Birthday Cake Blues
Operator: 911 what is your emergency?
Caller: My birthday cake is on fire.
Operator: Ma’am, stop calling here.
Tomorrow is my birthday. When my friends asked me how I felt about yet another year added to my age, I answered: I ain’t dead yet. I didn’t say greaatttttt, like cereal box Tony the Tiger. I didn’t happily clap my hands like an excited 10 year old. I didn’t answer with anything resembling enthusiasm. I wasn’t a toddler with a cake adorned with 2 little twinkling lights signaling a life that is fresh and new. Lighting my candles was borderline arson that threatened to burn my house down around my ears. With my luck the fire department would send Fire Marshall Bill to extinguish the blaze. Yeehaa, it’s my birthday. (Mouth formed in a hard line of sarcasm)
Apparently, I’m far from ecstatic. What is the source of this discontent you’re wondering? For people in hospital rooms fighting for life and breath, my attitude is borderline sacrilege. I have my health, a career and people who love me, what in God’s name did I have to complain about? What was with the discontent? Why was I both pouty and perturbed? I didn’t want to celebrate. Like Valentine’s Day for girls who are perpetually single, I just wanted it to be over. Be gone, Birthday! Be gone!
What was at the heart of this gloom that had fallen over my head and left my spirits in eternal mist? I investigated the source and the answer was right there. I didn’t feel like I had everything. Sure I had a book, a career and friends. But where the heck was the white picket fence; the impossibly tall husband with the broad chest? Where was the house full of kids that all looked curiously like the Jacksons? Janet, baby, go back to sleep, mama will be there soon. I wanted it all, deserved it all and boy was I tired of waiting. In a fit of pique I fired off an emotional text to The Most High.
From: the Super Sistah
To: The Lord – Almighty
Subject: It’s my Birthday – WHAT THE HELL!
I hope this text finds you well. That’s it for small talk! Yesterday, last year, five years ago and when I was sixteen, I prayed and asked you to send me a family. Where they at, Lord! Where? I’m tired of waiting. You are supposed to be the almighty, right? Grab some clay and build me something. Trust in me? I’ve been done trusting. I’m tired and I’m fed up. Why you keep sending me these knuckleheads with issues, father? If we attract what we are, what you trying to say, Lord? I know I ain’t crazy.
Look up Stephanie in the dictionary and under my pic it says, she who is anointed and blessed. So stop playing. I’m your daughter and I’m sick and tired of these antics.
Real talk? I’m giving you another year, two tops, and then I might have to build some things my own damn self. Yes, I ‘m blaspheming. SO what!
Don’t respond, G.O.D. It’s my birthday. I gotta go and cry into my cake so I can extinguish the candles.
Peace out, Jehovah, Prince of Peace. AKA – Lil’ Dove.
Signed, the Super Sistah
BTW – I ain’t dead yet. Thanks for that. Deuces!
Sent from SS iPhone –– 3/28/2013
Is our happiness based on what we don’t have or lack instead of what we’ve been given with grace? Does the birthday card of life deserve to be signed with a sad face?
Tags: Age, Birthdays, black women, God, Identity, Self-Confidence
A dear friend of mine recently celebrated his 40th year on the earth with a big, splashy birthday bash. For someone who remembers sixteen clearly that number seems huge. It hovers around the corner taunting me with the knowledge that I will eventually be that age in the next 10, 5, 4, 2 years, months, weeks, ah forget it! What difference does it make when I will get there, it just matters that I will get there too soon. My point is that as I celebrated with my friend, I looked around the club and thought to myself, damn! Where does the time go? As I rocked my thirty something year-old self to Michael Jackson, as I shimmied and shuffled to Mary J Blige, and as I attempted to keep up with the new tunes that requires a far more agile waistline than mine, I surveyed the crowd and had trouble reconciling the faces of the people I saw. The faces didn’t match the kids I knew from the playground or the smiling teenagers from the school yearbook. Who were all these old people? When did we all get grown with worry lines, kids, mortgages, Dodge Caravans and mommy style?
Don’t get me wrong, some of us had put up a ferocious fight with father time. There was evidence of the struggle being waged by the use of concealer to disguise dark circles, the use of spanxs to fight flab, and the determination to eradicate fashion faux pas with a steady diet of Vogue. Still time had marched on and exposed us as frauds. It showed when the music began and folks launched into the Cabbage Patch followed by the Running Man. It showed when some of us started to Bogle with a hint of Dutty Wine. It was evident when the livelier of us attempted to form what was slightly reminiscent of a Soul Train line. Many who had long ago given into laugh lines didn’t even attempt to shake their groove thing. Instead they sat in dark corners and tapped their feet to what they could catch of the beat.
It didn’t help my aging spirit that a young relative I dragged to the party with me, laughed as I attempted to Get Down On It with Kool & the Gang. Repeatedly through the night, she reminded me kindly that I looked GREAT and I only looked a little tired around the eyes. Gee, thanks. With all sincerity she said, it’s inevitable that as you get older you lose all your swag. I don’t know if I agree.
Like the celebrities that fight time with Botox, face lifts, crop tops and miniskirts in winter, should we refuse to give into time? Should we fight getting older or just throw in the towel? Do we rage against the dying of the light to quote my boy Dylan Thomas? Or do we hold on to our youthfulness and sexiness with both feet and hands? Is being an Old Ass an eventuality or are we as Old as we choose?
Tags: Aging, Bithdays, old school, Self-Confidence, Style
Expired – Past Due
Recently a dating prospect asked me the question destined to make me see red. Innocently he said, You’re a beautiful black woman, seemingly sane with your head on straight. Why are you still single? It’s okay, you can tell me. What’s wrong with you?
What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with you, son!! I’m a winner. I’m an Ace of Spades. I’m a catch. I am…single. Deflate. Deflate. Deflate. Still, who the heck was he to question my status or insinuate that I was in any way defective? I’m a woman and not a carton of milk left on the store shelf past its due date? Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t cast stones. After all, he was a 40 year old man sitting alone watching TV on a Saturday night. Women have to wait for the ring so instead of asking about my problems he should have taken a good look at himself? He’s still blowing up my phone looking for a second date but I’m permanently on vacation. The cheeky bastard. I think that’s what they’d call him in England but here in America we’d call him a punk ass.
Now, I know I shouldn’t have gotten angry or taken the question personally but you better believe that I did. Instead of reacting I must accept that as I get older this will happen more frequently. For the record, I’m not milk. I never go bad. If I was milk I’d be Parmalat which has a never ending use-by-date.
Like milk, do women expire and lose their taste? Does brains and beauty have an expiration date?
Tags: black women, Dating, Love, Men, Relationships
To Catch a Cougar
The Super is not a fan of bear cubs, puppies, baby rabbits or anything requiring training, constant attention and care, but whoa Nelly! Recently I saw a picture of J.LO and her boy toy Casper Smart and I had to do a double take. When Jenny from the Block was with Mark Anthony she looked miserable and morose. Fast forward a scandalously short period of time and Jenny looks happy and hot. Wasn’t she supposed to follow the script? While her ex moved on to a much younger woman after their split, wasn’t she was supposed to clutch desperately to her youth while growing old, out of shape and alone? In the new millennium women are fighting back. They say that 40 is the new 20 and women of a certain age are refusing to languish man-less and dateless while they say goodbye to their youth.
Men like their women tender and now women like their men tasty. Madonna, J.Lo and Halle Berry to name a few are showing older women how it’s done. It’s time for the big payback. Now older woman are going for the fun factor by ditching men with erectile dysfunction and finding themselves little boy toys to love. Will these relationships last? I can’t say but I commend the cougars with their young men for not rolling up into a ball and calling it quits. If their fit and fabulous with abs and butts of steel, then why not show these young men what they’re working with? Looking good and feeling good is the best revenge.
While the Super likes her men somewhat seasoned I can acknowledge that there are benefits to dating young men. Such as:
- They say 40% of men over 40 have erectile dysfunction issues. Young men? Not so much. They are mini Stallions and they are ready to gallop at full speed.
- They have stamina for days. Can someone say first, second and third round?
- They are fun and remind the serious career woman how to let loose.
- They are open to new things and everything is a thrill.
- They are willing to be tutored, taught and educated and are not yet set in their ways.
- They are good for the ego. When they think their women look good they tell her so often.
- They are nice to look at. They are young, firm and fabulous from all angles.
The Super is no celebrity and is not in possession of a body that won’t quit. If I was, would I date a man young enough to be my nephew? Can’t say, but I do believe that being happy keeps women looking as fresh as little girls.
Is it better to ride an aging Stallion or break in a fresh new pony? Like men, should every Cougar catch and capture something wild and young?
Tags: Confidence, Cougar, Dating, Jennifer Lopez, Love, Relationships, Sex, Super-Heroes
Recently, I casually asked my dermatologist about one day getting Botox. He laughed in my face. “Go spend your money on something you need” he said and sent me on my way. Is he blind? Doesn’t he see the lines I see?
Every year I write a birthday post (See Old Dog, New Tale) because sadly, the Super is getting old. Grey hair EVERYWHERE old. Retirees tell me that I’m still young. I’ve determined that this is what old people say to console each other. As yet another birthday blasts by, I realize that Jennifer Lopez notwithstanding, I will never be able to wear a super high mini skirt again without self-consciousness. Gone are the days where I chat with the drugstore clerk about anything other than anti-aging cream. Goodbye makeup free face maintained by moisturizer and four hours sleep. It’s time to get used to cashiers calling me ma’am, bitches, and little boys young enough to be my son trying to make a Cougar out of me. To maintain muscle, I’ll have to up my workouts and…horror of all horrors… watch what I eat. Yeah, yeah, Father Time and I are enemies. I can complain for days, weeks if you give me some drinks, but the Super is all about encouragement, even if the encouragement is for me. So here is what age has taught me:
- I’ve learned tact. If a friend asks me if I think her daughter is a lesbian, age has taught me to say, “I’m not sure, but I’m here if you want to talk to me.”
- I’ve learned that “Karma is only a Bitch if you are” and “it’s none of my business what other people think about me.” (Stolen quotes but they’re all me)
- I’ve learned that if my boyfriend doesn’t like what he sees when I’m naked then he can take his d*ck elsewhere.
- I accept that I’m pretty enough. If I want to look like Halle Berry I have to have her parents.
- I now know that a thousand squats a day will not give me a Kim Kardashian booty.
- I realize that I’m not half as stupid now as I was in my twenties.
- I’ve learned that delay does not mean denial and everyday that I expect a miracle the closer the miracle is to me.
I won’t lie to you, getting older kinda sucks. The gift of wisdom and foresight is rarely given to the young. Aging is inevitable so I’ve decided to be grateful that my heart is still beating, my body is still functioning and my mind is still sharp. In 40 years I’m looking forward to being a Super G, that’s Super Granny. Happy Birthday to me and all the other Aries.
Should we be able to freeze time like we can freeze our faces? Do we wish we could give our birthday some Botox?
Tags: Aging, Birthday, black women, Confidence, Diet & Exercise, Girl Power, Self-Confidence, Super-Heroes
The Wrong Mrs. Right
“Why you ain’t married? Whadup girl, how come you don’t have any furniture on your finger? You must be mean that’s why you ain’t rocking some dude’s solitaire! You’re pretty so what’s wrong withcha?” You’d think that the side eye, pursed lips and a get the hell out of my face with that bullsh%t profile would discourage strangers from attempting to start a conversation with a diss. No, not really. Often I’m left with the dilemma of figuring out how to tell a knucklehead with no game that his pickup line sucks? I must ponder on the right way to discourage propositions from admirers approaching forty who still wear low-hung jeans, who converse using questionable vocabulary, who have sketchy work histories and who admit to having at least one pending paternity suit on the books. It’s not to say that my more illustrious suitors don’t have these same inquiries dancing through their brains, but the first thing a college education teaches you is to keep stupid questions to yourself.
The older a women gets the more she gets harassed about her single status. It’s not the same for men. No one ever asks George Clooney why he won’t stop rotating ladies. Does he have a limp dick or prick? Is he stingy or stern with homosexual tendencies? Nah, he’s labeled a player and a pimp—a bachelor to the core. People don’t ask determinedly single men why they can’t catch and keep eligible tail. In contrast, the assumption for women is that we must be cranky, bitchy or crazy if we’re not hitched. The explanation is never that we’re waiting for Mr. Right to appear so that we don’t settle for less. It’s never understood that any woman can get a proposal. Somewhere on the planet someone will marry you if you perform yoga moves in the bedroom, give up half your check, support your man’s twelve kids and turn a blind eye when he creeps. Didn’t Whitney marry Bobby? Quantity abounds but quality requires patience and belief in one’s worth. One shouldn’t expect perfection but a little discernment never hurt.
The Super is single but doesn’t consider herself a spinster firmly on the shelf. I have prospects. Like George Clooney I’m a bachelor(ette)taking my time to taste, sample and select my mate. If I’m desperate for furniture on my ring finger, I can go shopping at Ikea. Decorating an apartment is easy. Decorating someone’s arm, life and heart is going to require more than a desire to wear a white dress.
Being single doesn’t always mean a woman is insufferable. Sometimes all it means is that the right man has yet to capture her heart. In the meantime don’t settle: select. Don’t make the mistake of marrying just any man to ease the loneliness.
Out of desperation have you ever considered becoming The Wrong Mrs. Right?
Tags: Black Love, black women, Dating, Family, Marriage, Mr. Right, Personal Power, Relationships, Sex, Super-Heroes, wedding
Barren or Baby?
The Super has no babies, no bambinos, no chile and no children. My mama is a granny without a single grandchild to her name. When I was getting educated she rejoiced in my childlessness and would tell anyone who would listen that I was pursuing perfection and had no time for a passel load of kids. Fast forward a decade or so and now my mother would borrow, steal and beg if I would give her something— anything, brown and fat and just under 8 pounds.
The Super is not barren; kids are possible. For me the timing just hasn’t been right. Sometimes I have the penis in my life to make a baby happen and sometimes I don’t. My dilemma is that time is running out. I’m not a hundred years old, but forty, which was in the distant future, is now a few blocks down the road. It’s do or die time. I hear my biological clock ticking, banging and slamming hard against my ear. I envy men with their ancient sperm that they can take out and use at any time. Fifteen or eighty, it doesn’t matter, they are good to go. I’m jealous that they can wait forever and change their mind at the last hour. Women just don’t have that luxury. Left up to me, I would wait a few more years, travel around the world a few times, accomplish a few more things, save some more ends and then welcome a child into the world. I would make a great mother. My own mother is aces so I’ve learned from the best. I want children and not having any isn’t an option, but damn if being female isn’t somewhat inconvenient. I’m a bachelor at heart except I have lady parts. I love relationships, the kids and all that family has to offer; I just need more time.
Mother Nature is being a bitch. She’s breathing down my neck, threatening to fry my eggs into an omelet and shut down my baby maker if I don’t get to it. Boyfriend or no boyfriend, husband or no husband she could give a good god damn about my plans and my priorities. I have to close the deal sometime in the new millennium before the Mission becomes Impossible. Somewhere my baby’s daddy is walking around and a child is screaming, “Mommy” at the top of her lungs. I hear you calling little one but I’m busy rewiring my biological clock.
Are the only options Barren or Baby if you can’t stop the clock from ticking?
Tags: black superheroes, black women, Careers, children, Family, fertility, motherhood, pregnancy, Relationships
Old Dog, New Tale
The Super celebrated a birthday yesterday. Yes, superheroes age. We get older, we slow down and we get things suspiciously looking like laugh lines. Ain’t a damn thing funny about getting old. In protest I decided to wage a war against my age.
I still have it. No one can tell me otherwise. To prove my youth I conducted a personal test. There are a lot of puppies in the world but this old dog still has a few tricks. I can dance, so I stripped down to my unmentionables leapt in front of my full length mirror and started to sway, shimmy and whine. Yup, with the reggae music pumping in the background I attempted to recreate my best dancehall queen moves. I went down with the agility of an eighteen year old stripper on her first night on the pole, but my hips got stuck on the ascent. I had a hitch in my giddy up to quote my boy, Bo Jackson. I wasn’t pleased but I wasn’t deterred. I had a point to prove. Next task. I use to like to run. I had endurance. I could run for miles without even being out of breath. This was back in my teens but I’m Super, I can regenerate. So the next time I was at the gym I set my sights on the little blond with the bouncy ponytail. She would be no match for me. As she took off on her 3 mile run I decided to keep pace. I blew past her on the treadmill, my speed mocking her steady jog until…my lungs gave out and with shame I adjusted my speed to a fast walk with an incline. The blond kept running but she did it with a smirk. I wanted to type in a new speed on her machine so she would fly face first into the plexiglass. I resisted because my actions wouldn’t change the facts.
Truth is, I can’t do everything I use to. My knee hurts from early forays into aerobics with women wearing fluorescent leotards and headbands. But there are 5 things that offer real proof that I may be seconds away from old age, dentures and Depends. All of them center around my taste in men. For instance, I know that I’m getting older because:
(1) I no longer respond to men who try to get my attention through any sound resembling a howl, woof or a growl. I’m not a pet.
(2) I no longer think the greeting, ‘what’s up shorty’ is a suitable opening line. What am I twelve?
(3) I can say with certainty that I’ve matured past the point where I think the response, ‘I hustle’ is a reasonable occupational description.
(4) A date at Red Lobster is no longer a fancy restaurant and his ‘good’ clothes have graduated from a throwback jersey and a clean pair of Air Force Ones.
(5) A man wearing his pants at his waist as God intended is no longer a turn off. I don’t want to know the color of a stranger’s drawers.
As I get older I want different things. Not all of them bad. Getting older has its perks and its drawbacks. I just wish I could have the wiser and smarter me installed into a body that can still leap tall buildings in a single bound.
I have no intention of growing old gracefully. Despite being under 40, which is only considered young by people over that age, I have plans to wrestle Father Time to the floor and kick his ass. Will you fight with me?
Have there been any changes in your life that made you realize that time was chasing your tail?
Tags: Self-Confidence, Super-Heroes
Growing Old Money
Mom’s getting old–not Joan Rivers teetering on the edge of the crypt old, but more subtle and insidious. The changes are harder to spot when Botox isn’t involved but the evidence is glaring. She sleeps more and wakes later. Now she strolls instead of barrels ahead and stairs are harder to climb. She hugs me longer and with more intensity. Is she counting the touches, the kisses and storing up the affection she receives to take with her? Where is she going? It’s a hard process to watch. It’s not like I didn’t know that people age. I shouldn’t have expected mom to stay the same age she was when she wore the sequins bustier and blue leather skirt with the door-knocker earrings. I shouldn’t have expected her to be as lively as when jerry curls, cameo’s and Eddie Murphy tight pants were still in vogue, but the last time I saw her it really hit me that she wasn’t going to be around forever. I wasn’t the little girl she used to bounce on her knee and she wasn’t the fiery-tempered, saucy-tongued, take-no-nonsense mother she once was. She was slowing down. Like clocks, people slowly wind down until they wind to a stop. It’s the inevitable cycle of life for which no one is immune. Somehow the Super Sistah thought mom would be spared the kryptonite which was old age. Who was I fooling? So beyond the pain that comes with a good dose of reality, the Super started making plans and vows. Every instance in life can be used for motivation. Mom’s approaching retirement is inspiring me. This is what I’m envisioning. Dream with me.
Here comes the Super’s Mommy pushing the bad ass whip with the touch panel navigation system she doesn’t know how to use. The retirement home is the condo on the beach with the spectacular view of palm trees. Rest happens in the King size bed with the 1000 sheet thread count. She’s a combination of P.Diddy’s mom minus the horrible blond weave and Dynasty’s Joan Collins–rocking the fur coat in 100 degree weather. She’s ballin’ and moving on up straight George and Weezy style.
I’m making a music video in my mind because it’s all a dream that I have no idea how I ‘m going to make into reality. What I know is that there can be no alternative. I have to rewrite the future using my own script. I have to pay back my mother for all she’s done for me. Isn’t a child’s duty to make good on emotional debts? Aren’t we all born to pay what we owe? Speak to me.
Tags: Family, Money