Friday, September 24, 2010

A Job...What's that?

If you are a 50-plus out of work individual, you may be doomed to joblessness according to the current reports on television, radio and internet.

I have been searching for a job nearly two years. I have diligently sent countless Resumes with Cover Letters and followed up on each job lead sent my way. I've sent my information into cyberspace and received very few responses. With my skills and experience, I never thought I would have a problem obtaining a job. After
all, I have never been unemployed, I've worked most of my life and payed into the system for decades.

Nestled away in my closet are boxes that contain a plethora of Trophies, Plaques, Diplomas, Certificates of Recognition, Achievement, Training, Completion, Service and Volunteer awards that document my work history. They only mean something to me. When I die my children will probably toss those items in the trash. Sort of  like 50-plus workers are being tossed into the unemployment lines.

So where in cyberspace is my Resume? Why no response? What happens to all your personal information?
 My sister-in-law placed an ad on Craig's List for a cashier in her bakery. She stated," I was overwhelmed by the hundreds of Resumes I received for a part-time position."  That is what happens each time a job ad is placed. Thousands of people apply for the same job and overwhelms the HR department. Maybe they start by throwing away all the 50 and over Resumes. Hummmm...

The workforce has changed and employers are looking for younger workers they can pay less wages.
Someone younger will bring in fresh ideas and know the latest technology, upgrade the office system, and eliminate more jobs humans used to do.  Recently, I overheard a worker at a Temporary Agency on the phone stating," this client is looking for front office, you know young, attractive, blond."  Sex sells and employers desire to hire attractive females and males to represent their company.
Money makes the world go round. The workforce can be shared by old and new workers. Older workers bring experience and wisdom with them. It creates the perfect opportunity for each generation to learn from the other. It is illegal for employers to discriminate based on age, but they blatantly do it everyday. We can't prove it, but if you are 50-plus and out of work you experience it daily.

What do you do when you have depleted your savings account, 401K, and unemployment benefits? What do you do when you are not old enough to receive Social Security Benefits?  Answer:  Keep looking for a job.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pull Up Your Damn Pants Please!

I can not, will not, shall not, ever, ever, understand why young men walk around with their pants under their butt cheeks.
It is not cute, not sexy, not tight, not fresh, not appealing, not cool, not dope, it is not even what's up.
It is disrespectful, offensive, ridiculous, pitiful, sloppy, stupid, ignorant and it makes you look like a hoodlum.
Your appearance says a lot about you. Life is hard enough for black men today. Why perpetuate this negative stereotype of saggin'. Surely, I am not the only one who shares this point of view. Someone wrote a song about it; "Pants on the ground, pants on the ground,  looking like a fool with your pants on the ground."

Public transportation,  metro bus and train,  is how I get around the city.  Nothing pisses me off more than sitting on a crowed bus or train and some young man is standing in front of me with his ass in my face. WTF? Why do I have to smell his funky butt and see his boxers? Sometimes a young man will sit next to me and the waist of his pants is at his knees. The maternal instinct in me wants to say pull up your damn pants, please!
Many people from different ethnic backgrounds and races are sagging also.However, sagging pants are predominantly worn by black males.  This has prompted some states to pass anti-sagging or baggy pants law. I understand this dress is a freedom of expression, that is protected by the first amendment, but I see nothing positive about it.

For those black young men who live in the states where the ordinances were passed; is it worth it to be arrested and fined because you don't want to pull your pants up over your ass?

S-A-G-G-I-N spelled backwards is N-I-G-G-A-S     (Is this the image we want to portray?)

Queen of Hearts

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Twins

Have you met the twins, Gossip and Slander? They are often found together, hard to tell apart. These twins have destroyed families, marriages, churches, friendships and organizations.

Gossip - a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts.
Slander - false accusations on circumstantial or incomplete evidence.

Remember the gossip game we played as children.  One person whispers a sentence in another person's ear; and that person does the same to the next person, saying it only once. When the words get back to the first person, it is drastically different from the original statement.
Gossip normally contains a skeleton of truth; Gossip says you are guilty until you prove yourself innocent which can be daunting. Slander perpetuates the gossip based on circumstantial or incomplete information.

Be aware of the very loquacious person, who reveals personal information about others. This individual may be maliciously trying to damage the reputation of another.  It should send up a red flag that this person is a friend of the twins.

Let me give you some examples to demonstrate my point.
Michael (blue shirt) and Donald (red shirt) are standing in the parking lot having a heated argument.It is difficult to hear what the men are saying, but they are loud and animated. Michael walks away in an angry huff. Joan witnessed the exchange.
Joan went to Donald and asked, what was that about? Donald said, "Michael won't pay me the money he owes me for work I did at his house." Joan calls a mutual friend, Charlie and says,"Michael tried to cheat Donald out of money he owes him!"  Then Joan calls Michael and says," You ought to be ashamed of yourself  not paying Donald his money. You are so wrong." What has Joan done?  She has slandered Michael because she only has half the story and has spread gossip because Charlie didn't know anything about this situation.

Angela and her boyfriend Ivan are having problems. There is no communication, no sex and he doesn't take her anywhere. Angela suspects he is having an affair, but has no real proof. Angela feels hurt and offended by his behavior.  However, she has not talked to him about it. Instead Angela calls her best friend Gayle and talks about her boyfriend Ivan and asks her to keep between them.
As soon as Gayle hangs up with Angela, she calls her friend Rachel and says," Ivan is dogging Angela, he cut off the sex and ignores her. He probably screwing some stank whore. He's disgusting and Angela is a good woman."  Gayle also calls Ivan and says, "You are wrong for you are doing to my girl Angela. You just a dog."  What has happened here?

If you tell anyone else before you tell the offender, you are gossiping.  That is what Angela did. She told her friend Gayle before talking to Ivan about how she felt. If anyone else accuses the offender first it is slander. This what Gayle did, she slandered Ivan because she only heard Angela's side of the story. Gayle continued to  gossip and slander Ivan  because she called Rachael and told about it who knew nothing about what was going on. Can you see how easy it is to get caught up in gossip and slander?

Am I saying that it is wrong to talk about other people? Absolutely not. You need to exam what your motivation is for telling this persons business. Is it to damage their reputation? Asking for advice? Trying to help them? Are you trying to build yourself up by tearing them down? Are you trying to turn others against them?

It takes a lifetime to build close friendships, but gossip can destroy it in a day. The next time you are tempted to talk about the private affairs of others, ask yourself, "Am I being a gossip?"

Queen of Hearts

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What's Up With Your HAIR

I'm tired of everything about hair- having it, combing it, and thinking about it. I am sad, displeased and sometimes depressed about my hair loss. I choose to wear my hair short because my hair is thin and has bald patches that appear in the crown of my head. So right now, I'm wearing my hair cut low,  faded in the back and on the sides.

Although I am not my hair, other peoples unflattering comments can be a bit much. My children and grandchildren have voiced their opinions about my current hair style. I've noticed some men will scan me rapidly and look away. I know men love long hair real or fake. Some women look at me distastefully like they smell shit.  All I can think is "bitch you don't know me." I have received some compliments but the negatives out number the positives. One thing I have learned in life is you can't please everyone and I don't try.

How you wear your hair is a political statement.

 Wearing your hair straight (pressed, relaxed or weaved) is considered beautiful.

You are accepted and fit the image of the European women

Hair styles like Afros

 Locks and braids are undesirable.

When you wear these styles you are viewed as militant, lazy, ghetto, and unkempt. We reject these images and chase a pseudo image of a white woman. For a long time many of these styles were considered in appropriate for the business world.  Although there are laws to protect us from this type of discrimination, the negative perceptions that many people have about African hair still remains.  These negative perceptions not only exist outside our race but inside as well.

I remember in high school and wearing a large Afro. It was nice and round and I wore it proudly.  It was part of my culture and my political statement, I'm black and I'm proud. 

My grandmother said to my mother, "you should be ashamed of yourself letting that girl run around looking like a wild  heathen bout the head."  I also remember the day the Pastor of our family church said to me,"you can't sing in my choir with no natural. That is not godly it is worldly and we can't have that up in here. You gon have to press your hair if you want to sing in my choir." Last of all, I remember working for a major insurance company, when my supervisor pulled me aside and said, "the customers really like you and think you are a wonderful person. However, you frighten then with your hair like that. It makes you look a little rough."

The thought of going into a shop to get my hair "did" just makes me ill. Over the years, I have sat in many salons, under many dryers, and in styling chairs and literally cried. I just can't understand why it takes soooo loooong to get beautiful. I never had the patience to sit in a shop for 3-4 hours. I love going to the barber shop. In and out 20 minutes max not to mention half the price.

I could go on and on about the comments people have made about my hair. I have worn my hair long, short, braided, weaves, wigs, and Afros of varying lengths. No matter what style, type or color, someone had a opinion about it. That color makes you look old, that length makes you old, that makes you like a man, that makes your head look bigger, and that makes you look like 

People can't do anything about the size of their head, or if their hair is thick or thin, long or short,  nappy, straight or curly. Don't add to the stress.  If you can't give a compliment, don't say anything.

The next time you see someone with a hair style you wouldn't wear, don't judge.  Some people have hair issues.

Queen of Hearts

Monday, September 6, 2010

Party Over Here

It's Labor Day Weekend. This means the end of summer and back to school.
I was unofficially invited to two house parties this weekend.   Lucky me.
On Saturday night, my Hispanic, Mexican, Latino, (whatever is politically correct) neighbors had a party.  The music was so loud it sounded as if they were in my living room.  They had a live band and DJ that played a variety of music. The music started with the traditional Spanish music, then pop music, some R&B,  Rap and back to Spanish music.  I couldn't pass up this opportunity to exercise with all this lively music playing. So,  I rearranged my furniture, mopped my floors, scrubed my bathroom and cleaned the kitchen. I can't tell you what time the party ended. However,  I stopped dancing and cleaning at 2:30 a.m  and turned in for the night.

On Sunday night, the African Americans, Blacks,  (whatever is politically correct) neighbors had their party. When the party started only Rap and Hip Hop Music was being played. I enjoyed some of it but, after a couple hours of listening to women being called "gold digger", "gangsta bitch," "baby momma," "a freak," and "diva,"  then  told  "back that ass up," "drop it like it's hot," " ride this" and "lick that," I was tired. 

Then suddenly the music changed and it began to resonate with my spirit. The DJ started playing the Dramatics, the Dells, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson,  Spinners, Teddy Pendergrass and many, many other great old school artist.  Each song took me to a different place and time. It was wonderful to travel down memory lane.  What time did the party end? I don't know because I drifted off to sleep listening to music that made my heart happy. 

Queen of Hearts

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My Affair With Food

Recently, I ended up in the Emergency Room because my blood pressure was 210/120. This was a wake up call for me as I have a family history of hypertension, diabetes and obesity. I get another chance to do this right. Thank God for his mercy and healing virtues.
As a child I spent a lot of time with my paternal grandmother who was a wonderful cook. As women we use food to show how much we love and care. Every celebration usually involved a huge feast. My grandmother was from Louisiana and she cooked rich, spicy, well seasoned dishes, which included greens, macaroni and cheese, dirty rice, yams, cabbage, beans, seafood, beef, fried chicken, ham, desserts and more. So many different aromas and textures that felt good in your mouth. She would spend all day Saturday cooking enough food to feed an army. On Sunday after church, everybody would gather at my grandmothers house and eat until they were stuffed. I regret that so many of her recipes went to the grave with her.

My affair with food started when I was young. I was a grandmother's baby so I was a little chubby. Back in the day, if you were chubby, the old folks would call you "fine" meaning you were healthy and strong. My grandmother made sure I was "fine." I would go back for seconds and thirds and ate all the desserts she made especially her chocolate brownies.

My journey with compulsive eating and sugar addiction started as a child. Whenever I was depressed, angry or happy, I ate. Food was consumed according to my emotions not because I was hungry. Food was my best friend it made me feel good, never hurt me or caused me pain. Food was like my lover, it meant everything to me and brought me such pleasure.

What I didn't realize is the food that I loved so much was literally killing me. Many of my health and weight issues are due to my compulsive eating, sugar cravings and out of control emotions.

Today I know that food is not my lover and definitely not my friend. Food could not fill the void of love I desperately craved. Food may have eased my pain temporarily but my pain continued. I didn't love myself and ate to hide my shame and low self-esteem.

My perspective on food has changed. I'm learning to love myself and deal with issues that were eating me. I no longer derive pleasure from food. I am practicing portion control and have incorporated more fruits and vegetables in my food choices. I am eating healthy and exercising more.

I have taken back my power!

Queen of Hearts