Coffee Rhetoric: WTF?
Showing posts with label WTF?. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WTF?. Show all posts

August 01, 2012

Victoria Foyt’s ‘Save the Pearls’, A World Bereft of White Privilege and Beauty Standards

While browsing the internet for current events, I happened upon some buzz of the “WTF?” variety regarding an independently published YA novel written by Victoria Foyt called, “Save the Pearls Part One: Revealing Eden.” A quick Google search led me to an interesting list of results; which included dismay from bloggers, Amazon stats [the book was rated poorly], and its official site. The cover art for the book features a young woman whose skin and hair color are split bilaterally, down the middle [black skin, raven colored hair on one side, flaxen haired and pale skin on the other]. An official synopsis [from the Save the Pearls site] reads…
In a post-apocalyptic world where resistance to an overheated environment defines class and beauty, Eden Newman’s white skin brands her as a member of the lowest class, a weak and ugly Pearl. The clock is ticking: if Eden doesn’t mate before her eighteenth birthday, she’ll be left outside to die.

If only a dark-skinned Coal from the ruling class would pick up her mate option, she’d be safe. But no matter how much Eden darkens her skin and hair, she’s still a Pearl, still ugly-cursed with a tragically low mate-rate of 15%.

Just maybe one Coal sees the real Eden and will save her-she has begun secretly dating her handsome co-worker Jamal. 
I haven’t read the entire book, but based on the generous excerpts I’ve been able to without having to pay and Foyt’sown misguided views on what constitutes anti-racism and racism, I’ve gleaned all that I need and then some, so more than enough to offer a critique on Foyt’s work.

July 30, 2012

Nostalgia: "Quadri-Boobs"

I've been feeling busy lazy nostalgic, so decided to dig into the deep, dank, dark, slimy underbelly of Coffee Rhetoric, to dig of posts of yore and re-post them. Twitter and Facebook weren't social media staples my first full year as a blogger [née hopeful short-story fiction writer], and so some of my more personal, obnoxious,WTF posts never had the luxury of ever dancing across any "timelines" or "news-feeds".

The following post I'm about to re-share is near and dear to my heart. It's that moment in space and time when my proverbial "spot" was blown up by the Hartford Courant, my anonymity flew out the window, and my former co-workers came to work side-eying me with questions lingering on the tips of their nosy tongues, the Monday after an article had been published in a Hartford Courant Sunday feature by Joel Lang entitled; "Decoding The Blogosphere".  It generated several comments as well. For shits-and-giggles [and because I need a reason to post it], I'm also attaching a rather ... disturbing... video at the end, as the only addition or change. 

This is from 2005. I'm old. Enjoy. 

************************************


Quadri-Boobs -- September 25th, 2005 


I have a staring problem of epic proportions. This is one of the primary reasons why I wear over-sized, dark shades. I feel they give me license to stare until my heart's content. Generally speaking, I guess it would be referred to as 'people watching'… whatever. 

In my head, I critique people's fashion do's and don’ts or I try to read their faces to determine what type of day they've had. I'll use what I see in my literary art if it's interesting enough. No man, woman, or child is exempt from my vigilant (yet shrouded) gaze. On occasion I may rubber neck (within reason) at attractive men, in appreciation of a woman's well put-together ensemble, or at a horrible fashion doozy. Needless to say, this past Tuesday late- afternoon while I was en-route to my mother's house after work, I was waiting at one of the designated stops, to transfer to another bus.
While waiting, I indulged my staring problem for the 10 or 15 minutes it took for my connecting bus to arrive. I watched people stomping up and down the street, looking relieved that their workday was finally over and done with. I spied various types of women (and men) taking long awaited drags off of their cigs. I saw women of all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages... some chic in their workday threads... some looking like they got dressed in the dark confines of their closets. I spied muffin-tops bubbling over the waists of ill-fitting trousers, protruding through equally ill-fitted knit tops. I also saw men wearing too large shirts, crammed into wrinkled khakis creating an unflattering blouson… like deflated parachutes. Regardless of fashion sense, lack thereof, size, race, etc. I noted one problem in particular… 

Too many women wearing horribly fitted bras. I'm about to share a nasty, nasty figure... 80% of women wear the wrong bra (and panty) size. This petite young woman of ample chest (very ample) who trounced by me illustrated this alarming fact. She had on a stretchy white cotton cap-sleeved fitted tee and I could clearly see through the fabric of her shirt. She had a bad, bad case of what I call the four-boob syndrome. Her cup size, seemingly, began just below the nipplage mark. The whole top half of her rack spilled over the cups of the bra. (Unless you're wearing the proper-size balconet or a demi bra, this should not be the case)- She was pushing Double-D turf. Her DD puppies looked like they were crammed into a C-cup... she was killing me... and not softly. I shook my head, irritated... wishing I'd had a tape measure and the moxie to intercept her path, measure her rack, and to tell her to immediately go and buy whatever cup size she actually was

Teenaged girls and women within my age bracket tend to be the primary offenders of this horrible trend. They see a cute bra and they buy it anyway, notwithstanding the fact that it doesn't fit. Some women have gouges in their skin, because their bras are just way too tight... prompting their back-bacon (regardless of body type) to spill out from the sides. Undergarments are supposed to feel comfortable. If fitted properly, they make or break an entire outfit or the appearance of one's rack. During my college years, I was walking around wearing the wrong bra size, and hadn't even realized it, until someone waged an intervention. I was walking around wearing a DD (which was actually too large). Often-times, I found myself tugging the back of my bra relentlessly and my tops just didn't seem to fit properly... but still, I was ignorant to the fact that my bra wasn't the proper size. One summer, several years ago, while shopping in a popular store at the mall, my intervention played out. This store had bras on sale. I decided to buy a couple. Upon walking up to the feisty, petite, Latina cashier to pay for my wares, I got schooled in Brassiere 101. Feisty happened to note the bra size I was about to purchase right before she rang it up. She took one look at my bust (which is ample and full, but not huge) and turned up the corners of her mouth in disapproval; as one would do to an insolent child. 

"Honey, this is not the right size." she said. "But I've been wearing this size for a long time" I argued, so sure I was correct. She looked at my rack, one more time, before driving her point home... "Trust me, you are not a DD. I know what I'm talking about. I am used to women coming in here buying the wrong bra size." I started to protest once more, but Feisty shushed me, draped a tape measure around her neck, and stepped from behind the counter. "Come here" she ordered. I obliged, lifting up my arms, to let her wrap the tape around my back and just under my bust. "40D" she said with an 'I told you so' smirk on her face. 

Silent, I returned the bras I was about to purchase back to sale rack, and got their replicas in a 40D. That was about 4 or 5 years ago, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. My tops fit a lot better, my boobs aren't squished uncomfortably in their cups, and the bra tugging is at a minimum. Wearing the proper-size in bra compliment my rack if I do say so myself. Most department and fine lingerie stores offer bra fittings for free, yet women don't take advantage, because they don't feel comfortable getting their sweater puppets sized up. I advise all women, young, middle-aged, and old, to suck it up and do it! It makes a huge difference as to how you fit into your clothes. 

Knowing your proper undergarment size also makes it easier to shop for bras sans the guessing games.... and failing miserably. Bra fittings should take place at least once a year, as a gynecological or dental exam does; and if you’re still not comfortable asking a salesgirl to measure your tats, then I implore you to give your best friend (paramour or husband) a tape measure and ask her (or him) to do it. Your breasts will be so grateful, that they'll breathe a sigh of relief.
 

June 15, 2012

In Which Coffee Rhetoric Explores Dates From Hell

ID Discovery has found yet another re-enactment driven reality series to put the fear in folks. A new show called Dates From Hell, set to air sometime within the month or next, will feature stories (from mostly women, I presume) recounting harrowing and life threatening experiences while out on dates with folks, who undoubtedly appeared charming at first. On the Coffee Rhetoric page, I asked people to share their most nightmarish or embarrassing dating stories.


Jessica wrote... 
I met a guy from Eharmony for coffee once. In the interest of full disclosure he informed me that he had just gotten out of prison for burning down a local restaurant. He claimed he "did not like his pancakes." Needless to say, that was our one and only encounter. I shudder to think what he'd do to me if I cooked him a meal he did not enjoy!
In a story that would definitely make for an interesting episode on "Dates From Hell", ShayandLarry Strickland shared... 
On my fourth date with an IT tech who was on call and had to stay home near his computer and asked if we could do dinner and a rented movie at his place. I was like okay, so we went to Blockbuster. He asked me to pick a movie from a genre I like and so I did (can't remember which movie but it was a horror movie). He said he would pick a Horror movie too and picked up a Tom Hanks movie to which I laughed and said, "That is what you think a horror movie is?" He abruptly threw the movie to the ground, grabbed my hand and hurried me out of the place. In his car he turned to me and said in a thundering, screamy voice, "How dare you disrespect me!" I was like, "Hunh?" Then he went on a tirade about how women should never contradict their husbands in public and he was two seconds from choking me. I promptly got out of the car went back into the store and called someone to pick me up. Needless to say I stop contacting him. He IM'd me once to say, "I hope you've learned your lesson and we can pick up where we left off since I have calmed down." 


Reading people's anecdotes brought me back to a hellish night I experienced one cold November evening in 2005 that involved some wine wrangling, a prosthetic foot, and bad-touching. I was so awe-struck, I had to split it up in five chapters, in a post called...

Curiosity Killed The Cat: A Long Discourse in Five Chapters... 


Prologue 

Wednesday afternoon found me antsy and anxious to leave work early, to run what I imagined would be, some quick errands, as my best friend Cat was coming to visit through to Sunday evening. A lovely, hearty time was had. No complaints about her visit. What transpired later on in the evening, following her safe arrival, however was a whole other matter. Let me walk you through it. P.S. I pondered not sharing this story because I am trying desperately to block it from my mind. Yes. It's safe to say I was traumatized. Cat surmised that it was just too funny (albeit it a little freaky) not to share. 

Chapter I

About a week and 1/2 ago, I put a profile up on a popular social-networking site, in hopes of maintaining contact with those friends spread-out around the country. It seemed innocent enough. I was not looking for dates; but was open to gaining new contacts and networking, in addition to staying in touch with friends. I filled in my profile stats and uploaded some “artsy” looking pictures of myself. Messages started trickling into my inbox, most of which were from local men varying from ages 20 to 38 and some of whom wrote the following... 

"Yo, you like white guys? If you do, then I'm da one, holla".
Or …

"Yo, your name coffey fits you, because you're dark and delicious, no disrespect". 

And my personal fave…

"Yo' coffey, you caffeinated enough to keep me up all night?" 

Another was a lengthy request from a man from Ghana who said that if I wasn't interested in being his pen pal, he would appreciate it if I'd pass his information on to someone else who would be. Delete. I chuckled at the messages (to mask my dismay) and immediately trashed them in the cyber-bin. Some inboxes were innocent enough; requesting to be put on my friends list, so I obliged. I even sent a friend request to poet and actor, Saul Williams, to which he promptly accepted and reciprocated, I was stoked. Needless to say, I started exchanging messages with a man, 29 years old. We in-boxed back and forth and he seemed normal enough. We seemed to share similar interests, he lived close-by, he was respectful and very articulate; I made sure to compliment him for acting respectful in his initial query to be virtual friends. Weeks later, he offered his phone number and asked me to call him at my leisure. A week after receiving the number, I’d finally mustered up the courage to use it. In my defense, it had also been an extremely hectic month for me, so I simply just didn't have the time to call a stranger. He was patient, seeming to understand. 

So on a Tuesday at around 9pm, I finally decided to call him. I got his voice-mail (sigh of relief). He sounded pleasant on his voice greeting. I left a message, which included my phone number. I told him I'd be busy the next couple of days, because my best friend was visiting from out of town, but that I'd try to call back, perhaps from work. I supplemented my voice-mail message with an email, asking for a reprieve, because I didn't want him to think I was a wishy-washy jerk, because I kept telling him I'd call, and didn't. He e-mailed me back and assured me that he understood and mentioned he was out having dinner with friends anyway, and didn’t think I was being a flake at all. 

READ THE REST HERE

What are some of YOUR hellish dating stories?
Share in the comments section or join the discussion on the Coffee Rhetoric Facebook page.





June 05, 2012

Gwyneth Paltrow and Them "Niggas in Paris", For Real

Actress, Gwyneth Paltrow is not really known for being able to relate to the rest of us poor, working-class commoners, despite her liberal rumblings to the contrary; having been born into the aristocracy and with all of her sanctimonious diatribes about not being able to live without hand-painted de Gournay  wallpaper or Antonio Lupi Baia tubs in her bedroom and of course her “For wealthy people, duh!” musings in her Goop newsletter and all; So when Lady Gwyneth tweeted a picture of herself onstage with Kanye West and her BFF Jay-Z during a performance in France and captioned it “N**gas in Paris, for real…”  the Twitterverse experienced one of those screeching, record-scratching moments and side-eyed the pampered actress for getting too swept up in the camaraderie.  The tweet immediately went viral and Lady Gwyneth fumbled to rationalize her social-media gaffe: “Hold up. It’s the title of the song!”
Singer, Terius “The Dream” Nash also came to The Lady’s defense, initially absorbing the blame for the tweet... 


 The Dream then deferred to the “We give too much power to that word!” argument to further defend Lady Paltrow’s honor. An argument that only seems to surface when their favored non-Black friends come under fire for using the word out loud. Because I hardly ever hear rappers use that convoluted defense when "Nigger" is used with malicious intent to slight them or when they feel as if they're being discriminated against in some way.

And since The Dream, Beyonce, Jay-Z, et al have reached the pinnacle of the “Class-ceiling” and cultivated a friendship with their privileged friend in the process, it wouldn’t serve their personal interests to explain to Lady Gwyneth why it probably wasn’t a good idea to tweet the picture with that caption. And some would probably even argue that the onus should fall on Jay-Z and Kanye West for titling a song “Niggas in Paris” to begin with. Fair enough I suppose, since some rappers aren’t really known for tact and thinking of anything other than money.  And since Lady Gwyneth’s Handbook for All things Epicurious and Goopish probably didn’t come equipped with a chapter on: The politics of navigating urban lingo and etiquette, and since rappers see no monetary value or incentive in checking their White protégés and/or friends (see here and here) when they commit racially insensitive infractions, perhaps I can try to offer a bit of insight about why it wasn't entirely cool for Gwyneth to reference her "Watch the Throne" experience the way she did...
  

When Lady Gwyneth drones on and on about her privilege and wealth, she’s already illustrating how out of touch she is with the rest of the country, particularly about those navigating the trenches of the urban jungle. Paltrow definitely may not have had ill-intent with her tweet, but the fact still remains that it came from a place of unfamiliarity with a world she knows nothing about. Some of the responsibility should fall on Kanye and Jay-Z for brazenly titling the song “Niggas in Paris" while being far removed from their former lives and (maybe) expecting their newly acquired, wealthy White friends to find creative other ways to reference the song -- (although the tweet did seem to reference the actress literally being on stage with some Niggas in Paris"for real"). The Dream's shoddy excuses and rationalizations for the tweet...
 "A word means something when u react to it! ... Context is everything. Meaning it in the context as a Song which is how we Sold it to the world!!!!!! It is what it is ... And actually N---az was in Paris! LOL. Stop wasting God's time and do something with your life. Love not war."
...  make him and his rap cohorts just as complicit in its gross misuse when "Nigga" suddenly turns to "Nigger". To me, you can't have it both ways; you can't defend your White homegirl's or boy's right to use it while in the presence of Black people and then get upset if they then turn around in a moment of anger and hurl the epithet in its original, hateful context.

There is definitely no need for the type of alarm that would call for boycotting Goop (other than it’s just an annoying newsletter) and creating online petitions. Calling the actress out with a warning, since her nouveau riche Black friends won’t, suffices just fine. And if she genuinely develops an understanding about why some people found her tweet to be a bit irresponsible, fine; if she shrugs if off, then perhaps we need to examine the fact that her rich, Black friends wrote a song and titled it "Niggas in Paris" and told her to go ahead and repeat it as liberally and as often as she chooses to. Hip Hop Mogul, Russell Simmons also rushed to Gwyneth's defense, with somewhat disingenuous argument of his own ...
"It was this explosive expression that spread out of the inner cities of America into the walkmans of kids like Gwyneth Paltrow during their childhoods in 1980s and 1990s. It allowed white kids to begin to sympathize with the plight of many in black America. And these kids have overwhelmingly become progressive in their politics and their social concerns. Having any Hollywood starlet at your concert was unimaginable, and having her quote your lyrics as a badge of honor that she was hanging out with you, you never would have dreamed of that – until your poetry hit the market and changed the world.
So, for Gwyneth to tweet out her excitement about hip-hop taking over the planet is a good thing. She didn’t mean any harm, she just was trying to ball so hard, and like Jay-Z says, "motherf*ckers can’t fine" her." (Source)
Gwyneth Paltrow and people of her class and ilk often enjoy the luxuries their wealth and privilege affords them and will freely appropriate those aspects of Black urban culture they find most intriguing and entertaining… while disregarding the darker and grittier elements of that experience. On some level, is that not the fault of rap culture? I mean Gwyneth's rap friends are being especially emphatic in defending the "hood pass" privileges they've granted her, even though The Dream and Russell Simmons no longer navigate those circles and rub elbows with a more well-heeled group of people. Moreover, would Russell Simmons and The Dream feel equally as passionate about imploring folks to disregard the original impact of the word had... Ann Coulter tweeted a picture of herself at the concert and captioned she was having a great time with some "Niggas in Paris, for real"? Methinks this is just a case of rich rappers wanting to make special concessions for their wealthy White friend.  For me, this is where the conundrum lies.


In the video below, British poet and rapper Akala, explains why he stopped using the word out of context.



Also read: Dutch Magazine Labels Rihanna "De Ultimate Nigga Bitch"

March 02, 2012

Date Like A Dummy, Think Like a Foolio, REDUX

Foreword: Overcoming Interracial Dating Myopia

I realize this is the second time I've re-posted an essay but I've been a bit lazy busy working on a few other things and I've got a few topic ideas I need to mentally sift through before blogging them. Additionally, I've been reading some rather… disappointing things across the Black Blogosphere and feel that certain posts apply. Rather than blogging the same thing in some other written variation, I figured I'd offer a brief foreword as a prelude to the re-post. I've been reading some interesting articles (none of which I care to link) and some equally as interesting-- (if not downright disturbing) -- commentary from readers... many of whom are Black women. It seems as if a certain sub-group of my sistren has the dating game all twisted and are vigilant about 'White Knighting' other ill-informed forum commentators… throwing other Black women under the bus in the process.
The concept of agreeing to disagree, respectfully, seems to get lost in translation whenever the issue of interracial dating comes up.

Living and letting live, would be the ideal way for one to date however, those of my sistren (mostly) and brethren who are emphatic about dating other don't seem to be genuine in their dating intentions, as they almost seem to be political. In pushing their agenda(s); climbing on a soapbox and using their respective relationships to antagonize others for who they're attracted to-- (even going so far as to resort name-calling). In being completely frank in my assessment, much of the vitriol I read, came (and comes) from a collective of Black women who are seemingly still hurt by prior relationships and harbor feelings of resentment (despite proclamations of feeling empowered and free). I actually just learned about terms like "DBR" (Damaged Beyond Repair) - Black men and have read pointed attack-words like "stupid, weak, (fat) Black women" and my favorite, "DBR enablers".  Language like this is counterproductive and sanctimonious, as the people at the helm of the hate, demand to have the right to love who they want to love yet, can't seem to do so in earnest.

I never understood why the topic of interracial dating has us (the Black community) at such odds with one another; or why some folks are supposedly so happy with the opportunity to explore their options, yet are so pressed by who someone else is sleeping with or dating and seem bent on projecting their personal aesthetic on others… and will lash out when all their prodding is rejected.
What the hell is wrong with us? Why can't folks just genuinely like who they like, date and marry who they want to date and marry, without there needing to be a motive or agenda behind it; and leave other folks to their own dating devices? Do we really need a How-to manual written by a few self-righteous proselytizers with an axe to grind on something as superficial as "how to attract a White man", belittling other Black women for not trying "something new" and demanding that they mold themselves to fit a beauty mold, dictated by societal norms? Additionally, do we need to be subjected to rap songs ridiculing Black women for not having the right complexion or hair? People who are genuinely empowered, free, and secure with their dating choices, don’t need to indulge in extraneous foolery. Folks have got the game all twisted and need to succumb to the four G’s (Good Goddess Get a Grip!) Just... stop.

Anyway, without further ado...

November 21, 2005

You're Blind Me with Stupidity: A One Act Play/First Person Narrative

 Scenario: A few months ago, while hovering in front of one of the insurance buildings downtown, I met an attractive, artsy looking guy... I'll call him Buddha. It was raining that day. Not hard, but sort of misting. Let me walk you through the Affair That Never Was…

 ... I was huddled under my umbrella, waiting for a bus. This rotund, light-skinned, black man entertained us would-be bus passengers with loud, dissonant singing. He would throw in an occasional "whoo!!" for emphasis. I guess he wanted to give the impression that he was tearing some shit up, notwithstanding the fact that the singing was loud, distracting, and downright horrible. I saw a pair of feet, inching somewhat closer to me, during the impromptu concert. Donny Hatha-find-a-way had made his way closer towards those of us standing near a stoop.

He sat down, and continued on with his show. I looked to my left and saw the feet move closer, next to me. I thought the pair of feet was merely trying to inch away from D.H.-Not. Finally, I put down my umbrella, and there I saw him. Buddha. Mr. Wonderful In all his tall, lanky glory. Clad in denim... poetic, with a thick, glorious crown, stuffed under an Ivy cap. "Hi," he said. I returned the greeting. We engaged in small talk.
He asked where I was from. I told him. He said I looked other-worldly; unlike anyone living in town. He dug my style, and said my hair was "beautiful" I spied my bus pulling up to the stop. I bid him farewell, he asked for my phone number before I scurried away. He thought it'd be cool if we got together sometime for lunch, coffee, or an "activity at his church" I quickly made it clear to him that I was unashamedly atheist, and that particular activity would probably not be happening anytime soon. I told him I wasn't looking for anyone to proselytize to me. He named some weird sounding religious sect he belonged to... I put my hand up to stop him and shook my head no. Anyway, I said bye, and ran for my bus.

Several weeks later (around the time I got invited to talk about my blog), he called and left a message on my voicemail, while I was enroute to Trinity College, to see about this graduate course on blogs. I didn't hear from him, for weeks. I had no way of reciprocating his call, for he never gave me his phone number. ... First conversations are just as crucial as the first date. They're very telling. You want to make the best impression, possible. Needless to say, he didn't.

 It started off okay. He said he was born in Jamaica, and raised in Brixton. He asked me if I knew of Brixton. I said, "Yes, it's like the Harlem of London..." he continued on anyway, cutting me off, as if he were enlightening me on something I didn't know about -- (insert my first eye roll here). The conversation continued going downhill, increasingly. He tried to convince me that Jamaica didn't have any problems to contend with, and how racism didn't exist there. I said, "Um, excuse me, but Jamaica is rife with economic problems, and while racism isn't as cut and dry as it is here... “He cut me off, again, in all his long-winded glory.

Um, Jamaica has all kinds of people. Um, um, there is no racism... blah blah blah blah... owes money to World Bank… blah blah blah blah, so you should check your facts first, before you make that statement."
 
"EXCUSE YOU, I began, but I did, and I do check my facts. Perhaps you should let people finish their thought before you cut them off and condescend to them."
 
He continued on with his hot-winded, weirdo diatribes, about himself and how Jamaica has all sorts of people. He was repetitive, is a horrible listener and self-absorbed. I told him several times that I have 2 sisters; he'd talk about himself, and then ask me repeatedly, if I had any sisters or brothers. I'd remind him that I already told him I did, several times during the course of our conversation. I asked him what his interests were. He went on some strange rant about how he's trying to be discovered. I asked him what he was doing to ensure that he would be discovered. He stuttered around the question; so basically, nothing. No drive. He'd ask me about my interests, cut me off... yet again, this time, claiming to "know me and what my dating history has been like" because I reminded him of his girlfriend, oops, "my friend" Belinda, and would proceed to tell me how he thought I was. He had no clue. He went on.... and on... and on. He gave me his phone number... We got disconnected. I called him back. Instead of a greeting from him, I got one from a recorded message saying, the subscriber you called, has not set up an account yet. ???????? I shrugged, and went back to reading The Times, which I stole from work.

Ten minutes later, he calls back. "Sorry, I got a prepaid phone. I used up my free fifteen minutes, and I have to put more minutes on the phone. I'm talking to you from a pay phone now." strike bazillion. (He'd already used up strikes one thru several billion with his propensity towards talking incessantly about nothing and himself and not having a pot to piss in, or a window to throw it out of).

We continued our hand at having a quasi-intelligent conversation, to no avail. He picked up where he left off... talking about himself. He thought he knew everything. I asked him if he had an e-mail address I could contact him at. He said that he wasn't computer literate and didn't know how to operate e-mail (At the ripe age of 28, no less. How does he function at work, IF he's being honest about even having a legitimate job??) He wouldn't let me get a word in edgewise. I sighed heavily, several dozen times. "Hello?" he said, in response to my sighs; he said he wasn't living anywhere in particular... with a bunch of guys, that he wouldn't dream of inviting a girl there. It sounded sketchy to me. He kept asking me where I lived, impressed that I lived alone. I declined providing him with the details. See, I'm not too keen on men thinking just because a woman lives alone that's a ticket for him to hone in and take advantage. Not on my dime. He continued to drone on, about... nothing. He said he likes to prepare exotic meals (several dozen times, he repeated this) and mentioned he was extremely Afrocentric, but didn't mind interracial dating. At one point, I put the phone on speaker, set it down, sat back, and continued to read the NY Times. Paris was still burning. North African youth were being reassured... He kept going... French-Senegelese playwright and author, Marie Ndiaye's play Hilda is appearing off-broadway, in NY... in a limited run. …  and going...  French-born Ndiaye had her first novel, "Quant au riche avenir" published at the age of 17. ... wow,  interesting. … and going...

 "...you know, there's Jamaican-Chinese and White Jamaican... there're a lot of different cultures in Jamaica. They just owe a lot of money to the World Bank. Hello? Hello?"
He had the nerve to suggest that I should call him, so that we can get together for lunch. I picked up the phone upon hearing the low battery beep... I tried to cut him off, tell him my phone's battery was about to die; to hold on and let me plug it in its charger. He just kept babbling. I said, "HELLO-OOOOOOOOOOOO-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO???" He kept going, slowly, In this boring, low, stutter-ridden monotone. I finally gave up, shrugged, and flipped the phone shut. I figured the likelihood of him calling me back was... well... not likely, since he didn't have a phone. He was probably sans change, so the pay phone would've been out.

Two weeks ago, at about 11:30pm, my phone rang... I didn't answer. I figured it was him. I rolled over and went back to sleep.

Thursday, at 8:30 in the AM... on my day off.. My phone rang. I thought it was one of my sisters or perhaps my mother. I answered.

"Hi, coffey, it's Buddha. Why don't you call me?"
"Are you kidding me, calling me at 8:30 in the morning ??? I have to go!"
"Wait!" he says. "I got a new number, a new prepaid phone. I got this hot new deal..."
"Dude, whatever, I'm hanging up." 

He hurriedly spit out his new number... breathless... as if sensing I was about to push the hang-up icon on my phone. Fin
 
You know, as much as I lament my single status, it's frustrating when guys don't get the hint when you tell them you aren't interested after all and that you don't have anything in common. I wanted to like this guy. He seemed my type. I think the situation irritates me so, because I just don't like when someone else's baggage seeps into my life. I like simplicity. I have my share of problems, but nothing too dramatic. And I like it that way. I also felt just for a spell, "Why me? Why can't I find someone compatible?? What did I do to deserve such horrible luck?"

It's not so much about me not having someone. It's about me being a magnet for the biggest bunch of losers known to man. Buddha, fuck off. You disappoint me. Don't call me again. Thank you and have a nice day.
Scene.

September 21, 2005

Quadri-Boobs

I have a staring problem of epic proportions. This is one of the primary reasons why I wear over-sized, dark shades. I feel they give me license to stare until my heart's content. Generally speaking, I guess it would be referred to as 'people watching'… whatever. 

In my head, I critique people's fashion do's and don’ts or I try to read their faces to determine what type of day they've had. I'll use what I see in my literary art if it's interesting enough. No man, woman, or child is exempt from my vigilant (yet shrouded) gaze. On occasion I may rubber neck (within reason) at attractive men, in appreciation of a woman's well put-together ensemble, or at a horrible fashion doozy. Needless to say, this past Tuesday late- afternoon while I was en-route to my mother's house after work, I was waiting at one of the designated stops, to transfer to another bus.
While waiting, I indulged my staring problem for the 10 or 15 minutes it took for my connecting bus to arrive. I watched people stomping up and down the street, looking relieved that their workday was finally over and done with. I spied various types of women (and men) taking long awaited drags off of their cigs. I saw women of all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages... some chic in their workday threads... some looking like they got dressed in the dark confines of their closets. I spied muffin-tops bubbling over the waists of ill-fitting trousers, protruding through equally ill-fitted knit tops. I also saw men wearing too large shirts, crammed into wrinkled khakis creating an unflattering blouson… like deflated parachutes. Regardless of fashion sense, lack thereof, size, race, etc. I noted one problem in particular… 

Too many women wearing horribly fitted bras. I'm about to share a nasty, nasty figure... 80% of women wear the wrong bra (and panty) size. This petite young woman of ample chest (very ample) who trounced by me illustrated this alarming fact. She had on a stretchy white cotton cap-sleeved fitted tee and I could clearly see through the fabric of her shirt. She had a bad, bad case of what I call the four-boob syndrome. Her cup size, seemingly, began just below the nipplage mark. The whole top half of her rack spilled over the cups of the bra. (Unless you're wearing the proper-size balconet or a demi bra, this should not be the case)- She was pushing Double-D turf. Her DD puppies looked like they were crammed into a C-cup... she was killing me... and not softly. I shook my head, irritated... wishing I'd had a tape measure and the moxie to intercept her path, measure her rack, and to tell her to immediately go and buy whatever cup size she actually was

Teenaged girls and women within my age bracket tend to be the primary offenders of this horrible trend. They see a cute bra and they buy it anyway, notwithstanding the fact that it doesn't fit. Some women have gouges in their skin, because their bras are just way too tight... prompting their back-bacon (regardless of body type) to spill out from the sides. Undergarments are supposed to feel comfortable. If fitted properly, they make or break an entire outfit or the appearance of one's rack. During my college years, I was walking around wearing the wrong bra size, and hadn't even realized it, until someone waged an intervention. I was walking around wearing a DD (which was actually too large). Ofttimes, I found myself tugging the back of my bra relentlessly and my tops just didn't seem to fit properly... but still, I was ignorant to the fact that my bra wasn't the proper size. One summer, several years ago, while shopping in a popular store at the mall, my intervention played out. This store had bras on sale. I decided to buy a couple. Upon walking up to the feisty, petite, Latina cashier to pay for my wares, I got schooled in Brassiere 101. Feisty happened to note the bra size I was about to purchase right before she rang it up. She took one look at my bust (which is ample and full, but not huge) and turned up the corners of her mouth in disapproval; as one would do to an insolent child.
"Honey, this is not the right size." she said. "But I've been wearing this size for a long time" I argued, so sure I was correct. She looked at my rack, one more time, before driving her point home... "Trust me, you are not a DD. I know what I'm talking about. I am used to women coming in here buying the wrong bra size." I started to protest once more, but Feisty shushed me, draped a tape measure around her neck, and stepped from behind the counter. "Come here" she ordered. I obliged, lifting up my arms, to let her wrap the tape around my back and just under my bust. "40D" she said with an 'I told you so' smirk on her face. 

Silent, I returned the bras I was about to purchase back to sale rack, and got their replicas in a 40D. That was about 4 or 5 years ago, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. My tops fit a lot better, my boobs aren't squished uncomfortably in their cups, and the bra tugging is at a minimum. Wearing the proper-size in bra compliment my rack if I do say so myself. Most department and fine lingerie stores offer bra fittings for free, yet women don't take advantage, because they don't feel comfortable getting their sweater puppets sized up. I advise all women, young, middle-aged, and old, to suck it up and do it! It makes a huge difference as to how you fit into your clothes. Knowing your proper undergarment size also makes it easier to shop for bras sans the guessing games.... and failing miserably. Bra fittings should take place at least once a year, as a gynecological or dental exam does; and if you’re still not comfortable asking a salesgirl to measure your tats, then I implore you to give your best friend (paramour or husband) a tape measure and ask her (or him) to do it. Your breasts will be so grateful, that they'll breathe a sigh of relief.