Friday, March 17, 2006

Background Check

Since I realize that I am guilty of only sharing parts of stories and bits of information and therefore confusing my loyal readers about things that have happened in my life recently, I will explain a few things.

One of the biggest questions I get repeatedly is why I was so uneasy about getting into a relationship with Mr. Wonderful. As you may have read already, when I met him I had literally JUST gotten out of a relationship (maybe about 3 days earlier). If you read this post, I hinted at Mr. Wonderful having recently gotten out of a relationship as well. About 2 months before meeting me, Mr. Wonderful moved to DC after taking a job offer. Well, actually that's not all the way true. He ran away from Atlanta after he found his fiance cheating on him.
The day of the wedding.
With the best man.
In their bed.

Yes, alot. I know. As if that were not enough, these 2 were childhood friends of his. He met his ex-fiance when he was 5. They started dating when they were 12 and stayed together ever since. His best man was his best friend; a man he'd met in the 6th grade that was there with him to experience more than half his life. So there's that. That's why he moved to DC; because he didnt wanna risk running into these 2 on the streets of Atlanta and couldn't stand the memories haunting him. That's why he could understand why I wanted to leave DC so badly.

So that's part of the reason I was so skittish about just jumping into a relationship... I'd just gone through a bullshit breakup and he'd just gone through a TERRIBLE breakup. I just didn't wanna be the rebound girl; I didn't wanna be the person he just thought he had really strong feelings for because he was healing and then when he got enough distance from the situation and got some clarity he think to himself, "What the hell was I thinking?!?"

So that was mostly why I didn't wanna get straight into a relationship with him. You know, that plus the fact that I was deathly afraid to. LOL

To answer the question I got from an anonymous (sp?) email from a reader catching up on my archives, I have no idea really why my ex-boyfriend and I broke up. The more I look back on it, the more I think it was the most bullshit thing I've ever experienced but that's really another post. But because of this fact, it brings me to the second reason I was so hesitant about being with Mr. Wonderful; my breakup was so convoluted and so messy, still had so many lingering strings attatched that it was damn near impossible to make a clean break before entangling myself in someone else. And at the time I still had feelings for my ex so it just seemed wrong to be with someone while still hung up on someone else; especially someone as sweet and as freshly wounded as Mr. Wonderful, you know?

So there you go. I'm sure I'm missing some more stuff, but that's a great part of the whole backstory that explains things a little better I think. If I missed something or if there is another story you don't quite understand, please write me and let me know. I know I tend to leave holes and talk as though everyone on the internet is actually living my daily life with me. LOL

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Referrel

Please go read this immediately. It made me cry and it's all of like 2 sentences long. Her blog is beautiful as well so catch up on the archives.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Glass Houses

The past couple of weeks I have found myself sneaking away from my life late at night when I know the people who will care about where I am are asleep. Unfortunately I have not been doing anything particularly exciting. I have been helping Mr. Wonderful pack and dispose of his possessions in preparation for his move.

Mr. Wonderful is moving to Chicago.


I didn't really know how I felt about him leaving until the last time I was at his place.

We laid out across the bare floor in his living room, as we'd already sold or given away most of his furniture. He had these beautiful huge windows in his living room that we laid in front of, lights off, letting the moonlight collect in the empty angles of the room. We were on our backs, us foot to head, talking and laughing in the guarded shallow way one does when they know something is coming that is heavier than they wish to carry.

"When you were a kid what was the one biggest dream you always had?" he asks me abruptly.
"I always wanted to buy myself a house that was just for me. I wanted it to be in the mountains and I wanted the entire back of the house to be glass. There was the mountain lodge my mom and I used to go to when I was younger where the lodge was built right into the mountainside and the entire back was made of class from roof to foundation. It was peaceful. I thought that if I could only buy a glass house for myself then maybe I could have some peace."


I smile at the memory, because I remember the little girl I was then, abundance of brown hair falling aimlessly from a helpless ribbon, running and singing through the trails, climbing trees, and talking to the animals. We are quiet for awhile, me thinking of the way I was and his thoughts impenetrable to me. After awhile he flips around, aligning himself beside me, his face in my hair, his hand tracing lazy trails up and down my spine.

"I'd like to be the person to buy you that glass house," he says as my breath catches somewhere behind my ribs.
"That's not the point. I don't want anyone to buy it for me. I wanna buy it myself. I want it to be mine, something I was able to do just for me." He laughs.
"You weren't cursed with the Cinderella gene at all huh?" and we laugh, this a long standing point of derision between us because apparently, I am stubborn.

"But seriously," he presses on, "if you'd let me, I'd get it for you. You deserve some kinda peace in your life."

I smile at him, though he can't see it as my head is turned away but I hope he can feel it, almost as much as I hope he can feel my trepidation to tread where I fear this conversation might be going.

"Do you think if I'd met you earlier-"
"Please stop," I interrupt him before either of our thoughts can sink too far into the hypothetical and drive us both insane. We are quiet again for a very long time, my eyes on the city and wondering if anyone out there was experiencing an event as uniquely painful as this one. His hands move to play in my hair and he nuzzles the back of my neck, his words falling into the tangles of the curls, muffling the sound, but I hear every word.

"Sing to me," he says, and I think maybe I hear tears on his voice but I don't dare question him any more than I dare turn to face him for fear I might turn to stone.
"What do you wanna hear?"
"Anything. Everything. Sing whatever is on your heart."


I think for a minute, not sure what to sing and then I decide that maybe it would be best if for once I lay myself open to the feeling rather than intellectualize everything to death. And so I sing, because he asked me to, because I want to fill the silence with something other than the impending implosion I think might be building. My voice rises high to the ceilings and echoes throughout the empty room, filling it with sound.



Love ridden I have looked at you
With the focus I gave to my birthday candles
I wished on the lidded blue flames
Under your brow
And baby
I wished for you
Nobody sees when you are lying in your bed
And I wanna crawl in with you
But I cry instead
I want your warm but it will only make me colder when it's over
So I can't tonight baby
No not baby anymore
If I need you I'll just use your simple name
Only kisses on the cheek from now on
And in a little while we'll only have to wave
My hand won't hold you down no more
The path is clear to follow through
I've stood too long in the way of the door
And now I'm giving up on you
No not baby anymore
If I need you I'll just use your simple name
Only kisses on the cheek from now on
And in a little while we'll only have to wave


I fall silent and I feel goosebumps on my neck and arms. He is shivering, and he pulls me closer and kisses the back of my head through my hair.

"You're not coming to Chicago are you?"


I shake my head and he sighs heavily and somewhere in my heart I know he has given up on me. I don't know how I feel about it. A part of me wants to hold him, to beg him not to give up, to give me just a little more time to be the woman he sees in me. But most of me knows better and a bite my tongue until the skin ruptures and I feel the metallic taste of blood in my mouth.

"I want you to come."
"I want to come."
"But you won't."
"No."
"But you want to."
"Yes."
"But you won't. Why?"
"Because I shouldn't. Please don't push me."
"We would be good together."
"Yes we would."
"You're going to regret this."
"I don't regret what's right."


We're silent again. I don't know what his silence means but mine is because I am scared to speak for fear that words will betray the fist- sized knot in my throat I am trying unsuccessfully to swallow.

"Is that why you like windows so much? Why you like sleeping by the window?"
"Yes."
"I hope you get your house. Have you ever told anyone that before?"
"No."
"That means alot La."


I know what I should say, know how it should sound, how it should go, as I have rehearsed this speech a million times before and just never had the gall to say the words. This time is no different. The words die somewhere on their way up from my heart.


"Maybe I should take you home," he says to me, and I know from the sound of his voice that there is more that he wants to say but feels as though this is what he should do.



Mr. Wonderful is probably somewhere over whatever states lie between DC and Chicago. I wonder if his thoughts are with me as mine are with him. If I know him as I feel I do, then I know he is probably thinking of me, and willing himself not to as he knows that it will only make the painful even excruciating. We both hate separation, both hate goodbyes, and this is the reason that I do not go with him to the airport as we originally decided. This is what I tell myself. This is a regret I will file away with many.

I am house sitting this week for my co-worker and driving to her place outside of the city I always get lost. Every night and without fail. Tonight, I get lost again and I find myself driving down a long dark street in a neighborhood that is under construction. I turn around in the wrap around driveway that the street dead ends in. As my headlights shine through the night up at the house I gasp. The back of the house is made mostly of glass, three levels reaching up to the sky that the moonlight cuts through like a knife. I park the car and cry. I cry because I know I will miss him. I cry because I know that giving him what he thought he wanted wouldn't be best for him. And cry because I know that night on the floor in his apartment, I sang but not to him, to someone else that couldn't hear me though I let him think all the emotion was just for him. There is a part of me that felt like I cheated or lied and I guess, in a way, omission is its own kind of infidelity. Maybe, one day I will be able to admit all the things I could never say, if for no other reason than because it would mean that I am braver than I give myself credit for.


He is right. I will regret this.



And I know I will always think of him whenever I see a glass house.


Thursday, March 2, 2006

The Other Side of the Brown Paper Bag

Many of you don't know me. Well, you KNOW me, as I have metaphorically cut myself open and bled the contents of my insides onto these pages. I guess I should say more accurately, you don't all know what I look like. So lemme tell you. I am short. Not so short that I can't see over the steering wheel of a car, but short enough that some of my male friends have to hug me around the head. I am light, the color of butter when you start to melt it, possibly even lighter. Ok I am lying, there is no possible about it, I am MUCH lighter than butter. I have semi long hair that is naturally curly and, and the moment, is blond. I have a small nose and mouth though my lips are still full and pouty. I have a round face. I'm fairly thick down bottom, the hips, ass and thighs of every other black/hispanic/dancer girl I know, balanced out by being pretty Playboy up top as well. I say that to say that I have what is considered by many a fairly nice shape. (I might agree with you on a few given days but today is not that day...or tomorrow.) But the most important thing to remember about this bad dating ad description is that I AM LIGHT with LONG HAIR.
Ahem. Do you see where this is going?

I work in the mall, at an overpriced handbag store where people with overinflated egos come to shop or people who haven't quite realized that the key to looking like you have money is not, in fact, to wear logos at every given turn. Tonight I am at work, and a marginally attractive black man enters the store who is quite striking. Not because of his looks (oh GOD no) but because he is AT LEAST 9 ft 7 inches tall. I smile and speak to him as I am supposed to do, welcome him to my store and ask if he needs help finding anything in particular as he has the lost and bewildered look that most men who come into my store tend to have. From behind him I hear the slight mumbling of what could be, "Bitch!!" and out crawls a little pigmy from its hiding place behind his broad shoulders. For the rest of their painfully uncomfortable 30 minutes in the store, I had to deal with her smart underbreath comments, the rolling eyes, the sucking of teeth that I would expect from your typical hoodrat ignorant bitch. Finally, when it is time to ring them up, I scoop my hair over to one side over my shoulder as I tend to do when I have to lean over and do not want my hair to fall in my face. "Oh THIS bitch!!!" pigmy hisses through her teeth. Finallly I am fed up.
"Excuse me is there a problem ma'am," I exaggerate the word because we both know she is neither ladylike nor worthy of the respect I am trying desperately to continue to give her.
"No. There isn't."
"Are you sure? Because you seem to have been quite disgruntled since you walked into my store."
"Its just you siddity light skinned bitches think you're so fuckin' cute."

Sigh. I hate having to give hoes a few on company time.

Her boyfriend, head hung low, wisely stepped back away from the counter and tried to fix his attention anywhere other than the site where this problem was about to occur. Because OH YES there was about to be a MUTHAFUCKIN' problem.

"Maybe the problem," I said through clenched teeth, "is not that I THINK I'm cute but rather that you KNOW I am so FUCKIN' FLYY and it kills you that you are not. Or maybe a light skinned girl picked on you when you were little. Or maybe your family told you were cute to be a dark skinned girl and it has subsequently driven you to this lazy ho behavior that you are displaying in my store, but either way it goes I would like to warn you that you may let this pretty face fool you if you so choose but it would not be wise of you to call me a bitch again until you are out of my earsight. And that, ma'am, is not a warning so much as it is a telling of the future if you so choose the wrong path. Now would you like to further ruin your credit and charge this bag you can't afford or would you like to get out of my store?"

Cue fake smile from me.

"I saw you lookin' at my man when we walked in, smiling and shit all at him-"
"That is a part of my job and I would have spoken to you had you not been completely hidden behind him as you are 3 feet tall and he is 10 feet tall. I spoke because I get paid to. Your man ain't that cute. However, if you'd like to stay around for a few minutes, my boyfriend is coming to pick me up and I will be more than happy to show you what us siddity light bitches consider in our league."

(Granted I do not ACTUALLY have a boyfriend but she didn't know that.)

As if on cue, Mr. Wonderful appeared, handsome as sin and EXTRAORDINARILY FLYY in a suit that costs more than her life and said, "Baby you ready to go?"

Absofuckinlutely.

My manager finishes the sale for me as I rush in the back to hurry and change so that I could leave in the outfit I had on before work, just to make her more envious and then I strut back on the floor. The couple is still there as they had to run another credit card because her first one was declined as I predicted. My manager says to me, "Do you have class tomorrow?" The girl cuts in with, "You go to Howard don't you?" a sneer distorting her words.
"Yes I do," I reply.
"Hmm yeah you look like one of those Howard bitches."
Slapping my shades over my eyes I say, "Don't I?" I toss my long blond hair over my shoulder, Mr. Wonderful grabs my hand, and we leave the store, him laughing because he's never seen me quite so bitchy and me secretly seething.

Catty comments aside, the AUDACITY of this ho!!! She didn't know me from ANYONE, and yet she immediately gave me shit because I am light. Why do we do this to each other? I have never been so accutely aware of my color as I am with my own people. Why? Because they won't let me forget it. What have I done, other than be born of a complexion completely outta my control? When I was growing up, I wanted to badly to be darker, wanted so much to just be "black" so maybe I wouldn't feel so left out. I denied my mixed heritage despite the obvious signs that I could not hide. I wanted so badly not to be the bitchy light skinned girl everyone assumed I was, but rather just La. But to no avail.

Maybe that bitchy display proved that hoodrat bitch right; maybe I have become the bitchy light skinned girl I was accused of being for so many years. But I have put up with SO MUCH SHIT from black women, just because I am light... the stares, the smart ass comments, the competition, the cattiness, the compulsively pulling their men tighter to them when I walk by. I have had so many women dismiss me without my ever saying a word, had so many people cut their eyes at me, call me out of my name that I have started to anticipate the evil anytime I have to go out in public. I can't tell you how many times my sister and I have walked into a room and immediately alienated 98% of the women present without ever saying or doing a thing.

My question is why? Why are you this way? And is it really my fault?

For years, I have heard the sob stories, the beautiful dark skinned girls who dealt with slights because "light bright and damn near white" was the "in" thing to be, the girls who tried to bleach their skin because they thought to be beautiful was to be light. I have seen the movement towards acceptance, the "black is beautiful" mottos tossed back and forth with an air of superiority, as though their empowerment must be to our detriment. And why, WHY have we ever let this us vs. them mentality come into our communities? Are we not oppressed enough that we must enforce the same practice of division that has been perpetuated in us?

Where are the stories from the other side of the brown paper bag? Where are the stories about the light skinned girls who have been called bitches, hoes, golddiggers, stuck up, siddity, have even been denied the right to say that we are black? WHERE ARE THESE SOB STORIES?!? Am I not allowed to say that I too have had a complex about my color born of darker women's insecurities just because someone has erroneously taught them that I am better? And just because someone has fed them this bullshit does this mean I have to suffer for something I don't even believe?

I am tired of it. I am tired of being looked at as though my mere prescence in a room is enough to tear a relationship assunder. I am tired of being told "black is beautiful" when many of my "fellow" black women do not include me in what is considered "black". I am tired of not being able to tell my stories of fear, of insecurity, of maliscious and cruel behavior perpetuated on me by women darker than I because somehow magically everything is to be made right in my world by the fact that I am light skinned with long hair. I am so tired of having the stories of the issues that lighter skinned black women being hushed because apparently to speak the truth is further cause issues for the darker skinned woman.

Sigh. This is all bullshit.

Before I die, I will publish a book. It will be filled with stories about the specific and distinct issues that light skinned black women face from inside our own race. It will be a book where women can vent, where we can create our own slogans of empowerment, tell our own stories without fear of retribution, name calling or diminishing of our hurts. It will be something for our daughters to read so that they won't treat each other the way that we do. Because obviously our generation is too far gone. But maybe it will help them to treat each other better. It's about time that some stories from the other side of the brown paper bag be told.

Shamelessly Stolen from Shani

stole this from Shani...who stole it from Michael... who stole it from, well, I dunno but you get the point.

1) A favorite political track.
Although it's not political in the sense most people will think of I really like What's it's Like by Everlast. Kinda makes you think about judging people.

2) One of those tracks that make you dance on the dancefloor no matter what.
It Takes Two by Rob Bass and DJ EZ Rock
Let me Clear my Throat by DJ Old Skool
Old school hip hop at its best

3) The song you’d use to tell someone you love them.
As by Stevie Wonder
You Put a Move on my Heart by Tamia

4) A song that has made you sit down and analyze it’s lyrics.
Love Ridden and Shadowboxer by Fiona Apple
Would not Come by Alanis Morrissette
Luxurious by Gwen Stefani (soooo didn't realize she was talking about smoking weed. But now that I know, I like it even more. Great song to smoke to. You know...if I ahem...smoked. Yeah.)

5) A song that you like, that a two-year-old would like as well.
Blackout by Mashonda
La la by Teiarra Mari
(Damn the kids for getting me hooked on them!)

6) A song that gives you an energy boost.
Ready to go by Republica
As by Stevie Wonder
Lose Yourself by Eminem

7) A song that you and your grandparents (would probably) like.
When Sunny gets Blue by Sarah Vaughn
A Song for You by Donny Hathaway

8) A song that you really liked when you were 14-16, and still really like now.
Popular by Nada Surf
Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden
Always be my Baby by Mariah Carey

9) A sad song that would be in the soundtrack of the movie about your life.
Ne me Quitte Pas by Nina Simone
Smile by Tamia

10) A peppy song that would start the opening credits of the movie about your life
Everybody got Their Something by Nikka Costa (you know it; it was in like 10 MILLION car commercials last year)
Ebony Eyes by Stevie Wonder

11) A good song from a genre of music that no one would guess that you liked.
Sandman by Metallica
If You're not in it (for Love) Shania Twain

12) A song that you think should have been playing when you were born.
Isn't she Lovely by Stevie Wonder

13) A favorite artist duo collaboration.
Jay-Z and Eminem on Renegade (though Jay really got himself embarassed on his own track)
Run DMC and Aerosmith Walk This Way
all of Collision Course (the Jay-Z/Linkin Park album)

14) A favorite song that you completely disagree with (politically, morally, commonsensically, religiously etc.) oh God so MANY!! That goddamn "my neck my back song" and anything that's ever been on Uncut, espcially Tip Drill (not a compliment you dumb bitches), My Humps which is the most god awful ode to the female form I've ever heard in life

15) The song that you like despite the fact your IQ level drops several points every time you listen to it.
Check on It by Beyonce, S8er Boy Avril Lavinge (if you got nothing better to rhyme with 'boy' than...boy it's a sad, sad day) and New Workout Plan by Kanye

16) Your smooth song, for relaxing:
Little Red Boat although for years I have had NO IDEA who sings it, Keep on Singing my Song by Christina Aguilerra, Love of my Life Common, September by Earth Wind and Fire, That's the Way Love Goes by Janet

17) A song you would send to someone you hate or are mad at.
Mad by Vivian Green, Cry me a River by Justin Timberlake (still by far the best bitter bitch stalker song there ever was)

18) A favorite track from an outfit considered a “super-group.”
I'm not quite sure what qualifies as a super-group but I'm a pretty big fan of Don't Wanna Miss a Thing by Aerosmith

19) A song that makes you reminisce about good times with a family member.
Lets get Loud by j.Lo makes me think of my mama, Patches makes me think of my stepdad and Pale September by Fiona Apple never fails to solicit a few tears from me when I remember growing up with Joy

20) Your favorite song at this moment in time.
Send in the Clowns by Sarah Vaughn
Gettin' Some Head by Shawna
What you Know by TI
We Could Be Keyshia Cole
La Vida es un Carnaval by Celia Cruz