Monday, November 29, 2010

Big Girls Do It Better

Have you ever had someone that you loved to see in private but didn’t want to take them out in public? I’ve had my share of “little secrets” (word to Xscape) but never because I was embarrassed to be seen with them, more because I keeps my business to myself.

The other day in Target while grabbing a box of Special K with red berries I overheard a conversation between two (I would assume) 20-something black men,

Man 1: Last Night my dude!
Man 2: Awwww yeah Kesh came over.
Man 1: Yeah you know she big but she puts it down.
Man 2: Big girls are the ish! They go above and beyond sheeeeeeeit!!!
Man 1: Yeah she know if she don’t she’ll be out. Don’t nobody want no big girl!
Man 2: I’m sayin! This aint the south fool!
(laughs from both)
Man 1: I saw her the other day and she was all smilin’ and sh*t. I shut that down!
Man 1: She know if she see me outside, act like she don’t know me.
Man 2: (laughs) Right! No one wanna be seen wit her big a$$!

I stood there with my box of cereal in midair feeling stuck. First of all, why is that conversation appropriate at all, let alone in a store. What bothered me the most wasn’t where they were but what they were saying. I didn’t say anything because that wasn’t my business to talk to them about their personal relations with whomever they choose to sleep with.

I’m not new to this so I’ve definitely heard this “big girls do it better” theory before. It just struck a nerve with me that these men were open to sexual relations with someone who they wouldn’t want to be seen in public with. So she’s good enough to please you and possibly have a child with but you don’t want anyone to know that you know her? Chile Please (© Chad “Ochocinco”)

I’m a strong advocate for women taking control of their sexual satisfaction with whomever they choose (safely of course). Do your thang sis, get yours! But don’t ever ever EVER let a man use you! I’m sure the woman that this man was sleeping with knew exactly how he felt about her. He didn’t seem like the type to mince words. At that point it’s on the woman to make the decision on how she is treated. Don’t even think about saying that the man lowered your self esteem…(cue Kat Williams)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is upon us. For me it means that my Grams will make her famous German Chocolate cake (we only get it once a year). It means that Mom will be making and selling sweet potato pies like crazy. It means my uncle’s pecan pie. It means my aunt Kim’s rolls (I will cut you over one a nem rolls). It means that everyone will be at my parents house on Thanksgiving day. It means that Dad will go to Nations to get breakfast on that morning (yum) it also usually means that I won’t be allowed to touch food of any kind pre dinner time. I’m not welcome in the kitchen and here’s why…

At my parents house there is an apple tree in the backyard. We don’t usually eat from it but when I was younger maybe 13, my sister and I decided to make an apple pie with the apples from the tree. We had all the ingredients, peeled and chopped apples, rolled out crust and mixed all the ingredients with the apples. Our parents were outside on the deck having a glass of wine and enjoying the Indian Summer.

My sister is 14 years older than I am so she was supposed to be in charge of everything. I set the oven to 350˚ and we put our first homemade apple pie in the oven. I went to my room to watch TV and the next thing I know I hear the smoke detector going off. My parents run in from the backyard and my sis comes out of her room. Let me tell you!!!!!! The kitchen was filled with thick dark smoke. We opened all the windows in kitchen the smell was terrible! Dad looks at the oven and says, “Why was the oven on broil?!”

I look at my sis and we can’t believe it because we double checked that the oven was on the right temperature. The pie had charcoal black crust and the inside was the consistency apple sauce so from now on I have been banned from the kitchen. For Thanksgiving dinner my sister brings Waldorf Salad (you don’t have to use the stove at all for that)

So on Thanksgiving day I will probably get up early, do my hair, beat my face, wear some kind of fall colored outfit complete with 4 inch heels, spend a little time talking with family and eat myself into a coma then nap and do it again. Gotta love Thanksgiving LOL

Monday, November 15, 2010

Moment of Honesty: The S Word

Okay so we’ve gotten kinda close over the past month or so. (I know you all are reading even if you don’t comment LOL). I think it’s time for a #momentofhonesty…Here we go…

I HATE to share.
(with the vigor of Rumplestilskin jumping up and down when the millers daughter said his name)

I know you’re looking at your screen right now like didn’t she just post about the importance of giving a couple weeks ago? Yes I did. But here’s the thing, I don’t mind giving of my time but my personal things are another story. In life I know that giving of my time and resources is key. I’m a Christian and I have no problem with Malachi 3:10 (I’m not a thief). I’ll buy a person something to eat that’s asking for food, but I have a serious issue with splitting half of my sandwich with someone.

I was the child that hated to let someone else use my crayons because I didn’t want them to get worn down. I’d keep Barbies in the box because I wanted them to stay pretty and perfect. I save some products because if I use it, it will be gone.

I noticed that this aversion to sharing has continued on to adulthood. If someone asks can they have some of my drink I tell them wait a sec and drink my fill then let them have it. It’s not so much the germs that bother me (even though that’s super high on the list of concerns. I’m notorious for getting strep throat) it’s the fact that the person keeps reaching for a cup that is mine. It gets under my skin. And one sip is okay but take a gulp and I’m liable to cut you!

I do blame it partly on being an only child. I didn’t have any siblings that I had to share with and my cousins were either older or younger by an average of 5 years. I come from a family in which each household takes care of their own. My mom says her father taught her brothers to take care of home first and foremost. (Home being his wife and children) We get together for holidays and BBQs but for the most part everyone minds their own business.

With all that said I know it wouldn’t be fair for me to be in a serious relationship and flip out over him taking a sip of my soda or a bite of my sandwich but how do I get over this? Hmmm…

Monday, November 8, 2010

To My Sistas

We live in a world where we have a black president AND a beautiful black first lady Michelle Obama. We’ve got double degrees, our ladies anthems range from Drake’s “Fancy” to Jill Scotts “Hate on Me”. We are well versed in Sanchez, Angelou, Shange and Giovanni. Some of us spend our Saturdays at Burke Williams’s day spas, we shop at Niemans, Saks, and Barneys, and Louis Vuitton and Christian Louboutin are staples in our wardrobes. Yes there is a shortage of eligible black men *rolls eyes* and many of us are having a hard time balancing relationships and career. (See any and every special on CNN, ABC etc on black relationships) But there’s another issue that’s heavy on my heart.

For all the great strides we’ve made, for all the positive influences we have, we still have this negative attitude towards each other. Scrunched up faces as soon as another sista walks into the same space we’re in. We don’t use smiles when we greet each other. Instead we stare each other down in a way that is more invasive than a rectal exam. Judgment is made based on what we see in a five second glance of a fellow sista from the crown of her head to the soles of her feet. If her style deviates too far from our own she’s immediately dismissed as irrelevant. If her personal style is too similar to ours (Heaven forbid another woman be as fly, smart, educated or pretty etc. as we are) she’s everything but her name.

The chocolate sista with the relaxed pixie cut cuts her eyes at the butterscotch sista with the big natural ringlets in the Carol’s Daughter section in Sephora. The caramel sista with the Howard University sweatshirt clucks her tongue at the ebony one with the UC Berkeley t-shirt on in Peete’s Coffee. The mahogany sis coming out of whole foods with her 100% African shea butter purchase in hand tisks and shakes her head at the mocha sis coming out of the MAC cosmetics store with the 3 tubes of lipglass and 2 shades of StudioTech foundation in her shopping bag.

We walk around with armor thicker than the skin of a rhinoceros afraid to pay one another a compliment because we’ll be damned before we make another woman feel like she is special or pretty. We’ve all been there. Last Friday I wore a cute ruffled black dress to happy hour with black strappy 5 inch heels. It was way more crowded than usual in general, but there were so many black women there of all ages. (Blame it on Tyler Perry) so I approach the security guard and engage him in conversation. I felt the eyes and could almost see the “who she think she is?” And her “hair ain't real anyway” comments going off in the other black women’s heads.

Why do we do this to each other? In this day and age we know better. 2010 has been the year of the Black woman. Beyonce made history with her record 6 Grammys, Monique won the Academy award for her role in Precious and she has her own late night talk show that is doing very well. We have role models like Amy D. Barnett who is the new EIC of Ebony Magazine which just celebrated its 65th Anniversary. BET aired My Mic Sounds Nice: The Truth About Women in Hip Hop and Beverly Bond’s Black Girls Rock aired on BET last night. Kelly Price, Marsha Ambrosius, Jill Scott and Ledisi performed a moving rendition of Nina Simone’s “Four Women”. This song is a great example of even through all the external differences that black women in America have we all have struggles. Let’s face it, being a black woman in America still isn’t easy. Why can’t we lean on each other and build each other up rather than tear each other down? I know some people are reading and thinking “I don’t go around putting other black women down” We have to understand its not just spoken words that can be used as weapons. We cut each other with our eyes, and slice one another and ourselves with negative thinking.

And we wanna be the first one's singing out Beyonce's "Why Don't you Love Me?" When we don't love ourselves or each other. But I digress...

So the next time to see a sista, smile and say hi. If you think she’s fly compliment her. It won’t kill you.

Enjoy this video of “Four Women”

Saturday, November 6, 2010

For Colored Girls: My Thoughts

A couple of weeks ago I was reading Belle’s tweets after she went to a screening of Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls. I was glad to hear from her that it wasn’t going to be done in typical TP fashion but it wasn’t quite all that it could have been. She said all the things I wanted to say (She’s AMAZING) Read her review at or click on the link to her blog that I have on the side. The post is titled For Colored Girls:A Review.

I always like to make sure that I read the book before seeing a film adaptation because I like to see how much the film deviates or stays true to the original work. I’ve done it with A Raisin in the Sun, Push, The Notebook, Waiting to Exhale, How Stella Got Her Groove Back etc.

Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Isn’t Enough” is no exception. My parents have a poster in their bedroom from the play back in the day. I’ve looked at the poster a million times. When I got to high school I finally read the play and it touched me in so many ways. Shange’s words touch you deep down in your soul.

The film has an amazing cast. I believe it is a great movie for people who don’t know about Shange. They can use the movie as a starting point and then read the book to get the full depth of what she’s saying. (A woman sitting behind me in the theatre said "Maya Angelou had to be in this because this is deep" during a scene with Anika Noni Rose. The ignorance put a knife in my heart) This movie can be a tool for them to understand why women have been captivated by this play for years.

Go out and see the movie this weekend if you can! Support black art!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Man of my Dreams: A Poem

This is a poem I wrote based on the dream I had the other night. I woke up at 5am unfortunately and couldn’t get that warm and fuzzy feeling back *le sigh* but this man…this man…made me feel like a natural woman!
Enjoy ;)

Man of my Dreams

Last Night I dreamt of you
The attraction was instant
I was drawn to you like a magnet

The strong rumble of your voice called out to me
Even though you didn’t speak my name
The thunder before the lightening

I had to see your face
Before I knew what was happening
I was gliding over to you like I was in a Spike Lee film

There you were
Smooth skin akin to crème brulee
Warm cinnamon eyes
When I looked into them I saw who I really was
Who I was meant to be and what my purpose was on this Earth
I felt Lauryn and D’Angelo singing in my soul
Nothing even mattered
*3 snaps*

In you I saw the Cliff to my Claire
Complete with children performing by the stairs
In you I saw the Ossie to my Ruby Dee
Over 50 years of love and understanding

Fingers intertwined we walked off in the distance
Leaving a path of icicles and slush
That used to encase our frozen hearts

Moving forward towards a warm and sunny forever
Our hearts and souls wrapped in love
We faded into the light

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Importance of Giving

Today I was talking with East Coast Girlfriend (ECG) and she mentioned that she was going to be volunteering at a food bank this week. We spent a little while discussing the importance of volunteering and at the same time Dream Hampton (!!!)* put this quote up on twitter,

“There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don’t expect you to save the world I do think its not asking too much to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect” –Nikki Giovanni

The holidays are a time when I reflect on the past year, spend time with family, and try to make some time to volunteer and give back to my community. This quote really struck a chord with me for various reasons. The first being that many people volunteer during this time of the year. That’s great! At the same time the less fortunate need help all throughout the year. (pause for a moment of self reflection)

The second was that while I know I spend a lot of time thinking about what I can do to help others, how much time am I devoting to the people that I call friends and family. This year has been a year of great loss for me and other people in my inner circle. Death is a part of life, I know and accept that. This year more than any other I want to make sure that my loved ones know that they have my love and support.

Sometimes we just need a reminder

*If you are a writer, especially a black female writer you understand my excitement over Dream Hampton. “Yeah she’s pretty much amazing” (where is that quote from?)