “But his partner tried to post the whole thing on WorldStar.com and got fired.  Idiot.”

“Yeah, that was dumb.” Tyrese positioned himself to allow Taraji to cuddle into his side.  He grabbed the remote and started the movie.  This was a monthly ritual for them – wine, popcorn, chocolate and a vintage adult movie.  Tonight, it was Debbie Does Dallas. “You know, this was the first porno I ever saw,” Tyrese told her. “I was twelve years old, and I snuck it out of my dad’s stash.  He beat me good when he found out.” He said.

“Really? Well then, this is like a reunion of sorts for you.” Taraji said.  “And twelve? Wow, you’ve been nasty for a long time!”  She giggled and snuggled closer to him.

“Yeah, but you like it.” He pulled her legs onto his lap and began caressing her calves while the movie played. One thing led to another and they finished the night with another monthly ritual – sex throughout the house. As Taraji went to clean up, Tyrese decided it was the right time to test out his new idea. When she returned to the couch, he cleared his throat. “You know, babe, this is one of my favorite things that we do.  Something about watching the movie and then getting with you just takes it to another level.”

“I feel the same.” Taraji said. “At first this used to feel so taboo, but now I like it.  See, you turned me out, you nasty boy.” She playfully swatted him on the butt.

“You know what would take this to an even higher level?” Taraji looked confused, but Tyrese continued, “If we could watch ourselves on movie night.” He paused to let the implications sink in with her.

“What do you mean watch our- OH! You, uh, you want to make a movie?” There was incredulity and a little fear in her voice.

“Think about it, T. What could be better than watching your gorgeous body while I’m inside your gorgeous body?” Tyrese reinforced his words with a soft squeeze to her hips and a gentle kiss that soon turned heated.

Taraji gave in to the kiss for a minute, but then shoved at his chest. “Wait – We need to talk about this! You can’t just say ‘Let’s make a movie’ and then not elaborate! I’m not sure I’m down with this Tyrese.”  Taraji moved to a sitting position and straightened her clothes again.  “I’m fine with all the other kinky stuff we do, but movies are permanent.  What happens if we get divorced? Who gets the movie?  What happens if there’s a break-in?  What if the thieves sell it on eBay?” She gasped “What if we end up on WorldStar?!?!?!”  She started to hyperventilate just a bit.

The discussion went on well to the break of dawn. Taraji had decided to craft an agreement of sorts with Tyrese for how the filming would be handled. At that point, Tyrese was willing to agree to anything so she would shut up and he could just go to sleep.

“Okay, so here are the rules.” By 4:00 AM, Taraji was in full lawyer mode. “One – No sharing of this video. Ever.  Not with anyone but me.  Two – Nobody else knows we did this. Ever.  Three – If I don’t like the way I look, we have to erase it.  Four – This is the only movie we will ever make – You ain’t turning me into an amateur porn star.  Five – No third parties!”  Taraji looked down her nose at him with her best serious face.  “And I mean that, Tyrese.”

“Okay, okay – That’s all fine with me.” He sighed. “Anything else?”

“I have a list of songs we can use for background music.”

* Top of the World – Menace II Society Soundtrack; Lick – Triple X Soundtrack; Perfect Match – School Daze Soundtrack; Crown Royal – Jill Scott

(*These actually would make a good soundtrack for a movie or a ‘dance’.  Check them out if you’re interested.)

“Okay, great, we can put those on repeat while we are filming. Cool?”  Tyrese was beginning to think he didn’t even want to do this anymore, because she was taking all the fun out of his idea.

“And I need a month to get ready.” Taraji said.

“A month!?! What the hell for?” Tyrese was flabbergasted. “It’s just a video, and nobody is gonna see it but us.  What do you need to do to get ready for that?”

“I need to get my hair done – you know she stays booked up. And I need a manicure.  And pedicure…” Taraji droned on and on until Tyrese was just staring off into space.

“– And you need to hit the gym.” She finished.

“Wait – what? Why?” Tyrese was confused – and a little hurt.  Did she think he was getting fat?  He thought he looked fine.  All his clothes fit.  What was the issue?  “What’s wrong with me that I gotta go to the gym?”

“I’m just sayin’, boo. We both need to get a little tighter.  The camera adds 10 lbs, you know.  I’m telling you the truth because I love you.”  She said.  She blew him a kiss and jumped up from the couch.  “I’m gonna go download our playlist.  Oh!  And one more question?  Can I just keep my normal close fade or do I have to get a Brazilian?  Are we doing vintage or new age?”

Tyrese hesitated. “Uh… Well would you mind doing new age? I just think you will like it better on screen.” He gave her his best charming smile, hoping she would just go with it.

Taraji stabbed him with a piercing look. “Okay fine.  But if I’m gonna do it, then you’re gonna do it too.  I’d like to see you get YOUR pubic hairs ripped from the root ‘for the look’.”

“Baby, I’m a man. Real men don’t get Brazilians.”  Tyrese smiled smugly at her.

“Maybe not, but porn stars do. And that’s what you want to be, right? Long Dong Silver? Big Rock Obama?”  She kept staring at him until he reluctantly agreed.

“I’ll shave, but I ain’t getting no damn Brazillian.” Tyrese said – which was all Taraji wanted to achieve.

LIES

The next Saturday, Taraji met her best friend Monique at the spa. They were there to get mani-pedis… and one Brazilian. “Girl, I just don’t understand why you doin’ this. Are you nuts?  You ‘bout to be scratching for days.” Monique cast a sympathetic glance at Taraji from over the nail table.  “What’s the big deal anyway?  Is it his birthday or something?”

“Something like that.” Taraji hedged. She averted her eyes for the umpteenth time.

“Okay, just tell me what the hell is going on. You’ve been acting crazy since we got here.  And you’ve NEVER done this before.  It’s not his birthday, not an anniversary… What IS it?” Monique said.

“You promise not to tell?” Taraji eyed her nervously. “We both promised not to tell anyone so you can’t ever let him know that I told you!”

“Yes! I swear on a stack of bibles – now spill it.” Monique leaned in to hear the news. “….Tyrese wants to make a sex tape.” Taraji rushed it out in one breath.

There was a full beat of stunned silence before Monique burst out laughing. “Ooh, child!  That is too much!  Who are you, Kim Kardashian?  You betta tell Ray J to find another fool!”  By this time Monique was yelling and people were beginning to stare.  Taraji grabbed her friend and pulled her into the hallway to finish explaining.  When she did, all Monique had to say was: “See, that’s why you’re married and I’m not.  But, er, uh… when you make your debut on Worldstar, ‘Paris Hilton’, I will be sure to tell everyone I knew you before you blew up!  So, you ‘bout to get stripped clean for some amateur hour, huh?” Monique continued to giggle.

They finished their their spa treatments, and then the big moment arrived. “Stay with me, Mo’. I’m scared.” Taraji reached for Monique’s arm and walked towards the waxing room.

Monique snatched her arm back. “Uh – hell no! We’ve been friends for a long-ass time but what AIN’T about to happen is me getting up close and personal with your coochie.  That’s an extra hell naw! I’ll see you on the other side, R Kelly!”

Meanwhile… At the gym…

“Man, this is the fourth week straight you been in here lifting like a maniac. You gettin’ all cut up.  What you doing, dude?  You on that Herba-Life or something?”  Omar asked, while spotting Tyrese.

“Nah man, just trying to get tightened up for something soon.” Tyrese went into his fourth set of bench presses.

“For what? It’s a nekkid beach party going on that I don’t know about?” said Omar.

“Something like that.” Tyrese fell into silent reps while Omar stood over him.

After a few minutes of strained silence, Omar broke down. “Okay for real, tho.  You in here every damn day for a month, looking like you fresh out the joint, talking about some nekkid party that I’M not invited to.  How you gon’ do me like that, son?  You out getting your freak on and you ain’t sharing?” Omar set the bar back into the cradle and picked up some free weights.  “I mean, I’m pumped.  I’m getting cut.  I got money.  Why you holding out?”  He continued to complain through his set.

“Nah, it’s not like that at all. I got something going with the wife. You know I don’t cheat.” Tyrese moved over to the leg press.

“Ohhh… Y’all making a sex tape?”

Tyrese missed his rhythm and let the weights slam back down into place. “How the hell do you know about that??!?!” he sputtered.

“I didn’t. Ha!  You just told me!”  Omar gloated at his cleverness.  “Man, every time somebody gets the bright idea to do a sex tape, the first thing they do is run up in the gym trying to get cut.  Plus, you been scratching your nuts like crazy. Either you got an STD or razor bumps.  Ha-ha!  She made you shave!  Am I right?” Omar laughed at the face Tyrese made.  “But how in the hell did you get Taraji to agree to that?  She lose a bet or something?”

“No, it was – look, don’t tell her that you know about this okay? Nobody is supposed to know.  I swore I wouldn’t tell.”  Tyrese gave his mouthy friend a killing glare.

“Technically, you didn’t tell me. I’m smart.  I figured it out.” Omar countered.  “Do you even know what you’re doing?  You got enough lighting?  Most rooms are too dark to film a movie.  You need a white background.  What about the camera?  YO! Can I work the camera?!?!  C’mon dawg!”

“Aw hell naw. You trippin’!  Ain’t no way I’d let you or anybody else up in that room.  With my wife?!  You high or something?  Don’t make me beat your ass, O.”  Tyrese finished his set and gathered his things to leave.  “And you better NEVER say anything about this to ANYONE.  Keep.  Your mouth.  SHUT.” And with that, he walked off… only to return a few moments later.  “Uh, what do you mean about the lighting?”

VIDEOTAPE (Or DVD/BLUE RAY for the youngsters)

The following weekend, it was time to film. Tyrese had been doing extra crunches and pushups all week. Taraji hadn’t eaten in 38 hours and had gotten her hair done that morning.  They were filming in the bedroom, which now looked like some Arabian Nights fantasy.  Billowy white sheets had been hung on all the walls so that it could have a more fantasy-like feel.  Tyrese had also brought in all the lamps from the guest room and took the shades off, to brighten up the scene. No grainy film on this shoot! He thought.

“Okay! You ready?” Taraji came into the room in a red satin robe that she’d bought just for this occasion.

“Oh yeah, baby. Let’s do this.”  And with that, Tyrese picked up the camera and turned on the iPod to play their “video mix”.  The bass line for Top of the World came on.  Taraji approached the bed slowly. “Do a little strip tease for me. Touch yourself.”  Tyrese immediately got into the role of director.  Taraji paused and gave him a confused look.  “Come on baby,” he said.  “Do it for the vine!”

She laughed and started to give him a little dance, undressing in her best sex kitten fashion. Soon things were getting heated.  Taraji came toward him and started to play with his package.  As she got down to business, she looked up to see him playing with the buttons on the camera.  Even worse – he wasn’t getting hard.  “Uh, ‘Reese?  What the hell, man?”  She backed up to look at him quizzically.

“My bad baby – I’m too focused on getting this camera to work. Start again.  But look at the camera the whole time, like they do in the movies.”  She began again, giving him what he asked for.  This time he responded.  After a few minutes of fellatio, he had more directions for her. “Okay. Now lay back and pull up your legs.”  As she did as asked, he tried to enter her, guiding himself with one hand while trying to get the camera angled correctly with the other.

All of a sudden a hand came across the screen out of nowhere.  He looked up to see Taraji glaring at him. “Hey punk! Quid pro quo, you know the drill. How you gon’ try to bang when I’m not even ready yet?”

“Oh! Sorry baby.  I’ve got my hands full with the camera.  But check this out.  I bought you a Rabbit, so you could do yourself.  That way, you can enjoy yourself and I can film it and get in good and close!”  Tyrese leaned over into the nightstand and pulled out a dildo with a quivering attachment.

“I’ve never used that.” She started to sit up.  He stopped her with a plea in his eyes. “Oh come on, T! Just a few shots to get the view I want, and then I promise I will never bring it up again!”  He gave her his best puppy dog eyes.  “Pleeeeeeezzee!!!”

She reluctantly agreed and grabbed the Rabbit.  She fumbled with it and gave an exasperated sigh.  “How do you do this?”  She handed it back to him to turn on, and then accepted the twitchy quivering machine from him.  She paused again.  “Are you sure?” She asked.  She wasn’t, but she was going to trust him on this.  At his nod, She leaned back and started playing with it.  And whaddya know?  It wasn’t half bad.   It wasn’t long before she was wet.

“Okay, slide it in, baby. Good.  Just like that.  Turn the vibrator part off.”  Tyrese was working with the zoom function, and not noticing the look of defiance on Taraji’s face.  She pretended to ignore him and left it on, continuing her newfound rhythm. “Okay.  Keep going.  Push it all the way – yeah like that.  Now flip over and use it doggie style.  Yeah.  Wait that buzz sound is going to be on film.   Just turn the vibrator part off.”  He insisted again.

“I can’t,” Taraji panted. “I don’t know how…You just hurry up and film what you want.”  She continued to use both parts of the toy.

Tyrese returned to director mode. “Okay now lay back and open your legs. Right.  That’s perfect!  Keep stroking like that.  Okay now – wait don’t close your legs.  Spread them again. …Stop clenching!  T spread your –”

“Aaaahhaaaahahhhhhhhhhhhhhuuuuhhhhuuuhhhh…” Taraji came harder than she had in a decade, and promptly passed out.

 

STAY TUNED FOR THE CONCLUSION NEXT FRIDAY! I know, I left you (and Tyrese) hanging, but this was too long for one post.  I promise to wrap this up next week!!  Muah!! And I’m out!