I told you…

I hate to say, “I told you so”…ok, maybe I don’t HATE it, lol. I just TRY not to revel in the inevitable backlash of dumbfuckery…but, it’s hard when folks make it so easy. Here’s the story:

My family is hosting this year’s family reunion. The NY Committee’s turn comes about 10yrs since the last time we did it. Being that this IS NY, it’s hard to find a hotel that will effectively house, cater and provide fun for a reunion for a decent price…especially in this economy. So, when we found a place that had a great deal of what we needed, we were ecstatic. Now, the “we” is comprised of my mother, aunt, sister, 1st cousin and I. No, we are not the totality of the NY chapter…so of course, we had to run it past the rest. Our chapter is comprised of 2 immediate clans; one based in Mt. Vernon, NY and the other in Queens/Brooklyn, NY, descended from 2 of the 18 children of which we honor. When the meetings were had, I was in DC babysitting for 3 months for my 2yr old godson. Meaning, I wasn’t able to weigh in on some of the details.

Back to the the place “we” found. We decided to have it about 40mins north of where I live now. This hotel was NEW…recently built. The rooms were SWEET. The entire hotel was no smoking, so for those suffering from allergies, asthma, etc…would be comfortable. Right next to it, down a flight of stairs was the owner’s diner, where he had a dining room that seated 80 people. It wasn’t HUGE, but it would’ve worked. It even had it’s own side entrance and a back room for convenience. We were offered the DINER’S menu for Saturday’s banquet and Sunday morning’s farewell breakfast. The menu’s offering was HUGE. We’re talking diner style cuisine over typical “fish, prime rib or chicken marsala” options…lasagna, rollitini, brisket, ribs, etc…all within a package. The owner was also going to throw in coupons for his steakhouse down the road for the one day when everyone would find their own lunch. There was a park near it (great for the BBQ we wanted to throw) and the Splashdown water park which was just 10 minutes away for an inexpensive answer to a not-so-big problem…the absence of a pool. “We” didn’t care. “We couldn’t remember anyone partaking of the pool the last time we had a reunion. Besides, for all that we’re getting…ESPECIALLY the low cost of a NEW hotel AND the ability to bring our own food, which is hard to find…who gives a DAMN about a pool?

NOW, after we sat and talked, looked at the rooms, saw the diner, my mother and aunt took a few other folks up there to look at the premises. Well, everyone had an issue with there being no pool. What did they end up with? The Holiday Inn that “we” visited where the rooms smelled of a combination cleaner, smoke and mildew. They had the option to get a free hospitality room (so that we wouldn’t have to rent one) as long as there were over 75 people. Now, we seriously cannot remember the last time that our numbers were over 70, but I guess they were so determined to have this damn pool, that they couldn’t see straight. Guess what? The head count is officially 55 people…which means that the hospitality room has to be paid for (damn near another $150). ALSO, we’d suggested earlier on that there be fund-raisers of some kind. A fish or chicken fry…bake sale…something! All of the cohorts involved in choosing the BS hotel outnumbered us logical thinkers and said no. Well, now…they’re saying we should’ve had one because the cost is piling. *snickering* They had such big ideas for little penny ante crap and NOW, the reunion is more expensive and less comfortable than they anticipated. As it currently stands, the economy is too unstable to be worried about a damn pool. The consideration was for the cleanliness, the convenience, the comfortability and the cost…our 4 C’s. For the extra $20+ spent on the rooms, that was the group rate for Splashdown. For the extra money spent on the food, that was the cost of the “nice” tees the committee wanted. I just wish people used their minds better, listened to reason and learned to compromise. I know one thing…those who wanted that pool so badly WILL be getting pushed into the pool. Swim damnit, SWIM! lmao

To that I say, HA! I told ya! Well…I’m saying it to myself. LMAO

Blah Blah Blah

Growing up, I remember how my father used to promise me things…and then disappoint. I always felt like he was REALLY gonna come through. Then at the last possible moment, he’d almost indignantly shrug his shoulders and say something like, “Kali…I had to do other things!” or “Kali, please don’t be mad baby…next time”. I would get so damned mad. I mean, as a kid what is the worst thing that can happen to you except getting your hopes built up high for the colossal let down? Gonna get that extra $20 this allowance…NOT. Gonna get to go shopping for those sneakers everyone else has…NOPE. Gonna take you to the Statue of Liberty…yea, ok. Over and over again, I got promised the world and got let down damn near every time. I remember being 15 or 16yrs old and once AGAIN, my father’s promises disintegrated into thin air with the night’s breeze. I don’t remember exactly what he’d promised…all I know is he didn’t come through. We lived in the projects…a building away from each other. He and my grandmother in one and my sister and I, in the other. We started out at his house and because it was night time, he chose to walk us home…me fussing the entire way as to why it was so unfair that he lied to me…

*sidebar* I have no problem disclosing that my dad at that time was addicted to drugs/alcohol. He has since been clean for the past 13yrs AND keeps his promises! 😉

…so, my father is getting irritated and begins to brush me off. I too, frustrated as hell…get irritated. I walk ahead, mumbling under my breath while my dad is walking with my sister who was about 9 or 10. We get into “our” building and as we wait for the elevator he tries to calm me with apologies and more promises to make up for the other broken ones lying at my feet. I tune him out. The elevator arrives and he kisses my sister goodbye and attempts to lean in to me and I back away and put my hand up. He says, “Alright, Kali…bye.” My sister and I step into the ill-odored space, press 6 and watch him close the door and walk away. Now, if you don’t know…in most PJ’s there was the door that slid…and the one that opened first. Right before the sliding door closed, I kicked the one that opened…but, instead of it swinging open and back…it fell off the hinges. This STEEL DOOR got kicked off the hinges. Now, my father was barely in the safe zone. That door fell RIGHT at his heels…missing him by a mere inch or less. He said, “What the fuck? Are you crazy?” Not so much because he almost got cartoon hammered into the lobby floor, but because he most likely couldn’t fathom his teen daughter kicking a door of that weight off it’s hinges. My sister started to get scared…me, I’m even MORE pissed. This means…I’ve got to walk 6 flights of stairs to the apartment. The entire way, he’s yelling and cussing and scolding and blah blah blah. I get in the house and he tells my aunt what happened, and she puts her 2 cents in. By that time, I am so NOT fearing anyone’s discipline. Fuck it, I’m tired and done with half-assed behavior from adults who want full-assed behavior *lol* from me. Ultimately, I don’t get any real punishment…accept walking up the stairs another day. (btw…funny that on my way to school the next morning, I hear the custodians, who are now picking up the door; asking who in the world would tear the door off, while I proverbially whistle and scurry by) LMAO.

I, to this day…cannot stand a liar…a breaker of promises or whats more…an EMPTY promise maker. Someone whose intentions fall short in THOUGHT. Someone who makes promises to keep a situation at bay or to seem like they’ve got it all under control, when they know that they don’t possess the wherewithal to complete the thought let alone the promise. As adults, you have the ability to do one of two things when making a statement. Tell the truth…whatever that shall be…or LIE and know that with each lie, promise, fallacy…your character diminishes. In the final moments…it is YOU that looks bad and has no credit. BAD credit…to which steals your ability to get big ticket items…like TRUST and RESPECT!

Just keep it real. With that…I bring you a song by Mr. Chap f/Slim Breeze “Blah Blah Blah”…enjoy..lol

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Is Romance An Illusion?

Romance, is defined in novels by poetic mack lines, flowers for smiles, serenades of seduction and promises of forever. It’s cheekily repetitive in cards, stuffed animals and online graphics…yet, the truth of romance is lost on a lot of people.

First, let’s research romance. Romance is defined (ref. Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary) as: a medieval tale based on legend, chivalric love and adventure; a prose narrative treating imaginary characters involved in events remote in time or place and usually heroic, adventurous, or mysterious; a love story especially in the form of a novel. So from the FIRST definition, we conclude it as being a tale or story based on things spread by word or writings about love and chivalry. Chivalry is certainly on a respirator if not already pronounced dead. It’s not even about opening doors and allowing ladies to pass first, as much as its about men being men. Taking the lead in a traditional sense, allowing for women to feel protected, cherished and cared for by their own personal knight. We live in a day and time where a man wants a woman who has her own. Sounds like he wants the package already wrapped and bow-tied, right? Whatever happened to a man going out and putting his physical body on the line to provide for a woman worthy of bearing his last name?

Then, we get to the SECOND description which puts romance definitely as writings, but dealing in fantasy. Mostly, in this form…romance is that idyllic story told of characters who cannot even remotely corroborate the beauty of such a love told. It’s strictly to be believed…for the awe of what could be. The THIRD explanation of the word romance also tips towards heroic sagas narrated, most likely in the 2nd person…telling of fairy-like obstacles surmounted in the name of love’s honor.

When you read all of that…what comes to mind? The Harlequin romances? Soap Operas? Movies like Titanic and The Notebook? The stories of love harrowed by time, circumstance and tragedy…made to beautifully capture the essence of an old cliche: “Love Conquers All”. I myself have never been so sweetly “romanced”…by ANYONE. I’ve received flowers by a lover ONCE and cannot remember a time when any man cooked for me with the intentions of it being all about me. I have never experienced candlelit meals nor breakfast in bed (well once, but that was because I was sick). Yet, is that not romance? A man who would know that his woman is sick and rather than leave her alone, he’d tend to her and make sure everything she needed…she had? Someone who would do her laundry and shop for food or buy her feminine products shamelessly? If romance is that “extra” mile…to prove love…to aver feelings of dedication…then aren’t those things possibly romantic?

Does romance HAVE to come in the form of a bouquet of flowers? (Even though I’m a sucker for a vase of tulips, gerbera daisies, roses or lilies). Isn’t romance, calling your paramour in the middle of the night and whispering as she falls away to slumber, “I love you”…fostering dreams of you? I DO sometimes wish to be wooed conventionally at times. Flowers, music, candles, poetry or prose written for my ears only. I also KNOW that romance can be as simple as a man fighting to prove his love, refusing to allow you to believe anything other than you are special, confessing undying love and letting the love of your life know that there is no other that compares.

To me…romance is the dance of inspiration that shows…SHOWS your lover how much they mean to you. I will leave you with a quote I found on the page of my sister’s friend:

“To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.” ~Unknown~

A Little Princess

I swear sometimes I feel psychic. You all have NO clue how often I think of something and then it happens, or shows up wherever I am. Just the other day, I wished that “A Little Princess” would come on. It’s an enchanted story, set in 1954, of a little girl whose father goes off to war and leaves her in a school for girls. While there, she lives off of the adventures they’ve taken in their travels to India. After receiving word that her father died in the war…life becomes a little hard for her, but she gets through it by remembering what her father said, “All little girls are princesses…if you believe”. Her storytelling abilities become the sunshine in the lives of a few little girls who become taken with her. It’s kinda like an upscaled orphan Annie story, made in 1995. (It stars Liesel Matthews, who is also an heiress to the Hyatt Hotel fortune).

So, I wished for this movie…and VOILA…this morning, as I was searching for a movie to watch. It was there slated to air @6:45pm. Only, I didn’t want miss Hancock which was coming on @7:45pm (they coincide) so I continued looking for another time it would air…and it was coming on right then.

I love this story. Here’s a little girl, who was schooled in LIFE. She comes to the school, where she’s supposed to take French and Latin…but she is already fluent in both. Her flair for the creative and her knowledge at such a young age makes her a target for an angry little bully…and even the head mistress. Who would think that a grown woman would hate on a child’s life? But, I suppose that perhaps there are adults whose lives are shells of what they once believed or dreamed they’d be. They covet the innocence, zest and wide-eyed faith that children possess and rather than encourage or bask in it’s shine…they try to beat it down…reprimanding and chastising away their hopes.

Here is one of the saddest and cruelest parts:

In this story…a father’s love for his daughter and hers for him…allows a little girl the ability to exist in her own lovely state. In spite of how she begins to get treated…she still feels irrepressible hope and joy, just because her father loved her more than anything.

I just thought I’d share that. Hmmm, I’ve been wanting to see Joy Luck Club…you think if I wish hard enough, it’ll come on?

Happy Happy, Joy Joy

I began talking to Ms Joyous (as I like to refer to her) over a year ago. We became friends through a mutual acquaintance and it just stuck. LOL

Truth is, the circumstances surrounding our friendship’s conception was hardly smooth or cordial. Sure, we were nice to each other. I thought she was sweet and her connection with our friend was cute to me…but some misunderstandings crept in that could’ve ended badly. She was always so sweet though, which is so funny, because the day I spoke to her on the phone I had no clue she was gonna be so……so……NEW YORK! LOL I knew she lived in the Bronx, but…well, I just expected something different. She was full of “Yo, son’s” and “Ya Heard May’s” and it was too funny. What’s even funnier is that she is from Alabama (can’t shake that state for THIT!) and I thought she might have a little twang…yea…RIGHT! lol

LAWD, lemme tell you…she’s a handful. In essence…we’re complete opposites. From our signs, she Cancer…me, Capricorn…to our nature. She’s a pessimist, I an optimist. She’s highly sexual…I’m more conservative. And THIS one…shocked me…she’s VERY sensitive and I, well…I’m sensitive as well…but, I more mental. *yall, better not touch that!*

SO, as our friendship burgeoned towards a sisterhood, we encountered some snafus but we made it out unscathed. Along the way, she brought Buttercup aka Celeste along for the ride and it was so cool that we decided to meet back in November 08. We missed a couple of dates, until we just couldn’t take it. At one point or another, Joy, Celeste and I were all going through emotional situations that we felt merited some sister love. So, on December 6th, 2008…I hopped on a Metro train and went to the Bronx. Joy met me at the train station and we clicked immediately (even though she accused me of being light-skinneded…which still has YET to be proved). We shot to her place, she made me breakfast and we waited for Celeste to show. We had a BALL. We had a GREAT time and that’s all I’m gonna say. *lmao*

This woman, whose love for hip hop isn’t rivaled by anyone I know is a piece of work. She’s a consummate Erykah Badu fan and lives by the music on her Ipod. She loves to blog and has a passion for make-up that is as strong as mine is for cooking. Give us $1000.00 and set us loose? She’ll go to MAC and Sephora…I’ll find Williams-Sonoma. We’re both lovers of the butterfly…but for different reasons (at least it began as such). Her motto is, “Change one thing…change everything” in reference to a theory and the movie, “Butterfly Effect”. I love butterflies, because although they’re gorgeous and can symbolize ANY one’s journey of growth. Together, we’ve hurt and cried…laughed and loved. We rarely miss IM sessions and try to touch base often on the phone (though she’s not a phone person…girl, gimme that BB) lol. This 5’7″ Alabama born beauty, has the most tender soul, which is covered by a harder shell (crab anyone?) and though she doesn’t know it…my helping her through her storms, helps me as well. She hard-headed as HEYELL…but, I still love her. lol

Since initially speaking over the phone, meeting at her house and us spending a couple of weekends together since…she’s surely become my sister. Now, don’t get me wrong…there are several tiers to sisterhood. There’s basic “we’re women” sisterhood. There’s “we’re strong black women” sisterhood. There’s “she cool as hell” sisterhood. There’s “we’re besties” sisterhood” and then there is “we couldn’t be closer if we had the same mama” sisterhood. I have a biological sister who is like my twin…and no one can replace her and no one tries…yet, there are a few ladies who I’d ride on a fool for in a HEARTBEAT! I can truly say, Joyous…is one of them.

Happy Birthday, Joyous One…

Love, Kiwi

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