Hair today…gone Tomorrow

Reader,

Its Summertime and those of you who have followed my writing for the past 6 years know that I tend to avoid serious topics during the Hot fun in the Summer time months.

I mean, there are 9 months that I can devote to our bumbling political arena, our apathetic approach to Humankind and Mother Earth, our failing Education system, our Horrible prison system, immigration, elder and child abuse, the plight of homeless, Veterans we never thanked for their Service. The uncurable Cancer (unless you are a celebrity or ten percenter) Health care nightmares. Do I need to go on…

Damn, she’s making ME depressed.

Enough, Reader.

Today’s topic, Students (in my best Teacher Voice) is Hair!

Huh?

As a Black woman, I have struggled with my hair for as long as I and my Mother can remember.

Blessed with that long thick good stuff ( maternal granny was part Native American…hey heard They are getting reparations And Casinos…better send that swab off)

I digress.

My early years were spent dreading the daily letsfixyourhairforschoolritual.

It seemed like hours of torture. Transforming my thick, straight but a little kinky (Dad’s folk were pure Africans) tresses into 2 pigtails (braids).

And every two weeks, like clockwork, I was subjected to Hair washing Day. Usually preceded by a dose of castor oil and liquid Vitamin D. Mom kept us cold free.

Gurl, get that shampoo, a towel, the big tooth comb and that jar of grease, and get yourself in the kitchen.

Words cannot convey what followed.

She meticuously lathered, scrubbed, rubbed, squeezed, massaged (sometimes gently scratched my scalp) my disobedient locks into submission.

Once dripping wet and still comb-able, She would grab, tug, pull, part,and grease my unruly hair.

Water ran in large rivulets down my forehead, back of neck…hmm is that what water boarding is like.

Ouch, you hurting me.. was my frequent response.

Gurl, you know how thick your hair is. And you ain’t tenderheaded. So be quiet and go get the Straightening Comb.

Every girl of color reading this, probably felt a quickening in her heart with the mention of the SC.

And I am not talking about the modern, cute electric temperature controlled Hot comb..

This SC was a black handled , iron toothed, white smoke generating, grease residue, smelly, angryredifleft on the stove burner to long, Monster.

Hold that ear. Sit up. Sit still. Stop crying. Ain’t nobody hurting you. You want to have curls on Sunday don’t you.

Bend your head.Gotta get to that kitchen now. (aka the nappy nap)

Silent tears coursed down my dark brown cheeks.

It is Saturday afternoon. I have missed all the Good Cartoons, a fierce neighborhood jump rope competition, flying through the air time on my beloved Schwinn, and endured my brother’s unmerciful taunts.

And aged several years.

But, finally it is over and the cracked hand mirror reveals, long, jet black, gleaming straight tendrils..just like Shirley Temple…

Toni Morrison and The Bluest Eye knew exactly what she was talking about.

Self hate.

Conformity.

Integration.

Assimilation.

At age 20, I flew the coop and landed in Sunny Los Angeles. My first stop, a Barber.

Cut it all off. Down to the baby hair, Thank you.

Comments welcome! Thanks for Reading/Sharing!

Ladies, Let’s Take a Holiday from Men

Heather Headley knew what she was talking about…

Me time, not some Him , not some You, but some ME Time...

We all need it

A break from the Routine

Work, Cook, Clean, Kids, School, Bills, Repeat.

Me Time

A space occupied by

ME, Myself and I .

A bottle of wine,

pint of Chunky Monkey

Family size Lays,

And the remote.

Not selfish

Or self absorbed

Just taking a break

To recharge

To regroup

Reboot

To get my Sh** together

Time.

Babe, are you listening?

She cranks the stereo up

“All things being equal
I always put you first
You know that I’ve been down for you
Through better and through worse

Hon, its the Playoffs…

I’m trying to watch the Game

All things being equal
Boy, I’ve been more than cool
So it seems only natural
To expect the same of you.”

And the fellows are coming over

Did you make the chili and hot wings like I asked you?

Now, I’m not trying to start nothing
I like things drama free
But there won’t be nothing to stop
If you keep sweatin’ me

Why you always wait ’till boys night to start nagging Me?

Me time, Babe

I Need some

Manicure

Pedicure

Deep pore Facial

Hot Stone Massage

Lavender Bubbles

Check into a Marriott

Luther and Kem

Red light in the Basement

Silk pajamas one size too big

Phone on Do not Disturb

New batteries in my toy

Time.

“I need some Me Time

That’s All

That’s All”

Comments Welcome. Thanks for Taking the Journey!

Cheaters…a guide

Technology has become an ally

In the war against

CHEATING.

Ask any Woman (or man)

Who has suffered

At the hands of

An unfaithful spouse

Boyfriend, Significant Other.

Cheating Hurts

No denying that

But how to know for sure

The one who vowed to

Love honor and

Cherish

Is not keeping his/her Word

Simple

Check his/her Device

It does not lie

And keeps a History

That when read

rivals any

Best selling novel.

The inventor of these little

Rectangular emissaries

Of Communication

Probably had never

Seen Cheaters or Maury Povich.

Never heard Nancy Wilson’s Guess

Who I Saw Today…

Guess who I saw today my dear

Guess who I saw today

Guess who I saw today

I Saw Youuuuuuu

(the Anthem for all who had been

wronged).

These mediums tried to bring attention

To this breaker-up-of-happy homes.

But Hello have you met

the iphone, Galaxy, Android.

Its first telltale hint is

The call that can’t be taken

The call made from the secrecy of the bathroom

(duh, Sound travels you idiot)

The call that must be taken

outdoors .

The call that elicits a sudden

change of voice

And Behold the Android produces

The Evidence.

Who knew those telltale Selfies

Sexy texts…I’m in Your bed..waiting for you.

Calendar reminders…meet Her at the Hilton..

Could become ammunition for

The Divorce Attorney?

Cheaters never win

It’s against the laws

Of Nature

Frowned on by the Monogamy

Crowd

And the Creator doesn’t think

Much about it either.

So ladies/gentlemen don’t fret

Don’t fume

And have more sleepless nights

Thoughts of homicide

Suicide.

Tuck that Device under your arm

The next time He or She is

Sleeping soundly

(No doubt dreaming about that THOT/loser)

Pour yourself a glass of favorite Wine

And prepare to be

Informed

Amazed

Shocked

Disgusted

Bewildered

And

HURT.

*(that ho over there)

Is Fido the “New Black”

Okay, okay, let me make myself perfectly clear- I DO like dogs.

Not the ferocious I wanttoeatyouforbreakfast kind of dogs, but rather the panting, wide eyed, cannot wait for you to get home and slob your face..What can I Do For You Master?...kind.

In fact, I have been the proud owner of several pooches in my 60 plus years, as well as the adopted owner of two such canines- Lucky and Lil man.

Some of you may remember my Award winning…seriously folks….Blog about daughter Js beloved Lucky who came to visit and never left).

It was the Most Read of all my blogs in 2013! And was selected for publication in an online magazine.

Certainly, a testament to America’s love affair with fido (and just possibly my writing skills).

This girl never gets tired of tooting her own horn, does she?

So, why I am proposing that Rover is now the New Black?

It all started when I was on an impromptu trip to MYrtle Beach during the frozen tundra winter of 2015.

Searching for some sunshine and warmth, I boarded a Greyhound to MB in mid- January for what I hoped was a respite from the El Nino induced winter weather plaguing the East coast.

MB, apparently, is the place where hundreds of Canadian “snowbirds” flock to each year from January to March..an alternative to Florida shores..in search of the Sun.

I thought this woman was Black. What she doing in Myrtle Beach with some Canadians..Hmph!

It was on one of my early morning strolls down the sparsely populated MB beach ( the temperature was a balmy 60 degrees) that I encountered not one, but several men of a certain age taking a similar outing.

Each was accompanied by a little puffball at his heels, or in his arms, or in one instance strapped to his chest in a dog carrier.

Each of these older gentlemen seemed in some state of otherworld bliss as they walked fido stopping to offer encouragement, bag poop, or feed a perfect sized expensive, Organic treat to their small companion.

After day 3 of observing this ritual on the beach, in the Mall, down deserted side streets, it occurred to me that something was missing.

Where was the gentleman’s spouse, girlfriend, betterhalf, or even sidepiece?

Being the inquisitive, never miss an opportunity to talk- to- a -stranger-kind of person, I posed this query to one of these happy go lucky dog walkers.

The answer? Wait for it…Wait for it. There was none! She (or he) had been replaced by FIDO!

I told you something was wrong with this girl..how can a dog replace a girlfriend…she done had too much Sun down there in MB!

To shore up my observations, I began to pay closer attention to men (and women) in my age group who were partner-less, but ..aha..had a relationship with a canine.

I will proffer the ‘One Who Remains Unnamed’ as my final piece of evidence. (Many of you remember him from my Vegas Adventure which was the catalyst for my first Blog).

His ongoing relationship for the past 16 years with a black Pomeranian exemplifies the point I am trying to make.

Not only has this 6 pound ball of black fur become the source of his constant attention, recipient of specially prepared meals…(Rachel Ray dry dog food topped with Kroger baked chicken chopped precisely, a little wet Ceasar dog food, a vitamin…one minute in the microwave..All lovingly stirred together.)

He is also the recipient of expensive treats..when did dogs start eating duck jerky?

A place at the foot or side of his Master’s bed, special planned outings in the car and other niceties generally reserved for women.

Meanwhile, All I received were constant admonitions by said dog owner:

Hon, I got to go home and see my dog… he’s been in the crate too long…that movie/dinner/flat tire..whatever.. Will have to wait!

Huh?

Reader, do you get my point?

And no, I am not jealous of a dog. I just believe all God’s creatures have a place in this world. That Humans were made for each other’s companionship, misery or whatever.

So have we taken this dog thing too far? Is having a relationship with another human too taxing, too much work, a relic of the past?

I believe a dog Can be man’s best friend..but best Girlfriend?

Oh well, time to go watch The Dog Whisperer.

Until the next time.

Ciao !

EATING OUR FEELINGS

I Confess. Like many others, I am a Foodie.Not sure what the official Webster or Wikipedia definition of that is, but I define it as someone who simply enjoys eating. This is not a food addiction-leading- to-obesity and a starring role on Reality TV kind of thing.

Although, I confess, I sometimes watch those shows when I find myself thinking about Chunky Monkey in the pre dawn hours of an insomnia riddled night.

I also sometimes channel surf to Hoarders and Catfish when I feel my depression turning to obsession.Watching those shows is more of a preventative measure on how to avoid a pleasurable experience becoming an addictive one.

This is probably where the mind doctors pick up their pads, raise their eyebrows and start scribbling furiously.Most foodies are not threatened with obesity simply because Nature has provided us with a high metabolism or good genes that keep us from tipping the scales.


Girl, I am tired of you skinny b*****s talking about how you can eat Anything and not gain weight.

What the world doesn’t know is that we our eating our feelings.

My journey as a Foodie began back in the lazy hazy days of Black hippiedom when eating natural was all the rage.

Back to Earth was our slogan and Vegan/Vegetarian restaurants, Juice Bars, and Farmers’ Markets abounded in the city of Lost Angels.These were not the trendy places seen on Food Network and Travel Channel today, but often little patchouli scented neighborhood joints with a few Goodwill cast off tables and a well worn counter. And like Cheers, everyone really did know your name.

Fast forward to Real world adulthood-jobs, taxes, Xanax.

Being a foodie became a form of entertainment where an otherwise boring, mundane evening could be transformed by a trip to the local market,or if funds allowed, sampling the offerings at one of the ever increasing ethnic restaurants sprouting up across the City.

For a Southern born grits and gravy girl eating out was sheer heaven. And according to many of my fellow foodie friends could be something akin to orgasm.

Girl please, you tripping, food ain’t never been as good as sex.

For many 60 plus folks, Boomerism and Foodie are synonymous.

Eating out, always a big part of any family gathering, now takes on an elevated meaning for ladies/lads of leisure. It has become the alternative to a date and often takes the form of meetups, food/wine/beer tasting, food truck rodeos, etc .

And like the proverbial kid in a candy store, there are so many eateries to choose from…a plethora of tempting sights, smells and textures all designed to satisfy any craving/fantasy/heartbreak/disappointment/joy that life sends your way.

So Readers, Eat, drink, and be Merry!

Fulfilment’s First Finale

Crumbs from a bagel were your

intro line.

It startled, suprised and pleased

me all at the same time.

I had to laugh as the response

from Me…a wordsmith…would

not come.

The invite to join you at an

outdoor table…

your favorite coffee spot

Proved to be irresistible.

All I could say was Yes.

The conversation was New.

The conversation was Articulate.

The conversation was Spiritual.

It ended with a promise

That I knew would be a Beginning.

Searching for love.

For the one ordained

to complete me

Can be exhausting, disheartening

and damn right hard.

But I remain hopeful

Like thrice married Janie from

Their Eyes Were Watching God (The greatest Black love story of All)

Looking, longing at the pear tree

wondering when She would

Find her true love.

I knew when I drove away that

sun speckled morning

The Creator had

placed you in my path

Had sent that playful smile

with the sometimes

Serious tone

My Way.

Your resonant voice,

your boyish charm,

your physical Manliness

Remained with me

throughout my day.

And I knew then

I Could Love You.

I Should Love You.

And if it is His Will

I shall love you.

Looking Into the Abyss or The Pleasure Dome

(Memoir/Fiction)

60 is a very pivotal age for the Baby Boomer. Ten years apres finding that First AARP in the mailbox… the lilting ring of I’m 50 suddenly replaced by the thudding sound of Yeah, I ‘m 60.

The reality that there are more days behind you than ahead… and depending on your world view… this could be the beginning of staring into the Abyss or racing into the Pleasure Dome.

After all, we were the generation that was going to change the world…Baby if I cooould channnge the world…Remember.

So here I am almost sixty (technically I am still fifty nine) but when the ball drops next month I will be throwing rocks as they say, at sixty so why not claim it now…it will lessen the shock…and make it easier to mouth the words when some Uncoth type asks me my age.

Not that I have any problem telling them…but why is it really important? Does it tell them Anything really relevant about who I am, where I’ve been, what I’ve done, and more importantly what I am about to do. Like leave this establishment as soon as I finish this drink because this conversation is boring me to thoughts of suicide or better yet homicide and I could easily put him out of his misery.

When did I become so impatient with men… especially men in my age bracket…knowing what they are about to say before they engage their brains and let their mouths belie their intelligence. Able to spot an Old Playa from across the room or right up in my face whispering that I should remember His phone number without bothering to ask mine.

Ah gurl, she sounds like a man hater…Consider that I have been a lover of men for as long as I can remember. I think most Boomer women would appreciate it more if men just knew how to graciously accept their age and flow with it. This obsessing over younger women who see nothing but $ when they look at them and the constant need to put down the women who really are in their age category has made many of my sisters declare that the war is over.

I should be stick me with a fork done but every now and then I allow myself to traverse down that road. Often because of an unexpected gift- a smile- given to a Stranger as I am leaving say… a business mixer.

He said his name was L and the smile on my face made him think I was up to something. I was. Trying to get home after two drinks of Grey Goose from a friendly bartender at the first stop of the night followed by another more generous pour at the place I was exiting from. The silly grin was I admit Goose induced and he just happened to open the door as I was trying to gracefully ease out of the place. After depositing my distinctive blue business card in his hand and declining to remember his whispered digits, I found myself mildly entertaining thoughts of his phone call and what might ensue. He was charming enough and had the balls to approach me so I was intrigued.

And then reality set in as day three or four since our encounter and no phone call. I put thoughts of him out with the smelly trash and immersed myself in grading yet another freshman essay about the horrors of abortion, war, and gun control.

And then he called – very formal tone- as if he wasn’t sure I would answer. The conversation was brief. He was on his way to have his car inspected and thought he would ring me up on the way. Not too impressive I thought for a first call since I seemed to be part of his errands for the day. And then when he abruptly arrived at his destination the call ended and his promise to return the call shortly did not materialize for another 24 hours.

This time it was at my insomniac hour. I guess he didn’t believe I would really be awake but unfortunately for him I was already engaged in a conversation with a close friend and ironically at the moment he called was sharing something about Him with Her.

I told him I would call him back which I did…some two or three hours later… all is fair in love and war…and got his voicemail.

The phone remained silent for the rest of the day and finally later that evening over sushi and a second glass of wine in a new spot downtown, I did break down and call him as he had suggested just to see what was his reason  for ignoring me.

Yet another voicemail that signaled he was otherwise engaged.

This is going nowhere fast and time to pull the ripcord, so I decide I will not entertain this nonsense any longer because those freshman essays are still piled on my living room floor ungraded.

Friday rolls around and I decide to treat myself to some seafood in the form of Cioppino which I usually reserve for holidays or special occasions. The ingredients…shrimp, clams, mussels, cod, halibut, salmon are so costly …but I tire of reserving things for special occasions.

I trek to Whole Paycheck and purchase the necessary ingredients together with those for Muffaletta, a shamefully greasy spicy ham/three kinds of cheese and a slathering of olive salad on French bread N’awlins style of sandwich that had become my latest passion.

Armed with these pricey ingredients and a bright yellow blast of daisies, I surrender to the peaceful hum of my kitchen and prepare the succulent seafood stew. The phone rings and surprise, surprise, It is none other than Elusive stranger.

I decide to just slice through the small talk when he tells me he is on his way to a Sushi joint near my ‘hood. And announce that I am making the best seafood dish ever and invite him over to sample it. Within minutes he appears at my front door, not as dashing as I remember from the dim lights of the club doorway but congenial enough and anxious to see if I can really cook.

Since he appeared without so much as a bottle of wine, I offered him some cheap Sauvignon that I was using in the stew.

The conversation was pleasant, informational, non threatening as I put the finishing touches on my shellfish feast. He had never had Cioppino before. I instructed him on how to slowly sop up the broth with the Italian bread. Instantly, I could see the pleasure spread across his face with that look which says he has eaten something truly divine.

Before I had a chance to offer him some fruit and cheese for desert –organic pears and buttery smooth Havarti- he announced caveman style that he had other plans for the evening and had to get home and prepare himself.

I smiled sweetly to cover up my agitation. A smart guy would never have been this rude and a young guy would have been anxious to see what was for dessert.

Now I could really see him for what he was…an old has been who needed a good hearing aid instead of that earring in his ear. Who fancied himself a Playa when Senior Citizen more accurately described him.

I quickly closed the door on both the cold winter night and Him.

HAVE YOU EVER

Heard a voice so distinctive it made you feel vibrations within your very soul

Have you Ever
Looked into a mirror reflection of yourself and witnessed the same joy, laughter, heartbreak, pain

Have you Ever
Wanted that feeling of exquisite passion that only his hands, his lips can bring

Have you Ever
Waited patiently/ impatiently for the phone to ring signaling the beginning of Your/His day

Have you Ever
Dressed and undressed black shoes? Red? high heel? Low?

seeing his eyes caress your clothed body and nod

Have you Ever
Wished that time so precious and everlasting would rush by like a bullet train hurtling you into His arms

Have you Ever
Touched yourself the way he touches you probing, searching for his explosive presence inside of you

Have you Ever
Laughed so loud / so hard at the same exact moment even though you are miles and miles apart

Have you Ever
Prayed fervently thanking HIM/HER for crafting the other half of you
Have You Ever

Cried silent tears, listening to him read powerful emotional words written for a lost love

Have you ever, Have you ever,

Yes, She Has

WORDS FAIL

The pop up calendar reminds me

Going South this week.

A mocking reminder

of what was

Supposed to Be.

Suitcases packed

Mail put on hold

Neighbors alerted to have

a watchful eye.

Friends bid adieu around

a final flavorful meal.

And then

The Words.

Words fail.

Words hurt.

Words remind.

Words start wars.

Words Destroy.

But ….. Libra

Words give hope.

Words uplift.

Words empower.

Words transform.

And a Single Word

From on High

Can

Move Mountains.

Words fail me

The expression goes.

Speechless. Muted. Silenced.

Nothing left to say.

The curtain closes.

The sun completes its descent.

Words fail.

But

My Heart Smiles.

She Wants A Man Who…

Has good Conversation

gives Stimulation

shows Motivation

Cause clothes/rings/cars mean nothing to her

What can you Add to me? What can you Add to me? (Ledisi)

Now Cardi b wants a man who

Doesn’t stutter after certain questions

or keep in contact with certain exes

while liking pictures and returning texxxts.

Care for me, Care for me. Better treat me carefully. Live your life of course. Get what he’s dying for. But be careful with me. Not a threat, Its a warning.

Ledisi wants a man who

Will Take all her scars

and her broken heart

Promise he will Cover her

Love her when things get too hard

Show her that she’s his everything

Love her All the Way…All the Way.

She knows she’s not Perfect

But she’s Worth it

And she Deserves it

She will give Everything to him.

If he makes her believe

That he

Loves her

All the Way… All the way

Heather wants a Man who

is holding her tight

and wishes she could go back

to the day before they met

and skip all the regret

Wishes she wasn’t in love with him

So he couldn’t hurt her

Phyllis Hyman wanted

a Man Who

Will Meet me on the Moon

Soon as he can

In the middle of the Sky

So they can sail upon the breeze

To the Everlasting moment of love.

You’ll be my love and I’ll be yours too. Fly into my love. That’s what I need. So My spirit can be Free

And Adele wants a man like the one she Had.

Never mind. I ‘ll find someone like you. Don’t forget me I beg. Sometimes it lasts in love. But sometimes it hurts instead.

And He Wants…

He wants…

SOMEONE ELSE.

( Lyrics by Ledisi, Cardi b Adele, Heather Headley and the late great Phyllis Hyman)

…dissected and reconstructed by Yours Truly.

Love and Light.

Comments always Welcome.