Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Crazy Blind Hopeful Faith

I recently found myself  at a barbecue of a friend's relative when I saw an attractive woman, in her mid 30's walk in. It wasn't long before the woman found herself at my table when she and I started talking. I was more than enthused when I learned that the woman was about to enter her junior year at the University of Georgia and majoring in both English and Public Relations. I was thrilled to speak with her since those two topics are two of my favorites. I asked the woman if she hoped to write for a living, and naturally, she stated yes.

I told her that in my experience of graduating in Media Studies from Kennesaw State University, she needed to begin a blog and start working now to create a buzz for herself and get some experience writing for the internet. I told her that the competition is fierce and that as a middle aged woman who had not worked in 16 years, because she was married at the time, the work force is a new monster to contend with. The woman looked at me like I had a third eyeball in the middle of my forehead and assured me that she was not worried about getting a job upon graduation completion because she knows someone at a local television station. I told her that while optimism is a great thing to have, she also had to keep in mind that damn near everyone knows someone in media already and she was reminded that they'd all be trying to get their resume in there through someone they know. I also reminded her that she'd be contending with kids in their early 20's while she'd be knocking on 40 and those kids grew up in an age where she was just getting acclimated to. With what she had working against her, it was that much more important to be getting a solid portfolio together while still in school.

The conversation then shifted as she talked about her sudden separation from her husband of 16 years and how although she was caught off guard with it, she remained hopeful about getting married in the future. I told her that although I see myself dating and possibly getting married in the future, I've seen enough from men to know that I'll never trust another one 100% and that women need to always have some money to the side and an exit strategy in case the shit hits the fan one day. She again looked a me as if I were a horribly disfigured creature and told me she's seen too many happily married people to believe that most men are capable of the worst.

I couldn't believe it. I was absolutely dumbfounded. No seriously, I'd just found something dumb. Here was a woman that after 16 years of marriage is in the work force and hoping to get married and despite being nearly 40, had no clue about life. I mentioned that respected her optimism, but I maintain the notion that one should hope for the best, but always be prepared for the worst. She responded that she operated by "hope" not optimism because optimism is "choosing to believe the best" while hope is "knowing that the Spirit will cover you." Excuse me, but I don't think I've ever heard such ignorant horseshit in my life. I'm all for Christianity and all, but I doubt God would have you ignore sage advice about your career choice because you magically expect things to work out in your favor if you pray on it long enough. I can only imagine how many prayers a Higher Power must listen to on an hourly basis from recent and not so recent college graduates. Lord knows I've sent up a few myself when I was going out and interviewing.

 My inner Gemini tried to make this make sense, but I couldn't. Because it didn't. This woman found herself alone and going back to school after 16 years of being a stay at home mom and she had the gall to look at me like I don't know a damn thing about career or love? Bitch please. Or as a Christian woman would say- Bitch please. Eventually I made my way to another table with people that had a bit more realism to themselves and I shared a social worker story with a man who told me about things he'd done in the field that could have gotten him killed, and I told about a girl who called me because she wanted me to pick her up from her pimp while he was out. I didn't go because, well, because I didn't want to get cut or killed, but that's another story for another blog entirely.

I don't know, I've been hearing myself be described by others as "jaded" lately and perhaps they're right. I'm not the same bright eyed and bushy tailed girl I was 15 or 20 years ago and perhaps its for the best. I think that my keen eye and shrewd sense of dealing with people that haven't earned my trust yet has put me in a place where I'm a lot more comfortable pursuing the various financial situations that I have in front of me. And I'm actually excited about being comfortable enough to go into the world and rightfully claim my place as a woman who deserves respect and clout. And what I'm not given, I'm going to get regardless. Because I don't believe a spook in the sky is gonna hand me shit.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Hair Dilemma

I swear I'm going to get back to my baby and start blogging again. Writing is my passion. It is my love. It is not only what I'm good at, its what I'm great at. I'm funny, warm, charming, and charismatic as fuck. Man, I seriously I missed the feeling of opening up a new page and the excitement of knowing my topic, but not knowing my words and then the eventual beauty of reading back over my masterpiece. Fuck, I'm good at this. Anyway, off that rant, and on to my topic at hand- my hair.

I've had locs now for about 9 years. I originally started them because I was about to start school at Kennesaw and I needed something that would be less work than the cornrows and box braids I had been previously rocking. My hair reached a very plain length to the middle of my back about 3 years ago, when I decided to cut it above my shoulders.

Since then, my hair has grown back, but this time around, I'm a lot better at taking care of it. I've learned that when you've got long dread locs, you have to cut them into layers and a dab of hair color goes a long way. I'd be lying if I said that my hair was anything other than incredible. Seriously, I'm not just bragging. Aside from my writing, my hair is the one thing I managed to make look spectacular. And therein lies the problem.

I had a situation a few months back that shook me to my core. Its safe to say that it was a life changing situation. Since then I've decided to take a good long look at myself and my choices. I've had to completely leave some people alone, while others merely took a severe step back in their roles in my life. I also decided to take a major break from dating and sex. That's right, no nookie since February and although I told myself that my birthday would be when I'd open up the heavenly gates again, I see very little chance of anything happening for that to occur by next month, which will be my 33rd.

The crazy thing is that I'm okay without sex. I don't want it. I learned the hard way that sex leads to drama, lies, bullshit and other stuff that I just don't want or need anymore. My focus is myself, my son, grad school and my immediate search of happiness, money, and independence. I've decided that sex would need to take a major back seat and that any man that I make an acquaintance would have to be my friend first before anything could pop off between us. I've decided that to be fair, I let a man know up front that I've got no intentions of having sex.

One guy at the coffeehouse that I routinely go to once looked at my new figure that is now 30 lbs. lighter and suggested we hang one day. I looked him square in his eye and said that we could hang but that there'd be no nookie. He then told me that I'm simply depriving myself and told me a story of another female that made the mistake of telling him the same thing and then getting mad when he later rejected her. I just shrugged and told him that "irregardless" of the fact, I'm not fucking. He and I still see each other around, but he's made no mention of hanging out since. Which is more than cool with me.

That's some other shit dudes appear to be on. When I let some of my former flunkies know that I've given up the stick to focus on my goals, they all feel it necessary to tell me that I'm depriving myself. Man, penises really are stupid. I've gone through more than enough bullshit to know that penis has been my downfall and I don't want any of it. I don't want to be the main chick unless the dude is seriously pulling his weight, and I'm damn sure not playing the side chick anymore. And if that means that I've got to spend some time alone, making the other areas of my life phenomenal, that's just fine by me.

It's awesome to see how well so many of my friends and associates are doing. They're making money on their crafts, starting and running businesses and all kinds of other stuff. Other women are sick of the fucked up dudes they've been with forever and they're getting their shit together to dump their dead weight. I'm happy to see it around me because it helps me to focus on me. And now back to my hair- its a goddamn magnet for lust.

I've always been an outgoing woman, so meeting men has never been an issue for me. Its just that for the first time in my life, I'd like to fly under the radar of men. Don't get me wrong, I'm okay with a man talking to me, liking my personality, and wanting to meet up for lunch or coffee. What I get tired of is sitting in a coffeehouse, minding my business and looking up and realize that three different mofos are periodically staring at me. And among those three does not include the weird dude with Tourette's that always manages to find a goddamn empty seat right next to me. No seriously no matter what time of day or night I'm in there, dude always seems to find a seat right next to me and babbles incoherently to himself while staring at me. It was flattering at first, but now I'd just like to pepper spray him and walk back to my seat. I'm not sure but I think that management might have a bit of a problem with me doing that in the shop. *Mental note- find out if coffeehouse people are okay with me pepper spraying weird slow dude with Tourette's in front of everyone.*

I know its the freaking hair. Men stare at it, they ask about it, they want to touch it. The ask how long I've had the locs, they notice when I've dyed them, they frequently compliment them. I was riding down the street the other day when I slowed my car at a stop light in front of construction workers. I got the usual stares,did the usual "I'm being friendly and smiling and waving, but I'm really not interested in you" wave and smirk, when one of the dudes complimented my hair. I gave him a tight smile and then said "thank you." He then said "can I run my fingers through it?" What the hell?! I know I sound like a nut, but what the fuck do you want or need to touch my hair for?! I looked at him, shook my head lightly and said back to him "No. No, you cannot touch my hair." That was actually the second encounter I'd had that day regarding some dude outside of my car trying to holler at me while I was driving.

It happens when I walk randomly down the street. It happens when I post Facebook pictures. Men are absolutely obsessed with my hair. And I hate it. Like I said, I'm okay with a guy liking my personality and wanting to get to know me better. But I'm strangely uncomfortable with men lusting after my hair. For the first time in my life, I understand why Muslim women sometimes cover their hair, and conservative Christian women keep their hair tied up. I don't know what it is about the hair, but when it cascades down my back, men look at me like I'm a steak. I feel a tad more guarded when I meet men and its down. I'd considered cutting it, but I really don't want to. I'm considering Bantu knots or a few other styles that would allow me to cover it. I'd even thought of hats, but its way too freaking hot to keep all of this hair covered up.

Some days I also attribute it to the new look since I've slimmed down. So my now 5'8 170 lb frame, gets a lot more love and attention than it did at 200.
And of course with the weight loss came some shopping for new dresses. So sundresses plus locks halfway down a woman's back somehow becomes kryptonite to men. It know its kind of crazy, but as I work on myself, I've also learned to work on my appearance. I threw out a ton of old clothes, making way for new, fashionable, flirty, feminine and trendy looks. So I look and feel like a million bucks now. But the problem is that despite how banging I look, I want to be left alone. I want to be alone with my thoughts. I want to be alone while I write. I want to be completely alone until a man proves that he's finally worth my time. I want to fucking be alone. And the beautiful hair that I'd always wanted (and I finally have) seems to be the one thing in the way to keep that from happening.