Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I often wonder what life would be like for me if only I had looks like that of some celebrity or the body of a goddess. Would it be easier for me to date among the millions of other single women? Maybe, maybe not. Yet, right now, I'm just as happy being in the skin I'm in when there are thousands of other women with physical struggles that far surpass my occasional bad hair days, or acne parties. But for some women, just being able to get the attention of one,single man is almost as difficult as finding buried treasure. Yet, everyday they continue to try, through internet dating sites, bars, churches, networking events hoping that one day they might find their one true love or at best one date that would last for more than thirty minutes. Society has made it so difficult to look past the physical appearances of men and women that it makes any form of abnormality seem taboo. So when I read the article about a woman who suffered from a rare disease called Klippel-Trenaunary Syndrome, my heart went out to her. Her right leg is longer than her left therefore she walks with a limp. Her back is uneven with a fatty slab and a dense lump above her waist and there's a gigantic port-wine stain that reaches around her broad torso and down toward her right thigh. This woman is not the picture perfect celebrity that I mentioned earlier nor is she the average individual that we cross while walking down the street. She is unique, strange at best but she is, in fact, a woman who just like me has the same desires and needs that I long for. The need to be loved, the need to have the attention of a loved one, the need to be accepted for "who I am" and not what I look like. Her need to have all of these things has driven her to the likes of the Internet to find those things, unfortunately, dreams tend to fade fast and the reality of truth always sets in. She is deformed and there's nothing that she can do about that. No matter how beautiful her face is. No matter how much she enjoys her life. Truth is, most of the time she'll never be accepted for anything other than a woman whose deformed. And so that tiny, little secret becomes something she tries desperately to hide each time she goes on a blind date. And it's also something she must deal with for the rest of her life. As I continued to read her story I realized the shallowness I'd shown toward men at one time in my life by never fully embracing the shell that was within. I also thought of all those men who met her and chose to run the other way. Who never even experienced the joy of her conversation. Or the chance to see bravery at its best. How many of us would want the same if we were the one with the abnormal face, foot or hand. How difficult it seems, to love without restriction. Without judgement. Without fear. Perhaps when dew season comes, her story, like many others, will remind us that beauty really is skin deep.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
400 Million? 400 Million? Did you say 400 Million? And this, isn't even, a lottery prize or the salary of a CEO from one of those corrupt banks on Wall Street. No, my dear, this, is the amount of money, that the city of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina may lose out on this Memorial Day holiday all because they are saying no to "The Black Bikers weekend" event. Well say it isn't so! But why would anyone be surprised when some of our aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and yes even grandparents have chosen to act a fool all in the name of fun! Now you can call me conservative. Or even a prude. Call me, whatever you so choose but before you finish reading this post at least you'll call me honest. For the life of me I can't understand why anyone would question the decision of residents who live in a community and pay taxes who try and stop an event don't have that right too. Especially when those residents see their poor town become mass destruction to the highest degree. What once was the pride of a city has become complete mayhem. And again, I say, all..in..the name..of fun! And yet supporters are crying that this is not what the weekend represents. Hmmmmm, I get it, so it's about peace and joy. Or as one biker put it,it's about other biker groups bonding and networking with one another, it's about showing off their Mercedes Benz, BMW, priced recreation vehicles, or sharing mechanical and maintenance tips and doing a little competitive racing and blah..blah..blah...blah. I get it! And while I understand the honest intent of those who earnestly believe that I know otherwise because I've attended. Well, unfortunately, alot, but not all of what you see isn't that. If it was, the community wouldn't take the chance on losing the type of dollars that I'm sure they desperately need. On the contrary, for many (again not all) of the men and women who go know exactly what this weekend offers: alot of flash, parties, nudity, drinking, sex, rawness, and yes, the opportunity to act like complete fools. Almost like what happens in Vegas....well, you know the rest. And for those who may see my thoughts as outdated or smug I'll say this. I have no problem embracing groups or organizations that choose to join because they have every right to (it's under the Constitution) but what I do have a problem with are those who question the choices of others when they don't agree. Let me put it more clearly, if I owned a house for 30+ years and had perfect strangers yelling and screaming outside of my house all hours of the night I'd have a problem too. Wake up people, this is not about race, or color or anything other than respect something that I pray many of those aunts and cousins I talked about will do. Until then, accept the fact that some folks will judge you not just by your words but by your actions and right now some just need to get their acts together. Perhaps in dew season they will.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Today I agonized over which topic to discuss until I realized that Mother's Day was approaching. Why? Because that day has always been bittersweet. Not because my mother isn't in my life or because distance separates us but because the lines have always been blurred. Mainly, because my mother and I have always battled for as long as I can remember. Didn't matter what it was,there would always be a difference of opinion. Whether it was the outfit I chose to put on or the choice of hairdo I made, my mother was always going to have the last say. That's just who she is. And nothing that I said or thought would ever change that. But after all, didn't she have the right too? She is, in fact, the person that endured countless hours of labor for me to even exist. She is also the person who managed to go from working as a babysitter for myself and other neighborhood kids when I was young only to become a manager of a retail store. And she did this because she separated from my father and had to raise my sisters and I all alone. So whether it was a pair of shoes I needed for a dancing school recital or a ticket to a Broadway show, my mother always made a way. Once again, I say with admiration, doing it all alone and without the kindnesses of any strangers or anyone else. My mom was too proud for that. She was, and is, a pillar of strength. I guess this is where I get my tenacious spirit, always managing to bounce back from difficult situations. Therefore, this year, I'll take time out to thank my mom for all the arguments, the birthday wishes, the tears she made me shed from harsh words, the disappointments we shared together, the long talks, the heated exchanges we've had and last but not least the times we missed out on when both of us chose not to speak. Why? Because all of these things taught me how to be a much better person, and a much better woman than I'd ever hoped to be. On this day I'll push aside my judgement of the choices she made on how to raise me, and replace them with gratitude and appreciation simply because she gave me "life." In dew season maybe, just maybe, we'll all see the light.