Wednesday, July 27, 2005

This bugged me

This morning I read a "poem" pertaining to male discontent with the "independent woman." In recent months I've heard this repeated ad nauseum and it's got me a little uptight. Believe me, I'm as tired as the brothers of hearing every woman proclaim independence (particularly those living with relatives, married to governmental assistance or damn near prostituting themselves to pay their bills). However, as I said before regarding good men, most independent women are too busy doing the shit that makes them independent to toot their own horns. That being said, the following statement annoyed me: "INDEPENDENT=ALONE". What the hell?

If a sister spouts the ideology that she only has time for an "accomplished" brother, and she has not attained comparable accomplishments, she is enslaved to her own "knight in shining armour" mentality. She has neither pot nor window, but she's knows that "Mr. Right" is going to elevate her. It goes without saying that this woman is not independent.

When a single sister has attained certain accomplishments, and subsequently uses said accomplishments to berate and browbeat men, she also, is NOT independent. She is a ball buster. She is enslaved to her past hurts and the things that she has read which have convinced her that a man can do nothing for her. She is also enslaved to her own ego. So, for a brother to hold her up as a symbol of independence is flawed.

There is also folly in assuming that an independent woman is single and unhappy or, if she is married, her husband's life is a living hell. I've seen quite a few successful marriages where the woman is independent, yet considerate and respectful of her husband. I'm not referring to folks in my age group, but rather, a success that has been charted for ten years or more. A degree of independence is required, in my opinion, to uphold the vows of "in sickeness and in health." In the event that a husband becomes ill, one would think that he can rest easy knowing that his wife will step up and handle business for him. A truly indpendent woman would also recognize that communication is key in interpersonal relationships and therefore, would value the importance of communication in her marriage/committed relationship.

I can't overlook the fact that some independent sisters are busy. Since there's nothing more unattractive than a sister begging for bill money, having to handle business comes with the territory. That being said, if a sister doesn't find you engaging, she probably won't give you too much of her already precious spare time. This is not to say that something is wrong with you or that something is wrong with her. The two of you just aren't compatible. I can attest to the fact that when "it" is there, busy folks will make the time. So take heart and don't just label the sister because it didn't work out between the two of you.

I don't have an issue with folks liking what they like...but to demonize something merely because it is not your preference is very "blah" to me, because what they have done is taken a label and applied it acrossed the board. There are a lot of sisters who are independent and balanced and statements like that often detract from the accomplishments of those sisters.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Life's Massage

While hitching a ride on Sweet Kimmie's Train of Thought I noticed that Neena told her to let life massage her, but she didn't quite define what was involved in that. Here are some things that I think of that qualify as my massages of life.

1. Hanging with my girlfriends

I mean just legitimately hanging, sipping wine, listening to music and reminescing - WITHOUT uttering the words "I hate when men ___." I love my sisters, but some of us really need to let the brothers BREAVE! I really began to enjoy being single when every time I hung with I developed a close circle of friends that didn't turn every gathering into a man gab fest.

2. Dancing with my kids

I LOVE to watch my little shorties dance. Ty tries to do all that ticking shit all the kids are doing these days (I sound like my father) and Jae just kind of struts her prissy self around, lol. It's really a lot of fun.

3. Making lemons out of lemonade

It sounds corny and I often live by the creed "When life gives you lemons, squirt as many people in the eye as humanly possible," but sometimess, lemonade is in order. My car has been out of commission for a couple of weeks now, so every morning and evening, while on public transportation, I give myself mental health time. This society is saturated with distractions: Cable, the internet, the telephone, cell phones, video games and iPods have really taken over. We rarely just take a few minutes to quietly collect our thoughts. So for 20 minutes of my bus trip each way, I tune out everything and just think, plan, scheme, whatever. It's actually quite refreshing.

4. Going on a date

This one I don't do very often, but an enjoyable date is priceless, even if it's just a friendship date. Sometimes being in the company of a man is just fun. I don't mean this bed hopping booty call crap that folks call dating these days. I mean just going to dinner, going to a movie, a concert, walking in the park and saying "Good night, I had a great time. I'll call you later." Folks seem to see that as boring these days.

5. Watching a good action movie

The sight of fictitious ass getting whipped does wonders for my soul. My kids are going to my sister's for a week and the FIRST thing I'm doing when they leave is popping "Fists of Fury" in the DVD player.

6. Talking to my sisters

They are beautiful, hilarious, compassionate and strong. Of course, I occasionally want to crack them over the cabezas, but they are the best. No one can replace them.

7. PJ shopping

Once upon a time I had as much night wear as day wear. There's just something about the right pair of pajamas that gets me giddy.

8. Reading

Pick up a book dammit. You just might learn something. I am a fountain of useless trivia because I read. But I'm also have gained a lot of knowledge for that same reason.

9. Chewing the fat with Michelle

I'm not in the habit of making new friends. The ones I've had for years suit me just fine. However, I'm glad I bent that rule, because she's great. We are exactly alike and completely different all at the same time, and we keep each other (in)sane. DIVAS!!

10. Straying from the beaten path

Being a worker drone, a parent and just getting older has made me quite methodical. I tend to do things according to a routine that I don't deviate from. However, it's good to switch up the game every once in a while. Sometimes, I run across new things that turn out to be something I can incorporate into the routine.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

To all the boys I've looooooved befoooooooore...

Reading the relationship musings of the legend known as Harlem Slim, has me pondering my own romantic past. If I had a few minutes to talk to each of them, here's what I would say to them today:

MD - First "boyfriend" To date, you are the only guy that ever gave me flowers. And...and...remember that time you gave me your last Capri Sun at our class picnic and cursed out Chris for knocking down my Coke...remember? Yeah...that was cool.

CA - Dude you tortured me for two months. Couldn't you have just told me you liked me? Throwing spitballs and bugs at people is really just gross...and that eyelid thing was creepy. You made up for it by writing that rhyme about me though. It was tight and I still smile when I remember the hook.

OJ - You were such a sweetheart. My mother loved you. Really. I think she liked that fact that you were a little left of center. I'm glad to see that you've made your life beautiful.

JH - Dude, you were a waste of time even for a middle school boyfriend. And what was up with the chickenhead scallywag? There is no way in the world I was giving up ass at 13, but you picked one hell of a route to take. I would have felt better if it was Latonya, or even Shante...but Keisha? Ewwww. Rumor has it you're strung out on "the shit" now and Keisha - she had "crack ho" written all over her in 8th grade. I hope that's not true, but that's the road you were heading down when I knew you. That's messed up.

EV - Didn't I tell your ass to call BEFORE 10? 1:30? WTF? You saw my KNEW he was crazy...ONE THIRTY? I was grounded for two weeks after that. Thanks for nothing.

GM - You caught me at my "people are just people" phase and though you were nice, I did realize one thing: black folks and white folks were different. Plus I always got the feeling that your mom was 3 seconds from a nigger joke and I think we both know how that would have turned out. I also see how things turned out with the sister you DID end up with. Glad I figured you out early on.

HJM - I've already blogged about you extensively. You will always be loved by me, but I can't ever love you "that way" again. You always seemed like you were distracted and that sort of got tired. It's not like I didn't try to make it work or BEG you to work with me, but you gave me nothing. Then when I figured it was time to part ways, you were bewildered. I've admitted that I didn't handle it the right way - that I was flat out wrong - but you never admitted your part. Then, the way you invited yourself back into my life and disappeared - that was special. You really could have left me alone. I guess you had to get the last word. Hope that made you feel better.

MR - I could insult you but what's the use? Plus I can't blame you for being, well, you. Everybody told me what you were and I went ahead and tried to build something with you anyway. I'm glad you found a Tina for your Ike, because I wasn't the one for that shit.

CL - You are worse than herpes. Just when I think it's safe to go back in the water, you try to pop up again. When I was ready to go to the next level, you acted like I asked you throw your dick into a wood chipper. Then when I finally went my own way, you acted like the ground I walked on was sanctified and when I took you seriously, you went back to the old you. What is that shit? And did you REALLY think it could happen twice? Ooooh, you just simple.

DA - That massage thing? That is the oldest, most tired trick in the book. I didn't have a damn headache. My "corn" allergy started flaring up and that's why I called a cab.

LS - I don't know what happened. You fell into the "friendship zone" and I stopped looking at you like a "dude". My bad about the giggling, but I really didn't think you were serious. You gotta admit that it came out of the blue. Glad you got over it though. Even if you don't get no bigga...

KA - You didn't think I would tell you no did you? You are one of the prettiest people I've ever laid eyes on, but outside of that...I get nothing. You weren't mean, you weren't nice, you weren't funny, you weren't corny, you were just...there. It was like going to dinner with this really pretty picture and I just couldn't get with that.

RR - You really hurt me man. After my separation I was a bonified love hater and you joked your way into the inner circle. Deep inside, I knew you had a girlfriend, but like you said, I never asked. Since I thought we were friends, I didn't think I would have needed to. I spotted the three of you in Semolina's recently. I'd never seen them before, but she looks like both of you. I'm glad y'all were able to hold it together.

SK - You, sir, are a lepton. (Thanks

Yeah...that sums it up.

Monday, July 11, 2005

"People don't forget they have kids."

These two round chocolate faces are focused on me, waiting for an answer. It's not that I don't have an answer for them - I just don't want to give it. The ringleader repeats the question:

"Did you hear me? I asked why my daddy doesn't call me."

Previously, I either avoided the question ("It's time for bed"), changed the subject ("Who wants some pizza/to go to Walmart/IHOP?") or flat out lied ("He's gone away to work" when he was in jail). Evidently, my oldest finally saw through my subterfuge and wanted some answers. This was his third time asking me that question within an hour, so I felt like I owed him a response. I tried diplomacy first. I told him that sometimes, people get very tied up with their lives, and they can forget to do things, even contact people that are very important to them. My four year old looked at me with eyes as big as saucers, "My daddy forgot me?" I immediately realized that if ever there was a wrong answer, I gave it. Before I could fix it my son blurted out, "Nuh uh. People don't forget they have kids. All he has to do is call and say hey." Out of the mouths of babes.

The conversation sort of ended there, because it was a Saturday and there were cartoons to be seen, but it was an elephant in the room of my mind, because I knew it would have to be addressed, I just wasn't sure when or how.

Fast forward a couple of weeks. We're fixing lunch. Lil Man is helping me at the stove, Baby Girl is "stirring" the Kool Aid, and we're having a wonderful time. Seemingly out the blue, my son says, "Maybe if we tell my daddy we can cook we can come over." And my daughter starts singing this "I'm gonna go by my daddy" song. He picks up the phone and calls his dad and, surprise surprise, he's not home. Ty is disgusted because he's been getting this same song and dance for a month now. My kids go into an immediate funk and one of them implies that if they promise to be good, maybe they can go to his house "next time." Four years later and this motherfucker is STILL fucking up my program. Not five minutes before, we were having a great time, then virtually at the mention of his name, the whole vibe changed. The fact that my children, who (though they may be pains in the asses) bring me joy, laughter, love and general entertainment, think that his absence is due to some deficiency on their part is enough to make me want to deliver a shotgun blast between his eyes. But I collect my thoughts and give my children the best thing I know how - the God's honest truth:

In this world, you're gonna be surrounded by people. Some will always be there, some you will never see again and some will come and go like the breeze. Some will express love, some will express hate and some won't show anything, but don't let that take away from who you are. You will always be Ty and Jae and you will always be loved by me and even if he doesn't call, by your dad. Plus, if you don't have anyone else, you have God's love. You are both beautiful and helpful and smart and great. Even when you aren't around I think about you and you make me smile and I'll bet your dad thinks about you too. I won't make excuses for why your dad doesn't call, because I don't know, but I can tell you this, when a person is ready to talk, they will. Until that time comes, try not to worry about anybody that doesn't show that they are worried about you because they've got their own issues to work out.

Now, there are folks that will say I'm wrong, but there's no way in hell I'm going to stand there and let my kids think this is their issue. I would have preferred that they put the blame on me. Anything but blaming themselves. I really don't have the time or the energy to harbor hatred for anyone, but if ever I did, he'd be at the top of the list.

Now I know that one day, he's going to look at the people that they become and want to kick himself. I know one day he's going to be confronted to answer questions, questions that will hurt him, make him cry and make him wonder what was that important that he had to miss out on his children. I know that one day he may even wonder how he made room for another man to fill in the role of "Dad" while all he has is a mere title.

What I don't know is why it had to come to this at all.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

My first love

I remember him well. His name was Maurice and I met him in the second grade. He was smart, nice and funny. I was seven and he was. . . about 40. He was my guidance counselor and he would visit my class once a week - every Thursday at 2:00 p.m. to be exact. Every Thursday, I would pick out an outfit, make sure that my mom ironed it properly, wear bows in my hair and refused to play so that I wouldn't get scummy looking. He was actually the first person that truly encouraged my writing. As a kid, I had these bushy eyebrows and of course, folks poked fun and I hated them. Mr. Maurice told us that my eyebrows were what made me unique and things that are unique are what makes us beautiful. Looking back and pictures of my younger days, I looked like my forehead was attacked by two wild caterpillars, but Mr. Maurice was forever in my heart for being sweet to a gangly, bushy-browed kd.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

A tear for Big Pimpin'

For those of you that don't know, Big Pimpin' is my car. I told myself that I would name my car after the first song I heard on the radio that made me bob my head. Jay-Z came on and the legend was born. My car's previous owner was an extremely militant lesbian and I had a whole bunch of gay pride and gay interest stickers on my car. If I got out of a car and there was a gay chick around, I was getting mad love. As it turns out, the prior owner was evidently well known so I was asked on more than one occasion "Is this Cathy's car?"

The car is old as hell and I think on it's last leg. It's a 1991 and had 220k miles on it when I bought it. The trunk doesn't work, something in the wheel well is bent, it gets boisterous when it goes over 65 and the headlights don't go down anymore...but I love it. However, it gets me and my friends wherever we have to go, and I'm NEVER ashamed to park my shit in the front. Some folks, when they go clubbing, they'll park their car 3 blocks away and walk to the club. Not me and my homies. I will proudly part it smack in the front. To the folks that don't like it and talk shit, fuckem. However my car may look, I promise you that the vision that steps out of it is on point.

Today however, I have no car. My alternator is shot. I bought a new battery Friday and it turns out that the alternator was the issue. DAMMIT!! Two weeks ago, I had to replace my tires. So far, we're at about $250 in car repairs. I'm too broke for this shit. I should have been prepared for this though. EVERY three day weekend brings car issues. It's like my car says, "She ain't got nothin better to do. Let me fuck with her right quick." I'm giving consideration to purchasing something else, I'm just not sure of what right now. Hopefully I can get things in order in the near future because this unexpected crap is really killing my social life.