McGyver, Jack Bauer, ... Jason Turner?

Jason Turner swears that he did not use McGyver tactics to get into the Nigerian embassy. And no, Cat is not a racist.

Off to Nigeria!

One of my greatest joys in the 20 years Stacie and I have been together, has been leading the effort to find her birth parents. Funny story, I told her years ago that I was going to find them. She laughed back then. Now look where we are baby! We are off to Nigeria in November. With the trips we made to South Africa this year for Stacie's charity, this trip will be our third to the African continent in 7 months! Real talk: This is scary for Stacie. It's crazy seeing the back and forth between excitement and fear that Stacie goes through with this real-life reunion on the horizon. A point I must clear up from the show: I did not "sneak" into the Nigerian Embassy with the pizza man! I didn't know anyone, and truly did NOT have an invitation! There are huge security gates around the entire perimeter of the building, and as Stacie said, the pizza man was coming out at the same time. But for all of my MacGyver/Jack Bauer tactics, I was instructed, on my way out, that the gate door was open anyway -– it was during office hours! My unending gratitude to Stella, my sister from a different mister, without whose help and personal involvement this story, still unfolding, might still be untold. 

One last thing: Reality costs. I have been advised that I may need to bring my checkbook to meet Stacie's father in Nigeria. She is the eldest of his 11 children, total. I wonder, "Is Stacie worth three cows or four?" 

"Got To Be Real" 

A little piece of trivia: this is Stacie's FAVORITE song by Cheryl Lynn from back in the day. Guess what? This show stuff, at least what we shot, ain't fake. Planned out and scheduled, yes, but not fake. I've had so many of my friends and family say, "Do they give you lines, or tell you when to laugh, feed you jokes, etc.?" I read a show recap article in the Post after using the words "racially agnostic" during the Facebook email convo Stacie and I were writing -- which truly came out of my mouth from nowhere, but made perfect since to me at the time -– where the columnist says, "They really do give the husbands the best lines." What? That's crazy. I was offended more than when Andy called me Ebong!

And that's what I think is so interesting about this show business -- that "reality" is stranger than make believe. I definitely didn't realize how true that was before doing this show, and the people we met while doing it. If producers could even dream up the storyline, they would NEVER come up with some of the antics viewers see play out. Gate crashing? Come on! That's why we love to hate these shows. In "fake" TV, the script makes you believe that someone else's grass is greener. In "reality" TV, we see their grass is burnt brown, like ours. Maybe a lot worse than ours, in fact. You notice how reality show characters disappoint in some way constantly, yet we still love them (in some cases)? Too deep for you, huh? My bad, I'm new to this blogging thing. 

Cat Nip 

I think Cat's cool. She's smart and quick witted; has a wicked fun sense of humor, and no, she's not a racist. I really hope we can put that to bed, really. But we won't be able to. Nope. I just saw a blog today where Cat is on her defensive/offensive about race. How real do you want it? Here's my opinion, straight no chaser: Sure Cat hates the Salahis for messing up her White House dreams (and maybe a bite out of an apparently declining marital bliss), but I think her Tyra impersonation is the new "neck-roll" Caucasian classic, even more than Mary's "gurrfren" and "integrated salons" rambling. Dinner at Aunt Frances', the basement scene and Stacie's "uncomfortable" commentary, and finally, the confrontation with Erika, were arguably the most compelling parts of Cat's storyline. And I won't mention Cat using the word COLORED (OK, I guess I just did). Ironically, the "race card" put Cat on the Real Housewives map. You're welcome, gurrfren. LOL!


We were preparing to go to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation dinner (as invited, ticket-holding guests) that coming weekend, and several friends in town were clowning us like, "Are the Turner's crashing the CBC?" And Stacie was like, "Nope, no Salahi-ism in this camp!" I laughed so hard that night at home over my favorite meal (spaghetti), when Stacie came up with this term. And it's not mean in my opinion, just dead-on accurate. I truly wish Tareq and Michaele all the best with life and Oasis, which I would love to see reborn. And as a side note, I never want to see Michaele's face cry again. Ever.


A Rewarding Experience

Despite her cringe-worthy moments, Mary's had a blast.



1. Words or signs having no intelligible meaning

2. Subject matter, behavior, or language that is foolish or absurd.

3. Extravagant foolishness or frivolity

4. Matter of little or no importance or usefulness

5. Insolent talk or behavior; impudence

One thing that no one can ever take from you is your word. I was raised with the motto say what you mean and mean what you say. The reunion was extremely difficult for me. All of the nonsensical behavior that we have been subject to this season from Boris and Natasha came to a head that long September day. It was difficult to watch myself become so exacerbated by the lies and false accusations, and to see myself visibly display the emotions I was experiencing: anger, hurt, and frustration. Even when confronted with solid proof these people still arrogantly sat there denying all. It was unreal. After a season of fabulous fun with my family and friends it made me sick to see it all end this way.

As parents, one of the primary values we teach our children is the importance of being honest. As I sat on the sofa during 10 tedious hours of filming, listening to lie after lie coming from a couple who are masterful storytellers, I wondered how we got to this point. I have never in my life been put in such a confrontational and frustrating situation nor watched two grown adults be so blatantly dishonest. My family, close friends, and my charity have all been negatively affected by these individuals. At the end of the day I know what I signed up for, and in the reality TV world the name of the game is drama. What I was experiencing was not drama. This was about two delusional individuals who still can not answer a "yes" or "no" question. Ultimately for me they stooped to the lowest of lows by falsely accusing our daughter of a serious crime that she had no involvement in whatsoever. I can easily say that I am relieved that we can all move on from spending precious time and energy talking about these people. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying I'm ready to move on!

In some ways this reality TV experience was like being pregnant for the first time; many people offered sound advice but nothing can really prepare a person for such a surreal experience. As a family, we have had a blast on this roller coaster ride and have enjoyed watching snapshots of our "functionally dysfunctional" family relate to each other through the challenges of being a large family. The love of a family is the greatest blessing, and I am overwhelmingly blessed with a large loving family. I want to thank them all for taking this great risk and jumping on this ride with me.

The cross! I have had an overwhelming number of inquiries about how to find the cross that I wear regularly. I purchased my cross a number of years ago on a trip to the Carribbean. Unfortunately, the cross is no longer available, but I am working closely with the company that produced it and will be launching a new version soon! Additionally, I am excited to share that I am currently designing an entire cross collection. Look for more information coming soon on my future website!

If in the DC area on November 4th, please join me as Labels for Love hosts a spectacular event called the Modus Union Salon Party. This evening will feature the incredible works of 75 juried artists, live painting, musical performances, trapeze artists, vendors, nibbles from local restaurants, and of course cocktails! All artwork will be for sale and the proceeds will benefit Fran Drescher's organization, Cancer Schmancer (www.cancerschmancer). For more information, go to I hope to see you there!

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all that helped make this year incredibly enriching and rewarding. This entire experience has been a very humbling and rewarding one. I learned a tremendous amount about myself and witnessed many cringe-worthy moments to learn from ... and avoid! One of the best aspects of making the choice to do the show was the beautiful friendships that developed and strengthened over the last with Lynda, Cat, and Stacie and our incredible crew. We shared many laughs and had a ton of fun! Although a friendship with Michaele didn't develop, I wish her and each of my cast mates only the best for the future. Thank you all for the support and encouragement over the our first season! 

Peace and Blessings!




Follow me on twitter at @maryamons (coming soon!)