This Is Who I Am – #writer #writerslife

Like I said in this past post, I don’t do selfies.

I much prefer to be behind the camera than in front of it.

But since a few curious readers asked me “what I look like”, I’ve decided to post a photo.

A photo.

One photo.

A one time thing that will likely not happen again for a very long time.

And this photo may go POOF and then disappear when I revamp my blog in the coming months.

If you would like to see “who I am“, you’ll need to scroll down.

Yeah, scroll down.

Scroll down some more.

Scroll down some more again.

You’re almost there.

Okay, there you go…

This is who I am.

This is also who I’m interested in rediscovering.

Wait…what did you say?

I never said that the photo would be a “recent” one! 🙂

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

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No Strokes For Different Folks #microaggressions 

This is clearly not me…taken from and credit to: https://giphy.com/gifs/hannahbronfman-hannah-bronfman-3og0IAsEcf8EfYAAUw

I’m rolling my eyes at the fact that I felt the need to write this this “disclaimer” as an intro…

This post is NOT intended to call anyone “ignorant”. It’s to raise awareness about how uncomfortable people can feel when seemingly harmless things are said and done to them, oftentimes by people who don’t mean any harm and don’t realize how their actions are being received.

But when we know better, we do better right?

That is the objective of this post.

Hopefully that was clear because I’m climbing onto my soapbox now…

This could have been included in yesterday’s “Pet Peeves” but I felt that it deserved its own post. 

In my “Life of Pie” – 12 Totally Random Things You Never Needed To Know About Me” post, I told you that sometimes people I barely know have gotten into my personal space and have touched my “_____”, taking me off guard before I could even react.

In that post, I purposely left it blank so that you could guess. Some of you guessed right and some of you guessed …not right.

Well, as luck would have it, someone who knew exactly what I was referring to in that post forwarded me a real-life example of my #12.

Take a look:

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

I cringed the moment I saw that outstretched hand…

It boggles my mind why some people think that it’s “okay” to cross that personal boundary, physically touch someone they may barely know and even sometimes go so far as to glide their hands over another person.

How would those same individuals like it if someone they barely knew stroked them?

I don’t care if the gesture is meant to be a compliment – do not touch me without my permission.

I repeat – I. Do. Not. Care. No. Touching.

Yes, that woman looks amazing at 53. And I’ll even let that co-host’s words slide this time (because it’s an entirely different conversation).

But the touching?

Uhhhh…no, no, no.

There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. Don’t do it. Not everyone will be as polite as the woman in this video. Recoiling like a snake while giving you my “subway” face has been my go-to move for years now because it’s been much more effective than being “polite” by pretending to be okay with it.

Oh…the stories I could share with you but I won’t.

As food for thought, I’m leaving you with a link to “21 Racial Microaggressions You Hear On A Daily Basis“. If you don’t have time to read, the photos speak volumes.

Microaggressions are not limited to “race”. There are many that abound related to gender and sexuality too…

Okay, I’m climbing off my soapbox now. My rant is over. 🙂

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

 

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“Who’s Laughing Now?” #bully #meangirl

 

Image result for Who laughs last, laughs loudest.

credit to and found at: http://www.idiomsandslang.com/he-who-laughs-last-laughs-best/

Who’s Laughing Now?

*inspired by Who’s Laughing Now? (video below)

The woman was plump, had a face full of wrinkles and looked beyond dowdy in her washed out yoga pants and oversized T-shirt. She stood shaking her head in frustration as her children raced up and down the grocery aisle. It was obvious that she wanted to crucify them but she seemed too tired to deal with them as they screamed and darted around people’s grocery carts.

Something about her felt familiar and I wondered from where I knew her. As I continued to scan the shelf for what I needed for the weekend, I eliminated the possibilities. She wasn’t from my university days, past jobs or from elementary school where everyone knew each other. High school was the only feasible place left and I immediately knew who she was – Eva the bully.

Eva was an older girl who had bullied me when I first started high school. She was in the graduating class and had taken a “liking” to me, taunting me in the meanest ways possible on the bus and whenever our paths would cross in the school hallways. I was her perfect target – young fresh meat, four years younger than her and one out of the handful of Black kids in the entire school. Her insults always focused my “blackness” – how ugly and Medusa-like my braids were, how my skin was brown like a monkey and anything else that came to her nasty little mind. Eva was a class act with her promises to beat me up if I opened my mouth and told on her. Yes, she was a first class mean girl who had a good laugh at my expense.

But even at that age, I knew better than to give her what she wanted  – the satisfaction of scaring me, even if I was on the inside. But when pretending not to care only aggravated her more, she doubled up on her efforts and I had no choice to get the family involved. I couldn’t live on pins and needles until she graduated. She was already as dumb as a doorknob – what if she failed and had to repeat her grade…what would happen then?

I must have been deep in thought and staring at her while I took that 30 year trip down memory lane because I found her staring curiously right back at me.

“Do we know each other?” Eva had the nerve to smile and it irked the shit out of me.

I was about to shake my head with a “no” and simply go about my business but when one of her kids crashed into me and kept running, it ignited a fire in the pit of my stomach. I found myself approaching her.

“I’m sure that you won’t remember me but I definitely remember you. You’re Eva, right?” I smiled.

“Yeah, I am. How do we know each other?”

I couldn’t help but smile even wider.

“You were the racist bitch that bullied me in my first year of high school. It’s hard to forget a face as ugly as yours.”

Eva’s face quickly changed from a smile to shock. From her wide eyes, she was confused at how the words coming out of my words were not corresponding with the smile plastered on my face. She opened her mouth but couldn’t form a full sentence.

“What?”

“I said that you were the racist bitch that bullied me in my first year of high school,” I repeated a little louder, attracting the attention of a young couple standing nearby.

She tried to recognize my face from all those years ago, probably flashing back to what and who she had been back then and maybe to what and who she still was.

“You were nothing less than a monster but from the looks of it, you’re living a nightmare of your own. And you definitely deserve it. You reap what you sow.”

I pointed to her kids spitting out f* bombs at each other like they were candy, fighting over something from the shelf down the aisle. I didn’t give a flying fig that the couple watching were fully fascinated by my words and were looking at Eva in disgust.

I gave Eva my back and returned to where I had left my cart a few steps away, feeling her eyes on me the entire time. From the corner of my eye, I could see her standing motionless, unsure of what to do and looking extremely embarrassed. I finished taking down what I needed and glanced back at her.

“Have yourself a wonderful day Eva,” I told her and walked away to the cashier.

No, it’s not true that I walked away.

I strutted my way down the grocery aisle, my stride overflowing with satisfaction.

You know what they say, he who laughs last, laughs best…

All Rights Reserved©2016 Marquessa Matthews.

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos directly above. No copyright infringement intended.

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The Things Women Go Through #truestory

In response to “Recreate A Single Day”

scared

Photo credit: San Diego Shooter / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

When I felt his eyes on me, I immediately regretted having pushed my to-do list late into the evening hours.

With the change of seasons, it was already getting darker faster and in the badly-lit and bare parking lot, this dude was totally creeping me out. I hustled into the entrance of the hardware store as quickly as I could.

I’m usually aware of my surroundings so that’s how I noticed him almost right away. He had been staring at me as he had approached his car with one lonely bag in his hand. He had popped his trunk, thrown the bag into it and then continued staring. What creeped me out was the “something” in his eyes that I could see through the darkness. It gave me a sick ache in the pit of my stomach.

I was even more creeped out when he slammed his trunk and I realized that he was following behind me.

Strange how your brain processes information really fast when it needs to.

Why is he going back into the store when he just came from there? Is he following me? No, relax and stop being paranoid!

I joined the returns line near the main entrance and waited for what felt like an eternity before nonchalantly turning around to see where he had gone. Our eyes immediately made four. He was about 3 customers away from me in the same line.

What the f***? He’s got nothing in his hands to return…

For the first time in my life, I was glad that it was a long line. It gave me time to think.

Did I tell anyone about my errands and where I was going tonight? Should I call my brother and tell him where I am in case something were to happen? No, that might freak him out.

If I leave the line now, Weird Dude knows where I parked and could simply follow me back to my car…or even home. No, you can’t go straight back to your car.

It was my turn at the cashier. I handed her my bill and credit card and all the while, my thoughts were elsewhere. I looked back. Now, there were about four customers behind him.

As I placed my credit card back into my wallet, I played it cool and walked through the turnstile into the main part of the store. Stopping at the first aisle, I turned around to see that he was unsuccessfully trying to get himself out of the line, first from the back and then from the front. Other customers were getting annoyed with him trying to jostle past them.

I need to lose him. If I walk along the back aisles of the store, it would be easier to do it.

But as I did, I realized that with only one set of exit doors, he could be waiting there or even near my car. I immediately regretted wasting time and not going back directly to my car in the first place.

I called a friend who stayed on the line with me as we tried to decide on my next move.

And that’s when I decided to act like a creep myself.

I shadowed a man and his young son who was enjoying a lollipop headed in the same direction as my car. Fortunately, the man didn’t realize that I was invading their personal space but I was close enough for the child to eye me suspiciously as if I was about to steal the lollipop out of his hand.

Sorry kid, I’d rather be safe than sorry.

©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Originally posted on September 24, 2015

If you liked this piece and want to see more like it, please click on “Like” and/or “Comment” below and share with others who would also enjoy it. You can also sign up for my mailing list here to get the latest news from me. 

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“Are You Ready For Me To Speak?” | Snap Judgment #TryPod

There is one word that describes this 10 minute anecdote – RIVETING.

I actually stopped what I was doing, sat down to give it 100% of my attention because I was afraid of how her story would end.

I love Snap Judgment and as part of this March’s Podcast Awareness Month, why not check it out! You could also check out the other podcasts I listed in this Maybe You Like To Watch But I Prefer to Listen and Get Your Freak On .

Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

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#ShowcaseSunday: Trump Showed me America’s True Colours | Alexis Chateau @alexischateau_

More than thought-provoking. Please visit and comment directly on the blogger’s original post below.

Marquessa


This year, red is very telling.

Source: Trump Showed me America’s True Colours – Alexis Chateau

Lessons Your Parents May Not Have Taught You #black #racism #race

Excellence is the best deterrent to racism…

girl-486950_1920

https://pixabay.com/en/girl-child-black-african-486950/

As children, our parents taught us a number of life lessons at a very young age. Whenever we would gather around the dinner table, they would regale us with stories of their upbringing, childhood and their day at work and in return, we would share all the details of what had happened during our school day.

But being raised by vigilant parents, oftentimes those dinnertime conversations would be sprinkled with “lessons about life” that were important for us to know as First Generation children of immigrants growing up Black in a mainly White and French speaking environment – an environment where being “outside the norm” wasn’t always well-received.

These “lessons” were rooted in real-life incidents experienced by those in our small circle of family, friends and friends of friends.

Growing up, your parents taught you lessons too.

But different teachers provide their students with different content material based on the classes they took in the school of life:

  • When stopped by the police (not “if” you are stopped by the police), keep your hands visible on the wheel and do exactly what you are told. Shooting first and asking questions later are the rules of the game. Dead men tell no tales and when you’re dead, only one side of the story will be told and it won’t be yours. Remember that…
  • When you’re in a store, never put your hands in your pockets and avoid opening your purse until you’re in front of the cashier. The ones that hate you because of your color will not give you the benefit of the doubt and will be quick to treat you as a thief. Remember that…
  • Excellence is the best deterrent to racism. Be kind to all, get your education, keep your eye on the prize and secure your future. Racists assume that you are nothing, come from nothing and know nothing. Surprise them by being “someone”, coming from “something” and knowing that you are capable of greatness. They will have to find another way to try to break you and your spirit. You won’t let them because you’ll know better. Remember that…
  • Think carefully about your actions and how you approach certain situations. What is perceived as “a pass” for someone else will likely be seen as a “crime” if you’re in the same situation. Remember that ; and
  • When you see your friends doing wrong, walk away. Because if the authorities are called, you will be the first one they haul away – no questions asked. Remember that…

Those are a just a handful of life lessons I learned being in the skin I’m in.

©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Originally posted July 8, 2016

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