Two years has passed since my brother died, and I’ve experienced a multiple of emotions ranging from the deepest despair to raging anger and anxiety. But lately, I feel myself turning into someone who doesn’t give a fuck about too much of anything.
I mean I love my children, grandchild, and my future grandchild to be. My friends and other family members but I’m not getting any enjoyment from life and it scares me at times. Because you can’t walk around not giving a fuck about anything. Or can you?
Honestly it’s easy to not give a fuck about stuff because the vast majority of people in America are dumb as a box of hair. Consumed with celebrities and other superficial mess while their way of life is burning to the ground. I just be sitting back watching these ninnies fight and argue with strangers online about celebrities who wouldn’t piss on them if they were on fire.
But I’m not going to lie. It scares me to be so apathetic about life now because by nature, I’m a passionate woman filled with fire. And I want that fire back instead of being the ice queen I’ve become. I’m praying for that day when my sense of optimism and joy about living comes back. Pray for me too.
This month two exes who are currently married called me and asked me why I am still single. One was even bold enough to say that I’m not getting any younger so I need to be concentrating on finding a fella. If men don’t have anything else, they have more balls than a brass ass monkey.
One of the things that I have noticed about men is that they are eternally befuddled with the idea that a woman can be single and actually happy. I guess they are so used to the female friends in their lives constantly bewailing about being single that they believe that all single women are a miserable lot and then they come across me and are shellshocked. But let me continue my tale.
Now why these happily married men (so they claim) are worrying about me and my relationship status I will never know but it’s three specific reasons why I am a currently single woman. The reasons are relatively simple but at the same time, complex. Let me explain.
Number one: it’s easy to be single in 2021 considering the state of gender relations in this culture. The men I’ve come across are so dang angry and filled with bile and unrealistic expectations that’s it’s a turnoff. I’ve seen men with missing, yellowing teeth who think they are entitled to the most beautiful woman in the world. And in addition to being highly unattractive, they have the audacity to have rigid gender standards for women.
In their world, women are only good for fucking, cleaning, cooking, and more fucking. I just want to know how do these men have the nerve to be both homely and entitled at the same time. And on top of everything, they expect women to jump through hoops of fire for their affections and I’m not doing shit. We live in a patriarchy and I thought men were the hunters.
What woman in her right mind wants to be bothered with men who have that mentality? Not I. Unlike many women, I’m not parched for male companionship or validation. My bed will never be that lonely.
Number two: I have a disability and any man that I decide to be involved with needs to be able to deal with that fact. I’m an epileptic and as long as I take my medication, I’m seizure free and that’s a beautiful thing. But suppose I do have a seizure? How is he going to react? Is he going to jump into action or crumble? I need a strong man, not a wimp. You can die from a seizure and I need a fella who can help me, not be a hinderance to my health.
And lastly, at this stage in my life, I don’t want to be bothered. I’m not trying to male bash but many men are feminine energy vampires and they will drain a foolish woman dry. And I’m not foolish. So many women are walking around looking like life is whupping their asses and it’s because of the men in their lives. I look pretty good for an old broad, especially when I put on my concealer and eyebrow pencil. And I’m going to continue to stay looking fly and living stress free. But one day, I hope to find a nice fella. A man who makes my soul sing and my body tingle. A man filled with a passion to match my own passion for life. And who read books on a regular basis. Until then however, I’m single and chilling. Happily content.
I didn’t discover bell hooks until I went to college in 2002. I majored in sociology and minored in history. Took two Women and Gender courses and it was then I was introduced to her works. And my life changed.
Her writings made me think deeply and I learned to fight for myself as a Black woman living in a white patriarchal society that despises all women but has placed the Black woman on a special rung in hell. Learned to fight for my dignity and autonomy in system that wasn’t set up for my advancement but my demise.
And as I’m getting older, due to her works, I have learned to have grace for others who weren’t as fortunate as me to have access to her writings and the writings of Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Assata Shakur and others. Black writers who reveled in their Blackness and wasn’t afraid to show it. Ignorance is cultivated in American culture these days so some people are doomed and all you can do is pity them and move on.
So Rest in Power bell hooks. Although you are no longer here in form, your works will continue to educate and transform, encouraging folks to improve their lives and elevate their minds. Folks like me.
In the Black community, there are women who aren’t mothers because technically they didn’t give birth to the children they mothered but are revered because of the guidance, wisdom, and unconditional love that they bestowed upon generations of Black children. This is my tribute to those women. My ladies in particular whom I loved with all my heart and soul.
The lady in the picture above is my maternal grandmother. She was born in Alabama in 1900 and she became an ancestor in 1984. Although I only had her in my life for a short time , she was one of my greatest influences.
She was my babysitter from ages 2 until I was 8 years old when she moved out the state to live with one of her daughters. She was the one who taught me how to read and write, my colors and all that good stuff. So when I learned earlier this year that she only had a second grade education, I was beyond shocked. Because to me, she was a genius and she played a major part in my cognitive development as a child. She was also a great griot and told me slave folktales about skeletons who spoke and and horses who scolded naughty children. She was loved and revered by all who knew her and was considered the backbone of the family.
The lady above is my Aunt Mary. She was born in 1933 and became an ancestor in 1982. Her and my mother was only a year apart so they were very close and as result of their closeness, I spent a lot of time with her. She was a Scorpio like me and we got along like cake and ice cream. When she died from ovarian cancer, I was so shellshocked by her death, I couldn’t cry and didn’t cry until a few years later. She was a gem, a feisty woman of fire who is still missed and I wished she had the opportunity to meet my children.
My Aunt Rosie is in the picture above and she was an integral part of my life. If I’m not mistaken, she was born in 1922 and she became an ancestor in 1995. I spent a lot of time with her as a child and I loved her dearly. When I wanted to get my hair done and needed some money, she gave it to me with a little fussing but she gave it to me. With love.
I would go over to her house to pick it up and she would feed me, tell me tales of growing up into young womanhood and when it was time for me to leave, she would put the money in a handkerchief and pin it in my bra. I used to have a picture of myself when I was about 6 months old and I was sitting between Aunt Rosie and Aunt Mary and they were looking at me with such love and joy. I’m tearing up now thinking about it.
And the lady above with the thick juicy thighs is my cousin Cleo and she was a combination of cousin, big sister, aunt, and towards the end of her life, a mother figure to me. She was born in 1942 and she crossed over into glory in 2018.
When I was a little girl, I would follow her everywhere because wherevershe was, it was good times. My mother was a working woman and couldn’t take me places at times due to her work schedule so Cleo would take me and the rest of the cousins to museums, zoos, the beach, movies everywhere during hot summers in Chicago.
When I gave birth to my two eldest children, she was the one who picked me up from the hospital. She was always there for me with a kind word, a hug and most importantly, love. When I was a young adult and would be hanging out in the old neighborhood she still lived in, when it got too late for public transportation, she would let me spend the night. She didn’t have to be bothered with me but she chose to. My goodness when I think about the love I received from her, I cry.
On the day of her funeral, I deliberately took the longest route to the funeral home because I didn’t want to be there but I had to. Walking down the hall to where her funeral was being held was the longest walk of my life. It’s been four years since she became an ancestor and in some ways, her death was harder on me than my mother’s death because childishly, I really believed that she would live forever.
Monday I received a phone call from my cousin Mark and he told me that his big sister, Rosemary had died. I was speechless for several minutes because my brain had stopped. Not Rosemary. Not my Rosemary. Eventually I was able to speak and was able to give him my condolences while crying incoherently. I heard the pain and the tears in his voice as we mourned deeply over the phone and I told him to get some rest and that I loved him. I put down the phone and let out a primal scream that brought my daughter running into my room.
She said “Mama what’s wrong!” And I screamed “Rosemary is dead boo. She’s gone.” And another chapter in my life ended. My mother didn’t have any daughters besides me but my cousin Rosemary was my big sister and I loved her.
Rosemary was the eldest daughter of my Aunt Carrie and she was a year older than my brother Randy who was born in 1960. She was the ultimate diva, always fly, hair whipped, smelling good and I wanted to be like her when I grew up. She was my inspiration for going into the clerical field because she was a legal secretary making big bank and power moves during the 80s.
She was one of most generous, kind, and funny souls I had the privilege of knowing and I was blessed to have her in my life. She was 63 years old when she left for the ancestral world on Monday and she will be missed because she was a hell of a woman.
The above ladies were my blood kin and my other mamas. They loved and nurtured me and I miss them fiercely. But I’m not the only person in the Black community who has or had other mamas who impacted their lives and we need to give these ladies their flowers for being such a huge part of the Black experience.
The Black community would have ceased to exist centuries ago if wasn’t for the contributions of these loving, kind, selfless women who loved hard but didn’t a have a problem with busting an irate fool upside the head if necessary. Bow down to the queens in your life. Because I do every day for my ladies who are no longer here but will live forever in my heart.
This summer was supposed to have been a great one but unfortunately, I lost two childhood friends that I loved like sisters in two months. Most people lose contact with their childhood friends as they get older but I have been fortunate that I’m still in contact with the majority.
I spent my teens, 20s, 30s, and 40s with these ladies and was hoping that we would grow old together, sitting on the porch with our canes cussing folks out but it wasn’t meant to be. But as I write this, I’m sitting here smiling through my tears, grateful that I had the privilege of knowing them at all.
So many sisters complain about the lack of friendship amongst Black women but I was truly blessed to have known these ladies. I hope that the ancestors greeted Genial and Mikki with love and I promise to keep them alive with my memories. Because what memories they were❤️❤️❤️❤️
When I went to college, one of the first classes I took was Women and Gender Studies. How could I not resist learning about the history of women since I am a woman? My professor was named Dr. Jean Peterson and she was a cool hippie chick from back in the day, complete with graying jet-black hair to her waist and she was so laid back she was practically horizontal. However, a couple of weeks in her class, I was dismayed to find out she was not a fan of Barbie Dolls because she, as a feminist felt they contributed to low self-esteem issues in young girls in American society.
I was totally amazed by her attitude because I loved and still love Barbie and not once when I was a child thought I would look like Barbie when I grew up. Because cause she was a doll and how could I possibly look like a doll? She wasn’t real. Even at that young age, I had more sense than that. I have been a prolific reader since I was a child and Barbie and friends were props for my overactive imagination. When I was into Greek mythology, my dolls were transformed into Athena, Artemis, and Aphrodite and several of my mother’s silky nightgowns were turned into Greek robes for them. When I read “Gone With the Wind” (at the age of ten), I learned to make hoop skirts for my dolls and reenacted the burning of Atlanta without actually setting the house on fire.
But Dr. Peterson had her reasons. During the course of the class, I learned why Dr. Peterson had issues with Barbie (sexism and the branding of the skinny white chick with impossibly unattainable body) and although I respected her opinion a great deal and she had a PhD and several other degrees, to me, blaming a doll for self-esteem issues in young girls and women was a little too much. I blame parents and society for making young girls and women feel bad because they do not live up to the womanly image that American society has memorialized as the epitome of beauty. Every woman is not slim or tall with blue eyes and long flowing blond hair and guess what? Who gives a fuck? It is hard enough being a woman in a sexist society without driving yourself crazy trying to be something that you are not. A woman has to be happy and secure in her own skin to be truly complete. But I will always love Barbie, Christie, Skipper, Starr, Kelly, Candi, Darci, Sydney and all my girls from childhood. They kept a little girl’s imagination flowing and I will forever thankful to my favorite Plastics.