My friend, Maria Moceri, and I became friends because we were both in a reggae, meme-sharing, singles group on Facebook. Yes, they exist; actually quite a few of them. I saw what she was laying down and I picked it up and loved it. We became Facebook friends, and friends, quickly. I wanted to invite Maria to be a guest on Speak Your Truth today because I noticed that she is wise in the ways of love.
Jess: Thank you, Maria, for coming to my virtual interview series! So, I just wanted to pick your brain a little bit and see if there was some advice you could give to the world at large. First question—How can you tell if a man likes you? Are there really signs?
Maria: I think it’s not that difficult and yes, I definitely have certain thoughts on this. I’m going to start. First and foremost, if you kind of have to wonder if he likes you, most of the time he’s not that into you; you’re just an option. If you have to really sit back and be like, “Gee I’m not quite sure” it’s because he’s not quite sure about you either and he’s probably got a slew of other options. I’m just going to throw that out there.
But there are definitely signs that I’ve noticed. Like if you meet his friends or family members or anything like that. They know a lot about you already. The reason why they know a lot about you is because he talks about you because he’s into you. He’s not going to talk about just some chick to his boys. He’s not going to talk about some chick to his family members. He’s going to talk about someone who he’s really interested in. They know things. They know you might have a kid. They know that you went to school for this. They know that you work here. Like that. They know stuff. So that’s a pretty clear sign.
I think another sign is that whenever you see them, they’re genuinely happy to be in your presence. You know the difference. You know that when you meet up with someone and it’s just “Oh cool!” like that. I’m talking puts the phone away, does not look at it once, does not give a shit if it rings or beeps or Dings. Total eye contact, genuine smile, genuinely so excited. It could be like the stupidest little thing you’re doing together but he’s amped to be there. He’s got this huge smile on his face and totally engaged, that’s another clear sign.
Another sign that I thought about is (there’s a couple of ’em) that he takes interest in things you’re interested in. Now that’s a big one because if he’s not into you he’s not going to give a shit what you’re into. He’s not going to care; it doesn’t matter to him because he doesn’t see his life meshing with yours at the end of the day. So, you know, for someone that’s not in the reggae scene, for example, I’m dropping names of bands and things that I like. You’re going to pick up on that, you’re going to be like, “Oh, you know what! I checked out a couple songs from Stick Figure or I checked out a couple songs from Fortunate Youth and you know they’re pretty cool!” or, “Hey! So-and-so is coming to town in July. I thought I’d get us tickets. It’d be really cool.” Those are things they are going to want to go out of their way to do, that show you that they are interested in spending time with you. They are interested in getting to know your interests and vice versa. Like he’ll kind of tell you about his and want to invite you to do stuff with him that you might not know about things like that.
This was a funny one I actually picked up from a guy, when I asked him (I was kind of messing around), I’m just like, “So you’re into me,” and he’s like, “You could say the stupidest thing and I’m just going Gaga over you.” I’m telling you if a guy’s interested in you, he’s going to think everything that comes out of your mouth is hilarious. It is the best thing he’s ever heard in his life because he is so into you. For example, me. I was like, “Excuse me I’m not that funny.” So, it just turned into this thing. His point was, if a guy is really into you, they’re going to listen to every little thing you’re saying and just find you so amusing, so charming. So, anything you say they’re just enamored almost. You can tell. You definitely can tell.
Another thing that I thought of was, they go out of their way to make you happy. The littlest things. You’re having a bad day. They might send you a random text, “Hey I’m thinking of you. I care about you.” Send you flowers. Things like that. They genuinely want to be the ones to put that smile on your face and not the twelve other guys that are hitting love or like on your picture. They want to be the one. It’s a big deal to them. It’s a guy testosterone thing.
Case in point: I got a note on my car window the other day. He like went out of his way in the torrential downpour rain to find a baggy. Granted it was a weed baggy, but he put the note in the weed bag because he didn’t want it to get wet, but he wanted me to find it when I got to my car. He knew what time I was leaving my house and he wanted to make sure that that note was there and that it wouldn’t get drenched. He wanted me to obviously read it. It was adorable. I wanted to kill him, but very sweet. But things like that. They go out of their way. It doesn’t have to be expensive; it’s little things.
Pet names. If he’s got a pet name for you, he likes you. He thinks you’re cute; you’re special. You have a special little name you know? It could be like an inside joke type thing. Apparently, I’m Fruity Pebbles ’cause I’m a little fruity and sweet like Fruity Pebbles. It was this whole explanation I thought it was the cutest little thing.
You know what the other thing that’s like a pretty big one is whenever they’re in your presence they find a way to touch you. Men, if they like you, they will put their arm on your shoulder, caress your shoulder a little bit. Or like you’re telling a joke and they feel the need to kind of nudge your arm. They want to touch you. They’re looking for a way, anyway at all, to touch you.
And you know one of the simplest things? That he actually tells you. There’s a dinger right there. Some of them will tell you! Huge shocker, right? Yeah, I mean, you know there are the guys that are like, “Yeah I’m into you. I’m so into you. Blah blah.” Don’t go on that alone. But if he’s doing all these other little things and he comes right out and he’s like, “Look. I’m really into you. I’m really invested in this.” Believe it. You know?
Just like when a guy says to you, “I’m really not good at relationships,” ’cause he’s not. He’s not for a reason! Don’t be like, “Oh, Ha! Ha! Ha! You’re sweet.” Now there’s a reason why they tell you, “I suck at relationships.” [I say to myself] “Interesting. OK. Red flag. Bye.”
Jess: Alright, speaking of men. What would you tell them about women that they may not know or maybe that they should know?
Maria: Hey, how about this? Listen. All you have to do is listen because you know what? Women will tell you what they want; it’s amazing. And if you’re finding that someone’s not telling you what they want, they’re not a woman. Women know what they fucking want. They plot it. We prepare, we plan, we stalk guys’ pages. We know what we want. Trust me. We will verbalize what we want in a variety of different ways. So, I really feel like if they just listen, you’re gonna catch on a lot. You’re going to learn a lot about this girl. You’re going to know what she wants, know what she doesn’t, know what she’s going to put up with.
Like she may not come right out and say it but listen to the way she’s talking about things. I’ve been out on dates and guys have asked me, “How do you feel about smoking cigarettes?” I’m not a huge fan. I’m just not. Well I’ll tolerate it. Yeah, I’m not going to be like, “That’s completely disgusting!” but there are limits. Like smoke outside. Don’t smoke inside the house. So, I had this guy ask me that question I was kind of like, “They’re OK,” and he like totally looking at me while I was answering this question. And he’s like, “You don’t like them.” I was like, “I prefer to date someone that wasn’t a smoker because I’m not a smoker.” He very much was up on reading body language. Reading the way that I said something. He caught on right away.
Jess: Do you think people settle?
Maria: People settling? Absolutely. I think people settle. Number one reason I think people settle? They’re scared to be alone. They do not want to be alone. They are getting older. Maybe their friends all have somebody. Like you don’t want to be that odd man out. You just don’t. So, I think that’s the number one reason why people settle.
Another reason why people settle is finances. Money is huge. If you’re already dating this person and perhaps you guys move in. Now your life’s a whole lot more comfortable because guess why? He’s making a good amount of money; he’s paying the bills. Like you guys, you’re not happy but you’re going to settle. Why—because you don’t want to rock the boat. You don’t want to change it when you’re comfortable, finances are good, you have a home.
Another reason why people settle is kids. Ok, well, now I’ve invested all this time with this person, I have now had a child with them. You know your kid is happy like this. But you’re not happy, so that’s a huge one too. People will settle for kids. You know it’s like people who don’t get divorced because of kids. It’s not benefiting the child; it never is. You know I had a similar situation personally. My ex and I got along fine we actually have a great relationship; we have a great friendship now. But you know what? At the end of the day he was a great friend and a roommate. He wasn’t a lover. We had a great sex life, but he wasn’t someone that I connected with on that level. He wasn’t someone that I viewed as somebody that I would marry, or even that I would stay with as a lifetime partner, because we didn’t have similar interests. You know we had our kid, that was our similar interest. That was our bond. Our home and our kid and our life was great. When I left that relationship, I got so much flack for it. My family was like, “What the hell is wrong with you?!” I really had to work three days a week. We had a great home. Like everything was great. But I didn’t feel it and so I left because I didn’t want to settle.
I want to be with someone that’s as silly and goofy as me. I want to be with someone that like will dance in the kitchen at 2:00 AM and bake cookies because we’re high as a kite after a show. Like happy and giddy. I want those memories and those moments with someone. I want my daughter to grow up and see that happiness and that goodness and that her parents or whoever (her mom’s partner or whatever) are happy and in love. It’s that. Not seeing any love to me is just as bad as seeing yelling every day. Your kids are picking up on how you’re tolerating your relationship and what you’re accepting and what is quote “normal.” You know to me normal in a happy relationship is –Yeah, you’re going to have your little disputes, and everything is not always going to be great. But for the most part you know that they’re genuinely happy and in love. Like there should never be a question, you know? So yes, people settle.
Jess: Some people fall in love at first sight. Do you think that’s a thing, or is that just hormones?
Maria: I think I believe in lust at first sight, absolutely. Do I believe in love at first sight? No, I don’t. You don’t know a god damned thing about that person. It is literally just what you’re seeing. And let’s face it. We’re all visual creatures. Men more so than women. But we’re just the same. I’ll tell you what. If I look at let’s say you know Joe Schmoe on the right, and I look at Brian on the left. Joe Schmoe might be hot as fuck. But Brian on the left—I don’t know anything about him either, and he could be a much better fit for me, or a nicer guy, but if I’m going on love at first sight—I’m not even going to give that kid a chance. You know, that love at first sight is literally, it’s all visual.
It’s like the dating world right now. You know? All our dating apps. It’s swipe right or swipe left. You’re swiping right or swiping left ideally just because of the picture. Yeah, they may have a profile. You may read it. But for the initial, you swipe right, or swipe left. Even just from my personal experience. If I’m going through pictures, if he’s not cute, immediately left. I’m sorry. If I don’t find him attractive, immediately left. I don’t even bother to read the profile.
Jess: Left, left, left. Oh? Then I’ll press ‘profile’ to look at his other pictures. Here’s a good picture, but that’s the one good picture. Speaking of dating profiles. It’s a little bit off topic, but it’s perfect. No bathroom selfies! What are other good ones besides “No bathroom selfies?”
Maria: No gym selfies! Could we not do the gym? I don’t give a shit. Yes, you love yourself. Oh, look at those muscles. I don’t care. Please, can we move on?
Jess: Or profile pictures with a female and then they have to explain, “Oh, that’s my sister.” Or other pictures, with a kid, “Oh, that’s my nephew. He’s not mine.” If you’re using it for picture bait, then you have to explain.
Maria: I actually caught a guy using his nephew as picture bait absolutely. I read his profile. I looked at all those pictures. This guy is really cute and I kind of read his profile a little. I’m thinking to myself, “I’m going to take a wild stab and say that that is not his child and he’s using it as picture bait” because he was teaching this little kid how to play guitar.
Ok first of all he’s this super-hot guy with kids that he’s trying to teach guitar. Of course, I’m going to swipe right! Hello, right? I initiate conversation. This just happened to be Bumble. And I called him out on it right away. I made a comment about his shirt, because it was kind of dirty. I don’t know what it was any more, but it was a perverted shirt. “Oh really?” I was like, “I really like your shirt and by the way I’d put money on the fact that that kid is not yours and you are using him for picture purposes.” He replied immediately, “I love that shirt and yeah it’s gotten me quite a few hits; I’m not gonna lie.” Ok, well I called you out on it. At least you admitted it. But they know. Guys know that women like guys with babies or puppies. It’s like an innate thing. First and foremost, not all girls, but a lot of them. So yeah [guys say to their friends], “I’m going to take your dog. I’m going to borrow your kid.”
Jess: Is true love a real thing?
Maria: Yes, it is absolutely. Not only is it a real thing, but I really feel like you can truly love more than one person. Definitely for different reasons. But we all connect with people for different reasons at different points in our lives. It’s almost like when we need someone the most, that person kind of enters our life. You may not know it right away but after a while and you look back, like you, you, get it. It’s the weirdest thing for me.
A lot of people on our social media page or group pages or whatever know (I’m pretty open) that I had an ex that died of an overdose and he literally, and I say this to everyone and their mother, and I have his initials tattooed on me, but in an 8-month relationship I was closer to him than any other person I had ever been with in 38 years of my life and he was amazing person. He entered my life when I needed him the most and he taught me a lot in that short period of time so I will always love him. I will always have a lot of love for him.
But I’m also able to move on and date, and now taking what I’d learned from him. Knowing like, what I was missing and what I deserved and now like what I won’t find acceptable. So, I definitely believe you can fall in love with more than one person at a time for different reasons. You can have a lot of love for more than one person. And true love definitely does exist, absolutely.
Jess: Quick Round! Favorite color and why?
Maria: Blue/Green/Teal. I’ve always loved it. I find it super calming. I grew up on the ocean. The beach is everything to me. So yeah, simple.
Jess: Flash forward five years. Where are you? What are you doing?
Maria: Oh God! what am I doing? I hope I’m doing a lot better than this! I hope we’re not all fucking quarantined in five years! I would like to own something. Whether it be a house, condo, townhome, something. It is in my two to three-year plans. I’m really hoping by five it does happen. I am a New Englander. I’m an East Coast girl. Growing up in Mass, I love this area. I don’t see myself leaving it, but there’s a good possibility like Maine, New Hampshire, that type of thing. So, like that’s where I kind of see myself in five years and honestly in five years I’m really hoping to find someone. Not necessarily married or anything like that, but definitely have that person in my life that I consider my person. I’ve gotten a lot closer over the years, so I’m hopeful.
Jess: Favorite sweet tooth item?
Maria: Oh, good Lord. Anything gummy! Gummy bears, sour gummy bears, gummy worms, gummy anything. I’m a freak, yeah. Starburst or Skittles. Anything fruity. It’s my vice. it’s bad.
Jess: You’re making a playlist of your favorite artists. Who would be playing?
Maria: Bands that have been the most influential and I am so grateful for? I definitely believe Stick Figure is one of them. They opened up my eyes to a lot of things when I started listening to them about six years ago. So, I feel like they’re really influential in my life.
Currently I would also have to say Dirty Heads. I met so many amazing, amazing, people through The Wylees. Through the Wylee [Dirty Head Fan] page. Through Dirty Heads’ concerts. So that is a huge part of me because I’ve met some of my closest friends through that. That band means a lot to me.
I would also go with Damian Marley and I’m going to say Damian because I’ve had the luckiest opportunity to actually be backstage with him performing. I have smoked several blunts with him. I’m just in awe of how humble and how like, like…I mean he’s Bob Marley’s son and that’s huge! For him to just be so chill and humble and put out this music and still stay true to himself. He’s never tried to keep up with any new fad or anything like that. He’s just been himself And I have a lot of respect for that, so I really enjoy him as a person and as an artist.
So, what that’s three? Three. Let’s see #4 right now. I’m actually going to do a huge shout out to The Elovators! The Elovators are a South Shore Massachusetts, South Boston-based band. I know a few of those boys personally. They’re great. They’re doing huge things that I’m so, so, proud of them! So, they’re definitely on my list right now. This last album was amazing.
Ok, last most influential to me band is Tribal Seeds. Tribal Seeds is another one of those bands that until I really started listening to their music and their lyrics, I didn’t know much about them. I feel like they’re really underrated, I do. I love their sound. I love a couple of those guys in particular. We’ve hung out at a couple of different shows. I just enjoy them; they put on a great show. Stevie [Steven Rene Jacobo] just stays true to himself and I have a lot of respect for that.
Jess: What is your superpower?
Maria: Honestly my superpower is that I like to make people laugh. I feel I’ve gotten myself out of quite a few pickles by my sense of humor. It’s also taken me to meeting some really cool people.
Jess: Shout outs!
Maria: The Jamolie (East Coast Reggae Family), Poppy (he’s a sweetheart).
Jess: Okay, last question. What song, (available on Spotify), should I include with your interview?