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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Champagne Tastes: Why You Can't Be Great...

I like “stuff”. My favorite time of year is “catalogue” time when my favorite stores jam pack their ‘printed on recycled paper’ pages with new stuff. Everything within its lacquered sheets is shiny, smooth, sparkly and new. These things make me swoon. I think decorating my home should arrive like the seasons, complete with some aptly named solstice, celebratory dance and new color schemes. I like “stuff”.
Having said all that, (and knowing that by now, Patient Reader, you should realize I’m a Harlem~shuffling dichotomy) I’ll admit that once my full swoon is accomplished, I drag my happy tail up off the floor and rearrange my current furniture, hit a thrift store with a budgeted, spectacular vengeance and place said catalogues firmly in the nearest waste receptacle.
(Side Note: I’m trying to set a record for run on sentences meant to induce finger pointing spasms from every English teacher I ever had. Knowledge is power…)

The Goodness that I currently live with and I have interesting conversations from time to time.  This explaines why I keep him around (and vice versa...). The following led to this post.

The Feminine Goodness: I want a new sofa.
The Masculine Goodness: Oh yeah?
TFG: Yeah…
TMG: What else do women spend money on?
TFG: (looking at my own nails, egg washed loc’s and closet filled with Old Navy gear)…ummmm

So I got good and curious, pulled together a panel of women and discovered “debt when the rainbow costs too much”…

1. The "Beautyshop".

Okay, I’ll admit this. Thanks to loc’s, eggs and avocado’s I probably spend a monthly total of $20 dollars on my hair (including my not brief enough stint as a blonde…don’t ask!). I wash (the eggs), condition (the avocado) and use occasional sunflower/tea tree oil (luster and shine). I’m not recommending my regiment for everybody…but I priced lace fronts and weaves. (The look of shock and awe is STILL on my face!). A median amount of $1500 MONTHLY is spent at the “beauty shop”. That’s a mortgage on your scalp for something that grows EASILY. Another confession: I’ve not frequented a “beauty shop” since I was 16 years old. The last perm I bought (and tricked my Dad into thinking I used) was 5 bucks! I’m admittedly out of touch on this one, but that’s one HELL of an economic crisis in my book.

No wonder he wants you to be independent!

2. Keeping Up With Sex In The Fictional City & The Real Housewives of Hell Fashions…
(da hell is a Louboutin?!!!) 
This is not the Loser Shoe in question...
but it might as well be.
A shoe covers your feet (basically), protects you from the elements (sometimes) and helps to transport you from point A to point B. If you’re lucky, the right heel elevates your butt to dynamic proportions and makes you strut. It does NOT guarantee you a free drink in the club, make you more dateable/marriage material OR make you great. Kanye. So what is the obsession about?!!! I visited the “new shoe of choice for women’s” website and you people should be ashamed of yourselves. Don’t get me wrong. I love high heels accentuating all 6 ft of this Amazon. I encourage and emphasize the inherent sexy of tall in my strut and every time I cross my legs…but I refuse to pay the equivalent of (ANOTHER) mortgage payment simply because some ex-wife of a washed up pro~baller mentioned it.  It’s not that I can’t…it’s that I won’t! And honestly, I didn’t realize checking labels on anything outside of food still occurred amongst adults.
3. Men, Women
I was one of the last great hold out’s regarding the myth of female competition until…
One day, I was playing around on good ol’ Facebook…watching the feed and whatnot when I began to notice a trend. (This occurs most frequently during rainstorms and late at night when the weather turns chilly). Women were listing their expectations in a mate. Men were listing their expectations in a mate. And neither of these folks was listening to EACH OTHER!
I’m not exaggerating when I say that I saw a post from “Mr. WalkWithALimp DrankWithADipMoneyBeforeHoes” and “Ms. I’mSoIndependentAndLonelyIWearUnderwearToTheClub” posted REPEATEDLY their desire for someone to hold, talk to, listen to and enjoy Luther Vandross with. (Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but I’m nowhere near lying…).
The competition to say “just the right thing” is costly. It's not a race, competition or a game of oneupsmanship. All those personas, hard outer shells, hidden soft hearts and characters that we play are costing us family, comfort, peace and a soft place to land.

She's got her's while you're still at the club...

I always start with my Sister’s first, but we all buy a bit of this faulty stock and right now…in 2010…the cost financially, physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually is too damned high.

Let’s love…

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Every Time I Try To Get Out...They Keep Pullin' Me Back In!!!!

Let’s just get a couple of things out in the open from (21) jump street. The young men in question were at (or over) the age of consent according to Atlanta’s law. So annihilate the “pedophile” discussion. The young men in question received gifts, trips and status for their “time”. Obviously, I question “coercion”. I think the tales told of Atlanta’s “down low” statistics are dramatically overstated for the sake of some women “saving face” about their decision to “husband” a dude in excessive Ed Hardy and arched eyebrows…(it’s your fault if you believed Waiting To Exhale!). Lastly, I don’t even SLIGHTLY care about/for your “Adam and Steve” analogies…so keep that nonsense in your own particular pulpit. Thanks! Oh, and lest my judgement be called into question, I tussled (yes, tussled) with the decision to even “head nod” this situation, because I'm a tad insensitive frank. With that said, this is where I ache. Dogma and adultery. Lay your prejudices aside and follow the rainbow.

I was in the same place you were when the story broke, in my home/office/couch/car on Facebook/Twitter/Digg. In defense, I was probably FAR more familiar with Mr. Long because of my parental unit’s devotion to all things fundamental (I’m such a rebel). Visiting for Thanks/Christmas~ing (while dodging pork laden greens and hamhocked corn), I’m a bit world weary in the realm of religious fanaticism. (Not fair.) My loving Mum is an oil smearing, TBN fan and I love her for it, but I eliminated Long from my imaginary Friends List/Followers WAY before he launch his tirade against homosexuals. (Bite me, I have a problem with discrimination.) Beyond espousing some notion of Biblical righteousness, condemning someone to hell for being born is outside of my comfort realm is ignorant and SMACKS of KKK~isms, so I.just.can’t. Truth told and quiet as kept, I didn’t ~technically~ have a problem with the bling, jet, and prosperity thing. (The phrase “get it how you live” springs to mind). I have a problem with “thou that doth protest too much”. Wondering what I mean? Here’s an example:
The Republican Party…

Seriously, what’s with staging a MARCH against “gay marriage”?!!! An obsession with heterosexuality makes me skittish. An obsession with homosexuality is a warning sign. With the exception of cockroaches (which are just UN~NATURAL), I simply can’t think of anything that I dislike so strongly that they deserve mention in all my conversations. (Sidenote/Example: I mention Idris Elba…FREQUENTLY with Michael Eley playing a runner’s up role, but until THIS post, I’ve said NOTHING about Shemar Moore...point made!). Were Mr. Long unmarried, uncloseted and not such a rabid finger pointer…this would NOT have registered in my consciousness. But now, even his “LongFellows Youth Outreach” statement is questionable:

"Our methodology here at LongFellows is to invade and bring about a culture with these young men that they start believing in a standard that they have something that they hold to, that they never give up or never give in, do the things that they are ordained to do,"

Now it all sounds NAMBLA~esque…allegedly.
Mr. Long is married. I don’t care if he was engaging in questionable consensual congress with a goat, pet rock and ambiguous CPR dolls, if his wife was unaware, then he’s damaged a life! Should the shape-shifting wig have clued her in? Yeah…but vanity is a son~of~a~gun. Should she have questioned the smedium~ness of his shirts?! Sure…but he’s fit and women tend to be hypnotized/dazzled by arms (umm, trust me!). Should she have questioned some of his jewelry?!!! Heck to da yeppers…but status can confuse your most focused folks. Long story, short...if he didn’t... he should have TOLD her. The conversation is pretty easy.

Longstroke: Baby, I got something to tell you BEFORE I propose.
She (hearing the word propose and ignoring all else): Yes dear…
Longstroke: I won’t commit a crime, but I like boys…firm ones who adore my spandex body as rendered by bathroom mirror photos. I’ll share the spoils of my success and people will call you “First Lady” without an election…
She: Just don’t get caught, Kappa

Obviously, sarcasm is my native tongue. Look; don’t drag people into your damned closet! Stay single, unencumbered and childless! Nobody wants to be a casualty of your low self-esteem, self-hating, guilt trampled, delusional war. (Honestly, the above scenario is NOT something I think Mrs. Long would have signed up for and my genuine prayers and positive light is squarely aimed at her and their children! No one deserves what she’s facing right now. Stand strong, Sister!)
Right now, these are ALL allegations and I’m willing to let the devil have his due watch it play out. Viewing things from both sides, I question some things about this situation. Why a civil suit? Why not sexual harassment? Why all the media coverage about “boys” when these young men were at (or above) the age of consent? Why can’t a “Pastor” be gay when the choir director OBVIOUSLY is? Why is “gay” a taboo and trickin’ so prevalent in da church? Why accept gifts? Where were the “well meaning parents”? Does anybody remember when MJ was accused of the same, ONLY to have the chief accuser’s father denounce the charges then commit suicide? And finally, why ask why?

You know I love it when you talk back...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

There’s A Heart Where My Refrigerator Use To Be…

Or,  how to move on from a breakup without bitterness...

I’m a great ex girlfriend. Yep, I’m going to go on record as being called a good friend following many a clean break from previous relationships. With one or two possible exceptions, I can enter a building where a former co~relationship~ant is enjoying himself and the vibe will not turn negative for either party. My homegirls stand in awe, my homeboys wonder at my coolness…the seas part and I stroll across on salmon and make sushi…yeah, I’m a bad GIRL!

Seriously though. I make the weirdest friends and some of them include guys I use to date (one outing qualifies in my book…). Do we hang out at daily? Ummm, no! Do I attend the baptism of their third baby’s mama’s child? NOOOO (That would require a gift!). But can we attend the same Nas show without breaking bottles and de~evolving into random fisticuffs?! Sure! And why the hell not?

The reason: I leave without bitterness and allow them to do the same.
THE CAVEAT: Once again, this only works with sane people. If you’re a Scorpio, unstable, there’s a WHOLE other set of rules…

Develop a date of ejection: One of my most valuable lessons in life is the importance of reaching a mutual conclusion. I dated this guy once. Funny, witty, creative and a singer (my life falls along this pattern, so stay with me!). Despite all of this we realized we were on different paths.

He: marriage/children/happily ever after.
Me: “an understanding/monogamy/some other stuff

We jointly called it a day, complete with an expiration date, location, color and song. It was like a mini wedding. We mutually decided on a date where we’d limit contact. A date when we could both “safely” resume conversation (by phone) and specifically agreed upon conversations. No more songs, no music was allowed, no mutual clubs attended, no gospel stage plays, concerts, harmonizing cicadas… You get my drift. The end date was enjoyable…but like discount meat, it was meant to be consumed in a 6 hour period.

Engage in One Last Try: With the exception of Cosby, Martin and Living Single…I don’t enjoy reruns…At some point, couples realized they don’t work. Your vegan girfriend/wife says, “You like bacon…you eat beef” or…”you don’t read…you don’t…*expletive deleted in a holy way* Yo!” or “You don’t do the things that I do and do, do the things I don’t!” As much as I enjoy dichotomy (opposites), when it’s time to move on, DON’T LOOK BACK!!!! Yeah, you’ll remember how (s)he’d brush the side of your cheek and the first day you chewed bubble gum, but this is NOT the time to re-dabble into the inkwell. Pick up your pen and write a new poem. This helps in a number of ways, but primarily it assists not expecting the new relationship to mimic the old. Trust me that you don’t want that. If you did, you’d still be in the old relationship, wouldn’t you?

Realize that the relationship died…not you! It’s time to ditch the all black everything and remove the flowers from the casket. The relationship is dead and gone like T.I’s freedom, but you’re still singing the same dirge and waiting for a resurrection that rivals Lazarus’ stroll from the grave. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that a bit of sadness isn’t called for. But obsessive facebook stalking, refusing to remove their number from your speed dial, and sleeping on their doorstep failing to resume your life isn’t going to get them back in the warmth of your bosom…It’s going to make them run like Forrest Gump on meth. #TrueStory

Bitterness is not a good look on anyone, especially not the “newly single”. Think about it this way. Are you more likely to attract “the next one” if you’re still making sad faces at the old one? Go on and live! (It’s much more fun…)

Did I mention that stalking is a no~no?!!!
Comments, questions, concerns...testimonies?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Police In Your Rearview? Do's And Don'ts...

I’m told I play “devil’s advocate” very well. My response, “I’m skeptical of the existence of an “external” devil.” What does this mean?  Despite my ability to identify discrimination, prejudice and general unfairness…everybody who cries “innocent”…ain’t. Yes, I purposely slaughtered grammar, spelling and syntax for emphasis. The point I’m making is this…I’m noticing a growing trend towards failing to own up to individual responsibility. It starts with something innocuous and small and graduates to small cases of pandemonium leaving us to finger point, speculate and attempt to assign blame. I’m a pre~emptive girl in a reactive world, so I thought I’d pass along a handful of “do’s” and “don’ts”. Today’s focus?
The Do’s and Don’t Of A Traffic Stop (or any other interaction with the law enforcing sirens in your rearview…)

(Typical blog caveat: The scenarios listed herein apply when two rational, honest and (reasonably) law abiding citizens encounter each other. Rogue cops and outlaws live by completely different rules. And it’d be my personal pleasure to round them up and banish them to the Outer Crab Nebula, but until then…)

Keep your hands visible, making no sudden gestures or moves to your pockets, purse, in the waistband of your sagging jeans or under your seat. The thing to immediately realize is that the police don’t realize that you secret your most prized possessions under your bootleg, Teflon reinforced Oakland Raiders baseball cap so they have NO idea what you’re reaching for.

Wish you could take it back, dont ya?

Behave erratically. Nothing makes an officer (or any right thinking stranger) suspect ulterior and potentially dangerous motives more than the person who is incapable of maintaining some eye contact, with constantly flailing appendages and speech that makes no discernible sense. Believe it or not, police training includes identifying some symptoms of mental illness, however when the previous symptoms are accompanied by evasive maneuvers…it raises a red flag. (And tasers…and billy clubs…and guns…).

Tell the truth, and shame the debbil.   Seriously. You’re a law abiding citizen, right? The 20 miles an hour over the speed limit was due to your fallible humanity and impatience. Admit it. “Yes Officer, I was speeding/unaware of my speed”. “No, Officer, I’m not sure why you stopped me” is also an acceptable response. The point is to speak the truth as you see it. (Yep, you read that right…take it how you will). And note: I didn’t use any of the derisive farm animal terms that people seem willing to toss about all willy nilly. Keep it civil.

Act a fool. You’d be AMAZED at people’s level of comfort and familiarity with authority figures carrying debilitating weapons. This is not your neighbor’s mischievous puppy pooping on your front lawn or the cashier at the fast food joint who gets your order wrong for the 5th time (…although you shouldn’t exercise your frustration on them either!). If asked for your identification or to step out of the car, do so with a minimum of fuss. You’re NOT in court on the corner of Main & MLK in Anytown, USA. It’s simple. Follow instructions.

Image your average Tuesday at work, completing the TPS reports. You’re not 100% sure you want to be there, a long way from a lunch break and even further from quitting time. Your boss, their boss and the Mayor holds you responsible for everything from your colleagues to your customers. And everybody with a cellphone or camera is recording your every move, when in walks an erratic, swearing, shifty eyed  liar  person looking to avoid personal responsibility. And to top it all off, you’re not sure on any given day who may or may not have anything to lose by ending your life.

This is the long and short of the matter. What’s a human to do? Because, despite the inconvenience…they ARE humans, with a job to do.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Endangered Species: Common Courtesy

I'm a contradiction wrapped in the most alluring of chocolate mahogany skin.
Honestly, I'm contradictory like the following Drake~ism,
"I CANT STAND THESE *rhyming expletive deleted* WHO WANT MY RICHES".
While sing/talk/rapping in verse 2:

Yes, I realize this about myself, so when directing questions, comments and concerns, feel free to tell me just how much I want it both ways...because frequently, I do. I notice people when I'm out and about. People watching provides my innerchild with Wonderland type entertainment and things to alternately frown and smile about. And because I'm so deep and complex, this can occur at the exact same time. Having explained all that, I've got to wonder if I am one of those Women who've contributed to the assassination attempts currently being waged against chivalrous actions and gentlemanly conduct. This is the thing, despite my harangue on fairytales a couple of weeks ago, I still have decidedly feminine expectations when a Man enters the room or is graced by my presence.

While I’m trying to figure out who fired the first shots in this war against civility is not the point, I do recognize that frequently, a negative response to an open door, something that varies between barked orders to "Leave that door alone!" to strolling through the door failing to make eye contact, much less commit to an audible thank you, can easily leave the Brotherhood of Man nonplussed and downright lackadaisical. With that being said, these are the top five acts of pro-social kindness that I truly miss on behalf of both genders (and pray nightly) that some brave soul, Idris Elba, will bring back!

1. Pulling out the Lady's chair. Depending on the weather and time of year, I eat out regularly. And as stated, I like to watch people, so my favorite time of day to enjoy a nice meal unprepared by my own hands is typically dinner. The combination of family's dining out, first, second and third dates and the dreaded Facebook/Twitter related meet/hook up provides me more entertainment than your average wrestling tournament in the heart of Praline, Alabama. (This place doesn't my knowledge, but it has a nice ring to it.) So, of course, from the moment these couples hit the stage, I'm playing "eye spy" and counting down to see if the male of this pairing will galumph to the chair/booth and plop down in the chair without a second glance at his date/companion. My unscientific study shows that most men on a date appear to carry on internal conversations with themselves to prevent this bit of cave~mannery...but those individuals in what appears to be longer lasting relationships, will flop down blissfully unaware that their mate is standing expectantly UNTIL the host/hostess does his duty. *Insert guilty eyes and intense menu perusal here*

2. Walking nearest the street. If you were born anytime prior to 1992, it's my honest belief that you should know and do this automatically, especially when standing or walking along public transportation platforms. Color me spoiled, but the moment I feel the wind of a passing vehicle as it zips by, my date is (at least mentally) over. Blame my Grandpa.

(You need not go this far...but it made me laugh...)

3. Polite laughter. Ladies, this is one we can engage in too. Chivalry is not just for men anymore...I cringe to see a Brother in his best Steve Harvey suit, mentally rehearsing lines from the Chapelle Show and peeking over his pinkie ring hoping against hope that you at least part your lips in a half hearted guffaw at his attempts at wit. You don't have to mean it, but a cracked smile does nothing to detract from your night. If he's telling decidedly disrepectful jokes, let him know with a grimace thoughtfully disguised as a smile that Towelie is not your particular brand of chuckles. A smile, redirection...but please avoid that deadpan Daria face that I've perfected so well . Besides, you're the one who decided to date the guy wearing a Steve Harvey suit and sporting a pinkie ring...that means you've GOT to have some sense of humor. Sharing is caring.

4. The Automatic Petname. This may run more along the lines of personal pet peeve, but then this is a personal blog, so I'd be absolutely neglectful if I didn't give my Brethren a head up on the use of diminutive titles. I think before you "sugar", "baby girl", "boo", "sweety" should KNOW me...which means you won't be tossing out those silly bon mots to begin with. A recent facebook interaction ended abruptly when a stranger (though a frequent visitor to my little slice of FB Nirvana) called me "Boo". My response (similar to a knee jerk reaction or an open hand slap across the back of the throat) was, "Boo?!!! Fool it ain't Halloween!" I detest immediate familiarity. With that said, I do this frequently when being reintroduced to people because I tend to forget names. Mystery presented and solved.

5. Courtesy Words.  So…you’ve inhaled copious amounts of pepper, while starting on a freshly carbonated beverage, and suffering the onset of Montezuma’s revenge, only to discover that familiar prickly, confidence debilitating itch in your nether regions…SIMULTANEOUSLY. As you go about rectifying these perfectly natural bodily functions, realize that we’re still in the vicinity. True…for every burp, sneeze and subsequent “male adjustment”, we don’t expect you to catapult to the darkest regions of the men’s room (or ladies room…sometimes our chesticular garments go awry). But inconsiderate,  self groping and ongoing flatulence is marginally “funny” in Judd Apatow movies. In reality, it’s obnoxious…

I’m sure I’ve missed quite a few…(eye contact, a firm handshake, not giving in to your own Taylor Swift/Kanye West moment...)so share!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Crime, Celebrity and Can't Get Right...

By now it's the charge heard 'round the world. Five months of street time and everybody's favorite diminutive rapper has found himself within the grasp of the criminal justice system with barely time enough to sire PostPrisonBaby #1. And this time, he's ensure conjugals. September 1, 2010, following a jail stint on a weapons charge, TI (Clifford Harris) and his recently married wife Tameka "Tiny" Cottle (of Tiny & Toya "fame")  were arrested on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine. Arresting officers report detaining the couple after smelling what they suspected was marijuana during a routine traffic stop. As of this posting, the couple posted $10,000 bail following the arrest and were released.
Obviously, TI isn't the first celebrity with an arrest record that includes multiple charges or substance abuse, nor will he be the last. What makes this situation noticeable, is the speed with which Mr. Harris seems willing to hand his freedom over to the prison industrial complex. And before the conspiracy theorist (of which I am a card holding member) begins to protest and design their "FREE T.I." t~shirts, I'm going to go out on a limb and speculate that perhaps we doth protest too much, too loudly, too often and for the wrong reasons.

I'm able to spot innocence a mile a way. It's a natural gift, second sight type thing. In fact, I know within five seconds of looking at a person, whether the human I'm looking at is justifiably free of malice, harm or guilt. Innocent people have this air about them (and it smells like fresh linens and baby powder). I'm going to tell you how to identify them as this is a pretty useful little tool to add to your interpersonal communication arsenal. Innocent people are usually short...(extremely), with cherubic, tweekable cheeks, uncontrollable spit bubbles forming between pre~verbal lips with a craving for mother's milk that borders on obsessive. They sport fashionable onesie ensembles; complete with strollers, car seats and sometimes a binky. Get it? Babies are innocent, despite those late night howling sessions designed to enhance your viewing of all things Nick At Nite.

As we grow and mature, we do some pretty questionable stuff. There's the decidely lascivious outfit worn to the office Christmas party around the same time as your yearly pay review by supervisor McPervert. There's the questionable decision to "rescue" (and keep) abandoned shrubbery for your front yard from the recently abandoned pasta place near your house (and barren frontyard). There's even the time (or two) that you may (or may not)  have allegedly (and unwitnessed by the naked human eye) been in the vicinity of the friend who briefly smelled of something reminiscent of cannabis sativa and a more significant whiff of Black Love incense...(allegedly). We're grown. We mess up and live to see another day, hopefully. The problem? Ongoing recidivism, especially when your finances and celebrity offer you an opportunity to avoid capture. Roman Polanski  do better!

This is the thing. After TI's Behind The Music and an explanation of events leading to the gun charge, some of us were willing to make a concession to a brother who kinda hand me believing it when he said:

No more stress, now I'm straight, now I get it, now I take
Time to think, before I make mistakes just for my family's sake
That part of me left yesterday
The heart of me is strong today
No regrets I'm blessed to say
The old me dead and gone away

What can I say, I'm gullible, but now I'm going to preemptively put my "FREE T.I" shirt on hold...indefinitely. And offer some unsolicited (and completely unnoticed) advice:  When freshly released from prison. Go straight home with a police escort. Ask said officer to enter your premises BEFORE YOU STEP FOOT THROUGH THE DOOR and agree to a search of said premises, including your car, truck, da Range, Hummer, plane, helicopter, rocket and that contraption in The Fly that aided teleportation. When and only after this is complete should you step your shower shoe wearing, fresh out a jumpsuit, still sporting the lockdown line up haircut into your own home. Once there...throw out ANYBODY who wasn't arrested during the search or be prepared to do a cavity search. Read a couple of scripts, hang out in your studio, game room, pool...hell, call Tyler Perry , find something in your freedom to cherish and don't let go.

Freedom ain't free...and (alleged) possession of  meth doesn't make you a political prisoner...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Life Is A Fairytale...Let's Hope Not!

Once upon a time in a land far away, but somehow right down the street, there lived a girl. She was plain, in every way imaginable with glasses and a noticeable overbite. Due to her dry, yet stunning wit and advanced intelligence, she was seen as surly and not much fun to be around. She preferred math and science, comic books and martial arts and told off color inappropriate jokes with the vim and vigor of a drunken fratboy at a shotgun wedding bachelor party. She lived, not with her evil stepmother or sisters, preferring the comfort and solitude of a small apartment on the Upper Eastside of NeverNeverLand and enjoyed cleaning her abode, lighting incense and candles and turning off her phone for days at a time. When she ventured out to the Prince's Palace or other random society balls, she resolutely refused to "drop down and get her eagle on" at parties, but danced with a drum driven abandon, limbs akimbo in the privacy of her own home. She read the Wonderland Street Journal, but avoided magazine racks filled to overflowing with Fantasypolitan, PixieVogue and Better Castles & Moats. Avoiding television, she didn't even entertain celebrity the time that idiot Rapunzel almost went bald letting random men climb her lacefront. And somehow, she liked her life. One day, while she was fixing a flat tire on her chariot hybrid, a perfectly normal voice asked if she needed any help to which she replied, yeah, pass me that tire iron...thanks. Together, they fixed her flat and in gratitude she invited him to dinner at The Magic Elixir...the local 5 Star restaurant. She paid.
Weeks of dating, late night conversation in the crib, heart racin, tryin to be cool and patient. She touched on his eyelids, the room fell silent, she walked away smiling, singing Gregory Issac...(sorry, got lost in a moment).
Eventually, they signed prenups, got married, argued, made up, had babies, changed diapers, argued, made up, raised healthy well adjusted children, argued less, enjoyed each other and grew together more and died.

Feel free to share this fairytale with your daughters (AND suns) if you'd like them to know something about an optimistic, yet intelligent life. If not, go to your local chain store and grab two heaping handfuls of artfully decorated, fluffy pink propaganda and all subsequent special edition releases. Midblog caveat: I won't be mentioning the D word, so you can stop waiting. I WILL tell you some subtle character points, plots and flaws that stick in my considerable brain and will result in the need to hire a deprogrammer by the time your lil Wunderkind reaches 13.

I enjoy a good fictional account. I write stories in my head (and occasionally on paper) with a frequency that astonishes me. Sometimes, the wilder and more outlandishly unrealistic, the better. It's like chewing exercise your jaw muscles, enjoy an explosion of flavor, blow a couple of bubbles, then you spit it out.  It's like watching sports. You root for the underdog...cheer, jeer and leave the stadium with an unwarranted sense of accomplishment. No harm, no foul (unless you're watching Ireland...) It's a useless activity that provides gratification and maybe...if played/written correctly, you learn a lesson. My problem with certain types of fairytales is that last part. The lessons being imparted to a legion of young, impressionable girls. And it's consistent and pervasive across time. And what lesson is being shared?

Be pretty, use your prettiness, kiss somebody (either pretty or "ugly") and die. There's got to be more!

Consider an offering from 1833. After a blood request for a daughter is affirmatively answered, the loving matriarch dies to be replaced by an "evil stepmother" who spends the majority of her time in a mirror induced rivalry resulting in the step Queens request that the daughter be killed. Question? Where is this child's daddy?!!! You mean to tell me, the activities of the King are so time consuming that he doesn't realize his daughter is in danger? (Fishburne). BabyGirl's "prettyiness" (not the contract killer's conscious) saves her from said slaying, but she's left in the woods to fend for herself. She's rescued by 7 little dudes who contract her for a bit of indentured the StepQueen, after learning her whereabouts, reinforces her efforts to spill a bit of the Fairest One's blood. Enter the apple, deep sleep and a traveling Prince who is so enchanted by this comatosed (helpless, weak, disabled) girl.  Necro...nevermind. Prince kisses girl, she awakens, ticks off StepQueen who is quickly dispatched and they all live happily ever after...Bows and ribbons anyone?

Have you heard the one about the girl with double punch combination of evil stepmother AND stepsisters? Another absentee dad, leaving his daughter to the devices of someone who OBVIOUSLY doesn't treasure her existence, she's left being servant and emotionally abused. Along comes the Prince and his fancy shindig, a couple of magical mice, pumpkin and rags and our "heroine" is transformed into a beauty fit for the ball (with a timeline...don't dare age, young lady). As the clock strikes 12, a shoe is dropped, and the magic fades. Drifting on a memory, the Prince commands an assemblage of the towns women for a shoe fitting session, whereby he finds the Princess of his dreams.
Say it with me, now..."And they all lived happily ever after..."

You don't EVEN want to get me started on The Amphibian Loving Princess...

*For even more fun...take a look at some of the origins of your favorite fairytales...not for the squeamish*

Current movies follow a similar theme, unfortunately. The "hooker with a heart of gold", the "secret hot chick who removes her glasses and becomes glamorous", the "plain friend with both a heart of gold AND smokin' hot looks when she's not busy reading and being smart and stuff"...
What are we teaching our girls?