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Fame.

14 Jul

It’s only a matter of time before I end up on “Hoarders”.

I was really hoping that my network television debut would be a feature on “Intervention”, but I can barely get a group of people together to go to Red Lobster on my birthday, so I think it’s pretty unlikely that anyone I know would be willing to sit in a hotel ballroom for a week on my behalf, even if it meant that all of their complaints concerns about me would be recorded, analyzed by professionals, and then aired to millions. Not to mention, I’m sure when the A&E producers got in touch with my parents they’d say something along the lines of “Intervention? Didn’t we already do that for her?” I’d love to be a fly on the wall in my parents’ house for that telephone conversation; my mom and dad holding the cordless phone between them as they shout into the mouthpiece, because that’s how you use the speaker phone feature: for optimum connectivity, one must be over the age of 60 and scream as loudly as possible.

When I tearfully told my parents about the incident that gave this blog its name and me my justification for holding a(nother) passive-aggressive grudge, my dad said “Well honey, now you know what people think of you and what changes you need to make.” Wait, what? “Dad. It was my BIRTHDAY. It wasn’t even my fault that I was late!” I cried. “Think of it as a wake up call, Ambrosia. It’s like when loved ones gather around a troubled person and tell them about themselves in an effort to help them,” he said. “You mean like an intervention?” I grumbled. “Exactly! Except this one was accidental!”

Since I have already been there and done that when it comes to being intervened (that’s right, right?), I figure my big break will come from my inability to use a closet or a washing machine or a shelving system or a garbage can. I used to say that I was too busy being smart and important to clean, but I’ve never been very good at lying. I now realize that I just don’t care. I’m not particularly bothered by the fact that I can’t use my stove because for some reason I’ve decided it’s a great place to store my plastic ware. I don’t mind climbing over mountains of laundry to get in and out of my bedroom. I haven’t batted an eyelash at the half-empty bag of hot dog buns that has been inexplicably sitting in my living room for weeks.

This may mean that I may not make a very good subject for “Hoarders”. Those nut jobs typically care about the fact that their home is overrun with rabbits and copies of Time magazine. They want someone to help them shovel their way out from under their classic Pez dispenser collection. They think they might have had a cat at some point; won’t someone help them find Mittens? And the ones that don’t care are so toothless and/or insane and/or irrecoverably damaged by horrific trauma that they will make for great television because they will scream at the intervenors (that I made up) and the cleaning crew; they will get into fist fights with concerned family members who attempt to throw away their jars of rancid mayonnaise; they will cry hysterically when the room full of headless Barbie dolls is finally emptied. “I was SAVING those! I NEED them!”

Now don’t get me wrong, I can make an argument for holding on to some crap. I’m pretty sure that’s an unfortunate genetic predisposition. But my main problem is simply one of maturity and motivation and good decision making skills. If it’s clean my apartment or write a blog post at 5:07am, you better believe I’m writing a blog post at dawn with my contacts fused to my corneas. If it’s fold/hang the clean laundry and put it away or just shove it into an already full hamper and hide it in the dining room, I’m a shovin’ and a hidin’. I will always take the easy way out. And being a slob is one more step towards doing whatever I can to keep people away even though I am desperately, frighteningly lonely. Let’s all pretend we didn’t read that last part.

I am probably making a better case for my being on “Hoarders” than I anticipated, but that’s okay! It was kind of the point! Being featured on that program kills two birds with one stone: get my apartment cleaned and some much deserved airtime. On a television show about lunatics who live in their own filth. Okay, I may need to rethink this.

Well, since that plan has been derailed, I need a new course of action for gaining celebrity while exuding the least amount of effort. I am a clear candidate for the “Basketball Wives” franchise, as I am a woman of color who has never been married to a basketball player, but that show’s not really my speed, mostly because it involves spending a great deal of time with horrible people. Since I like to think of myself as an intellectual, I think I’m best suited for those CNN specials with titles like “Black People Are Doomed, I Tell Ya, DOOMED!” and hosted by Soledad O’Brien, the ultimate undercover Negress. I’m everything they’re looking for: a black woman without kids, a shining example that there are 30% of us not having children out-of-wedlock; a black woman with multiple degrees, so they can place the blame directly on my bourgeoisie when they talk about the many ways that black women alienate black men; a black woman who is overweight and with natural hair, so they can analyze why we won’t exercise and why we’re not scared of diabetes and why on Earth we’d decide to do that to our hair, ’cause you know it’s just another way that we’re purposefully pushing away the brothers; a black woman with a daddy, ’cause remember, we’re just as rare as a white man’s steak; and finally, my favorite and theirs, a black woman who is unmarried with no prospects.

CNN loves to remind my mother that 45% of black women have never been married, compared to 23% of white women. My being featured on their next “You Will Die Alone, But At Least Your Hair Will Look Good” special will give her such hope. Maybe the segment producer will convince me to take out my nose ring! Maybe Don Lemon will ask me out on a date (I don’t think my mother has any idea)! Maybe the CNN hair stylists will convince me to press my hair! She will ring her hands as she watches me on TV, biting her lower lip and hoping that the camera doesn’t really add 10 pounds. She will have an elaborate fantasy involving the very handsome, brown-skinned yet ethnically ambiguous Comcast repair man who came to fix the cable that one time. He will be watching, make the connection that I am her daughter, and call her up to ask for my phone number. He will be a born-again Christian, and he will like me, and I will relax my hair, and have a church wedding, and give her cinnamon-colored grandchildren, and she will finally be able to forgive CNN for not talking Larry King into staying on the air.

However, there is a critical flaw in any of these methods for gaining free cleaning and organization of my things, or attention, or a husband who works for Comcast, or an opportunity to hear Don Lemon say “Gurl, please!” over cocktails. The flaw being that a camera would be involved and personal questions asked and people interviewed. It wouldn’t be just me revealing my failures and idiosyncrasies in what I hope is a charming and quirky way in a blog. My candy apple head and hound dog eyes would be broadcast into homes across the country. My Hilary Banks-esque voice would be heard in kitchens and living rooms from here to Duluth. It wouldn’t be just me telling self-depreciating yet comical mostly true tales about my life behind the safety of a computer screen. I would be vulnerable. I don’t do vulnerable. Unless it’s completely within my control and of my own making.

My greatest fear is obtaining any sort of success that would make me known outside of my immediate circle. There are those that I’d rather not remind of my existence. The last thing I need is He Who Shall Not Be Named being reminded that he dated me and attempting to look me up for old time’s sake. I already regret that The Person That I Used To Know is aware of this version of me, and he’s someone who I kind of like. Imagine the former teachers, people who went to my elementary school, kids I used to babysit crawling out of the woodwork to offer their unsolicited tales of how they knew me when. I find the whole thing distasteful and terrifying. Even more scary is if nobody cared enough to say a thing, even if it was just to offer their surprise or lack thereof at how chubby I’d become over the years. “She always did like to eat!”

Anyway, flaws and all, I think my “Hoarders” idea is one to hang on to, even if it’s just so I can get someone to come and load the dishwasher. Since I can’t “nominate” myself, here’s the casting link. Hang on to that and be ready to use it if you hear that I’ve been showering at the YMCA. According to the many episodes I’ve seen, that’s one of the warning signs. Pictures are required as part of the application package, so I ask that you just give me ample warning before you come by to take them.

It’ll give me a chance to clean up a little around here.

Cockblocked by God.*

4 Jul

After my grandmother died, my dad went nuts and found religion. That’s probably not how he’d tell the story, but that’s basically my interpretation of it in a nutshell. My dad is far from crazy, but he did pick a religious denomination that is a favorite of crazy people. I blamed my parents for years for all of my various eccentricities (bat shit crazy behavior), neurosis (being looney tunes), and short comings (I suck). It very recently dawned on me that I’ve been raging against the wrong machine. My issue ain’t with ma and pa, it’s with three other equally terrifying people: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

I grew up in the Pentecostal church. I’d specifically name the large and powerful denomination that had a big part in shaping me into the standup individual that I am today, but a). I’m trying to stay as incognegro as possible and b). I’m pretty sure they have enough money to put out a hit on me. Let’s see; what’s the best way to describe growing up Pentecostal to people who had a normal different upbringing? I think listing the various things that were off-limits to Sexy Kid Ambrosia might give you the best glimpse of what I was dealing with:

  • I have never seen an episode of “The Smurfs” as my church called for a national boycott of the program for including “real magic spells” in the show. I just never got around to it as an adult because honestly, the show seems pretty freakin’ lame.
  • I was not allowed to have a unicorn My Little Pony action figure as unicorns are magical creatures and MAGIC IS REAL AND EVIL.
  • I was not allowed to listen to the radio or secular music in general until middle school, with a few notable exceptions.
  • I was groomed to wait until marriage to have sex, probably starting in third grade.
  • I was also groomed to expect the Second Coming of Christ, i.e., the Apocalypse, from about the same time as I was groomed to keep my legs closed. I found the idea of Jesus coming back absolutely terrifying and not comforting as I expect my parents and Sunday School teachers intended. I’d talk about it kind of a lot at school and couldn’t understand how my other friends hadn’t heard about this event that was coming to destroy. . . most of them.
  • I went Trick-or-Treating once at three-years-old (I was an angel, complete with a halo magically suspended above my head. Dad is a very talented guy.) and then again at 13 after begging and crying and explaining to my parents that they were ruining my life. What happened during those other 10 years you ask? Oh, didn’t you know? Halloween is EVIL. It is from THE DEVIL. It is DEVIL WORSHIP (Basically. It’s kind of a long story, actually.) So Halloween was off-limits for families that really loved Jesus. Instead, we dressed up as fruit or Bible characters and had “Harvest” parties in the church gym. I apologize to the few friends I was able to convince to come with me to these parties over the years. I owe you a pillow case filled with candy.
  • I never, ever believed in Santa Claus. EVER. I had to look up how to properly spell homey’s name, that’s how much I have never believed in him. Santa Claus was a pagan “secular” distraction from the True Meaning of Christmas: Jesus dying for our sins. Oh, you thought Christmas was about a sweet baby being born and Mary and angels and sheep and really mean motel owners? No, fool! EVERYTHING is about Jesus dying for our sins and don’t you forget it. Even if you are a little girl who takes things very literally, probably because you are highly intelligent, and the thought of Jesus dying makes you feel terrible and cry. (The Resurrection was of little comfort to me because it meant that yeah, Jesus was alive, but he still cryptically peaced out on everyone who ever loved him and was never seen or heard from again. . . if you’re not a good enough Christian, that is.)
  • This isn’t something that was banned or off-limits, but I feel like I ought to mention that probably ’till the age of 15ish, I was a staunch pro-life Republican. Thank God for giving me a liberal Democrat grandpa who steered me left. Get it? Oh, and my dad is totally a Democrat too, don’t let him fool you. My mom is a lamer; she’s registered as an Independent. Ugh.

So, getting back to my issue with God actively cockblocking me: it’s kind of hard to have a healthy attitude about sex when you’ve been trained to believe that having it before you convince some sucker to marry you makes the Holy Spirit cry-cringe-die a little on the inside. I wanted to be a good Christian, I truly did. Even though Sexy Kid Ambrosia had doubts, even as a sexy little kid. Even though Teenage Ambrosia burst into tears so hysterical that her mom had to pull the car over because she couldn’t understand how or why a loving God would send her BFF to hell for being gay. I tried, dammit. I tithed. I studied the Bible. I went to soul-crushing youth retreats and services. I dragged friends and boyfriends to church at every opportunity. I was very prepared to be a bride who really deserved to wear white. Until I met He Who Shall Not Be Named.

Laying out the gory details of my dealings of HWSNBN is for another post that I may never write as that junk is deeply personal, (Not like this stuff isn’t; it’s just mad different.) but here’s what you need to know: I met him when I was 19. I was going through some thangs. He is probably, in my professional opinion**, a sociopath. He was certainly an alcoholic and just abusive enough to pretty much destroy me, but not abusive enough that anybody thought anything was wrong with me dating him. He was a mastermind of f*ckery! And he convinced me to do it with him. I was 20 when he managed to break down my resolve. He was the first, last, and only man male human being I’ve had sex with. I haven’t been 20 for 12 1/2 years, so yeah.

After the smoke cleared from my “relationship” with HWSNBN, I was too damaged and fat and androgynously dressed for sex to be a factor for a long while. And then, eventually, I became somewhat less damaged (Or maybe just learned to stuff down the damage with delicious cheesecake. Have you tried the mango keylime cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory? You can eat some feelings with that bad boy, I tell ya!) and slightly less fat and let my hair grow back and started caring about looking like a girl. I declared that I was ready to date again and would give the sex thing another go with a man who was kind to me and not mentally disturbed after making him wait for 90 days (I had that idea before you did, Steve Harvey!) and was met with crickets.

I believed that my complete fail at finding anyone to do sex with was really a problem with multiple causes, but the biggest one was that I was actively planning to SIN and God HEARD me planning IN MY BRAIN. I was already pretty convinced that my awesome time with HWSNBN was divine punishment for the sin of teh sex, and here I was, DARING to not only sin AGAIN, but planning out my sin IN ADVANCE! How dare I? I went running back to church with my tail between my legs and made a loud vow of chastity to anyone who’d listen and bought way too many books on the topic of not having sex and waited for God to bless me with a husband.

As you can tell by the title of this blog, God did not magically supernaturally deliver me a husband. I figured it was because I wasn’t a good enough Christian. So I tried harder. I prayed louder and longer. I cried more tears of repentance. I spent more and more time at church. I gave more money. I volunteered more of my time. I studied the Bible like I was gonna be quizzed on that shit. Until one day, during a church membership class, I said “Fuck it.” (Not out loud! I’m not that awful! YEESH!)

I was tired. I had given up. I’d had enough. I gave church and evangelical Christianity a few more tries until I just sort of shrugged my shoulders for the last time ’round early 2011. “So Ambrosia, you mean to tell me that you threw away your faith in an almighty, omnipotent god because you couldn’t find a date/get laid/get married??” Um, sort of? It was more complicated than that, believe me. But if I’m going to be honest, that was a huge piece of why I currently identify as a super doubtful person who had been indoctrinated into a Judeo-Christian worldview from birth/semi-agnostic. I can’t call myself a Christian. That’s a lie, at least at this point in my life. I can’t say I don’t believe in a god. Life is too. . . everything to have been accidental. There had to have been some magic involved. Yeah, I said magic.

I realize how ridiculous it is to shake my fist at a god who might not even be there because I’m bummed that I can’t get a date. But the thing is, I tried so hard to believe, to do what I thought and was taught and told that he wanted me to. I wanted to give my thanks to him with a marriage that would honor him, with children that would learn to love him and hopefully, not fear him the way that I did do. And that prayer, that desire of my heart, went more than unanswered. It went unheard. I felt like God wasn’t even acknowledging that I had asked, that he was throwing other people and situations in my face to mock my plea for love. And because once you’re trained up in the way you should go, it’s hard as hell to depart from it, I still believe that because I am determined to have a loving, intimate relationship with a man who I may not be married to, God hears that shit and is all like “Nuh-uh, bitch! How many times do I have to tell you, you are not getting any booty! Not up in here. NOT UP IN HERE!”

So, now you know. I think I’m being cockblocked by God. The worst part is, I can’t just give in and let him and go join a nunnery. Not because I’m filled with doubt and disbelief, but because I’m not a goddamn Catholic! Just my rotten luck that my dad had to turn on the station that aired Fred Price‘s sermons and not the Pope’s (The Pope has televised sermons, right? If he doesn’t, what is he waiting for?) when he was grief-stricken and couldn’t sleep and searching for An Answer.

Eh. It could have been a lot worse. We could have ended up as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Man, those guys are really messed up.

*According to urbandictionary.com, the proper term for preventing a lady from having sex is called ‘Box Blocking’ or ‘Clam Jamming’, but I didn’t like either of those and the word ‘cock’ is both funny and dirty.

**I am not a medical professional, but I know crazy when I see it. I’ve worked in public libraries.

Somebody That I Used To Know, the ICSWSS Remix.

30 Jun

Let’s say that there was a person you used to know – shout out to Gotye – and hadn’t seen in, oh, 15 years or so. You always found this person to be very attractive, and very tall, and very dangerous, and very interesting, but nothing exciting ever happened between you and this person for reasons that now seem so stupid, like you already having a boyfriend or being scared because you’d heard lots of sexy and wild things about this person or being very concerned about maintaining your reputation as a ‘good girl’. You certainly had your chance with this person, if your memory serves you correctly. (Sometimes you worry if it does, because things like the thing about to be described happened so long ago and don’t really happen anymore, unless you count marriage proposals from homeless and/or elderly men.) The way you remember things, this person expressed their desire for you from a payphone at the Long John Silver’s across the street from your dorm room after the two of you watched Master P’s “I’m Bout It”. This person offered to let you wear their leather jacket because you were chilly and said that you could hang on to it for as long as you liked. This person was hurt when you kindly (you hope) but firmly turned them down because you were loyal to your boyfriend, a boy who would grow up to be a confidence-shattering, lie-telling asshole that you will end up moving to a terrible place for.

After turning down the person that you used to know, you’d run into him every so often, usually when you were with some new and awful boyfriend. This person would make it clear that he still held a torch for you, but you’d just sigh and shake your head, thinking you’d always be thin and hot and have funky asymmetrical haircuts and wear brown matte lipstick. Then a time would come when you didn’t see this person anywhere. It was like this person had dropped off the face of the Earth. That was probably lucky for you, since in the 15 years after you last saw this very attractive, very tall, very dangerous, very interesting person, you managed to gain lots of weight and become super neurotic and discover lip gloss.

You recently became aware of this person’s existence again through social media, but were too embarrassed and proud to request his friendship. Based on the pictures you could see, this person was still very attractive, very tall, very dangerous, very interesting, and now, very married. You continue on your way, showing the world all the reasons why you’re single, until you discover that this person not only is very good friends with your very good friends, but has recently become single again. So, you take a deep breath and muster up your courage and send this person a friendly message. This person responds and sends you a friend request, while you panic about all the pictures that show that you are no longer the slim and trim girl with a sleek page-boy bob that he used to know. The friendly messages continue until they suddenly don’t, and you shrug and think “That was nice while it lasted.” You know that there’s a slim chance you might run into this person at some point since he’s very good friends with your very good friends, but you figure you’ll have plenty of time (and plenty of warning) to pull yourself together before that happens.

Your very good friends are very excited to learn that you know the person that you used to know. They think that this person is a wonderful person and that it’d be awfully cute if you and this person were reunited and a spark was still there. Even if the spark has been long extinguished, they think it’d be a very good idea for you and this person to become friends. You remind your very good friends that you don’t look anything like the girl who this person used to have a boo thang for and they tell you that same old lie that looks aren’t the only thing that matter and anyway, you’re still beautiful. Your very good friends want you to come to the beach where they have weekly family barbeques because who knows, maybe this person will be there! They want you to come this Friday, in fact. You ask repeatedly if this person is going to be there, and you’re repeatedly told that this person will probably not, as he has a child to care for and has never been to the beach barbecue before. They will warn you, say your very good friends, when this person will be making an appearance so you can buy a new dress and go to the gym that day and do something with your hair.

Friday rolls around and you wash your hair, but spend too much time playing “The Hunger Games Adventures” as it dries and it grows into an untamable ball of frizz. Eh, but this person won’t be there, so what’s it matter? You decide against the very pretty dress and high heels and opt for your own personal oxymoron: the baggy skinny jeans. You go to the beach with frizz-ball hair, pants that fit like and are about as flattering as a soggy diaper, and some random shirt you found on the floor because you don’t know how to be casual and this is your best attempt. But, you have not a care in the world, because this is a beach barbecue! You’re going to drink wine! You’re going to eat too much! You’re going to play with little children! You’re going to run right smack into the person that you used to know because he’s sitting on the deck!

Because spontaneous combustion is not an option, you spin around in an awkward circle and throw yourself down onto the nearest seat, somehow believing that if you can just stay there all night, you won’t have to face the person that you used to know while looking like an insulting parody of the awkward sixth grade version of yourself, only much, much larger. You come to your senses and eventually greet him with The World’s Stiffest Hug and proceed to ignore him for the rest of the night whilst simultaneously drawing attention to yourself with your loud squawking and generally bizarre behavior. Eventually, the person that you used to know leaves, giving you another hug on his way out, during which you’re certain you were able to hit him in the face with your shoulder. You spend the rest of the evening reliving the night’s humiliation, being teased by your very good friends, and receiving dating advice from adorable 18-year-olds who are far more experienced than you are.

You head home, listening to the classical music station because all of the songs with words in them manage to remind you of the person that you used to know and how you’re absolutely covered in lame sauce. You tell yourself you won’t log on to the social media site to see if maybe the person that you used to know finally responded to your last message by declaring that he still thinks you’re beautiful and would still let you wear his leather jacket for as long as you liked and wants to know why you were so shy but admits that he found the bits of your loud conversations that he did hear to be hilarious, but you do, and you have no new messages.

So you throw your poopie diaper jeans on the floor in anger, wishing you had bought them a size smaller, and hoping that you can shrink them in the dryer. You go to bed without doing anything with your frizzy hair and are proud of not crying one single tear about how socially inept you are, until you wake up the next day and relay the pitiful tale to a friend all the while salty discharge leaks from your eyeballs. After the crying subsides, you find the one bright spot in yet another murky tale from your life: you now have something to write about for your blog that has already significantly dropped in popularity since its inception only three days ago, which is sort of a good thing, as it practically guarantees that the person that you used to know will never read this entry.

Until you find out he does.

Super Smart.

28 Jun

Interested in a synopsis of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina? You are, because it’s going to be a movie and The Intellectual Elite reads books before they become movies and you want to be a part of The Intellectual Elite and eat mesclun and quinoa and drink nasty-ass coconut water and claim you’re really torn about voting for Obama again because Jon Stewart offered some stark criticisms about his administration on that episode of “The Daily Show” you DVR’d because you were out hiking in your new Vibram FiveFingers. You want to read this classic because Oprah told you to YEARS ago and you want to be able to properly snark on Keira Knightley’s horse-toothed and extremely bony performance, but you’re intimidated by the fact that that junk is 742 pages long, including a motherf’ing glossary of Russian words and ain’t nobody got time for that. Fear not, for I can sum up Anna for you in three words (You should probably know that I did not read said book myself, but I did open it, flip through the pages, roll my eyes and loudly suck my teeth at its length, and then read the almost equally long synopsis on Wikipedia. I’m a lot of things and that includes honest.):

Bitches be trippin’.

You’re welcome.