Tag Archives: humor

The Z Stands Alone: In other words, Raki is Single

The cheese stands alone

I stand Alone With You Cheese

“Hi-Ho the derry’o the Z stands alone.” (fyi, my last name starts with a Z)

I’m single. Hard to believe especially when according to my uncle I have ALL the qualities one would look for in a GF or wife namely that I can sew and I know how to bake really great zucchini muffins. So why am I unattached? I’ve pondered this a few times and I have some possible answers.

1. I was born this way.

2. God needs me single right now.

3. I don’t feel like shaving, flirting, doing my hair, or talking on the phone.

Okay number 2 may be closer to the truth than number 3 but number one hits very close to home. I’m not a relationship person, and I usually suck at being a girlfriend. I can’t tell you how my times my past boyfriends would bemoan me not “checking up” on them. Guys need to be “checked up” on apparently, and here I thought dudes didn’t like clingy girls. I understand this though. Everybody wants to know someone is thinking about them, and checking in on your significant other is a part of that. My level of nonchalance hath driven many a suitor up the wall. I can’t even blame it on having been a mom since I was 18 because even in high school I sort of had the same disposition of not really caring about being in a relationship.

Let’s go deeper. I didn’t have really good examples of great relationships when I was growing up. I come from a single parent home. My mom was/is super self sufficient and my dad was/is in another country. To me, my dad was a heavily accented crackling voice on the other end of a really bad telephone connection. This might have something to do with my ideal relationship being one where my husband, or I travel A LOT, separately, and some how journal our marriage in a leather bound diary only to come together spontaneously throughout the year at exotic spots around the globe.

“Darling, I’ve missed you. How goes your excavation in Luxor?”

“Raki, dear it’s been amazing! We’ve uncovered an entire city dating back to the 12th dynasty.”

“Darling, that’s astounding. Come here and join me on the veranda. Paris is so beautiful at night.”

“I know, you’ve always loved Paris especially after it rains. How was your show last night dear? I hope the press wasn’t much of a headache”

“It was beautiful. I will have to show you pictures of the collection. But, Let’s not talk about work now. We both have early flights to catch in the morning. I saved this bottle of cabernet sauvignon for us, tonight.”

Pardon my daydreaming. But that’s what I’d really like. I don’t really want to see my significant other all the time.

This past year and a half I’ve had the opportunity to really observe relationships more in depth. I have been self employed for a very long time, so my recent foray into the workplace has afforded me the opportunity to spectate the relationships of others. Within my office as well as within my circle of friends there’s this virus of matrimony going around. I mean EVERYBODY is getting married. Apparently my MMR shot stood for “Matri-Mony Repellant” because I have not come close to being infected. (that’s not exactly true, a lot of guys have wanted to marry me, but that’s another story) The thing is, I’m excited for my co-workers and friends. I believe in their love, but I don’t envy their relationships. What’s wrong with me y’all? I’m so happy about other people getting married, it’s weird. But I really really have no inclination at all to try to shore up that same set up for myself.

I feel bad, not for me, but for my mom. She wants a wedding. I know she does and I really wish I could give her one. Like, I really would love for my mom to be able to plan my wedding because it’s a dream of hers. I’ve never EVER voluntarily dreamed about planning a wedding, except when I had to for a class project.

“So what’s wrong with you?” I had this guy ask me that, well I’ve had a few people ask me that, but this time in particular was after having a really great conversation with a stranger who happened to be extremely handsome. I was at the library, trying to study while using my arm as a pillow and book as a night shade when this guy walked up to me and called me out on the futility of my posture and purpose. We ended up have a really great conversation that ended with him asking me…”So what’s wrong with you?” “You seem cool, but what’s wrong with you?” He was perplexed as to why I was single. I started stuttering because I really didn’t have a concrete answer.

Remember reason number 2 that I gave as to why I’m single…’Maybe God needs me single right now’.

1 CORINTHIANS 7:34 34 There is[a] a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband.

(in other words: “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” lol just joking)

I have a lot to do, I have a lot on my plate, and I have a lot of healing that needs to take place on the inside. This verse is not a cop out, it speaks to me. I feel like, in this season of my life God is calling me to be more focused on his purpose over my life. To do that I need to minimize my distractions. I think marriage is a beautiful thing between a man and a woman, but I also know that being single serves it’s purpose as well. There are a lot of cracks in my foundation that can’t be healed by a Superman swooping in to save the day. I don’t condone broken people jumping into relationships. I’m a broken person, I need melding, not super glue.

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Is This The Little Boy I Carried?

A Cake fit for a Being

A Cake fit for a Being

Well, this is what happens when you let him decide what goes on the cake. *sigh

In a few short hours I will be mother to a teenager. Y.I.K.E.S. We held his birthday party yesterday, saturday because Monday would have been too hectic.  There will never be another moment like this, literally, he’s 13, and I’m the converse: 31… and it’s 2013.  It’s just a cool little coincidence, and if I played the numbers I’d play 13,31,13 in that order. I still can’t believe my kid is a teen, and I feel like he’ll probably go to sleep, and out of spite grow an inch tonight so that he can be taller than me in the morning just to prove a point. The past year was pretty tough, this time last year I was in the midst of trying to abate a nervous breakdown and losing the battle.  I’ll tell you guys more about that later, but now I’d like to take a few moments to extoll the awesomeness that is David.

David rides around the neighborhood in snow boots and shorts, on a vintage BMX Mongoose bike with a bow and arrow strapped to his back wielding a 2 ft long Nerf sword. I love that about him because he really is a kid who does what he wants and doesn’t let pretense keep him from enjoying himself.  He still gets excited about stuff, he’s not “over it” as so many teens and preteens are these days. There’s an awesome sense of wonderment that I wish I could preserve in him forever although I know that, along with his estimation of my coolness, that too will begin to fade in the years to come. I just pray that he knows that no matter what, I love him with a vulnerability that’s hard for me to comprehend. That’s what parenting really is, it’s vulnerability, it means loving another person so much that self becomes secondary.  I’ve learned a lot about the resiliency of this kid, he’s surprised me with his maturity and tenacity even as I sit here watching him repeatedly stick his finger into a container of slime making it expel pitch perfect fart noises (the sloppy kind).  I took for granted the roundness of his face, and almost missed the sharpness of his mind. A fact I should have noticed years ago when at an early age, drawing on his superior sense of reasoning and observation: Dave posed the question:  “Mom, do I have utters?”

I could really go on and on about the joy my boy brings me. He makes me happy though not in a dependent way that can be sappy and is sometimes an unfortunate consequence of single parenthood. Yeah, he can get on my nerves and frustrate me to the point where I need to take a time out, but thankfully, those times are rare.  I delight in him and enjoy being his mom and wouldn’t want him to be any other way.

Happy Birthday Dave!

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Happy Mother’s Day

The Day That Started It all! It was one year ago on mothers day that 30 and 11 was born! It’s been a great journey and I hope to share even more (consistently) with you guys in the year to come. In honor of this momentous occasion I’m being lazy, um I meant to say I’m reposting “Happy Mother’s Day”!!

30and11

I’m in the closet drinking juice and reading books. IT.IS.ME.TIME! It’s my day dangit!! This morning at 12:07am my boy gave me this lovely card:

Mothers Day Card 2012

and at 12:17am after I told him how much I loved it and would love it even more if he added an L to the word “world”, he asked me “Okay so what do you have for me?” He was serious. Fast forward to “for real morning time”. I’m in the bathroom with my vibrating footbath (with heat); he walks in and sticks his foot right in with mine. I’m like “Umm, Ok BYE!” He leaves. About 15 minutes later I smell breakfast food.  Could it be?! Nah, he can’t be doing what I think he’s doing? I’m actually scared to get my hopes up. I hear the clatter of plates through the bathroom door and imagine him scurrying around with excitement about surprising me…

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Passive Resistance

Dave’s not happy. He’s making a stand against going to his Dad’s house for spring break. His silent resistance has been going on for an hour now, it’s almost 4pm. He’s not being rude or obnoxious, just quietly obstinate. I told him to get into the shower and put on some clothes so that we can get going, and he did just that. I was waiting for him when he stepped out of the hallway and into the living room wearing the most obscenely tight ANGRY BIRDS pajamas ever known to MAN!! DUDE! I really want to respect his display of emotion because it’s important for him to know his opinion matters…but really dude. I’m going to need you to be a little more hard core in your effrontery. Anyway y’all, Dave’s not happy, he’s angry, he’s an angry bird.

DYNOMITE

DYNOMITE

just for laughs.

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The Fellowship of The Nigerians: By J.R.R. Tosin

(Tosin is a Nigerian name meaning God is worthy to be served)

I’m going to let you all into the truly fantastical and imaginative way that I experience the world and the unconventional scenarios in which I more than often find myself. I don’t know if this story will translate exactly how I experienced it but if I somehow manage to communicate this without completely going down the rabbit hole, I will count it as a resounding success!!

I’m a nerd, I read too many books The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are some of my favorites.  So it should be no surprise that the following events played out the way they did in my mind.  So I got pregnant with no plan B (lol), pretty much all I knew was that I was having a baby. My kid’s dad is Nigerian, born and raised.  I’m half Nigerian also.  The Nigerian side of my family actually lives in Nigeria (my father included). I was born and raised on the good ol African American southeastern coast of VA. At 18 my experience with my African roots was more embarrassment than cultural awareness. Imagine growing up with cousins taunting you in feigned staccato African accents saying  “YOUR DADDY LIVES IN A HUT AND PLAYS WID DE LIONS” … yeah they were the worst.

I had never met my kid’s Dad’s family. The Dad and I weren’t exactly an item when we decided to procreate and there was so much turmoil going on throughout those 9 months, being introduced to the family never seemed to be on his to-do list. So finally it was D-Day and after 22 hours of labor and temporary paralysis from a misfire with the epidural needle, little D had made his way into the world.  The next day I found myself by myself in my room. Baby was with me and I was just kind of worn out. I was still in very much pain from the delivery and had managed to sit gingerly, when just as if Ricki Lake her self had given an invisible off camera cue,  the doorbell rang…

I hoisted myself up and was managing to make my way to the door by doing this kind of shuffle stiff legged walk not unlike Fred G Sanford.  There was more impatient knocking adding to my apprehension, because I was NOT expecting any visitors.

Finally I opened the door and there they all were. Standing there. Stuffed in the door like the dwarves in The Hobbit when “They all fell in “

 

I refer you to this passage from the Hobbit

“Someone at the door!” He (Bilbo) said blinking

“Some four I should say by the sound,” said Fili. “Besides, we saw them coming along behind us in the distance.”

            The poor little hobbit sat down in the hall and put his head in his hands, and wondered what had happened, and what was going to happen, and whether they would all stay to supper.  Then the bell rang again louder than ever, and he had to run to the door. It was not four after all, it was FIVE.  Another dwarf had come along while he was wondering in the hall.  He had hardly turned the knob, before they were all inside, bowing and saying “at your service” one after another. Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, and Gloin were their names; and very soon two purple hoods, a grey hood, a brown hood, and a white hood were hanging on the pegs, and off they marched with their broad hands stuck in their gold and silver belts to join the others.

 

It was the dad’s family!!! They had shown up at the hospital unannounced. I had never met these people before. He didn’t tell me they were coming I was overwhelmed by people I didn’t know, speaking in languages I’d never heard before. HE. HAD. SET. ME. UP BIG TIME!! I was by myself with no warning AND wearing a rear vented hospital gown!! NOTHING in this world makes you feel more vulnerable than having on mismatched ankle socks and an open back hospital gown.  Forget being swollen and unable to move around (and 8 months shy of my last perm #blackgirlproblems). This whole scene reminded me of when the dwarves came to Bilbo’s house in The Hobbit especially because Nigerian Yoruba names sound a lot like hobbit/dwarf names.)  I hope that the following visuals will aid in my attempt to help you envision my predicament…

Caught Unawares

Caught Unawares

The Gathering

The Gathering

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apparently my heated blanket is made out of boyfriend material

-raki

apparently my h…

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Playing the Dozens

Oh, You Got Jokes?!

HE GOT JOKES Y’ALL!! What started off as an innocent question quickly turned into a rapid fire battle of Wit and Foolery. Last night my son and I were hanging out it in my room. My mom, who’s visiting was there too. He asked me about what appeared to be a speck glitter on my face and the following is what ensued:

DAVE: Why is there glitter on your face?

ME: It’s because I’m a rainbow inside.

DAVE: No, You’re a THUNDER STORM!! (cackle, cackle)

ME: You’re a Monsoon!

DAVE: You’re a Typhoon!!

ME: WHAT? You’re a mudslide!

DAVE: YOU’RE AN AVALANCHE

ME: AND YOU’RE A DROUGHT, NOW GO PUT ON SOME LOTION! #POW

iWin

My mom who’d watched this exchange in awe was laughing so hard. She’s like there’s no way I could have kept up with you guys with those comebacks. I must say I’m quite proud of the kid for his speed and agility. My cousins and I used to joke each other ALL the time. You had to have thick skin to roll with the best. Playing the dozens is an art form, especially in the black community. Welcome to the family son, you did good!

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Happy Valentines Day from the Tween Ages

how-to-draw-gossamerMy son is too old to make me a handmade card without an ulterior motive, and he’s too young to buy me anything without using my own money. Welcome to the Tween Ages, I hope you saved all of those homemade cards because we’re now entering the dark ages. I’m single, not dating, nor reconciling nor even pretending to be upset with any love interest to get some “forgive me flowers”. I’m not unhappy or anything like that, I just know that at this juncture in the mother/son relationship I will not be expecting a thoughtful gift from my kid until maybe his junior year in high school.

 

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mid-life M.A.S.H

M.A.S.H Game

M.A.S.H Game

‘Member dis? We used to play M.A.S.H. (mansion, apartment, shack, house) back in the day. The limo was obligatory up until somebody realized that rich and famous people don’t actually own stretch limos. I also kinda remember playing this by myself and putting my 4th grade crush in the husband column then finagling the results to make sure he was chosen.   I decided to take a trip down memory lane two nights ago. I thought it would be fun. It wasn’t. It was actually stressful and depressing. I could only come up with two fantasy husbands, the housing situation was a bust too. I finally just started putting whatever, but this little exercise got me thinking about my current mental state. Am I really that jaded with life, that I can’t even dream about the unrealistic future or have I…dare I say it…lost the magic and grown up? I feel like the adults in the Polar Express that couldn’t hear the bell ring because they had stopped believing in Santa Claus. As I’m writing this I’ve figured out exactly who’s to blame!!! My financial advisor!!.. well he’s not “mine” per say but it sounds good and really grown up when you place ownership on a financial advisor.  I went to go see this guy more as a return on a previous favor, than because I needed advice about finances that I don’t actually have. That meeting was like a 2 hour long game of M.A.S.H. seriously, only we didn’t stop at houses, husbands, and cars, Mr Northwest Mutual added a few other columns like, Debt, Retirement homes, Insurance, Current Expenses and a whole host of other headers that bit by bit chipped away at the gold leaf I’d thinly layered over my very real, very impoverished state. This real life M.A.S.H was more like SQUASH. As sobering as it was to go through the intimate details of my life and future plans (or lack there of), it was an experience I cherish and have recommended to all of my friends. I realized that reacting to life instead of directing your life is not a good pattern to fall into. My advisor was amazed at the simplicity of my needs, while it was something to laugh about it made me realize that I’d stopped dreaming big. That is the toll that parenthood has taken on me. I didn’t have a dream car, dream salary, dream house, or dream future beyond wanting to pay for my son’s college tuition and be able to take care of my mom. It was pathetic really, but I’m saying this in the past tense for a reason. That meeting opened up my eyes and I started to focus on the happiness factor and creating the quality of life that I’d really enjoy, to consider the possibilities and not the liabilities of life.

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Burnt Offerings

Burnt Offerings

Burnt Toast

Guess who just got a visit from Virginia’s Finest? SOMEBODY who shall remain nameless, sacrificed toast to the convection gods and set the oven on fire. I called 911 and was hoping that they would just tell me what to do, instead they sent the whole fire brigade. which is em.bar.as.sing, especially when the fire GOES OUT before they get there. Trust me, I’m grateful for their efficiency ……but………………………………………….. i have a confession……………………………………..i’m so ashamed…………..i. had. a. SHALLOW MOMENT: in the midst of me talking to the dispatcher, and shuttling the boy outside and away from the flames, I started to think about the manliness that was about to be delivered to my front door, FIRE MEN ARE FOINE! At the time the fire broke out I was in the middle of working out, and had on these knee length workout pants. Whilst outside waiting i stepped into the light of the street lamp looked down at my bare legs and, to my horror, what did i see? ASH, from the ankles up! I heard the trucks coming and knew it was now or never, i made a mad dash for the house, and dived for the lotion next to my bed. Two pumps and a couple swipes later I was back outside, on the curb looking appropriately distraught. (don’t judge me)

We’re ok, the fire was contained in the Toast-r-Oven and all is well. oh and the firemen were, very, very, very nice 😉

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Fake Jordans and That’s What You Get

Let’s just file this one under “Trying to be slick”. So my son decided he wanted some Jordans. Every time we went to the mall he wanted to take a look at the shoes, he’d point them out on other people’s feet, he’d even print pictures of them.  Subtlety is not his strong suit. So finally he asked me to by him these kicks. They’re not cheap and since I KNOW my son really isn’t the kind of kid that’s pressed to have the latest sneakers, I knew it had to be a couple of other driving forces behind his request. 1. Some kid in school must be stuntin (styling) on the rest of the kids with a fresh pair of J’s or 2. Dave just really likes these and thinks they will help increase his cool factor on the playground. I told him I’d get him the shoes if he got an A in class. I mean, I know how it is, I was in 5th grade once, and funny enough at the time I wanted some Jordans too! The thing is though, I didn’t get em’ , but my cousin, who was also in 5th grade DID.  Talk about feeling lame when everybody knew we were related and felt the need to ask me: “She got some, why you ain’t got none?” (I grew up in Norfolk and yes, in 5th grade, that’s how we spoke.) So anyway, I told Dave my terms: “No A’s ,No J’s”. He brought me home homework that he had gotten 100s on…UMMMM, I’m like “That’s partially my 100 boy, I helped you with that homework!” “That doesn’t count.” Fast forward a couple weeks into his quest for kicks, Dave goes away to spend the weekend with his Dad. That Sunday he comes home with a fresh hair cut AND GUESS WHAT ELSE…Some Jordans.  The look of triumph and self-satisfaction on his little round brown face when he walked through the door was a carbon copy of Oprah’s expression on every cover of “O” magazine. So he pulls the Jordan’s out of the box and it’s all I can do not to react. First of all I’m a designer, I know streetwear and I definitely KNOW KICKS. I grew up on Michael Jordan and having actually done a project with Jordan Brand, I most certainly know my J’s. What came out of that box, were NOT Jordan’s or at least they were definitely not that ones that have cat’s lining up at midnight in front of Foot Locker. He had apparently gone to Marshall’s and picked these out. I have nothing against Marshall’s, but that is certainly not where you go to get the freshest sneakers.  Apparently Dave doesn’t know this.  So he’s really feeling himself, flaunting these shoes all in my face, trying them on in the mirror then moonwalking from the kitchen into his room.  Through it all I said, not. One. Word. Because I know that this is one lesson he’s going to have to learn the hard way.  The next morning he wakes up bright and early, outfit ready, “Jordan’s” on, and ready to go.

6 HOURS LATER…

Dave comes home from school, walks through the door,  goes straight to his room, takes off his Jordans, puts them in the box, puts the box on the shelf…never to see the light of day again.  Knowing full well what happened I asked him sweetly “Hey Muffin, how was school?” (I’m bad ha ha)  “They said my Jordan’s were FAKE!” The adult in me should have consoled him and told him that those kids were just being mean and that they don’t know what there talking about. I should have taken this moment to build his confidence in his own style and said “You liked them so that’s all that matters. You shouldn’t care what they say.” Did I say or do any of this? Of course Not, instead I said “THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT YOU GET!” “I know those shoes suck, and you do too. I was going to buy you the retro’s, but you tried to be slick, so that’s what you get.” Point taken. Lesson Learned. Goodnight and Good luck.

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Musical Interludes: Bohemian Rhapsody

So the other night I was cleaning up which is usually accompanied by singing and me intermittently rocking out. Dave has accepted my behavior as wacky but tolerable, and on occasion he sometimes joins in. This particular evening the song of choice was Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. I’d gotten through the first few overtures and had noticed Dave in the living room doing some kind of air guitar kung fu hybrid pantomime in time with the song. PAUSE and WAIT… when did he learn this song? and why does what he’s doing look kinda cool because he’s a black kid rocking out to Queen not withstanding the fact that he’s doing this in his underwear and a backwards t-shirt. So I finally get to my favorite part of the song that goes:

“But I’m just a poor boy and nobody loves me
He’s just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity”

Apparently this is Dave’s favorite part too because at some point in my 2nd or 3rd repetition of this stanza he had gotten himself into a standing position in his sleeping bag and calls out to me:

“MOM LOOK I’M DANCING IN THE SLEEPING BAG OF UNSUCCESS!!”

…looking like a glow worm inching around doing the centipede standing up in the middle of the living room floor. 

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Happy Mother’s Day

I’m in the closet drinking juice and reading books. IT.IS.ME.TIME! It’s my day dangit!! This morning at 12:07am my boy gave me this lovely card:

Mothers Day Card 2012

and at 12:17am after I told him how much I loved it and would love it even more if he added an L to the word “world”, he asked me “Okay so what do you have for me?” He was serious. Fast forward to “for real morning time”. I’m in the bathroom with my vibrating footbath (with heat); he walks in and sticks his foot right in with mine. I’m like “Umm, Ok BYE!” He leaves. About 15 minutes later I smell breakfast food.  Could it be?! Nah, he can’t be doing what I think he’s doing? I’m actually scared to get my hopes up. I hear the clatter of plates through the bathroom door and imagine him scurrying around with excitement about surprising me with breakfast. I did allow myself a lil smile at the thought. I decided to take a little extra time drying off my now super relaxed feet.  I had the mommy face all ready, you know, the ingratiating furrowed brows, slight head cock and turned down lip smile, straight MOMMA FACE! And then I opened the bathroom door, and this:

self serve mothers day

I’M SO DONE!

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