32B's Blog

…where I write my words

Hate

It’s Tuesday evening and I’m sitting in a semi-junky apartment with half of my things in boxes neatly stack high against the far wall and everything else kinda spread around all over the place in a total mess.  I’m making progress…

This post isn’t about packing or the joys of throwing away stuff you’ve had stored in a closet for far too long or wondering why everyone loves Hefty when they make the thinnest crappest garbage bags ever.  This post is about my Facebook status: “…of all my sisters, I swear this one is a spawn of Satan. This chick has 666 written somewhere on her body”.  I typed it in that little box and sat back to look at it wondering if I should submit it or not.  I sat there for about 5 minutes thinking, reading it again, thinking, and reading it again.  Do I really feel that way?  Yes.  Was it a sudden status update not thought out carefully?  No.  I wish I could say I typed it in anger.  Well, I did but I can’t blame it on anger.  I actually feel that way.  I know it’s coming….people saying how wrong it is to put that up.  If I live life completely quiet and never write or say a single word, these fools might actually think my life and everyone in it are fantastic.  My words get attacked first.  I wondered if I’d eat my words later.  That is why I sat there and made sure this is exactly how I feel and I won’t regret it later.  I wish I ever regretted anything ever written about this one.  Maybe one day.

Afterwards, I called another sister to explain who I was referring to because she’s on FB often.  Then I cried.  I actually talked to God and I said, “let me just vent ok….”.  I aired everything.  My frustrations.  My irritation.  Every thing juvenile and emotional and immature I just vented.  Then I cried again because I wasn’t going to ask Him to fix her.  It is me.  It is always you.  Not the person who pissed you off, who hurt you, who betrayed you, who got under your skin, who makes you question not whether you love them but why you hate them so.  Take this hate out of my heart.  Please.  It was never her.  I spent most of my younger adolescent years trying to figure out why I hated her, why I wanted God to snatch her from this earth, and why I made every effort to not include her in any part of my life.  Then the times come when she appears or resurfaces and I realize I want her here, near, and in my life just to later regret it.  You gotta love your parents.  The Bible says so.  Is there a scripture about siblings?  I can’t remember a time I ever loved her.  Liked her?  Maybe.

Toxic people.  Everyone has them and everyone gets rid of them.  Eventually.  I think about other people during this time.  People who are fighting for custody of their kids because they haven’t been bad parents but because it makes it easier for the new husband to play daddy and leave the biological daddy outta the picture.  People without jobs living on craps trying to stay above water knowing they have little time before those little checks become no checks at all.  People who wake up day after day going to jobs they hate, are not respected at, and are often treated like servants than employees but if they don’t go they lose their jobs and that can’t happen to the family’s breadwinner.  People who depend on food pantries to eat and feed their families.  People who didn’t get word that the Great Recession ended because their recession has been ongoing from the time they can remember.  People who find themselves pregnant, without a support system, no job, barely a stable living situation, and everything else highly unstable that they are supposed to depend on.  My situation is not nearly as bad and although I should control my tongue, no one will ever cross paths with me and not know how I truly feel about them or our relationship.  Honesty is never the best policy and people care more about your words than the feelings behind them.  It’s ok to hate someone but don’t say or write that you hate them.  Oh, ok….now I get it!  Thanks 🙂

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May 24, 2011 Posted by | Life | , | 1 Comment

Family Dynamics

I would decide to write a post 30 minutes before I leave work – brilliant! 

I sometimes see friends who are very close to their families.  Almost weirdly close to the point that I think it may be abnormal.  Of course I only view it as abnormal because I am not that close to my own family.  When I use the word “close” in this context, I mean people who see, live with, talk to, and remain in contact with or “in the know” with their family several times throughout the day.  Those people.  I do love my family but I think we have grown accustomed to branching out and doing our own thang, coming back together for family functions/holidays, doing Girls Night Out from time to time, and then branching off again.  One person in particular took my family dynamic to mean we or I do not care about our other family members while I took this person’s constant contact several times throughout the day as overly familiar with each other.  Obviously, in my attempt to explain my view and hear this person’s view we both agreed to disagree without rolling our eyes at the family habits of the other occasionally.

How close should family be?  With my sisters, this is the best I can explain it – we grew up with 6 girls under one roof.  Trust me, when we all branched out it was a sign of relief that we made it and a sense of excitement to pave our own individual ways without being up under each other.  I do not call/text/FB/email my sisters daily or evenly weekly sometimes depending on how busy we all are.  We don’t take it as a sign of hatred, dislike, or drama – it is us and we thrive this way because when family events roll around and holidays come along, you have something to talk about, catch up on, and see how someone has lost weight, changed their hair, got a new man, finally got rid of one, or might be graduating soon.  There are times when we do communicate daily but it lasts only as needed.  We may schedule a dinner together, go to a Expo together, or vent about something like all siblings do.  Am I weird because I do not see all my sisters every week?  Every other week?  when we live in the same city? 

Then there is the person who lives with family, goes out to paint the town with family, is heavily engrossed in family happenings, takes trips with family, goes out-of-town with family, and cannot seem to go an hour without checking in or being far up the butt of  some member of their family.  One day I asked, “where are your friends?”  You know, those people whom you are not genetically related to that you just honestly like?  I think it’s awesome to love your family that much to want to spend every possible waking moment with them but, again, do you have any friends?  A significant other?  Someone you aren’t related to that you spend time with every now and then?  This person identifies with their family, is always there for their family, and I know many more like that so I often wonder if I am strange or if there is a good balance between the two and every family exists on either side of the fence.

My family has their own lives.  Their own social lives.  Their own hobbies.  Their own kids.  Their own goals they are pursuing, etc.  We somehow do not need or desire the other to do either one of these.  I do not think I ever gave it much thought.  I guess we are independent livers (is that a word?) who get along, sometimes having our little sibling spats, and coming together when we miss each other.  I guess as an independent person, I find it odd that another might be so dependent on someone else.  This person told me about a family issue he was having – a 16 yr old cousin ran away from home and was caught smoking weed.  Sounds like normal teenage behavior to me.  Or, maybe I am so used to dealing with serious issues that this was minor from my experience so I wanted to say “go find a real issue”!  But, I know my family.  You come around too often and they begin to ask you for money, assume you got “favor” and should pour them out a blessing or two, begin to invite you to their suspect events, or even put their nose all up in your business.  You know, regular family behavior.  Family is weird.  I like the way mine operates right now and I promise not to comment on someone else’s family.  Out loud. Or in writing.  Today.

August 6, 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , | 1 Comment

Our Families

I read about a friend who really wants her boyfriend to propose.  I don’t know if it’s pathetic or cute.  What if someone asked me to marry them (again)?  What would I say?  My vice has always been my thinking according to most guys.  I think too often, too forward, too logically, too rational (sometimes), and these are usually accompanied by lots of questions.  Yes, this post is about Mr. D – he is killin me.  Maybe it’s just today.  Reading my friend’s thoughts about being proposed to I wonder if Mr. D did what I would say.  How would I feel.  Right now, I’d feel like I do not want his life and family.  I like him as a solo package but, contrary to popular belief, single moms are not the only ones who come as a package deal.  Mr. D comes along with his family, and their ways, and his own annoying habits towards his family.  We talked about it today and he even expressed how I am irritated because I do not get along with my family and how I am never there for them.  I throw a flag on that statement, called a penalty, and set each one of his misguided misconceptions straight: 

—–>My sister asking for money for her insulin and I initially refused but gave in eventually.  Mr. D says he would have given her the money without hesitation because it’s for her insulin.  My response: my sister spends loads of money on her hair, clothes, makeup, and other non-essential things that are serious “wants” instead of “needs”.  If I fund her “need” while allowing her to fund her “wants” then I enable and somehow encourage such behavior.  I cannot shift her priorities any more than I can shift anyone’s thinking so that is why I initially refused. 

—–>My brother needed me to take an academic exam for him.  Mr. D says he would have taken it for family.  My response: I refuse to assist anyone in cheating – family or not.  My brother did not ask me politely or correctly, he is spoil rotten, and has below average book smarts.  Why help him cheat his way into anything he did not earn?  I thought man appreciates anything they earn – is that no longer the case?  I know some who will happily accept a handout but not from my hands.  Rich folks and corporate folks aside….I will never help anyone cheat anything.

—–>My sister is pregnant and should be having her baby today or tomorrow since she was 3 cm dilated yesterday.  I told Mr. D I don’t think I will go to the hospital.  He says he would go and I know that since his entire family loves to sit in hospital lobbies as if they have the power to change circumstances from the close proximity to the patient.  My response: I had 2 babies, was breastfeeding in the hospital, constantly having a nurse come in to check my status, constantly having the pediatrician come in to take my baby away for something, and constantly being woken up to make sure I pumped/ate/or fed the baby.  Long story short, I was tired as hell!  When there were visits, usually my friends, I was irritated because I wanted to sleep and not smile while people comment on my baby as if I do not know who he looks like or how cute he is or how small he is.  Their presence made my hospital stay worse and so did the constant nagging of those nurse although their presence was relevant.  So, I base my feelings about that to my sister.  I will be there though – just not for hours.  Hospitals and funerals are 2 things I just struggle with. 

I explained this to Mr. D and he said I ask too many questions even purposefully giving me a ignorant answer out of frustration which made the situation worse.  I asked why I cared what he did with his family.  Because, forward thinking, they may become my headache.  He takes care of his 47 yr old brother who has medical conditions and he takes care of his other 47 yr old brother (twins) who has classic broke-jailbird-nigga conditions.  He spends money on family who barely utter a “thank you”.  He houses people who don’t pay him anything.  He feeds them.  Takes care of their in-town kids.  Drives them around using his gas money & time.  Mr. D has kids without needing a woman to birth them for him.  Mr. D has burdens that I do not think I can handle.  Very nice person who is extremely giving (almost too much if there’s such a thing). 

My family knows not to ask me for anything because I want to know why they need it and why they can’t fund this on their own.  I get tired of the cheap comments although they are true – I hate them because “cheap” is used to ridicule or cast me in a negative light.  No one helped me.  I know, I should be a blessing to someone else.  Even God cuts you off sometimes when you become prideful, arrogant, and just irresponsible.  I’m not God but I’m just saying.  Mr. D is an enabler but that is my opinion simply because I would not do the things he does.  Does it make him right?  Wrong?  Different strokes for different folks.  He says I ask too many questions, do not care about my family, and tries to argue his point when he isn’t smart enough to know what a point is.  He seriously argues a case I have already shut down.  How can I do this?  Then he says I do not know or understand his family.  I say that I try to understand by asking questions but my questions irritate him and he does not offer information because I’m on a need-to-know basis on certain things which means the “need” is never recognized because the questions are seen as an annoyance than a S.O.S. and we continue going in this silly stupid little circle. His family is to him as Muhammad is to Muslims – they will snatch your heart from your chest bare handed if you speak ill of him.  I just need a break from drama – this is all drama from which I want to float away.  That you surely can’t do when married.

July 9, 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stress

Sometimes I wonder where all the regular folks went.  Growing up, we had our own little circle of people who talked about home, relationships, marriage, finances, love, work, school, kids, church, God, sex, food, clothing, fashion, technology, etc with honesty.  Now, I keep running into people who want to talk about things that do not matter like celebs, movies, music, etc.  I knew what to expect from life because people talked about their lives openly.  A few weeks ago, a friend asked if I thought she was conceited.  I told her “yes”.  She thanked me for my honesty and I thought the conversation was over until she had to ask “why”.  I told her.  In return, she told me how she felt about me and gave me her honest opinion about a number of things.  I appreciated the feedback and, on some things, I took her advice.  On others, the jury is still out.  I find that I like life more when I am surrounded by people who are real honest about life.  I do not handle stress well….as you can tell.  I never have been good at handling stress.  It scared me, confused me, shook my foundation, and left me confused on where I was supposed to go.  I grew up sheltered by many standards but exposed to the harsh realities within my own home. 

My family is in shambles.  My sister who asked for the $180 went to get her hair done for her and her boyfriend’s 1 yr anniversary while eventually she will complain about being broke and running low on insulin.  My mom is crazy (literally sometimes).  She took out a life insurance policy on my sister because she is convinced her live-in boyfriend is going to kill her.  My mom is in a deep financial hole.  She has struggled with finances from day one and, when God gave her a way out, her spent that on a necklace (thanks Kanye).  She doesn’t qualify for a certain type of bankruptcy and works her life away trying to stay afloat.  My step-dad is an alcoholic.  He has one DUI that I know of, had his license taken away, got a fake license under his brother’s information (identify theft), and has wrecked maybe 3 cars this year so far.  He wrecked this recent car which my mom put in her name (about the time she asked me to buy her a car) and is still driving illegally around Chicago reminding me of the several fatal accidents of drivers with DUIs on the road who killed pedestrians.  My other sister is pregnant without money and her current baby daddy is in jail for whatever reason and all she has is her Link (food stamps) card and whatever agency pays her rent every month.  My ex-hubby is still out of work and still always out partying, eating out, and living it up without so much of $5 in the mail for his kids.  My brother’s prom is next month and he was promised a car but since our step-dad has no license and my mom refuses to let him drive anything but a big wheel, he is screwed and pissed.  My bro is mad at me for not taking his exam for him, he is mad at my parents for not taking him to get his license (or at least take one of the exams), and he is mad that he will not get his shiny new car to rent for prom.  I sound pretty damn normal in comparison.

This is why I do not come around family too much because my head begins to hurt, my heart races, I feel like I can’t breathe, and I wanna cry because they stress me out sometimes.  Yeah, I sound weak.  No, I do not need to toughen my skin and no I do not need to get stronger.  It’s not a matter of me letting them stress me out (at least I don’t think so).  It’s a matter of caring about a bunch of stupid people so much their failures hurt too much.  They are too stupid to see their mistakes.  If I help, I begin to carry their burdens because they will all come with a hand outstretched.  If I stay away from family, my actions are misinterpreted as anything but positive.  That is what I have chosen thus far.  Some things will never perfectly align and connect every dot or even compute.  Some things just refuse to feel right.  My life in its soon-to-be solo state of just me and my kids (until summer vacation) is perfectly peaceful.  No one’s calls to screen, no one’s text messages to ignore, no one’s FB status’ to roll my eyes at, and no one to delete so I do not see their tweets.  If I could, I’d make my blog accessible to folks I approve only but that requires too much work and may be counterproductive.  I wish I had the time to write about health care, immigration (can these folks just get a damn SS card?!), drugs, violence, gangs, economy, politics, or Wall Street.  I read other blogs for those posts.  Right here at least for right now, I feel like talking about what’s going on in my own backyard with my own blood and my own people. 

And yes, I do not anticipate this relationship lasting….he is pissing me off weekly now.  I shake my head oftentimes wondering why I am destined to be single for life.  I tell him to quit his job because he is their slave….he acts like it was his idea.  He runs a business but his employees run him to the point where he must stay nearby to check on them as if they are infants instead of grown men.  I told him to fire them.  He says “they have families”.  I say “they don’t care about their families to skip half a day at work without notice”.  They show up to work when they want to, complain about him to his brother, his brother has to cuss them out to get them back on track, and then he has to pay them out of his savings account.  It’s bad business all the way around but my degree in management means little to his years of entrepreneurial/management skills.  He even asked me if he could do my job.  I replied “yes but they require a college degree first and you have to pass a test to even get an interview”.  He said he was only asking cause he likes computers.  I like math but that doesn’t mean I am good at it!  I told Mr. D I would never hire him to manage anything of mine so why would a relationship work?!  Is that not a form of business with love as the foundation? 

No IRA, no 401k, no investments, upside down on your car, not enough savings to carry you thru a lay-off because you use it to pay lazy employees, a business barely in the black, and more expenses than income…yes, we can talk about everything else that is all cutesy and girlie because that is what will make me happy.  But, when I outline all the ways in which your ship is sinking either now or later, he says I am getting too personal.  Money is personal.  Being an entrepeneur with business cards and driving a Lexus is a front.  You are no more wealthy than the crackhead outside your door.  You just have a better chance of getting that small business loan than he does.  But, his money matters are too personal because I struck a chord when I said “I am right”.  Of course we aren’t retiring at the age of 65 anymore so you might have another 20 yrs but time is the valuable component available to you when it comes to retirement esp when you are about 30 yrs from the traditional retirement age which means you will have to set aside more monthly than someone 21 yrs of age would to play catch-up.  Compound interest.  Time.  With little savings, no retirement account, and existing debt with the hopes of children….this is one fool who is too arrogant to listen to some skinny divorcee chick who runs miles for fun and can see a liability before it sees itself.  But, most black men are always complaining that black women do not see the potential.  I see potential but I also see defiance and refusal to listen.  It’s not always about who is the head of the household.  Where is the respect?  Why do I care more about your financial future than you do?  And who pays a car off just to buy another one?  Idiot!

I still pray for them.  I honestly haven’t prayed in forever but I started again because someone needs to pray and since it’s my family I guess that someone is me.  Mr. D?  He’s a man….they figure these things out naturally.  Isn’t that what that Y chromosome is for?  Let them tell it…

May 3, 2010 Posted by | Life, Love | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family

Recently, I met someone whose family life I found very strange.  So strange it bothered me but I could not figure out why.  Every occasion whether observed on the American calendar, within their own personal lives, or just coming into town to see one another was celebrated.  Folks took the day off work, worked half a day, drove across states, spent weekends together, barbecued, cooked favorite dishes at their homes, and had what I have not since I was a child.  Family.  Family time.  Growing up, we’d see my father’s side of the family often.  We literally grew up in my paternal grandmother’s lap and in her kitchen where my aunt taught me how to dance and where my sisters and I ran from my grandma’s cat slamming the back door shut breaking his hind leg (poor kitty).  We ate fried chicken from a bowl on top of the stove sitting on a towel catching the grease.  We ate different cakes she made and played in my aunt’s makeup.  We would spend summers there with our bikes.  We’d eat until we fell asleep.  We would just hang out together with each other when all we had was each other.  We did the same with my mom’s side of the family.  My mom’s side had more kids (apparently they had never heard of birth control) while my dad’s family had few kids but we had our uncles who roughed up us 6 girls (before my brother was born).  With my mom’s family, we’d have annual summer barbecues at my maternal grandmother’s house (she passed away almost 5 yrs ago), we’d sit outside and play in the ‘hood where most of my aunts and cousins lived.  The adults would be inside playing cards and the kids (the entire tribe of us) would play outside with our bikes, skates, run back and forth to the penny candy store, and finally go home those long summer days after the sun was long gone.  Looking back, I never really understood who was my cousin, who was my aunt, who was my uncle, or even who was whose kid/mom/etc.  I just knew this knuckle-head right here was my family and every day of my life as far as I could remember they shared a huge portion of it.  They were my childhood.  Both sides of my family.  They were all we had growing up before we had actual friends.  But, all good things come to an end somehow.

My parents divorced which split the family and we completely lost touch with my paternal side for decades.  All we knew and all we had were memories of people who only remembered us as little pig-tailed girls but barely recognized the now grown women standing before them.  It’s….weird.  I went off to the other side of the city for high school while all of my cousins, aunts, uncles, etc went to the schools down the street staying connected but remaining apart of an upbringing that was sheer inner city and as much a noose than anything.  My life changed.  My view of the world changed.  My goals altered accordingly.  My vision was given depth while theirs was limited to the vacant lot with the same old mattress we used to jump up and down on 10 yrs ago as kids.  Then came college.  I went away to Indiana.  They stayed home and worked forgoing college as many on my maternal side had done.  My paternal side was the collegiate side which would have helped me feel less of an outsider had the divorce not split us apart but there I was feeling alone with no one who was of me to remind me of who and where I come from.  Then came careers which brought me back home and reconnected me with family I no longer felt a bond with and grew tired of trying to force what was long gone.  I reconnected with my paternal side after my father passed away but that does little since the only person who really remembers me as the Boo (my nickname) I used to be was my grandma.  How awkward to have those “you remember me?” questions from a smiling face as this and that person retold stories of my childhood and I wondered if even I was present then.  How awkward to spend days and nights during the summer with kids, sharing clothes and shoes (hand-me-downs), and talking about boys we liked only to see their faces now but find nothing familiar in their eyes.  I came back home to Chicago but these people I called “family” were strangers to me now.  Now, there are times I feel like an orphan, a runaway, a foreign in familiar lands, someone with memories of my past but not a single person I can bring from there into my present.  It’s just me.

This person I recently met has this huge blended family of siblings who share the same dad but have different mothers.  They live scattered across the midwest.  No one left for college that I know of.  No one suffered a severe break due to a divorce.  No one lost anything but everything remained perfectly intact.  I hated it all.  I hated what he represented to me.  I hated the excitement in his voice when he told me his uncle was coming into town.  I hated the plans for his grandmother’s birthday.  I hated the congratulatory dinner because he passed his exam.  I hated all the favorite dishes cooked at his brother’s house for his birthday.  I hated the gathering together to unwrap Christmas gifts.  I hated the pictures of his cute little nieces.  I hated the close hug his sister gave him in the picture he showed me from his phone.  I hated this past Easter when he went to his dad’s house to be with family and I sat here in my apartment because my family does not and has not done such things since I was a teenager.  I hated it all so much I wondered if I hated him too but I could not say that (instead I write them here) because you should never admit to feeling hatred although it’s a very human feeling.  Instead, I paid him no attention when he spoke of recent family trips, I looked bored at all his pictures he showed me, I changed the subject quickly so that dreaded question of “what did you all do for the holiday?” would never leave his lips.  I hated the fact that he had all that I had lost.  He represented, in all his harmonious family gatherings complete with the drunk uncle, my dysfunction and lack.  It took a moment to realize and admit those things to myself. 

I found myself wanting to get invited so I could experience those things again.  What was it like to sit amongst people who share your genetic makeup and the same branch of your family tree?  What was it like to laugh with family?  Argue with family.  Talk about family while under the same roof but in different rooms so they didn’t hear you?  What was that like?  I needed to be reminded.  So, I made it a big deal.  “Why don’t you invite me anywhere?”  “Why haven’t I met her?”  “Are you hiding me?”  All these things he took the wrong way to mean I was ready to meet family (wedding bells to men) but it wasn’t that but how could I explain that without letting the cat out of the bag?  I wanted to belong so bad that the idea that I belonged anywhere was good enough for me.  That is just as bad as it is cleansing to type.  I want to belong.  Where I am meant to belong.  I watch others and their families from behind this glass wall as if they are exhibits in a museum where time held their family fibers together but ripped apart others.  Yes, I know family is with whom you make it but even my friends have families and, no matter how close we have ever been, they leave during the holidays to do what families do…..spend time together.  And, I look on in envy, hatred, jealousy, and loathe wondering why the one thing money cannot buy is the one thing the rich never seem to have.  Why the one thing money can buy is forbidden to the poor.  Why all the incidents of life destroy us all in different ways and push us together with just enough force to make us lean on one another for our own survival.  From my vantage point, I see tattered fabric of a once beautiful quilt but, overall from a higher view, I would bet that we all have a piece that was perfectly planned to make a beautiful quilt altogether.  Right now, as I type this, he is off with family enjoying another family event having taken an early leave from work just to make it there in time.  And, right now, I cry tears of hatred that my hand was dealt the way it was and that I may never be able to explain how I feel or even why my part of the world is dark to someone who has always had the sun.

April 24, 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , , | Leave a comment

My loooong weekend….

A lot of things happened this weekend.  This weekend was my sorority chapter’s reunion anniversary.  Soror T was supposed to drive up Friday night, sleep at my apt, and then we were to drive down to Purdue the next morning.  Well, Soror T packed more into her Friday than she should have so she fell asleep on her couch instead of getting on her way to Chicago.  At 5am, I called which woke her up so she grabbed her bags, jumped into the car, and made it to Chicago at about 7:45am.  She hadn’t showered, brushed her teeth, washed her face, etc in a hurry to make the events on time and pick me up.  When we finally got there, I was excited to see sorors and chit chat until everything started because obviously everyone was on CP (colored people) time!  Well, the hotel was in my name but soror T wanted to go wash up, however, I wasn’t tryna leave.  So, I transferred the hotel into her name under her credit card so she could go wash her butt and meet us back on campus.  We walked around campus while everyone was trying to remembering where they used to have class, what building used to be here, and how they used to love that building over there.  We made it to the BCC (Black Cultural Center) for a formal tour when Soror T asked where we were.  She said she was going to Wal-Mart…..ok.  Fast forward, we all branch off to check-in our hotels, shop for Purdue or ZPB stuff and grab lunch before dinner.  Soror T calls talking about she didn’t plan to sit in the hotel room all day.  Um, who you getting an attitude with?!  No one told you to sit in the hotel.  Then she said no one called her cause she needed to eat too.  At this point I felt like I had a grown baby on my hands.  She makes her way back to campus right when everyone was going to the hotel so she made a U-turn. 

Soror T used her credit card for the hotel which still a hold on it from last week when she thought she’d lost her wallet.  Since the card was declined, she had to use cash.  No big deal to someone else but this chick is always broke!  I had to hear her complain about not knowing how she was gonna get home, how she didn’t have money for tolls, and how she was wasting gas driving around.  Last homecoming she came with no money and complained the entire time.  Last summer to went to FL and she complained the whole time about not having money so I couldn’t go to this museum because I wasn’t gonna pay for her to get in too.  I have a budget too!  This is the last time I travel anywhere with her.  She’s a cool person but your poor financial situation or money skills should not be someone’s else problem.  Then, we went to the bars that night after the ball and she was buying drinks looking at us like we were crazy.  I thought you were broke.  Then my ex shows up looking GQ (everyone felt the need to tell me this) and walked past me in the hallway interrupting my phone conversation (I guess my cell phone was invisible) just to ask if I had found someone to watch the kids.  What difference does it make?!  You can’t help me anyways so don’t worry about it.  Asshole!  Sometime Saturday I injured my shoulder possibly straining it so all day I was having sharp pains near my left shoulder blade that radiated down my left arm.  I wore an Icy/Hot patch (forgoing fashion here) hoping it would ease the pain but I think it made it worse so I went to the hospital for x-rays (pointless), Valium to relax the muscle, and a pain-killer shot.  By the time I left, I was drowsy and ready to sleep still wearing my dress w/a white flower in my hair.  Soror C was in the room with me so when the nurse told me to undress from the waist up, she had to help me take off my sweater I was wearing over my dress, unbutton and slide down the left side for me, and unbutton my bra.  I felt helpless and didn’t wanna move my arm out of fear of that pain.

There were a lot of moments which irritated me this weekend but it was the usual women-getting-together-to-do-anything moment so it was excusable.  What took the cake was my sister who asked me for $180.  Something told me not to give it to her whether Mr. D volunteered it or not.  He did give me the money but I only gave her $50 of it and gave the rest back to him.  She watched my kids all weekend and texted me asking if she could drop them off at another sister’s apt so she could do homework.  Whatever.  You knew you had homework all weekend so why procrastinate this time?  Then I asked if she’d taken them to see Alice in Wonderland (her idea)….she said “no”.  I asked for the money back which I gave her to take my kids to the movie….she had the nerve to ask if I really wanted it back.  Is it not my money?  Did you ever plan on taking the kids to the movies?  Or did you lie to get extra money from me?  Whatever the case, I wanted my money back which she gave my oldest…she was $2 short but I let it go.  That evening she text me saying I am inconsiderate and how she won’t be doing me any more favors (babysitting).  She said I showed my true colors today (we’re sisters….how could you NOT know how I am) and will get the kids when she wants to get them.  I replied asking her how I had been inconsiderate.  She said, “if you don’t know then it’s not meant for you to know”….dumb response which shows her level of intellect so I left it alone.  Then she told me to pay someone else who is not family to baby-sit cause she ain’t helping me out anymore and Ma always said I was selfish.

Ok, so I ask my sisters all the time to watch my kids because a)I know them b)they are family and c)usually they are free or cheap compared to strangers who baby-sit for income.  One sister told me I only call when I want her to baby-sit which I dnt see the problem if I pay you for it….what’s up with the complaining?!  My mama calling me selfish can go various ways.  She asked me to buy her a car since my credit is better, she used some of my money from a lawsuit to go shopping so now she’s bankrupt, she has this list of expensive things she wants for Mother’s Day/her birthday/Christmas but buy me cheap shyt she find in an Avon book, and she tried to intercept my 2nd check from the lawsuit by calling the office, pretending to be me by giving them my SS#, and had the check set-up to be mailed to her house instead.  When I called and found this out, the attorney who was over the case told me to set-up a password so this doesn’t happen again and my mom was pissed about it.  I told my uncle (her brother) about it and he said that’s “blood money” so if my sister hadn’t die I wouldn’t have it as if I asked for the money.  As if I traded my sister’s life for $68,000 (total amount for all 3 pymts).  As if I was the one trying to steal from my own child.  That was the last time I spoke to him because, being the only sane one in this family, they have a way of making me feel like I’m abnormal & greedy too.  So, my sister saying my mom always said I was selfish was hilarious!  I’m only selfish if I don’t give them (or her) what she wants.  As far as doing me a favor, I dnt need them to baby-sit….I was just trying to save money and use family because I thought that’s one of the things family do….help each other out.

When I first moved back to Chicago, I was in a bad financial situation.  I was trying to hold onto my job, continue my car pymts, pay rent, groceries, and almost $300/week for childcare out in the northern suburbs of Chicago.  No one offered to help me!  I had my ex keep my youngest til I got my situation under control but I never made it home in time for the 6pm closing of the various daycare centers (traffic and snow) so my oldest was kicked out.  Last minute with no back-up and couldn’t afford to lose my job, I left my son at home alone when the school bus dropped him off after school.  I think I did that for 2 weeks max before I was found out and Child Protective Services were called in.  My pastor at the time reassured them the church will help me so there was no need for the state to take my kids away from me.  I couldn’t say anything but cry.  Everyone at the church asked if my mom could help and I told him “no” but they wanted me to ask anyways….so I did.  My mom, the unselfish one, told me she’ll only help me out if I signed over my parental rights to my son which means she wanted to bank off her grandson and file him on her taxes and all that good stuff.  I told her “no” and shook my head at the idea that folks think my family is the least bit caring.  Inconsiderate?  Selfish?  Bad mom?  I have been the latter of the three but never the first two and it’s all because I don’t just hand over money to people who think they deserve it.  No one helped me through school, paid my bills or tuition, no one helped me move much less find a job to move for, and no one has helped me since then.  I did cry when my sister told me this because I’ve been trying hard to prove I am anything but those things but they only want to see what they want.  To get mad at me for asking for my change back is ridiculous and to think it’s my responsibility to financially support any of them is absurd esp when you talk about me behind my back.  Who needs enemies?

On a happier note, I applied for a Director of Financial Student Services maybe a week ago and received an email asking me to come in for an interview.  I emailed her back and called her number included in the email.  Also, I was job searching on Monster when I saw an open Treasury Analyst I position at the same company I was did co-training for.  I applied via Monster and I emailed the Treasury Analyst IV who was in the training asking her to forward my resume directly to the manager (her boss) of the Treasury Dept.  She said “absolutely” and how it’s not bad to need to expand your horizons.  The Director position is a tad bit over my head as far as the management experience (I have none) but I meet the qualifications as far as finance goes.  The position calls for managing folks within the Financial Aid dept so maybe they think I can learn how to manage folks…I dnt know.  The Director position is far into the ‘burbs so I’d definitely need to get a car but the pay is$70-80k so we shall see.  Still going to apply elsewhere too.  The Treasury Analyst position is the one I really want although I’m sure the salary is no were near $70k but I really would prefer that job over the Director one lol I must be crazy, huh?  That is it.  I go back to work Wednesday so I need to rest up some more and suck down some more pain killers and just forget about family….you can’t make everyone like you.

April 19, 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Water is Thicker than Blood

I never have anything interesting to write about other than my life and sometimes I wish it was uneventful so I could finally understand what it feels like to have writer’s block or something similar.  My brother, who I wrote this post about, texted me asking if I can take an online math test for him which he must pass to graduate from high school.  I talked to him months ago before I wrote my previous post.  He said he’d taken the ACT but got a 15 which is kinda low although I am not sure what the minimum score is.  I got a 22 the first time I took the ACT (I never took the SAT) and got a 23 the 2nd time around after taking an ACT test prep course.  Since my score went up 1 freaking point I gave up and just accepted the fact that I am an 23 kinda student.  I still got into Lane Tech H.S. here in Chicago so I guess my other academic scores and grades were sufficient.  My point is, not everyone excels when it comes to standardized tests and a test has no way of measuring the true dumbness of folks walking around today.  I know many intelligent friends who probably can’t pass a basic skills test needed to get into college.  Then I have many intelligent friends who ace the basic skills test but can’t seem to comprehend anything out in the world.  I know my brother struggles in math.  But taking a test for you to pass?  Is that asking too much?  Crossing the line of moral wrong and enabling people who just aren’t qualified?

I am not saying he is incompetent but I remember when I was young taking a math test for my mom for one of her classes.  I took her test with ease all the while wondering why the hell she was so stupid.  Yes, I said “stupid”.  That is how I felt.  My mom can’t pass basic math.  My mom asked her young daughter to take a math test for her.  My mom talked shit about me all day every day but if it wasn’t for me she wouldn’t have that dang associates degree.  Now, my brother is asking me to do the same thing.  What do I think I should do?  I think we all need a hand up.  I think we all come from disadvantaged backgrounds to some extent.  I think we are all blessed in some way.  I think we ought to give back to the community from which we grew up and help someone else trying to succeed.  I believe that other races do the same thing for their kids often giving them advantages on top of advantages while our kids struggle to finish grade school.  I feel that some do not have to work hard but are given everything while others work and die a hard life.  I want the best for my brother but….when do I become an enabler?  It’s not that he need help in math, it’s not that he doesn’t understand algebra, it’s not that he need tutoring, it’s not that at all.  It’s the fact that I gave him my expensive ass graphing calculator that will get you from high school through college level applied calculus and statistics (trust me, I used it then too never knowing “applied calculus” was an actual class) and does every math function you can think of, it’s the fact that my mom asked me to tutor him which I did for one session and that was the last time he admitted to needing help, it’s the fact that he went the entire senior year with too much pride to pull his teacher aside and let her know he needed help but can’t find enough pride to finish his year on his own accord.  He told me he tried it but can’t get it.  Life does not work this way unless you’re from a well off family with a great name along with a hefty bank account that can stretch through generations and a lighter complexion. 

No integrity.  No morals.  No pride.  Nothing.  I asked a friend who said he’d take the math test for him if it was him.  I guess I constantly feel like I have to prove I’m not stuck-up, boogie, conceited, think I’m better than anyone else, or that I did not grow up “in the streets”.  When you are the only one going to college, then you graduate, then you land a decent job, then you are somehow responsible to help those in your family (in their opinion).  They ask you for money assuming you are an ATM.  They ask you to pass tests for them without so much of a “thank you”.  They quickly forget all the times you did help or give when you didn’t have to.  They forget the expensive ass Christmas lists they hand to you only because you are the only one with a job.  They forget about your bills because “Denisha got that nice job.  Hell, she the only one I know still working thru this recession.  They even let her work from home.  She a big-timer now!”  I have this thing against saying “no” to family only because I don’t want to become what they think I am anyways…..the stuck-up chick who went to college and forgot where she came from so now I think I’m “better”.  Well, it’s high time to nip it in the bud right now and wash my hands of it.  No, I won’t take his math test for him.  He may fail his senior year of high school, he may have to take summer school and still graduate this year, he might get ridiculed by his friends, he might even hate me, but I can’t even pay myself to care anymore.  I’ve been the only one in this entire situation who has cared about anyone other than myself from day one.  That $180 for my sister?  I’m still hesitant about that one too since my initial “no” was reason for her to call me selfish.  But, maybe I am wrong on both situations.

April 14, 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , | 1 Comment

Thicker Than Water

My_palms_by_DyziowaIn case no one noticed, this is the month of August in which my birthday falls.  Of the seven kids my mom gave birth to, four of our birthdays are in August.  My oldest sister’s birthday is August 20th (RIP), my birthday is August 25th, my next sister’s birthday is August 30th, and the fourth is August 17th.  We were born in that order all in the monthof August.  Count back nine months and know that month was when my parents really put that marriage bed to work!  My sister (August 30th) texted to say that all August birthdays should do something together instead of have separate events or dinners.  Only problem is I can’t stand this trick.  I wish I was lying but I’m not.  She has always hated me, she is likely the one who started the stripper rumor about me, she has talked about me behind my back plenty times, tried to cuss me out to my face and via txt msg, and then wanna rate my parenting skills.  She won’t bust a grape in any fruit fight.  Not then.  Not now.  Not ever.  Just a lot of hot air. 

It’s sad to say I only get along with 2 out of 4 sisters still living (of course I get along with my baby bro).  The other two just on petty stuff that I refuse to entertain any longer.  The real roots of the discord began years ago and have only began to make me shift my direction since I moved back to Chicago.  I only came back home for my current position.  Only!  The hell I encountered when I moved back has been the reason I have boycotted family dinners, have not spoken to my mom in months, refuse to take any phone calls or txts from my 2 disliked sisters, and will sit here and probably not care if I ever talk to them again.  Harsh words….I know.  One sister (not born in August) told another sister “I don’t fucks with 32B like that” but here she come blowing my phone up when she got her hot tail kicked out the house in the middle of the night with no place to go.  Did I answer my phone?  Hell naw!  August 30th called me the same night but she might as well had Satan call….he had a better chance of talking to me than she did.  This same kicked-out-the-house sis has violated my privacy plenty of times, conspired to get my own kids taken from me for no good cause, and spread rumors about what I am and am not doing or who I am or am not doing as if it’s anyone’s business.  They all call me the “white girl” who speaks “proper” and walk around like “my shit don’t stink” and who thinks she’s “better than everyone else”.  I nod my head and say….”yep, I’m that bytch!”

My mom has stolen money from me and used it to shop.  That was the 1st offense towards me.  That was when my rosy colored glasses fell from my face and shattered as I stood there in disbelief.  My older sister died yrs ago….my mom sued the hospital….we won a settlement….the 1st part of my settlement I received while in college.  Being the trusting fool that I am, I just knew my mom wouldn’t do me wrong so, since I didn’t have a checking account set up in Indiana, I signed over the check to deposit it into my mom and I’s joint account.  Oh, she paid for my room & board while at school which amounted to maybe $3k of the $7,500 of the check.  The rest?  She spent.  All of it.  I saw an attorney.  She suggested I sue.  I couldn’t sue my mom.  I know she was wrong but something told me that seeking vengeance like that was not going to get me anywhere.  So I didn’t.  Ever since then, I don’t trust her as far as my 3 yr old can throw her.  I try to do good towards her because of that whole honor thy mother commandment but sometimes I long for short days on earth instead.  I try to not grow weary in well doing but when the person who is almost required to love you unconditionally does not….actually hates you instead….how am I supposed to cope?

This came up right now because it’s so strange how a story can get twisted, my words are exaggerated, I am quickly misunderstood, and labeled everything I am not.  I think I should feel bad about letting go of negativity but I don’t.  Maybe God would want me to feel bad.  Maybe this is not the Christian thing to do.  But how important is my sanity?  My boys raised in that environment that was a curse to me is my worst fear.  If I and my ex die at the same freakin time by some weird mishap, I’d rather my kids go to a complete stranger than to my family.  I have never done anything to either one of them….I just keep my distance because I can’t tolerate it anymore.  Of all the times I have tried to win my mom’s approval it has always backfired.  I excel in academics just to hear them complain about how I am a nerd.  I excel in sports just to hear complaints about how skinny and flat-chested I am.  I graduate valedictorian of my 8th grade class just to be labeled a “know it all”.  I became city champ for cross country just to hear them say I run a white girl sport.  I make it into a big ten university just to hear them say I’m still a skinny nigga from the ‘hood.  I make it through college just to hear complaints over how long it took me to get my degree.  I land a decent job and now I’m a stripper who should have her kids taken away because she doesn’t have a car and fucks every dick walking by while walking by with my nose in the air.  From the time I can remember I’ve always felt like I was adopted.  I wonder if I’d be sitting here typing this now if I had sought my own vengeance.  Blood is thicker than water?   Only in molecular terms.

August 14, 2009 Posted by | Life | , , | Leave a comment

Wednesday Thoughts

Thinking_by_almumenIt’s Wednesday and I’m sitting at work taking a little break from QA stuff.  I have been doing QA since Monday which sounds like it’s nothing but, when looking through modification ticket after modification ticket having to walk through the steps outlined to make sure our programmers have caught and corrected the bugs in the system….it can become tedious and an irritant to my poor eyes.  Now, I’m sitting here thinking (and writing this) before I tackle the next ticket item which requires me to think and calculate some stuff….I’m not mentally prepared just yet.  I have a little balcony off my apartment.  It doesn’t look over anything serene….just the back of houses, the backyard of my building, the neighbor’s yard, the alley behind the building, and to the school across the street but often times I’ll sit on the balcony in the doorway (I have yet to buy a “balcony chair”) and just think.  Random thoughts:

I really don’t like church.  I like God but I can barely stand the people who go to His house on Sunday.  I have missed a good month of church so this past Sunday was my first time back.  I had no idea what to wear since Chi weather has been pretty cool until you’re out for about an hour or so and then it feels warmer just to dip down again and you wish you’d brought a jacket.  Well, I wore dark slacks, a red shirt, and red strappy sandals.  I unwrapped my hair and left since I was running late as usual!  I guess because my shoes match my shirt people think (to themselves, other, and aloud) that I have money.  It irritates me constantly when they do that.  Then people caught me up on the latest drama going on.  It’s a lot of stuff that I seem to only get from God’s house people and never from regular street folks.  I seriously left feeling more stressed than when I came.  Makes me wonder why I even go.

Then these people are full of excuses.  We are assigned a book to read each month for the Prayer Ministry.  The latest one is maybe 9 chapters that have to be read by this Saturday.  I am on chapter 3 simply because I have been outside of Chi 3 times since our last meeting and have been doing everything else but reading.  It’s all my fault which is why I have been reading it this week making up ground.  No biggie until I hear people complain that they are required to do too much.  That Rev is asking and adding too much to their plate.  Then, when I don’t want to live in the church, they say “you know, you should support your church family when they have events going on”.  Um, I’m cool as ice on that one.  Y’all drive me nuts when I’m there most of the time, just because you live there does not mean I should or can afford to, and I can management my time outside church and still get things done for church as scheduled.  I feel bad and it pisses me off because I know Saturday will come around and these grown azz women will have excuses for why they, yet again, have not read the assigned book.  I know what they’d prefer….audio books or someone to read it for them and tell them what it’s about.  Ridiculous.

I started my Monster account up again and pinpointed my next career move: Treasury Analyst or Cash Mgmt.  I am learning toward cash mgmt because it will give me the much needed experience required to get anywhere in Treasury or corporate finance.  Cash mgmt handles and reconciles the cash a company has on hand to cover it’s immediate expenses….it depends on and safeguards the company’s liquidity.  If a company does not have easy access to cash to cover expenses due to investments, accounts receivables, float, then the company will have some illiquid issues over time and that leads closer and closer to bankruptcy if they have exhausted their borrowing allowances.  You see?  Liquidity is hella important and not something anyone can just walk in to so I am really praying I have marketed myself well to prove I can handle the responsibility.  My current position is secure at least through this year (so says our CEO) but my supervisor told me she’s looking and has her resume posted which only leaves me in this dept if she leaves.  She even said she hopes to get laid off so she can go back to school fulltime since she has enough savings.  I think her savings is at least $10k because she was talking about how she was saving for a face lift amongst other plastic surgery items which she has changed her mind about.  No college debt for her or her husband….no kids….she could really quit and not care.  If she does, my work will double but feel like it has tripled.  I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not….I will be expecting a hefty raise though if it comes to that.

My ex-hubby and the kids: I am willing and ready to give him custody of them until he finds a job.  No sense in me paying daycare when he’s not working AND I’m tired of some guys making stupid financial decisions expecting the mom to figure it out on their own.  I’m cool on that too.  I put myself in a situation of carrying the financial burden once before and my child almost became a ward of the state because I decided to leave my son home alone so mommy could work instead of lose my damn job.  What did my ex say?  “Oh man, that’s messed up. I wish I could help”.  Never again.  I am ready to pay him child support although I do want my boys back.  I just will not place myself in a situation like that again….it scares me to think about it.  If anything, school here does not start til Sept so he has another month to find employment.  Until then, he can keep the boys….extended summer vacation for everyone.  Maybe next time he’ll think about more than his self when he decides to move and voluntarily leave a perfectly fine job…unless he got fired…then it’s still not ok.

You know those family members who have pissed you off, taken your kindness for weakness, talked ‘ish behind your back, and at the same time asking for a handout?  Well, I just described my mom and 2 of my 4 sisters.  They can kiss my azz.  I know….how can I love God whom I have never seen but hate my bro whom I see everyday?  First off, I don’t see them everyday….I haven’t seen them in months which is how I like it.  Second, I don’t hate them….just a strong dislike.  They call and text but I ignore each one because I’m allergic to drama and hatred aimed at me for no reason.  When I ignore the calls and texts they cuss me out via text or voicemail. LOL….yea, I’m really going to answer now.  When they need something they call but, other than that, it’s back to stabbing me in the back.  I know it’s mean and I have been told to pray for them but, in the meantime, I refuse to give in again.  It’s ok to forgive but never ok to be foolish.  You think Eve would believe and listen to that snake (or serpent) the 2ndtime around?!  Hell naw!

Still staying out of trouble, keeping to myself unless you have been approved, running away from drama, and just at peace with where I am right now.  I have a huge financial decision coming up soon which may involve bankruptcy but we shall see.  I was told to do it awhile ago because of a small debt…nothing huge like other folks.  My aunt suggested it because she did it once before because of a car loan and her husband did it once before for something minor too.  When I say minor I mean less than $20k.  Maybe it’s me but….don’t the negative effects far outweigh that $20k debt?  I don’t know….still thinking.

August 5, 2009 Posted by | Life | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ex-Factor

becca20raynes1I was so gonna write about something different today but my focus was changed when I checked my email.  My ex-husband and I claim one of our kids on our taxes each every year so I emailed him today to make sure he was claiming the one he had claimed last year.  A simple email one full sentence at the most …

Hey, just checking to see if you were still claiming blah blah blah on your taxes this year so we don’t claim the same SS# by accident.  Let me know what you decide.”

So, he replies back within an hour or so with a brief response of …

I think it may be best for you to claim the kids since I may end up owing and not reaping any benefits from it.  I will let you know next week though.  How are the kids?  How are you?”

Ok, so the question concerning the kids was normal but my eyes lingered on the … “How are you?”  He has never in recent history asked about me.  We have kept things about the kids and this has been pretty civil and I thank God for that since it could be much worse.  I replied with a response to the tax issue and said I would wait for his email or phone call next week.  Then I spent the “How are you?”  portion of my email talking about the kids, their doctor appts, school, grades, and my work-from-home days recently.  Then, trying to be courteous, I added a “How are you?”  at the end to close out the email.  What he replied back had me speechless. 

I miss being able to help you out with things instead of you having to do it all yourself.  I miss you very much.  I dream of you from time to time. I know I may not be what you are looking for but I have realized my mistakes and feel that I am a different man.  I am sure you have found someone by now that treats you better than I had.  I have no shame in saying that I am sorry and wish that I could have you back again.

He ends the email by stating that he will stop being mushy and will see me and the kids soon.  My thoughts?  I have none.  You know how you can go so long without seeing a face you used to love that, when they return, you recognize them but are they the same person you used to love?  That is me right now.  When I see him that is just it … I see him.  I feel nothing.  Not that I am trying not to but because there is nothing there.  Apart of me notices a pattern of behavior where he messes up, loses something of value, realizes it later, and makes an attempt to have it back again.  Only … this time it is his umpteenth mistake and his umpteenth time trying to come back. 

I will never say he has not changed because I don’t spend enough time with him to determine that.  I will never bad-mouth him (anymore).  I will never laugh at his efforts.  I will continue to support him and encourage him but a man must be a man whether he has a woman on his arms or not.  I have yet to see that man … that does not mean I never will … but regret is a b*tch.  I can only imagine what he may be feeling right now.  I commend him for his honesty.  I applaud him for getting his life together.  Who is he getting his life together for?  Me?  To win me back?  The one thing he does not see is that if he would just focus on God and take his eyes off me, when he turns around, I will be there waiting. 

I prayed to God a month ago concerning my ex-husband.  I was sitting at home thinking while he had the kids for Christmas and something came over me making me miss our family.  I talked to God and said that if He brings him back to me in all seriousness then I promise to give “us” a real consideration.  I see him coming back but I don’t see God anywhere in the vicinity.  I need confirmation….

January 17, 2009 Posted by | Love | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments