Sunday, June 22, 2008

Dear Michelle Obama,

I was talking to my girl the other day and she made the comment that she "would kill to be Barak Obama's wife”. I asked her why and she said "girl, imagine being married to the most influential black man in the world right now, what could you not do"? I just smiled to myself and asked her "are you sure you want that job, do you have any idea what that woman has gone through and is about to go through as this man's wife"? She fell silent.

The fact is that we have no idea and we will never really know what it's like to walk in your shoes. Frankly I don't want to know because I'm not sure if I (yet) possess the poise and patience required to deal with what's being thrown your way. They try to dismiss and illegitimatize your position as a WIFE by referring to you as "Obama's Baby Mamma". They fear that you will become the new hero and role model for all young girls (black and white, asian, latina, whatever) so they attempt to confuse your passion for anger and say that you are unpatriotic because you dare to be honest about the state of this country. But through it all, you maintain your composure, and you make me proud to be a woman. While black women continuously fight against the legacy of the "Hottentot Venus", and "the video ho" and "baby mama" stereotypes, you arise as an educated, strong, self aware woman, a loving mother and the supportive, dedicated partner and wife to the next President of the United States. You are a trendsetter, you are fly as a kite and no amount of money could buy your class. Best of all, you are making it difficult for them to dump us all into one large "chicken head" coup. The intangibles that you possess could never be taught in any academic setting (not even Harvard), they can only be modeled, and you do it well.

Women like you and Graca Machel, Daphne Valerius, Oprah Winfrey, and Harriet Tubman inspire me. You are literally saying to every young black girl in America, heck in the world (because they're watching too), "yes you can have it all" (your faith, the education, a successful career/business, a good man, children) and still maintain your integrity and sense of self. Being a strong black woman is tough, I know. I too have been labeled angry, intimidating and was even once told that I would need to “dumb myself down” in order to have a man, play the corporate game, or be well liked. You walk the fine line between femininity and strength, passion and temperance and I doubt that you would have made it this far in your career and personal endeavors or even kept the interest of a man like Barak Obama had you been weak, passive, "only seen and not heard" or anything short of the dynamic woman that you are. I am watching you and taking notes.

For every pimp, mack, hustler, R. Kelly, non-committal, dead beat dad or incarcerated black man image, there is your husband, bucking those stereotypes and for every, baby mamma, hoochie, professional welfare hustler, lazy, uneducated black woman image thrown out there, you're standing up to say "no world, don't believe the hype, we are much more than that". And even for those of us that may have lost our way and fallen victim to certain circumstances or even consciously decided to give in to these stereotypes, you are showing another way.

No matter how broad the strokes of negativity that they try to paint us with, they can't (much to their dismay) ignore you, or silence you, or deny that your presence has forever challenged how we are represented and presented to the world. For that, I just wanted to say "thank you". You intrigue me, you excite me, and you inspire me to continue developing the best of who I am.

With love and admiration,

Another Passionate Black Woman

P.S. When you take your post as first lady, please have someone remodel the White House. I hear that it has not been updated since the Kennedy era. Go figure.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I'm having a very hectic week. I'm making plans for another out of country business trip. I'm making sure that all is in order for my transition to a new school in the fall. I'm taking care of some personal things as I'll be away for another month and I need to get some business in order. I'm moving, preparing for that as well. Even as I busy myself with all these tasks, and add even more to my plate of overlapping construction projects, closing and making final payments on others, I can't help to think (every 5-10 minutes, like clock work); he's dead, he's really gone and I will never see him again...

All my business and attempt to distract myself from the reality does not take away the fact that on Monday morning, Godmommy phoned to inform me that one of my favorite god cousins died of a heart attack early Monday morning. The way she told it; they went to church and then to dinner, all in celebration of Father's Day of which he celebrated his 10th...he went home around 8pm, at some point late night/early morning, he called his twin brother to say he was having chest pains... at around 4am he was found dead in his 38...of a heart attack. How is that even possible? He was not overweight, quite active in fact. I just don't understand. How is his 10 year old son now fatherless? He is dead, at 38, of a heart attack? Huh?

He just finished telling Godmommy, "tell Gem she aint too grown to come to these here family shindigs". I was in the Bahamas this year, instead of at the family reunion. I remember feeling kind of guilty for not being there too, but how was I to know I would never see him again? He was the chairperson this year and I heard that he did a fabulous job.

I'm dealing with this in my same old non confrontational fashion, trying to be distracted from the pain, by staying busy, by stepping up my game and working even harder to make it, for me and mine, smiling to keep from crying. I've always dealt with death in this very strange manner. I've had people very close to me die and not shed one tear.I know I should let it out and grieve and cry and deal with it head on.

Life is so fragile, precious, and unpredictable, and when I'm done grieving and even during this process, I'm going to live mine like I've never lived before...going hard, for me, mines and in honor of "Twin".

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cure for The Blues...

"He likes all of you, he gets you, that's why it's so hard for you to get over him. You're afraid you might not find that again".

This is what my girlfriend said to me on Friday regarding how he feels about me, based on what I've shared. She was so on point especially considering the fact that the last man could never just let me be me! There was always some comment about my hair (why I didn't straighten it more often), my eclectic sense of style, my body (always pointing out my flaws) etc. It was exhausting, yet I allowed it. Silly me. But what a relief it was to meet and involve myself with someone that accepts me, and loves me..just for me. Anyway...

I accepted an invitation to see Anita Baker in concert at Wolf Trap on Friday evening. It was a gorgeous night at a beautiful venue, and the show was phenomenal! Anita Baker is so bad, even her sound check is flawless. I really enjoyed myself; great show, good company..I'm glad I accepted. But the entire night, I suppressed the urge to burst into tears. I charged it to the fact that Anita's music is primarily about love so I was not too hard on myself! I also did not want to have to explain an emotional reaction to "I Just Want to be Your Girl" I fought back the tears. Through the follow up dinner at Cheesecake Factory, I held them in...Until finally, I got home, washed the day off, crawled into my bed and just cried. I cried, while I remembered every moment; from our first meeting on that balmy summer morning, to the last awkward moment we shared on Friday afternoon, I thought about the potential that I/we know exists and how sad I am that it seems to be lost..for good. For the frustration and stupidness I feel for allowing myself to fall in love with him, for not heeding the warnings of well meaning friends, for using my heart and not my head, for always imagining him at home with me, for the foot rubs and kisses that I miss, for the fact that this was the first and last time I would indulge myself in sorrow over this situation, and yes, even for that ticket I got on my way home that night..I cried, and cried, and cried, and cried...until I cried myself to sleep.

When I woke up on Saturday morning, I felt foggy, soggy, and I lacked the desire to get out of bed. I quickly realized that I had the BLUES! So pulled out my arsenal of vices for getting back to me. I went running until the speedometer read 5 miles, I came back home, filled my environment with great music, took a pampering bath, danced while I picked out my fro, put on a chic outfit and some fierce makeup then I went shopping...for groceries! I came back home and whipped up some fresh guacamole and shrimp quesadillas (while in heels), ate and spent some quality time with me. I felt like my diva self again. LOL!

Later that evening, I had another date. It was nice.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Familiar Feelings

I'm out of sorts...I can't place my finger on it, but I've been here before.

It was so hard to focus at work today.. It's a great thing that this was one of those a million meetings days..forced to keep my mind occupied.

I noticed that I was also very tired today, like drained. What is this all about? I mean, I when to bed at a decent time last night and slept late this morning. Oh but maybe this is my mental and emotional fatigue and weariness manifesting itself in my body. I can't have that! So I go to the gym, determined to keep shit moving (after all, I'm me, that's what I do). A half an hour later, after I was just supposed to be going to the car to retrieve my gym clothes..I find myself sitting there just thinking and fell asleep right in the damn car in the public parking lot! WTF??!!

So I force myself to body pump and the instructor's perkiness is EXTRA annoying today. As I clumsily and haphazardly go through the motions of squats, lunges, and chest presses, I keep trying to change my mental state by saying to myself "you gotta keep it gangsta, you gotta keep doing you". "That's how you make it, that's how you've always made it through rough patches". Never let em see you sweat is the mantra! But I'm not even convincing my damn self, HA! Who the hell am I fooling? I know what this is...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Weezy Baby!

He's so sweet, I wanna lick the wrapper

I went to the Lil Wayne album release concert in Baltimore last night. I am leaning (tired) at work today for the record! LOL

Anyway, at the last minute one of my girls from work decided to accompany me because I was getting ready to roll alone and just scalp my extra ticket at the door. I’m glad she went though. For some reason, each and every time I try to get any where (on the west/downtown side) of Baltimore, I get lost! It never fails and I don’t get it because I generally have a great sense of direction. I have learned one important lesson though; getting lost in Baltimore is an expensive mistake. I paid 3 different (unnecessary) tolls last night.

We finally get to the show and the show is already happening outside. I quickly realized that this was going to be a fun and interesting night. There were so many people outside and there were many interesting sights to see. One thing that I like about girls in Baltimore is that many of them have a very adventurous sense of style. I love that! And the energy level was crazy! My girlfriend was like “P you seem to fit right in with these little teeny boppers”. Also notable is that, people seemed generally down to earth and friendly. I got plenty of compliments on my top, hair, etc from the ladies and the guys were friendly but not in an annoying way. I loved the atmosphere.

Inside the show…first of all everyone and their peeps were getting blazed inside the venue. I am pretty sure that I caught some kind of contact high. I have never been into the weed smoking thing so this blew me…but I got used to it.

First, Gotti came out and I admit I had no idea who he was or knew any of his songs. I turned to the young lady next to me to ask about him and she was like “WHAT???!!!” You aint never heard of Yo Gotti”? I was like “uh, no”. She just turned around and proceeded to sing along to every verse of every rhyme. I was impressed and jealous. LOL!

Up next was Gucci Man and of course I was able to sing along to some of his rhymes. “She’s a very freaky girl…”. In pure rap concert fashion, some “very freaky girls” quickly appeared on stage to show off their freaky moves. Loved it!

After Gucci Man, there was like an hour gap (filled with random radio personalities coming on stage to hype the crowd) before Lil Wayne appeared. I guess his ride got turned around on 395 as well. Anyway, once he showed up it was pandemonium in the place! He rocked it! This man is a great big ball of energy and he pranced around on the stage (pretty much by himself, which I thought was great) for about another hour and some change. Bird Man made an appearance for “Stunting like my Daddy” and a few other collabos. Wayne ended his set with “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston. How cute is he?

Overall, I enjoyed the show, I am so glad I went! I think that my all time favorite Wayne record song is “Prostitute” which goes “I wouldn't care if you were a prostitute and that you hit every man that you ever knew .See it wouldn't make a difference cause that was way before me and you, girl. See you don't ever have to worry about me as long as you keep it real”. I just think that this song addresses the double standard that exists regarding male/female sexual histories. It basically says, look baby, your past is your past, it’s you and me now and I love you for who you are. This is why I like Wayne!

Monday, June 9, 2008

No Caveats

Caveat - A qualification or explanation, a clarification to prevent a misinterpretation.

There is no clarification or explanation necessary here. I love you for the man that you are; as you stand at this very moment, and I know that you love me too. It makes me giddy with excitement to know this! The desire for you that's burning inside my heart is unquenchable and all consuming. At this place and in this space you are all I see. I want to say, take this step with me, take a leap of faith, take a chance on us and let me show you that the things I'm saying and feeling are real. I'm a grown woman who knows exactly what she wants. Plain and simple, I want you, I need you and we deserve each other.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Celebrations and Realizations

I had the great fortune of celebrating another year of life on Thursday June 5th. My birthdays are generally unscripted as I rarely make concrete plans like a party or other focused celebration. I have always pretty much just desired to be with people that I love and this year was no different. I missed my family and this was heightened by the fact that many of them were trying to call me (from various locations abroad) while I was in meetings and I knew that it meant a lot to them to speak with me on that day. Some (well meaning members) simply wanted to remind me that I am another year closer to 30 with nary husband in sight (I really don't have the heart to tell them...), but I digress. I am so loved!

For this birthday however, I just happened to end up at an amusement park with a bunch of my friends! I was in Pennsylvania at a work retreat and this was one of our "team building" activities. What a blast! This is like every child's dream and I lived it. I rode roller coasters, water rides, hung out with my colleagues and my boss, laughed, enjoyed a beautiful sunny day and topped the day off with funnel cake and vanilla ice cream, yummy! If I wasn’t me, I'd be jealous.

Overall, my weekend was pretty low key and a relaxing. I ended up in Baltimore on Saturday afternoon for some QT with my family there. We barbecued and enjoyed one another and I found some new things that I love about Baltimore and more and more...yeah I can see myself there. LOL! My cousin is the fanciest griller I have ever known. At one point I looked at the sea bass, veggie kabobs, fruit kabobs, chicken, turkey burgers, shrimp, and pineapple crusted pork on the grill and thought to myself "this is so extra but so B"!

On Saturday night I shared some time with an intelligent, deep, beautiful, dynamic, inspirational (can I stop sweating her already?) new sister in my life and it was simply one of the best girl talk sessions I've ever had. She allowed me to go places that I am usually skeptical about going with girlfriends that I've known for years and I am so thankful to her. Reflecting on that conversation, I hold several truths:

2. Everything that I've been feeling is real and valid, because I say so!
3. Love can never be defined or dictated by time, circumstance, or reasonability, it's just love.
4. I don't want to be in a relationship, I want to be with him and him alone but only if we are able to dwell in the same space of unabashed honesty, openness, selflessness, fun, spontaneity, intimacy, lust and depth that we've always shared. Anything less would never work for me.
5. There are certain things that I WILL NEVER compromise on simply to be in a relationship.
6. As long as I have to say "I love you" with a preface or lots of explanation, I am not ready to say it.
7. Pictures are truly worth a thousand words.

I went to brunch/shopping (btw, Front Page in Dupont Cirle waffles, omelettes, and mimosas are divine!) on Sunday with my girlfriend who recently left a high paying position to build her own business. I love her, I am so proud of her and I look forward to celebrating her success.

I have a great family, wonderful friends, a fabulous life and words could never thoroughly explicate how grateful I am.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hey You

You make my heart smile.

I could hardly sleep last night, thinking of you, reminiscing on us, replaying our entire time spent over and over in my head. I just can't believe how intense the emotions were and I know that it "takes two" as you say but for MY part, I apologize...for lingering too long, holding on too tight, standing too close and putting us in such a compromising situation. But for being given the opportunity to linger too long, hold on too tight and stand too close, I am thankful because I really needed that, I really needed you.

But you are good man and I a good woman so we knew how it had to end, us going our separate ways without leaving too much damage in our wake and the R.E.S.P.E.C.T factor in tact.

We both expressed some things that gave me some clarity and instead of holding on to the past or lost moments of regret, I know it's best that we both move on without damaging the beautiful friendship that we have. I love the open communication and intimacy that we've always shared. I don't think there's anything that I would not be able to tell you and I know you feel the same. This is rare and I'm not trying to mess it up. If that means that we need some space or less frequent interaction, so be it. I'm willing to sacrifice that in order to preserve us.

What I wanted to say last nigth and what I've been wanting to say for some time...was hopefully expressed in my embrace, in my touch, and in my gaze. I really don't think that the words are enough...that's why I do the things that I do. They say that actions speak louder than words so I really hope that you can feel, taste and touch my heart.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

With Friends Like These...

I am hurt.

Friday night Bunz called to invite me to one of the many birthday celebrations for Washington Redskin's wide receiver Santana Moss (yeah I know a little about the home team); an all white affair which sounded nice but I had to decline because I had literally stepped in the door from going to see S&TC. She was like "well go on to bed grandma, but you're not missing tomorrow's party." Cool.

Saturday morning I had my last tutoring session with Nina Simone. It was uneventful and she loved the necklace I bought her from the Bahamas as well her copy of "Cornrows" by Camille Yarbrough. I was really happy that I got her this book, especially when her mother came in and we started talking about my recommendation for her to read the American Dreams book collection. She mentioned that a family member had bought Nina one of the dolls and it was ugly because it was "black as tar" with "super nappy hair". Wow! She actually said "black as tar" in front of me, but I digress. I can only pray that mom gets a peek at the book too.

Saturday night we got to the party that was being held in a two-floor lounge inside the Gaylord Resort Hotel at the new National Harbor, very nice! The guest list was expansive. Santana Moss had bus loads of his people coming in to party with him and they were being given first access into the club, fair enough. Our "pass" arrived on the last bus so we were waiting in line in the meantime. I understand that people (women!) waited upwards of two hours to get into this party...NEVER!

As we stood in the ridiculous line, up walks the mother of my 18-month old god-son. She's with another girl that Bunz and I are also cool with. At first it appears as though my god son's mother was getting ready to walk right past me and not speak! I just knew I was imagining this and thought that perhaps she had not seen me, so I called out to her. They came over and mostly hugged Bunz who they rarely see. Her sidekick casually mentioned that it looked like it was going to be "tough to get into this party without a hook up". God son's mother agreed in one breath and was like "aight yall, we gotta go" in the next and left me and Bunz standing in line! might say "what's the big deal with that?". Well, just like men have their "unspoken rules" so do women and one of those rules is that when it comes to sharing a hook up or connection into a hard to get into party, exclusive club, etc.."it aint no fun if your home girls can't have none". I have literally had chicks that I had not seen since the 6th grade grab me and pull me out of a line into a party and we went our separate ways after that. Bunz, as much as people love to hate her is famous for pulling random girls into clubs with her, for free and getting access to VIP, free drinks, etc. That's just how we roll! So for the mother of the child who I have babysat almost every weekend since Thanksgiving 2007 and have actually declined invitations to posh events, dates, etc to stay home with him to put me in her purse and carry me like that? WTF??!!

Now I never once doubted that we would get into the party last night. Not once. As a matter of fact we went in shortly after and had a decent time, free drinks, VIP access, table, some scrumptious birthday cake, the whole nine. Even if we were not able to get in, this is NOT the issue! God son's mother simply did not think about me! Had she said "dang P, this aint my connect, I wish I could get yall in", would have been all love. But nothing, it's like it did not even dawn on her that this was the decent thing to do. For the record, if she wanted to pull me in and not Bunz, it would have been a no go because I don't roll like that. It has to be all or nothing and frankly there were only two of us. I sent a text to her phone that read: "Did you really go in the party and leave me standing in line"? "Wow"! No response.

To add insult to injury, once inside of the club, not once but twice did I walk up to her and she turned her face like she was trying to avoid me. The second time I walked up and said to her "are you alright"? She was like "yeah"!

Now due to the high level of emotion and adrenaline, I questioned my reaction. Bunz was like "P, you are the last person in the world that deserves that". But since she and god son's mom aren't the best of friends I decided to solicit other opinions and overwhelmingly, I've been told that I should "let her go", "P you are too nice to people", "you aint got no kids, stop letting her use you" ,"yeah she cold carried you, slim" amongst other things.

Those who know me know that I am super kind, almost "to a fault" some might say. That's just my nature and I don't really believe in being taken advantage of, because I believe that karma or the law of reaping and sowing takes care of all that...but maybe I am too nice? Is that possible? Did I over react to this? What about my god son? I really just don't know what to think, but all the details aside, how she acted towards me did hurt and I will have to address it somehow with her...if she ever contacts me. I am also a firm believer in forgiveness and I would rather not let something like this ruin an entire friendship because to me that would be petty.

What should I do? Is there such a thing as being too kind or too forgiving in our relationships with loved ones?