Friday, August 19, 2011


Recently, a friend hooked me up on a blind date. She had described the man and he too, gave me a concurrent account: dark skinned, 6”4’, low Caesar haircut, and athletically built. My friend also mentioned that he was close to our age. When I met the fellow, I immediately thought forty years old. I would need a telescope to see forty since it’s so far off.

We had a pleasant enough dinner, wherein I discovered he was forty-seven years old. He would be better off dating my mother, I thought, but decided to enjoy the time together anyway until he uttered some deal breaking words. He was recently divorced from his wife of eighteen years, with whom he had four children. Two of his "children" are close to 25, and the youngest is a senior is high school. You know what that means? They talk back. I can’t deal with a man that has grown kids whom I’m more likely to be partying that rocking the step-mommy title.

So folks, this post is inspired by that date, an unexpected bonus. Oh yes, Mr. 47 and I are not going out again. It was an unspoken farewell message in our good night hug.

Without further adieu, part 1 of my deal breaker list (in no particular order):

1. Reggae. If a man despises reggae, we are not going to make it. I need a dub in a club, basement bashment, wave yuh rag kinda man. Someone who enjoys Beres and Sanchez in concert. Listens righteous music, beyond an occasional Bob Marley track and enjoys old school dancehall, not that Vybez Kartel spin me like a satellite dish ting. Chuh. Will do his best to dance the reggae set at a party. Just try is all I'm asking. Stoosh man nuh fuh me.

2. Teeth. If a man’s teeth are different lengths, shapes, colors, or visibly missing, we’re not going to make it. The minute I see that, my face will scrunch up in horror.

3. PDA. I am all touchy feely in public, and if a man doesn't like that, it's okay. There’s some other woman out there for him who will throw anti in front of public displays of attention.

4. Bruk. Sure, being a conservative spender is smart, but a man who complains of thin pockets ALL THE TIME is just more that I can bear. The minute he figures out I have a coin jar to shake out at TD Bank, he’ll want to tap the coffers or mention how much he’d like to take me out but this isn’t a pay week and funds are low so maybe I can pick up the tab this time. Again.

5. Cook. I know men like a woman who can cook, but I like a man who throws down in the kitchen and backyard. Know how to use a barrel? Psh. Major points. And yes, I can cook. In fact, the kitchen is my favorite place in my house, and I love cooking for two with my boo.

Have a few deal breakers to share? Post 'em in the comment section. Part 2 of mine will post next week.

Lata Lovelies,
-Betsy Ice

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Some things just don't change, like my Laundromat habits. I was going to write another laundry lunacy story, inspired of course by my new supply of disinfectant spray, which still makes babies and grannies choke and others stare at me with annoyance, but decided to pull a post from the archives. :-)

Since the last laundry post, I switched establishments. The new Laundromat attendant told me I couldn't spray disinfectant in the machines "because the owner said so. It damages the machines." So you know what I did? Sprayed the machine anyway and told her to tell the "owner" that until I see him clean these machines, I need to spray for my own safety. After, she was done coughing, she rolled her eyes and let me wash my clothes in peace.

The post:

A little something I wrote while at the Laundromat. Enjoy ☺

I'm sitting at the Laundromat watching someone's plaid boxers spin in the dryer when one of the owners/workers/whomever goes to retrieve the patron’s now-dried clothes. This broad starts dropping MAD clothes on the floor! Socks, shirts, sheets and drawers! Now, someone just paid 80¢/lb for drop-off service only to receive dirty drawers. The dude that will have to wear those drawers may as well rub his genitals on the floor as far as I'm concerned. Just nasty. She didn't even try to shake some of the dirt off...looked more like she intentionally rubbed the floor with them like it was a dust mop...without the stick!

See folks, my OCD won't allow me to drop-off my clothes, suffering through the incessant megaphone-like chatter of two two broads running this Laundromat.

I spent my hard-earned $3.50 to wash and the damn rinse and spin cycle went berserk so what happened? My frickin' clothes tumbled out soapy!!! I love some Tide but when I saw all my clothes foaming like a bubble bath, I called her over. And guess what? The broad doesn't speak A WORD OF ENGLISH! I'm not against immigrants but c'mon. You want my money and can't provide a English? I just spent $16.25 just to wash and had to break a Jackson just redo an entire load – just for a better rinse. On top of everything else, the broad only understands gestures and guess what? She touched my clothes! See, when you have to gesture people get all touchy-feely. Her clammy hands were just picking crabmeat out her teeth (for real) and what was left over was wiped on that man’s drawers. Ill. Floor dirt and crabmeat; that’s one unlucky dude.

Part II:

I took a break from writing, thinking the saga was over, but no way.

I'm still waiting for my “rinse only” load while others dry. My shopping cart is in the rear, near the washers and my back is turned. Why did this raggedy white dude walk in who look like he could use a tumble in the washer himself? He just smiled but I'm really laughing at him. He was putting is dusty clothes (maybe he was driving in the desert?) in a machine next to mine. I had to hurry up and move my shopping cart before my "need to line dry" clothes was coated with dust like the kid in Charlie Brown. What’s his name anyway?

Part III:

Wait, I really thought this blog was done. The devil is a liar!!!!

This brother looking like a Bob Marley reject walks in with 3 big bags of dutty clothes then disappeared. Remember now, I moved my shopping cart to a safe location to avoid the dust flying from the raggedy white guy. The Bob Marley reject just resurfaced with about 7 more bags! Then presumably, his main woman came in smiling at me with a big bow in her hair like Dorothy. If that wasn't enough, the broad used the stool reserved for short people to add detergent, to turn the tv channel. It's midday and there's no frickin' cable to watch CNN but that doesn’t seem to bother her so she attempts to turn to another station for what? A soap opera. SMH...

Clothes, please hurry up and finish...LMAO

Lata Lovelies,
-Betsy Ice

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Claridge Casino, Atlantic City, circa 2006.

My mom, sister, several cousins and myself headed to Atlantic City for a ladies-only day out of food, shopping, and a little bet on black. Cousin Maria went with us. She had never visited Atlantic City, but heard of it but and was fascinated by what she called one arm bandits (slot machines). More impressive to her though, were the food options: she didn't think so many restaurants could exist in one building. She RARELY dined out because she didn't trust other people cooking her food. But that day, she made an exception.

My mother suggested we head to the buffet for lunch and everyone complied except me because I detested food left in the open. She convinced me that the "trick" was to wait at a station until a "fresh batch ah food come out." I did.

When we first arrived however, Cousin Maria loudly said, “Whattah lottah food at dis buffet!” pronouncing the last word like the surname of Warren Buffet instead of "buf-fay." Raucous laughter ensued, but my Cousin Bailey, the family matriarch, was incensed—and embarrassed. In addition to her mispronunciation, Cousin Maria held up the line by arguing with the attendant who neglected to return her change. Loudly she said, "Don’t try fuh pilfah me money!"

Cousin Bailey quickly ushered her to a seat to diffuse the growing spectacle. When we all finally sat down to eat, Cousin Maria said the attendant neglected to give her "her copper change."

"What? One pennie yuh mi di argue 'bout?" Cousin Bailey said. As she spoke, Cousin Maria, who in short order had managed to pile two plates full of food, started wrapping up all her fried chicken and biscuits in napkins. She quickly pulled out some plastic baggies and stuffed corn on the cob, string beans, and mashed potatoes in each of them. Then, taking furtive glances, she stuffed all the items quickly in her large brown purse and zipped it close. We all stared at her. Aghast.

"What are you doing?" Cousin Bailey asked, disgust lacing her voice.

"I don't want di food fuh run out so I wahn save mine fuh later. Look how much people dey pon line. And dem onli big! Look at dem bellie!" Cousin Maria said pointing. "By de time all ah dem come een, di food wahn done off. De sign mi sey all you can eat but ah 'fraid the manager change him mine and limit we. Dey done teef me monie, but dey nuh wahn teef me outta food"

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I recently found an old print ad I designed during undergrad; I majored in advertising and graphic design. I was a good designer, but un-noteworthy. I was however, a better writer. I was smart. On design teams, I always volunteered to write copy, something designers hated. Me? I loved it.

During one semester, my classes were centered on creating single-page ads for a myriad of consumer products that ranged from beer to crayons and bread to greeting cards. My favorite, however was hot dogs, which to my dismay, drew the scorn of my professor.

“Who’s work is this?” he asked, pointing to my work on the class critique board. Every student was required to display their work on this board, often scotch taping the corners or push pinning the white border to prevent display damage. My work was pinned with pink pins, which complimented my very green ad.

I raised my hand as high as my right ear. I was proud of my work. Sort of, anyway.

“What was your inspiration for this ad?” he asked. The sneer in his voice made me want to hide.

“Well, my product was franks,” I started. “And, I thought I would try something a little different. You know, funny,” I said smiling. I glanced at my work and wanted to laugh. I thought I was witty, and better yet, my work, hysterically engaging.

“Where would this type of ad run? Out? The Advocate? It certainly discourages me to buy hot dogs. In fact, I don’t think I’ll ever eat another based on this ad.”

My classmates started to chuckle. I didn’t think it was bad. Maybe I could design it better, I thought. But, the concept is still good.

“While I’m at it, let me take a seat. This ad also discourages me from standing.”

So rude and pompous. Even though I felt like my professor had unnecessarily raked me over the coals, I miraculously found the nerve to defend my work. “Um, I was actually thinking bigger than gay publications. I think my work is more suiting to a Times Square billboard. You know, since it’s attention grabbing.”

My professor moved on, in disdain, to the rest of my classmates work.


I found the ad on a CD recently, and since it still made me laugh, thought I’d share it with you folks as well. I had to resize it so you can read the text, but figured it could be something else to talk about during your Fourth of July festivities…especially the tag line.

Lata Lovelies,
-Betsy Ice

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Though my parents sent me to a tiny, predominantly White parochial school, me, along with most of the "ethnic" students wound up riding the same van, driven by Mr. Poland to school. Incidentally, Mr. Poland was Filipino.

Most of the young kids sat in the front, and although I was only in the third grade, had to sit in the second to last row of the silver four-row van. The latter rows were reserved for the upper classmen of our school—the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. Since I was one of the last kids to be dropped off, I forced to sit in the back.

One day, out of rudeness, a twice-left back seventh grader named Shareece took off her shoe and extended her leg along the window’s edge so I could see her dirty, blackened foot. And smell them. I was two minutes away from home, and was hoping she would not harass me that day as she often had. Apparently not. As tears hot, silent tears started streaming down my cherubic face, all the upper classmen, including Shareece started to laugh. Loudly.

As I exited the van, I saw my mother waiting for me. She took one look at me and started yelling.

"Whey di azz yuh de cry fah?" Though her tone was gruff, I knew she wasn't upset with me; she was concerned...and probably panicked.

As I started telling her the story, Mr. Poland was getting ready to close the door and drive off.

"Just you wait a minute," my mother said to Mr. Poland and stepped closer to the van. She had code-switched to standard American English so he could understand her.

"What kind of van service are you running where my child gets bullied on her way home?"

I could see Shareece glaring at me. I almost wished my mother had not said anything.

Turning crimson, Mr. Poland apologized, stating he couldn't see what was happening in the back but would move my seat closer to the front the next day. Thinking that was resolution enough, he made a move to close the door, only my mother stopped him. She climbed in the van, then turned to me and asked me to point out Shareece. I was mortified, but not idiotic, so I complied.

Shareece adjusted her two long cornrows in front on her shoulders. Despite her attempt to be cool, nervous was visibly taking over.

"Now you look here, Ms. Shareece." My mother had sneered the word miss, so I knew Shareece was about to get it. Good.

Shareece looked.

"The next time you take off you stinking foot and shove it eena me chile face, I'll climb into the back of this van and shove my foot right in your face.
A hot, sweaty foot that was in nursing shoes all day. Then tell me how funny it is."

My mom climbed out backwards, her eyes never leaving Shareece's face. After she slammed the door, we stood there until we could no longer see the van. Then my mom turned to me and said, “Don’t you ever be a dummy again and let someone disrespect you like that. If I find out that happens again, I’ll be out here with a belt.”

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


My cousin, whom we refer to as Auntie Bailey, is the family matriarch. She has a very elderly 100+ pound dying dog named Chestnut that has been dying for the last year. Because she loves Chestnut so much, Auntie Bailey has committed her retired life to making Chestnut “comfortable” instead of traveling the world, playing Bingo, and going to Mohegan Sun like most of her friends. The issue now is that there is a family trip coming up and everyone wants her to attend. Her reply? Tentative. She doesn’t want to leave Chestnut alone, and putting him in a dog kennel in not an option. And apparently, Cousin Maria is out of the picture as well; she used to be Chestnut’s babysitter.

“Jesus! Lawd have mercy! Ooh, not ah’tall. Not me. Not this time,” Cousin Maria started.

“What are you talking about?” I asked. Her outburst seemed odd since we were talking about buying food in bulk from a local wholesaler.

“Auntie Baily middi buy food di oddah day fuh Chestnut.”

“Okay,” I said, trying to follow the exchange. Cousin Maria was a mid-conversation topic switcher.

“You know di dog soon dead. Talking about food reminded me di dog sick bad. Ah nuh wahn watch him!"

“Did Auntie Bailey ask you to watch Chestnut? I mean, if you did, you would miss the family trip,” I reminded her.

“Yuh nuh di listen? Me juss sey no. I middi clarify dat fuh yuh.”

Did she forget I didn’t inquire?
I wondered. “Who are you, the Canine Reaper?”

“What? Ah who dat?”

“Never mind.”

“All ah di sey is this: Di minute Auntie Bailey travel an' me come ova, dat dog wahn dead. Just like dat. Blam, blam! Chestnut juss di wait fuh she go whey and leave him. He nuh wahn die in frontah she. So me minding ah dying dog? I wouldn’t know what to do, who fuh cyall. I might just run outta di house an’ leff him dey dead!”

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


My friend and Melanie and shared the same birthday. One year, she was gung-ho about a dual dinner; I wasn’t. A few days passed, and as we talked about it more, I slowly warmed up to the idea and started looking forward to a festive night with friends until she called with the worst idea ever. She had recently experienced another dating disaster and was subsequently ready to swear off men. Frustrated, she said that she didn’t want men to be a part of her life then added that our birthday evening would be better spent with only our respective nearest and dearest girlfriends.

Immediately, I was incensed, mentally hurling every epithet I could think of at her. What were we doing every other time we went to dinner, brunch, hosted holiday parties or slumber parties to console another girlfriend after a breakup? I thought. Wasn’t that enough girlfriend time? She was bugging! We had gone from a potentially pleasant dinner with the usual male and female friends to an estrogen-atrocity. As she rambled on about restaurants and more reasons to despise men, my mind wandered to the dependency some women felt on each other, whining about their lack of dates, hypothesizing on what men were doing or thinking, and simply wasting good ‘flirt-with-man’ time on conversations with each other. Charlie Brown syndrome took over as she continued and mentally, I compiled snippets of previous discussions which wound up sounding something like this:

“How long has it been since he called?”

“Over a week. Things were going well between us and he just seemed to disappear.”

“Well, I’ll tell you what’s going on. He’s seeing someone else. Probably some broad that he just met that’s willing to give up the booty just because the brother has a nice house, a good job, a few dollars, and a Range Rover. See, women like that? Uh, don’t get me started. They make things so easy…opening and closing their legs like a refrigerator! Then, when someone good comes along like me, dude is so jaded and jacked up in his thoughts he don’t even recognize a real self-respecting, saved and sanctified woman like myself. I mean, I’ll engage in a little petting on the side you know, but a man can’t just run up in me after three dates. Brotha, please. I don’t even know your middle name.”

“I know you’re trying to be helpful but this conversation is taking a different direction. I don’t want to male-bash and you’re starting to relive some stuff with your ex so…”

Interrupting and undeterred my friend would continue, not acknowledging my statements.

“Yup, that’s exactly it! Should have known! He has someone else. Probably some project biddie with a slew of kids waiting to be rescued and there he is–accepting a sub-par woman because he’s too afraid to step to an educated, intelligent, career-minded, independent, fine sister. So what does he do? Call that ghetto bunny his girlfriend because he can buy her some Similac, sneakers, and a used Subaru and she’ll do anything he wants. You know what I call those men? Suckas! Suckas, I say! What’s the name of the guy you went out with again? Oh it doesn’t matter. In the happenstance that he’s not seeing the ghetto girl, he definitely chasing one of those high faultin’ glamour girls who’s looking for a man to impregnate her so she can sit her Louis Vuitton ass at home, practically tethering him to her because she has his baby. You know what, you don’t even need a man! You should just be grateful that you have good girlfriends like me to school you.”