Tuesday, January 7, 2014

'Mama Joyce' Opens Up in Our EXCLUSIVE Interview: "If Todd Makes Her Happy, I'll Just Have to Accept That."

(Photo Credit: Courtesy of Tara Thomas Agency)

I don't like loud voices. I hate when people argue. If I can help keep the peace in a situation, I always choose to do so. So it's a bit ironic then that I am a ridiculously loyal fan of Bravo TV's Housewives series, especially "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," wouldn't you say? Let's just say that every episode keeps me entertained. From the fabulous fashion to watching the ladies take amazing trips, I totally live vicariously through them (and I know many of you do, too!). 

One of the most controversial situations this season has been the dynamics between Kandi Burruss, "Mama Joyce," and her fiancĂ© Todd Tucker. On the show, Joyce has shown disapproval and frustration with her daughter's relationships with Todd, causing many viewers to incessantly (and harshly) tweet about what they believe Joyce's intentions are. I get it - I mean, I watched the same episodes as everyone else. But I also know that a mother's love for her daughter is indescribable. Yesterday, I got to hear firsthand how Joyce feels about Kandi, where she stands with her daughter and Todd's relationship, and what young, successful women should be doing when it comes to dating. Check it out! 

So how has it been getting so much attention regarding the drama or so-called controversy on the show this season?

Well…It’s been tiring.

How do you feel you’ve been portrayed on TV?

I feel that I was portrayed as a money-hungry mother who was more worried about her daughter’s money than her daughter.

When I watch the scenes between you and Kandi, I think it's clear how much you love your daughter and that you only want the best for her…

Well, that’s what I was trying to put out there, because that’s how I feel. You know, it’s not about her money or anything at all because I don’t need her money. I never have tried to use her money. As I tell everybody, I live in the same house as I did a month before she was born. So if I was after her money, I would have tried to get her to buy me a big house or something like that maybe 15 or 20 years ago. But that’s never been the case. I’ve always wanted her to build up her brand and take care of herself.

Which is something that I think all parents want for their kids – to see them grow and succeed…

Right, so you don’t have to worry about them, you know? That’s a blessing right there. And everything I accumulated is hers. I mean, if anything ever happened to me, everything I got belongs to she and Riley. And what’s there is quite a bit.

It just seems like this situation is hard for everybody...

And it is, because Kandi knows I wasn’t just a mom, I was very good mom.  I mean, I took very good care of her. I’ve had jobs where I had to be at work at 4 o’clock in the morning. I took very good care of her and her brother. I always gave them the best. You never would have thought they were middle-class. If you could have seen the way I dressed them, the way I raised them…People would say, “How did you do it?” Because for one thing, I never drank and I didn’t smoke, no drugs or nothing like that. I didn’t have people around me that did that. And I just made sure that they had, even if I didn’t have. And I always wanted the best for them.

So where are you right now regarding your relationship with Kandi? Are you at a ‘What will be will be’ mentality?

Now that’s where I’m at. I had to let it go, because it was really getting the best of me. I had never been in such a situation like that where Kandi and I were getting so estranged from each other. I love that girl more than I love myself. So to be on opposite sides from her and not talking to each other, and not speaking every day…You know, that was killing me. I just had to say hey, if this is what you want, right or wrong, it’s your decision and I’m just going to go along with whatever you want. And I pray to God that I’m wrong. And I hope to God that I am wrong. And if I’m wrong, I’ll be the first to apologize. And then if I’m right, I’m not gonna throw it in her face. But I’m gonna be the first one there for her.

I think of the guys I've dated and the disagreements I’ve had with my own mom...and could only imagine if the whole world saw it! I'm assuming that your situation playing out on TV is frustrating…

What bothered me so much was all the stuff saying that I’m more worried about Kandi’s money. “How does Kandi’s mama make it?” “Well, I guess Kandi is taking care of her. I would just cut her off.” That’s what Cynthia [Bailey] and Sandra Bernhard said [on "Watch What Happens Live"]. How you gonna say you’re just going to cut someone’s mother off when you don’t even know how someone’s mother makes it? They don’t know what my situation is. They don’t know that I have rental property, they don’t know that I have my own money. So to speak on something like that, you need to go and find out for yourself. Maybe that’s how it is in your situation. Maybe you have to take care of your mama, I don’t know. Kandi knows she’s never had to take care of me! I mean, I’m not saying Kandi isn’t good to me. She would give me anything I ask her, but I’ve never been anyone to ask her. When she was 18 years old, she saved up $100,000. What 18 year old that you know of, living with their mother, would save $100,000? That would tell you right there I wasn’t spending her money. I didn’t need to.

What type of tips would you have for a young, successful woman seeking a significant other?

Well, for one thing, I would never date anyone on the job I’m working on. That was always a no-no for me.  I also feel that for a young, successful – especially black – woman…it’s hard. We have so many successful, young, black women that have so much to offer. But there are men who don’t want someone that’s opinionated, they don’t want someone that has a voice. So a lot of time, we fall for those that sit back not doing anything, and all they want is for someone to carry them along.

If I was a young woman, I would not look for someone who was looking for someone to carry them. I would wait, take my time. Like Steve Harvey says about the six-month rule. Women got to know they can wait. You don’t have to rush in a relationship – you can wait. I would take my time – I would wait. And I’m not just plugging, but hey, if it takes a 'Bedroom Kandi' or whatever it is to do what you have to do, do what you have to do! But don’t rush into nothing with somebody just to get rid of that little itch that you have. Like Steve Harvey also says, “Act like a lady, think like a man.” Nowadays, men are acting like women and they’re doing the opposite. They’re not acting like men, they’re acting like women and they’re thinking like women used to think a long time ago. When you meet a man now, he wants to know where you were, what kind of car you drive, where do you live. Those are things – when I was young – we used to ask men! But now men are asking women that, because most of them live at home with their mama or live with a friend. Most of them don’t have a car. The roles have switched around!

I feel like there are so many women who don’t feel validated unless they have someone…

Women are so worried about what somebody else thinks. If they don’t have a man, they’re worried about someone else saying something. “Oh, she don’t have a man because she can’t get a man” or whatever. So what! You have to stop worrying about what somebody else thinks. Be happy with yourself. First of all, you’ve got to know yourself. You have to be happy with you. You can’t please somebody else if you’re not happy with yourself! So if you’re happy with yourself, then you can be happy with somebody else. And you don’t have to buy a man to make him happy. You don’t have to lower your standards to be with a man. If you set yourself a goal, set yourself a standard – stick with it and take your time.

So would you say that Kandi should have taken more of her time to get to know Todd?

I think she should have taken more of her time to get to know him, yes. I think she should have. But, you know, I’m leery about people you can’t get to know more about, because you don’t know someone who really, really knows that person. Like right now, everybody knows her [Kandi] family and they know her background and all that. But nobody knows anything about his background – you don’t know how a person was brought up…brought up to think, how they are supposed to treat women. You don’t know!

It’s true, you’re always taking a chance with someone.

But then you take the chance and you walk out the door! And, you know, some men…you need to feel a little more comfortable about. When Todd stopped working with the Housewives, and then he took two and a half months off…That’s when I felt uncomfortable. You’re taking two and a half months off to work on a relationship. Even if she wanted him to, he could have said, “Look baby, I’ve got to go to this next job. We can talk, you could drive up here, fly up here, and see me. Then on my off days, I’ll fly back to see you. But I’ve got to keep my grind going.”

Would you say that Todd got too comfortable too quick?

Too quick. He even said “When they call, if you keep turning down jobs, then they stop calling.” So he’s putting it all out there. So, you know,  you have to pick up on what people say. You listen to things and hear what people are saying.  But like I said, I’m out of it. If that’s what Kandi wants, I’m gonna go along with it.

So how does Kandi feel about you doing interviews and discussing the situation?

Well, it’s my business and I know she’s retweeted some of the interviews. But she hasn’t said anything to me about it.

I’ve always enjoyed the scenes when she would go to your house and it was just the two of you talking…It always appeared to be a nice mother-daughter relationship.

Things have made a 100 percent turnaround with she and I. It has gotten 100 percent better than what it was, because we are talking every day now. Whatever she wants me to do…If she wants me there, I’ll be there. If they don’t want me there, I won’t be there. But whatever it is, she and I are always gonna have our relationship.

Well, it’s been a pleasure. I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me. Any closing thoughts you want to share with my readers?

I’d just like them to know that I love my daughter more than I love myself. And there’s nothing that I would not do for her...I just want her to be happy. And if Todd makes her happy, I’ll just have to accept that. And I’ll be there for her whichever way it goes.

Thank you to Tara Thomas Agency for setting up this interview! 


Stephanie said...

There is nothing like a Mother's love. What a great interview!

Good Girl Gone Shopping said...

Thanks for reading Stephanie! Appreciate the support :-) Was a blast chatting with Joyce!