This Review is Going to be Pretty Short: Bird Box

I learned of about the movie “Bird Box” because of Twitter.  I was minding my business scrolling through tweets and I read all the buzz about “Bird Box”.  In the following days I saw “Bird Box” memes all over social media.  The movie was a sensation.  I bought into the nonsense.

I don’t use Netflix so the movie is not available to me so I got a copy of the book when I saw it at the library.  I finished reading “Bird Box” by Josh Malerman over the weekend.  The book is pretty short but it took me a long time to get through it because it was boring.

I was waiting for the plot to build and live up to the social media hype but it never delivered.  Perhaps this is one of those anomalies where the movie is better than the book (like “Divergent”).  I’ll never know because I’ll never spend my time watching “Bird Box”.  I don’t even know how to describe this film; suspense, horror, mystery, science fiction, family drama.  I don’t know because nothing happens.  Seriously nothing happens.

The story is flat the entire time.  The book blindly meanders to an anti climatic ending that just added to the confusion.  I rushed through the ending of the book because I was sick of it but I was tempted to reread it because I couldn’t quite figure out what happened.

It seems like the writer was trying to leave things open ended so he can write a sequel.  However the sequel to watching grass grow would be watching paint dry.  I promise you that no matter where you live you will be more entertained by putting a chair in front of a window at your house and looking outside.

The premise is ridiculous.   I don’t understand what Twitter got so excited about.  I only saw three bad reviews of “Bird Box” one of which came from Cardi B.  Cardi was as confused as I was by the story.  I’m glad I wasn’t alone.

Warning:  This clip contains expletives, racial slurs and general vulgarity.  But she’s not wrong.

 

I’m mad a Twitter too for getting me to read that.  This is the third time that the media has sold me on a book and it was garbage.  Actually, probably more than that but I digress: 1. “The Host” by Stephenie Meyer.  (It was an unoriginal snoozefest.)  2.  “50 Shades of Grey” by E.L. James (The protagonist made women look stupid because that relationship should have ended very soon after she met Christian.  And the sex scenes in the book are over hyped.  Harlequin romances are kinkier than “50 Shades of Grey” and I was reading those in middle school) and now this.

I wish I could say I’ll never fall for this type of media hype again but I take book and movie recommendations seriously.  What can I say?  I like to stay on top of the trends.  This won’t be the last time I have egg on my face due to buying into hype.  It’s just how I live.

I’ve Retired from Online Dating

I’ve retired from on line dating. Or you could say I’ve given up. You could also say I’ve aged out of the system. Regardless, I’m not doing it anymore. I wish I could say I’ve met a wonderful man so I not longer need the help but that isn’t the case. I’m single and if I have to go on a dating website to meet someone I prefer to remain single.

On line dating was an interesting experience and I learned a lot. I’ve tried different sites over the years. Most of what I learned is discouraging and it kind of makes me glad and proud to be single. I’m going to share some of my experiences and observations as a Black, Christian, college educated woman. I hope this is helpful to others.

The first problem with on line dating is simply that it’s kind of boring. You match with various people on the site and they mostly look alike, dress alike and say the same things. Most of them are not very good conversationalists. I ended up leading a lot of the conversations and when I ask people what they like to do with their free time and what their interests were many of them were at a loss.

Conversations on dating sites start like conversations at social events and night spots, with small talk. But small talk that would be over with in two or three minutes face to face can take several days on line. It’s easy to lose interest and patience with this especially if you’ve had dead end conversations like this in the past. The process is more tedious than anything.

On line dating is particularly tricky for Black women. I have always been open to dating men that are not Black but my preference was to have a Black, Christ focused family. I didn’t realize that I was betting on the long shot.

Before I delve into this topic I want to make it clear that I hold no ill will towards anyone. I’m not jealous or envious of anyone. I don’t think anyone owes me anything and I am not seeking to control anyone’s choices. Black women have to give those disclaimers when they speak their truths. So here I go.

I don’t think that most Black men on dating websites are there to meet Black women. I think their primary interest is meeting women that are not Black and if they date a Black woman they are probably looking for one whose appearance hints at significant European ancestry. I don’t have that to offer a man. There is very little European ancestry to pass along here.

So my advice to Black women that want to date Black men is that you should completely forego dating sites and meet men in mostly Black social spaces such as night clubs, churches, your circle of friends, etc. I know you’ve probably already tried that but I think that on line dating will be a complete waste of your time.

There are many, many Black men on these sites that you will match with but their intentions are questionable. I think they may be OK if you are simply looking for a good time if you know what I mean or even someone to go to a movie with once in a while but if you are thinking long term commitment your pot of gold is going to be hard to find. You’re as well off striking up conversations with men at gas stations.

If Black women are interested in dating outside of the Black community I think that on line dating has more to offer. The problem I had was that I live on the border of two red states and I absolutely hate Republican politics.

I can’t see myself getting involved with a man and marrying into a family that voted to turn America into a White, pseudo Christian, ethno state. Ironically, the men that I found to be the most sincere and that displayed the most genuine interest and excitement about meeting me were MAGA people and Civil War reenactors. I just couldn’t see myself having a future with one of those guys. I may look back and see my choices as a mistake but I don’t think so.

There were White men that took interest in me that you would probably classify as liberal but they were a bit too edgy. They had too many tattoos, too many body piercings, absolutely bizarre backstories, too many kids. Some of them were Atheists and many seemed to have unstable addresses. I don’t think it would work. Perhaps I will regret my life choices one day but at least I’ll be a blessing to some lucky cat.

I don’t think it’s important to have a lot in common with your spouse. I think it’s OK to have different interests and hobbies. But I would like to share faith in Christ with a person that I was going to marry. If a man doesn’t believe in Jesus I don’t think he would ever really understand me as an individual. Let me tell you what. If you are Christian, single and trying to be obedient to Christ you are undateable to 95% of the US population. I’m going to leave that right where it is.

Yes, I tried Christian Mingle but by the time I got around to them I wasn’t willing to pay for a dating site and you have to pay to communicate with people. I browsed the page and didn’t really see much that I wanted to invest in financially. Besides that I saw someone that I knew on there. That’s always awkward.

There are a lot of what I’ll call phantom people on dating websites. They are people that just moved to the area and they didn’t grow up here or have other kind of local connections. They are people that travel for work and come through town often. They are single men in the military. They are men that work from home and keep to themselves.

There are a lot of mysterious people on dating websites that don’t really belong anywhere or to anyone. No one really knows them. A lot of them claim to not like social media but they are on dating sites. The man that inspired my choice to never use a dating website again is someone that I sporadically communicated with for a few months and met for dinner once.

We continued to communicate after our meeting and I asked him his last name. He became agitated and defensive because I asked the question and he asked me why I wanted to know. I honestly just wanted to know because I was interested in getting to know this person but I indeed was going to search his name on the internet. I surely wouldn’t mind if someone did that to me. He refused to give me his last name because he said he didn’t feel comfortable giving it to me after meeting me once.

I asked him why that was a secret and he said that if I knew his last name then I could look him up on the internet and find out his address. I asked him at what point he would feel comfortable letting me know his last name. He said he would feel comfortable giving me that information once he had me over his house for dinner. Do you see how that doesn’t make sense? Anyhow, I blocked his number after that. Anyone that is guarded over his last name is probably too paranoid to date.

I am forty four and I feel like I have aged out of the on line dating system. Your forties is a super awkward age to be never married and without children. Most single people my age are divorced with children or at least with children. I’m a true spinster that hasn’t had that family life experience so I don’t have a bitter divorce and family court drama as common ground with others.

There were men on the internet that reached out to me that were significantly younger than I am. I never pursued any of the opportunities with the really young ones. I’m skeptical about what they really wanted with a woman my age. Their intentions can’t be good. On some level I think it must be a scam or at best he was just looking for an experience with an older woman.

I’m talking, I found you on Facebook and I see that you’ve grown a lot from your prom picture that was taken eighteen months ago young. I ain’t got time for that. Even if his intentions were pure that situation seems like a lot of work. He was cute though. I asked if his dad was single and he said no. They always say no.

I met one young single dad on line that was very, very bitter. I can’t believe how bitter he was at such a young age. I figured it was best I move on from that. I’m not even trying to hear the sob story about him and his baby mama. I don’t need the anger in my life and I’m not helping a man that could damn near be my son pay his child support.

A lot of the men I talked to that are in their forties and fifties which was my target group were shady. Many of them had never been married but most of them had children. I asked a few what they were seeking from a woman at this point in their life. They claimed they were seeking to settle down. Settle down at forty nine? Forty nine. FORTY F@(%ING NINE. I’m sorry but that is just funny to me.

They didn’t quit the game the game quit them. They were pushed into retirement and now they “just want a good woman to enjoy life with”. I’m sure a fifty five year old man has met at least a few good women that he could have enjoyed life with. I’ve asked some of them why they wanted to settle down now. One of them got defensive and said he wasn’t ready before. I see.

Now that he’s older the young ones that he really wants aren’t attracted to him and the older ones that he might have a chance with are probably busy with crafts and browsing at the humane society. Sex isn’t as easy to get, at least not with someone with a youthful aesthetic, so now he claims he wants to commit. These men have avoided marriage throughout their youth and never married the mothers of their children. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

I don’t see anything good coming from getting to know one of these men. It’s obvious that they don’t value marriage or traditional family values. Practically speaking, you’re coming into these men’s lives just as they’re about to start having heart attacks and strokes. You can look at most of them and tell that fitness and nutrition hasn’t been a priority in their lives. So unless you’re going to pull an Anna Nicole why sign up to be a man’s nurse?

It would be different if you had him when he was young and cute. Then it’s like WE had a stroke, WE had a heart attack, WE’RE paralyzed on one side of OUR body. You’ve built a long life together and he’s meant a lot to you for a long time. Your relationship has stood the test of time and he deserves a dutiful wife.

You’ve probably been consuming fried chicken, pizza and French fries together over the last twenty years so when he has a brain aneurysm you will look after him and when you are diagnosed with diabetes he will look after you. That’s the great American love story. Sorry, but if a man has been the good time boy in your town for the last three decades I don’t see that he deserves a loyal woman in his later years. Let his kids and all their mothers care for him.

The other awkward thing about on line dating in your forties is that people lie about their age. Forty is the last decade in your life when you claim youth. I ran into someone I know on an internet dating site and he said he was in his forties. I was shocked because he looked much older. I knew the man because he patronizes the business where I work. I looked him up in our database and saw his drivers license. He was lying by about fifteen years. I suspect this happens often because I’ve seen a lot of profiles with some pretty harsh looking forty somethings.

So anyway, that’s some of my story. I know that on line dating works out great for a lot of people. Congratulations to them. I would encourage anyone to give it a try as long as you are discerning and play it safe. As for me I gave it a try over the years and I’m done. I’ve come to some conclusions in my life and I’m honestly relieved. If nothing else on line dating has been an interesting and enlightening experience. I’ve learned a lot about men, women, sociology and status.

I’m still hopeful that I may find Mr. Right one day but if we find each other it won’t be on a dating app. There are plenty and I mean plenty of men on the internet but I don’t want to make the compromises to make them fit into my life and I don’t want to put the energy into getting to know them and their true intentions. And there are way too many unattached, mysterious phantom daters out there that don’t really seem to belong anywhere. There is a real risk of being killed or hurt when exploring an online connection. I’m not sure that seeking true love and devotion is worth the risk. Spinsterhood is looking like a pretty good option.

Nene Leakes Deserves Better

I am a long time fan of the show “Real Housewives of Atlanta”.  I’ve watched it from the beginning and since the beginning Nene Leakes has been on the program.  She is the matriarch and the anchor of the franchise whether you like Nene or not.  But I don’t think that Nene is getting the platform she deserves for her loyalty and dedication to the franchise.

Nene Leakes

About a year ago a RHOA marathon came on TV and it showed the early seasons.  I was reminded about why I fell in love with the show.  Those women are hilarious.  I love the dry humor, sarcasm, deadpan expression and reserved cattiness of the so called housewives with a touch and sometimes a lot of African American spunk (It’s not attitude it’s spunk).  And Nene Leakes has become famous for being the spunkiest of them all.

I will admit that watching RHOA is like watching science fiction.  It’s far fetched but you accept the story within the world that is being presented to you.  We the audience have made a decision to accept the real housewives and just play along.  Reality TV is as believable as WWE wrestling but we tune in for the entertainment value and now that so much time has past we feel invested in the characters and their lives.

I believe that Nene Leakes is a nice person.  I really do.  I think she appreciates the Housewives franchise and the opportunities it has created for her.  I think Nene is down to Earth and has never forgotten her roots or tried to be something she’s not.  Yes, I can tell she’s had a nose job and wears blonde hair but I’m sticking with my previous statement.

Here is the problem with Nene Leakes and RHOA as it stands.  Cast members have come and gone from RHOA and producers are casting younger women.  One of the new stars is thirty four year old Eva with the Taratula from America’s Next Top Model and the wife of Ronnie Devoe of New Edition and BBD fame who is quite young.

RHOA has taken a nasty turn and no longer relies on dry whit and humor for entertainment.  Without Sheree and Phaedra that went out of the window.  Now they rely on drama and bitchiness.  Porsha resorted to violence one season during the reunion show.  Nene is placed at the center of a lot of the cattiness but at fifty one she’s too old for all that.  She should know better and be above it all.  Being a part of that type ratchetness is really undignified but for a woman Nene’s age it’s tragic.

Why on Earth is a woman at Nene’s stage of life arguing with thirty year olds over gossip?  Why is she arguing with fans on IG?  It shouldn’t happen.  I caught a glimpse of Lindsey Lohan’s reality show and she came across as a mature, mother hen that was concerned about the people that she described  as children that work at her resort or whatever it is.

The “children” are people in their twenties and Lindsey is only thirty two.  But we all know that Lindsey has been through some wild stuff which would give her a mature perspective on life.  Lindsey didn’t involve herself in the reckless, youthful activities.  She, like Nene Leakes has been there and done that.  There is no more energy for childishness, at least there shouldn’t be.

lindsey

Since I believe reality shows are staged and loosely written I think the producers of RHOA need to develop a new persona for Nene.  Her rebirth should be modeled after the very likeable Angela Raiola b.k.a. Big Ange from “Mob Wives”.  Rest in peace Angie.  During the reunion special of “Mob Wives” the host asked Big Ange why she wasn’t involved with the drama between the other women on the show.  Big Ange said she didn’t relate to them as peers because she was a lot older than them.  She was their parents age.  Ange sat quietly for most of that reunion special as an observer.  That’s called being a good and grown woman and that’s  what I want Nene to start doing.

bigangresizedjpg

Andy Cohen is making a fool out of Nene at this point.  He is using her larger than life personality to hold RHOA together because producers are experimenting with newer cast members but Nene is coming out on the losing end.  I want Nene to show some leadership skills and extend her maternal instincts to her young cast mates.

I want the other cast mates to look up to her and see her as a mother figure instead of squabbling with her about nonsense.  She’ll still be the star because we all know her and she is the cornerstone of  the show.  Judge Judy says that the goal should be to do less work and make more money as one gets older.  Nene is working too damn hard!

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day was Friday, March 8.  I thought nothing of it on Friday because I don’t know how to observe the day.  Do we go shopping, bake a cake, have a parade or what?  Beats me.

But over the weekend I ran across a video on YouTube of an Air Force service woman complaining about her subordinates having bad attitudes.

 

The soldiers post is bad enough but as always the comments underneath the video were far more extreme.  I read dozens and dozens of comments expressing disdain for and superiority to Black women.  YouTube is a haven for those who hate Black women.  Insults to Black women can be found underneath videos that have absolutely nothing to do with Black women.  I read this stuff and I’m like, sheesh can I live?  I’m just minding my business and trying to live here.

There is a YouTube host by the name of Tommy Sotomayor that has been preaching his hatred of Black women on social media for years now.  His success has inspired copy cats and their sentiment is repeated all over YouTube and Twitter.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the easiest way for a Black man that isn’t a celebrity to gain a large social media following is by degrading Black women.

tommy sotomayor Tommy Sotomayor

Stereotypes are usually based in truth but I still don’t find the perceptions that people have of Black women to be fair.  I am familiar with “Black attitude” and have encountered it.  I’ve dished some out.  So I’m not saying that “Black attitude” doesn’t exist.  I’m just saying that it is misunderstood and sometimes justified.

Hostility towards Black women has been very open in the media for years.  As I pointed out before it is all over the place and the Black community is not even a safe place from it because Black people often hold the most hostility and do a lot to perpetuate the harmful stereotypes.

Black women are often described as terrible mothers, terrible domestic partners, terrible people and ugly.  I’ve seen numerous social media posts telling Black women  that we are the so called bottom of the barrel women.  With so much negativity aimed at Black women I don’t understand why anyone is surprised that they would have attitudes or feelings of bitterness and resentment.  It is inevitable that all of the negativity would affect the image of Black women and girls.

Black women are often put down for the way they present themselves.  A lot of Black women wear hair weave around the world.  In countries outside of the US skin bleaching seems to be common.  Men that enjoy degrading Black women by telling them that they need to learn to love themselves.

What people choose to ignore is that European features are the standard of beauty globally and women of African descent that alter their appearance to look more European are trying to compete.  They are competing for economic opportunities and the affection of men.  Black women often feel that they need to make themselves look more European to gain the attention of Black men.

Black women are human beings and like all human beings they are seeking out validation and love.  Black women are fighting to gain economic resources in this modern economy.  Most of us are raised to believe that we need to alter our appearance to look more European in some form in order to do that.  Anyone that says that looking more African and less European in this world is an asset is not speaking the truth.

So that covers the why of some of the actions of Black women but that’s not where the bias stops.  I admit.  Some Black women have an attitude and are easy to trigger.  But so are a lot of other women that aren’t Black.  Why aren’t those women stereotyped as having bad attitudes?  In fact, when certain races of women have temper tantrums men think it’s cute, sexy and exciting.

 

If you take a gander at my profile pic you can clearly see that I am a Black woman.  I think I’m a pretty nice and easy going person.  I don’t like to be at odds with people or have conflicts.  But I’m not afraid to stand up for myself.  And I’ve noticed as a Black woman there are times when I have had to struggle to be heard.  When I don’t stand for being treated poorly or I feel the need to make myself clear so I can ensure that I am being heard and understood people often like to act is if I am the aggressor and they are the victim.

All a Black woman needs to do is stand up for herself or assert herself and many people will be offended by it because the woman that they deem as beneath them or bottom of the barrel is asking for fair treatment.  Others actually enjoy the nasty stereotypes of Black women.  It gives them a fool to laugh at and someone to make them feel superior.  I have had problems in the American workforce for not fulfilling the Black woman stereotypes.  A Black woman will be left in peace if she plays the role that others thinks she should play.

I grew up in the Detroit area and now I live in Kansas City, MO.  I’ve always lived places with sizeable Black populations.  So indeed, I have met unpleasant Black women but I’ve also met a lot of sweet as pie, smart, professional, family oriented, hard working, feminine, full of personality and drop dead gorgeous.  In fact, I think that most Black women are lovely people.  Most of the people that I have been close to and supported me in my life have been Black women.  I have absolutely no reason to put down Black women or try to put a different race of women on a pedestal.

Black women are like everyone else and should be judged as individuals.  Give us a break.  And no, I’m not pleading with anyone to like or love us.  That is a personal matter.  But I don’t think that we deserve the constant degradation that we receive.  It’s not even as if we are being accused of pulling off mass shootings or drive bys.  Even if you buy into the stereotypes we still really aren’t all that bad.  How can we be?  Black women don’t hold much power in society so we aren’t even able to hurt anyone.  I don’t understand how we became the boogeyman.

As far as the soldier that made that video I have some theories about why she has a problem with her subordinates but I will keep that to myself.  My hypothesis is not politically correct and would do nothing but hurt feelings and spread negativity.  I know when to keep my mouth shut.  I only know what this soldier shared in her profanity laced tirade which said a lot about her.

This woman clearly loves drama because there are other, less public, more professional and mature ways that she could deal with disrespectful subordinates.  I’m sure the Air Force has some sort of disciplinary system in place to deal with valid complaints.  And this lady said she wanted to fight the Black women that reported to her.  For goodness sakes that’s not lady like at all.  Is violence really necessary?  I’m thinking that she is the problem here.

So anyway the world really needs to back off of Black women and girls.  We don’t deserve the hostility.  We’re just trying to live our lives.  In the past year or so I’ve heard of about three stories of elementary school aged girls committing suicide because of bullying at school.  One news report said that a girl was being teased because of her hair.  She looked like an average little Black girl with two Black parents to me.  This negativity has consequences.

The mainstream American feminist movement rarely addresses the concerns of Black women.  Body positivity and other modern feminist causes exist to improve the conditions of affluent White women that only seem to have cellulite to worry about.  So in honor of International Women’s Day please, give Black women a break.  We’re having a hard time out here.

#TeamTristan

Tristan Thompson is back at it!  He’s making headlines again.  It’s not for playing basketball.  The Cavaliers are 13 – 46 and in the fourteenth place out of fifteen teams in the east.  He’s back in the gossip news for cheating on his baby mama Khloe Kardashian with her sisters ex room mate Jordyn Woods.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m completely in favor of loyalty, fidelity and long lasting, loving relationships between men and women.  But this isn’t that.  There is no evidence that this is a respectful relationship at all.  It all just looks like a big confusing mess from the beginning.

The internet says that Khloe began seeing Tristan while his other baby mama was pregnant with his other child.  Shortly thereafter Khloe got pregnant with her daughter.  The internet says he cheated during Khloe’s pregnancy as well.  After their daughter True was born there was some Kris Jenner manufactured drama on social media.  Tristan was the villain, Khloe was the victim and the bystanders discussed what Khloe should do next.

Just like in old soap operas Khloe did exactly what she shouldn’t do.  She pursued a romantic future and family life with a notorious philanderer.  I don’t know what Khloe expected from this.  I’m certainly not surprised that Tristan cheated on her.

I haven’t heard any declarations of love from Tristan to Khloe.  I haven’t heard of an engagement between the two.  Nor have I heard about an elopement.  Tristan Thompson is a single, successful man that can do as he pleases.  He’s nobody’s husband.

You see this is what happens when boundaries and lines are blurred.  You get confusion and hurt feelings.  People get taken advantage of in gray, undefined areas.  Gray undefined terms and conditions are like smoke bombs that are intended to cause confusion and make it harder to see clearly.  It’s kind of like when the Joker throws smoke bombs in “Batman”.

Romantic partners that aren’t your spouse don’t owe you anything.  Hopefully they care about you enough to protect your feelings but you are taking your chances.  You aren’t entitled to loyalty and devotion from a person to whom you have not married.  You also don’t owe it to anyone.  Tristan doesn’t owe any of his baby mamas a thing.  If they really wanted Tristan for the long haul they would require marriage.  If he was not interested in that type of a commitment they would know that they are barking up the wrong tree and they need to pursue other relationships.

These vaguely defined relationships aren’t doing anyone any favors.  Men and women seem to be unhappy with each other and both sides get used and taken advantage of.  Women get taken advantage of for sex and other favors.  Men get taken advantage of for financial reasons or are pressured to marry because of the child they probably didn’t want.

There are no real winners.  There is a purpose behind marriage and we should honor it.  If you choose to take the new aged approach to relationships you will probably end up suffering in some regard whether you are a man or woman.  Don’t expect old fashioned results with new aged behavior.

Kylie & Jordan