Is New Orleans really worth all this?? Boil Water advisory, pump failure, power outages & unfair wages to the locals

Walking thru my hood in the pitch black realizing I hv Post Hurricane Katrina PTSD & I didn’t go through it…but I’m walking cuz I hv to go check on Kobe and Tuna. They like my kids and I couldn’t just sit and pray and hope he was sleep. One cant take chances with a family with disabilities.. so I grab my soldier rag and walked it out.

Another Power Outage and it’s cold. Why?? Why all these utility issues in a state that endured a major catastrophe??

 

 

hv Post Hurricane Katrina PTSD just from hearing yall stories & seeing all the pics n videos from 2005… So when over 1:30 minutes passed of yet another power outage I found myself almost in what I think could be what survival mode felt like a few questions came to my mind as I thought of all those who shared their Katrina survival stories with me & one was in New Orleans really worth me staying, then who I needed to check on and then who the hell would check on me.. I realized I’m alone the couple men I date and even Nardie don’t hv my back….

Is NOLA really worth all this??

The Big Christmas Toy Giveaway | Mercedes-Benz Superdome

http://www.mbsuperdome.com/events/detail/the-big-christmas-toy-giveaway
December 16, 2018 at 4:00 PM

Business Moguls Jesseca Dupart and Raynell Steward are joining forces to make a Christmas special for thousands of inner-city kids by donating over 4,000 toys and setting the Guinness World Record for the largest toy donation in history in partnership with The United Way of Southeast Louisiana.

For additional and updated information, please visit the registration link.

Please pick up your tickets from United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s main office at 2515 Canal Street from the receptionist on either of the following days:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 12th (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
  • Thursday, Dec. 13th (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
  • Friday, Dec. 14th (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.)

IMPORTANT EVENT INFORMATION:

  • There will be no entry without registration.
  • No toys can be opened at the event or on the premises of the Superdome.
  • Event registration available for 4,000 kids total.
  • Parents must have child/children with them, with a ticket in hand to receive a toy.
  • No adult without a child will be permitted.
  • Redeem 1 ticket for 1 toy.
  • Parents can only register up to 4 children.
  • No sex offenders will be allowed to register or participate

New Orleans Christmas and free holiday assistance

Assistance is available during the holiday and specifically Christmas season in New Orleans. Several agencies either provide free toys, gifts, or clothes to struggling families, or they can refer them to other resources across all Parishes, including Orleans, Jefferson, and St. Tammany. Another option is to get a hot holiday meal or gift card for food from a pantry in the city of New Orleans.

The demand for help around the holidays is very high. Any assistance at Christmas is provided by a charity on a first come and served basis. The presents available for distribution, especially the toys and gift cards, go quickly. Please volunteer or donate a gift if possible.

Priority is also given to those homes or apartments with children or an elderly member living in them, as the volunteers from the charities want to spread holiday cheer to the youngest and oldest among us. Some of the primary organizations to contact in the New Orleans region for help are below. Note the application process for Christmas resources normally begins in the late summer.

Catholic Charities of Orleans Parish
4700 Pineda St, New Orleans, Louisiana 70126, dial (866) 891-2210
A second center is at 1416 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70139. Call (504) 861-9400
Children from low income households create wish list of needed (or wanted) items. Toys, gifts, shoes, games, books, and more may be provided by this church based charity.

Toys for Tots
Another donation service. Young children, infants, and new or single moms may receive Christmas gifts for their child or even a food basket. Dial 211 to apply for this free toy program in the greater New Orleans area as well as Jefferson County.

Second Harvest Community Kitchen
700 Edwards Avenue
Elmwood, LA 70123
Meals are served only to the low income. Senior citizens can get help in the form of Christmas food, frozen meal boxes, and even home delivery during both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Times-Picayune Doll and Toy Fund
(504) 826-3622
This operates in all New Orleans area parishes, including St. Tammany and Jefferson. Thousands of children are given toys, dolls, scooters, and can even “meet” Santa Claus.

Orleans Parish Sheriff
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
Phone – 504-827-8504.
They hold an Annual Thanksgiving Dinner

Salvation Army Seasonal programs

  • 4526 S Claiborne Ave, New Orleans, Louisiana, 70125 dial (504) 899-4569
  • Address – 3630 Coliseum St, New Orleans, LA 70115. Main number is (504) 265-8808
  • Saint Tammany center – 1584 Elderberry Loop, Mandeville, LA 70448, dial (310) 450-7235

The programs include Silver Bells for senior citizens, and Angel Tree for children. Between the two resources the elderly, infants, and teenagers in Orleans can get assistance. Gift certificates for a small dollar amount, meals, Christmas stocking, and small toys may be provided by donors.

New Orleans Mission
1130 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd
New Orleans, Louisiana 70113
Telephone – (504) 523-2116
They mostly offer Christmas programs for clients and the homeless, including children. There are also resources for veterans. Clothes, small toys, gifts, and food may be offered.

United Way Referral Service
Call 504-269-2673 for details on local resources
Charities in Orleans and Jefferson Parish help needy children and parents. The Holiday assistance programs include free boxes of groceries, Adopt a family, Christmas gift donation programs, toys, games, and gift distribution services are all in place.

Bridge House
Main address – 1160 Camp St
New Orleans, LA 70130
For intake, call (504) 522-4476
Holiday meals, ranging from Thanksgiving to Christmas, are available. There may also be small gifts, stockings, or toys for children, and seniors or the homebound may have a meal deliver in New Orleans.

Total Community Action
Address is 1629 Simon Bolivar Ave
New Orleans, LA 70113
Call (504) 524-1281
There may be referrals to adopt a family programs.

Covenant House
Address: 611 N Rampart St.
New Orleans, Louisiana 70112
(504) 584-1111
Holiday programs are only for the homeless that are clients of the shelter

2019 Goal: Urban NOLA Chic Tour Company

I didn’t tell yall, but I’m in the planning stages of opening my own Urban NOLA Chic Tour Company. So to have a tour company or be a tour guide one must take a test on New Orleans History.

There are classes for tour guides, and I found myself at Delgado to register for the class. The rep types in my name and says “Baby, you took a New Orleans Tourism and Culture course in 1990 and passed. Aren’t you from here? Baby, save your money get that book they suggest on the website, read on the history and watch some videos and it will come back to you. All this time you could have owed a million dollar company, speaking of money you have a balance of $40” I laughed and asked all these years and Katrina yall still have my info and holding on to a $40 balance.

I took her advice and been doing just that. Reading and watching from the moment I get up even fall asleep listening to all things New Orleans to the point my friend Monica and I were debating on the date, and I told her today was Thursday, and I was serious, but she said “girl are you tripping from lack of sleep it’s Wednesday the 12th” lol.

One thing is driving me crazy and haunting me in my sleep is the NOTV New Orleans Television show. I probably can repeat word for word each series I have been binge-watching since Friday. I dream of fresh seafood caught by local fisherman, stone ground grits with some BBQ shrimp boudain eggs benedict and any dish they named, I have dreamed of devouring. Then there are the dreams of shopping on Royal St, buying fancy chandeliers, jewelry, and expensive artwork. I dreamed of walking down a winding staircase in an elegant silk and lace form-fitting dress with a short train flowing behind with each step. The dream ended with me waving to my guest with my laced gloved hand as I made my to the courtyard where I was met by a jazz band that led hundreds of people and me through the courtyard of Jackson Square ending under the Claiborne bridge in Treme.. It was all a combination of what I heard in my sleep on the NOTV show and my imagination. The show teased and tantalized my thoughts and taste buds in my sleep. It was “a good thing” in my Marta Stewart voice lol.

I highly recommend the show to you all, but it’s mostly for tourist, but in all honesty, it doesn’t give the total NOLA Experience more so the French Quarter area. It seems to be focused on those who may have a nice budget to work with while vacationing,

However, what bothered me was that the majority of the black people shown were workers or musician. There were a couple of black people featured dining or out in the city, which hurt after thinking of my friends who work in the tourism industry who can’t afford to eat the food they cook or stay in the hotels they service, but that’s another post.

Also, very few hosts had that New Orleans je ne sais quoi, I’m not sure if they were New Orleanians. These points leave me a bit confused to how the world views the city, especially with the primary focus always being on Downtown. But this is just one show ran by the Official Visitor Information TV Station of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Which leads to what I try to show you all now and my goal is to have my blogging and tour company do the same but on another level like with a real camera crew lol. I do the French Quarters, the 2nd Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the walls. I try to show it all and that’s my goal is to show and teach on every nook and cranny of NOLA.

However, all in all, it a great New Orleans channel and the workers and owners speak of the history of the business.

There are excellent episodes on the freed slaves of New Orleans and Kevin Belton giving his cooking lesson on gumbo.

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

Armstrong Park

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

NOLA East

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

Treme

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

French Quarter Hotel Courtyard

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

Bourbon Street

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

Champion Square

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

Second Line Wedding

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

Treme

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

Antoine’s Restaurant

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

8th Ward Big Freedia art

Sitting on a great oak tree roots, my NOLA roots

City park

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

8th Ward

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

Second Vine Wine

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

The Saint Hotel

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

Streetcar

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

Audubon Zoo

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

Bourbon St Performer

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

St. Roch Neighborhood

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

Nola Baby Dolls

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

City view from 6th Ward

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

Nola Brass Band

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

Riverwalk

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

Jazz Fest

French Quarters, Second Lines, fancy galas, 5-star restaurants, corner store eats, VIP nightclubs to the hole in the wall bars. My goal is to show all of NOLA.

Cafe Degas

Since I shared my plan, my goal and desire ” Urban NOLA Chic Tour Company” I ask that you all keep me in my prayers. In the meantime please continue to follow me and support me on my life journey. I appreciate all of you!  Nola Chic

The Soul and Sunshine of New Orleans is what makes all that I’m suffering bearable

I find myself on gloomy cold days like today in New Orleans trying my best not to complain of the cold, because I know too well of the fridge Minnesota winters, but that dreariness finds its way to creep in… I’m told I have situational depression. All of my family and I are going through the misery of loss, death, murder. I was told I have every right to be down, unsure, unproductive and etc., but it doesn’t sit well with my soul.

I have always been a night owl, finding that I’m at my best when the roosters aren’t my alarm clock. But I noticed that my sleep pattern has drastically changed. Nor do I feed into the hype of the early birds gets the worm, but no one mentions of the owl. The bird that hunts at night aka “The Night Owl.” Unlike the early bird the owl, hunts and feeds mainly on furry animals such as mice, rats, moles, squirrels, rabbits, and even skunks. They often swallow the smaller animals whole.  Owls also eat insects, worms, spiders, frogs, lizards, and small birds. Owls can kill animals as large as they are or even larger. So, ya see I do not mind being a night owl, because when get go out to hunt we gonna eat a fulfilling meal, not mere snacks such as worms and insects…

Nola roosterImage result for night owlRelated image

Typically, I’m up til 3am, maybe 4am, but always waking at 11am and when I’m with the kids I get up with them, get them ready for school and go back to sleep til noonish. Now, I can sleep the day away well waking at 2pm which makes me more depressed.  Honestly, most of the time I find myself on social media just scrolling, posting here and there, but I haven’t been able to write not even in my journal which was not only therapeutic for me but my refuge. I feel proud when I blog and see the views and the word of encouragement, but in an instant life has changed and I somewhere in the middle of numb and broken-hearted.

 I have been trying to do my NOLA Chic thing more so for my followers than anything. I put on a good face, pick out something fashionable and pray for the best, which typically greets me at the door. As I open my door, I allow the New Orleans sweet, musty intoxicating soulful air fill my lungs. It’s as if I go through this inhale, exhale process in route until it releases all of its goodness into my bloodstream and soul. This is a continual process, sorta like a ritual which changes me from Dee to NOLA Chic. I need to do this to not dump my sadness on my loves who awaits for me at our intended destination. I suck in as much NOLA air as I can without it looking liking I’m having an asthma attack. I would never want to be the party pooper while I’m out having a fabulous time with my friends. I mean, like duh, I am The NOLA Chic and they are depending on me to show them My Nola, right???

Nola ChicNola Saints and Nola Chic

Zulu Ball Nola Chic

New Orleans Blogger

 If you know me and my love for New Orleans you will hear me describe the feeling of New Orleans to me is intoxicating, but it’s not a drunken intoxication, but one that only I can explain as Beyonce’s lyrics to the song “Drunk in love” that’s New Orleans to me minus the man lol. While I’m in my city, enjoying all the beautiful people, the amazing culture, eating all the delicious food, dancing to the sounds of the city, I feel more than great, I feel exhilarated, at peace and in love with all things that made me, Me and it all ties to NOLA.

But at the end of our NOLA Experience, I kiss and hug my people goodbye then I find myself in my bed with a heavy bleeding heart with pressures mounting on my shoulders and the faint but so clear sounds of negativity have replaced the soulful sweet sounds of the city. I lay my head on my pillows and release a flood of tears that I must allow to flow. I tell myself  I have to cry, let it out or my heart to swell in its brokenness resulting in my very own death. I believe people die from broken hearts and I refuse to allow that or any other negative action be my demise. It’s my hope that God allows me if only that. A life of suffering on earth is more than enough, if only we all could allow sleep to rapture us up in death.

I go through my days in the company of others and the type of NOLA Experiences we share while out in New Orleans is dependent on our individual bond, but we always have a fantastic time. Our commonality is that we love New Orleans and we all want to preserve the culture. There hasn’t been a moment while I was out within my city, with my people and have not enjoyed myself. Honestly, being within the midst of it all is what keeps me sane.  I must add I’m at my happiest when I’m out in New Orleans with my friends, like out of my house. lol

SistersNola LadiesNola Chic Bike TaxiNola Chic Bourbon StNola Chic and ms.Nathcez

 I have learned to speak when I am hurt, I noticed most have not become accustomed to my voice especially when I tell them how they have hurt me. I used to cry in silence, moving on without allowing the person the knowledge of my pain that they inflicted upon me. I have found that even today some refuse to let me acknowledge their offense which I only use as a way to correct the problem, make amends and move on without pretending nothing was done. I try my best to hide how deeply hurt, damaged I am by yet the murder of another family member. Shana was more of a little sister and friend than a cousin. I miss her and hurt for her children, her mother; my auntie, and her sister. The problem with speaking on this hurt, expressing to the murderer and making amends, there’s nothing he can say to correct this problem… What have him stand up and court and say “I’m sorry for killing Shana and raping your adopted daughter??” I can envision myself leaping across the room and hurting him just enough to allow him to live in pain as long as he lives., the same as he has done us.  

Unlike death by illness, old age or accident, the murder of a loved one cuts so deep, and no bandage will ever stop the bleeding, heal the wound. The victim’s survivors are left in control of their destiny of mountains and valleys to conquer while their heart is filled with a void. The cruel reality that on our road to our destiny is that our loved one’s destiny has ended in violence… 

In planning my move back home, I never anticipated the suffering I would endure while I was here. From the death of my grandmother a couple of years after she finally made her way back home to New Orleans. The murders of my loved ones in Minnesota to the bad breakup with my favorite auntie and my business partner/ best friend. The sad realization that New Orleans is being taken over by the tourist industry to the point the neighborhoods I grew up in are predominately Airbnb. I thought my move from Minnesota would rid me of the knives to my heart and back and cure me of all my pains and heartache. 

New Orleans Airbnb

I have suffered significant love losses and sacrificed so much moving back home that at times when people question me about my move, I question myself…I’m over a thousand miles away from my family, my children and the family that’s here are slim to none. I took a significant financial sacrifice moving home, living off what little life’s savings I had that’s been eaten away from my son’s college tuition and now these frequent and long trips back to Minnesota to live our real life crime reality show. It’s all a constant reminder of strife, but going through this terrible suffering, this unbearable pain just being here gives me comfort in the midst of all this pain. 

new orlena treme

It’s the words of my Daddy and Momo that has me here, somedays I feel if I came sooner I would have had more time to be with them, save their legacies and found the help to at least rebuild their homes before termites and weather led to the leveling of them both. Now, I am their legacy, and though it’s lonely, I’m suffering, and some days I do not know which way to turn, but I’m here, because of them. I’m determined to make them proud and create something in honor of all the loving qualities they instilled in me while the sun shines on my face.

Mayor Cantrell honors Nola Chic

The Move Experience and Nola Chic

What an honor and a surprise to be honored not only our Mayor but the Queens of the Move Experience!! I’m still in shock!

My Daddy used to always tell me “Deatra you’re an intelligent girl and even with that baby you can make it in New Orleans, come back I’ll help you. I can’t have a relationship with my grandkids with yall way in Minnesota.” He told me this in 1999 and in 2003 on his deathbed he asked me when I was moving back home. The day before he died on December 28th, 2003 he saw me crying after he was put on the do not resuscitate list after his 3rd resuscitation he called me to him and said “Even when I’m gone the sun will always shine, even while it’s raining outside and in your soul the sun will always shine. Even when you can’t see the sun, it’s shining, and I want you to remember me like the sun. Deatra, I may not be here with you, you may not see me, but I will always be your Daddy, always love you, because the sun will always shine.” He died the next day, and the sun was shining.

As with my grandmother, as dementia ate at her body and brain, it didn’t take away her faith and love for New Orleans. She prayed over our food one day, and she said: “Jean, I want to go home, I want to go back to New Orleans, it’s too cold up here and I love the feeling of sitting on my porch on a sunny day.” As yall know, I’m not Jean, but that’s my Mama, so she was close lol. She was able to get the heck out of cold Minnesota after years of living there after Katrina, and though she couldn’t sit on her porch she was able to sit out on one of her daughter’s porches and soak up this good New Orleans sunshine… So, even while broken, my heart is in distress, and I cry myself to sleep at times it’s all good because I made it back home. Back in New Orleans the place my entrepreneur Daddy said that his teen daughter who had a baby had the intelligence to make it way back when, so I have no choice to make it now. My pain and suffering will only make me stronger and allow my voice to be louder so that my story my testimony of the sun will always shine.

NOLA roots Nola ChicSitting on a great oak tree roots, my NOLA roots

New Orleans Native Supa Cent went from working in the tourism industry to NOLA Mega MakeUp Millionaire Entrepreneur

Those close to her know her as Raynell Steward, but her loyal followers and fans know her as Wuzzam Supa aka Supa Cent a popular social media personality, successful New Orleans entrepreneur, Community Advocate, and now she has added several zeros to her legacy! Supa is a millionaire, and she expresses love and gratitude to her fans!

Million Dollar Day in an hour in half. GOD THANK YOU,” Supa wrote. “A b**ch busted tables and cleaned hotel rooms. Don’t tell me it’s not possible ♥️.”

Photo credit https://makeupsite.co/the-crayon-case-makeup-supa/

Photo credit: Genuine Gemini

Supa started her makeup line over a year ago after years of working as a waitress and housekeeper in the New Orleans tourism industry.

She took a leap of faith and created “The Crayon Case ” with a wide variety of colorful hues of all things makeup that will have your face beat to the gawds. The names alone will have your mouth craving for the taste of New Orleans.

Photo credit: S O M U C H S I M ONE

Photo credit: The Crayon Case

On Cyber Monday she was brought to tears as she saw her phone lit up with notifications as clients, her fans made purchases on her online store to the tunes of a million dollars in 90 minutes!! Where they do that at except in the stock market, but Supa proved that it could be done with the brains, hands, and beauty of a NOLA Chic from the 17th Ward!!

Photo credit https://www.lipstickalley.com/threads/would-you-pay-your-criminal-homie-or-relative’s-106k-bond-like-supa-crayon-case-did.1562046/

I am just a normal girl from New Orleans who has a public sense of humor. Which got me to where I am today…When I started doing videos, they were so raw and unapologetic — people related to it! I didn’t care how people reacted to them! I just was venting, and they felt where I was coming from.”

Photo credit About – The Crayon Case

Supa is proof positive that New Orleans can birth greatness, women can create million dollar businesses and be loving, dedicated, involved mother’s and wive’s.

Supa represents the pure soul of our New Orleans culture. I love her transparency and her raw realness. Plus she’s relatable, showing the flipside of all the reality BS and I love it.

I’m not only proud of my NOLA Sista, but she motivates and inspires me to continue to push on even when it seems a bit too much, reach for the stars and to know my worth regardless of the naysayers through her videos. I have yet to meet her, but I am a loyal follower as well. I was in the line for her block party, visited her booth at Essence and had the opportunity to get a peek of her store in New Orleans East.

I encourage all of you who are away from home, think you can not make it here, because of the gentrification going on here, but I want you to remember that they need us to make New Orleans what it is. Take a lesson from Supa’s Princess Tiana New Orleans fairytale, because dreams do come true for those who believe!!

Here’s the link to buy if you feel the need best you face and support a New Orleans entrepreneur:

https://shop.thecrayoncase.com

FACEBOOK: Wuzzam Supa

TWITTER @Wuzzasupa

INSTAGRAM @Supa_cent

SNAPCHAT @Supa_Cent

Life of a Fast Tail NOLA Girl: My Teen Years 1988

As I look over my life, I can remember my adolescent years more than any another part of my life. I believe the reasoning is I wish I could go back and start all over and turn down the boiling pot of teen boy crazy that I was. It’s not that I’m regretful of being a teen mother, but the poor choices I made with those nasty lil boys who managed to get me out my chastity belt makes me wish I could turn back time.

The more I remind myself that have been sexually active for more than half the time I have been alive makes me want to stop having sex because I put in major work early… No wonder I think sex is highly overrated, I’m a professional at it for starting so young…

It’s a blessing that my older two children weren’t a crazy ball of hormones or raging angry anti-everything or those sassy think they know it all fools. My kids were the total opposite of what I took my parents through during my teen years. They were great kids, just as well as their friends. It brings joy to my heart to say that, and I’m honest. I have one son who you all know is a college basketball player, and the most trouble he got in was getting flip with his coach, but other than that all his teachers and parents use to tell me how sweet and well mannered my son is to this day. He was nothing like the horny boys back in my day. However, I must inform you all that my kids are SPOILED BRATS! Lol

My children kept the lid on the cookie jar sealed tight years after I had my first taste of lust. I enjoyed their childhood. I would watch on proudly and sometimes joined in on the fun. I made up for some of the things I missed out on, because of them. It brought me to my knees when I finally realized how much I missed in high school. I used to pride myself that I made it, I had my high school diploma at 17 right along with the others, but I didn’t get to go to prom or walk across the stage to get my diploma. There was so much that I missed being a teen mom, but that 16 year age difference allowed me to have this almost big sister like bond with my daughter that made up for it. To this day I consider my daughter a best friend. We talked about everything, there were nights when I was depressed, heartbroken over a guy and she would encourage me, say things like “You know he likes you, he’ll be back, or oh no Ma leave him alone.” As I mentioned, I didn’t go to my prom or walk with my class, but my daughter made sure I was able to experience prom by suggesting I be a parent volunteer. My job was to chaperone, but I was to busy taking pictures with everyone lol. Both of my children blessed me with the gift of seeing them walk across the stage to find me immediately afterward to give me their diplomas.

I can say the repercussions of being promiscuous wasn’t a bad thing at all, more of a gift than anything. The gifting would continue a month after my 38th birthday when my 21-year-old daughter gave birth to my precious Ebony Princess, my first grandchild. People speak of this cycle or generational curse that continually flows just like the blood in our veins through each generation, but the period started and stopped with me. My Mom had me at 21 years old, and my grandmother had her first at 20 years old, so in essence, there was no cycle to be broken, only a mistake that required educating my children.

I believe the open relationship I had with my kids combined with assisting them in finding things they were interested in such as sports was a significant factor in preventing my kids from the pressures of adolescence. Back in the days, there was no talk of sex outside of don’t do it, keep your legs closed, don’t be fast and let’s not forget the vengeful God who will strike you down to hell for being nasty with little boys. It was so bad that even tampons were off limits because that would mean I would have to stick something in my vagina and the only touching down there was when I needed to wipe and wash. I was left to use my imagination of the birds and the bees by piecing together things my Mama told and the secret talks with other kids.

When I was 12 years old, I thought that God would send an angel as it was done in the bible, but I always wondered how a naked Mommy and Daddy came into play with that as the other kids told me. What messed me up was childbirth. I remember seeing my Aunties cry from painful contractions as they held on to their bellies as everyone operated in a state of hysteria as she stood peeing on herself. “Oh, Lord my water broke”??? looked like she was standing in pee because there was no broken glass or cup on the floor I found myself thinking, but off they went to the hospital.

There were so many stories regarding where babies come from and how they came out I was caught up believing a mixture of each one, therefore inventing another story. Such as the reasoning for the dark line on a woman’s belly that stretches from the top of her diaphragm down into the pubic area. The women in my family believed that the darker the line got meant a baby boy was coming. But the other children would tell bloody tales of slicing the mom open along the line to get the baby out, and if the doctor went over the line with the knife, the baby would die. This would be the reason we thought when a woman miscarries, or baby died during birth. The things we imagined when the truth wasn’t told to us.

I went into adolescence thinking sexual intercourse was “getting booty” and “kissing made babies.” It got to the point that I the only voice of reason I wanted to listen to was my peers, and sex was cool and fun, and if you weren’t doing it you were a Plain Jane Nerd, and I wasn’t haven’t that. I wasn’t haven’t it so much that I lied and told my friends I wasn’t a virgin. My teenage years were so confusing that I was willing to downplay something so sacred and precious as my virginity… I wonder who I told them I gave it to??? Maybe it was just a raising of the hands that would answer the question of “Who had sex before?” Meeeeeeee!! My lie would be revealed once I accomplished the act, but silly butt would continue to deny that I wasn’t a virgin just so I could part of the cool crowd, I think… I remember Cedric asking “Where a virgin?” Noooo, I replied. Then he would leave me silently wondering “what does that mean”for some time with his reply of “Well, whoever broke it must have had a pencil XXXX, because you felt like a virgin to me.”

Just maybe if all the adults would have handled the news regarding me being sexually active differently, perhaps it would have prevented me from getting pregnant. I could have been put on birth control had they been more open about talking, educating me about sex. But nooo, sex was a bad thing that adults did at night behind locke doors, leaving us to imagine what the moving, banging and moaning was about. I would get schooled on the real birds and the bees by my friends who had older siblings they would share all the juicy details with me. At that time the schools slowly implemented sex education which ruled out the God gifting baby myth. The class helped some, but the hormone-fueled boys only made it hard to concentrate on the lessons with all their laughter and oohs and ahhs.

At 14 years old I would find myself hysterical and possibly pregnant from practicing tongue kissing at the park with my 17-year-old neighbor, his name was Sion. He was a tall, handsome, dressed fresh to death, funny, cool guy. The park was our hideaway from any adults especially back in the day when we could be trusted to go on our own to play. I remember he would push me on the swing so high, then dare me to jump. There were lots of times when I would straddle him, well we called it “crab swing” so we could kiss. We would sit out on the porch and do our homework, take walks, etc., he was like my best friend. I remember telling him that I was pregnant and he laughed, said to me about the birds and the bees too. After so much kissing we progressed to what we called “twiddling” back then, basically touching clothed privates. I can remember the Gitano lavender striped jeans and purple striped colorful Coke Cola polo-like the shirt I wore the first time he touched me there.

For the whatever reason we never went all the way, it was like it was never a thought to “do it.” Plus, we had nowhere to do it anyway, both always had younger siblings who we would buy off to leave us alone so we could kiss. It was the beginning of the school year, and by the time Mardi Gras came we do things with our friends from our schools. He was a junior in high school too. I’m pretty sure he found a girl who was up to his speed. Throughout that school year we remained friends and sat out on the porch from time to time, but our ” twiddling” days had come to an end. Plus I had my eyes on one of the popular football players in 9th grade, and he had his eyes on me.

Sion had taught me a lot, and it was as if the boys smelled my fast tail. I was very popular and smart too, so maybe it just came with the territory. I managed to spray female pheromones, be known for style, charm, holding my own and was an honor roll student. Yes, I’m sorry to admit I had a few fights. I was on my way to being expelled after breaking a girl tailbone after I flung her to the blacktop at recess, but it was found she was the instigator. But, hey this was the 80s junior high school in New Orleans. But, the tailbone breaking incident would be the reason for me my crush to meet officially.

Cedric was a couple of inches shorter than I. By the 9th grade I was just about my adult height of 5’10, and most boys were still growing. Dating shorter boys and men would be something I would have to deal with all my life. But he was this cute, smart, chocolate, stocky but muscular young man, with beautiful white teeth. All the girls wanted him, so you can imagine how I felt when he picked me. I can’t believe I was one of those crazy teen girls… Cedric would not only ask me out, but he would be the one to bust my cherry. I was never fond of that term, but I’m trying set that backdrop for you all lol.

While I was on suspension, my best friend called me with him on threeway, and I nearly died. That call would be life-changing. It started with staying on the phone all night until we fell asleep. My Mama would punish me from the talking on the phone because of my actions. I would find the phone and would pay my sister off to keep a watch out while I hid in the closet to talk on the phone. The good ole days, but things would get serious. We would plot on the phone about finding ways to see each other because we had a different class and lunch schedules after I came back from suspension. We came up with the idea of getting passes to go to the bathroom at the same time. I can see him now strolling pass my classroom door, and I would quickly get up to excuse myself. We would meet under the back stairwell and kiss our teenage behinds off.

Our rendezvous went on for months until my English teacher, Mrs. Robinson busted us. I do not know why I even tested this lady, because she was just like your Mama, plus she was my favorite teacher. Mrs. Robinsonis the reason I love to write. She took me under her wing after I wrote an essay for one of first our class assignment that impressed her to the point that she made me stay after school to work on my writings once a week. She would bring in books from home for me to books to read, encouraged me to write my thoughts out by gifting me my first prominent girl journal at the end of the school year. One would think I was the teacher’s pet how she treated me, but I was others she invested in as well.

Mrs.Robinson was nothing like the typical teacher; she kept it real it felt as though she was your auntie. She had to be in her late 40s, married to a police officer a cross between a southern church lady and a female gangsta. She spoke highly of self-defense even encouraged the girls to take self-defense classes and always to be aware of our surroundings. She became vocal about protecting ourselves after one of our classmate’s brothers that tried to carjack her a few blocks from the school as she sat at the stop light. He walked up to her car with a stocking over his head, and she greeted him with her pearl-handled gun which she kept on her passenger seat. This wasn’t the average English class if it involved anything that could be pinned to the paper she used it. The incident prompted lessons on crime journalism. We had to find articles in the newspaper to rewrite and stand up in class as if we were reporting he news. Doing so kept us informed and involved in addition to teaching life lessons outside of English.

Mrs. Robinson was a beautiful, tall, heavy set, dark-skinned woman with a short curly. The only flaw I noticed was she had a significant broad nose with a dime-sized raised mole on it. An imperfection that most of would have allowed to destroy our self-esteem, but she held her head up higher as if she was doing it for us. There were times when classmates, usually boys would call her out about her nose after she would discipline them for one reason or another. Instead of cussing her which they knew would be detrimental to their life lol. They would call her big nose, witch warts, and the list goes on. She would get up in their face and tell them “It’s a beauty mark, where’s yours” and the rest of the class would laugh til we cried.

I dreamed of being like her when I grew up; intelligent, proud of her culture, loving, but hard around the edges, strong, determined, giving and courageous. She was a strict, friendly teacher. We knew she deserved respect because even a coo-coo bird teenager could see she cared not only about our education, but our individual lives. My hormones would cause me to violate the trust she had in me.

Cedric never came to get me during the morning half of the class, especially not while I was in Mrs. Robinson class, but I guess he wanted to get some kisses in before lunch that day. He poked his head in the door and said hi to Mrs. Robinson which we all did because everyone loved her and the bathroom was in her hall, so this wasn’t unusual. He gave me a look, and within a few minutes, I asked to be excused to the bathroom. I took the pass off her desk, flew out the class and met him under the stairwell. And the kissing began with only a “Hey” being said. Who does that? It seems to be me lol. Little did we know Mrs. Robinson excused herself as well and surprised the hell out of us as she pulled us apart by grabbing me by the ear. If you never been pulled by the ear, then you must have walked the straight and narrow path. But if you have you know what it feels like. You can imagine our lips being locked as his whole body just about floated off with me as she pulled on my ear bringing us both from under the stairwell. She was highly pissed off, disappointed and at a lost for words, but her feelings were written all over her face. The punishment was to be publicly embarrassed. She put us on display during lunch. We had to eat our lunch standing up, and we had to stand against the wall at recess with our lips puckered. Our parents were called, and the news spread like a fire. The kids would sing “Dee and Cedric were busted K.I.S.S.I.N.G to the point I was so over kissing him, well at school. Mrs. Robinson’s punishment was very effective..

Not only was the kissing dates were over, but our kiddy relationship for the rest of the school year and not because we were caught. I would be confronted by a girl after my volleyball game a few days later. She came to me without her krewe, which I appreciated, because my friends and I had to stay out of trouble. My goodie two shoes fast tail would have hell to pay, not with my mama but Daddy. And my entire life was dependant on having the fliest clothes and shoes. So, I was happy she didn’t come with no boot in her mouth or her girls igging her on to fight me over no boy. She told me, she was not only Cedric’s girlfriend, but she was pregnant too. Yes, pregnant, but take in mind this 1988, teen pregnancy was on the rise. Over a fourth of the 9th-grade girls were dropping out of school because you couldn’t be in school preggo. I could barely get my tongue to move because I was so heartbroken, as she told me of their teen love affair. This was the same girl Cedric told me he broke up with, because she was a “Skezzar” and here she is saying me, I’m the chic on the side and she having his baby… She told me her belly was the reason why she hadn’t been in school as well as asked how long we been seeing him?? I was finally able to process my thoughts, and I was able to say something after my heart stopped thinking for me.

I’m not sure how old I was when my Mama told me to never fight over a man and if a woman ever asks me about a man I was to say to her ask your man. At 14yrs old, I told this girl, to ask Cedric because my Mama told me to never talk to another girl about a man, well boy that she claims is her’s. The same applied to me, I was told never to question a woman over a man, and I can proudly say I have never done so. As my Mama put if “Am I sleeping with you? No, I’m not so honey you need to go talk to that man you laying with, and if by chance I see him, I’ll ask him about you too.” lol

So with that, she wobbled off, and she took whatever I had for Cedric with her….until I would see him at my cousin’s party that summer. The summer I would sit side by side on a porch swing of this empty beautiful shotgun house in the Garden District. I caught the streetcar over there with my cousin, we were supposed to go to the library, but we had other plans. Cedric had all kinds of goodies for us to eat and drink for our teen picnic that he would suggest we take inside, because of the impending rain. I agreed and was overcome by the beauty of the house. The floor to ceiling windows were covered white flowy curtains that blew lightly with the wind, a huge antique gold mirror hung over the mantelpiece, the living room, and dining room both had chandeliers that sparkled like diamonds and the hardwood floors were so shiny you could see your reflection.

As we walked hand in hand, I asked a million questions about the owners, how did they get in the house, would we get in trouble and so on. He reassured me that everything was clean and that the house had been empty for some time. Him and a few other boys helped move the furniture weeks ago, which is how they knew it was empty. So, for now, they claimed it as their clubhouse. All I could think of is playing pretend “rich husband and wife” and he was thinking the same, but on a grown-up level. As I looked around in amazement, I finally asked “Where are we gonna sit?” Is there chairs in here or should we sit on the floor?” He kissed my hand and said “Come on let me show you the back rooms,” and he led the way to a large room with a king size mattress and box frame sitting in the middle of the floor. “What is that bed doing in here? We can’t sit on that, and it may have bed bugs in it. Where did it come from, Cedric?” He lifted the blankets and sheets to show me everything was clean, and he stated the people left it, and other items on the curb and they took it back in. Then he took his shoes off and jumped on the bed as if it was a trampoline while motioning for me to bounce with him. You know I did. Lol. We hopped, bounced and flipped til we were out of breathe. The next moment I found myself laying on his muscular teen chest eating long coconut boys…..