Black Girls Be Unpacking

This is the third and final post on this situation, this topic, this hurt (the other two are Black Girls Be Writing: Handle With Care and Black Girls Be Answering Their Own Questions). I just finished watching the film The Odd Life of Timothy Green and I was touched. Ok I balled my eyes out at the end and I need Puddin over at andevengreaterworks.wordpress.com  to see it if she hasnt already. Without ruining the plot, it was about love and letting go.

I was already emotionally overwrought and then the end of the movie just shoved me over the edge and I checked my phone and had a message from my ex, the same one I’ve been talking about this week, his cousin sent me a message that said, “Just wanted to tell ya I love and miss ya.” (His cousin and eye grew up and were really good friends growing up) And in that moment it clicked. I got it.

So this is an apology.  I have been writing and creating this alternate reality where I was doing everything and giving my all and he just broke my heart because he wouldnt have me.  And though that may be my truth, it is not the reality of what happened.  I was wrong. And I was selfish.  Because instead of letting love live and breath, I wanted to box it up and hoard it. I wanted it on my terms and my own way.  But just because someone doesnt love you the way you want them to doesnt mean that they dont love you.  He loves his way and I love mine. We just couldnt find a middle.

We are not bad people.  We are just dynamically, extraordinarily human. And thats ok.

So I am cutting open the box that is my heart and my love.  Throwing back the curtains and unlocking all the doors so that love can flow effortlessly in, out and through my life.  Whether its a quick, fierce gale that comes and goes before I can lick my finger and figure its direction or a barely moving, muggy breeze that moves in, sets for a while and never really parts, I’m ready. And I welcome it all.

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Black Girls be defining their “Fine”

One fine morning my Best Friend sent me a pic that looked like this:

 

Followed by a pic that looked like this:

 

By now I was WIDE awake wondering who were these men and where could I get me one.  She tells me that they are from this Facebook fan page called “Dam He Fine!” and practically begs me to join (Ok she didnt beg me but when faced with photos like that how much more coercion does one need?).

So I followed the page and every day my Facebook feed was enhanced by pictures of greased up abs and chiseled jaws.  At first I was like a crowd at a firework show Oohin and Aahin like I had never seen a man before. But there is only so much salivating and head turning one woman can do before she wants more. More? What is more than buns of steel, deep brooding eyes and perfectly aligned teeth?

Everything.  When I am attracted to a man, like really attracted, it isnt because of his hip to shoulder ration or the fact that he can crack a walnut with his butt cheeks.  Although…. No but really I like a man who commands good attention when he walks into a room.  Serves the community. Loves to teach and learn.  Invested in his family, present and future.  Ambitious, yet humble.  With a sense of humor and adventure.  If I had a “Dam He Fine” page (but my page would be “Damn He’s Fine” because there is an N on the end of damn.  They must have been to excited to notice) would be filled with teachers, college students, civic leaders, writers, artists.  They would be real men, doing real things.  That’s “fine” to me.

Now this is what Im talking about.

Black Girls Be Doing the Most

Aww BGB!!! How I have missed you. Let me count the ways! I haven’t blogged in about a week and a half and I have really missed it.  I think Im scared of success.  Because every time some one praises my blog I feel like pressure to be good. But when hardly anyone reads it Im all like eh, whatevah. I need to get over that.  You, (Yeah you, I see you over there looking all sexy #HeyBoo) are reading this because well I dont know why but hopefully its because you find something good and interesting and genuine.  Yeah, I just hope you find something genuine.

 

So let raise our glass to to authenticity! Typos and all!

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 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 Pushing the Bounds of their Celibacy

If it seems like I have been talking about sex, and/or the lack thereof, it is because I have.  I am a sexual person.  I didnt know it then but if I knew what sexual desires were I would have known something was up when I was 7 and had fuzzy feelings deep in the pit of my stomach every time I saw the Black Ranger on Power Rangers.  Or every time Urkel turned into Stephan on Family Matters.  I didnt know then but if I had known I would have.

So now here I am, almost 23 years old and I am trying really hard to be celibate. No.  Actually Im not trying really hard at all.  Im not trying to not have sex.  Im just not doing it.  I have not met a man yet within a 30 mile radius that makes me want to have sex.  Shoot, I havent met a man in a 30 mile radius that makes me want to shave my legs.  I havent had the urge to kiss or touch or anything anyone.  And its not that Im not trying.  In the span of 3 days I went on 3 separate dates with 3 different guys.  And each time…nothing.  It was nice to be out of the house and talking to someone.  The company was decent but  that’s about it.  I was almost starting to think it was me.

And then last night I spoke to my “ex” (ex in quotations because we were never officially together but he might as well have been).  When we were at our height, he was the love of my life/the thorn in my side/my affliction/my cure all in the span of a week.  He knew me so well that it scared me because he would tell me things that I only let myself think about at 2 am on a moonless night.  He knew me like that.  Still does.  But he used that knowledge to his advantage and played on all the insecurities that I laid so bare.  He was an asshole and I loved him and hated him for it.

Its been over a year since we were serious and now that time has passed we have reached an understanding.  We are at a place where we have both grown and we recognize that but we both know each other’s boundaries and tells so we are very comfortable.  Too comfortable.  Because we have a connection that wont release us.  We had some of the best conversations I ever had in my life and we had some of the best sex I ever had in my life and yes those two things are very much related.

This connection is so strong that when we talk and get past all the pleasantries and we get into the meat of whatever we are talking about, whether its politics or our plans for the future or whatever, I start playing in my hair and my skin gets hot and my thighs start to rub together.  And he says whenever you call me my heart beats fast. Mind you, he is in Maryland and I am in North Carolina but without fail it happens.  Every. Single. Time.

We laugh and say that we are meant to be each others life long mistresses. I roll my eyes but deep deep deep deep way deep down I know that he means it. And it scares me because maybe I mean it too.  Because we have an addiction for one another.  When we would visit each other we could barely leave the house.  Looking back on it, its funny but its not. Because I know that that feeling didnt die when we ended our relationship.

But what does all of this have to do with celibacy.  I dont know. Maybe I just wanted to talk about sex.  But I guess Im saying that I want a man who challenges my celibacy.  Not in the literal sense that he tries to manipulate me into doing something I dont want to do.  But someone that has it so together and stimulates my mind and stirs my soul so much that I want to give him my body.  I want an even deeper passion with someone that is truly ready for it.  Someone that makes me want to give up this whole celibacy thing but loves and respects me enough to tell me “No. Let’s wait”.  Yeah, that’s what I want.