Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Dating Sucks In The DMV

I've always been a super independent girl. I say girl because in some ways my independence developed as a juvenile and kinda got stuck there. Im stubborn, strong-willed and I always get my way--ALWAYS! So whomever God prepared for me needed to be even more independent and strong willed and tolerant (Lawdamercy he is patient).

Dating in the DMV didnt suck but it also wasn't a walk in the park. As I got closer to my 30s I started to be more intentional about dating. I created a list of wants/needs, organized my priorities, became civically engaged, volunteered, traveled, attended church, you know...put myself out there. Tradition has it that when you put these techniques into place, a man will just fall into your lap. Thats exactly what did not happen to me.

I didnt stumble upon my man doing these things alongside me. He didn't have time for that frivolous stuff--he was busy too!

It was friendship. We started off as platonic friends, blossoming into something...

Warm.
Slowly burning.
Crockpot kinda love.

Physically, he isnt my type which is why it took me by surprise.

I met him at a networking event in Spring of 2016, he was quirky, boisterous, outgoing, cocky, pleasantly annoying--basically a male version of myself. No instant attraction whatsoever. But we naturally were drawn to each other. It was like instant friendship, when we exchanged Facebook friend requests it was if we'd been old pals.
Our conversations always flowed naturally and I felt at ease. I suppose that the lack of romantic intentions on either of our part helped ease our friendship into the bliss.

Our first outing in the Summer of 2016 was a platonic "double date" with mutual friends. Really just 4 single friends on a random outing but we joked the entire night about the double date concept. I remember rebuffing flirtatious dialogue from our other guy friend and naturally being drawn back to my future lover's side. Still nothing romantic piqued my interest.

But I could tell God was ordering my steps for something great. I had been on several dates that I now know were to prepare me. The man I had been talking to at the time seemed to be retracting from our teetering flirtatious friendship.

Good.

Make room for my new beau...

Last summer I went to the emergency room feeling nauseous. Good ole Facebook just initiated a feature that captured your "nearby friends" and he saw that I was in the area wanted to link up after his side gig was over. When I told him I was in the hospital he rushed to my side.

Guys, I was looking a hot mess. Liiike total hot mess. But you know what--because I still thought of him in the platonic sense, I didn't care. I moved with confidence and ease.

Later on I mentioned I was moving and he said he could come help me move. Great! I had about 6 other guy friends helping out, I didn't think anything of it.

He came over that Sunday and something clicked. We shared a bottle of red wine and I expressed my delight in the intricacies of the flavors and notes--he chimed in rhythm and that's when the lightbulb went off.

Right under my nose. This whole time???

Instantly, I started getting nervous, butterflies, sweat. OMG Do I really like this guy? We've been friends for nearly 2 years and its taken me this long to realize he could be The One?

That late summer Sunday in 2017 we shared our first kiss and it was magical. Our lives and worlds have collided perfectly ever since.


The End.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

How To Get Away With Murder: Be White.

Even though OJ Simpson was acquitted for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown and her friend, Ron Goldman, in 1995 the murders continue to haunt his public image some 20+ years later. Countless TV shows, documentaries, news broadcasts, and think pieces speculate on: "How OJ Got Away With Murder". Even though Double Jeopardy applies and "he probably did it" OJ isn't the first person to "get away with murder" and live a life relatively free of punishment:


White People.

Don't roll your eyes at me and think: "not another white people are evil" post. White people (some not all) have been murdering, raping, lynching, lying, trolling, torturing, beating, stabbing, whipping, bombing, sodomizing, shooting, and the latest--calling the cops on black people FOR CENTURIES. It should come to no surprise that when nearly 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced Congress from 1882 to 1968, only three passed the House. Between 1890 and 1952 seven presidents asked Congress to pass a federal law. Yet not one bill was approved by the Senate because of the powerful opposition of  southern Democrats (read: "white people"). To this day lynching is not considered a hate crime and no federal law exists to punish the perpetrators. 



From the 1900s till the Civil Rights Movement (lets be honest "till NOW") Racist policies, racist attitudes and socially accepted forms of Jim Crow laws prevent(ed) black people from being civically engaged in their communities. Voting Poll Taxes, Literacy Voting registration tests, intimation tactics and a ban on Black jurors all lead up to the phenomenon I call: "White People Getting Away With Murder". Because of the racial attitudes of the majority of white Americans in the 1900s, thousands, (maybe a cool million) of white criminals got away with crimes like: 

                (Insert Crime)           (Black Person)

I could go on and on--but if your attention span is anything like mine, I'll digress.
Do you know any of the names of the perpetrators above? 
Why not? 
Why is Simpson's name a household topic but men like, Sheriff Earle Partridge who, "lifted up Fannie Lou Hamer's skirt above her head and forced two prisoners to beat her till they got tired." live in relative obscurity? 


Why are white women like Carolyn Bryant Donham, living a quiet, undisturbed life after falsely accusing Emmett Till of whistling at her--ultimately causing his demise?


THAT SHIT STOPS TODAY. 

By the power invested in my fingertips, google.com, Ancestry Database, ProQuest newspaper archives and a cushy museum job at NMAAHC, I colloquially dub this series: "WHITE PEOPLE GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER" #WPGAWM


Stay tuned for the next Topic 
WPGAWM: The Beating of Fannie Lou Hamer

Monday, June 18, 2018

Happy Fathers Day

R: Milton Clarke (Father) | L: Ezell Clarke (Grandma)

I'll never know what a Father's love is like. I will never experience the love and comfort of a fatherly relationship, and I'm OK with that. I have to be. I am 32 years old going on 33. My mother reared me on her own--a semi-choice.

My parents first met in Jamaica and fate led them to meet up again 10 years later in the Bronx and *boom* I was born in '86. I never got the chance to meet him due to the extenuating circumstances under which I was conceived, and in 1993 that fate was sealed when a gunman murdered my father.




My mother shared the story with me about how she did not know he was married when I was conceived. She was deeply in love with him. When she discovered he was still married, she was heartbroken. I had been told for many years she chose to move to Florida for better education opportunities for her children--a stretching of the truth. She moved out of heartbreak. She had to get away and sort of "punish" my father for his betrayal. She wasn't even sure if she wanted to keep me, being a single mother in the 80's was still an unpopular circumstance. I am glad she made the right choice for her.

Everyday she reminded me of how much I looked like this man named, "Milton" having never met him, I attributed this to a comical anecdote. I spoke to Milton once on the phone when I was 6. I don't even remember what his voice sounded like or if I understood what a father was. I just remember he said he would be sending me a package for my birthday--then he died. 

I'll never know what a Father's love is like. I'll have to be OK with that. Im nearly 33 now, it's too late to lament or type a sad sob story--"boohoo". Don't feel sorry for me. I'm Gucci my nigga!

Due to my experience, the concept of fatherhood is a distant phenomenon I can't even fathom. 

I didn't know how to spell my real last name until I was 6. When I was 4 my mother dated a man who assumed the role of my father--a terrible circumstance. He was also married--and he also died. (Divine Coincidence?)




I didn't miss not having a father, it was my baseline. I didn't even say "Aha! Finally I'll have a daddy" after my mom remarried a man when I was ten years old. He was just "That church elder who bagged a woman 17 years his junior". He didn't even TRY to be my dad. Which was cool cause I didn't want some "crusty old man" telling me what to do. BUT, according to my mother, I still had to address him as some form of "Dad". I chose "Pa" cause that seemed like the most distant word from fatherhood I could fathom. 

I didn't know what having a father was like but I knew "Pa" was NOT it. I'm not bitter or sad about it. He wasn't a terrible person or mean or wicked. He just wasn't emotionally available to me. Some step-parents just don't have that kind of capacity. Because of his age it was like he had used up all his "fatherly points" 40 years ago and...

I. 
Did. 
Not. 
Care. 
One bit. 

No, I didn't miss having a daddy until I got my heart broken in my 20s. That's when the correlation upended in my mind. Having a father or father figure is crucial to a young girl's development. 


Happy Father's Day

(Sorry this is belated, Im kinda bad at this Father's Day thing cause..well...you know.) 
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