Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Girl, Go Sit Yo Ass Down Somewhere and Call a Therapist!

I went to school with this chick who had some very tragic ideas about healthy relationships and how to attain one. She had a boyfriend in high school who, aside from running around on her every chance he got, would whoop her behind for the slightest little thing.

I remember one day, she, her boyfriend and several friends were sitting on a ledge in the back of the school that overlooked a concrete basketball court about 15 feet below. She and her boyfriend started a playful argument that went horribly wrong. Within an instant, the boyfriend picked this chick up and dangled her over the ledge just like Michael Jackson did his own child during that infamous time. But, unlike Michael, this dude dropped Ole’ Girl right onto the concrete—shattering her jaw and knocking out most of her teeth.

She recovered after some time in the hospital. They were able to put back the teeth her friends found on the basketball court. The missing ones were replaced with fakes. Her jaw was wired shut for a while, but today, she looks pretty normal.

She just doesn’t act that way. While she may have grown up physically, she still suffers from the same delusions about what constitutes a healthy relationship. We all do from time to time, but this chick takes the cake.

She finished high school, went off to college, graduated and became a teacher. Here recently, she was principal of one of our elementary schools. She may not be getting her butt kicked on a regular basis, but she still hasn’t figured out right from wrong when it comes to choosing a man.

Her latest choice is the father of two of the students at her school. The fact that this father is still married to these kids’ mother seems unimportant to her. She managed to break up the family, and is planning to marry the father. In fact, she’s even sent out invitations to their island nuptials scheduled for the latter part of the summer.

Funny thing is…the man she’s marrying has yet to divorce his wife.

Who, in their right mind, would send out a wedding invitation when one of the potential spouses isn’t quite finished with a prior marriage? Of all the shit I’ve done in my life, I’ve never done anything that fucked up or stupid!

I just keep thinking about the two kids at the school. How long is it going to take before the rest of the children find out that their daddy left their mommy for the principal?

And why would any principal conduct themselves in such a way with one of their student’s parents?

Word has it that the school board has asked Ole Girl not to return to the elementary school next year. In fact, I hear she’s been blackballed throughout the entire region.

All that for some dingaling? I don’t think so.

I wonder if this chick will ever get her life together. I’m real curious to see whether or not this wedding actually happens later this summer. I don’t know where Dude is in his divorce process, but if his Wifey has anything to say about it, I don’t think they’ll be getting married anytime soon.

We shall see…

And, Ole Girl just bought a house for she and her still-married-husband-to-be. Let’s hope she had the presence of mind not to put the house in both of their names (is that legal?). ‘Cause if it is in both names, Wifey might just get the new crib. And it would serve Ole Girl’s dumb ass right! She’d be homeless, jobless and stuck with a man with too many child support payments to underwrite her lavish lifestyle.

Oh well, that’s what ya get when you act like you ain’t got no damn sense.

The Black College Experience: I’m So Glad I Got Mine!

I remember the days of my junior and senior years of high school when every adult known to man seemed to be curious about the college I would choose. They would try to steer me with their own memories of collegiate days at their respective campuses. I heard stories of Penn State, Georgetown, Oberlin and Ohio University to name a few. I just took their advice and stored it in my brain’s File 13, because one thing I’ve always known is that I would spend my college years on a Black campus. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) constituted my entire pool of options. Nothing in this world could have convinced me that a predominately White college would be the way for me to go.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against ANY school that can provide a quality education. It’s just that I spent my high school years surrounded by Whites and racially-charged situations. What I needed was four years of my own kind. I knew the basic, core classes would be much the same at any school. But I wanted teachers who could take those lessons and help me understand them through my own world view. That’s what I found at Clark Atlanta University. And I would encourage any young African American high school junior or senior to consider my alma mater and other schools like it.

When I finally got the balls to tell all those Ivy League and White school enthusiasts that I was on my way to the Atlanta University Center—the world’s largest conglomeration of African American institutions of higher learning—I got several responses I wasn’t expecting.

“Why would you choose a Black college,” said one aunt who was raised in the school of If-It-Ain’t-White-It-Ain’t-Right. “Employers will never take you seriously with a degree from such a school.”

“The real world isn’t all Black,” said another one who shared the latter’s world view. “You need to be in an environment that resembles what you’ll face in corporate America.”

And there were other comments with similar messaging. I just disregarded them all.

College may prepare you for the real world. But it isn’t the real world. Instead, it’s a place for you to learn about the real world in an environment that suits you. Considering the cost of my pending education, I felt it would be best for me to choose a university whose bill I didn’t mind paying.

I wanted journalism classes that would teach me more than just the concepts of responsible journalism. I wanted teachers who could show me how to be a good journalist within a system that typically paints my brothers and sisters in a negative light.

I didn’t want to hear more about American history without hearing about my place in that history. My economics classes used examples bred from OUR experiences. To put it plainly, I learned how I could succeed in this world by my own standards rather than those dictated by the status quo.

And now, with my degree in hand, I’ve been able to circle back to those aunts and other nay-sayers with evidence of a fruitful career…one that has touched the corporate, nonprofit and agency worlds…one where I had my own three-year period of self-employment filled with clients spanning a variety of industries.

Clark Atlanta University has not held me back at all. Many of my former employers, particularly in Atlanta, were very familiar with the merits of the school and its other HBCU neighbors. Some of the most respected names in the Black community are associated with those schools…

-Oprah Winfrey, graduated Tennessee State University
-Rev. Jesse Jackson, graduated North Carolina A&T
-Former UN Ambassador and Civil Rights Leader Andrew Young, graduated Howard University
-Thurgood Marshall, graduated Lincoln University-Pennsylvania
-Spike Lee, graduated Morehouse College (but got the majority of his media arts training at Clark Atlanta University)
-Earl Graves, publisher of Black Enterprise, graduated Morgan State University
-Nearly half of the Congressional Black Caucus are graduates of HBCU's

...the list goes on. Hell, even Webster was in some of my classes!

Anyway, I said all of this to encourage more support for HBCUs. It’s alarming just how many of our schools have transformed into mostly-White campuses. My mother’s alma mater, West Virginia State University, is more than half White and actually has a White president. Morris Brown is about to be a memory, and there are many others that raise similar concerns.

As Black people, we really need to do more to support our schools. At one point in our history, those schools were the only places that would offer us a college education. We have to support these schools to ensure that younger generations of African Americans can make the same choices we could when their time comes. We cannot let our schools simply fall by the wayside because we don’t care enough to send a couple of dollars their way on a regular basis.

The Ivy Leagues of the world thrive because their alumni make sure they do. We, as Blacks, need to assume the same responsibility for our schools…regardless of whether we attended an HBCU or Harvard University.

The point is…these schools are OURS, and we need to protect them.

Send some of that expendable cash to an HBCU sometime soon. It’s an investment you can be proud you made.

Removing self from soap box now…

Monday, March 21, 2005

Don’t Get It Twisted…

One thing that pisses me off more than anything is white people who think they have somehow been so thoroughly accepted by African American culture that they can get away with using the “N” word just because 50 Cent does.

Word to the wise for That-Kind-of-White-Folk…don’t get it twisted! You are never authorized to use the word, and doing so in front of the wrong one of us will get your ass kicked even if we just fed you lunch on a Saturday afternoon.

My recent post about Lil Kim fueled such bravery from one white person on Blogcritics.org. Here’s what this dude had to say…

Lil Kim is a stank ass ho, she represents the very worst of African American culture.

Here are some of the whore's accomplishments: Arrested for marijuana possession; stomach pumped because she swallowed so much cum, flashed her minge at a concert, flashes her silicon-enhanced breasts every chance she gets, bragging about what a ho she is.

All those fine African Americans who defend Lil Kim are idiots. I hope their daughters imitate Lil Kim and smoke week, whore around and suck di** like it be going out of style in the ghetto.

In prison, Lil Kim won't be the Queen Bee, she will be just another ignorant nigga.

Don't even compare the negro Lil Kim with Martha Stewart. Martha is an intelligent, hardworking self-made billionare. Lil Kim is just another stupid, vulgar, whorish African American slut.

Here's one white guy who will be smoking a big ole cigar in celebration when that black whore is carted off to prison.


I can totally feel him when it comes to his dislike for Lil Kim’s over-the-top-slutty image. She has often made me about as sick as an episode of Fear Factor where the contestants dine on moose testicles and coagulated blood balls. But, he truly made that “nigga” line up, didn’t he? And then to follow that up with the "negro" word and a line like, "Lil Kim is just another stupid, vulgar, whorish African American slut" is like purposely throwing straws to break the camel's back! I mean, where is he going with the whole "another African American slut" thing?

Somebody please explain the rationale behind a white person who thinks they can get away with such fuckery! Do they think they can get away with it because J-Lo did in one of her songs with Ja Rule? If you ask me, J-Lo needed her ass whooped for saying it, and I’m mad at every single black person who bobbed their heads to her beat.

The point of the matter is pretty simple. Black folks don’t need to be throwing around the “N” word any more than anybody else. And I say that with guilty fingers pointed in my direction.

But when it comes to white folks, the word takes on a whole new meaning regardless of whether the offending white person has an entire arsenal of black friends and every single NWA album that ever existed.

Let me break it down like this. It is not entirely uncommon for a woman to call one of her girls “bitch” in a friendly way. It may not be nice or politically correct, but it certainly doesn’t mean the women are about to fight.

But let a man call the same woman a “bitch” and see what happens. He’ll probably end up with claw marks down the side of his face.

To put it plainly…if you’re white…don’t ever let a black person catch you throwing around the “N” word unless you’re in the mood to swallow your teeth. ‘Cause that’s exactly what can, and SHOULD, happen if you do.

History has given the “N” word a negative connotation whenever it escapes the lips of white mouths. It doesn't matter if the white mouth is racist or owned by someone who marched right alongside of Dr. King. Whites can NEVER safely use the word in our presence. Just erase it from your vocabulary or prepare to lose your tongue.

Peace…

Friday, March 18, 2005

Lil’ Kim is Going to Jail. Sources Say “Several Years” Likely

Lil’ Kim is on her way to jail thanks to her conviction yesterday on three counts of perjury and one count of conspiracy surrounding a shootout at Hot 97 in New York. The shootout involved her manager and another friend, and Lil' Kim is in trouble for telling a federal grand jury that she didn't notice them at the scene of the crime. She faces five years for each count, and sources say she’s likely to get a good chunk of her maximum sentence—up to 20 years.

If she does a single day more than Miss Martha Stewart, I’m gonna be mad as hell! Martha only did five months on a four-count conviction for obstruction of justice and lying to federal authorities. If Lil’ Kim ain’t out by Christmas, I’m gonna be pissed.

Now, please don’t get me wrong. I am, IN NO WAY, a Lil’ Kim fan. Never have been…and never will be. But one thing I hate more than her senseless lyrics and Happy Ho attitude is some more racist bullshit from this country.

Lil’ Kim and Miss Martha are guilty of the same crime…not knowing when to tell the truth. The circumstances surrounding the lie are irrelevant from a legal standpoint. The only crime was telling the lie. Therefore, Lil’ Kim should enjoy the same leniency that Martha got.

But as I type this post, I know as well as all of you that Lil’ Kim will probably get a lot more time than Martha. Martha is a rich white woman. Lil’ Kim is a former hood-rat turned rich-black-woman. Martha knits and crochets. Lil’ Kim is most known for popping her coochie. Martha is a white woman’s idol. Lil’ Kim is…well…Lil’ Kim.

Her sentencing is scheduled for June 24, so it remains to be seen whether or not I’m right about all this. But, I feel completely confident that this situation will once again reveal the ugly double standard of American society when it comes to issues of crime and race. You can get away with a helluva lot more with white skin than you can being a ghetto girl who has obviously worked her ass off (regardless of whether she was lying on her back at the time) to get where she is today. Blacks and lengthy jail time go hand-in-hand in the U-S-of-A. So, I don’t think we’ll be hearing much from the Queen Bee for quite some time.

I hope I’m wrong for Lil’ Kim’s sake. We shall revisit this point on June 25 and see…

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Free At Last, Free At Last…Thank Ya, Lawd!

It’s official. I’ve turned in my two-week notice, and am on my way to bigger and better endeavors. I know I’ve been away from the blogging scene for quite a while, but trust me, it was for good reasons. I’ll take this time to update you on what’s been happing in the world of JustMe...

The Homie-Lover-Friend Update


Ain’t a single thing changed on the man front. I still don’t have one, and the prospects are only getting more dismal by the day.

The latest potential Stud is a dude from my past. He wasn’t a boyfriend or anything like that. Just a dude I knew from high school. In fact, he’s a couple of years younger than me, so he definitely had no hope back in the day. However, I spotted him at a party recently and he was looking GOOD.

After talking to him on the phone just one time, I reduced his status from “potential” to “total loser” all within the timeframe of about 20 minutes. That’s how long it took him to brief me on his four children by three baby-mamas—two of which he’s still sleeping with—one of which still cooks his food on a regular basis. Translation…this fool ain’t got no business trying to hook up with me. He may have the body of a god, but he comes with more baggage than a sista can handle in one lifetime.

Gone are my days of screwing just for the hell of it. So, I guess there’ no reason to move forward with anything he’s trying to offer.

NEXT!

The Family

My family has gone through some trials over the past few weeks. We lost my aunt in January, who had been suffering from the after effects of surgery to remove an aneurism from the base of her brain. The surgery resulted in paralysis from her waist down, and she never recovered mentally. We tried to rally around my cousin, who is my aunt’s only child. She is doing very well, however, because she knows she did everything she could to keep her mom happy and comfortable until the end. Plus, she will always have us to lean on.

My father was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December. We went through several weeks of worrisome hell prior to his surgery at the end of February. Turns out, his cancer never spread beyond the prostate, and his doctor thinks he’ll make a full recovery. God is truly good all the time.

JustMe, in General

With all that’s been going on, the biggest personal drama I had just got solved with my new job. It’s definitely a step up, and will look exceptional on my resume. Plus, the nature of the work deals with children, and that means I’ll have the opportunity to do some good with my public relations skills. Can’t ask for anything better than that!

I continue to get more disgusted by the day over the shit our president and his team of fools are doing to further ruin the country. But, I don’t have the energy to dig deeper on this point, so I’ll save it for another post.

I’m convinced Michael Jackson didn’t do it. He may be a bit “touched” as we say, but that doesn’t make him a criminal. I don’t think many child molesters would tell their victims to call their parents to find out of it’s okay to sleep together if there truly was an intent to do harm. There…I said it! Just suck it up if you don’t agree. :-)

I get to take a week off before I start my next job. My last day on this job is March 24. It’s been a long time coming.

Okay…well, that’s the short and skinny of the past several weeks. I’m planning to post more frequently, and am hoping some of ya’ll still give a hoot about what I have to say.

Until next time…peace.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Oh No She Didn’t!

I pride myself on knowing how to conduct myself in public. But sometimes, depending on where I am, I act in ways that would only make the devil proud.

Like the day I was leaving for Los Angeles. I had just gotten back from a funeral in Missouri the day before, so I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for this trip. My plan was to get to work early and finish out some things, leave at lunch, run by the shopping center to get some last minute items, stop by the dry cleaners to pick up most of the clothes I needed, and then run home to pack. My flight left at 8:45pm that evening.

Everything was going great at first, except for the fact that I had the flu. I got everything taken care of at work, got what I needed from the shopping center, and only needed to pick up my dry cleaning before going home to pack. I was actually ahead of schedule when I arrived at the dry cleaners.

I walked in the door, pulled out my slip, and proceeded to write out a check to pay for the cleaning.

“We don’t take checks here.”

“Can you take a credit card?”

“No, we don’t take those either.”

Okay, it would have been nice if there was a sign posted as such. My only choice was to head to the nearest ATM to get some cash.

When I got back to the dry cleaners, the attendant—a woman about 10 years my senior with a face that screamed, “I need a lip wax!”—came up to grab my ticket and retrieve my clothes. She started to ring up the order while I was investigating their handiwork. Just as she asked me for $18.75, I noticed the huge coffee stain on the seat of my ivory-colored pants (yes, I actually sat in a puddle of spilled coffee the last time I had them on).

“These pants aren’t clean,” I said. “And I really need to take them with me on my business trip this evening. Is there any way you can get this stain out?”

“There ain’t nothin’ we can do until tomorrow,” Mustache Sally replies like she couldn’t care less.

“Well, I have to take the pants with me this evening. Are you sure there is nothing that can be done today?”

“Like I said…we can’t do nothin’ ‘til tomorrow.” Her attitude was really starting to piss me off.

“Well, I’ll tell you what. I’ll deal with the stain myself, because I have to have them today. You can just take the cost of them off the bill, and I’ll pay for everything else.”

“You ain’t takin’ these pants out of here unless you pay for them.”

“I’m not going to pay you for pants that haven’t been cleaned. Can I talk to a manager?”

“There ain’t no manager here. I told you we would clean them tomorrow,” she says like she’s talking to some chick on the street. My patience was out the door at this point, and if this woman wasn’t careful, it was about to be on and poppin’.

“And I told you I couldn’t wait until tomorrow. I’ll pay for the rest of the things, but I’m not paying for these pants. Can you ring up my total and take the pants off?” My pitch was getting higher and more irate by the minute.

“AND I TOLD YOU THAT YOU WEREN’T GETTING THESE PANTS UNLESS YOU PAY FOR THEM!”

Oh no this bitch did not just yell at me! Without even thinking about it, I reached across the counter and snatched my pants out of the woman’s hands.

“Bitch, have you lost your fuckin’ mind?” I screamed. “You are not keeping my pants. And you damned sure aren’t going to force me into doing more business with this sorry-ass dry cleaners.”

“Well, we’ll just take down your license plate and…”

“The number is 9-1-1,” I screamed. “And I’ll help you dial it if three numbers are more than your dumb-ass mind can comprehend. You do whatever the hell you think you need to, lady. I hope the cops really do show up here, so I can tell ‘em how your trifling ass is trying to rob me!”

She picked up the phone, but instead of dialing the police, she called the manager who was apparently chillin’ at home.

“She wants to talk to you,” Mustache Sally said and handed the phone to me. I snatched it out of her hand the same way I snatched the pants.

“Don’t snatch nothin’ else out of my hands,” she shouts like she was about to do something about it.

“Why don’t you come from around that counter and show me what in the hell you plan on doing about it! As much as you’ve pissed me off today, it would be my pleasure to whoop your ass all up and down that damned parking lot. Don’t say shit else to me or I’ll knock that mustache off your face!”

And with that, I put the phone to my ear to see what “the manager” had to say about all of this.

“Ma’am, what seems to be the problem?” the manager asked.

I proceeded to explain the particulars. I told her I was willing to pay for the items that had been cleaned, but I was not going to pay for the pants with the stain. I also explained that I wasn’t going to give them the opportunity to clean the pants again, because they couldn’t do it the same day, and I needed them that evening.

Of course, the manager agreed with me, and asked to speak back to Mustache Sally. Once Mustache Sally wrapped up her conversation with the manager, she handed my ticket to her co-worker to finalize the transaction, and then she went back into the back somewhere.

I paid for all items, less the cost of the pants, and left.

At the time of my argument, it felt almost relieving to scream indecencies at this customer-service-averse woman. I truly had a bad case of the flu, which meant body aches, congestion and all sorts of other discomforts. Puttin’ my foot up her ass seemed like an ideal stress reducer at the time.

But in reality, I can only hope there wasn’t anyone around who knew me or my family. Because I gave them enough bad attitude and bad language to embarrass my folks for decades. I am so NOT proud.

The next time, I’ll try to take the “I Have A Dream” approach and keep things more diplomatic. But that was one “bidnass in da hood” experience that caught me on the wrong day, at the wrong time.

Sorry, Mustache Sally, for threatening you and pointing out your Sasquatch-like facial flaws. But you really pissed me off that day. From now on, though, I won’t let people like you get the best of me and turn me into someone I strive not to be…a ghettofabulous diva who will drop-kick your ass at will.

Here’s to becoming a more mature ME…

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