All Articles Tagged "Madame Noire’s open letters"
A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across a quote that almost jumped off of my iPhone screen and slapped me in my face. The tweet read: “If you still talk about it, you still care about it. Stop giving life to dead things.” I stared at it for a while as I allowed the words to penetrate my psyche. It was truth staring dead at me on an illuminated LCD screen. A barrage of images and old conversations began to clutter my mind as I thought of all that had taken place since we called it quits. I quickly retweeted the quote adding my own “note to self.”
It has been almost two years since our breakup; our ugly, painful, unbelievable, long, drawn-out breakup. The one breakup that made me a living witness of the pain that Mary J. sang about in those old school ’90s jams. The breakup that I was sure belonged in a Tyler Perry film or a Terry McMillan novel. The breakup that belonged anywhere but in my life at this point.
Talking is what got me through that difficult period. Talking to family. Talking to friends. Words are what pulled me out of the defeated state that I found myself in, so I clung to them. I expressed my hurt and humiliation. I expressed my rage and dismay. I expressed what it did to my self-esteem. I expressed how I felt I was taken advantage of. I expressed how I was gradually getting over it. I expressed how I was making peace with the situation. I expressed how I was learning to forgive you and so on. Talking about it is what got me through, but even after I got back to my old self, I found that I was somehow still talking about it. I had become comfortable telling our story. I had it down pat. I had it perfected as if it were some ancient folklore that I wanted my future children to pass down to my grandchildren and so forth (not cool).
Although I’ve gotten over what happened, the fact that I still talk about it says somehow or another I haven’t fully released it. With that in mind, consider this letter the last hoorah. I will no longer relay the nitty-gritty details to those that inquire. I will no longer tell the story of how wrong you did me. I will no longer discuss the huge mess that you made. I will no longer call you a womanizer, make any other negative comments about you or throw any kind of dirt on your name. I refuse to give life to something that died so long ago. I refuse to provide you with real estate in my head. I will leave the past in the past. I will let go of the things that no longer serve a purpose in my life, such as this negative experience. I’m done playing the victim.
I realize that each time you discuss things of the past, you somehow re-visit it and I for one am done re-visiting this soap opera. Living in the past hinders one from moving forward and I am one hundred percent ready to take advantage of my present and step into my future free from baggage, bitterness and resentment. I say all of that to say that I’m retiring our story for good.
Good luck and good riddance.
Photos courtesy of Shutterstock
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Hello. How are you? And what the hell is your problem?
That is what I always want to say to you individuals who walk into the office of my job, the home of my mother (as a guest of a sibling or other family members), or who I KNOW I’ve met on a different occasion who probably remember me too, BUT DON’T SPEAK. No “Hello, I’m looking for…” no “Hey, how you doing?” and not even a doggone head nod that without words still shows you acknowledge those around you. Cat got your tongue?
Allow me to blow off some steam real quick. I don’t know about anybody else, but my mother always taught me that when you walk into other people’s homes, or anything that doesn’t belong to you and find yourself exposed to others, you should be ready and willing to throw a greeting someone’s way. And movies like Don’t Be A Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood taught me, in simpler yet hood-complex terms, that fools need to make themselves known when they roll up in someone’s spot. Point. Blank. Period.
Yet and still, I’ve watched in awe as the friends of my nieces and nephews waltzed into my mother’s home on Thanksgiving evening and barely opened up their mouths as they made jokes that only my niece could hear. I’ve watched people with a false sense of entitlement walk into an office full of folks and just start waltzing around, staring into glass offices, looking for people like they own the place instead of simply saying, “Hi, sorry to bother you, but I’m looking for ___.” Instead, somebody has had to end up saying, sometimes in a hostile manner, “CAN I HELP YOU!?”
And who else has tried to smile, wave or say hello to someone they’ve worked with on a project, met at an event, know through mutual friends and more, only to have them play you like Boo Boo The Fool? My first full-time job and whole college experience was filled with moments where I would slave over a project with a classmate, joke about the most random of things in the process and get a good grade together, only to have that individual pass me at the gym, walking on campus, or in a new class and pretend they hadn’t seen me before and didn’t know me from Adam. Sadly, I can count about one person (outside of the black people I worked with in Afro-American Literature classes only because of a lack of diversity) who actually made a conscious effort to greet me and talk like we were old friends outside of assignments. What’s more sad is, he’s become one of those Anti-Obama ranters who acts a damn fool on Facebook and make me wonder if I should delete them from my friends list quickly and quietly before November…And don’t get me started on the folks that sit next to you in cubicles but will see you on the street and be ready to walk in the opposite direction.
I’m not asking for a “HEY GIRL HEY!” or something over-the-top, stereotypical or something that requires me to divulge everything that has happened in my life since I last saw you, but Lawd knows I hate trying to be the bigger person to say hello to a phony baloney individual who tried to walk past me with their head down on the sly like our eyes didn’t meet. Nor do I appreciate having to ask a guest who they are when they are walking up into my ish, or place of work. I know technology has made a few folks scary about having human interaction and you’d prefer to text me “hello,” but lack of home training also lends itself as a reason why anyone would find this behavior okay. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t speak, but it sure as hell is rude. Please, do better.
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