There she goes again with that dumb hat.

She did her hair first and then she put on that dumb hat…again. 

Does she want me to pay for her hair?  She can’t think it’s sexy. It covers her eyes.  I love her eyes. It hides her long thick hair.  I love her hair.  I imagine having her hair sewn into a blanket I can wrap myself in. She puts a hoodie over that beautiful frame. She throws sweats on and she falls into “comfort” but I can’t find her in the layers of fabric.  There are already so many layers to her.  When I peel back one, I notice the next, and each time I peel I find something new to fall in love with or temporarily hate.  She’s an anomaly. She’s a walking talking anomaly.  She is proof of God’s sense of humor.  She was made out of perplexities and unrealistic expectations and …humility.  She’s a body of water moving freely through her own veins.  Water instead of blood.  She gives life to herself and still praises something greater than herself. 

I can’t see her eyes.  How will I know if she is listening to me?  How will I know she can hear my heart beating?  How will she see the footnotes at the heel of my thoughts with giant asterisks that only she is disciplined enough to notice and read?

How will I know if there are tears I need to wipe away? 

I hate that stupid ass hat. 

(Woman enters the room.  Just got dressed.  Freshly showered and in her “favorite hat”)

Woman: Hey babe.  How do I look?

Man:  You look beautiful.  I like your hat.

By: Shaun Liriano

In the Meantime Money -Contemporary Courtship

I was raised in a household with my mother and father.  My parents were married for 20 years before they called it quits. They conceived 3 children.. all girls. One of the things my father instilled in me the idea of courtship.

Now don’t get me wrong. My father is far from traditional.  However, he believed you can court a woman regardless of your economic status. In fact he always said, “Your heart doesn’t know status and circumstances. ” On his first date with my mother, they had pizza and brew. That may not seem exciting but he must have done something right! Obviously my mother doesn’t have much to say about it now.  She once disclosed how much she laughed during that date and how comfortable she felt.

I have a former associate who makes a six figure salary.  At the time he was in his early twenties.  He drove a Mercedes.  He lived with parents so no money spent on rent. No student loans. No major debt. During a conversation about contemporary courtship he said he takes his first dates to McDonald’s.  You can view that as frugal but his defense was based on his desire to test the genuineness of his prospective partner.  There would be no second date if you had a problem with McDonald’s and you couldn’t just be happy with his company.

In this economic climate most men do not have what I like to call “In the Meantime Money.” Gas is 4.05 a gallon! He can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars on a woman he may have absolutely nothing in common with! Ladies shouldn’t either. Wear modest clothing, do your own hair, drive your own car and meet him at the agreed venue. Trust your personality to be the impressive part of the date. Meet at a library so you can subtly see if he can read! If you like to work out, get him a guest pass at your gym. He/she is probably allergic to the cologne or perfume you were going to wear anyway. This is the time to be yourself!  If things progress, you’ll have to take off the bells and whistles at some point anyway.

Finally,  let’s be honest.  Some of you only want to be wined and dined because it will make you feel better about entering the bedroom.  Dropping your draws for dinners or dollas does not prove you’re a lady! Restraint does. You’re not fooling anyone…especially him. You can be labeled for any reason.  You might as well try listening to your heart and following your intuition with discretion and maturity. 

Save your “In the Meantime Money” and tell the cashier ShutYaMouthAndCallMeUgly said to supersize it! 🙂



“Insane in the Membrane (Insane in the Brain!)” {How to handle PMS without driving your man crazy}

” Who you tryin’ 

to get crazy with Ese?

Don’t you know I’m loco”

 ~Cypress Hill-Insane In The Membrane

It’s that time of the month.  You’re crying while watching the part in “Set It Off” when Cleo got shot (if you’re too young to know “Set It Off” just think of the part in “Training Day” when Alonzo got shot by the Russians…its essentially the same scene.) You are eating McDoubles like Skittles.  No one understands you. You’re having trouble concentrating.  Clothes aren’t fitting quite right. You’re tired of washing the same Tupperware so you throw it away.  You’re exhausted.  There’s a pimple on your face that you just named and printed a birth certificate for.  You have officially lost your mind!  The problem is, this happens every month!

Now these kinds of antics are acceptable when you are the only person who is expected to deal with yourself.  If you’re like me, you probably think you don’t suffer from PMS.  If that’s the case, do me a favor…ask your significant other if you suffer from PMS.

While he’s rolling on the floor laughing his behind off and simultaneously calling his friends, let’s discuss what PMS is WITHOUT GETTING TOO GRAPHIC  and losing my male readers!

  •             Your reproductive system will repeat a cycle controlled by hormones.
  •             This will happen every 28 days, on average.
  •              5-7 days before your menstruation begins, you will lose all logic and temperance.
  •              Scientists are still researching why this occurs but they are certain it is related to hormonal shifts. (Duh!)

I actually become a real life sweet and sour patch kid while I’m PMS’ing.  So being that this is something you don’t have a lot of control over, how can you keep your man happy during this time?

  1. Filter: Think before you speak.  Say something to yourself before you say it to him.
  2. Listen: Only answer questions if you’re asked.  Don’t build conversational construct to create what you want to hear.  Listen to what he is actually saying.
  3. Evaluate: Save “heavy” discussions (religion, future plans, whether he likes your momma) for another time.
  4. Appreciate:  Don’t be offended by the classic, “Is it that time of the month?” statement.  Appreciate the fact that he is trying to understand your feelings and emotions.  He’s just trying to prepare himself!

Being a woman is difficult.  From a contemporary standpoint, our roles and responsibilities have changed.  The last time I checked the statistics, we’ve made up approximately  57% of colleges since the year 2000.  We’re getting and holding jobs but still fighting for equal wages.  According to the last census, 84% of custodial parents are mothers.  We’ve got a lot to deal with so when we are particularly irritable, we may not want to have to excuse our hormonal imbalances.  The fact remains these imbalances are relevant and they can affect our loved ones.  In some cases, 3% to 8% of women suffer from PMDD which is a disorder even more severe (I’m sure my hypochondriac readers are searching on Google right now.)  If you’re feeling a little nutty, embrace it.  Acceptance is the first step to change!

I’M SURE I’ve pissed off a few feminists.  Feel free to comment or you can ShutYaMouthAndCallMeUgly 😉

Follow us on Twitter @ ShutYaMouthNow

My Brothers Keeper- Part 4 to Chest Naked In The Park

Travis opened the door for his brother, Sire.  They walked passed the Sony flat screen television sitting in a whiskey-logged box.  Sire silently chuckled to himself while simultaneously shaking his head from left to right.  He knew his brothers ego would catch up to him eventually.  He warned him incessantly about playing with a womans emotions and her trust and most importantly her patience.   Sire knew that every woman had a breaking point no matter how much self-restraint she had and how much she was a “ryde or die”.  Tamara was beautiful, smart, humble, submissive and now she was gone.  Sire secretly and silently wished her the best and was glad she got away from his brother.  The “incident” (the name Travis gave to the tragic murder of his TV and his photo) had only occurred 3 weeks prior and already Travis was dating someone else.  She was some chick they met at their cousin’s wedding.  Her name was, Special, and boyyyyyyy was she unaptly named.  She had the intelligence of pocket lint,the personality of a pebble, the refinement of a banshee, a reputation as an international hoe, and none of their friends liked her.  Sire knew Travis missed Tamara.  Its hard not to love a woman who loves you.  Special was just a pretty face and new booty.  Tamara was innately unique and …gone.

Special smiled at Sire when he came in but never officially greeted him.  She only spoke when she was spoken to and Sire speaking to her would have been a waste of oxygen.  When the guys sat down at the table to play chess (they definitely couldnt watch TV), Special left the apartment to get drinks and pizza for the guys.

Wait for it…wait for it…

Travis asked the predictable question, ” So…what do you think of my exotic Nubian queen?”

“WHERE???????? WHO????!”  Sire was rolling on the floor laughing.  He literally fell out of his chair and rolled on the floor gasping for air because he was laughing so hard.  His 6’4″ frame almost knocked over his brothers cheap ass table so he got up before he did anymore damage to his brothers studio apartment or Travis’ injured ego.

“Dont try to play me, Sire.  You know my shorty stops traffic.  You wanted her but I bagged her first.  Don’t be a sore loser.”

“Trav, she’s cute but cut that “exotic” non-sense out.  You and I both know she ain’t exotic.  The word exotic indicates that she is of a foreign nature, different, non-traditional.  When I hear exotic, I’m thinking of a woman who makes me guess her ethnicity, her influences, and her exposure.  The only thing I guess with Special is how many partners she’s had and how many of them I probably know or gave a pound to on the basketball court or in the barbershop”, Sire said while still laughing.

Half mumbling Travis said, ” She is exotic.”

“Aiight.  I apologize.  She’s exotic.  Her toenails are done by Asians.  Her hair is blown out by Dominicans.  Her cosmetologist is Jamaican.  Indians do her eyebrows and her eyelash extensions.  Caucasians at the spa in the mall do her Brazilian bikini waxes.  Not to mention, she’s boned dudes all over the world”, Sire continued taunting his little brother.

Travis couldn’t help but crack a smile at the last part. Sire was right.  Special was high maintenance and manufactured but she was fly!  Definitely the trophy piece he was looking for.

“Listen, you can’t keep insulting her.  That’s not right.  She’s educated.  Got her Masters in criminal justice”, Travis defended.

“What does her ability to write papers and pass tests have to do with the fact that my boy who lives in Canada, knows your girl and smashed that down after 1 Bahama Mama at a bar?”

“Low blow, Sire.  If a tree falls in the forest but no one is there to hear it, did the tree fall?’

“If a tree sluts itself out in St Lucia and no one is there to see it but my boy puts it on the internet….YES that tree is a HOE!”, Sire said.

“You always cross the line, Sire.  Checkmate.”  Travis was focussed on the game while Sire was cracking jokes on his new love interest. “You don’t understand the importance of having a flawless woman on your arm.  You a herb.  Every woman you’ve ever been with had a “nice personality”, Travis said.

Sire flipped the table upside down.  The chess pieces flew everywhere and some of the glass pieces shattered.  Sire’s large frame loomed over his brother.  He positioned himself so that there was only a centimeter between his pocket knife and his brothers right eye.  He put his mouth at whispering distance to Travis’ ear and said, “If you ever talk about my wife in that manner again, I’ll cut you into tiny segments and use them as your replacement chess pieces.  Then I’ll hang whats left of you on the wall where your flat screen used to be.”

Sire’s wife died 2 years prior.  She was the only woman he had ever been with.  He loved her and his family loved her.  She was a beautiful woman but she had a rare disease that took away her thick long hair and her coke bottle-shaped body.  Even as the end was drawing near, Sire remained loyal and faithful.  Truthfully, he met Tamara first and if he hadn’t been emotionally attached to his wife, he would have courted and dated Tamara.  Travis coaxed his brother to cheat but that wasn’t Sire’s style and he adored his wife to the very end.

Travis remained calm but his eye was twitching.  “You’re so sensitive, jeez.  Get that knife out my face, Sire. You play too much.”

Just then, Special entered the apartment with Tamara’s old key.  She was juggling pizza, sodas, and whiskey sour.  Neither of the brothers moved.  They were still in a stand-off.  She looked at the busted up table and the broken chess pieces and stood frozen at the door. Then with a blank stare she said, “Who won the game?”


(to be continued)


-Shaun M Nickens