The Dangers of Rose Colored Glasses

Ask a teenager to clean the kitchen and they will tell you that they already cleaned the bathroom. Yeah the two have nothing to do with each other save that they are both rooms in a house.  Cleaning the bathroom doesn’t mean that your kitchen isn’t dirty. Likewise, filters do not hide the truth. People get cancer. Racism exists. Injustice is an actual thing. Children are sold for sex. Harsh, ugly truths. The stench of it is filter proof.

 

I threw away the rose colored glasses a few years ago. My ownership of several pair had spanned decades.  In my twenties, it was useful.  They matched my ignorance and my naivete. By the time I hit my thirties, one lens was cracked and an arm was missing from EVERY SINGLE PAIR! It did not take long…Wait strike that, like fo’real heffa you were thirty! It took a long time for me to realize looking through the rosy lenses only prolonged my avoidance of many realities and that was not without consequences.  I was willfully remaining blind to way too many facts.  I lived and I learned.

And then came SnapChat filters!!!! I love my SnapChat and every single filter on it.  The problem is that it is the modern day version of rose colored glasses. It is all really kinda sad. Most people cannot stand to look at the world without a filter anymore. Some funny bunny ears. New eye color. Big round glasses. Ta-da!! The reality is blemish free.

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I truly like filters as much as the next gal and guy; however, I’m starting to notice image buffers in every aspect of our social communication. Instagram, which I also use, is filled with carefully staged photos. Everything is snatched, contoured, and funneled through easy access lenses. Until, it is perfect. In every way, except the truth.  Authenticity is a carefully placed mug with the right inscription presented to the masses at a readable angle. We, as a collective, can’t handle the truth anymore. Under the table is dirty. The mug has Folgers, which I like by the way, and not a fancy Chai, which I also love. You don’t have any eggs for breakfast and no money to go get any.  Your job doesn’t pay enough to live, let alone live your best life. Tuh.  But whose gonna put that on the ‘gram.  No one wants to see it; therefore, it must not be so.  We have managed to filter reality through a variety of lenses until it’s polished clean. Dirt free. Illness free. Deviant free. Judgment free.

That is not reality.

Chemo filter…

I have a dear friend who is about to finish her final round of chemotherapy. She has a wonderfully supportive tribe of women and men around her. In one of our conversations, she shared with me that her fight with cancer had altered some of those friendships as the side effects of chemotherapy became more apparent. She had long-term friends that had become awkward and distant in their communications. Some panicked on her bad days and others over exaggerated her good ones. Some micro-managed ever part of her recovery to keep a healing lens affixed to the situation. Others dropped out of sight, because they just could not find a filter that blurred out the unpleasant edges and still kept her intact.  She has had way more good days than bad, but even openly sharing about fatigue or vomiting or hair loss provoked such an anguished response from some of her support group that it has almost been easier not to share. From what she told me this is not rare; but unfortunately, a common experience for those diagnosed with a major illness. Loved ones do not always know how to look at you and not see the illness all the time.

awareness cancer design pink
Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels.com

She said, “Fuzz, they just don’t know what to do with it. They don’t know how to be around it.”

I said, “It’s not that they don’t love you. They do. It’s just that people are no longer use to seeing life without a filter.”

She told me I better write this down. I did. 

The filtered life of iGens…

My grandboy loves, loves, loves Snapchat and Facebook messenger filters. He’s only 1 year old. If he gets his hands on a phone, he wants to look into the camera and add a hat or some glasses or bucked teeth. He giggles and giggles. He doesn’t know how it happens, but the filters give him happiness and laughter. When he gets fussy and restless, do you know what I do? I call his great-grandmommy on the phone, so that they can talk and play with filters. I distract him with illusions. And don’t be gasping…isn’t that what all the animations are for? Illusions to distract us??? Right. 

 

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Prince K.J. – we really need some masculine filters

Filters alter our perception of the image we are looking at. My grandboy looks very much like a rough and tumble little boy, but Easter egg ears and pink bubble letters make him look a little all soft and frilly.  App developers, why aren’t there more filters for boys? Y’all do know that boys like the filters too huh? Well anyway….Will he grow to think his eyes were gray when they have always been brown? Will he wonder where his pink rosy cheeks have gone? Is he able to connect the concept of dressing up with make believe or will these features alter his perception of himself and others? We simply do not know.

Thus is life in these modern times. Enjoy the innovation and wait 10 years to hear about the adverse side-effect.  One filter distraction after another. One filtered narrative after another.  Nothing is ugly and if it is we go through a handy collection of frames to find the right one to dress it up with. A montage of images to illustrate our befuddled ideas and mystifying connections. Nothing is really what it seems. We detract and distract to the point of complicity. Life, as we perceive it, is good for everyone.

Innovation bends old rules…

Of course not everyone is so easily blinded. Their olfactory sense still tells them that something in rotten over the fence. They know that they have to live by certain rules in their community and they take pride in being honest and not cutting corners. But…then..they step a toe on the neighbor’s lush green grass only to find out is artificial. If they tell the association, they are a snitch. Nosy. But they feel it’s not fair for their neighbor to break a rule that’s meant to keep things uniform. Pleasant. Authentic.

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Photo by Mikes Photos on Pexels.com

Questions enter the discourse. Why are they putting toes on other people’s grass? What exactly were they doing over the property line and is that technically trespassing? What is the state of their own grass? Doesn’t the neighbor have the right to maintain his appearance of grass anyway he wants? Did they know that someone down the street doesn’t even have grass? Why aren’t they telling about that? And just like that the association rules against artificial turf is not the issue. It becomes who has the right to say who has broken rules and how. Justifications. Historical data. Real life examples. Filters.

Can’t hide reality forever…

Ask a teenager to clean the kitchen and they will likely tell you that they already cleaned the bathroom. Yeah the two have nothing to do with each other save that they are both rooms in a house.  Cleaning the bathroom doesn’t mean that your kitchen isn’t dirty. Likewise, filters do not hide the truth. People get cancer. Racism exists. Injustice is an actual thing. Children are sold for sex. Harsh, ugly truths. The stench of it is filter proof.

It is okay not to want to look at that all the time. Completely understandable. All I’m saying is don’t forget that you’re not actually a blue eyed cat with zebra print glasses. Be present in real time, so that you will never forget what’s truly authentic in a world full of fake.

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

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If you like this one, you will love Good Intentions: The Eye of The Beholder and Someone else’s shoes

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Then they came for me…

“The mind of evil doesn’t change. It just changes victims when it’s eye catches sight of the helpless or weak” ~Fuzz

The Emancipation Proclamation was signed on September 22, 1862. The last slaves deep on the southern coast of Texas got word of their freedoom on June 19, 1865. That means for three years after they were proclaimed free from human chattel laws, Black people in Texas were still held in bondage.

Humans as commodity. People for a price. This is America.

Lesson learned: What we think we know is often outdated by the time it reaches our understanding.

I’m watching the news and of course not so surprised by the heart wrenching images of children in immigration detention centers. This is America.

This is stark symbolism of the US economic agenda against humanity, which we have historically devalued. Tying people to economic policies is our corporate policy. People as pawns; a tradable commodity.

Two sides of this I know, maybe even three sides.

1) Seeking asylum is NOT illegal at ports of entry. Our government officials say running from horrendous gang violence, domestic violence, and rape are not grounds for asylum, because they are not victims of a governmental entity or agenda. I call bullshit! The mere fact that local governments are so corrupt and inept is an indication that they are knowingly and willingly aiding perpetrators of violence. The regimes are through policy and practice are cohorts in creating environments that foster crippling crime and fear. When America says “nope not our problem”, we embolden criminals and spit on the pleas of victims. There is no safe place.

2) The fact that families seeking asylum have had a better chance of being approved can be and is manipulated by human traffickers/coyotes. Some level of vetting and protection must be offered to the minors. It is unfounded racial bias that says ALL MEXICANS/EL SALVADORANS/HONDURANS/NICARAGUANS are criminals first! This is fear mongering at it’s worse. Traumatize those running from trauma is a policy void of decency, compassion, or wisdom.

3) There are humane ways to process families’ paperwork and provide a safe and humane environment. We CAN afford to have the children, where there is reason to suspect that they are under questionable adult supervision, comfortably housed with actual counselors, dormitories, and sleeping cots.

I don’t feel like lying to you or with you about the heart of the American government. “We the people” do not benefit from sleep walking. We can humanely protect our borders and treat people with dignity and respect.

The realest orchestration of imagery and tone that exemplifies the violence, complacency, and symbolic patriotism that juxtaposes the conflict between who we say we are and what we actually are: This Is America-Childish Gambino

Happy Juneteenth!


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Study Right

Enjoy your day off! Reflect on why the schools and banks are closed. Study a new solution to an old problem. Have faith. Do right.

One day left! Christmas break is OVER!! 😩

We get MLK day as a reminder that governments kill the righteous to maintain status quo and then pretend like they loved em all along in order to pervert the historical record of their crimes. Yay!! But there’s no school today and it appeases my student/teacher soul. That’s lesson one: contradictions exist, but they still don’t erase truth. There is a contradiction between what I know is true and what I pretend to accept as true just so I can sleep longer. From a illusionary safe haven, I can enjoy parades and a late start to class. Power to all the people!< em><<
day is also the last day to finish building my Blackboard lessons. I waited until a few weeks ago to adopt a new edition; notwithstanding, I must appear competent with the content and prepared. Not too hard. Not too many changes. The few the publisher made are conducive to learning and were way past due. Still, we're talking about young adults in a virtual class setting. A missed placed common can throw them into panicked confusion. Lesson two: Consistency in structure is the key to consistency in results.< img src=”https://fuzzyknotz.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/img_3828.jpg&#8221; class=”wp-image-570 size-full” height=”200″ width=”300″><<
en I first started teaching, I thought that young people (18-21) would easily navigate online learning platforms. I also thought they could spell without using slang and acronyms. My experience has taught me that the former and the later are not necessarily so. In some ways, they have greater difficulty adapting to the layouts and requirements than my middle aged learners.

That observation truly seemed like an anomaly at first. I've deduced that the common sense factor takes a little life experience to fully develop. No judgement intended. I think at times we all have to practice "the simplest answer is usually right" approach to hands on learning. Overthinking is flirting with the dark side. The GPA killer lives there.

< strong>Observation: Young adults have greater difficulty navigating online learning platforms.

Hypothesis: Young adults have less life experience; therefore, they are less likely to apply approaches that would seem common to a middle aged instructor.

Conclusion: K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid Students) <<
least tomorrow, I won't have to get dressed to moderate the class. The purest perk of online courses. I also won't have to weather the outside chill factor to attend my final courses for this latest degree plan. Once again, I get to be the middle aged student in an online course. It may seem like I have the small advantage of knowing how the platforms are set up, but that doesn't nullify the need to study. In all honesty, I’ve had to fine tune my study habits over and over again. My pre-menopausal brain sometimes randomly deletes information 🤦🏽‍♀️ so notes and calendars are vital!

Enjoy your day off! Reflect on why the schools and banks are closed. Study a new solution to an old problem. Have faith. Do right.

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Friends 2.0: How many of us have them?

Friends. How many of us have them? Friends. The ones we can depend on?” ~ Whodini (1984)

These lyrics have been stuck in my head for days. I think it’s time to mull them over, so that I can let them go.

Friends. How many of us have them?

I hope we all have two good friends. Three if you can handle that many. I have three longtime good friends, maybe even four. I don’t care to work with more than that. I guess the first question is: what’s a friend?

A friend is someone that you genuinely connect with who is just as sincere in their connection to you. Reciprocity. Love, laughter, encouragement, and support are freely given and exchanged. It’s not about how often you talk. It’s about the fact that when you do it feels like no time has passed in-between you. Friends.

It’s also important to know what a friend is not. Hurt, humiliation, and ambiguity are not the makings of a true friendship. There are people who only look out for their own gain. I know a simple way to spot them: listen to the self-praising words that come out of their mouths.

You are not special. If they demean others, they will demean you too!

Friends. The ones we can depend on.

I’ve seen friends stick together through deaths and illnesses. I’ve seen friends hold each other up after job losses. Friends are dependable.

I know my very Bestest friend (Shon is her name and traveling is her game! Cheap plug👉🏽 check her out on Instagram @shesmilesatsunrise). We have been best friends for about 29 years. She’s been with me through relationships with my other best friends (that’s why she’s the Bestest👸🏽 ). She’s always super busy, so she never gets made at me crazy schedule. I don’t even get to see her once a year. Earlier this year when Hubby has knee surgery, she flew out here a week later so help me strengthen up for his care. She booked us a room at the Ritz Carlton, ordered us massages and facials, and got me tipsy at the bar. We danced. We laughed. We cried. We slept. She took time to give me the time when I needed it the most. She’s my G.O.A.T.!

This does not mean that your friends are your beck and call girls! That what’s going on with you is more important than their own journey. They have lives too. Their lives are also filled with happiness and sadness. They need encouraging words as well. Friends should always have room to be engaged in their own world guilt-free. If you guilt trip your friend, because her new romance has kept her away from happy hour then YOU, my dear, are not a good friend. 🤷🏽‍♀️

Friends. Before we go any further.

Friendships with the opposite sex are equally important. No one can convince me that males and females can’t be friends. That’s ludacris (not the rapper; the immaturity). The opposite sex can bring perspectives to your dialogues that would otherwise be missing. The male/female approach to problem solving is not typically the same. Both sides are valuable. These aren’t mandatory, but they are beneficial.

One of my friends is a guy. We’ve been friends for about 27 years. We’ve counseled each other through four marriages, three divorces, four kids, three abortions, four career changes, and three college degrees. That’s a lot of information shared 🤦🏽‍♀️ but the great part is when one of us calls the other, we don’t need the whole back story about why the other one feels certain ways about certain things. We get it.

The foundation of friendship is authenticity. You have got to be able to be your whole self with the other person without fear of shame or disapproval. This does not mean your friends are obligated to agree with you, but that they can disagree and love you at the same time.

“Show me your friends and I can tell you all about yourself” ~Pastor Chris

I do find Pastor’s saying to be true. The company we keep is a reflection of who we are. Yes, there are differences between us and our friends; however, our core values tend to be quite similar. The more you walk with them and talk with them, the more you start to sound alike. Your ideas become commingled. This is why it’s so important to choose friends wisely.

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Extravagant by right

Lavish? Maybe.

I’m worth plush and comfortable things

Wasteful? Doubtful.

What does excess even mean?

Profusion? Not that.

Fusion of the world through finds

Extravagant? Always.

I got inheritance that’s almost mine.

Spendthrift? Most definitely.

Great grandaddy’s work funds the night.

High-rolling? Sometimes.

Indifference is my birthright.

DP Prompt: Extravagant

Parents need good standards

We raised our children with rules to follow. Standards. Expectations of how they conducted themselves. Don’t lie (thieves lie so if you’ll lie you might steal). Don’t spit (it’s gross)! Don’t date until you’re sixteen (sons and daughters). Simple don’ts.

I caught several of them in lies over their preteen and teen years. Things like “I’m going to So-and-so’s house”, but I catch you walking on the other side of town with Whose-dat. Or “Did you guys clean the kitchen and the living room?” “Oh yeah Mom. It’s been done”. Lies. Fuckin’ lies. With my key in the door, I could hear them scrambling to put my house back together again.

They proved to me that liars tend to steal too. Now I didn’t raise no outright thieves or nothing, but they definitely took candy money out of my change jar. The dollar bills always remained, but quarters and dimes sure came up missing. 😂 The funny in that is that organized pilfering was the whole point of the jar!! It’s where I’d send them for ice cream truck money, last minute field trip money, and a little teenage gas money (you can’t get too far on $3 worth of change when a gallon costs $4 🤔🤣). I’ve come to realize that telling kids “don’t” translates to “do” in their ears. That doesn’t mean don’t say “don’t”. It means be prepared for when they “do” the “don’t”. Telling boys not to spit is equivalent to saying “don’t piss on the toilet seat”. There’s always slip ups and spit drips. I remember very clearly watching my Hubby watch the boys see who could make their loogie hang the closest to the ground and then slurp it up. 🤢 GROSS!!!!!! I married their nasty-ass ring leader 🤦🏽‍♀️

So you can image how the “don’t date until you’re sixteen” thing worked out. I will say that 4 out of 6 were obedient. The two that didn’t now admit that they emotionally scarred themselves forever. (WHICH IS WHY IT WAS AGAINST THE RULES!!) Now they understand that we were trying to protect their mental and emotional health, as well as physical. Especially our sons. Girls are so wishy washy and fickle that young men can be drug on an emotional roller coaster, put through the love ringer, and then hung out to dry (and get no sympathy for the severity of their heartbreak).

Men and women are fed lies that men do not feel love to the same depth and capacity as women. I call bullshit!!! That lie robs them of genuine experiences, because partners can be callous to their vulnerability. It was easier getting our daughter to stick with the rule, since it socially acceptable for parents to restrict the social lives of girls. Dating rules are not equally applied to boys, but they need the same parental protection.

Rules. Rules. Rules. Standards is what I call them. I know that my kids didn’t always obey them. They tested every barrier to see if it was sturdy. They never went far past the fence. I know as adults they will understand why those rules were there and appreciate parents that provided boundaries and buffers.

Now I get to sit back at laugh when my grandkids break their rules! ✔️👸🏽

A Stitch In The Meantime

What do you do to pass the time while you’re busy passing the time? I swear it’s not a trick question. I’m just sitting here at my sewing machine to do some relaxing quilting, while I wait for my brain to process information that I read for a final term paper.

The paper is on “The Fifth Race: Diasporic Cultures and the Road Toward Humanism”. That’s my title. Don’t steal it 😩 I read two books 📘📕and many, many, many journal articles 📚📚and International Criminal Court memorandums 🤦🏽‍♀️in order to narrow my topic down. But my brain is sleepy now. We just wanna craft while we wait…

Support your local library and bookstores. Nothing beats print!

So in the meantime, in between time, I am going to start my next grandboy quilt. I am by no means a pro at this, but it makes my soul feel good.

When selecting material I simply walk around Joann’s Fabric or Hobby Lobby until I find something that “looks” like the person. When I first started sewing blankets (that I called quilts, but weren’t really quite quilts), I would go to the thrift store and buy sheets and fabric shower curtains to use. (Don’t be bougie! Just wash em!) They were already cut to size basically and if I didn’t like the project it only cost me $5. Eh good deal. I also liked that the fabric was a little worn so the blankets were cozy right away. So economics, aesthetics, and laziness were my creative motivations (I don’t like or understand proper measurements). No magic. No statistical analysis.

Do you see my embroidery hoop? I have a new stitch to try. 😊

Now this will be my first time using a poly-fil. I chose an extra loft, because I want it to be cozy after many washes. I don’t know a lot about filling (I use to just use an old blanket and repurpose it), but I’m trying to grow my skill set. And my mother-in-law keeps asking me over and over and over again if I’m going to fill them. I take it that’s her subtle hint that I should lol.

My thoughts: These babies are gonna sweat like hell under these thick ass quilts.

I doubt I’ll ever do fancy log cabins and I don’t really want too. I think they’re cool looking, but I don’t want to cut and measure all those squares and triangles. I checked out a book once that told me all about how quilt patterns contained the hidden messages and directions for the underground railroad! Like how freaking cool is that! But I’m not really trying to get in the quilt for show league. I want them to be used until they’re threadbare.

My Granny taught me to handstitch and make patterns when I was about 10 yrs old. I still make my own patterns or repurpose (there’s that word again lol) them to make original designs. Haven’t sewn a dress in over 20 yrs, but whatever I sewed was sewn by hand. And I liked it that way. Fast forward to about 8 yrs ago. I basically inherited my first and only sewing machine from my Aunt Shirley and it came with all of her and Grandma Emmie’s patterns, threads, books, and a tote full of quilt materials. I try to use their things to keep quilting alive. Perfectly matches with my desire to create heirlooms for my family. 😍

Well… Back to the essay I go 👍🏽

Don’t Touch My Hair!

Don’t touch my hair!!! Is being shouted in every public forum. Don’t touch my hair!! Doesn’t even seem like anything that should need to be said. It’s truly unfortunate that someone would need to be told that it is not copasetic to put your hands on someone else’s person without explicit permission. But I guess🤷🏽‍♀️

I’m not exactly jumping in the “don’t touch my hair” bandwagon, although I agree with these ladies and gentlemen that their space should be respected. Curiosity does not trump good manners. I have observed that now that Black people have embraced education on styling and maintaining our hair in it’s natural form, our artistry is seen more openly in workplaces and common environments. What appears as new styles to some, are the same refashioned styles we’ve been rockin’ at home and our social gatherings for decades.

I have never in my 9 years of growing dreadlocks had anyone touch them without being invited. Ever. And the idea that someone would seems so lacking of class that I am surprised that people still have these encounters. Curiosity of the texture or how an updo is holding it’s form does not override the rules of good manners.

Do I think of my hair as art? Yes. I have spent time hours upon hours developing my maintenance regiment. I buy herbs and supplements to promote a healthy scalp that will grow and support my hair. I have to nurture each individual loc to avoid thinning and breakage. So is it art? Yes, it is a true and authentic expression of my love for myself and my journey of self-discovery. It is a representation of my unapologetic Blackness. It also aligns with my belief that God knows and loves every hair on my head ~so do I 😍

So since I think of it as an artistic manifestation of my self awareness, then gallery art rules natural apply. I mean I have never run my hands over a car’s high gloss shine at a car show. I’ve never fingered brush strokes of a painting in a museum. I’ve certainly never touched a sandcastle to see if the sand was wet or gritty. In terms of art, the styling of my hair survives under those same rules and a barrier exists for the same reason.

Like I said, I’ve never had someone touch it uninvited, but I definitely allowed people to touch it. I can’t think of a time someone asked to. Each time, I think I offered. Why? Because I didn’t mind being open to a coworker or a friend about the truth and fallacies about Black hair (particularly dreadlocks). Mine are soft, long, and heavy. Is it my job to educate someone else about my hair? If my daily life is interlocked with this other person’s, then yes it is mutually beneficial that they would eventually part ways wiser than when we met. Good information shapes good manners.

I had a coworker named Minerva that would play in my hair during meetings. (It was a very casual but stressful law firm) I loved it! It felt so southing and kept my stress headaches to a minimum. I didn’t assign an insult or offense to it. It was just a girlfriend braiding and unbraiding another friend’s hair.

If you disagree with my use of the term dreadlocks instead of locs.. Umm ok 🙄 but please first read my blog entry DREADFULLY for insight into my perspective. I am always open to informed dialogue 😊

Pressure Point

Everybody wants me to be a certain way

I guess it makes them feel good

To believe that I wouldn’t know me better

Than to rob myself of freedom

They want silence when I want to scream

They want to reconcile my retribution

To pacify the sting of their guilt

While atmospheric pressure molds

My revolution

 

Daily Prompt: Atmospheric