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Thursday, July 7, 2011

betwixt and in between

I was doing so well with posting, but I slacked off...  I missed sharing my life with you guys even though I sometimes cringe at the things I've revealed.  I always think, am I too honest in this blog?  Will the things I reveal come back to bite me in the arse?  I'm careful to only reveal my own personal issues but still...  Oh well-how can I truly claim honesty if I'm not honest in my writing..  So here goes...

I have been plagued the last couple weeks with indecisiveness.  I make up my mind about my life and career and literally minutes later, I change my mind again!  I know!  It is so frustrating, and the the biggest problem with this is I always without fail tell someone my new "vision" for life.  Just to change it days later...  I know I must look and sound like a flake to my relatives and friends.  Heck I wouldn't even believe the next time I claimed I had finally made a decision.  Why am I so indecisive?  Yall beats me!  I struggle with wanting to pursue my dreams, and wanting a career/job that pays something right now.  Lets be honest, mama's not getting any younger nor the mortgage payment any smaller.  With forty looming and the kids approaching all day school, I need to focus on life after "stay-at-home-wood".  Then I'm face with a new dilemma.  How do I balance everything?  As well as I still have a few issues with self-confidence, and battle constantly with myself on my self worth for not being able to contribute to the home from a monetary standpoint.  Yall I'm a work in progress (smile)

My biggest determent to returning to the workforce and completing my degree is childcare.  Women who have the God given blessing of relatives who babysit their children for them either free, or darn near free should be thanking God every day.  With jobs paying less and less money, it's hard to pay for childcare and still have enough left over to justify going to work!  Now try it when you've been out the job market for a few years and have to start back at the bottom rung of the pay scale.  Even after they are in school all day, after school care can run you at least $800 monthly for two kids.  Then you run into the problem of transportation to get them to after care. 

Now those are all just the harsh realities of the world right now, but my decisiveness is a whole different ball game.  It seems every career I set my eyes on that might pay a decent salary are besieged by recent college graduates, who are still looking for work.  Teachers can't find work.  Nurses can't find work.  Writers can't find work.  You start wondering if anyone is working!  So what to do?  What to do?  Well I guess I'll step out on faith and lfollow my dreams....  So as it stands I have  an appointment to see a transfer counselor into a ---you know what?  I'm not going to tell yall (just in case I change my mind!).  Just know that I'm still on that grind to complete my BA and pray my success.

Questions for the day (which yall never answer).

Does your job reflect your dream?  Did you pursue your dream in college, or a job?

Monday, June 13, 2011

The basement...

I'm in the mood to share my writing!  So here is another, yep another short story entitled "The basement".  Again feedback would be nice! (smile)


THE BASEMENT

As I walk down the stairs, I trail my hands over the walls. The wood feels smooth, as though I am touching polished glass. My nose detects the light scent of fresh lemons from the oil used to polish the walls. The carpet on the stairs resembles a speckled ear of corn, with its black, yellow and tan pattern. While the carpet looked new many years ago, it is now dull and lifeless as if it is has grown weary of the many feet that have trampled it.

As soon as I enter the basement, my mind is assaulted with memories. My mind goes back to when my mother sat on the gold colored sofa, and folded laundry while chatting on the phone. The gold color is not merely yellow, but actually glows like the gold paper used to wrap Christmas presents. I can see myself, sitting on the thick, shaggy, blackberry colored rug, in front of the television, polishing my toe nails.

If only I could go back to a more innocent time, and a more innocent me. This basement used to be my haven, but now it’s just another place where bad things happened.

I rub my hand over my burgeoning stomach. The things that happened to me won’t happen to her. I know my baby is a girl, just as I know she will never set foot in this basement.

I give the gold sofa a wide berth, as I head towards the back of the basement. It’s musty back here. Mama’s getting older, she can’t get back here and clean like she used to.

I kneel down and open the box that contains my journals. Journals, that haven’t seen the light of day in over ten years. I wouldn’t have come down here to retrieve them, if she hadn’t suggested it. She’s been trying to get me to come down here since we started our sessions well over a year ago. When she first suggested it, I told her flat out, “let sleeping dogs lie”. She just smiled, and replied “when you’re ready”, in a very non-intimidating voice.


Perhaps that’s why I’ve stayed so long in therapy. She’s non-threatening and non-confrontational. She’s everything that I’m not. Sometimes I curse her out, like yesterday when she asked me again to get the journals. I called her a nosy bitch and she just smiled. I told her this therapy was just a racket, another way to make money off of the black woman’s plight. Again she just smiled. Finally after I ran out of steam, I agreed to get the journals.

I’m every black girl stereotype you could think of. I’m loud, confrontational, ghetto as hell, and I love a good fight. Not the verbal spars, that I see some women do, but the Vaseline smeared face, earring taking off, backhand slapping kind of fighting. I’m a fighter. Mama says that I’ve always been a fighter, even as a toddler I bit and scratched the other kids.

I glance over at the gold sofa again. I didn’t fight that day. I open the red journal, and go to the last entry. I look at the first sentence of the last entry, “Today I was raped”, I read. Water drips down and puddles in the creases of the dusty journal. At first, I think that the ceiling is leaking, but then I realize the water is coming from me. Tears continue to mix in with the dust, creating long, brown streaks on the page.
I shut the journal quickly and glance back at the gold sofa. “Why didn’t you fight? I whisper. “You’re a fighter, you should have fought. You let him take it, and you didn’t even fight!” I continued getting angrier. I told her that I couldn’t remember what happened, but that wasn’t completely true.


She said the journals would help me to remember. I didn’t need a dusty old journal to remember though. I remember the important parts of what happened. The day my life changed, the day this basement ceased to become a haven and became a grave.

He was older, and I looked up to him. I had that school-girl crush that all girls have on their brother’s friends. He did everything well, from basketball to school. I was twelve; in fact I had just turned twelve the week before.

I thought I was so grown, with my new braids. Red and white beads dangled from the ends, and they made a shish shish sound every time I moved my head. He said they were fly. He said I was fly and asked if he could touch them. He touched my breasts instead, and continued to touch me, even after I said no. It’s true when I told her I don’t remember. Parts of it I don’t remember, like the actual act itself. I just remember pain, and blood in my panties.

He said that if I told, people would call me a slut. I knew he spoke the truth. People would call me a slut. Mama’s friends were always saying I was too fast anyway, this would just be proof. I never told anybody, until I told her. Told her because, I don’t want any baggage with this baby girl. Told her because, I’m tired of living in this basement. Every mistake I’ve ever made is because of this basement. My daughter won’t be held hostage by this basement; I’“Black people don’t get therapy”, mama said. “Black people seek God”. I wanted to ask her where God was when I was raped. Hell, where was she when I was raped. I gather my journals, and stuff them in the bag, I brought down for this very purpose.


I stand at the foot of stairs, and turn to look at the sofa again. I hear mama upstairs moving around in the kitchen. “Girl!” she yells down, “come out of that dusty old basement, aint nothing down there but junk!” “I know mama” I mutter to myself. “I know”. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The quiet...

I don't talk about it much but I am an aspiring writer...  I haven't had much of an opportunity to write much lately but I thought I would post a short story I wrote a while ago.  Feedback would be nice... (smile)  This is entitled:

"The Quiet".

I watched him as he walked through the house. His eyes darted from left to right, looking for things out of place. He started with the kitchen, checking for unwashed dishes in the sink. He then made his way to the back of the house, looking for stray items left in forbidden places. At last he comes into the living room, where I sit watching the children play. He leans down and gives me a perfunctory kiss. The kiss is dry, and his slightly chapped lips irritate my cheek.



He is not a bad husband. No. No one would call him a bad husband. He goes to work every day, comes home on time, and he’s good to the kids. Yet…, there is something about him that is to quiet.


Quiet. I never did like it quiet. I’ve always loved loudness. Loud music, loud people, loud laughter. Yet I married this quiet man, and made a family with him. I was never quiet growing up. Grandpa used to always yell, “Gal! Shut-up all that loud racket, for ya deefen me!” Maybe something in me, craved this quietness that existed in him.


He’s a perfectionist. Everything in its proper place, at all times. He required everyone to function on this same scale of perfection. In the beginning I rebelled. I screamed, kicked, cursed. I told him I wasn’t him, and didn’t have to march to his tune.


I don’t know when I changed. It was subtle at first, and it was after the babies came. Who felt like arguing about unwashed dishes, after changing diapers all day? It was easier to just wash them, and please him, than to argue with him.


Like engulfing shadows, his quiet gradually overtook me. I became a person I no longer recognized. I functioned by schedules, and day-planners. I hated this quiet me, hated me, as much as I sometimes hated him.


I watch him go the cabinet and begin to sort the coins in his pocket. First he stacks the quarters, then dimes, nickels and pennies. He then reaches into his wallet, and begins the ritual of sorting all the various little papers he’s accumulated for the day. He glances up and our eyes meet. We stare at each other, as the kids continue to play. Then he smiles. He smiles a genuine smile. He smiles a contented smile.


Perhaps hate is a strong word to use. For I do love this man. Perhaps the quiet is just the sacrifice one pays for a content husband. Sacrifices aren’t new to women. Women have sacrificed for the good of their families for hundreds of years. Loudness for quiet, contentment of home for chaos.


“What’s for dinner?” he asked, sitting down next to me. He knew what was for dinner; it was Tuesday, so of course it was chicken. Always chicken on Tuesday. For the last eight years of our marriage there had been chicken on Tuesday.


I part my lips to answer chicken, and then pause. I grab his face between my hands, and give him a passionate kiss. His face lights with surprise, and then I drop the bomb. “Were having pizza” I answer loudly. “Tonight, we are having pizza”.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

I need a vacation at home...by myself

I want a vacation.
I want a vacation away from my kids.
I want a vacation away from my husband.
But I want to do it at home…
I’m too tired to pack up and go away on vacation. It’s too much work. First you have to plan your clothes, hair and activities. Then you always have to come back home…to a messy house that you tore up planning your trip. Guys I want hubby and the kids to disappear for a few days, and have the house all to my self. I want to be able to clean and organize to my hearts desire, without worrying about feeding people, or cleaning up before hubby arrives. When I get tired of cleaning I want to go grab something to eat, sit in front of the television and watch crap. I want to go to the mall without kids bugging me to go on those rides that they conveniently place in the center of the mall, which cost $2 for 1 minute of movement. I want to be able to browse in the stores and try things on without my husband asking “are you ready to go?” I want peruse the cosmetics at the Mac counter in Macy’s without the kids chasing each other, and trying to hide under the clothing racks. I mean how many times can you say in your “outside the home” voice to “be still!” and “stop touching!”
When I get home I want eat takeout appetizers and watch all of the red box DVD’s that my husband hates. I want to organize my closet and dresser drawers and then go back to mall to replenish things that I need. I want to try on that new Victoria Secrets bra that guarantees the illusion of big tits. I want to make a grocery list for a month and go grocery shopping all by myself and stock up. I want to have a pap smear without my kids in the room…watching. I don’t want to have to give up the booty so somebody won’t be angry. I want to lie in bed all morning and read and then get up and have a big breakfast without someone saying they no longer like eggs, oatmeal or whatever new thing they decide they no longer like.
What people don’t understand is that vacations away from home aren’t relaxing for us mommies. Cuz we eventually have to come back and we do all the work planning them, and then all the packing. While away we worry about the cost of everything and we are overwhelmed with guilt about the things we should be doing at home. What most people don’t understand is that we don’t mind the cleaning, cooking and house stuff so much as long as we are given the time to properly do it. Cleaning can be quite relaxing when you don’t have kids hanging on to you, and asking for the fifteenth time “can we go somewhere!”

You don’t mind starting a long organizing project when hubby isn’t on his way home expecting dinner or something else….. The worst part about being at home is never feeling like anything gets completely done. That whole “do a room at a time” advice is a bunch of crap! By the time you get one room done its messy and unorganized all over again. No, what we mommies need is a staycation at home where we can work or not work when we feel like it to our hearts content. 
If you had a week off, the house to yourself, no kids/hubby for a week…what would you do?



The diva

Friday, June 10, 2011

20 Things I want to say to hubby's ex

TWENTY THINGS I WOULD LIKE TO TELL HUBBY’S EX IE “BABIES MAMA”
1. Believe me contrary to what you believe I REALLY don’t want to be and are not trying to be your child’s mama! You are more than welcome to that privilege….

2. Let the past be the past, and please move on!
3. I’m not going anywhere…..
4. At some point child support does end, so you may want to go easy on all that spending.
5. I would rather pay child support than deal with your child’s issues…
6. When you conned your child into coming back to live with you…we weren’t all that broken up about it…

7. Your child tells me all your business unsolicited…all of it!

8. Your child has a problem telling the truth.
9. Had you capped all of that attitude you would have found a powerful ally in me.
10. I hope you reap the results of all of those parenting skills you instilled within your child……

11. All those mothers day and birthdays gifts you get from your child? I buy them and make your child give them to you.

12. Regardless of whether their father is around, I’m your child’s primary care giver. While I would never hurt a child is it all that wise to make an enemy out of me?....

13. You could have gotten much more money had you not involved the courts.

14. Your ex’s flaws didn’t disappear when he married me, so a lot of the times I actually sympathize and agree with you.

15. My husband/your ex told me all your past business…I know all your secrets!

16. You would have gotten under my skin more, had you stayed friends with my husband…

17. You make me look good with all that drama you create and “angry woman” personality you exude.

18. Did you know that you have a permanent frown on your face, all the time?


19. He’s not coming back to you. Ever. Your actions over the years have made that a certainty.

20. I think it’s funny when you refuse to acknowledge me.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I NEED A NEW CAR.....

I NEED (WANT) A NEW CAR...


So in the new spirit of taking more time for myself and marriage, hubby and I went into Manhattan for dinner with my brother and sister-in-law. Now I have to bring you up to speed on my car game—I’m playing play station to most folks Xbox! Alright it’s not that bad, but yall I drive a minivan, and not the new ritzy ditzy one. I drive an older model minivan, a 08 with no leather, and no other extras outside of (in my best promo voice) “the seat go down for storage!” They didn’t even give me mats!

THE DREAM CAR

So we arrive at my in-laws house for ouR night out, and we are actually driving hubby’s car, which is small, cramped, grungy and smells like booty and feet. The van’s air conditioning is on the fritz and it’s to hot to even consider riding in it. I slide myself in the back seat of their seven seater luxury vehicle. Ahhh! Leather seats, TV’s in the headrest, dual control cooling… The list goes on, and on. After our night is over, and I get back into my pumpkin, I look at hubby and whine “we need a new car!” Then I really think about what I said which is “need’. I really don’t need a new car, I want a new car. I was starting to display the beginning signs of new car fever.

NEW CAR FEVER

Don’t even pretend yall don’t know what I’m talking about when I say new car fever. We all get it and usually around early spring and into summer when people are out washing and shining their whips. All of a sudden the vehicle you paid and are still paying good money for is not good enough. As you get out of your messy vehicle littered with straw wrappers, crumbs and if you’re a mommy toys---you look over at that woman getting out of her clean, shiny and immaculate NEWER vehicle, and begin to "covet thy neighbor’s car”. I’m not even a car person, but after riding in that car, I was craving a luxury vehicle.

IT’S JUST A CAR

Yet if I look at the picture honestly then I don’t really need one, and frankly I don’t take care good care of the one I have now. It doesn’t stay clean, and I don’t get regular maintenance when I should. I finally realized that in my vainness, I want to “look” prosperous. Yep old vanity rearing its ugly head again! I mean I really just need to take better care of the van, and keep it washed so that it looks nicer. The payment is low, and I’m close to actually owning it, which has never happened in my life.

If I really think about it, it’s just a car. It’s just a car! It doesn’t appreciate, it depreciates, and the one I have serves it purpose of getting me from point a, to point b.  Over the years I've spent enough in lease payments, and car payments to own at least two cars!  Everytime I was even halfway to paying one off, new car fever took me down.  How wonderful it would be to be to not have a car payment!   

So did I conquer new car fever? Nope! Even after all that insightful thinking, yall I still want a new car, but I’m not getting one. I’m going go wash the minivan, vacuum it out, clean the inside and once again proclaim to myself and the kids that “this time it’s staying clean”, oh and “no more eating in this van!” We'll see how long that lasts...

Questions


How important is a hot new car to you? AND


Do you take good care of the car you currently own?



the diva

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Getting what you ask for..

Poor me.....           
Okay today I was once again bemoaning the state of my life, for this is something that lately I’ve been doing quite often.  Well I of course began to blame everyone around me, including God for not giving me the kind of life I wanted.  Then something said inwardly “yes I did.  I gave you exactly what you asked me for”.  Now this threw me for a loop, because if true, it would mean that I’m just an ungrateful whiner.  So I had to prove this statement wrong.  Off I went to find my journal, notice I said journal singular, as in one measly journal...  Well that’s another story, but let’s just say that my attempt to chronicle my life through journals, failed miserably. 
So anyway I’m combing through the entries, which aren’t many over the past ten years, and there it is in my scrawling handwriting, “God, I just want to be married with kids, and be able to stay home with them, write and go to school.” And another entry says, “I just want to move far away, where noone knows me.  Some place exciting!”
Well there it was. 
There was the proof that affirmed I’m just a big ungrateful baby.  I received the exact kind of life that I prayed for, and I’m still complaining.  I am a stay-at-home mom with two beautiful kids, I now live in NY, I’m attending school and I have the opportunity (if I choose) to write every day. 
All things I asked God for down to the letter.  Now this was too much truth for me at the moment, so I immediately began to tear down my realization.  Well I said to myself I really meant I wanted to go to school full-time, so that part hasn’t happened.  Oh, and I don’t live in Manhattan, and that’s the really exciting part of NY so that wasn’t true either, and I’m at home with the kids, but my husband doesn’t appreciate it, and I don’t have the money I want coming in and I can’t write everyday because the kids keep me busy….  My list went on, and on, until even I got tired of my whining.  “Shut up”! I said aloud.  I am blessed, and according to Psalms 37;4 “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart., I did receive the desires of my heart.  He gave me exactly what I wanted, or what I thought I wanted at the time.  If I’m not happy with it then that’s my problem.  What I really need to do is sit back praise God, and enjoy my blessing. 
Then another thought came to me, did I follow thorough on what I promised God?  Now I knew the answer this question without even looking back in my journal.  I knew because I felt a little guilty everyday.  I had promised to love him with all my heart.  I promised to continue to serve him with fervor, and I had promised him that if he blessed me, that I wouldn’t forget about him.  I promised to keep the same relationship with him that I had as a single woman.  Yet it was I who reneged on my promise, not God.  Over the years my relationship with Christ has become stagnant, and occasional.  I only want him around when I want something, and then I'm in church every Sunday till I get it.  Wow, I thought to myself.  I’ve basically been calling God for “booty calls’!  All the while complaining that he did me wrong.
 
Enlightment
How must I appear to God?  I was no longer “delighting myself” in God.  The bible says “seek ye first the

kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto it”  I must say that I was truly ashamed of myself. 

So much God has given me, and all I do is complain for more.  I used to read the story about the children of

Israel and wonder how they could be so ungrateful, yet here I was just like them. 

Questions

How grateful are for what  God has given you? 

Think back over your life, what are the things that you prayed for, that God blessed you

with? 


Now what think back to what you promised God, have you followed through on your end?