Peanut Butter and PMS

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I am on my period. You needed to know that because… I’ve managed not to lose my mind, yell at an employee, give Besty Lou in the Maroon Honda with the frizzy hair, army mom tag and the HUMONGOUS MAGA sticker, the bird while throwing my low fat cup of venti latte at her too darkly tinted window, or -and this is a big one- cry into my bottle of sparkling water whilst parked in the middle of the Westshore Mall Parking Lot.

I did however, manage to attend BNI, interview fifty leven unqualified and a few potentially qualified employees, attend my BNI Power Team Lunch, sit in on a random ass 1:1 with AB, Host another impromptu 1:1 at my office, pay bills, get the mail, and do banking amongst a ton of other things including holding my employees’ hands and blowing theoretical boo boos out of their eyes. All while feeling like Jesus Christ’s worse enemy was skateboarding through my uterus wearing bob sleds. giphy-2.gif

I’ve said it in the past and I’ll stand behind it now, PMS doesn’t MAKE women (people with uteruses? uteri? whatever) go the eff off. Nope. NOT EVEN. PMS just HELPS women (people with uteruses? uteri? whatever) go the eff off about all of the things that they should probably go the eff off about on a regular basis. How? Try dealing with insane amounts of pressure all of the time then add on top of that the pain of 1600 orca playing double dutch across your uterus. Then multiply that by the fact that something is leaking in your drawers, the leaking intensifies when you sneeze or laugh or breathe, AND it causes all sorts of hormonal changes from making you bloated to convincing you that you really need a chocolate bar, and a burger, and six bags of potato chips, 2 packets of skittles, and a hug from your 1st grade teacher Miss Hart and tell me how you handle it.

How would you deal with all of the hormonal stuff, aches, pains, cravings and then add things:

Like, that one employee who is about to lose his shit again for the tenth time this week.

Or, that one customer who already knows what’s wrong with their car and would’ve completed the repair at home except they don’t have a lift, or the tools, or fingers, so could you please do it for practically free?

Or, the one salesperson who calls you about the email that they sent two weeks ago who has managed to sneak through the new manager’s clammy grasp and landed flat in your lap and is now proceeding to try to sell you things and when you decline asks if they should resend the same email for you to review. Cause obviously you could understand the offer better if you’d just read the email that they sent you.

Or, the employees who spend more time on their cellphones talking to Rootie, Tootie, Fresh and Frootie than doing whatever it is that you’re trying to pay them to do.

Or, Listen to your business partner who is also your wife vent to you about the business relationship that you already told them not to get into, breaking up. Without saying I TOLD YOU THE EFF SO.

Or, the kid who needs to go and get slacks and a tie to wear to school tomorrow, cause duh, all football players have to dress up tomorrow, and of course Coach just told him and yes it’s after 6:30pm but aren’t moms supposed to drop everything and take them to get the desired items? And, also could you like hurry up and get through the ever increasing Tampa traffic to pick him up from school? Like, I know there’s never a set time for practice to be over but isn’t that what moms do? Run to school to get you whenever the fuck you’re ready???

So nope, I didn’t go the eff off. But, I also didn’t cook dinner and am likely going to eat spoonfuls of peanut butter while standing in the kitchen looking out of the window at my fence and pretend that I’m a famous writer and everything, including eating peanut butter standing in the kitchen looking out of the window at the fence is beneath me.

What We Not Finna Do

When I was approached about reviewing this book initially I took a pause. It’s a book written by a woman after her break up with a man and since I’m a married lesbian who hasn’t been on a date in years I thought that I wouldn’t be able to relate. I wasn’t. Had this book found me after my divorce when I was still hurting and hadn’t spent a zillion dollars on landmark, therapy, self help and self love books it would’ve been right up my angry alley. I still enjoyed it though so I gave it 5 stars. 

The writing is hilarious and full of my favorite words: PROFANITY. Erin’s no nonsense approach to teaching other women how to deal with horrible men is refreshing and timely. As I read the book I thought of all of the women who I would tell they needed to read this book. So if we’re friends in real life before you call me to vent about your latest failed Tinder escapade do us both a favor and read this book first.

I love listening to The Read Podcast where the hosts frequently tell people to “Break up with him,” and while reading this book I felt like it should be sold on their website right next to the Break Up With Him T-Shirts and shorts. If you love no-nonsense self help books that read like they were written from your favorite sophistiratchet big cousin then this book is for you.

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10 Things You Could Be Doing Instead of Commenting on My or Anyone Else’s Weight.

10 Things You Could Be Doing Instead of Commenting on My or Anyone Else’s Weight.

1: Minding your own Damn Motherfucking Business, Bitch.200-2.gif

2: Getting a Hobby, I hear there’s a shortage in knitters, also known as:(see number 1)

3: Clean your House. Clutter leads to anger. Spontaneously commenting on someone else’s weight sounds like some angry shit. (Again, see number one.)giphy-1.gif

4: Worrying about yourself. I’m quite certain that there’s a missed dentist’s appointment, some raised blood labs, or even some missed sex that you could be catching up on. 200w-2.gif

5: Reading up on Candida, and understanding that the extra bloat around my waistline is caused by a medical condition of which I’m actively combatting with a whole ass team of medical professionals and if you’re going to be dispensing advice you should at least be informed. (in that order)

Also, look up hypothyroidism, metabolic disorders that cause weight gain, and other disorders that might be the culprit for the unexpected weight gain or loss that you seem so interested in. 

6:  Stay hydrated. Hydrating cures dehydration and saltiness. A prime indicator that you haven’t been minding your own business. (I almost forgot this one. Thanks AB!)200-3.gif

7: Reading a book. Perhaps one that teaches you about social cues and why it is never ever ever ok to walk up to someone and comment on their weight. That person you think looks great because they suddenly lost all of that weight may actually have cancer. A book on etiquette could give you pointers on better things to say to someone like, “The weather is nice today.” or “How’s your dog?” Or “How bout those Cowboys?” -Classic-

8: Studying a trade or brushing up on that foreign language you said you were going to master all of those years ago. I’m not going to even point out that if you spent more time working on your trade or mastering that foreign language you’d have less time to worry about Anyone else. I’m just not going to do it. So, you’re welcome. 

9: Travel. Traveling and exploring different countries, religions, and lifestyles should help you become a more well rounded empathetic human being. (Unless you’re just committed to being an asshole.)

10: Donating to or volunteering at a local charity. If you’re the type of person who feels so inclined to help other people without their requests then charity work would be perfect for you! You could get your rocks of by helping other people and keep your teeth in your mouth by not getting them knocked out by the not pregnant woman you’ve just insulted. 

I know in our society that commenting on other people is something that we just do without even really thinking about it but let’s just not. Your “helpful” words don’t help and you don’t know how your words could seriously harm that person. And, yes this is inspired by personal events but it’s something that pisses me off when I hear it done to anyone. Think before you speak. 

Confessions of a Frustrated Millennial: Book Review

“Natasha, Danielle, and Jayla all have big career dreams, and they’ve done everything right to reach their goals. Natasha earned her MBA, Danielle landed an important reality show part, and Jayla passed the bar. They are so close to their dreams of working in business, entertainment, and law, but the dearth of good jobs in the current economy has made it impossible for a millennial to catch a break.”

The young ladies in this Eugenia R. Jefferson’s Confessions of a Frustrated Millennial are just like most educated, driven, young ladies in society. They’re making steps to try and secure the lives that they’ve envisioned for themselves. Natasha is stuck working at a nonprofit dealing with micro-aggressions and doing all of her bosses work while getting none of the credit. Danielle is moonlighting as a waitress in between her auditions for what she hopes is her big break and Jayla still hasn’t managed to secure a position at a law firm in Boston and is forced to move back into her parents home in Chicago.images-4.jpeg

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s a quick read which I mostly completed on my flight to Vegas last month. I’m super excited to see that more books telling the regular mundane aspects of black women’s lives are being published. For years now I’ve been asking for stories about regular black women doing regular schmegular degular (word to Cardi B.) black women things, which are essentially the same types of things as every other woman through the magical lens of a black woman’s experience.

As we follow Danielle, Tasha, and Jayla along their journey we’re educated about life in Chicago and entertained with each characters exploits from first dates, to weddings, to cussing their bosses clear the eff out. (WHICH HE SORELY NEEDED) By the end of the story each of the characters is happy in life even if their lives and careers have taken turns that they never in their wildest dreams expected.

I knew I was going to like this book as soon as I received it in the mail because the cover is adorable so I happily gave it 5 stars. Read it if you love books about Black Girl Magic that have happy endings. Lord knows in today’s day and age we could all use a few more happy endings.

Sidebar: I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the author.

Boss Lady Rule #1,623 Stay Out Of Uninvited DMs

I’m a really interesting consumer since I don’t ever really want anything and whenever I do desire something I do extensive research and know exactly what I want prior to purchasing it. Telemarketers make me wanna slap myself and picking up parts for the shop at the dealerships in town is always a fun experience as I try to walk through the sixteen hundred sales people waiting to pounce on you as you climb out of car. And even if I was there to purchase a car I’m the type of car buyer who knows exactly what year, make, model, engine size, trim style, and optional car features she wants months before stepping into the show room. So I’m not a great person to try and sell to. I want what I want when I want it and I know how to get it when I’m ready.

I’m typically not a sales woman’s best customer especially when her method of selling involves popping into my DMs to sell me tummy tea, jamberry nails, or credit repair. Now, I’m all for supporting another small business owner and have no issues with MLMs. I know that sometimes they’re scams but lots of times they work out pretty well for both the consumer and the business person.

BUT

The thing that grinds my gears is when I log on to Facebook and have 27 messages from overly familiar women whom I have never met or interacted with a day in my real life who say things like “Hey girl, I noticed that you work out. You should try my waist wrap.” Or “Hey girl, Do you know someone who would like to make $500 in their free time.”

 

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If I were to hop into people’s inboxes and try to offer them auto repair, auto detailing, books, or transportation for their children they would at the very least think that I was strange as fuck. “Hey girl, I noticed you drive. Can I change your brake pads?” Doesn’t sound like something that should be said to an unsuspecting person. So why is it ok for you to peddle your wares to me in this manner?

It’s NOT. So, if you’re one of these individuals who are advertising and selling this way, PLEASE STOP! You’re the first reason of sixteen reasons why I don’t have Facebook Messenger on my phone.

(Sidebar If I missed the memo and this is how we’re businessing in 2018 please let a sista know so I could get my slide on. JK)

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And since I wanna make sure that I’m uplifting fellow business women and not just being a Judgey McJudge face here are five other ways to advertise your goods that aren’t nearly as annoying as sliding into my DM.

  1. Join a networking chapter. It doesn’t have to be BNI but I know two women who sell Organo Gold and Arbonne who are doing quite well from their BNI referrals to their businesses.
  2. Purchase Ads on whatever site you’re currently practicing your DM slide on.
  3. Setup a booth at local  fair or market.
  4. Wait for someone to mention that they need your service in a post then offer it to them.
  5. Ask your leader or whatever they call them to teach you how to run your business without sliding into your friends and families DMs.

Until next time, Stay Hydrated, Mind Your Business, and Stay the bleep up out my DMs (Sung in my Ludacris Voice.)

Mamas Love Your Daughters: My Review of Halsey Street

“Penelope Grand has scrapped her failed career as an artist in Pittsburgh and moved back to Brooklyn to keep an eye on her ailing father. She’s accepted that her future won’t be what she’d dreamed, but now, as gentrification has completely reshaped her old neighborhood, even her past is unrecognizable. Old haunts have been razed, and wealthy white strangers have replaced every familiar face in Bed-Stuy. Even her mother, Mirella, has abandoned the family to reclaim her roots in the Dominican Republic. That took courage. It’s also unforgivable.”

This book had me in my emotions the entire time. Probably because I’m really sensitive to the relationship between mothers and daughters. I hate the notion that bringing a child into the world and giving them food, clothing, and a safe place to sleep is something that should be lauded and praised. Children require care. They require mothering. And Penelope Grand’s mother is not a loving mother. Or at least that’s how Penelope feels.

Mirella feels like she is a provider. She wants so much for her daughter. So much that she couldn’t have for herself. Her daughter could be anything that she wants, a doctor, a lawyer anything if she would just stop playing around with her art. “It might be that only artists want their children to become artists.” 

Unsure of how to connect with her child Mirella provides. She dreams for, she tries to guide but she can’t connect with her daughter. Maybe, this is because she had a difficult childhood and her own young mother didn’t properly bond with her. Maybe, this is because her father died when she was so young. Maybe, it’s because she is a Dominican Immigrant married to an African American man living in Brooklyn and she doesn’t understand or agree with most of their American customs.

Mirella and Penelope’s disconnect causes Penelope to leave home and move to Pittsburgh where she lives an isolated life until her father gets hurt causing her to return to Brooklyn. Nothing about Brooklyn is the same, Mirella is gone, her family’s store is gone, her father has declined physically and the Gentrifying Landlord family that she rents a room from may seem to have it all together but they have a whole heap of issues of their own.

Back in Brooklyn Penelope is forced to deal with the change that comes along with the changing landscape of her neighborhood, her aging father, and the hurt that she’s been carrying from her childhood and her relationship with her mother.

As Penelope navigates her new life and faces her path we realize how much hurt can be passed down from generation to generation and what happens when the cycle isn’t stopped. Back in her home country of the Dominican Republic Mirella tries to find a way to connect with her daughter.  Now that she has built home of her own she realizes that all that is missing of her life is a connection with her daughter.

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Naima Coster Author of Halsey Street

I really enjoyed this book and give it 5 stars. I really disliked Penelope and her mother Mirella for most of the story but my reason for disliking them is because I know people like them. People who carry old slights around and ignore the love that is given to them because it’s not the love that they want. People who use these feelings and emotions to excuse their reckless behaviors and avoid true growth. In the end Penelope begins to acknowledge these things and begins to grow.

As a writer when you take your  readers through so many upsetting emotions they should be given some sort of reward and Penelope’s growth at the end was reward enough for me. I also appreciated how the writer subtly showed the effects of gentrification on the native Brooklynites. It wasn’t pushy or preachy just stating what was so and I loved that.

Images from Author’s website: naimacoster.com

ProTip: I simultaneously read this book on Audiobook and Kindle. I tend to do this whenever possible so that I can listen to the book while driving and such and physically read the book when I can.

If You Must Be Creative With Our Stories How About You Be Creative

So it happened, I woke up opened my book and began to read as I do almost every single day. Reading is what I do. I consider myself more than anything to be a connoisseur of books. Sometime during the trips of my eyes from left to right across the page of my current read I got that feeling. The one I get where I know that I won’t be able to continue reading the book without doing a little research.

I tell myself not to. To at least wait until I’ve completed the book and have a true opinion about the story before I go internet diving for clues. But I don’t. 7.5 minutes later I’m looking into the face of a white appearing woman or man, standing next to their white appearing spouse, with their white appearing children in their suburban or gentrified ass white appearing neighborhood.

I know as you read those words you’re probably coming to conclusions so I should say here, I am not angry. If I am anything I’m bored.

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I’m not angry that a white appearing person has written yet another bestselling YA novel about yet another African American teenager. Nor, that they have taken liberties with this teenagers life and given them the crackhead parent, the absent parent, the problems in school, the job that they HAVE to work in order to contribute to their family because of the crackhead or absent parent.

But, as I continue to do research on this person: looking up their parents, researching their childhoods, the cities they were born in, thinking maybe just maybe their best friend was black, looking for stories in which they describe where they got the idea for this story, looking for anything to help me feel better about the fact that yet another of our stories is being told by other people while we’re still not given the equal opportunities to tell our own; I do get a little annoyed.

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See, as a writer I know that we have the creative license to write whatever we want about whatever we want however we want and that we don’t just have to tell the stories that we know. But, as I look at how stereotypes are developed and perpetuated and have been perpetuated for years and years I can’t help but wonder why a person who took ALL of the creative license with a story would continue to write these lazy stereotype ladden stories.

When I read a story about these issues that do in fact exist for some black people written by a black person I know that most likely they have experienced these issues or that the issues are at the very least in their orbit. But, when these stories are written by white appearing people I can’t help but question why if they felt the need to write about black people, why they didn’t use their creative license to write about magical black girls or as Danez Smif requests black boys playing with dinosaurs in the hood. 

Social Media airways, news and media outlets for once in our history are being flooded with Magical Black Girls and Black Boy Joy and  Black Super Heroes and yet television, movies, and books are still full of the same stereotypical stories about food stamp dependent, thugged out, drug abusing black people.

There will always be these stories to be told like their will always be a new movie about slavery. So, I’m not asking white people to not write stories about black people. I’m asking them to give us the whole stories. Like they do for white people. I’ve yet to read a story about a white crackhead teenager without being informed that she was a jock who broke her leg, had surgery, was placed on oxycodone, and became addicted. They’re humanized. So can we be humanized in these stereotypical redundant ass stories? I’m just asking  if you must be creative with our stories then how about you be creative or at the very least, tell the whole story.

 

This Is How You Lose Readers

In the wake of the #MeToo movement it seems like on a weekly basis we are being informed that another beloved person is a predator. Some have had rumors about their behaviors floating around for years like Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, who although they’ve only recently had to answer for their crimes,  knowledge of their abusive ways have been widely known for many many years.

Unlike them, others like Kevin Spacey, have rocked the world and shocked their fans. Today, I log on to the internet and I see that there are some internet drama surrounding Junot Díaz. Firstly, I wasn’t going to read up on it I’m literally in the middle of rereading The Brief  Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Secondly, Junot Díaz is one of the first writers who made me; a dark skinned black woman, feel both seen and beautiful.

But, like with most train wrecks no matter how much you want to avert your gaze you have to look. It’s almost as if you have no control over the way your neck moves. So with that same trepidation I typed *Junot Díaz Sex Scandal* into my search bar and was rewarded (this is not a reward) with the following article: Junot Diaz Sex Scandal.

I refuse to look into this any further and I’m officially throwing Oscar Wao out of the window. I know that there are questions about whether we continue to throw people away for bad behavior or not, but unlike people who question those sorts of things *insert fierce side eye* I have an iron clad no predator clause on my entertainment intake calendar. All that I can do now is seriously pray that Stephen King has kept his paws to himself. And no I’m not googling it. I don’t want to know until I have to.

 

Innanet Friends

Tell your new boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/ baby mama

Dat,

You got an innanet friend who low-key got they shit together

be sliding in your DMS saying shit like:

Yasss,

You  Betta,

You got this,

You matter,

Yo I aint seen you on the internet in a few, you good?

Where can I cop?

That ya’ll aint probably never ever met irl but if you ask she’ll likely slide you 20 til payday/pay your electric bill on her credit card unless she saving up to help somebody else

That she be sharing your shit, commenting, tagging folks to see your art work

All out of some weird sense of community

Expecting nothing in return

Cept for you to be good, keep your problematic levels to a low, and win.

Tell your new boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/ baby mama

Dat,

You got an innanet friend who only wanna see everybody win.