Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I just can't believe all the things people say -- controversy
Am I black or white? Am I straight or gay? --controversy
Do I believe in God? Do I believe in me? --controversy
Controversy, Controversy

What is up my money grips?? Hope all is well. I'm a tad late to plug in my iPod but I gotta own my moments...that man has been at my house (or me at his) damn near every night since that date. I had to pull back! I mean, late to work everyday. Little to no sleep every night. No one adding to my iPod shuffle. WTF? It's been a week! A week! Already we are talking about what could be deal breakers in a relationship and what we should improve on in our communication with each other, what works well, yadda, yadda. Left me scratching temple on the small detail of...IT'S ONLY BEEN A WEEK! But hey, I said I'd hold on and enjoy the ride. Now that I'm sleepless, walking quite funny & can't find a position to sit in that aint stressin my already sore back....gently rock with me for a few.

So, I told a group of friends about the possible interest in Thicke Jr. My girl, the only one present at this lil gathering, initially advised against such interest. Now mind you, she didn't advise against the good doctor, even after finding out he was an Atheist. Now, a man can have no God...that's excusable. No pigment...we shake a finger and furrow a brow. I call flag on the play!

Controversial Sidenote:
When getting feedback (requested or not) from your friends consider the level of craziness/non-balanced nature of the source. You know your peoples. Give 'em their due. They earned it! Consistently work hard to maintain justification for it! You wouldn't be a good friend if you didn't even acknowledge/or consider all that hard work at stayin crazy when weighing their advice. They might as well never have gone crazy at all if you just gonna treat it like it isn't even there. I'm a good sista-friend. I acknowledge her lack-o-balance and pray she always do the same for me because, trust and believe, if they are un-balanced and you are hanging with them....YOU aint balanced either! And as a good friend they better acknowledge it. Back to our regularly scheduled...

It was a good discussion. More supportive than negative. Not that it would have mattered with the latter. We both know I'll do what I want regardless. LOL. And she would only want me to be happy as sisters do. However, should we be in a situation when we all hang out, you don't just spring the lack-o-pigment on a bunch of black folks. Pre-warn! If you don't want any tomcoonery...PRE-WARN! As was the motivation behind starting this convo with the cast of characters in my life. We talked a good while about it and throughout the convo I realized, pigment or not, you gotta respect Thicke Jr.'s gangsta. I mean, his own home, investment properties, career, no kids, plan for retirement, plans for love/family, and all of these details were solid in his 20's. Find me a brother who can honestly say the same thing with the proof of follow through within the same time frame. There are brothers in their 40's still trying to figure this shit out. And don't talk to me about the race discrepancy in Amerikkka. Yeah, I know it's there but let us have a moment of truth:

Controversial Truth:
In the socio-economics of life, black women are at the bottom of the ladder BEHIND black men and YET ...the sisters own homes, have a career, a plan & retirement funds set with hope for a family. The 3 sisters on here specifically have all that and I had all of it before I turned 27. So in the light of day, brothers don't have a whining ass leg to stand on. When those who are socio-economically behind you got theirs, wtf is going on with you that the bulk of you can't get your shit together? We (black women) deal with the same racism, classism and sexism (the last one perpetrated a lot by brothers) that yall deal with...and still, we can handle business, move mountains and birth babies (that we often have to raise on our own). While once, when I was 15, I used to congratulate a brother in his 30's when he said I'm working on it. Now, as a 30 year old black woman in this game, when a 30+ year old brother says to me I'm working on it, I get the er? face. Brotha please! Did you JUST start yesterday? Cuz I've been on my grind since 16, so you got a ways to go. Holla when you're 45. I digress..

As I said to my sista-friend, there's so much about this "Don't do" that I simply "does" that it aint even funny! I didn't know that these issues were so extremely specific. Not saying that it applies to all of any one race. I know a lot of brothers on their grind, doing what they should do but most of them are too old for me to roll with. I know a lot of whites who aint doin shit but living off of daddy. That aint Thicke Jr. and I can respect that. He works two jobs, simply because he doesn't like monthly debt. Monthly! So every month everything is paid off and his credit is back to free and clear. I grew up on a yearly debt situation. He has a separate retirement fund because while he thinks 401K's are "cute" (his words) and he will contribute to his, he wants funds that aren't reliant on a job or someone other entities whims. While he believes in physical satisfaction, he doesn't believe in sex separate from commitment because he says a woman can get caught up when you place pieces of you inside of her and he doesn't need the controversy of being 4gotten by the one he may build with and/or hassle of being remembered by the one he never wanted a thing with. There's so much of this particular don't do (dating outside of my race)...that I does do. I have to respect his gangster. So we laughed, my sister-friend and I, and she understood and supported the choice. As our brothers came in to join us at this happy hour shindig (one who thought I was gay..wtf? no, I just never wanted his ass, 1 who is gay & 1 who is curious about white girls 4 whatever reason) I started to think about all the possible outcomes IF I chose to begin an interracial relationship, controversial, for some, as it may be.
Love him, love him baby
Controversy, controversy, controversy
People call me rude, I wish we were all nude
I wish there were no black & white
I wish there were no rules
Controversy, controversy

Thicke Jr. and I were discussing family one day and what we would or wouldn't allow for our children. I asked him would you want your kids to be cops. He said, very quickly, No. I'd never want that lifestyle for my kids. He asked me would you have an issue with your kids dating outside of their race. Now family, wrong as it may be, I had to be honest. I told him, my daughter no. My son, may just get put the fuck out my house if he doesn't bring me home a black girl. Thicke Jr. laughed and said, I notice a lot of black women feel that way. Why is that? It doesn't make sense. I thought about it and replied If the discrepancies change, than I will. If he truly must look outside of his race, then I'd understand. However, as it is now, name one, out of all your black male friends in this area, ONE that can bring to the table, equal to what I bring, that is our age. Name ONE that is out there saying he believes in family and is truly honoring just ONE black woman and loving and building with her. He couldn't. I said, truly neither can I. Now name FIVE black females who can bring to the table equal to what I have and that is our age or younger. He said, your heart is one of a kind but on the financial and strength of vision for a future...rattled off names. Most of whom were married so we will assume they were kicking it with just one man. I said exactly. My daughter will have a long way to go to being equally yoked, mentally & economically. She will suffer from a lack of viable resources if she stays only within our race. Black women are the "most single" group for a very obvious reason. It isn't a reflection of us as much as it is of our counterparts. My son, however, will have a pick of women in his race that can meet him where he is. He has no excuse. He better bring me home a black girl & rebuild our families. His bredren broke it. He has the responsibility to fix (be a solution) or fight (problem). I will raise him to carry his weight of fixing the issues. If the weight changes, I'll be open to revisit with him. Thicke Jr. just looks at me quietly. Then says, not that it matters to you, but that makes sense to me. Fair enough and laughs.

Family was a recurring theme for me this week. As Thicke Jr. and I chilled more folks started to notice. One such person....my mama. Why Lawd! Why? Again, it's only been A WEEK! I don't want family to know about him. But my mama, drops in from time to time as mamas do. During our convo, the idea of Thicke Jr. pops up. I wanted to know her thoughts. Again, PRE-WARN people! This may never become anything, but if she happens to pop up in my house and see a white man in his boxers making breakfast she will either catch her death of the heart attack or make sure he catches his death of the whoop ass. The conversation went as expected. She was more concerned he's a cop than anything else. We discussed the Grands birthday coming up this weekend and said our goodbyes. A few hours later, I get a phone call from my Grand(mother).

Grand: Your Grand's birthday is this weekend.

Me: I'll be there

Grand: Mmm. Bring some wine. I'll get a good cheese tray

..........insert crickets........

Me: We don't eat cheese Grand

Grand: I built this family. I know what WE don't eat. I have US covered. Cheese is for company.

I can feel her staring at me through the phone
.........insert the quiet ribbit of a frog....
Grand discusses the controversy of her life through her garden...

Me: You figured out what you planting for winter?

Grand: Not sure. I'm thinking of planting some new seeds. Maybe you should too. Millie's garden is so nice. She got all different things over there.

Me: I don't plant grand.

Grand: All women plant just gotta mind what they choose to grow. Make sure it caters to their needs. And always be ready to pick what can be supported by the seasons of their life.

Me: You don't even like half the stuff Millie grows

Grand: Oh but I like to look out there and know she's growing something just for her. How boring would it be if we all chose the exact same things to put in our gardens? If we did that I'd never have a chance to have Millie's cucumbers and I like her cucumbers. The rest is just pretty to look at and I know that it feeds her well. Doesn't seem right that I would only be able to appreciate the garden I grow.

Me: How's Grand's garden?

Grand: humph! well. he got a few weeds but I'm gonna see if I can't figure that out for him.
Gotta go. Papa needs to find his socks. You mind your manners and eat your rabbit. Think of something savory to compliment the cheese, I suspect we will have rain. Good for the gardens to grow. We may have a guest drop in to say hello, aint that right??

Me: Yes ma'am.

Grand: good. I'll get the garden ready to show...you do the same for your garden. k?

Me: Yes ma'am.

Damn it! She knows. She only buys cheese for white folks because they don't have the lactose intolerance. Only one person could have told her. My mama. What the ...I'm not ready for him to meet family. IT'S ONLY BEEN A DAMN WEEK! I don't even know if I want him around in a relationship capacity and he doesn't seem to know if he wants me around for that either. We just like hanging out. Arrrgh!

In the end I chose not to bring him or even tell him about it. Just not ready for all that. The weeds in Grand(dad)'s garden tells me he's also aware and aint pleased. I was ready for the questions when I got to the party. Surprisingly enough, there weren't any. My Grand(mother) had clearly taken care of it. She pulled me aside and said, if this thing turns out to be something that makes you happy you better go for it. And we want to meet him so we can look at him and tell if something aint right. You know, except he went and caught his birth of the no pigment
. I said oh yes, ever since Michael Jackson, that's going around. How's Grand(dad)'s garden faring? The Grands never travel more than 3 steps of each other so I wasn't too surprised to hear him clear his throat behind me. It's fine. Thank you. We did some weeding..when was that mama? day before yesterday? Grand(ma) yep, day fore yesterday papa. Grand(dad) mmm-hm. And how come you aint bring your new over? Beau's aint supposed to hide. I told him, it isn't that serious currently and I didn't know how he would deal with the fact that he was white. Grand(dad) looked me up and down. I want you happy. Period. I aint that old or feeble minded. Besides, that's how you started out (referring to the ONE white guy I dated in hs, he wasn't my 1st boyfriend just the 1st they ever met) why you shocked that's where you end up? If he treats you fine, I'm fine with him and won't drag his ass out to the shed. But mama went and bought cheese! You aint even bring him to look at her tray offerings. My profuse apologies that we may have to sicken ourselves with cheese so that it doesn't go bad.

Do I believe in God? Do I believe in me?
let me tell ya...
Some people die just to be free
Life is just a game, we're all the same...don't you wanna play a role in the
Controversy, controversy, controversy

All in all, the key players are now aware of him or, at least, the idea of him. Need not put out any more warnings or other labels. So if one day we decide to let this be something more than what it currently is...we're free of family whispers and controversy.

Song: Controversy by Prince

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Soul Possessions

Hey Tippers,

The summer is dwindling down, and I'm trying to get those last minute trips and fun excursions in before I have to turn in my glass slippers. And while I still have four weeks to go, I'm going to live it up.

I recently went away to a conference that actually had live instruments and a full on band playing in between sessions. I consider myself a bit of a roadie because I love some of the members of the band....in a let's vibe on some music-type tip.

These are the moments that I become in touch with my inner nerd, because I could sit and listen to the musical arrangements for hours and dance the night away.

Its so strange, this time being around the band, I got in touch with a side of myself that I never acknowledge and often downplay. But before I can go there with you, I'm gonna have to take you back a minute. As Shai would say, rock with me on this one.

Ever since I could remember I have loved music and dancing. I know what you're about to say, "T-Gyrl, we all do, what's so special that you have to write a blog about it?" No, no, no.....you have no idea, even at the early ages of four and five I have felt music and dance. The power of a great song, the driving force of a beat....all of it. I have been connected to it from an early age. I remember when I was around six and Mom Dukes would cut the radio on while I marinated in the bath tub. She would always give her, you got 10 minutes warning, while I listen and soaked. Almost every night without fail, "Endless Love" by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross would come on and I would just cry. I don't know why, but I would. I've always felt some kinda connection. I never had any musical talent to play an instrument but I considered myself a pseudo-musician.

When it came to dancing, let's just say I could actually go to a therapist about the emotions that come up with it. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I don't care what age I am, as long as I can blink I will always be dancing in some sort of way. Its funny, I got teased a lot for dancing. Actually, I was, no, AM, a great dancer, but people put their restimulations on you when you are of a certain size and dance really well. A bit of the Re-Run effect if you will. I got laughed at or some idiot would feel the need to point out that I danced well for a big girl. I guess bigger people just sit on their asses and eat, because thinking, dancing and any other action would be outside of their possibilities......Okay I digress.

Anyhoo, I can't explain, but there was a way I felt so in charge when I danced. Like I could command attention or I had this confidence that I knew I was better than you, you and yes, you. I would be in my own world dancing and I was an unstoppable beast, until someone felt the need to criticize or impose their sexual desires on me, which normally resulted in my retreating into my shell.

I'm not shy in the least bit, but there was a way in which the unwarranted attention would make me feel bashful, and almost, ashamed.

Well, thank goodness, for having the opportunity to teach dance and play music for people who feel limited in the world. I always remind people that dancing is nothing more than learning technique and feeling the rhythm and bringing the two together. I loved feeling like I was arming people with confidence and defiance against the world when I taught them. I dunno, maybe I believed that every time I empowered someone else, I was secretly building up my own army against the world of nay-sayers, predators and other negative forces.

Or maybe I was just trying to fight the demons and voices inside of me.

Fast forward back to the conference and the live music: There was a point where the band was getting hot and hyped. Between the electric keys and the drumming, that even the Motherland would be proud to dance to, I felt the spirit move me in unspeakable ways. At one point, I grabbed the person I was with and told them we had to go to the music because I couldn't focus any more. I made my way to the center of the action, where the music was the loudest and the crowd gathered around.

Almost in a trance-like state, I was singing (yelling) the words to the songs at the top of my lungs and the music had pulsed through my veins causing my body to flow with the rhythm. I knew the audience were watching me, but I didn't care. The music infused me in a way that I swear I had gone through a borderline religious experience. At that moment, I was in the zone!!

Funny thing happened though during that moment of enlightenment. He saw me. (Now, I know you want to know who "he" is, but y'all are too damn nosy sometimes. All you need to know is that yes, he's cute, no we're not dating and yes, I'm okay with this.) "He" saw me at my finest and sweatiest hour. I danced with reckless abandon and something about that felt powerful, and even a little sexy, but I could tell he took in all of me. My presence was big and he had no recourse but to root for it. The smallest, most arrogant part of me believes it may have been the moment he fell in love....me too for that matter.

I guess the whole point of this is that I want more of this feeling. This power that overcame me at the center of the group. That sense of power and command without having to impose on other people. Actually, quite the opposite, maybe I will inspire others to dance and sing with the same reckless abandon that came over me. And just maybe, someone will fall in love with me at that instance of my power and become so overwhelmed with passion and pride, that he becomes enchanted. Maybe I will have Erykah Badu'd him and next thing you know he's drinking almond milk and wearing crocheted pants while basking in the glow of my love.

Okay, so maybe, he will just feel compelled to ask me out and get to know me.

Oh the places your mind will go, T-Gyrl!!

'Til Next Time,
~ T-Gyrl

Monday, July 26, 2010

Let Your Hair Down

Ebony & Ivory
Live together in perfect
harmony...side by side..

WTF ever! LOL. That one was just too easy. And I know, per my last post, some of you were thinking it. I'll be real...of all the Stevie greats, that one aint even on my iPod and I doubt it will ever make the cut. But alas, many of you have asked how did I meet the dude in my Monday posting. Well, I guess now is as good a time as any. I'm fresh off the date that started at 6 PM on Saturday...and didn't end until 7:30 am on Monday (today), so excuse me while I reach for a cup-o-Joe infused with coke. If you got a mind to, rock with me for a few...

3 lil birds sat on my window
and they told me, you don't have to worry
summer came like cinnamon, so sweet
lil girls double dutch on the concrete

We met as folks do...chillin! Minding my business, holding my own (plate) at a cook-out for a friend who happened to also be his co-worker. I'd decided, just that day, that I wasn't going to stress this particular weekend. I wanted to just enjoy the summer. Feel this breeze, in this moment, and honor God in this rhythm...for a few. No thoughts of earthly things. Only things on my mind were Gods & heavens & the smoke ring on my ribs (which I believe is a God & heaven combo if done properly) while sipping the juice of a mango mixed with my hard lemonade. I aint lyin either. That's not natural zen bullshit. I love a mango! Will eat them in an undignified fashion 7 ways from righteous with no regrets & believed I was currently doing so un-checked. As I watched the kiddies play in the fire hydrant & secretly made plans to join them, I tipped up my cup up and emptied. Fully plotting how the hell to blend in with the loud, 4'2" mammals in the hydrant, while aggressively kickin their asses out so I can immerse myself without seeming weird or creepy, I heard someone lean over and supply me with a re-fill. I said "thank you" without looking up. He said "anytime" and walked away. I turned to see who refilled me (cuz u can't just have anyone fillin ya glass) and saw this tall, muscular pale arm. Shrugging and thinking poor man must have caught his birth of the Albino...I went back to sippin and plotting..

maybe sometimes
we've got it wrong but it's all right
the more things seem to change
the more they stay the same
don't you hesitate

okay! So I know, now, he wasn't Albino. That boy went and caught his birth of the #nopigment4utribe. I caught that burst of reality right around the time I realized, he's a cop. Now fam, I don't know about you but cop+lack-o-pigment = not a good look for ya girl. I have history with those situations....but I digress..

I hadn't hesitated too long after my refill to jump in and kick the resident midgets to the curb. I'm laying in the water spray and happen to feel a shadow loom over me. I know it's one of the lollipop guild returning to tell or pee on me. So I roll over and peel open an eye, ready to jump bad, and who the hell is leaning against a tree?? Well, well, well, if it aint Protect&Serve. "WTF?", must have been accurately conveyed in my raised eyebrow because he smiled the smug "I have no pigment and so I'm entitled" smile. I bout spit on him. Instantly decided...I don't like him and he makes the hair on the back of my ass (which, still aint fully grown back) rise! In other words, I'm uncomfortable. Hmm....drumming my fingers on the ground and resting my chin on my forearm ...what to do. what to do? I , again, roll over on my back and close my eyes and let the water run over my toes. He doesn't go away. He stands like a cop. I've seen enough of them to know.


DC doesn't have squatters rights

Thicke Jr:

I assume you're posted up at my hydrant to make a stink on behalf of the wee mammals. You know... (he blinked) the previous pigmy squatters of said hydrant. I'm assuming they sent you out here cuz I kicked them out. Well, we don't have squatters rights in DC & their tax $$ aint put in on this. So tell 'em...it's mine!

Thicke Jr: (I can hear his smile)
Nope. Though the 3 I'm watching did tell me you didn't have a bathing suit, you're hogging all the water and you don't have enough sense to know you should be worried about your hair getting messed up.


Ingrates! They could have sprouted a 3rd eye playin in this DC water. I saved 'em. I'm old. I've done all the developing and sprouting I'm going to do!

Thicke Jr:
Oh, trust, I noticed

(giving him the middle finger, not liking his laugh)
Why are you here Pinky? It's getting late. Aren't you and the Brain (indicating the other cop at the bbq who does have an extra large dome) scheduled to do what you do every night? Hmm? (peeling open an eye again to see his reaction) You know, attempting to take over the world by night-sticking the coloreds?? That is what you do isn't it? You're a cop? (no answer) Fine. I just hope you don't think you're incognito, you feel like a COP and, frankly, it's giving me a rash.

Thicke Jr:

You're not a nice girl


Nope. Left that for someone else the moment I decided to be a stellar grown ass woman... And I don't like you. (sticking out my tongue)

Thicke Jr:

Hmm. too bad. Anyway, I'd never be undercover as the only white guy at an all black cook-out. Now would I? And my mirrored sunglasses, which are an absolute must for when we cops promote race relations, are in my other jeans. So..why don't you and your mermaid show get from in front of my bike so I can go get them cuz, for a... what term did you use? colored woman... umm-hmm... you seem like you could use a good "night sticking" your self.

........I sat up and damn near choked....he just smiled. I rolled my eyes. Refusing to give him the satisfaction of confirming or denying. He just gestured his motorcylce and motioned for me to step aside. Of course, entitled cop would park his shit in front of a damn hydrant. Selfish ass.

Thicke Jr:

I'm going to get more mango.

Don't bother. (The host) doesn't like them. There were only a few so I used them but he doesn't like them

Thicke Jr: (putting on regular sunglasses and turning on the bike)
I know he doesn't. but you do. and you're all out. Don't drown while I'm gone. (helmet on...radio blasting some unfamiliar tune)

Girl put your records on
Tell me your favorite song
You go ahead let your hair down
Sapphire & faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams
Just go ahead let your hair down

... I just laid back down and let the water cool me off. Yep....I hate him. He made it back with the mangos. I'd made it out of the water by now and was sitting in the sun drying off, letting my locs drink the sun. As he passed by I stuck my tongue out at him. He tossed the mango my way and said, this time...I'll let you keep it. I asked the mangos? you bought them for ME. remember?? He grabbed a beer and said your tongue. This time, I'll let you keep your tongue. Stick it out at me again and it's mine. Beautiful hair by the way. You should keep it down. He walked back to the house and called out don't know if that's a blush or a burn but either way you might want to handle it.

Blue as the sky, sunburnt & lonely
Sipping tea in the bar by the road side
(just relax, just relax)
don't let those other boys fool you
Got to love that afro hair do

Ok, I don't like wtf moments. And dude was throwin too many my way for me to not have thoughts of just out right kicking his ass. He was argumentative and rubbed me the wrong damn way. As the night wound down, I borrowed aloe gel from the host for what turned out to be a blush sunburn combo. Meanwhile, all the greeks (as is customary) exchanged numbers & promises to keep in touch. He's in a frat. Interesting. I stayed behind to ask questions and found out, he had been asking questions about me. Mainly about my ex and if he and I were still together. Upon hearing that info, I realized we had met before. Before he was a cop and I was an ex. Before mangos and fire hydrants. Long ago, when he was pledging, we met on opposite sides of the sands. I had pledged him (just a bit) and was probably a tad mean and feeling entitled. It made sense...he was getting back at me. That smooth shit wasn't fooling me.

Maybe sometimes, we feel afraid
but it's alright
the more you stay the same, the more they seem to change
don't you think it's strange?

Months later and several text msgs and phone calls from him down the road...it hits me...he's flirting. What the hell? Did he not check the pigment? Eventually I started to answer the calls and the texts. I wanted to see,what he wanted from me. A date. He wanted simply to ask me out. Hmmm...Interesting. I stayed me, throughout the conversations. Gave him a hard time the whole way. Now granted, we discovered we can talk for hours about anything and laugh like idiots at each other but the more I tell him to bite me, the more he seems inclined. I don't get it but the idea of him, my ever changing idea of him, makes me more uncomfortable the more comfortable I get with him. Ya dig?

Twas more than I could take, Pity for pity's sake
Some nights kept me awake, I thought that I was stronger
When you gonna realize, that you don't even have to try any longer?
do what you want to...

He's white - I don't do. & A frat boy - wish I never did. & a cop = u gotta be kidding. And during our date of asian fusion and a movie, finished off with going to his house and talking til 5 am, he tells me You deserve to feel good. I think you should just squash the fight and enjoy yourself. I'll think about it, but not too long or too hard. The next night he was at my house and we stayed up talking again until 5 am then drifted to sleep until startled awake by my alarm clock. I dragged myself into work this morning having to admit I'd had one of the best date night/weekends I'd had in a long while. Even though nothing major happened (physically) and it shouldn't this early in the "game", there are definite sparks there.

I've told him my reservations. He said it's his responsibility to convince me otherwise and my responsibility to be open to the possibility. I don't know woah-dies! Not sure I can trust myself in this space, this far away from everything I know to be real. As I laid on the porch with him and fell asleep to the sound of his breathig and the water that's right outside his door, the ease of being me, it all felt like being lost in a dream. To be continued...(putting on my earphones)

Girl put your records on
Sing me your favorite song
Just go ahead let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams
Just go ahead, let your hair down
You're gonna find yourself some day, some how...

Song by Corrine Bailey Rae: Put Your Records On

Monday, July 19, 2010

Scratch on the Record!

What up peeps! No songs today. In reading emails/talking to some of our readers, I realized I need to take time out and clarify some things. So I'm removing my earbuds for a sec. and just clearing up questions, etc. today. Hopefully this will be a short and sweet one so I can get back to the rockin and rollin of a situation.

The good doctor:
I see my June post about helping him through a rough time confused yall! LOL. Let's be clear...he and I are PLATONIC friends. My desire to help him through a close death is the same desire I would have for a female friend who was going through the same. My angst about it being the 1st time in "that place" with him is the same I'd have with a female friend with whom I'd never experienced her method of dealing with pain and loss. Didn't come from a romantic place at all. LOL. But so many of ya kept saying "uhh...so what's up cuz I thought your interest was fizzling around May but then your June post you trying to be there for the cat". Of course I am. I don't just leave ya to fend for yourself. LOL. He hasn't hurt me. We just don't work romantically. I can dig it and still support you as a friend. As long as you aint overstep, I can separate the two and rock with ya if ya need me.

Per my May post, the interest, on my part, was fading. That was May 18th. Two glasses of wine and a night out with my girls a few days later...interest dead by May 21st. LMAO. He's still hot to look at though. Hhahahaha. But I have no romantic notion or feeling for the brother. Really want him to find someone though. Good guy. Just not my guy...fo sho.

Work Life:
Some of you have asked about my new work direction, why I'm gone for weeks at a time, etc. First, thanks for checking on me. I've been studying for my certification program. Test is VERY SOON and I'm not ready for it. Scared to death I'm going to fail it! Arrrggghhh! Keep the prayers that I do well going for me please and thank you! It's important that I pass it.

Also on deck, joined the Peace Corps. I have a 18 months before I ship out. Why, Shai?? Whhyy in the midst of the certification courses, the regular 9-5 and just home life did you add something that big to your plate??? yeah, I dunno. LOL. I've wanted to serve since I was 16. One day I said, ball to the mutha-fuckin walls, let's getter done. Still wondering how much of T-Gyrl's wine I had that damn day! But either way, I'm in it river deep and mountain high. Have to pass the medical check first. Ha! We'll see how that goes before I give myself permission to panic.

So, now that I've cleared up/caught yall up about those two things, on to the dating scene. In the midst of it all (and believe me, life lately has been CRAZY) I have a date this weekend! Yeah...not sure how I feel about that. Not even sure how to approach it. Its been a LONG time since a man has officially asked me out in a "Would you allow me to take you to dinner" way. I didn't even think they made those dudes anymore. Sounds odd. I know. However, most of my adult dating experiences were in hindsight! LOL. i.e. We were such tough friends and went to dinner so often that, by the time we owned up to mutual interest, I'd look back and realize "oh...these were dates??" LOL. More of the, we're chillin at the crib and (as always) I'm hungry so he says "let's go grab some food", scenario. I tend to realize a bit too late that it was that brother's "plan" to keep me well fed, liquored up and camped out at his crib for a few weeks. To those brothers, that's a date.

But this dude is different. He believes in formality. Even when I did say let's hang out (honestly, on some "I'm bored" vibe) he researched places to hang out based on what he observed as my likes and dislikes. word?? I didn't even know he was paying attention.

But this dude is different. He calls just to hear how my day went. Honestly, even if he only has 5 minutes in his day, he wants to spend it hearing how mine went.

But this dude is different. He tells me constantly how beautiful or sexy I am. Makes clear statements about his thoughts and intentions.

But this dude is different. He doesn't mind when I'm in a mood and itching for a fight. In fact, I think it turns him on. LOL.

But this dude is different. He doesn't want me to just chill at his crib. He is big on taking me out.

But this dude is different. When I do just want to chill at the crib, cuz I'm having a bad day, he invites me to his house on the lake. He'll tell me where the spare key is and to come over when I'm ready. He won't be there invading my space. He's at work. He'll leave a tray of strawberries (or summer fruit) and a glass of wine for me on the back patio. I sit with my iPod & my glass and just zone out looking at the water. He then calls HIS OWN DAMN HOUSE to tell me he's on his way home so I can wrap up my zen session and he asks if I need him to bring me anything.

But this dude is different. When I want him there with me, he'll sit and read with me on the porch. Like me, he doesn't need crowds and attention. He's candid and full of laughter. But when I tell his blunt ass he needs to back down and just hold me a bit, he doesn't mind showing the sensitive side of himself.

He's a friend and that may be all it ever is because he's too familiar.
We have too many of the same connections.
But...this dude is different....
and I don't just mean because... he's white.

*slipping on my earbuds. ready to rock with this thing *
Que the music...


Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Hey Tappers,

It's been a while....let me mess wit it for a minute.

So I been through some emotional roller-coaster, Donnell Jones "Where I Wanna Be"-type shit. Most of it probably self-inflicted like a bullet wound. I have to admit to y'all as much as my DNT sisters and I spew self-worth and empowerment, I don't always take my own advice at times. That admission wasn't to make you think I'm a hypocrite, but just know, sometimes I get lax. Its true, my shit stinks too.

I'm making the choice to not feel bad about myself. Allowing myself room for mistakes and room to learn.

Aww, who am I kidding. I HATE messin' up. I CAN'T STAND IT!! Perfectionist isn't the word I would use. More like a restrictist.

I restrict myself from behaviors and emotions that I constantly support my girlfriends on. Why? I dunno....maybe fear. Or maybe its that grade school mentality, that if I just behave myself and do my work then somehow I will get rewarded. I guess life don't really fuck with you like that.

As open as I am to trying new and potentially life-shaping things, there is a way I've never truly sustained feeling free. Free to the point where I'm completely in control of my mind, body and spirit enough to release the false concept of what it means to be "in control".

The constant and impending fear of "nothingness" seems to follow me along my life decisions.

Recently, a close friend of mine sent me a link to a blog by Courtney Martin. Sister Courtney relayed a message that spoke volumes to my heart and forced my brain to go through the gluttony of toxic and self-deprecating messages that I have internalize.

"....women often feel most beautiful and happy when they are doing what they love, when they are operating at that sweet spot where their passions, gifts and well-being intersect, where they are able to give the world the best of themselves really enjoy the fruits of that giving."

I had to marinate on this for a minute. There was a point in my life about three years ago where I can say that I felt this same sort of beauty she refers to in her blog. Life wasn't perfect by no stretch of the imagination, but I could tell that I gave of myself and were a part of things that made me feel great. Its funny that sometimes you can't tell how good things are for you until its no longer present in your life.

But I was truly sold on Sister Courtney's words when she said, "My...sense of my own beauty didn't come from a number on the scale or a new outfit. It wasn't the result of a makeover or a bevy of suitors. It came from my sense of abundance - that there is enough time for me to do great work, to see my gifts realized. It came from the outer beauty all around me, the natural world reminding me that my organic beauty is the most potent. And most fundamentally, it came straight from the center of me, radiating out."

Given my mental right now, how do I get back to my sense of abundance in the world? Clearly, I can't go back to three years ago, but my goal is to find out what gives me abundance now. How can I give the most of myself to the universe and feel full and satisfied from what I receive in return?

I'm full of good questions right now, but now its time to figure out great answers.....

(Man, this green tea and whole grain is messing with my head. Oh how I miss the box!)

'Til Next Time,
~ T-Gyrl

Monday, June 28, 2010

Everything I Do...I Do it for.....who???

Now I want to say something
Something that's been on my mind
It's really very simple
But the words aren't easy to find

Hey family. I've been gone but, hopefully, not forgotten. Getting some things together on the career front. Studying for my certification, lobbying for a promotion, yada, yada. Doesn't leave a lot of time for writing. Somehow, however, I found time to book a cruise for my birthday. That's right! I'm setting sail! Right after I test for my certification I should be back to writing, drinking and having an undignified celebration of my life thus far. Now, while trying to fit in prep appointments for my cruise something crossed my mind. Something that disturbed my spirit so much, I had to make time to share. Picture it...my neck-o-da-woods 2010. Legs spread, mouth open & poised to scream....rock with me for a few....

Didn't know that I can feel this way
I'm not a yes kinda woman
But I'd do anything you say
We don't have to scream & shout it
We don't have to tell the world about it
It's easy when you feel the way I do

Pissed! That's how I felt. Utterly pissed and damn uncomfortable. There I was, prepping for my cruise, doing what all women must do when bathing suit season hits. You guessed it! Time for the brazilian wax! Usually I'll just do a bikini wax (yeah, I do it myself) but for some reason (maybe it's the itty bitty swimsuit some negroes encouraged me to buy) I said to myself "it's my b-day cruise! balls to the muthafuckin walls: let's take it all".

Pause: Ummmm...someone should have explained what the hell "all" entailed. Don't laugh! It aint as simple as it sounds.

The world of short and curlies is VERY complex! It takes a professional that has passed health exams and yearly mental checks to handle the short and curlies. I mean, this chick had CERTIFICATES on the walls! Testaments to her genuis of handling the short & curly. Now, I'm not completely off my rocker. I've gone to this woman before. I dye my shorties and have them cut into fun shapes. I may even vajazzle every now and again to compliment the jewelry I already have in that area. I knew who I was dealing with, certificates, goggles, magnification light and all. I'd seen how mama handles her work. I thought surely, I can trust her judgement.

Anyway, as stated, I was on her table, cheeks out, legs in suspended stirrups, cracked open while she hummed, prepped, powdered, trimmed...enjoyed herself. Somehow I got the feeling this aint your average. She asks in Japanese "Shai sama, all off or strip?" I patted it and responded, in Japanese, "strip please. just make her even. ya know how I like it." Then in English "no homo." She raised an eyebrow and looked mysteriously around for an interpreter that didn't exist. Then patted it and got to work.

Now, that it's over let me ask you....who the hell pays for this level of torture??? Now it aint my first time at the rodeo but surely they didn't take that much off last season. I would have remembered. And it's not until you feel wax touch places that only a wash cloth or an OBGYN has gone that you realize, you aren't in Kansas anymore. By then, it's too late. The wax has been laid. You can't get off the table and run cuz you will get twisted up in the furry stirrups. She is looking at you with a sinister smile and says ever so quietly as she lays the strip "hold your breath. this may not be pleasant." MAY NOT???? What the hell kinda shit is she into?? Then I realize, Japanese. The whole world bases their bondage and torture techniques off of shit the Japanese started. DAMN! DAMN! DAMN! Aint but one way to get the wax off. She rips the strip. She looks at me and says

are you going to cry?
Me: No heathen! But I do punch.
Demon: (she blinks)I'll get you glass of water
Me: Vodka. You better get me vodka.
Demon: men like (she blinks again, pats her handy work. returns with water)
Me: Pedofiles. Pedofiles like. That's what we call those "men". My dude. Not a pedofile. Will not like.

She doesn't know I don't have a man. I implied otherwise because somehow, whenever I'm in such a situation, I feel the need to make it clear that I'm hetero. Somehow it comforts both of us. She frowns and gets back to work. Now through all this, we aren't even going to talk about how fingers were moving my piercing out of "the way". Uh-uh. No homo. We aren't going to talk about how she asked me to turn over and said "now behind"...nope. It's too much for my spirit. Disturbs my mental mind too much. I know it happened but I don't believe in that shit and frankly it makes me uncomfortable (for you Ndygo) to discuss how I found myself looking at parts I haven't seen since I was 6. And for good damn reason. I'm 30!! I'm old enough to know (and appreciate) if there's a house, there needs to be a lawn. Grown women - you aren't supposed to look like this! And though I know it's what I asked for, I didn't know what the hell I was asking for. Where was the "bitch behave" memo on this??

In the end, I left feeling cheap and used. I mean that psycho didn't call or write or anything. I had to CALL HER to see how life was going, if the kids were out for summer. No flowers. No nothing. All that "familiarity" in some countries we are considered married! After all that torture...and dropping $80 on your ass...I got to TELL YOU don't forget to write?? What kinda tomfuckery is that???

Oooh I do it for you, and only you
You know I do it for you and only you
Yeah you know it's true
I do it all for you

Now, the truth be told in it, I was doing it because I have to fit in a bathing suit and all that extra afro hanging out just aint fitting. But the whole process got me to thinking (I do that when I'm pissed) about all the shit sisters do....and for what?? for who?? Think about it. We either d.i.y or pay good damn money to sit someplace where we can wax, dye, color, straighten, yank, tweeze, fluff and scent ourselves to damn death. Trying to be his extra clean fantasy. You know how much Victoria's Secretions makes off of those lotions?? Making your pussy smell like rain, raspberry tea, sweet pea, cucumber melon. WTF is that?? And WHAT pray tell do his balls smell like? I haven't seen one damn man bounce his sac in a jar of jasmine and hydrangea for us! It smells like balls!!!! And that's if he respects ya! Sometimes...it smells like sweaty balls. Lucky us, we should understand he's been working all day. Or, if you are just a screw, his balls may smell like the ass he's dragging behind it. Not ne'er a jar of honeysuckle & white gardenia or stress relief spray up on it fuh ya. Do you hear me? Do you get what I'm telling you? And it wouldn't even cross your mind to require the same level of effort from him! Please sista, raise your hand if you ever told a man to not even approach unless he soaked his sac in, at least, a bottle of Pine Sol cuz the woodsy-outdoor type turns you on. *insert sound of crickets here* Exactly!

We go through torture, hell and high water to make ourselves look how we were never meant to look (past the age of puberty), smell like something we were never meant to smell like and feel like we were never meant to feel (smooth like a baby's butt all over). You aren't a baby's butt. You are a working, fighting, breathing, surviving grown ass woman. You just might make it through all of that with a rough spot on your baby toe and a hair bump! Let that shit be! You earned it. And besides that, NEWSFLASH, he aint do shit but shower... 8 HOURS AGO... and that was for work! Not your ass! But you are not only supposed to shower and smell like you're the only mammal on the planet earth who has never taken a shit...not enough. Nope, take it a step further, you are supposed to remove every inch of hair that isn't above your eyeballs! Meanwhile, this sucka can come to bed looking like he descended from a clan of Yeti, smelling like he has a job and expectations of being viewed as sexy. Hair on his back, in his ears & even on his butt. And we are supposed to overlook it. Really? I say no. Sistas, come to bed with a weave growing out your back and shit growing out your ears. See if he doesn't cock an eyebrow, turn on the game & wait for you to get some damn behavior.

If you lose your direction and can't seem to find your way
You don't have to worry, I'll be right with you anyway

I don't get it! We do all this shit...for who? Someone who wouldn't even THINK of, much less follow through, doing any of it for you. I say...to hell with it. Until I see a waxed ball sack soaked in seabreeze and smelling like Andes Candies bet not nobody never (yeah, I know about 40 negatives up in that piece) say shiiiiiiiiit to me about wanting a hairless, trimmed, shaved, smell like fresh baked brownies pussy. Nigga you first! Endgame.

It made me truly wonder, what the hell would happen if we just...stopped. Picked a different path. Put up a detour sign whenever he suggested minimal hair or other unnatural preferences. Personally, I like smell goods and do it for myself. However, if one day, we all just lost our behavior and decided to present ourselves to them in the same careless "well I showered didn't I" way they present themselves to us, with no thought or concern of their preference on hair or smell, etc. would our worst fear of being "undesirable" come true. I suspect the answer is ....HELL NO. He'd screw ya anyway. It's a male. He may talk about ya after, but what do you care? He's talking to himself. You're snoozing and comfy without even asking if he has any preferences about how one should present their down under...JUST LIKE THEY DO.

The other day, I asked one of my DNT sisters (hats off to ya mama), what is the new fragrance for the fantasy box these days. She said, I don't know. I gasped. How the hell could one not know? I mean true, I was asking but that's because I was using a lovely fragrance I purchased overseas. Now that it was empty I wanted to know what new scents I should try. She stated matter of factly, "my pussy smells like pussy". WTF! Are you serious? That's allowed? She said, yeah! I'm not dating anyone. Oh, it's allowed when you aren't dating. I knew that but still, one can be ok with pussy just smelling like it's ...supposed to?? What a fresh (no pun intended) outlook on life. It hadn't dawned on me until that moment, since I scent up just cuz I wanna whether I'm dating or not, that I don't even know what my natural scent is. I mean, you hear men say all the time they like the smell of it. Do you? We spend our entire adult lives covering it up so how the hell would you know if you like it or not? You've been scenting hairless cotton candy. That aint authentic scent! Do you really think whatever you are scenting is what she came here smelling like? Did you honestly convince yourself that pussy smells like Peeps candy?? I doubt it. This sharing time with my DNT sister made me aware that not only could this be a teachable moment for him, hell I could learn some things about me. Ahh, I told you this world of short & curlies is a complex one. It can lead to make-ups, break-ups, self discovery and "baby wtf is all that hair doing there" moments. It can make ya re-evaluate your whole swag.

ok, this rant is over. I'm bald. I'm steeling myself against the itch that I know will come when all the curlies grow back. I'm angry cuz demon wax lady didn't think enough of our experience to text me later, no homo. And thanks to the lack of hair I'm overly sensitive to contact. I sneeze and damn near have an epileptic seizure. Cross my legs in a meeting and my eyes roll back and I start to drool. It aint fittin. All....for a bathing suit and because society (men) believe it isn't attractive to ride out au naturale. And I know in the end, I'll keep scenting, keep waxing (though not this brazil bull, yall can have that) and keep shaving the pits and parts. Even though there isn't a man here...somewhere along the way I got brainwashed into avoiding my natural state and only find beauty in the shaving and scenting of it all. But I swear, one day, when I'm married and he's trapped I'm gonna sit around in my sweat all day. Not shave a thing but demand he go wax cuz it's my "preference". Maybe take a ho bath at the sink and then sit spread eagle in the bed and tell him to lick it. Why?? Cuz somebody is gonna have to pay for the shit we go through...might as well be the one I love. LOL

Oh I do it for you and only you
You know I'd do it for you...

Lyrics by Bonnie Tyler: I Do It For You

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Ms. Celie Effect

Its that time of the year again....graduations, vacations, end-of-year reports and massive cleaning projects. Though, I regret leaving my massive fan base ("The Tappers") to wander aimlessly, I hoped you missed me!

Anyhoo, I recently had a conversation with an older confidante of mine. She was brainstorming about her steps with a potential suitor that she started talking to again.

I seem to be THAT girlfriend. The one you haven't talked to in a year but if you recently found love or divorced your husband, I'm the first one that pops into your mind. Whether its helping you pick out your freak'um dress, watching your kids so you can get some, or guarding your freak nasty skeletons like The Mint. I'm full-service. LOL!! But I digress...

In her conversations with her potential, he mentioned his concern about his daughters' thoughts about their fledgling relationship. She dispensed some advice to him about discussing their feelings about her coming around more often, and that this is a special person to him. This all sounds like wonderful parenting advice, especially if your kids were 12 year-old. But these were grown ass 30-something women like myself. That's grown folk business, as long as this woman didn't act indecent or indignant, what could they say?

I held this belief very firmly and it wasn't until this recent conversation was my thinking ever challenged. My confidante gently let me know that her suitor really cared what his daughters thought and wanted to handle this right considering some of his behaviors of the past and she respected the fact that he wanted to gently bring her into the fold.

I had to process this for a minute because she really supported his intentions and gave him a handle around thinking about his daughters. She mentioned that it was the right thing to do.

Hmm, the right thing to do? Acknowledging his daughters feelings and being thoughtful about their role, if any, in this. This took me a minute to rock with, as Shai would say. I looked at my own experience with my parental units.

As long as I have known them they have been separated. Mom Dukes was always hesitant about bringing new men around Numpsy and I. Even when they were crazy about me, she never overexposed us to them. Hell, I've even played the Littlest Wingman on several dates with her.

Now Papa Bear, that's a different story all together. Shit, I ain't have a horse in any race he was running with the ladies. Papa Bear stocked his stable with fillies that definitely weren't feeling me and I wasn't crankin' on them either. But I wouldn't dare say a word about my feelings towards them. The fear of being rejected by him was paralyzing. Papa Bear had a habit of always choosing the side of the women he dated over anything I said that may contradict them. Sadly, this has happened more times than I liked to admit.

So I learned to keep it in and accept whatever he did. In my history there were more women I disliked than liked and I continued to suffer in the silence of being voiceless and defenseless. Its funny, even though Mom Dukes set the example to follow, it was Papa Bear whose actions and choices seemed to had a more penetrable affect on me.

Thus the Ms. Celie Effect. (Sidebar: I am operating on the assumption that all The Tappers have seen the Color Purple at least 20 times. If not, put it on your Net Flicks.)

Ms. Celie was soooo use to being treated badly that she actually corroborated with her abusers and perpetrators. Whether it was turning on display, on the command of her stepfather, like some chattel he possessed to suggesting to Harpo to beat his wife when she didn't obey his command. Sometimes the pain of mistreatment is so bad that you subject others to it, intentional or unintentional, because the idea of you being the only one suffering through this is too brutal to bear.

Who Papa Bear dated wasn't as much of the issue as it was that it didn't matter what happened to me in the process of his dating. There was no future for me in his thinking or acting. How I would benefit or suffer was never a consideration, and the idea of speaking up on the issue was both beyond my process and mired with consequence.

Flashback sequence: I was around 10 or 11, when Papa Bear picked me up for a weekend visit. We were going to visit with his new "Lady Friend" as he called them. Now, because he was late as usual, I spent my time eating Funyuns and falling asleep, so you can imagine the hotness. So Papa Bear suggested I get something to freshen up with from the store and use it at Lady Friend's place. Well, get to Lady Friend and he made it a point to say obnoxiously in front of her, "now go in the bathroom and drink that whole thing of Scope down". Lady Friend busts out in laughter along with him. To this day, the idea of being the butt of his joke was beyond hurtful. And that stupid wench laughing just put the dagger in further.

As I got older, I realized how many of my girlfriends were princesses to their Dads (and not in the prissy ass way either). Their Daddies are the greatest men in their lives and the last thing any of them wanted to do is intentionally undermine their daughter's feelings to get some pussy. I guess I wasn't so lucky.

Thinking back on what my confidante was doing, I finally get it. It IS the right thing to do....matter of fact, it is the expected thing to do.

How can anyone, whether family, friends or lovers, dare say that they truly love you and that you mean the world to them, if they could care less about respecting your presence, time, space or well-being?

And so the Ms. Celie Effect continues on like the butterfly effect (check it out on Wikipedia if you need to).

As I sit thinking about myself and my experiences with this, the next question in my head is: when do I start putting knives to the throats of muhfckas?

'Til Next Time,
~ T-Gyrl

Monday, June 7, 2010

Seasons of Love

525,600 minutes.
525,600 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes.
How do you measure, measure a year?

Ah! On to the business of loving, living and ....well. Death. It seems to be the only constant lesson in my life lately. I'm usually better at this. This life and death thing. You see, I don't feel cheated when someone dies young. I've seen death too many times on too many different faces to NOT know better than that. I know plenty of 80+ year olds who have yet to do a thing with the talents, love and laughter God gave them. I know 28 year olds who have forged their own path, loved fully and followed every dream (even if they never made it a reality). I know, it isn't how long you live, it 's what you do with the years you've got.

In daylights? in sunsets?
In midnights? In cups of coffee?
In inches? In miles? In laughter? In strife?
In 525, 600 minutes how do you measure
your last year of life?

When I was struggling with cancer it wasn't the idea of death that scared the shit out of me. It was the fear that I may never fully live. I'd had my bumps and bruises growing up. Lost more than I gained. From getting arrested (several times), to dead brothers and best friends, to joy rides in cars (I didin't pay for) to living in another country for three months just roaming & learning I still hadn't done anything that impressed ME yet. I hadn't fully loved or been loved in return. I hadn't had children or adopted. I hadn't done that peace corps work I always said I would do. I hadn't really been laid thorough & right (hell not even courted fully & righteously. LOL). I hadn't lost my mind completely. I hadn't ever felt free and open. I hadn't ever felt home. I hadn't impressed ME. It was the thing I regretted most. That feeling of not having lived fully. Even death was common business for average living. It was humbling to say the least. When I survived, I got to the business of living. Nope. Still haven't accomplished everything I wanted to but at 30...haven't done half bad for myself.

In diapers? Report cards?
In speeding tickets? In contracts?
In funerals? In births?
In 525, 600 minutes how do you figure
our last year on earth?

So perhaps you can understand my reaction to my friend's, the scientist, declaration that his best friend (since elementary school) had cancer. Cancer. It took a while for it to sink in from this side of the fence. I'm not usually the one in the "waiting room". Cancer. I waited. I watched. Wanting to be there for him but not really knowing how since both being on this side of the diagnosis and being with him in this capacity were new. I followed his lead. I kept my thoughts inside, just as he is prone to do, even though I knew, that could only last (for me) but for so long.

Time passed. This weekend he let me know the cancer that was in his bones had metastasized to his lymph nodes. It had become terminal. I knew this from the moment he said lymph nodes but I let him tell me. It seemed like he needed to say the words. He wasn't ready to tell me but from his behavior from the past week I could tell something was wrong and had begun to nag him to open up. I know, I gotta stop nagging. It's rude. I know. But it's also rude to be less than who you are and who I am, is a woman who needs communication. So sometimes we will bump heads on that. LOL. This time, I chose to follow my instincts, my truth. I looked at him and asked him "So what are we going to do?"

525,600 minutes. 525,600 journey's to plan
525, 600 minutes, HOW can you measure
the life of a woman or a man?

He said, in a very professional voice, "Assuming there is something we can do. Look, once it gets to your lymph nodes there's a 1 in a billion chance that you will survive. I will be at his procedures , before and after, and of course be as much a support as I can." And though it wasn't the time, I couldn't help but smile. I loved his response. While completely missing what I was asking, it showed the beauty of him. Of our friendship. The vast difference in who we are. It's in those moments, when we see things completely different, that I see balance and he sees hinderance. I was in no way asking about the bff's physical condition or his diagnosis. He is dying. As we all are. That is not to sound callous. It is truth. From the moment we are born we are working on dying. It's the only absolute left. So, my heart says, what are we going to do? Not about his death. About the gift of his living... My heart says, how are we going to celebrate his life with him, while he is still with us? Plan the moments of no behavior. Live out loud until there isn't any noise left to make.

In the truths that she learned? Or in the times that he cried?
In the bridges she burned? Or the way that he died?
How about love?

With my brother I didn't have a chance to laugh until I pee'd (not that I want to currently) or simply live out loud without consequence or behavior. And even if I had...hell, why not give it another go? But my best friend...the moments that keep me smiling is my last summer with her. Somehow, fate figured out that we needed time to lose ourselves in each moment.
Money and time weren't a thought.

Let's celebrate the year in a
life of love and friends

I remember stealing her mom's car and calling into our summer jobs to say "we'll be late". That was AFTER we were already AWOL for two days because we decided to drive to Philly (instead of the Giant as her mom asked) to party with my sister and her college friends. We told her very wealthy uncle we were on a college tour so he just kept feeding money into her bank account. More excited than a 16 year old with a playboy model that his niece was thinking about...well...anything...but COLLEGE? Oh, he funded all that debauchery in hopes she was "getting it together". And we did see colleges! I (the good one) made sure of it! We waved at the academic buildings as we stumbled into bars, frat parties, strip clubs. That was our last summer and was the least of our shennanigans that year. The very next summer, her boyfriend thought her better dead.

Share with them your love
You've got to, you've got to live inside love
Measure your life in love

So, as I laid there, stroking his back and listening to the medical explanation. I was plotting...maybe they should just go to Africa for a month and live as brothers of the bush men. Eh! Then no one is getting any for a month and I'd have to delouse & spray him with anti bacterials upon return. Not sure the bff's system can take that. But I want them to spend time just celebrating his life. Wear your own self out I say! The scientist was kissing me at this point. Asking me what I was thinking. I told him too many things to name. Which was true. I was thinking of him, his bff, my losses, my gains, how to get them to the playboy mansion for a weekend of don't ask/don't tell living, about why in the hell would anyone want to laugh until they pee. I was thinking about summers in Philly pumping "Money Aint a Thing" and my bff's voice in my ear. I was thinking of our friendship not being a burden to him while he has so much on his plate. Thinking...what are we going to do? About living, loving and laughing? About your broken heart and disappointment? About the time he still has? What's the next step in Justin's living. Plotting...what are we going to do? My energy already carrying him away to the next season and praying that I can help him to make it more than he expected. So that, when the time comes, they have celebrated their life in a way that leaves them too exhausted to say goodbye or do anything other than remember the love of a brother and good friend.
Seasons of Love! Seasons of Love!
I'll measure your life in love.
Seasons of Love lyrics from the musical Rent

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Savory Dreams, Famished Realities

I wanna send a personal shout out and a special (virtual) box of sunset blush to some very loyal DNT fans! Wanda Williams and the cubicle nation....thanks for your support. Don't get yourselves fired now...be sure to push some papers around your desk or pick up the phone when you read. Keep the man off your back!


Like my DNT sisters, I, too, have been going through my own set of uphill battles. After a visit to the health fair at my "Clark Kent" day job, I realized I needed to make some changes in my life. My sugar was good, but the pressure was high and the stress level was ridiculous. My knees were in pain and I was out of breath at the thought of stairs. I was at an all-time low with my health.

After much contemplation and tears, I knew what I had to do. It had to be done....no....MUST be done. Well, after a weekend of 20,000 calories I decided to get my body back. I got on a fitness program and started working on my fridge. Some things had to go.....and as you can guess.....my box was the obvious.

Aww Lawd.....why my boxed wine? Isn't wine suppose to help something? Maybe heart health....brain function.....hell, even gout prevention.....anything?!? But I knew I had to do it.

Its been 10 weeks since I had a taste. (Well, there was that little foray with the pineapple mojito, but that didn't count)

I decided to get a fitness program going and build up an emotional support network. Surprisingly, this was the easy part of the deal. With the right activity, I know I can become a fitness beast...its only a matter of time.

As for my network, it consists of a sisterhood (and one bruh) who understand the struggle of being a "foodie" and the need for physical change. I knew I had the right crew of people together when one of my people said to me, "Why the hell do they put chocolate on pretzels? That's stupid! But now, if they wrap that pretzel with Swedish Fish, then we're talking!"....these are my peeps!

Lastly, I had to get my healthy food game up. DNT family, y'all just don't know, the sweet delectable reverie of words such as "breaded", "crispy", "savory", "deep fried", and "drizzled".....these words send my senses into a wondrous ecstasy of meals past. To have these words and the meals associated with them taken from me seems cruel and unusual. Its bad enough I'm on a "love sabbatical", but to take away the sweet and tangy flavor of sauce drenched southern fried soul is just a crime.

So I crunch my carrots broken-hearted. (Please don't feel the need to offer me food advice, cause I ain't gonna take it. Just let me sulk....thank you very much)

Sometimes I let my daydreams cheat on my regiment. My food fantasies are so graphic, they're damn near erotic.

This one time I dreamed that I lathered myself in Land O'Lakes butter and stepped into a tub full of sweet potatoes in Karo syrup. And out of nowhere Common shows up holding a spoon and a container full of brown sugar that he gently sprinkles over top of me. As we feast our way through together, its evident that we have to rinse ourselves off. From the shower comes the titillating massaging power of sangria. Oh what a vision!

Another time, I'm at a secluded oasis. There is a cool spring of strawberry mojito with sugar cane all around. Who comes behind me but Idris Elba, escorting me into the soothing and healing rum waters. And as we gaze in each other eyes, he tells me to close my eyes because he has a surprise for me. To my amazement a platter of Red Lobster's hot buttery biscuits appear. Idris feeds me biscuits as we marinate in mojito!!

Oooo, and then there was the time I was massaged into a therapeutically warm apple compote by Bradley Cooper. (Yeah, I said Bradley Cooper!) Bradley's experienced hands let me know he knew his way around an apple pie as he gingerly wrapped me in a flaky cinnamon crust. Putting me under a heat lamp, Bradley begins feeding me General Tso chicken. HEAVENLY!!!

But something always takes me away from my delicious thoughts. These thoughts probably will work against me, so I tuck them in my "wishful thinking" cabinet. As I crunch this bland-ass rice cake, I just hope that my healthy reality is all that its cracked up to be.

'Til Next Time,
~ T-Gyrl

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Share My World

Gone Too Soon

Ah....I know...wtf have I been?? Well, the quick and dirty: Everywhere and nowhere all a bit too dayum fast! Let's recount my last few months shall we? I will warn you...this is too dayum long for one time consumption.
  • House flooded
  • Two week conference (my biggest one for the year)
  • Mom had her first heart attack which led to the car getting hit
  • Males are falling out of the sky (what the hell is that about)

Since the first three are self explanatory, we can focus on the last point.

Born to Amuse, to Inspire, To Delight
Here one day, gone one night
Like a comet, blazing across the evening sky

1st to man up: Dillon (or at least that's his name this week) is 6 and a student of mine which means he is either HIV positive or has AIDS. For Dillon, it's AIDS. Now, I say that's his name this week, because Dillon was abandoned by his mother and left at the center where I teach. Though we've located his grandmother and know his birth name he has decided that he will choose his moniker. A woman who didn't love him, nor a family that didn't know him shall decide what he answers to. So every week it's something different. LOL. This week - Dillon. He loves music and science and is always on the edge of his greatest adventure (self discovery).

I decided to spend mother's day with my kids (usually mother's day is tough for me, feeling the loss of my own children) and Dillon wanted to be sure I spent most of it with him. Imagine my surprise when, in the midst of his monologue on rock formation, Dillon (who was Brian then) stops mid sentence & peers into my face & sternly asks

are you cheating on me?
Me: no. I've told ya time and time again - you're the only 6 year old for me.
Dillon: oh. it'll hurt, but I can take it.
Me: I have someone I keep time with
Dillon: What's that?
Me: I share his time & he shares mine. But he's not sure if he's interested in me in an adult way yet. Nor I him. But you'd like him. He's a doctor, sort of. Really big into science.
Dillon: he doesn't know if he's interested? what's wrong with him?
Me: (sigh..out of the mouths of babes) nothing he just hasn't figured out if he wants me around all the time. he's gone through his rough spots so he's a bit shy about moving too fast and so am I for my own reasons.
Dillon: Hmm, it's good that he's smart. He's gonna need it. Almost as smart as me
Me: Why almost?
Dillon: (shaking his head and picking up his choo-choo that he named after me) he hasn't figured out how to get the girl yet! So he's only almost.
Me: Oh
Dillon: (crashing the train into the wall to get all the moving parts out to study)
Dr. Seuss books please! How do you make a red fish, blue fish? He doesn't tell me in the book.
Me: ok. You know, my friend? He knew Dr. Seuss' real name. Most impressive thing he's ever said to me.
Dillon: (in awe) he can play with my train.
Me: the one you just broke?
Dillon: it's not broken. it's more fun this way. now you can see how it moves. if he doesn't like that, he's not that bright. Dr. Seuss please.

Dillon died Monday, May 17th. I'd known him for 2 years and 3 days. I wasn't there to hold his hand or talk to him about all the different species of red fish (I made him look it up). But I can still hear his laugh. I still read Dr. Seuss books. I kept the million little pieces that made up Akande (his train) and all the things he taught me. And while death is par for the course in my class, he's still the only 6 year old for me. Maybe, when I meet a man worthy enough, I'll show him the pieces and I'll know if he's smarter than a 6 year old by the level of beauty he finds in being able to see what once moved me. Goodbye young prince. I wasn't ready for his death but I pray he finds a cute 6 year old angel that can teach him the beauty of keeping his train on the tracks. LOL

Shiny & Sparkly & Splendidly Bright

Man on 2nd:
We have the scientist. Hmm...while Dillon was willing to give up his choo-choo...not so sure I'm willing to give up mine. He's a good man. Impressive on paper (degrees, owns his own home, etc.) but that doesn't impress me much. All the things listed simply means we are bringing an equal amount to the table.
Now, he is one of the best kissers on the planet. Ladies, let's pause on that so we may take a moment and give homage where it is due! ok....back to our regularly scheduled program. He doesn't have children or any communicable diseases (that I'm aware of). He's there if I need him. Always wants to be sure I'm not upset or emotionally hurt. When I am around him, he takes care to make sure I know I'm welcome. Loves to cook. Has an insanely adorable habit of overthinking EVERYTHING. Doesn't mind singing me to sleep (great voice) or giving me massages (great hands). Adores his mother. Loves music and is always sure to cuddle or touch me. Now all of that - does impress me. Very much so.

So what's the hesitation on my end? There are a few things I need in order to take a man's expressed interest seriously. It may not make sense to some but who the hell cares? My life, Mm moments.

A good "bad" moment:
Since there was an interest expressed on both sides, I immediately started to wonder what an argument or even a debate with him would look like. Some may find this counter-productive but it works for me. I'm opinionated and educated. Most men hate it. So I need to know if we can argue. I can laugh with any jackass but can we have a productive argument? A good "bad" moment. LOL. I know from experience, that takes a rare level of respect & character.

Well the time came. He was in the mood for a debate, I guess, because it started over something simple. Can't even remember the subject. In any event, the answer to that stress test was a resounding NO. The conversation was so full of posturing and patronizing commentary I'd hate to see how this man deals when the subject is something either of us deeply cares about.

Can I rock with you:
We don't have to agree, but can I rock with you? When we first decided to rock for a few I told him something about him was intimidating. I told him that it may be his "intelligence". From his response, I'm sure he took this to mean the size of his degree scared me. He took it that way, because he doesn't know me & he didn't seek clarification (a habit of his). It's not all the things he does know...it's all the things he knows that aren't really so that gives me pause. I often meet dudes like that and wonder if they can learn. I wonder if you can be open to and fully invested in the possibilities of life or just the probabilities offered by figures and charts. I wonder if you can be comfortable letting go and just seeing what happens or if all your steps are measured. Can you have a conversation about blue colors and respect movement based on feeling absent of thought and weighing the what if's. I'm sure he wonders the opposite about me. Can my ass focus? Can we communicate on the same level even if that level is facts and figures.. etc.

Of course I can. Other than theater, he doesn't know my degrees (which is why the verbally patronizing pat on the head of "I'm glad you thought of that" irritates me every time he does it) or that I was a poly sci major before anything else. He doesn't know that my favorite subject in school was science. That I was on every debate team (even in college. shh! don't tell anyone). He never asked, so I never told. He seems content with surface info and details from my childhood never fully asking the whole story. He's a good man whose life experiences are mostly through books and labs. So he believes there can only be one truth, his knowledge & faith limited by probability. And I, with all my degrees & monumental life screw ups, am a good woman whose life experiences are mostly through fights, jail cells & moving from country to country. So I believe the truth changes with the teller, my faith and movement based on the possibility

Sincere Words & Action:
We can add to that, the disconnect between what he says he wants and what his actions say he wants. He was very intent on letting me know his interest wasn't just sexual. Good, neither was mine. However, I can't figure out what the hell he is after..lol. After all that, I've come to the conclusion (despite his claims to the contrary) it aint me. He's one of those, speak with intention cats. I can't stand that shit. We should do...xyz but never actually makes the plans to do it. Or "I love spending time with you" but whenever we end up in the same space it's not because he initiated or planned it. It's a product of my effort or circumstance. All in all, I deserve to feel wanted & appreciated by the man to whom I'm giving my time and, despite his verbal claims that I am, I don't feel it, because I don't see it and that's a deal breaker. So even though the rest of it may be able to work out in a beautiful balance (if we let it), this lack of action on his part (which he conveniently calls "moving at my pace")...is enough for what interest I had to start to dwindle and allow for the very real possibility that his interest was never truly there or gone just as soon as it sparked. Problem: My interest isn't dwindling fast enough. LOL. I still believe in the possibility...

Like the loss of sunset
On a cloudy afternoon

Off to see my mom, make funeral arrangements for Dillon, get paint for the kitchen, reconcile my conference, and all around figure out next steps.

Gone too Soon...

Song: Gone Too Soon by Michael Jackson