Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Psalms for Our Sons

"I move in, and y'all must move on
'Cause I move too strong
And I know what my feet move for
Made it go without a brand new car
Made it fresh without a brand new song
And give a fuck about what brand you are
I'm concerned what type of man you are
What your principles and standards are
You understand me y'all"

- Mos Def "Sunshine"

In addition to being the mother of a lovely and exuberant little girl who will be seven next week, I also have a nine year old son, whom I affectionately refer to as "Finge." Finge is a terrific little guy; a little shy at first glance, but brainy and personable. This morning he looked at me and said, "Did you know the word gymnasium is actually Latin, and it meant 'school for gymnastics'?" He is lanky, awkward, makes straight A's in math and science, collects Pokemon cards, loves music, and plans to attend Johns Hopkins. And yet, I worry.

Despite my worring and potential difficulties, I still have to shape this boy into a man. Of course, there is no sure-fire method. I've seen young men with the best of circumstances get sentenced to life in prison; and those with the worst go on to become prime examples of black manhood. At the end of the day, it depends on us as parents, knowing, educating and loving our sons.


In the March 2008 issue of Essence, Bill Cosby was interviewed regarding the deterioration of his hometown, Philadelphia. He addresses that much of the pitfalls are due to a lack of character in our young men; more specifically, the lack of parenting to develop that character. One of the biggest lessons taught to me by my father is that when character faces off against consequence, with time, character always wins. When your character, and not the consequence, motivates you on a principle, you are far more likely to adhere to that principle. So are we teaching our children not to steal and kill because they will go to jail? Or are we teaching them not to do these things because they are not theives and murderers? I urge you to not dismiss this as simple semantics.

It is said that mothers "raise their daughters and love their sons." It galls me when I see mothers poo poo the absolute antisocial behavior of their sons as them just being boys. That lack of direction spills into every aspect of their lives. I know that some people are against corporal punishment, and that's fine if that works for you. However, I'm a firm believer that, though my son is a good boy (and he is), he will test me by doing some off the chain shit, and I will not hesitate to put my foot in his ass (figuratively of course; not every issue can or should be solved with an ass whupping). How many times have we seen a boy being sent up for armed robbery, rape, or murder, only to hear his mother decry the charges because her son "was really a good boy." Maybe he was, but if you don't correct his character, that will only get you so far.

Respect for Women

I read another article in the above referenced issue of Essence, in which the editor expressed concern for the state of todays music; among her concern was the sexual overtones. Her seven year old was singing that Solja Boy "Superman" song. Of course, as any mother worth her salt would, she told him that he shouldn't sing that song. Conversely, as any seven year old worth his salt would, he asked her why. This is where things get tricky. She read him the "because I said so" act, because she couldn't "explain to him why it was inappropriate to sing about ejaculating on young girls." She's right, to a point. He wasn't ready for the raw dog explanation. However, it is never too soon to teach our young boys that girls are to be respected, and that song referenced a disrespectful act. The lyrics in the song say "then Superman that ho." He was too young to be told that ho is a disrespectful term? You can't entirely blame the music when you are shirking your teaching responsibilities.

Sexual Education

Answer your children's questions about sex. I mentioned in an earlier post that Finge recently asked me what it meant to masturbate, and I told him. After I explained what it was (in a manner appropriate for his age, it's not like I was sharing technicques), he said, "Oh, because my friend said it was [insert absurd explanation here]." Two things happened here: (1) I gave him an honest answer to a potentially tough question (I'm sure he didn't want to talk about choking his chicken with his mother any more than I did) without freaking the hell out; (2) I established that I know more than his friends, making it more likely for him to ask me questions later.

We need to be more cognizant of teaching our sons that their sexuality is not what defines them. The going message is that black males are little more than sexual beings, meant to conquer as many "females" (a term that goes through me, but I'll explain that when I discuss our young girls) as possible, as early as possible. The number of men that I know who lost their virginity before the age of 12 is staggering. And more often than not, it was to someone much older than themeselves. If you are a man and this has happened to you, you were sexually molested. You're not "lucky;" it's quite possible that you need counseling. We ignore these travesties, then wonder why so many of our boys are sexually immature, with multiple baby mamas.


The other night, my son was griped to me and asked, "Mama, why did you teach me to speak this way? I speak TOO proper." Knowing that he was regurgitating what some other idiot told him, I asked where he got that idea. Surprise, surprise, it was his idiot father. It took me a moment to reply. I first had to conquer the overwhelming urge to say, "First of all, tell that dumb muthafucka that you don't 'speak proper', you 'speak properLY'." I instead told him that there was nothing wrong with the way he spoke, and just because some people don't like it, that really means little, because at the end of the day, if you like yourself, that's what matters. He then said, "Well, I think something might be wrong, because half the time, I don't understand what [idiot father's name] and the rest of them are saying." So then, of course, I had to again go to battle with my inner self, so as not to say, "That's because your soul has not been possessed by the spirit of powerful niggardry." Again, I was victorious.

Isn't it high time we stopped buying into the slave mentality that certain things are "for white people?" (Well, except for boxes of wine. Y'all can have that one white folks.) Can we just be glad that we have a kid who just MIGHT decide to be his own individual?

A lack of standing up for our boys explains why so many of them never quite make it to becoming men. I will not pretend to have all, or even most, of the answers. But I do know that if we don't change our tactics on a macro level, we are doing our boys a grave injustice.

Monday, February 25, 2008

My body is my temple; pie is the sacrament

So, I've been cutting back on the foodage lately, and I'm feeling the results. Last night, I even went to McDonald's because I promised the kids, and I did NOT get an apple pie. What was my dessert? LOWFAT YOGURT BITCHES! Yogurt has been my standby from the way back. I remember being seven, and on the phone with one of my friends (what the hell did we have to talk about at seven?) and when I told her I was eating yogurt, she acted as though I descended from Neptune.

Where was I when wheat became the devil incarnate? All of a sudden, people are up in arms about wheat. And um, I'll be damned if I'm giving up my peanut butter and jelly, 'kay dude? Chill out with all that. Plus, don't whole grains clean out your insides? Isn't the roughage a good thing? (Does whole grain count as "roughage," or is that a term specifically for fruits and veggies?)

I'm registering my kids for some activities. Finge wants to play baseball and Lil Bit wants to dance. I'm not the most sociable of people, nor am I the "I've got the Gatorade and apple slices next week!" sort, but it seems I will have to get over it.

There are lots of sites out there geared toward weight loss. I tend to steer clear of those that endorse "diets." Instead, I refer to tips on improving my health and eating habits. I find that diets almost invariably exclude stuff I like. Who's going to give a damn that I'm skinny if I'm a 360 degree bitch? That's right up there with those Alli pills making oil leak out of your ass. I laugh at that every time I see the commercial.

Believe it or not, completely avoiding the Lifetime network is good for your health. Have you ever watched those movies? Two hours full of hypertension, "Oh HELL no," and "BITCH is you smokin' reefer?" I can't take it.

I just really don't want to be 35 riding a rascal y'all.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


My grandfather passed away this weekend. His story is a post of its own, but my family is acting like some coons right now, so I'm going to hold off for a couple of days on that. I'm placing a 72 hour moratorium on coonery in all of it's forms and leaving it at that.

I like to say the words "ginko biloba." Actually, when I say it, I really enunciate - "ginKO biLOOOOObah!" It's fun, and a stress reliever. Try it. I'll wait. *whistling* Feeling delightfully silly aren't you? Don't be afraid. It's good for the bowels.

My son is nine. He loves wrestling. This disturbs me, but I allowed him to watch Monday Night Raw. Um...really? Are we saying that it's okay for the little person dressed like a leprechaun to be beaten unconscious? Really? So...I'm the only person who sees this as the gayest shit ever? Okay.

I always think it's funny when I offer up my seat to a woman and she gives me that, "Did this bitch just call me old?" look.

I'm cleaning out my desk. There's a lot of crap that they hand out that I have never even given so much as a glance. So, File 13 it is.

Why are chicken wings so damned great. Can you think of ONE occasion where chicken wings would be inappropriate? If there is, I don't want to be there. I mean, yeah you can't have chicken wings in the middle of Bible study or court and stuff like that; but where there is food, so should there be wings.

I read something yesterday that has inspired a blog post, but since I've been freestyling it for a minute now, I want to make sure I do the post justice. Be on the lookout.

The other night, Finge asked me what masturbate means. So, I told him. He's been playing with that thing since he was three; now he knows what it's called.

I'm finally set up my home computer in the new place, but I've become so accustomed to not having the computer on, I think I've only used it once. It was to check my MySpace page. Yeah. I still feel like a loser every time I go to it.

My father has always had a good job, we've always had a nice home and we've always had a nice car. From that, once, long ago, I had a cousin that opined that my father "had millions and millions of dollars." My sister Shaun and I dismissed that as complete lunacy the other night. If my father had millions and millions of dollars, we would have lived in the Millenium Falcon. No, not a home version, not a "scale model;" the Millenium fucking Falcon. And instead of that station wagon, our car would have been Dr. Who's ship.

Grizzly now has a partner in crime. He has not committed any offenses worthy of garnering himself a name, but he has been placed on notice.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

An Amalgamation of Hodge Podgery

So today I was reading this hilarious piece of journalism. (I particularly loved the "OH SHIT! RUN!" sections.) Reading the comments, reminded me of the time this happened to me. I find it amazing how wound up one person can get by another's opinion, which combined with fifty cents can barely get you a bag of potato chips. I mean, I get heated over things, but I take it to my own forum. Then again, I guess all is fair, because sometimes, the opportunity to hand out a verbal evisceration is good for the soul.

Kwame Kilpatrick...*sigh*. I didn't really pay attention to this dude, but evidently, he is no stranger to trouble. I would love to do a synopsis, but I really don't have the time. Go to Wikipedia and do a search on this dude. Point of interest: He threw a party where a stripper named "Strawberry" was included as part of the "entertainment." Oh yeah, rumor is, she was killed in an effort to keep her quiet about said event. Strawberry. Nigga, you are the mayor. You do not get lapdances in city owned property by strippers named Strawberry. Where I'm from, that's what we call crack whores. I won't even get into him cheating on his wife and documenting the evidence on city owned communication devices. I'm going to walk away from this one.

Okay, I can't completely walk away from it. The chick he cheated with was his chief of "staff," Christine Beatty. While in discussion with a comrade, he questioned why Kilpatrick's wife was present when he made that disingenuous apology, yet we have not even seen a whisper of Beatty's husband. And as I explained to him: women deal with foolishness all the time, particularly when they have an employed man with a functioning penis. Does it set feminism back a million years? Yep, but it's a damned fact. Her employed functioning penis happens to be attached to a mayor, and I'm sure that she has come to enjoy certain luxuries that come with that. (Luxuries that come despite the fact that the city is apparently in debt. The median price of a home in Michigan, according to a news report a few weeks ago, is in the $40k range.) Christine Beatty, does not have these things going for her. She's a woman. Women have vaginas. I know we women like to believe that Cristal and fireworks issue forth from our vaginas, but at the end of the day, pussy is a dime a dozen. I'm willing to wager that the strippers that were busting it open at Magoonian Mansion could teach her a thing or two. I'm sorry, but a woman that texts "Did you miss me sexually" sounds a bit too Jane Hathaway to hold a candle to Lexus and Shardonnay (yes, that's with an "S"). That being said, who wants to be the man with the manure munching grin standing next to the dime a dozen pussy bitch on national television? That dude is at this very moment, getting plastic surgery and changing his Social Security number.

I have a new toy. Get your mind out the gutter. It's a Palm Centro. I haven't completely mastered how to use it as of yet. I'm wack.

What part of the game is this? The only thing that baffles me more than a person having the nerve to espouse their hatred in a place that SHOULD be founded on love, is the wonder at why a gay individual would WANT to support such an establishment. I'm sorry, I have enough on my hands dealing with my own orifices. As long as your sexual preference does not involve children, and especially MY children, I could really give less than a damn what you do. And even more pathetic is the fact that I'll bet at least HALF of those "real men" that stepped up are fucking around on their wives, as "uber Christian" men are wont to do. (See where Kilpatrick offered his shitty apology.)

I think I ran out of words, so until next time.

(Actually, I'm just being lazy, it's time to go home, and I can't think of a clever way to close this. So...Smooches, love, luck and lollipops!)