The Post Game Show

Sunday, May 31, 2009

To be young, targeted and black, sho'nuff ain't where it's at...

Oh, how sadly mistaken was I. I might be pegged as a foolish dreamer, to quote Lionel in his Commodores days, but through my tears of joy and feeling of accomplishment that November 4, 2008 brought, I figured that maybe, JUST maybe me and other black men would cease to be looked at as criminals-in-training, waiting for our opportunity to pounce on innocent and defenseless victims as we walk down streets or peruse grocery store aisles. Yep, silly me. As if the Bonnie Sweeten caper wasn't aggravating enough, a rookie cop was shot dead in Harlem recently by one of his own teammates, so to speak. The rookie, a brother of course, was off duty but chasing after a suspect when the shooter (do you even have to ask his ethnic background?) shot and killed him, mistaking him for a criminal. Riiiiiiiight.

Okay, don't think of me as naive or blind to facts, but damn, when are we as Black men going to stop being the prime targets for real and the faces of domestic terror? Granted, as a native of one of Wilmington, DE's toughest neighborhoods (take my word for it, East Side is a wild one), I'm familiar with having your head on a swivel and securing your own safety with common sense. Yet and still, that doesn't make these random acts of violence and lying on us anymore justifiable. It's unwarranted, absurd and reduces me using the pouty childhood term unfair.

One incident that will always stick with me was my junior year of high school when late one Friday night, I reluctantly accompanied my mother to a grocery store in another part of town, no better than our own. As I wandered through the aisles, waiting on Mom to finish up whatever shopping she was doing, I realized I was running out of Denorex shampoo. I hustled over to that aisle, grabbed a bottle and walked away to find mom and let her know that I needed shampoo. Little did I know that a store manager was right on my ass.

At 5'8 and 260 pounds then, I guess I looked the part of a thief in the physical sense, but my bummy choice of light gray sweatpants and a San Diego Chargers T-shirt with bright yellow writing on it wasn't exactly camoflauge material. Still that didn't stop the manager from asking "do you mind telling me what you're doing with that shampoo?" Just then my mom turned the corner and here I was, 16 years old, insulted, embarrassed and stunned all in one turn, trying to explain to this goof that I was planning on giving it to my mom so she could pay for it at checkout. Of course mom hit the roof and we left everything there and walked out while other patrons swarmed the manager with angry words.

My mom was steamed but I was laughing it off like "Mom, it's over." Even if it was a short experience, it's one that has stayed with me for the better part of 11 years.

Those feelings of shame, embarrassment and hurt all come flooding back whenever I hear about any person of color wrongly accused of crimes against - let's keep it 100 - White people. Jennifer Wilbanks a.k.a "The Runaway Bride", the unsolved Natalee Holloway disappearance to this recent disappearing act. It's always something, is it not? I take solace in knowing that my ancestors have gone through it all so that we could walk down the street freely. And it brings me to one of my favorite essays, Black Men in Public Space by Brent Staples. In 1986, Staples wrote an essay about the perils of being a black man in public, and I didn't discover it until I was 18 years old. It was an entertaining and realistic view of the fears we as Black men face, knowing that white folks lock their doors quicker and women clutch their purses a bit tighter when they see us. Frustrating to say the least. And while there is a crime epidemic going on, why blame all of us when there are only a few that are terrorizing innocent people? Simple. It's been easier to stereotype than it is to learn and be open-minded. And innocent black men suffer.

I wish I could offer a solution, but I can't. No one knows what it will take for things to change, but I'll continue to be careful and advise all brothers to do the same, before we become the next ones blamed for the fear white people have of us.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blame It On Me...

I've noticed a very interesting development over the last few weeks and months as I prepare physically, mentally and emotionally to make some serious changes in my life. My B.S. tolerance, which was lower than Bush's approval ratings to begin with, has all but VANISHED. I've always had the reputation of being impatient, one who flies off the handle so to speak. Now, my short fuse is just a "sh..."

I really can't make time for people or situations that only serve to make me even more stressed and p.o'd than I usually am. That goes back to it really being nothing for me to just cut short any associations or dealings I may have had with former acquaintances. I used to feel bad about it to a degree, especially this week when I had to cut somebody else loose. However, something hit me last night before I fell asleep - only I can control how I feel from day to day, NOT anyone else. I know that whatever drama I have with this person or that person, or whatever stress comes from this situation or that situation, I've done it to myself.

There's really no reason for me to continue to get myself into these situations that I don't like and that I don't benefit from, hoping that by some magic occurence in the stars that it will eventually work out in my favor. You would think after about 10, 11 years of platonic friendships that I would KNOW that most of these friendships will NOT make it past that stage (I've commented on that whole friends make the best lovers deal before, but maybe I'll do a full post at some point).

I honestly would cringe whenever I would say things like "I have enough 'friends'" or "If I looked like this that and the other, you'd want to be more than friends." I tricked myself into thinking that it was okay to settle for less than what I want. Can't have that happening anymore. I'm going on 28, and I need to establish how I'm going to live my life and what's going to make me happy. I've always felt like I was so bad off that I should accept anything I could get in terms of social interaction, mainly because I didn't believe I was good enough to go for what I want.

This isn't to say that all of my friendships with women have been bad, because I must admit I have some very good solid friendships with women that I wouldn't risk destroying because of weak moments of arousal or a craving for some affection. Those women know who they are and this post is not directed to them, and they know that.

What it boils down to is Chris has to understand that while pursuing physical pleasure, he can't be pissed that women won't give it to him on sight, because real talk, Chris doesn't have THAT look. Also, if I want a real relationship, it takes time to build, and yes, it takes at some sort of connection.

I can't blame anyone else for the way my life, socially anyway, has gone. I can only blame myself and do my best to fix it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Thoughts

It's starting to get hot, and I don't have summer clothes the first. I covered a softball tournament yesterday with a gray polo and black jeans on. Y'all, I was sweating like R. Kelly at a debutante ball. I really need to save some money just for clothes, seeing as most of my money is going to go to a very important situation (can't talk about it too openly, there are spies, you know? lol) that needs to be taken care of by the end of July.

I'm a little annoyed at the scrutiny our first lady Michelle Obama is being subjected to. Iman, who was last seen kissing Michael Jackson before his 956th nose job in the Remember the Time video, said that Barack's better half was "No great beauty." She's entitled to her opinion, but something I saw on a message board ticked me off when brothers were saying that she wasn't anything to get excited over.

Now, as much as we (yes, I include myself in the group) complain about the lack of good women out here, are we really going to judge a woman of Mrs. Obama's credentials, qualities and values on some silly standard of physical appearance? Whatever. If women like Michelle Obama were in great number, we'd all be going to the bathroom on ourselves to get five minutes of their time. Oh well, that's why the Prez put a ring on it...and they're going to revive Black Love, one photo op at a time. And for the record, I see nothing wrong with a 6-foot-tall black woman as stylish and well-put together as Mrs. Obama is - I think she's fine, literally and figuratively.

Speaking of complaints about women, I'm in the middle of what I call "The Sherman Klump/Buddy Love internet experiment." Laugh if you must, but I've been on BlackPlanet for nine years, which is where many, if not all of my mishaps with women occur. I've jokingly said before I would make a false page, just to see what would occur.

I took about 100 pounds or so off my weight, added four inches in height, threw in some North Jersey slang in my messages, and within six hours, four women wanted to talk to me on the phone, and another said "stop the small talk - do you want to [hook up] or what?" It's hilarious and sad at the same time. Although I did use a well-worn internet site as a test case, it proves to some measure that my feelings of women being all about physical appearance and slanted in their views of how a man should talk, think and act are indeed not that far off.

I need a doctor's office scale. You know, the ones with the sliding columns? I last weighed myself February 6th at the local college, and I was at 316 pounds, which was before I started doing 600 sit-ups a day and REALLY turned on the jets in terms of eating normally and healthy. I'm so desperate to see where I am number-wise, it's ridiculous. But by the loose feeling in my clothes and the speed with which I walk (actually jogging now), I'd like to think I'm doing quite well.

I wish I would rain all spring and throughout the first half of summer. Yeah, I said it. It would make things simpler for me as I start moving to the next phase in my life, but it's never that easy. It's not supposed to be anyway. So I'll just suck it up to the best of my ability and try to find other ways to keep myself happy and focused until I'm ready to take care of business for real.

President Obama needs to ban the Stanky Leg. That is all.

Y'all remember the jailbait waitress? Why is she halfway flirting with a brother now? Oh, the hilarity. If she were indeed over 18, I wouldn't be complaining, but I guess that's pretty much the story of my life. I feel more comfortable talking to females I can't have (and considering I'm still on BlackPlanet, women I SHOULDN'T be dealing with at all), instead of approaching women who have it together. Ugh.

A dog (might've been a pit, not sure) stared at me yesterday through the tops of his eyes with his head low and I literally got a chill up and down my spine. Same thing happened to me Mother's Day when I returned from Wilmington (spending time with family and friends was GREAT, by the way) and there was this cat sitting on top of the community mailbox and I swore the mangy bastard's eyes GLOWED. This is why a brother is SO not "One with nature."

Hope everyone has a great week coming up!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hi, my name is Chris and...

In order for me to move on and live a happy life, I think I'm just going to list all the negatives and positives about myself and maybe some goals at the end. You guys can comment if you like, I'm just making this list so I know what I have to do.


Bad Attitude
Easily Annoyed
Easily Frustrated
Thinks too hard
Acts irrationally from time to time
A real ass if I don't get my way
Too much emphasis on sex
Lazy (when it comes to certain things, like meeting people in public)
Selfish to a degree
Lacking focus
Mean-spirited occasionally


Good Sense of Humor
Good Conversation
Good Listener
Pretty Good Writer...o.k., DAMN Good writer.
Caring (sometimes)
Student of life
Big on Family and Friends
I try my best not to judge
I live my life my way

So the good outweighs the bad...BARELY, lol...but it's there. The reason I'm doing this is because I need to be honest with myself and maybe that will help me understand why my personal life is non-existent and why women just never seem to want anything to do with me. Professionally, I've got my irons in the fire and I'm gonna be alright with that, but it's no fun to be alone or to be the guy that women avoid like the plague.

I've heard rumors about "he's cute, but he's got some issues he needs to work out," and that literally threw me for a loop. You've could've bowled me over with a single grain of rice.

So I guess what I want to do is, if not totally eliminate them, cut down on the negatives and phase them out of my life so I can become a better me and hopefully figure out the best course of action when it comes to dealing with women. As always, I'm open for suggestions, so feel free to drop them in the comments :)

Sunday, May 03, 2009

And Now, More Poetry From Chris

State of Mind, State of Heart, State of Soul

Don't ask me how I feel if you don't want to know
That's how I've operated for about 10 years or so
But what happens when that feeling gets to be something even you can't stand?
When your own misery and annoyance now go hand in hand?
You want a change, but you're not sure how to start
You just know you're tired of a troubled, lonely heart
I guess that's why they say loneliness is a state of mind
But it's also the state of my heart and soul
and I'll be damned if it isn't getting old
The tired routine of work and home is just that
Tired like grocery stores overrun with spoiled brats
Imprisoned by my own past, I guess I can share some of the blame
But I still wish for one woman to prove to me they're not all the same
"Faith without works is dead" is what The Almighty says
So I guess I need to work on my faith to get ahead
Faith that I am worthy, faith that there are many instead of few
Faith that the some day I'll have a love made for just us two
I'm scared, but I'm ready
Taking the steps towards happiness has never been more necessary
This state of heart, state of mind, state of soul is getting to be old
It's up to me now to find the courage to step out of my shell and take on what the future holds