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The last post was the 21 things I KNOW at 42. At the end I said I'd consider writing 21 more things to make it 42 in total & then ...


Shoe Personality of the Week: 6/05/2011

This is an attempt to channel my inner “girl.” I usually don’t feel like she’s so far off, but this weekend I spent time with 3 little girls & my Inner Cutie Pie retreated. Don’t get me wrong. That doesn’t mean that I suddenly became The Grinch That Stole Sugar & Spice. By no means. What I’m referring to is the difficulty to identify with the sheer ridiculousness of the behavior exhibited by these children.

As a child—hell, now even—I understood that I was representing my mother/parents whenever I was outside of our home. This meant that my behavior was to be as good as it was for my parents, & then some. I went out of my way to do things in the homes of others that I didn’t want to do at home. It was expected of me to do the dishes at home & so I resented the shit out of doing them. In the homes of others, after being served a delicious meal put together out of the love of having Mama K’s daughter/s in their homes, it was the least I could do to wash the dishes. I was trained to say “yes Ma’am/Sir” & “no Ma’am/Sir” all day. Depending on whose house it was, I knew when to throw in Mama & Baba. I/we were ALWAYS a pleasure to have on outings or in the homes of family, friends, and family friends. My parents were always proud, but never surprised. Why, you ask? Good question. Well, because they EXPECTED it of me.

These children behaved like Gremlins after dark on speed & taking shots of Red Bull. Did I paint an adequate enough picture for you? Filter-less, expectations free, sans built-in requirements, & completely without any understanding that they are not free agents but members of families, these children ran amok EVERYWHERE. Keep in mind, amok to me may look very different to you or the next person based on how you were raised. THIS is the key, though. HOW are they being raised???? Apparently, they’re being raised in such a way that this behavior is typical, to be expected & causing no concern to those who raise them. If it bothered them they’d work to correct it, right? I would posit that it doesn’t bother them because they too behave in adult versions of this same ratchetness.

How else would it make sense to treat waiters like 4th class citizens, despite them being adults & you being…12??? How else would it make sense to shout out the window of your teacher’s car at pedestrians in attempts to scare them out of being…ugly??? How else would it make sense to steal earrings from the festival your teacher took you to in order to expose you to something new??? I could go on & freakin’ on my cipher keeps movin like a rollin' stone with the “how else” tirade, but I shan’t. No need for you to relive what has been my weekend reality. I guess I’m only hashing this out here because it feels so lonely in my head with these thoughts, wondering am I the only freakin 1 who not only wants better for children but expects better OF them? Are we all sitting silently back & watching them behave like baboons on the B train in Brooklyn (if any such thing exists), thinking to ourselves how ridiculous they are but not actually checking them on this nutbucketry? The sad part is, I’ve seen their behavior with others & I’m getting the watered down, “we love & respect you, Ms. Sunshyne,” version. That means right now you should say a silent prayer for every other human being, possibly save grandmothers and hopefully mothers, they come in contact with.

Like I said, I feel like I’ve lost my Inner Cutie Pie. No…I feel more like these rugrats (& I’m tryna keep it clean & professional here) have bound & gagged her & thrown her in the trunk. Lil Cutie Pie is trying desperately to free her hands to find the release button that’s supposedly in trunks these days to rescue self from the random trunk-napping. As these little girls prepare to go home, the trunk has been opened and the restraints removed from Cutie. But she’s scared & shell-shocked & not sure it’s safe to even come out. With these beaded beauties I’m trying to lure her out into the open to breathe some fresh air, drink in the sunshine & reminisce with me on the good ol’ days when children—at least [most of] the 1’s I knew—were clear about how “you bet’ not embarrass me outside'a this house.” & then you didn’t.

Watch me move.

Post Script-I guess I'm not the only one. Apparently LaShaun Williams over at Madame Noire is wondering the same thing. Check it out here.


  1. As I read your posts this weekend, I was met with exasperation, frustration, and some sense of absurd hilarity (the fluffing pillows, WTFudge????). But as I was reading them, I was and am reeling from the death of one of my dear mothers. There were three of us (later a 4th joined the crew) who would rotate houses seemingly every weekend. We would leave choir rehearsal jammed into one of the hatchbacks of one of our mothers (I always had to sit in the truck, damn being skinny). And those weekends would stretch into days during the summer. I loved going to Miss Pam's house because the rules of my household did not apply. She was beautician (old school jheri-curl styling)so the house was ours on Saturdays. We could be as messy as we wanted with abandon as long as it was neat by the time she got home. However, I would somehow finding myself trying to keep some semblance of neatness amid the girl-induced chaos. Now when my crew descended upon the McNair household, the rules were in full-effect. I had to teach my girl how to clean the tub using the foaming spray and sponge because leaving a bathtub ring was a sin. As I type this I wonder, what the hell has happened to us? This shiftless, do-nothing posture is new for us. Ughhhh...I'm rambling, but you get me. You have earned a crown in heaven this weekend my friend.

  2. DML, I was lucky enough to have something like this when I was growing up too (minus the jheri curly stylings...well, 1 of us did). In Chicago my extended family ran deep & I might have been home every 4th weekend w/my own parents. My memory may fail me but it seems someone was always w/me when I was home & I was always w/someone when I wasn't. When we moved to Colorado I could walk down the street to my best (jheri curl wearin) friend's house & be in her lax home. I still brought w/me my upbringing & so was never comfortable enough to get outta hand. Plus, I NEVER wanted to hear Ms. Phyllis yell at us from behind her smoke cloud. Not a good look!

    I've always had somewhere else I could be. Someone else who loved me & looked out for me. & all those people still exist, minus Ms. Phyllis & her brood. We've lost touch. The rest are in some kind of contact & I treasure that. These kids don't have that. & where they do go, from what I can tell by the Facebook postings, no one's monitoring what they do.

    I'm sorry for your lost (only done to make you laugh) but I'm glad you have these memories to help solidify your goals for the type of community (village) you intend to establish for your children.

  3. "How else would it make sense to shout out the window of your teacher’s car at pedestrians in attempts to scare them out of being…ugly???" oh, they ARE wild.

  4. wild is oftentimes too tame a word.