The Wayward Daughter’s Official #LeaveItIn2018 List

It’s that time of year again! The time when we reflect on the previous 11.99 months and vow to change our behavior for the better so that the coming 12 months won’t be the same shitfest© we perceived the previous 12 to be. With that in mind, I’d like to offer my own commentary on the things we’ve been doing that need to go on glory when the clock strikes midnight.

  1. Wraps, waist trainers, and tea that makes you shit uncontrollably. It’s 2018. No wrap or girdle…er…”waist trainer” is going to make your size 16 body look like you’re a size 10. Believe it or not, you cannot shit your way to a 27” waist unless your waist was 27.05” when you sat your ass down on the toilet. We’ve come too far in human history to still believe that any of these tactics are a feasible solution to the extra pounds and inches that so easily beset us. I absolve you now from feeling like you need to buy (or sell) overpriced Saran wrap, organ-stifling girdles, and liquid laxatives to live your best life *taps you on the forehead with Pope Wayward’s sword.* Go in peace and breathe, my child.

Waist trainer

 

4. Celebrity beef. I don’t know about you but I’m sick of (usually undeservedly) rich people arguing on social media over whose song is the worst best or whose g-string is less flammable. If you can’t tell, I dislike many, many, many people. There are even several I can’t fucking stand. There are a handful that make me wish I was a Marvel character that could make them disappear for the 5-10 minutes I must be around them. Yet, you’ll likely never hear about me engaging in full-scale verbal or physical warfare with any of these people because I know how to dislike someone without holding up my life to Tweet and FB about it 3 hours/day. In fact, most of us regular degular people who don’t get paid 7-figures to pop our pelvis while singing about anything from ill-advised sexual encounters to shopping sprees we may not have taken manage to hate others silently. I doubt an actual celebrity will read this but in case they do, let me, Pope Wayward, settle it for you. You both suck.

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3. Stunting for social media. I have been both blessed and cursed to know the tea. I have friends whose tea I know that they don’t know I know. I have friends whose tea I know that don’t even know their own tea. That’s one of the benefits of extreme introversion; nobody thinks you’re paying attention or care so they get careless in front of you and you become the proprietor of your own Teavana. With that said, I’ve decided that the new rule for 2019 is to tell the truth or shut the fuck up. No need to lie about how “carefree” you are while posting pics of the first decent meal you’ve had in months because you swiped right on that gruesomely ugly man’s Tinder profile due to hunger. We really don’t need you to tell us about how you get ‘dat money with a fan of one 100 dollar bill and twenty 1 dollar bills. Talking about imaginary boyfriends/girlfriends or bragging about your spouse who can’t keep the utilities on may get you some attention but at the end of the day, what’s it all worth? We all lie sometimes but why add to your lifetime lie tally when nobody asked you and you could just be quiet? To the most severe offenders, Pope Wayward commands you to confess and give $0.75 to Saint Zip The Lip and you shall then be forgiven.

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2. Not reading the fine print. It happened a few times in 2018 but has increasingly happened ever since FB and Twitter made people think they are the 2nd coming of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, or Ghandi. John/Jane Doe finds themselves in a situation. They take to social media to get the outrage rollercoaster spinning. It spins. We’re bombarded with articles about John/Jane Doe’s plight. A week later, we find out that John/Jane Doe exaggerated the whole thing or it was John/Jane Doe’s own actions that got them in trouble in the first place (see Meek Mill). I’m not a Freedom Fighter but if I were going to be a Freedom Fighter, I’d only fight for the people who actually deserve to be free. Rage makes you die more quickly so why be outraged on behalf of someone whose actions merit being exactly where the fuck they are? Pope Wayward requests that in lieu of “Free My Nigga….” t-shirts and posts, alms and letters of encouragement be sent to women like Cyntoia Brown and Bresha Meadows.

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  1. Perpetual victimhood. We all have them. That FB friend who seems to always, and I do mean always, find themselves in a crisis. In January, half (just half) of their apartment spontaneously combusted. In March, their pinky finger suddenly fell off. In April, a unicorn actually got spooked and put his horn through the window that’s on the side of their apartment that didn’t spontaneously combust. In August, they had a stroke but then they found out 3 days later it wasn’t really a stroke but a reaction to the 5 Taco Bell MexiMelts they ate. They didn’t post an update status about the findings though, until a week later when they found out there was a group PM asking how they ran a marathon 4 days after a stroke. In October, their right leg actually ghosted them because it felt unappreciated. It didn’t bleed though, so the hospital let them go home. By November, their pinky transplant was complete but then it developed an infection and started to sprout another pinky kind of like mushrooms in the forest. At the end of December, right after getting back from the Bahamas, they discovered they have the Bubonic Plague and are going to have to stay off work for 3 weeks. Of course, all of these come with their own separate fundraising requests.lies

    I get it. Shit happens. But most of us are at the age where it’s time to start guarding against what we can and trying to prepare for the worst that life may throw at us. If that means taking a break from your job as a street corner breakdancer to get a job with benefits that will support your streak of bad luck, that’s what it is. You can spin on your head on the weekends.

    Pope Wayward commands you to open a LinkedIn account (it can be the free one cause not even Pope Wayward is paying for Premium).

 

Happy New Year! Prospero Año!

If you like what you’ve read and want to support a Black woman writer with a unique voice, you can Cash App me at $BienAtrevida

Rot In Pieces: On XXXTentacion, Black Hypocrisy, & Delusion

Last week, a rapper called XXXTentacion was killed in a drive-by. News of his death was reported on pretty much every major news outlet. I had heard of him only because a few weeks before his death, he was a part of Spotify’s short-lived campaign to no longer endorse the music of artists who had histories of abuse.

I wasn’t surprised to hear that XXX (from now on, that’s all I’m typing because I don’t feel like typing all that shit) was killed. I mean, you live by the sword, you die by the sword. When you build your life around glorifying or making light of violence, it’s no surprise when violence stops by unannounced and eats everything in your house, including you.

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What was troubling was how Black people reacted to XXX’s death with weeping and gnashing of teeth knowing that this was a person who, based on his history, would sooner kill them than appreciate their blind devotion. But, before I get into the meat of this piece, let’s briefly travel down memory lane, also known as XXX’s rap sheet. According to this article, he was into bad behavior as early as middle school (I’m excusing the stabbing incident at age 6). He had done time for a number of other crimes like gun possession, robbery, and assault. At least one of his earlier assaults was against a cellmate he referred to in an interview as a “faggot.”

The coup d’ grace was domestic violence, which happened more than once and included beating, strangling, punching, etc…his then girlfriend after threats to do things like cut her tongue out and stick a BBQ fork up her vagina.

Since XXX’s death has been announced, we’ve been beleaguered by people, famous and not, sending e-condolences to XXX and his family. We’ve also been beleaguered by memes and tweets scolding those of us who either generally don’t give a damn or feel like XXX got his just desserts considering all the mayhem he visited upon others during his short life.

Those e-admonitions about our lack of sympathy made me think about the delusion and hypocrisy in the Black community where Black male pathology is concerned.

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I got this meme from Facebook. A “friend” shared it yesterday and when I looked at the source she got it from, it was a committed hotep. I’m sure whoever made this meme thought he (because I’m willing to put money on the creator being a male), was on to something brilliant. Well, he’s not. The truth is that the way society in general, and the Black community specifically is set up, if Maya Angelou had died a young sex worker, nobody would have cared and in fact would have tried to blame her death on her own actions.

I can hear it now, “Well, if she hadn’t been turning tricks, the pimp/John wouldn’t have killed her. She should have gotten a normal job as a maid.” There would have been no empathy. No declarations of how she could have eventually grown and reached a spiritual and emotional maturity that would have surely caused her to become someone great.

How do I know? Well, my years of being Black and a woman, and therefore having to deal with everybody’s bullshit has taught me some things. Plus, I’m generally an astute, highly observant person in my own right.

This is the same community that blamed Sandra Bland’s death on her being “sassy” and not knowing when to shut up but wanted us to rend our garments and open our wallets for Alton Sterling, who had his own history of domestic abuse and was a sex offender. This is the same community that had  #fasttailgirls that brought awareness to the fact that Black girls are often blamed for the evil actions that men perpetrate against them. When you take internalized misogynoir into account (all the women who co-sign this bullshit), it’s like an avalanche.

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My second observation is our tendency to make up fairy tales even though all evidence suggests that what we’ve constructed will never be the truth. The only difference between romanticizing XXX’s potential to become a decent human being and my recurring daydream from ages 6-8 that I would marry Ralph Tresvant, followed by Jordan Knight, and then Shaquille O’Neal (in 7th grade) is that I at least knew that none of them would happen.  XXX is gone. He’s never coming back. He was not “the next Tupac.” He was not on track to become some law-abiding citizen who respects women and supports anti-domestic violence initiatives. Talking about a rehabilitation of which there were no signs is delusional. To be quite honest, even if XXX were planning to change once he got back home, it doesn’t matter because he didn’t make back home. XXX did exactly what he wanted to do while he was here. His book is concluded.

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Thirdly, these attempts at comparison make no logical sense. Being a sex worker, as Maya Angelou was, doesn’t inherently entail beating people to a bloody pulp. In fact, women who engage in sex work are far more likely to be victims of violence than to perpetuate it. Further, single motherhood isn’t a crime. Kweisi Mfume’s arrests for “suspicion of theft” didn’t leave a woman beaten almost to the point of being unrecognizable. If people like Jidenna and the hotep want dangerous criminals to have the chance to “grow” and develop into something less heinous, they need to move people like XXX in with them, take them to the altar, and wish upon a star; and in the meantime, pray that they don’t trigger these people to the extent of being threatened with sticking kitchen utensils up their genitalia.

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As a parting gift, I can’t help but point out the hypocrisy of celebrating the downfall, harm, or death of a politician who held an unfavorable political ideology but mourning someone who was a walking nightmare and frankly a danger to all women but that’s for another time.

Until then, I hope the people who XXX inflicted his brand of terror upon are able to sleep a little easier and that at least one weight is lifted.

Chad Over Becky Any Day: Workplace Becky & Why White Women Actually Are The Worst

Picture this: a young Black woman starting her career in government. In her immediate office, there are two other women who seem to be friends. The Black woman is nothing but professional. She comes to work on time, dressed appropriately, puts her head down and does her work. One of the other women finds out that the young Black woman, besides clearly being intelligent on her own, is college-educated and secure. They invite the young Black woman to lunch for pizza and she declines. One of the women tells her friend, the other woman, about the young Black woman’s impeccable background and that begins a reign of office terror. The women begin spreading rumors about the young Black woman. They begin tracking her every move. The young Black woman can’t sneeze without it getting back to the manager within the hour. The young Black woman is called into the manager’s office to address false allegations. When the Black woman provides proof that the allegations are false, she is sent back to her office without so much as a “mea culpa.” The reign, however, does not stop and eventually, the manager moves the Black woman to three other offices since she, “can’t get along” with anybody. The rub is, all the young Black woman has done was come to work, work, and go home.

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Dig, if you will, a Black woman in the middle of her career. She is educated. She is quiet and always has been. She goes to work for a mid-sized accounting firm. Her work product is beyond reproach. She shows up early and often leaves late. She even shows interest in the little irrelevant moments of their life like recitals and shit. Three months in though, it starts. One of the women starts to tell her boss that the Black woman is behind on her work. When the boss comes to her office and questions her about it, the Black woman is able to produce every file and every piece of work that the co-worker told the boss she hadn’t done. The boss is satisfied. Seeing that the Black woman didn’t get in trouble, the woman then raises “concerns” about the Black woman’s demeanor and whether or not she’s a fit for the company. After weeks of this, the Black woman is unhappy and starting to apply at other firms.

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Since bad things come in threes, a Black woman who has worked at her company for almost a decade in B2B sales, and exceeds her target every month is constantly harassed by her female boss. One month, it’s the female boss “forgetting” to correctly tabulate a large chunk of the Black woman’s sales. The next month, it’s the female boss fraudulently taking credit for the Black woman’s work; a matter that ended up having to be escalated to her boss’s boss. The month after that, it’s the Black woman being reprimanded for losing a client based on bad information that her female boss gave the client in an after-hours venue where the Black woman wasn’t even present.

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What do all these stories have to do with each other, you ask? Well, first of all, they’re all true.

But more importantly, in all three stories, the lying, conniving, insecure, envious female co-workers were white bitches.

Ask 95% of Black women who are or were of working age and they will be able to tell you at least three stories a piece about how a Workplace Becky tried to sabotage them at some point in their career. There is a clear pattern and it all adds up to white women being the worst.

I know Black men have an issue with white men but as a Black woman, my worst work experiences by far have come at the hands of Workplace Beckies. I thought about this most recently a couple of days ago after reading yet another tale of a Black woman just trying to live her life, work, and support herself and being administratively bullied by the Workplace Becky du jour in her office.

What is their fascination with Black women that makes them want to emulate us while simultaneously hating us? I have a few theories:

  • Awareness of their own mediocrity. Usually, in situations like the ones I’ve described, the Black woman in the office is smarter, better educated, more competent at the job, and has more life-long potential than Workplace Becky. Workplace Becky should never have been hired in the first place but you know, white privilege and all….When you know you have no business being where you are, you can’t help but act like an emotionally rabid dog towards the people who are sure to pass you up. If you can get the more excellent out, the pressure is off. White women have gotten by for centuries bringing little to nothing to the table but somehow are on that same pedestal that systemic racism put them on centuries ago. The thing is, they know they don’t deserve it. Basically, you can think you’re cute until you have to go and stand by Naomi Campbell, figuratively, of course.2cf27de1f1ef3ef5a83bb44e4f4cdc0c--annie-lee-ego-tripping
  • Jealousy/Envy. It’s been said that women are naturally jealousy of other women. That claim may have some merit. But when you mix racism with jealousy, that makes for a helluva drink. White women, where Black women are concerned, tend to unleash a special brand of treachery when a Black woman is stuntin’ on them in any area of life. Maybe it’s the fact that we have lips to actually apply lipstick to. Maybe it’s because we can change our hair every single day if we want. Maybe it’s because, in the words of Nikki Giovanni, we are so hip that even our errors are correct. Who knows? But workplace Becky seems to be pressed like ham about it.no butt
  • Feminism. More like white feminism. Another theory I’ve kicked around (because theorizing is another talent that Becky can hate me for), is that white women sat under the thumb of white men for so long that they need to control (read, fuck up) somebody else’s life. Who’s the easiest target of their bunco (look it up)? They know the corporate structure and systemic racism and sexism are not going to let them screw Chad over without question. They also know that Black men have an intra-community safety net and someone will come to his defense. But Black women….the double whammy. We have no friends so that makes us easy targets. White women, in the name of deranged feminism, will stick together no matter how wrong they are. What I didn’t tell you is that in every one of those stories, the bosses and managers who dangled the Black women’s jobs over their head based on nothing more than hearsay were also white women. You see how that works?

As I’ve grown older, I now fully understand what my mother and her mother and Black mothers and grandmothers everywhere meant when they would say that white women are dangerous. Them lying and getting someone’s Black child lynched or thrown in prison is just the tip of the iceberg. Their bullshit has infiltrated every place you can imagine and for Black women, who are most often heads of household or the ones called on to care for sick elderly relatives or other children; who go to college and rack up student debt in hopes to get an education good enough to put them in places where they can not only support their livelihood but effect change, the workplace is one of many precarious places for us to be because of Workplace Becky.

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But what makes them dangerous is not only that they have it in them to behave this way, but that they are using the systemic racism this country operates in to get away with it. When are the (mostly white) men in the C-Suites going to check Workplace Becky? When is the white female boss (who was a diversity hire) going to use her brain and break rank when Workplace Becky decides it’s her job to be the hall monitor of Black women colleagues? When are people other than Workplace Becky’s targets going to tell Workplace Becky to sit the fuck down or take a pink slip? Probably never. And that’s why she keeps doing it.

Mommie Dearest

People laud Black women for being the newest crop of blossoming business owners but did anybody ever stop to ask why? Maybe, on top of the normal reasons that most people become entrepreneurs, we’re sick of having to play office politics with Workplace Becky who operates like Mommie Dearest the minute she feels threatened by us simply breathing in the same space. Perhaps, we’re tired of everybody else’s resting face just being their resting face but our resting face = “angry,” “aggressive,” “not a team player,” “not a good fit” when Workplace Becky doesn’t get the worship she wants from us. *shrug* Just a thought.

I know white men feel like these days they are getting a lot of heat; and to be honest, they deserve a lot of it. But, I’ll take Chad over Becky any day of the week.

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I Won’t See Ya’ Later: The Importance of Mental Divestment

It’s fall now (well, for most people. I live in Texas and it was 90 today but kudos to the rest of the country). I like fall. I like the fall lines of most of the major nail polish companies. I like the full sweaters with creative necklines and corduroy pants. I like the non-white cups at Starbucks that start in the fall. I like the cooler temperatures that fall brings. I like the fall candle line at Bath & Body Works. I like fall because the leaves change color and start to literally fall onto the ground.

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This week, I want to talk about divestment. Just as the leaves start the process of divesting from their branches, I think it’s important for people to make sound divestments as well. We have all put up with situations and things longer than we should have at one point or another. We stayed at a job too long. We kept a friendship too long. We sat in a relationship for too long. We knew that we were past our expiry, but we held on because we thought walking away would cost us too much.

Little did we know that not walking would cost us much more.

Women, for all of our innate gloriousness, are particularly bad at divestment. We dig in and take on burdens that simply aren’t worth the effort. Of course, the social, familial, religious and other varied pressures that insist we perform the mental and emotional labor of everybody and cause us to hate ourselves when we don’t (or at least don’t want to), are the battery packs that make us keep on keeping on.

We are shamed into thinking that it’s wrong to put ourselves first. We are told that it’s “not nice” to stiff arm people for our own reasons. We are made to believe that we shouldn’t expect a standard of care and ought to be grateful for whatever positivity we do get from the people around us. We are convinced that our most precious gift, our intuition, is just paranoia. We are admonished to “let go” or “not harbor” negative feelings from the past.

I think it’s time for us to stop.

It’s time to stop the advocacy for people who don’t do the same for us.

It’s time to stop jumping into pseudo-philosophical e-arguments to defend people who would sooner throw us to the wolves.

It’s time to stop protecting the very people who physically harm us.

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It’s time to stop entertaining people who have proven day in and day out that they simply are not worth the legwork.

It’s time to stop pretending like our family members are evidence of a pretty picture that doesn’t actually exist.

In that vein, it’s time to stop pretending like our family members aren’t a part of the ugly picture that does exist.

It’s time to stop believing that if you have the 3rd, 12th and 49th heartfelt conversation with people about the same shit, hoping it’ll get better. It won’t. They aren’t that stupid. They know better. They just don’t care.

It’s time to stop not putting people in their place when they fail to honor you or your wishes.

It’s time to stop being nice when it’s not organic to the situation.

It’s time to stop picking up spiritual hitchhikers. They’re on the side of the road with their thumb out for a reason. Leave them there, lest they hop in your back seat and slit your throat while you’re rescuing them.

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You’re getting tired and worn down and wasting time and they are reaping the spoils of your travail; calling you crazy while they eat the cake you made.

And the icing on the cake is that we’re told we need to seek help by the very people who are the reasons we need to seek help.

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Fuck that.

Christmas is coming early. I’m Santita Claus. I’m using this season to make my IDFWU list and check it twice…and keep adding to it as necessary.

Is it wrong to care? No.

Does everybody deserve your care? Hell no.

I’ve long disabused myself of the need to take the moral high road. Letting people transgress your boundaries and acting like it’s okay doesn’t make you righteous, it makes you daft and secretly hating them with a smile on your face is a YUUUUGE waste of energy.

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Save yourself and be willing to rid yourself of anybody who thinks you shouldn’t save yourself.

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Throw your car in gear and peel the hell out.

As for those fallen leaves, they eventually become the nutrients that the soil needs to regenerate more lush plant life and, perhaps more relevant to the topic at hand, help choke out weeds.

While I get that physical divestment isn’t always an option, the one thing you can control is your mind and you can most definitely protect your spirit. You may not be able to control when the city comes to collect the trash but you can sure as hell make sure the stench doesn’t cloud your space and put it on the curb.

Lastly, to the people who will read this blog and whose foolish nature will compel them to try it…..

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