Friday, April 10, 2015

There's Something About Silent

Because it's Friday and we should all be's a second post for the day that's been sitting in my draft box for months. Tomorrow isn't promised, right?

For the past several years I've had this running joke with my close girlfriends; "Black American men don't like me!"  When I first began dating at the ripe old age of 17 1/2 years old (I know I was a very very late bloomer), I dated an African American man. Almost four years later when I returned to the dating scene, I was dating all types of men: African American, Spanish (there was one Puerto Rican guy), African, Asian (oh wait that's never happened), white (oh wait that's never happened either). Okay so I've mostly only dated African American and African men. You got me.

The year before I moved to New York. I was talking to one of my girlfriends about someone new I was dating. After telling her his name she responded, "Dang Silent, you never date black American men. They're all African!" I had to stop and think for a second. Out of the last three gentlemen I dated, two were Nigerian and one was African American [with a unique name]. Touche my friend, touche.

Since I moved to NYC 3 years ago, I have seriously dated 3 men. At this point in this blog post you can probably guess their ethnicity. African right? Wrong! Caribbean men have now made their way into the mix and account for 40% of the men who approach me and 33% of the men I've seriously dated. 33% of 3 is 1 for those of you who didn't major in math.

At one point, I started scratching my head to figure out why this was happening to me. Is it because I live in New York City, the "fake" melting pot? I can't really call it a melting pot. That would imply that people of all backgrounds mix and mingle versus populate certain areas the way they do. My girls meet plenty of non-African and non-Caribbean men when we go out here. I on the other hand will meet the one African or Caribbean man in the venue. Whether they come up to me or they come up to me. I don't go up to men in New York (outside of New York, well that's a post for another time), its usually a man who can trace his families roots outside of the US. And as laudable as it is, using a lineage service does not count.

The funniest thing happened the first time I went to Jamaica in 2008. I was with a group of my gorgeous fair hued girl friends. They are a beautiful mix of El Salvadorian, Creole and just not dark like me girls. As soon as the five of us stepped foot on the beach, all of the attention went to me. I for one, was not use to being around them and getting a lot of play. This was at a time in LA, and I assume things haven't changed much, where my darker skin seemed to make me less appealing to some black men. I was once pushed out of the way by a man to get to my fair skin El Salvadorian friend. Asshole.  Let's be clear here, I was no ugly duckling. It's not like I was not getting any play. It was just the amount of black men who preferred fair skin was highly noticeable. However, this was not the case in Montego Bay and Negril, Jamaica. In fact, it was the complete opposite. Wherever we went, I always had a suitor or several and I ate it up. Hey, I was on vacation.

This story has repeated itself on every vacation to the Caribbean since. Jamaica pt 2, Dominican Republic and Barbados. Oh Barbados! That's also a blog post for another time. Remember how I mentioned earlier I don't approach men. Well when you just know any man you want to talk to, wants to talk to you, you change your tune.  I promise I wasn't purposely picking these places to test my theory either. I didn't actually select any of these places. I was a part of larger trips to the Caribbean 3 times in the past 12 months.

I do think it's time for me to test this theory in the Motherland. Anyone want to plan a trip soon?

I Miss You and One Sweet Day

Life is too short. I've heard it before, we all have, but its so very true. Life is too short to be unhappy. Life is too short to make change tomorrow. You or someone you love can be taken away without notice. I try and remember that every time I find myself mad at my sister for something stupid, upset with a friend for something even more stupid or just generally in a bad mood. 

My mother was taken away just like that. One minute she had had a stroke and 5 days later, she passed. It was around the same time as the singer Aaliyah. Although there was a full year in between her passing and my mothers, I relate the last song Aaliyah released with my mother. Miss You. I cannot for the life of me get through hearing this song without crying. Sometimes its controllable, sometimes, not so much. I remember a couple years after her passing, I was at a backyard party. I was mingling and having a grand time. Then, the beat of 'Miss You' dropped and I immediately headed straight for the exit.  I didn't tell anyone where I was going, I just needed to get far far away. These days, I can play the song if I want to get a good cry out when thinking about my mother. I have some beautiful memories and I am not ashamed to get a good cry in every once in a while. 

I went off to college the same year she passed and one of the first verses begins "Off to college.." Whew chile. I'm crying good tears just writing this. 

Off to college
Yes, you went away
Straight from high school
You up and left me
Did everything
For one another
Now you're gone and I'm lost without you here now
But I know I gotta live and make it somehow
Come back, to me
Can you, feel me (Callin')
Hear me, callin' (For you)
For you,'Cause it's

It's been too long and I'm lost without you
What am I gonna do?
Said I been needin' you, wantin' you
Wonderin' if you're the same and who's been with you
Is your heart still mine?
I wanna cry sometimes
I miss you

Now I'm sittin' here
Thinkin' 'bout you
And the days we used to share
It's drivin' me crazy
I don't know what to do
Come me
Can you, feel me (Callin')
Hear me, callin' (For you)
For you, 'Cause it's

It's been too long and I'm lost without you
What am I gonna do?
Said I been needin' you, wantin' you
Wonderin' if you're the same and who's been with you
Is your heart still mine?
I wanna cry sometimes
I miss you

The other song that brings me to tears is One Sweet Day Mariah Carey featuring Boyz II Men. Even before the lyrics begin, I recognize the song based on the beat drop in the beginning too. Just like with Aaliyah's Miss You, if I'm in public, I either scramble to change the song or exit the room.  If I'm alone, I might just let my tears flow. Not sure I'll ever get to a point where I can listen to these songs from beginning to end without crying. Its been 12 years since my mother passed and I still cannot.

"Sorry I never told you, all I wanted to say. Now it's too late to hold you. Cuz you've gone away, so far away. Never had I imagined, living without your smile....And I know you're shining down on me from heaven.." 

Good thing my office has a door. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Misinterpretation of Silent Scorpion

People mistake...

my ability to compartmentalize my emotions with the absence of all emotion. 
my ability to cut off people who I don't think are good for me with the ability to absolve all thoughts of them all together.
my ability to give up a vice without vocalizing how much I miss it with the ability to stop yearning that for which is unhealthy.

Those who misunderstand my being misinterpret my actions and emotions.

Yes I am able to keep my feelings to myself but that doesn't mean I don't have the
m. That doesn't mean I don't go over every interaction with the opposite and same sex with a fine tuned comb, over and over and over again. It means I keep it to myself. It means sometimes I'm quiet. It means sometimes I'm not expressive but...I am not a robot. I am not without emotion. I am not without feelings of regret or guilt; without feelings of remorse or sorrow. Of thinking that all of the actions following my action were my fault. It means unlike others, sometimes I won't allow myself to make that call. To reach out. To speak up. To speak out. 

I understand. My ability to keep those thought processes to myself makes others unaware of my over analysis of certain situations and for that I say...I guess. While I can make myself understand, it's pretty dumb to me that people don't afford me the same thoughtfulness (and yes this has been vocalized to me before). To believe that I don't have the same kind of feelings as other people is as hurtful as it is ridiculous

I had to learn a long time ago to suppress my feelings. Life happened and in the face of it all, there were people depending on me who needed me to be strong and silent. So I stayed strong and silent in public. I'm really good at controlling things I can control. I guess I haven't learned how to shut it off just yet. 

Food is a great example. I made up my mind that I was going to give up cheese for Lent. Let's not get it twisted, I LOVE cheese almost as much as I love swine. But the point was for me to pick something really difficult. Once I get past the first 5 days of a vice, I can be around it and almost not yearn for it at all. I ordered my burgers cheese-less, stayed away from my favorite pizza and all the other goodies that come with cheese for 46 days and 46 nights. Why, because I had made up my mind to control my behavior. It was something I had done before with sweets, liquor, etc. When I make my mind to give up something, its gone. 

Do I have weak moments, yes. Do I stick to my resolution no matter how founded or unfounded they are, for the most part yes. I have given up sweets for the month of April. So when I'm presented with the opportunity to indulge I say nope not for me. That was until yesterday I decided, hey, I want a cheat day. So I indulged and wasn't the least bit satisfied. So the next 24 days will be a piece of cake...with no cake. 

Those are things I can control. 

Things I can't control. My feelings and who they're for are much more complicated.

When I decide that I am the most important person in my life, then yes outwardly, I express less about a person but they still occupy my mind. I have one person I wish would stop taking up space because we just aren't on the same page. But, I can't do anything about that. He's there. Feet up and relaxing. Taking up space and invading my thoughts. They aren't necessarily bad thoughts either, just thoughts I can't control. Same thing goes for some people who I am no longer friendly with. They take up space. They have their feet up as well. In that same space of emotion I cannot control. I am aware of this misinterpretation of my levels of control and working on managing appropriate times to express my emotions. 

For that, I continue to be misunderstood. 
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