Thursday, April 28, 2011

Potential

More often than not, if I have not blogged in a few days, I am over on tumblr acting an utter fool. You can find me there almost every day. And on the Twitter too, of course


With that out of the way…



People say that girls grow up to marry men like their daddies, be it who they actually are in their prescience or who they perceive them to be through their absence. My daddy was sort of in between; around, but deeply entrenched in that old school way of thinking that fathering means providing and therefore working more often than not. My daddy isn’t a bad guy. Really, he’s a simple guy; he’s worked the same, non-glamorous job for most of my life. He cooks better than every woman in your family. He has a great smile that has never needed the aid of braces, unlike his daughter. He’s not fancy, but he’s reliable and kind. And if this way of thinking is true, then I will likely grow up to marry a simple, hardworking guy, with a bit of an issue with emotional displays who is charming enough to talk his way into or out of anything.

I’ll take it.


Before we can get into why that is relevant, first you should go read this convo with very NSFW language. You need to go there and read it first, then come back here.


Don’t worry. I’ll wait.





All caught up? Great.



So first of all, let me say to the men...

YOU AIN'T FOOLING NOBODY.



Some women DO have insanely high standards. Some of them are looking for all things fly and flashy in man and miss the substance. Some women don’t recognize that what a man does for a living has little bearing on his ability to love you.
That’s all true.

But dream selling women on your monkey ass “potential”? There are exits in the front and rear of the cabin.

It has become such a popular refrain that I can almost sing it by heart, like a nursery rhyme. Damn near the worst thing anyone could have done is found out Michelle Obama gave the President a chance when he was just an intern with a hole in the floor of his car.

You lazy assholes have been using it as an excuse ever since.

Barack Obama being broke and in law school IS NOT THE SAME as you still living at home with your mom post 30 because you “invested” in an Escalade. You barely working 3 shifts a week down at the Piggly Wiggly IS NOT THE SAME as him being a student. You are not a BOSS. You are not “making moves”. Having a job does not equate to you “being out here grinding.” YOU’RE THIRTYFUCKINGFIVE. YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE A JOB.

Don’t try to guilt a woman into dating you giving it up off the strength of the “potential” she should see in you. God bless her and her premium Indian Remy, but fuck BeyoncĂ©. I am not trying to upgrade NOBODY in these streets.

I am not a fancy person, despite all evidence to the contrary. Unless, of course, your definition of fancy is “speaks the King’s English and has no criminal record.” I come from a long line of hard working, simple people who have built long, satisfying lives without second homes or six figure cars. I don’t believe a man needs to have a gold embossed business card to make me happy, so spare me your baseless character slander. I am just very clear that being with someone while they work towards a tangible, finite goal, is not nearly the same as being with someone who wants a hero cookie because they can spell goal.



Have all the seats.



If you should be so lucky as to find a woman so gullible to want to be the one to reheat your cold chicken when you come home from your midnight shift at the gas station where your sole life aspiration in life is to clock out so you can go home and get high, then you should hold on to her. Hard.



‘Cause the rest of us out here? We ain’t buying it.


As you were.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fuck Your Paper Bag

I wasn’t gonna blog about this. But I also wasn’t gonna drink last weekend and, well, that too was a fail.


There is an interesting kind of marginalization that goes on in communities, creating these sub-communities of sorts. It is prevalent in just about any group of people that share some fundamental similarities but other large differences; women get subcategorized according to whether or not they are mothers or career women, shouldering all the perceived attributes and scorn that may go along with being either. In the gay community, bisexuals are often further marginalized under the guise of only being “half gay” or “confused”. It happens, and is an ugly underbelly of communities that should be havens for the members that belong to them.

But none of these are quite as troubling to me as the way that we as black women marginalize each other according to skin tone.

Friday, when the press release and promo pics of new Carol’s Daughter’s spokeswomen Solange, Cassie, and Selita Ebanks were released, like many others I shared the prevailing sentiment; don’t no dark skinned women use Carol’s Daughter?



All over twitter and Facebook, I read the offhand comments and criticisms that I shared; while all three women are gorgeous, and obviously have different hair textures, skin types, ethnicities, etc., if the company really wanted to promote diversity, couldn’t they find some people more diverse? Other shapes, sizes, hair textures, skin tones?

I felt like that was a valid criticism. What started to bother me was when the conversation immediately devolved into the place it always does when we discuss complexion primarily and, to a certain degree hair texture, in our community; the prevalent thought that these women aren’t “black enough” to promote a black brand.

And here is where I start to have a problem.

But first a bit about me…



If you can’t tell from my black and white pic to the right, I am pretty fair. I have mid-back length curly hair. I have a tiny mouth and small nose (and a forehead big enough to be a projection screen, but we all need one feature that keeps us humble).You can tell I am black by looking at me, but that has never stopped some narrow minded asshole from cocking their head to the side, regarding my features confusedly and asking, “What ARE you?” as though they have encountered some three headed bird not found often in nature. My mother, while darker than I, shares many of the same features. My father has never considered himself anything but black, despite his green eyes and curly hair and often having to explain to concerned strangers when I was a kid that no, he did not kidnap the little black child who is holding his hand.

I say all this to say that I, by nature of my own ambiguous pedigree that I have never really bothered to explore, am uniquely familiar with this sentiment in a way that means I cannot be objective here. All of that being said…

I am fucking tired of being told I am not black enough by other people.

I get it. I do. For centuries we have been told that light, bright and damn near white is the European standard of beauty we should all aspire to, god given features be damned. That our personalities, sexualities, career trajectory and everything else is defined by our facial feature, hair texture and skin tone, that if we don’t pass the brown paper bag test, then we are less than.

Really, I get it.

My problem lies in what has becoming an increasingly popular method of celebrating oneself; disparaging another. Somehow, the push for acceptance and pride in darker shades has dovetailed with dismissal of lighter ones. Somehow, it is not enough for anyone to simply be happier in the skin they’re in; they must be superior to something else for some reason, no matter how disparaging, shameful or asinine.

It’s bullshit.

If you can’t celebrate yourself without attacking and denigrating another, it is no celebration at all.

And really, isn’t this type of behavior just as bad as someone else telling us to be ashamed of who we are? Maybe isn’t it even a little bit worse because WE ARE ATTACKING OUR OWN?

Perhaps I am sensitive because this has been an ongoing affair throughout my life; my black mother and black father, my black relatives in my black city and going to a black school are simply not enough to quantify my blackness. Because of my skin tone. Because of my hair texture. Because someone told someone else that in order to have valid black pride, one must be what is “acceptable black” to other black folks. But who are you to enumerate what is “black” or not? Is there some sort of mystical mathematical equation that yields a numerical value consistent with what can be considered black?

Remove that shit all the fuck from the paint, b.

You don’t get to tell me that I don’t qualify as black.

It’s a shame really and no less wrong, ignorant and self-sabotaging as anyone else telling us what we should look like. And what is even worse is that now, we don’t even have to rely on others to tear us down. We will do it for them.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Girl Code

Recently, I have been talking to Kit (go and tip your bartender) about a situation she's dealing with. I won't go into details because it is not my business to tell all over Al Gore's internet, but during one of our conversations I said something to her that stuck with me...



“After age 18 some of these girl rules we are all supposed to follow go straight out the window.”


We all know Girl Code. We all learned it at some point during our teenage years, those silly little rules we thought would be the binding that kept our childhood girlfriendships together. It may vary from group to group but the basics are always the same: don’t gossip behind each other’s back. Don’t ditch your friends for a boy. Be willing to drop everything to comfort a friend going through a breakup. Don’t date a friend’s ex.


But honestly, as I have hurtled towards 30 at a rate that is most alarming, I have to admit I have done ALL of this stuff. Who among us has never commented to a friend about a mutual acquaintance that is a mess? Who HASN’T rearranged plans or cut a girl’s night out short because you got a booty call text around 11pm? You mean to tell me you guys still converge on a friend’s apartment to eat ice cream, watch rom coms, and bemoan how men ain’t shit every time a friend breaks up (even if it is Friend Who Breaks Up With a Guy Every 3 Months)? And seriously, I would still never date a friend’s ex, but what qualifies? A relationship? A crush? “Dibs”? Would I date a guy who had broken my girlfriend’s heart? Hell no. But would I entertain said friend’s fury that I went out with a guy she met while drunk at a happy hour 2 years ago, went on one date with and promptly pronounced too short/nice/shy/arrogant/etc. and promptly banished him to occasional Facebook friendom?

Bitch, have all the seats.

Do we still follow these rules as grown-ups? Do they become less important? Or do the rules change as we get older? I think for my girlfriends and me, our “rules” are simply just guidelines by which we live our lives anyway: always bring enough liquor for everyone. Don’t hold out on new sex moves. Shoes, makeup and condoms are too be shared. Tell me I look fat in this, but in a very nice way and then find me something else to wear/accompany me to Zumba. Be willing to participate in or cover up any vandalism that may need to occur post finding out friend’s boyfriend is sleeping with his tennis pro. Understand that if I am in the middle of the dickmatized season of a new relationship, I will see you a little less until month two when the shine wears off.

These things work for us.

So what about you? Did your Girl Code become Woman Code? Do you think it is necessary as an adult at all? Does it change according to the friend?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Starve.

There is that moment when you realize that none of it was real.


That you held on too long, too hard, fought too ferociously to make what was square fit round spaces. That all the effort you mistook for passion chipped away little pieces of what was there, and what is left in your hands is unrecognizable.

There is that moment when you realize that what you regarded as gold is simply ordinary; still special to you, but nonetheless a story spilled from a thousand broken hearted lips before you ever parted your own to give words to your heartache through tears.

There is a moment when you recognize that you never should have gone where you've been, and that even worse, you knew that full well you had no business there before you opened your heart's passport to travel to this foreign, dangerous land.

There is that moment when you acknowledge that you truly only know about people what they allow you to, and you can't control that. All you can do is decide if it is enough.


When I was younger, not as much in age as in mind, I lived on scraps, the bits and pieces of what I was given, the tiny tidbits I could scavenge for myself, hoping that if I could just get enough, that they would fill me. I would emotionally starve, sitting reverently at long, elegant tables where I thought I should be, that I happened upon so infrequently, that I assumed that even scraps were better than the uncertainty of finding more.

I've never been full.


But I am not young. Nor am I blind. I acknowledge the ordinary and admit to aiding and abetting my own neglect. I have been surviving on scraps of people.


It is no longer enough. And I refuse to go hungry anymore.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Silver Lining

(x-posted from La Bella Vita Tumblr)

The thing about birthdays is that, much like a drunk co-ed at a frat party, they could go either way.

Unfortunately, despite starting with much promise, my birthday quickly went the way of getting dicked… badly.

And I hate all incarnations of that.

The good news is, my girls are on their way to town right now to help save what is certainly not my worse birthday, but one that is going to shit fairly quickly. I choose to focus on the positive. Them. And I am excited like a kid waiting on Christmas. I am at work so I have to be all calm but on the inside I am like everything that happens from the 1:12 mark of this video on.

The thing about birthdays is that, much like a drunk co-ed at a frat party, they could go either way.

Unfortunately, despite starting with much promise, my birthday quickly went the way of getting dicked… badly.

And I hate all incarnations of that.

The good news is, my girls are on their way to town right now to help save what is certainly not my worse birthday, but one that is going to shit fairly quickly. I choose to focus on the positive. Them. And I am excited like a kid waiting on Christmas. I am at work so I have to be all calm but on the inside I am like everything that happens from the 1:12 mark on in the following video.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lestat v. Possums

You should know that while you were sleeping, I damn near lost my life.

See, I have a bit of a problem. When most people are sleeping, I am usually getting a burst of energy. So, until it wears off (usually 2-4 hours) I have to find something for myself to do. This usually means I can get a ton of stuff done when I am not distracted by my B.lackberry or television and all, but it also means some nights I fall asleep just barely before the sun comes up. Michael calls me Lestat. We hate him.



This happened last night, around 10:30 or so. Out of nowhere I was just energized. So I decided that rather than trying to force myself to sleep, I would just go with it. I have a ton of shit to do before the girls get here for my birthday on Thursday so I figured it would just be best if I started knocking off some items from my to do list.

So I walked and fed the dog. I put 2 loads of laundry in the wash. And while those were washing, I ran to the grocery store.



As an aside, grocery shopping both late at night and at the end of the weekend is better than a negative pregnancy test. It is virtually deserted, and everything is being put out fresh to restock from the weekend. I was in and out in 20 minutes. Win!



When I finished up at the grocery store, I ran back home, threw the clothes in the dryer, and then headed right back out to Walmart where I finished up my shopping. On my way back to my apartment, I grabbed my laundry and finally found a parking spot relatively close my building.

At this time you should take note of a few things: it is almost 1am. I have a car full of groceries from two stores, two full loads of laundry, and nary a boyfriend or butchy girlfriend to wake up for help carrying this shit up three flights of stairs.

But you know, I am a strong, independent modern woman. I can carry this stuff upstairs. Sure it is 1am and I live near the woods and no one would find my body until spring. But WHATEVER. I am AWESOME and perfectly capable of CARRYING MY OWN SHIT.

On trip number three on my way back up the stairs with two arms full of groceries is when I was brutally “attacked”. And by “attacked” I OF COURSE mean “scared shitless”.

At first, I thought the shadow moving in front of me was Arch Nemesis Cat, who Honey has not yet quite figured out does not want to play with her and means her harm not play when she tries to claw at her pretty face. ANC likes to lurk around our stairs because the neighbors feed him. So his prescence here at all hours of the God given night made sense. Except I realized, ANC’s eyes don’t glow in the dark. I don’t know ANY manner of cat whose eyes glow in the dark.

BITCH THAT IS A MOTHERFUCKING POSSUM!!



Cue La looking like this:





Lawd. All my groceries. Both my shoes. My keys. Part of my soul. All strewn about the stairs and landing of my building.

And what did the punk ass possum do?

Moseyed on into the woods, as though it hadn’t just shaved 3.72 years off my life.

After standing at the top of the stairs for 10 minutes, screaming internally and panicking (“OMG CAN POSSUMS CLIMB STAIRS?!?!), when I was finally assured he had returned to his forest home to stay, I quietly gathered my lost things with the all the dignity one can muster after screaming like two deacons caught mid-foreplay in the pastor’s office. I am pretty sure there is still a can of green beans stuck under the stairs. But fuck it. I don’t even like green beans that much.



I hate living in the country.