Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Life, a Job and a Haircut

I was a teenager when I first coined that phrase as a potential insult...but I am pretty sure that I never had the balls to use it as intended. Among friends I was known to say that so-and-so needs to get those things and it got a few laughs. And I remember that back then, hurling my great imaginary zinger was really more about how my friends reacted than actually saying it to the target of the insult.

The Busy Black Woman has decided that in this social media climate of hyperbole and meanness, it is way past time for to resurrect that phrase because there are sooo many folks in dire need of a makeover:

Starting with the King of the Trolls, the current GOP candidate for President might not need all three, but most of us would appreciate if he finally got a better haircut. Seriously. He could also use a life, since when does someone who is running for the most powerful job on the planet have time to tweet insults?

His sister from another mister, Sarah Palin can definitely benefit from all three. She needs a life so that she can get a real job because being a professional twit (terer) is not what we expect from someone who almost could have been the Vice President. And she might want to do something with that hair.

The Governor of Maine, Paul LePage, is allegedly considering the need for a new job. I cannot speak on his need for a life, but that might be necessary if his new job involves relocating to another state, like Arkansas. And he might as well go and get himself a shape up...Ray Ray's chair at Close Kutz is waiting for him.

Pastor Mark Burns needs a life and definitely a new job. Who attends his church, those angry black Republicans from that Key and Peele sketch? He's bald so no haircut, but he might need to reconsider those colored contacts.

Ryan Lotche did get a new haircut after the old-new haircut made him look like the infamous entitled all-American a$$ aardvark. And apparently, he's got a new gig on Dancing with the Stars, so maybe he's good for now.

Anthony Weiner. Whew, all three dude, and like yesterday!

Huma Adebin, you clearly need a new job because all that time spent away from home with Hillary...and a life because of all that time spent away from home with Hillary. And a haircut, just because.

And speaking of Hillary Clinton, who is hoping for both a new job and a new life...let's just wait to see how she botches both endeavors with another ridiculous scandal. I like her haircut, though.

Chris Brown. Sigh.

The trolls who came for Gabby Douglas at the Olympics need all three. New lives because Grandma is tired of you living in her basement. New jobs because being the manager at the Chik-fil-A is still a sucky job even if you were promoted from cooking the waffle fries just last week. And haircuts because all of that concern about Gabby's edges probably means that you paid entirely too much for whatever hot pink messiness you got going on your head. And if you happen to be one of those I-wear-the-American-flag-on-my-a$$ trolls who attacked her for what was deemed insufficient patriotism, it is way past time to change your underwear. Seriously.

Ditto for those who have been coming for Leslie Jones.

And finally, there are the trolls who allegedly dissed little Blue Ivy Carter. I am by no means a member of  the Bey hive, but I saw that gorgeous photo of Bey and her daughter and wondered how I might recreate the magic captured in that iconic image. So color me shocked to learn from the Facebook that some aardvarks reacted by saying all kinds of nastiness about Baby Blue. Need I remind you that she's a kid, y'all. When did it become okay to talk badly about a four-year old? So, I declare an acute and critical need for lives, jobs and haircuts! New lives would require an evolution up to the human species, but try that and let us know how that works for you. How about you just get a job, any job? And new haircuts, wigs, better weaves, whatever...because that troll look is just tired.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Bad Mommy Days

If I were to sum up my impression of motherhood these last few weeks in two words, they would be tub poopie. Or I could go with no nap. Or if you prefer something more general then it would be MOM DOWN.

In this latest episode of Busy Bad Mommy, the Babe developed a high fever out of nowhere last Monday so she and I spent the entire day curled up in bed. I nursed her, gave her juice, tried several times to give her Tylenol, and even took her outside for fresh air. My Aunt and Dad checked in periodically with advice, but by 9 o'clock when the Hub got home from work, her fever had not broken. Around the same time I received a call from a cousin who asked me the most obvious question...which I could not answer because (head smack) I never took the Babe's temperature!!! So in my frantic attempt not to look like a complete moron, everything went haywire and we ended going to the ER. This is me at 3am right before we were released:

Diagnosis: too much wax in her ear.

The next night at bedtime she began screaming for no good reason after she had been asleep for about an hour. Her father came in and declared that he had it under control but she continued to shriek as if she was on fire. So I loaded her into the car for a ride around the neighborhood, which worked for about 5 minutes until we got back to the house. She went to sleep eventually (probably after my Xanax kicked in).

I recently saw a documentary on the Kennedy family and of course there was the always-smiling Ethel Kennedy with her 11 children. And I wondered aloud, how in the hell? I know they had nannies and servants and other kinds of help, but I struggle to manage one tiny little kid.

Mind you, I used to be great with children. My cousins can attest to that. My Niece has generally been easy to manage. The NY contingent of nieces and nephews love me. Even the new Baby Niece and I get along quite well. But with my own child I am out of my league.

For obvious reasons there is no asking my mother for advice. But even if she could offer me some motherly wisdom, she would not. She would ridicule my inability to do basic things like prevent the kid from eating cheerios off the floor. She would declare how superior she was as a mother, call me a silly girl, click her ruby heels, and take off on her flying broomstick. In her place is her sister, my Aunt, who also flies in on her broom to occasionally chime in on my ineffectiveness.

Surrender Dorothy...

There are no other close family members to offer me much advice or support. My Dad was away in graduate school during my early childhood, so apparently his memories of me began around the time I hit puberty. On the Hub's side, all of the nieces and nephews are grown (and his mother was around to assist). He has several friends and coworkers with young children, but I do not.

So, if I wanted advice, I would have to turn to the village council of senior mother figures. And based on my past experiences with a few of them, I would rather just clean up tub poopie. Remember how the pediatrician looked at me like I had six heads when I said yes, the Babe still nurses at nine months (now 16) and no, she is not in daycare? The play group nannies brag about successfully sleep training their charges at birth, while I wrestle with the Babe to take one nap. The library nannies, who always arrive early for story-time to secure the best spots at the front of the room, look upon me with annoyance whenever the Babe wanders too close to their well-behaved charges. And the FB mommies who work several jobs, have successful side hustles, and pursue advanced degrees, while I am a SAHM with a blog no one reads? Yep, lots of support there.

I do have good Mommy moments (I do, I do, I do, I do). After all, I was clever enough to buy her shoes with squeakers and she is reasonably well-behaved in restaurants. Perhaps we should spend a lot more time at the mall.

I know this time will pass quickly and one day I will look up and she will be a teenager. And then if I'm lucky, she'll call me on the phone one day with questions about her own toddler (and thanks to this blog, I will not be able to lie).

Friday, August 19, 2016

Hypocrisy, Confusion and the Futility of Arguing on Social Media

Long title to address a topic that has a long history...or just my way of stating the obvious. Arguments on social media really are futile, thanks in part to hypocrisy and confusion.

This week, after weighing in on a heated debate and reading through too many disappointing and frustrating comments, I should just let it drop and move on to other less controversial issues, like Ryan Lochte. I am sure that nothing I said swayed any opinions. Yet my ego compels me to attempt the impossible...

I admit to not having read all of the requisite facts, but I have read various news accounts, am intelligent enough, and have lived long enough to have an informed opinion. And in my opinion based on what I have read and my own life experience: Nate Parker might not be a convicted rapist, but he is an asshole. (Note, I have used a lot of profanity in this piece, so continue to clutch your pearls.)

When an adult R. Kelly married then-15 year old singer Aaliyah and later urinated on a 13-year old child, he became forever in my mind, an asshole. Children cannot consent to sexual behavior with adults. R. Kelly is a talented man who has written some very inspirational music, but I will change the channel and/or leave the dance floor whenever one of his songs is played. I do not want to hear shit in terms of how these children in question were somehow responsible for what happened to them. 

When Bill Cosby was accused by one woman of drugging and raping her, then another woman and then 40 other women, he is now and forever shall be in my mind an asshole. A drugged aspiring actress or unknown model is still a vulnerable woman who cannot give consent to sexual relations. His pioneering career, past philanthropy, and other good deeds are overshadowed by decades of alleged predatory behavior. I do not want to hear shit about the absence of a conviction despite multiple similar accusations.

So when Nate Parker has been accused, tried and acquitted of having raped a woman back in college, he is now an asshole as well. A woman who is intoxicated is not a willing sexual participant despite the fact that there had been a prior consensual sexual relationship. An intoxicated woman cannot consent to having sex with multiple partners. His current project is indeed important, as a film about the Nat Turner slave uprising is long overdue. But I do not want to hear shit about an acquittal being sufficient to justify supporting his work.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Free Melania!



I was all ready to write a second piece to urge compassion for Melania T…but did I read that she might have gamed the system and entered this country illegally??? Girl bye!

I could make a lot of this little detail, but I shan’t. She will get far worse in the weeks to come from the journalists whose job it is to vet her “qualifications” to compete in the First Lady Pageant. I have already staked my position against that entire enterprise, so she gets a pass—but a little tiny one like the size of Zoolander’s cell phone.

Of course there is the UGE irony of her little scandal and the invective spewed by her husband against undocumented immigrants and a visa system that allows in too many people who “take American jobs”. Yeah, whatever Max. We expect you to fix that just as soon as you bring back those well-paying sweatshop jobs that employ the folks who make your clothing line. We believe everything you say.

We want to believe your wife, who in all sincerity, is merely a passenger on that private plane. She surely is not the co-pilot (a job that must belong to one of your kids because it sure ain’t your running mate either). No, the beautiful Melania is…

Well, I will not refer to her as the pretty stewardess because no one uses such politically incorrect terminology. No, she is not the pretty mermaid on the mast of the ship—just an artful way of calling her a mascot. Nor is she the pretty trophy Stepford wife; the pretty Gold Digging third baby mother (who performed her function of producing both a male heir and anchor for her to stay); the pretty May to his gray December; or whatever other sexist description that we could think of to diminish her. She could be a real life Pretty Woman and this is how a second movie might have ended…
However, in all seriousness she is pretty obviously trapped in a gilded penthouse. 

The facts that we know about her are these: She came to the US from Slovenia as a model sometime in the mid-90s, met Max and became his consort, bore him a son, and is now infamous for swiping a paragraph from Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech. The fallout from her botched speech prompted a more thorough review of her background, which led Maxy’s people to scrub her bio and build a wall of sorts (perhaps using cheap Mexican labor) to repel those who seek the truth.

In a more delicious twist of the ironic, Melania has herself, been silent (or silenced). In the same week that Max questioned the silence of a grieving mother while her husband spoke on their behalf about their dead son, Melania has gone quiet. Sure, there have been tweets…but not written by her (unless I missed the cut and paste function on Twitter). Actually, Melania has been rather quiet all along.

I recall one interview she gave a few months ago about her husband’s candidacy. In response to a question about his rhetoric, she said that she has told him to tone it down. Then I don’t think I heard from her again until that convention speech. And I suspect that we will not hear another word from Melania again…unless it is HELP!

Omarosa Manigault, a Maxy minion (ha), offered a reasonable defense of the Melania speech scandal that was way more credible than the explanation offered by the alleged ghostwriter. For a woman who rarely speaks in public, it was a challenge to do so with the poise and grace Melania demonstrated, especially in front of an audience of millions. It also must be damned hard to have the attention of an audience of millions and NOT beg for someone, anyone to set you free.

I noticed the icy body language between Maxy and the Missus a few days later when they arrived for his Ascension. The moment before they both realized they were being filmed, he shot a glare at her and her recoil suggested that he was reminding her not to say or do anything except smile and wave. And on cue, she did just that. 

Later when the camera panned over to her, I scanned her face to see if there was any hint that she might drop the supportive spouse facade and blink out an SOS. Nothing. So maybe she really is happy, she and Max are equals, and that she gets with Lady Ivanka every week to gossip and braid each others' hair.

And if you believe any of that, I'm building a UGE wall along the Mexican border out of Chinese take-out boxes.

In Defense of Melania

I read an article last week that called for an end to the slut-shaming of Melania T (remember, I won't write his name) and because I agreed, I reposted it. It received a few likes, a couple of responses, and a share. After reading the responses, I began to think about slut-shaming generally and the quadrennial First Lady Pageant specifically.

It would seem that those two concepts are about as far apart as the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, but this is an election year in the Twilight Zone. And with a 50% chance that a woman will be the next President, we are witnessing unprecedented scrutiny of women in the political arena. Your choices: Mom in Chief or MILF.

Before I go down that rabbit hole, allow me to amend the cartoon depiction I attached to Mrs. T's husband last week. I initially chose Yosemite Sam, a classic Looney Tunes character that seemed most appropriate given his tendency to shoot from the hip. But the orange Mr. T is not a Southerner and in the updated Looney Tunes universe, there is a more appropriate character that you may not know, but should:

Montana Max! He's petulant, he's mean, he's rich and he has bad hair. Voila!

Back to Mrs. T. The past few weeks have turned an unflattering spotlight on her, the glare of which must be overwhelming. I feel a little sorry for her. She is merely married to the maniac; she is not the one running for office.

Of course, that means nothing in the quadrennial First Lady Pageant (and how ironic is it that Max used to own the Miss USA Pageant and the Miss Universe family of pageants). While typical beauty pageants rate the contestants on poise, talent, congeniality and the all important ability to model a bikini in stilettos, the First Lady Pageant potentials are graded on poise, education, child-rearing, patriotic advocacy, and cookie recipes. The swimsuit competition is replaced by an overall wardrobe competition.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Politics Unusual

At times the 2016 Election cycle has felt like an episode of Looney Tunes. On the one hand there is Yosemite Sam and his running mate, Elmer Fudd and on the other hand there is...well I have to be honest, I do not remember the name of the girl bunny who was not a major character until the 90s which seems a tad condescending, so here is cartoon Hill from the Presidents Song (she appears at 2:58). But I hope you get my point. This is the craziest election I have witnessed in my lifetime.

And while this election will indeed be historic, it is also quite sad that in order to elect a woman her opponent has to be someone so ludicrous that the best compliment is to compare him to a cartoon character. But I am jumping way ahead of myself by declaring a winner...

Several of my friends on social media are practically obsessed with proving Yosemite's unfitness for office, almost to the extent of waging a religious crusade. And I agree, he is totally ridiculous which is why I refuse to even say his name anymore. Apparently he thrives on seeing his name in print, even if he is being criticized, which then results in his saying even more outrageous things to keep his name in print.



So, my first point of order: STOP. The articles, the analysis, the editorials, the tweets, the quotes, etc. We get it. We're already convinced...