The Culture of Comparison

Like many, this is the the time of year I start to reflect. I actually start in September, because I treat my birthday as my new year, and I give myself until December 31 to toss out clutter – both physically and metaphorically speaking.

One thing that came up in my refelctations (yes, I’m Wendy Willams-ing words), was that there were people in my life comparing me to them. Or comparing themselves to others. There was a lot of comparing. This… is not cool. Because the comparisons felt so different from my reality.

A few examples:

Comparison #1 – My Dating Life

It was assumed a few times that my dating life was filled with opportunity and privilege. That I had greater access to a wider pool of men and therefore, I had a better dating life.

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Reality Check

I have not been asked out on a date ALL year. Like, all 365 days of it. Unless you count the dude who thought of me as a side dish on his fuck buffet. The year before that, it was NOTHING until November. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

I’ve had “opportunity”, but I’m the opposite of Harvey Specter – I can’t close. I’ve talked at length to men I’ve found attractive and left with no number. I know their blood type, but I don’t even know a last name. Attempts to follow up? #FAIL

So please, stop assuming that your romantic/sex life is the worst. Enjoy a good date for being a good date. Enjoy sex for being sex. Don’t place expectations on yourself based on what you see on the ‘gram. You don’t know what that relationship is like when the filters come off.

Comparison #2 – My So Called (Bougie) Life

I have, a nice apartment in a nice trendy neighbourhood. I have a cute dog. I dine out. One time a friend walked in and said, “look at all you got”. I’ve been told that my life is parties, fun, and…I dunno, “cool”?

Reality Check

My apartment is expensive. I haven’t traveled anywhere in so long my passport expired and I didn’t even realize it. I have a dog that I bought on sale. He eats President’s Choice kibble – and table scraps. He is more therapy dog than he is accessory and yes, I was advised by a professional to get him to improve my happiness (and he has).

I have worked between 70 and 80 hours a week. (Trying to cut back to 50!).

While I truly enjoy my solitude, it would be WONDERFUL to come home to a meal because the thought of cooking (and cleaning) for ONE is exhausting. So I buy takeout instead of groceries. Laundry? Yes, it’s great I have en suite…because sometimes in order to have clean clothes I have wash a load at 12:30 am. I often come home and fall asleep in my clothes because I. Am. Tired.

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Me, almost every weeknight

I do not begrudge your vacation pics…do not envy my rooftop patio pics.

Comparison #3 – “Well you can find clothes easily. It’s harder for some of us.”

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Reality Check

I’m 5’3-ish, 150 lbs. My mother calls me fat. Old on the street call me fluffy. Cat callers will call me a fat bitch when ignored. The labels range from size 8 to size 12 and they all fit the same. I’m not built like a video girl and I live in a city with a disproportionate amount of video girls. So those comparisons are ALWAYS there and they annoy me.

I would rather eat all the foods and do all the nothing. But I can’t. I have a chronic illness. My diet and exercise choices aren’t determined the size of the clothing label; my illness has dictated that for 25 years. If I don’t maintain a delicate balance, I literally cannot walk. I’ve blacked out in the street. I often crawl on the floor of my nice apartment to the bathroom to throw up, because the soles of my feet are in fiery pain. There are days I scream and cry in pain until I pass out. I’ve missed birthdays, christenings, milestones, events, and work because of it. So I do what I can holistically, because pharmaceuticals aren’t effective. If that means the tradeoff is I’m a standard size, then that’s what it is.

Comparison #4 -You have it easier than me because gender/weight/skin tone/income

Reality Check

Think whatever you want. We could sit and play Oppression Olympics all fucking day, and no one is gonna walk away with a medal. We will sit and compare bad thing to bad thing to try and make the other person feel better about their shit until the end of days.

The facts are there are things that are good for me and there are things that are good for you. MY good doesn’t automatically mean that it’s BETTER than your good, or should be the good that you have. Get it?

You know how a bunch of folks will be saying, “leave x behind in 2016”? I wish we could leave behind this culture of comparison. Can we stop using other peoples’ #BestNine as our personal vision boards? Can we take our relationships with each other and focus on what we have in common versus what we have in comparison? I know what load I carry, and if you think this post was in any way some “woe is me” moment, you’ve missed the bloody point.

Trust. There is something that you have someone else envies. Compare what YOU don’t have to what you DO have. If there is something you want for YOUR life, go after it. If there is something in YOUR life causing clutter, GET RID OF IT. Make space for the things you want. DON’T look at someone’s good fortune, good moment, or good filter and think, “I wish I had that”.

“That” which you covet? You don’t want THAT.

You want how it makes them feel.Fill your life with the things that give you THAT feeling.

Because you don’t know what the tradeoff was for them to have that.

/rant

 

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#MyMotherMadeMeDrink – Xmas 2016

On Christmas Eve, my mother asked me about my dating life.

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I dodged the question.

On Christmas Day, a friend of the family called.

“Auntie says Merry Christmas and wants to know when you’re getting married.”

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Blame the sorrel and spiced rum for my response: “CAN I GO ON A DATE FIRST?! Merry Christmas”

On Boxing Day, my mother casually drops that she has never liked any of the men I’ve dated.

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Wait. What?

My mother thought I was going to marry one of these dudes! I didn’t even think I was going to marry one of them!

“Uhm. You thought we’d get married…?”

“Yeah. But I realized later. He was a six at best.”

“A SIX? You’d thought I would marry a SIX?”

“Welllll. Not NOW. But you were young then. I didn’t like the cheater at all. Nope.”

“Okay. Not at first, but–”

“Not EVER. I never told anyone. Except your sister. She agreed.”

WAIT.

HOLD UP.

You welcomed these men into your home. Made meals for them. But you never once expressed your doubts to me?!?!

“I didn’t like the one from high school. The wannabe rapper.”

WAIT. We’re going into the archives?

My mother basically told me ANY dude I’ve brought home over the past 25 years has been “meh”. That is a direct quote. “Meh.”

“You know who I’d think you like? That Steph Curry. I think that would be cute.”

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“Mom. I can’t date another liteskint dude. We’d look related!”

(Let’s pause for a moment since my mom laughed for a full twenty seconds.)

“Really? Hmmm. I guess. But if you can’t date light skinned men, how you gonna date a White guy”

“I don’t LOOK WHITE mother”

“Wellllll. Wait. Why are you pouring more rum into that sorrel?”

#26ThingsAboutMe

I stole this from my girl’s FB post. But I hate giving FB content. So here goes!

A- Age: 40  (I REALLY AM DAMMIT)
B- Biggest fear: anything that affects the brain (stroke, Alzheimers, etc.)
C- Current time: 1:51
D- Drink you last had: it involved vodka
E- Every day starts with: my day does not start until I’ve had a shower
F- Favorite song: The Beautiful Ones – Prince
G- Ghosts, are they real: the skeptic says no, but… I’ve had moments
H- Hometown: Toronto, Toranna, TDot – call it “the Six” and I’ll hit you
I- In love with: can I say shoes? I love a pair so much I’ve named them
J- Jealous of: realistically, no. But on the low? Angela Bassett
K- Killed someone?: Next question…*
L- Last time you cried?: shit, I can’t remember. Seriously. I’m not a big crier
M- Middle name: not telling…but I’m named after a famous Royal
N- Number of siblings: 1.5
O- One wish: MONEY
P- Person you last called: my Uncle
Q- Question you’re always asked: what’s going on tonight? (Hell if I know!)
R- Reason to smile: MONEY
S- Song last sang: Drunk in Love (I was sober tho’)
T- Time you woke up: 6:30 am
U- Underwear color: Black – always black.
V- Vacation destination: Nigeria or South Africa
W- Worst habit: I shoot myself in the foot, often
Y- Your favorite food: if it involves chicken, I’m happy
X- X-Rays you’ve had: ankle
Z- Zodiac sign: Virgo

 

*Bloody hell, the answer is NO okay?!?

#MoonbeamLevels

He said he’ll never keep diaries 2 learn from his mistakes
Instead he’ll just repeat all the good things that he’s done

 

I…

Don’t know how to feel about this song. ABC had a listening party for Prince fans and…

While part of me is thinking “YES! New Prince MUSIC!!”, there is another part of me that feels like he wouldn’t want this. One of the reasons I’m such a huge fan of Prince is that he is (sigh…was) such a perfectionist. This is a man who trashed an entire album because he felt that his spirit wasn’t right when he recorded it.

One superfan even said, “this sounds like a bootleg…it sounds like a demo…it sounds like a Revolution track”

For me, I hear pieces of The Beautiful Ones in here…which makes sense since this track was reportedly recorded in 1982, and The Beautiful Ones in 1983. I can imagine how Prince might’ve taken elements of the musical arrangement and then used them for the song he considered to be the better version.

Ultimately, I’ll be selfish and listen/buy Moonbeam Levels. Or, I’ll put The Beautiful Ones on repeat.

xo

May U Live 2 See The Dawn

 

 

Dear WhiteWomen (TM)

Dear WhiteWomen (TM)*,

*(lemme throw in the disclaimer right away that I’m speaking to a particular set of White women. Lemme add on the obligatory I have White friends disclaimer. This is not about my White friends…you’re going to make it about them. But it’s not.) 

Hey Girl…

See how you’re sitting at your desk or looking at your phone in shocked silence while you sip your Mocha Peppermint Latte? Maybe some of you have even said out loud, “how did this happen?” while you clutch the infinity scarf wrapped around your neck. Maybe some of you are crying.

C’mere.

Little closer…

(whispers)

SHUT THE FUCK UP AND STOP YOUR FUCKING WHINING BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT!!

(exhales)

Hey Girl…

Before you fix your fingers to type something in response. Keep reading.

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This is on you.

You. Who would rather cut off your right arm than allow voting rights for the Negro before a White woman. But still ask Black women to march and burn bras because, we as women are all in this together.

You. Ann Coulter – the Leni Riefenstahl of the Fourth Reich – who in recognizing your own shortcomings and limitations, spread the propaganda and hate of men like Trump and Pence because you know that you’ll be afforded some protection if you hang on to those coattails long enough.

You. Amy Schumer. Who can build a career out of casual racism, but look around at the world wide eyed and innocent and say, “what did I do wrong?” when you’re called out on it. Then actually state in all earnestness that you think Beyonce was telling women to get informed.

Just so you know; that’s NOT what “get in formation” means.

You. The concerned mom in the parenting group who can’t understand why a transwoman “needs” to use a women’s washroom. You know it’s not “politically correct” to say it out loud, but you worry about what this means for your kids. That predators will use this an opportunity. But you had no qualms about voting for a man accused of raping a child, and who will go to trial for this as a president-elect.

You. The co-worker who asks me why it’s okay for Black women to wear blond weaves, but it’s not okay for her to wear cornrows to work. Never acknowledging that if I wore braids, that HR would tell me that it’s not professional and instruct me to change my look. That if I don’t, I face reprimand or dismissal for the exact same trendy hairstyle you feel you should be able to wear because it’s just a hairstyle.

You. Who love saying “yaasssss bitch slay” when the mood strikes. But don’t acknowledge – wait you don’t even KNOW – how your cute slang came to be and that the inventors are regularly discriminated against and risk their lives for existing. Or are ACTUALLY SLAIN.

You. Who can wear enough self tanner and style your hair with dollarama perm rods because you “feel black on the inside”.

You. Who worried about your son losing his job to “a Mexican”

– sorry, an “undocumented person” (because you’re not racist).

You never took into consideration that your son  did NOTHING to earn the job in question, because you taught him that he has inalienable rights as a US citizen and that this somehow includes whatever job he wants…including president.

That this country was built (on the backs of slaves and foreign workers) FOR him. These same sons who pledge allegiance and promise to protect you. Except when war actually breaks out and you get a doctor’s note for his broken foot or poor vision. The same sons who dodge conflict but get mad when a football player kneels during your battle hymn.

You worry about his future as a competitive swimmer when he rapes unconscious women. But we know what you say when you’re sipping your wine behind closed doors…she shouldn’t have been drunk because “boys will be boys”.

You. Who think it’s no big deal to dress as Sexy Pocahontas, or call your favourite celeb your sprit animal. Or wear a ceremonial headdress to Coachella. Remember how offended some of you were when Madonna wore crucifixes? Now multiply that feeling by a thousand.

You. Who are automatically included in the efforts for equality by other marginalized groups by virtue of your gender, but when the roles are reversed, ask us prove our solidarity.

You. Who want us all to lean in, but never invited the rest of us to the table.

You. Who will fear a Black man in a suit when he steps on to the elevator with you, but not fear the White college student who sets a car on fire when his favourite team loses (or wins) or who joke about raping you because boys will be boys, right?

You. Who have taken for granted all the people who have worked to protect you, all the people who thought you were WITH them in the effort to build a better world.

You. Who have retreated to your towers of privilege and pulled up the ladders.

You. Who hold Hilary Clinton to a higher standard than any of her predecessors because she’s a woman and should know better. You, who judge her abilities based on her husband, but didn’t judge Trump on his lack of abilities at all.

You. Who are protected by a layer of privilege that is as thin as gossamer and as resilient as chain mail. A privilege so light and airy that you forget it’s even there. That no matter what YOU say or do, you will be protected by your sons, your fathers, your friends, and your mates. That they will be the ones who will take up arms to defend your honour. You sleep at night wrapped in that gossamer layer knowing that after all…tomorrow is another day.

You. Who say, “All Lives Matter” but can’t explain how or WHY Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Mike Brown, or Freddie Gray died. You need google to remember who they are.

You did this. You did this to yourselves. You did this to the rest of us.

We’re tired of showing up for you and you not showing up for us.

The election last night? They came for everyone else.

What are you going to do when they come for you next?

Who do you think is going to protect you now?

Hang on to your lattes and your pussies darlings…it’s about to get bumpy.

 

 

 

#MyMotherMadeMeDrink – October 9, 2016

Visit mom for the holiday weekend…

Dare I say it? She was actually quite…good.

Cussing Donald Trump. Cussing the “old men” who live in her building. Speaking her knowledge on Residential Schools on Indigenous Peoples Day weekend.

We even found something to agree on: Rob and Chyna is fucking ridiculous and sad reflection of pop culture tastes/societal values.

Look, go ahead and judge. We were trying to avoid the televised debates and that was our option.

My mother’s shade moment:
Me: (referring to Chyna while defending her against Rob) But she’s the mother of his child…

Mom: you actually want to call her a “mother”?! Just because she’s having a baby doesn’t make her a mother…and who gets acrylic nails while pregnant? Isn’t that toxic? 

I actually thought that I would get away scott free this weekend. But no.

You know how you have that hidden insecurity? The one that you’re not sure is a “thing”, because you don’t think about it too much, but if you did, it would probably bother you?

Mine is my hair. Specifically the colour of my hair.

I’m lucky to have my family’s “never age” gene. I’m #teamlightskint but I have just enough Black to not crack. However, my hair did not get the memo. I started to go grey at 24. Sometimes I like they grey because I can point to it when I’m getting carded at the liquor store.

(and if you’re reading this blog, you can tell I go to the liquor store)

But other times, I feel like it makes me look…TIRED. Not old. But haggard. Washed out.

Over the last month (since I turned 40), I’ve wondered what to do with the colour. I chopped my hair in August and LOVE the cut. But it also shows off EVERY GREY HAIR I HAVE.

To myself, in the mirror, I thought, “okay…let’s live with it a bit and see…”

Notice how mothers always seem to know WHAT that one little thing that is bothering you is?

TEN MINUTES AFTER ARRIVING AT MY MOTHER’S.

Her: “GAWD your hair is GREY! What colour IS it exactly? Is it Black? Grey? Red? Brown?”

Me: har har har…

This morning. Get out of the shower and see my reflection.

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I hear my mother’s voice echoing though my head.

So…

My hair is now “Dark Golden Brown”

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#mymothermademedrink