Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Questions, Pride, and Family....

The last few days have felt like a whirlwind… every time I sit down to blog.. I’m too tired to try. LOL! So I am playing catch up today. I’ll go chronologically.

About a week ago a relative and his girlfriend came over to visit. He’s one of those relatives that I don’t see very often but it doesn’t matter because he’s always friendly. Actually, I genuinely enjoy him even though he says things he shouldn’t… oh he says things.  Well, apparently his girlfriend is about to start college in Louisville. This seems to be a huge area of anxiety for her.

Now, I am not certain why I get asked these questions… but I guess it’s because I am the only person, that some people back home know, who knows “real” Black people. Isn’t that strange? I have become this door to the outside world… to understanding Black people. So… the girlfriend is going to have a Black roommate and this is causing some sort of anxiety. “Are they just like us?” She asked with hesitation. Now I have been asked similar things on many occasions… and in the past it has pissed me off.. Like how do you NOT know Black people are, well, people! **sigh** But I know she was as well intentioned as one can be when asking such a thing. So I explained to her that yes, in fact Black people are just like us in many ways. That there are sometimes cultural differences and because I know how White people tend to react to Black hair… I tried to explain the differences there… especially since she will be sharing living space with this woman. But yes, Black people are, in fact, people. She said she thinks the woman has money… and I said well, in that case some of the differences you may encounter can also be class based. Now, I realize I couldn’t break down intersectionality and the differences that are created by race, class, gender, sexuality.. etc, etc… in the 7 minutes I had her attention, but I tried to give her something.

In the past I have noticed how… once White people feel like they can ask me questions about race without me freaking out they ask the Burning questions they have always had.. but never had anyone to ask! Sometimes they’re hilarious… but only because they’re ridiculous and created by the media representations.. and if I don’t laugh.. I will cry about it. And some of the questions are just fucking sad. Now her question of choice was… “Do they really eat a lot of fried chicken and watermelon?” I busted out laughing… and I said… “Do you ever eat fried chicken? And honestly I have never seen a Black person eat Watermelon. I eat more watermelon than any Black person I ever known. But no, “they” don’t eat any more fried chicken or watermelon than White people.” I’m sure that’s not the best answer… but what do I say to someone who really DOESN”T know? Someone who has never had to know or consider anything beyond their White world? And she wanted to know.. wanted to better understand. That’s a start, right? And she’s… young. Just out of High School… it’s not an excuse but her reality. I was in the dark at 18….

The next day I traveled to Louisville to attend the Pride parade and Pride festival with two of my Bffs!!!  It was such a wonderful time! The parade was great.. I got my own set of rainbow beads!! And a small supply of condoms.. LOL! I got to meet up with some great people who I haven’t seen in a while. It was a great!!! It’s so nice to spend time with people that feed your spirit just by being there. And it’s always nice to be around your coven…. Even if its only you and one other person. The energy that is created with that person is healing…. Sustaining! I look forward to going back in July and spending more time with everyone up there. (and going back to Sitar…lol)

Saturday I came back from Louisville to go to my cousin’s wedding. She married a guy I grew up, and graduated with… cute to think he’s part of the family now. I spent a good portion of the festivities catching up with family. I miss my cousins but our lives are so far apart that it’s hard to keep up with them… or maybe I’m just afraid I’m lame (in their eyes) and they really wouldn’t want to hang out with me outside of family functions. **sigh** When did the little boys I loved so fiercely become the grown men I see today? One of them ships out for Afghanistan in August…. His second tour.  While his mother is about to fight her own battle… her third. I would like to send him stuff this time around… snacks and stuff to comfort him. I hope I can stick to it… I can be the WORST about shipping things. 

There was lots of laughter. And we took some great pictures of all the cousins in attendance. There are so many more of us… but they still turned out really well.

I think it’s time to rekindle some relationships within the family…. There are people I miss and, yet, I let my pride or something equally as stupid get in the way of reaching out.  

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