“Time decides who you meet in your life.
Your heart decides who you want in your life.
And your behavior decides who will stay in your life…”
“Time decides who you meet in your life.
Your heart decides who you want in your life.
And your behavior decides who will stay in your life…”
It has come to my attention that some think it will be a “natural fit” for me to write an article or two or twenty … about fashion. Hmmmmmmm; I guess I do see how that idea can manifest. I mean, in my very recent past I documented a series (okay, thirty-five) of dresses, seeming to put out there the notion that, well, it was about fashion. Truth be told, it was not. It was about excess, it was about abundance, it was about being blessed, it was about an idea, it was about a challenge, it was about a promise, it was about awareness, it was about this blog, it was about a commitment, it was about a dare, it was about discovery, it was about a community, it was about addressing things, it was about femininity, it was about being a girl. It was not about fashion.
But, I recognize the compliment; thank you. So, I am going to indulge those of you who think I must absolutely have something to say about it (as I do about everything else); here goes: take everything that “they” tell you it is… and disregard it! Truly! Fashion is not, well, maybe it is better said this way, fashion should not be what they define it to be; true fashion, to be truly fashionable, one must take what comes down the runway, lift your leg, piss all over it, THEN wear it! It is now truly yours! Hahaha.
Listen, there’s quite a bit of fashion “oops” out there – one of the hide-your-face-behind-your-bag ones is ending up somewhere where someone else has on the same shit you do. If that happens, it serves you right! That’s what happens when you do not assert your individuality; when you blindly purchase something and wear it as is because some skinny waif (is that redundant?) walked down a runway in it. Remember, they are simply making a living; and quite frankly ill-represent realistic size, budget or lifestyle.
My point is this – if you see something you like, first, for God’s sake, critically assess whether it would like you back! No, really; not everything is for everyone and, most of what the designers conceive is truly not for most people (I don’t care if someone then makes it in your size!). But once you have passed that “is it for me?” hurdle and, despite all the recommendations to the contrary, are ready to commit, go ahead and buy the damn thing. But, here is where a sense of fashion truly has the opportunity to rear its beautiful, stylish head – change it. No, not your mind (although some should); change the style – cut it, sew some patches on it, add a belt, cut or add sleeves, if it’s a top, wear it as a dress – you get the idea, right? Don’t go outside in the item that you and everyone else bought; rock the piece that everyone else will want to buy!
This is why I should not be writing about fashion! I should really be reporting on how wowed I am by this or that new line for the season; and, sometimes I am. But, I continue to be impressed by what everyday people do with mass-produced pieces when they allow their individuality and creativity to flow! Think about it; truly. When it comes to your deciding what will wear well on you, please, think about it. I am not applying any nuances here, what I am boldly saying is, sometimes instead of being so intent on matching your top to your bottom, match the entire ensemble to your mood. Dress for you. Let your style emanate from the place where your emotion and passions originate from. Feeling bold? Fuck it, wear red! In a peaceful content mood? Go with white or yellow (but you light light skinned ones, careful with that yellow). In an angry, move-out-of-my-way-New York kinda mood? Wear black; but put on some red underwear and make sure some of that bra is exposed a la Carrie Bradshaw J
Listen, there are amazing fashions that emphasize that many are aware of not only our needs, but because of their talent and a bit of arrogance, every few months determine what we should all have our noses wide-open for. That is irrefutable. What I am championing is that you then do your part – in your closet, make sure that there are a few pieces of the “classics” – the very well tailored pants that are timeless (not that skinny shit) and the quintessential ‘little black dress’ (or, add an “es” to that; I won’t judge). Add a piece or two for these occasions: a funeral, an interview-ready dress or suit, PTA-appropriate wear (you know, ‘Mommy-clothes’) and, in the back, because we all have an ex that sticks in our craw, have that dress that you pull out when you know you’ll be at the same occasion with ‘it’. Ha-ha. The “classics”. Then, once you are properly set-up for life’s grown-up moments, sprinkle all of that with some (thrift store) accessories – tops, bottoms, bags, shoes, jewelry, scarves, gloves, belts, suspenders, underwear, wraps, brooches – that take that many-of-a-kind piece and, for all intents and purposes, sews your name on the label.
My key advice is this: know your body, accept your size, acknowledge the occasion and the weather, become familiar with how you move, don’t wear the heels until you can truly wear the heels, know what colors make you shine and which wash you out. Keep it simple. Always be classy (unless the occasion calls for a ‘ho’; then, do you!). Let your imagination (and a pair of scissors) be the most important accessory you implement at home. Then, let confidence be the one you carry on the streets.
Not writing any more about this; it bores me! Ha-ha. Dress well y’all…
Today, let’s just address some necessary administrative/fyi business.
A great number of you contact me privately with your comments and/or opinions about my posts; thank you. But, it has become necessary (and it is such a fantastic problem to have) to establish a way for the rest of you (whom I do not personally know…yet) who prefer not to speak publicly, to let me know your thoughts.
So, if you prefer, address me here: : email@example.com. Let me know what I’m doing right or not-so-right. Let me know what you would like me to address. Shit! If you’re brave enough, let me know what to shut up about 😉
Next. From the feed-back I received, I am very proud to say that LAT will be dressing a Holy Name Convent (Trinidad and Tobago) high school graduate from the class of 2015! DeDe, thank you very much; both for your support and your very gracious suggestion. I cannot wait! I dared not even imagine that this personal pilgrimage would lead to such blessings for me!
This last bit falls under the ‘necessary’, not the other category. “Thank you”. From the parts of me that are whole and the bits that are slightly bruised, “thank you”. The fact that you read, whether every day that I post, or let it accumulate to be your guilty pleasure all at once on the weekend (like my daughter does), is humbling to me. Whether you agree, disagree or think I am just plain out of my fucking mind, I treasure both your feedback and your opinion. I am honored that you take the time to share it.
So “thank you”. Know that in the little over three months that we have been journeying together, your indulgence, support and tolerance have demanded that I stretch myself every day – every.single.day to aspire to be worthy of your time. I can only pray that somewhere, in some word that I utter, beneath a drop of emotion, in the minutia of my mess, you find what you need – for a moment, for an occasion, or for a lifetime.
I leave you with this tidbit that personifies and emphasizes that life and how we live it is in direct relation to our perception:
“Some people grumble that roses have thorns. I am grateful that thorns have roses…”
The “State of Nature”. According to some of the great Philosophers (notably Hobbes, Locke and Rosseau) all mankind share very similar traits in this state; however they differ with regard to the severity and certainly in their recommendations on how we successfully move out of this stage. But this is not a Monday morning Philosophy lesson geared at testing your familiarity with the ‘thinkers’; this is much simpler, citing only one point they all agree on. So, call it ‘Philosophy for Dummies’.
Human beings are singularly self-interested. They said it, now I parrot both the statement and the sentiment behind it. And the truth is there is so very much evidence to support this theory that it can ill be disproved! When given the choice between doing something that solely and greatly benefits someone else or doing something where the benefit to oneself is marginal at best, most choose the latter. It has gotten to the point where one would be wise to wait for a bit after being presented with the so-called gift of complimentary words or spectacular deeds, for the true motive behind same to present itself. And, it always does.
It is becoming a very telling and disturbing testament how far down the pole of (intended) human decency we are allowing ourselves to slide. The comfort with which we are moving through life, flitting from one direction to the next without objective or conscience, a sense of cooperation or morality, is frankly quite appalling. The blatant disregard for our fellow human beings must stop! And, not only when it affects us; not only when it looks cool to add our names and voices to a protest or a FB outrage!
Here’s the thing: the seemingly little things we do at home or on the street or at work – those little things that we think no one sees or that if they do, they merit minimally – those things are the things that point out your potential – your potential to do the bigger things; your potential as an asshole. Seriously. When your actions are dictated by self-interest, you place your needs and desires above all else; above everyone else. You determine that the other person is of lesser value – their needs subordinate to yours. My initial question is, “how dare you”? Who are you to infringe on someone else’s right to, well, anything? Just as I make room for you in the world, so too are you to do the same for me. And, not only when people are looking.
Rosseau, unlike the others believes that no man should be ruled by tyranny; we should all be guided by our own sense of morality. I agree with him; but to both him and myself I loudly say: “good fucking luck with that”! I firmly believe that if one has to be told to behave and constantly watched, the moment eyes are off of them they will revert to being who they truly are. You know – being faithful because your girlfriend/boyfriend/partner is always at your side (cock/pussy-blocking) vs. being faithful because your sense of morality and decency dictate that you do. That learned man and I believe that we should inhabit a world comprised of the latter.
Sometimes when I am very quiet, I think of the people around me and I realize how many, when given the opportunity to be bigger than they are, continue to remain small. I recognize that for so many, it is difficult to constantly do the right thing; because as I have said before, that requires both a decision and a commitment. People, look at all the foolishness happening around us: school shootings, terrorists (but, that may be redundant), abuse of any kind, diseases, wars – all of these started with a mere decision – someone, somewhere thought it was a great idea to indulge themselves; to exercise their will, desire and domination over someone else.
I’m tired. I will not be that girl that signs a petition or waxes eloquently on FB about the latest headliner; I will continue to be the woman that fights for what happens right here – in my home and yours; because that’s where (disregard, impatience, disrespect, humiliation, victimization, dominance, disgust) it starts.
Tomorrow I will be quiet; so today let me share with you all why.
Tomorrow is the date that my son was scheduled to have been born. By now you all know that I miscarried my son two years ago; you all also know that the impact of both his brief presence and forever absence remains with me. ‘Tomorrow ‘ will be the third one that I will have to get through in a way that no one should ever have to.
So today, right at the top of my “to-do list” is to try to brace myself for the onslaught of emotion that I know will come; that has in some ways, already come. Those of you who have experienced loss fully understand the sweet naiveté of such an endeavor; all the preparation in the world will mean nothing when sitting in the middle of that moment. But, still we try.
There is something so poignantly bittersweet that happens in life sometimes; let me share one (or, actually two) of those experiences. When I found out I was pregnant, while attempting to wrap my head around it, my beautiful sister-friend Semaj called me – to share the same news! She was pregnant and was due two weeks after I was! In that moment, I truly thought life could get no better! There we were…about to share such an amazing experience at that time in our lives, together. I miscarried shortly thereafter. Even though I was so angry at God, I continue to thank Him for the safe delivery of her beautiful daughter and my God-child, Zenn. You’ve “met” her in a prior post.
The next year, my, who-is-not-related-to-me-but-is-in-all-ways-that-matter, sister Dez, told me that she and her partner Cynthia were pregnant. I remember knowing that she was hesitant in telling me the news, in respect and sensitivity of my recent loss. I admit to feeling at times that I couldn’t breathe. I readily admit to envy; wishing it were me eagerly awaiting the birth of my son. I also smiled, as I do now, with unrestrained joy at their blessing. In June of 2013 Cyn gave birth to, as Dez delivered their son, my God-son Elijah.
Here’s why I have told you about them: yesterday randomly (although we all know that few things happen randomly), Semaj called and told me she and Zenn would be coming in to spend some time with me. They did – we went to dinner, a little shopping and shared a whole lot of laughter! Zenn got to show-off, trotting out all her new words and sentences for me J . Also yesterday, Dez called and asked if I could please do them a huge favor and babysit Eli this morning; I did. He too impressed me with his new words – and I got to teach him two more, DeeDee J .
These two little people both broke my heart and put some stitches in the open wound. Looking at their faces and listening to their voices made me wonder what my son would have looked like; how he would have sounded. The reality of these two little beautiful people is, as are all things, no accident. At times I feel they are like book-ends – propping me up and keeping me together. They are the heart-breaking reminders and the innocent healers of a love that left, but was never lost. Thank you Sis, Cyn, Semaj and Jordan.
So tomorrow I will be quiet. I will, as I always do, think of, cry for, smile at, pray about, love on and talk to my son. I will “celebrate” the day that he was to have been born and continue to let him know it is okay that he has had to have a different journey. Shit! The tears…Tomorrow, as I do very often, I will thank him for changing my life; for making me brave – to speak, to write, to live, to love.
The day before people say, “Happy Almost Birthday”. To my son I say, “Almost. Happy Birthday”. Mommy.
So…Deion (DeDe) who won in my dress-auction has directed me to donate one of my dresses to someone in need.
I am asking for your input; your suggestions as to what I should do with it – and then, which one.
I consider it a very charitable and gracious idea of hers and will be honored to fulfill same.
It is well documented that I have more than I will ever need; and, it goes without saying that there are many that do not. So, I will dress someone in DeDe’s name – for the holidays, for a job interview, for a first date, for a celebration, for a graduation, a prom, a funeral. You tell me. Remember, I am also willing to buy a new dress to donate.
So, please put your thinking caps on and, letsadDressthis.
I always keep my promises.
One month ago today, I asked for your help – I launched an auction of sorts, asking that you tell your friends how we get together to address things. I asked that you encourage them to ‘follow’; because a community of any kind wields more power and influence than any one person. When more and more voices are raised, whether united in their thinking and opinions or not, we all benefit. I wanted, I still want, your thoughts, their thoughts; there is so much about so very much that I do not know; that I yearn to know.
So, since I asked, I have seen a definitive spike in the readership; thank you. I recognize that there will always be those that pop in to read; the only footprint they leave signifying their presence affecting the counter in my stats. Again I say, thank you. Then there are those that are not afraid to commit; who bit the bullet and have dedicated themselves to a long-term (albeit not monogamous) relationship with me and my mouth. My stats reveal it all to me.
Okay…to the point. Someone had to win; because you people are fantastic! So, whether you spoke about it or pushed your friends to read it just to shut me up, I am still very grateful. There is one person however whose encouragement manifested itself significantly – both in readership and commitment:
DeDe, thank you! Because of your support of and belief in me (even when you don’t agree with the what and how), Let’s Address This is now in front of a few more readers daily! Thank you! Thank you! I am humbled by your support and encouragement.
Now, a dress J . Yup…you let me know which of mine – to do with as you please; or let me know an occasion – my ass is itching to go shopping…for you! I swear I may just be a little more excited about your present than you are! Ha-ha.
To all of you, it continues to be a privilege to be allowed to write everyday; it is indeed an honor that you read.
“I would thank you from the bottom of my heart – but for you, my heart has no bottom…”
“If you don’t get everything you want, think of the things you don’t get that you don’t want…” Oscar Wilde
I am amazed at how many of us have never masturbated.
The reason for my dismay at this reality is not so much to do with the ‘freak’ of this action, as it is a referendum to the fact that many of us are living not truly knowing ourselves. And make no mistake I am speaking strictly in the biblical sense. Simple question: for all of you who have never touched yourselves, how in God’s name can you truly know if your partner is touching you well?
Okay….let me give you prudes a minute to get some water and try to calm yourselves. Let’s talk cars (yes, I know…we’re still talking about steel; ha-ha). Okay, cars. I don’t drive; but this I know, if I wanted to learn, I will have to do so from someone who knows how. I will prefer to get taught by someone who can handle both an automatic and a stick shift (stop! Get your minds out of the gutter!); simply because I would try to ensure that my instructor is quite qualified. Listen – only someone with a valid driver’s license will do! After all, that IS heavy machinery!
Continue to sip on that water; the rest of us will wait. I’m a student; every time I enter my classroom, I expect that the professor or instructor that is standing at the front of the class is fully qualified; I am paying for his or her expertise. I depend on the implicit assurance that they have been fully vetted by the college; hired and presented to me because they hold some authority in their given field. My success as a student is heavily dependent on their abilities to teach me what I do not know; to take me along on a journey of acquiring valuable knowledge.
Put the glass down; time for some big-people talk. Whether learning to drive, starting in a new or unfamiliar professional position, or forging through our entire academic careers, we need to be taught, to seek and follow instruction, to be guided through alien territory. Our bodies are no different. In fact, the fact that we are walking around with it does not guarantee that we automatically know not only what’s happening under the hood; but more importantly, what all the bits and pieces under the hood really do. And, because we may be able to afford a mechanic, does not mean we should not be aware when we are being short-changed or gouged! At the very least, we should all be able to look over our mechanic’s shoulder to know if they’re not focusing on the part that’s giving the trouble. Hahaha.
People, let’s address this: consider this right off the bat – masturbation is having sex with someone you both like and trust! Next, all joking aside, exploring and learning your body is not only your right…it kinda sorta is your responsibility! Truly. Think about it – how are you going to both educate and share yourself fully and openly with your lover if you don’t even know what you want? How are you expected to achieve the level of freedom that your lover deserves if you’re too uptight to allow yourself said freedom when no one is watching? Trust me when I say to all of you that may be scoffing at this notion and vowing that you’ve had or are having “just fine” sex without this freakiness I am talking about – you’re right; your experience is indeed “just fine”.
See, but I’m winking at those that know that that shit can be downright spectacular! The ones that understand that making love or fucking (depending on your mood) is equal part skill and freedom. The lovers who appreciate that there is nothing controlled or off-limits; and that especially includes my access to and understanding of my own body and its needs. Okay, masturbation does many things – it certainly relieves the pressure when one is unable to access the object of one’s desire – especially when one is in a committed relationship. But long before masturbation is utilized as an ally to your fidelity, it really should be employed as a, not teachable, but a ‘learnable moment’. No really, it should.
Men, excuse me for a moment; yall are pretty, no pun intended, straight forward J . Women, we are not. There is such a myriad amount of terrain to cover – at times smooth, a pothole or two, blind corners, speed bumps – it’s only after maneuvering on it over and again can you then truly begin to learn the territory…only then can you teach someone else how to handle their vehicle on it. Think about it – even the DMV demands that a licensed driver accompanies someone with a permit every time they get behind the wheel 😉
Learn your bodies. Touch yourselves. Do not deny yourself the best mind-altering shit there is! Get to know what feels great and how to get there. Figure out the pressure-points and the areas that need extra attention. Take yourself over the edge; again and again. Pat yourself on the…well, get off on the…shit, congratulate yourself on your ability to be the best lover you have ever had! Call your own damn name! Be your own damn “Daddy”! Then, when you know how you would like to feel, teach your lover how to do it just the way you like it. Trust me when I tell you this: there is absofuckinglutely nothing sexier than being a lover who, because she knows how and where to touch herself, can place herself on her partner…expertly guiding him to just that secret, special, coveted, but ohhhhhhhhhhhh so familiar place.
Shutting up to let someone else address this:
Yesterday, before Zenn went to bed we thanked our Creator for family, nature, and the world around us. Zenn is my 2yr old daughter. Zenn showed signs of being thankful at an early age by smiling and nodding her head in a yes-like motion to express her appreciation. This simple action taken by such a tiny being inspired me to reevaluate my comprehension and expression of thanks. I decided first to list four items I’m thankful for:
1. The choices I have available to me
2. The blessed family I have that spans the globe
3. The spiritual foundation that grounds me
4. The music that plays nonstop in my soul
Then, I pledged to make a habit of reading this short list aloud four times a day in order to reinforce the memory of what I’m thankful for.
Finally, I decided to engage my four closest friends in listing four items they are thankful for. Furthermore, I challenged them all to read their list aloud four times daily and to engage four of their closest friends to do the same.
A network of gratefulness is forming and stems from the simple actions of a 2yr old. Fatherhood has been nothing more or less than a learning experience I give great thanks for. Being actively involved with Zenn brings to life a world more hopeful, with choices more tangible. It’s quite simple to acknowledge what we are thankful for and simple habits are easy to repeat daily.
Mr. Jordan Lorrius.