The Ten Mel Commandments

1. I do not schedule the first date. If a dude digs me, he’s got a maximum of four days to close the deal by inviting me on an outing. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but I believe it is important to see how you treat service people, if you open the door for old ladies, and/or if you are a flagrant ass and boobie watcher.  If there is no invitation in the alloted time, then he’s filtered out. We can still be cool, but the only things that I know of that hang on without purpose are barnacles.  I’ll pass.

2.  The last thing I say is the last word of an argument. Call it a character flaw, but I don’t feel the need to physically say the very last thing (except when it’s my kids – they better shut up when I’m talking).  When I believe I have stated my point thoroughly, I don’t feel the need to go at a person with the back and forth. I change the channel.

3. I will be forever fly. I don’t believe in “I’m losing weight, so I won’t buy clothes until…”  That’s the silliest thing in the world to me.  There’s nothing encouraging about a weight loss journey, if you look like a shapeless frump blob in your clothes.  You don’t have to break the bank, but I firmly believe that one’s situation should be moisturized and their sexy preserved (thank you Diddy) at all times.

4.  There’s always a place for humility.  I don’t believe that one has to be a boot licking yes man/woman, but there is nothing more irritating and boring than excessive arrogance.  From my perspective, it seems that you are trying to convince someone, be it onlookers or yourself, and it just comes off as desperate.  As India Arie says, “There ain’t no substitute for the truth.  Either it is or it isn’t.”  There’s nothing cute or appealing about chronic assholism.

5.  Music is everything.  Unless a person has deep psychological issues, it is virtually impossible to find a person who does not like music.  Have you noticed the question is always, “What type of music do you like?” and never “Do you like music?”  It’s like food.  It’s just a matter of finding that person’s preference.  You can praise God, fight the power, and thrash, all through this one medium.  Not too many things that are not scientifically “life sustaining” have such universal appeal.

Speaking of “Universal Appeal” (and because I can)”

You loved it.

6.  I am everything that I am.  I’m not “a black woman first, and a mother second…” and all that other foolishness.  My blackness doesn’t overtake my responsibilities as a mother.  My femaleness doesn’t overtake my blackness.  Sure, being so many things sometimes causes clashing interests, but that’s part of the grown up world.  I put on my big girl panties and deal with it.

7.  Shea butter is everything after music.  This east coast living turned me dry as dust, and I couldn’t use regular lotion anymore. Of course, I learned that natural oils were better for the skin anyway, so it’s a win, but damn.  If I don’t have shea butter, I’m not leaving the house. Non-negotiable.

8. I do not air dirty laundry.  This is one I had to grow on.  There’s nothing attractive about putting your drama in the streets.  My baby daddy and I have not had some epiphany where things “work” for us.  He still does shit that chaps my ass, but it’s nobody’s business but mine.  If my kids ever happen upon my blog, I don’t want it to be filled with venom about their father, or really anyone else.  I handle my beef person to person now, not on the net.

9.  Change is good.  Following the same routine since time immemorial can cause life to lose its luster.  There’s nothing wrong with shaking it up a little bit.  I’m not saying I’m planning to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro (yet), but little tweaks to the norm can keep this life thing fresh enough to be interested in what the next day will bring.

10.  Have a good time.  Not everything has to be taken so damn seriously.  Enjoy your life.  Tell a joke.  Let some bullshit slide from time to time.  Walk around your house/room/bathroom naked for about an hour, and just ponder life.  There’s a lot that is still here for us to enjoy.

That Which I Do Not Want

Ah, the life of a masochist.  We all have that little inkling inside of us, which forces us to do the things we hate. Not simple, beneficial things, such as eating your vegetables, or running just a little longer.  We torture ourselves with Facebook, Twitter, and other silly meaningless acts of “networking.”  How many times have you followed someone on Twitter, who made your left butt bone ache?  How often do you maintain a “friendship” on Facebook, because you dread the awkwardness that comes with “unfriending.”  ‘Tis a bizarre world that we create for ourselves.  But why?

I honestly have no answer whatsoever, but I found myself pondering this notion a few months ago, when my ex-husband requested me as a Facebook friend.  I went through all sorts of changes, trying to hash out why I did not want to be friends with him at that time.  The things he had done happened so long ago, and I was over that right?  What legitimate reason could I have for not being his friend on this harmless networking site?  We talk in real life, and I live with a fair amount of transparency, correct?  And if I don’t want to be friends, don’t I owe him an explanation why? I’m friends with his mother and siblings. Well, I came to this conclusion: because I didn’t want to.  We have the right to decide what we do and do not want in our cypher.  I’m okay with being friends with his family, thus far.  I didn’t want that connection with him, and I don’t owe him a damn thing, and that includes an explanation.

The flip side, is the people who make comments regarding when a person has chosen to block them.  I think as a society, we have lost the concept of parameters.  My mother always instructed me that if someone didn’t want to be bothered with you socially, it’s not up to you to “sell” yourself to them.  Leave them the hell alone.  Not everyone is going to be down.  There is a natural degree of confusion that comes with not being liked, but we have to realize that not everything is for everyone, up to and including our personalities.  Taking individuals to task, however, for not wanting to play in your sandbox, is a bit much.

So rather than dealing with the social awkwardness that comes with clipping the tenuous technological tethers that bind us to people with whom we would not typically associate in real life, we hide, ignore and gnash our teeth over their gaffes, ignorance and that ache in our butt bone.  It really has to stop.  I found myself removing people today.  No, it didn’t feel “freeing;”  it felt like, “What the hell took you so long?”  I can deal with that though.

This and That

Rodents in hoodies make me chuckle. Don’t ask me why.  I think it started back in the day with that ad for The Chipmunks movie.  Now I’m infatuated with the Kia Soul commercial where the hamsters in hoodies are dancing around to The Choice is Yours. Don’t judge me. Dressed up rodents make me happy.

I shamelessly kill fireflies that get in my house.  I hate to do it, but if a firefly flies into my nose while I’m asleep, I’d never be the same. Fireflies better ask about me.

I have lost twelve pounds. Sexy right?  Only *mumble mumble* pounds to go.  I feel encouraged…oh so encouraged.  One thing I do believe in though, is ALWAYS being fly.  I do not subscribe to the “I won’t shop because I’m losing weight.”  I don’t see the encouragement in walking around in frump until I meet some future weight requirement. THOU SHALT BE FLY!

I’m hopping around a little better now, and I’ve taken off the cast/brace that I’ve been wearing, because it’s some old bull.  It’s AMAZING how quickly leg hair can grow.  That’s all I’m sayin.

One of my oldest friends is coming over today, and that makes me so happy.  We went to high school together, and we both somehow migrated to the Silver Spring/Rockville area.

I hope all fathers are having a happy Fathers’ Day and getting love from their families.

Smooches!

Countdown

The vacation is over.  I return to work on June 28, and I couldn’t be more ambivalent.  Getting out of my  house will be a good thing, as will job security.

Additionally, I’m getting back into the swing of my weight loss grind.  I have TOTALLY been slipping lately, admittedly.  There’s no excuse for it other than the fact that I was bored and didn’t keep myself occupied enough.  That being said, I still managed to lose one pound throughout my broken ankle struggle.  I have read that Wii Fit is good for strengthening your muscles and joints following an injury, so I’ll see how that works in the near future.

It dawned on me that I was supposed to get my x-rays done this morning.  Ugh.  I hate being as forgetful as I am.  Of course, I didn’t wake up until damn 2 pm, so maybe that’s why I was a little thrown off about my obligations.  I’m trying my damndest to get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight (read: before 2 am), so hopefully I’ll be ready to roll this Monday.  Gotta get myself back into fighting form.

Fun with the Bryants

So, Kobe Bryant is still playing for his freedom.  No matter who you root for, if you deny the fact that he is one of the most dynamic players in the game today, you’re really just being a hater.  I don’t mean a hater of the, “You have the superior argument, but I want to get this dig in” variety.  This is a hater of the, “I just don’t like that mofo, and he could cure cancer and I STILL wouldn’t get down with his punk ass” sort.  Every jump shot, every free throw, every rebound, steal, fast break and three pointer, he is screaming, “HOW ABOUT NOW BITCHES?! ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? ARE WE COOL YET? FUCK!”

Tonight the Lakers won their second straight NBA Championship, with Kobe as the undisputed MVP.  But that wasn’t what stood out to me.  Because I don’t really follow Kobe for basketball.  I follow Kobe for my favorite show:  The Bryants.

I would be remiss if I did not share the endless laughter Kobe brought me when he took those photos that made him look like the love child of Smeagol and The Great Gazoo.  The only thing funnier than the photo shoot itself, was how creative people got by PhotoShopping Kobe EVERYWHERE.  Kobe was a member of DeBarge, Kobe was in Sparta, Kobe killed Jimmy Hoffa.  It was EPIC!  They shouldn’ta never gave you n****s laptops!  And as funny as that was…

…Vanessa Effing Bryant.  Where does one even begin with this chick?  Let’s first talk about the attire of her and the kids.  They are at a sporting event, yet they are dressed in a manner in which I have never seen.  Actually I have seen it.  In every Olan Mills picture ever.  The amount of velvet, tulle, sequins and generalized shiny crap is astounding.  Originally I believed the kids were participating in a secret pageant that no one else was aware of – possibly with Charles Barkley as a judge.  “V’nessuh, I have to first say, that dress at last night’s game was turrble.  Now, with the help of my brother, The Hatian Sensation, I realize there is a much darker rationale.

Vanessa Bryant is the queen of the Italian undead.  Before Madonna pops up and says, “Bitch don’t even,” please note that I have this on good authority.  Anne Rice is right here, she peeped over my shoulder, gave me the head nod and said “fa sho.”  (Author’s Note:  Anne Rice was not harmed during the writing of this post.)  As anyone with knowledge of the undead knows, they cast no reflection.  However, as my brother pointed out, she is never in pictures without the children.  How does this relate to their shiny regalia?  Well, it has been infused with special reflective crystals that bounce off of Madame Vanessa and make her visible in photos.  You don’t become queen of the damned without having some smarts, you know.

Never forgive him America.  Never. Because the aftermath has made me smile!

“Here it is a groove slightly transformed”

The kiddies are minutes away from touching down to begin their summer vacation.  If all goes according to plan, I’ll be back at work on the 28th of this month.  I’m still not 100% on my feet though.  It’s bothersome, but I’m finally getting to really rest.  Granted, the folks in my life have been total rock stars, and my kids really stepped up.  Yet, there are still some mommy things that needed to be done, and it bothered me enough that I couldn’t take them to the movies and such.

Last night was my boy’s graduation, and I got only a little misty.  The realization that he’s such a big boy made me sad.  My friend looked at me and said, “Uh, he’s not moving out.”  I’m such a punk when it comes to stuff with my boy.  Middle school.  The girl only has two years left in elementary school.  This scares the crap out of me.

I’m guessing physical therapy will commence soon.  I’ve taken off my cast a few times to shower and such, and my ankle looks ABSOLUTELY terrible.  It’s all swollen and disgusting looking.  And holy Christmas do I need an exfoliant six ways to Sunday!    It’ll be a month before I look like myself again.  Plus, as long as I’m on the blood thinners, NO RAZORS.  I have to throw myself at the mercy of the funky gods of Nair.  UGH!

So, what am I going to do with myself?  Well, I’m learning French.  No lie.  I have Rosetta Stone, and I’m fully capable of saying “a boy is on a horse” in poorly pronounced French.  I can also say “a boy and girl are in a boat.”  That’s right.  Bow before Zod.

It goes without saying that I will write.  I’m going to try my hand, once more, at the Boston Review Short Story Contest.  I plan to win.  Note cards and such commence tomorrow.  The due date, of course, is October 1.  Of course, I have no idea what I will write about, but that’s what I do.  I create.  I think.  Ah well.

You know what I would do for a Klondike bar?  A LOT.  I’m not sure what it is about those tasty treats, but they are perfection.  Except when you get to that last 8th of the bar.  The ice cream gets a little too soft for the kid.

I’m looking for Saturday afternoon spots where I can just relax and kick back.  Maybe do some cute boy watching?  Maybe meet a cute boy to share a meal with me?  Who knows.  I’ve been an awful good girl Santa, throw me a frickin bone here.

Let’s Meander

I have a stress pimple.  It comes in the same place every time:  on my right cheek.  Of course, this is days before my baby’s son’s graduation, I can’t find the concealer that I use specifically for my pimples.  I’ll just have to wing it.

I found the CUTEST dress on Old Navy’s website.  Here’s the thing about cute summer dresses that I find on their site:  they’re irresistible, and I feel as though I look irresistible in them.  When I am in such an irresistible dress without a gentleman’s arm draped across my irresistible shoulder…well, that just does something to my spirit.  This is one of the downfalls of summer in my royal opinion.  Ugh.  Being a girl is fine.  Being so much of a girl works on my nerves sometimes.  Especially when it comes to relationship silliness.

I’m up this late because my mind is heavy, so I feel somewhat pressured to post something substantive, but I can’t bring myself to do it.  If I really broke down what was on my dome, I would send a few of you running and screaming.  The others, you’d just wag your heads continue to read to see how much of a raving hot mess I’ll actually become.  I’m not sure if that’s good or bad honestly. I do believe there’s such a thing as bad publicity, which is why there are certain topics I either do not cover here, or give only the skeletal (yet true) version.  Call me weird.  It’s like J. California Cooper said, I want Some Soul to Keep.

Or, maybe…

You ever feel like life as we know it is slowly chipping away at our humanity.  It’s as though the things we bear during our voyage on this plane occasionally conspire to strip from us all that we feel, know and believe.  I’m not trying to go too deep, but it’s just a little hard to breathe sometimes.  This isn’t the typical black girl blues (they’re valid, I just ain’t singing that tune tonight).  What I’m talking crosses race, gender, and spirituality.  The little things that make you wonder what the fuck you’re doing and why the fuck you’re doing it.

Within the last year, I’ve developed a hardness that has become hard to shake, and I feel it everywhere.  I’m not trying to be a superwoman.  I’m just trying to be human.  I want the life that allows me to be asleep at 4:30 in the morning.  Where I’m not trying to figure it all out for the trillionth time.  I want to have at least a few of the answers.  I’d like a sliver of certainty.

I’m rambling, and I know it, but that’s because I feel like even here, I’m beating around the bush with myself, because I refuse to show vulnerability.  Ugh.  This is too much.

This ain’t for you son!

Popular culture, and particularly music, is a sore spot for a lot of my peers.  There’s a lot of, “What is this shit on the radio,” and “Who watches this crap” regarding television.  I’m going to let you in on a secret:  YA DONE SON!

What my peers don’t realize, when it comes to the radio, and MTV, and most pop culture in general, is that we are no longer the target audience.  Do you realize that MTV’s target audience can barely remember, if at all, that MTV used to strictly be music television?  A large chunk of the target audience of hip hop was not even BORN when Lodi Dodi dropped.  Beat boxing is a novel thing that boy on American Idol did.  Remember being in high school and calling into the radio station?  Radio stations are still broadcasting from high school, and places that are frequented by children.  Your favorite DJ, is either on some borderline pedo steez, or has moved to the “grown folks” time slot or station.  Granted, as a parent, there is the other issue of music that may not be appropriate for your kids, but alas, that’s also part of being in the grown up world.  Monitor what your kids watch and listen to, and explain why things are NOT appropriate for their age, or sometimes, for humanity in general.  (Author’s Note:  NO ONE should listen to a cat named Waka Flocka.  Not ever.)

As an adult, unless you are a victim of this economy you should be gainfully employed (and if you are not, more often than not, the stuff on the radio is just your speed, but that’s another topic for another day).  It is also likely that you have a car.  You’re not at the mercy of your parents or older family members for rides to the mall and the record store.  You’re not 16 years old singing into your hairbrush, wondering what the future holds.  You are a grown ass man or woman, carving out a future for the next generation.  You have a credit card, which enables you to purchase the entertainment of your choosing.  Tired of hip-hop?  Then carry your disgruntled ass to a Will Downing concert.

We seem to ready to forget that though hip hop was our voice, it was our voice as the “young black youth.”  We are now our parents.  I am older than my parents were when hip hop made a main stream emergence into New Orleans urban radio.  Marinate on that.  We have other avenues in which to get our ideologies into the mainstream.  We have become “the man.”  Can you really say parents don’t understand, when you’re the one setting the curfew?  Ain’t so funny when the kid is stealing YOUR Porsche, is it?  This isn’t to say that we can’t still enjoy good hip hop, but times are different, so hip hop is different.

I’m going to take it there though:  Some of us need to grow the fuck up.  That’s really the core of the issue in this blogger’s humble opinion.  If we embraced our adulthood, rather than declaring 30 the new 20, maybe we could grasp that certain things are no longer in our lane.  You don’t have to hole yourself up in a corner and knit simply because you’re not a kid, but you do have to realize that there comes a time to put away childish things, at least for a time.

We have the right to love and long for our music. Let’s keep it real though, were they playing Sam Cook on the 3-7 set on your favorite station in high school?  That wasn’t by accident.  I still believe that there will be a resurgence of good hip hop; music that is substantive and enjoyable for the babies.  All things go through periods of self-correction, and that includes music.  We also pass the torch on to the generation behind us.  That still doesn’t mean you’re going to like it with your old ass.  And guess what. That’s fine too.  BECAUSE IT’S NOT JUST OURS ANYMORE.

“Trying Real Hard To Be The Shepherd”

But I saw some shit this mornin’ made me think twice. See, now I’m thinking, maybe it means you’re the evil man, and I’m the righteous man, and Mr. 9 millimeter here, he’s the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or, it could mean you’re the righteous man and I’m the shepherd and it’s the world that’s evil and selfish. I’d like that. But that shit ain’t the truth. The truth is, you’re the weak, and I’m the tyranny of evil men. But I’m tryin’, Ringo. I’m trying real hard to be the shepherd.

Jules Winnfield

Being a mom, single or otherwise, is a dirty business.  There are a million different things you have to do, and kids like to test you at every turn.  I told a friend today that my kids are incredibly well behaved…in public.  That’s because of the all day long foot in the ass extravaganza.  One thing is certain: they do NOT want me to show my ass in public, and therefore, they keep their shenanigans to a minimum.  But in my quest to keep them in order, I feel like I’m at war all day.

Some folks, upon seeing my reaction to annoyance and adversity, may call me somewhat high strung.  That would be a gross understatement.  When my nerves are plucked, I tend to lose my shit, and whoa be upon anyone who gets in my path.  It’s a character flaw that I constantly work on.  One of the things I LOVE about my children going to school across town is that, by the time I actually get home, I’ve calmed down exponentially.  My knee jerk reaction is not always positive.  When my kids do something galactically crazy, I sometimes sit on my hands to keep myself from reaching out to “heal” them of their insanity.

But they do not make it easy.  They’re at the point where they’re getting too old to do some of things that they do, and it drives me nuts.  This is partially my own fault for being too much of an I’ll-just-do-the-shit-myself mama, which ultimately handicaps kids.  HOWEVER, if you sit your coke on the table’s edge, then start doing jumping jacks, cartwheels and kung fu, WHEN you knock the coke down, I’m gonna cuss.

Every morning, particularly since I have not had the added pressure of having to get myself out the door, I’ve taken some deep breaths and said, “Today, I’m not gonna spaz out.” Yet, I’ll come out the bathroom to two people sitting down with one sock on, still in their pajamas, giving me the booty look, asking, “Huh?  What’s wrong?”  I’m about to bust a cap in your ass, that’s what’s wrong?  The fuck is wrong with you?  But you can’t say that to the babies, because it stunts their development or some shit.  A good 50% of parenting is “help me help you.”

I’m not there yet, but I’m tryin, Ringo.

The Sound of Music

Calling me emotional would be an understatement.  The majority of my blog titles should tell you how closely music is tied to those emotions.  Therefore, it’s no secret that I love “Glee.”  It’s cheesy, corny and adorable, and I can’t get enough of it.  So I really looked forward to tonight’s season finale.  At the end, after they didn’t win regionals, they pay tribute to their teacher, Mr. Schuster by singing “To Sir, With Love.”  Aside from the fact that this is a great song, it was one of my mother’s favorites.

So I’m singing, and halfway through, I hear my mother’s voice in my head singing this song.  I build up all these mental protectors for certain songs that I know will trigger the waterworks, and I either don’t listen to them at certain times, or I tell myself, “Cry it out bitch.”  This song, however, was not on the list.  So I suddenly had this flood of emotions, and I missed my mom, and I wished I could hear her voice and I was bawling to the point that I kind of shook my kids up.

There’s no moral to that other than the fact that I miss my mom.  A lot.  And as lucky as I was to have her for the time that I did, I certainly would not have said boo at the notion of more time.

Love the people in your life. Hard.