Who taught you how to ride a bike?
Boy did this bring back a memory!
Many moons ago when I was about 8 or 9 I guess (I was a late bike learner), my cousin Gene used to come visit us for several weeks each summer. Gene was my hero. He lived in another state, he was older, he knew everything. I like to think that he deserves some credit for who I've become, but I digress.
Gene had a bicycle that I desparately wanted to ride, but I didn't know how. Let me mention that at this time, I can't be much more than 4 feet tall if that whereas Gene had to be over 5 feet by then. I didn't have my own bicycle to learn, and my parents weren't really interested in buying me one right away. And despite their disinterest, they forbade me from riding Gene's bike. In retrospect, a grand idea as the bike was way too big for me. Then, I just thought they were evil.
As young ones do when everyone is at work all day, I went behind their backs and asked Gene to teach me to ride a bicycle. Unaware of my not having permission, Gene proceeded to try to instruct me in the nuances of balancing and pedaling. We would start at the top of the yard and go to the bottom of the yard (it was a gentle slope). Oddly enough, the lessons didn't include how to stop and that, my friends, is a recipe for disaster.
Disaster had a new name, and it's name sounded a heck of a lot like mine. As I cruised through the yard, gaining momentum, I got away from Gene and I headed toward the street. I didn't know how to stop. I started to panic. I vaguely remember hearing him yell, but what was more important to me was the fact that I was heading straight for a car that was coming up the road.
Time really has a way of slowing down right before you crash your bicycle into a car. Fortunately, though, the car contained one of our neighbors, who had likely seen me riding against my parents' wishes earlier in the day and was able to stop before he crushed me and Gene's bike under his car. I got off lucky. A scrape on my elbow and no damage (major anyways) to Gene's bike. The neighbor went about his business like it didn't happen and never told my parents that I know of. I was quite the tomboy so any new scrapes that weren't bleeding profusely were no cause for alarm from my parents.
Gene and I came to a mutual agreement that I shouldn't ride his bike anymore. I did eventually get my own bike though, and I rode it everywhere. Except into the path of cars.
First things first or lo primero primero as I've recently learned. This is not a pity post. It's a discovery and self-help kinda thing so please, take mom's advice and if you don't have anything nice (or helpful, or insightful) to say, then keep your damn mouth shut (and your fingers off my buttons, lol).
In my 33 years, I have seen and done a lot of things. I've lived in many places (PA, CO, NY, NC, the Carribbean, Mexico) but none of them have had this effect on me. You see, I live in Miami now, land of the beautiful people. I can't escape them. I work on Miami Beach, land of the even more beautiful people. They're everywhere. And they don't work.
I've never thought I was beautiful by any means. As much as I hate the word cute (which really should be reserved for puppies and babies), unfortunately, I think it's the best that I can do. You judge…
Anyways, that's not typical dress. As the caption states, I was going out.
So, for those a little low in the self-esteem department, Miami is not the place to live. It's difficult for me to walk down the street without thinking 'I'm not _________ enough'. Trust me, I realize that I live in a world of Barbie dolls, but that doesn't make it any easier.
Somewhere, deep inside of me, lives this demon. She's the one that says that I'm not pretty enough. She says that I have the build of a 13 year old (and that's not even true since my 13 year old daughter has bigger boobs than me, sigh), she says my hair's too short and too nappy and that I'm just too short in general. She says that I don't deserve to be happy. She's a bitch.
Most days, the bitch demon stays buried. Some days, she's just raging. I know that I have to find a way to draw her out and kill her once and for all. Is she green? Probably. Does she take over and make me want to surgically improve myself? Sometimes. Can I let her? Doubtful.
How do I find a way to be happy with myself when I'm constantly surrounded by people who egg on the demon? Becoming a monk is not an option. I have to find a solution and I have to find it soon because when the bitch gets out, she can ruin a perfectly good day/week/weekend/month/year. When the bitch gets out, I cry for no reason at the drop of a hat, and while that's par for the course here on the beach with many, many mentally challenged people, it's not me, it's not who I want to be nor who I am.
I want to look back at this blog in a month and know that I've made some progress in burying the demon for good. I want to be happy with me the way that I am. I don't want to be envious of those who have more height/bigger boobs/no need to work/natural beauty/everything that I don't. Miami, you are my scapegoat. I hate you. You suck.
This is fairly accurate:
You are The High Priestess
Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.
The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.
Get your mind out of the gutter, you're crowding me.
I'm talking about Superbowl 41 here people.
I do not expect everyone in the world to know that the big game is next Sunday. I realize that not everyone is a football fan. Everyone may not know who's playing or that, even though we shouldn't make a big deal of it, it's the first time in NFL history that a black head coach (even 2!!) go to the dance. These are things that I understand.
On the other hand, in case you don't know, XLI is being held here in Miami this year where the Colts and Bears will battle it out to see whose cuisine reigns supreme. No, wait, that's Iron Chef, this is the gridiron. Anyways, it is difficult to live here and not know that XLI will be here next weekend. It's all the talk on the news, on the radio, there are banners and billboards EVERYWHERE. So, praytell, how do two young adult men, living in Miami, have the following conversation at approximately 1 pm on Saturday (1/27/07)?
Guy 1: Is the Superbowl today?
Guy 2: No man, it's tomorrow.
Guy 1: Seriously? I don't even know who's playing.
At this point, my boyfriend, who is at the counter waiting to pay for our snake's dinner, does the good deed and lets them know that yes, if they don't have to pull their heads out of their asses today, they can stay in the dark for one more week.
Guy 1: Oh, so it's next week?
My Guy: Yeah. Traffic's gonna be rough.
Guy 2: Why's that?
Why's that? Why's that?!?!? Seriously, you LIVE here and you don't know that one of the biggest attractions in professional sports is going to happen in your own back yard?!?!
My Guy: How much for this rat?
Guy 1: Two dollars.
My Guy: Here you go. Babe, let's go.
We couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry about this. We chose laugh. I guess if you breathe snake poop all day, you're bound to lose some sense.
Growing up, we were a pretty tightly knit community. My parents had the standard 2.2 kids (myself, my brother, and a half-brother that we never saw….until one day….and I didn't know…but that's another story), a decent house, they worked, we played. We had a ton of neighbors (which made it so terribly difficult to throw a secret party) of which happened to include my grandparents.
I loved my grandparents and I still do even though they've passed on. They provided me with all the love and attention a little kid could stand. My mother tells me that when I was about 3 or 4, yes I was a precocious little bugger, I packed a plastic bag with my stuffed animals and proceeded to walk out the door. She asked where I was going and I told her that I was running away. And at the ripe old age of 4, I told her, "And you be good!" and off I went to my Gram's house.
Ah, Gram's house. So much packed into a little place. So many memories, so many stories. A book has got to be forthcoming. Working title: Adventures of a Younger Me. I digress.
My grandparents were characters. Gram was very church oriented with Sunday School every week, choir practice, and the like. Pop, on the other hand, no church for him thank you very much. Except holidays when Gram made him go of course. Pop had a ritual that he followed just about daily and through the years, I got to see different parts of it. The best thing though, hands down, about Gram and Pop, were the things they did and said. These people who had lived through World Wars, being born in 1910 and 1912, lived through so many race issues, kids, grandkids, so much life!
And lively they were. Once, I walked into the house to find Gram sitting at the kitchen table with some friends from church drinking beer! To me, that was a huge deal. And the topper was that just as I was walking in, someone at that grey-haired, little old lady table ripped the hugest belch I had ever heard. At the time, I was stunned. Looking back on it makes me laugh hysterically. I mean, come on (Timmy), 5 or 6 little old ladies (I'd say they all had to be in their late 60s by then) drinking beer. No bibles, just beer. Wonderful!
Pop, well, I could go on for days about Pop, but if you really wanna know, keep bugging me to get the book finished. But, I will share this one story with you.
My father, may he rest in peace, was born in 1945. So, in his teens and early 20s, black people and their hair were going through a revolution. The young folk were getting their hair "conked", meaning straightened more or less, evidenced by the late, great Godfather of Soul, James Brown.
That hair looks shiny, even in black and white, for a reason. It was more often than not, just plain greasy.
Now, Pop, being a traditionalist and not much for the fads of the day, didn't care much for my dad having his hair in such a manner, but he apparently held that in for years and years and years until he could share that sentiment with me one day. When that day arrived, he said to me in no uncertain terms that,
"Back in the day, your dad had a greasy mess on his head. He had his hair conked. There was so much grease in his hair, that a fly would need chains to land on it."
Flat out hysterical. If you come from a warmer climate and aren't familliar with the reference, when it's cold and snowy, sometimes you put chains on your tires to get a better grip on the road.
Maybe you had to be there. Maybe you'd just have had to have known him. But maybe, maybe you don't.