Monday, July 28, 2014

Women Lie, Men Lie....But It Isn't Equal

Women are not perfect.

Although men and women alike would like to claim they KNOW women are not perfect, it seems to be believed more in theory than in practice. Between reading comments recently stating Trey Songz's "Mr. Steal Your Girl" persona made the woman who fell for "being stolen" a hoe (not him, HER) and Kerry Washington having to explain why she would play a mistress for the millionth time in an interview, I am convinced, the world condemns anything less than ideal.

As people grow, experiences are had, and knowledge is gained, one would think people would be more open-minded as to who we all become, but nope. The underlying expectation to "have it all", "be super/wonder woman" or my personal favorite, "always be a lady" still linger, and frankly the stench of those concepts are enough to make even the most conservative woman scream for mercy.

Men lie, cheat, steal and kill and yes, women do all of those things as well, but the difference seems to be, as a woman there are no second chances to right a wrong. Life is definitely not a dress rehearsal and there are no do-overs. Once men see you fall below their standard of "class", then it is okay to be treated without respect and almost no one, not even other women, will protest.

How many times have we all heard seeing a drunk woman is worse than seeing a drunk man? How many women have been given those almost guaranteed second chances men get after an affair? What female prisoner has letters pouring in from a boyfriend/husband stating "he is waiting for her"? Woman are forgotten once a mistake is made and it is accepted. It is so accepted women will do anything to maintain an appearance of desirability by the type of men she deems worthy,(which can even be pretending not to be the conservative type because she wants the man who wants a "bad girl") simply because as Drake's mom put it "Who wants to be sixty and alone?"

I have told lies, pretended to be something I was not, left a drink half full, curbed the vast amount of cuss words I regularly use, worn uncomfortable clothing and remained hush-hush about my sex life. All in the name of being liked.

The question is when does it stop? When do we become okay with being ourselves no matter who likes it? Does that even happen in a lifetime for women?

Well, I plan to make it happen for me.

The ideal. I reject it.

And you should too....because as Popeye would say, "I yam what I yam".....and I yam a pretty good person.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

May I Help You?

I read a quote once saying, "People ask why customer service has gone to hell in a hand basket, I ask why have customers gone to hell in a hand basket"

I thought about this quote this morning when I heard a story on The View about a man who was faced with the choice of deleting a tweet he posted about rude service, including the name and gate number of the agent he encountered, or leave the plane. The airline stated it was a security risk. Although I can not say how much a of a realistic security risk his tweet may have posed, I will say I commend Southwest for standing up for their employee.

It seems all of the women on The View (as well as my husband) were on the side of the passenger. Now, as someone who works in customer service, I have to say I do believe in a lot of cases, customers are the ones taking these things too far. A huge amount of people these days are so self-important and privileged they forget the person they are talking to is actually....get this...A PERSON. Not getting what you want, thinking it should be "no big deal" if the rules are bent or broken "just this one time" for you, or because you do not work in a service position and think they deserve your nasty attitude because "they choose this job", does not give you the right to treat people like they are beneath you. I have been called a cunt, a bitch, a moron, a nigger and just about anything else you can think of working in several customer service oriented jobs over at least 20 years of my life. I do not recall one company standing up for me, instead I have been told to "not take it personal".

I am all for expressing your opinions on social media or anywhere else you may choose, however you have to accept the consequences that follow those actions. Instead of actually getting in contact with a manager/supervisor to lodge a complaint this man took the passive way out and tweeted his little hurt feelings. I will completely agree he has a right to make this his chosen method of expression and say whatever it is he feels he needs to tell the world, but including someone's full name and specific work location is insensitive, and in my opinion, out of line. What if she is a battered woman whose ex-husband was searching for her? You have no idea what is going on in someone else's life, but of course WHO CARES when you want what you want, right?

Well, you can choose to treat others as if their lives do not count when it involves providing others with a service, but be very aware, not all people or companies are going to cower to your entitlement issues. There will be consequences for treating the world around you like personal servants. You feel important enough to demean another, well than I hope you are also important enough to not only find another flight headed to your exact location in a matter of minutes, but find alternatives for all the services you require the assistance of OTHER PEOPLE to receive in this thing we call life.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

And This Is Why I Call It Scatter Brain

Sometimes I just like to express, to share, most times I don't think I care if anyone is even listening. I grew up in one of those homes where "What happens in this house, stays in this house" was said often. I have kept, and still keep, many of my own, as well as secrets of others all too well. So, sometimes I just want to say random shit for absolutely no reason. This is probably why in the survey days, I did ever single damn one. I don't necessarily go around telling my life story as a result of a secretive family and years of shyness; but I do like to keep, maybe not an open door, but an open window policy as to who I am as an adult. So, today I thought I'd share some random things about me. I'll try to pick a few things you may not know.

1. I'm part Creole. My great grandfather's death certificate (to my surprise) doesn't even say he was black, his race was actually listed as Creole. Black people were serious about that separation, wait did I say "were"? Nevermind, different discussion for a different day. Oh and ummmm...No, I don't know how to make gumbo, my grandma did not call me cherie and at family gatherings there is no Zydeco. Somehow, when my ancestors moved from Louisiana to Alabama none of the markings of Creole culture came with them. And after the migration North well, let's just say Dean Big Brother Almighty said it best "we're from Detroit, Motown!"

2. I hate people to over analyze, dissect, or just damn stare at what I am eating. It's an after effect of being bullied for years. I was teased about my weight throughout elementary school, and of course at lunch there were always jokes about what I was eating. I eventually began to hide what I was eating under the table. I held what I was eating in my hands under the table until I was ready to take a bite. I would take my bite and back under the table it would go. Good thing my mama made me sandwiches and Ziploc baggies with chips, I would have been screwed with some leftover spaghetti and wings. By junior high I just stopped eating lunch altogether.

3. I used to smoke cigarettes. I chose Virginia Slim Super Slims because I thought they at least were so small I still looked like a laaddyyy when I smoked in public. Eventually, I switched to clove cigarettes and finally I quit. But, I've been known to keep a pack of Djarums on know....just in case. There were very few people I did it in front of and the funny thing is the guys I dated who were smokers....blacks, cigarettes, weed, whatever....I used to give them hell for it. Dammit, I'm such a hypocrite sometimes.

4. I used to have a thing for DJs/Producers. While most girls were all about the artist, I liked the guys who were behind the scenes. Although, I did end up on a few dates with a couple more well known ones while in NY, but it's NY *shrugs*. I think it's just they have the same love for music I do. Hell if you love the music more than the fame and the money, well then you had me hook, line, and sinker, just ask that one I married;-)

5. I typically will discuss sex in general terms all day, everyday, but I rarely speak in specifics; those conversations, truly a small circle. It was my way of finding a balance through all of those college discussions. End Game: I was not considered a prude but I wasn't setting myself up or being coined a hoe either. I can not even count the amount of men friends I know who got second hand info and used it against some girl later because her ass told way too much to the wrong people. I only had to be told once what shockingly low numbers put women in the "hoe" category. Funny thing, I have only had one man notice I never spoke in specifics and details when it gave to sex and he was someone I dated who was about 8 years younger than me....sometimes the young boys pick up on things a lot quicker than grown men.....

Well okay I think I'm done for now....if you made it to the end and actually took a little interest in lil ole me than I thank time I promise I'll write about something with some substance, just dipping my toe back in this little writing pool I call my blog.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Four Down, One to Go

Disclaimer: Some of you are going to love this; some of you are going to hate it. However, this is me, and I am going to say it anyway.

Unless you live under a rock, or are in a constant state of All-Star Weekend inebriation right now, you have heard about the Michael Dunn "loud music" case and it's recent verdict of a mistrial on a murder count and four convictions of attempted murder. If you have no clue, feel free to: (1)Google (2)logoff now or (3)go back to melting down those gummy bears for the juice you inject to replace your brain matter.

The verdict was read and of course instantaneously there a was a blitz of facebook updates, tweets, and all out temper tantrums on the hardwood floors and plush carpets of black folks around the world. Seriously, as my father used to say, "Cut it Out!!". I am not exactly excited about the verdict of this case; but all of the feigned outrage and exasperation is getting absurd. It is not only this verdict I am referring to, but the tendency we have as a community to resist the urge to listen and weigh facts before we figuratively yell out "It's because we're black" or "My baby ain't never hurt nobody". Now in no way shape or form am I saying Jordan Davis did anything that should have resulted in his murder. I am saying it does not hurt to wait for finality on the matter before having a hissy fit. You did not have to spend time in law school to understand one count is one count and it bears no weight upon the others. The conviction of one charge does not automatically claim a conviction of the other. Also, a mistrial of the first count does not mean he will not be convicted of this charge.


Do we live in a fair society? Absolutely not! Black people are always the target and we are all aware of this, even Don Lemon. (that is of course on the days he wants to acknowledge he is black) Considering how many black people want to shout from the rooftops on Sundays about "my church", "my pastor", and "THE WORD"; I find it amazing how little faith many of you place in the court of a higher power versus the results associated with the court of mankind. Is the justice of God not good enough for you? I may stand alone in this, but I am going to hand over my sliver of hope and faith, which only has to be the size of a mustard seed, to God. I believe he will see justice prevail. By the way, my version of justice does not have to happen in a court built by humans.

Lastly, for all of the time taken to tweet, update, and debate sadly many of you will continue pursuing your goals of removing yourself from living in predominately black neighborhoods, conquering "corporate America" and living the "American" dream. Save your breath and the clicking of your keypads on your smartphones, tablets and Macbook Pros if the only time you find yourself around the black community is when you want to find the best wing spot. Help is absolutely needed to put us as a people in a better position but activists from afar need not apply.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

1, and 2, and 3, and 4

Yesterday, I posed a question to my Facebook friends, based on an experience I had earlier in the evening. I posed the question and it seemed within minutes comments, backhanded insults, and pretty damn good points were flying. Yes, I had some thoughts too, but an Ikea excursion prevented me from chiming in, so I thought I would do it here. Oh, wait you need the post right?

*Snaps fingers (or cuts and pastes)*

So today I was asked (by a black man)....why on average are black women so he was pretty direct about it but I have had other men friends indirectly state this and I'm just wondering fellas is this really what you think?

Ok, got it?, good. Let's get started

In the comments section, I explained this was a situation that occurred in the gym while witnessing a woman's lackluster effort. I do believe he was speaking in a physical fitness oriented manner and not an all around way. Giving a little more background, this woman is fairly new to the gym and the person who made the comment does know her and works out with her. His comment, however, was not a joke; he pulled me aside and seriously asked the question.

My initial reaction to the question was quite honestly, best described as, shock and awe. I had no idea why he was asking me; as I thought my disheveled afro puff made it clear I was a black woman too. However, after promptly telling him how crazy he was and attempting to return to my workout he said, "just think about" before he walked away. I did. I thought about it as I finished my workout and on my drive home. Although many people believe it's a challenge for me to see outside of my own views; I actually do strongly weigh views opposing my own. Although, I can not say he was right, I will agree with a friend of mine and say the man isn't completely crazy. Now, before you click on the little X in the corner, hear me out. The gym I go to is not a membership type of gym, it is technically a personal training studio. The gym is simply the place where you come to workout with your trainer. You don't just come in, hop on a treadmill for 40 minutes and then go home; you don't choose your workout. Everyone working out in the gym is following a workout provided by their personal trainer. With that being said, I think it is a given you see a lot of people struggling through their workouts, drenched in sweat, and damn near on the brink of death. Myself included. When I think of all the women I see in the gym pretty regularly, I can say honestly, I hear complaining, whining and just plain wall slide struggle from all races. However, when it comes to who is putting in the least effort and who is putting in the most, I will say it can easily be any race of women on both accords.(At least in this specific gym)

Painting any group of people with one broad stroke is ridiculous, so lazy is far from a term I would use, but, I will say there does seem to be a more pronounced willingness to give up in some of the black women who are battling to complete their workout than with the women of other races who are encountering the same trial. (Again, in this gym). On the same accord however, there are black women who make up their mind to "do this" and there is no stopping them. I think when it comes to working out, it actually is a little harder for black women to get started, which really is symptomatic of cultural background. When I think of all the women of different races with who I am friends, almost all of them were involved in some sort of athletic endeavor in high school. They played tennis, swim team, volleyball, cheerleading, gymnastics, etc. As black women, I don't feel we are encouraged to participate in athletics in the way everyone else is growing up. The few who do participate in anything other than cheerleading often have their sexuality questioned or are ridiculed about their lack of concern for things like their hair.

We all reach a point as adults where we can no longer ignore the weight that is piling on, and for women who have never experienced a real workout, especially one with a trainer, it can be extremely difficult. It is difficult to workout with a trainer at any age, but to begin something like that at 30 with no other athletic background is damn near excruciating, believe me, I know. Unless, there is a driving force beyond vanity, giving up seems way more viable.

It is not alright to label a whole group of people based on a few you see in one specific gym but I can not say I do not know what he is seeing. I have watched a black woman do four reps of the ordered 20 and pretend she was finished when her trainer came back to check on her and another black woman attempt to "sneak out" before she completed her workout. However, I have also seen a Persian woman lay on the floor for damn near 15 minutes when she was suppose to be doing an ab workout (to the point her trainer told her to leave if she didn't want to work) and a white woman put on her coat after her warm-up and leave saying, "I can't do this today". This man however, probably does not feel the same about their actions. As a black man he is going to focus way more on how black women conduct themselves versus any others, because as black people it is embedded in us that we represent one another. The truth is we do not. The point is those are those individuals not a representation of a race or gender. I believe all people have a tendency to expect more from those they see themselves within. Black people are not the only ones who attack each other. I have been personally told by a white man that white women are too needy, a Latin man who said Latin women are too volatile, and an Asian woman who felt the need to "confirm" Asian men were not well endowed. Unless you have regular in-depth discussions with people of other backgrounds you never know what other people say about each other, however, the solution is not to feed into stereotypes, see people as only a representation of themselves and encourage someone you think is headed in a less than positive direction to veer back on the right path. I just know I am grateful for the people who did not write me off as a "lazy black woman" when I first got started working toward my goals (because yep I wanted to quit too) and I am eagerly anticipating the day I can "pay it forward".

Thursday, January 30, 2014

I'm the Type of Guy.....Girl

Just as a bit of a disclaimer: I want to state in no uncertain terms, I am not a relationship expert. If you were to ask me about black cinema, music, even being a loud mouth debater, I may accept such a title graciously. However, being a relationship guru is a field from which I would have to gracefully retreat. Although I accept I am not an expert, at the risk of sounding a bit obnoxious, I will admit: I have never lacked for interested parties (did not say I was interested back though), I have dated just as much as a Sex in the City character (make sure you direct you attention to the word DATE and not SEX), and hell, I'm married. So, although not an authority, I may have a slight idea about how relationships work, at least between men and women.

Now with that being said, I recently had a thought, partially based on my own dating experiences, and a recent conversation or two. "How many of us know what type we are?" Although many hate to admit it, we all do fall, at least slightly, in some sort of general category. (Yep, being the "unique" guy is a category in itself) Furthermore, "How many of us know what type is attracted to our own?" I learned what type of woman I was deemed very early unfortunately, (or fortunately depending on how you view it) because I repeatedly was placed in situations where men told me why they were drooling over my friends and family members, but not me. By learning how men viewed me, I also learned which men would find me appealing. I used that information to lean in their direction (little extra flirting), so to speak. Whenever I noticed someone I found attractive, who I knew would like me, I would find a way to get a little closer to them. They would realize "hey, I like her" and ask me out, and think it was all their idea. Yeah, a little calculated but, hey, what idiot doesn't work from a plan? Needless to say I never dated too many men who I did not already know, at least just a smidge. Being honest, getting approached in a club, bar, beach with a bikini on (OK that might be a stretch, I have never even worn a damn bikini in my life), rarely happened. The point is, it saved me from wasting time with men with who things never would have worked. It does not mean of course everything did work with everybody with whom I spent my time, but I can at least say I have never parted ways with anyone who would tell you they hated me. I can not think of anyone I dated who does not have anything but well wishes for me. We may have chosen different paths, but the compatibility, in relation to personality, was always there.

A huge amount of people, who say they are looking for long term relationships and marriages, repeatedly find themselves dating people who everyone surrounding them knows is not going to end up being "the one"; no ones says anything. The reason no one says anything is because it requires having a discussion with someone about their imperfections; no one wants to tread into those waters. I think constantly picking the wrong partner is a symptom of not being aware of who it is you may be. Most people, or at least most men, in my experience, have simply wanted to be with someone with who they have the most fun. So think about it, when are you having the most fun? What makes you the most happy? Is it when you watch sports? Is it when you travel? Is it when you hear good music? The person who shares that with you, is probably going to be someone you enjoy being around more than most. No, you don't have to have everything in common because *NEWSFLASH* you won't. However, whatever it is at your core that makes you happy, has to be whatever it is at their core that makes them happy. Having the same intense love for something someone else does, typically doesn't happen everyday, and even less so between men and women. Men and women are socialized to have different interest and hobbies. The learned differences are why finding commonality with friends of the same sex is so much easier than with the opposite sex; we were taught to like different things. (No one is talking to you "girl with no women friends" please be seated) It may sound simple, but, oddly enough it is not. It is a deeper connection than simply having a few things in common.

Now, I do believe there are exceptions to every rule; hell, I don't even follow rules most of the time. I know you have those who are not looking for the company of someone they enjoy. Some people are looking for a trophy wife, or my all time favorite, the idiots who are looking for someone with who they can be the perfect "power couple". When I pursued a legal career and had a more conservative look, I had many a fool serve that idea up on a platter, as if being a part of his Bold, Black, and Bougie fantasy was on my "To Do" list. But, I digress. Take some time, think about who you are inside, and if you don't know ask a few bluntly honest friends (Yes, I am available); it may help. Stop pursuing the Prada clad "pretty girls" when you love nothing more than to workout and pursue outdoor activities. You will probably be happier with the girl with the ponytail at the end of the bar drinking whiskey, that of course is if you would simply take the time to speak to her. Stop saying you want an Alpha male when you can't even hear the word submissive without rolling your eyes. *NEWSFLASH (PART II)* THAT MAN is not going to let you control him. Be OK with the reality you like to be in control, even if society says it's wrong.

True commonality is a simple concept rarely pursued. No one ever wants to admit they don't fit the ideal, subsequently the false perception leads to a chase of the ideal partner. Admitting what one believes is their own flaw, and accepting they may have to change to get their ideal, or accept someone who they see flaws in as well is difficult. The eye opening fact however is going to be that we are all flawed. With changes you may get your ideal, only to find they are flawed in ways you did not originally see. Pursue those who love what you love in life and ignore the fact she isn't exactly a 10, or he doesn't have the most prestigious career; just be happy. And when you finally accept you and find love beyond the flaws, yours and theirs, to that I say "Welcome to Marriage".....and then, well that is a whole other discussion...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

How Many of Us Have Them?

In light of my impending girls trip to Vegas with some of favorite ladies *insert happy "shake your shimmy girl" dance*, a recent conversation with my sister, and a growing closeness with my newest favorite lady, I have been thinking about friendship a lot lately. As an adult, what really makes a good friend? If you have a spouse, children, or hell, just a decent job, getting all of your people together for a meal, mani/pedi, or strip club Saturdays (I mean I don't know what you people do with your life) can be a real challenge. Out of five people, you may get three, and then one cancels an hour prior to the event. Does it mean your friendships have been reduced to weddings and funerals? Is it worse than special occasion familiarity? Are you destined to live a lonely existence that leads to dying in front of a television, only to have your body found 3 years post mortem? I highly doubt it.

Friendship is not necessarily about frequency. I truly believe the key to maintaining friendship, is allowing others to be exactly whomever it is they may be. Will you love all of who that person is? Probably not. But, you have to be able to accept someone in their entirety or your circle WILL dwindle to next to no one. I absolutely do and say things my friends do not like or appreciate, however, they take the good with the bad, because for them the good is dominant. We are all adults, and as the years continue to fly by, adults become more and more comfortable with their personal truth. You will not find many people at 60 attempting to please those around them. It's why Great Aunt Grace is the one telling every one they're fat, and outing gay family members by forcing them to answer questions like "Do you have sugar in your shoe?" At the ripe old age of 34 *gasp*, I have already found it comfortable to let go of those who can not accept the reality that I do not always agree with them, and they do not always agree with me. Pleasantly enough, I have found, it made room for some of the most interesting, caring, and amazing people I have had the luxury to encounter. I do not only love my close friends, but I am proud of them. I mean these are some truly extraordinary people, they hail from all over the world and possess unbelievable talents. I learn from all of them daily. Plus, they make me laugh.

Now, I actually have lost as many friends as I have maintained, which actually is quite a few. The losses, casualties of insecurities, different lifestyles, men, and sometimes, just the reality smacking someone in the face, that I am not a super sickeningly sweet person. But, friendships are not fluff, and those people for the most part, were about the fluff, and being honest, I would rather the cake than the whipped cream any day. Friendships are not about getting your nails done together, buying you the best baby gift, or having a bunch of memories of drunken nights. Friendship is showing up at someone's father's funeral, when they didn't even ask. Friendship is sending a care package to a grown woman including new CD's (when you know music makes her super happy), because you know she is starting over in life and is just not able to buy it anymore. Friendship is sending a card to say simply how much you care, helping a damn near stranger move all of her belongings across town, or even just being able to tell someone they hurt your feelings, but it's OK because they love you still. As grownups, friendship may not be a daily occurrence. The rapport feels worlds apart from the days when you lived down the hall from one another in the dorm, but it should now have a lifelong existence. The kind of existence that can withstand a little literal or figurative distance. After a little contemplating, I realize lifelong of course is yet to be seen, but I would say the few decades that have elapsed with this pact of folks I adore does affirm, we are off to a pretty good start.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Homewreckers, Jezebels and Cheaters.....Oh my

*Rant Initiated*

So we're here huh? I suppose it would only make sense. All of the conversations we had about "why (some successful and some not) black women are single" now leads us to an explosion of conversations on how apparently they are "all" sleeping with married men. Unless you are living under a rock, or to be fair, if you only have a token black friend in your life, you know these discussions are being fueled near and far by shows like Scandal and Being Mary Jane. In both shows, the main characters are single, successful black women, who are involved in relationships with married men. Now, this is where the flood gates open, some are mad at the supposed impression it gives to others about single black women, some are at bare minimum appalled to see a black (or maybe any) woman with such moral flaws, and then there are those who simply want the world to know "they would never!" and can't believe any one has or does.

Well my thoughts(you did expect that when you came here right? Ok, cool) go a little something like this:

1. A television character is a television character, he/she does not reflect all of a people no matter what his/her race, gender, or sexual orientation. A drama has to have drama, so yes there are going to be some situations, events, etc. that invoke conflict, THAT'S WHY IT'S CALLED A DRAMA DINGBAT! As a community,I believe black people need to care a little less about the images that are portrayed to other races. I do not represent all black women, just as the actions of another black person do not reflect on me. I am an individual, and anyone who thinks they know everything about me based on the actions of someone else who shares a pigment, is way too stupid for me to associate with anyway. I can not bring myself to give that brand of ignorance my friendship or energy. You want a New Year's resolution? Leave the "not in front of white folks" mentality in 2013, better yet 1963. New Year, New you right? By the way, if your image argument is about what young black girls see, then my question to you is, what is your young impressionable daughter doing watching television at 10pm on a Tuesday or Thursday night? Oh, wait, she's also taking selfies and singing "Ride it with my surfboard" too, nevermind.

2. Ok, can we please, please, please with sugar and a cherry (bing not maraschino) on top stop acting as if these situations have not occurred for centuries and are ever going to stop, PLEASE! There are too many people with outside siblings and children to pretend they don't know anyone who has ever been involved in an extra marital affair, that is if they weren't the participant themselves. It's amazing how stoic one's morals can be until they are the one the hotel room door closes behind. Being completely unable to relate or understand how this situation happens at 30 plus, only says to me, you have never had a friend who found you trustworthy enough to share. It is a numbers game, if not you, someone you know has either cheated on their spouse, been cheated on, or has been the other man or woman. Now, if no one has ever come at you with that bit of information, and it is not you who is the culprit/victim, I have no choice but to crown you the king/queen of all that is naive and relationship-less (yeah probably not a word), which leads me to my final point...

3. On the flip side of the coin, or bed, based on how you look at it. Let me be clear; cheating is WRONG, no matter what side of the situation you have fallen (that is for all the "I'm not the one who is married" arguments I've heard from men and women). However, nothing is more annoying than hearing single people talk about the dynamics of marriage, and the shame they place upon experiences they have not had. I have yet to encounter a single person who has a clue when it comes to marriage. Yes, living with someone, having a child with someone, being a 10 year common law couple all cultivate a different energy between a couple, but it IS different from that of marriage. So far, all of the married people I have discussed this with have agreed, it is not the same. I am not a mother, but yes, I have my opinions on aspects of motherhood, based on the experiences of the mothers in my life, however, to tell a mother what she should and should not do without her asking for my opinion is NEVER going to happen. I have no real place of authority on the subject of motherhood above a mother, just as a single person has no real authority above that of a married person on marriage. So all the "I would never" and "I can't believe him/her" should be saved for the ears, minds and hearts of those who actual care.

Bottom line: Worry about that which affects you, and if it does not entertain you, whether it be fictional entertainment or real life propositions, simply remove yourself from the situation.

*Rant Complete*

Thursday, January 9, 2014


"I brought my computer so I can play you some music, I know you're tired of this TV being on all day" He was awake, but he was long past the stage of speaking, so I didn't expect a response. But,somehow amist the pain and the haze of regular injections of morphine, I knew he heard and understood me. I plugged in my computer, positioned it on the table in front of the chaise lounge-style sleeper chair the nurses graciously placed in the room once they realized we would be spending each night there and searched my iTunes library for Anita Baker. My sister, sitting in the chair next to mine, smiled as her voice filled the room.

During our childhood, just about every summer vacation my family took, was to Mississippi. He was from there. My family is from there. I haven't been there for probably more than a decade, but it's still such a special place for me. On those road trips that seemed like forever, one of the main things my sisters and brother can all agree we remember, is my daddy playing Anita Baker the entire drive there. I am probably the only person on Earth who pictures the mountains somewhere in Kentucky or Tennessee when I hear You're the Best Thing Yet.

I don't know if you could say Anita Baker was his favorite singer (according to my mom it was Dionne Warwick), or if it was just kid appropriate music he thought he could actually enjoy the entire 12 hour drive. However, it seemed to relax him then and I wanted him to relax now. So, I choose to relive some of our past and I let it play. He was in too much pain to be touched, so I couldn't climb into his bed and lie on his chest as I did when I was a little girl. Instead, I just pushed my sleeper chair as close to the bed as I could and laid my head on the edge of the bed, and held his hand. I must have said "I love you, Daddy" at least 10 times. He kept opening his eyes wider and wider and then closing them, as if he had something to say but couldn't. It didn't matter though, we'd always said plenty, there was nothing unspoken, this blunt nature of mine came from him and we had said, if not it all, enough. The nurses came into the room and gave him more morphine and soon he drifted off to sleep. I let his hand go and laid back in the chair to try and sleep myself. Somehow, I was able to doze off only to awake in a panic gasping for air around 6am. I looked to my left and watched as his chest moved up and down while a wave of relief rushed over my spirit. I'd awaken my sister and the look on her face said she was scared too. Once again, I laid back down and closed my eyes. I didn't sleep, I just waited. Within an hour my sister gently touched my arm and when I opened my eyes tears were streaming down her face, she nodded and said, "He's gone"

That morning on Easter Sunday my father passed from this world into another. I can't see him any more and I can't touch him. I can only hear his voice through old voicemails and smile when I walk past any old southern man who smells of cologne and smoke from his Kools cigarettes.

My daddy was one of a kind, he was the kind of man women were fond of, and men wanted to be like. He was cool. Even my old college roommate saw my parents get out of that Navy Blue Riveria he drove for years for the very first time and said, "Your parents look like they would kick my parents ass", of course, I laughed. Finally, now I am starting to get to the place where I can smile and I can laugh when I think of him. I miss him of course, because I loved him, and that will never change. Time moves us forward and when I think of him at my Uncle's funeral sitting next to me watching as my cousins screamed and cried, I remember him turning to me and saying, "Don't y'all do that shit when I die". So, I think it's safe to say, as much as I'd like to scream, cuss and cry, he wouldn't want me to do that shit. (Well maybe he wouldn't care about the cussin'). In the future, I'll honor his memory at all of the times his presence is missed, as I am doing now, with my millionth attempt on really finding my voice via writing. It was only right this first post be about him. As a friend said to me after her father died, "Nothing makes you feel more like an adult than burying your parent". She was right. So, I guess by way of an unwanted right of passage, although I will always be a daddy's girl, I truly am a woman now.