Sex & The City: Valuable Lessons

Over the last two months, I’ve been watching Sex & The City. If you’ve never seen it or heard of it, this blog isn’t for you. But mostly every living and breathing American has heard of this intriguing show. Although I watched bits and pieces when it first came out, it has a different effect on me as a 34 year old woman. You see, back then I knew nothing about sex, I lived in a small town, and I had never even been in a relationship. It was just fun to sneak and watch an adult show. To be honest, when the movie came out, I had to kind of piece some information together to understand. But after thinking of myself as a relationship advisor over the past 10 or so years, it’s safe to say that I was able to relate to a lot that the 4 characters went through.

After months of finally watching and understanding, I thought it be best to not let all of those valuable lessons go to waste. Yes, watching was something to do while trying to pass the time during quarantine. But I learned so much about the characters, and much about myself in the process. Although I would like to say I’m Carrie, as I’ve moved to a big beautiful city and I’m also a writer, I see myself in the others as well. I see the no nonsense of Miranda in me some days. While I can also sense the proper side of me like Charlotte. And I can’t forget the wild side that’s surely like Samantha. So I decided to write about the lessons I learned from all four during the series.

Let’s start with my fun girl Samantha. Most people who know me can tell you that I can party with the best of them. And at one point, I was a true socialite, partying in VIP with free entrance and free drinks. I lived the fast life like Samantha and I don’t regret it. I feel like my Samantha side has made me ready to settle down. Being young and stupid is one thing, but old and foolish isn’t a good look. I learned from Samantha that life does catch up with you after going hard for years. I also learned that sometimes that one guy can make you change your wild ways. She was definitely one of my favorites!

Miranda reminds me of the smart and successful side of me. She knows what she wants and goes after that. I knew I wanted to be a counselor and in the helping field, so I did just that. With a degree in Psychology and another in Mental Health Counseling, I worked hard for my career. I’m a smart cookie when I need to be! Miranda showed me that even with a great career, you can still be lacking in the relationship area. She was a top lawyer, but in the end, she also needed to be loved. Your career can be be fulfilling, but it can’t hold you at night.

Next is prim and proper Charlotte. Growing up in a predominantly white upper class town, I total get Charlotte. Although I wasn’t rich growing up, I understood how to act the part. My parents (especially my dad) didn’t let us talk slang a lot and corrected our grammar a lot. As a child, I caught on to the proper ways, but was able to get code switching down as well. Charlotte taught me that although you may think your type is top pedigree, you may do better with a regular schmuck (pun intended). She wanted a guy who was so classy, that she never imagined that she’d end up with someone who was so down to earth…and right for her.

Last, but not least, good old Carrie. She was a thriving writer who wanted to discuss the topic of sex and relationships in a big city. If she’s not me, I don’t know who is! I will say that most of my relationship mishaps and adventures were in the smaller city of Memphis. But Carrie was one to keep hope alive. I’ve dated and got to know a lot of different guys over the years, and I’m still positive that my ONE is out there. The series made me not like Big, but he was her one and sometimes it’s like that. Sometimes we go through so much only to see that we’ve already met Mr. Right. Maybe I’ve met him already, but I’m still going to live and enjoy life like Carrie.

Overall, if you watched this show at any point, you’d know that there were more than lessons about sexuality. One flashing fact that was displayed over and over again was that relationships in general are very important. The most important one from this show was that of friendships. They had their ups and downs, but they stuck together. I’m blessed to know friends like this as well! Another thing I learned was that sometimes you can’t be so rigid on a plan that you can’t just go with the flow. I think the ladies learned that tenfold every season. Another was all the fabulously fun things you can get into in a big city. Maybe you should get your girls together and have a night in and see what funny or serious discussions pop up from it. Be Sweet.

I Expect…

First off, let’s get the notion that if you don’t expect anything, you can’t get hurt out of our heads. I’m sure we can all attest that we still get hurt when we do this. So you may as well have some expectations and standards for yourself or it’s going to be a tough dating world for you. People may say that they don’t have expectations, but the truth of the matter is that we all do. You expect that if you order food at a restaurant that the correct order will come to your table. You expect that if you put gas in your car when it’s on E that you won’t be on the side of the road. See how that works? Why can we have expectations in every area of our lives except the one that matters the most, our relationship with people? Now I’m not saying that having expectations guarantee something will get done, because we have all ordered food and got the wrong order. I’m just saying that you may as well have something to pull from on the front end or you will start to grasp for standards when things start to go awry.

Over the years, I have had many friends, family, and strangers tell of things that thought didn’t need to be said while in relationships. We quickly find out that sometimes you just have to let it out because some haven’t caught on yet. I’ve compiled a list of things that that we probably wouldn’t dare say aloud, but we are definitely thinking. I suspect that some of you will be rolling your eyes and saying “girl please.” The other half of you will be screaming “keep hope alive sister.” Either way, we have all thought these things at one point or another whether we confess it or not. I’m just bold enough to write it in a blog and hope to the high heavens that some take heed. Here goes…

I expect that you don’t let your toxicity from your last relationship spill over into ours like hot lava.

I expect that if you have kids, you are raising them and not letting them do whatever they like. You know, helping with homework instead of shoving them in front of an XBOX.

I expect that you can carry on an adult conversation that doesn’t resort back to sexual matters every second.

I expect that you have good work ethic because it’s going to show when you keep changing jobs and blaming others for your wrongdoings at work.

I expect that you treat me with respect. Scratch that, I demand that. But you should know not to call me out of my name no matter how upset you get with me.

I expect that you have worked on your personal issues and mental health problems so I don’t have to be your counselor daily. I get paid to do that at work, not in this relationships. That’s draining!

I expect that you will not lie to me and keep it real. What’s done in the dark will come to light. Don’t make me get a flashlight!

I expect that you want a serious relationship. And if you don’t please say that before we’ve been “talking” for 2-3 months and you really want to date around with the world.

I expect that you have your own money and don’t expect NONE of mine. I’m not a bank or your mom!

I expect that you are man enough to say when you’re wrong instead of acting like a toddler and not knowing how to communicate.

I expect that you have expectations of me and don’t let me walk all over you because sometimes it will just happen and then I’ll catch that I’m with a doormat and not a person who stands up for themselves.

I expect that you will be supportive and encouraging because that’s very important in a relationship.

I expect effort. We both have to give it.

*These are just a few things that I expect. May seem like a lot, may not ever get all of them at once, but a girl can dream. Be Sweet.

Living On Purpose

I’m not sure why, but ever since I’ve moved, I have not been one for taking any nonsense. I’ve attributed it to finally seeing what I want out of life and not settling for anything less. I’m sure that’s why I had already been at job number three in a two month span of living in Los Angeles. Back home, I felt like I was limited on my options in moving upward. I was stagnant and I felt the only way to remedy that was to venture outside of the zone of comfort to explore other places in this big world. I made the decision to follow a dream and God’s voice to live life on purpose. In doing that, I started living a life of purpose.

I saw a meme that said that we wanted the weekend to last forever, and now we got our wish. The coronavirus has allowed us to have more free time than ever before. For most of us, we relax on the weekend and try to get some stuff done to prepare us for the work week. Many of us have so much downtime throughout the week that we feel bored with nothing to do. No more party plans, all day church events, girl’s night out, or shopping sprees. With all of this free time, maybe we should consider taking a look at our lives. Evaluate yourself and see if you truly like where you are or do you want more out of life.

I’m proposing that we dig deep and look at our true selves to see if we like what we see. I journal, and lately I’ve looked back on some entries and thought, wow you’ve really come a long way. Some entries have made me question some of my actions, promising to do better going forward. In your spare time, ask yourself if you’re living on purpose or just in survival mode. What are some goals you gave up on because they seemed overwhelming? Have you discovered your true purpose? What are some things you can do to know what your purpose is? Reflect and see what you come up with this week.

Dear Coronavirus

If coronavirus was a person, we’d be fighting right now

That hefa has messed up me living what I thought was my best life

She deserves a good kick in the butt because she has no tact and will try to destroy anyone

She thinks she’s going to bring us all down, but we’re resilient

Oh she hits hard, but luckily my faith can knock her out with one prayer

My positive mindset may not keep her from coming, but it can keep her from overtaking

She thinks she has the final say, but she clearly hasn’t met my GOD

Are We Getting Wiser Or Just Older?

During this time of the coronavirus, I’ve had the blessing of turning another year older. Although I fib about my age sometimes (and people believe me), I’m glad to see age 34. I’ve even made a theme out of it, more for 34. As I look around at all the things happening in the world, it’s just astonishing how things have changed due to this pandemic. People are having funerals online, folks won’t stay inside after it being made a public law, and there are still people hoarding tissue and disinfectants. It has opened my eyes to see that some people are still not mature after all these years.

It brings me to the main question. Are we getting wiser or just older? Lately, it seems like the latter is true. I’ve never seen grown people act as crazy as they have these last few weeks. I get that it’s a scary situation and very serious, but the true colors of some people has had me in disbelief. This thought has come from the actions of doctors, people with degrees, teachers, and people who you think would have more sense. It makes me realize why I always say that common sense isn’t so common. I’m almost embarrassed that our so called president is behaving like he has no sympathy or understanding of a deadly virus. I’m sure the rest of the world is laughing at us.

I feel like fear is taking over and stupidity is becoming the result. Fear can cause people to lose their minds and that’s what’s happening all over the world. Fear is supposed to also cause people to take more precautions. I’ve never seen so many throw precautions to the wind and just do whatever. Yes, I’m worried about the ones not listening, but some people are having to learn the hard way. Unfortunately the hard way in this instance is either extreme pain or death. That alone made me sit myself down somewhere. I’m praying for y’all and I’m staying positive, but I need y’all to join me. Please stay safe and prayerfully this will be over in a little while. Be sweet.

A Hard Head…

My Grandma was not one to censor herself, which made her words heavier. If she said something, people listened. One of her sayings was that “a hard head makes a soft ass.” It’s a well known saying and it basically meant that if you didn’t listen and did what you wanted, you were in for a hard lesson. I feel as if this pandemic is about to show folks better than we can tell them. When people refuse to listen, they have to learn the hard way. It sucks that people are so reckless about their lives. Yes, none of us signed up for this, but we’re here now and we must follow the directives of the professionals.

It’s almost as if people are doing the exact opposite of what’s right. It’s like someone telling you to not touch the fire because it’s hot, but you have to see for yourself. Now you’re burned and looking stupid! Well, that’s the consequence of not listening. I really wish that wasn’t the deal now, but by the number of infected people, we can see that folks are just not listening. I’d rather quarantine for a month or two than be laying in the hospital fighting for my life. The fact that people don’t think “fat meat is greasy” is beyond me. Some lessons shouldn’t have to learned the hard way.

The fact that someone has to tell anyone to stay at home or you could die is beyond me. The ignorance of the ones partying and being uncooperative is uncanny. Have we become such free people that we can’t follow simple rules in place to save lives? It’s scary to think the answer has been no for the last two weeks! When Martial Law goes into effect, I don’t want to hear one word. It’s always the few that mess it up for the rest. I’m already working with homeless people who struggle with cleanliness, so I’m not trying to get sick. Just do us all a favor and act like you got the good sense God gave you. It’s annoying at this point. Sit down somewhere!

Lord Have Mercy!

My coworkers often laugh at my accent and different Southern sayings. It’s made me realize just how silly some of the things we say down South really are. Instead of saying “about to go,” we say “finna go.” Sometimes I hear my twang and laugh at myself. Yesterday, my coworker said that my favorite phrase is “Lord have mercy.” I was like girl if only you knew what mercy can do for you, we would have a shouting fest. She’s a believer too, so she agreed. It’s the church girl in me and it’s deep down in me too. I love how through everything I’ve been through, the need for God in my life is always present. That brings me to my point. With all that’s going on in this world, we need to remember God’s track record in our own lives.

I saw a post recently that said the person was barely making it. I replied, but you keep on making it through each day and that’s what you need. With so much uncertainty in life in general, all we need is enough strength to make it through each day. You don’t need strength right now for tomorrow because it’s not here yet. During this trying time of much needed quarantines, try to take one day at a time. One of my favorite sayings is that you’ve survived 100% of your worst days. Take this alone time to remember ALL of the wonderful things God has done. The days you just knew you wouldn’t make it, but here you are making it. Don’t let a virus stop you from believing in our much BIGGER GOD. Be sweet.

It’s My Day!

I started off wanting to be all serious and talk about my life journey, but not today. I’m really not a super serious chick. I like to clown, laugh, and have fun. I refer to myself as a free spirit because I’m all over the place. Sometimes it’s a bad thing and sometimes it’s a good one. Either way, I’m going to use this blog to let you know a little something about Monica Richeryl Bentley. Here goes…

  • I never tell people my middle name. But now that you know it, it’s a mix between my dad Ricky and my aunt Shirley’s names.
  • Speaking of names, I was named Monica after my mom’s favorite character on the All My Children soap opera. It means counselor or wise one.
  • My favorite food in the whole wide world is shrimp tacos. Second favorite, anything Mexican…after all I’m now Latina.
  • I love scary movies. I feel like they’ve made me more vigilant. I have watched Scream movies a million times.
  • Tequila is my drink, but only with limes and salt. I’m kind of over wine now unless it’s sparkling wine.
  • I talk to my sister pretty much every day. She’s my “boyfriend” when I’m single. She thinks I’m crazy!
  • I wanted to move to New York because I felt like big city living was more my style. I chose LA because of the weather and the Hollywood platform. I’m a star in the making so get my autograph now.
  • If I could do anything in the world career wise, I’d either want to be a blogger or background singer for someone famous.
  • I really think I’m going to be a preacher one day. Either that or I’m going to end up marrying one because I’m always at church. Where’s my First Lady hat?
  • Birthdays are very important to me. I think it’s time to not just party, but reflect on the past years and make plans for the future.
  • This is my first time EVER where I’m spending my birthday by myself, hair not done, and living in a city where I know a hand full of people.
  • When this virus mess is over, I’m going to Vegas to party hard! So don’t say nothing when you see me turning up on the strip.

Women: Don’t Just Be Alive, Thrive

Women prepare yourselves because I’m coming at y’all hard and I know y’all can handle it. Our time to shine isn’t just a one month thing, it’s all the time. It’s time to stop putting our lives, goals, hopes, and dreams to the side for the sake of others. Our purpose is not to just be someone’s woman, it’s to go beyond what the old folks used to think of us. It’s time to stop thinking you need to work and come home and work again with the kids and husband and that’s all life can be. You’re tough as nails (manicured nails at that) and you can be and do anything you want in life. You just have to have the willpower.

We’ve gone past just being a pretty face. It’s time to be educated, well informed, and taking action. Women are the true backbone of this world. Men claim this is their world, but that’s a laugh. They may “run” things in their heads, but women are the glue that holds things together. We are CEO’s, Presidents, Founders, and all around leaders. If you want to be a leader, now is the best time. Bring something new to the table, flourish in corporate America, or be a thriving entrepreneur. No more whining like they expect us to do. Time to woman up and fight like a girl. Celebrate Women’s History Month by being the best you!

Messing With Honey Pot Will Get You In A Sticky Situation

Black history month was just the other day, so black folks are still amped up. It’s so amazing to learn about all of the history and wonderful things African Americans have contributed to this country. One source stated that even with all the things that were meant to keep our people down, we STILL rose above adversities. That phrase in itself brought me to tears. Black Excellence, Black Lives Matter, Black Girls Rock, and Black Boy Joy are all phrases and causes that acknowledge our greatness. As the young folks would say, being black is LIT! But what happens when some people don’t understand our pride? What happens when they mistake it for racism? The Honey Pot misunderstanding is what happens.

Recently, Beatrice Dixon’s line Honey Pot, a feminine care product, was under fire for its Black History Month Target commercial. Anyone who knows black people and they’re on social media can tell you that we go hard for our month and throughout the year when something specific happens. With that said, white females were all “in their feelings” because Dixon stated that she wanted to encourage other young black entrepreneurs through her company. Some took this as being racist and many said they would not support her product. Okay, who gives a flying flip. If you are that clueless, don’t support it. Black pride is not racism. We have to believe in ourselves because for so long, no one else did.

I kid you not, I wanted to start this blog off with a “what you not gon’ do is” opening, but I kept it calm. But now that I think about it, what you not gon’ do is get upset with us for encouraging our own. White folks surely aren’t out here trying to prompt black entrepreneurs and that’s cool. But don’t stop us when we want to pull potential from a young black child who may be doubting herself in a mostly white business world. I went from this is a good blog topic to being upset over straight up foolery. Fortunately, black people were just as riled up as I am by the negativity received. This caused them to bring her sales up by nearly 30%. All I can say is, when it counts, we stand up for our own. To me, that’s a slap in the face of racism and the ignorance of every negative commenter.