The “Size Matters” Gauntlet

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I’m tired of talking about my body. It seems a very strange thing to declare because I am often perceived as transparent, but I just reached a point where I became tired of talking about my body. I think about my body often and I perform spoken word pieces about it. It is all done in an effort to relate to other women and make men aware of the depth of our insecurities but honestly, I DO NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT MY BODY!

When a woman larger than a size six—maybe even a size ten in communities of color—talks about her body she is forced to make excuses. Women of a certain size have to jump on the defensive and spend a lifetime explaining their bodies and convincing others to find it acceptable. Women of a certain size have specific hashtags as a disclaimer to pictures of themselves indulging in regular ass every day activities. Selfie = #CuteintheFace, full body pic = #FluffyGirlsNeedLoveToo, bathing suit pic = #ThickThighsSaveLives. Well, here’s a personal message from myself and my thighs: we are not here to save you! I am not fluffy, I am not a ball of fat that should have to refer to myself as such, I am a person.

Several years ago I wrote I Hereby Submit My Resignation As Advocate for Plus_Sized Women and I meant every word of it. Since then I put it out of my mind and made a decision to care the least amount possible because in the grand scheme of things I don’t want to be the poster child for body positivity. Cheers to the amazing women fighting that fight, but it is not mine. I am not strong enough to be a contender in that fight. My weight is a result of all the big picture shit I would rather speak about. My weight is ovarian cysts, stress eating and depression, two babies, hardly any time to exercise and/or too much time sitting on my couch staring into space willing myself to LIVE. My weight is naked, staring into the floor length mirror forcing myself to look, it’s catching my breath when instructed by deep voice to take off all of my clothes. My weight is my body, it is me and it is personal. At a certain point on this very personal journey, I decided not to care and to stop oversharing about it all the damned time. I decided not to nitpick, talk down or degrade myself any more than society and wack ass shallow people already do.

Love Yourself

I watch social media, I know the popularity of Instagram models and memes shitting on women who fall outside of the “acceptably pretty spectrum”. I have been the recipient of comments about my body – it is bullshit perpetuated by weak ass men and most of the time I refuse to show that I am bothered. But please know, I.AM.BOTHERED! I am angry because I know the truth. There are men out there who have physical preferences in their mates and want nothing to do with a plus-sized woman, but eighty percent of you niggas do not care. Eighty percent of you punks care too much about the opinions of others and you like to make women feel bad because you know you bring nothing to our table. You are egotistical, cowardly and just one of the reasons I feel so unprotected and betrayed by you. The faces of these light-skinned women with “perfect” bodies and curly hair are not the faces of the women who have raised you and held it down for you. Miss me with the “black queen” nonsense if you are only praising a certain type of black woman because there’s something in your corny ass nature that makes you think you need to condescend to us to make yourself feel better.

What I am never going to do is allow myself to be treated as less than a person over size. I am not the middle school girlfriend sworn to secrecy because she’s not popular or pretty enough. As far as I’m concerned I am the trophy—I am too busy to text you, I am working, I am raising children and making moves while you’re touching yourself on mom’s couch and posting memes about plus-sized women you cowardly pieces of shit!

Miss me with the black don’t crack beauty standard. Miss me with the expectation that my booty must be big and my tummy small, I have shit to do and worrying about your sexual attraction to my body is not IT! If size is becoming an issue of public humiliation on social media then by all means let’s throw down the gauntlet. Please post the grey sweat pants picture so I can insert laugh emoji and comment about your small dick print. If size matters and we want to make a thing of it then all women should post every single dick pic they’ve ever received and let the chips fall where they may. Even still, why are we wasting our time with short, beardless men with no hairlines?

If size matters, miss me with the oh so creative “wyd” and “you up?” texts if your dick is the size of my daughter’s number 2 pencils she uses for school. If it matters, where is your gym membership or better yet, where are your balls? Where are they and why won’t you use them to stand up for your women instead of shitting on us because we go against the grain of what sheep wish to worship. Are we all truly this weak and shallow?

I’m tired. I’m exhausted from the knowledge that I may never reach my full potential because I don’t look like what people want me to look like. When I go the gym I am angry and rebellious because I don’t want to be there for them. I have to go because I am seeking healthier ways to deal with my mental anguish but I don’t want to give in to the ridiculousness that is the constant shaming of my body. I reject it, I hate it and it is a struggle every day not to hate myself. Let that be mine—let that be personal. Let me hate ME, I don’t need it to come from anywhere else. In my darkest moments I hate me the most—and it’s true for a lot of us. So…just leave us alone.

It is a very unique experience to live in a world where men are constantly in your face, your DMs and your phone telling you you’re beautiful, wanting every piece of you, touching you and tasting you then denouncing you in public for the very things they claim to love. It is very damaging to face abandon from men in relationships, to endure lies and deceit while wrestling with hating everything about myself. Rising from the ashes to be strong is not an easy feat when the fire is still a scalding simmer. The pressure on black women to be strong, to be knocked down and to rebulid, to avoid shitty men and their careless intentions, to wear our hair the right way to work or to dare feel sexy while avoiding being sexualized and degraded and talked down to or even, worshipped—it is all E X H A U S T I N G. Please, if you can’t build us up, just let us be.

And as for my FUPA—my “fat upper pussy area”—I don’t call it that. I call it Naomi. It is me, it is mine and I hate it in my darkest moments but I rise above hating pieces of myself. I have to love all of it no matter how difficult it is for me. If you have a problem with that you are a piece of shit and I will go out of my way to call you out as such. If my size matters, so does yours and you are a very small, limp-dicked and sorry individual for going out of your way to make yet another woman– who carries the weight of the world on her shoulders for you, and life in her womb—feel less than worthy because her body doesn’t match the measurements of your favorite porn star. Women are real. Women exist to be more than your objects of sexual desire and if this realization bothers you, the solution is to literally go fuck yourself.

DoItForYou

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No Room at the Table

Table Meme

If you had showed 23 year old me a glimpse into the day in the life of Whiskey Girl I would be in a state of disbelief. Although, I suppose ten years is plenty of time to have morphed into a totally different person. Ok…well, I won’t be as dramatic as all that but I will say that I never expected to be living out this version of myself. The early teenaged me would be quite proud—and slightly puzzled that I have two children when I vowed to never have kids and to focus solely on my career (as an advertising executive because I was obsessed with the movie Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead). Anywho, the early 20’s me would be horrified. That version of me made the mistake of falling head over heels with a man and fantasized about a life of wifery on a daily basis. Who cares about education and life goals when you can cook, clean and cater to a man who barely even deserves it, right…?

We all know my story ends in divorce so let’s just hop right to it. That divorce was one of the most painful things I’ve ever had to go through. I remember feeling so empty, depressed, lonely and unfulfilled throughout the whole mourning and separation process. Alas, I was a wife missing a husband to complete me and fulfill my purpose (barf!) Surely I needed a man in my life, in my household, in my presence just to be happy! Fast forward to the present annnnnnd—what I need a nigga for again?

 

Material World, Traditional Girl

I am aware that feminists don’t all the way like me because by today’s definition of the word I probably don’t really qualify as one. I like the part where I can sleep around and not be considered a hoe and attend marches but for the most part I’m a boring bitch who believes in the traditional gender roles. No one is angrier than I am when I have to carry groceries by my damned self, take out the trash or get an oil change. If I have a dude in my life why am I doing these things? I want to give great bjs and get my nails done while someone else worries about paying all the bills—but the way my single motherhood is set up; it ain’t happenin’! I am not hot enough (or motivated enough to hit the gym) for random men to be paying my bills so I’ve had to choose the life of a “for real” single mom. Like, work 9 to 5, pay all the bills and file my own damned taxes—there is no knight in shining Jordans for me.

Even when I lost my mind over some good dick and literally had a mental breakdown that culminated in job loss, I didn’t have time to dwell on unemployment and try to find a Sugar Daddy to help supplement the household bills. I ended up pulling money out of my 401k and taking a quick woosah before re-entering the workforce and finding a job to sustain myself and the kids.

Fast forward 5 years and I’m making $30K more than I made when I was fired and I haven’t asked my parents to borrow money in about two years now. (I HAVE asked my brother A LOT, but that’s neither here nor there). This is a story of triumph, my friends! I am holding it down, dropping kids off to school, helping with homework, doing hair, killing it at work, trying to kill it in the writing/poetry field—my life is FULL. My table is dope and I built the shit all by myself and provided all the food—I’m not sure what anyone else can bring to that table…

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Gotta offer more than just good sex these days! There are options out there, my dude

 

There’s the Rub…

So, here is where we have a dilemma: if I am already responsible for and happy with “holding it down” for myself and the kids then why would I be interested in adding a grown ass man to the mix who expects me to hold it down for him, as well? There was a time when I couldn’t wait to take care of a man and devote my life to his happiness. I wanted the bottom bitch fairytale where I helped a man come into his own greatness and as a reward he would never cheat on me and someday make me his wife. How lame is that? Especially since these days, men my age only seem to be offering pretty package relationships that look great on social media but lack any real substance outside of that. Can a bitch cuddle in your lap and shoot the shit about future dreams and past heartaches or nah? How are you going to support me? While I am doing this whole “submissive and supportive to my man” bit, are my emotions being taken care of/managed/supplemented? Are you emotionally supporting me, or just murmuring “For real, that’s crazy” every time I try to talk to you about what’s going on in my life?

I am not a doting housewife. I can’t absorb a partner’s emotional stress without being poured into and loved on in the way that feeds me, as well. If you aren’t giving me attention and affection then I could give a fuck about broiling your salmon or doing your laundry. Love is not enough of a motivator to have me catering to a man who is essentially bringing the same shit to the table that I am. When he walks in the door after a long day of work, I am walking in at the same time having worked the same amount of hours on top of a laundry list of household and Whiskey Girl things to handle before the day is over. My lifestyle is already overwhelming for my temperament and mental health, so the thought of adding another person to that list of responsibilities sounds downright stressful.

EVOLVE, MY NIGGAS

The success of black women is a topic of conversation these days, but men don’t seem to want to address what our evolution and our success means for them. Well, my niggas… I will tell you.

Emotional support is the new breadwinner. Gone are the days when you choose a woman and take care of all the bills while she stays home and runs the household like the CEO of your life. These days, women have full-time careers and are working just as hard as men—if not harder because of the multi-tasking and juggling that goes into childrearing (don’t get me started on entrepreneurialism!)— while bringing substantial money into the household to sustain it. To be the main person responsible for maintaining the household while making significant financial contributions is a bit much to ask. You don’t have the right to expect more of this woman, you don’t get to stress this woman or treat this woman as if she is not a real or enough or lazy because she doesn’t make a four-course meal for you every night like your Mama used to do for your Daddy. She is not that woman. She is a new breed of woman, and she doesn’t really need you in the same way that generations of men before you were needed.

I feel the hate and the weight of the world on a daily basis. I have to be a straight up thug almost every single day, so at the end of it I’m not really looking to cater to a man’s needs while forsaking my own desire for love and affection. I want us to come home and breathe life into each other. I want to take turns cooking meals and helping kids with homework and cleaning. I have no desire to be a super woman juggling it all and accepting a quick plowing at night as the only physical intimacy from my significant other. The days of phenomenal dick and half-assed conversation being enough are over—it’s time to step up the game, fellas!

F with yourself

I think black women have been more than generous with the excuses for why it makes sense for us to be the glue that holds the relationship together. The long term effects of the cruelty of slavery, history of family separation, generational curses, yes, yes, to all that—but also, no. For generations we are the ones who have been cheated on, abandoned, emotionally and physically abused by men who no doubt suffered from some very deep-sated mental health issues. We are known for our perseverance and strength in spite of these factors—if you are a man who desires to lead a black woman of such character it’s high time you started coming correct. Don’t nobody care about your degree or your air of self-importance because you’ve never gone to jail or gotten caught cheating. Accomplishing personal goals and being good to your significant other is shit you are supposed to do. In my opinion, the traditional role of the provider has been missing the emotional aspect for far too long. Nowadays, you’re bringing home the bacon to a table that already has a feast laid out on it—what else do you have to offer, my dude?

And to be honest, some of you aren’t even all that interesting. You treat us like we are a game to be played, or like a whiny inferior person whose “spoiled ass” you have to give in to just to shut her up. You show up to meet the friends and you pose for the selfie but you’re not really taking the time to know who we are as people. You express a mild interest in our daily activities but intimacy and connection never seem to be the ultimate goal. In my experience, many men don’t seem to bother making the effort to really connect on deeper levels beyond slow missionary sex and fun conversations about nothing. If you want a place at the table I would suggest you explore deeper. Barging into an independent woman’s life just to prove that you can get in is lame. If you fight your way in make sure you have a purpose there and please GOD don’t waste her time!

She built the table herself, yes, but there’s so much more to carpentry than furniture. Cater to her emotional needs; build the foundation that will sustain the table and any other beautiful thing this woman decides to create in all her strength and independence. I promise you, there is room for you—your presence, your admiration, your genuine love and your time. Those are all things I would welcome with no hesitation or questions asked.

Sext

This guy gets it!

But…Not All Men!

Of course it’s not ALL men—shut up! This is a blog post to offer you something to think about. If it doesn’t apply to you, that’s ok. And if you are a good dude that knows how to complement, respect and keep a woman happy, perhaps you should spread the knowledge to your friends instead of always commenting on how you’re a good dude to an audience who doesn’t benefit from the declaration.

Comments are welcome below. (Don’t be a dick, please)

 

10 Reasons Black Men Shouldn’t Release Derogatory Lists About Black Women (A Fuck You Tribute to Ice T)

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Image from mediatakeout.com

Click here to read the original list.

10. Black women don’t need to jump in the pool to have a good time. Is it really about the weave? Most likely not, because women of other races wear just as much as we do! And really, how is not wanting to frolic in germ infested waters with harmful chemicals a REASON to not be with another human being.

This is stupid…

09. Black women are not afraid to challenge you. Do you want a “yes woman” or an active partner who will mentally stimulate you? I’m a grown ass woman, I’m not trying to fight you, but I do know there is a time to fall back and submit in a relationship and a time speak up. A romantic relationship does not give a man free reign to control your life.

Futhermore, there are weak women with low self-esteem of every race. To make the general statement that white women don’t talk back or argue is careless and racist. Sooo, you just insulted your girl, too.

08. It’s easier to introduce them to family. “Hey, this is Shaniqua.” Versus, “Hey this is Becky, my trophy girlfriend and gateway to finally escaping my black race. I hate myself and I have low self-esteem so I chose a woman with the lightest skin and the biggest (surgically enhanced) ass which is ok as my personal choice. However, I choose to shit on other black women and discourage other men from dating them as well because I’m a piece of shit human being with house slave mentality.”

07. Black women have no ceilings in the bedroom…we just don’t brag about it in Playboy or in the streets. When everyone finds out your woman is a freak in the sheets, they all start trying to fuck her (hence the lovely CoCo cheating on you multiple times)

06. Black women don’t need to be in a rap video. Who hurt you, boo? Sounds like you ran into a run of the mill gold digger and (surprise!) those come in all races. There are gorgeous black women in rap videos and there are ratchet women… but if you google their names you won’t find their vaginas all over the internet.

05. Black women spoil men minus the TMZ or social media coverage. In the bedroom, in the kitchen and in faithfulness and loyalty; material gifts do not equal love. Kim Kardashian gave Kanye a birthday present…ok, but the genital herpes she gave him proooobably didn’t get quite the same news coverage.

04. Any grown man should know that if you are treating a woman the way you should you won’t hear any complaining or nagging in the first place. Nagging is the sign that you are not making your girl happy period. Coco doesn’t go through your phone because she knows if you returned the favor you’d find out about ALL THE OTHER DUDES SHE’S SLEEPING WITH, old man!

03. Do you remember the sweat glistening on your mother’s black skin as she cooked and cleaned and took care of you? So who says black women don’t cook or clean? Furthermore, submission and service come out of a place of love, not for a man to hold over a woman as a control device. As I maintain house and home, what are you doing to uphold your part? Is she your girl or your white slave?

02. You ever hit a naturally big booty from the back?

01. Stupid women who don’t know any better are more fun. Period. I watch Keeping up with the Kardashians and only Khloe is even mildly interesting. A white woman is not more fun than I am because she can jump in a pool and pretends your penis is huge during oral sex. Women are not accessories or play toys, we are human beings and your list is bullshit you fucking sellout

In conclusion, stop parading around these HOES as if they are somehow better than the every day black woman simply because their skin is white. We have enough opposition coming at us from all sides and we don’t need our brothers, fathers, cousins, old washed up Uncle Tom ass rappers to disrespect us on top of that. You can date whoever the hell you want, we don’t want to be with someone who will make us ashamed of who we are anyway. Kanye felt he had to take several showers after being with Amber Rose but his current wife is famous for a (boring) sex tape she made with one of the biggest scumbags on the Hollywood D list. White is not always right, and when you are nonwhite and proclaim as much you are just broadcasting to the world that you hate yourself.

Maybe try rewriting this list when you at least have a wife comfortable in her own horribly aging skin, minus the plastic surgery and minus all the nudes and the hoe reputation. Please and thank you 🙂

Apology Accepted

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Apology accepted. I needed to hear this. I am a little ashamed to admit that sometimes living up to the increasingly demanding beauty standards of the black man is frustrating.
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I am still disproportionately salty that my booty doesn’t twerk
If only my stomach were flatter I could better appreciate my worth
If only my arms were thinner and my smile could be more perfect
Then I could be these women getting all of this attention, love and
Affection
is what is craved, and the chance to be loved for who I am
Outwardly tall and proud is how I stand
but in weakest moments I can’t help but seek approval from a man

Visit my website for more: http://www.whiskeyandpoetry.com

Is Having A Man A Luxury?

Independent

As a woman, a black woman at that, I am first to admit that the quest to “have it all” is not an easy one. Juggling career goals, chasing my writing dreams and aspirations outside of the 9 – 5, involvement and engagement in the lives of my children, maintaining relationships with friends and family, carving out time for myself, and finding the time to affirm and cater to the man in my life is kind of like a never-ending whirlwind. At best it is an extremely fulfilling and hectic life; at worst it is enough to make me scream and pull out all of my hair. When the going gets tough—what on that list of things should go?

Last week’s episode of Being Mary Jane gave us a closer look into the life and times of Mary’s best friend and co-worker, Kara. Enter Kara: savvy career woman, part-time single mom trying to make time for her kids, navigate her strained relationship with her ex-husband and maintain a sexy affair with the generous and considerate man in her life. She flubs a school parent/teacher meeting, screws up her work schedule and has to stay late missing out on her date with New Boo who was kind enough to bring takeout dinner to her place of work, along with a shoulder to lean on. THIS is a good man. However, in the eventual reorganization of her life goals and priorities, at the end of the episode HE was the first to get rifted. I….do not get this.wpid-img_20140930_081126.jpg

All the ladies, independent—put your hands down, have a seat and listen. I suppose it is nice to tout things like, “I don’t need a man,” “I take care of myself” etc—I get it. But it’s also REALLY nice to lay on a warm, hairy chest (or no hair, whatever you like) and vent about your stupid co-workers while shedding tears of sheer exhaustion. It is wonderful to be down to your last two dollars and have someone hand you a twenty dollar bill and make your broke ass some dinner. Dare I even mention the joys of sexual healing? Moreso than that, does anything beat the comfort and security that comes along with sharing intimacy with a person who has seen you naked in body and in spirit? We have friends and family that we are close to, but it doesn’t get any closer than the person who leaves a wet spot on your sheets after lovemaking, who talks to you about deep life events while taking a massive shit and snores softly in your ear some mornings—the smell of their morning breath fresh on your nostrils. All these things are not a luxury to me…they are a gift.

I struggle so much. At peak schedule I try to do at least two poetry open mic events a week, I scrape in time with the kids—and honestly most of that time I spend curbing my irritation at the things they didn’t do, or the last minute homework or project or doctor’s appointment that is being thrown my way. The morning is a flurry of activity getting the kids ready, the painful commute to work, the pretending to be a nice person at the job for 9 hours, the hustle home—and somewhere in between there’s maintaining social media accounts to advertise the blog and actually writing and posting original content for the blog. By 10pm I am lying in bed fighting back tears because I know I need to take my out of shape ass to the gym. So I go. I am sweating on the elliptical, hating life and wishing for death –when I get the text that my man is finally home from his 12 hour workshift. I push a little harder on that last 15 minutes of cardio, I leave the gym with pep in my step and I drive 20 miles up the highway to get to him by 11pm at night. Just before I see his face I feel this tension in my forehead and I think to myself, “Why am I doing this? I can’t live like this—something has to give!” He opens the door smiling brightly, immediately makes me laugh and gathers me in a hug every time. Weight=lifted.

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Never under estimate the life that a loving relationship can breathe into your soul. I am barely sleeping trying to maintain it all but when I leave him I feel a hefty deposit has been made into my zeroed out bank account. Even if I just make it through his door and pass out on sheets that smell of him—it is enough to be that close to his comforting presence. The grind life, the busy life, the super single mom life is overrated to me. We are so willing these days to sacrifice interpersonal relationships when I truly believe that these are the only things we can actually take with us when we die. Companionship is awesome, and we allow ourselves to forget that because we are lonely and don’t want to admit our true desires or because we are so busy filling our time with being busy that we don’t have time to realize we might be missing something. In this day and age, having a man is not a necessity but I surely don’t see it as a luxury as it is sometimes perceived to be—especially to single moms. I love my children and somewhere along the way I learned that it’s ok to love myself and take care of my needs as well. Companionship–relationship adds to my life and who I am as a mother, writer, friend… person. We treat men as if they are expendable accessories then wonder why they have so much trouble committing to us. We want to parade them around on Instagram, have them buy us things and tell us we’re pretty then the moment life gets rough we try to drop them for fear of being abandoned in time of need or maybe because deep down we truly believe that they are a luxury that we don’t deserve to have in our lives.

If anyone has never told you: you do deserve to have a good man in your life if that’s what you truly want. You deserve to have help and affection and attention from someone who cares about you and your busy life. If you are willing to sacrifice sleep and time away for the sake of having it all, why not do the same for a person on your team whose goal is to help you along the way? Is a dependable, supportive, consistent and loving man in your life a luxury to be given up when the going of life gets tough? I think not…

We Are Tired (Guest Post!)

 *This is a guest post written by my sister L. DAVIS. Enjoy!

 

WATThe black woman is tired. If I hear another story about how the black man is not doing his part, I’m going start a Million Woman March so we can officially claim our independence from this nonsense. I understand our history of slavery and how the black family was torn apart and yes, I feel the effects of the pain that was inflicted on us but—come on black man! Rise up!

The black woman is not the enemy! We were made to help lift you up when you are being torn down by this fallen world. Yes, we are doing our thing by getting educated, becoming professionals and taking care of our families…hell, it’s all hard work. But…we do it for you! We do it so that the cruel world that you have to face every day doesn’t come into your home. The place you lay your head and get love and protection from the self-esteem killers called the World.

Black man YOU are not the enemy. If you have your health and are in your right mind, there is no reason why you can’t rise up. Rise up and be the king, the warrior that you were called to be. It is time for the WOE IS ME mindset to be annihilated…there is no need for it. You are blessed with the tools to achieve what you desire. YOU are standing in your way. I know you didn’t have a daddy growing up or a positive role model. I know that you came from a broken society that didn’t fully understand the purpose and meaning of your life. That is no excuse.

We are tired! The women who are supposed to be your Queens, the women who conform to all of your wants and desires even when it’s not reciprocated. We do that so you know we are on your side and that we love you and no matter what is going on out there we got your back. We are tired of being your whipping board for all the things that are not well with the world. We are tired of being emotionally drained because you don’t have a clue as to who you are and what you are supposed to do. Take a look in the mirror and see— Black man; you can be whatever you desire to be. That’s why the black woman was created to help you achieve.

CAN Collector

OK, so one thing about little miss crazy that wrote me a nasty note and left it on my car. I’ve since calmed down and realized that while I want violence to be the answer, I can’t justify stooping to such ratchet levels– but that’s not what I’m going to talk about today. In the infamous note, homegirl referred to my dude as a “corny ass nigga” (in a half-assed attempt to limit cursing and the N-word on the blog I will reference the word as CAN). My question of the day is: OK, so what’s wrong with a CAN??

SBMThroughout my strange dating life I have definitely showed a history of CAN collecting. Sure, I’ve dated all types of men, but the ones I really hit it off with and wanted to retain for relationship building were absolutely CANs. Case and point: the baby daddies. My 8 year old’s father still likes the Power Rangers and thinks World’s Funniest Home Videos is hilarious television programming. My youngest child’s father owns the DVD box set of the Golden Girls and knows all the characters on My Little Pony–these two are not exactly winning any Thug of the Year awards and I’m fine with that. What’s wrong with us women–black women especially– that corny guys are a bad thing? And should we even call them corny or just “dudes least likely to pistol whip you when an argument breaks out”?

Hmm, let’s reflect back on guys I’ve dated that were not corny. Let’s see… there was street pharmacist dude: owned two cell phones and was unresponsive, unavailable and unmoved by most things. Pulling emotions out of him was like trying to pull his strong white teeth out of his beautiful mouth! Great to look at, had a sense of humor but time spent together had a dark atmosphere and it was clear to me we weren’t going to be anything long term.

Then there was Young Thug who crammed a lot of life into his 22 years on the Earth. He appalled me with stories of robberies, drug use and near death experiences and had a strict unspoken rule that he was only allowed to laugh at his own jokes. Whenever I decided to be in a silly mood he seemed more annoyed by it than anything else; and when I did actually say something funny he would smile as if it brought him physical pain and say, “That’s not funny.” One warm day it rained outside and I dared him to go for a run outside in it with me. It was all sorts of cornball fun and games splashing through puddles and getting soaking wet until he abruptly decided that the activity was just too corny and our frolicking came to a complete and abrupt halt. He complained for days about his tawny dread locs being ruined by the rain, but I think he was more mad at himself for daring to have the type of fun that didn’t involve smoking and chilling over “so and so’s” house.

And, lastly I’ll mention the guy who had just finished a stint in prison for 8 years for *mumble mumble* “drug stuff”. We got along decently. He didn’t like to kiss on the mouth, asked me for money (which I never gave him) and didn’t appreciate my sarcasm. Months into our odd acquaintance, I sat at a bar with him watching him be rude to our waiter, and on a whim it occurred to me to get more detail about his 8 years in jail. Well, apparently “drug stuff” is code for, I STAB BED MY EX GIRLFRIEND AND LEFT HER IN THE TRUNK OF MY CAR! Umm, check please.

JW TextJust yesterday, I danced around JW’s apartment in just an undershirt with glass of whiskey in hand, watching him attempt to moonwalk while singing Michael Jackson high notes. I was comfortable and I was happy– and that’s really my only bottom line. Yes, I could see how he could be seen as a CAN. He has goals and ambition, respects and takes care of me, works long hours and pays all his bills in full and on time—who wouldn’t want a corny ass nigga? I’ve been with those guys that don’t return phone calls and can barely go out into public without picking an aggressive fight with a stranger and I just don’t need that kind of excitement in my life. She can be that ride or die chick stashing cocaine in her snatch and being an alibi for her man’s whereabouts between 9pm and 3am last night. As for me and my CAN, we’ll be over here watching Investigation Discovery and sending each other silly text messages. 😛

Identity Series: Black Women Don’t Cry

 

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Image from: wblk.com

Exposure. This entire blog means so much exposure for me and that, is the single most difficult thing about doing it. I don’t mean positive exposure or gaining some sort of notoriety for my writing (which would be effing awesome!) I mean that I am spilling the essence of my entire self out onto these pages. A secondary reason that I feel I must do this is because I am too skilled at manipulating and controlling others impressions and reactions to me and I’ve grown tired of that song and dance. The primary reason for this blog is to stop being a chicken and speak out to an audience that I know may not want to listen. 

There are broken hearted single black mothers everywhere…I am fully aware that my story isn’t new or even all that interesting. But I do wonder how many of us have witnessed our mothers and our mother’s mothers suffer hardships taken in stride and have been influenced to do the same within our own lives. I finally reached a point where I had to realize that I am not my mother. Her resilience is something I certainly admire, but I cannot project her strengths onto myself. Maybe it’s finally time for someone to say, “This life is hard.” For me, there are times when I do need to be strong and do things as independently as I can out of necessity, but there also came a time for me to acknowledge when I needed a little help. 

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Image from: mandybanderson.com 

I was tightly wound. I had just lost my job and before I could grasp what had happened or why, I scored a full-time temporary job that wanted me to start the very next week. My career had fallen apart bringing into question my mental deterioration, I felt my love interest slipping away, I had lost my bond with my family after my divorce, I was drinking too much, I was phoning in motherhood. I was hustling and switching into so many different modes that I was losing traction fast. Finally one morning I woke up and realized that I had already fallen. I remember that day as if it were yesterday. I couldn’t stop crying and I didn’t know how to call in “sick” to a job that wasn’t even permanently mine. My significant other at the time had to physically carry me to the shower and wash me, and all I really remember is that I was scared to death and I was so disappointed in myself.

 I no longer had the energy to try at life, and worse, I didn’t have the energy to fake the effort anymore. I have my children, I construct my thoughts carefully away from suicide but I still fight the desire to not want to live anymore. I used to watch the metro train approach my stop everyday and every single day I used to wish I had the courage to jump in front of it. Suicide is selfish. Eventually, I learned to curb my thoughts to the point where I only wanted to run away. I would get behind the wheel of my car and fight the desire to drive until I ran out of gas. I didn’t have a plan beyond that; I simply wanted to disappear. Life doesn’t allow you the opportunity to slow down to process and to recover. Things pile up and overwhelm– it is easy for me to lose control. That day, the anxiety built and overflowed. The levees had broken—my city was in ruins and I was drowning. How could this have happened to me? Black women don’t cry. 

Black women are supposed to be strong. We always take care of our kids, we always hustle, we always look good and you NEVER see us weak. We’re disrespected by society, abandoned by our men, hated on by other women but we never allow others to see the struggle of what we go through. Depression is not a word that exists to the black community, and it BETTER not exist to black women. If you feel sad or bad you just keep it moving. You swallow your hurt, you never slow down and never back down; let them see you angry but never let them see you crumble. I sat in that bathtub feeling the shower water rush over me and I knew that I was powder. I knew that my method of life was no longer working for me. I could no longer stuff down pain and zone out of life in order to cope with simply being alive. To my children I was a zombie. I no longer danced and I barely even spoke to them. Yes, I made their meals everyday but there was no love in it. Whenever I did get up from the couch they would follow me around, their eyes wide. They were waiting for some sign of life. I wasn’t showing them strength and resilience. I was showing my children that I had come undone.

The hardest part is not the fall, it’s the effort it takes to get up again. I struggle in some way every day and I try to be upfront about it as much as possible but I feel the shame. I look in the mirror every morning and challenge myself to rise above it. This is my story, I can’t change it and I shouldn’t want to. I suppose the ideal way to have done this would have been to start this blog once I had overcome all of these things. However, in being completely honest with myself I know that this is probably something I will struggle with for the rest of my life. I know I won’t suddenly get better overnight. I don’t want to take medication to numb things or try to make things go away—and that’s my personal choice. I choose to try within the strength of my higher power and the drive I have within me, to overcome this dark cloud that hangs over my life. In this decision I know there will plenty of tears and maybe a few more breakdowns along the way. In the end, I want my children to be able to look me in my eyes and know that I am struggling but I am constantly fighting to make it through. Maybe black women don’t cry, but I want my children to know that this one does…and that’s ok.