Monthly Archives: November 2010

From Baby to Buddy

Oh My GAWD!! Somebody help me!! Somebody took my baby!!! My baby is GONE!!!!

I left my baby and went to Ghana for only seven weeks. He was a sweet cuddly boy, whose only ambition at the time was to procure a warm cup of milk and perhaps the bulk of YOUR food.

That aside, he was pretty content to go along with the day’s agenda.  But when I got back, my baby was gone. In his place, there is now a snarling, growling, stomping, hulking MAN in  midget clothing.

My baby used to toddle over to me, and wait patiently for me to pick up, whimpering with sweet baby coos. But THIS old man grunts, pounds his forehead into my shin and thighs and howls his demands.

“Grrrrr!!!!!”

If I’m not quick enough to lift him up, a meaty 18 month old hand will grab my wrist and jerk me down to knee level to make the owner’s point.

Grrrrrrr!!!!!

My ‘Baby’ is gone, and in his place is ‘Buddy’.

Buddy has numerous diva demands:

Milk ain’t cold enough!

Cheerios ain’t sweet enough!

Hugs ain’t tight enough! Curse you woman!

The other day I attempted to take some offending item from Buddy (like a shard of glass or a piece of plastic), and was pretty sure I got pimp slapped in the process. I can’t say for sure, because it was hard to concentrate above the snarls and growls coming out of the mouth of the meaty little midget.

Buddy guards my every move. I can’t go anywhere without little stomping footsteps following behind me to ensure that I don’t get too far out of earshot or visual range. I assume that Buddy’s version of ‘love’ – this suffocating, possessive thing we’ve got going on here. I also suppose it’s to make certain that I don’t leave him for so long a period again. The look in his eye is enough to make sure I don’t even contemplate it – because I’m fairly certain that the next evolution of Buddy is Chucky…and I can’t live with Chucky.

Jive Turkey!

This week my grandmother-in-law threw her middle finger in my face. I mean, she totally flipped me and my family ‘the bird.’ And by ‘bird’, I of course don’t mean a cuddly, colorful parrot used for entertaining guests.

In the 14+ years that I have known Marshall, I have never met the woman. My husband has flown overseas and met my grandmother, a handful of aunties and a gaggle of cousins, so I thought it would only be right for me to make the effort to meet the last surviving matriarch of his family. He never seemed personally interested in organizing a trip to bring my lofty ideas to fruition, and I have scolded him for years.

“You’re lucky!” I nagged. “Your grandmother is still alive! Don’t you think she’d like to meet her great-grandkids? She’s never seen them, met them…or even talked to them on the phone!”

He would only roll his eyes, sigh, and continue to look at his best friend: the double screened PC. He said I just wouldn’t understand. This year, however, I triumphed. With the plotting and finagling of my mother-in-law, we planned a family trip up to New Jersey to meet the elder Mrs. Grant. Hotel and car rental reservations were made. She was informed 3 months ago that we would arrive to spend Thanksgiving with her. Marshall’s sister flew in from Texas with her husband and son. My family of 6 made the 2 day trek by car to get to New Jersey…only to be told that we would meet her absence. The DAY before we got to NJ, she decided she would spend the holiday with her other niece/granddaughter/something in NC instead. This same person would be coming up to spend Christmas with her as well.

What the focus? I was aghast. Marshall was not in the least bit surprised. This level of cruelty is evidently her modus operandi, hence his apprehension in making any concerted effort to driving up her to make a visit.

My little brother serves as my gauge for whether I’m overreacting. I told him about this strange chain of events and waited for his input.

“What?!?” he said in apparent surprise. Nothing surprises Sami, so I knew this was a big deal. “Well, this is Thanksgiving, so we have to talk about this in the right spirit – and that spirit is: this is some gobble.”

“Some what?”

“Some gobble!”

“Oh!” I got it. “As in she just gobbled the whole family?”

“Yup. She basically said ‘gobble YOU!’ “

“Humph. And we just drove this whole gobblin’ way for no gobblin’ reason!”

“Man, that’s a big pile of gobble if you ask me.”

Gobble yeah!”

“Don’t worry about it. If I were you, I wouldn’t give a gobble.”

“But the whole thing wants me to say gobble gobble GOBBLE!! She basically said gobble me, and I want to say gobble you too!”

We erupted into fits of laughter which ended with me choking on my own spit. He announced he was heading to where the daiquiris were being served (my aunt CJP’s house) for Thanksgiving and had to go get his annual pumpkin pie.  I spent the next 11 hours in the car with a new phrase circling in my head and did my best to forget the old lady who inspired it.

Gobble that!

It’s My Blog-a-versary!

Today I’ve been blogging on M.O.M for a year.

*Insert the fanfare and naked acrobatics here!*

Of course there was cake, but my children decimated it before I could get a picture of it. For my one first blog-a-versary, I tought it would be fitting to have some delectable pastry in celebration of such an auspicious event –  something along the lines of cheesecake or red velvet cake. Sadly, the funds in my pocket would only permit for a $2.99 box of  Duncan Hines yellow powder mix. Ah well. In the words of Marie Antoinette, we ate cake!

A big fat thank you to everyone who has followed this blog and shared in the madness with your comments, questions and suggestions. We’ve done a lot together in this first year: We’ve climbed on tin roofs in our PJs in the rain together; battled Douche Bag in court every three months; been punked by my kids and loved my husband for enduring all the insanity and suffering that comes with the territory with having an insane wife. (OK. You haven’t loved him. You’ve mostly pitied him, and left the loving to me).

Here’s to another year! Keep reading :)  

I Too Was Raped by The TSA

Okay. So I wasn’t raped, but that airport worker’s hands had gone far enough into my pants to find my ‘second virginity’ and snatch it from me. All this hoopla in the media this week about full body scanners and patdowns just reminded me of my own ordeal last month. (Put your drink down if you’re having one. This won’t be pretty.)

As the kids and I were leaving Kotoka to return to Atlanta, we had to go through an ungodly number of security checks. I recall 3 off the top of my head. Nestled among the over-priced local art were bill boards warning travelers that ‘they would be caught if they tried to smuggle drugs in or out of the country(!)’.  That was a really nice touch. It made me feel warm and fuzzy: The last images I would see before getting on the World’s Rudest Airline (*cough* Delta! *cough*) would be of young Black men wrestled to the floor by law enforcement with their hands cuffed behind their backs. But what did I care? I was going home.

The final security check point at the departure hall had 2 American TSA agents checking everyone’s passport and boarding pass for the umpteenth time before we were herded to an area where the men were directed to go to the left and women to the right. It struck me as weird, this division of the sexes, but I was too focused on moving my 3 kids through the ravines and hurdles the airport staff were shooing us through to realize what was going to happen next. I wish I had paid more attention…because at least then I could have prepared myself for the impending anal/cavity search.

I watched in horror as the 3 ladies in front of me got a rough pat down and with a toss of the head were directed towards yet another metal detector where they had to remove their shoes, jewelry and other offending items. I tried to steel myself for what was about to happen next. I don’t like to be touched; and I certainly don’t like to be touched by people I don’t know; and I for sure don’t like palm-to-vaginal contact between myself and a perfect stranger!

I prayed it would be over quickly. The girls were walking ahead of me, so they got the brunt of Aggressive Ama’s hands first. She rubbed them between their thighs, down their backs and under their armpits. Aya flinched at the contact. I had the baby harnessed in a front carrier, and I looked on as Ms. Aggressive lifted her up and rubbed her hands all over her, almost making contact with her diaper. Then it was my turn. I felt my flesh turn cold. She lifted each of my massive DD breasts, and I swear I felt her turn my nipples. Counter clockwise. Twice. She directed me to spread my legs and got underneath each butt cheek and rubbed her hands along my privates, as if almost willing me to be carrying drugs so she could wrestle me to the ground and straddle me. After what seemed like an eternity of her invading every crevice of my body, she announced that we were free to proceed. I looked around and nobody else seemed to be disturbed by what we had all been made to endure. They were all sitting there mindlessly watching a Nigerian film, sports or the  romantic comedy staring Katie Holmes that were playing simultaneously on the flat screens in the departure hall. Is that supposed to be my consolation prize for dry hump rape? 10 minutes in front of a frikkin’ flat screen before I have to walk (outside) to board my airplane?

Well, at least I know where to place the blame if a VD manifests sometime in the next coming weeks. I may have lost the bulk of my dignity, but at least I’ve still got that.

My Husband and I Share Grey Matter

Married people: Don’t you just LOVE it when you and your spouse are just clicking? If you’ve been married a day over 5 years, you know what I’m talking about. Like when you finish each other’s sentences; or set a drink of water on the table knowing that your significant other is going to take 2 huge gulps and leave you with just the right amount to quench your thirst? Stuff like that.

This week, I noticed that my hubby and I are vibing more than usual. Like most men, I’m sure he’d rather I didn’t share the intimate details of what constitutes “vibing” and since I’m learning to use the rusty filter God gave me, I’ll keep those to myself. But here are some examples that I can share that are considered more socially acceptable:

1. Every year, we do a Daniel’s Fast in my church for 30 days that starts New Year’s day. Last night, as I stared at the caramelizing pot of spaghetti sauce that was simmering on the stove, I thought that we ought to challenge ourselves as a couple and do an all juice/liquid fast this upcoming year. 15 seconds later, Marshall pipes up and says “You know, I think we should do a juice fast for the Daniel’s.”

“Me too!” I shouted. That was pretty cool.

2. Yesterday morning, we all woke up late. Na missed the school bus and everyone was getting showered 30 minutes behind schedule. I offered to drop Na off at school so that Marshall could get on his way a little faster, but he said he would do it. Soon after they set off, I thought to call him and tell him to take an alternate route to get into school. Traffic is a nightmare in a school zone at 7:30 am, as you can imagine. Just as I picked up the phone, it rang. It was Marshall!

“Hey! I was just about to call you.”

“Yeah, I figured out a new way to get to Na’s school so that I could by-pass traffic. Thought I’d call to tell you in case you need to drop her off one day.”

“Shut up! I was going to tell you the same thing!”

Now this was just getting weird.

3. Today he was having an interview at 1ish and asked me to wish him luck as he was leaving the house this morning.

“Naw. Scratch that. Pray for me.”

“I will,” I promised.

At 1:18 I was doing the dishes, and started to pray. 12 minutes, he called me up.

“Hey! I was praying for you at 1:18,” I said.

“Wow. I had just got on the phone with the folks at 1:18. It went really well.”

Spppoooooky.

Now, I know this is uncharacteristically Pollyannaic of me, but isn’t it great being so in love with the one you love that you share your very thoughts without saying a word? Oh never mind me. I’m going to get my Mary Tyler Moore hat and throw it in the air in the direction of oncoming traffic. You guys carry on with whatever you were doing before reading this post.

 

Look Out! He’s Got a Gun…and He’s GAY!

Democrats are going to be scrambling during the lame duck session to get Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repealed before they leave their posts. I’ve got a good number of friends in the military, but none of them are gay (that I know of), so I really want their perspective on this who DADT bruhaha.

Here’s my view: If a gay dude wants to take bullet and go through the armpit of Hell so that Americans like me can eat a hamburger in peace, I say let him. I don’t want to wake up at the butt crack of dawn to PT (physical train), spend hours go over boring briefs, get hollered and screamed at by some insane drill sergeant, and then eventually get posted in some back water station – (lets pick one: North Korea!) – all in the name of defending my country. I’m just not that brave or selfless.

But there are some gay men and women that are.

So what if they want it known that they engage in homosexual sex? As I understand it, officers aren’t “supposed” to be fraternizing with one another anyways, so what’s the big deal? Perhaps the big deal is actually a really small one – and that is it makes people uncomfortable.

I can’t fault people for being uncomfortable around gays. They’re different. It’s human nature to shed some level of comfort around things/people that are dissimilar to what you see as the norm. I see the way Indians look at me when I roll up on Industrial Blvd in search of dhosa during Diwali. That look plainly says “What does this Black chick think she’s doing in my hood? Eating up MY dhosa?”. And I’ll be the first to admit, I get a little antsy when I walk into a restaurant and see a sea of nothing but White faces. It makes me uncomfortable, because I know I’m going to have order beef when I really want the chicken. I love chicken. Does my discomfort make me an idiot? I think it just makes me human. To a large extent, humans are like birds and find comfort in and flock with the familiar. So should straight people be called ‘bigots’ and ‘idiots’ because they are uncomfortable sharing barracks with another sub-culture? Nah, not in my view. They just need to find a way around that discomfort. If one of the solutions is separate barracks for homosexuals (for the short term), then let them serve openly and have their own quarters.

Being gay is nothing new. In fact, all men in Rome were gay at some point. Research has shown that during the time of Ceaser, sex with men and boys was for fun and sex with women was merely for procreation. When soldiers would come back from war, they would have to have their wives dress up as men/boys to get them comfortable with sleeping with a woman. I swear. Look it up.

I’m not about to jump on a soap box and ask President Obama to repeal DADT without looking at all the possible effects and consequences that might have on the psyche of certain members of our armed services…because just like integration between the races, it’s gonna happen eventually, and this topic will seem passe and antiquated with the passage of time.

Confession of a Weak Minded Woman – 2

So now we come to the topic that still makes me quake with fury: Stephanie.

Again, you said that you would not have Na around any women that you weren’t in a serious relationship with. I had no idea that Nadjah was seeing Stephanie until the day you told me she spanked her for climbing on her CD case. What pisses me off the MOST about that incident is not so much that your story changed every time you told it: First, she spanked her; then she grabbed her; then it was she said “no, no baby” and carried her away from the CD tower. If it was that simple, why did you threaten to choke her out if she ever touched Nadjah again? What pissed me off the  MOST was this:

“Well, I guess I messed that relationship up.”

THAT’S what you cared about??? Not this woman, who I DON’T know put her hands on my child, but that you had messed up a relationship? I was speechless.

Over time, I not only lowered my expectations of you as a man and a father, I totally eliminated them. You lost 2 jobs, and I could not demand any money from you. YOU severed your relationship with Nadjah for a few months because you felt like you didn’t deserve to see her, even when I offered to bring her by. At the same time, I was still supporting you with money, groceries, sending out your resume and looking out for jobs. You have to admit, you could have taken a part time evening job to somewhat support yourself. I didn’t suggest it because I thought you could figure that much out on your own.

Life went on like this for another year and half. The you decided you wanted to play a little game.

“Tell me something about yourself that I don’t already know. Something that would shock me,” you said. “I’ll go first.”

That’s when you told me about the girl from Eritrea, how you were so in love with her and had gotten her pregnant 6 months after Nadjah was born. I told you I was shocked, but not surprised. I told you how I slept with someone else when I went to Ghana in 2003, when you told me not to because you would know. You didn’t have a clue.

Did that make us even? Absolutely not. But 6 months after Nadjah was born you were still telling ME how much you loved ME and it was a mistake to marry Marshall.

Later on, when I asked you about this woman, you told me that you were so in love with her that you begged her not to have an abortion, but she had one anyone for cultural and family reasons. I asked you why you begged her not to have an abortion and not me? Was her baby more important than mine? Did you care about her more than me? You never really answered the question. You went on about how I read too much into stuff, and how I’ll never know what it was like to drop her off at the abortion clinic, sign paperwork and come back knowing that a part of you was being sucked out her.

A flood of offenses hit me at once: All the broken promises, the shit you put me through, the total lack of support, the slinking into my room to demand that I put you on Nadjah’s birth certificate…on and on until I finally snapped. You ended the conversation that day by telling me about how you’d gone to get a smoothie and this “fine red bone” behind the counter told you that she would make it with extra fiber and you eventually needed to take a shit. What?

The only thing that matters to me about that conversation is that my last memory of you matches up to my first impression of you. You are a womanizer.  This last call was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

The next weekend, I had already decided that was the last time I was going to let Nadjah go over to your house. I offered to let her stay until 8:30 pm, because I knew that would be the last time she was coming over. Remember what you said?

“Can we make it 6:45 instead?”

I said sure.

You asked me if I wanted to know why you had to drop her off early. I really didn’t, but I asked anyway.

“Because I’m going to a singles retreat at church. Don’t you think that’s the best thing for me?”

“I think it’s best thing for you, but is it what’s best for them?”

You told me I was being mean and evil.

MY VIEW:

You’ve had your own struggles these last 3.5 years with blood pressure, losing your job and problems with women. I’ve asked you to keep our relationship business-like in the past, but you’ve insisted that we try to maintain a level of friendship. I’ve been a friend to you Douche Bag, but you have not been a friend to me. I’ve listened to all your issues and tried to give YOU solutions. We’ve only discussed my problems once in the 5 years I’ve known you. Once in 5 years, you have taken the time to really talk me when we weren’t arguing.

Now, keep in mind behind all this activity are the following variables:

1.       Loved and cared for you deeply. I told you (and again, you weren’t listening) that after God and my dad, there was no man that I loved more.

2.       I had to deal with a culture and a religion that says it is a disgrace and a sin to have a baby out of wedlock.

3.       I had to explain to my father (an African man)  how his first born daughter managed to allow to get herself pregnant, and how the baby’s Black American father WOULD NOT be of any help. I had to hope that that wasn’t going to be my reality, but be prepared to face the reality and the possibility.

Have I been a completely innocent party in all this? I would be the first to admit that I have not. I’ve said some things that were unkind, and probably done some things that might seem unfair to you. But they sure don’t add up to half the things you’ve done to me.

Finally, in case you were wondering, in 3.5 years you have contributed a total of $2810.00 (I’ve loaned you $750), a few changes of clothes and 5 pairs of shoes to Nadjah’s well being. You have also had her hair braided a few times by a neighbor or a relative.

I don’t know how you feel I owe you anything, but I don’t. I am not trying to hurt you. I am, for once, taking care of me when it comes to you.

This was my confession in July 2008. Forgive me world, for being of such ‘weak mind’. For listening to a man who was in the Marine Corps and spoke incessantly about honor and courage, and the pain of not knowing his own father. Who wept openly when I tried to break it off with him at one time. Who, up until I got pregnant really wanted to marry me. Who laughed scornfully after recognizing the pain he put me through. Who sneered at me in his emails. After all I had done for him, and after all I had done for him I spat back. I clawed at his pride and tore at dignity. I remind him at every opportunity of his failings when juxtaposed to my success  and that of my husband’s.

Because according to some Black men, being compassionate is being weak minded – but I ain’t that weak.