When it Rains it Pours

It’s funny but I can’t laugh; So sad but I can’t cry –

-Kelli Price

I am so angry I could scream. Shit, fuck screaming, I am ready to have a temper tantrum.

I am in a funk. I could run down the short list of issues, but frankly, I don’t want to.

I will say that part of the problem is that Ktop 4, i.e. my laptop, is no more. The harddrive died and no files can be retrieved. The tech called to tell me and he sounded like a doctor informing that a close relative had gone on to meet The King. And I reacted like that’s what it was too. Tears and everything.

And no, before you ask. I didn’t have a back-up harddrive.

I know, I know. But I just bought the damn thing a couple summers back (for my bday no less.) I thought it’d be years before it conked out on me. So my pictures (biggest loss), blog outtakes, unpublished blogs (like a hundred?), Introducing Amelda Davis (the completed book that would never see the light of day), the new book, and all of my music are no more (well, I do have the excerpts I sent out). Oddly enough, the only thing that I’m upset about are the pictures. Everything else can be re-downloaded, re-written (possibly better than before. I’m taking off from partying and caking with my boo for a few days to re-do the book). But the moments in time that were captured can’t be re-duplicated, you know? But, I have a lot of pics on Facebook and Instagram; and at least I’ll always have the memories. (This is my attempt to find optimism.)

*Sigh*

I’m usually a chipper person despite any adversity I might face. But for the first time in a long, long time, I am very, very sad (and I can’t even sit at home and write about it as therapy.)

RIP Ktop 4. You (or at least the information you contained) were loved and will be dearly missed.

— K. Reagan

Men Don’t Tell Us How To Act

I can’t sit through one more sermon, debate or call-in radio show.

I can’t read another statistic-littered blog post, magazine article or self-help book jacket.

I can’t—and never will—pay good money for a singles conference, get anointed with special herbs and spices, or visit my local soothsayer for answers.

I can’t listen to one more piece of here’s-how-to-snag-a-husband-and-get-your-lonely-tail-down-the-aisle advice, especially from a man.

I’m over it. On behalf of all of us.

There are far, far too many self-proclaimed relationship experts and marriage gurus building their brands and platforms on Black women’s desire to be part of loving, committed couples. Our hope is their business opportunity. Those elements, juxtaposed with this pandemic spirit of scarcity that insists there’s a man shortage, has created a bountiful environment for every half-cocked, wannabe man whisperer.

Ladies, the curtain has been pulled back. And the Wiz looks just like any other dude who has ever catapulted an opinion into the atmosphere. They, for the most part, don’t have solutions. They, for the most part, don’t have special insights. They are, for the most part, just regular guys, waxing poetic about the multitude of ways we need to perfect ourselves before a fella will wife us. And we listen, even hang onto their input.

Hear them tell it, we need to keep our hair and makeup tight, keep our bodies even tighter and stay that way because for better or worse evidently has a weight restriction and an appearance clause. We need to be spiritually grounded but sexually adventurous. We need to be able to cook, be understanding about respecting his space but appreciate the value of quality time, be independent but just intuitive enough to know when to let a man be a man. We need, we need, we need.

No guy can single-handedly interpret the thoughts, actions and intentions of all male-kind, not even the most macho, testosterone-attuned mandroid. Everyone—yes, every man—is entitled to have a clear vision about what they’re looking for in a life mate. But while they’re developing this seemingly ever-growing checklist of qualifications that is supposed to make a woman wife material, who is preparing these brothers to be husbands?

Certainly publishers aren’t hunting down the next bestseller on grooming single men into spouses—that ain’t where the money’s at—and the homies aren’t selling out stadium-sized venues to be coached into marriage readiness. This, even though they’re coming into relationships with their fair share of baggage, issues, hangups, fallibilities and personality flaws, just like we are. And just because a dude is already married doesn’t authorize him to peddle homegrown wisdom into gold. A ring and a penis doth not automatically entitle anyone to dispense relationship advice to women desperate for some inside perspective on why they’re 25, 30, 35, 40 and still single. But with the wrong intention, it does make them an emotional predator.

Even fellow blogger Slim Jackson, himself a man who could just as easily thumbs up this uptick in haphazard man wisdom, has noticed the barrage of questionably qualified dudes. I don’t think women should always be the ones jumping through hoops to get to some level of marry-ability, to make ourselves “worthy of the ring.” I’d venture to say, with all of this focus, you’re probably closer to being ready to be a wife than the man you’re going to marry is to being a husband at this very moment. We’ve been conditioned to work on ourselves. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn’t always stretch across gender lines.

If anything, this privilege that we’ve handed over—and our almost visible thirstiness to get engaged—has fueled an unfortunate sense of entitlement that consistently gives men the advantage. The ones we’re trying to date, the ones who are making money off of our attempts to date, the whole lot of them. I can’t wholly blame them for being opportunistic (and there are certainly enough women also making their killings by telling us how to make ourselves over). But I am calling for balance, for men to be held to the same standards and expected to make the same personal investments for the sake of jumping the broom. What’s good for the gander is just as good for the goose.

SINGLE WOMEN – JUST BE LESBIAN

Note: Please click the links in the article. 

Ok, back to business.

Are you:

Single?

A Black woman?

Over 15?

If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, then you’re likely desperate to get married.

College- educated?

Oh, you’re definitely desperate.

It doesn’t matter if you claim to have a boyfriend, a fiancé, you’re a lesbian, don’t want to get married or even in high school. You’re still single and worse, lonely, and worse still, unlikely to marry.  This is, of course, is based solely on the thoughts in my all-knowing head—not on like actual studies that say otherwise. I know all women—and girls too— want to be married not like right now, but like yesterday. It’s urgent like a motherf***er. I saw that ABC special where that one thirty-something woman said she cries into her pillow at night because she’s not married and I know that applies to every single Black woman—or girl—alive.

How do I know?

Because I think like a man.

So why aren’t you married yet? Because your standards are too damn high like rent in New York City. You have nerve to be employed, think for yourself and as desperately single as you are, the audacity to scoff at broken men, cheating men, weak men, men you have to support, down-low men, and even your last resort for marriage, bi-sexual men. You out here acting like being single is something to celebrate.

Girl, bye.

You’re miserable. And even worse, you got these good men with better things to do out here trying to work with you and dispense quality advice. These male relationship experts are trying to help difficult you “keep” somebody, and you ain’t been listening: Submit! Shut up! Cook! Clean! In heels! Every day!

F*** your bunions and your feminism too. Let a man lead you even if it’s into a damn hole. At least if you fall in and die, you would have a man—hopefully, your husband— by your side at your demise. Being Mrs. [it only counts if you take his last name] is all you should want to be remembered for anyway.

Unfortunately, it’s probably too late for all of you, especially if you’ve wasted prime husband-hunting years getting a diploma when you should have freed up your time to find a man by getting a GED.  All the hetero Black men alive and even not yet born have, are now or will be planning to marry White women.  And because in the history of mankind no desirable man of any other color has ever been really interested in a Black woman as a wife, you’re left only with one hope for marriage: women.

Yeah, I said it. Single Black women should marry each other.

Think of the benefits: you’ll be married!!! You’ll be married!!! You’ll be married!!!

This will work out well for lesbians because you know, all this time ya’ll have been settling for women because you couldn’t keep a man. But for the rest of you, it’s time to “turn” yourselves gay. It can’t be that hard since the millions-strong LGBT community just rolled over one morning when they hit puberty and decided to go against the grain. You can too!

Just go on and roll over.  Roll, dammit!

Now call your bestie, get on the plane and head to the nearest courthouse in one of the nine states where gay marriage is legal and jump that broom.

I know some of you are wondering, “but will I be happy with this arrangement?” Um… girl, you’re thinking small when you should be thinking big. Your happiness?  That doesn’t matter. You’re finally married! Black marriage solves everything.

“But what about Jesus,” you ask? God loves gays. (No sarcasm.)

Others of you may be wondering, “what about children?” Girl, stop. I read the comments sections on Black blogs and “listen” to Black men —the all knowing source of everything about Black women because of the woman they were raised by and those they’ve dated. You’re over 15, which means you probably have a few kids by now anyway. You and your new wife joining forces? It’ll be like The Brady Brunch. It’ll be fun!

If you so happen to be that one anomaly of a Black woman alive who doesn’t have an out-of-wedlock child? Just go buy one from Africa—white women do it all the time, and at least you’ll know how to do the kid’s hair.

You mad?

Of course, we are inherently more combative by birthright than other women (I watch TV so I know how we can be).  I’mma ask you to put down that bottle or phone you’re ‘bout to throw, and imagine what this could do for the statistics about single Black women. Like 99% of us who are of legal age to marry (ie, older than 15 in most places) could be married.

Boo, I’ve just singlehandedly solved the Black woman’s marriage crisis. You shouldn’t be fighting me; you should be awarding me the Nobel Peace Prize. However, a thank you will suffice.

The Miseducation of the Breakup

My bestie called me this morning recapping a conversation that her and her new boo and future baby daddy (as she likes to refer to him) were having this morning. They were discussing how hard it is to be in love with someone and knowing that they are no longer in love with you. So in the mist of sharing this conversation with another mutual friend of ours he explains the break up break down from the breakee’s perspective. As he’s talking it reminds me of a song that I loved some years back… “Whose Gonna Save My Soul”. We sit for a couple of minutes trying to remember the lyrics and who sung the song. Later we discovered it was by Gnarles Barkley.

Here is where today’s blog begins….

So Kewon sends me the video link of the song that he and I were trying to remember from earlier. I played the video and I think it’s briliant, like the greatest summary of a break-up ever. Watching it is the most awkward and painful feeling because by now, I’ve been on both sides of the table (literally) and can relate all too well. One thing I did note, is that everyone always sympathizes with the Breakee, but being the The Breaker is no easy feat. Trying to “be an adult” and diplomatically telling someone that you likley no longer love, but still care for, “I’ve evaluated the ways in which you’ve contributed to my life and decided I can do better” is wrenching.(Bottomline: that’s what you’re saying when you end it. All the “it’s not you, it’s me,” is just to spare the feelings of the Breakee.)

The other person gives you the blank stare, maybe you see the muscle jump in the jaw, maybe he’ll cross his arms defensively. And even if he doesn’t interupt your drawn out verbal attempt not to feel like a bad person, you know he’s thinking some variation of “this bitch” or “are you fucking kidding me?” or even worse, “what the fuck am I gonna do now?” No one halfway decent enjoys feeling like the “bad girl.”

Basic decorum dictates that The Breaker must state her case, then listen to the Breakee’s rebuttal even though her mind is made up. And she may have to sit through a tirade about how “you are no prize either, just so you know.” He could swallow his pride and try to persuade her to rethink her decision (Steve to Miranda: “we’ve got good stuff here.”) Then she’s forced to pull a Caesar and decide the fate of the one-time strong gladitaor who’s been reduced to begging for extending the relationship’s life. So unpretty.

Breaking up’s a bitch, no matter which role you’re playing. (Even when it’s mutual, the whole “so what do we do now question?” followed by awkward silence is only slightly less painful.) Hence, why I love this video, which delves into the mind of The Breakee with startling clarity. The summaries of what comes next are hilarious in delivery, but two of the most introspective POVs written in a long time. Someone deserves a raise for crafting this one.

Anyway enjoy the video:

Whose Gonna Save My Soul Now

Thinking Out Loud – A Lonely Girl Away From Home

I have an urge to write the way some people, I imagine, have an urge to get high. When I have the need to and don’t do it, my thoughts get all jumbled and backlogged and I can’t think about much else. I’ll start typing parts out of choronological order on my iPad, or making an outline on my computer at work. I’d just tell someone, but telling them to a friend just isn’t the same. There’s something to be said for the act of typing, even if it’s just a long email to Kewon. (He gets a lot of unedited, error-filled emails about stuff I have to get “on paper.”) This doesn’t happen too often since I make time each day to write. But I wondered what happens to people who have the same urge, and don’t write or don’t have the time. What do they do when they need to get it all out?

I woke up in the middle of a weeknight from a bad dream. I was up from 2-6AM afterward. I was scared, totally out of sorts. I could describe further, but I won’t today. After some much needed sleep before work, this was the first message I saw when I woke up in the morning exhausted.

As you know by my erratic posting sometimes, I let the blog slide when I’m caught up. Sometimes I debate quitting it. K.Reagan can be time consuming and a responsibility that I can’t always afford to have with my demanding work schedule. I get a fair amount of e-mails and texts when I miss more than a day and frankly, it can be a lot of pressure to come up with something to write daily. There are times when I think all the good stories I have to tell have been told. Other times, I’ve got something to talk about, but the words aren’t coming or I want to tell it, but feel like I can’t. It’s tough to be judged. To write about fuck ups in the past, well, I learned and grew. But current fuck ups? It’s hard to have thousands of people reading (even if I don’t know most of them) and thinking I’m an idiot. It’s not just the story you judge or comment on, it’s my life, it’s me.

Always having “what am I going to write about?” hanging over my head can be daunting. I don’t want to not meet expectations by not producing anything or worse, doing something sub par that I struggled to get out and then you think it sucks. I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit. (Cue Erykah.) So to tell my stories and have someone find sustenance in it…. It amazes me. It gives me a purpose when I’m not always sure there is one. Words are powerful as I know from writing here almost every weekday and I’ve bruised a few feelings, sometimes my own. Thank you for telling me that they have an impact on you, even if you’re reading for the drama or even if you’re taking something deeper away. Your words made a bad morning, brighter. I keep the email that alerted me of your comment in my phone.

“You make me want to burn my notebook.”—MistyBlue

She (assuming, since most of the readers are) told me where the line was from, but she didn’t have to. love jones is one of my favorite films. And I remember the scene vividly when Nina said it. It was the first date and she was talking about Sonia Sanchez. I’ve never been a big Sanchez fan, or a big poetry fan. (Ace is though. She extols Sanchez’s brilliance.) So I know she’s great and I respect anything that passionately moves people.

Writing has always come easy to me. Most (but not all) posts just pour out along with the ways to set the story up and the metaphors that come in them that make what I write so called witty and funny. I get an idea, I punch it out on my IPad during my morning duty at work. Because it usually comes so easy, I question sometimes if it’s good. I mean the good stuff is supposed to take hard work, right? Tons of revisions, and a few days to think on it and edit properly? Some stuff I’ve put my heart into and it gets a blah response Other things I bang out in an hour and it gets 30 comments. Go figure. As long as you keep reading (an indication that it’s good to you), then I’ll keep writing. Misty Blue, I’m honored that you would evoke those words to me. I needed that. Thank you.

Texhibitionist spent a part of her Saturday night reading K.Reagan. With all the options of what to do for a young woman (again assuming) on a Saturday night, I’m humbled and honored that you spent time here. I don’t always think what I do here is that good. I read some other people’s stuff (like Terry McMillian) and sometimes think “why try?” She makes me want to burn my notebook. I remember reading Waiting to Exhale in one sitting when I was a kid.

My Mom had bought the book home, and I saw it on the counter. One Saturday afternoon I was bored and picked it up, laid on the couch and started reading. I laid on the living room couch consuming McMillian’s words the entire day until I was done. (In retrospect, I have to wonder why my Mom let me read that. It’s totally inappropriate for a kid.) In my recollection, it took about 10 hours. If Texhibitionist read for the time her comments were clocked, it was 40 or so minutes she spent with my story and my words. You will never know how much that meant to me, especially tonight.

Thank You.

Sigh – My Truths

There are truths in this life, that I guess we sometimes don’t want to face.  Weaknesses that we know we have, and those god awful qualities that need some assistance.  It’s like that broken record that keep playing the same damn verse in your life over, and over.

I’ve known for so long my weaknesses.  I figured it out a long time ago.  I guess I thought TIME would make me stronger, but in reality…time doesn’t always heal things or make things better on its own.

There are certain things in this life, that need full service of the heart, mind and soul.  Changes need to be made, by no one else but myself.

The TRUTH HURTS

There I said it.  THE TRUTH DOES HURT, ESPECIALLY MY TRUTH.  My truth hurts because there is no control over it other than to close up and put protection walls around something you thought others would appreciate.

I guess not everyone was taught the same?  I guess not everyone treasures the same things.

I guess we all have our work cut out for us.  This is life is just a test as I’ve said many times before.  Today I am failing miserably.

Spare Me…

Part writing exercise (cause I just write for writing’s sake sometimes.) Part blog. I edit a monthly news article back home that always gets bumped back to me for revisions. Frankly, I’m not used to being edited so hard. I’m learning a lot. But fuck if growth isn’t hard. You’re just going to have to read more randomness as I intentionally practice more at putting jumbled thoughts into cohesive expressions.

“We BeBe’s kids.  We don’t die we multiply”

-Robin Harris

I was in the nail shop around the corner earlier getting did right for the week. It was pretty empty—just me, a Jewish woman and her two kids—appx. 3 and 2—and the staff, 3 Hispanic ladies and the Asian owner. The Jewish lady was on her cell phone and her kids were roaming free. The older one went to use the bathroom, then complained she couldn’t wash her hands. The mom paused the call to ask the owner to turn the facet on for her. Then the little girls came to stand right up on the woman doing my pedicure. All up and invading the woman’s space—and her ability to focus on my feet (which after 3 weeks with no pedicure were jacked!) I finally, very nicely, told the oldest girl that she should go sit next to Mommy because Mommy missed her. The woman was oblivious to all of this. The oldest one tells me no(!), but then I add some bass and some firmness to my voice and the little girls finally leave. They wander around the shop knocking shit over, which one of the Hispanic ladies cleans up. Then they wander to the front of the store. Mom= oblivious.

I speak functional Spanish, but not enough to say ‘this bitch is tripping.’ However, facial expressions are near universal and that was enough for me and the Hispanic ladies to have a mutual chuckle at how recklessly absent this woman was in paying attention to her kids.

I tried to go back to reading my magazine, but I couldn’t. (When the hell did I start getting protective of kids? Is my biological clock ticking?) There are a host of dangers that kids can get into in a nail shop and well… I felt like I needed to make sure they didn’t harm themselves. It’s not their fault their mother isn’t raising them right or paying attention. When I look up, the 2 year old is playing in the trash can (germs!!!!) and the older child is pulling on the door to get outside the shop (danger!!!). The mother still hasn’t noticed.

No one else in the shop speaks enough English to alert the woman to her gross errors in parenting, so I take it upon myself to yell at her loud enough to interrupt her phone call. “Excuse me, Miss! You need to watch out for your kids!” I point to the door that the older child is still holding open while she stares at the Black lady yelling at her Mom. The younger one is elbow deep in trash and unfazed by my shouting.

Mom beckons the kids over by offering chocolate (yes, let’s reward bad behavior. No need to wipe your filthy hands, little one.) They pay her no mind. Maybe the fifth time she says something, they walk over for a treat. They eat, are momentarily still and silent, then go back to their antics. Mom never does end her call.

The littlest one climbs on a chair near where the polishes are displayed. She’s grabbing at them, using the plastic display case for leverage. The older one is sitting next to her flipping through nail magazines. Mom is all into her call. Still. I try to ignore them. I mean these are her fucking kids; I’m not a got-damned nanny. If she doesn’t care about the safety of her kids, why should I? Because they are kids and they don’t know any better. She’s curious. Not bad. Just has no home training. It’s not her fault her mother’s an idiot.

I get a vision of that display case giving way, and a 2-year-old tumbling off a chair and onto the wood floor head first and broken glass and nail polish everywhere. So I yell for the mother again. (My logic is not yelling at them is that if I can get the Mom to show some act right, then maybe she will learn some. It all goes back to feeding a man a fish and teaching a man to fish. Think on it.) I stop myself from shouting rather demeaning, “hey Lady” and go for another, “Miss! Your daughter!” and point. She looks at me in the mirror like I am annoying her by saving her baby girl from busting her head wide open.

More chocolate for the kiddies. Yes, let’s feed hyperactive mofos (yes, I just called kids mofos) more sugar. This woman needs a damn parenting book. Or at least some common sense. I can’t help, but to say, “Are you fucking kidding me?” out-loud. The woman scraping my heels laughs. Evidently she understands more English than I thought. Or maybe she got the tone and didn’t need the translation. The other two women are just shaking their heads. The owner has put us all on ignore. I’d be lying if said there wasn’t a part of me that wishes I should have just let the child fall. Then Mom might have learned her a lesson. But what a thing to do to a kid just to spite the Mom.

I think about what my Mom would have done if I did that. I can’t even picture it. She never would have let me get that out of hand. I would have been sat in a chair next to her with a toy and it would have been made clear that I was not to move and I was to be quiet. When I tried to get up, cause I know I would have, I would have been stopped in my tracks. Mommy didn’t play that.

The woman never made her kids sit still, just like she never got off the phone. When she left the shop, I was relived. And then I sent up a prayer for God to watch over her babies. Someone needs to.