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My Funny Valentine.

21 Feb

Last Valentine’s Day, I got dressed up (all black everything in honor of the day of love), beat my face, and took myself out to eat at a fancy restaurant I rarely get a chance to go to.

I was the only chocolate chip in the vanilla ice cream and the only solo person, so people stared. Just openly, chin-resting-on-their-palm stared.

A waitress, I don’t recall if she was mine or not, came over and gushed about how beautiful she thought I was, and didn’t want to embarrass me, but wanted to know if I’d be interested in modeling for her mom’s Mary Kay demos. She gave me her mother’s card. I never called.

One of the staring men, when his wife went to the rest room, asked why I was alone and said that he felt like he ought to buy me a rose. Did I want a rose? No, thanks. I did not.

This year, I again made my reservation for one and had a lovely and somewhat uneventful dinner. A rowdy table of four convinced one of the waiters to sing A Capella. Singing in front of an audience is, to me, the most terrifying thing a person can do, so in an act of solidarity, I kept my nose in the same book that I brought last year and hadn’t finished. Let’s explore diabetes with owls by David Sedaris, if you were wondering.

One of the rowdy table dwellers came over to mine. “Honey,” he said. “Honey, he’s gonna sing. Five minutes, okay?” and motioned to my book. I smiled – it was probably more of a grimace – and closed it.

The man asked the waiter what he wanted to sing. The waiter didn’t know; he was so nervous. Rowdy Roddy Piper, now back at his table, shouts over to me and says “Honey! Pick a song! What do you want him to sing?” I shook my head and put my hand up. “Oh. You don’t want to pick a song?” He put his hand on his chest, mildly shocked by my refusal. I tried smiling again and softly said “Too much pressure.” The waiter looked at me and nodded. “Yeah! Too much pressure!” I hoped this would be the end of it and that I could get back to my book and fazzoletti d’aragosta. Of course it was not.

When someone unexpectedly bursts into song and you’re made to watch them, what is the proper etiquette? Are you, as my own audience did last year, expected to put your chin in your hand and stare at the impromptu performer? Turn in your chair, fold your hands, and slowly nod along to the music, an example of both your inherit rhythm and approval or support of the vocalist? Broadly smile, showing all your teeth, and loudly whoop at random intervals?

The few diners that remained did these things. They also recorded the performance with their smart phones. I slunk down in my seat and cast my eyes to the floor because I was in the shot. Of course I was.

I turned awkwardly in my chair, folded my hands, nodded my head, smiled broadly, pretended to make eye contact with the waiter by staring at a point directly above his head, and put my chin in my hands. I did it all except for the whooping. The restaurant had real linen napkins and tablecloths. What am I, an animal?

The waiter sang “I won’t give up” by Jason Mraz adequately enough. But he sang all of it. Including a reprise. My face and neck was starting to hurt from all the forced nodding and smiling. I hadn’t thought about that song in years. I’d be a happy person to never hear it again.

It eventually ended, as most things do. I was able to order the restaurant’s perfect pistachio cake and savor it while the rowdy table drunkenly name dropped and one-upped each other. “Well, I’m in Manhattan all year round and just can’t get away!” “Really? Because we have a working farm with cows and chickens and everything and we manage to get away pretty often.” “Huh. Anyway, I didn’t see you at Wealthy Locally-Famous’ annual ball. You don’t go anymore? Absolutely everyone goes.” “Oh, well, I guess it’s just not really our thing. Speaking of balls, my husband has the smoothest, biggest pair of testes I’ve ever seen. Harvey, stand up and show them your balls.”


Earlier in the week, my thoughts weren’t on Valentine’s Day at all. Instead, they were consumed by the Squatty Potty.

I was looking into buying one as I’ve had. . . issues. There may also be a connection between straining and uterine health? Some women have claimed that the squatting position helped relieve fibroid symptoms over time, which is questionable to me, but hey. I can use all the help I can get.

I’d been trying to talk my dad, a colon cancer survivor, into getting a Squatty Potty. He was aware of their existence but was totally not convinced of their necessity or effectiveness. “Go and get yourself a stool from the Family Dollar. If you want something that’s better quality, Christmas Tree Shop is having a sale.”

I argued for the “ergonomic design” of the Squatty as opposed to some regular old stool that didn’t have a sticker of a smiling, squatting, barefoot white woman slapped on the front. “Hmmph. Well, they sell them at Bed Bath Beyond. Get one of those coupons before you go.” “And you’ll get one too, right Dad?” “Hmmph. We’ll see.”

I was at work when my father and I had this conversation. A student was bemoaning the fact that she didn’t have her Squatty Potty with her as she lives in on-campus housing and didn’t want to seem “weird” to her roommates. You know, for having a piece of furniture specifically designed to help her shit. When she sang the praises of the Potty, I called him right away.

Later, I went out to my car on my dinner break and noticed something in the driver’s sea. It was square and wrapped in a Bed Bath Beyond bag. A pink envelope sat on top, my name written in red ink, the ‘i’ dotted with a heart.

It was a Squatty Potty. It was from my dad. He signed the card as if it was from both him and my mother, but this had him written all over it.

Someday, I’ll fondly tell this story to my rescue cats and dogs, about the day on which I got a stool to help me effectively move mine as a surprise early Valentine’s Day gift from my father.

I took a picture of the card my dad sweetly included because it wasn’t just hearts and flowers and good wishes. Nope, that would be too boring and mainstream for my father.

valentines day 2015

 

In case you’re having trouble reading it, here’s what he wrote:

We love you!
God loves you!
Now go with the flow 🙂
Mommy and Daddy

And there you have it.

I can’t and I won’t complain. It was a kind and thoughtful gesture (By the way, it works like a charm.)  It is also an improvement over the Valentine’s Day he and my mother sent flowers to me at work and signed the card with the initials ‘JR’. For more than an hour, at work, I thought I had a secret admirer or that a guy I’d briefly dated with those initials was trying to reach out to me. Just to be clear, my father’s initials are RS; my mother’s are MJS. You should now be able to solve their terrible puzzle, and probably well before I did.

This, again, had my dad written all over it though he’d dragged my mother into it too. He did not see what the big deal was. “I didn’t want to embarrass you, sending flowers from your mom and me to you at work. We know how you get: ‘Ew, my parents are so embarrassing!’ So we mixed up our initials. Thought you’d figure it out.”

Oh, dad. I love you too.

The Ambrosia Project.

7 May
Image

I blame you. Source

Hey.

So, I’m back.

I’m not going to talk about where I’ve been. Mostly because it involves TMI about my uterus and the fact that I write an awful lot of fan fiction.

What I do want to talk about is the fact that last night, the season two finale of “The Mindy Project” aired. It was wonderful. I laughed. Out loud. I also cried. Quite a bit. There was screaming. The good kind. I love the show and wish very much that my life mimicked it somehow.

I mean, I wish that about a lot of media. I’m an intelligent only child; like, 75% of my life has been spent daydreaming and inserting myself into television, film, and book plots. And half the time, I’m not even the star. I’m the wacky, foul-mouthed side-kick with a heart of gold. That’s usually because in these dreams of mine I’m too busy with a successful pop/soul/R&B career to commit to being the star and head writer of a hit sitcom.

It has recently dawned on me that in my elaborate fantasies, I am Justin Timberlake. Well, I have Justin Timberlake’s career. Unlike him, I’ve embraced my curls and I can’t see myself settling for Jessica Biel.

Anyway, with all the daydreaming and fantasizing that I do, you’d think that I’d realize that sitcoms and movies and novels are just that: someone else’s daydreams and fantasies brought to life. In other words, these aren’t stories to measure one’s life against. They aren’t even real.

So why do I feel so horrible to have made it to almost 35 years of age without ever having been told “I love you” in a romantic context?

If all that stuff is fake; if it’s just a bunch of made up stories, it shouldn’t really bother me so much that I haven’t had that particular experience. I mean, I love the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” franchise. I don’t curl up in my recliner and weep inconsolably after the midnight viewings because a gang of dwarfs still hasn’t shown up unannounced at my door to recruit me to be their robber so they can take back their mountain kingdom from an evil dragon. That’s just as made up as a sitcom about a chubby, almost 35 year-old, dark-skinned, Indian-American OBGYN living and searching for love in NYC.

The answer is obvious; one is based on some version of a totally plausible reality, and the other is the stuff of legend and religious allegory and maybe a metaphor for World War II (I don’t know; I haven’t read the books yet, okay?).

No one is expecting me to go off on an adventure with Gandalf and Thorin Oakenshield (He’s been mentioned twice on a single black woman’s blog. That’s got to be a record or something. And that was probably racist? Eh.). But people do wonder why I don’t date. And by people I mean me. I’m even wondering if I could at this point. It’s been almost fifteen years since I’ve been in what I thought was any sort of committed relationship or had sex. At this point, I’d be less surprised if Bilbo Baggins invited me over for Elevenses than if I was involved in a sexual relationship with a man.

And that’s not normal.

I don’t know what to do to change this. I’m in therapy. I’ve been in and out (but mostly in) therapy for the last fifteen years. I’ve gone on dates with two men, the last time around the summer of 2011? 2012? And they were both terrible. Pretty sure they felt the same way about me, but we all thought “Well, he/she went to college, and is a sentient being, and I don’t know. This is what people do, right?” That’s it.

There’s nothing normal about any of that.

From what I’ve gleaned from my mass consumption of media involving interpersonal relationships, one either dates around unsuccessfully until finding the one that was always there all along or finds the one at just the right moment or some shit; or is tragically knocked up or widowed and walls their heart off to protect against any future heartbreak, but they’ve got the tragic story or the dumb kid, so there’s that. Or there are the lucky ones, who find someone and it works out and they go along on the suggested path of mortgages and wedding registries and baby showers and date nights and blah blah blah.

There are no stories about weird freaks who got maybe a little bit raped in college and then got fat and then woke up and realized they were 34 and infertile and crying hysterically because Mindy Kaling and Chris Messina just have so much chemistry and overhear some girl – hardly even 21, for fuck’s sake – refer to 35 as being “kinda way up there” and said that a different 35 year-old woman needed to “hurry up and get on the boy thing” while you think to yourself “I wouldn’t even know how and every time I’ve tried the guys have literally run away in the other direction” and you wonder what the hell is wrong with you if every form of media featuring people your age shows them either married with kids or in some weird friend-group-living situation or dating all the time and you don’t have anything, nothing and you can’t even have a one-night-stand because you don’t know how and even if you did what about AIDS and sexual assault and your gross body?

But you’ll always have your – hopefully quirky? – knack for stream-of-consciousness run on sentences on your semi-abandoned blog, right?

I don’t even know what the hell I’m trying to say anymore. It’s almost 5:00am. I’m almost 35. There is something terribly, terribly wrong with me. Please don’t tell me that there isn’t. The number one wrong thing is that I am not Mindy Kaling, for starters.

I mean, look, I’m at the point where I’m thisclose to consulting an astrologist? Astrologer? I don’t fucking know. And this sort of wacky, desperate bullshit would make for wonderful prime-time sitcom television, but the depression and self-loathing and blackness and fatness and fact that men find me absolutely disgusting makes it super hard to pitch my “story”.

Shit, I don’t even want to watch it and I’m the showrunner.

 

The all black everything of my dreams.

11 Aug

I know, dagnabbit, I missed two more days on this 31-day journey. Friday was an awful day. Just. . . terrible. I’m pretty sure my therapist was trying to dump me during my session with him that afternoon, shortly after I told him I learned that I probably can’t have children. So that was fun.

I was going to write about that, but my last post was pretty damn bleak. I was inspired to write about something lighthearted after re-reading a book I absolutely adore on Saturday. I decided to gush all about it in the hopes of convincing those of my followers that aren’t spam bots to read it and then I decided I would create the cast of my dreams in the event that I someday stumble upon a few million dollars and immense power and influence in Hollywood so that I can then have it made into the movie it absolutely needs to be.

The book in question is “32 Candles” by Ernessa T. Carter. I stumbled across it the year I turned 32 and was struck by the book’s hot pink cover and silhouette of a woman with an afro. I’m a bit of a book snob and had given up on finding anything classified as “urban” or “African-American” fiction or super popular “chick lit” (outside of the Bridget Jones series) that I’d actually enjoy, but I gave it a shot. And OH MY GOD am I frickin’ so glad I did. I stayed up all night and devoured it in one sitting. I wept and laughed and swooned and blushed and shouted and just had my edges snatched and got my ENTIRE life. I found the author on that social networking site when I was still on it and Ms. Ernessa was kind and gracious and funny and we liked the same things and she answered my questions and holy shit, that just made everything better.

“32 Candles” tells the story of Davie Jones who we meet as a little girl in Glass, Mississippi. She lives with her alcoholic, abusive, neglectful, but beautiful mother Cora, who only came into Davie’s life a year before when Davie’s beloved grandma died. Poor Davie has a horrible childhood and finds her only bit of light and escape in the movies of John Hughes and Molly Ringwald, hence the title of the book. Fast-forward to her time in high school: Davie hasn’t spoken in ten years after an especially viscous beating from her mother and goes unnoticed at school, which is a welcome change from the constant teasing she’d undergone, which included being called “Monkey Night” since kindergarten. Why the strange nickname? Well, both the kids and adults in town have declared Davie to be “ugly as a monkey and black as night”. Ugh. Enter in the Farrell family: rich, light-skinned, and the owners of the Farrell Fine Hair Company which has a factory in Glass. The three Fabulous Farrell children – James, Veronica, and Tammy – attend the local public high school and Davie immediately falls in love with handsome, popular, and surprisingly kind James. Veronica is the ultimate mean girl and after finding out a secret about Davie’s mother, decides to make life a living hell for Davie. Davie runs away from Glass after Veronica pulls a cruel prank on her and reinvents herself in L.A., forgetting all about Cora and the Farrells – until she literally runs into James again shortly before turning 32. AND THEN EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE AND WONDERFUL AND HORRIBLE AND BEAUTIFUL AND OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK AND IT NEEDS TO BE A MOVIE.

One of the things that is so amazing about “32 Candles” and Ernessa T. Carter is that she writes a story about black characters and the black characters are diverse. Some of the black people are rich. Some of the black people are poor. Some of the black people are straight. Some of the black people are gay. Some of the black people like movies that don’t have any black people in them. Some of the black people like to travel to California wine country. Some of the black people sold drugs as teenagers. Some of the black people went to Princeton. Some of the black people have two perfectly nice parents. Some of the black people have one terrible parent. This shouldn’t be amazing, and it isn’t, if you are a black person, or have ever known more than one or two black people in your life. But thanks to TV and movies, (Tyler Perry, I’m looking directly at you) you’d think that there is only one kind of black experience in America and only one kind of black entertainment that black people enjoy. Ernessa T. Carter pooped all over that with smart, funny writing and interesting, complex characters that still spoke to things that are specific to the black experience, like natural hair and the never ending issue with complexion, i.e., “dark skin” vs. “light skin”. SHE IS AMAZING.

Alright, alright, so here are the actors that I want to play the most important characters and who I think you should picture when you’re reading the book WHICH YOU SHOULD HURRY UP AND GO READ BUY RIGHT AFTER YOU’VE READ THIS POST:

Naturi Naughton as Davidia “Davie” Jones: Initially I was thinking of Keisha Knight Pulliam, but Davie has to be able to sing. I don’t know if KKP has the ability, but Miss Naturi certainly does. She also proved in 2009’s Notorious that she can act and she’s beautiful and look at her skin and just wow.

Taraji P. Henson as Cora Jones: Cora’s described as not being light enough to be called “yellow” and not dark enough to be thought of as plain, and beautiful, but cruel. I just sat through “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” because I couldn’t find the remote and Taraji’s mean, tragic drunk character in that movie was pretty damn convincing. I know she could do wonders with the better writing and characterization that Ms. Carter’s Cora would offer her.

Aubrey Drake Graham as James Farrell IV: Shut up, I don’t care, I love him. The minute Davie began describing James and how he was like sunshine, I immediately pictured my baby  this guy. He’s got the acting chops, he’s light-skinned, he’s a heart throb, he’s rich, he’s tall, he’s muscular, he’s arrogant, he’s sexy, he’s romantic, he’s insecure, he’s charming, AND ERNESSA TOLD ME THAT SHE COULD TOTALLY SEE DRAKE AS JAMES AND THAT SHE LOVES HIM TOO SO THERE.

Paula Patton as Veronica Farrell: She is a bit older than Aubrey and Naturi, but she is my Veronica. I always felt like Veronica’s behavior and personality made her come across as the older sibling anyway. I can just hear Paula’s raspy voice uttering a chillingly nasty “Hey, Monkey Night”.

Tessa Thompson as Tammy Farrell: Tammy is the far more harmless of the Farrell sisters and I think Tessa Thompson has a natural sweetness in her face that can convey Tammy’s sympathetic role in the story. And she and Aubrey can pass as siblings!

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Nicky: Super tall? Check. Super muscular? Check. A smart ass? Check. A father figure? Check. Funny, perhaps without meaning to be? Check. Good with the ladies? Check. Rick Fox was a close second, but in the end I had to give it Dwayne.

S. Epatha Merkerson as Mama Jane: Nicky’s aunt and Davie’s savior and surrogate mother, S. Epatha would be perfect as the tough talking trucker with the rough exterior hiding a loving heart.

Okay, so those are the main characters, but I am having way too much fun doing this, especially after such dismal posts and real life stuff. I am in the middle of my re-read and and some secondary characters are getting their time in the spotlight, so perhaps tomorrow’s post will be a continuation of my creating the cast of my dreams. Aren’t they beautiful? I need some more brown and deep-brown actors and actresses, though.

Anyway, GO READ AND BUY THIS BOOK. Please. You will not regret it. More dream casting tomorrow.

I’m full of shit.

7 Aug

The more polite, scholarly way to say that is there is a great disconnect between what I say I want and what I actually want.

I suppose I’ve always been that way. I desperately wanted siblings or for there to at least be children that lived in my neighborhood when I was growing up, but if that happened, then those other kids wouldn’t let me play “Orphanage-World War II Rescue-Glitzy Musical-Dramatic Death Scene-British Street Urchin-Let’s See if We Can Catch a Frog We’re Too Scared to Actually Touch”. So maybe it was better that I spent a lot of my time alone because I got to do whatever I wanted.

Now I’m an adult female type person that says she really, really wants to catch the eye of a man that is a suitable substitute for the rapper Drake. There is a part of me much larger than I’d like to admit that thinks I might actually have a chance at catching the actual Drake’s eye and whatever STI he may or may not be carrying when I attend his concert in October. I’ll be in the seventh row, I have a vagina, big boobs, a butt that is/looks big depending on the outfit I’m wearing, an okay face (if you like Bruno Mars), and Rihanna-ish hair. I seem to meet his general criteria.

But the thing is, if I’m to believe Black urban gossip blogs and Instagram and twitter and tumblr and the amount of times I’ve been pushed out of the way in nightclubs, I don’t actually want Drake or any guy who thinks he’s anything like him. If I’m to pay attention to the discomfort I feel when I watch twerk videos on YouTube or try on bodycon dresses or wear lots of make-up or try to take selfies or pretend I care about designer shoes and handbags, I don’t actually want Drake or any guy who thinks he’s anything like him.

I set an alarm to remind myself to watch the televised announcement of the 12th Doctor on BBC America. I’m upset that I still haven’t been able to get my library card since moving, but relieved that my voter registration was taken care of. My favorite article of clothing in the whole wide world is the cardigan; I was going to wear what I think is a sexy dress to the concert, but I was thinking that maybe I’d wear what I wore to work today because I felt cute and sexy in it: a cropped cardigan, baby-doll top, and skinny jeans. I walked out of a top designer outlet in disgust at the ridiculous prices. I have no business setting my sights on a rapper.

I feel like if I were a better, more exciting, more normal Black woman, I’d be sexy and fashionable and good at taking my own picture and then I’d have a sexy, fashionable boyfriend and have sex and be normal and wouldn’t have to have a blog or care so much about things and I’d finally lose weight and be beautiful again. The end. I feel like my life was very much headed in that direction many years ago. If I’d stayed on that path I’d maybe be a popular Instagram “model” and figure out how to take those pictures where you stand to the side to show off your plump ass and how flat your stomach is and pout your lips just so and get, like, 1,000 ‘likes’. But instead I got fat and depressed and didn’t have a choice but to work on my intellect, but I’m lazy and not good at math or science so I only got so far.

My problem is I still want what 19 year-old beautiful, thin, popular Ambrosia was entitled to in a man. I’m afraid of ending up with what 33 year-old uglyish, fat, lonely Ambrosia deserves, which is apparently nothing, or some tragic Al Roker/Wayne Brady hybrid. I want sex and excitement and danger and also thoughtfulness and stability and a face I think is so handsome and biceps that are strong and a belly that is smooth and cute and a booty and intelligence and so much laughing.

I’m just really terrified of settling for the first nice man that takes me on a date. It’s back to that whole childhood want again; I desperately want to be loved and desired, but if it’s by the wrong guy that would be so terrible. So I set my sights on an unobtainable celebrity and focus myopically only on meeting 6′ tall Black men of a certain complexion with facial features that have to be just so in order to avoid dealing with my overwhelming fear of either ending up alone or with some Nice Guy that I’m not attracted to, don’t love, but that there isn’t anything actually wrong with and TIME IS RUNNING OUT.

I know that this post was all over the place and perhaps poorly written and awfully hard to follow, but I needed to attempt to get these thoughts and feelings out. And now I have. So I am a little less full of shit than I was before.

Short and sweet.

6 Aug

My thoughts after watching 15 minutes of “T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle” for the first time:

T.I. and Tiny’s marriage gives me hope that someday, I too will find a handsome, charming, successful man that will love me for my. . .  personality?

 

I know, I know. I’m goin’ ta hell.

Shut up, I probably can’t have kids.

5 Aug

A sexy, blonde, white woman’s story is not exactly what I was hoping for when I googled ‘single over thirty infertile i cry i lie down and i cry’.

I forgot to post something yesterday. And I missed the first day of the month. I am absolutely challenged by following the parameters of this blog challenge. Get it? ‘Cause it’s a blog challenge? And I’m challenged by it? Shut up, I probably can’t have kids.

I should have t-shirts and buttons and business cards made that say that, that way when I inevitably screw up I can just hand people a card or point to the t-shirt or shiny button I’m wearing and silently frown at them, daring them to judge me with their judgmental, fibroid-free uteri and sperm-filled penises. Gross.

When my brain got the message that my hopes of conceiving, carrying, and birthing fat, brown, sweet-potato pie babies were most likely dashed, it immediately decided that the most logical response was for me to stop all efforts at grooming and personal hygiene beyond what could be accomplished with wet wipes. I can imagine my brain shouting orders to the rest of my body like the foreman of some never to be completed, poorly planned construction site:

“All right folks, let’s shut her down! Get those armpits funky and furry! Do not send any additional blood flow to the limbs! That could encourage her to get up out of the bed and/or recliner! Make sure those pupils focus in on the satin bonnet and not the Denman brush and Aussie Moist conditioner! What she can’t see won’t hurt her. Olfactory department, you’ll simply have to get used to the smell. It’s what you were designed for, dammit. I’ll increase her cravings for Oreos, that way any efforts to brush her teeth will be absolutely futile! Why bother, with the beautiful black crust that’s gonna form on her molars? It’s gonna be magnificent, boys! Magnificent!

Don’t worry; I had to go back to work today, which meant I had to shower and brush my teeth for the good of mankind. My brain tried to fight it, though. I could smell my armpits trying to karate chop against my organic raw shea butter soap as I scrubbed away at them with the wash rag. I poured a little extra soap down the drain in their memory. They lost the battle and the war. Damn.

It’s weird how my brain goes into shutdown mode when things get fucked up, especially because almost immediately after shutdown mode commences, it decides that I want to buy ALL the make up and do ALL the hair and be ALL the Beyonce. Or at least Shangela (and I’m always screaming “Dag, why can’t we be Jujubee?!?”).

Do you remember that episode of “Sex and the City” that I’m not going to bother to link to? You know, the one where Charlotte has a miscarriage and won’t go to Brady’s birthday party and stops taking showers and stuff and gives up on life and then she watches the “E! True Hollywood Story” on Elizabeth Taylor or something and Liz is all “When life is shitty, just put on some lipstick, some pumps, and be like, ‘Fuck that; bitch, I is fabulous.'” That was Liz’s quote, word for word. It’s even on her grave and everything.

Well, Charlotte did put on some lipstick and some pumps, along with this pink dress that was completely inappropriate for a child’s birthday party, which I think is the absolute right thing to do when you don’t and maybe can’t have kids: wear some shit that you should not be wearing to remind everyone that you don’t or can’t have kids to make them feel bad about their lives and/or bad for you because why should all the attention be on some stupid baby that probably can’t even talk or doesn’t even have it’s own blog?

And that is the moral of this story: shut up and pay attention to me, because I probably can’t have kids and did not plan a proper ending for this particular post.

NERD RAGE!!!!!!!!

14 Dec

When Gandalf the Grey is giving you MAJOR side-eye, you KNOW you got to be dead wrong. Source

What in the Samwise Gamgee hell?

Did you know that The Hobbit was gonna be a trilogy? Because I did NOT. Thanks for ruining Christmas, Peter Jackson. I swear, if Ian McKellen, Heaven forbid, expires before November 2014. . . I can’t even finish the thought. Damn, damn, DAMN!!! But other than that, the movie was amazeballs and I am totes in LOVE with Thorin Oakenshield.

I mean, just look at him. Source

Man, I need to get laid.

I (think I might) hate Halloween: sayin’ it without swearin’.

4 Nov

It all started with a little movie called “The Last Airbender”. . . Source

I worry that my point about the ills of blackface  – or any type of -face (But not whiteface. Not that it’s “good”. There’s just no comparison. Don’t worry; better people than I will explain why.) – was lost in the profane shrillness of my last post, so I point any of you who is willing to learn things to an awesome website called Racebending.com. In their own words, Racebending.com is

an international grassroots organization of media consumers who support entertainment equality. We advocate for underrepresented groups in entertainment media. Since our formation in 2009, we have been dedicated to furthering equal opportunities in Hollywood and beyond.

They handle the whole “But it’s just a movie!”/”It’s just a Halloween costume!”/”Oh my god, why are you making it such a big deal?” with grace and helpful charts and graphs, a refreshing alternative to my shrieking and crying and swearing approach.

So go there and then look for Academy Awards 2012 : Putting Blackface in Context or if you’re crazy lazy and/or easily confused, click this. Spend some time over there. It’s fascinating. You’ll see why us my-noor-uh-tees are always getting our panties in a bunch and you’ll stop yourself from saying “What about “White Chicks“?” and then I won’t have to fantasize about slapping you and then go eat my feelings. Again.

Okay, I love you. Go learn something.

A big ole’ THANK YOU to Phenderson Djèlí Clark for introducing me to Racebending.com in his terrific post critiquing the film adaptation of “Cloud Atlas”.

Jennifer’s body.

2 Sep

Things would be far simpler if this post was actually about “Jennifer’s Body”. Source

I’m going to need to ask David Sedaris and Sloane Crosley if they still have friends.

I’ve been getting a bit of backlash about le blog; specifically, certain people weren’t thrilled with their portrayal in past posts. I will make it up to them by baring my soul in today’s entry*. Like, really putting it out there. Talking about things I hope I rarely do, laying private things out on the line, inspiring Jennifer Lawrence’s people to file a restraining order against me.

Yes, I love Jennifer Lawrence. Much like Annie Cresta did to Finnick Odair, Jen crept up on me. I first saw her in the film “Winter’s Bone” for which she was nominated for an Oscar. Even though I fell asleep in the middle, I was pretty impressed by her portrayal of Ree Dolly, the main character. However, the book was way better, of course; she didn’t win the Oscar, and I quickly forgot all about her. Then came The Hunger Games.

For the last six years, I have been employed by either a bookstore, a library, or both. There isn’t a book trend that escapes my notice. So I was familiar with Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, but didn’t pay it much attention. It takes me a while to embrace certain pop culture trends, books being one area that I am particularly stubborn about.  I scoffed at the Harry Potter series for years before I finally gave in. I won’t touch anything Twilight related with a ten-foot pole, unless that pole is also on fire. The only thing Fifty Shades of Gray can do for me is provide me with more than fifty ways to wipe my ass with its pages. So when The Hunger Games became a thing, I responded by rolling my eyes and picking anything else to read.

Because I pride myself on being a pretentious blowhard, my assumption is that things that most people – especially your average, everyday people – like are probably terrible. People in general are stupid. Why would I want to read something that everybody thinks is great? I choose things to read based on recommendations from trusted friends; judging books by their covers; and searching out the books and authors that writers I respect enjoy. Oh, and whatever NPR tells me to read. That way, I can brag by saying “I first became aware of ____________ when I heard it mentioned on All Things Considered. Michele Norris says it’s a must read.” Man, am I one high sadity bitch or what?

Anyway, one of those trusted friends asked if I had read The Hunger Games. In response, my eyes glazed over and I said “What? Is that the book about anorexia or something? We can’t keep it on the shelves, but no, haven’t read it. Don’t know if it’s my thing.” She grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me. “You have to read this book” she spit as she slapped me across the face. Okay, that didn’t actually happen, but wouldn’t it have been awesome if she had? “Read it and we’ll go to see the movie at the end of the week.” It was an order I had no reason to refuse.

Amazingly, the book was available at the library where I’m currently employed. I checked it out and started to read it on my dinner break. I read it at my desk while pretending to work. I read it while the students I supervise quietly went about their closing duties. I read it as they stood over me, holding their time cards, waiting for me to wake from my HG-induced haze so they could leave. Basically, I was hooked and finished it that night. And yes, I cried. Hysterically and often.

That weekend my trustworthy friend and I went to the movie. “I know her!” I gasped the first time Jennifer Lawrence came on screen. “She’s the girl who got nominated for an Oscar for this movie about hillbillies! And now she’s doing another movie about hillbillies, sorta! I like her!” I said between bites of popcorn. “Shut up!” hissed my friend. I was practically swooning as I soaked in every moment of Jen’s portrayal of Katniss. She brought that girl to life. She became grumpy, depressed, determined, confused, kick-ass Katniss Everdeen. I cried for and with her. I shrieked and laughed and cheered and just made a fool of myself in the dark, crowded theater. I walked in a normal woman over thirty hooked on a YA series and left a woman obsessed.

Jennifer Lawrence is the girl I want to be and if I can’t be her, I want to be her best friend. I will settle for living vicariously through Zoe Kravitz. . . for now. She’s funny and down to Earth. She makes self-depreciating jokes that are adorkable and quirky and don’t come across as secret cries for help. She likes to look good but isn’t a total jerk about it. She still hangs out with her parents and brothers and boyfriend and does it all while wearing mismatched pajamas and exhibiting appropriate emotions upon receiving major news. She helps black ladies wearing booty shorts who suddenly faint on the sidewalk. She plays basketball and forgets to shave her armpits. I have a major fangirl crush on her. I’d donate an organ to this chick. Speaking of bodies, I want her body. I’d also settle for having her adorable face.

Let’s ignore the many psychological and sociological issues involved in my apparent desire to look like a white, blond-haired, blue-grayish-greenish-eyed woman 11 years my junior. This isn’t that kind of blog, i.e., I’ll objectify and idolize who I want, dammit! The real issue, the secret that I referenced above, is that there was a time that I did have Jennifer’s body (See! Don’t underestimate me, kid.).

I was 16 or 17 years old and dating yet another mean boy. I can’t wait for the day that I can write about a guy I dated who wasn’t awful to me. Yeesh. Anyway, this guy was short and skinny. I was all of 140-lbs. and a size 8 at 5’5. I felt like a beast. My weight had been an issue my whole life, but it took years for me to realize that my weight wasn’t actually an issue at all. My parents (maybe just my mom) had certain ideas about what kids were supposed to look like and I guess I didn’t fit the image in their mind’s eye. To make matters even more sucktastic, I started developing very early. Boobs and Aunt Flo appeared while I was still in elementary school. By high school, I was spindly arms and legs, crazy cheek bones that could have cut glass, huge boobs, huge butt, and a soft tummy. To my distorted, adolescent mind I might as well have been morbidly obese.

It didn’t help that my “boyfriend” at the time was a shrimp and a jerk. I towered over him and probably outweighed him. He commented on my body whenever he could, never calling me fat outright, but would suggest that I looked fat in certain clothes or ate too much or too often. It never dawned on me that he was insecure about his height and chicken chest and was doing whatever he could to make me feel as bad as he did because I was an idiot. I cried a lot, eventually dumped him when I found out he was regularly sexing the girl who’d fixed us up that I thought was my friend, and went on a mission to recreate my gigantic body into one that would leave him begging me to take him back.

It started innocently at first. I’d go on walks with friends or do a “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” tape and a bunch of crunches, followed by a trip to Taco Bell. It quickly turned into something rather ugly, I guess. I say “I guess” because even knowing what I know now about what I did, I miss the control and willpower I was able to exude back then. I also say “I guess” because it’s embarrassing and awkward as a person who’s been different variations of fat for the last 13 years to reminisce about how I was once very thin. People always want photographic evidence; you show them the pictures and they either say “Oh, you weren’t that thin!” or “You looked so good back then!” or “You looked awful!” or “I prefer you with weight on you” and it all sounds like horrible lies and the awful truth. It may only be embarrassing to me, but I have heard “What happened to you?” more times than I’d like to admit. I haven’t heard that lately, but those four words replay in my ears whenever I’m faced with seeing someone I haven’t seen in ages who knew me when. And I don’t have a kid I can shove in their faces and blame for my additional girth, so I know that they know that I just got “lazy” or “depressed”. Parents, hug your children! You may be fat, but you have a runny-nosed, loud-mouthed, obnoxious, toothless, short person who demands things to blame for your flabby body! I just have me.

I can’t really recall the moment that things got ugly. My exercise routine must not have given me the results I hoped for and I wanted a boost. Not sure if the diet pills or the laxatives came first, but I can remember the fear and excitement I felt as I bought them and sneaked them into my bedroom. Then I decided that as it was fat I was trying to lose from my body, fat was the thing that I needed to lose from my diet. I allowed myself 0-10 grams of fat per day, with “cheating” allowed on Saturdays. Meat was all fat, so that had to go without question. My diet mainly consisted of rice cakes and baby carrots. Those were my favorite things to eat, as they came in bags, making them convenient to carry with me, and both things were fat-free. I’d bring full bags of each to school with me and subsist on those alone – oh and candy, as long as it was fat-free – and a bottle of water for the entire day. The diet pills killed my appetite and gave me energy so I could accomplish my two to four hours of exercise a day. The laxatives let me shit away what I did eat since I allowed myself unlimited quantities of food as long as it was fat-free. Though I tried several times, I never could get the hang of self-induced vomiting, so the laxatives were a godsend.

My cheat meals on Saturdays weren’t very much fun at all. I’m sure the combination of my restrictive diet and laxative use was destroying my stomach. I couldn’t enjoy the one food I looked forward to indulging in each weekend – french fries – without excruciating stomach pain afterwards. Instead of curbing my weight-loss efforts, this unwelcome side-affect only encouraged me to report that I was “allergic to/unable to digest fat”, self-diagnosed, of course! I became more focused than ever.

One of my favorite examples of how insane I became is the following story: I was out for a run with a friend. My workout clothes were hanging off me. My friend was struggling to keep up as I had the artificially produced energy of a meth head. We jogged in place, at my insistence of course, as we waited for it to be safe to cross the street. I don’t know where the car came from; we had both looked and waited until we thought it was clear. My friend made it safely across while I made it up onto the hood of  an old Saab driven by a terrified man. In case I described that too poetically for you, I was hit by a freaking car. He hit me with enough force that I was thrown up on to his hood, hit his windshield, and rolled off into the street. I jumped up, elbows and knees skinned, forehead bruised, and stared at the driver, stunned. He took one look at me and since I was upright and had my eyes open, decided to speed off. My friend was screaming in terror and pulled me out of the road. “Ohmygodohmygodohmygod, are you alright??” he screamed. “You just got hit by a car!!” I quickly snapped out of my daze – thanks, amphetamines! – and started to jog in place again. “Yeah, I’m fine! We need to get back on our run! Burn that fat! Let’s go! Please don’t tell my parents what happened!”

I was so thin. I didn’t feel very thin because the scale wouldn’t budge below 124.5-lbs., which to me was still a too large number, but I was thin. My graduation dress was a size 3 in Juniors; I’m sure I cried with delight when it fit. My mom and I had never been closer. We finally looked just alike! A beautiful, majestic doe and her fawn. We shopped like an upcoming ban on women’s wear had just been announced. People stopped me on the street to ask if I was a model and when they learned that I wasn’t, to demand that I start a career right. That. Minute! Men and boys professed their love with a frequency that made my head spin. Girls hated my guts. One especially jealous bitch angrily told my friend that no matter how thin the rest of me got, I’d always have a fat ass. I wanted to thank her, as what she thought was a dig actually meant that I’d achieved Black America’s Dream, but he wasn’t supposed to tell, so I never got to rub her face in my skinny body and bodacious buttocks.

All good things must come to an end. College ushered in my eventual defeat. At first, things were awesome. I continued my ridiculous eating habits, the boys on campus declared me the hottest thing since. . . I don’t know, the sun? The sun’s super hot. Since I was a total prude and didn’t drink, I didn’t gain the dreaded Freshman Fifteen. But I wasn’t happy. I was incredibly lonely. Loneliness turned out to be the only thing I got to keep from my visit to The Land of Incredibly Thin Pretty Girls. I hated my roommate. I was convinced I was going to catch a disease from her and her nasty boyfriend. Sex particles travel through the air and that’s how you get STDs, right? I knew better; I’d gotten at least a B in science, but I had this incredible anxiety that I was going to become diseased from living with her that I couldn’t shake. My runs weren’t fun anymore. Creepy men thought it was funny to chase me. Working out in the gym on campus was out of the question as guys would show up with chips and soda, pull up a seat and watch me on the Stairmaster. Lucky for me the bouncers at the local nightclub took pity on me and let me in even though I wasn’t yet 18. Clubbing Thursday through Saturday became crucial as dancing was how I got my exercise. If guys wanted to stare or even grope, fine, just as long as I could burn fat on the dance floor.

Fall came in with a rush of freezing, bitter cold wind. Between my gross roommate and the rapidly dropping temperature, I was certain that I was dying. I dressed in layers and became more vigilant about food. I didn’t eat more nutritiously, well, not on purpose anyway. I decided that I would allow myself to eat anything that I wanted, absolutely ANYTHING once a day- as long as I could make it fit on a coffee saucer. It couldn’t hang off. Dry English muffins and hard boiled eggs became a favorite. Dark beverages were out; I could only consume liquids that I could see through. Most of the time, my day’s calories came from 2-liter bottles of Sprite or 7-Up and fruit or plain baked potatoes from the campus cafe. I went to my pediatrician and told him that I was afraid I had contracted Mono from my roommate. I was Mono free, but the good doctor was worried about my weight: 118-lbs. in two shirts, a sweater, jeans, a belt, platform high-heeled loafers (Shut it, it was the 90s) and undergarments. I don’t know why he didn’t have me undress. He wanted to know if I was eating. Of course I was! I just didn’t digest fat very well, so my eating options were limited. He took my answer as gospel, I suppose, as I don’t recall anything more happening from his initial concern.

Eventually I paid a visit to the school psychologist. I don’t know what caused me to finally become concerned for myself. My friends’ worries fell on deaf ears. I’d signed up for a campus fashion show and in the space where we were to write down our sizes, I put ‘Women’s 5/6’. The coordinator of the show, a fabulous and outspoken gay man, took one look at my form and shouted “Pppfffssshht! Put her in the 2s!” They did, and they fit. I reminded my friends who were shocked to see what size I’d become as I came down the runway that the 2s didn’t really fit; they were a bit tight on my stomach. A true size 2 wouldn’t have red marks on her belly after wearing pants. They shook their heads in defeat and I invited them back to my dorm room for Sprite and oranges.

The school psychologist told me that I was beautiful, and certainly thin, but girls with eating disorders were emaciated and I was not, and that meant that I was okay! In a rare moment of clarity, I shook my head and stammered “But I have. . . trouble eating. And I’m always cold. I think there might be something wrong with me.” Was I puking? Nope. Had I eaten that day? Yup. “You have a beautiful body! You’re fine. You’re just experiencing first-year stress.” That was two doctors that didn’t think anything was a big deal and one of them had basically said that I was fat, so I went on my way and changed nothing.

As suddenly as my transformation had begun, it was over. I met a girl who recognized the disordered eating behaviors I exhibited and reached out to me in friendship and concern. She tried to teach me how to eat again. Her efforts were short lived as I noticed that I was starting to gain weight using her methods. I met my first white boyfriend who had no time for my food nonsense and wanted a girl who would eat, so I made my best efforts during our relationship. The whole mess was started by a boy’s opinion of me and ended for the same reason. I was back up to 124.5-lbs., then 130-lbs., then 135-lbs., and before I knew it, I was 140-145-lbs. again. But the damage had already been done.

I had tasted thinness and it was delicious. No matter how I tried, though, I couldn’t make my body do what it had done for those glorious 2 years. Diet pills and laxatives didn’t seem to have any affect on me anymore. Eventually, the good ones were taken off the market. My weight would eventually soar and drop, climb and fall for the rest of my adult life. 140-lbs. is a long ago dream. And I never did learn how to eat. Food is like a stranger that I see everywhere but have no idea how to interact with. I’m either ignoring it or food’s taking out an order of protection against me. “Officer, she ate my entire family. She even ate the children! Keep her away from me! Her appetite is insatiable!”

So, that’s my secret. I may or may not have had and continue to struggle with disordered eating. You’ll notice I’ve never used the term “eating disorder”. Can’t do it. Doesn’t feel real. Mostly because two doctors and two parents and lots of other adults didn’t see a problem. They told me I was beautiful and that only white emaciated girls struggle with anorexia and bulimia. They were the experts; I’m sure they knew what was best.

Jennifer Lawrence gets flack about her beautiful body. Dumb idiots think she looks “fat” on screen. She gives those douche hounds the bird and keeps it moving. I’m fascinated and amazed by her ability to eat regular food, – no “clean eating” or vegetarianism or binging or starving has been reported about her. . . yet –  whenever and whatever she wants, and still be slender and beautiful. I don’t know. I guess that’s not my particular lot in life. But my eyes have seen the glory, even if it was for just a brief moment in time! I wish I’d bothered to wear a bikini back then. Dammit.

Well, those I’ve written about and upset, I hope this makes us even. I shined a bright light on a part of my life I’d have rather kept hidden away. I hope you’ll forgive me for inadvertently hurting your feelings in previous posts. But whatever you do, don’t ask me to see those pictures. If you thought what I wrote before was bad. . .

*I want to apologize in advance if anything I wrote was triggering or offensive to anyone who has had or currently struggles with an ED. Though I am uncomfortable labeling myself as someone who has an ED or is in recovery from one, especially because I was never diagnosed and continue to have major struggles with food, weight, and body image, I empathize with and understand your struggle. It is not my intention to purposely cause hurt or make light of a debilitating disease that has robbed so many of so much; I’m more comfortable making light of my own struggles than speaking about them seriously, yet realize the seriousness of the struggle of others.

Whatever it is, I’m against it.

16 Aug

“Nope!” Source

Oh, Dick.

He and I have been having quite the time lately. I sense some unspoken tension between us whenever we’re together, so of course I decided to address it in the most mature and healthy way I could think of: blogging about it. I’ll try not to spend this entire post on whatever problems, real or imagined, I’ve been having with my friend, but he has inadvertently inspired me to write. So that’s good, I guess.

Dick loves to call me a hater, a term which I, well, hate. He thinks that I show disdain for most everything, especially things pop culture related, while I would argue that I’m simply voicing an opinion. He’s even given me my own theme song, a silly tune from the Marx Brother’s 1932 film “Horse Feathers”, which is where I got the title for this post.

I unwittingly gave Dick additional evidence for his ever growing case against me by cheering for Bane, the masked villain from “The Dark Knight Rises”. It was my second time seeing the film, my first with Dick, and I was already a fan of Tom Hardy’s, but his portrayal of Bane was just so deliciously evil, I couldn’t help but enjoy everything about it. *SPOILER ALERT* (Seriously though, you haven’t seen it by now?) I wasn’t actually rooting for Bane’s destruction of Gotham City, but for his cocky attitude, kick-ass accent, and shirtlessness. Yes, I’m kind of hot for Bane, judge all you want. But to Dick, I was cheering for the annihilation of a group of people that had been deemed unworthy by a madman, not for how well Tom Hardy carries an extra eleventybillion pounds.

I’m puzzled as to why someone so relishes the belief that I think absolutely everything sucks. What makes the situation even more puzzling and quite ironic is the fact that Dick is a guy who, just to name a few examples, won’t subscribe to cable because it’s beneath him; has a general response to small talk with friends and acquaintances that can be summed up as “BORED!”; finds cheesecake to be disgusting; has said “I’m not doing that” to a great many suggestions; thinks that pretty much everyone I know is terrible; and hated “The Dark Knight Rises”. In fact, he declared the Batman’s swansong to be “99% bullshit.” I. . . I’m trying to forgive him.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots of stuff that grinds my gears. The idea of “gluten intolerance”, for example. Rihanna’s singing voice. Food made to look like other things. The recent disappearance of Britney Spears’ eyebrows. Lip piercings. People that always want to be outside all the time. But I think I balance my hates with lots of passion for a random variety of crap, a desire to be spontaneous, and a willingness to do stuff I probably ordinarily wouldn’t because it makes someone I care about super freakin’ happy. I’m not saying that Dick doesn’t do the same. He does! But seriously, I’m the hater because I’d like to rub Bane’s mask all over my lady parts? Get the funk outta here with that bull hooey! (I’m worried that my mom’s going to stumble across this blog and that was my effort at keeping it PG-13.)

I hold out hope that I will meet my very own misunderstood mercenary-for-hire through a friend, even though ever so conveniently, no one I know knows a single solitary unattached, heterosexual, adult male who isn’t totally gross that doesn’t find me totally gross who would be into taking me to P.F. Chang’s. It pains me to know that one of my best friends sees me as a gnarled hag shaking my yellow-nailed crone’s finger at young people I catch in the midst of enjoying things with a lump of coal where my heart ought to be. Who’d want to introduce some poor soul to that? So I can’t have opinions on stuff without being considered a hater? I can’t question the point of going to see “Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D” if one is over the age of 13/has intact hearing and sight? I’ve got to be against whatever it is you’ve got?

I think Dick’s crowning me the Queen of Hateration bugs me so much from the standpoint of a single girl struggling to understand why she’s so single. The few times I’ve had opportunities to date in recent years, I feel that I’ve tried really hard to see the best in rather icky situations. The last two men I “dated” probably deserved my initial hate, but instead I gave them chances. I didn’t stifle myself, but I did make an effort to keep things pleasant and positive, as well as honest. Being constantly called a hater isn’t just annoying and sooo 2003, it’s kind of hurtful. All this time, I thought I’ve been sharing my uncensored opinion on things in the midst of friendly discourse and it’s been going over about as well as a Lewis Black stand-up routine (I realize he has a following; I’m making a point. Or proving Dick’s. I can’t tell anymore.)

Trying to tell someone who thinks you’re a hater that you think is a hater that you’re not a hater goes over about as well as this sentence does. I suppose I ought to approach all of my interactions with the same kind of pleasantries and positivity I hope I bring to my dating experiences, but does that mean I can’t root for the villain and that I have to find something kind to say about Chris Brown? Where does one draw the line between being nice and being awesome?

I guess I should hope that what’s keeping me single is my mouth. If it’s simply a matter of my being “too opinionated”, i.e., a hatin’-ass hater, then I can work on that fairly easily. I wouldn’t have to go to the gym or give up white rice or straighten my hair. Then again, the right guy may like that I don’t like certain things as much as he does. In fact, our love could be in part based on the fact that we hate the same things!

*SPOILER ALERT* (But seriously? Get thee to a movie theater.) That didn’t work out so well in the end for Bane and Talia, but I think it’s ’cause she had some major daddy issues.