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Wednesday, November 28, 2007The More You Know
One of these days I’m going to learn to keep my mouth shut really I am. Oh man who am I kidding? My BF’s cousin gave just gave birth to a baby and since the BF made puppy dog eyes and asked nicely I accompanied him to visit the fruit of his cousin’s loins. The BF has been on this whole “our kids” kick lately. I'm assuming that he's been inspired by all the people around us dropping babies like it's hot. I've already had to gently remind him a few times that I have no intention of having children until I finish up my grad studies and complete my peace corp goal so he really needs to put those Mia let’s be fruitful and multiply urges on hold for awhile.
Anyhow there we were in the cousin’s hospital room with a crap load of his relatives many of whom I was just meeting for the first time. They’re all ohhhing and ahhhing over the newborn addition to their dynasty when the BF declares out of thin air, “When we have our kid….” I looked up at him as if had sprouted a third eye in the center of his forehead “Umm no time soon of course.” He added and then shot me a nervous smile. “Yeah as I was saying I can’t wait until we have our little one. We will name our little one Guillermo!”
Yeah and this is the moment I wish I could’ve taken back….
I made a silly “as if” face and said….
-Pfffftttt Guillermo?! Whoa now there’s the perfect name for a tricycle riding circus Chihuahua.
In my head I said ha-ha Mia that’s a good one even gave myself a mental high five. The gentle clinking of champagne glasses in celebratory toasts intermingling with laughter and music drifted through the air in l'imagination de club de Mia.“Good one Mia, good one!”
It seems things were going better in my imagination that in real life. The hospital room was so quiet you could hear a hypodermic needle drop...oh crap. Nobody’s laughing, in fact they were all staring at me as if I had farted in front of the pope….back into my mind we go…there’s always a party going on in there …well at least there was until that moment...
The audience stopped laughing. Crickets could be heard chirping in the back ground while a slide trombone mournfully let out a wah-wah-wah-wahhhhhhh.
Josh was speaking again a not too happy look on his face…
-That’s messed up Mia! That’s my grandfather’s name.
Holy Monkey! Now how the hell was I supposed to know that the old man’s name was Guillermo? No one told me. It dawned on me then that I didn’t know his actual name at all. I knew him as “abuelo” (grandfather) or “Josh’s grandfather”. As matter of fact that’s the name that should be listed on his driver’s license that or Grandpa Santiago. I’m assuming his last name is Santiago but looking back on it I’m not certain that it is. Fluck it it sounds about right and until someone tells me different and can prove it he’ll stay Grandpa Santiago.
I sucked in my breath and without missing a beat said, “Oh. Look I’m not saying anything bad about your grandfather. Your grandfather is a lovely man but dude let’s face it the name is hideous."
-It’s Spanish for William.
- Is it really?
I rubbed at the tattoo on the back of my neck and inclined my head to the side as if pondering the secrets of the universe…
-Spanish for William you say? Hmmm. Wow. I had no idea. Seriously I’ve never heard the name before. Ahhh here’s a funny coincidence though tee-hee-hee my father and grandfather are actually named William and it’s my bro’s middle name as well. heh-heh-heh.
The room was still deadly silent.
Great. I’m marrying into a family that has no sense of humor. Wonderfrickinful. The Supremes then took over. That’s what I call the voices of my mind. Allow me to formally introduce you, dear gentle reader.I present to you The Supremes…Conscious, Subconscious, and Superconscious…
-OMG Mia you should’ve kept your mouth shut.
-That was the stupidest thing you’ve ever said.
-There’s always tomorrow.
- You can always do worse tomorrow!
-Ah-ha there’s a goal to aspire to.
-Crap I thought he was joking when he said Guillermo!
-Ay please calm yourself. You didn’t say the Viejo (old man) was hideous, just his name.
Yeah just his name, casi na (almost nothing) why didn't you just crap on him while you were at it?
-You know the cousin doesn’t like you! You just sealed the deal girlie I can just imagine the crap she’s going to talk about you now.
-Ahhh to hell with her you can’t be the owner of her insecurities and jealousy in regards to you.
-Yeah that’s her problem not yours
-Oh yeah and another thing if her man tries to rubbing up on your tats again duff him! (sigh)
The Supremes are a chatty bunch especially when I’m nervous.I tuned them out and brought my focus back to the room particularly the section of floor beneath my feet...
I wished that a hole would suddenly appear beneath my feet out.
freak it it’s worth a shot
Since the blinds were drawn I couldn’t look out into the night sky so my eyes darted around the room for something to make a wish on…
IV pole light, IV pole bright The first IV pole I see tonight, I wish like all hell that I may, I wish like all hell that I might, Have the freaking wish that I wish tonight… Make a hole magically appear and swallow my ass up. Pronto. Please.
I looked at my feet nada. I guess wishes don’t always come true. I cleared my throat and spoke with a Mr. Rogers like enthusiasm…
-Oh look you learn something new every day kiddies! And today I’ve learned that Guillermo means William which is a great thing because the more you know… and then I imitated the music at the end of the NBC “The More You Know” public service commercials.
My BF was the only one that laughed and he laughed until he turned red in the face and tears sprung in his eyes. Yeah man that’s a tough crowd thank God I’ll only be seeing that branch of the family tree during special occasions.
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Monday, November 26, 2007Rapunzel Cuts Her Hair
A couple of nights ago I witnessed an act so self-less so rooted in love it amazed me. The fact that my 16 year old hell spawn,devil’s minion baby sister was behind it shattered me; the fact that it revolved around something as superficial as hair rendered me speechless.
My sister’s best friend Nyesha the victim of too many dye jobs had a problem. Her brittle hair was falling out and breaking off. There was no getting around it she needed a hair cut. Even though the Guay stuck to the plan and tried to cut off as little as possible the finished look was drastic, up to her earlobes in length even though it should’ve been shorter in order to totally even it out. It looked great on her of Native American descent Nyesha is so beautiful she can carry any look off but is so filled with insecurities she is blind to her natural beauty. Regardless of how nice we all thought she looked Nyesha was miserable in fact she was actually crying big bucket o' tears over the hair cut. I knew all too well how she felt. Been there, done that, and bought the crappy t-shirt on sale thank you very mucho. We all tried to comfort her but nothing seemed to be working. In fact the more we tried the more she cried.
Finally my little sister Caitlin stepped up and held out a section of her beautiful Rapunzel like hair. Hair that extended several inches beyond her waist, sixteen years worth of beautiful bone straight dark blonde growth. She stepped up to Guay and said, “Cut it. Just like hers.” We all gasped because even though Caity had been planning to cut it for awhile now it wasn’t going to be that drastic of a cut.“It’s only hair; it will grow back, stronger even.” She used the same words on us that we’d been using to comfort Nyesha. Nyesha looked up at my sister and said, “Caity no don’t do it.” But my sister waved her away, “It’s going to a good cause Pantene is collecting hair to make into wigs for cancer patients.” Guay hesitated hoping mom would invoke her mommy privileges and forbid it. Instead mom gathered Caity's hair into a pony tail and secured it."Go ahead Guay chop it off.” Mom ran her fingers through Caity’s hair one last time and sighed. She had resigned herself to Caity’s wish, “Do it it’s what she wants.” As she made the first cut Guay seemed on the verge of tears. My mother looked away she couldn’t bear to see our little Rapunzel cutting off her hair. The brief look of panic on Caity’s face was heart breaking. Her eyes met mine and she quickly put her game face on holding her chin up in that regal manner she has.
One hour later it was finished. Caity’s hair was the same length as Nyesha’s, they had identical hair styles. Caity ran her fingers through her hair fluffing it out; she touched her neck and remarked that she felt cold. It was the first time since she’d been a toddler that her long hair didn’t act as a buffer between her neck and the air. She kept saying, “I love it! This is so cool!” over and over again but I wasn’t convinced she wasn’t putting up a front for her friend. When she looked in the mirror I stood behind her and saw the look of shock in her face. Tears started welling up in her eyes making her amber eyes shimmer and I felt my heart break a little. Yeah it had all been a front. Nyesha couldn’t believe her eyes,“Oh my God Caity, oh my God! You look so adorable!” Caity reached out to her hugging her and giggling, “Hey now we’re twins!” Nyesha looked at her with nothing but love in her eyes hugging Caity tight to her chest her tall body dwarfing over Caity’s petite frame. After Nyesha was gone we sat down and talked about it. Caitlin ran her fingers through her hair she looked so sad. “Do you regret it?” I asked knowing full well she did. She let out a sigh and wrapped a strand around her finger trying to see it out of the corner of her eye, “Yeah I do but I don’t. I couldn’t let Nyesha go through it alone. You know how self conscious she is about her looks. Now she really knows she's not alone.”
Nyesha’s been pretty much alone for several years now. After her father died unexpectedly her family just fell apart emotionally, financially, and it’s been going down hill ever since. Her mom’s not a strong woman and there are some mental health issues there with the mom and an older sister so it falls on Nyesha despite being the youngest to look out for her family the effect it's had on her is evident. Nyesha doesn’t trust easily she’s been through too much in her life she’s been let down too often to put her faith in people. Yet somehow Caity managed to break through Nyesha's defenses when they met in school two years ago and they’ve been inseparable ever since. Despite the fact that Caity is a year younger Nyesha looks up to Caity. In turn Caity is very over protective of her always acting as a buffer between the world and Nyesha when it all gets too much for her. As I listened to Caity and watched her play with her hair it finally dawned on me what Caity meant, the actual why of Caity’s haircut. Caitlin’s sacrifice meant something to Nyesha that had eluded me at first. It was genuine and tangible proof that she was loved, she was treasured and above all she wasn’t alone; Caity would always have her back. Caity had understood what was needed when none of us had picked up on it.
My heart swelled with pride and love for my baby sister. When did she stop being the spoiled self-centered little brat that made me wish I was an only child at times? When the hell did this happen and why hadn’t I been informed? The least the powers that be could’ve done is text message me about the change. Holy monkey I had to do something; I had to show her how much she meant to me at that moment, something only a little fashionista diva like her would understand. I went into my closet and reached up into the shelves where I keep her holy grail, my boot collection. I scanned the boxes stacked up on top of each other and quickly found the ones she’d been dying to borrow but had been afraid to ask after “borrowing” a really expensive pair last year and ruining them. I pulled them out the box yeah those were the ones she’d been drooling over; the leg hugging cocoa colored suede knee high ones. I’d only worn them twice since buying them last year so they were in mint condition. I pulled out the matching at waist suede jacket and the matching messenger bag. I ran back into the living room, “Caity” I said and held the treasures out towards her. She gasped and said, “Mia I can borrow them?!” I gave her a big smile and shook my head, “Na chick you can have them.” She let out a ear piercing shriek only teenage girls seem capable of emitting. Then she jumped up and down like a rabbit on uppers “Oh Mia, Mia! You’re the BESTEST big sister ever! I LOVE YOU!”, and threw herself into my arms crushing all the precious booty in between our bodies. Man she was killing me.
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Sunday, November 25, 2007Cotton, Tears, and Oppression
A massive crowd had just exited from the elevator practically running over the next cargo of passengers over trying to get out. It didn't take long to find out the reason for the stampede. The stench in the elevator bitch smacked us; the odor washed over us in palpable waves. Holy monkey it was bad. People instinctively covered their noses forcing them to breathe through their mouths. The problem with that was the smell was so bad it actually had a taste to it. I dubbed the flavor “1000 unwashed sweaty asses in a hot subway car." Look for it I’m sure it’ll be available in your local 99 cent store any day now. My friend gave voice to what we were all thinking…
-Oh man Mia it stinks in here.
Several people inhaled the stench and offered their opinion as to what it could possibly be. As for me I slowly turned around scanning the elevator for signs of the rotting corpse I was certain was propped up some where. Negative on the corpse, affirmative on the over powering stench of unwashed ass.
-WTF is that smell?
Before I could even think the words were out of my mouth…
-Smells like cotton, tears, and oppression
For a brief second there was a stunned silence and then people started laughing. My friend turned to look at me…
- What the hell was that Mia? Cotton, tears, and oppression?!
I shrugged my shoulders…
-Hey I dunno somethings I can’t explain. It’s the first thing that popped into my head when the smell hit me.
-Yeah but cotton, tears, and opression? WTF?
- Yeah cotton as in the cotton shirt of a hardworking man drenched in sweat living pay check to pay check and barely keeping his head above water, barely making it. Tears as in the tears of a woman frustrated because her life is hard and hasn’t turned out the way she expected it. Oppression as in people feeling like they are stuck in life because of who they are, where they come from. Feeling like they're being held back. They all rode this elevator at one time or another and some of their despair poured out here marking the air.
From somewhere back in the elevator someone spoke...
-Oh man that shit is deep girl
I shrugged my shoulders again.
- Deep is the only way I know how to roll .
The elevator stopped on our floor we stepped off and as the elevator doors closed I heard someone saying “smells like cotton, tears, and oppression! That female is a philospher!" Several people laughed and as the elevator took off I smiled and shook my head. Yeah laugh all you want you're still in there breathing it in while I'm out here thanking the powers that be for the fresh air. My mind like certain religious icons works in mysterious ways. Sometimes I think things and say them out loud and they only seem to make sense to me. I hate when that happens. Welcome to the strange mind of Mia.
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Friday, November 23, 2007The Weaker Sex
The women on my mother’s side of the family are an intimidating lot. Personally I think it’s something in their genes, the intimidation factor is so much a part of their DNA it’s weaved into their pheromones. Mom feels that it’s due to the fact that historically the women born into the family have always out numbered the men. As a result their women were forced to take on less traditional roles to ensure their survival back in the days when women were dependent on men for their protection. The women in her family are all tough and independent with innate courage and heart to rival any man,mini amazons my father calls them.
A couple of weeks ago I got to see that Amazonian spirit in action. It floored me and made a cop on the scene exclaim, “Shit that bitch is crazy!” while my dad beamed with pride and said, “That's no bitch. That’s my woman.” My woman, my female even though the lables are commonly used within the Spanish language in reference to a man's other half they piss mom off to no end so of course pops made sure mom wasn’t around when he said it.
It started out like an ordinary Friday night. I was in the dining room books and papers stacked up on the table doing research. A few feet away mom was sitting in the living room reading a trashy novel Guay had given her killing time before my dad arrived from work. The silence was broken by a commotion in the hallway near the elevators then it moved away into the hallway to the right of us. There was a knock on the door and mom motioned for me to stay in my seat, “I’ll get it.” She opened the door to find our next door neighbor in the doorway leaning his body backwards to catch the action that was going on down the hall. “There’s a guy beating up on a woman down the hall.”he said nonchalantly as if it were an everyday event. “Are you serious?” As ma stepped out of the door way I made my way next to her. Yup sure enough there was a guy raining haymakers on a woman lying on the floor.
The tiny woman was curled up in a fetal position trying to cover her face. The man alternated between punching her head and kicking her body. She seemed to be bleeding from somewhere but given the distance and her position it was hard to tell where the blood was coming from. Mom looked up at the guy standing in our door way and arched an eyebrow at him expecting him to intervene on the woman’s behalf. He returned her look with a look of his own. One that implied that the days of men rescuing damsels in distress had long passed at least in his book. She looked up at him shook her head and muttered a curse in Spanish that accused him of being a nether region of the female anatomy. She then grabbed the hair thingy from her wrist pulled her then long hair into a ponytail and handed me her earrings. I started to move with her and she pinned me with her stare, “Stay here.”
Two women at the end of the hall were yelling at the man to stop. He ignored them both and pulled his victim up onto her feet by her hair.“Call the police” mom shouted over her shoulder as she ran towards the man. “Get the hell off of her!” She growled as she came within inches of them. He looked up from his victim for a brief second and then punched the woman dead in her eye, he held a knife in the hand that was wrapped in her hair. Her face was a bloody mess it was impossible to tell what she looked like before he'd started the beat down. He then yelled at my mother threatening her as well.The woman was screaming begging for mercy. He threw her back on the floor and put his foot on her chest. Mom shook her head at him and said, "Mierda this is going to get ugly."
I took off running towards my mother at the same instant she'd started running towards me, “Stay here! Don’t make me repeat myself!” she yelled as she pulled me into our apartment with her. She grabbed the heavy dog leash by the door and called my dad’s dog. He hates loud noise, he hates men outside of the family and more importantly his physical presence is intimidating as all hell.“Kane!Mighty Kaneasaurus!”, she called out. I heard Kane ram the heavy doors to our walk-in closet open with his head. It’s his favorite spot in the house. It’s the only place the 100 lb pit bull can stretch out comfortably for a nap undisturbed. “Come here puppy.” In an instant he was by her side wagging his tail rubbing his body against her legs and nuzzling them with that massive head of his nearly knocking her off balance. She rubbed his head, “There’s my good boy.” He shook the sleep out of his head and bowed down in a yoga like stretch as she fastened the leash to his harness. She eyed my brother’s Louisville slugger that was still by the coat closet waiting to be put away.She walked over and grabbed it, testing its weight in her hands.“Alright cabron it’s time for you and I to be formally introduced.” And with that she led the dog out into the hall.
The fur along Kane’s spine shot straight up like some sort of doggie Mohawk. He growled and let out a series of deep barks that vibrated in my ears and chest. Barks so powerful they caused him to rear up on his hind legs, he struggled to get at the man. His eyes normally a pea pod green looked a shade darker. Kane and my father have matching eyes; I know what it means when my dad’s eyes get darker. I imagined it was the same for his dog. Kane was pissed. The leash was released. The man yelled,“Oh shit!” as Kane charged at him. He threw the woman in The Mighty Kaneasaurus‘s path and ran towards the exit several feet away. Kane jumped over the woman effortlessly and with surprising grace reaching the exit door just as it closed in his face. He rammed his body into the door and it swung open slamming into the wall. Ma picked the woman up and handed her off to one of the women and commanded Kane “go home!” slamming the door behind her. Kane had done his job,scared the man into releasing the woman. Now she was going to do hers. Make him pay.
The guy ran down the stairs several feet ahead of her. She flung the bat at him catching him right across his shoulders. The sudden hit caused him to lose balance and he hit the bottom step face first. He was dazed and a little too slow in getting up. She was by his side in an instant reclaiming her bat. He rolled over trying to grab at her and she swung the bat right into his mid-section and then smashed it across one of his knees. He rolled onto his side screaming in pain. She raised the bat as if to hit him again. She kicked him and he groaned. When he tried to sit up she warned him “Stay down cabron or the next one is gonna slam into your head." He stared at the bat and looked into her eyes. I don't know what he saw in her obsidian like eyes but whatever it was it made him stay still.
She laced into him the bat perched over her shoulder ready to swing it at his head if he dared move during her lecture. “Didn’t your mother teach you to respect women?” “A man is NEVER EVER supposed to raise his hands to a woman ever!" The words had a familiar ring to them, of course they're part of her father's "Introduction To Relationships 101" lecture! Maricon! Fucking shit we’re defenseless! We're the weaker sex!” and then she kicked him again this time connecting with his balls. Luckily for the guy the cops arrived with our security guard, the super, and my father in tow just in time to save his ass from my now rabid mother. Lord knows what she would’ve done to the guy. Weaker sex my butt.
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Sunday, November 18, 2007Ebony and Ivory
I’d arrived at school early hoping to get some studying done before my test. The school library seemed like the logical spot. Nice.Quiet. Everyone there was doing their own thing. Silently. I needed that more than anything. I needed to focus on the material in front of me. All was peaceful until these two chicks came in and decided to sit next to me. Ebony and Ivory were talking about men when the black chick stated that she’d been dating a white guy, a doctor in fact.
Good for you mija now STFU people are trying to study here.
The white chick pressed for more details about the guy which the friend willingly and too loudly if you ask me provided. Alas it seemed there was a problem in love central even though he was gorgeous, even though he was perfect, even though he treated her like a queen, even though she was totally nuts about him she was going to dump him. “Why?” asked the white girl “Duh because he’s white!” “And?” the white chick shot back. “Well put it this way could you bring home a black guy to your family?” Her friend nodded. “Oh bitch please! You know damn well you can’t bring no black guy to your house! Your parents would have the only shit fit!”
Sweet mother of reason did this chick just say what I thought she said? Oh for the love of God the heffa is an idiot. Granted a really pretty idiot, but an idiot none the less. Que pendeja! (what a fool)
I couldn't help but look up at the pendeja. She inclined her head at me and shot me a look that spoke volumes. In her eyes gleamed the implication that because we were both minorities we had shared racial experiences in common. Her eyes pleaded with mine as if to say, “Come on sister help me out here with this crazy white girl you know what I’m talking about!” I stared back at her and shook my head in disgust. Uh uh my Nubian sister I do not know what you’re talking about. I’m an equal opportunity dater; color, race, religion means jack to me and my family. As long as the guy isn’t a married cross dressing necrophiliac serial killer with a penchant for bestiality all is cool with my parents. I shifted in my seat and went back to my notes.
The white girl waited for her friend to take the comment back and when she didn’t she leaned over the table and into her friend’s face. She raised her voice while slapping her chest with her open palm, “Excuse me but you’re talking about my family! WTF yo are you calling my family racist?!” “Well if the noose fits…” “What the hell are you talking about nooses for bitch?” She let the comment wash over her not understanding what Ebony meant by the remark. Then a light went on over her head and her eyes got real wide, “Oh my god you are calling my family racist!” Heads snapped to attention and people started to drift over to our table to watch the argument that was starting to take shape. I scanned the room for another table but none were available. I slipped on my head phones hoping to drown them out and went back to studying.
So help me Jesus if they start swinging near me I’m going to repeatedly heffa slap whoever lands on me until the cows come home and tap dance on the porch.
While I couldn’t make out what they were saying because of the music blasting in my ears I could clearly read their body language, fists all balled up at their sides, faces all contorted, even "heard" the rumble of anger in their voices. It wasn’t pretty. I wished that the ugliness would move away from me. A few minutes later they moved their argument out into the hallway but they could still be heard in the library. The argument raged on for several more minutes before they stormed off away from each other. Ebony and Ivory would not be living in perfect harmony well at least on this day. I sat there and thought how idiotic it was that in this day and age people were still letting something as insignificant as skin color come between them and love.
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Monday, November 12, 2007Victory Was Hers
There’s this man in our apartment complex by the name of Tony that has had a crush on my mom for 17 years. Lucky in love with mom he ain't, devoted to her he is. Lights up like a christmas tree whenever he sees her. Can't compliment her enough on her looks and style. Ma is uncomfortable with his attention and the fact that we all tease her about it something awful doesn't do anything to enhance the situation either. We were fresh off of a Tony encounter and my uncle and I was teasing mom about it when I decided to go into my marvelous impression of Tony southern accent and all while my uncle left us to answer the door.
I came up close to my mom looked her up and down and gave a big smile and then went into his routine...
Mia: Good evening Miss Maggie!
Mom: ( barely above a whisper ) Mia. Cut.It. Out.
She side stepped me and tried to around me. I jumped in front of her and started again...
Mia: Good evening Miss Maggie!
Her eyes looked as if they were going to pop out of her head. Yes! Victory was almost mine! All I had to do was keep pressing her buttons and she’d turn mad red and let loose a string of curses so vile sailors would blush and the ghost of nuns would appear from the heavens armed with huge bars of industrial soap ! I continued my torment. I was standing right in front of her my back to the dining room. She couldn’t get away from me. If she moved left I shifted to the left, she moved right I slid to the right. Victory oh sweet victory was just a few seconds away. I licked my lips in anticipation of what was to come. I smiled at mom and went into my Tony imitation down to his mucho macho swagger. No amount of protest was going to stop me now....
Mia: Good evening Miss Maggie!
Mom: Mia ixnay on the tonyay !
No way was I going to stop. I just made my mom hiss in pig latin! Ahh yes this was so on....
Mia: You sure do look pretty tonight. I hope you don’t mind my saying so but Miss Maggie you have the prettiest skin and hair I’ve ever seen and the face of an angel. William is sure a lucky man Miss Maggie.
Mom: Maria Leticia Suarez Amin ! Me cago en los tomates de marta ( I shit upon Martha’s tomatoes) dejate de la mierda! (Stop your shit)
Ahhh yes this was going well not only was ma hissing but she was also invoking my full name AND she did something obscene to Martha’s tomatoes and in Spanish no less! Ha! My mom was beyond red, she was burgundy ! Ha! Oh man she was really irked now her eyes were all squinched up and she was doing some wierd jumpy thing with her eyebrow. The vein in her neck was doing that throbbing thing. Her jaw was clenched making the cleft in her chin more pronounced. Her lips were so tight her dimples were showing. Oh yeah baby she was going to blow. She was going to blow. Ho-ho she was going to blow and it was going to be a beaut. She looked at me and shook her head rubbing her forehead as if she had a splitting migraine. Yes! Oh yes! Sweet baby Jesus victory was mine! I stood there grinning like an idiot waiting for mom to let loose what she was obviously holding back...come on Mags, come on let it out...I thought to myself. Then all of a sudden I heard a familiar southern drawl coming from the dining room behind me...que mierda! , Holy crap !
Tony: Hello Miss Maggie how are you? I’m so sorry to disturb you. I needed to borrow some tools and your son was kind enough to loan me some.
Shit, shit, triple shit! How long had he been behind me?!
Maggie: I’m fine Tony thank you and it's ok you didn't disturb me at all.
She smiled at Tony and cleared her throat even though her voice was gentle it sounded kind of tight and raspy as if she had a crouton stuck in her throat. She was trying to keep herself from laughing. I felt my face getting hotter by the second. I could feel my face actually turning red . Feel my ears turning red. Good lord almighty they were burning! Even my hearing was affected. Everything sounded muffled. Carajo! I think I went deaf! In my head I sang, “awkward momennnnt”in an operatic voice. Oh man this was bad very, very bad. My phone rang I answered it but then I couldn't hear anything except for the blood rushing through my body. Jesus Christ I'd been struck deaf. I whispered into my phone to I don't who, "I'll call you back in a minute." and hung up. I felt Tony come up a little closer from behind me...
Tony: Hello Mia.
Brrrr I felt a sudden draft. Brrrr. I didn’t dare face him. I couldn’t. I was trying to keep myself together and I was barely succeeding. I was thisclose to laughing. I held my hand up as a way of greeting and barely above a whisper replied to him...
Mia: Hey Tony.
I leaned in towards mom and whispered to her as she repeatedly rubbed the back of her neck, “How long has he been there?” Mom leaned in closer to me and whispered even lower, “the entire time.” SHIT. I was trapped.I couldn’t turn around of even leave the room because otherwise I’d have to face him. I was mortified. DOUBLE SHIT. Maybe if I was lucky he didn't hear anything, yeah maybe. Maybe Bush is a mensa member.
Tony: Well Good night Miss Maggie I’ll have these back by tomorrow.
Maggie: Oh there’s no rush Tony you hold onto them for as long as you need to. Good night.
Tony: Good night Mia. By the way Miss Maggie you sure do look pretty tonight and you do have the face on an angel.
Ugh! I could feel his eyes searing me on the back of my head. I refused to turn around until I heard the door close. Mom covered her face with her hands, shook her head again and started laughing no I take that back she wasn’t laughing she was straight up cackling. Yeah she was cackling! She pointed at me sucked in her breath and patted me on the shoulder, “ Ahhh man that was priceless.” and walked away. Now it was me who was red, victory was hers .
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Friday, November 09, 2007Clowns and Temptations
Sometimes I get these urges, temptations ...I can’t seem to help myself they come out of no where the urge to mess with my friends like this and this.
Lord knows I try to fight the temptation. I try to fight the good fight I really do but sometimes it's hard oh so very hard. Lately I’ve been fighting the temptation to hire the services of a singing telegram company out in California. All it would take is a phone call and my credit card info to give in to my temptation. What is it that has my knuckles all white and my brow sweating late at night? It's a clown specifically Pennywise the clown from Stephen King's "It". I want to give in to my temptation and hire the clowniest clown employed by the singing telegram company. You know the clown of all clowns, The one with the biggest red afro wig, reddest bulbous nose, and size 14 clod hoppers a Pennywise look-a-like to knock on my best friend Jackie’s door on her birthday and sing her happy birthday despite the fact that she has this phobia about clowns.
(Sigh) it’s so hard being good sometimes but then again the fact that Jackie's 5 ft 10 and could crush my 4ft 11 ass like a bug holds me back a little just a little. Pray for me brothers and sisters pray that I may be strong enough to resist clowns and temptations. Meanwhile I guess I should lock my Master Card away.
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Wednesday, November 07, 2007Mia's Quest for an Engagement Ring
Several months ago the BF asked me to marry him. While it was not my first marriage proposal it was the first time in my life that I actually didn’t arch an eyebrow and ask the guy what drug was he on and change the subject. Before giving him his answer I wanted to make sure the BF knew what he was getting into. I laid it all out for him...
I wouldn’t be ready to marry for at least 2 years. Not until my studies and internships had been completed . He’d known about my goals and more importantly of my intent to leave for the peace corp once I completed my degree from day one. I felt it my duty to reminded him of these plans. I informed him that no matter how much I loved him I would not put my plans aside. He told me he didn’t expect me to give up my plans. He was proud of all I had accomplished and wanted to be part of my all of my future endeavors and dreams as well. He was willing to walk away from the life he had here in order to be a part of my life. In fact he had already contacted the peace corp.
Hearing that just killed me. Past loves had always been intimidated by my strong will, determination, and stubbornness. He was not interested in breaking my spirit or in dominating me as the others had attempted to do. My past loves had wanted me to walk silently behind them and trust that they'd always know what was best for me. To willingly surrender my judgement to them. Pfft as if! This guy was different. Not only was he willing to walk by my side but he was also willing to let me lead. Willing to blindly follow me where ever I chose to lead him simply because he loved me. How could I possibly say no to that? I accepted his proposal.
When he proposed he didn’t have a ring for me he had actually intended to "feel me out" to see if I was willing to take the next step in our relationship. When he saw I felt the same way he did he kind of lost it and proposed on the spot promising to buy me whatever ring I wanted. I think he was afraid I'd change my mind if I gave thought about it again. Honestly I don't need a ring, don't even want one. I would've been happy with a cigar band around my finger but he insisted I have a ring. A ring I would never be tempted to remove from my finger. So we’ve been ring shopping ever since and thus began Mia's quest for an engagement ring. We’ve got it narrowed down between two antique art-deco aquamarine white gold rings.
A few days ago I was in Brooklyn informing my uncle Hassan of my engagement. I can’t say he was too thrilled. In his eyes I’m still a baby and no man will ever be good enough for me unless he and my dad pick the man out. Thankfully my dad trusts my judgement and accepts the fact that i'm an adult, unlike my dear uncle. My uncle sees me as his daughter and despite the fact that I have a dad, a fantastic dad thank you very much! My uncle feels the need to act as daddy #2 albeit a much stricter dad with a thick Egyptian accent. However when he saw me looking at a ring catalog his interest was piqued...
Uncle: Mia why are you looking at those? Why not diamond ring?
Mia: We’re not getting a diamond ring.
Hassan: Why not?
Mia: I don’t like diamonds.
Hassan: Bullshit women love diamonds. Don’t lie to me why this boy not want to buy you diamond ring?
Mia: Seriously I don’t like diamonds.
My uncle arched his brow and held his hands up he wasn’t buying what I was telling him and began clucking his tongue....
Hassan: No. Habibi don’t lie to me. I want to talk to this boy. I’mma going to ask him if he crazy not buying you a diamond ring. I will not allow this.
Just then my mom stepped in
Mom: Hassan she really doesn’t want a diamond. He had a beautiful diamond ring picked out for her. A huge one in fact and she refused it.
Hassan: I don’t believe this.
Mom opened her mouth to argue the fact and he held his hands as if demanding silence from her. She started to talk again and he shot her a stern look...
Hassan: Shhhh my love I am talking now as her father not her uncle.
Ma’s face turned pink and unless the sun is beaming on her face during a heat wave that my friends is never a good sign. She walked up to him glaring at him causing my aunt Nora to break out in a fit of laughter. She knew what was coming....
Mom: Don’t you EVER shhhh me again or you’ll be the known as the uncle that talks with a squeaky voice after I twist off your nuts.
She rolled her eyes at him and punctuated her threat with a twisting motion of her hand and then cursed in Spanish. As she walked away from him she looked over her shoulder and added another curse in Arabic for good measure. Uncle Hassan’s eyes and mouth formed a perfect “O” from the shock. Nora and I were besides ourselves with laughter, watching those two banter is like a comedy routine. My mother has been the only woman in the history of his chauvinistic life that has ever gotten away with putting him in his place. He's always been powerless against her. He got up from his seat and walked over to my mom and wrapped his arms around her kissing her on her cheek.
Hassan: I apologize my love.
Mom: Screw you and the camel your ass rode in on. Nora I don't know how you put up with him. Telling me to shhhh...ese hombre esta loco! (the man is crazy)
Nora was howling with laughter slapping her knee...
Nora: Go to town on his Arab ass Mags you tell him!
Hassan: My darling I don't want you to be angry with me. Please don't be angry. I am so sorry. But our Mia is only one. There is only one Mia.
( He held a solitary finger in the air for emphasis)
No other woman like her in this world. She is angel. She deserves best. Nothing but diamond is suitable for her. All I want to talk to this boy and find out why he’s not putting a diamond on my daughter’s hand.
Nora: Awwww that is so sweet Hassan! Mags you can't stay mad at him. I take it back don't go to town on his Arab ass.
Hearing that my mother softened up and hugged him back.
Mom: Thank you for saying that Hassan. Thank you for loving her so much. But you know she’s always been different. She didn’t even want a ring to begin with. This is a concession on her part to him.
With that said Nora and I went back to the catalog. My uncle wrapped his arm around my mom again and pulled her towards him and gesturing to Nora, ma and himself he said. “My love she is our baby, only a baby! When did she meet this boy?” "Last year just before you left to Egypt." He looked at my mother and Nora as if they had been part of a conspiracy. " I KNEW I should have taken her with me to Alexandria! She’s too young for marriage!" My aunt reminded him that I was still taking finals when he left and he shook his head back and forth cursing himself for not waiting until my finals were over. My mom reminded him that he still had his own two daughters to worry about plus my little sister not to mention my brother and the new baby on the way.
“My friend she is 24 years old soon to be 25. She’s not a baby anymore she’s a woman and her father and I trust her judgement and so should you. I was 5 years younger than her when I married her dad. Nora was just a baby, a teenager still when she married you! It’s time for you to let go just as her father and I have done and just as Nora has done. I promise he’s a good man. You’re going to love him as much as we do. Nora already met him while you were in Egypt and she adores him. You have to accept the fact that our baby is a woman now and she’s going to leave us one day.”
I looked up to see my uncle staring at me. His mind seemed far away. I offered him a big “say cheese” grin and he blew me a kiss and then to no one in particular said, “they grow up too fuckin' fast.”and left the room.
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Tuesday, November 06, 2007Fat Santa
Somewhere in an unknown part of the universe exists the secret head quarters of The Political Correctness Gestapo Squad. The squad is comprised of all forms of human society. Most likely picked on as children for one thing or another and unable to forget the past the adult members of the squad are easily identified in public because of their dour faces and ramrod stiff walk thanks to the stick permanently embedded up their asses. Every now and then they issue a PC degree so idiotic it boggles the mind and makes me wish that through the power of telekinesis I could remove said stick out of their asses.
The latest decree from the PC squad has been issued by their England branch with an active interest in a shopping mall in England. No fat Santas allowed. According to them Santa Claus yes THE Santa Claus the very same guy who used to feed my addiction to all things Barbie back in the day is too fat and because of this he will be banned from setting up shop at their mall unless he slims down. They seem to feel that his jelly belly is a poor example to children and have set up a boot camp of him and his helpers.
WTF?! Come on people get a life... what next are they going to wash his mouth out with soap because when he laughs it comes out “‘Ho-Ho-Ho”? Is PETA going to run up on his ass and accuse him of reindeer abuse because he keeps them out all night pulling his sleigh? When is the madness going to stop? Maybe the next step will be to go after Buddha and his rotound belly.
(Sigh) The world was sure a nicer place when I was eight years old. I hope he leaves them a lump of coal in their stockings.
Link:Stores to Santa: Slim Down or Else
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Monday, November 05, 2007National Homeless Month
November is National Homeless Month. National statistics report the number of homeless kids at over 1.5 million. Over 500, 000 are under the age of 15 . Advocating for homeless teens is a cause very near and dear to my heart thanks to my parents. I've just applied for an internship as a street counselor working with homeless kids. God willing I’ll be able to help a kid out living on the streets because there but for the grace of the head cheese go I.
My parents started taking in homeless teens when I was very young and as far back as I can recall I’ve always shared my home and family with homeless kids. The rules my folks set down are simple; no drugs, go to school and my parents would provide you with a home and lots of love and lots of lectures if you muck up. Their methods work because every single kid that they’ve taken in has gone on to college and productive lives. Every. Single. One. The most amazing part of it all is that my parents did it with no financial help from any agency . None, zip, zilch, nada. My parents never wanted any of the kids to feel that they were a source of income to my family. How they made our middle class income stretch is beyond me but they did it. None of us ever wanted for anything most of all unconditional love.
Over the years I have lost track of how many kids my parents have taken in. The last of our kids left the nest a few months back. It’s the first time in my life that I’ve had my room to myself but I know it’ll be short lived. A new girl has been spending a lot of time in our house and I can sense what's coming. It seems at times there should be a revolving door at our entrance as soon as one moves out as an adult another kid comes to take their place. How they find my parents is a miracle in itself. It’s not like my parents go out looking for them it seems like they are put in each other's paths. One of the girls once told me that when she first saw mom she sensed a beautiful aura of shimmering gold and zircon blue around her when mom sat down next to her on a park bench to talk to her.I took that with a grain of salt because i'm still not too sure that the girl wasn't on drugs at the time. Whatever it was she sensed made her comfortable because even though the girl had been on the streets long enough to fear strangers she felt at ease with my mother. And when in the course of their conversation ma draped her arm over the girl's shoulder the girl felt as if an angel had wrapped its wings around her. Again I say take that statement with a grain of salt because i'm not too sure the girl wasn't high as a kite when mom found her.
Another kid told me that after talking to my mom on the subway late one night he felt a warmth creep into his heart. Something he had never felt in his entire life much less the year he'd been living on the streets. Despite himself and unknown to ma he followed her home that night wanting to make sure she got home safe. He then hung around the neighborhood for a few days sleeping in door ways and the park down the block hoping to see my mother again. After a few days my dad noticed him hanging around and brought him upstairs to eat. He stayed with us for two years. He is now a police officer. I'd often wake up in the middle of the night to find mom in the living room cradling one of the kids in her arms rocking them back and forth as they cried. She'd shower the top of their heads with kisses while my dad stood besides them rubbing the kid's back telling them they were safe now and that he’d never let them go back to the streets. Just thinking about the degradation these kids suffered tears at my heart; eating out of trash cans , selling their bodies just to survive. Fear and loneliness were their constant companions . They came with scars both visible and invisible and my parents tried healed them all.
Some of the stories have been sadder than than others . The boy that followed mom home from the subway was drop dead gorgeous a dead ringer for Johnny Depp. When he came to us he’d been he'd been raped and was turning tricks out on the pier in Hells Kitchen just for food money. One girl all of 16 was kicked out by her mother because she didn’t get along with her mom’s new man. The mother thought she could survive on her own with her part time job at Mickey D’s. She ended up staying with a friend paying a little money for a spot to sleep on the floor but the friend’s father thought she should be paying him in other ways if you get my drift. Refusing his demands she ended up on the street sleeping in doorways. She had been a childhood friend of my uncle's and when he found out about her situation from a mutual friend he went looking for her one snowy night and brought her to our house. He promised her that we’d keep her safe . She was scared, she didn't say much and looked like a human q-tip, severely under weight she’d been surviving on one meal per day for months because it was all she could afford. At the time our apartment was filled to capacity. I was already sharing my room with a couple of girls and my brothers were sharing their rooms with a couple of boys. My parents couldn’t afford another mouth to feed, another body to clothe.
My mom was put in touch with a local teen homeless shelter by a social worker friend of hers. It was agreed that the girl would spend the weekend with us and on Monday my dad would take her to the shelter when he got home from work. Due to the lack of parking my mom stayed in the car while my father went into the shelter with the girl. Whatever it was he saw in there deeply disturbed him . When he came out he had tears in his eyes. “Mags I don’t feel comfortable leaving her there. That’s no place for her. Kids are sleeping on benches and on the floor. ” She looked up at my dad and said, “ Fuck it what’s more one anyway, we’ll manage somehow.” and ran inside and got the girl. Under my parent’s care the scared teen became a confident woman and years later married my uncle the very same one who had found her sleeping in a door way on a cold January night. She now works at a local homeless shelter as a case manager. Recently over dinner told my mom she and my uncle had taken in a homeless kid, “ I’m paying it forward Mags. ” My mother started to cry when she realized what the woman meant by paying it forward and smiling between her tears said, “Aw fuck now you’ve made me cry.”
Link:StandUp For Kids
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Thursday, November 01, 2007A Lesson
WTF is wrong with kids today? Yeah I know I sound like my grandmother now but seriously when the hell did good manners and respect become obsolete? I’m not talking about remembering to put your napkin on your lap and keeping elbows off the table.I’m talking about common courtesy towards each other.
I was on my way home from school the other night when a high school student boarded the bus and as she walked by bumped into me nearly knocking me over. I looked back at her to make sure she was okay, because the messenger bag that she had nearly knocked off my shoulder with my laptop and assorted thick ass heavy text books weighs a ton and I wanted to assure myself that she had not been hurt by it. See an accident can happen to anyone it’s what you do afterwards that defines you. Instead of apologizing as she should have she stopped, rolled her eyes at me and sucked her teeth...and said, “What?!”
OH HELL to the freaking No this heffa didnt just nearly separate my shoulder and then cop an attitude with me. I not in the mother flipping mood for this. I‘d just been through a rough time in class and wasn’t in the best of moods to begin with (that’s a story for another day) and now this kid wanted to piss me off more. Oh Hell to the freaking no uh uh no freaking way..I was so not in the mood for this....
Mia: What the hell do you mean WHAT?! You just bumped into ME not the other way around. For future reference the words you should be using in place of “what?!” are as follows EXCUSE ME, PARDON ME, or the ever popular and classic I'M SORRY . As a matter of fact even OOPS MY BAD is acceptable yeah I’m willing to accept an oops my bad. .
she sucked her teeth again and gave me the patented ghetto girl half head roll waving her hand in the air for emphasis....I expected her to do the trashy talk show spiel...” what eva what eva I do what I want I do what I want you don’t know meeeeee!”all eyes were on us.....
Girl: Whatever... what you gonna do about it.
Then she got in my face. Girl must've been out of her damn mind. She was several inches taller than me and from her stance and attitude I got the impression that she was under the illusion that I was also a high school student. I get that a lot from truant officers they always try to take me in for playing hooky and then get embarrassed when I should them my ID . Obviously this chick needed someone to teach her respect for her elders and tonight the chore of teaching fell on me. I looked up at her and thrust my upper body towards her readying myself to slap the snot out of her if she stepped up to me again. She crossed her arms over her chest and rolled her eyes at me again as if she was challenging me. I let out a sigh and got into her face with the killer stare and my voice deepening with anger...
Mia: I’m not in the mood for your crap little girl. Seriously I am not. There’s no need for all this so stop your nonsense because you’re irking the crap out of me. Right now I’m not caring that i'm 24 years old and can get locked up for beating up on you. I seriously don’t give a shit by the time the cops get here to slap the cuffs on me your ass will be ready for traction so don’t play yourself kid. You’re messing with an adult not a kid. If you want to act grown I will beat your ass down like you’re grown. So fill me in on what you wanna do.
The girl was dumbstruck. Yup she had mistaken me for a high school student. Damn my lack of stature I should’ve paid attention when ma said, "eat your veggies Mia they will make you tall and strong". Especially the tall part. Her friends started laughing and one of them said, “ ohhhh snap!” I glared at them and said, “Hey peanut gallery nobody likes an instigator.This is between me and her.” I looked into her eyes and said, “Now little girl unless you’ve got something else you want to say you better apologize and go sit your ass down.” The girl stared at me for a second mumbled a half-assed apology and took a seat next to her friends. A woman who’d been sitting down looked up at me and said, “Are you really 24? “ Yes m’am I am.” She shook her head and said, “Oh my god you like a baby!” I smiled at her and replied, “That’s what they tell me m’am.”
As the bus continued it's route I caught the girl sneaking looks at me every now and then looking quite contrite. I hope she learned something that evening.
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