Growing up I read a lot of Sweet Valley and Goosebumps. not a child of colour in site. I managed to come out all right, but I certainly wouldn’t want generations to be further inundated with whiteness and token racialised persons. So for the children in your life- biological and non-biological, 25 books featuring strong black girls.
Last month marked 30 years of the killing of Maurice Bishop, leader of the NJM in Grenada. Groundation Grenada shares two reflections from two generations on the revolution now and then. Watching an documentary on the revolution I was moved by how excited and hopeful people were. I’ve found maintaing hopefulness for meaningful political change pretty difficult in my adult life time…
I’m likely not to understand the full dynamics of this story surrounding young black men buying extravagantly priced items at a high end store NY and getting profiled. But one of my favourite commentators of higher education and its complications especially for poc in the US has a wonderfully personal reflection on the how and why of spending money when working clas. She highlights how people make judgements on our appearance all the time, and those judgements can close and open doors of opportunity.
In Lucy, Jamaica Kincaid’s protagonist is in the early days of adolescence and experiencing a lot of angst. One of the many sources of which was having a period. Those who have or currently menstruate will be familiar with the discomfort, inconvenience, the pain. One woman I worked with said she welcomed and celebrated her period. It was for her a reminder of her fertility. I’m not trying to have children, so for me that excitement isn’t there. In Lucy, the mother of the protagonist warns/ predicts…
“finding blood in [your] underpants might be something one day [you] would get down on [your] knees and pray for” (69)
… and let me tell you truer words were never written.
Chris Rock has a hilarious joke (@3:25). He says, “you’re young and you date what do you do? You go to the movies, you go get pizza, you have sex, what else? You wait for periods.” He’s very right. If you’re young, single, fertile, having straight sex, and not planning on having children any time soon I’m willing to bet you’ve had a pregnancy scare.
Owing to my hypochondriac ways I’ve had a couple pregnancy scares myself. Oftentimes not justified: I’m a stickler about safer-sex. I always use condoms and am often on the birth control pill. But let me tell you, nothing puts fright in me more than, the thought, “shouldn’t I have had my period by now…”
And then rings true the words of Jamaica Kincaid, everyday you wait for finding blood in your underpants… oh what a blessing. What activities do you engage in? This is my usual modus operandi
- calendar checking
- when was my last period? I’ve never been good about tracking my cycle. So I end up having to try to remember what was going on in my life- events and activities when I last had my period and work back from there. I actually once convinced myself I was pregnant because I’d gained some weight even though it had been 9+ months since I’d had sex. #hypochondriaisreal
- decision making
- should I buy a pregnancy test?
- Surprisingly I never have. My period has always come before I get that scared. That said, I know many a friend who has a pregnancy test hidden somewhere in her house just in case.
- when should I tell him?
- When you’re one day late? When you’re 10 days late? When you get two lines on the pregnancy test? Now I’m definitely torn on this one. I’ve never discussed my anxiety with anyone I’ve had sex with with because nothing makes me worry more than other people worrying with me. But I remember watching a sitcom where a character had a pregnancy scare and she said she was telling him because there was no reason she should be the only one stressed about something they were both responsible for. To each his or her own.
- what would I do?
- Because I’m a dilly-dallier it would definitely be too late for the morning-after-pill which leaves abortion on the table. I’m as pro-choice as they come but in these parts of the world (English-speaking Caribbean) save a few territories it is actually illegal. So that leaves finding a doctor who will (there are many) and considering his or her reputation. Talk about stress. #awkwardconversation
- and thankfully all my stories have ended with great relief.
Hopefully we’ll all have/do an appreciation for the irony when there’s a shift in our desire to have children and we then start cursing the blood lining our underpants.
Family, I hope you had a great week. I had a pretty exceptional week (if I should say so myself) because on Monday I started grad school. Classes are interesting and demanding and my free time has been left in the dust. However I wanted to make sure I shared with you all some of the interesting things that I read this week between all the scholarly articles. I promise to not post any of those here lol
- Catfishing and such. Over the past month or so I got into the MTV show Catfish and it is entertaining to no end. Only one situation that I saw ended well and that was because both parties were being dishonest about themselves and by chance they happened to connect in the end. In all other episodes it has been anger, tears and major disappointment. It is really easy to say that you would never get caught up in an online dating lie, and there are some pretty simple ways to mitigate at least some of the foolishness early out, but if we really think about it is this really that uncommon and new-age? This NYT article fleshes it out really well and gave me some new perspective on how we really go about knowing someone.
- Faith and Spirituality. I don’t talk about God and faith much, but I think about it quite often. Growing up very very catholic is a significant part of how I got here and I am still negotiating a lot of how I feel about Christianity on a whole. I came across this article from Esquire and read it about three times because I sometimes feel this is where I want to be, other times not so much.
3. NKOTB. When I was about 9 or 10 I was in love with Donnie and Jordan from New Kids on the Block. I was obsessed. I had all their music on tap, nighties, notebooks, stationary, videos of their performances and I am pretty sure I wrote them about 46 letters (I was that kid) and waited with baited breath for the responses that never came. I wasn’t big on the other boy bands but NKOTB brought me great joy. Can you imagine how excited I was to hear that New Kids on the Block is teaming up with Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees for a 2013 stadium-sweeping super-tour called THE PACKAGE. Sigh. I could go on and on but me sister from another mister Lindy over at Jezebel lays it out in hilarious plain language for those of you who may not know. Best believe that I have already scoped out the NYC dates, best believe.
Enough of my randomness, have a great weekend yall.
Every now and then some shit goes down in your life that shows you who your real friends are. I can honestly say that I have been blessed with amazing friends. For me, when times are dark friends are a lighthouse, showing love and support.
Some are from kiddie days, knowing me before I had breasts and when my eyebrows grew wild like bush. Others came along at university: roomies, travel buddies, shopping partners, negotiating downtown clubs and project deadlines. Others have come along through my professional life and we bonded in an instant.
I want to thank you all for being so important in my life. Your love and support is appreciated always. Keep telling me how it is, keep urging me to calm down when I act up, keep being there for me.
My ride or die crew is strong, all of you are truly irreplaceable. I just hope that I can be as good to you as you are to me.
Signed sincerely, with love always,