Sistah Take A Seat

Sistah Take A Seat: Age Accordingly

The problem with Generation X is that we really ascribe to the Toys R Us “I don’t want to grow up” syndrome. Never in the span of the generations have we come across an age group that refuses to age accordingly. When you got the media reminding you that a certain R n B singer of questionable character is actually 50 years old but he’s dressing like it’s first day of school ’round here, we have to pause and contemplate the whys behind our fear of aging and aging gracefully at that!
No one is saying to turn in your Fabulosity and Swag for dentures and Icy Hot, but goodness! The way a 14 year old wears converse isn’t the way a 40 year old wears converse. Ripped jeans on a 20 year old should look different from ripped jeans on a 40-50-dare I say 60 year old. Future blog on when to give up the ripped jeans ghost coming soon. When I got my first pair of Jordan’s this year (at age 42 at that), I thought long and hard on how I was going to pull it off. Pinterest was no help either.  If I saw one more photo of skin tight jeans and a cropped top with them vampire nails! I had to eventually pair it up with a calf length spaghetti-strapped tshirt dress, the two layer ones, with a complimentary cardigan that framed my mama-inspired hips. There’s levels to aging and being cute. I have no plans to sacrifice one for the other. I just know well enough to stay in my 40 year old lane. 

The point to all this is to not fear the process of aging. I woke up the other day and found a gray hair dangling right above my eyeballs. The pesky thing got plucked and dang it, didn’t grow back! Then there’s this curly one up front and center acting like she’s a conductor of my Sisterlock symphony. She’s got no plans on leaving either. Under my eyes seem kinda tired of late. Not sure if it’s fatigue or age. I look at photos of my younger self and I see the change coming. My face isn’t as full. There’s an angular, leaner look to it these days.  But I can’t find any anti-aging commercials that will point my melanin self in the right direction.  My knees creak more and although I’m not giving up my heels (perish the thought!) I know well enough to keep some cute sandals in the car. Just in case. 

In my Game of Thrones voice “The Wrinkles Are Coming!” Unless you want to “Little Kim” your body into oblivion, accept the progress of time. Embrace those things that just won’t change no matter what you do. Fight fair in your quest for health. Eat right. Drink lots of water. Try to keep some level of activity going. Hang around the younger folks who will keep you feeling younger if nothing else. But accept the fact that the fountain of youth is yet undiscovered and no matter how many times social media would like to make you feel like you need to get your life, remember it’s just filters on that IPhone 7 Plus that’s got them looking like front cover material. What glitters is really never gold. 

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Family

All Growed Up

Our niece found the time to hang out with me and a girlfriend the other night. Two old battle axes scored some time with a spring chicken. Scratch that. Two seasoned chicks hanging out with a baby chick. That sounds better. Lol!

In my day, one did NOT want go out with someone twice your age. What do you talk about? What would you have in common? Life and social media has since bridged that cultural distance. Two Gen-Exers and a Millennial can actually break bread, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company.

Being with a woman whose diapers you once changed is truly a humbling experience. That girl has gone from a cute chubby-wubby toddler to a woman whose curves cause older men (perves that they are) to turn oh so delicately for a quick glance. I laugh on the inside cause she’s still clueless on that level. Seasoned chicks know when a dude slows down for a look. We just know.

Our conversations aren’t stilted and rehearsed. We browse through clothes–she has good taste. We talk about shoes–she’s a sneaker head. We talk about men–how slow they can be. I encourage her to keep hope alive. They eventually catch up (some do anyway). She’s given up on the best friend thing–yep, best friends are overrated. Now good, fantabulous, enduring girlfriends, that’s another story for another day!

Weeknights at the mall and late night dinners isn’t my usual scene. My bed and a pink bathrobe is my idea of hot locale and fashion. But I’m learning that you do what you do for the memories and time spent together. In between my occasional yawns, and bites of chicken penne, I am thankful for yet another moment with a loved one. The years fly by oh so fast! From diapers to diva, that girl has grown up. Thankful for having a good seat in the house to see it happen.

Grief And Loss

Shoes, Skirts, and Potato Salad

There is nary a thing these days that doesn’t remind me of my mom. Yep I used the word “nary” so sue me, lol! Things I once took for granted are all linked to her. Using a particular powder brings back summer memories of heat rashes and her soothing hands. Seeing people drain out the marrow in a chicken bone (a totally island thing) reminds me of her. I would only chew down my mommas chicken bones. Nobody cooks better than ya mama. Didn’t trust other people’s food like that.

I would show up after work to see her. Fix my self (cause you never come looking any kinda way to see your Haitian mama.) She would look me up and down and pause. Wait for it! “Mwe remmen jupe ou.” Translation: I like your skirt. She gave compliments out like giving out gold at Fort Knox! My mom sewed my clothes for years and I hated it! So if that lady said she liked a skirt or dress, she was saying she liked the cut, the pattern, the fit. I never leave the house without making sure I was well put together. Mamman wouldn’t allow that. And I’d be damned if I would have her spinning in her grave now that she’s gone. I have been addicted to patterned skirts lately. These hippy thighs aren’t afraid to work them. Wish I could have her make me another 9th grade gingham dress now! Seeing her old photos has given me confidence to let patterns rule my closet.

She never met a shoe she didn’t like. And neither have I nor my brother. He collects sneakers, I collect any pretty gem that my skinny feet (so much like hers) could slide into. A friend would always bemoan her size 10’s and always said I could be a foot model. Never paying her any mind, now realizing that my mom and I shared these same feet, these same hands. She couldn’t wear my stilettos and pumps but she didn’t mind admiring them on me–her only girl.

Comfort food will always be potato salad. A Sunday dish my brother and I would dive into with relish. She was heavy on the onions, light on the mayo, and liberal with the sweet peas and sliced carrots. Yeah we were getting our veggies in (in her motherly calculations) but oh what a way to meet one’s nutritional quota. I have not tasted her potato salad in some years (the disease had taken her energy for cooking years before) and none have come close. But I’m still on a quest. Even if it’s just for a flash in the pan memory of something I will never taste again.

My husband indulges me in the telling of my “mama stories.” I say them out loud for fear of one day forgetting. I pen them and gratefully. The randomness of an act or gesture becomes all that you have of your loved one.