Sunday, December 01, 2019

Pinky Promise

As Thanksgiving weekend comes to an end, I figured I should tell y’all what I did this week.  This past week most have taken to social media to state what they are thankful for. Some answers are pragmatic, right? Folks are grateful for their jobs, a place to live, the ability to provide for their family. Some answers are based in religion. People are glad that their higher power has given them another day to strike a mark and leave an impression on this Earth, their country, their community. What am I grateful for? Family Over Everything.

This year, our family was hit with some health challenges, very unexpectedly. Many of you know that the youngest sibling is 9 and I am the oldest (and it is totally none of your business how old I am... just know that I am NOT 9!) Currently our 10 year old sister is being treated for bone marrow failure. Now if you are like me, you have no idea what that is or how to fix it! So, a few things: the major function of bone marrow is to produce blood cells. Red blood cells (oxygen giving), white blood cells (infection fighting) and platelets (helps blood clot so you don’t bleed to death from a simple cut). So, simply (because I went to law school not medical school... for a reason) bone marrow functionality is necessary for life, and bone marrow failure is all bad. It isn’t cancer but my sister is being treated on the oncology floor and some of her treatment includes chemotherapy.

When we found out that she was going to go through chemo, one of her concerns was losing her hair. I gave her the speech I have given all of my friends going through chemo. “If you lose your hair, I’ll cut mine too! We will be twins!” Because truly, no one should be bald alone. It is a small sacrifice so that a 10 year old (or a 40 year old) doesn’t feel so alone while going through life sustaining treatment. Well, she hasn’t lost her hair! What to do, what to do!!

Sooo- we had another discussion and I told her that since chemo didn’t take her hair, I would dye my hair her favorite color. What is my 10 year old sister’s favorite color, you ask? Pink. Last Tuesday I went into a salon with regular, smegular dark brown hair... oh, but now... I’m the Black version of Frenchie from Grease. Baby, this hair is PINK. Like, the color of Peppa Pig. Like, that Bubbalicious gum from my youth. Pink, like... pink. And I’d do it again. Family over EVERYTHING.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

She Will Know Her Power

"Red And Yellow Dance" found here

It has been five days. I am assuming that the leadership of my former school, having been silent so far, is circling the wagons and coming up with some talking points about my last blog entry. While they make plans, let me clarify a few things:

1. Before the argument makes the rounds, my beef with the school is NOT personal and I am not an angry Black woman/former Board member. If that were the case, I would have a. Reported the misdeeds in June when they happened; b. I would have named names; and c. I would have mentioned the actual “personal” story that happened when my husband and I were attempting to enroll our daughter at the school. I did none of those things. The Alumnae Board has (or had) bylaws. These bylaws were available to everyone, in fact, last I looked they are on the school’s main website. One of the new co-presidents of the Alumnae Board disregarded the bylaws and stole a leadership position. And she was allowed to do that by school leadership. That is what happened. Those are the facts. In June, when this was happening, I strongly opposed this and my opinion was dismissed. I sent my resignation letter, including alternative proposals, to the entire Board and school leadership-- so they have KNOWN exactly where I stood. For four months. And they have said and done nothing.

As for the “angry Black woman” situation- I have been a part of this small society since eighth grade. I know that when I disagree with the status quo, someone is going to say that I am just angry and somehow my actions are making people feel uncomfortable or anxious. Or my reaction is detrimental to our "community." To that I say: if my sitting at the table and calling you out on your noted racial and/or socioeconomic inequality makes you anxious or hurts your feelings… enjoy that anxiety, because I am not going anywhere.

2. The fallout from my blog post is that a lot of ladies now feel comfortable sharing their stories and their experiences- good and bad. And I am happy about that. There is no way that the school will pretend to, I mean, embark on fixing its strained relationship with some of their alumnae if we don’t band together and MAKE THEM SEE US. I spent five years highlighting the good experiences of our classmates while I was on the Board. Just like the good, our bad experiences should be dealt with swiftly and in public. If the school has wronged you as an alumnae, they should be brought to task about that. I will gladly be the face of a movement towards the school making amends. They need to and we need to demand that they do so, immediately.

3. I will remain transparent in what I want from the school. I want an apology from them, specifically from the woman who stole her position on the Board and the two women in charge who allowed her to do it. I want some guarantees that set in stone rules will not be broken again. I want to see more diversity (racial and socioeconomic) in charge of alumnae relations and (eventually) I want to speak with the school about the situation that took place concerning my daughter. Essentially, I want the school to show some of that “good behavior” that they supposedly instilled in us when we were students there. I have said and will continue to say- they need to work better with alumnae. And the school cannot work well with us if they continue to treat us like shit AND we allow them to get away with it.

4. As a reread my first post, I know that it seemed as if I was out on a limb by myself, like EVERY Board member left me in the wind. That is not true. I had four ladies who vocally opposed the coup that the school allowed. I appreciate them more than they know. There are ladies who stood up against this. There are ladies who know that this is wrong and said so. I am not the only person who left the Board. There ARE women who have enough backbone to stand up against this bullshit being shoveled in our direction. Some of those ladies are speaking their truth now. Listen: as a feminist I really believe that ALL women bring something to the table. We gain nothing by being bitchy or excluding people. You cannot feed the needs of your people (in this case alumnae of a private school) if only a portion of your people are represented. If that portion is almost solely rich, White women, you stand to alienate an ever growing number of people in your community. If you allow your representatives to come in and do whatever they want, rules be damned, because they can write you a big check, you will alienate (and infuriate) your base. If you teach young women to speak up when they see some wrongs… be ready to be brought to task about the wrong shit you do. I will not go away. I will not let this bad behavior continue. I will not be silenced.

Friday, October 18, 2019

I've Packed Up My Unicorns

More than a couple Unicorns have asked me why I have stepped away from the place that connects us. It is true that my involvement with our common institution came to an abrupt halt at the end of June. After five years of active participation and one year as the face/email signature of our alumnae association, ladies have hit me up to see why they don’t hear from me anymore and why they don’t see me at events. Woo- there is SO much. I have come to the point where I am rational enough to properly convey what happened without using my signature “colorful” language. I wasn’t sure that I would ever post this or publicly say anything about what happened because, generally, people are taught to move on from bad situations and say nothing. However, yesterday, one of my attorney buddies on Twitter pointed out that folks are “used to getting away with rude stuff because people are taught to be polite and not call things out. Bullshit to that.” Bullshit, indeed.

This establishment that we share, this Columbus institution, was built on the idea that empowering girls will help them find their way as learners and leaders. I discovered my potential as a leader well before I was in the safe confines of our small college preparatory society. Being a leader has never been an issue for me. My leadership style is simple: I, transparently, do what is best for the greater good. I do it without bullshit. I’ll tell you if we can swing something, or if it needs to wait. If I disagree with a proposal, I will let you know; and if you tell me something in confidence, that is where it will stay. I am a vault.

So, that is what you get from me, transparent, no nonsense leadership AND I am, and always will be, fiercely loyal. If I rock with you, and you need me, there is no doubt that I will do whatever I can. I mean, if we make it to be friends, you damn near have to spit in my face for me not to fuck with you anymore. But once you cross the line, our level of trust will never go back to 100%. I said all that to say: four months ago, the place where we spent our formative years, where we grew up together… spit in my face. Now listen: more than one thing happened, please know that, but the absolute end of my patience? I was unceremoniously and unjustly left out of a huge decision that I most certainly should have been involved in. The person that would eventually take my place purposely worked around me, created an environment where she could be in charge and never, not once, apologized or took responsibility (and I am sure that she will never). Then she had the audacity to “thank me for my service” in a newsletter. Y’all. And the administration at our shared institution… did nothing. Ladies who told me their issues with the woman in question kept quiet because they didn’t want to rock the boat and folks just moved on like it was just another day.

Now listen: While I may deliver my words in a very straightforward way, I don’t do mean girl shit. I do not believe that women have to be pit against one another for one to rise to the top. I think that women who have to do sneaky shit to meet their personal goals are pathetic. I firmly believe that there is enough shine for everyone to have some, and it may just be the law school in me, but I also think that folks should be able to talk shit out. Not completely out of line thinking for an all girls school, right? A place that is supposed to foster the spirit of young women should be a safe place, right?

So that is why you haven’t seen me around, or sharing their events on Facebook. You will not see me at any events in the near future either. What happened to me was… unprofessional, inexcusable, unkind and, perhaps most importantly, undeserved. So, I have packed up my collection of unicorns (along with some wonderful memories AND the thought of my daughter following in my footsteps in those halls) and put them in the back of the closet. The WAY BACK. No telling if or when they will ever make another appearance.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Long Way Home

I took the long way home on Sunday. It was a beautiful day in central Ohio, hot but not not hell-like. Eighty-seven degrees with a wonderful breeze; the sun helping my skin to darken to a deep cappuccino color. After weeks of being part of a duo (with Baby K) twenty-four/seven, I finally escaped the house... ALONE. By myself. I barely knew what to do! Even though I was by myself, I still had shit to do... so I clipped some digital coupons and went to the grocery store. (I'm fancy like that).

I jumped in hubs' car, backed out of the garage and drove away from the brick and buttercup colored fortress that I had been holed up in for the last few weeks. Our house is comfortable, very comfortable, but I was happy to see it in the rear view mirror! After weeks of being in a chilly air conditioned house, I rolled down the windows and let the breeze blow through my hair. Best thing about hubs' car? Satellite radio with a 90s channel. A 90s music channel, y'all.

Now, I don't really know what happened on my ride. Now-a-days getting alone time is a high. I remember that my hand was out the window, making peaks and valleys as the wind blew it up and down; my music was loud and during my singalong I did NOT use my inside voice. At one point 3AM by Matchbox 20 was on and there is NO WAY y'all could convince me that I was not matching Rob Thomas in vocals and intensity. Listen... that crosswalk has never seen anyone like me before. Hold on- I just started humming that song again.

When I tell you that I am the QUEEN of 90s music, I mean it. My high school and college years were filled to the brim with fantastically angsty tunes, now categorized as "classics." I too am a classic. I know all their words, all the beats, all the ad libs. I will school folks who ride shotgun. I feel no shame. Ever. My car concerts can only be described as... EPIC, one of a kind, showstopping, (sometimes) better than the original (not to toot my own horn or anything). I'm quite good, especially with the music of my teenaged years). Cue that Tonic song "If you could only see the way she loves me, then maybe you would understand." YES!! I needed that time away-- and I needed those tunes. I needed to be reminded of yesterdays.

If I am being honest, this year has been trying. I have been so busy volunteering, mom-ing and wife-ing that I have been dragged away from being me. I have been lax with the things that relax me- reading, writing and acting a fool. I have just been all over the place, pulled in a million different directions and you know what? Sometimes life is just like that. Little Lady K is growing, prospering and being kind, hubs has new work shit to talk about, but me? I have been experiencing Groundhog Day in different outfits. My days look the same, my nights are long because someone is rejecting a sleep schedule (in the name of Jesus). But this has to stop. I need to get back to being well rounded. I need books. I need this blog as an outlet. So, I have decided to get back on my shit. Less Facebook... more writing. I took the long way, but here I am. Home.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Absence Makes the Ass Grow... Fatter?

Ok. It has been a couple months... I think I can finally talk about this. I think Spring is going to be my season, so I can talk about what happened to me during Winter. I only have one request... please be gentle with me. After what happened, I am in a very vulnerable place. Ok-- here we go:

Y'all, I have been traumatized. I should have known better than to leave the house. It was as if there was a shit filled cloud floating over me at the beginning of 2019. First, Baby K got sick- and that is a WHOLE thing. She isn't very sickly, so when she does actually catch a cold, the clingy level in this house goes to 100. And now that she can talk, she is like expert level guilt tripper-- but that is another story for another day. Baby K got sick the first week of January. I had been stuck in the house for so long that I was forgetting what outside looked like, so I talked to Lefty and while Baby K was asleep I took my happy hips to the grocery store. Some time away, just what I needed, right? uh... y'all know better than that. Let the shit show begin.

First, I took Lefty's car-- just in case there was a need to run to the doctor or the house caught on fire. Plus, who wants to move a toddler seat over and over again? It was weird, because I have a small SUV and Lefty drives a smaller sedan, so it felt like I was riding on the ground in this car. Made it to the store without incident, did some damage at Meijer-- they take ALL my money. I didn't even have to hit anyone with my cart (on this particular trip). Magical, right? So I head outside to pack my newly purchased groceries in the car and go back home to a sick kid.

Two things need to be mentioned here: 1. I halfway forgot that I drove Lefty's car. Here I was out in the parking lot looking for my tall Honda Element, when I suddenly remembered that I should be looking for a Nissan Sentra. Sigh. 2. If you are not familiar with central Ohio winter weather, let me give you some insight- it is fucking cold. There may not be snow, but trust me, you WILL freeze your tits off. So even a short search in a parking lot will lead the nicest person to scream profanities-- and I am not nice-- so now you know what my state of mind was when I finally reached Lefty's car.

I unlock the trunk, put in the heavy bags and head to the unlock the door (so I can turn on the car and the heat) before loading the rest of my shit. Put the key in the lock and... nothing. NOT A DAMN THING. Door did not unlock. So I head over to the passenger side... nope, there is not a lock on the passenger side and I (stable genius that I can be) left the little clicker at home. Piece of shit. So I am outside, freezing my fat ass off, unable to get in the car. So, what do I do? Call my partner in crime to a. complain about his shitty car (that used to be MY car, so you think I would know better) and b. to cry (without tears because... cold).

What did Lefty do? Laugh. And I am not talking a small chuckle. I am telling you, my situation tickled his WHOLE soul. As I am complaining about this unfortunate turn of events I remember that the trunk is open and I can get into the cabin of the car... through the trunk. Oh shit, y'all. I pull the little levers that unlock the back seat, move the heavy groceries to the side... and prepare to get in the trunk like some super agent spy. Let's keep in mind-- I am multitasking like a fucking BOSS because I am still on the phone with Lefty. I do a quick look around, to make sure that 1. no one will steal my groceries that are still in the cart next to the car and 2. no one is recording my ass getting into the trunk of this car. I am not ready for that YouTube fame just yet. I don't see anyone, so I do what can only be described as a mermaid dive into Lefty's trunk and proceeded to slither my fat ass from the trunk into the back seat. Breathing heavily, I was able to press the door (un)lock button, climb out the back seat, load the rest of the groceries AND THEN... I could not find the car key. Y'all.

The key was on the floor in the backseat. It had fallen out of my pocket after I unlocked all the doors. I loaded the groceries in the trunk, put my cart away, beat it home and didn't leave the house for another week because fuck that, I don't need that kind of life changing negativity in my life. I am still traumatized... I don't even want to ride in Lefty's car. That bitch is like Christine. I am convinced she is trying to kill me. May Spring bring me some good mojo because I need it after that. Good mojo and an updated cardio regime because I was out of breath until I was almost halfway home. Wooooo, mercy.

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