Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A letter to DL Hughley: Dear Sir, have many seats...

Dear God, when does it end? No, not the election - at least there's an endgame in sight there. When does the irreverent bashing of sisters for profit and/or an empty chuckle end? 

"What is it this time, Chele?"

Well, let me tell you. DL Hughley has a book and a show and who knows what else coming out that he has to pimp. And we all know that the latest Black Man Gotta Sell Something Hustle is by hurling sideways slander at the sisterhood (disguising it as helpful advice). On a recent taping of NPR's Tell Me More, DL had this to say:
I've never met an angrier group of people. Like black women are angry just in general. Angry all the time. My assessment, out of, just in my judgment, you either are in charge or they're in charge, so there's no kind of day that you get to rest.
For real tho? Thanks for that. I couldn't get away with writing a book that had even a smidgen of "Black Men Ain't Shiggity" vibe about it. One, it wouldn't be honest and two, I'd get beaten about the head and neck from all sides. Even if that's how you feel about Black women, DL - how does it help to say it? To print it? To repeat it?

It's not as if we don't have enough to worry about what with Mitt putting us in binders and other Republicans okaying our rape. It's not as if we aren't fighting to have a voice that is both respectful and representative of our best in Hollywood and the mainstream media. It's not as if relationship "experts" haven't culled out the thirsty amongst us and decided to get rich or die tryin' by making us all look like fat, lonely, rough-edged spinsters. 

That's not enough. We need a comedian to tell us just how angry we are. Cuz that's what's going to make us play nice from now on. Here's a short letter to you:

Dude, what did black women ever do to you besides birth you, raise you, support your shows, marry you and laugh at your jokes? I wonder DL, have you wondered why the black women that are around YOU are so angry? I only listened to 30 seconds of your interview and it was enough to set my blood on boil. And I'm considered a fairly pleasant and easy-going sort. But lest I be lumped in with the livid ladies you have known, might I share something with you? 

We're not angry - we're tired. Tired. Tired. Tired. We're tired of unrealistic expectations and unprovoked attacks from folks that are supposed to have our backs. We're tired of "holding it down" while "keeping it together" all the while determined to be looking fabulous from head-to-toe so someone will look twice. We're tired of taking half a step forward to be knocked backwards a yard. 

In fact, we're exhausted. Exhausted of holding the ladder so others may climb. Of cleaning the floors so others may walk through. Of crashing the ceiling so others can sit on the top floor. Of being told that no matter what we do - it's never enough. Because there's always someone like you to tell us to do better. You know what - you do better. Why don't you walk a mile in our pumps and Spanx with hopes and dreams holding you up and reality and ignorance pulling you backwards and tell us how that works for you?

So I don't know what the other sisters are going to do, but I'm declaring a Hughley-free zone. I don't need the negativism. I'm sure you don't care. This one letter is not going to impact your book sales or your show ratings one bit. But I'll feel better. And who knows, I may even wake up with a smile on my face in the morning. And won't that be something?

In conclusion, I don't really have a counter argument except to present to you the First Lady of the United States. Who is pretty damn awesome. Never without a smile and the epitome of grace. Are you calling her an Angry Black Woman too? God bless your wife and daughters. God. Bless. Them. Now go have some seats. Over there. On the other side of the stadium. Please and thanks.

BougieLand - why? Just why...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Are we there yet? A weary liberal's take on Election 2012

s/o to @CarolynEdgar who gave me this post idea with her blog this morning-

There's no way to prettify the truth - I'm over Election 2012. Way over it. I've donated, I've blogged, I've tweeted, I've assisted at Get Out The Vote rallies, I've volunteered on phone banks, I've already voted and I pledged to drive folks twice next week and on Election Day to the polls. I'm done.

Maybe it's just me but I haven't seen this level of frenzy and outrage and pathos and hyperbole before. And it's been at this fever pitch for months on end. Every day some new outrageous thing happens to whip us up. Every hour some new poll, some pundit, someone grasping for attention says something, does something and the spin begins yet again.

I've watched the debates (I scored them Team Obama 3, Team Other Guy 1), I've read the articles, I've seen the interviews, the posters, the pictures, the t-shirts. I've shaken my head at the commercials and I've been stunned speechless by the audacity of privilege.

I've stopped responding to rampantly racist emails, tweets and facebookery. Nothing I say is going to stop someone with years of ignorance from doing what they want in less than two weeks. I've (unfortunately) had to unsubscribe from most of the email from the Dems and progressives. Because I've used different email accounts, I can get fifteen emails asking me to give a little, sign something, make a call, show my support. Enough. (Though I did save the email from Maya Angelou, I mean come on - it's Maya Angelou!)

I've given up the news. Yesterday was my last straw. The rich idiot with the bad hair who shall not be named as well as the former VP candidate whose entire family needs to have several sides tipped me over the edge. It seems the best way to call attention to yourself is to say something so outlandishly offensive about the sitting President that media outlets can't help but cover it.

Good on them. I'm done, son. And there's a name for this. Election fatigue ya'll. I've hit the wall. Yes, I've gotten weary on the journey. It's not that I no longer care.  It's that this is a long-assed road trip, I'm getting car sick, the scenery sucks and I'm ready to reach the destination already. Come what may. 

Who feels me?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

No. She. Didn't. A Bougie Bachelor Chronicle

Without further ado - Trey (@AnotherWord43) speaks (with my edits):

I met a young lady through Facebook. She sent me an email saying she read some of my comments here on BnB and thought we "might suit" each other. Was I flattered? Yes. Skeptical? Quite so. How would someone form that judgment based on some of the (admittedly) borderline ratchet things I've said in BougieLand? Then again, I work 90 hour weeks. I travel 75% of the time. My social life is ranked well below sleep, laundry and basic hygiene at this point so if I am to meet anybody right now, chances are it's through a social media outlet.

I decided to find her approach fresh and innovative and I replied back. We went from emails to phone calls and about three weeks later met for coffee. Her pictures did her justice and she lived up to the wit and humor of our conversations. Okay, I thought, this is a definite maybe in the right direction.

The first hiccup happened right around date 5 or 6 when we went to a nice restaurant in Far North Dallas. Not really upscale, just a nice restaurant. It was Houston's for clarification. If any of you have tried to get into a Houston's on a weekend in Dallas even with a reservation, you know the wait is nothing nice. At some point she perceived that we had been passed over for our table. She went up to the hostess and demanded to know why the "white folkz" were seated before us.

She may have had a point and she wasn't loud about it but in my mind, she shifted back towards the maybe not category. Dinner was nice and we had four more dates sans drama. This is why (Chele is giving me the look now) when I had a casual work dinner (where everyone was bringing a plus one) to attend, I asked her to come along. we were a few months in and besides that Houston's moment, I didn't see any major issues. Yes, I had a little pause when I found out the casual dinner was going to be at one of the Sr. VP's houses. It's one thing to bring along someone to a restaurant, it's another to have them in close settings in someone's home. Especially before the relationship is truly defined.

But since I'd already asked and she really hadn't shown any more off-kilter behavior, I decided to take her along. what harm could she do? Really, that was what I thought. Even thought it might be nice to go to one of these things without getting the "when are you getting a ball and chain" joke our CFO like to drop at every occasion. 

The night of the dinner, I picked her up at her front door and she looked great. She had a huge purse and a tote bag. Yes. Here is where I should have asked the question, "What's in the bag, Tamra?" But I didn't. I assumed she was being polite and bringing a hostess gift. 

We got there and everything was fine. There were about ten couples in attendance. We made the kind of not so important conversation you make with people that aren't necessarily friends but co-workers. Our hostess announced that dinner was being served. We made our way to the dining room. They seated us (the only people of color) right in the middle. Someone gave a half-hearted attempt at a prayer and the caterers began to serve the salad. After the salad, they started bringing in plates. This is where we rode off the rails.

Girlie reaches under the table, pulls out a Styrofoam container from her tote and plops it over her china plate. It's barbecue ribs and brisket. She pulls out her purse and gets a roll and a small container of potato salad. She then turns to one of the waiters and asks for... wait for it... hot sauce. You know the saying about hearing a pin drop? Well we heard the flea sitting on top of the pin say, "Welp" as the pin dropped. 

I leaned over and whispered, "What are you doing?" She replied, "I don't know what they eat, I brought my own." I translated for the stunned table, "Tamra has some food allergies so she tends to be extra careful." I MIGHT have gotten away with it if the caterer wasn't serving smoked pork loin with a potato salad. AND if she hadn't next said in a not so quiet voice, "Sorry, I don't trust white folk food."

I just closed my eyes and prayed for instant teleportation to a galaxy far, far away. What to do? Stay and brazen it out? I thought about it but what if she said something WORSE than she already had? I couldn't take the chance. I stood up and yanked her up by the arm - "Tamra isn't feeling well, I'm sure you understand" and started moving her towards the front door. She's protesting, "Let me just grab my plate" and I'm losing it, under my breath, "If you don't bring yo ass on!" 

Drove her back to her house in silence. Silence after she glanced at me and said, "You mad, huh?" Pulled up to her door, put my foot on the brake and unlocked the doors. "Guess you're not coming in?" Silence. "Guess I won't be seeing you again?" Silence. "You kinda buppified anyway." She got out and slammed the door. I drove back to my senior VP's house and had dinner. I had to. It was the only way to save face. They thought it was hilarious. I still do not. I will say this though: Yes, Chele. I too am too old for this ish.

BougieLand, what say you to Trey's tale of when keeping it real goes wrong? have you ever had a date cut a fool at a corporate function? How much do we hate those corporate functions anyway? Thoughts  comments  commiseration? do discuss...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Adventures in Dating aka Why Dating Over 40 is Some BULLSHIGGITY

a guest post by @Reads4Pleasure... enjoy!

So there's this STL Twitter dude I've been chatting with for awhile.  No offline convos or anything, just good natured ribbing on Twitter.  He's been asking to meet me for the last few weeks, even though I already knew there was no love connection, but am I going to miss a chance to eat Miss Robbie's fried chicken? Hell to the naw.  So we were supposed to meet at Upper Crust (her new location) at 5:30.  He calls a little after 5 to say he's running late & can we do 6.  Fine, I stopped off at the library and wasted time.  I get to the place at 6, don't see him, so I park it on a bench & wait.  Ten minutes after I've been sitting there, I log onto Twitter & see he's checked in on Foursquare.  I take a walk around and he's in the bar chilling.  I introduce myself and first thing I notice is, this negroach who never smiles in any of his avis is missing a tooth. Not just any tooth but a top front tooth.  Now I don't know if y'all know, but I have a thing about teeth.  I like them to be straight (as much as possible), white (non-negotiable) and all there.

I was momentarily stunned, but figured I'd make the best of it.  We get in line, me first, I order my food (wings, mac & cheese & corn).  He orders smothered chicken, okra, mac & cheese, mashed potatoes & gravy and peach cobbler.  All I could think was, thank God he doesn't need a front tooth to eat, or he'd be in real trouble.  Anyway, the cashier asks if they were going to be together and he loudly says separate.  So I'm like, oh, ok.  Good thing I carried cash and had my debit card.

We sit down to eat and he goes into interview mode asking about my daughter, my family, job, etc.  Mind you, he's a radio DJ, so he has a great voice, but again, I was so distracted by the tooth that I could barely eat.  The whole time I was talking my eyes were flitting around the room trying to focus on everything but him.  And then, this negroach started belching.  Like I know he'd had two beers and was getting his eat on, but who does that???  Ok, fine. Say the first one slipped out, but a second one?? And he didn't bother to say excuse me not nary a time. NOT NARY!  I did manage to get in a few questions and found out that in addition to being a fill-in DJ, he hosts a trivia night at a restaurant, handles another restaurant's social media presence, and has a roommate.  God shoot me if I ever find myself with a roommate at the age of 50.

Y'all, I was so fugging outdone.  It took all I had to keep my composure.  I kept glancing at my watch wondering how much longer I've have to endure his foolishness when dude stated that he had to get moving if he wanted to catch the next bus.  Now y'all have been here. St. Louis is not like Chicago or New York.  We have public transportation, but St. Louis is generally a driving city.  I don't know if I was supposed to ask if he wanted a ride to the bus stop, but it didn't matter because he said he needed to use the bathroom before he "made that hike," so I broke the hell up out of there.  I couldn't even pull out of my parking spot before he'd tweeted about having dinner with me. No sir! Don't taint my name in these streets like that!

I get home and I'm still thinking about that damn tooth.  I come in the door with my library bag, work bag and purse, in addition to my food, because all I ate during that meal was one wing.  Max (the cat) is trying to escape, but I thought I'd pushed him back in the house with my bags.  So I shut the door, go put my food in the refrigerator, walk back across the living room and hear this scraping and crying at my door.  This jackass has escaped and gotten locked out.  He was out there acting like I'd put him out instead of him running away.  After my crappy ass "date," that made me cackle.

And this, ladies, is why I've officially given up on dating.
Okay BougieLand, what say you? I say... 1) We won't allow the giving up. 2) The tooth thing is hard to get past. 3) It's rough out here for real though... Anyone else have a meetup with a social media/online friend who turned out not to be "as advertised"? Do share...

Monday, October 15, 2012

The ITOFTS Chronicles: Really doe?

So very sorry fellas but the stigma is real. If a woman is unmarried over 40, there's a "well, it's hard out here for the professional sisters" cloak that can be pulled out and used if needed. If a man is unmarried over 40, we are wondering "what the hell happened here"? It's one of the few, rare generalities about gender and relationships that tip in a woman's favor and we're holding onto it. The assumption is made that a man has many, many opportunities to cleave unto a wife while a woman (who traditionally does not do the asking) must wait (and wait and wait) for the right man to come along at the right time and bestow the bequeathing and whatnot.

Generalizations kinda suck. But let me tell you why it's relevant here.

I've been doing the Church-A-Palooza, visiting a variety of churches, trying them on for size to see which one will be a fit. I find the older I get, the less tolerance I have for shenanigans (both in my dating and churchification). One mid-sized church in the Northwest quadrant of Dallas County seemed okay. My first visit was a midweek bible study. Started on time, had a lesson plan, correlated a message to bible verses, opened it up for discussion, wrapped with a prayer. Perfection.

I tried the Saturday afternoon service next. I must have missed the memo that the Saturday afternoon service was for the Grown 'n Sexy set. Folks rolled up in there dressed like it was Two for One Happy Hour with a DJ spinning Lil Jon remixes. Date night at the cross, ya'll. Between the offering and the sermon, they had something on the program called "Christian Conversations" - this was basically a free-for-all wherein folks got up and rolled up on other folks to ask their single status, yearly income, and Christly inclinations. Really doe? I attempted to sidewind towards the back exit when I was stopped by a good looking gentleman. He introduced himself as Lionel. And spelled it for me... just in case I cared. Pronounced it Ly-Nell, heavy on the Nell. (Yes, this is me rolling my eyes)

LyNell wanted to let me know he was a good Christian man, 47 years of age and God had not sent him his special angel as yet. I wasn't taking the bait. I smiled, said I was Michele, it was nice to met him and kept inching towards the exit. "May-be I was mea-nt to wait for you, Mash-Ell." Umph. Yes, he added syllables were none were needed in every word. Really doe?

I hit him with the double blink before two women who knew LyNell rather well rolled up on him to see why he hadn't called them back last week. The organ sounded (meaning I wasn't quick enough to escape) and the preacher stepped up to deliver his sermon. He spoke about the struggles of the single woman and how she often allowed sinfulness to overrule her better judgment. God withheld the blessing of marriage from the wicked, he continued. Really doe?

The best thing about that sermon is that it was short. Immediately following the benediction, I broke for freedom. LyNell was hot on my tail. "Baby girl, don't chu ru-un away from me-e. I could be your future!"

Say it with me, now - Really doe?

I had the keys out when LyNell reached for my shoulder, "I'm really a great guy. Come out for drinks with me tonight. I'll even buy. Get to know me."

Me, pulling out the oldest trick in the book, "I'm seeing somebody, but thanks for the offer."

"You aren't seeing anybody like me!"

I couldn't help it, I snorted. "Now that's the God's honest truth."

It appears that LyNell detected the sarcasm and didn't appreciate it. His eyes narrowed as he hissed at me, "You don't know what you're missing out on. B*tch, I'm a catch!"

"No doubt. You be blessed." In car, out of lot. Done.

BougieLand ~ I'm too old for this shiggity. I really, really am.

Thoughts, comments, insights? Donations for LyNell to hie thee to Dr. Phil's couch? Do share...

This week on BnB - The Bougie Bachelorette Grows Up

Well... really now. Fancy though I may still be, I've decided that I've passed the point of calling myself a bachelorette. I'm going to leave that designation be. But because there's still so much to share (it never ends), this week we'll be kicking off the ITOFTS chronicles. ITOFTS = I'm Too Old For This Shiggity. We have two guest posts and a few new anecdotes from me. So stick around and enjoy...

Monday, October 08, 2012

Bougie remix: Columbus Day, really?

from the archives... my 2009 thoughts on Columbus Day:

As Americans, we love us a holiday. My oh my, an excuse to turn a weekend into a three or four day break from the paycheck plantation? Sign us up. I remember as a child asking if I could celebrate Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah out of respect for my Jewish friends. BougieMom said if I wrote a five page essay describing their origin and how they were celebrated, then sure. I went to school.

In Texas, we have a number of bullshiggity holidays that continue to raise an eyebrow: San Jacinto Day for one, Confederate Heroes Day for another. Yes, Confederate Heroes Day (celebrating Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee – look it up, I can't MAKE this stuff up) which falls on near January 19th of every year. The catch? For years in Texas, you could choose to take either Confederate Heroes Days or Martin Luther King Day… guess how the office diversity looked on each of those days? Nationwide, there are some holidays that have outlived their usefulness and become a reason for a parade and creative cocktails (think St. Patrick's Day). No, I'm not including Juneteenth (now known as Emancipation Day) as a bogus holiday, ya'll need to get with that… seriously. No better excuse for a BBQ and a radical fist pump in the world.

But of all the holidays that need to be stricken from the books, I have to vote for Columbus Day. Haven't we proven that old Chris didn't really discover anything? I mean, how can you discover something that already exists? Didn't he basically jack some folks, plant a flag and declare it all brand new? Suppose I roll up in your living room and discover your 52" plasma, if I stick a flag in it and kill some brown people, is it mine? I'm just wondering. I know the Italian-American community has embraced this holiday as a cause célèbre, but what is really being celebrated? From the Wall Street Journal:
Much controversy exists over Columbus' expeditions and whether or not one can "discover" an already-inhabited land. The natives of the Bahamas and other islands on his journey were peaceful and friendly. Yet many of them were later enslaved by the Spanish. Also, it is known that the Vikings explored the North American coast 500 years before Columbus. [sic] But 22 states don't give their employees the day off, according to the Council of State Governments.
And in other places, Columbus Day is under attack. "We're going after state governments to drop this holiday for whatever reason they come up with," said Mike Graham, founder of United Native America, a group fighting for a federal holiday honoring Native Americans.
His group's agenda: Rename Columbus Day "Italian Heritage Day" and put it somewhere else on the calendar, then claim the second Monday in October as "Native American Day." South Dakota already calls it that.
Other organizations want to rename the day "Indigenous Peoples' Day," as several California cities, including Berkeley, have done.
Columbus's defenders aren't prepared to watch their hero's holiday sail off the edge of the earth. They say he should be celebrated for risking his life to explore the world and for forging modern ties between Europe and the Americas.
His supporters acknowledge Columbus took slaves back to Spain and opened the door to conquistadors who killed Native Americans. But much of the criticism is built on "judging a 16th century man by 21st century standards," says Dona De Sanctis of the Order Sons of Italy in America, a group of half a million Italian-Americans that tries to defend Columbus' legacy.
At Brown University, the rename-the-holiday activists "stressed this was against Columbus, but not Italian-Americans," says Reiko Koyama, a junior who led the effort to persuade the school to change the name to "Fall Weekend." Brown happens to be in Rhode Island, a state with the largest proportion of Italian-Americans in the U.S.
Lookie here: Pookie, Ray-Ray and 'dem "discover" new stuff on the regular; four hundred years from now will we have a National Grand Hustle Day? Just sayin' – since we're all so worried about political correctness these days, it might be time to take a look and see which of these "national holidays" still make sense. Any thoughts on Chris C.'s holiday? Any other holidays need the side-eye?

Monday, October 01, 2012

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

As we've done for the past three (four?) years here in BougieLand, we're going Pink for the Cure. BougieMom is a two-time breast cancer survivor. Early detection, aggressive treatment and consistent follow-up are the recommendations to beat this disease until someone can find a cure. Here's a great article on What to Know About Getting a Mammogram

The stats from 2011 remained startling:
• In 2011, an estimated 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among women, as well as an estimated 57,650 additional cases of in situ breast cancer.
• In 2011, approximately 39,520 women are expected to die from breast cancer. Only lung cancer accounts for more cancer deaths in women.
• In 2011, about 2,140 cases of breast cancer are expected to occur among men, accounting for about 1% of all breast cancers. In addition, approximately 450 men will die from breast cancer.
I'm still kind of side-eyeing Susan G. Komen so this year, I'll ask that if  you can - please donate to the American Cancer Society. or buy something cute. My latest obsessions are the items from Ford's Warriors in Pink campaign and a nice lady I met at an artist's fair here in Dallas has some cute bracelets as well where a percentage of the proceeds goes towards cancer research. So long story short, get educated, get involved and lend support. 

BnB Fall Hiatus

At least once or twice a year, I try and take a little vacay from the blogosphere. For those of you that love your daily dose of Fresh Bouge... October is going to be a little harsh. I'll probably only post once a week or if something really drives me get a rant on. I'm going to try and actually turn in a book early for once in my publishing career. I'm off to Vegas next week for a conference and at the end of the month I'm heading to Maui to celebrate Bougie Older Sis' milestone birthday. In between all of that, I'm going to embrace some me time. I'll be around, you can find me on The Twitter or The Facebook. If you're wondering what your BnB play cousins are up to when they're not here, there is a BnB Twitter Group and Facebook page. (if you'd like to be added to the Twitter Group, let me know) We'll also be starting the discussion of Pretty Boy Problems in the BnB Reading Club.

Talk to you soon!


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