On Brief Hiatus… Coming Back Soon!

Hey Hustlers !

I’m on brief hiatus enjoying some much needed overdue “me” time. I’ll be back soon with some new topics that I hope you’ll enjoy.

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ASK BEE: My boyfriend has become distant and verbally abusive.

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I met this guy at my job about 7 months ago and he pursued me heavily. At first I wasn’t interested in a relationship with him but over time his persistence wore me down and I agreed to go on a date with him. We began casually dating and after 4 months of dating we started a sexual relationship.

Since becoming official he has become disrespectful, absent and always tries to make me feel as though I was the one chasing him. While digging around looking for evidence of him cheating I also found out that he was a convicted felon on parole for selling drugs, something I am totally against.

We argue constantly, some of which have gotten extremely verbal and he has called a bitch on more than one occasion. After the fights he always brings me gifts and says he’s sorry and blames his temper on his past not growing up with a mother. He says he wants to have a family and get married but he still stays out all night at clubs, strip clubs in particular.

I have grown to care about him but this relationship is stressful. I know all couples have disagreements but I am wondering if I should end the relationship for good or give it time to see if things get better?


Clearly Confused

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ASK BEE: I’m pregnant and my child’s father is locked up.

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I met my boyfriend about 6 months ago at a local nightclub and things between us moved really fast. We fell in love and moved in together within 2 months of dating. After living together about 1-1/2 months I found out I was pregnant. I was excited, this will be my first child and this will be his 3rd child. Right after finding out I was pregnant he got arrested on a probation violation charge and went to jail. Right now we’re expecting him to be in for almost a year and it has really been rough on me & my pregnancy.  My family wants me to move back home (I am originally from NC) but I want to start my own life and make my own way. Should I go home to my family and abandon my relationship or stay and work things out for the sake of our child?


Hopeful Holly

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ASK BEE: My roommate moved her bummy boyfriend in.

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My roommate and I have been living together for about 8 months. She had already owned and lived in the townhouse and claimed she needed help financially, so I decided to move in with her and save money while I complete my final semester in college.

When I first moved in, she and I were both single. We never discussed what would happen in terms of our living arrangement if one of us got into a relationship but I never expected her to move some guy in 5 months after I moved in! Talk about desperate.

Since her new “boyfriend” moved in, things have been a little strange to say the least. I am not comfortable sharing a living space with a couple and sometimes she makes me feel out of place by being there. He doesn’t work and in the 3 months he has been there, he eats food that I purchased and sleeps all day long while telling her he is looking for a job. I stay in my room and out of their space because I don’t want any weird interactions.

I know it is her house and she can move in whom she pleases, but I just wished I had known that she would be shacking up with her boyfriend, or I would have never moved in with her. I have lots of other roommate options and I would prefer to live with someone who is considerate of my space.

Should I cut my losses and move now before things get extremely strange?


Runaway Roomie

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Keep Calm: The Cops Edition


The recent backlash that law enforcement has been receiving in the news media prompted me to write this story. I wanted to share my experience after a recent run in with “the law”.

As a journalist, I try not to form opinions based on empty rhetoric, hearsay or even the media for that much. I try to form opinions based on my own observations and truths, not just by sheer emotion brought on by what we see in the news. 

That being said, I felt it was important to show another angle of dealing with the police and how it saved me a world of trouble. As a crime writer I tend to stay neutral when reading or researching a story, seeing both sides of the picture.  Hopefully my experience will help someone else who may encounter law enforcement in the future. 

Recently, I was coming from dinner with friends and pulled up to a red light on my way home. I must first confess that during dinner I had one margarita to knock the edge off from a long day’s work. Sidenote: if you know me, you know that one single cocktail for me (the self-proclaimed party girl tequila shooter) is like warm-up session so I was not in the least bit drunk or intoxicated. Nonetheless, while sitting at the red light I glanced in my rearview and spotted a cop pulling up to the light about 2 lanes over.

Being a hardworking, tax paying and law abiding citizen still doesn’t ease anxiety when I see a police car, especially with all of the recent bad news  in the media and strained history between cops and people of color. I have had run-ins before that were not so pleasant. Immediately I began to tense up and the cop wasn’t even behind me.

Apparently I must have suffered some kind of brain malfunction and before I realized it I had hit the gas accelerating right through the red light. Don’t ask me why, I swear I thought I saw the light change. Or maybe I was hoping it had changed. Maybe I was just nervous, after all I kind of had a reason to be. I was in a part of town where the cops are  notoriously accused of racial profiling Blacks and Hispanics. Needless to say I IMMEDIATELY realized that I had just made a huge mistake—RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE POLICE! Instead of continuing, I inched to a stop and started pulling over to the side median because I knew exactly what was about to happen next. Sure enough, I look in my review mirror and the cop car lights are now blaring blue and inching right up to my bumper. I’m cursing myself out. I have an event I had to attend the next day and missing it wasn’t an option. I had no time for traffic stop shenanigans.

The cop gets out and starts walking to my car and I let out an enthusiastic “Hi!” As the officer approached I notice “he” is a “SHE” — a cute white petite female. That definitely knocked a little more of the edge off. I’m girl power first. She approaches my window lets out an enthusiastic “Hello!” Her smile was visible through the blinding blue lights. At least we were off to a good start. In a lighthearted way she says, “You just ran that red light girl!” I began apologizing profusely and told her that I had just left my office after a 10 hour day and that I was completely overcome with exhaustion, which was true. I did skip the mention of the dinner & drinks. That would’ve seemingly been asking for trouble. She empathized with me and then asked for my license which I couldn’t immediately find. As she stood there patiently while I dug around my bag, she offered small talk assuring me that misplaced licenses was a common occurrence in her world. We shared a laugh. I finally dig my license out of the bottom of my purse (aka The Abyss) and hand them over. In the back of my mind hoping there is nothing that could go wrong. No unpaid tickets, etc. I didn’t think so, but you could never be too sure. Dealing with the law is always unpredictable, especially for people of color.

She heads back to her squad car to run my name (terrifying) and I l notice another police car pull up. “OH SHIT, this can’t be good.” I remain calm while clutching my pearls hoping that she didn’t smell a drop of the margarita I had enjoyed about 45 minutes prior and called for some backup. I figured I had to be under the legal alcohol consumption limit and besides, I wasn’t in the least bit “physically or visibly intoxicated” but nonetheless I had in fact enjoyed a drink and then ran a red light—right in front of the cops. Seconds later ANOTHER cop car pulls up. “THREE cop cars? This definitely can’t end well.” Not to mention, all this was my own fault. If I had been paying attention at the light, none of this would have happened. I’m still cursing myself out while remaining calm. Moments later a male officer walks up and begins asking random questions about where I had been and where I was headed, etc.

He was very friendly and cordial. I told him the same as the other officer, I was leaving my office and headed home. That was my story. Despite the huge bag of to-go seafood in my passenger seat, I was coming ‘straight from work.’ The male officer, a very pleasant older white gentleman then hit me with the “Ms. Cavalli, when is the last time you smoked marijuana” question. My eyes bucked out of my head as if I were in complete shock and I replied, “It’s been FOREVER” certainly “not today”. He chuckled and then casually asked if I minded if they ‘took a look’ stating he thought he smelled a faint smell of weed. “OH SHIT! Here we go.” He assured me it would only take a minute and then I’d be on my way. (That’s what they always say before you’re locked up, but I digress.)

I obliged and agreed to a search because again, I didn’t want this traffic stop to go any further left than possible. I’m crossing my t’s and dotting my i’s. I have an event tomorrow and I couldn’t miss it for the world.

I gather my thoughts and step out of the car. He thanks me for being  cooperative. The female officer then begins pilfering through my belongings in search of the “ganja.” Sidenote: earlier in the day my mobile car wash guy had been in my car cleaning, he smokes ‘Black N Mild’ cigars (which I had repeatedly asked him not to do in my car but for a free detail who complains). To me Black and Mild cigars smell nothing like top grade marijuana but I mentioned that the cigars “might be the smell” to the officer. It was worth a shot. He agreed, “That’s probably what it is, those cigars do have a sweet smell like sord of like Swisher Sweets”. I blank stare. Meanwhile, the female officer is still searching and I am just praying that there really is no herbs or paraphernalia stuffed anywhere because I would be headed to jail and probably missing my event, which wasn’t an option. I knew how this story ended, it happened before. At this point nothing is impossible. Hopefully nobody accidentally left anything in my car. The moment of truth was upon us.

Flashlight glaring, she searches all four corners of my vehicle and then returns to me with my license in hand and cracks the same vivacious smile. “Have a nice night Ms. Cavalli, I am just going to give you a warning for running the red light, just be careful and go get you some rest.”

WHEW! What a relief! Talk about dodging a bullet! I jumped back in my car and drove off as normal as possible. I really wanted to gun the gas and get the hell out of dodge before she had changed her mind, but I remained cool, calm and collected. The whole time I am pulling away thinking, “Are you kidding me? Did THAT just happen?” I was in complete shock. Not even one mention of alcohol and more importantly, no weed to be found. Not even a ticket for plowing through the red light at a busy intersection. There was certainly a guardian angel watching over me. I couldn’t get my seatbelt on fast enough. I was free to go and GO I did!

In conclusion,  I really believe that the way I treated the officers during this encounter is how they treated me—with respect. As with life you give what you want to get. Treating people how you want to be treated is essential, especially when dealing with authority. Being loud,  unruly and belligerent probably won’t get you anywhere but a trip to jail or far worse, a bullet or two –or ten! From the moment the female officer walked up I was respectful, friendly and co-operative and gave her no reason to get nervous, hostile or aggressive with me—and she most certainly didn’t. Even though I was in the wrong, she and her fellow officers handled me with the upmost respect and care and I was pleasantly surprised by how nice they genuinely were.

In that moment I realized that all cops aren’t like bad guys that we see in the media. Some do have a heart and compassion. Being a police officer has got to be one of the toughest jobs out there, but the stigma of blacks being treated unfairly, profiled, abused or even killed by cops is very real. As with Mike Brown, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray and many others who have died in the care of law enforcement, we see that things can go left in a moment’s notice and potentially turn fatal. The key is to KEEP CALM, relax and do what they ask. It won’t curve anxiety but it will help diffuse an already tense situation. Dealing with police is hardly ever enjoyable, but keeping calm can at least save you from a world of other troubles.

Sure, as with any profession there are ‘good and bad’ but thankfully this time, I had encountered some of the good, and after a long demanding day, I appreciated it. Not just because I had escaped an expensive ass ticket or possibly even jail, but because it restored some of my faith in some police officers and the job that they do. In the end I was able to make it home in a timely manner and get packed. After all, I had an early morning flight to catch and I couldn’t miss it for the world. I had an event to attend and I made it—with my pearls and bells on.

–Love, Bee