Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Being Viciously Protective

So it's later in the day and I've been thinking about my post this morning thinking that it's not only ridiculously cryptic, but makes me seem like I'm some kind of a weirdo control freak, and not the fun kind who comes equipped with a riding crop. See, I am protective, but I don't think I am necessarily viciously protective. Also, it's not like I'm proud of that trait. I am aware that just as self-confident people are sometimes viewed as arrogant, there's also a thin line between being seen as mysterious versus a standoffish snot. So I'm working on being less tight with personal info.

The thing is, I'm not even sure if I've always been like this. I feel like maybe the tendency was there, but things definitely got kicked up a notch once I had my kid. Up until then, I was just this average white girl, but once I had Isaiah, who is brown/black, suddenly we were this odd duo. That first year, I was really freaked out cause I felt like people were always staring at us. I was getting a lot of comments from the brothers, too, "Is that YOUR baby?" I got to the point where I just kept my head down and didn't look at people. Meanwhile, I was seething on the inside. (Funny right? How dare they look at us!! To this day, I don't know if my situation was unique because I was a different color from my son or that's just what minorities in this country grow up dealing with from the time they're born.)

Anyway, what this all has to do with my deal with privacy is that being a single Mom and having a child of another race makes me feel that a lot of me is automatically exposed for public consumption and judgement--much more so than the average person. Especially the single Mom part. There so much negative propoganda (public service announcents even!)out there against us as a group that I always feel like I'm fighting an uphill battle against people's perceptions.

And for real, it's not me that I care about. I've never worried too much about what other people think about me, but the idea that some of that judgement gets put on my son? That somehow people still conclude, despite that fact that MANY successful men grew up in households without Dads, that my kid is lacking?? Well damn, see my post earlier today on pushing ALL my baddest bitch buttons and then some.

So see? That is part of the reason I'm in this quasi en-garde mode at all times. It's like I feel that you've SEEN enough already and any additional details would just be adding to the heap. But anyway, I'm working on not being so guarded and part of the way I've done that is by not assuming the worst when it comes to guessing other people's thoughts on single parents and their children. The truth is, however, that that would be a pretty major mental leap for me and I think I'd be just as satisfied if I got to the point where I just didn't give a damn anymore.

5 comments:

My Fall Collection said...

Gosh, I've been reading your blog for a while and just want to say that I've always admired the way you write about your son and the relationship you guys have. I am in my 20s and find myself more and more inclined to be a single mom (by choice) when I have kids. Who cares what the haters think!

Butterfly Jones said...

Girlfriend - I feel your pain. It doesn't seem that different from what I experience as a black woman and a single mum. I wrote about this too on my blog I think - I mean people I barely know ask me 'Is the father still around'!?! All up in my business. I also (to most people don't look my age) so when they hear my daughter's a teenager (now) my god, I can see them mentally calculating how old I must have been, to the point where I have to let everyone know I am actually an old bag and not the teenage mom they were expecting. Fuck em. Be proud, be strong, but I know sometimes it pisses me right the hell off. Especially as I work at a place that looooves to right stories about the evils of single parent families!

Sole Proprietor said...

As a Black male that was raised with and without a father a different periods in my life, the key has been my mother. It takes a certain woman to raise a male on the solo tip.

Keep doing what you're doing and, more importantly, don't be afraid to share your stories with a higher source. She's always with you and listening. Walk GOOD!

YankeeDude said...

Raaa tat a taat!!!

BOO-YAAH!

All guns loaded and she’s back Muther Effers !!

Darling, they were only staring cuz the poor souls were TAKEN with your son’s BEAUTY.

And DON’T EVEN pretend to be humble– he is stunning. And if ya got it, FLAUNT IT – period.

It not easy seeing ourselves. Being in the middle makes it hard to step back and see the action from arm’s length.

Even stooped stuff.

It’s like when I grow a beard. Within weeks it needs to be trimmed. And, like, I’m always shocked that I completely missed it. I’ll say to my self, “self, you look in the mirror every day, its grown WAY out, how did you miss it?”

Other times, we fail to judge ourselves objectively and we fall into a trap and think of ourselves in relative terms. Like, we all have friends and acquaintances who never stop talking. Gawd, I tell ya, if there was an Olympic event, I’d enter these people. They blaaaaab about everything. And then I’ll catch some mutual friends thinking they don’t have game, cuz they can’t instantly drop 12 pages on the latest scene du jour.

The first thing I noticed, when I started hangin’ in this ‘hood, is the amount of personal material ya posted. I dug that!! See, that’s why I didn’t post on this board (as opposed to CWK). Your posts were soooo personal, I felt I would be gett’n in ya bidnezz.

HA! Now ya got me thinking, what “juicy” beats digya leave out.

I get a ton of hate mail. Everyday. Boy, for a bunch of self-described Christians, they sure have a dirty mouths. And I truly laugh it off. When Justice Harry Blackmun would give a speech, he would warm up the audience by reading his hate mail. It was HILARIOUS. But if someone even looks cross-eyed at someone I care about, I’ll fly into a rage and I wanna rip out his teeth or mock him until he goes home crying. It’s an instinctual reaction. You wouldn’t be worth a damn, if you weren’t a ballz out, STAND-UP moms.

The long and short of it: this blog is a lot of fucking FUN - a reflection of you and your readers.

A couple nites ago, the change in daylight savings and the start of spring got me thinking how March is Trendynaton’s first Birthday (you relaunched it last March). And while I was a late arrival, I did touch base with everyone. It’s hard to pick a favorite, cuz you brew SO MANY flavors, Damn IT. But the one that made me laugh the hardest, was when ya dog ripped up your heels, and in your trademark subtle satire, you riffed about not being on speaking terms with ya dog. PRICELESS!! Mark Twain’s got nothin’ on you.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Trendynation!!

Thank you Lois for being such an entertainer.

Oh, and nice try Clark Kent, there’s nothing “average” about you. Not even close. And when you have doubt, look no further than your son. He’s turned out SO WELL, so much better than the rest of us. That’s not an accident ya know, that’s YOUR doing!!

You must take a bow, your audience demands it. And the customer is always right!!

ps GO GATORS!! (9:50 PM EDT – Friday)

Lois said...

Well just great you guys. Now look at what you've gone and done. My heads so swelled up that it's no longer fitting through the front door!