Joy’s Rant List Volume 27: What SHE Said (Part II of the Jaded Series)

I have great friends.  They are stupid like me.  So while I am over here getting my mind right, my girl Angele stepped in to do a guest shot on my Rant List.  Now, she had no idea when she wrote this that it would get published.  She was blowing off steam.  But it was so ON POINT that I figured I could just phone it in!  And it would prove that I am not the only one who feels like this.  I’m going to let her deliver this word to you, with minimal interjections from the Amen Corner (*denoted like this.)

Preach, ‘Gele!!

A Single Woman’s Sermon

If I hear “you act like you don’t need a man” or “you’re just too picky” one more time, I swear somebody’s head is going to get bust straight to the white meat! (*word!!)  The way I see it, I’m in a catch 22.  I’m single so I have to take care of myself.  I’m the only one writing checks to GA Power, Scana, Wells Fargo Mortgage, LA Fitness, etc.  I have to take my car in for an oil change.  I have to sit all day at the car place, hoping they are not fixing stuff that doesn’t need to be fixed because I don’t know jack!  If I cared that my car was yellow-green instead of silver, I’d be the one responsible to get my car washed (notice I didn’t suggest that I was getting out there to wash my own car…let’s not get crazy).  I have to pick up my own dry cleaning.  I have to go to Publix, Target, and Walgreen’s for chicken, toilet paper, toothpaste.  Anyway, you get the picture.  I am on my own right now.  Like BG said, it’s get it how you live, with me.  What I got – I had to get (*right!).  That’s not saying that I don’t NEED a man.  Baby, I NEED A MAN and I can’t wait to get the right one!!  I’m not even going to touch all the reasons I need one and want one because that’s not the topic.  I am just saying that I have it covered right now.  Think about this:  What if I was in the space where I NEEDED the man that I don’t have to do all these things?  What wouldn’t get paid?  Would I have to live in an apartment because I needed to wait for the man I don’t have to buy a house?  Would my lights get turned off?  Would my car break down because I was waiting on the man that I don’t have to take it for service?   (*Oh, I wish I had somebody to help me up in here!)   

Would I starve because the man I don’t have didn’t stop at Publix?  And tell the truth – how many of y’all would think I was a raggedy so-and-so for letting my business get so raggedy just because I don’t have a man when I’m clearly an educated and employed woman?  You know you would be yelling – “Girl, you better get your $hit together and quit waiting on the man you don’t have to handle your business! You better know how to take care of yourself by yourself.” (*that’s what my momma said!)  Don’t lie!  If you’ve never SAID, you’ve THOUGHT it about somebody that “they gots to do better than that”.

Now, the whole “picky” thing ticks me off more than the “needy” thing.  I’m 37, in good health, kinda cute, got a lot going for me, nice, funny… Why in the HELL would I want a man who is not good for me? (*Whoo! Ashamalamamashouldaboughtahonda!)   Notice I didn’t say “good ENOUGH” for me.  That’s subjective.  A man who looks good on paper might not be worthy but the man who only has 1 suit in his closet might be a better fit.  Why can’t I want a man that is employable?  I know in this economy even the most intelligent and qualified brothers and sisters are out of work so “must have a good job” can’t be a deal breaker for me right now.  Why can’t I want a man that doesn’t have 3 kids by 3 different women, none of which he married?  Why can’t I want a man that is nice looking TO ME?  Why can’t I want a man that can read? (*YES!)  And has read more than the articles in Playboy, since you know ‘they buy the magazines for the articles’?  Why can’t I want a man that doesn’t have a crazy ex-wife or baby mama?  Why can’t I PREFER a man without a baby mama?  I understand that at my age I might be the second wife, and I’m cool with that.  Why can’t I want a man who wants children?  Hell, if it’s important to me, why can’t I want it?  And why is it considered PICKY to have standards like this?  (*Right!  Ain’t nobody talking about benzes or big bank accounts.  How about just faithful and cute?!?!)

PHUCK!!!  Single women can’t win for losing.  Yes, we can…if people would keep that shull-bit about the crisis women are in because we don’t have men out of their mouths.(*Yes! Shut. Up!)  Life and death is in the power of the tongue.  We need to stop saying that there are no good men out there.  THERE ARE!  And guess what…I’m going to marry one of them.  Who knows WHEN – and I’m not going to front, I’m getting impatient!  But I feel like God wouldn’t put this desire on my heart if he didn’t intend to give it to me, in His time of course.  Until then, I’m going to try and enjoy being single.  I can read all night if I want to.  I can eat a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner if I’m too lazy to cook.   I can walk around the house nekkid and not worry about giving anybody mixed signals.  I can go out to eat when and where I want to without coordinating it with anyone unless I want company for conversation.  I can get massages every month without somebody telling me what I don’t need.  I can wear my head scarf without worrying about whether “he” is going to think I look crazy.   🙂  (Bump that! I gotta save my style!)

I said I wasn’t going to go into why I want a man and I won’t say much but I will say this: a good man can do for you what your mama, daddy, brother, sister, Sorors, friends, cousins, coworkers…etc. cannot do.  You need to figure that out on your own.  Just make sure he meets your NEEDS as well as your WANTS.  (*And if he doesn’t, tell him “Deuces, trick!”)

I’m out. 

(*But not quite, because she sent me this second email 2 days later….)

The Husband Headlock

When a woman is in the ‘single woman crisis’ (sarcasm), she may feel desperate to take whatever she can get.  Or worse, she auditions every man she meets, unbeknownst to him, for the Leading Man in her marriage saga.  The Husband.  (Cue dramatic music.)

I’m all for self-disclosure so I’ll admit it, I have envisioned some men that I’ve met in the husband headlock.  Usually they are handsome and successful.  They have it going on…on paper.  I like them…enough.  They seem to like me…I think.  I convince myself that this is IT!  This is ENOUGH!  When I get that foolishness in my mind and when I realize that the story is not quite a fairy tale (except the part where I am kissing a frog) I hoped it would be, I go into panic mode and forget 2 lessons that I have learned the hard way.

  • Love does not conquer all.  If it did, I wouldn’t be single.  I have loved and been loved (we probably weren’t on the same level – one more than the other) but clearly that wasn’t enough to make it work.
  • You can’t love anybody into loving you.  You do not have the capacity to sustain enough love for two people to make a relationship work.  All you do is give away a lot of love and don’t get JACK back.

But I have to make this note: I think we have an unlimited store of love.  It doesn’t have to be rationed so as not to run out but we gotta make sure that we don’t waste it on somebody who won’t handle it with care.

I met this cutie last week.  He’s an Omega…he might be a Que but I’ve never seen him set out a hop nor have I seen him strip down to purple or gold drawers.  (Hmmm…what a nice visual!…  ~smacking myself back into focus~) (*Ha! SHE wrote that!  I told you she was silly like me!)  I haven’t visualized him in the husband headlock but I have ‘seen’ us spending time together.  I like him…so far.  He did stand me up – I left a party earlier than he arrived – but he offered to cut my grass the next day.  I was really disappointed and I wanted an explanation until I realized that he didn’t owe me anything.  I had to question why I thought he did: because I thought it was common courtesy, I guess, or something else.  Still not sure about that.  I guess I’m over it since I’m about to cook for this clown on Sunday.  I need to make him earn his keep.(*You’d betta!)  He’s going to have to wash my car if my neighbor cuts my grass before he gets to it.  I mean, do something.

Why do I write about any of this? Because we women are in crisis!  We all want men!  We cannot function without men! We can’t have anything without men! We cannot be anything without men!  Our world should revolve around…you guessed it…MEN!!!!!!!!  ….. Okay enough of that.  I’m about to throw up writing this foolishness! 

Although we are self-sufficient and have it going on and are doing it by and for ourselves, we do want someone in our lives.  The fact of the matter is we need to be careful of who we let, or force, in.  No one will ever take care of us the way we can and should care for ourselves.  Quit auditioning men.  Quit doing bicep curls preparing for the husband headlock!!  Quit doing leg presses and lunges to tighten up your legs so you can wrestle that man to the ground and twist him in your legs.  (What was that wrestling move called?  The Boston crab?  Yeah, that’s it!)  Enjoy yourself.  Take your sexy off the shelf but accept that all men won’t want you.  Hell, you don’t want every man you come across do you?  Bring your ego down a thousand and realize that you are not every man’s cup of tea.  But you still got it going on!  Trust me!  You are still the bomb.

Wow…I just realized that I’m talking to myself.  The rest of y’all are just getting the benefit of what I am telling myself.  Let’s see how well I hold myself to this for the next 6 months.  Who’s going to hold me accountable? (*I will!)

Rant Volume 27 done, and WE’RE out!  (Shout out to Spelman c/o ’95!)


Joy’s Rant List, Volume 26: Debunking Disney (Part I of the “Jaded Series”)

Who's got next?

Okay, we all know that I have a …” different” outlook on some things.  So, I was in a conversation with some single women about finding a man, and someone kept saying that women needed to “stop believing in fairytales.”  This is wrong.  WRONG I SAY! 

We NEED to start believing EVERYTHING about fairytales.  They speak the truth – if you know how to listen.  Since I live in the land that Disney built, I feel qualified to tell you the raw, uncut truth about the Disney Princesses now that you’re old enough for this ride. 

1)  Cinderella:  Everyone knows this famous princess’ story.  She was working like a Hebrew slave for her wicked stepmother and evil stepsisters.  One night, she snuck out and met Prince Charming at the club.  (Side Note: Is Prince Charming a polygamist or a pimp?  I’m just saying…  He’s had a lot of women…) They have one dance.  She misses curfew and runs home, leaving a shoe behind.  Prince Charming searches the land for her.   He finds her; they get married and live happily ever after.  But…  Here’s what you probably missed:

        a. She was an orphan in foster care with her stepmother’s family.  They didn’t have to take her little raggedy tail in, so she needed to be a little more careful about disrespecting them.  Besides, there was a good chance that her stepmother poisoned her father to get the house. 

        b. She had “daddy” issues.  A real father would have left her the house.  Her daddy left her broke and at the mercy of her stank stepmother.  Her little fast behind snuck out the house and went to a club she was probably too young to attend and clearly used fake ID.  Jail bait.

       c. All Prince Charming knew about this girl was that she was sexy with little feet.  He didn’t check ID for name, age…  (Side Note:  R. Kelly should have lived in the middle ages.)  But her looks were enough to make him want to marry her.  And of course she said yes because the alternative was to keep washing her stepsisters’ dirty drawers. 

ULTIMATE MORAL: When you are broke and living in a bad situation, any old sugar daddy in the club can look like Prince Charming (and you should probably step up your shoe game).

2)  Sleeping Beauty:  A king has a daughter and gets paranoid that she will be cursed and struck dead in a freak accident (This is characteristic of ALL fathers with female children).  So 16 years later, his sheltered little princess pricked her finger while sewing, passed out from the sight of blood and didn’t wake up until her “one true love” came to her rescue.  Talk about waiting for the right man to come along.  Sleeping Beauty remained in her glass case, protected and pure, until a man courageous enough to reach her side appeared.  Even though she held out for Mr. Right, she really just married the first guy that came by.  This tale is full of metaphors:

       a. The glass case represents the unquestionable purity of Sleeping Beauty.  She was saving herself for the right man.  (This is actually true – I am not making this up).  But, the right man had to get past a forest of deadly thorns to get to her.  The prickly thorns represent the bitchy alter ego of Sleeping Beauty.  If a man could get past all her defense mechanisms, he was “in there”!

       b. Sleeping Beauty did five minutes of real work and then decided to wait for a husband to show up, marry her and take care of her.  Women like this still exist!!!

       c. And who did she marry?  Prince Charming!  Kissing her was apparently enough (since she had never got any before…).  We can assume that she was his second wife, and Cinderella was kicking rocks.  Actually, since divorce was illegal, he probably just killed Cinderella and buried her in the rose garden.    

ULTIMATE MORAL:  If you find somebody willing to put up with all the baggage you have, you’d better hold onto them!  While you may want to hold out for Mr. Perfect, you’d do well to go with Mr. “Hey, I’m here, so deal with it.”   

3)  Snow White:  Her life was so messed up that all they could tell you about that chick was that she lived with SEVEN dudes.  That’s all I’m going to say about that (Lil Freak).

4)  Princess Jasmine:  This is one of the very few that was a princess BEFORE she got married.  On the surface, this seems like a grand tale of love, courage, and doing anything to be with the person who has your heart.  Uh-huh… Well, listen to “just the facts” from the court case “People VS Aladdin”:

       a. Jasmine had plenty of suitors that were actual princes on her level.  But she went out slumming and met Aladdin.  Other than he was cute, she didn’t know JACK about him.

       b. Aladdin got caught up with her looks, and lied to her about who he was and what he had – he was FRONTIN’!!  He comes into town with the Genie’s help, pretending to be a prince, and then… the whole movie happens.  By the end, they are in love and get married.  But, he is still a felon. 

       c. So Princess Jasmine passed up all the qualified princes that courted her in order to get with a hood rat dude/thug in some Medieval muscle shirt who had a cute smile, slick mouth and nice abs.

ULTIMATE MORAL:  Successful and rich women like arm candy just as much as their male counterparts (e.g. Demi, Mariah…) 

5) The Original Princess and the Frog:  A princess kisses a frog she meets in the woods.  He convinced her that if she kissed him, he would turn into a prince.  This is a perfect example of a woman lowering her standards to get a man.  She didn’t know him!  He could have been lying, but she still kissed a slimy (it’s mucus!) frog!  And why was she in the woods?

ULTIMATE MORAL: Women hear all the time, “Don’t miss out on your blessing because it’s not in the package you want.”  Hmph.  Go ahead and kiss frogs if you want to… But how many times have you wanted to berate yourself for “dating down” because the shyt didn’t work out anyway?  STOP KISSING FROGS!  This also means stop going out with guys you KNOW you don’t like just to be ‘on a date’.  Find a hobby.

6) The New Princess and the Frog:  If you haven’t seen the movie, then skip this part because I am going to spoil it for you. 

       a. Tiana is the only Disney Princess to ever have a real job (Even as a princess, a Black woman is still working?!?). 

       b. She was about to give up ALL her hard work because she fell in love – with her best friend’s intended fiancé, no less!  She got her man, and was all set to be happy as a FROG living in a swamp!  She gave up her lifelong dream (owning her own business) in order to stop the frog-prince from marrying her best friend.  (Side note: Her friend Lotty just wanted to be married to a prince.  She didn’t care about the details.  She ended up turning cougar, and going after the prince’s little brother.)

       c. Even after she got married, she still had to work.  Why?  Her husband was broke with no skills and had never done a hard day’s work in his life – other than chop a few mushrooms.

ULTIMATE MORAL:  A lot of career women would drop it ALL for a man that loved them.  And please note – the prince was disinherited and trifling!  But he was cute, made her laugh and was good to her.  And he could kiss…  Yep, it’s just that simple.  I have no clue why men think women are complicated!

7)  Beauty and The Beast:  This is perhaps the most insidious of all the Disney love stories.  Belle’s father gets trapped in this creepy old castle, and it turns out he is being held there by a monster.  Belle comes to rescue him and decides to trade herself for her father’s release.  Belle and the monster begin to spend time together and she comes to see the beauty on the inside of him.  They fall in love and he transforms into the prince that he used to be.  They live happily ever after. 

SCREEEEECH!  Let’s take another look:

       a. Belle was a HOSTAGE.  The Beast told her that she could never leave.  Ever.  She really had no choice but to make the best of her situation.

       b. She heard clocks and tea cups singing to her, and she started singing along with them.

       c. After spending an inordinate amount of time with her captor, Belle thought she understood his motivation and his inner thoughts.  She saw his beautiful character and fell in love with him.

ULTIMATE MORAL:  Belle was a textbook example of Stockholm Syndrome.

Rant Volume 26 done, and I’m out.  Small World! Small World!  (in my best Robin Harris voice)

Joy’s Rant List, Volume 25: Ooooh, You Shole IS Ugly!!!!

I’d like to start with 3 disclaimers.  1) This will be a wildly unpopular rant.  2) I expect to catch more hell about this than I did about religion.  3) My editor vehemently disagrees with certain points I am going to make, so this has not been edited because I didn’t show it to her – please forgive any wordiness.

I want to try to get you to see the Oscars the way I see them.  I already know I will fail, so this is my Don Quixote moment.  I sat through the play-by-play on Facebook last night and wanted to come through the screen and whoop a few people.  Not everyone – we all have a right to our opinion and I actually had some good debates with a few folks that went on through today.  I only spend time talking to rational people.  Nevertheless, some other folks tried my patience.  Let’s get some things clear:

Monique is not a dirty bitch.  Halle Berry is not a floozy, whore, trick-ass bitch or stank-ho.  Denzel is not a sell-out.  Will Smith and Morgan Freeman are not an Uncle Toms.  I wish Black people wouldn’t talk about other Black people like this.  It destroys us all. This is the ugliness I allude to in my title.

Many people were belittling Monique because they didn’t want to see her win an Oscar for portraying a villainous mother with no redeeming qualities.  And then, of course, they started in with comparisons to Halle Berry from 9 years ago.  You can be upset that the roles for which they won were negative – but don’t discount the excellent work they did in those roles.  In 2001, As far as I was concerned, Halle Berry couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag.  And then I went to see Monster’s Ball (expecting to talk shyt about her when I walked out).  She made me cry in Monster’s Ball.  Maybe because I watched her performance through the entire movie and didn’t get stuck on seeing her having rough sex.   Yes it was ugly.  It made me uncomfortable to see it.  The fact that people are STILL upset about it and think she REALLY did all those things is the mark of good acting. 

Some people say that Hollywood has a trend of only allowing black people to win awards when they play a role that puts black people in a bad light.  I disagree.  Here is a brief history of black Oscar winners, since apparently WE don’t pay attention until it offends us:

Positive Roles:

1939 – Hattie McDaniel – Gone with the Wind (this goes here because it was 1939.  We couldn’t even vote, and we were still getting lynched.  She played a slave, but it was historically accurate.  It was a groundbreaking win – she opened the door for all that followed.)

1958 – Sidney Poitier – Lilies of the Field

1982 – Lou Gossett Jr – An Officer and a Gentleman

1989 – Denzel Washington – Glory (He was a war hero, no matter his humble beginnings as a freed slave.  Or do we consider it negative because he took a beating?  He took it like a warrior.) 

1990 – Whoopi Goldberg – Ghost (this was a bone they threw her for dissing her on the Color Purple.  We know it; they know it.  It was the best they could do to make amends.)

1996 – Cuba Gooding Jr – Jerry McGuire

2002 – Sidney Poitier – Honorary Oscar  “for his extraordinary performances and unique presence on the screen and for representing the industry with dignity, style and intelligence” (making amends for overlooking him in years past).

2004 – Morgan Freeman – Million Dollar Baby

2006 – Jennifer Hudson – Dreamgirls

Negative Portrayals

2001 – Denzel Washington – Training Day

2001 – Halle Berry – Monster’s Ball

2006 – Forest Whitaker – Last King of Scotland (although, this was historically accurate too.)

2009 – Monique – Precious

So where is the trend?  Or are we just really mad about 2001?  I didn’t hear all this when Forest Whitaker won.  And here’s a few other tidbits, about the Academy giving out awards to villains.  It’s not just us, folks:

2007 – Daniel Day-Lewis – There Will Be Blood (he beat a minister to death!)

2007 – Javier Bardem – No Country for Old Men (hitman/murderer)

2008 – Heath Ledger – Joker – Dark Knight

2009 – Christopher Waltz – torturing Nazi – Inglorious Basterds

Here’s something to consider:  the Academy gives Oscars to people they think had to really stretch to portray the role they did.  (Here’s where I piss you off.)  Sidney Poitier won his first Oscar because they didn’t think that Blacks could behave with quiet dignity and respect, understated resolve and compassion.  They thought we were all niggers.  They were shocked that Sidney could be a real man with feelings and depth.  So, by the same logic – they gave Oscars to Halle and Denzel because they couldn’t see them being the evil or broken-down folks that they portrayed.  They were shocked.  Why?  Because “they” expect Denzel to be a good man.  “They” expect Halle to be strong and beautiful.  Do we?  Maybe WE should check ourselves on what WE think of our own people.  If you thought that it was easy for Halle to do what she did, you belittle her.  If you think Denzel being a bad guy wasn’t a stretch for him, you are essentially saying that he is probably a nigger in real life.  And nobody knew what to expect from Monique – she was a surprise to me too.  She isn’t known as a good actress, at all.  But even though her character made me sick to my stomach, she moved me in the very scene they showed as she won.  I can’t even stand to sit through Precious again – ever!  The same with Training Day and Monster’s Ball.  I just can’t watch them.  I remember that in the theater, even white people were “uncomfortable” with Denzel’s character in Training Day.  They didn’t want to see him be a villain either.  Which is why he did it – it was outside his comfort zone.  And they rewarded him for the stretch!  Did he deserve Oscars for Malcolm X? (Maybe) Cry Freedom? (Maybe Not) Hurricane? (Absolutely!!)  But black people are not the only folks who get robbed.  Joaquin Phoenix was ROBBED for his portrayal of the emperor in Gladiator – and that was a truly evil role.  And Russell Crowe didn’t deserve an award for Gladiator, but they were making up for overlooking him on a Beautiful Mind (just like Whoopi).  Don Cheadle should have won for Hotel Rwanda, but, dammit, he was up against Jamie Foxx for Ray.  And I would guess that they gave it to Jamie in part because Ray Charles had just died and in part because they knew Don would be back with another awesome role. 

By comparison:  Sir Laurence Olivier only has ONE Oscar for best actor, but is regarded as one of the greatest actors of all time.  Denzel Washington currently has more Oscars for acting than Sir Laurence Olivier (he got another for best picture, but that wasn’t acting).  Anthony Hopkins – considered one of the greatest living actors – has ONE Oscar.  For playing a cannibal and killer. 

The Oscars isn’t a fair and balanced vote.  But it also isn’t some racist conspiracy.  You could make the argument that many more white people have won for positive portrayals over the years.  Of course they have – they created movies, and they outnumber us in this country 10 – 1!!!  We are actually disproportionately victorious over the last 20 years.  And the roles weren’t any more negative than the rest of the roles that won.  Hollywood likes villains.  Any movie critic will tell you that.

You wanna talk negative portrayals?  The media conspiracy was actually happening over on Cartoon Network at the same time, in the form of “Freaknik, the Musical”.  I saw 3 minutes of it and almost lost my dinner.  It was so bad, it should have been on BET.  And I know I heard Snoop’s and Charlie Murphy’s voices in there.  And, of course, T-Pain.  THAT’S what we should be mad about.  How in the hell did they get away with saying ‘nigga’ on Cartoon Network for 2 solid hours?!

Rant Volume 25 done, and I’m out (playing Oscars ‘get off the stage’ music in the background)