same old story, same old song

same old story, same old song

For several weeks I’d been seeing advertisements for that new Sanaa Lathan movie “Something New” in magazines and on tv. I had a vague idea that the movie concerned Lathan being romantically and interracially involved with Matthew Mcconaughey. I also had a vague idea that I had no desire to see the movie. The “interracial thing” just doesn’t interest me. *shrug* I haven’t seen “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, nor did I see the reverse comedy “Guess Who”. Sorry, I don’t have enough words to fill even a single paragraph on why I don’t get into it, I just don’t. That’s about it.

It wasn’t until 2 of my girlfriends declared that not only were they going to see it, but that I should see it too because “they” (the studio? the motion picture association of america? the media? black folks? white folks?) had only given the movie 2 weeks to succeed in the box office before it would most likely be pulled for poor performance. We HAD to go and see it, they told me, because the movie was written, produced, and directed by Black women. And that was the kicker for me. Black women doing it for themselves. It goes without saying that I want to support my sisters in every way I can and if that calls for a couple of hours of my Friday night and $8, then let me stand up and be counted. They had convinced me and we set out to see the movie on its second weekend in the box office.

The movie itself wasn’t bad. I’ve heard from other women that it was great, but I’m not really going that far. For a romantic comedy, it wasn’t bad at all. I’ll go so far as saying that it was pretty ok and if you’re considering seeing it, I definitely recommend it. That’s really high praise coming from me.

The problem started however a week and a day later, when Tif, Bill, Bill’s girlfriend Jamie, and myself went to Baltimore’s revival theater The Charles to see a hugely touching documentary called “The Boys of Baraka” (Synopsis: Until recently, each year 20 African-American young men were selected from Baltimore’s inner city schools to attend 7th and 8th grades at the Baraka School in Nairobi, Kenya. The movie begins with the statistic that 76% of African-American males in Baltimore do not graduate from high school. Heart-wrenching. See it if you can.) While stuffing my gloves into my jacket pocket, something that I thought (and now wish) was a meaningless receipt fell to the floor. I reached down to examine it and discovered that it was the debit card receipt and ticket stub from my trip to the Towson Theater the previous weekend. However, both the stub and receipt read in large bold capital letters FINAL DESTINATION 3. I shrieked. People in the lobby turned around to look at me. I whipped out my phone and texed both of my friends. I remembered that I paid for myself and one other person. DAMN! They got us. Twice. One of my girlfriends says that she’s going to call the theater and give them a good what’s what. I shrugged and asked what good that was going to do. It wasn’t going to change the reporting of the numbers.

I remember when there was a big thing amongst the black community concerning the movies of Spike Lee and others and how they were consistently underreported at the box office because of this same type of ticket switching by theaters. A cursory Google search didn’t turn up anything regarding this or any other movie, but I remember that back in the day the ghetto rumor mill always warned us to watch our stubs.

I did find that to date, Something New has grossed about $8.2 million at the box office, a paltry sum that pushed it from #7 its opening weekend, and dropped it to #11 after the second. I mean, of course I don’t think that every theater is doing this. I’m not even sure it wasn’t a mistake on the part of the (young black) man at the ticket office. But it kills me that it could be evidence of a bigger problem. And don’t get me wrong, with movies like Final Destination, Big Mama’s House, and Pink Panther being released around the same time, I doubt if accurate reporting would put Something New much higher than its current rank. But I’m pissed that the sole reason why I went to see the movie was thwarted by some ole extraneous shit. And really now, there’s nothing I can do about it.

Except make you aware.

Oh, by the way, it wasn’t Matthew Mcconaughey at all. It was a look-a-like. I’m sure that its not a coincidence, since Mcconaughey is arguably one of the most attractive white men on any screen today.

One for the record books.

Ah yes, Valentine’s Day has come and gone once again. I heard someone telling stories about the ghosts of Valentine’s day past and decided to revisit mine. Tif and I started…showing interest in one another shortly before VD 2001. At the time, it really was just interest as we both were still *seeing* other people. I know, I know. It was wrong, but hey, the love of your life might not be exactly single when you meet them. What are you gonna do? Anyway…when Cupid Day finally rolled around, both Tif (in Baltimore) and myself (in school in Philly) found ourselves stood up by our not quite significant others. We ended up chatting the night away on AIM and I’m almost positive that Tif still has the logs from that night saved someplace. During the conversation he asked me what gift’s I had gotten that year. I told him that not only had I not received a gift this year, but that I couldn’t recall ever getting a VD gift. He mocked shock and we laughed about it. I think that his stand-up-er ended up calling and that was the end of our convo that night.

The next day, I got a call from my insignificant crack head inviting me to lunch at my then favorite restaurant to try to make up for his inconsiderate behavior the night before. While at lunch with dungboy, I get a text from Tif.

Him: Go and see Shawn in the package room.

What? I’m confused. Da hell is he talking about? The fact that one of the dude’s that worked in my college’s package room really was named Shawn was not lost on me at all. The question was how did Tif know that and what the hell was he talking about?

Me: What?

By now, a hint of smile was starting to appear on my face and all of my attention was focused on my phone while I was waiting on Tif’s reply. The ex-con (as I would later find out he was) was starting to get upset on the other side of the table, as if he somehow knew that whatever was going on at the other end of my phone was quickly panning out to spell his demise **forever**. I vaguely remember him protesting, because really, who the hell cares what he was trying to say. He had stood me up on the most important date night of the year and now he was trying to throw salt in someone else’s game. Bump that!

Tif: Shawn has a package for you.
Me: Really? What is it?
Tif: Go see Shawn and find out.

WHOO!!! A secret surprise gift that had made its way to my package room without my knowledge from my now rapidly growing love interest.

Ole boy: What are you texting on your phone? What’s so interesting?
Me: Oh, nothing. Um, are you done eating? We should get the check.
Ole boy: Why? What’s the hurry? I figured we could go back to your dorm room and spend some time.
Me: Um, didn’t you say you had someplace to be? I distinctly remember you saying you had someplace to be.
Ole boy: I got time.
I fume.

Needless to say, dumbass insisted on coming upstairs to my room. I think I let him watch tv for a good 4 minutes before making up some excuse to boot him out. I remember walking him all the way to the edge of campus before racing back in the absolute opposite direction to hook up with Shawn in my package room. Turns out that Tif had bought me a Blue’s Clues body pillow and had it overnighted to me as my first ever Valentine’s Day gift. Of course there’s a story behind why he got me Blue, but I’ll save that for another time.

Fast forward a few days later. Fophead called to say that he was in the neighborhood and wanted to know if he could come up and visit. I sighed and told him yeah, figuring that I might as well go ahead and put him out of his misery face to face. Blue was laying in the middle of my bed when he came in. “Oh, I guess that’s what Tif got you for Valentine’s day?” I stared at him blankly before answering yes. And I tell ya, this wasn’t the last time that a man that I had never mentioned Tif’s name to, would magically pull it out of his ass somehow. Maybe that’s the reason why Tif began referring to that dude as “The Swami”, because of his keen psychic abilities. Me and dude sat in my room in silence for several minutes. As I was working up the words to tell him to fuck off, he hands me Musiq Soulchild’s Aijuswanaseing. “Here, I want you to have this”, he says. I look and the cd is opened, used, and listened to numerous times. I frown “Um, thanx, but I already have it”. “Well I want you to have this one, from me.” Pathetic. In the end, I never had to tell him to fuck off. Apparently, not only was he psychic, but he was fricking perceptive. He never called me again.

I still have both copies of that Musiq cd for some reason. Probably because I don’t believe in regifting used shit to people. Dumbass.

“You and love are still my argument” (Shakespeare)

Its a little known fact to chronically single folks that couples in long term relationships have the ability and even the propensity to argue like cats and dogs and be completely cool the next day. Although my fiancé and I have been together for almost 5 years now, it is not at all uncommon that in any 24 hour period we’ll enter into a *heated debate* anywhere from 0 to 5 times about anything from politics to spit. Add the mind altering affects of multiple doses of any liquid over 5% abv and you’ll most likely have a humdinger of a disagreement that neither of us will care to or even be able to remember the next day. Thus was the case on the evening of Friday, January 27th. The light-skinned oppressor and I had been lounging in our favorite lounge for most of the evening, each of us partaking in multiple glasses of liquid hostility. At the end of the night, as we were retrieving our coats from coat check (again, I *heart* coat check) I turned to the love of my life and asked him if he was hungry. He told me no, as, unlike myself, he had eaten dinner. I decided to call in a takeout order from the late-night greasy spoon – a cheesesteak, provolone, raw onions, salt, pepper and mayo. We picked it up on our way home, and happily stumbled towards our humble abode. About a block away from the crib, we get into an argument. This is not atypical. As a matter of fact, most of our “on the way home” arguments happen at the same intersection, right when able to crane our necks to look into our window and make sure there aren’t any burglars in there enjoying our On-Demand service. Now, over a week later, there’s no way that I can tell you what the argument was about. Actually, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you the subject even the next morning – it was completely insignificant and driven more on each of our need to be right rather than any rhyme or reason. The argument lasted for the remainder of the walk home, into the lobby, up the elevator and into the apartment. Still arguing, we kicked off our shoes and both sat at the kitchen counter. He, obviously forgetting the #1 rule of existence, “Never fuck with a black woman’s food” snatched my cheesesteak out of my hand and proceeded to gleefully and glazedly unwrap it. I not too gently reminded him that he said that he didn’t want anything to eat and that I on the other hand was about ravenous. He, tapping into the trained assholicism that he has proven and perfected ignored me and continued to make headway on my grub. I turned on my heel, entered the master bedroom, took off my clothes, removed all of my makeup and wrapped up my hair, and threw on an old t-shirt, returning to the kitchen in about 4 minutes. He, the bastard, was gleefully licking all of his lips, having dusted off the entire foot long sub in lightning speed. “He must’ve inhaled it” I thought. “He’s never finished a meal in his life” I fumed. “Where the hell is my cheesesteak?!?!” I yelled. His eyes glistened with vodka and he just smiled, got up from his seat and promptly feel asleep, snoring, on the couch leaving me to ravage the fridge for leftover junk so that I would be able to get to sleep over the noise of my growling stomach.

The next morning, although we both acknowledged that we’d argued, there didn’t seem to be any adverse effects except for the fact that I woke up with raging hunger. The day continued as normal. He left and played golf for most of the beautiful Saturday and I vegged out on the couch with several dvd’s from the first season of Sex and the City.

The next week goes by. I tell folks about how I’m with asshole over here and how he had freebased my cheesesteak. A couple of times during the week after we both walk in the house from work, I comment on how there’s a smell. “Ewwww, you know its your turn to clean up the kitchen.” My honey, instead of seeking out the root of the problem, would simply take out the trash, acknowledging that he had been putting off a thorough cleaning but promising that he would get to it “tomorrow”. Days go by, the smell persists but I hold my ground and refuse to break down and just clean the damned kitchen myself.

The next Saturday morning, a week after “Encyclopedia Brown and the case of the Manhandled Meal”, and I wake up to find crumbs all over the kitchen island and barstools. “What’s with the crumbs?” I ask. “Oh,” the lightskinneded one blushes “I found what I think once was your cheesesteak behind here” he says, pointing to a stand alone sign that my sister brought us back from Jamaica that says “Trespassers will be offered a shot” which lives next to our liquor collection on the island. “Um, sorry, I knew I couldn’t have eaten the whole thing, but I guess I hid it from you and forgot.”

That’s right. 7 days. Skirt steak, provolone cheese, onions, MAYO, and bread. Hidden from plain sight. One of the central heating vents pointed directly at it for 7 days. “What does it look like?” I ask. “I don’t know, I’m afraid to open it” he grins. Bastard.

**Note: This is an experiment in perspective. What’s his face and I both decided to blog about this particular incident so that we could later compare each other’s viewpoints. I’m sure that mine will be longer, but his will probably be funnier. Plus he won’t hold himself the least bit accountable. Read his version here .

“I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story

I feel pretty,Oh, so pretty,
I feel pretty and witty and bright!
And I pity Any girl who isn’t me tonight.

I feel charming, Oh, so charming
It’s alarming how charming I feel!
And so pretty That I hardly can believe I’m real.

See the pretty girl in that mirror there:
Who can that attractive girl be?
Such a pretty face,Such a pretty dress,Such a pretty smile, Such a pretty me!

I feel stunning And entrancing,
Feel like running and dancing for joy,
For I’m loved By a pretty wonderful boy!

Have you met my good friend Maria,
The craziest girl on the block?
You’ll know her the minute you see her,
She’s the one who is in an advanced state of shock.

She thinks she’s in love.
She thinks she’s in Spain.
She isn’t in love,
She’s merely insane.

It must be the heat
Or some rare disease,
Or too much to eat
Or maybe it’s fleas.

Keep away from her,
Send for Chino!
This is not the
Maria we know!

Modest and pure,
Polite and refined,
Well-bred and mature
And out of her mind!

I feel pretty, Oh, so pretty
That the city should give me its key.
A committee Should be organized to honor me.

La la la la . . .

I feel dizzy,I feel sunny,
I feel fizzy and funny and fine,
And so pretty, Miss America can just resign!

La la la la . . .

See the pretty girl in that mirror there:

What mirror where?

Who can that attractive girl be?

Which? What? Where? Whom?

Such a pretty face,Such a pretty dress,Such a pretty smile,Such a pretty me!

Such a pretty me!

I feel stunning
And entrancing,
Feel like running and dancing for joy,
For I’m loved
By a pretty wonderful boy!