When a Woman Has Clues to Keep Looking for That Special Guy

When you have clues to keep looking:

If you meet someone who has a grill, a wide array of chains around his neck, rings on his fingers, or a fancy cane, he ain’t about you, boo-boo.

If your guy is over 21, but still sagging and/or only dresses like entertainers, keep looking.

If his mother calls and he ignores her or cusses her out when he answers, he’s going to treat you similarly at some point. Reevaluate before becoming intimate.

If he puts the majority of his money (or yours) on his car every payday, you will always be a sloppy seconds, find your way out the door.

If he introduces himself as Big Daddy, Ice, or Dr Anything, walk away.

If he tells you he has six kids with five different women and loves making babies, it ain’t your time in his life, sweetie. He’s got a quota to meet and you are only a means to get to it.

If one of you isn’t ready for kids and the other is, each of you need to keep looking for a mate that has the same goals. Don’t write to Dr. Phil asking if you should stay in the relationship or have a surprise baby to get your way.

If a big part of his day is standing by his car “people watching,” that’s code for jobless, pretend you didn’t even see him.

If he grabs his penis as he catches your eye, he disrespects you as a thinking woman and only sees you as a sex object. If you choose to begin a relationship with this as a beginning, look forward to a lot of competition.

If he can’t dance without grabbing his crotch, he’s insecure and knows nothing about women. Walk on.

If he demands that you put him on your bank account or credit card, but never puts money in or pay on the card, walk faster.

If he carries a large wad of bills and always flashes it, it’s probably more singles than big bills, but he’s all about show and as soon as the tarnish shows in your relationship, he’s off to someone shinier than you.

If he stares at you across a crowded room and licks his lips continually as he undresses you with his eyes, he’s not looking for a wife, just a playmate for the night.

If he introduces himself as “Uncle ” somebody to your children, listen to the danger signals your brain is giving off. Walk away.

If he demands more attention, the most attention, or to be taken care of BEFORE you tend to the needs of your kids, this will not change except to get worse. Leave now before you become invested.

If he dresses like an older version of your kids, he’s not a man mentally, keep dreaming as you walk away.

If you take him home and the hair on your dog (hackles) raises, leave him at the DOO’.

If you’re religious and he’s not, you may be able to balance that. If you’re religious and he mocks your religious views, he’s testing to see if you’ll worship him first. Step away.

If he’s a laborer and is an honest man, he’s a catch even though you’re an executive somewhere. If he hasn’t worked enough to even develop a résumé, don’t cry later when you can’t make him work.

If he considers welfare good enough to take care of you both, and you buy into that concept, don’t have children. Neither of you are mature enough to procreate.

If he has no ambition to be more than he is and his idea of a good life is hanging with his buds, beer, and fantasy football there’s no room for you. This will not change.

If you ask him where he sees himself in five years and doesn’t mention you, you’re not in his plans for a future. Do NOT question him about whether or not he MEANT to mention you, understand that in his subconscious you don’t even rate in future dreams.

If he always has to be somewhere else during the holidays and doesn’t include you, his real Boo ain’t you.

If he walks through a door first, he thinks of himself first even though he may hold it open to let you enter behind him. He’s showing you at the outset who he is, believe him.

If he admits his job is his first priority and works more hours than he relaxes, you won’t change that, and if that’s important to you let it go.

If he disrespects you in front of his friends, or your family and friends, and pretends he’s joking, he’s not. He’s showing you who he really is and you don’t matter. Believe him.

If you’re new in a relationship with him but he shows jealousy of your relationship with your kids, walk on.

If he is always looking at his watch, texting, or answering his phone (but he’s not on-call medical staff) and he just met you, you will not change him just because you came into his life. So don’t get huffy about who he’s texting, you might get hurt.

If you walk into a bar, club, or bar/club combo and all the wait staff know him by name it’s his lair and you’re just the newest catch.

If you talked for “hours” at your first meeting or on your first date and he makes a mistake on your name, he’s got too many in his mind to keep track of correctly, you’re not that important.

If education is important to you and he talks in a way that you’re correcting him, you’re emasculating him and he won’t take much of it. If it’s that important to you, YOU change your hunting grounds by going to places where educated men hang out.

If you’re the one in the relationship who’s half-stepping but require a man who’s more advanced, you’re overreaching. YOU grow before expecting someone else to “complete” you.

If you spend more time working on the wedding and not the marriage, or can’t see the difference between those two, you’re not ready. Go back to daydreaming, cutting pictures out of wedding books, and adopting more cats. You are not ready. Let HIM keep walking.

If you expect someone to “complete” you, you are, by default, incomplete as a person and should not be in any relationship. Complete yourself. Work on yourself so that you will be able to stand alone if something happens to your mate.

If he ever hits you, no matter what you said, did or did not do, do not—DO NOT say it’s your fault for baiting him. This is a line a real man would never cross. Don’t let that drama play out in your home, especially in front of your kids.

If he walks into your kids’ lives and instantly wants to be the one to discipline them and you let him, you are the one at fault for causing them harm. Leave before you get so enmeshed you can’t see your way out.

If your first thought when you see him is “he’ll make pretty babies,” YOU ain’t ready, babe, leave him alone if he’s not ready.

Repeat after me until this phrase becomes your mantra: A baby will NOT fix a bad relationship. A baby will NOT fix a bad relationship.

If you know he’s been seeing someone other than you, a surprise baby will NOT bring him closer, it will only give you something more to fight about. You will not win this and your baby (babies) will suffer dearly. Fix it at the beginning by leaving before pregnancy results.

Taking men home for a one nighter, or hoping it will turn into more when you have kids (especially boys) will destroy your kids over time, don’t invest the time doing that.

Love at first sight is a Hollywood myth created for mental romance. Attraction is what draws you TO another person; love is a CHOICE that follows.



In Remembrance: Annie Doris Walls Gillard Williams (d. 9/23/2011)

We don’t know as much about a person’s life when they leave us after living apart. Even having gatherings and meeting here and there and phone calls checkups as adults, you miss the intricacies of daily living together.  We see strangers who grew close to our loved one get up and talk about the (now) “saint” who was different from the sister we knew growing up.  Annie Doris was no saint, but this was her moment.

My mother had two sets of kids several years apart (another story). Annie Doris Walls was my mother’s first born (in my mother’s first set of kids).  She grew up and married twice to become Annie Doris Walls Gillard Williams.  We grew up calling her Doris, but most of her adult life she used her first name; something I never knew until I was older. In fact, I was well into my adult years before someone asked me how my sister Annie was doing and I said, “who?”.  She was the oldest of the eight of us, and 12 years older than me.

There were four boys and four girls; children of Ruby Etoy Graham Walls.  Doris obtained her nursing degree and worked at several hospitals before going into private duty nursing when full time work became more difficult.  She had one son, Douglas, by her first husband, Joseph Gillard (in Cleveland, OH).  Her second son, Sterling, was by her second (and last) husband, Alfred Williams (San Diego).  Douglas went into the Navy when he graduated high school.  Sterling went into the Marines when he graduated high school, stayed in for 12 years (three tours overseas in our current war), and has not married as yet.  Doris lived her final years with Douglas and his wife, Pat (Hattie), Gillard.

At her service, Sterling (her youngest son; looked FAB U LOUS) actually talked, and so did Doug, Doris’ oldest son. I can’t believe Sterling is going on 40. He looks more like mid-twenties, but I digress. Doug (now in his 50s) looks like he’s 30-40ish.  Even though I am younger than my sister, Doris, I took custody of Doug when he was in high school, and I was young and just starting my career; Sterling came to me when he was 7 years old.  Both of them talked more about childhood memories than later in life. Sterling admitted later that he didn’t know much about his mother even though he spent the last 4-5 years visiting his brother’s home where she also lived.

The preacher added more levity when he talked about Doris bowling with a walker. Said he didn’t know how she did it but it took the ball so long to go down the alley that they shouted “hallelujah” when it finally made it down the end of the lane.  Another thing I didn’t know about my sister, but brought a smile to all our faces.

James, my brother, eulogized her as well as he normally does at someone’s funeral. He talked about her hoarding (she would have been worthy of being on that TV show), but framed it in terms of her “collecting” things. The first time he said that, I cough-spit trying to keep from guffawing loudly.  He said she “collected” Tupperware (insert laugh here) and he thinks she forgot she was supposed to be selling it. She had so much Tupperware, he said, that she stocked Sears with it. He even talked about Joe’s (her first husband) visits with Doris as if he was a nice guy, but that wasn’t the place to share the story of that phase of Annie Doris’s life. James was hysterical in his comedic review of our sister’s life. I really appreciated his words, a bright spot in a somewhat somber occasion.

I don’t view bodies. Hate that part of funerals.  I’m usually the one way in the back behind a pillar. Why someone got the bright idea of having a damn lift inside the coffin which raises the body up whether or not you want to view it, makes no damn sense to me.  I lost it when they opened the coffin and I saw my mother (with a different nose) and Uncle Emmett (my mother’s brother) rising slowly from the coffin and this time, I was in the front row. The face of death is always a shock to me.

Two ladies sang. The second one was actually a singer. The first one had an okay voice, but even though I knew the songs she sang, they were pretty much unrecognizable. She put so many stretches between each word (Loooooo ooo rrrr DDDDD) I couldn’t recognize what she was singing and I was relieved when she stopped.  But, putting on my good hat for the occasion, I appreciated that she took time from her day to honor my sister, who she elevated to sainthood.  I listened as people talked about her and it sounded as if they were talking about a stranger.  They talked about how good she was to everybody, and caring; well, that part’s true, too.

Yes, she did have a good heart and sweet nature, can’t deny that.  I can remember that other side that makes me giggle even now.  There was that time when she almost put my mother’s then-boyfriend’s eye out with a golf club when he tried to abuse my mother. Ol’ black Dan (Newton) we called him, hit my mother and after a bout with Doris, he never tried it again.  Doris had a temper few people knew about cause she was not much over five feet tall, but you found out if you crossed her.  And you would never outrun her shoe, or anything else she chose to throw at you when you pissed her off.  She ran the five of us like she was a drill sergeant.

When I first moved to California I lived with her briefly.  I remembered when her second husband and I tried to surprise her by cleaning up the house while she was at work.  Al Williams, her second husband, was a lifer in the Marines and liked things pretty neat.  She had many cats and the fleas made my legs look like I was wearing ankle socks when I’d come home; they never bothered anyone but me.

Anyway, Al and I vacuumed and swept and cleaned after her many cats and dogs.  We cleaned the cupboards; took everything out, washed them, and restacked them so that it was neat.  He even cleaned the soot from the ceiling in the kitchen.  We were so happy, sitting there waiting for her to come home and exclaim our good works, but when she saw that kitchen she went bat-sh*t crazy.  I learned then her type of hoarding (I didn’t know the term for it then) made her need to see all her stuff.  She started pulling everything out of the cabinets and very soon the kitchen was as messy as she liked it.  She was then happy; we were not.  We both sat in shock as we watched her, but never did it again.

I remember her coming to the many gatherings we had my home.  She would come with containers and Ziplock bags and when she would get ready to go home you would think she was shopping at a grocery store.  She never asked, she just loaded up what she wanted.  She did that everywhere she went.

One of the benefits I’m understanding, of growing older and relocating is that no one remembers the hellion you used to be. I was a spitfire myself in my younger years myself (I didn’t like something one of my mother’s boyfriends said or did and responded by throwing a fork at him so hard it impaled itself into the boney part of his leg), so I guess there’s still hope for me.  We didn’t allow our mother to be disrespected so men in her life with ill intentions didn’t stay long.

Sitting in the front row of a church I’ve never been to before, a Baptist church yet (Doris was a die hard Catholic, but when where her children took her), the preacher added the needed levity when he talked about Doris bowling with a walker. Said he didn’t know how she did it but it took the ball so long to go down the alley that he shouted “hallelujah” when it finally made it down the lane. Sterling (looking FAB U LOUS) actually talked, and so did Doug. But both talked more about childhood memories than later in life.

I am reminded that I don’t view bodies. Hate that part of it, which makes it all the more startling as I lost it when they opened the coffin and I saw my mother (with a different nose) and Uncle Emmett combined rise up out of that coffin. The face of death is always a shock to me, but whoever the hell it was that invented that coffin lift needs to be shot.

Two ladies sang. The second one was actually a singer. The first one had an okay voice, but even though I knew the songs she sang, I couldn’t recognize them. I appreciated that she took time from her day to honor my sister, who she knew as a saint (I didn’t know that part of her).

Service is over. It was more joyful than sorrowful and I was pretty much the only one who sniffled-cried.  Rowan, my brother, would tap his eyes from time-to-time as if he was tearing up, but that was just show.  The Colonel doesn’t cry in public; according to him it’s a communist plot to look weak; I got his number.

We’re headed to the cemetery.  I’m once again reminded of how much all those Grahams look alike when they die. Doris looked exactly like my mom except that she had Daddy’s (Fred Walls) nose.

We’re at the cemetery and I’m about all cried out.  Not loud boo-hoos, but choking back tears at special moments (like when they raised her body out of the coffin and I squealed from shock).  The gravesite is a little walk from where we parked our car and I have on heels, so I’m walking on tiptoe to try to keep from sinking into someone’s final resting place.  Almost lost my shoe in the process.  Part of me is unhappy because my sister said she didn’t want to be buried, but her son and daughter-in-law made the decision to put her there and I will respect that.  Her son, Doug, and his wife, Pat, are good people and only wanted the best for her.  Funerals are more for the living than the dead, I’m learning.

At the gravesite, the funeral attendants tried to put everyone in place.  Tears start coming again when they remove the temporary artificial turn covering and uncover the hole they would put her in.  Looking into that hole, it feels cold, empty, godless, and I know for a fact my sister didn’t want to be in such a dark, scary place all alone even if her spirit wasn’t in that box.  In my mind I’m telling her, “It’s okay.  It’s only your body and you won’t need that anymore.”

They prepare to lower the beautiful coffin into that dark, dank hole and as the attendant leans over to get it aligned with the equipment, his sunglasses fall out of his pocket into the hole.  My brother, James, says without missing a beat, “Man!  Even in death she’s stealing stuff!”

I went into hysterics.  Others think I’m crying as I hide my face behind my hands and tissues trying to keep from laughing out loud.  My brother, Rowan, looked at me and gave me a frown that he learned from my mother that said wordlessly, “Keep quiet.”  The Colonel was not pleased at his siblings acting up.  I covered my mouth to stifle the laughter.  This isn’t supposed to be funny, but I was choking and coughing back laughter.  I giggled into tissues all the way through the final words with my brother, James, egging me on; he loved that.  Every time he looked at me I gave in to another fit of giggles.

At the repast, my sister’s church folks did themselves proud.  They served up tasty Southern cooked food and we ate heartily.  As I left the line with my plate, I saw that they had separated the tables so that family was supposed to sit in the “honored” place, and friends sit apart.  I wasn’t having that so I took my plate and sat with the friends.  Other family followed suit and we chatted comfortably and met people who knew my sister as we sat among them.

Back at Doug and Pat’s after the repast, we shared stories and I told the rest of the family about the sunglasses falling into that hole under the coffin and we had a roll-on-the-floor laughing fit.  We talked about the goods and the bad of my sister, Annie Doris.  She was so much of a contradiction.  I guess we all are at some level.

It’s then that Sterling said he didn’t know much about her or even why she gave him to me to raise.  I took the time his mother should have done (I thought she had) many years ago and explained it to him.  She was unable to provide for him and I could.  I had more; she had less.  Simple as that.  Families shift to compensate in these situations.  I shifted because she was my sister and her kids needed me.  I respect the choice she made to turn them over to me because I would not have respected her if she had abandoned her children like my mother did; the whole family would have been pissed.  I am honored that he still calls me Mom and I hope I have done well by him (and his brother) in all those years we had together.

We collectively recalled how, in her hey-days, she was a creative cook and she used to make us biscuits from scratch, sandwiches without crusts, and lemonade flavored by the mints growing wild outside our home in Cleveland, OH.  Early in her adult life she was compulsive about neatness and we didn’t dare mess up something she straightened out.

As Doris got older, her compulsions switched to hoarding at the highest level.  She liked crafts projects and once made my daughter, Andra, a pillow with her name on it that she has to this day, and a small bedside rug.  She used to make little boxes out of used gift cards.  Some of the young people in the family heard the story of her socking mom’s boyfriend with the golf club for the first time that day, but we laughed all over again.  Sadly, I have more, and better, memories of her than her sons do, but if she hadn’t been here, they wouldn’t be here either.

When someone dies in your family, you have to redefine who you are.  I can no longer (proudly) say, there are four boys and four girls, or I have three sisters and four brothers.  I have to now qualify those statements with I “had” three sisters, but one died.  My sister has been relegated to the past tense; had; no long “is”.  Or, my mother had four boys and four girls, but one died.  Or, I have three sisters, but one died.  That’s the fine print that’s not on the eulogy. A subtle shift in your family structure.

Families are funny.  Most have dysfunction at some level.  Ours had tolerable dysfunction for the most part.  No drugs or addictions to deal with, but other stuff.  And all of us had a college degree even if it was junior college.  Some great cooks; some couldn’t boil water.  Artists galore.  Singers and songwriters, musicians, and comedians.  Even some crazies we have to deal with.  But most of the time, we have fun.  When we all get together we laugh for hours and there’s no liquor involved; I’m proud of that.

The down times, I feel, are to make us appreciate the good in life.  Like my mother (who died at 94 years) we had Annie Doris for many years so there’s no reason to be sorrowful.  She will always be remembered because I will always call her name.  As we head home, I picture my sister and bid her farewell.Doris & Doug 1958

Annie Doris & Douglas (~1958)

[Originally published September 30, 2011 ]

What I Know About Being Poor

What I know about being poor

Being poor is worse than having a disease. When you have a disease, you have the hope that someone will figure out what it is and you can cure or manage it. Being poor leaves you with no hope of rescue. It’s a lot more than the difference between to have or have not.

Being poor is government issued tube sliced baloney sandwiches and cheese on white Wonder bread. It’s fruit cocktail in lieu of fresh fruit. It’s politicians determining what you have, when you have it, and when you have reached your limit. It’s standing in long lines for handouts you wouldn’t take if you had money. It’s being subjected to other people’s disdain. It’s being on the short stick of the arrogance of someone else’s nose in the air. It’s spit where polish would go. It’s paper in the bottom of shoes that long ago lost their usefulness from a style era before you were born. It’s hand-me-down books in school when you can’t afford to buy your own; books earmarked, highlighted, with edge notes and unrecognizable stains on the pages.

Being poor is having a special card at the grocery store where uneducated clerks become managers of what you want to charge, who feel free to give you their unwarranted opinion of what the card will cover. It’s buying cheap where buying bulk would be more advantageous. The difference between counting the right calories to eat, and affording only the wrong. It’s the difference between cable and local channels.

Being poor is having to sit with the unwashed masses on busses and subway cars and being felt up when you pass by. It’s inserting boundaries on your travels that stretch beyond the bus/subway route. It restricts your travels to adventurous things outside that boundary. It’s brown-bagging greasy sandwiches or leftover fried chicken in the corporate lunchrooms where your bag sits among the cottage cheese, yogurt, yesterday’s take-outs, and sparkling waters. It’s knowing you’re not invited to after-hour events because you’re, well, poor.

Being poor is where you’re considered uneducated, stupid, and even ill equipped to vote. It’s government workers prying into every measurable unit of your life and trying to control your every move. It’s untrained workers who envy anything good you’ve acquired, whether earned or inherited, and want it gone so they can take more joy in your misery.

Being poor controls where your kids go to school, where you live, where you shop. It’s government workers who say they want you to do better, but want to control how fast that “doing better” is. It’s being punished for trying to save. It’s having your money docked if you get a raise so that saving and doing better continues to be that carrot mocking your horse-drawn life.

Being poor is the difference between borrowing and owning. Even if it doesn’t take away your dreams, it impacts the grandiosity of how you dream. It’s being limited whereby paying cheap is short-lived and a dollar more would make a quality buy last longer; quantity versus quality.

Being poor impacts the dreams of your children, some more than others. It controls with whom your children play, what sports they can play, what toys they can own. It’s having their names on a list so their teacher can have them get their subsidized food when their friends have lunch boxes complete with Tupperware containers so all items remain separate and small freezer packs inserted in a corner of the box to keep it fresh. It’s having teachers who “know” your story and know they see you differently—with a tainted view of your physical person, not of your capacity to–BE. It’s giving other kids something to laugh at when you have to write that first composition every year (in English class) about what you did or where you went over the summer.

Being poor makes a preteen a babysitter before they know how to take of themselves. It’s knowing that your child can’t study because they’re scared of gunfire, or the noise in the building is distracting. It’s dealing with the constantly overwhelming smells of others’ food filling the hallway air where no fresh breeze is allowed. It’s the knowledge that your child can only choose between a recreational center for sports, and a gang for survival. The difference between joining a gym and cleaning one. It’s watching your child dumb-down to keep from standing out. It’s seeing your prepubescent girls being taunted and sexualized by the predators in the neighborhood.

It’s those rare parents who insist on teaching their kid to say “please” and “thank you” in a no-pleasing, thankless world. It’s rearing kids in dank, dark buildings with dank, dark hallways and in bedrooms with little chance of fresh air or room to run. It’s being financially segregated, of which racially is a byproduct. At its worst it is being an individual family unit where fear called “no see-no tell” is the dividing factor.

It’s sleeping six to a room built for two in a bed built for three—maximum. It’s a clothesline where a jump rope would be. It’s lowering the odds of your child being discovered for their talent. It’s lowering the odds of your child going to a school that focuses on their major instead of a community college of general studies. It’s your child settling for a stray cat or pit bull when a Cocker Spaniel is more compatible with their nature. It’s only having leftovers to feed the dog that’s not on your budget, but gives your children some measure of happiness.

Being poor is the difference between having your mother with limited experience, fry your hair in the kitchen because you can’t go to the local hair stylist. It allows random people the freedom to discuss your finances aloud so no one can tell THEY are doing worse with their own personal accounts. It’s using cheap relaxers, because the creams for natural hair is expensive, and before you learn you can make your own inexpensively. It’s having to choose which bill to pay, which to defer, and dealing with the constant wrath of whoever is not paid.

Being poor even impacts your religious choices to either what is within walking distance or trolley line even though your beliefs lie elsewhere. It injects preachers or their First Lady to feel important, benevolent because you need a loan so your child can participate in something. It’s being forced to take baskets of food items that someone doesn’t want in their cupboards and you are expected to be appreciative with no hint of dislike or resentment to accept things you don’t even eat. It’s another way to make others feel benevolent and hold you accountable to acknowledge their goodness and mercy.

Being poor is the difference between eating healthy and fast food. It’s being limited to a bus route. It’s going to universities where dentists-in-training do your dental work and you take what you get. It’s using mental health clinics where the staff operates by number rather than by individual. It’s hoping your kids didn’t see the commercials of some new toy near the holidays. It’s saying you can’t afford something when you want to do more. It’s crying into your pillow at night from the overwhelming frustration of it all.  It’s staying in on the weekends because you don’t trust your neighbors to watch your children because you see theirs standing on street corners past even your own bedtime.

As a child your view of being poor creates anger without understanding why you are angry. It’s watching your parents fight about what’s important for bills, your education, their jobs, or just out of the frustration of not being allowed to choose. It’s seeing your father emasculated according to the whims of social services. It’s seeing your mother’s pain at having to leave you home when you’re sick because she can’t afford to stay home and take care of you. It’s being angry at the invisible state of hopelessness and taking it out on whomever is closest or convenient. It damages who or how you love, and sometimes how long your relationships will be. It’s a snapshot (hopefully) of your life that is branded in your mind and plays a role in your future choices.

Being poor makes adults turn to liquor and drugs to have some type of control in their lives. It starts off just to get you through the day, then this pay period, then this month, then you lose control and it takes over your life. It’s seeing misery in being controlled by a substance or controlled by an agency standing by to take your family apart. It’s the despair in living in subsidized houses/apartments that no one would voluntarily choose to live in and pay rent for, located in neighborhoods that are dangerous to your well-being. It’s living in substandard housing with coal-fueled heat and claw-footed bathtubs when homes of the privileged have had showers, gas and electric heating for years. It’s not being able to pay the utilities so you go to school/work today smelling like yesterday.

Being poor is the difference between generic store brands versus USDA approved. Or the difference between taking a two-week vacation, and not having to go to work for two weeks. It can be the difference between going without the necessities to survive, and taking what’s not yours. Between hearing and listening. It’s hearing the public laugh and mock your child’s name when there are privileged white kids who carry names like Coco, Harley Quinn, Pilot Inspektor, Moon Unit, Jet, Apple, Diva Muffin, Daisy Boo, Atticus, Banjo, and Calico.  Between having your child labeled a gang member no matter how untrue simply because of their creative name, socioeconomic status, and neighborhood. Between burying your children too soon, and having the county cremate them as indigent because you can’t afford to bury them.

Being Black and poor is a whole other level of bondage. Being poor messes in every way with your sense of hope. It is being thirsty and only seeing water as a mirage on the periphery of hope. It’s feeling despair where hope should be. It’s being angry at being beyond the grasp of hope. It puts an unwashed, blurred filter on your life’s lens that you use to see where hope lies. It’s feeling as if God has deserted you when He may not be saying yes or no, but simply–wait.

[Originally posted 7/9/14]

CRS Can Be Debilitating!

Okay. I need to come out to all my friends and family. I suffer from the little known disease called CRS. Yes, I can admit it now that I’m more secure in who I am (or think I should be).

The first time I heard about CRS was from a friend of mine, Terry Cross, a retired Navy guy at church. We were just joking around and, BAM, Terry admitted he had it. Wow! I thought I was the only one, but soon noticed that it ran in my family, but mostly with the older folks. If that was the case, I thought, I’d be fine until I get older. Nope. It happens to younger folks, too; it only gets worse when you get older.

Then I began to do so research and learned it’s more prevalent than I originally thought. It affects what I thought I said, what I thought I did, when I thought I did it, how I thought I did it, how long I thought I did it, where I thought I was when I did it, and even who I did it to. At one time it seemed like it would be a good dissertation choice, but I couldn’t find any professor who would approve the topic.

Unfortunately, the older I get, the more it affects my life. Just recently I got into an argument with my daughter about how to train her dog. I thought we were on the same page, but she kept telling me I wasn’t doing what I said I did (she can be so thoughtless). The argument bothered me so I decided to refresh my understanding of what CRS is, so I Goggled it and learned the following:

CRS can be a crippling disease. It affects what you thought you said, what you thought you did, when you thought you did it, how you thought you did it, how long you thought you did it, where you thought you were when you did it, how often you thought you did it, and even who you did it to.

By golly, that’s EXACTLY what I thought it was, but my daughter might have been right and I just forgot! Well, because the website had an additional symptom, I thought for years it couldn’t be me, but then I realized that the first time I researched the topic I only had two symptoms; now I have all except one.

Thus far there is no medication to treat the symptoms and the only thing close is Lumosity, which keeps you on a treadmill of answering questions and completing puzzles. You may know this disease by its full name, can’t remember sh*t!

So, the next time you can’t remember sh*t, try to find the CRS site and see if the symptoms fit you. Unfortunately, I can no longer find the site. In fact, none of this makes sense because I thought I was writing about dog training. Dog training? Where did that come from? We have a dog? Sh*t! We have a DOG! Don’t know if it’s a male or female (maybe it’ll come to me later, or maybe I should just pick it up an look). Pick what up? Look at what? Sh*t! There it goes again. I can just see a worm crawling through my brain like a Pac-man icon eating up those lonely cells fighting to hold on. Wow, Pac-man! Where did that come from?

Anyway, you get the picture. Picture? What picture? CRAP! Stop that! Like I said, sh*t creeps up on you out of nowhere.

[Originally posted 2/25/14]