Sunday, December 28, 2014

It’s All Relative

I think about this topic frequently.  No, it’s not sex; although I have to admit that’s high up there too.  Why?  Because I’m an unabashed pervert.  But I think about and talk a lot about aging.  Not in a bad way, just in a reflective way.

I remember when I was a little girl and the young ladies especially were turning 21, we thought that they were so old.  We couldn’t believe that such and such were out of their teenage years.  What we didn’t realize was that these young ladies were six, seven, eight years older than we were, and when we all got into our 30s and 40s, we would be in the same age group.

Because our parents, aunts, uncles and their peers seemed so mature compared to how we currently are, they always seemed much older in their 40s than we seem.  They never interacted with us kids like how we do with our kids.  They always seemed more intense and stressed than we do. 

When I look at my teenage and tweenage children, I’m surprised at how big they’ve gotten.  They are not above average.  They are average at best, but when I look at the twins, all I see is four pound babies looking up at me for milk.  I look at my youngest gaining on them, and all I see is the baby we brought home from the hospital that completed our family.  Instead, what they really are, are people with big personalities, big opinions, big attitudes and big ambitions, walking the hallways of our home.  Even my nieces and nephews and my play nieces and nephews are amazed at how big my children have gotten, which is really weird because I look at them, especially those in their 20s and marvel at the fact that I used to take care of them and now they are nearly as old as I am.

But one of the reasons why I’m mildly obsessed with aging is because above everything else I think it is a miraculous thing.  We take it for granted when we look at it as a one day at a time event; however, when we sit back and look at it from long lenses, it is indeed a marvel.

At 45, I can actually observe physical aging.  I remember when we used to watch TV with our mother and seconds after she got a joke, her smile would slowly revert.  We thought it was the funniest thing.  We would always look at her and exclaim, “Mommy, you are still smiling!”  The other day, the kids did that to me, but now I realize it’s probably that my laugh lines are two steps behind my actual smile.  There is a favorite photo of me and my daughter cheek to cheek taken one summer.  From a distance, we can pass for sisters, but if you look closely, you can see my crows feet and some gray hairs along my hairline.  And it takes a lot longer for me to digest a huge meal and much longer to work it off.  Therefore I don’t eat as much as I used to.  Well, it depends who you ask because every time I say that, I feel my husband and kids looking at me as if to say, “Yeah, keep telling yourself that.”

But as fascinating as I find the physical traits, in my opinion the mental aspects of aging are even more astonishing.  Yeah, my patience level is not near close to where I want it; but compared to where it was 20 years ago, I’m pretty impressed.  But the wisdom has got to be the best thing about aging.  As I’ve mentioned, I watch a lot of OWN.  Her Super Soul Sunday series is very interesting, and I’m always amazed when one of her speakers mentions something that I had already realized.  I have to admit that it does make me seem not only smart and evolved, but it proves that somewhere, somehow I had been paying attention to my mother all these years.  And when I see that so many insights are new to so many people, I have to admit that it scares me because I wonder 1) how come they’ve been here for so long and haven’t learned that and 2) what else is there for me to learn.

It causes me to be restless, and I get on a quest to try something new, do something different.  I believe that if we become too content with the now, then we are just preparing ourselves for the end.  And my hope is that my end is nowhere close.  Which brings me to the saddest thing about aging -- dying.  Of course I know that not everyone gets old and then dies, but that’s usually the preference.  At 45, I see or hear about the parents of my peers becoming bed-ridden, getting dementia, living with cancer and other serious illnesses; and watching your parent going through infantile stages has got to be one of the hardest things in the world.  I now see and hear about my peers and folks a few years older becoming sick and dying.  I mean people who you think were healthy just literally dying suddenly due to some sickness that they didn’t know existed. 

So aging for the vain may not be something to embrace, but perspectively speaking, it is a marvel because it means that the younger generation is making ground, and for great things I hope; that I can impart some wisdom because parts of my journey are now becoming hindsight; and that I have mellowed because so much of what I thought was a big deal truly isn’t.

Monday, November 24, 2014

I Like Porn

What?  TMI?  Well, excuse me, but since every day some “celebrity” has been coming out as gay, I just assumed that we were ALL sharing what happens behind closed doors.  Well, in that case, shhhh shhhh…..DISREGARD! DISREGARD!

But seriously, some country singer named Ty Herndon just came out a couple of days ago.  First of all, I don’t even know him, ergo, he CANNOT be that important.  Second of all, isn’t that something you tell a love interest?  What is going on in this world that every gay person feels compelled to tell everybody in the entire world that he or she is gay?  Sure some people care a great deal, but the majority of us really could care less.

Here’s why I don’t care.  Well, mostly because I have no clue who the heck this Ty person is.  It could be because I like country music as much as I like going to the dentist.  Maybe if it was Taylor Swift, since she is such a huge country pop star!  And just like Jason Collins, if you are supposedly talented, do you want to be known or remembered just for being gay?  Jason Collins recently retired, and my son mentioned that most of the clips shown for the story were primarily from practice.  His basketball career wasn’t even consequential enough to make a proper story.  Ergo, he is no Michael Jordan.  Okay fine, they all cannot be Michael Jordan; but he wasn’t even Patrick Ewing.

Secondly, most of us, even those who were raised thinking that it was the biggest sin in the Universe, don’t see it as a big deal anymore.  I personally don’t see it as a sin, or a lifestyle or a personal choice.  It is just one of those things that just is, but really I don’t care.

Thirdly, that battle has been won!!!  Just like many people wrongfully think that racism no longer exists, gays don’t have to come out of the closet anymore.  They don’t have to stay in the closet either.  They are just free to be who they are.  It is widely accepted to respect and accept them, especially if you want to keep your job…..or your TV show.

I guess what I don’t get is this.  Why fight for equality and then when you get it, you still act like something ‘different’ is occurring?  Gay people………do you want to make your gayness a big deal or not because I’m really confused at this point.  And that is one of the reasons why I love me some Queen Latifah.  She doesn’t make her color, gender or sexuality an issue.  Yes, we can see that she is Black.  Yes we can see that she is a woman (well nowadays).  And yes, many will keep wondering if she is gay or not.  But she doesn’t make that her problem.  She just keeps doing her thing.  The gay community NEEDS to take a page or two out of the Queen’s book.

Nobody cares, especially if we don’t even know you!  And of course I’m using hyperbole here because there are many in the Christian community who still think that it is their job to viciously speak out against others’ sexuality.  I don’t get how other’s sexuality is their business; but that’s none of my business.  But you are not going to win them all.  If there ever comes a time when the Black community is given the respect and acceptance that the gay community receives, we will have to be mindful that it will NEVER come from everyone, especially white supremacists.  So, it doesn’t matter who or what you are, you will never win them all.

Coincidentally, I was just reading an article about the coming out of Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, in which the author commented that although he did not receive any backlash or negativity for coming out, many of the people who posted comments stated that he should get over it because nobody cares.  The author continued that the reason why people should care is because there are 77 countries that still don’t accept homosexuality, so it was good that someone of Tim Cook’s stature could be a good role model for young, gay people.  I’m paraphrasing here because I just perused the article, but you get the drift.

However, this is my take on it.  We should not be pointing out every single difference in everyone just so people can be treated the same.  In other words, does Justice Clarence Thomas have to disrobe and show all his tattoos for us to accept the tattoos on basketball players, pop singers and bikers?  (Like we would be able to make out his tattoos!)  Or does Hillary Clinton have to remove her pant suits and expose her body piercings for us to accept that?

The problem with individualizing every bigotry is that it leads to more problems.  So some white people get upset because there is a Black History Month.  Where is their month, they ask?  Of course the reason behind Black History Month probably made sense to those who fought for it.  Blacks were marginalized, so they thought if they got one month just to focus on them, that would help.  Then there had to be a National Hispanic Heritage Month; now there is an Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. 

I’m so glad that my children are no longer in elementary school because if I had to see one more picture of Harriet Tubman or Martin Luther King, Jr that somebody had to color, I was just going to scream.  How about this?  How about instead of teaching about the same two people every February, why not incorporate the history of Black people into American History.  Why have a Hispanic month to showcase the accomplishments of a chosen few?  Instead, incorporate the accomplishments of the many Hispanics that contributed to this country into American History.  The history of Asian-Pacifics and Native Americans should be widely included as that of Christopher Columbus and his band of thieves.

It shouldn’t have to depend on someone of ‘high’ stature to do something or be something for us to accept it.  If we preach, teach and practice equality for all, then we wouldn’t be wasting precious time pointing out everyone’s differences.  There are only twelve months in the year, therefore there is no room to highlight the quadriplegic, autistic, transvestite albino.  Let’s just treat him as a person EVERYDAY! 

And with that, I’m just perspectively speaking.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

What’s With Men and Morning Sex?

And I don’t mean physiologically; that is easily researched.  I mean in practical terms.  For us women, early mornings are for going over the day’s chores, trying to stay warm a little bit longer and for squeezing out that last ounce of sleep.

But as I ponder that dilemma, it dawned on me that there are so many other things in life that I will probably never figure out in my lifetime.

Beginning with this question that the kids constantly ask:  “Where do homeless people get markers?”  It sounds simple enough, but I have never been able to give them an answer.  Think about it – homeless people can always grab a piece of cardboard off the side of the street, but the markers?  And for some reason, their signs are usually boldly written.  I live in a house, and many times I take a marker from the drawer, and it is dry.  Yet, homeless people are able to produce thick, black markers for their signs.  What gives?

While I ponder that one for eternity, I still cannot grasp how people can owe their friends and family money, are not in the process of paying it back any time soon, but have no problem splurging on themselves.  It’s not like the lenders cannot see the borrowers wearing fine clothes, going on trips, driving fancy cars and eating out, while the lenders are still pinching that penny.  I often wonder if it’s not easier to just repay the loan and as we say back home ‘suck salt’ for a while until one is back on one’s feet.  Hey, maybe it’s just me!

And speaking of family and friends……..Why is it so difficult to get their support in an endeavor?  Meanwhile, they are the first to promote some rich and famous celebrity’s latest work to you?  You know the ones – they are on facebook exclaiming how you should support some celebrity’s movie, music, artwork, book or event while they have no time to boost their friends, relatives, neighbors, countrymen, or own people.  Where is the love?

Which brings me to an issue that I keep seeing on facebook:  People taking the liberty of trying to run other people’s lives.  Now if an individual chooses to put a photo on facebook and others do not approve, does that really give them the right to say anything?  Facebook has a Like button under a post or a photo.  The only time the Unlike button pops up is if someone decided that he no longer likes someone else’s post or photo.  Facebook NEVER gives the option to Unlike someone’s post or photo initially.  Sure it asks for your comments, but if you have nothing good to say, just don’t say anything.  It’s really not that difficult.  As a people, we choose to possess things.  For instance, we have many shoes, lots of clothes, few children, plenty friends, cars, you name it.  However, and no matter how much we would like, we only get ONE life to live. 

So, a woman feels like shaving her head…it’s her business.  She feels like wearing short shorts in public…..if she can brave it, give her her props.  A man feels like wearing a muscle shirt without any speck of muscles…more power to him.  Somebody wants to give advice….allow him.  I’m not saying that we can’t find someone’s photo funny.  Come on!  You know I’m anything but hypocritical, but it takes some real cahonas to personal message somebody and give them unwanted advice.  The same photo that you are looking at, they can see it too; so if it’s okay with them, then it should be okay with you.  Now messaging someone to tell her that lipstick is on her teeth, or that her makeup is off, that you should do!

And what is the deal with parents making their kids’ lives better, to the detriment of their own?  The other day, I saw a 66 year old grandmother taking the trash to the curb, with the assistance of her walking stick.  Don’t ask me how I know her age.  You have your stalking tendencies – I have mine!  Anyway, it truly broke my heart because her 34 year old son and 32 year old daughter-in-law live in the house along with their twelve and nine year old children.  It was bad enough when she used to put the garbage on the bonnet of her car and escort it up the driveway, but why is it that taking out the trash is her sole duty when there are FOUR other people quite capable of handling the task?

Speaking of crazy kids, why do they lock the bathroom door when they are inside, but have no problem barging in, sometimes even unlocking the door, when it’s their parents’ turn?  Just size-wise alone (in most cases), don’t we have more to hide?

I’m still bewildered that people still have this thought – it’s not going to happen to me.  Where do people get off thinking that if they speed, they can avoid accidents, whereas others might not?  How come people still believe that they can experiment with drugs and alcohol and not get hooked?  People practice unsafe sex and have the nerve to be surprised when they get pregnant or contract a sexually transmitted disease.  And as grown as some of them are, they are still surprised by death.  Of course it is usually a shock, but to still think that it only happens to other people is beyond naïve.  Yes, we are all special; but nobody is that special! 

But you know what I will never be able to wrap my head around?  It’s people who expect you to have the same exact beliefs as they do.  And for some reason, they are so sure that theirs make more sense than yours or that you are totally wrong.  As unique as we are as individuals, we WILL have varying thoughts on religion, politics, sexual mores, child rearing, and schooling, just to name a few.

And don’t get me started with this next topic!  The other day, I was reading a book set in the United States and written by a British author.  And like most novels, when a new character comes on stage, we are given a brief description.  It always helps to visualize the character.  Unfortunately, I noticed that a couple token Blacks were thrown in, but I could have done without the gesture because their descriptions were just too vague.  There was a handsome African-American man.  Are we talking Boris Kodjoe handsome or Morris Chestnut handsome?  Then there was a tall African-American woman.  Did the author have Big Bertha in mind or Naomi Campbell?  But as bad that those two examples were, I still cannot get over Dr. Singh.  She was female.  However, the White characters were grumpy, nice, had intense blue eyes, red hair, brown hair and other characteristics that give a vivid picture of who they were.

You know, recently when Raven-Symoné said that she doesn’t consider herself African-American, although she is aware that she is Black, people got all upset with her.  Africa is a continent - not a country.  You don’t hear people calling themselves European-Americans.  First off, people should be free to identify themselves as they see please.  Secondly, the issue I have with the term African-American is that it is just too broad.  I’m Antiguan and an American citizen, so how does that make me African-American?  Just because I’m Black?  Yes, my ancestors came from Africa, but because my legacy was stolen, I have no idea which African country they originated.  Yes, I could speculate, but I’d rather not.  Sometimes when you lose something, you just have to accept the fact that it will never ever be returned to you.  I could assume I’m of Nigerian descent and accept the culture as my own, but what if my ancestors were from Sierra Leone?  If you think that’s okay, then call any random West Indian a Jamaican!  You won’t find a European American adopting the culture of Norway, Ireland or Finland, if he’s not sure which country his ancestors originated.

There are 47 countries in Africa.  It is just laziness to group all Black people as African-Americans because with 50 countries in Europe, White people are not called European Americans.  And since the ancestors of the North African people were not generally enslaved in America, are they considered African-Americans too?  Especially since they don’t look ‘African’.  Maybe it’s me, but things would be so much easier if American citizens were just called Americans.

And lastly, speaking of Black people, I’m still fascinated by the color of our skin, mainly the variety of shades.  It is so amazing that family members with the same genetic makeup can have such varying shades, especially among siblings.  So the complexion I love, and it will always intrigue me, but perspectively speaking, why the hell does it take forever to fix the hair?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Unreality of Hypocrisy

In the event that you are left with any kind of confusion, let me make this perfectly lucid.  If my man knocks me out cold in a public elevator, in the privacy of our bedroom, anywhere for that matter, he better pray to God that I do not revive because when I come to, I WILL KILL HIM!!!

With that said, let me also make it clear that I do not know Ray or Janay Rice so I emphatically refuse to make any judgments on their behavior.  I can assume, because I’m still human, but I will not pass any judgments on the matter.  I assume that since they were high school sweethearts that she genuinely loves this man and is not taking his punches just for the money.  I will assume that he genuinely loves her too.  I will further assume that that was not the first time he put his hands on her in a violent manner.  And lastly, I will assume that she believes that she can change him.

Now what Ray Rice did to his fiancée was horrible.  It was wicked.  And it was inhumane.  But above all that, it was criminal.  And guess where criminal acts should be judged?  In the court of law, NOT in the court of public opinion!!!

After he has gone through the legal system, and his crime is punishable by a jail sentence, then he should be sent to jail.  Not sent to the poor house!  This criminal act is not worthy of him being punished for LIFE.  He did not commit murder.  Sure, he could have killed her.  But you could have been killed walking down the street, eating your breakfast.  Anything.  So let’s not coulda shoulda woulda here. 

When Jimmy Swaggert, Jim Bakker, Ted Haggard and Eddie Long were first touched by scandal, none of them were initially put on indefinite leave.  Instead people claimed that they were after all human beings and should be forgiven.  Yet, they are in the business of morality, while athletes are not.

But what really gets me is the hypocrisy of the expectations that people place on athletes.  People are okay spending thousands of dollars to watch two 200 pound men pummel each other over a ball, but cringe when that 200 pound man pummels his woman.  People are okay pushing these men to be aggressive on the field, be aggressive all their lives for Pete’s sake, but pretend that they cannot understand how some of them cannot switch the aggression off.  And don’t tell me that they don’t all act like that because we all have cancer genes, but we won’t all die from cancer. 

People can dress up in their best Vegas threads to watch two men punch each other’s lights out, but quiver at the sight of said man punching his actress wife.  You cannot send a man to war and not expect him to have some kind of post-traumatic stress from the ordeal.

People can pay to watch Julia Roberts play a beautiful prostitute and fall for a rich, handsome Richard Gere, but outside the movie theatre, they turn their noses up at the world’s oldest profession.

People will praise movies like 12 Years a Slave, The Help, Driving Miss Daisy and Amistad, and flourish them with awards, but REFUSE to have a serious dialogue about racism.  They will revere Tom Hanks in Philadelphia, yet scorn the man on the street suffering from HIV and AIDS.

Parents will allow their children to watch shows on Nickelodeon and Disney Channel where the parents are idiots, then act confused when their own children disrespect them.  Parents allow their children to listen to music by Rihanna, Miley Cyrus and the rest of that crew, then dread when their children see them as role models. 

People made the reality show 16 and Pregnant so popular, that it spawned the Teen Mom spinoff series.  Then they cry as if a professional athlete just beat them, when they find out that their teenage daughter is pregnant.

People buy a slew of electronics devices and games for their children and then complain that they don’t study or go outside and play as much as they should. 

People will go to church every week and fall sleep as soon as the pastor starts his sermon, then chastise youths for not going to church.

On paper, people will say that convicts deserve a second chance, but they don’t mean sexual predators and pedophiles, and they certainly don’t mean that they can live that second chance in their neighborhoods.

Women have copies of 50 Shades of Grey on their night tables, but get offended when their partners suggest anything “too kinky”.

Americans will cheer when a Chinese or Russian spy operating on American soil is sought out and caught, but will cry foul when an American spy is captured on foreign soil.

Here’s the thing:  once we start rating inappropriate behavior, morality, crimes and sins, we are climbing a very slippery slope that will not end well at all.  One person might think that even one cigarette is bad, while six beers are fine.  One person might think that all drugs should be illegal while another cannot wait for marijuana to be legalized in Pennsylvania.  One person might think that if a man has a child out of wedlock, he should serve time in jail, while others think that it’s no big deal.  Meanwhile, the others that thought that it was no big deal, would not see things so lightly when their women have a child out of wedlock.

I know for sure that I’m not, and I don’t think that anybody is condoning what Ray Rice did, but let’s put it all into perspective.  These people are paid to be violent on a daily basis.  Then they are expected to turn it on and off like a switch.  Ray Rice is 27.  He most likely will not be the same person at 37 or 47.  Yes, he should have known better.  Yes, he should have done better.  But in reality, people don’t always do what they are supposed to do.  Jay Z reserved the urge not to punch Solange’s light out.  Does that make Jay Z a better man than Ray Rice?  Not in my opinion.  It just means that Jay Z and Ray Rice have different character flaws, because we all know that Jay is not perfect.

Also, people will do bad things, and many of them will regret it.  We just cannot throw people out of society forever when they screw up.  Chris Brown beat Rihanna in the face.  Sean Penn tied and beat Madonna up for nine hours.  Marv Albert sexually assaulted a woman and bit her dozens of times, claiming that it was consensual.  Michael Vick owned and operated a dog fighting ring.  Speaking of rings, Rush Limbaugh was caught in a black market drug ring.  Bill Clinton got pleasured by an intern in the White House, denied it (well sort of) then admitted it (well sort of). 

In 1977, at age 43, Roman Polanski raped a 13 year old girl.  Woody Allen dated his adopted step-daughter when she was about 20 years old, and later married her.  That did not stop people from watching their movies, the Academy from nominating their pictures or actors from wanting to still work with them, even today.  Eric Clapton, who owns a vacation villa in Antigua called Steadfast Point, drunkenly stated in 1976 at an anti-racism concert that England was becoming a black colony and all the wogs, coons and foreigners should get out.  Charles Dickens left his wife after 20 years of marriage for an 18 year old actress because she became fat and lazy after she bore him 10 “noisy-ass children”.  A racist to the core, Thomas Jefferson had an ongoing affair with his slave Sally Hemmings, creating seven children with her.  Yet, he is one of the presidents featured on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.  Christopher Columbus claimed to have discovered the West Indies when not only were people already living there, but other nationalities had arrived there previously.  Come to find out, he was just a tyrant and a slave trader, if I’m going to be kind to him.  Yet he is celebrated on the second Monday of every October, to this day.

We might not like everything that happens in life, but that is not going to stop bad things from happening; but perspectively speaking, we cannot call one thing entertainment when it’s done for show and then cry foul when it happens in reality.

Monday, September 8, 2014

They Make Us Look Bad

Young black men wearing their pants half way off their bottoms make us of us look bad.
Black teenage girls getting pregnant and having to raise their babies by themselves make us look bad.
Black women cussing and fighting each other on reality shows make us look bad.
Black men burglarizing and killing innocent people make us look bad.
Right?  Wrong!

Not even my kids doing something totally inappropriate will make me look bad.  Sure I used to think that, but no more.  Of course I went through the stage of reminding them not to embarrass me in public.  “You better not let that school call me unless it’s for something good.”  Well, the school has called every single year for the past four years, and it’s never to tell me that my son has gotten an award.  It’s always for some mischief that he got himself into.  I stopped complaining when I mentioned to my friend that my son has gotten written up once a year for the past four years.  He looked at me shockingly and kindly let me know how lucky I am because his son’s school had been calling almost every day. 

My son has lost his temper in every single sport that he plays.  He once threw a basketball at an opponent across the court because the guy allegedly hit him first.  He once argued with the parents sitting on the soccer side line because they bitched at him for playing too rough.  He has hit his baseball bat on the ground and flung his helmet in the dugout when he thought the umpire unfairly called him out.  But that was years ago, and lately I’ve been impressed with how he takes his losses.  Part of it could be that he ended up on a shitty baseball team that only won one out of 15 games this year, but most of it came with maturity.  When you realize that losing is a big part of life, your perspectives sure change quick, fast and in a hurry.

I recently read the novel ‘Purple Hibiscus’, and many parts of it not only saddened me, but will truly stick with me forever, especially regarding the abusive father.  And boy am I happy that I learned a long time ago not to raise my children with unrealistic standards.  First off, it’s impossible to tell my kids that they have to be the best at everything they do, when two of them are twins, and the third one is not that far behind.  Out of my twins, one is always going to outdo the other.  So who am I going to choose?  And because of that, I teach them to always try to do better than their last best.

Of course it would be nice if the smartest kid in the school or the best athlete in the community lived in my house; but I refuse to allow my kids to follow dreams just to make their parents proud.  I much prefer to raise kids who will follow dreams that will lead to a fulfilled and happy life.

With all that said, the main reason why I don’t take personally what a random Black person does is because I don’t know that person.  And clearly, as you just read, even if I knew that person, I refuse to take responsibility for someone else’s actions.  Now don’t misconstrue what I’m saying.  I take great pride in teaching my children moral values, in taking personal responsibility for their actions, for thinking before acting so that they can make responsible choices.  However, they are not perfect; so they will make errors in judgment.  Of course I feel comfortable saying this because I also know my kids, and I feel pretty confident of what they are capable of doing and not doing.  They hardly ever surprise me.

But my point is steering to the fact that recently I have noticed that some Black people have been blaming themselves for the racism that has been dispensed upon other Black people.  You all know I love me some Iyanla, but I was watching her special episode on the Michael Brown murder, and she pondered if our killing ourselves has caused the police to think that it’s okay to kill us too.  Beloved, you know I love you, but White kids constantly shoot up their schools, and the police are not scared of them.  Boo, every time there is another shooting, the residents always say the same thing that the residents of the last community said, “I never thought it would happen here.” 

So I refuse to believe that police and others who gun down unarmed young Black men think it’s okay to do so because young Black men are violent to each other.  I refuse to believe that it’s because of the way that they dress.  Millions of young White men wear their pants half way off their bottoms too, and no one ever thinks that their dress code is detrimental to their health.  It cannot be because of how they speak either because young White men living in the suburbs speak just as wack.  I don’t know what it is for us as Black people to blame ourselves.  The only thing I can think of is that if we defend the young Black youth, we will be seen as one of them; and we can’t have that. 

I remember when OJ Simpson killed his ex-wife and her boyfriend.  I’m sorry.  I mean when OJ Simpson allegedly killed his ex-wife and her friend.  I was in Antigua when it happened.  When my father told me, and he mentioned that he was in driving away in his white Bronco with a gun, I thought to myself, guilty.  When he was acquitted, I was walking the streets of New York looking for a job.  Get your nasty mind out of the gutter – not that kind of job!  I had copies of my résumé going to various temp agencies, if you please.  But I was probably the only Black person on the streets of New York not cheering for that man.

First off, I didn’t know him, so why am I going to be happy that he was acquitted?  Not because he looks like me means that he is like me.  He might look like me, but his friends don’t.  Heck, even his kids don’t.  When he was banished from society, people who were secretly happy that he got away with murder probably chastised him in public because they were afraid that he would make them look bad.  Again, don’t know the dude, so there is no way for him to make me look bad.

I don’t get why we as a people don’t get to share in the glory but want to feel responsible for the shame.  We don’t get to gloat that Oprah got where she is because of us.  We don’t take credit for Tiger Woods (before Thanksgiving 2009) or Michael Jordon or President Obama; however, we think that the DC sniper, Michael Vick and Stacey Dash make us look bad.  We act as if the Black women on Maury who have no idea who the baby daddy is, is our own flesh and blood.

Look I’m not saying that as a people we don’t want to take pride in ourselves and feel pride in our youth and everyone in our race.  But it is IMPOSSIBLE!!  You hear me?  IMPOSSIBLE.  Black people are people first, and people are people everywhere you go.  So some will cheat, steal and kill.  Others will uplift, encourage and assist.  It would be nice if Black people the world around would do the right thing.  And it would be nice if people from every other race would do the right thing too.  But realistically, we can’t expect only other people to do crap and our own people to be saints.

We complain that we are not a monolithic group, yet when we hear the term African-American youth, we do not conjure up images of Akintunde Ahmad, Avery Coffey, Kwasi Enin or Chad Thomas.  We don't see Dr. Rameck Hunt, Dr. Sampson Davis or Dr. George Jenkins.  Tony Hasberry II is the furthest person from our minds.  Instead, we see the kid with tattoos all over his body, the one with gold all over his mouth, the one with his pants sagging to the ground, the one who skips school to smoke weed.
Well, I don’t personally know any of those people.  When I think of young Black men, I see my sons, I see my nephews, I see the male children of my cousins, my friends and my neighbors, and perspectively speaking I don’t see any of them deserving to be killed at the hands of the police.

Friday, August 22, 2014

8/9/14 is not August 9, 1714!

Two years ago, I tried my best not to get too caught up with the Trayvon Martin ordeal.  I tried to separate myself from it – not because I didn’t care, not because I didn’t sympathize with his family, not because I forgot that I have children, but because I have children.  And because I have children, I tried to stay far from it for their sake.  But not for the reason that you might think.  Situations like that rile me up.  And for them, I had to keep my peace of mind.  For their sake, I had to keep my sanity because if I had ever stopped to think about that poor boy’s last moments, I would have lost it.

Michael Brown was killed on August 9, 2014, not August 9, 1714 or August 9, 1814.
Like Trayvon Martin, I found out about Michael Brown as a sidebar because when one keeps hearing about these matters and one feels helpless, letting them marinate in one’s very being does not help the situation either.  But I had to crawl out of my hole today because of too many misguided statements that appear on facebook.  Maybe I’m the one who is misguided, but since I’m the one writing this post, I will relay the issue from my perspective.

And if I sound angry, fed up and disgusted, it’s because at this present moment I am.  So if you are not in the mood for a no-holds-barred take on the subject, then this is not the place for you.  And let me also say that I don’t usually generalize, so when I say they, please don’t take it for an entire race or an entire occupation.  They means they who are guilty.  Period.

They say that Black people never complain about Black on Black crimes, but whenever a Black youth is killed by a White cop, we want justice.  First off, Black people complain like crazy about crimes in the ghetto, because you know that is what they really mean.  But secondly and more importantly, I have NEVER heard the media or anyone else, for that matter, EVER mention White on White crime.  And for somebody who watches A LOT of Investigation Discovery, I see a lot of that.  Man, these people have no problem killing their own flesh and blood for ulterior motives.  And they certainly have no problem killing their spouses for the insurance money because as we all know, “Divorce is not an option”.

They say that Black kids, Black young men in particular, have to know how to talk to the police and what to do when they are stopped by the police.  I have never heard about White kids being taught what to do when they are stopped by the police.  White kids don’t have to be trained how to respond to cops at all.  They are allowed to be themselves.  They are allowed to dress as themselves.  They are allowed to walk as themselves. They are allowed to talk as themselves.

They say that Black people act as if poor White people are not treated poorly by the law too.  Of course they are.  Lots of officers know that they are in a profession where they are feared, and they use that to their advantage.  But Black people are predominantly stopped by the police more often compared to any other race.  Period.

They say that the police are just doing their job when they shoot first and ask questions later, but if I’m an accountant and I shred my documents before I file my clients’ taxes, then I’m quite  inept at my job.

They say that police officers need to be retrained how to treat Black people.  No one ever retrains the tax collector how to take Black people’s money.  No one ever retrains the mortgage broker how to take Black people’s money.  No one ever retrains the Wal-Mart cashier how to take Black people’s money.  No one ever retrains the coaches how to interact with young Black athletes.  No one ever retrains John & Jane Doe how to revere Oprah.  It is only when Black people should be respected, should be treated as equals, that problems arise as to how to treat them.

And by the way, I don’t understand why is it that whenever police officers shoot unarmed citizens, their first defense is that they were afraid for their lives.  Look, some jobs are just more dangerous than others.  If you are such a damn scaredy-cat, then find another line of work.  I’m terrified of electricity, especially electricity in close proximity to water.  Therefore, you won’t see me applying for a job building an underwater tunnel!

A couple of months ago, my then 11 year old son and I were talking, and I expressed that when someone does something to him, he doesn’t always have to retaliate.  I continued that he can be like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  He countered that he really like Dr. King, but if he was in that time, he wouldn’t follow him.  He would follow the Black Panthers or whatever they were called and fight back.  Two things: I didn’t even know that he knew about the Black Panthers and second, I was extremely proud that he figured that out in about half the time that it took me.

They say that we are focusing on the fact that they are assassinating the victims’ characters.  When I was going to confirmation class at the age of 12, we used to go into the supermarket and steal the shopkeeper’s cookies.  It’s not like we didn’t know that it was wrong.  It’s not like we didn’t know that it was worse coming from church.  It’s not even like we couldn’t afford to buy the cheap cookies.  We just thought it was fun.  Good kids do dumb stuff all the time.  Not every teenage girl that gets pregnant is promiscuous.  Not every teenage boy that smokes weed is a pothead. 

As parents, we blame ourselves for every bad thing that our children do.  Not every teenage boy who threatens to blow up his high school has absentee parents.  Not every teenage girl who works the pole has abusive parents.  Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much we speak to our children, how much we warn them, how much we explain to them, it takes a second for them to make a bad judgment that can unfortunately cause them their lives.  However, a misstep in judgment is never enough to get a young man executed in the public square in broad daylight.

They say that we have to teach our children that they live in an unfair world, that they live in the White man’s world, that we sometimes have to swallow our pride in order to survive.  Why?  Why do we have to accept the fate of second class citizens?  Why do we have put the strain on ourselves and live in two worlds?  Why do we always have to be the ones to compromise?  Why do we always have to be the ones to change the way we speak?  Why do we always have to conform?

We have been conforming for hundreds of years, and the way I see it, NOTHING has changed.  So clearly, that way is not working either.  If the alternative to surviving in this world is to live subserviently in order to live another day, in order to teach our boys that we are only men inside of the house, but mere boys once we step out, then perspectively speaking, maybe this life is not even worth living in the first place.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

RIP, Robin Williams!

If I see one more of my facebook friends writes how much s/he already misses Robin Williams, I’ll, I’ll, send her/him a game request.  Any game except Candy Crush of course, because that’s fun.  But I’ll send some weird, random game like Snail Bob…..all seven versions.  Truth be told, I have no idea what that game is.  I just searched facebook for the dumbest looking game, and voilà.  But I just feel so irritated right now.

Look, I feel badly for Robin Williams’ family and for his real friends.  And I get it, many facebook users were big fans of his.  But I cannot, for the life of me, comprehend how people can miss someone that they weren’t even thinking about a day before, or never even met, much less had one conversation with.  And I realize that the media frenzy will be obsessed with him for a while; but for ordinary folks, someone really needs to enlighten me. 

And don’t get me wrong, I appreciated his talent.  He piqued my interest with The World According to Garp.  He tickled my funny bone in Moscow on the Hudson.  And by the time I saw Good Morning, Vietnam, I concluded that he was a bonafide movie star worth the accolade.  Of course we all loved Mrs. Doubtfire; and when he spooked me in One Hour Photo, I realized the man was not only a comic, but he had some real acting chops.  But a friend he never was, and never would be!

I feel like the media tell us, or try to tell us what we should be concerned about, on whom we should focus.  The media have a way of making us sympathize with one person over another, even though they are met with the same fate.  John Smith suffers from depression.  He suffers from low self-esteem.  He doesn’t think he is good enough.  He doesn’t love himself.  John Smith is your neighbor and one day, his illness gets the better of him, and John Smith kills himself.  It bothers you for a second or two, but you move on with your life because it doesn’t affect you.  You never even said more than two words to him.  But for some reason, losing Robin Williams has you in a bad way.  You are in denial that somebody that funny, that congenial, that great of an actor can be experiencing the same issues as John Smith.  How can Robin Williams be a mere mortal like John Smith?

And I get it.  We see these people on TV, and we feel like we know them.  We see them as friends, as family.  I get it.  But when will we start seeing our neighbors as friends, our family as family?  When will we exert the same amount of energy for our fellow men that we do for celebrities?  We shouldn’t wait for a celebrity to put a face on an issue for it to be an issue worth following or an issue worth showing some concern.

Then, the day after Robin Williams’ death, as I tried to avert celebrity news, I ended up listening to some woman appealing to President Obama to kindly assist the children stuck at the US-Mexico border.  I’m all for helping these unfortunate children, but I could not believe my ears.  This lady mentioned that these children were being accosted by gang members to sell drugs.  Where else have I heard that happening to innocent children?  Where else have children tried to stay off the streets but are bullied into being drug dealers and gangbangers?  Where else are children shot and killed on the way to school, on the way to visit Nana, on the way to the grocery store?

Some days, I honestly feel like I’m living in an alternate universe.  Everyone has to be so politically correct.  People can’t say what’s really on their minds anymore.  Stephen A. Smith cannot say that women should not provoke men into hitting them or hitting them back before his statement is twisted to mean that he blames the victims.  People cannot say that America is biased towards Israel before they are being accused of being Anti-Israel.  No one can say that peace will never come between the Israelis and Palestinians because they are fighting over family land; but I will.  I have never met a family feud over land that was ever resolved.  And hundreds of years of feuding will never alleviate said problem.  So, maybe stop pumping money into that dead horse!

Then the other day, someone remarked about Robin Williams’ untimely death, and I lost it.  Can you please allow me to give you some facts, well some facts from my perspective?  No one dies before his time.  Any time someone dies, it’s time.  Period!!!

So I do hope that Robin Williams rests in peace, but what I hope for more is that we live in a world where we will be just as sympathetic to John Smith as we are to Robin Williams, where Trayvon Martin will not be more of a household name than Jordan Davis, where Hadiya Pendleton’s demise will not be grieved more than Porshe Foster’s, because perspectively speaking, each one of us is important to someone, and all life should be treated equally.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Behold the Thigh Gap

So I have a thigh gap.  I have always had a thigh gap, even as a toddler.  I look back on old photos, and there it prominently stands.  Or sits.  Or lays.  What the heck does a thigh gap do, anyway?  But I just thought it was because I had skinny legs.  And I certainly never thought it was a big deal until recently.  Let me proceed to tell you about the coveted thigh gap.    

A couple of months ago, there was a scandal that Beyoncé doctored a vacation photo so that it appeared that she had a larger thigh gap.  I thought to myself, “That has a name?”  Then I continued, “Why would any woman in her right mind choose to do that?”  I just couldn’t understand why an attractive woman like Beyoncé would want to look like a little boy.  And I’m not saying that everyone with a thigh gap looks like a boy child; I’m just saying that in my opinion, fuller thighs look more feminine, soft and womanly.  And personally, I just always admired them; even as a little girl. 

In fact, I was at the mall recently and saw a young lady with some lovely, feminine legs, and I thought to myself, “My legs will never fill out like that.”  It never occurred to me that what I admired was not what vain people in society thought was attractive until I came upon a news article.  I was shocked to read that people were exercising vigorously, and some were even going under the knife to achieve a thigh gap. 

Are you kidding me?  But what I also realized about thigh gaps is that they are more genetic than anything else.  My daughter has a thigh gap, and she is blessed with muscular legs.  I’m athletic; but she is an athlete.  And it also dawned on me that nothing I can do naturally will make this thigh gap disappear.  But now that I know that thigh gaps are the envy of some people, you know I’m glad that I was blessed with one too.  Hey, I never said that I wasn’t vain!!!

But it also got me thinking:  people tend to want the body parts that they don’t naturally have.  Of course not all the time, because sometimes we are lucky enough to thankfully have or don’t have something that we don’t want or want.  Like I’m not keen on hairy bodies; and as it is, I’m not very hairy at all.  Whew!  Thank God for that one.  And I’m not implying that flat butts are the worst thing anyone could have, but after hearing one girlfriend got teased about sitting on her back, boy was I glad that I didn’t have a flat butt.

And there are even some things that I have that some people go crazy for, and even buy.  My nails grow like crazy, but I hate long nails.  Long nails just get in the way.  You season chicken, then you have to clean all the seasoning out of your nails.  If you go into your garden to pick some vegetables and end up weeding, then you have to spend some time getting all of that mud from underneath your fingernails.  And sometimes they get stained from cleaning products and the likes.  But whenever I complain about having to cut my nails so soon again, I usually hear, “I wish I had growing nails.”  And when I used to sport longer straightened hair, I used to hear the same thing whenever I got bored and cut it.  “Why did you cut your hair?  It was so long and beautiful!”  Well, it’s hair, so it will grow back.  Unfortunately, not everyone’s hair grows quickly, so a lot of people take offense to someone cutting her own hair.

So it’s very common for some people to have something and wished they had something else while other people wish they had that same thing they wish they didn’t have.  That sounds quite discombobulated, so let me get specific - big breasted women are the biggest culprits.  Pun intended!

They complain that their big breasts cause their backs and shoulders to hurt.  They complain that they have to buy expensive bras, if they can even find their size.  They complain that they can’t run on the spot like other people.  They complain, and they complain. But if they know what’s good for them, they better not complain to me.  Sure I can get away with not wearing a bra in public, which I do quite often because as uncomfortable as those things are, I’m convinced they were invented by a man.  Sure I can go running without having to worry about getting beaten up by my girls.  And if I still had it, my first bra from my teenage days could probably still fit. 

But here’s the thing:  unless you are braless and your nipples and belly button are not seeing eye to eye, then you are just sweating the small stuff.  Pun intended!  Of course large breasted women would be happier if their breasts were big and full, but who on Earth can fight with gravity?  Plus, it was your fault for not enjoying them for the few years that they were perky!

So back to the Beyoncé and the thigh gap.  I thought to myself, “If Beyoncé wants a thigh gap so badly, she can have mine, and I’ll take her shapely feminine thighs.”  However, two things stopped me from making the trade.  Beyoncé would look at me and with that husky voice say. “I like dimples as much as the next person, but I prefer them on my face.  And by the way, I don’t care for cottage cheese.”  Yep, I’ve been fighting a cellulite injury I incurred when I ran smack into adulthood.  I guess it was inevitable since I was always susceptible to that, but the older I get, the more difficult the symptoms are to manage.  On the other hand, it’s still nothing that a pair of jeans can’t fix.

Additionally, the last time I wished for something that I didn’t have, it didn’t end so well.  After having my last child, I could still see AND touch my hip bone.  I thought to myself, “Really, Myra!  You have three kids, and you still haven’t filled out as yet?’  Shortly after that conversation, I went to a soca concert, and the lead female singer had that little soft cushiony flesh above her hips that many women possessed.  I thought to myself, “That looks so sexy.  I wish I could get a little meat on my hips too.”  And magically in less than no time, I did.  But what I wasn’t aware of is that that little cushion was the beginning of muffin tops.  And what I also wasn’t aware of is that once they appear, that’s it.  You are stuck with them!  

So now I just try appreciate what I have because perspectively speaking, even if I don’t always like it, there is someone who appreciates it.  Case in point – just found out that my hubby likes my thigh gap.  Who knew!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Forgive Me If I Don't Share Your Outrage

Botched Executions:  When you sat on your couch and heard that he would be sentenced to death, you cheered.  After all, he had committed the most heinous of crimes.  Death would be too good of a punishment for him.  You cannot wait for him to meet His Maker.  You cannot wait for him to be punished for what he did.  You cannot wait for society to be rid of him.

Then the day comes, and you are so happy that the state has decided to seal his fate.  He never admitted that he committed the crime.  He never apologized for committing the crime.  Therefore, you don’t give a damn about him.

However, the execution does not go as planned.  Instead of dying quietly from the lethal injection, he doesn’t die instantly.  He writhes and squirms tortuously as the dose does not take its intended effects.

Personally, execution by nature is cruel and unusual.  Therefore, whether it goes off without a hitch or it ends in torture of the death row inmate….MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.   I will have no time for feigned horror.  You either want the man dead, or you want to live in a civilized community without executions…..pick one!

Inhumane Butchering:  Again, when you are eating that scrumptious hamburger, should you care that the cattle were killed humanely or killed savagely?  You’re not going to get the burger from live cattle.  Either you don’t eat meat or you do.  When you picked the frozen beef patties from the supermarket’s freezer, your mind was not on innocent cattle, so now that you know that they are not always killed humanely, don’t act surprised.

And by the way, you vegetarians/vegans who claim that you don’t eat anything that had a mother, I guess you never heard the term ‘baby plant’. 

Racist Tirades:  All I can say is I’ve seen recent posts of an alleged racist woman in Cheektowaga, NY going off presumably in the presence of her child/children.  I didn’t open it.  And I still won’t open it for this post.  I might be inefficient in my job, but come one, we both will get over it.  Some people do things to be infamous, some people are careless and get caught; but I’m not surprised that bigots exist among us.  I’m not going to waste any time on them and contribute to their 15 minutes of fame.

Bigoted Rednecks:  Same goes for Cliven Bundy.  Heard about the ordeal, but never found the time to listen or watch it myself.  Maybe it’s me, but I honestly believe that after a certain point in life, if something adds no enrichment to one’s life, then it is useless and pointless to concern oneself with it.

Xenophobic Officials:  82 year old Police Commissioner Robert Copeland from Wolfeboro, NH called my main man Obama the N word.  It’s not the fact that he’s 82 and refuses to change at this point that concerns me.  It’s not the fact that he’s in a position to hire and fire police officers that concerns me.  It’s that he was elected by the people, and they pretend NOT to know about his character.  Furthermore, really.  Why hasn’t he retired already?  It’s not that I’m saying that every senior citizen should retire and make way for younger people to take over, because I am; but I’m saying that at 82, seriously?

FOX News Personnel Talking for Shock Value:  It takes people like Ann Coulter and Bill O’Reilly to say things just to rile people up in order to promote their books, but Myra is not falling for that anymore.  If I can ignore a toddler crying next to me for two hours straight, I think I can ignore the noise at FOX.

Adulterous Pastors Who Chastise Congregants:  Okay, this one is way too easy, so I’ll pass; but you know who they are!!!

Philandering Politicians Who Don’t Practice What They Preach:   David Vitter, Newt Gingrich, Mark Sanford, John Ensign, Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Philip Giordano, Scott DesJarlais, Helen Chenoweth, Too Numerous To Mention.

Celebrities Being Different:  Do I really care if Beyoncé and Jay-Z refuse to comb Blue Ivy’s hair?  I cannot believe somebody took time out of her unbusy schedule to start a petition for the public to get involved.  And I certainly cannot believe that because of public outcries, Child Protective Services investigated Jada and Will Smith because 13 year old Willow had a picture taken of herself, fully clothed on a bed with a 20 year old friend!!  

Young Sexy Entertainers Doing Crazy Things:  When news broke that Miley Cyrus performed in her underwear because of a missing costume, I didn’t think too much of it.  However, it involved a half-naked person, so it piqued my curiosity.  I watched the video and not only was Miley STUNNING in her bra and panties, but they matched; AND they could actually pass for one of her costumes.

Rihanna in her sheer dress.  I’ll probably be criticized here, but I think she looked exquisite.  With all the examples we’ve been given, who on Earth is shocked that Rihanna eventually turned up naked to an event?  The only problem was if she had sharted, there would have been no way for her to hide it!

So clearly I’m not outraged by too many things at this point in my life; but do you know what still boils my blood?  GUNS!!!  Guns in the hands of innocent children playing.  Guns in the hands of misguided school children who think that everyone is out to get them.  Guns in the hands of sociopathic college students who think the world owes them.  Guns in the hands of disgruntled coworkers who are out to get revenge.  Guns in the hands of soldiers suffering from PTSD who still think they are at war.  Guns in the hands of cowards who refuse to fight with their fists.  Guns in the hands of racists who claim to be standing their ground.  Guns in the hands of police officers who panic easily and shoot innocent citizens and sometimes each other.  Guns in the hands of gang members who do not value life.  Guns in the hands of nut jobs whose favorite Bible passage is the Second Amendment. 

And the saddest thing is that I cannot do anything about it.  I cannot do anything about it because this David is no match for that Goliath.  I cannot do anything about it because I’m not Martin Luther King Jr., and I refuse to sacrifice my life for a cause that people are not ready to stand by.  Face it, he would be shocked if he saw the way some of these young men and women dress today.  He would be shocked if he heard the words that come out of their mouths.

And I’m not Lenore Draper because perspectively speaking, only the good and heroes die young.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Stick To Your Wings

Okay, many of you know that I’m a big Rihanna fan.  I think she has a great voice.  I think she has a lot of range and versatility.  I think she’s hot.  I think she’s one sexy babe.  Don’t care for all the tattoos, and I could do without seeing her dancing like she’s on somebody’s pole at Carnival, but hey she’s still young.  She’ll get over that….hopefully.  Or maybe she’ll be like Madonna and still publicly twerk in her 60’s.  We’ll see.

So the other day I saw the story about Alexis Carter, a Baltimore teen who wore a similar outfit like Rihanna’s to her prom.  Apparently the dress, well it was more of a costume, did not go over too well with audience, and she was mocked on social media including by Rihanna herself.

First Alexis said that everyone loved it, but after Rihanna “cyber bullied” her, she refused to show her face in public and was extremely hurt.  Now if Rihanna had praised the outfit, you know Miss Alexis would have gladly shown her face in the interview, gladly talked about her outfit and gladly accepted her 15 minutes of fame.

Alexis, you don’t need Rihanna or anybody else for that matter, telling you that you look good.  Personally, I didn’t care for it myself either, and she really looked like she was waiting for her batmobile.  But who cares!  You like Rihanna, well at this point, LIKED, so what if you don’t get her approval.  If you were bold enough to wear that outfit in public, then be bold enough to defend it, no matter what the entire world says.  You claimed that everyone loved it, but now you are crying in shame because Rihanna made fun of you, and a bunch of people joined her.

Are you telling me that you can’t find a thing or two to laugh at Rihanna about and move on with your life?  Come on!  You were bold enough to wear a batsuit to your high school prom.  Surely, you are bold enough to just mention Chris Brown or just show her a text or sing one of his songs to get her off your back.  And this is coming from one of Rihanna’s biggest fans.  Instead, you’d rather hide in shame than knock her down a notch or 40?  Come on, now!  Where is that brave Alexis?  Your life hasn’t ended; it just started, Girlfriend.

By the way, since when can’t we make fun of 16 year olds if they do something ridiculous, in our opinion?  Because that is exactly what it is – Rihanna’s opinion.  Okay, mine too.  She looked ridiculous in that contraption.  When 16 year olds get accepted to Ivy League colleges, we rightfully praise them; so why can’t we make fun of those who go to Hollywood themed proms dressed like bats?

Since I’m fired up, let me just say that I’m sick and tired of these wimpy terms that people are creating like cyber bullying.  And don’t get me wrong, I feel badly for people who take their own lives because they feel bullied.  But if someone was talking smack to me on the internet, there are so many other options I can chose besides suicide.  I can change my username, use an alias, delete my account, only use the internet for educational purposes.

A while back, some lady came to my door and said that my child was messing with her child on the bus and called her fat.  I succeeded in keeping a straight face, but I thought to myself, “Well, is she fat?”  If she is indeed on the fluffy side, and you and she don’t like it, then do something about it because whether or not he notices, that does not change the issue.  But the bigger point was this: Are you telling me that her child could not look at my child and find something to mock him about?  The boy literally had something against lotion for a while there.  It didn’t matter how much lotion, Aquaphor, body oil or gel was staring him in the face, he was just a wash-n-go kinda kid.  And ChapStick and Vaseline Lip Therapy were not his friends either.  Is her daughter blind?  He was such an easy target.

The amount of people who were pouring out heartfelt thoughts to this girl and saying that they won’t buy any more of Rihanna’s albums was crazy.  Don’t buy them, or buy them; who cares!  The bigger issue is that we are raising a generation of wusses.  Kids can’t play dodge ball anymore because it is too dangerous.  Kids can’t wear certain clothes or shoes to school anymore because outer kids might feel badly about being poor.  Kids can no longer get hardcover yearbooks because other kids might feel badly about only affording the softcover ones.  Kids can’t have recess anymore because, I don’t even know what the reason for this one is!

All I’m saying, Alexis, is when you saw Rihanna in the outfit, you were pleased.  When you decided to wear it to your prom, you were pleased.  When you created it yourself, you were pleased.  When all your friends complemented you, you were pleased.  Stick to your gun and keep loving it.  Don’t let other people’s opinions deter you from enjoying your batsuit, Child.  Years from now, you will look back on this time and laugh…hopefully.  But perspectively speaking, that is part of growing up, so welcome to your new reality, my Dear.

Friday, May 30, 2014

What Goes For the Goose Never Goes For the Gander

I cannot stand that website,  Every time I check out news on, and the story is on, I always get sucked into stories like CELEBRITIES WHO DID THE MOST WHILE PREGNANT, DID YOU KNOW THEY DATED?, CELEBRITY MEN ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ASSAULT and other nonsense like that that I really shouldn’t be interested in.  So when I saw CELEBRITIES WHO’VE MARRIED SECRETLY, I should have, but I didn’t resist the urge.  After all, if they secretly wed, they didn’t want me to know; but if knows about it, then I’m going to find out which ones are still secret to me.

Hence I was shocked to see that Michael Ealy has been married for two years.  How did that slip me?  Oh, because he is extremely private, and rightfully so.  His wife is of Middle Eastern descent, a gorgeous woman by the name of Khatira Rafiqzada.  Since his wife is not Black, I became curious to see what the folks in the peanut gallery had to say.  Among other ridiculous statements, this one caught my eye, “He should have married someone black.”

Okay, I don’t always agree with other people’s logic.  I might get it, but totally disagree.  For instance:  some people think that if they are not feeling well, then they will use their last ounce of energy to clean the house, in case, God forbid, they die, and strangers come to a dirty house.  I’m the complete opposite.  If I’m not feeling well, I’m using my last breaths to watch TV to distract me from thinking that I’m going to die.  And in the event that that doesn’t work, and I do die, I’d be real happy that I didn’t use my last energy to clean a house for people to come and criticize anyway.  First of all, I couldn’t care less what those people thought when I was alive; so I sure as hell will not care when I’m dead.  Plus, if they come to grieve with my family and a dirty house is the only thing on their minds, then they best let the door hit them where the good Lord split them.  So although I don’t agree, I understand that some people don’t want others mentioning how dirty their house is……even in death.

Speaking of death, another logic I don’t agree with is expensive funerals.  I mean, some of these same people would say to you, “You are throwing good money away”, if they see you buying expensive food or something on which they won’t spend a lot of money.  However, they don’t think that buying a casket for $9,000, flowers for $300, a brand new outfit for $200, digging a hole and putting them all in there is throwing good money away.  All they know is that they want to give their loved ones a good sendoff.  But hey, to each his own!

But the logic of marrying someone just because of the ethnicity is beyond ridiculous.  Now Michael Ealy was 39 when he got married, so I’m going to assume that at that age, he had sown all of his oats and was quite ready to settle down.  He had been dating the woman for FOUR years.  Again, I’m going to assume that she was the love of his life, the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, the woman he chose to bore his children.

And now some random person thinks that he made a bad choice, and he should just find some random Black woman to marry.  Who is this person to tell someone else who he should marry?  It makes no kind of sense to me.  But for some reason, these people who get offended at Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Jamie Foxx and other Black men who are linked to White women, have no problem with Robert De Niro, George Lucas and Roger Ebert.  In fact, they love these men because they seem to date only Black women.  They also have no problem with fictional Olivia Pope sleeping with a married fictional President.  And they swear that Adam Levine had a thing for Tessanne Chin.

I understand the resentment.  If the rich and famous brothers don’t marry the sisters, then how are they to ever get out of poverty?  Oh, make their own money.  If the rich and famous brothers don’t marry the sisters, how are they ever going to feel beautiful?  Oh, beauty comes from within.  It’s actually not that simple because there is some form of rejection there, on one hand; but on the other hand, it’s up to the sisters to find their own paths to happiness.  If you drop the typical Black woman in Alaska, she will sit in her igloo and wait for a good Black man.  However, if the typical Black man ends up in Alaska, the first thing he asks is “Where are the girls?”

If folks can admire the Robert DeNiros of the world, then let’s give the Michael Ealys the benefit of the doubt too.  Let’s not assume that they marry non-Black women because they want their children to have ‘nice’ hair, that they want to lighten their offspring, that they feel like they have arrived, that they are turning their backs on their community, that they don’t love the women in their families or whatever 'logic' one can find.  Plus, perspectively speaking, we should be busy and content enough with our own lives than to worry about the love lives of strangers.