We love a good love story. And Black Love Doc, a series about the love stories of Black people, famous and not, gives us everything we didn't know we needed about the complexities of life and love. Some of the greatest love stories ever told lie here—from Tamia and Grant Hill, to Viola Davis and her husband, Julius Tennon, and our faves, DeWanda Wise and her husband, Alano Miller—they're all proud to tell their story about their love and how it works for them.
So, when Michael Beach and his wife Elisha decided to tell how their relationship began, we couldn't help but listen. And the best part is the two found their way to each other, after being casual friends with benefits.
"We met through a mutual friend that introduced us, I think really just to have a lil' fun with each other. Like, it was so not serious, I had just broken up with a guy and you were separated at the time, right?"
Michael jumps in:
"Yeah, I was separated from my first marriage, I had four kids already, and I was like 'no way am I doing that again, no way.' And I made it clear! I was like, 'you know if you wanna have fun, let's have fun but uh, I was almost forty and I was like, I already have my responsibilities, I'm taking care of them this and that. I know she's young, so there's no way you would get serious and maybe married to someone that young and without having more kids, there's just no way."
The couple laugh now at the irony, because they've since added four more to the bunch.
Things ultimately took a turn for the two when Michael offered for her to stay at his New York home so she wouldn't have to travel as much while he was away in Los Angeles with his kids.
"There was one night we were in the bed and he says to me, 'I just need you to know, this isn't going to go any further than this.' And I was like, okay...I didn't really ask. [laughs] We openly were not monogamous for a very long time. It changed much quicker for me than him, obviously. I think for me it was the coming to LA with him, it just kind of happened...somewhere in there, he was the only guy I wanted to be with. We can just be with each other and it's enjoyable. Then I was like comparing every guy that I went out on a date with, with him, and they were not living up to it. I caught on to the falling for him, much more quickly than he did."
And 19 years later, the rest is history. Love to see it!
But their lives since their non-traditional start, is also anything but traditional. Michael's ex-wife lives with them as well.
"If you would have 15 years ago—even 10 years ago—I would have been like 'nah." But it runs so smoothly, it's crazy."
"It's very odd. But with his work schedule, and never knowing what's going to happen, when it's going to happen, where's he's going to have to be...Davis was born and when Davis hit two months, he was in Australia, France, South Africa, Atlanta...he was gone for like five and a half months. If Tracy hadn't been here, I would have died or killed one of my kids, whichever one came first. There was no way I would have made it through that time without her help. At all. It just would not have happened."
Do what works for you!
Watch the full bonus clip below:
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Featured image by Michael Beach/Instagram
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
There’s people who perform songs, and then there’s performers, and let me tell you something: Victoria Monét is a PERFORMER. I first fell in love with her as an artist after hearing her hit song “Moment,” and then when her album JAGUAR was released in 2020, I was hooked. JAGUAR was one of those albums that I kept on repeat as I and the rest of the world were going through the motions of being in a pandemic. I remember watching her perform her single “Jaguar” from the album on her YouTube channel, and the way she performed so effortlessly with such confidence, I knew I had to see her live.
Luckily, I got the opportunity. Along with dropping JAGUAR II, which features the viral single “On My Mama,” Victoria also announced The Jaguar Tour, and as soon as the tickets dropped, it quickly sold out. I attended her Atlanta show at the Buckhead Theatre, and besides being met with a sea of concertgoers from wall to wall, my ears were immediately hit with a beautiful voice from none other than Alex Vaughn, who opened for the mother of one. Once Alex finished her set, it was time for the main event.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images
As soon as Victoria stepped on stage, it was hers. She commanded the room with her sultry voice and hypnotic dance moves, performing songs from albums JAGUAR I and II and previous projects such as Life After Love, Pt. 1. Fans were singing her songs word for word to the point where, at times, you no longer heard her singing. However, it was clear that she was in a room filled with love and support, and she also showed it back on stage. The singer rarely took breaks in between songs and dazzled fans with her smooth moves that is reminiscent of the legendary Janet Jackson.
One of my favorite moments was when she performed “Cadillac (A Pimp’s Anthem).” She dressed in a trench coat and fedora, complete with her pimp cane, and another big moment was when she performed “Stop (Askin’ Me 4Shyt)”. Overall, it was nice to vibe out to live performances of some of my personal faves like “Ass Like That,” “How Does It Make You Feel,” “Alright,” and “Big Boss.” In a recent cover story for Galore, Victoria revealed what she hopes concert attendees walk away with.
“On tour, I really wanna give people the best version of Victoria on stage, better than I’ve ever been before. I’m hoping people have the time of their life at the show,” she said. After working behind the scenes as a songwriter for so long, the California native now has all eyes on her, and it’s clear she was ready for this moment.
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Feature image by Paras Griffin/Getty Images