Black Girls B in the Middle

I didnt really intend to post anything today but it was dropped in my lap and I couldnt resist.  I am a Jeopardy kid from a Jeopardy family.  As a baby, I would hum the final question music and tap out the beat with my baby spoon.  I pride myself on being able to answer questions on that show and sometimes I even consider being a contestant.  Because I have always loved trivia. Little known facts that are only useful on inebriated nights with friends that are also known as game nights.  I asked my mother to buy me an almanac when I was 9 and I am a self confessed nerd. And I be code switching.  Code switching? What’s that? Well first let me tell you a little bit more about me.

I am very much a Black girl. Teetering the line between stereotype and black exception at most junctures. Yes, I love fried chicken. And yes, watermelon too.  Yes, I have been scorched by hot combs, gotten chemical scalp burns by relaxers and I know my way around an afro pic.  Yes I can sing and dance and I am not at all intimidated by a multi-layered beat (The 2 and the 4 people, the 2 and the 4!).

Yes, I know my father. Yes, I have traveled abroad. Yes, I have my degree.  Yes, I work in the arts (2 jobs as of today! Woohoo!) Yes, I am unwed and childless. And yes, I be code switching.

Code switching!? There’s that phrase again!

According to Wikipedia, in linguistics, code-switching is switching between one or more language, or language variety, in the context of a single conversation. Multilinguals—people who speak more than one language—sometimes use elements of multiple languages in conversing with each other. Thus, code-switching is the use of more than one linguistic variety in a manner consistent with the syntax and phonology of each variety.

So here’s an example, a young woman walks into a Starbucks and stands in line behind you and you hear this:

Yeah gurl so I was like I be knowin what you doin. Im not dumb and he was all like baby dont do me like that and I was like psh… Gurl hol on a sec… Hello? This is she.  Yes I can definitely do that. No problem. What time is most convenient for you? Absolutely. See you then. You do the same. Goodbye… Gurl you there so yeah like I was sayin…

So either you believe she is psychotic or… or… what do you think? Well she is code switching. Code switching is the basis of this blog and I need for you to understand that I am not being ironically ignorant. Black English is a language that is distinct from Standard American English.  If you have read enough of this blog I hope that you know that I am proficient in both.  I code because I have thoughts that can only be truly expressed in my native tongue of Black English.  Sometimes it just beez like that.

I am proud of who I am even as I try to make a way in a society that tells me I shouldnt be.  I love my brown skin, my thick hair, my almond eyes, my feisty wit and my language. It is revolutionary and I accept that.  But every once in a while something can happen like a Jeopardy category called “B in the Middle” that reminds me that I be important.

 

Black Girls be Mourning the End of Summer

I am a Summer Baby! I love the warm weather and I was made for beaches and tropical drinks with umbrellas. So celebrate the end of another great summer here is Summertime Anthem by Eric Roberson. And if you look real close, squint and hit your pause button you will peep the Blue Black Girl in her video girl debut. Check me at the 1:07 mark and the 1:38 mark cuz Black Girls be famous.

Black Girls Be Spiritual

I am a spiritual person. I believe there is a higher being and that we are all connected to a universal source.  I am also a Christian, raised in a Christian household and reared in a society whose rules are based in Judeo-Christian ethics.  I am a product of my environment.

Yesterday, I had a conversation with Mother Blue Black and she mentioned that a certain presidential candidate said that he cried tears of joy when the ban of Black priests was lifted by the Mormons.  Not only do I not believe that he cried tears of joy, I still am not convinced that he was built with the capabilities to emote.
But I digress…

So I responded, I don’t know how a Black person can be a Mormon.  Immediately after saying that I had to admit to myself that some people wonder how a Black person can be a Christian, especially here in America. (This is the part where you read the first section again) And sometimes I have my own problems with faith.

I have had many a conversation with many a people and ultimately I had to decide what I believed. *Not my mother, not my father but its me Oh Lord…* And here is what I have come up with:
I believe in God. I believe in all paths to God. I believe that God is love and anywhere that love is, God abounds.  And I believe that on a planet where not only do we disagree on whether Coke or Pepsi is better, there are some people who think cola is gross and then some who have never even tasted soda. So how could we all agree on one deity!? But again I am a Christian because I was raised to be so. I prescribe to The Golden Rule and choose to disregard the misogynistic, slave-holding and sexually repressive passages of the Old Testament.  Its my faith, my path and my choice.

*Some things in the world they make me mad, but its alright*

Being a Christian, I am often disheartened by the travesties that are committed in the name of God. Sometimes I think we should replace God with Love and see if statements still makes sense. “I am discriminating against you in the name of Love!” “Love is punishing you for your unholy acts!” “Love hates…” But wait. Love can’t hate. That is oxymoronic and nonsensical and just dont make no sense. Maybe then it will seek in.

This was not the post I intended to write but sometimes it beez like that.  I blame a conversation I had with a dear friend and the cloudy day.  I also blame the divisive and downright scary political climate.  And Im just another Blue Black Girl trying to find her way.

Choose love ya’ll. Choose love.

Black Girls be Politicking

On my way back from my first puppet show rehearsal (yeah, more about that later) I saw a sign.  It said, “Watch for motorcycles. Check your blind spots. Share the road.”  Now, I dont know what it was about that sign that made me think about politics but it did. Check your blind spots.  Share the road.  They seem like simple little innocuous sayings but they are not.  It seems like “checking our blind spots” and “sharing the road” have become revolutionary ideas.

Being blind is not seen as an asset.  It is categorized as a disability, a weakness.  “Blinded by love” is to lose all of one’s common sense while under Cupid’s spell and no one wants to be “robbed blind.”  But when we are driving down the highway in our vehicles of various sizes, singing our favorite songs we dont always own up to our lack of vision. “He was in my blindspot!” (Why is the driver always a man until proven otherwise?) He was in my blind spot. Like how dare he be in a place that inconveniences me. The nerve of him.

I would say its all the political talk that usually follows conventions that incited this train of thought, but its not.  Recent events have introduced me to my blind spots.  Two weeks ago, I had the honor to meet Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas (@joseiswriting for all the tweeps) and he made me check my blind spot that is the 12 million undocumented Americans in this country.  Yeah, let that sink in. 12 million.  People who work, eat, sleep, pray, live, love and are just as American as anyone else.  Oh, and they drive too.  We share the road with them every day.  We dont ask to see their IDs before we let them pass us.  We treat them with the same respect, or disrespect, that we would give any other driver. We have to; for everyone’s collective safety.
The elections are fast approaching. And though I have hope I also have concerns. Because certain political parties and players have made it clear that not only are they disregarding their blind spots but they have no interest in even admitting that there are blind spots that need to be checked.  And I am very afraid to see what kind of country we will have if they get behind the wheel.   Win or lose, black or white, red or blue, we will all have to share the road.  There are only so many people we can run over, cars we can leave unattended and wrecks we can let disrupt the flow of traffic before none of us will be able to get anywhere.  We are the potentially homicidal drunk driver on the highway to progression.

The solution is simple.  Check your blind spots.  Whether or not you see them, they are there. The undocumented, the homeless, the single parents, the unemployed, the homosexual, the impoverished, the mal-educated and the malnourished. Whether or not you see them, they are still there. And they have just as much nerve and just as much right to be here as you do. Share the road, so we can all get where we want to go.

Black Girls Be Feeling Some Kinda Way: Fireman Sam

Ok so in a recent post I briefly mentioned that I sorta kinda not really may have a teensy weensy bit of feelings about this guy that I met online that I donned Fireman Sam (If you are a Black Girl Blue vet you know how I like to nickname my “potentials” even though none of them have lasted past two posts. Hmmmm I need to reflect on some thangs.) Anyway, well in this new found venture of “learning how to date” I have been trying to play “THE GAME.”  You know, dont kiss on the first date, wait 3 days to call, let the man make the first move… blah, blah, blah.  I dont necessarily prescribe to any of these “rules’ as the recipe for success.  In fact, I find them quite patriarchal but I am trying something new because most of my past relationships have gone something like this:

I like you. Do you like me? No? Ok. Moving on

OR

I like you. Do you like me? Yes? Let’s be together. You’re not ready for that? Ok Moving on.

OR

I like you. Do you like me? Yes? Let’s be together. Ok? Ok.

This has my modus operandi.  Why you ask. Great question! Because I am assertive, strong-willed, determined and when I see something that I want I go after it. Period.  And it doesnt help that even though I stand at a self-proclaimed 5’2″ in my mind I am a 6’5″ 280lb big black man with like a 13’… well you get the picture. I am a big person with a big personality that doesnt understand no and thinks its a sin to miss an opportunity.  This has done wonders for my professional life! But my personal one, eh, not so much.

So back to Fireman Sam.  I haven’t really been cataloging my online dating woes but since I havent come up here slinging flowers and quoting Stevie Wonder lyrics its pretty safe to assume that I havent found THE ONE.  I’ve gone a few dates but I havent felt that thing with anyone yet.

Then I went out with Fireman Sam.  We met at a little restaurant/bar near downtown and ate and drank a lil and talked for hours without it feeling like hours.  I was smiling and he was smiling and we were smiling and it felt nice.  Shoot, it felt nice to feel something.  We got ice cream cones and I even went to his apartment.

Now lets stop right there for a moment.  I know it is not the smartest thing to do on a first date.  But I think I am a pretty decent judge of character and I am very aware of my surroundings.  But Im sure women who have been chopped up in little pieces thought the same things. *Le sigh* Ok guys, I wont do that again. Scouts honor!

So we are at his apartment that was admittedly VERY bachelory. (Bachelory- full of character, see also messy) We started watching Kill Bill and switched to Deathproof and at midnight he sang Happy Birthday to me and we took a shot.  I was cuddled in his arms and he kissed my forehead and rubbed my cheek and it was so very… nice.  But I’m a “good girl” so I left before my night time nature took hold.  And yes, I floated home.  The next night I spent a few late night hours with him and again his energy was great.  And at the end of the night he kissed me.  I wont say that fireworks went off or anything but there was definitely a spark.

So the next day I decide not to call or text him to see if he would contact me.  He didnt. I let the entire day pass, which is big for me. The following day I text him and the conversation is lackluster.  Later that night I was out with my family at the Durham Bulls game and he texts me… Im gonna let you see it for yourself.

Ummm….. what?

To which I responded, “No. I don’t. But I respect your honesty. It was fun nevertheless.” And all his 29-year-old wisdom and maturity he ended the conversation with “;,)” Is that a cry face? Are you 14? Is this real life?

IS THIS REAL LIFE?

So I did what any warm blooded American woman would do in this situation, I screenshot the conversation and sent it to my two best girl friends.  After we laughed at the audacity of it all, I searched them for answers and I searched myself.  I am glad that he told me within a week what his intentions were.  It saved me a whole lot of time, energy, heart-space and gas (and we all know gas aint cheap).  I am also proud that I stuck to my guns and my morals when I was with him.  My actions and energy made it clear that I was not easy conquest and would not be satisfied as another notch in his bedpost nor as just another woman holding his fire hose. (See what I did there? There may be some more bad fireman puns coming your way. You have been warned.)

But I must admit that I was a little hurt, a little disappointed. I actually felt something with him, and I havent felt anything for anyone, especially anyone knew in at least a year and a half.  I miss the feeling.

But all in all I m glad that everything went the way it did because if he had waited a couple months or a year and THEN told me he was a manwhore I would have had to set his house on fire, while he was at work. LOL I kid. But can you imagine being a firefighter and getting a call and its to your address? Awkwarddd! Nevertheless, I hope he is keeping his pole clean cuz there’s no telling how many people have slid down it.