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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

No Letting Go

These boys I went to school with have a podcast. It's called The Art of Letting Go. I was hesitant to even listen to it because, like most Black women, my defenses go up when it smells like someone is even thinking about telling me to get over something. After listening to about two of their episodes, I realized something profound: in my whole life, I don't think I have ever let go of anything. I mean nothing. Not even a little. I am not a forgiver. I am not a forgetter. I hold on to old hurts like a pit bull does a meat bone. Perhaps this is why I have not experienced some of the reoccurring themes of their show such as peace and growth and happiness.
I have a full well of negative experiences that I have collected over the years that have come together to develop a Chinese wok worth of thick, dark pains and disappointments. These yuckies are on reserve for me 24/7, providing me with the comfort and support that I need to get through a day. I pull from this wok whenever I need affirmation that life sucks, that people suck, and that it will all be not okay in the end. These gritty ideas settle like grease in a coffee can (was my grandma the only one that collected old grease in a coffee can?). At the top, you can find all that good new-new negativity like the resentment I feel for my mom dying and the anger I have towards men for rejecting me  my whole, whole life. And, at the bottom, you can find those sweet, structural throwback miseries from back in the day, like being called fat by girls I wished were my friends or being mad at myself for not passing a spelling test. All this icky fills me up like a big bowl of hot beef stew on a cold night. I couldn't imagine letting any of it go. It has become my defense, my support, my man. Letting any of it go would be like removing limbs or kicking the chair from under me. What would fill me in its place?
"God's love," my new church friend Jalissa suggested at church on Sunday. Oh my God! I hadn't even thought about God! Jalissa painted a beautiful picture of God's love coming in like a sweet ray of light and cleansing me, activating the pieces of him that are already in me and leading me into a new life of grace and fulfillment. Oh man, it sounded awesome. Too bad I don't have the strong faith needed to buy into it. But I'm working on it. Sigh. No I'm not.
Later, my pain painted of picture of what it would be like not to have it as back up even for a minute. I'd be emotionally nude. Everyone would see me. I'd be raw. And who needs that?
So, unfortunately, right now, when it comes to relinquishing old sadnesses, I'm like your boy Wayne Wonder: there's no letting go.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Irritated

Of late, I have found that I am in an unshakeable state of irritation, and I want to be left alone. I am irritated by lights. I prefer it to be dark. I am irritated by the sound of the television that my brothers insist on watching. I want to turn it off and throw it out the window. Just not on a Wednesday. I have to watch Black Ink: Chicago
The one thing that is really burning my biscuits of late is people throwing unasked-for commentary, remarks, and observations my way. You look tired. You seem upset. A simple statement like that could push me over the edge, taking the person who said it with me. I told you, I'm irritated. 
I was thinking that I might have PMS, but is that supposed to last all month long? For 33 years? Day and night?
Hopefully, my attitude improves soon. I'm seconds away from kicking someone in the face. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Single, No Mingle

Kyndra invited me to the church singles ministry's July 4th BBQ, and I was excited to go. My past few July 4ths have been lackluster, so I was eager to get dressed up cute and meet some eligible bachelors. Imagine my surprise when I got there and realized that most of the men where 24. I didn't want to date a 24-year-old guy when I was 24! But that isn't even the biggest jaw-dropper. Dating isn't the primary focus of this singles ministry. Huh?
"It's not all about dating," Kyndra explained. "It's about singles coming together and encouraging each other in their walk with God."
That's cool I guess, but I assure you if I would have known that, I wouldn't have worn a dress.
I talked to another woman at my church today about the barbeque. I told her it was fun, but I had never heard of a singles ministry where no one was dating.
"Before you find love with a man, you need to understand God's love. Only after that can you even begin looking for a good man."
I frowned. That sounds like work. It also sounds like a long time coming. I'm 33. The last thing I have is time.
This same woman said that the good thing is that the singles are getting to know each other as friends.
"Take it from me," she assured, "you want your mate to be your friend."
I smiled and nodded, but I have always found that school of thought to be a complete load. I have friends. I need a man that I can tolerate to keep me company for the rest of my life.
This is all new to me. I am just really trying to better understand it all while attempting to grasp the concept of being single with no mingle.

Church and the Broken Vagina

Going to church on a regular basis has broken my vagina. At the very least, it has essentially depleted my sex drive, and at the most, has catapulted me into early spinsterhood. I was alarmed by this at first, but Tasia assures me that this is the effect that church should have on you.
"Yeah, that sounds about right," she said over brunch. "How did you not know that that is what church does to you?"
Uh...because no one told me!
As you know, I am a girl that loves to have a crush on somebody. It has always been fun for me to have little secret crushes on men. This has helped my heart to fill full during the lonely times and given me a good list of people to stalk on Instagram. Now when I look at pictures of these crushes, I feel nothing in my lady parts. All I see are brown faces of boys that I once went to school with. My jay-jay is unimpressed.
I want to get to know God. I want to become a better Christian. But no one told me that that would include me putting my vagina on the shelf with an Out of Order sign taped to it!
It is my belief that there's a science to this whole thing. Once I started going to church, my heart started to change. I began to allow the word of God to cleanse it, purging it of lust. Well, everyone knows that your heart and your lady parts are connected. You see, my heart is trying to do better now. But since my vagina truly doesn't know how to do better, it just shut down completely. She is a team player, and she wants my heart to win. So she took one for the team and is now on vaykay for God knows how long. I hope she comes back soon, I miss her.
Her hiatus has shown me that I was giving her a little too much power in my life, allowing her to take the wheel. I think that I have a crush on a man that I met at church, but I can't tell you. My vag is giving me cold silence. My mind should be able to tell me what's up, but it can't. I see now that this whole time, my mind has been in my undies. Not cool.
The plus side is that now that I am no longer fantasizing about running away with that boy from my old sociology class, I now have more time to pray and read my Bible. I guess my vaginal breakdown was all a part of God's plan. Man, He works in mysterious ways.

Savannah and the Pot

Savannah has taken up smoking pot...at 32. She, like every other pot smoker that I know, claims that she smokes to unwind.
The setup sounded like something sensuous and fabulous like a love scene out of the soap operas my grandma used to watch. She said she lights candles and takes a bath while listening to soft music. As I spoke to her I was beginning to feel high. Her voice was soft and light.
"You are a pharmacist!" I exclaimed. "Are you supposed to use drugs? What do you do? Go to the hood and score?"
The answer to that is no. Her plug is a fellow pharmacist that buys his own weed and sells her a portion of it for $125. $125! Man, the hobbies of the rich and privileged. I told her that for that type of money I would come to her house, hand bathe her, give her a mani/pedi, clean her house, and walk her dog as long as I was allowed a thirty-minute nap.
Over the years, almost all of my friends have suggested that I take up smoking weed or just doing drugs outright. Apparently, I am a highly emotional overthinker that needs to relax. No kidding! I have been trying to chill since I was about 11-years-old!
I have to say I am a little envious of Savannah though. If you had to put a price on having peace, $125 isn't that bad. Right now, she is probably in a really good pot sleep while I will be up all night munching on cookies and worrying about my future. She also has nothing but good things to say about her new-found habit, but I can't get with it. Call me old-fashioned, but I'd rather deal with my problems through overeating and stressing to the point of hair loss the way that God intended.

Adulting

As a child, I thought that the beginning and ending of adulting was going to work and paying bills. I am realizing now that adulting is really what was discussed in those whispered conversations between the women in my life that always shut down when I walked in the room.
It seems that ever since I turned 30, it has been a parade of bad news, this year being the worst. One of my friends was diagnosed with a very scary autoimmune disease, while another was just arrested over the holiday for stabbing someone to death. And the grim reaper has truly come to slay, snatching grandparents, parents, friends, and even newborns out of my friends' lives.
I find that I am becoming numb to everyone's sequences of unfortunate events, as well as my own. When a friend tells me she is getting divorced or is in crippling debt, my emotions don't even allow me to process the news. I just sigh and pray on it. There is really nothing else to do.
And this is where social media gets confusing. While the bad news parade marches on, I go on Instagram to see people I went to college with partying, traveling, and having an amazing time. Upon further investigation, I now suspect that many of these people might be functioning alcoholics, committed to dancing and globetrotting the blues away. Adulting has taught me that the only way to deal with an issue is to deal with it, but for once I would like to cry over life at some hot nightclub off the coast of Jamaica rather than on my living room floor.
Don't get me wrong, there are good times. People are getting hitched, starting new jobs, and expanding their families. However, the good news is not seeming to outweigh the bad. One engagement announcement on Facebook is followed by R.I.P wishes to cousins and funeral announcements.
If I had to define adulting, I would define it as trying to live your best life while running with the devil nipping at your heals. Better get you some good sneakers.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Ethan and the Hoes

Last night I called Ethan. I try to touch bases with him every three months or so to make sure that he hasn't become a complete whore. You see, while most of my girlfriends are suffering from terminal singleness, a single Ethan is knee-deep in female attention. He is the belle of the ball in New Orleans, accepting dinner dates and free drinks from women at every turn. It's worse at work, where his nurse co-workers bring him free meals. I thought this was a kind jester. Ethan has been about 30 pounds underweight his whole life. But we aren't talking Lunchables here. We are talking gourmet takeout sealed with a kiss. I am glad I am in his life. His friend pool consists of married frat boys whose advise usually ends with them suggesting he get a hotel room someplace with a desperate woman he barely knows.
"Ethan, you should honor your penis," I told him last night as he prepared to go out to eat with a girl he just met, Angela. He wasn't sure if it was a date or not, but from what he was telling me, it sounded like one. "Don't sleep around with these sad women."
"I'm trying not to," he insisted, the same way I did to myself just the other night as I downed a sleeve of Oreos.
As a woman, I can see Ethan's future with clarity, as if I have a crystal ball. If he doesn't get serious with a serious girl seriously soon he is going to become a serious scumbag, drunk on a seemingly endless supply of his professional success and database of willing women.
He texted me when he got home from dinner with Angela. I must be psychic, it was a date...even though she insisted on paying for it. He went on and on about how cool she is and how good the conversation was. Hopefully, it works out with this girl for Ethan's sake. The last thing the world needs is another man whore.