Why I Stopped Throwing “It” In the Bag

It sounds morbid, but when My Love first went away, I remember thinking that the days would never end.  If I could, I would fast-forward all of them just to get to the end of my life. I was never suicidal or anything like that. I just thought that even if I lived to be 70, that would still be 44 years that I’d have to wait to see Her again. And that was too long.

Two birthdays later, I’m learning to be appreciative of time again and how precious it is. I’m learning to savor the moments that matter with the people who count. I’m honoring Life by living it to the fullest. I’m mindful of the fact that everything that God has in store will come in His own time.  And I respect that.

I take my time and feel comfortable doing so because I know whenever I do get There, She’ll be waiting for me…and I hope God is cool and doesn’t mind if we bust out a Glee-worthy performance of this song….

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

Every year without a headstone is a milestone.

 —Sophia Petrillo

How Rihanna Won Me Over

Let me preface this by saying:

1)      Rihanna’s voice will never be “it” for me.  I just don’t see it happening and that’s ok. Janet Jackson’s not exactly a “powerhouse” either but I still adore her.

2)      I never blamed her.

I was ambivalent towards Rihanna in the beginning.  I thought she’d be a fly-by-night act who’d be here today and gone tomorrow.  In her early interviews, she seemed very manufactured and disingenuous.  The image that her team was trying to project just didn’t ring true, so I opted out of the entire Rihanna package.

Then came the punch that shocked the world.

My numbness was obliterated.  I felt a myriad of emotions.  What happened?  How could this have gone so wrong, so quickly, and to people so young?

I’ll admit I was one of those people who wanted details.  Was he receiving text messages from other girls?  Did she really throw the Lamborghini keys out the window?  Were they secretly known to be violent towards each other in the past?

I WANTED ANSWERS!

But I respected, and actually preferred, her decision not to talk.  It’s her story and she has a right to tell it, but the Diane Sawyers interview, while genuine, felt canned and like a very lopsided pile-on.  I felt that if she was going to tell it, then she should tell it all because there’s nothing that she could have said that she did (ex: punched him first, threw his keys out, called his mother a tramp) that would have ever justified his brutal attack on her.

SN: You #TeamBreezy fanatics who scream that you would die for CB to punch you even one time need a reality check.  You’re going to literally DIE thinking that domestic violence is cute.  I like Chris Brown and cried along with him during his monumental Michael Jackson tribute, but you people need help.  Or Jesus.  Or some combination, thereof. 

Anyhoo, the interview and her decreasing need for clothing turned me off.

Then, in the process of healing and “finding” herself, she began to reveal her true self to the world.  And I liked what I saw:  a young, determined woman who circumstances had forced to be fearless.  She began to speak her mind.  She was, surprisingly, witty.  Her tongue was unbelievably sharp.

I warmed to her.

Then, there was this moment:

She was reeling me in quickly.

Finally, Mother O.

It took OPRAH to mend the final rift between us: Chris Brown.

I was finally able to understand her.  I know what it’s like to feel the need to protect the ones that are hurting you…while they’re hurting you.  I know the confusion and devastation that comes with love that’s been betrayed at the very deepest levels.  More importantly, I know the desperate need to forgive because it’s too hard not to.  It weighs you down.  It weakens you.  It hardens your heart and sours you from the inside out.

It takes an AMAZING combination of humbleness, strength and courage to forgive.  It takes even more when those around you are mistaking your forgiveness for weakness because if you’ve ever been a victim, the last thing you want is to be seen as one again…by anybody, much less the world.

It’s hard, but it’s possible.

And it’s worthy of respect.  Salute, Rihanna.

 

What do you think? Did Rihanna’s interview with Oprah change your opinion of her? Do you like her more? Less? The same? Share your thoughts.  We’re just chatting…

Lil Scrappy & Erica: The Story of A Perm That’s Been Left Too Long

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Yes, it’s a Destiny’s Child reference, but I’m going somewhere with this.

Here’s the thing.  “Ride or die” isn’t easy to come by.  It’s more like “fly by night.”  So when the spoiled Scrappies of the world find one, you’d think they’d keep them, but, too often, they don’t.  Or to better phrase it, they do keep them…just on the back-burner.

Erica is Scrappy’s “fall-back” chick.  She’s the girl that he runs to when he’s down bad, broke, busted, and disgusted.  She doesn’t get the “Money in the Bank/Prince of the South” Scrappy.  She gets the “When I get it, I’ll put some money in the bank” Scrappy.  She takes him in, looks out for him, and holds him down until he gets on his feet.  She doesn’t mind making an investment in her man.  She straightens him out.

The trouble is she never gets to collect on her investment.  It seems that every time her investment has a payout, i.e. a good day, a laugh, a good vibe, a good CHECK he takes it and parlays with the “Diamonds” and “Buckeeys” (and yes, I still call her Buckeey because apparently Charm School didn’t work).

Like the proverbial prodigal son, when he’s once again broke, busted, and disgusted and through with the harlots (hey, the Bible said it, not me) he comes back home to her so she can, once again, help him get back on his feet.

And it’s just not fair.  It hurts.  Moreover, it burns. (Get the DC reference now?)

Scrappy, like many of us, takes the best part of himself and gives it to the people who care the least about him.  We fuss and fight at the house but are all smiles in the workplace.  We front.  We give strangers our best.  Yet, the people who have made the biggest investments in us, in our lives and our well-beings, get what’s left over.  The parts that we don’t want to show our co-workers, or even our friends.  They get the ugly us, the depressed us, the sarcastic us, the down-on-our-luck grieving us.

And just like a cycle, when our grieving period’s over, we take the best of us and go right back out the door.

Maya Angelou said it best:

“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don’t be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning ‘Good morning’ at total strangers.”

Because the reality is that most people will only let you burn them a small number of times.  After a while, the perm stops “taking”…you back.

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