Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tough Days

Every time I'm given the info for another child for me to go see, I get excited. I'm so in love with my job, that I honestly can't imagine myself doing anything else. What I do truly doesn't feel like work. But then sometimes I'm faced with situations that make me question the whole damned thing.

The other day I was given a girl's info. She was between the ages of 5 and 7 (remember, I can't give identifying details). I read there had been issues in her home. I planned a good day for me to stop in and see her. I couldn't quite find the street, so I called a girlfriend that told me where it was. I've lived in Atlanta my whole life and I don't scare easily. However that was only the second time in my life that I've been scared in an area. I've walked up and down Bankhead, Candler Rd, and Old National Hwy on numerous occasions with no problems, but I was so freaking scared as I drove down this street. My friend accurately described the area when she called it "lawless." I saw so many people that were walking ghosts. They had no spirits and no souls, they walked the streets, darting out, as if a 4,000 pound vehicle hitting them would be the least of their problems. I tried my best to play it cool, but driving slowly through that neighborhood was certainly not what I wanted to do. I cursed to myself when I had to make a u-turn in front of everyone, announcing to the world that I was not only fresh blood, I was lost fresh blood. I quickly called the mother of the child I was to meet with and thankfully got her to tell me exactly where she was located.

Once I made it to the home, I was amazed at the condition of it. Honestly, if it hadn't been occupied, I'm sure it would have been deemed unfit for residency and torn down. My plan was initially to meet with the little girl and her mother, but their home was in such a sad state that I instead offered to take them to McDonald's. The mother declined, but she told me that I could take her child instead, so off we went.

There was a McDonald's in the area, but I decided to venture out to another one. I couldn't bear to be out there any longer than I had to. When we got to McDonald's my little counterpart quickly became a favorite to everyone there. She was so friendly and outgoing. The workers there complimented her and she talked to them with ease. She easily answered my questions about school and her family life. It was clear that despite living in such immense poverty, she was raised in so much love. I knew I had to eventually embrace the topic, but I really didn't want to. I didn't want to bring it up, when she was so happy. But I did. I had to. I had a job to do.

I asked her to tell me what happened. And she described how a young male friend of the family molested her in her sleep. One thing that I know I'll never forget is that when I asked her how it made her feel, the only word she said was "guilty." She was so young to know such a heavy word, and to now have to attach such a heavy word to such a terrible situation was just wrong.
I was absolutely horrified. As a professional, I knew to remain brave and strong for the little girl. I praised her for being brave enough to tell her mother and I assured her that she did absolutely nothing wrong. Amazingly, as we discussed it, she didn't withdraw. She didn't say she'd had any bad dreams about it, and she simply tries not to think about it. We agreed to call him another word other than his name, because she didn't like to say it. After she'd bounced around McDonald's for an hour, I decided it was time to take her home. I hugged her goodbye and I promised her that we would go out again. I bid goodbye to the family and left.

I got into my car and threw down my purse. I started the engine and I rode to the the traffic light that led out of the area. I stopped at the red light. And I cried like a baby. I sobbed so heavily. She was so brave and so little and he took her innocence. Yet she managed to smile and laugh. No one would ever think she'd been violated in the worst way. As a woman and as a mother I was outraged at what happened to her. I cried big heavy tears until my body was exhausted.

I might seem tough, but I'm only a woman.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thirty PLUS!!

So it is true, in a couple of months, I will reach the ripe old age of thirty. I'm pretty geeked about it too. I thought I'd hate being this age, but I love it. Needless to say, there are going to be a couple of dope parties to commemorate the occasion, but that's for another post.
Moving on, I got paid yesterday, so I decided to buy myself a few cute things to wear to work. Granted, I can wear whatever I want for work (WOOHOO!!) but I still want to dress a little business casual (except for when we hit the playground). I hit Macy's first and of course I couldn't find any pants to fit my awkward shape, but I did find a shirt that I'd liked that was on sale for $25. Man, that number stuck with me. Twenty-five dollars isn't a lot of money at all for a shirt, but I'm still used to getting all of my clothes from the super sale rack. You know, like $8 for a GAP shirt. Twenty-five dollars for a shirt just seemed so steep. However, I'm trying to buy clothes that reflect my age (sad to admit, I still dress like a hippy, and only one year ago did I stop buying clothes from the juniors section). I checked GAP after Macy's, and GAP continued to suck the same way it has for the last 3 years (what the hell is going on with that store anyway?) I didn't really feel like combing the mall anymore, so I hit up my tried and true, Target. I found a few nice shirts and a couple of pairs of capris, perfect for work. Needless to say, my capris were on sale.
The reason I was so stuck on the cost of my $25 shirt was that a while ago, on the radio, I heard the hosts talking about something they'd read online about things that a woman should stop doing by the time she was thirty. One of the things that stuck with me was that she should stop being cheap. And I totally agree. Now not being cheap doesn't mean that you blow your money as soon as you get it, it means that you learn to appreciate the finer things. Four-dollar wine is no longer the norm (unless you get a good bottle on a great steal). It means that you buy real furniture. It means that you can love name brands, even if you only come across it at a major bargain. It means that if someone asks you for your favorite restaurant, you don't name one that has a value meal.
It actually amazed me how many of those things I totally agreed with. And I'm proud to say that I'm so over most of those things (although my daddy will always be my daddy, list or no list!) So anyway, I got online and I found two lists of where a woman should be when she reaches 30.



1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you've come.
2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.
3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.
4. A purse, a suitcase and an umbrella you're not ashamed to be seen carrying.
5. A youth you're content to move beyond.
6. A past juicy enough that you're looking to forward to retelling it in your old age.
7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age—and some money set aside to help fund it.
8. An e-mail address, a voice mailbox and a bank account—all of which nobody has access to but you.
9. A résume that is not even the slightest bit padded.
10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill and a black lace bra.
12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.
13. The belief that you deserve it.
14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don't get better after 30.
15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship and all those other facets of life that do get better.


1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.
2. How you feel about having kids.
3. How to quit a job, break up with a man and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
4. When to try harder and when to walk away.
5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn't like to happen next.
6. The names of: the secretary of state, your great-grandmother and the best tailor in town.
7. How to live alone, even if you don't like to.
8. How to take control of your own birthday.
9. That you can't change the length of your calves, the width of your hips or the nature of your parents.
10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it's over.
11. What you would and wouldn't do for money or love.
12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs or not flossing for very long.
13. Who you can trust, who you can't and why you shouldn't take it personally.
14. Not to apologize for something that isn't your fault.
15. Why they say life begins at 30.

30 Things Every Woman Should Quit Doing By 30

1. Buying clothes from the junior section.
2. Forgetting her parents’ birthdays.
3. Making out with her BFFs at bars for attention.
4. Making out with her boyfriend at bars for attention.
5. Filling her bed with stuffed animals (really, even one is too many).
6. Carrying a torch for anyone she hasn’t seen in the last five years.
7. Rebelling against her parents for the sake of rebelling against her parents.
8. Declaring an entire gender “all jerks.”
9. Holding a grudge against anyone who wronged her in high school.
10. Skipping regular gyno exams.
11. Going to bed without washing and moisturizing her face.
12. Being “that person” who had a bit too much to drink at the office party.
13. Crushing on Justin Bieber.
14. Thinking she’s got it all figured out.
15. Calling her father “daddy.”
16. Engaging in sibling rivalry.
17. Trying to get by on her looks.
18. Living paycheck to paycheck.
19. Expecting a man/knight in shining armor to swoop in and save her.
20. Aimlessly jumping from job to job.
21. Using MySpace to pick up guys.
22. Expecting a man to do all the wooing.
23. Wishing she had someone else’s life.
24. Expecting everyone to drop everything because it’s her birthday ...
25. ... or because her “boyfriend” of two weeks dumped her.
26. Measuring her self-worth by a number on the scale.
27. Being cheap.
28. Quitting a job without having a new one lined up first (especially in this economy!).
29. Blaming her mother for all her issues.
30. Romanticizing her 20s.

So anyway, according to these lists, I'm doing a-okay with a $25 shirt. And it looks damned good on me too!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Have you ever wanted something really, really bad? Has something ever been so close to you that you could taste and smell it? But then it's ripped away from you before you can fully enjoy it?
I had that, and now I feel- empty.
I wanted it so badly, but now I'm back to my plain existence. And it's so unfair, because I truly deserve it. Life put up a roadblock that I had nothing to do with. Just a circumstance that was small enough not to matter, yet big enough to keep me away from what I deserved. Sometimes I wonder if my life is supposed to be one set of disappointments after another.
It sure seems like it.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Saga of Him Pt. 2

So anyway, a while back, I blogged about Him. And I blogged about how much I dig Him and how if things had been a bit different He and I would possibly be We. Well to update Us, a while ago I ran into Him unexpectedly a few weeks ago. His car broke down and he needed a ride home so I offered Him one.

I absolutely love to drive and I didn't want our short visit to end, so I asked if he wanted to continue to ride around and he replied yes. During our ride we talked about relationships and dating and I wanted so badly to look him in his eye and let him know how much he made my heart flutter, but truthfully I was scared. We ended up at one of my favorite parts of the city and we walked around. Before we knew it, we'd been talking for two hours. I didn't want our time to end. He asked how I felt about Him. I confessed that I'm madly attracted to Him, and he admitted to feeling the same way about me. I even admitted that I'd blogged about Him. It's crazy to go from your teens where no one likes you back, to being a woman that actually gets the guy. Anyway, he asked if I'd tell Pookie that we were hanging out. I told Him no. I wanted so badly to kiss Him. I wanted to embrace Him. I wanted to make Him feel as special as he made me feel. We didn't kiss.

We got back in the car and rode around some more. Stevie Wonder played in the background.
"All is fair in love,
Love's a crazy game."

We went back to his place. I sat on the couch. I wanted to. I really wanted to. I knew that he wanted it, but he was a complete gentleman and he didn't remotely force or try anything. After a few minutes, I left. He walked me out to the car and hugged me.

I've been thinking about Him ever since. Sometimes I think that I should just go over there again and do it. Especially days like today. Truth be told, I haven't felt like this about a guy since Pookie and I first got together. It's not often that a person meets someone that has them head over heels like this. It's such a rare feeling that all I can do is bask in the afterglow of our encounter.

I've been on cloud 9 ever since. I can't stop thinking about Him. Yesterday I hung out at the playground with some of the kids I work with, and my mind wandered off to Him and our night together. One of the kids said to me "what are you smiling about?"

Perhaps in about 20 years, she'll understand.