Stand-up comedy junkie, geek, and closet romantic. Introspectively sexy. Flyyer than your girlfriend, fresher than your crew. 'Bougie', 'siddity', and generally okay with that. But sometimes, I just wanna do hoodrat stuff with my friends. My richness consists not in the extent of my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants. And all I want is simplicity and success. And maybe some more shoes.
[directions on how to #comecorrect in the streets]
when i am on the phone: wait until i finish talking. please?
(This started as a twitter rant. But I thought I’d take it here instead of spamming my timeline. Y’all welcome.)
My Dad was always an interesting character, even before I was ever thought of. He’s lived one of those lives that just seems all the way unbelievable; and when you realize it is, you wonder how the hell he made it to 63. He has a life that is just one crazy story after another. In infancy, when he and his brother were adopted by my superwoman grandma and my kinda hearted hustler grandpop. They were one of very few Black families in their South Philly neighborhood, and somehow kept up good relationships with their Italian and Irish neighbors, that grandma ran a steady business selling dinners out of a local diner. As a kid, he learned various methods of “entrepreneurship” from his dad, and did everything from a paper route, to switching labels on household cleaning supplies and reselling them, or “borrowing” all the shopping bags from the local market & charging a nickel per sack so customers could package their groceries. Some of my favorite stories from his childhood were of him turning in the same bird drawing for art class every two weeks, he and his friends putting his principal’s VW Beetle on the front steps of the school, and ending a ridiculous fight with a tree branch to his opponent’s face.
He moved to NJ for 10th and 11th grade, dated a White girl and Black girl at the same time (his explanation was they’d never meet, due to segregation, so it didn’t really count), and hung out on his cousin’s vineyard. My absolute favorite story from that point was his devising a plan for his less well off classmates to eat for free. About half of the guys in his high school class went to a local lunch counter. They lined up to pay, and kept telling the clerk “He got it”, pointing to the back of the line where my Dad was. He gets to the front, and the clerk requests the full bill from him. My Dad laughs, and says he doesn’t know any of these people, pays for his food and walks out with everyone else.
At 17 he joined the Army, in the middle of the Vietnam war. With my sister and I, this is the only part of his life he’s been tight-lipped on. I know he was in charge of managing weapons, drove truck at some point, was in Germany for a bit, and the only useful phrases he remembers are “kommen sie hier bitte” and “wasser”. When he came back, he ran around the South with some of his veteran friends. I cannot do the stories he’s told me from this time the slightest justice. Two epic ones are:
- Dad jumping out of the window of a church-cum-dance club, when the husband of the woman he’d been seeing arrived unexpectedly from jail, with his shotgun. [To be noted he was not unaware she was married. The husband’s name was Jimmy. ‘Their song’ was Jimmy Mack, by Martha & The Vandellas, which Dad and the woman had danced to earlier that night.]
- A shootout with the KKK on a dark country road. From the front seat of moving car. His white, fellow vet was driving.
He came back to Philly at some point after this, and did some wild and unsavory stuff (involving more shootouts, amongst other things), got in trouble for it, became a student of Sufi Islam & studied with Bawa Muhaiyadeen, and met my mother. For those of you who don’t know me well, my Dad is not my biological parent. [That dude got lost really quickly and I thank him for that, from the bottom of my heart. The best thing that guy ever did for me was disappear.] He was with my mother through her whole difficult pregnancy, and according to my whole family, the only calm one when the glorious day arrived. He had my mom’s bag packed, by the door, and was cooly informing the doctors of her progress when they arrived at the hospital.
I am so grateful that this amazing man chose to be my father. I don’t know what kind of person I’d be without him. He’s always joked that God punished him for everything wrong he’d ever done (especially regarding women) by giving him pretty, smart, inquisitive daughters. He did all the “traditional” stuff, like teaching me how to ride a bike, to tie my shoes, that when blowing bubble, the gum actually needs to be in my mouth. My Dad thought my little combat boots went perfectly well with my Easter dress, I could play whatever sport I wanted to and the expectations of others didn’t have a damn thing to do with reality, or my decisions, if I didn’t want them to. He taught me questioning authority figures was always acceptable, that adults aren’t infallible and there was nothing wrong with expressing my emotions so long as I don’t let them run my life. He taught me to love football
and that anything other than Eagles fandom was unwelcome in his home, and never trust a man who doesn’t support their team when they’re losing. He gave me an actual thumbs up when I went natural (and was overjoyed when he realized how much money it saves.) He respects and understands my desire for space and silence and solitude and to my knowledge he was never taken it personally. He encouraged my religious exploration, is always open to hearing new ideas on traditional gender roles (don’t tell him, but he’s got a feminist streak a mile wide). He’s fought boys, teachers, the School District, angry conservative Saudi Arabian men, and my mother on my behalf, and has never asked anything more of me than to do my best and what I knew to be right.
My father’s Arabic name means The Provider, and I cannot think of anything more fitting for him. Emotionally, intellectually, financially, in terms of stability; advice, humor, insight he has provided them all. He has loved me, and does love me, I will never be able to thank him for it enough.
Happy Father’s Day Dad.
I started speaking with my ex again recently. An inquiry about a gchat status lead to an IM convo, led to a phone call, etc. After some benign conversation he calls me, and professes all these feelings he still has for me, that he pines over pictures of me/us, and apologizes for some things that happened between us. As wonderful as it was to get an apology (not that it matters in the slightest), I was angry. Who are you to pop back up all random? I told him I didn’t feel the same, and that I wasn’t interested in this. He told me that whoever I was seeing right now didn’t matter, that he still loved me. I’d forgotten his specific brand of arrogant. I let him go on because it was kind of entertaining to let him make a fool of himself, and who doesn’t like being told how wonderful they are
, especially when it’s by some drunken fool in a different timezone?
Anyway, he’d Oh So Casually mentioned in a previous conversation the he was currently single. To keep it brief, the actions of another woman (the one he’d allegedly broken up w) narrate a very different story. Honestly, most people would just go straight to the assumption that she’s the crazy ex (I’ve certainly had some not so kind thoughts about her), but something really tells me otherwise in this instance. This man was smart enough to have me wrapped up for a solid 3 years, I don’t think he’s keeping company with someone who’s just batshit insane. Especially when it comes to this man, I know what it feels like to have your totally and justified rational fears and insecurities downplayed to the point to where it feels like your a nagging, clingy, needy bitch. I don’t like to project my past experiences on to others, but Everything in my soul tells me that is what’s going on here.
All of that, led me to writing this [minor details have been removed from the letter & the ^^^above explanation - I don’t want to blast anyone, I just needed to vent]:
if you’ve checked facebook recently, you should see that I removed you as a friend. It may seem a bit childish, but for you it’s necessary. I’d prefer to call and tell you all of this, but it’s 6am where you are and frankly I don’t feel like waiting for a polite hour to call. I should apologize to you for our recent interactions, because I don’t want to leave you under the assumption that there is the possibility of me loving you as well. I’m no longer attracted to you in any way, and I used you to stroke my ego. I shouldn’t have done any of that.
Our recent conversations have stirred up emotions in me that I don’t want or need. I wont go into major detail about what I was feeling, or what triggered this, because they’re not needed and I don’t owe you an explanation. I’m seeing huge patterns in things that happened between us repeating themselves. I want no parts of any of that. I’ve learned to trust my instincts and you are raising all of my red flags. I know you said you don’t have a girlfriend, but I think you’re too good a judge of character to spend so much time with a woman who behaves irrationally for no reason. I know what that felt like and I won’t be a factor in doing that to someone else.
If any part of this email comes off as angry or malicious, please know that’s not my intention. I just can’t fathom our continued friendship being beneficial to anyone’s long tem happiness. You apologized to me for how you treated me, and I really want to believe it was genuine. I am really happy with my life right now; I am surrounded by people who care about me and things are going well for me. I truly wish you the absolute best in your endeavors. I hope your name is mentioned in the same breath as Scorsese, and you have the Jada to your Will to boot.
Best wishes in everything you do.
I followed up with a quick facebook note to her too, just saying I won’t be speaking to him anymore, I hadn’t intended to offend her or cause any bad blood in their relationship, & there was no ill will between she and I. I’d like to think I handled this in something that resembles a ladylike and adult manner. I’ve washed my hands of the whole thing as of this morning.
I don’t consider myself Christian at all, but that verse popped into my head as I was writing this. [Quotes from ancient & religious texts have been fluttering around my brain a lot recently. I guess pushing those to the forefront is my mind’s way of combatting all of the foolishness I’ve been injecting it with lately?]
This is heavily paraphrased, but drawn from an actual conversation when I was about 13. This was the year I temporarily
lost my mind and decided I like the Raiders. After being laughed out of the room, my Dad went on one of his infamous rambles. This was part of it:
If you want to know how a man will treat you, you need to look at how he treats sports. This doesn’t count for everything, but it true most of the time. If he plays, does he practice? Is he a good teammate or a ball hog? That’s obvious stuff. If he used to play, does he still love the game or is he one of these cats that just talks about what he used to do? “Oh we won the chip back in 88, I got 35 points” So what? If you don’t watch or play or care about it now, you didn’t care are the game or your teammates, you were in it for the glory, to see who was lookin’ at you. He probably played in school for the girls, to be up under the cheerleaders and wear a jacket. How does he feel about his team? Does he only root for them when they’re winning or switch teams every year? You can’t count on a fair weather fan. If he can’t stand by a team through a rough patch, what’s he gonna do for you? Does he know the schedule or their rivalries? If he doesn’t know that, he doesn’t pay attention. You talk too much to have someone who can’t pay attention. If he doesn’t root for the home team, he better have a damn good reason. Otherwise, he just has no loyalty.
So if you’ve ever wondered why I go in on sports stuff occasionally - I was raised by this man.
I know my reasons for making the decisions that I have, but the fact that good number of my friends/associates are Greek is damn awkward at times. I have to keep reminding people that I am not an interest, and reminding uninformed interests that I am not member nor am I going to be able to help.
I wish folks would remember that these people are just people, and people who I happen to be be cool with. With anyone else, it’s a good look if you meet someone & get along with their friends. But in becuase these friends have some non-English letters on thier shirts, I gotta be a groupie/hangeron/etc!?
Fuck outta here.