Monday, October 30, 2006
i thought it was funny, because my husband and i talk about race issues all the time. and one of the things we have talked about in the past is how it always seems that white people don't seem to get cold. Like, especially here in Oregon, it could be the dead of winter, but as soon as the sun comes out, you see many white people wearing shorts and flip flops. Just because the sun is out doesn't make it warm!!
now, i dont want to offend anyone, but this IS my observation. but you know who else does this? Hubz himself. yes! well, without the flip flops- he's not really into that, but he wears shorts all year round. we live in an older home and even though it's pretty air tight and we've sealed up drafty doors, occasionally, it's drafty. as for me, i have to be warm all the time. in the winter, when i'm lounging at home i'm always in thick socks and flannel lounge gear. but my husband? he's usually barefoot with shorts on.
i affectionately call him polar bear. he has joked in the past that white people are nicknamed polar bears because they dont mind the cold weather and will dress skimpy when it's cold. on the flip side, my husband always relates this story about his college roomate who was black, and in the middle of summer, would be wrapped up in the dorm room in a blanket with the heat on.
black people will say this is because 'we come from africa, which has a warm climate, and the desire to be warm is just in our blood', and vice versa about white people.
so anyway, back to "Bob". gosh i love the guy. i love that even though he's upper middle class and white, he doesnt feel insecure in the hood with all the black and mexican and asians at the school. but for the life of me, i couldn't understand why none of his kids had coats on today. brrr.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
I don't even watch videos. i dont even like rap. YES IT'S TRUE. I'M BLACK AND I DONT LIKE RAP. but i was not feeling well the other day and the remote stopped on one of those video channels, and this song was playing. I couldn't turn away. Did i want to see some hoochie's butt in my face? No way. But yet it was amazingly captivating. are these rap guys geniuses? or are they just irresponsible, greedy, womanizers?
Ugh. no wonder you have jobless, 19 year old black guys subconsciously acting pimpish, rolling in their escalades without a [real] clue.
That's the problem. Let me translate:
Shake your money maker
Like somebody's bout to pay ya
I see you on my radar
Don't you act like you're a faker
You know I got it
If you wanna come get it
Stand next to this money
Like - ey ey
Shake your money maker
Like somebody's bout to pay ya
Don't worry about them haters
Keep your nose up in the air
You know I got it
If you wanna come get it
Stand next to this money
Like - ey ey
SHAKE YOUR BUTT AS IF YOU WERE A STRIPPER GETTING PAID.
I KNOW YOU SEE ME LOOKING AT YOU, DONT PRETEND LIKE YOU DONT.
YOU KNOW I HAVE ALL THIS MONEY, COME OVER HERE, LIKE A STRIPPER
SO YOU CAN HAVE SOME. AND DONT WORRY ABOUT PEOPLE WHO DONT LIKE YOU,
KEEP YOUR NOSE IN THE AIR
Shake, shake, shake your money maker
Like you were shaking it for some paper
It took your momma 9 months to make ya
Might as well shake what your momma gave ya
You, you lookin good in them jeans
I bet you'd look even beter with me in between
I keep my mind on my money - money on my mind
But you's a hell of a distraction when you shake your behind
I got *** on my right side pourin' some cups
My whole hood is to my left and they ain't givin a f*!k
So feel free to get loose and get carried away
So by tomorrow you forgot what you where saying today
But don't forget about this feeling that I am making you get
And all the calories you burn from me making you sweat
The mile highpoints you earn when we taking my jet and
How everywhere you turn I'll be making you wet
SHAKE SHAKE YOUR B*TT. YOU HAVE A B*TT, YOU MIGHT
AS WELL SHAKE IT.THOSE JEANS LOOK GOOD ON YOU BUT
THEY'D LOOK BETTER WITH ME IN THEM. I GOT MONEY AND ALL
MY FRIENDS SITTING HERE, BUT THEY DONT CARE, THEY ALREADY THINK
YOU'RE A SLEEZE, SO DO WHATEVER YOU WANT, BECAUSE YOU WONT REMEMBER
TOMORROW ANYWAY. OH- BUT DONT
FORGET ABOUT HOW HOT I MAKE YOU AND HOW MUCH WEIGHT YOU'LL
LOSE BECAUSE I'M GIVING YOU A S*X WORKOUT. EVERYWHERE YOU
TURN I'LL BE ALL OVER YOU MAKING YOU WET.
Switch, switch, switch it from right to left
And switch it till you running right out of breath
And take a break until you ready again
And you can invite over as many friends as
You want to but I really want you and just
Be thankfull that Pharrel gave you something to bump to
Luda - I'm at the top of my game
You want my hands from your bottom to the top of your frame
And I - just wanna take a little ride on your curves
And get erotic giving your body just what it deserves and
Let me give you some swimming lessons on the p*nis
Backstroke, breaststroke, stroke of a genius
Yepp call me the renissance man get up and
I stay harder then a cinderblock man
Hey I;m just a bedroom gangster
And I've been meaning to tell that I really mus thank ya when you
AGAIN, I'M TELLING YOU TO SHAKE YOUR B*TT, THIS TIME
UNTIL YOU'RE OUT OF BREATH. YOU CAN TAKE A BREAK, BUT
AS SOON AS YOU'RE DONE, YOU BETTER SHAKE YOUR B*TT
SOME MORE. OKAY, YOU CAN INVITE YOUR FRIENDS OVER TOO,
BUT I REALLY JUST WANT YOU,
YOU SHOULD BE GLAD I'M GIVING YOU SOMETHING TO SHAKE YOUR B*TT TO.
YOU KNOW YOU WANT ME TO TOUCH YOU ALL OVER, BUT I JUST WANT
TO HAVE S*X, AND I WILL TEACH YOU HOW, AND I'M SO VERILE AND
GREAT AND THE BEST LOVER..[INSERT FREAKY P*RN*GRAPHIC STUFF HERE].YADA YADA...
Rock rock, rock it an make it work, girl
Please don't stop it till it hurts, girl
You - you been looking a little tipsy
So if you could just shake it a little this way
See I'm a member of the BBC
The original breadwinner of DTP
You the center of attention that is distracting the squad
Cause everybody in the campus like - oh my god she can
DONT STOP SHAKING YOUR B*TT UNTIL YOU'RE IN PAIN.
YOU LOOK LIKE YOU'RE DRUNK AND TIRED BUT I DONT CARE,
I NEED YOU TO STILL SHAKE YOUR B*TT SOME MORE OVER HERE.
ALL THE HOMIES ARE WATCHING YOU AND THINK YOU'RE SO GREAT
BECAUSE YOU KNOW HOW TO SHAKE YOUR *utt. [what an accomplishment!]
So what do you think?
Monday, October 23, 2006
i think it's fabulous when my asian and german friends can just whip up dishes from their home country. and it got me thinking. what are dishes from my country? i guess it would help to know what country my ancestors are from. hmmm. i dont have a clue (thanks, slave massa...) i mean, if it weren't for slavery, WE would know so much more about ourselves- why i have this feature or that feature, the characteristics of my country in the continent of africa. but all that was stripped away from us.
and the foods. i don't even know a name of an African food. sure, i could google some on the internet, but that's not the point. it's just not the same as cooking it from the heart, remembering your grandma making it for you as a family dish while you're growing up. it's like being adopted and not knowing your parents history or anything about where you came from.
okay, so we have grease-soaked, cholesterol-raising soul-food, which is not the same thing. my family tries to eat healthy. i'm not into all that soul food, which is actually american soul food. but it's not even healthy. i love collard greens. but i'm into eating healthy. how come the soul food is so bad for us? that's not cool. i don't cook soul food, and where i live, i'd never serve it because most of my friends are health conscious as well. i mean, is there a healthy way to cook Mac and cheese? it's only real soul food with a ton of butter and cheese. no thanks.
i guess that's why i prefer to be called black, as opposed to african american. it never felt right for me to be called african-american. i mean, i know its the politically correct name and all that, for different reasons. black people want to feel that connection to where they originated. white people refer to us that way because they dont want to offend and they figure that's what we want.
but even though my ancestors are from africa, i dont feel any ties to africa. how could i? i've never even been there. my grandma's grandma had never been there. i've never known any family from there. the true africans, the ones who have moved here recently from africa - from what i understand, they dont even like us. they're not like black americans(in a good way), in that they havent experienced the black[american] experience. i dont know if they even relate to the materialistic, hip hop world in which we're associated with (hey...maybe i'm more african than i think?).
in my opinion, being black is like this:
u.s. slavery history
when i used to refer to myself as african-american, it just didnt feel right. maybe i didnt do it enough. it just felt like i was trying to be something i wasn't. i'm american through and through. unfortunately, i dont know enough about africa.
Friday, October 20, 2006
well, for starters, it doesnt help when your hair stylist is talking about another black woman (who wears her hair natural) and calls her nappy headed. yes, our hair is nappy, but why is that BAD??
see, that's what i'm talking about. and i think at this point in my life i'm too self conscious to be talked about by my own race, let alone the stares from white people.
i called my husband at work to see what he would think if i cut off all of my hair and went natural-not in a boy style, super, super short, but maybe a couple inches long with texturizer. he's fine with it. no problem whatsoever.
i just dont know if i can take that leap. i just dont think i would look like me. ME. i know that i'm getting closer to doing something natural, because i'm at least thinking about it now, and this time last year it was out of the question. but in all other aspects, i'm a natural girl. i hate shelling out 60 bucks every 6 weeks to only be halfway satisfied. i've done it since i was 14!
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
there are some really messed-up-in-the-head people out there, and i'm not one of them, despite what you may think. however, i admit that i may be a little delusional when it comes to perceptions about my appearance, race, and how i see others, but that's about it.
anway, i'm getting off track here. as i was saying before, i do fun things with my kids. portland is great in that it has a ton of kid and family friendly resources and programs and activities for kids. i spend a lot of time taking my kids to library storytimes, indoor parks, community center program/classes, museums, farmers markets,etc. i like culture. i want my kids to experience reading, and music and i don't stay at home and use the TV as an all day babysitter.
for a long time, i thought portland wasn't diverse. albeit, we(black people) only account for 7% of the portland population. but whenever i'd go to storytimes, or museums or the community center programs or other kid friendly places, i'd be the only (usually, occasionally i might see another 1 or 2) mom of color. every once in a while there might be another black mom or asian, but generally, it's a room full of white moms, and me.
yet, when i got to the mall, a large percentage of the mall population seem to be young black moms, married or not, with their babies. Hmmm. why aren't they at Storytime? why don't i see them in the libraries with their children? why don't i see them at the community center classes? why don't i see them at the childrens' museum? why didn't i see any at my boys' swimming lessons this summer? of course this is a huge generalization, because i know that there are black moms out there who do these activities like me. it's just that, i dont see it very often.
i would LOVE to get all chatty at the indoor park or library with another mom of color, the way i ALWAYS notice the white moms doing. and sure, i can talk to them, and i DO talk to them, but it's nice to see some other black faces as well. and on the occasion that there is another black mom there, we almost always start making small talk, and i love it.
almost every time i'm at the mall, i see the black moms there, pushing the strollers, seemingly aimless (being a mallrat is aimless), being a consumer. i believe that you do what you know. while i was growning up, i did so many activities all the time. my mom and dad read to me, i learned foreign languages, we traveled, i took ballet, tap, ice-skating, piano and flute lessons and probably more that i just can't remember. my dad made sure we saw all the monuments and important buildings in Washington dc. he made sure we went to the world forestry center, and saw the lewis and clark trails here in oregon. so naturally, this is what i know and do when raising my children.
i almost leap for joy when i show up to storytime and there's another black mom there. actually, this past summer i kind of buddied up with one that i had met there. she and i were always the only moms of color there, in a room of about 20 or so. and although i have lots of white friends i really felt instantly comfortable with this black mom that i met. we were a lot alike (educate and exposed) so every tuesday, we'd sit together and chat.
the white moms were like that all the time though. do white people feel instantly comfortable with each other when they go to places see each other? (more on this subject later) i would venture to guess probably not, since seeing each other everywhere is not such a big deal.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
it's a little ironic that someone left me this comment, because last night i was thinking about how this blog probably makes me sound SO insecure. i must seem like some snobby, insecure, self-hatin' woman.
well, i'm not. here's the thing. i wanted this blog to be an outlet where i could write about things from way deep down that i know other people feel, but no one wants to share that side. oh, come on. you mean, deep down, you've never thought your nose was too big, or your hair sucked, or you felt jealous or spiteful?
most people with a blog of faithful readers don't want to open that side up. I mean, who does? people dont just go around talking about how they wonder why their skin color is what it is and how they think it has affected them. but we're all human. we ALL have insecurities to one degree or another (and don't tell me you don't ).
I don't need therapy, i grew up with both my parents still married, traveled all over with them, graduated from college, and now i'm in a good, healthy relationship with my husband and kids. there's nothing WRONG with me. this i know.
but i still sometimes wonder about things or think things that are not so easy to just say to someone. So here it is. i will try though, not to come across as so insecure.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
There's some naivete for you. so, fast forward 12 years or so, and i know better. i cant tell you how many times i've gone out and bought my husband something really GQ-ish and he may like it, but not enough to wear it. and we'd get ready to leave the house and he had on a t-shirt and some funky ol' jeans. when i'd nag him about changing clothes, he'd say nevermind and go watch TV.
But i digress.
actually, i think i'm a little more anal about it because we're interracial. i feel like, when we go out, we already stand out, and i always feel a little self conscious that we look like a couple of misfits who attracted each other. that sounds silly but people always want to see the perfect couple. you know, they're both beautiful, they both have the same skin color, they're both stylish and similar. but my husband and i are about as opposite looking as you can get. i'm short and brown, while he's tall and white.
i at least want to look good together so even if people think we look like opposites, we don't look like freak misfits. when we go out together, i'm always conscious about how we look. for the black people we see, i want him to look somewhat prosperous and clean cut (heaven forbid i marry a cornball white guy with no money and no style,what sense is that?) . and for the white people, i want to look clean, assimilated, and goody-goody (heaven forbid this handsome white man marry some raggedy, slang talkin', big bootied black girl from the ghetto). I always assume that people are thinking these things about interracial couples, even though they're not true in my case.
i'm insecure about that. i know. and even after 12 years, i'm still lots better than i was 12 years ago. we'd go to malls in a mainly white area, and i'd be running out of there in tears. white people seemed the give the dirtiest looks at us. at the black malls, black people would give us a curious look, like, hmmmmm...now how did that happen? which, the black looks were still better than the cold evil what-would-a-white-man-see-in-you stare. now, i know better than to go out to places like Washington Square Mall (aka white city). it's not that i can't handle it, because i can. i'd just rather not subject myself to it if i dont have to.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Ugh. This was the lovely site I saw this morning. She is the mom of one of the kids in my son's preschool class. Niiiice. I can't even imagine what it feels like to be in the mindframe where I would think this was okay. It's like some or US* are stuck in this little hole without realizing how to be progressive. Some of US* aren't quite getting it. I'm glad I know better. So, so glad.
Don't get me wrong, this is tacky and trashy no matter who you are. But being black especially, I feel we have to present our best front to the world. We've had enough negativity in the past and the present without doing this.
*Black people, African Americans
Monday, October 02, 2006
i wish i had the guts to go all natural. i guess i think that everyone else thinks like i do, and i dont want people to make prejudgements about the person that i really am.
i shudder to think that every six weeks for the next 30 years i'll still be relaxing my hair like i do now. that's a lot of money, and besides, i really have the desire to be natural. i mean, white people can just get up and go. Not me! but, obviously my fear of what (white people, not SO much black people) people think stronger than wanting to be all natural.
And why do some black people always get so upset when other black people say that another black person has 'good hair'? the truth of the matter is that i know white women with not-so-good hair and i also know white women with really good hair (like my friend luana), and no one blinks an eye when they talk about it. But somehow when I talk about a black girl with good hair, it translates to how close to white their hair is.
Black or white. some women have good hair, some dont. no, but seriously, i KNOW why it's such an issue. It's the whole black pride thing but still. I'm just tired of the whole black thing being such a THING.