And there’s always room for growth

The other day, I read a post from a few years ago, as it pertains to using the term “That’s gay.”  This was around the time the PSA’s against using that phrase launched.  I decided it was a PC ambition run amok and thought people should lighten up. In the post, I even acknowledged that I wouldn’t use the term around my gay friends.  And…that’s not cool.

I’m by no means the speech police.  People are going to do what they do and say what they say, and there’s not a whole lot we can do about it.  This is partially attributable to the fact that you can’t change people feeling the way they feel.  But reading my words made me cringe.  In fact, I stopped using that term a long time ago.  This blog post was the farthest thing from my mind.  I didn’t forget writing it, but I just didn’t think of it as a big deal.

But the things we say are a big deal.  You can’t teach your children tolerance, but stubbornly refuse to consider the feelings of a marginalized group.  I maintain that not every group will be happy at all times, and there is something to offend everyone.  But I’ll amend that and say that when you CAN avoid being hurtful and an asshole, you should.  When you use a person’s mere existence as a pejorative, you are being an asshole.  There’s no other way around it.  I was being an asshole, and I’m sorry for that.  When that post was brought to my attention, I considered removing it.  But that wouldn’t unsay what I said, now would it.

At one point in time, my blog was merely a sounding board for me to relay my shenanigans to my friends.  They know me, and they know that they don’t hear me use that term.  However, my blog readership now extends to people who don’t know me at all.  It’s important for all of my readers – gay and straight – to know that I am not one who stubbornly adheres to intolerance.  If you guys ever start commenting (hint, hint), then I do want it to be known that this is not a free-for-all, where we can let hurtful speech fly.  I also hope that those who do think that using “gay” as a pejorative will reconsider. If it is hurtful to others, it is a big deal, and it is not their responsibility to tell you WHY it is hurtful.  It is for us to be honest with ourselves and examine why we choose to use that type of speech.

I’m growing.  Who’s coming with me?

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Age Old Question

What happens when an unstoppable douche meets an immovable moron?

THIS:

Scene: Giant’s Parking lot post grocery purchase. Old fella (late 60s early 70s) can not operate his new Suburban for some reason. He has backed out of the parking space, angled in such a way that has obstructed the entire lane of traffic. He’s rifling through the glove compartment for the manual. Middle aged fella (mid-late 40s) pulls up, attempting to pass, becomes impatient, and comedy gold happens.

MAF: *blows horn after waiting an inordinately long time*
OF: *completely unruffled, continues to rifle through glove compartment* (He was so unaffected by the obnoxious horn blowing, I considered that he may have been deaf)
MAF: *gets out of car*
Mel: *loading groceries* Awwwww shit…kids get in the car *still looking HOARD*
MAF: Sir, are you just going to leave your car parked like that, so that nobody can pass?
OF: *NOTHING*
MAF: Sir…SIR! Are you just going to leave your car there?
OF: *annoyed at the inconvenience* WHAT?!
MAF: Do you plan to just leave this car there, so no one can get through?
OF: Do YOU know how to get this car in drive?
MAF: Sir…you don’t know how to drive your own car? You don’t know how to drive your own SUBURBAN?! Maybe you should have purchased another car.
OF: Maybe you should shut your mouth!
MAF: When you purchase a car, you should know how to drive it sir.
OF: If YOU don’t know how to fix the problem, you need to shut your mouth if you can’t help.
MAF: Sir, YOU are a dumbass!
OF: YA MAMA!
Mel: *dead*
Fin

Big Black Dick

Unless you have been under four rocks, a building and an opera singer’s bosom, you’ve heard about Mel Gibson’s latest racist rant.   In a recent argument with his baby mama (whose name I have no interest in attempting to spell, despite the fact that I could have copied and pasted her name in less time than it took to write this), Mr. Gibson gifted us with this gem:

“You look like a f***ing pig in heat.  And if you get raped by a pack of n***ers, it will be your fault.”

There is a part of me that wants to give it a standing ovation.  I always love when people tell folks how they really feel.  Outstanding.  A random tweeter said that Mel actually went for a two-fer if you consider the pork reference, but that is neither here nor there.  On it’s face, Mel is a racist asshole that thinks black males rove in packs in search of white women to violate.  This is quite compelling, because Mel is quite obviously racist, an asshole, and we’ll throw in nutty as squirrel shit for good measure.  But it goes deeper than that.  Mel is a desperate man.  He is not only losing his relevance and credibility in Hollywood, but he is now losing his new family.  You know.  The one he left his wife for.

Mel’s rant over the “pack of niggers” does not rest solely on the shoulders of his bigotry. It is also attributable to the fact that he KNOWS what he had on his hands.  A woman who was perfectly fine with being impregnated by a douchebag in a long term marriage with several kids.  Apparently, he’s never heard the term, “You can’t turn a ho into a housewife.”  It’s not that he had the sudden epiphany that she was a skank, it’s just no longer convenient for him, so he chooses to take issue with it.  It’s not about black men and rape.  He fears she is one fuck away from having his precious child in cornrows and a dashiki.  He doesn’t believe she will be Mystikaled.  He believes she’ll be Jack Johnsoned.  And therein lies the problem.

It’s 2010, and the black penis is still the Boogey Man.  I’ve heard sportscasters make jokes about going into the NBA locker room.  Speaking of the NBA, in the case of Kobe Bryant, a woman, by all appearances, falsely cried rape, and the big black dick jokes surfaced.  Kim Kardashian was branded a whore for having video evidence of taking her boyfriend’s – not jump off, not random party guy, not stranger – big black dick.  No one can convince me that she would have received the same backlash if her companion was white.  The preoccupation with black male sexuality does not border on obsession – it’s baptized in it.

When we as a society discuss the problem with black women and the HIV/AIDS crisis, before we put the weight on women to have protected sex or not share needles, we scream “DOWN LOW BROTHERS.”  Though men of any race can be gay and in the closet, here, the offenders blackness is understood.  So, these gay men and their big black dicks are sticking them in innocent black women and killing them with reckless abandon.  As a society, when we discuss man sharing in the black community, we don’t bring up women who do this knowingly, or at the very least, ignore all the obvious signs.  We scream that men are dogs who are compelled to put their big black dicks everywhere.

If gone unchecked, one could surmise that the big black dick:

  • makes one a smooth president
  • can cause any argument
  • can end any argument
  • is responsible for all of the ills in the black family, and therefore, the black community
  • will try to rape you in prison
  • will try to rape you out of prison
  • can not wait to find itself a white woman
  • killed and hid Jimmy Hoffa.

Bad judgement, characters and decisions transcend race, gender and social status.  There are some offending dicks of all races.  There are offending dicks of all sizes.  Not every black dick is laying in wait for unsavory activity.  And please do not take my tongue in cheek writing to mean that I am glossing over the danger caused by this line of thinking.  Black men have had their humanity stripped away from their genitals since we were brought to this country. Additionally, the demonization of one group in the way of blanket statements covering all and in only looking at one party when others are equally culpable, is unconscionable.  I don’t have the answers to this, but for my part, I’m taking it upon myself to look at the big picture, rather than just the tiny Viewmaster version.

Reality Bites

Charismatics and soldiers.  When you get right down to it, that’s what the world is comprised of.  Some folks just draw you right in, and the chips fall their way with little more than a smile on their part.  It’s both a gift and a cultivated talent.  These are the individuals that get under your skin and make you want to do things for them, spend time with them, cater to them, and you have no idea why.  Then there are the folks who spend every moment clawing and scratching.  They battle easy credit ripoffs, temporary layoffs AND the chow line.  Battle, and WIN.  The ability to survive is a gift in its own right.

No prizes for where I believe I fit in.  I don’t say this in a way to toot my own horn.  This gift I have, sometimes I abuse it, as my ability to survive occasionally makes me careless.  I think, “Well, I’ve made it through everything else – what’s one more thing?”  As there are drawbacks with being a charismatic individual, being a soldier can also be a bit of a curse.

The very core of the soldier is the story.  You’ve been battle tested and proven worthy; who doesn’t love a tale of triumph?  Unfortunately, there is where you find the practical joke of this whole soldier lifestyle.  The soldier’s story comes with a very weighty obligation.  It goes without saying that stories of bravery are welcomed.  A soldier can tell of being wounded or trapped.  Our scars always hold the deepest and most meaningful of stories.  If the circumstances meet a certain criteria, a soldier is even allowed to die, and it is celebrated.

What you can NEVER do as a soldier, however, is be tired. No one wants to hear the story of the tired soldier.  It makes one uncomfortable to witness a moment when their champion is neither brave, valiant or wise.  It makes their own vulnerabilities that much more frightening.  I remember being young, and my mother being exhausted and overwhelmed, and when she finally went off, I was terrified.  It was not because she was not well within her rights, nor was it because she was abusive, but when the lynch pin weakens, what are the rest of us to do?  Later, even in her illness, she did everything to minister to the minds and spirits of everyone who came in contact with her.  If you were not in her immediate company, you didn’t know she was ill.  When she lost the ability to do that, it shook us all, not because she owed us a debt, but because we felt that if someone that strong could crumble, we didn’t stand a chance.

And now, it’s my turn.  When I buckle, people have become so accustomed to me fighting through, displays of vulnerability make them uncomfortable.  The make me uncomfortable.  Sharing too much makes me feel like a complainer.  When I falter, it all goes to shit.  Everyone has problems, and I’m sure most of those problems are bigger than anything I will ever experience, so I try my best to keep moving.  My ability to fight is my color purple, and I believe to disregard it would piss God off.

But the truth of the matter is that being strong is so damn hard; and frankly, I’m honestly not convinced that I’m all that strong.  I fear that were anyone to tiptoe through my thoughts, they would label me a fraud.  I actually hate the idea of dating for this very reason.  On the inside, I’m a mess.  “Hey Awesome Guy, you know how you kind of thought that I was confident, collected, wise and beautiful?  Yeah, that’s all kind of a crock of shit, and I’m actually just a regular ass chick.  My bad.  Will you accept me anyway?  No?  Okay, well I’ll just go back to suppressing the fact that this has bruised every one of my internal organs, and I’ll wish you well.” I pride myself on being functional, but I think it’s been almost a year since I’ve felt that I was really living life.  I don’t even know what to do with that, so I wouldn’t dare subject a life partner to these shenanigans.

For the time being, I’m working on answering the question, “Well, if you’re such a hot mess, why should anyone listen to you?”  There’s this gaping vortex at my center where I believe my purpose used to live.  Outside of being a mother, I have no idea what my purpose is.  I don’t know that I ever had it.  I’ve always walked on the fringe of everything.  Not that I’m a fence rider, but rather, I don’t let anything box me in.  I’m the consummate eclectic, so it’s hard for me to fit anywhere.  It always has been, but that’s a separate post entirely.

So, starting in this very moment, I’m spending the next year pioneering my happiness.  Lord knows how that’s going to work out, but since nobody is gonna give me my free, I’m gonna have to air out the nina and take that shit.

When it’s my time

If thou love, pronounce it faithfully
Or if thou think I am too easily won,
I’ll frown and say thee nay and be perverse,
So thou wilt woo, but else not for the world.
In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond,
And therefore thou mayst think my havior light.
But trust me, gentleman, I’ll prove more true
Than they that have more cunning to be strange.

Romeo & Juliet – William Shakespeare

Shooting from the hip is something that I take great pride in. If there is something that needs to be said, say it! No one wins when you skirt the issue.* A couple of weeks ago, I was having lunch with a friend from high school, and we discussed a mutual friend on a social networking site, that often altered their relationship status. “I’m single,” “I’m dating,” “It’s complicated.” She wisely opined, “If you’re our age, single, and trying to do this dating thing, I don’t care who you are. It’s complicated.”

Yeah.

Because we complicate it.

And we like it like that.

And by “we,” I mean “y’all.” Mamba likes it simple. Mamba likes to say what she means. Mamba likes people to mean what they say. And when they don’t mean it, or even if they are uncertain, don’t say it. There’s nothing wrong with silence.

Whenever I talk about people and their intentions, the focus almost always shifts to love. It comes up so often because love is one of the purest things you can offer someone. God is love. I don’t think it gets more pure than that. And even for those who don’t believe in God, when you feel love, I’m not talking the surface joint – or even necessarily the romantic joint – but when you’re in the presence of love, nothing beats that.

And yet, as a woman, if I want to be loved, I’m expected to play some kind of stupid game. Or, I have to deal with people that treat love like leprosy. Uncontrollable. All encompassing. Deadly. I may have said this before, but I happen to be one of those women who don’t wait to hear the “L” word before she uses it. I think the entire rationale is juvenile. I know those who think that when a woman uses that word first, she surrenders her power over the man. At one point, I was a person who would not share feelings until the guy said something first. I’m 32. If I’m involved with a person to the extent that I love them (no small feat), then I think it would be positively stupid on my part not to tell them.

I don’t do this because I expect to ride off into the sunset. I don’t do it because I expect that relationship to be forever. I do it because I know that life is short, and if someone means something to you, you should tell them. I take great pains to eliminate “I wish I said” from my lexicon.

Unfortunately, the straight shooter is not in demand. We are so comfortable with hiding from each other, with lying to each other, with taking one another for granted, that when you open your mouth to say, “You know, I like you, and I like who I am when I’m with you,” people run in fear. I haven’t allowed it to make me weary, but it does sometimes make me worry. Relationships are being being built on the sand that is deception and fear at an alarming rate. My discomfort with the way people feed lies to others is only surpassed by the ease in which people seem to be willing to choke those lies down.

And I’m the anomaly, because I can’t accept it. As much as I complain about being single, I acknowledge the fact that it’s a choice, because if I had the ability to swallow what my gut told me was untrue, if I mastered the art of delusion, I probably wouldn’t be single. But I won’t. I know that I’m true; more true than any broad that plays the game. And if I can be true after being hurt, picking myself up and dusting myself off, I’m really not trying to hear excuses as to why others can’t.

So what do I do in the meantime? Be fly, happy, and dance on Saturday nights like there’s no tomorrow.

*This is not to say that there are no topics that I find daunting, or challenging. But these things are most assuredly the exception, and not the rule.

What happens in the morning

“Hey you, the world is waiting.  It’s waiting for YOU!  YOU MUTHAFUCKA!!!!  GET UP!  GET UP! GET UP!!  You were in bed by 10 and you didn’t get laid, so you’re not tired.  Get UP!!!  I don’t give a squireel’s fart that it’s five am and you don’t have to be up til 6:30.  What did I s…Oh no you didn’t.  Guess what?  Now you have to pee.  Not regular pee either.  Horse pee.  Yeah.  That’s right.  You’re my bitch.”

My subconscious and internal clock hate me.  I know what time I have to wake up, but my body refuses to let me sleep until that time.  Now, I know that is supposed to mean that I’m well rested and whatnot, but I still feel like a crumb bum.  I DESPISE having to punch a clock.  I hate that shit more than i hate the Nazis, and I friggin HATE the Nazis.

I keep seeing my future, and the more I see, the more I am certain that I will not be a legal secretary for the rest of my life.  I think my subconscious is punishing me for not exectuting this in a moer expedient manner.  I’m a pretty fearless dame for the most part.  I’m the type of chick who, if the situation called for it (and we were say, in the wildernees or something), would break out “Brain Surgery for Dummies,” handle her business, and do that shit like a champ!  Therefore, the fact that I haven’t really plunged headlong into something that is not only my passion, but something I’m pretty good at, is beyond me.  I guess it’s time that I…

(wait for it)

…am waiting to be kicked in the balls.  (Thought I was gonna forget about balls today, huh?)

just b

PS  Is it too much to ask that you jump around and scream like Pee Wee’s Playhouse every time I reference balls?

PPS If you think that you are too highbrow to engage in that sort of activity, you’re probably in the wrong place?