Talk to the Soul Man column

Cedric the Entertainer's Boyce Ballentine character from "The Soul Man" offers advice th

Q: I recently re-married and my children hate my new spouse. What’s the best way to get them to connect?

A member of my parish had just that problem, and he worked hard to get his new wife and kids to understand each other, he defended each side in arguments, listened to all the complaints… and it worked! Soon his wife and kids had something they could really share and bond over: their annoyance with him! Good luck!

Q: My husband and I have been together for 15 years. Frankly, I’m tired of getting the same three moves. What should I do to spice it up?

Sweet Shades of Grey! Three moves is sometimes two moves more than a lot of men have to offer after 15 years of marriage. So, if you want to spice up your love life, you might have to make it happen. Most men like a woman who can take the initiative (in the bedroom) and who “knows what she wants and how to get it” (gospel of Gang Starr). Fortunately, these days, there are many methods and avenues to pursue in order to add excitement to your “Play Room.” And to add at least a dozen (or more) new moves to your hubby’s repertoire!

Q: What do you do if you cannot stand your in-laws but they are steady coming to visit and staying all damn night long?  Can you always aim to be busy, or do you have any tips for getting along with them better?

Excuses are not going to work forever. And, they’re your in-laws so you can’t exactly tell them to “get to steppin'”…or can you? Keep things civil, but it is your crib so set some ground rules. Agree in advance on what time they’ll roll up and more importantly, what time they’ll roll out. If that doesn’t work, try moving… it was a lot harder for my brother Stamps and my grumpy dad to “drop by” when Lolli and I lived in Las Vegas! Distance can be a son-in-law’s best friend!

Q: My good friends just had a baby and it really isn’t that cute. As much as I try to dodge it, they keep thrusting the little one in my face, fishing for compliments.  Unfortunately, I’m not a good liar. What can I say other than “how adorable!”?

Unfortunately, there is no nice way to tell someone their baby isn’t cute… and, why would you want to? Remember a baby is always a blessing and miracle so try using phrases and words like “you’re so blessed” and “what a blessing” and most of all “congratulations” because I’m sure you’re truly happy for your friend. Keep in mind that this “ugly duckling” could easily turn into a swan soon… but even if not, the content of his heart is where the true beauty lies. (BTW, what does your baby picture look like?!)

Q: What can you do if you have friends who are always coming to parties/family functions, but never bring anything yet they always leave with a “plate” for three or four other people? How can you stop them and stay a good host?

Lord love them, but make it pot luck! Ask your old friend Kevin to bring his famous ribs and tell your neighbor Denise that it just wouldn’t be a party without her sweet potato pie. And, if all else fails, hide the plates! It’s hard to carry peach cobbler home in your pockets!!//



‘The Soul Man,’ starring Cedric the Entertainer as Boyce Ballentine, airs 10 p.m. ET Wednesday nights on TV Land.