Coffee Rhetoric: Happiness
Showing posts with label Happiness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Happiness. Show all posts

September 17, 2009

Marriage Counseling

As I nurse my malbec and inhale the mild scent of amber scented candles and spicy incense, I've come to the conclusion that I married myself in hopes of living in holy matrimony, til death would do me part. I married myself, as I clutched at the stars, hoping to catch each and every one... shutting out naysayers and discouraging voices.
I grasp, I daydream and I sweet fix.
I've come to the realization that I married myself in sickness and in health. I frequently fold from time to time, because sometimes realism transcends idealism, and these 'isms are sometimes the bane of my marriage. But... 'til. death. do. me. part... irreconcilable differences be damned.

May 16, 2009

The MYTH of Good/Bad Hair

This Saturday has been spent lazily drinking coffee, massaging my hair with coconut oil, twisting it, and pinning it up. While doing so, I caught up on some of my favorite "natural hair" blogs and YouTube videos, when I stumbled across this rambling discourse courtesy of this young woman who was adamant why she went natural, and how it wasn't to placate those of us women she deemed "Pro-Black" who are Happy to be Nappy. She flung her hair (she says it's natural, but it looked like a wash-and-go relaxer to me) to and fro, the whole time, much to my annoyance, "Becky" style. She said she went natural after she discovered that her own texture was "pretty" *insert side-eye here*. Then she railed against women who "denied" that there was such a thing as "good" and "bad" hair. "C'mon now, we all know the difference, so stop acting like there isn't a such thing as good hair and bad hair" she spouted off annoyingly. The rest of her rant, more or less emphasized how much she still enjoyed wearing hair weaves and she continued to perpetuate the Good vs Bad hair struggle Black American women can't seem to come to terms with. (There are three parts, but pt. I was more than enough for me. A commenter also took her to task over a few of her remarks). I agreed with most of what the commenter said... namely that Pretty Hair needed to visit this woman's YouTube page before she continued to toot her own texture's horn. Listen, I've worn my hair natural for about 10 years. My journey en-route, didn't come without a few bumps. When I first came back home from school, with my newly UN-RELAXED hair, I got some major side-eyes from other Black women whilst walking down the street. I was happy. I was proud. More importantly, I felt FREE. Going natural (while it can be just as high maintenance as maintaining straight hair) has truly be a LIBERATING experience for me. Initially I was a bit confused by the shade being thrown in my direction from other Black women. Eventually I stopped caring. I took this trip to please one person. MYSELF.
Listen, I love everything about my being (I have insecure hips and thighs days just like the next person), overall there is NOTHING about my Black-ness or self I regret, hate, or curse. I enjoy my complexion, I love that we span such a vast and wide spectrum of ethnicities, shapes, sizes, countries, languages, and shades, and I LOVE my hair existing in its natural-ness. I would never chastise another woman for choosing to relax, be-wig, or be-weave her tresses just like I wouldn't expect her to begrudge me my right to be who I am, NATURALLY... however, I think we need to get over this Good hair TEXTURE vs Bad hair TEXTURE debate, because essentially all it is, is a MYTH!!
Yes, I said it. It is a MYTH... at least it is, within the context of texture and length. Everyone has the ability to have GREAT hair, despite its length or texture. I've gotten nothing but positive feedback from people, who compliment me on my hair and the way that I style it. I get so sick to death of OTHER BLACK WOMEN who feel the need to validate WHY they straighten their hair or sew/glue in weaves, spouting off rhetoric and propoganda generated by the media about a specific STANDARD when it comes to beauty. Beauty is universal. There IS no standard as far as I'm concerned. Often, while browsing these hair forums and videos in search of new ideas and styles for MY type of hair, I'll come across the video of some poor, misguided soul talking about how unattractive, matted, uncontrollable, ugly, and unmanageable "nappy" hair is. While this way of life isn't for the faint of heart, I've seen some busted, bunk ass relaxers in-need and weaves myself, so the grass isn't always greener. Trust, I've been there! (On the relaxer side). I've also visited forums that showcase perfectly coiffed and well maintained natural Black hair.
We need to get off this kick already... "Oh my hair is sooo pretty, cuz it's sooooft and curly. It's not kinky and nappy and it straigtens with the flatiron so easily..." So effing what? The only person concerned with the texture of our hair is US. It's JUST HAIR. If you want to burn the life out of your hair follicles keeping it straight or wear weaves, it's your prerogative, but don't think for a minute that there is ONE SPECIFIC way that is BETTER than the other. It's neverending. I would actually die from shock, if we all sighed a collective, "fuck this" and decided not to give this issue a second thought. To stop letting men, insecure women, one dimensional hairstylists and experts tell us we aren't worthy if our hair isn't straightened or cascading down our back, because trust, most MEN won't kick a woman out of the sack bald, natural, or weaved!
While I didn't see this episode in question featured on Tyra Banks' talk show recently(thank goodness), I did find a clip and commetary regarding the themed What Is Good Hair? The woman who opined that her relaxed hair had a "white girl flow" was an ignoramus and I feel sorry of her ilk, because they're obviously grappling with coming to terms with loving and living for themselves and quite frankly, I don't want or desire to have a "white girl flow" thank you very much, and KUDOS to the loc'ed woman in pink! I also feel bad for and am amused by Black women who think wearing your hair loc'ed or natural doesn't translate to the corporate/working world successfully and that it's inappropriate. Many of the Black women I work with are loc'd and natural. Their hair is braided, puffed, worn in buns, and curly. The textures are different, the styles are well-maintained and we are glorious. My hair is hot. I take good care of it. It's clean, and I keep it neatly done in all its grand kinkiness. Natural hair is just as versatile as relaxed or weaved hair.

We need to figure out how to get over it and learn how to care for our natural hair (whether you choose to straigten it or not). At the end of the day, having "good hair" is the least of our worries as Black women. Please yourselves and stop trying to feed into the B.S. and flagrant smear campaign against us, telling us our beauty isn't universal, multi-faceted, and vast... straight and nappy. Give it up! Because if we don't start accepting who we are, the others are going to continue to dictate (successfully) how we should look, and they're going to continue to tack on prerequisites when describing Black beauty, telling you that you aren't bad looking for a "DARK girl" or "She's pretty for a BLACK girl"also, "I'd date a black woman if she looked like Halle, Alicia, or Beyonce" ... as well as my personal favorite (usually from my own),

"Your hair is so cute! Even though it's natural, it's not all nappy and matted. It looks soooo cute!"

and foolishness of the like. My older sister, who has a relaxer, has always kept her beautifully coiffed hair short. And it suits her wonderfully! I couldn't imagine it any other way. In the past, she has heard some backhanded comments from other Black women, who aren't confident enough to wear there hair short, so they made stupid remarks about sporting short or closely cropped hair. If you want to wear your hair a specific way, do it without apology or explanation because at the end of the day, when European and White-American women are bleaching the hell out of their hair, they aren't giving a DAMN What WE or their folks think, they're solely doing what pleases THEM and theirs. Just let it GO ladies!

*Smoking woman painting by Sandra Knuyt

October 05, 2008

In Motion

I picked up the keys to my new place Friday (as awkward as it was- long story but will explain later)- and will be moving soon... Now if I could just get the truck bit sorted out...

November 20, 2007

The Cure

I'm OMing the pressure off of my chest... Whenever I breathe in, it's reminiscent of weight lifting a heavy barbell and the back of my shoulder pops with each deep breath I pull in.

November 06, 2007

Résurrection

Picture a moment in space and time where you've become trapped in a stifling box. You suddenly become stagnant and lose your place in the rat race, because you've dropped out. Not willingly. Not without lack of trying to reach the finish line, but from fatigue. You veer off to the side, lungs exhausted, holding your sore sides trying to catch your second wind. You've made your way over to a nearby bench to settle. You settle out of mere necessity and survival and no other reason. Your discontentment breeds resentment, because while you've settled in order to survive, you still find yourself hanging on by the tips of your fingers. You're hanging from a cement ledge, decorated with pigeon droppings (some old and crusted over, some freshly dropped), your feet wildly kicking... a desperate attempt to gain leverage and hoist yourself up. But alas to no avail. You basically just give up and decide to meet the asphalt's acquaintance. Just before you decide to let go, someone stomps on your fingers with a lethal pair of oxfords, forcing your throbbing fingers to slip. You fall. arms flailing wildly in the wind. On your way down you glimpse a blur of faces, watching you fall to your death. You hit the ground. Lying flat on your back. You're stunned. You can't move. First your eyes focus on hulking human forms staring at you from where you've fallen. Smug in the grandeur of their positions. At first you can't move. You lay there... looking up at a sea of genuinely concerned faces staring o'er your crumpled body. Sore and possibly broken, you somehow manage to hoist yourself up. Testing your right arm first. You slowly lift it in the air, grimacing from the pain and effort. Stiff, straight you make a fist with your hand. Slowly but surely, you're able to lift your middle finger in a grand gesture of triumph. You aren't defeated nor are you paralyzed. Your joints seem to work fine. More importantly you've managed to survive the fall. Finger in the air, you watch the hulking silhouettes retreat back inside and away from your moxie. Chagrined. It make take brief period to recover from your fall, but you're still triumphant... because you survived it.
Just saying. Imagine that scenario. That's it.

November 03, 2007

Just 'Cause

Freedom never felt so... freeing. I feel triumphant. Triumphant enough to dance on tables and flail my arms in the air with abandon. Good Times!
P.S. Anybody know what happened to "Leroy"?

May 15, 2007

Fureur

Last night, I re-visited the Japanese horror flick, Ju-on: The Grudge and then followed it up with the American rendition, The Grudge. The original version felt as chilling, as if I were watching it for the first time. I still felt goosebumps as I watched the haunting and disturbing images float across the screen. The American remake was slightly less compelling, but wasn't short on providing chills. The Grudge is about a supernatural curse that is born after a wife and her young son die violently, in the grip of rage and sorrow (at the hands of the woman's husband, in a fit of jealous anger). Anybody who comes into contact with the curse, of course dies, causing it to grow and constantly repeat itself in a deadly chain of events... bouncing from person to person and feeding off of them. After watching both films, I began pondering the power and emotion behind passion and rage. I'm a passionate and tempestuous woman. When I was young and precocious, I had a difficult time harnessing those emotions and my anger. As annoying and selfish as preteens and teenagers can be today, I commiserate with them to a certain degree. Their young brains are still developing. That coupled with raging hormones and being caught in the throes of adolescence as well as being on the cusp of adulthood. Sheer insanity. Once we blossom into adults however, we are responsible for our behavior and how we choose to channel passion and rage. Some of us harbor it more than others. Our brains may be developed and common sense should no longer be a foreign concept at this point in our lives, but it still requires a great deal of restraint and grappling, to harness such intense emotions. I know I grapple with it, anyway. There are some with laid back, tranquil personalities sans incident and despite whatever turmoil and anger they may be feeling. What can I say, I'm intense. I boil, I seethe, my insides churn (even if I don't project that emotion externally). Kissing, eating, sex, anger, contentment... all of these wonderful and ugly things, I experience with an unbridled intensity. Passion and rage work in tandem as far, as I'm concerned. And are just as strong if not stronger, than the act of loving. Pondering and realizing all of this, I've come to the conclusion that perhaps this is why I may seem aloof to strangers or to those who haven't gotten to know me completely. What is in fact me showing restraint and being miserly, by not laying my emotions bare, for someone who is unfamiliar to me, to cash in on, and not having earned any of it. That's me, not wasting that passionate anger on the petty and insignificant. This applies to the brief relationships I've had too ... the confusion some of these men have felt, when I didn't chase them down or beg them for their time... me simply opting to move on and not look back. I'm personable and cordial enough and I open myself up, juuuust wide enough. I don't feel compelled to expend that type of energy on someone, with abandon and without thought. That passion, I'd rather save for something (or someone?) exciting and relevant, and channel it in productive ways, and have it paid back to me ten fold. I'd hate to waste passion and rage on the undeserving, only to have the results end up a tortured entity that continues on in a familiar pattern of anger and sorrow.

November 07, 2006

The Exorcism of Ms. Jones- part 4 On Clarity

I've Had a Nervous Breakthrough

Happy Election Day! I've opted not to vote today, because quite frankly, I'm not impressed. A work colleague was mortified after she asked if I was going to go vote after work, and I replied, "I haven't decided yet." She lectured me not to complain, and I reminded her that I don't, to which she replied, “Oh yeah, that’s true.”

I just think it’d be rather unenlightened of me, to vote for a bunch of candidates I know virtually nothing about. One Democratic candidate, Ned Lamont, is a virtual unknown on the political circuit. The only thing I’ve learned about him, via New York Times and Hartford Courant articles, is that he’s very rich. He comes from old money, he is a millionaire, having started his own telecommunications/cable company, and that his wife is a wealthy Venture Capitalist. Other than the fact that he’s opposed to the war on Iraq, I’m still left wondering what the bulk of his platform is based on. I won’t bother discussing his opponent, Joseph Lieberman. This isn’t a political blog afterall, so I refuse to entertain this issue anymore than I have. I will be sure to vote during the next American Idol election, however. It’s the important things that count.

Anyway, upon arriving home, I suddenly felt giddy. I’ve been struggling… grappling with my demons, and hanging on to the edge of the window’s ledge by the tips of my fingers, but I felt overwhelmed with a rush of… contentment. My shoulders felt about five pounds lighter, and I’m not even intoxicated. I cannot explain why. Perhaps I'm still on a high from visiting my wonderfully delightful nephew the day before (he's addictive), I don't know...

This is a good thing, because I hate wallowing. My thoughts started moving at warp speed, like a Möbius strip, or a baby’s hanging mobile. A rush of different thoughts raced through my head, one being; Perhaps I’ll entertain dating below my age bracket, rather than above. Go figure. Dates have been few and far between, but I’ve been asked out by men, younger than myself, only to brush the advances off as some sort of joke. Laughing cynically. Perhaps I will open myself up to that possibility. Jackass is a universal concept, and presents itself in a wide spectrum of races and ages, so maybe age is nothing more than a number.

Dating men older than myself, has proved worthless, so perhaps I should give someone a few years younger than me a chance. I’ve always whined,

I wanna be the young one in the relationship,”
but at the end of the day, does it matter? Does the how matter more than the what and the who? Respect and chivalry are essential, and if it comes in the form of a 23 or 25 year old, then why not give a whirl?

Anyway, I am just glad that I’m not feeling funky. These are more of the days I’d rather be having.