Summer Losers: Part 1

summer losers COVER

Summertime! A collective warmth has spread over us all as the desire to shed layers of clothing and inhibitions run rampant. The cuffing season buddy from the colder months is left on read and we hit the streets with alcohol pumping through our veins and Lizzo on our playlists. As black women embrace sisterhood, self-love and shay butter I must say it’s shaping out to be an amazing summer for the ladies. Another summer prediction of mine—the men will lose.

Summer Dating Fail
Each summer my kids go off to Virginia Beach to live their best lives with family members and I find myself with extra free time on my hands. The thought of dating always starts out as a cute idea until three weeks later when I am looking at my message inbox like “How the hell did this happen?” Yes, casual sex can be fun but I suppose I don’t remember when it became the only available option. No one seems to want to meet up, be cute and flirty and go with the flow anymore. I am not speaking of the ambiguous “go with the flow” men toss out as an option when it really means they are trying to trap you into a situationship. I am speaking of going with the natural flow of fun hang outs with sexual tension in the air minus the useless “wyd” texts and dick pics. I understand how males feel about sex, like WE ALL GET IT! I just didn’t realize that sex became the only thing males think women are capable of offering. (And it’s a shame that things have shifted in this way during a time when I think women are at our most interesting and self-actualized!)

Planning a date with a male is like pulling teeth because he’s likely not going to plan

YALL NOT DOING THIS
anything. Personally, the story I always hear is that he prefers to hang out a few times before deciding whether a woman is worth it enough to take on a date. This is because we are known to use men for free food. HAHAHAHAHAHAA—first of all, food is #BAE and I’m not about to sit in your whack ass company at the local TGI Fridays just because it’s free. I have a job I can pay for my own meals so finessing one out of a nigga is not really my ultimate goal in life. Second of all, what usually follows the “I don’t pay for dates” conversation is the “I’d like to come over watch some movies and chill” proposition. Personally, I have no problem with this because I used to be a hardcore Come Over and Chill girl but you really have to peep when a woman is in that particular mindset. I would like to get into these Black Mirror episodes minus all the heavy petting and small talk because being alone is dope. I am more weary about inviting men into my vibe because usually they don’t have anything to bring to the table but a hard dick and maybe some alcohol.

A come over and chill date can perhaps start off well with some insightful conversation and a roll in the hay but too often has ended with a stream of empty “wyd”, “how was your day” texts and aggressive efforts to arrange to come over again. What you don’t know is that this time when he comes over he has zero conversation, zero personality, zero game and zero bottles of vodka—he has shown up with the bare minimum plan to get his rocks off and get the hell out of there. All of that is fine and good, but males miss out on the best pussy by not showing respect or interest in the woman attached to it. Casual sex is no strings, but we are not prostitutes or flesh lights! It would be nice to share a joke or two or establish basic comradery/familiarity before you attempt to keep filling our bodies with your mediocre penis. (And that’s me being a little mean because there is surprisingly a lot of great dick out there, however you lose points when it’s attached to your shitty personality).

Furthermore, males (and some women) still surprisingly stick to these antiquated viewpoints and lose respect for you if they feel you have allowed them sex too easily. I think this is bizarre and hypocritical for obvious reasons but on top of that I don’t understand why women have to do so much auditioning to prove to males that our self-worth is intact. With all due respect, fuck niggas opinions! I am writing this blog and the males who read it are likely to take immediate defense without attempting to understand the POV in its entirety. Also, some will likely start searching through my social media to prepare their “this bitch is ugly and bitter” defense. I probably would be bitter if masturbation and tv didn’t exist but I’m okay. Also, lack of “beauty” is a card that males tend to play without realizing that they are perpetuating the idea that if you are not attractive your opinion doesn’t matter and that would take a separate blog post to unpack how deeply problematic that is. And anyway, I write this blog post more as an empathetic person whose main desire in this world is to make meaningful connections with people. I share my personal opinions and experiences as a woman, writer, poet, mental health advocate, etc. and I receive plenty of DMs, comments, emails and conversations from women all over who feel similar. If you follow any meme account that is geared toward women, you will plainly see that women’s connection/intimacy with males is slipping into oblivion because there doesn’t seem to be any real effort on their end. The whole thing is silly to me because the effort it takes for males to be so boring in their whack ass game and lazy texts, they could actually just be themselves and probably drown in endless pussy because they are finally presenting something authentic.

We’d Rather Be Alone Without Your Bullshit
These millennial artists write lyrics chock full of dysfunction, but we’re smart enough to enjoy the melodies without adopting the mentalities. If you come with bullshit we don’t want no parts! This is because, black women are doing the work. We woke up! We don’t want to be depressed anymore, we don’t want any more toxic baby daddies and bottom bitch relationship positions. We have our careers and independence and now we are seeking the stable mental health to go along with it.

Black women are putting in the work—what does that mean? Great question! It means…

  • We are seeking mental health counseling
  • We are practicing self-love in word and in deed
  • We are breaking cycles of pain and learning to recognize and escape all forms of abuse
  • We are redefining “strength” by no longer associating it with the amount of pain we are able to endure
  • We are calling out toxic behavior

The main result of this movement is that women are learning not to attach our self-worth to the opinions and standards of males. The end result is less confusion and turmoil in a woman’s life because the standards of males are all over the place so it would be impossible for us to attempt to live up to them anyway. How can you strive to sleep around and collect bodies of women you can’t hold a conversation with then expect to settle down with a virginal, good woman that has the body of an Instagram model and attends church like a deaconess? (She also cooks, cleans, throws it back like a porn star and raises your perfect babies– what exactly are you doing in this scenario and how does this seem like anything but a punishment to any independent women?) Furthermore, respect from males seems to be tied to whether they deem a woman is a hoe or not and has nothing to do with personality, accomplishments, how a woman runs her own household, shows independence or flexes her entrepreneurial skills. We can no longer keep up with this invisible “dope chick” scale of standards males are using to determine who is wifey and who is only good for sex– so we’ve adapted by not caring the male opinion at all.

Another wonderful result of women putting in the work is that “pick me” bitches are starting to be outnumbered. We are moving into a sisterhood of support and standing up against toxic male behavior because we realize there is more to life than having a man and settling down. Some of us don’t even want to settle down, we want to travel and pursue our individualistic passions. Fuck your “come over and chill” there is an entire world out there! Hot Girl Summer has less to do with waiting for a nigga to think we are worth the trip to Ruth Chris (which there are nicer restaurants than this, do a fucking OpenTable search ONCE—find a restaurant you personally like instead of doing the same shit everyone else is doing!) and more to do with the liberation of not having to care about a male’s opinion one way or the other. You can own your own hotness minus the thirsty DMs and heart eyed emojis from niggas with empty intentions!

I am so sorry but you all did this to yourselves. As our respect and love for ourselves grew, we attempted to shout it to the rooftops—beefing up our selfie game on social media and believing in the mantras and affirmations to boost our own self-esteem. For every 5 positive posts of a woman loving herself there’s at least two toxic comments from some nigga trying to bring her down. Then we get called hoes for quoting City Girls without realizing that the lyric we quote the loudest is declaring that we no longer care about you. “Real ass bitch give a fuck about a nigga” is our shit because we feel it so hard– most of us can take or leave the rest. We are not for real off some City Girl stuff we got babies and jobs, just like you don’t cook drugs and are not a billionaire. Males are butthurt and defensive because they think we’re up to silly hoe shit trying to finesse money and meals when really, we’ve just wanted the bare minimum of effort and respect.

hey beautiful ain't working

We stopped explaining this because males don’t listen and because the response is never to simply try a little harder. The response is usually to degrade women even more and at the very worst try to attack our self-esteem by making vicious comments about our looks. In my opinion, males are the grinches who have attempted to snatch the fun and freedom out of summer by….

  • inserting the opinions of their male gaze about women’s bodies (hair, makeup, etc)
  • by refusing to develop the basic social skills to flirt and show baseline interest in women
  • and by using technology as a database to collect empty interactions instead of finding a few women you can actually be yourself with and enjoy their company thus enhancing the casual sex appearance for everyone involved and not unnecessarily wasting anyone’s time.

I personally choose to assume that males have become so uninteresting because they have overloaded their rosters and don’t have enough personality to spread around. I have to believe this because it is truly depressing to think that you all might actually be this boring.

*an actual text conversation I’ve had*
Me: What do you want from me?Him: To get to know you better
Me: Oh, cool so what do you want to know?
Him: Everything in due time *proceeds to send 4 consecutive “good morning, beautiful” texts with his picture attached for the next week

Me:

What

Summer dating is a bust, my ladies. Let’s pack up the rental and have a beach photoshoot by our damned selves because none of these niggas are about that life. Let them walk around pale asf this summer waiting on the right woman whose ass is big enough, skin light or dark enough, toes perfect enough—or whatever the standard is these days. I can tell you what the standard is not: being a multi-layered individual that has more to offer than a warm pussy, cool apartment and Netflix account.

But Wait, Is There More?
Men lose this summer because self-love wins. Fuckery gets blocked or ignored and we are no longer accepting “that’s wild” as an adequate response to what we have to say. We are people, not just pussies and if you want access to the precious it’s really not going to kill you to be an active listener over some ice cream, or walk in the park or *insert date activity that involves some kind of bare minimum planning on your part*.

I have much more to say on the topic, including a breakdown of the different types of male summer losers and even some cheap ass, free ass date ideas for the males who want to attempt at winning this summer. And seriously, I am super annoyed that I even have to write this because to be completely honest, most women don’t care about the money you have or your looks or status—we just want to be treated with respect and the baseline level of interest that most human beings are able to express to one another. If you are not interested in a woman enough to show her any real personality or true effort to get to know her as a fellow human being, then why are you so anxious to put your penis inside of her? When is it time for you to know YOUR worth, King?

But more on that later…part 2 coming soon!

Bitches single comment

triple response to yall bitches

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Parking Tickets

PARKING TICKETS (1)

My father refers to parking and traffic tickets as the “stupid tax” and he’s not wrong. Yes, it enforces the law but it’s also a great way for local governments to bring in some extra revenue. I live in the Washington, DC area which is a confusing place to drive, so as I have been racking up amazing performance and hosting opportunities around the area, I have also been racking up traffic tickets.

It’s really stupid, but I can actually explain. Let me walk you through the process…

Wait, I Can Explain!

I drive somewhere to a gig or to meet up with a friend. My mood is already anxious as I am trying to navigate (I have a very poor sense of direction) as well as curate my own mood by listening to soothing music or breathing deeply the entire ride. (Sometimes it takes a lot to maintain my good cheer! I don’t know when I became this person and I have mixed feelings about it, to be honest). Anyhoo, I likely misinterpret a parking area or I don’t notice that I’m going over the speed limit in a monitored area because I also daydream a ton so I don’t notice at the moment if I am breaking the law.

Weeks later I open the mail to a special envelope from the good ole Motor Vehicle Administration. My heart accelerates by a smidge and I feel a tiredness in my bones. Money is needed for the 12-year old’s field trip, we have to stop by the Target to replace the 7-year old’s broken headphones, I have to prep for a work meeting, I need to follow up on several emails, I have clothes to wash, I have dinner to cook…a nightmare to-do list that never fucking ends! Now here I am with this envelope of more responsibility that I am unequipped to handle because I’m lazy and prone to dropping the ball. Untrue.

Actually, I am struggling to function through my own depression.

I always say that the hardest part of living with depression is pretending to be ok all the time. One of the main reasons I am so transparent about my struggle is because I want the space to not be ok—I want people to know. Ok is for other people, sometimes it’s not for me. I think of everything I have to do and I find myself becoming overwhelmed. If I don’t take care of business people will notice and judge me for not being the perfect mom or even the perfect ADULT.

So, I end up in bed all weekend obsessing about all the things I need to do. Even if I have a productive weekend, I still haven’t put a dent in the laundry, or the blog post or washing the girls’ hair. The knowledge makes me want to bang my head against the wall and cry—which I do for the first few days of the next week. The chores I didn’t do over the weekend add to the list from the week before and swim around in my thoughts, increasing the anxiety and chaos that already reside there.

Any thought of taking care of parking tickets falls by the wayside.

Clean Up, Clean Up—Everybody Everywhere…

That is until I’m at the MVA for a full day each fall using my entire paycheck to set up payment plans to lift violation flags to renew my vehicle registration. I also have medical bills, student loans and miscellaneous bills that float around in the atmosphere unpaid. Since my separation from my ex-husband almost 10 years ago, I have left many “adulting” things floating around in the atmosphere unresolved. In recent years I’ve decided to start taking the slow steps to rebuild.

I told a friend of mine who totaled his car in a suicide attempt that, unfortunately, it is up to us to save ourselves. We find ourselves alone in our dark moments and it can lead us to make decisions or fall into a state of indecision that has negative repercussions on our future. Once the fog of depression clears (for those of us who survive it) we are sometimes left in even more chaos than we were trying to escape in the first place. The idea of picking up the pieces can seem daunting. I am still in the clean up phase of my own mess so I can’t provide a concrete solution but I can offer some ideas and suggestions.

Don’t be afraid to utilize your resources.

Recently I have been working on being more candid with my inner circle about my life struggles. I am practicing the simple art of reaching out when I am feeling low. Ultimately, I have to do the work of settling accounts, cleaning my house etc, but I have found myself pleasantly surprised by how friends have been able to step in and ease some of the pressure. Non-judgmental friends can be a wonderful sounding board to help you brainstorm solutions or connect you with other people who can provide additional help in the form of knowledge or valuable services. (Speaking of which—anyone good at taxes? Asking for a friend!)

Unfuck yourself!

When I think of my running mental to-do list, I feel FUCKED. There are one million things I need to accomplish just to keep my household running. I have now also made a list of other items that are less time sensitive but still necessary business that I need to handle.

Don’t be afraid to write it down! How are you fucked? List everything, the big and the little things, then close the list and walk away from it for a few days. Come back to the list and start brainstorming ideas and/or coming up with a plan for how to resolve the open-ended issues in your life. You may find that some of the issues causing anxiety are quick fixes or are simply a matter of research and the right resources.

Bonus: if you need the emotional release you can also jot down your personal feelings associated with each task and the specifics of why you find it stressful or why you’ve been putting it off.

Take your time.

I don’t know if you can tell but I like writing lists 😊. My problem is that when I am confronted with a list it is accompanied by an accelerated heartbeat and the feeling that IMUSTACCOMPLISHEVERYTHINGONTHISLISTRIGHTTHEFUCKNOW! That feeling is my own personal anxiety bullshit that I need to overcome. If your credit is bad, paying a past due bill is not going to increase your score overnight. If you need to clean out your cluttered house for peace of mind, you can start the project in phases instead of feeling as if it needs to be done all at once. Society runs on a sense of urgency but that culture does not have to be a part of your personal mindset. Yes, life is short, but you also have time—it’s a great paradox. Take advantage!

Practice preventative maintenance.

therapy

Overcoming bad habits that I’ve picked up during my low moments has been a journey. It is not an easy thing to teach yourself how to be mentally strong but the good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. Mental health professionals and counselors are not a sign of weakness but of accountability and sometimes, getting ahead of an issue before it becomes a full-blown problem. In addition, a simple thing to do would be to consciously work to break past behavioral patterns. Now, if I get a ticket in the mail I’m more inclined to set aside 5 minutes to pay it right then, or be sure to budget it into my next paycheck before the fee doubles and I end up feeling double-fucked. (Of course, the best solution to get ahead of these things would be to pay more attention and work harder to be a traffic law abiding citizen!)

Fuck the haters!

No one understands the life you live but you. The best thing I’ve ever done for myself was to stop caring about the opinions and expectations of others. I didn’t sell any cookies for my first year Girl Scout this year because I was going through a rough time during the last half of last year and struggling to balance work, parenting and my own mental health issues. Most of my guilty feelings about it stem from being the only mother in troop who didn’t sell cookies but honestly, I’m not all that upset about it and neither is my daughter. Next year we are going to kick ass with sales because we know what to expect and I can mentally prepare for it. The entire point of enrolling in Girl Scouts was because she wanted to participate in the activities and hang out with her friends. That mission was accomplished and then some—the cookies can wait.

I am a huge fan of assessing situations and figuring out what can be done to relieve some anxiety so that my problems seem less daunting and goals more attainable. Sometimes it can look like riding the bunny slopes of life but if that’s what I need before I can climb big mountains, that’s totally fine. Those who are gliding down huge slopes should really be focused on their own business instead of paying attention to what I’m doing anyway. The secret is…most of the time the are!

In Conclusion

If you are mentally strong, this post likely does not apply to you. I do, however hope you read anyway because there are likely people in your circle who seem very happy and well put together but may be well skilled at hiding their depression from others. If someone were to reach out for help or a listening ear it is my hope that more people will learn to practice compassion and judgment-free listening. I think it’s silly how the world falls apart with shock at celebrity suicide deaths and murmur things like, “Wow, you really just never know.” Correct, you never know what demons others face on their personal journeys but you can choose to be a light. Empathy and love are a scarcity in this world and I just want to do my part to provide the other side of the story to promote understanding above all else.

I also want to stress two final points.

  1. Struggling to keep your shit together is not only a symptom of those who are on the low to high functioning spectrum of depression. A sudden slump in productivity and overall dreading of every day “adulting” can also be a sign of burnout or a part of a larger issue (i.e. the side effect of co-dependency which can find you so wrapped up in caretaking for someone else that you forget or can’t find the will to take care of yourself).
  2. I am not a psychologist, counselor or trained professional. I read a ton of books and I research to find ways to make the journey a little easier on myself as I navigate life as a person who “thrives” with mental health issues. I share thoughts and reflections on my journey because I want people to stop projecting their own perfectionism and mental competencies onto others. We are living in a tumultuous time in this world and the good people who spread love, who are vulnerable, empathetic and sensitive are in need of a little extra support and strength.

start over

Thank you for coming to my TED talk.