Lately, people have been calling me skinny

It’s a weird comment to hear, especially coming from one of the office whales. You know, like if you think I am skinny, what does that make you?

And she sounded exasperated, like how dare I appear so small – at least in her eyes, because I don’t see it. I was told by someone else – who I really regard as “in shape” that my waist appears “tiny”. While I admire the bodies of Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield or Jane Russell, I don’t imagine I look anywhere near those figures.

Somehow this was the year I got my eating under control, but I walk no more than 25 to 50 minutes daily. If time and the weather allows. I really miss weight lifting.

And by the way, my waist is 28 inches, I have to measure my top and bottom again. I haven’t done that in a while. I am aiming for 36 – 26 – 36, if that’s possible. Back in the good ol’ says, those were my measurements.

I eat apples for breakfast, apparently they are natural appetite suppressors. I also eat very few sugary foods, bread, rice and I stick to meat, veggies and fruit that don’t give me gas (LOL) or make me hungry. I confess I like salty and spicy foods. I drink a couple glasses of water when I think I’ve overdone it.

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See? No big deal. And I love big belts.

What’s on your mind?

Update: another belt I love.
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For Black Women: Don’t Ever Ask For Permission To Live

Spring is coming. Well, up here in the Northeast it’s coming. I’m sure for those of you around the country (or world) the weather is different. Could be blazing hot right now, eh?

I haven’t been pro-active enough lately, or the last couple of months. I think I’ve spent more of it catching up, because I’ve let so many personal things go by the wayside. I’m a procrastinator. It’s true. 🙂

I want to encourage those of you who are feeling a bit blue to look forward to the next few months, or years, of your life. I think the last two or three years have been a wake up call. We’re seeing relatively “young” celebrities, rich folk, public intellectuals and entertainers die way way way before their time. And here we are simple, regular folk, slogging through each day wondering how people with “everything” could pass so easily.

There you have it: even the wealthy, famous and “perfect” can suddenly die.

Oh, I meant to cheer you up. Sorry. 🙂

I want to encourage you. Push you. Gently. To refocus.

Think about what you want. What you want! What you NEED. What you DESIRE. What you feel you DESERVE.

You ain’t here to please nobody. So don’t let any naysayers, toxic people, or the crabs in your life know about your wishes. Only share it with those who really do love you.

And that’s another thing. Please run away, right now, from anybody who makes you feel less than. Who leaves a bad taste in your mouth after every discussion. A “frank” conversation shouldn’t leave you feeling sad, sorrowful, down-in-the-dumps or DISCOURAGED!

I meant this to be short, but I’m asking all of you to think of yourselves. Treat yourself better. Love yourself. Find people who adore you to surround you. And tell the vampires in your life to hit the road. There are people out there who are NOT entitled to invade your personal space or life.

Okay?

Make that list. Follow through. Do what pleases you. Do the impossible. And remember: Don’t ever ask for permission to live.

Take good care of yourself.

Cheers. 😀

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Black Woman: Would You Marry a Blue Collar White Man?

The Question

Asked of me by C.B.:

If you are educated, would you or have you married a blue collar wm? Many folks are quick to suggest bw take or accept a lower level bm on the academic and economic label. Why is this a problem if a bw marries a wm on a lower scale. (I do know a lady who married a produce manager wm, and she is a phd level. They just had a second baby.)

The Answer

The following is from my personal perspective. It is not intended as follow-what-I’m-doing advice (which is never my intention on this blog), but it’s an example of how I think. Your own dating and marrying philosophy may differ. 🙂

Education

About me: I like to joke that I am over-educated. It doesn’t mean I know everything, but I am excessively curious about a lot of things, and I always need to know more. Since I was eight, I loved reading encyclopedias and dictionaries. Today, I enjoy scanning the internet(s) for obscure information.

I used to want to be a fireman, police officer, and an artist. Then I wanted to be an astronaut, research scientist of weird diseases, writer, and a lawyer. My interests continued to change, but my desire for information and knowledge did not.

I graduated from high school, wishing I left a few years early, then proceeded to obtain an Associate’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree and finally a Master’s Degree. It took a lot of years of hustling to achieve these diplomas. I often worked while attending school, and for the advanced degree, my employer(s) paid for the education.

Do the diplomas make me happy? They were not attained for personal happiness. The purpose of my education is for personal self-fulfillment and is a necessary tool, among others, in working as a “professional” in a white collar corporate environment or pursuing self-employment. For the time being, I am done with obtaining another degree, but I will go  for additional certifications and a license or two.

Blue Collar vs White Collar Men

Not all men favor extensive schooling, and they are able to work at not just good, but great blue collar jobs, without a need for a high school diploma or college education. They even make more than anyone in a white collar profession would earn in their lifetime.

I’ve known a variety of men. My Mom likes to tell people I date the United Nations. Some of the men didn’t finish college. Some of them were self-taught in order to work in their office profession.

The odds are always low that I would encounter an available blue collar white man, based on my social circles, work environment and personal interests. In addition to that, based on observation, blue collar men marry earlier than white collar men. They start working right after, or even during, high school right into a stable well paying position, with excellent long term benefits. Whereas the potential white collar worker will spend the next 4-8 plus years studying and putting his life on hold.

Final Answer

I don’t believe I would ever find myself marrying a blue collar white man, because I don’t think we would be a good fit. It is not easy to meet men who like women with a college education or advanced degrees. I don’t care what his race is. I don’t volunteer my educational background unless asked, but once they find out they’ll lose that “loving feeling”.

On the flip side, I will be real here: it is not easy talking or relating to a man with definitive educational gaps. Now, I know everyone who loves exceptions will offer up a spate of their genius IQ high school or college dropout friends*, but I’m talking about what I’ve met on average in the general course of life.

I don’t play Jeopardy with every man I meet, but for fun I’ll look for some indication that this guy keeps himself informed or has an intense interest in anything beyond his nose. Usually, I find that he’s satisfied with his lot in life. Good for him. He will not even have the slightest desire to know more, travel, explore or fulfill some lifelong aspirational ambition. Nope. He’s happy as a pig in s&!t (although, in fact, pigs put their stuff in one corner and do not wallow in it).

But hey, who am I to decide he needs more? So, where he sees bliss, I see stagnation. And I’m happy for the guy, but I realize that we wouldn’t last long as a couple.

My philosophy is this: if I like learning, studying, schooling, travel, and seeking opportunities to explore, why would I expect to get along with a man who doesn’t? I’m old enough to know that I cannot.

 


 

* For example, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Dell and men like these don’t count in this relationship equation. Steve returned to college to continue learning, but focusing only on classes that served his interests. Gates and Dell left college a number of credits shy of their degrees.

The difference with these men is that they are ambitious, eternally curious and they never stopped learning….

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Black Actress Review: Just Wright – Big Boned Gurl Gets Good Guy Balla

I like Queen Latifah (Dana Owens), so I am willing to sit down and watch her movie(s).

Long Descriptions Ahead

Did I like Just Wright? To be honest, I dunno. Sometimes I’m too busy thinking about its message to appreciate whether it was fun to watch or not.

What message? Oh, the Good Employed Hard Working Non-Glamorous Big Boned Unselfish Black Woman versus the Shallow Unemployed Shopaholic Flighty Glamorous Beautiful Slim Selfish Man Eater.

Two of the Black Woman Archetypes

Here’s a simpler description of the main characters: Mammy versus Gold Digger. How’s that?

Queen Latifah, as you might’ve suspected, plays Mammy. Gold Digger is obviously Paula Patton. Common plays the Good Guy Balla. Pam Grier was delightful as Queen Latifah’s mother. Phylicia Rashad played Common’s mother.

I don’t think these roles were done on purpose. It’s so automatic that it’s nearly impossible for any film to get away from certain portrayals of black women. They fall into the slots effortlessly. I suspect that Queen Latifah was aiming for a hard-working-sista-sorta-Cinderella type story. The effort is appreciated, since her character is always cast as the best friend, BFF type, certainly not as the object of desire.

Oh, For the Want of Good Old Fashioned Lust Desire

Except that the problem with the movie is that there’s no chemistry between her character, Leslie Wright, and Common’s Scott McKnight. Excuse me for saying this, but Common is one of the meanest looking guys around. No matter how nice he tries to act, his face and voice doesn’t erase that vibe. I don’t know him, I don’t have anything against him, but it’s just how he comes across to me.

This Is How The Game Is Played

I’m also ambivalent about Morgan Alexander’s character (Paula Patton). I don’t see her as the bad guy. She’s beautiful. She’s learned that it enables her to get what she wants from nearly any man. Her character has decided that her looks are worth trading for a wealthy man.

And the problem with that is what?

Nearly every Hollywood flick with a white woman in her position celebrates her desire to marry a wealthy, educated, Good Guy Balla, millionaire, and all-around-nice-fellow. Is it because a white woman is entitled to a wealthy guy that this negative stereotype (of a gold digger) is rarely used to denigrate them? (Think about Tiger Wood’s wife. They didn’t meet by accident. And that scenario applies to a lot of meet-ups between women and wealthy men. S’okay?)

Back In the Real World

I’m glad no one said anything about Leslie’s weight, but I felt the film created an unreasonable expectation. Not only are there very very few Good Guy Ballas, but if they didn’t marry Morgan, they would still reject Leslie and move on to the next “arm piece / candy / gold digger”, and a number of them would be white women. Yet popular (rap) culture continues to denigrate black women seeking a provider, protector and father of her offspring.

Wow, how weird that must be, a black woman wanting what every normal woman around the planet usually aims for.

Why is what’s good for other women considered a bad move for black women?

Man Hunting Is Normal

I don’t see Morgan as the bad girl. She knows how to look her best to attract a man. She’s an expert at the bait and hook. I’m not mad at her. Thankfully, her character didn’t plumb the depths of depravity to ensnare a man. Scott was freely willing to marry her. He found her to be someone worthwhile and lovable in the weeks he dated her.

Also, I see Morgan’s behavior as no different from a man whose flawlessly beautiful fiancee (arm piece) gained weight and became horribly disfigured. He’d take off as well.

Leslie’s character is a goodhearted person, but I wasn’t convinced that the unpolished, sports nut, “home girl” routine was enough to bond her to Scott. Nursing a man through sickness yields gratitude, not love. I see that he nursed her at one time she became sick, but as we can see he predictably, and quite easily, dumped Leslie the moment Morgan returned.

In this film, I wished that the premise began and ended with Leslie learning how to “get a man” from Morgan. She didn’t have to be duplicitous, but Morgan understood the “rules” way way better than Leslie.

Because what if Scott didn’t see the light? Leslie would have been alone again, although in a better job. Morgan would have been Mrs. Scott McKnight as she planned.

In Real Life, the Morgans of the World Usually Win

I have no objection to the idea of the film: let things work out for the Mammy or overweight plain Jane this time, but reality almost always rewards the gold digger or ambitious man-hunter. We can see that with our eyes everyday. And the pro-Good Employed Hard Working Non-Glamorous Big Boned Unselfish Black Woman message that this film relays creates a problem.

It’s not a bad thing for black women to be quasi – and certainly not full bore – Shallow Shopaholic Flighty Glamorous Beautiful Slim Selfish Man Eaters who plan and pursue the kind of man they want to marry who has wealth, a good future, and education, etc, etc.

Unfortunately, Just Wright continues to points us in the direction of staying plain, heavy set, unglamorous, with a “keeping it real” demeanor, and not making any effort or plans to be attractive and attract the “right kind of man.” She’s working on chance, hope, and possibly prayer; black women deserve better than that.

Good luck alone wont work. It certainly isn’t helping us now. Life rewards the proactive, and more often than not you have to look fly, be positive, as you pursue your dreams and desires.

Phylicia Rashad
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Black Women: Starting Over, Moving On and Out

When is the best time to move? NOW.

When is the best time to start over? NOW.

Spring is a marvelous time of year to run from wherever we are to someplace better. Right now.

The following quote comes from Monae:

It’s not that easy to meet white guys where I live. It’s not like they’re around, except delivery men. I don’t date at all now because the choices are bad. Plus, I am educated but only by going to the library, being on the internet and watching movies. I didn’t learn anything in school but it didn’t matter because I was beat down at school for trying to act white. Even though I know a lot I know I still sound like I’m from the hood, so I don’t know how many white men would want to talk to me just hearing the way I talk. What white guy is going to want to date a little black girl that sounds getto and still works at Long John Silvers when she is 24? How can I get away to somplace else. Thought about joining the army but I don’t think the army is for me.

GoldenAh

You have a lot of time to begin crafting the new you. You can start by not regarding yourself as ghetto. It doesn’t help to put yourself down. You want more out of life, and that’s the best thing in the world.

Before you think of men, ask yourself what do you want out of life? To go back to school, and pursue a degree (2 year / 4 year?)? Learn a specific trade? Maybe take a couple of courses for a certificate degree? Nothing is out of reach, and you don’t have to go into crazy debt to do it.

I recommend you move. You sound wise enough to want to cut and run, so Don’t Tell Anyone. Especially any negaholics who enjoy putting you down. Just run. First, research where you want to live (low crime rate, maybe a Community College nearby) and see about moving there. The new job hunt can start later, maybe even find a part time to help bridge the expense gap and save money. Real estate web sites give plenty of crime and school info. Or you can hunt for work in a new neighborhood, and once you have that new position, move somewhere nearby.

It’s not going to be easy making these moves, but stick with a plan: 1) move, then new job, or 2) new job, then move, THEN 3) more schooling in new area, or 4) 2nd job to save for new area… AND 5) widen your social circle by finding new interests.

The Ladies Respond

Here are the responses from many fabulous and helpful sisters. There can never be too much information in helping someone save their own life by changing it.

NijaG

As for your speech, that could be changed. You can buy a cheap tape recorder and practice your pronunciations and speech patterns by reading out loud. There are many books/tapes on grammar, enunciation, etc. I’m sure you can even find them online. Material geared towards people where English is a second language could be helpful.

Before even concentrating on men, think about the person you want to be and the life you want to have. I would say start with a short general life plan. Example, where you see yourself at age 30 and then break those down into yearly goals.

There are many books you could probably find on life/vision goals and planning. I would look maybe at Amazon.com for reviews and suggestions and then borrow from the library. There are also many career/job centers that offer counseling and advice for free. See if you can find out. The library may even have some info on this.

Formal education is key. The whole world is getting very competitive nowadays. There are many career fields that don’t require a traditional 4-year college. You can finish in 2-3 years depending. Whatever you choose make sure the schools are accredited and recognized.

While some people consider student loans to be a bad thing, they can actually be very helpful. Student loans are not only given to pay for education, put to sometimes help students live. If you start off at a community college or in-state school, the tuition rate are usually cheaper than private. Most times there is money left over. If you use the money wisely, this could actually help in getting you out your neighborhood.

I went to an in-state school, and with the money left over each semester, I was able to buy my books, and have money for at least 3-4 months rent. This definitely helped reduce some stress.

Goldenah has given some very good suggestions. Moving out from your environment and into a better one is so important. Roommate situations are very good place to start in order to cut down expenses. With the current economy you’ll be surprised some of the deals you can find in very nice neighborhood with homeowners looking to make some extra money by renting out extra rooms, garages, or basements.

Tracy

By being a self starter and studying on your own, you have shown that you are curious about the world and are ready for something more and better. Don’t knock the Internet – that is how I learned – in my thirties up to now at forty four – FOUR different languages! Speaking, comprehending and writing – so you keep looking stuff up and broadening your mind.

The only thing that I can add to the already great advice is this: BW are the best actresses in the world, so while you are bettering yourself, fake it till you make it!

That white girl accent you got in trouble for in high school – rock it girl! Surround yourself with greatness, visit a consignment shop and get some nice designer duds, treat yourself and act as the wonderful being you are! You will be surprised at how fast you get used to it!

Another thing – expounding on the Dont Tell Anyone – when you move, consider a studio apartment. DONT GET A HOUSE!! Some folks are nosy – cant find a job or a life but they can find you. So if that happens, don’t give them a reason to think that you are their ” home away from home”. This happened to a single girlfriend of mine – got a house with way too much space and soon she became a flop house for whoever wasn’t getting along with “mama” or “random trifling negro”. Don’t let that happen to you – minimalize while you maximize your life!

You can do it!! Good luck to you!

Oshun/Aphrodite

The cool thing is that there are tons of non traditional students (over the age of 21 who attend college full time)

AND college is the best place to meet WM.

AND men do marry down…I am not saying you are down or don’t strive, but most functional men aren’t looking for women to be breadwinners.

You are at an age where you can easily position yourself to marry UP…

Diction, the way you dress, and carry yourself can all be polished simultaneously- the key is getting into the environments where it will pay off so to speak.

Ruth

Monae –

I almost started crying when I read your comment, I wish I could just hug you and squeeze you and and tell you everything is going to be all right, and take you out of there tomorrow. But I can’t, all I can do is offer you some counsel.

Listen to these older sisters on here; they’re speaking the truth. You’re still very young, and the good thing is you have already figured out that you want to be better than you are now, and, that no one around that you know at this time is likely to help you towards that goal. There are a lot of black women who come to that epiphany very slowly. They don’t get there until they’re 30, or 40, or even 50 years old. So, you are way ahead of the game in that regard.

I’m not going to re-hash what the others said, it’s all good advice that I agree with. I’ll try to add some things here and there, based on my own struggles and successes. I’m sure some of it may possibly seem like overkill or “over the top” to you or others, but you just don’t know how tough some parts of leaving your current situation are going to be until the time comes.

First of all, get out of there first (start planning to do this tomorrow), and then after the first move, pick a place where you’re going to live for at least a few years while you go to school. Since you’ll be working jobs that don’t pay very much, just like we all had to, and those jobs exist everywhere, then it’s really just a matter of where you want to live. Most Western states and some Southern states have junior colleges and community colleges that are quite inexpensive in terms of credit hours. It sounds like you don’t have a car, so a city would be best. If it were me, I think I’d try a place like Seattle or Portland, Oregon. And maybe you could stay there for your four-year degree, too. But, that’s what the internet is for, check out lots of places. There are also two European countries (Sweden and Norway, I think?) that offer free tuition to any student that is accepted, if you think that might interest you later, as you get some credit hours under your belt. And European men love American BW.

Which brings me to my next point: Don’t get pregnant. Your dreams will be completely derailed by an unexpected pregnancy, so when you have sex, use birth control! I cannot stress this strongly enough. And use protection against STDs, too.

Buy everything you can used. Except a computer, definitely buy a NEW laptop, don’t buy a used computer. But almost everything else can be bought in good or great condition for a reasonable percentage of what it cost new, and the only one that will ever know you bought it used is you. And I mean everything – clothing, furniture, cars, dishes, stereos, etc. Craigslist, baby! You can buy quality brands if you buy used, and you buy quality, it will last a long time. Just don’t buy cheap stuff used. This habit persists with me today – when I finally got enough money from years of working, I bought a used ladies Rolex for $1800 (the exact same model is $11,600 new), which looks great and runs great, and my new husband just (laughingly) told me a couple of months ago that when he first met me and saw I had an old Rolex on, he just assumed that I was “from a family that had money” and had received the watch from a relative when she passed. Yes, that’s how a lot of white people think. He said he knew it wasn’t fake, because no one wears an old fake Rolex, and so he saw that I like quality, and, that I was frugal. That little stupid thing made me even more desireable to him; the fact that I didn’t need a new Rolex, that I was happy with an older one. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Not really. I was ecstatic when he pulled up in a perfect-condition 20 year-old Mercedes – that was much better than a shiny new luxury car to me. I still buy used things whenever I can.

Change the name you use. If you have a middle name that is what most people consider a typical name, than use that name. If people see “Monae” on a resume, you may as well put “I was born poor and black” at the top of the resume as well. I’m sorry, but this is the way people think. BTW, it’s the same thing when you see a resume from “Krystal” with a “K” – you know she’s white and was born in the South in a trailer park. I’m just sayin’. I speak from experience as my original birth certificate said Latisha on it. My middle name was Ruth (my grandmother’s name), which I hated when I was younger because it was so plain and boring, but which I started using when I was in my early twenties. Just like magic, I started getting a lot more interviews from my resume. When I got in front of them, I was still a black woman, but at least I was now in front of them with a real chance to impress them with what I knew. At least I got my shot at the job. And I got those jobs. Latisha is now no more. I legally changed my first name to Ruth years ago, and picked a new middle name to go with it. I know it seems like a huge, radical step, but if you don’t have a good middle name, think about legally changing your first name now, before you go to school, so it’s the same name as your school records later. My husband knows me as Ruth, which he loves, and thinks the Latisha thing is pretty hilarious. Uh-huh. I asked him if he would have gone out with a Latisha, and he said, “Hmmm, that’s a good question”.

Last item. When you do the things you need to do to improve yourself, your family and current friends will undoubtedly accuse you of not “keepin it real”. My sister still does, she still pulls that on me.

She has three children from three different fathers, none of whom have ever paid any child support, and she works as a shampoo girl at a beauty shop. She lives paycheck to paycheck, has bad credit, a broken-down car, is in very poor health due to smoking and her weight, and bounces from one bad man to another (but every one of these black kings is “the one” while he’s around).

So she’s definitely “keepin it real”. You know, I love her because she’s my sister, but sometimes I don’t like her very much. She’s made a lot of bad choices, and still has the nerve to tell me that I have turned my back on my race and my neighborhood.

Don’t let people drag you down, girl. Because they definitely will if you give them even half a chance to do so. Unfortunately, I came from a very toxic environment, the whole “crabs in a barrel” thing. I was bullied mercilessly at school for “acting white”. My own mother said I was a sell-out and a whore to the white man when I started dating my husband. This from a woman whose husband left when I was a baby, and never came back. I never even knew my father. And she said that about my future husband? That really, really hurt my feelings at the time.

Now, this same man makes sure that she has everything she needs now, she lacks for nothing. It’s his paycheck that’s providing it, and he’s never complained about doing it, he’s never hesitated to take that on. I have an MBA and I had a very good job (6 months pregnant now, so no job now because I resigned recently), and still, I married up! He’s a good man.

Keep moving forward, make something of yourself. Lots of successful people in America started out with nothing and they came from dirt-poor families. Lots of successful people have completely re-invented themselves in this country. You don’t have to be like you’re always been.

{{Virtual hugs.}}

I recommend you move. You sound wise enough to want to cut and run, so Don’t Tell Anyone. Especially any negaholics who enjoy putting you down. Just run. First, research where you want to live (low crime rate, maybe a Community College nearby) and see about moving there. The new job hunt can start later, maybe even find a part time to help bridge the expense gap and save money. Real estate web sites give plenty of crime and school info. Or you can hunt for work in a new neighborhood, and once you have that new position, move somewhere nearby.

It’s not going to be easy making these moves, but stick with a plan: 1) move, then new job, or 2) new job, then move, THEN 3) more schooling in new area, or 4) 2nd job to save for new area… AND 5) widen your social circle by finding new interests.

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Braindump Thursday: It’s June Already?

Goal Setting

I feel like I am behind the curve, or far from the goal posts.

I always have a couple of goals I want to achieve, but I’m not even half way there, and half the year is almost gone!

Tweets

I signed up for Twitter.com, although for the life of me, I still don’t “get it.” Maybe after a while I’ll see what the fuss, hoopla, and hype is all about.

Family

I am so pleased with one of my nephews. Like I told him the other day, I get the joy of bragging and celebrating him without expending any effort in raising him.

Ah, the joys of being an Aunt.

Ambidexterity

I’m taking a class: it’s one of those, Who are you? What do I want?, let’s explore ourselves type of things.

The teacher gave us an exercise where we use the less-dominant hand. If we’re right handed, we have to do the exercise with the left.

I’m right handed, and completed the exercise rather easily with my left hand.

She asked our reaction to the experiment. I said I felt like I was cheating, because I can write with my left hand, and use it almost as much as the right.

The instructor says, “You’re ambidextrous.”

I allowed, “Almost.” Although I admit, if I had to shoot at something, for example, I could, and would, use both hands.

Self-Control, or Controlling Yourself

I think I was about 9 or 11 years old when I stopped letting other kids, especially older children, goad me. I never got into another fight once I made that decision. It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t say what I thought, but I never laid hands on another person in anger again.

I stopped, because it occurred to me that I was really going to hurt someone. I certainly didn’t want to. So, I learned to tuck away my temper, and talk myself out of picking up baseball bats, stones, chairs, and other assorted weapons trying to knock another kid unconscious.

Yeah, I was that bad.

Can’t Move Me

I’m not just stubborn, I’m bullheaded, and fixed too. What do I mean? I’ve always been one of those people that you can tell me what I cannot do all day, and I’ll still do what I want.

I am this way, because my parents put the flame retardant, self-esteem guarding, and social pressure resistant armor on me to handle these people and particular situations. I would snicker when people complain about me, “She won’t do this. She can’t do that. She’s not going to succeed. Blah, blah, blah, blah….”

In short, You can’t tell me nothing.

Hey, I believe even if you don’t feel secure, confident, or bold, fake it anyway. Eventually the rest will catch up, and help you on your way.

Because I am lagging in my goals, I will have to double-up my efforts….

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Project Cheerful: Search for Happiness, Black Women!

I enjoy browsing the Internet for topics that interest me. I have many links to business, technology, science and a bit of political news. I set up a YouTube, Google, and Technorati search / blog / news / link pages, plus my own searches, to offer up information regarding black women’s lives, and our natural hair. With great dismay, I’ve come to realize that 99% of the content is negative.

Why is that?

Complexity: Woman and Black

I continue to search, yet very few sites exist which convey even a semblance of joy in being a woman, who happens to be black in America. There are black women whose mindset is black first, foremost, and nothing else. I don’t know when and where their concept of womanhood comes into play.

I wonder: Does it ever? How does that kind of self-alienation make sense?

Apparently, life as a black woman is all sorts of hell, damnation, and brimstone. We are forever the victim. Although no one recognizes us as a victim, since there is an oppression index, and we are at the bottom of that one as well. You know, there’s a “true” beauty hierarchy and we are at the bottom. There is a racial victim hierarchy and we are at the bottom. There’s a sexism hierarchy, but we don’t even get the benefit of being included, since so many of us have decided to be “black” first, foremost, and above all.

We can’t be both, ’cause it might confuse the one-dimensional thinking people.

I honestly wonder if some black people think black women are direct descendants of Eve. Or is it Ham? We are doomed unequivocally and forever to hard labor – as punishment for being curious and disobedient.

I remember reading, and hearing, more than one black person express the belief that blacks are cursed. Does the majority think that way?

This morbid fixation on our most sorry state isn’t only coming from web sites devoted to celebrity gossip, quite a few purportedly newsworthy, intellectual and academic sources are just as rancid. Everything is about the shortened, diseased, pathological, abused, and totally miserable lives of black women.

Our Lives Have Priority – To Us

Reading this content from an objective and emotional distance, one has to conclude that being a black woman is the worst thing in the world. Yet the information does not carry with it an imperative push critical enough to require any government, nonprofits, feminists, or black organizations to actually make our lives priority.

This has happened because we’ve allowed ourselves and others to decide our lives aren’t important. Black women are ghosts. People might believe we exist, but no one could swear they’ve seen or was influenced by one. Our power to sway opinion, and induce viable action is negligible. Even animals have PETA for support.

However, when we can and should take credit, or power, we swallow our wills, pretend to be modest, humble, and step back to let others (in those race, sex, victim and beauty hierarchies) take our place! Hard labor for someone else – the almost always ungrateful – is an unenforced error, self-punishment, and an unnecessary, futile exercise.

Plain Talk

Black women, against your giving generous, nurturing, me-last nature, you will have to politely and gently usurp, or just drop kick, black men + white women, or whomever, from their sex, race, victim, and beauty pedestals. Teach them all to put you first. It will be hard in the beginning, but support is a busy superhighway. Stop giving unconditionally. It is not helping you. You are roadkill.

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

This constant focus of “How miserable are we? Can we be any more pathetic?” makes me avoid reading a lot of (black / black women) web sites. Times are bad. Yet, times have been worse.

Can we have a little sunshine and happiness please? Let’s learn to focus on the bright side. If we are in a dark tunnel without light, how about we think about ways to get out of the tunnel? How about focusing on getting something, or even someone, to show us the way out? Staring into space, thinking about how dark it is, is unproductive.

Even the miserable smile on occasion. I remember growing up laughing with family and friends over lots of things. I still do. Life is funny – it has to be. I know I grew up sheltered and protected. Eventually I was exposed to some of the evil this world has to offer, but I learned to put it in perspective: stuff happens.

I have my share of empathy and compassion for people. However, this modern day onslaught of relentless and negative (dis)information is not healthy.

There is nothing conducive to a person’s healthy sense of well being to view every situation relating to one’s race, sex and age as a dead end street. Frankly, I’m a bit miffed and offended at people who relate, with such grim joy and satisfaction, this constant citing of stats as to how bad it is to a black woman in America (or the world).

I Am What I Am

I’m sure they mean well, but I’d also like to tell them: kiss my ass. I love being me. I love being a woman. I love being a black woman. There is no curse on my gender, or “race.”

Got that?

Now lemme go hunt down whatever good news and cheerful stuff exists on the Internet….

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Random Thoughts for Today

Real Estate

I would love to purchase my neighbor’s town home. At the rate that the price of the house is dropping…. They’ve moved out, and I fear who will replace them. These folks were nice, quiet, non-smoking, non-nosy, and did not own a damn dog.

Those kind of neighbors are rare.

Mutts

Almost everyone around here owns a yapping, yelping, barking irritating beady-eyed little mutt. Some days I want to drop kick one of those furry pests, like a football, over a field goal. And they don’t clean up after the little sh*tt@rs either.

Neighbors I Don’t Want to Hear

Now, on the other side of me. I shouldn’t hear them, but I’m like a bat seeking prey at night. When I can’t sleep: I hear everything. It is not good.

One of them likes to play a very loud video game up to 2:30 am. One of them comes home at 1:20 am; another leaves around 4:00 am.

How do I know this? I’d make an excellent witness for the prosecution, or defense. I’m not a busybody, but my hearing makes me one.

I may have to invest in a good pair of ear plugs.

Wonder Woman

Sometimes I’m the most self-confident woman in the world. At other times, I’m a church mouse. I make very few decisions when I’m insecure. I do the same when I’m overconfident. That’s why I take so long to make decisions.

I try to make sure I’m not riding some strange emotional wave when I make up my mind. It’s frustrating.

Cryptic Attention Span

I have no right to be bored. Yet, I suffer from “been there, done that” boredom.

I need to be motivated. I keep trying to give myself something to be excited about. Lots of people are happy doing the same thing, having the same habits – over and over again.

I’m not of them. I’ve had this shifting attention span since I was a child. I thought as an adult it would go away. It hasn’t. I try to work with myself on this: how do I adjust to a changing interest in things?

I try to adapt to new interests, and make sure they don’t bore half-way through. Yet, I’m put off, if I want to get into something new, by the length of time, or money I may have to invest in it.

That’s why I can’t think of going back to school. I contemplated study nursing, or related to the pharmaceutical industry. I even attended seminars. In the back of my mind, a voice screamed: “No, I don’t want to go, you can’t make me!” So I’ve given that up. For now.

Still Seeking

People write or talk about living well, or making big changes. Not everyone can afford to do these things. I am tempted to sell the house (when the market improves) and just travel, or own a house on a couple of acres that runs on solar energy, and grow my own food.

Just a dream. I don’t do it because I can visit with people (family) who live like this, and in three days I’m ready to come back to my suburban life-style.

I’m spoiled rotten.

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Personal Goals: Starting All Over Again

I’m resetting the clock on my goals. I try to carry them out roughly every 3 or 6 months at a time. I don’t wait to make a New Year’s Eve resolution, I do this all the time.

Success?
Have I succeeded? In some areas, I’ve made progress. It is easier to change the external with regards to weight, hair length, skin, etc. than the internal.

My hair is still heading in a nice direction. I’m cutting off an inch, or more, at the end of October. On the full moon? Perhaps. It’s knotty at the ends, and I want to get the comb through it easier.

Next Goal:
I want to lose another 10-15 lbs. I won’t aim higher, because it takes a very long time for me to lose even a pound. I lose roughly 2-4 lbs a month, if I don’t slack off.

As for my hair, my goal is for it to reach 3-6 inches past the armpit. If I can wear it 2-4 inches past the shoulders, even with shrinkage, I’ll be pleased.

The 2 Most Difficult Goals
These long standing goals relate to dealing with people. I’m the introverted, shy, retiring, quiet type. Everything that I read, hear, and know about achieving these last 2 goals cannot be achieved without constant and continuous contact with people.

The Introvert’s Dilemma
These are very rough tasks to ask of an Introvert. It’s been a struggle all my life, and I have to continue to deal with it. There are so many things I could have accomplished by now if it wasn’t for my Introversion.

It’s like going through life covered in several suffocating veils. I spend half my time trying to yank these things off, while trying not to enjoy the cover, solitude, and isolation they provide.

No Time to Waste
It’s very very important for me to achieve these last 2 goals. To be frank, these are life changing and necessary.

So, from now until the end of the year, or the beginning of the new year, I’ve got major goals to continue carrying out.

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