Today I received a white envelope in the mail, the sparsely marked kind that just screams BILL. My heart sank. I didn’t want to open it. Even though I prayed to tiny baby Jesus in the hay fever manger that the amount due was not high, I knew it would be. Why? Because my health insurance covered none of it. I owe $500, just like that.
Gift-giving for Christmas is a funny thing. A “gift” given just because, for the sheer sake of appreciation, is welcomed with the bright light of surprise on the recipient’s face. But Christmas forces the ante up. Christmas comes with Great Expectations and the requirement to top last year, always. Christmas is the Super Bowl of gift giving, where the winner takes all and the loser–well, nobody remembers who lost, right?
Except… people remember when you give them crappy gifts. You never live that down.
I’ve had the blog on radio silence, meaning to get back to it every day, but I couldn’t write about police brutality just yet. And if I couldn’t write about that, I couldn’t write about anything. But somehow, I can”t turn away. And I can’t write, either.
My mind works funny that way. If something is bothering me, talking about a different topic feels near impossible. I just sit in self-imposed silence until I can process my thoughts, figure out my feelings, and hash it all out. But…I almost broke down in public on Sunday trying to tamp down every bubbling emotion. I managed to just resemble Denzel in Glory, single tears and no snot. So many of us are close to cracking.
A public apology is not a magic eraser to disappear the awful thing you said or the anger it caused. An apology doesn’t even have to be sincere. And in most cases, a forced public apology issued within hours of going viral is a reaction not to the egregious statement, but to the backlash received. I don’t believe 99% of the public apologies I read or hear. And you don’t either.
Remember the scene in the movie Kindergarten Cop where the little kid says, “Boys have a penis and girls have a vaginas!” As a kid, that scene never failed to send me into a fit of titters, because anatomical body parts do that to children. But I have to confess my childhood aversion to saying those words has stuck with me as an adult. Yes, as awful as the label may be, I am a recovering prude.
But I’m a special kind of prude, mind you.
Darren Wilson was not indicted for the shooting death of Michael Brown. That non-indictment left a bruise on Black America’s soul bigger than the one Wilson sported after the shooting. So many of us have taken to our social media accounts to grieve, to vent, to organize. And others still have raised their online voices to chide Black folk for doing all the above. Still more are laughing at our pain. And every four minutes and 30 seconds, a new Facebook or Twitter friend is deleted over Ferguson.
A lot is going on as the country awaits (almost with bated breath) the grand jury verdict in the Michael Brown killing. Not to be outdone, the New York Police Department fatally shot unarmed Akai Gurley on Friday. The allegations of sexual assault against Bill Cosby rose to 15 last week. Cleveland Police shot and killed 12 year-old Tamir Rice. Beyoncé released an Instagram music video for her song 7/11. And not one of these events is a “distraction” orchestrated by the media.
My first pet ever was a demon-cat with an unfortunate name. Being the judicious parent she was, my mother appeased my brother and me by allowing us to co-name the calico gray kitten we brought home. My four-year-old brother chose “Truck,” after his favorite toy. I chose “Sparkle,” because I was nine and easily distracted […]
I wasn’t actually looking for a boyfriend when I stumbled into love. I know, I know. “Oops” is a cliche smug couples repeat as if the right thing for you to do is act like you don’t want a man, and one magically appears. I hate that meme but it was true for me. One whimsical direct message […]
At this point, we know Darren Wilson won’t be indicted for the murder of Michael Brown. Everything points to it: Governor Jay Nixon called for a State of Emergency today; he held a press conference last week warning “protesters” that violence would not be tolerated; the police has leaked strategic “evidence” claiming to position Brown as the aggressor. Darren Wilson is going to walk. Literally.