Notes to Self on Love (& Like)

Pre-k and elementary school:

1. It’s ok to have a crush on a boy’s hair
2. Playing Atari and Indiana Jones is cool, but if I like him I need to say it before he falls for a girly girl
3. If he’s annoying, it means grandma was right. She says if a boy is mean it’s a sign that he likes you

Jr High:
1. There’s an element to bad boys that is intriguing. Run. Run for your life, Shonte!
2. Accidentally sitting in cherry pie at lunch makes you the joke of every guy in your math class, especially when you have to get up and go to the chalkboard to solve an equation
3. When * handed me that letter, the one where he wrote the lyrics to LL Cool J’s I Need Love, I should have been real and kind and open instead of cruel

High School:
1. If I like him, I better say it before discovering an x-rated letter in his gym bag from my female nemesis
2. Listening to his problems every afternoon is cool, but I’ve possibly reached a level of ambiguity, the unfortunate one-of-the-guys/non-descript zone
3. If he opens my maxi pads and sticks them everywhere, it means he likes me

1. Tell the guy I love him before I pull up for evening classes and find some other chic in his face
2. It’s ok to fall in love. Maybe. Kind of. It just is.
3. When he discovers that he loves me too, don’t ruin it by slapping him in front of the rest of the football team

Early adulthood:
1. Tell him I like him before he proposes to someone and I find myself folding wedding invitations (literally)
2. It isn’t ok to continuously run from relationships because of fear and pride
3. If they’re open and vulnerable enough to express themselves, be vulnerable in return

Middle age:
1. It’s ok to drop the bravado
2. Marriage wasn’t so bad, and having kids isn’t so scary
3. Love hurts, again and again


  • I still have a crush on *’s hair
  • Decades later, I apologized to the guy who wrote the I Need Love letter
  • Sometimes I still want to slap the college guy, but it’s all love. Always
  • I married an intellectual bad boy. I did not run
art background beautiful birthday
Photo by Pixabay on

Trust Issues

The last time someone told me the truth it only proved the other truths were lies

So excuse me if I rummage through old baggage in search of something new

Unpacking has taken a while I’ll admit, and most of this stuff needs a garbage

Then I could make room for something better; then I could make space for you

Is that too heavy?

Saying so won’t make me think any less. Saves us both time.

Understand I’m a little broken. Except I’m real about it. See, that’s all I’m looking for–honesty.



sms aka whatevertheyaint

august 2018

I Can Only Speak for Myself

Initially, there’s this raw space. We may wonder how it got there, or more importantly, why it’s there.  Perhaps we conditioned ourselves early in life to bandage wounds and carry on, so we slap a Band-Aid on it until it festers, not realizing that giving it time to breathe is better than covering it over.

Then, somewhere during the process, a scab forms. There’s this protective layer now, and we go about our daily routines as we did before. That is until we accidentally bump that spot, exposing it again.  Maybe we overestimated ourselves, or maybe we were just trying to…forget. In any event, there it is. And yes, it still hurts.

An undetermined amount of time passes, and we notice the scab is now a smooth scar. We run our fingers over it, remembering that unsightly place.  But we can do it now, we can run our hand across that area. It reminds us that grief cut us open.  Yet, we survived.


aka Whatevertheyaint

Oct 2017




  • I can only speak for my own experiences. Like most people, there have been more than a few negative events in my life, but I learned to just acknowledge them and allow myself to go through the process. This poem came from waiting on a sore to heal on my leg and then, at random (which tends to happen when I’m ready for my brain to SHUT DOWN), thinking how wounds are a lot like the process of grieving, or dealing with any life-changing event. 



For That I Am Sorry

There’s something she didn’t give you



Whatever it was it wasn’t enough

She wasn’t scarred enough,

Didn’t understand your demons

She didn’t laugh enough, live

But what she provided was stability

Loyalty, all the boring words one looks for

Beyond adventure and fun


You sought solace in dark places

Hell and shot glasses

She swept broken pieces

Only to hurt herself in the end

And you’ll never honestly say,

This is why you couldn’t save me

And she’ll never really know

What you needed saving from




sms aka whatevertheyaint







January, Untitled

Without you, my days would consist of web surfing and naps
Too much quiet, too much time for melancholy
Miles would remind me I’m Kind of Blue
And I’d drink Merlot for breakfast
And lunch. And dinner
You’d ask if I’m falling apart;
I’d answer,The Merlot is gone
Too much time. Too much time without you
You ask if I’m falling apart. I think how empty life would be
Without you


sms aka whatevertheyaint

Jan 25 2017

April, 2016 Untitled

I looked for you in faces and towns
lyrics and dreams, landlines acquaintances birthdays

Across miles and states you said you
searched for me, too–
issuing missing person reports to anyone who’d listen:
knee high, brown, baby face
Special. Very special

Inquiries dismissed by busy co-workers,
messages that never made it from their lips to my ears
A hastily written number that failed to reach my hands

Now you say, now you tell me…you came here once(twice)
For me
You. Came. Here.
For me

Fate crazy late, irony right on time
Like calendars flipped back,images still the same
Hearing you as clear as our first hello

You and Me,
similar spirits,in spite of paths chosen
Very special


sms aka whatevertheyaint
april 11 2016

Givers Vs Takers by Monte Robinson

Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!

Some people are Givers; some are Takers. Givers give. Takers take. To do the opposite of what you are takes learning to ignore your natural instincts.

You give because that is who you are. To ignore someone in need would cause you mental anguish, because you cannot imagine not giving. A Taker however never thinks to give, because it is not in their mental makeup. They suffer no such anguish, because they are too consumed with what they can get to concern themselves with what they can give.

Givers are often a good relationship match for Takers, but the same cannot be said in reverse. The duality of man requires the Giver to fulfill his need to take, however small it may be, in order for him to achieve satisfaction in a relationship. With a Taker, satisfaction can be difficult to achieve as very little is given.


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