Coffee in my left hand, Queen and Slim review in my right.

**There are spoilers in this review**

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Ok, good. I finally saw Q&S last night. I didn’t write anything then because I 1) wanted to process, and 2) by process I mean I was exhausted from being out and went straight to bed.

I really enjoyed this movie. I’d read so many bad reviews, I half went in expecting not to like it; it takes a lot for a movie to overcome your predetermined dislike of it. Q&S did just that.

It’s shot beautifully over a few states. I initially thought the Ohio scenes were in Chicago. There was a discrepancy in the direction they were traveling at one point, but the beauty outshone my C level geography knowledge.

Many themes stood out as so realistic: the bad first date, the community (in several forms) supporting alleged retribution to the oppressor, Slim’s dedication to his family. But what stood out most were the purposeful messages left by the screenwriter. All the scenes in Uncle Earl’s house (masterfully played by Bokeem Woodbine) were Sunday school lessons: the after effects of war, treating a man differently at home because of the way he’s treated in the world, the humanization of sex workers. All well acted and scripted. Other themes such as the longing to be immortal, regret and sadness being worn as anger, were present too.

My friend Shawn whispered at one point that he knew many “Queens” (that is not how he said it, and I can’t type my gut laughter reaction). I think the entire point of the movie was to see ourselves or maybe someone we knew, and unravel the pain beneath the snark (whew, Queen had snark for daaays) and the beauty beneath the ordinary.

There were many criticisms about the ending. I thought it was drawn out a little long, but I did see it coming: once a bounty was offered, the ending wrote itself.

Overall I enjoyed it and thought it a worthwhile film. I’m sure there will be many more Twitter debates, and I’m thinking of hosting a table talk about it myself. Go see it and support this artistic, contemporary film. Let me know your thoughts.

Vonn

Coffee in my left hand, Thanksgiving gratitude in my right

Hey Y’all. Today is the day we gather with the family we were given, and the family we have chosen, in the spirit of thanks. Before you start drinking because of the family you were given, with the chosen ones, below are the things I’m thankful for:

I’m thankful that this ankle is on the mend, and I’m starting to envision one day wearing two shoes again.

I’m thankful for not having gained too much weight during this 10 week mandatory sitting on my arsh fest. The thicc is still in order, Hallelujah.

I’m thankful that my Mom and my Son both have their drivers licenses. Jesus hold the wheel for both teenage and senior citizen drivers.

I’m thankful for my twenty year old Daughter who came home, and during the moments she passed by me on her way out, asked if I needed anything and kissed my forehead. Kindness, even in transit, means everything to me.

I’m thankful for everyone who brought me food, drinks, supplies and just stopped by while I’ve been benched. You’ll never know how much it meant to me. I’m sorry I didn’t wear any makeup and looked like a sad, ghostly version of my normal self. I’ll make it up to you.

I’m thankful for Instacart, Postmates, Amazon, UPS, FedEx and Hello Fresh for helping me get the things I need for my home. It’s hard going from Superwoman to “could you please put it inside the house, I can’t reach the porch.” God bless your tires and backs; Ase.

I’m thankful for you, who stop by to read my rants, insights and occasional funnies. You have a million things to do, and blogs way more popular than this one to entertain yourself; that you peruse this one fills my heart with love and questions. 😏

Enjoy your family and friends today, and know that this 6 hour overeating, stress filled day too shall pass.

And don’t take more than 1 plate if you didn’t bring anything; Big Mama did not raise you to be greedy.

Vonn

Coffee in my left hand, things I’ve missed most most during my injury in my right.

Here they are in no particular order of longing…

Crossing my legs

Driving

Cooking

Working (yep, it’s true)

Wearing high heels

Wearing 2 shoes

Pedicures

My own bed

Flopping down on my bed after a long day

Wearing my real clothes, not ‘easy to put on over my ankle’ clothes

Singing in the shower (there’s no joy when you have to shower seated and super careful)

Having everything in its place instead of down low where I can reach it

Having access to all my things and not just the survival few

Independence

Control

And lastly, I miss moving through the world blithely unaware of how important 2 good ankles are to my everyday of life.

Alexa, play ‘Miss You’ by Aaliyah…

Vonn

Coffee in my left hand, things we don’t get judged waiting in line for in my right

Popeye’s brought their famed chicken sandwich back to the masses, and with it came long lines, long waits and sometimes short tempers.

I had the sandwich before social media blew it up (Black Twitter remains the dopest movement ever) and it was good. I didn’t have to wait any longer than when Popeye’s usually tells you “15 minutes on spicy, you wanna wait?”

Recently, I’ve seen a lot of judging, think pieces and out right shading of folks waiting in line to buy the sandwich. “They should register to vote out there, “stereotypical behavior fighting over chicken”, “I would neeeever…” Assigning all types of negative tropes to wanting to buy the latest craze. But no one was shamed for standing in line to buy:

Air Jordans

iPhone anything

Concert tickets (I waited in line for hours for Prince tickets before Ticketmaster). Think Lollapalooza.

Walmart and Target for Black Friday.

People camp outside, and wait in lines all the time, and yet we’ve assigned negativity about the sandwich. What could be the reason a $4 chicken sandwich upsets us more than the latest $1200 iPhone?

And, incidentally, the fights are more about the people who gather, than the reason they are gathering. If you are prone to fighting, you’ll fight in the Jordans line, the iPhone line or the Black Friday lines over relatively anything.

Let’s ease up on the folks buying chicken, okay?

Vonn

Coffee in my left hand, ankle-gate insights in my right

A funny, tragic thing happened to me on the way to my basement. I fell down the stairs, dislocated and broke my ankle in several places. When I tell you it was more gross and painful than childbirth, I need you to believe me. Every time I looked at it my stomach turned and I nearly vomited. At one point my son was like “Mom, please don’t look it at, please”.

But this isn’t about the details of the accident, or ankle-gate (believe it or not it still makes me shudder to think about it). Today’s post is about the statement that kicked off my healing process.

I’d been home about 2 weeks, still very much in pain and very high on pain killers. I’d been putting on a brave face for most, leaving my tears to the nighttime. Depression set it quite quickly; pain, helplessness, and narcotics will do that to you. Friends were surrounding me constantly with offers of help, food, visits, calls, etc., but the sadness was always lurking below the surface.

I got a call one day to check on me, and during the chat the caller said “well, at least you didn’t lose your leg or anything. You’ll heal”. Now, as well intended as that advice was, it landed on me like a knife and at the time I didn’t know why.

Fast forward later that week, another friend called to see how I was doing. I went on and on about being blessed in spite of, by His stripes, the sun’ll come out tomorrow…

She stopped me in the middle of my gospel stage play and said, “I don’t know why Black women always feel like they have to be strong, and can never just admit that things aren’t going well. Sometimes you get to say ‘this shit sucks.'”

This. Shit. Sucks. Those three words fell on me like hugs, kisses, therapy sessions, old fashions and rainbows. In that moment, she gave me permission to release 2 weeks of trauma, sadness, worry and fear. Just giving me permission to feel what I felt with no need to spare anyone. My situation didn’t have to be less than or greater than anyone else’s pain; it was happening to me and it sucked. I wept on that phone, and I mean snotty, heaving weeping, until it felt better.

And felt better it did. That aforementioned knife was removed (which was never really a knife to begin with), requirements I’d placed on myself were lifted, and the sun finally did come out.

I’m generally a bright side, glass half full kinda person. But I needed to acknowledge what I was feeling, give myself permission to, as my BFF says “roll around on the floor” and not be perfect. To simply say “this shit sucks”, and then move on to healing. Because sometimes the holding on, pretending everything is okay, and that nothing phases you, is heavier than the actual burden you’re carrying.

And yes, this is a temporary burden. And it could’ve been worse, but wasn’t. And 8-10 wks of not being able to walk or work isn’t the worst thing that could happen to a person.

But it does, in fact, suck. And that’s okay.

Coffee in my left hand, ankle-gate insight in my right.

Vonn–

Coffee in my Left hand, ‘Something someone told me about myself that I never forgot’ in my Right

The topic for May 2nd is “something someone told you about yourself that you never forgot”.

I’ve been thinking about it all day, trying desperately not to write the first thing that came into my head. The thing I’ve never forgotten is negative, and I wanted to write about some inspirational, lovingly sweet thought I’ve clung to for years. But that’s not how memories work. Imprints are not always inspiring. They can be scars, however healed and forgiven; never forgotten.

Picture it, Sicily, 1985…lol. Undergrad, freshman year (shout out Illini!) First time away from home, 17, bright eyed and naive ASL. I’d recently broken up with my high school boyfriend who’d gone to another college. No biggie, I was making friends and matriculating it up!

Enter X. That’s not his real initial and I refuse to bestow upon the memory something catchy. Anywho, started seeing X; just hanging out, no trips to the movies or anything. At first it was cool, real college-y or so I thought. When the hanging out started to become more and more infrequent, I got up the nerve to ask him why? He was surprisingly candid when he said “there’s this other girl I like more”. Ok, that stung but I pressed forward. What does she have I don’t have? “Well, it’s like this: why try to be a garbage man, when you can try to be a doctor”.

Whoa.

I felt like I’d been pushed down a flight of stairs: bruised, broken and out of breath. In his little analogy, I was not the goal. Not the pinnacle. Please add to the insult that he told me who the girl was. And if you’ve studied self hate and colorism in the African American community at all, you can instantly picture this lovely, redbone beauty, with long hair and thin facial features. He’d perpetuated 400 years of stereotypes in a matter of seconds.

Hurt and emotionally reeling, I ran to the dorm of a good guy friend: crying, snoting and heaving. In between breaths I told him the story, and the role I was assigned in the analogy. He put his arm around me and said “don’t let Freshman dudes tell you nothing, especially that one; you are beautiful and smart and too good for him. You’ll find somebody…”

Thank God there was a good man nearby ready to mop up the tears some other skallywag had caused. Someone to validate and affirm years before those were terms we even used.

Shortly after that, Good Dude and I started dating (most of y’all probably saw that coming). Maybe the ‘thing someone told me about myself that I never forgot’ was actually the lovingly sweet words said after the cruel, heartless ones. Funny how even the imprint you remember as awful, still had a purpose…