Blog Project Day 52: Ten Things You Don’t Really Need to Know About Me
I met Rocky Carroll when I was 18 years old. I worked at the Huntington Theatre Company, and he was playing “Lyman” in their production of August Wilson’s Piano Lesson. My favorite scene was when he kissed “Bernice” on the neck; I wanted to be her each and every night. I walked home with him (and others of the cast) most every night I worked. I confess that more than two decades later, I’m still swooning.
1. IMHO the perfect state for an ice cube is when it’s half firm, half slush so it’s enough crunch when you bite into it to be satisfying, but not so crunchy that your dentist yells at you when you go see her or you become too scared to go to said dentist because you know she’s going to yell at you when you see her even though you’ve spent all of your life having perfect teeth.
2. I am one of those people whose pee smells when I eat asparagus. (Is that the kind of thing you should announce on a first date or a second, or maybe you just gently work it into the conversation after he’s popped the question and you’re sure you really like your ring…)
3. Today I was able to spend a half-hour being delighted by the antics of my friend M’s smart, rambunctious, absolutely gorgeous boys (almost 3 and almost 5.) Somehow this made me write a poem on the way home that contains the lines: “I will never have children. I will never learn the grief & guilt of them. I will never forget their names, or lose them in the murk and muck of my mother’s love for them.”
4. No, really, i have a serious ice cube problem.
5. Even with my glasses on, I can rarely actually see anything. It’s a problem of focus, mostly physical—I have deformed corneas—but sometimes I’m sure it’s mental too.
6. I have given up using any type of styling product except for a few blasts of L’Oreal Elnett hairspray for which I pay $12/can because it was once only available in Paris. I also wear mascara most every day, and black eyeliner most days, and I’m starting this new thing involving red lipstick except on Tuesdays cause that’s when I weigh-in at Weight Watchers and I don’t want to stain my shirts as I strip down to the bare minimum before I step on the scale.
7. I hated being 40. And 41. What I said: “Well, it’s just disorienting coming face-to-face with the disparity between what the 40-year-old me looked at from the vantage point of 18, and what the reality is, but I do love my life.” What I meant: “This wasn’t supposed to happen to me. I wasn’t supposed to be the one who ended up without a husband, without kids. I wasn’t supposed to still be recovering from childhood. I wasn’t supposed to still tear up—in joy, but also in sorrow—at every engagement and pregnancy announcement, and wonder why not me?”
8. I love being 42. What I say now: “It’s okay to be sad when someone else gets married or engaged. It’s okay to grieve what you may not have. That doesn’t mean you don’t have a good life. That doesn’t mean you don’t know from the bottom of your heart you have a good life. That doesn’t mean that you hate your friends. It just means that grief can be unreasonable and inarticulate. It just means you’re human.”
9. I just realized last week that honey isn’t vegan. I haven’t had any honey because it doesn’t sit well in my stomach, so it’s not really something I needed to know. But still, shouldn’t I have put two and two together?
10. I worry that I talk about the white men I find attractive too much. I worry that you think I’m one of “those” black women who only likes white guys. I don’t think there’s any (legal) way to show you all the beautiful black men I see on the Metro, or walking down the street, or in Barnes and Noble who make me yearn. They’re just not usually on the TV shows I watch all the time, or they’re not in the bands I listen to. But in case you’re keeping track: Common and Hill Harper and John Legend and Rocky Carroll and Shemar Moore and the guy who played the sheriff in Why Did I Get Married? and the guy who played the bad husband in that, too, who I loved in Judging Amy and Sarah Connor: The Terminator Chronicles, and Don Cheadle, and Keman, who’s the kid I grew up next to who was way too young for me, and Peter from down the block, but that’s another category entirely…