Why I cried

Last night, the Heart Break Kid, Mr. Wrestlemania, Shawn Micheals, retired from WWE.  Now, I know that there are folks who consider it a little silly that I am writing about this.  For that, all I can say is, “At least I ain’t readin smut.”  (SEE! I DIDN’T CALL OUT A NAME!)  Last night, in his farewell speech, he said something that truly reverberated with me: the ring was his life for a long time, because the fans liked him there, even when he didn’t like himself.  It got me to thinking…

The reason I do this, this whole writing thing – the reason that I have the balls to call myself a writer at all – is because I’m most at home inside of my own head.  For those that know me, it’s strange, because I’m extraordinarily extroverted and at times, the queen of the over-share.  But I pretty much live inside of my own thoughts, and a lot of those thoughts are off the wall.  Fortunately, I’m blessed with a knack for stringing those thoughts together and letting those thoughts humanize me.  Maybe.  Or maybe I’m just blowing smoke here.  So I’ll break it down further: I write pretty good stuff.  Hell, I write DAMN good stuff. Because that’s the only way I know how to reach folks.  I’ve got my mind.  Annnnnd…that’s pretty much it.

I don’t say that in a feigned attempt self deprecation.  My mind, fortunately, covers a fair bit.  But when it comes to stepping “outside,” there’s this unbelievable awkwardness that I can never quite put my finger on.  I hold on to this mom thing by the skin of my teeth.  Marriage for me was an unparalleled disaster, and dating was almost as bad.  I forget to call my friends and family.  When I meet a new guy, I spend 65% of the time hoping he decides not to call; if I date him, I spend 90% of my time just waiting for the whole thing to be over, because contrary to what society believes a woman should be, I have always been a raving commitment phobe.  Because I’m not at home with you.  I’m only home with me.  And people only like you when you are yourself.  Myself is the writer.  Everything else is window dressing.

And even when I don’t like who I am, I’m pretty fucking good at writing about what I want to be, and I like myself there.  The folks who read what I write like that I can be frank and analytical about my failings and frailties.  I can share things in written word, that in a conversation would be uneasy and awkward.  When I write, it gives the reader the opportunity to search, and discover if they’ve experienced something similar, rather than the almost knee-jerk reaction conversation provides.  (Not that knee-jerk is always wrong, but sometimes, we need that extra beat to consider the bigger picture.)  At the end of the day, I am who I am, so there’s still potential under this raw material, but I know what it’s like to be confused when you’re not “in the ring.”

When I speak you get the coal.

When I write, you get the diamond.

News Items

Not national news; definitely not international news.  Just “me stuff.”  Because…I dunno, I think y’all like hearing about me.  If you don’t, and you have a topic you’d like me to discuss or weigh in on, let me have it at wrecklessendangerment@gmail.com.  I’m not going to pretend like I’m deep or whatever, but no gossip questions please. (No, I have absolutely no opinion whatsoever on Erykah Badu getting naked, and things of that nature.)

My kids are cutting the fool.  I’m sure it’s regular “I’m going into puberty” stuff, but somebody is gonna get shot playing around with me.  I can guaran-damn-tee you that.

I’m wearing these fishnet type stockings and…I hate to say this, but…I think I feel a lil sexy.  I’m sort of an earthy girl.  I like bare feet, bare legs, no makeup.  But I must say, these tights have me feeling some kinda way.  I’ve been feeling rather matronly lately, so this is a nice change of pace.  It’s quite easy to fall in the “I’m too busy being somebody’s mama to look cute rut.”  I’m not saying be a slave to fashion, but show a lil cleavage or some leg parts from time to time.

My ideal night: crawling into bed about 10:30, curling up in a ball, sleeping soundly and dreaming vibrantly until about 7:30 a.m.  I don’t think I’ve done that in well over a year.  I refuse to go the sleeping pill route, but I really want a good night’s sleep.

Cupcakes used to be this quickie thing parents did when they didn’t want to break out the cake pan.  Far less mess than an entire cake, portable, bite-sized, and GREAT for bake sales.  Now, they’re trendy.  The fight the power girl in me wants to reject this.  Unfortunately, fight the power girl was stuck in traffic when the chubby girl wrapped her soup coolers around her first cakelove confection.

I’m 99% certain that this year will be a no muss/no fuss birthday year.  I realize a need to spend more time in reflection, and I just really don’t have it in my spirit to do it up this year.  I’m sure some of you are saying, “Uh, it’s only March.”  Usually, I’m looking forward to the celebration to culminate the end of the warm months and the beginning of winter, so this is when I start thinking about my festivities.  I’m just not feeling it.  It’s not the blues. I’m just searching for something else, and a party ain’t it.

Even at 33, I can not get angry without crying.   It starts with blind rage.  It ends with tears.  As much as I try to combat this, I can’t stop it.  I had this experience with the post office this morning.  I hate the crying thing, because when it’s dealing with people I know, it seems contrived, almost like cheating.  But I CAN’T not cry with pretty much any emotion.  Shawn Michaels retired from wrestling last night, and I cried for that too.  Ugh.  I will say this: if I’m crying because I’m pissed – run.

I think sometimes we buy into our own hype. People look at you, and because you’re interested in this, they presume you are also down with that.  If you’re not careful, you can let them mold who you are.  There’s something unhealthy about that on both ends.  Then, the first thing we do, is complain about this box that we allowed them to build, and we willingly entered.

I still haven’t worked out a weight loss regimen.  I’ve got a lot of mind over matter ish that I’m trying to work through.  I literally had to tell myself the other night, “Just go ahead and cry bitch. The hurt you feel is NOT going to be suffocated by that biscuit.”  Yet, the struggle continues.

Torn

Yeah. I used to look like that.

I was pretty damn sexy, if I may say so myself.  This may be because at the time, I had no children, and I was not dating the babies’ daddy.  That’s a woman with no problems.  Two of my coworkers saw this picture and did not believe it was me.

That’s due in part to the fact that now I’m a woman who goes through the day to day, with the stresses that come with big girl panties, the mommy cape, and the responsibilities that come with being a loving daughter, sister, and sister friend.  And for what it’s worth, my kiddies love my chubbiness.  Ladybug always crawls on me at night because I’m warm, and that’s how she falls asleep.  Finge doesn’t do it anymore, but he used to.  To a certain extent, I love being soft and cuddly.  And, in that picture, my bodacious tatas are noticably missing.  There are good things about my puudginess.

But I want that body back.

And people who love me will tell me that I’m beautiful, and there’s nothing wrong with me, and I was in my 20s, and no one gets their pre-baby body back.

But I want that body back.

But I’m also still in love with pie.  And I’m still eating my feelings.  But I want that body back. And I can’t do both.  Mama’s gotta play to win.  Let’s see how this turns out.

Ruminations for that A$$!

Doesn’t Mo’Nique always look like she’s reading from the sick and shut in list when she speaks for an extended period?  “And we will lift Sister But-er-um in pray-er…”  I didn’t hear her Oscar acceptance speech, but I saw a flash on the news, and that’s how it was going in my mind. 

I’m so ornery lately.  I make an effort to not be overly negative, but when everything seems to work on your nerves, what’s a girl to do.  I’ll tell you what: You throw them hoes the side eye.  It’s not always beneficial for me to use my words to express what’s on my mind. I throw side eyes like ninja stars.

I believe in allowing the do-over. But even with that, there are two things you can’t take back: hurtful words, and prison-escapee farts in public bathrooms. 

I hate arbitrary Facebook groups, fandom, and stupid quizzes.  Even when I’m in a good mood, I hate to see them.  I mean, every once in a while, I guess it’s okay.  I won’t even police what “every once in a while is,” because we’re all grown folks.  You know what’s excessive.  I’m also calling a moratorium on that “Wifey/Sidepiece/Jumpoff” quiz.  Icant.org.

This morning, I walked out the door and accidentally locked it, whilst my son was still inside.  When he emerged, he shouted, “Why you gotta lock the black man up?”  He is now for sale.

Will Smith used to be my boo. Now he’s touching the Karate Kid.  Why is he touching the Karate Kid.  Remember when filmmakers used to have a new idea, then the would write a script based on said new idea, and people would watch the movie?  Yeah. That was cool.

Man, sometimes, shit gets rough, and you just gotta put some Tussin on it.  Pull out that Tussin and let it get all up in there. Tussin works best when you let it sink down to the bone, or so I’ve been told.

Evolution, Revolution, Schmevolution

Books are the most divine creation.  I’m happiest when I have my next 3-4 books plotted out.  Quite often, The Dialectic and I discuss the joy of reading, and every so often, the Z word creeps up.  In the past, I’ve been vocal about both not being a fan of her writing, and my dismay that she and her ilk have overrun the African-American Fiction section.  I maintain that not every work crafted by a black mind must be the great something or other, yet I also believe that until there is balance, I reserve the right to be a little more critical.

Occasionally, we discuss how often, these writers can often be part of the evolutionary process in developing bibliophiles.  I wasn’t born reading Baldwin, Shakespeare and Fitzgerald.  (I purchased my first Shakespeare when I was NINE, thank you very much…I read it when I was ten.)  I have read Zane, Eric Jerome Dickey and Terry McMillan.  At one point, I would sample a little of this, and a little of that, in terms of reading. Some heavy.  Some featherweight.

Then one day, I read a line from the most unlikely source:  Terry McMillan.  In A Day Late and A Dollar Short, main character and matriarch, Viola Price, lay in an emergency room bed dying of an asthma attack.  One of her last thoughts was how she loved her family so much, she would give them her last breath, and if she had another, she’d give them that one too.  I remembered how that made me feel.  In that moment, I wanted everything I read to convey that type of emotion.  Not that exact emotion, but to make me see a real, raw, uncontrived emotion on a page, and believe it.  When I read a book, I search for that, and if you don’t give me that, I don’t fuck with you.

What makes for a “good book” is extremely subjective.  When a person is pours their heart and soul on a page, you feel it.  It can happen in horror, romance, and yes, even erotica.  Baldwin can describe the erotic (and homoerotic) in ways that bend the soul and turn it inside out; as does Anne Rice (penned pseudonymously as A. N. Roquelare and Anne Rampling).

The prevailing thought now is, “don’t knock the hustle.”  To the extent that a person had an ideal, and saw it to fruition, I can’t get mad at that.  There is value in the fact that those writers can be springboards into much deeper works.  The thing is, do we languish there?  I even call myself to task on this, not so much langushing in so-so books (I almost typed “literature,” but my finger turned, looked at me, and gave me the hard side eye), but even reading the same “good” writers.  How does one locate the new crop of great writers, if you are stuck in the old faithfuls?

Growth and expansion is important.  I challenge any and all interested readers to find a new author or genre.  We can say it’s in honor of Daylight Savings Time.  Or is it Standard Time?  I can’t remember.  Or you can just say you’re arbitrarily trying something new.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

If you are so inclined, let me know of your results.  Can’t wait to hear from you guys.

Let me also say that I love you guys for reading through my blatherings, neuroses, and occasional break downs.  Things aren’t always sunshine and unicorn farts, and I’m glad you guys hang around for the not so great stuff too.  Let’s get it for 2010.

Smoocheration!

“And still I feel I’ve said too much, my silence is my self defense…”

Emotion is a funny thing, because it makes you want to do the exact opposite thing that everyone who counts on you, and even your own good sense, believes you should do.  So rather than stand here, and say what I will do, or I won’t do, or what I want to do, I’m not going to say anything.

It’s not that I don’t have anything in me.  I’ve got a LOT in me.  I’m made of some really great shit.  I just need to rest it for a while.

But don’t cry for me Argentina.  I tend to give of myself inappropriately, and forget to reserve what I need to survive, and that involves some self correction. I don’t plan on saying too much about the whys and wherefores. Partially because I don’t want a whole lot of input. Partially because I think some thoughts are best kept between you and the universe until you achieve clarity.  And clarity is something, my friends, that I most definitely will achieve.  Plunging within the depths of myself is in order. Of course, I’ll emerge. Mr. Frost explains the reason why best:

“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”

A Simple Take on a Complex Topic

A friend asked for my take on the Academy Awards.  Upon providing said opinion, he said that it should be a blog post, so:

I will first TOTALLY ignore the elephant in the room that is “Precious,” and say that James Cameron proved that a heterosexual white male can effectively make the “Oh No This Heffa Didn’t” face on national television.  The school word for this face is “incredulous.”  I don’t know the politics behind this.  I don’t know if while they were married, Bigelow worked the stroll.  I do know that watching your ex-wife clean your clock, when folks acted as though your movie cured cancer is pretty hilarious.

Now, I didn’t hear Mo’Nique’s acceptance speech, but she looked like she was reading from the sick and shut in list.  Giving Honor to God and asking that we pray for Sister But-Er-Um.  That being said, I (surprisingly?) have no opinion about her winning an Oscar.  Lots of Oscar winners have tragic stories (This is touched on at Cliff’s Crib).  We love a great tragedy.  I have mixed feelings about holding African Americans to a standard we don’t hold Caucasians to.  I also have mixed feelings about ALL of our stories being tragic.  And can we talk about how the Caucasian mama Oscar winner (Bullock) was the paragon of what motherhood should be, and Mo’Nique, the African American mother was the pariah?  This troubles me in a way I’m not sure how to fix.

It also annoyed me that on the news, when they did show a sound byte of Mo’Nique thanking the academy for looking at her performance, and not the politics behind it, the two African Americans on Fox 5 acted like they didn’t know what she was talking about.  Tony Perkins, you’re tight with Donnie Simpson.  Allison Seymour, your husband is Mark Clark. You know GOOD AND WELL what she was talking about.

There is so much more than can be said about this, but lets talk about how shocking it is that in the year 2010, blacks and women are still experiencing “firsts.”  Let’s talk about how we, as African American women must STILL combat these negative images that are all too prevalent in the media.  Let’s talk about how, in 2010, in a recent Vanity Fair article showcasing up and coming actresses to watch, NOT ONE was a woman of color, and it was done without them batting an eyelash.  This needs to be brought to the mat as often as possible until there is some form of balance achieved.

Which is why your girl is returning to school and majoring in journalism.  It is for us to redefine success, and hold ourselves, not as “exceptions,” to black womanhood.  It is for us to show that we are the rule.

Sorry that I’ve missed out on you guys for the last few days.  I came down with a jacked up cold that slowed me down last week, and kept me incapacitated for the entire weekend; until around 6:30 Sunday night, just in time to get ready to go back to work.  Boo.

This week has been somewhat eventful (already), so I plan on having some juicy topics this week.  Feel free, also, to drop suggestion topics in the comments box, or email them to wrecklessendangerment@gmail.com.  Of course, being a woman on the go, it’s sometimes hard to be as faithful to my blog as I would like, so if you want 140 characters of instant gratification, follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/afrodyte.

Love you.