So I hung out with my good friends Kea, Sparrow, Zorro Smitty, Namaste, and Namaste’s boyfriend JoJo this week. We had an excellent time. I busted out some pictures from high school. And because of the pictures, I made sure to take some. I’m looking at them and thinking, Man, that’s a whole lotta good lookin’ people right there. We should start a stock photo company for multicultural shots. This looks like the cast photo for a sitcom about colored people!*
Then I’m realizing the one picture of all of us looks like it features seven people: the six of us, plus my crotch. Come to where the flavor is, I seem to be saying with my body language. All you can eat!
At least I’m wearing my favorite pants. I told you I had a plaid problem. Yes, they’re Trina, not upholstery, though I can see how you’d get confused.
Clockwise, that’s me, Kea, Sparrow, Zorro Smitty, Namaste, JoJo, and my crotch.
Can I send this to my mom? Or will I have to field questions about why I am sitting this way? The camera was on a timer, by the bye. No one was telling me to sit this way, or omitting information about my sitting habits.
*WordPress let me know I’m not supposed to say “colored people,” I’m supposed to say “people of African descent.” I would like you to know I mean people who are different colors, not just black people. Really, I mean mixed people, but WordPress isn’t hip that that’s offensive to some mixed people just as much as “colored” is. I am supposed to say “biracial” or “multiethnic.” I only say “colored” when I’m not in mixed company, and I forget this is mixed company. So I shouldn’t say it. But that’s how I refer to myself. I don’t let other people do it, except my colored friends.
See, I like the way “colored” sounds. I like it’s mouthfeel. It has the most weight and heft. I am hurt when people look at only the color of my skin, and “colored” carries the astringent surprise of looking at my race. It reminds people that judging me by my race has meaning and it shouldn’t be done lightly. It is also the most musical of all the terms for my race. “Biracial,” honestly, sounds so clinical. “Mixed” is boring. I’m not actually black. I’m not white. “Mulatto” is offensive to me. “Half white and half black” is a mouthful and doesn’t feel right, either, because I am something whole, not something torn asunder. So it’s a not okay word that I really like to use, but I’m not supposed to use it in mixed company. I don’t mean to offend people, but I do mean to catch them off guard. No hurt feelings, but a few double takes.
**Sugar’n’Spice: I think that name is the funniest thing in the world, given the two white boys in this picture. Maybe you don’t, but I am so happy about that I can’t even tell you. I’m snickering my fucking ass off. (No, Zorro Smitty isn’t white, he’s mixed, like Sparrow, Namaste and me. We’re just all different mixes.) I get to be the perennially single girl, perhaps the wacky neighbor. My color precludes me from being anything but “sassy,” though. Because I’m black, you know. That’s what we are. Sassy. That and judges. Start paying attention–there are so many black women judges on television and in movies it’s fucking ridiculous. There are black people in media as judges in general, but women especially. You’d think we were half the judges in America! I think society wants to be judged by us. Black women. I don’t even know why. That’s a thesis there.