Saturday, May 19, 2007

A Trip

So I'm back from the ATL. I hung out with a friend of mine and one of her friends last night. It was really good to see members of my family. Even people from the side of the family that I don't fool with showed up. The interesting part is I didn't hear any cursing, arguing and there wasn't a fight. Score one for civilized family members. (I guess years of drug abuse and the ensuing health related issues has a subduing effect on ya.)

The wedding took place at a park under a gazebo. It was quaint. The ceremony was no more than 20 minutes although it started about 45 minutes late. Someone left the veil for the dress and they had to go back to retrieve it. After the ceremony why did I have to carry my chair from the gazebo to the reception hall. Everything took place on the grounds of the park but the trek to the building where we ate had to be 1/2 mile away from the gazebo. Now don't get me wrong. I can use some exercise. It's just that I've never been somewhere as a guest where I had to B.Y.O.C. (bring your own chair)!! The minister said none of the ladies should be carrying chairs and he urged the men to carry the chairs.

Why do people make those statements? My gender has absolutely nothing to do with what I "should" be doing. People are so stuck in gender roles. At the end of the day, how you treat people is all that really matters. Alas, I digress. Anyway, is there going to be a new rule that says everyone should travel with a folding chair and a folding table in their trunk? After all you never know when you'll get an invitation that says B.Y.O.C. / B.Y.O.T.

At some point after the reception was pretty much over and people had begun to make their way back home or elsewhere, there was this girl who said I reminded her of Bobby Valentino. I don't really see it. The only things we have in common are that we are short, have black hair and are both brown skinned. The crazy part is that I had been joking with my cousins earlier about how the paparazzi was stalking me. Most of them were outside when the girl was talking to me. She then asked me for a picture to show to her friends or whatnot. When she walked off I was like "Damned paparazzi!"

My cousins were in disbelief. Of course I acted like this sort of thing happened all the time. I found one of the people who was helping out at the wedding and asked who the girl was and who was checking the guest list because, of course, I didn't feel like the paparazzi stalking me....I continued on that lil paparzzi tirade for a little while.

Another interesting thing that was a trip was that my brother's new wife didn't approach my mother at the table to speak. Oh what a tangled web we weave said the spider to the fly. I'll keep ya posted on what happens next. They did eventually speak to each other but only when we were leaving as the young lady galavanted around the room talking to her friends and others, but never once walked her azz over to my mother to say cat, dog, bye---NOTHING! That is not a good sign, especially since that was my first time meeting her. When I introduced myself, as I could tell she had not intentions of approaching me, I gave her a hug and told her that I was Eric's older brother. She was like I know you. I had to correct her. She only knows of me. I think T.I. put it quite eloquently when he said, "Pussy nigga yown know me!" The realism is, she's in for a rude awakening if she pulls another stunt like that. She earned two strikes on the same day.

This is completely unrelated, but I hate when people volunteer me for something without asking me first. Even if I'm available, the fact that you volunteer me without clearing it first virtually ensures that I will not do whatever it is you volunteered me to do.

Friday, May 18, 2007


So I'm in Acworth, Georgia, for my younger brother's wedding. It's at two and I'm just kinda laying around the hotel chilling. Yesterday on the drive down there was a bad accident on 85S so I was literally parked on the highway for about two hours. If you've never been stuck in traffic that long you don't konw what you're missing. After a while people start getting out of their cars and migrating toward each other and perfect strangers strike up conversations extolling the quick response time of the emergency service vehicles arriving on the scene but cursing the snail's pace at which they can clear the road and get traffic flowing again. So anyway, after I got through that I checked into the hotel, grabbed a bite a Shoney's, made the obligatory small talk with family members and crashed.

I woke up this morning to the sound of someone banging on my hotel room door. I knew immediately that the police-like knock was from none other than my early to rise niece. She woke me (actually I was already awake, just in bed) to see if I wished to partake in the continental breakfast offered by the hotel. The realism is she just wanted to spend some time with me so I got up and got ready. While getting ready my mother knocked on my door with the same inquiry. I told her that I'd be getting ready and accompanying her.

Now I'm back in the room and just decided to blog.

Since I'm blogging, let me just ask something. Why does it seem that the people who don't really know anything are the ones who always get promoted? Or the people who's past performance has been lackluster at best?

On a positive note I got invited to the High Schools that Work conference this summer. Quick background: Major conference about all the good things high schools should be doing to be effective. Those in attendance are the gurus/know-it-alls in their respective roles. This will be a good opportunity to network and since it's in New Orleans, it will also be a good time to hang out. I hope they've taken care of all the E. coli bacteria and malaria virus and whatnot. Salmonella doesn't go with any of my outfits. Until later.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Power of "If"

Have you ever heard someone make a half-apology like this: "If I did something wrong/to offend you..."? Let's examine what's really going on in this person's head.

Prefacing the apology with if allows the apologizer to feel as if s/he actually did nothing wrong. If indicates uncertainty. It is almost as if they are only making the statement in an attempt to pacify you. Although they don't really feel any responsibility for how you feel, they are trying to be the bigger person to repair the rift in the broken relationship.

On the surface, the if-type apology sounds sincere. If you aren't careful the very elect might be fooled. (Bible reference, for those who didn't catch it) However, upon closer examination, you quickly realize that the person delivering the if apology doesn't really feel responsible for the current state of affairs in a relationship. More than likely, they probably feel that the person to whom they are issuing the if-apology is being over dramatic or unnecessarily sensitive. In a sense, they feel okay because they think they are saying what you want to hear--the I'm sorry part--but at the same time are playing a game of emotional semantics that builds distance between your feelings and their role in creating that space in which you reside.

This ability to almost apologize for some offense, regardless of the severity, speaks to the person's overall character. The person who consistently issues the if-apology is skilled at deceit. I submit to you that it is a great deception to deliver an apology that asks for forgiveness while at the same time subtly implies that the apologizer really did nothing wrong in the first place; the apologee just needs to develop a thicker skin and get over it.

I guess what's most disturbing is that the person who issues the if-apology really never has to admit his/her shortcomings, because in their mind it really isn't their fault. They just think that others are overly sensitive and need to be coddled. In many cases it is probably a lack of nurturing in their youth that causes them to distance themselves from emotion.

What a quixotic dream to think that someone who in their own mind never does anything wrong, can actually be sorry for something that they have done. The realism is, a person who issues if-apologies probably has much deeper issues than a mere refusal to accept responsibility for their actions. Someone recently gave me an if-apology and immediately I became indignant for the aforementioned reasons. Not only that, an if-apology has at is core a manipulative intention. You only issue the half-apology in an attempt to regain whatever trust you perceive you have lost. Once you feel that you have regained it, chances are that you will slip back into the old habits and the necessity for subsequent if-apologies will ensue.

Friday, May 4, 2007

I'm Gonna Get U Sucka!

So, today at school we had a lot of kids either absent or sign out early to go home. Apparently there was a rumor floating around that some boy was going to blow up the school. Then, there was this other rumor that another boy was going to shoot up the school. These competing rumors had several students on edge. It was kind of odd to me because of the culture of our school. To understand what I'm talking about think "Lean On Me" and you have the idea of the type of school at which I work. (I almost wrote "...that I work in", but the compulsive grammar freak that lies within wouldn't let me end a sentence with a preposition) How can these bad azz wanna be gangstas be afraid because someone made a threat? Now, I realize we live in a different world now and that we have to take threats that people make seriously. I was just taken aback that these hardcore wanna be thugs would be running scared!

They have this saying that they use called, "..testin' my gangsta." Let me use it in a scenario in case you've never heard it or don't know what it means.

Person one: If you don't shut up I'm gonna slap you.
Person two: You're gonna slap who? You ain't gonna slap nobody.
Person one: Don't be testing my gangsta!

I guess it's like don't test me to see whether or not I'm brave or have heart. Well anyway, like I said a lot of them stayed home or left early. I can't wait until Monday to let them know that someone threatened them and instead of them staying at school they ran like some #*&^!@%. It did make for an easy day though.