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  • Alexis A. McCoy Gonzalez

Have you ever experienced a moment in your life when you wanted something badly? That moment had arrived in my life. When I and my husband Devon got married three years ago. We made a plan to save some money for three years and pay off some debt before we decided to purchase our first home. It was a decision that took me a while to adjust to but slowly accepted it as time went on.

Devon has always been the practical one in our marriage while I tend to be the unrealistic one. Don’t get me wrong, Devon has his moments when he chooses to go with the flow but those moments don’t happen too often. For the most part, he is a very strategic person.

The day we made our goal, Devon sent me our secret code text which is “started from the bottom now we're here”, with a screenshot of our bank account balance. I quickly replied with a Dj Khaled “we da best!” meme. After Devon sent that text, my focus at work shifted from editing photos to searching for homes. By the time I had left work, I had a list of 10 homes that I wanted to show Devon. That night at dinner he and I celebrated beginning the process of purchasing our first home with a bottle of champagne and lobster. Those were two major things that were a part of our sacrificing list.

We sat and went through the list of the 10 homes I researched and narrowed down which houses were closest to our pros list. By the end of the week, we were touring 3 out of the 5 homes that we had chosen. The first home we visited was beautiful, but the layout was not what we were looking for. The second home we saw needed way too much work. We then toured the third house, and it was perfect. It had almost everything on our pros list. It was in a great location, the layout was beautiful and it was well within our budget. When we finished the tour and got in the car, I looked at Devon and said “this is our house. Email the realtor now and tell her we want to move forward”.

Devon being the practical person he is suggested that we should go home and have a more detailed conversation about everything. I turned to look at him and asked “what is it about this house that don't you like?”. He said “I’m not saying there is something about the house I don’t like. I just think we need to make sure we really like the house before we put in an offer. This is only the third home we’ve seen. I just think we should really sit and discuss this”. I took a deep breath and said fine.

That evening when we arrived Devon set up shop at the dinner table with all his information on first-time home buying while I prepared dinner. We both shared our reasons for why the house would be a great investment. Devon expressed his concerns about the school system in the area and the lack of diversity within the community. After a couple of hours of listening to one another’s point of view, we decided to take the leap of faith at 7:30 pm and emailed the realtor. The realtor contacted us back that night to schedule a meeting with us the next day. I was so excited I couldn’t sleep.

The next day we met with the realtor at the home at 9 am to do a final walk-through before he made our offer. When we walked through the door it instantly felt like ours. I could envision all the décor and our future children running up and down the stairs. I saw our whole future in this house. After the walkthrough, we provided the realtor with our offer. We also scheduled an inspection and appraisal while we waited on the owner’s response to our offer.

Two weeks had passed and the realtor still hadn’t received a response from the owners, but we did get the report back from the inspection and appraisal. The inspection revealed that the roof on the home had a cracked flashing and needed shingles to be replaced. The inspector suggested that we get the roof repaired as soon as possible. The report opened our eyes to how much we would actually be investing in the home. The roof repair price was a shock but wasn’t something our budget couldn’t handle. We were coming up on week three of waiting for a response from the owners about our offer. I was basically contacting the realtor almost every day to see if she had any updates. She would reply “still waiting”.

Devon wanted us to start looking at other homes just in case, but I couldn’t because I wanted that house, and visiting other homes was a waste of time for me. At the end of the third week, the realtor gave us a call while we were eating dinner. I was so excited to hear her voice. She started the conversation by saying “first I want to thank you two for your patience and it pains me to inform you that the owner has decided to take another offer”. Tears instantly filled my eyes. Devon said, “thank you so much for giving us a call”. She “said no problem I wish you the best with finding your future home. Devon hung up the phone. I sat at the table with my head in my hands crying. Devon walked over to hug me and said, “babe we will find our perfect home”. I just sat there in his arms allowing the tears to freely flow from my eyes.

It took me a couple of days to shake the disappointing feeling because I had my hopes set on that home. A couple of weeks after we got the news, I went by the house to take a final look at it again. I pulled up across the street and saw they had a big sold sticker covering the For Sale words on the sign. I sat in the car and took a moment to appreciate what I loved about the home and wrote them down in a notebook. When I finished my list, I said goodbye to the house and drove off. In the famous words of the talented Aaliyah “dust yourself off and try again”. Us not getting the house we wanted was a kick in the gut for me because I felt like we worked so hard and took all the right steps to be able to purchase a house. As much as I wanted the house, it wasn’t the one for us after all.

We are currently still looking for houses. I am learning that purchasing a home isn’t like purchasing a wonderful pair of shoes. It’s a process that consists of a lot of patience. Devon and I have been dusting ourselves off and trying again for six months but we are determined to find our perfect home.

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  • Alexis A. McCoy Gonzalez

My 13-year-old teenage daughter Nichole is probably my least favorite person in the house, for some reason everything I do gets on her nerves. Simple things like asking her what she wants for dinner becomes an issue. If I don’t give her everything she wants, I am basically this horrible mother that doesn’t love her daughter. When I try to express to my husband Nate that our once little angel has turned into a demon, he totally takes her side and says things like “Babe don’t you think you’re being a little hard on her?”. For example, the other day she wanted to go to hang out at her friend Milly’s house. I said no because she hadn’t cleaned her room, even though I asked her to do that earlier in the week. She says her normal line “You never let me do anything” as she angrily walks away and goes into her room.


Since Nichole was baby, she has had Nate wrapped around her little finger and now that she has gotten older, it has gotten worse. Anything that she asks her father for she gets. His only boundary is that she can’t date unit she’s sixteen, other than that she can have anything she wants. I’ve always told him how dangerous it is for him to give her whatever she wanted. Nate never wanted to be considered as the “mean parent” as he calls it. He felt that his parental role was to be her friend more than her father. When he told me that I never laughed so hard in my life. I could have been the person to tell him that wasn’t going to work but I decided to let his little angel prove that herself.


So, two weeks ago Nichole had asked her father if she could go to the mall after school with her friends and he said yes without asking any specifics. That evening when I arrived home from work, I noticed that both Nichole and Nate weren’t home. Within five minutes the front door opens, and Nichole runs to me crying and hugs me. Nate came in right behind her yelling “Don’t try to butter up to your mother, go to your room now!”. Nichole let me go and runs to her room. I had never seen Nate so upset with Nichole let alone raise his voice at her. I asked him “What happened?”. Still furious he said, “Your daughter lied to me!”. I said OKAY and asked, “What did my daughter lie about?” He paced back and forth for a while and said “Earlier today she asked me could she go to mall with her friends. I trust her so of course I said sure, just be home before dinner. As I am heading home from the office, I get a call from mall security telling me they have her in custody for shoplifting. We are living with a thief! Our daughter is thief!” I so badly wanted to say I told you so, but I decided to use it as a teaching moment instead.


Once Nate calmed down, I decided it was time to have our first family meeting. I ordered some pizza for dinner and the three of us sat at the table to eat together. Nichole sat with her head hanging low avoiding eye contact with her dad. Nate sat in disappointment eating his pizza. I broke the silence asking Nichole why did she steal something from the mall? Tears quickly filled her eyes and she said “Mom I didn’t steal, the girls I was hanging with stole jewelry from Forever 21. I didn’t know until we got stopped by mall security. They searched a couple of the girl’s bags and found the stolen jewel. Since I was with them, I had to go too. I expressed to them that I purchased the items in my bag, but they weren’t listening”. Nate quickly interrupts her and said, “You’re lying, still! They found a stolen bracelet in your bag too!”. Nichole eyes quickly fills with tears, as she tries to defend herself against her father’s statement. She said, “Yeah but I didn’t steal the bracelet”. Nate asked, “Then who stole it?”. She got quiet realizing that her lie had caught up with her. Nate sarcastically asked, “But I thought you weren’t lying?”. He got up from the table and went down to his man cave. Leaving me and Nichole at the table alone. She looked at me and said, “Daddy hates me”. I said, “Your dad doesn’t hate you, he’s just disappointed in you and so am I”. She said, “I know”. I said “Just know that you’re grounded for a month. No cellphone, apple watch, Ipad, video games or laptop”. She took a deep breath and said “Ok”, as she walked away from the table.

Later that night when Nate finally came to bed, I decided it was time to have the talk with him. Now I wasn’t going to telling I’m I told you so, which I wanted to do so bad, but instead I decided to take the mature route. He got in the bed and said, “I think she needs to be punished”. I said, “I agree, I have grounded her for a month with no electronics”. He looked at me confused and asked, “That’s it?”. No! she needs to be grounded for the same amount of lies she told me today. I think a year will suffice and I don’t care if she’s gets mad at me for it”. After he said that I couldn’t do anything but laugh because now he realized he couldn’t be her friend more than her parent. I said “Nate, grounding her for a year is a little unrealistic. At her age you and I made many mistakes that we had to learn from, sometimes the hard way. He said with disappointment “Yeah, I just never thought she would lie to me”. I said, “She’s a teenager, they all lie”. He said, “Maybe I was a little too hard on her today”. I agreed and said, “We are living with a thief probably was a little too much but I understood why you were so angry”. He looked at me, laughed and asked, “You’re enjoying every bit of this aren’t you?”. I quickly leaned over, kissed him on the cheek and said “goodnight” I turned over and went to sleep.


After that day Nichole and Nate’s relationship developed into a healthy father daughter relationship. Nate was able to discipline Nichole without feeling like the bad guy and Nichole learned to take responsibility for her actions and understood that all her actions had consequences. Nate and I have become a parenting team that is unstoppable. Which we are going to need now more than ever because in 9 months we will have two little angels entering to this world, wish us luck.


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  • Alexis A. McCoy Gonzalez

First dates are always excitedly awkward, In my opinion. I have been dating this guy for about two months now, we met a month ago while I was on a business trip in California. There was this juice bar next to my hotel that I would visit every day after my workout and we just so happened to order the same drink one day. Every day for a week we would make little jokes or have small talk, nothing more. Honestly, I looked forward to our unofficial meet up for drinks every morning.

After two weeks of us clearly flirting with one another, the day came when we finally got the opportunity to really talk. We both showed up at the juice bar at the same time as we did every day, we had both ordered our drinks and waited around until they were completed. When the drinks were done, we both walked to the counter to pay and he had forgotten his wallet in his car. I quickly told the girl at the counter to put his drink on my tab. He expressed that I didn’t have to do that but I ignored him and paid for the drinks. I handed his to him and said “now you owe me one”. He smiled and said “the next one is on me”.

We walked outside together but he was heading in one direction and I was heading in the other. I said “Well I hope you have a great day”, he responded “same to you”. We both smiled at one another and slowly walked in our opposite directions. Within a matter of moments, he was walking by my side out of breath with a huge smile on his face he said, “I don’t think we have officially introduced ourselves to one another” I stopped walking and faced him nervously laughing and asked, “what you don’t feel comfortable with an attractive stranger buying you a drink?” He laughed and said “No, I just would like to know the attractive strangers name before I ask her out on a date.” I smiled, took a sip of my drink, put out my hand and said, “It’s Serena”. He gently grabbed my hand and said, “I’m Glenn”. We shook hands for a few moments and right when we were about to separate, he said “so, Serena, now that I have the name of the attractive stranger, I would like to invite you out for dinner this Saturday if you’re available”.

Out of excitement I instantly accepted his invitation. We exchanged numbers and said our see you later. I basically skipped back to my hotel. We spent that week leading up to the date getting to know one another. During our morning juice pick up Glenn would walk me back to my hotel so we could talk. We would even text throughout the day. He was so funny and very sweet, something I didn’t think I was looking for in a guy. We were 24 hours away from our date. I had purchased this cute dress and scheduled an appointment for my hair and nails. That Friday when I arrived in the office, my boss informed me that she needed me to attend this company event that was happening on Saturday, the same time as my date with Glenn. Completely disappointed, I waited until I got back to my hotel to call Glenn and tell him the bad news.

As soon as I stepped through my hotel door, Glenn called me. I let the phone ring a couple of times before I answered. I picked up the phone trying to sound as pleasant as possible. He quickly sensed that something was wrong through my over pleasant hello. He asked me if everything was ok. I took a deep breath and said “I won’t be able to make our date this Saturday I have to attend a work event”. He laughed a little and said “you’re a little dramatic, aren’t you?”. I smiled and said “I don’t think I’m dramatic, but others might. Are you trying to say I’m dramatic?”. He sarcastically responded “you? dramatic? No, I don’t get that at all from you. After he said that we both bursted out into laughter. That night we stayed on the phone talking for hours. Glenn was totally a breath of fresh air from guys I had dated in the past. He was kind of my total package, a man with a purpose. Saturday came,I went to the salon and nail shop as planned. I then went back to the hotel and got dressed for the event. It seemed like one of the longest nights of my life. I didn’t get back to my hotel until 2am. I texted Glenn and let him know I had made it in safely and went to bed.

Sunday morning, I was woken up by a knock on the door. I got up from the bed and went to ask who it was. The person responded, “concierge you have a delivery”. I quickly opened the door, and a gentleman was standing there with a big box of pink roses and a envelope. I instructed him on where to place the flowers and handed him a tip. When he exited the room, I rushed over to open the envelope. I could smell Glenn’s cologne on it. I pulled out the note and it said “good morning attractive stranger, since we didn’t get to have our dinner date last night, I figured we could have a brunch date. I will be by to pick you up at 11:30am I’ll text you when I’m out front. See you soon”. I looked at the clock and it was 9:30am.

I rushed to take a shower so I could spend more time on my hair, make up and finding something to wear. When I got out the shower, I ran to my closet. Finding something to wear for a first date can be stressful because I didn’t want to be over dressed but I also didn’t want to be under dressed. The outfit had to be comfortable for me to move in incase we decided to do a fun activity after the date. I tried on ten different looks before deciding to wear these cute comfortable light denim shorts, a white silk long sleeved v neck blouse, black mule sandals and a black handbag. I styled my hair in the crown braid hairstyle with some hairs hanging lose by each side of my ear. For makeup I went with a very nude face and pop lip. When I finished my makeup, it was 11:20am.

I quickly and carefully put on my clothes. being extra careful not to get any makeup on my blouse because that would have ruined the whole look. When I got everything on it was 11:30 am on the dot and Glenn text came through 1 minute after the time changed. I replied by hearting the message. Before I left the room, I took one last look in the mirror. I took a deep breath and exited the room. When I got downstairs to the front of the hotel Glenn was standing on the passenger side of the car waiting for me.

When he saw me, a huge smile came on his face. He looked so handsome. I walked up to him, and he said “you look amazing”. I said “ you don’t look too bad yourself”. We hugged and then opened the door so I could get into the car. When he got into the car, he leaned over and softly said “I have something for you”. He reached down to the cup holder and handed me my green juice. I laughed and said “you’re just covering all your bases today huh? First flowers then my favorite drink? I’m excited to see what else you have up your sleeve”. He said “Well buckle up because today is going to be an exciting ride”. I laughed and asked “have you been waiting all day to say that?”. He smiled said “of course”. That day was nothing short of amazing. He had planned a wonderful brunch picnic by the beach where we sat and talked. Then we went on to play miniature golf which was a ton of fun. My first date with Glenn was perfect. it wasn’t about where we went, what we did, or how much it costed. I just enjoyed being around him. Since our first date I have returned back home to New York. We still talk and text every day and understand the effects that long distance can have on a relationship. So, for now we have decided to just continue to get to know one another and see where life goes.


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