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A Definition and Explanation

March 24, 2009

The Oreo Experience or: A Total Whitey in a Black Chick’s Body

Oreo – Slang: Black on the outside….white on the inside.

My grandparents have really cool recessive genes for black people. They have this rich, dark skin with bright blue eyes.

I also have an interesting recessive gene for black people: the one that makes me love Renaissance Fairs, Kristen Chenowith and dressage competitions.

This blog is dedicated to that existence.

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If you can’t say something nice, make this face instead

November 5, 2014

I enjoy a good podcast as much as the next person. I like knowing juuuuust enough about a topic to show well at dinner parties. I like getting lost in the conversation of experts. I like being exposed to new ideas or fantastic innovations. I like listening to Neil de Grasse Tyson quietly, but definitely, demand to be the funniest guy in the Cosmos.

What I’m less keen on is hearing the n-word 6 times in the intro to one of my new favorite ‘casts.

You might be thinking: “Well, OreoExperience, Were you listening to a podcast about race?”

No, of course not. I went as Hedy Lamar for Halloween, not “Insane, Reckless Radical.”

You might be thinking: “Well, OreoExperience, are you sure the song wasn’t about a ninja who was moving dope. Or maybe the song was about spring insects like chiggers, or someone pulling a trigger?”

Nope. I googled to confirm. And then apologized to my work computer for making it display such lyrics.

You might be thinking: “Well, OreoExperience. It’s just a word. Sticks and stones and all that. You sound super uptight.”

Of course, I’m uptight! One does not perfect a canter pirouette (or anything else in life for that matter) if not by being a bit unrelenting  and a fan of behaving obsessively.

I might have been less surprised if the podcast in question was about race or hip hop or drugs or the creative use of linguistics in disenfranchised communities. Or if the hosts had been a minority of some sort.

But no, it was 3 white guys sitting around discussing economics and how much people like to buy coffee and chips who decided that their entrance music would drop half a dozen n-bombs.

I might also have been less reactive had I not had a friend with me and just told them how much I love this podcast.

It’s in these moments that Oreo training really kicks in. The only thing more uncomfortable than a person who’s been threatened by having the word nigger shouted at them while spit flew from that same mouth suddenly hearing it in a context that makes zero sense is the white person next to them hoping desperately that this situation doesn’t mean that they’re racist.

In this situation, you may feel the urge to throw your iPhone across the room (and since it’s a 4s, you might be doing yourself a favor) and never listen to this show again. At the very least, your jaw may drop.

Do not let it

An Oreo must keep calm and poised at all times for the sake of those around her. For those times when you don’t feel so calm and poised, please practice the following look. It will get you much farther than debating or protesting or bringing up well-reasoned arguments ever will. And it will keep the people around you emotionally snug as a bug in a well protected rug.

Heard a needlessly offensive song in what was supposed to be an informative show?


Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3
Had a friend tell you that this blackfaced Ray Rice costume they saw was totes hilar?


Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3

People tell you they’re shocked when they realize you don’t have a super strong opinion about Dear White People?

Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3

 

Trader Joes out of Diet Hansen’s Ginger Ale?

Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3

Did a flying lead change when you should have done a canter half-pass?

Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3


Realized that you didn’t put your phone in airplane mode for the first 3 days of your trip to London?

Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3

Realized that a state in this union passed a law yesterday that forces women to plan for their own rapes and buy rape insurance, otherwise they may not get proper medical care after their trauma?

Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3

Comedian feels entitled to make un-requested slavery/rape fantasy “jokes” about a woman he doesn’t know, then gets all butthurt because people ask him not to publicly bring strangers into his demons.

Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3

Smile through the pain. Everyone around you will appreciate it and the pain you experience from forcing your lips into a happy U-shape will soon eclipse the pain of the “injustice” you “felt.”

At the very least, it’s practice to get you out of accidentally making ABL Face. (I think we all know what that stands for… The Royal “We” of course… Oh, we don’t. OK, sorry, I thought we were… anyhoo, check out the meaning behind ABL Face here)

 

What about you? What’s your “it’s all good” face? Do people buy it? What are you grinning and bearing this week?

If you were going to have entrance music, what would your song be? How uncomfortable would it make people?

Let us know in the comments! 

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The First Step Is Admitting You Have a Problem

September 30, 2014

It’s taken me a long time to admit this. I’m not proud, in fact, I’m embarrassed.

People say it’s not my fault. That I’m blessed in so many other ways. That something like this could happen to anybody

It’s come to my attention. That somewhere along the line, I’ve contracted Angry Black Lady Face.

This isn't what it looks like, but it's sure how it feels.

This isn’t what it looks like, but it’s sure how it feels.

I don’t know how this happened. I’ve been so careful. I always use protection. I lay pencils in between my teeth at night to train my cheek muscles to always be in a fully upright and stored position. When walking alone, I often quote old English Chaucer, which is nearly impossible to do without screwing your face into a smile.

But then sometimes, I’m careless and this is what happens. You come down with ABLF.

I first realized I had Angry Black Lady Face when I noticed that children never offer to sell me Girl Scout Cookies. And people outside of Trader Joe’s never try to get me to sign petitions.

There I am, leaving with my humus medley and fennel bulbs and my rosemary marcona almonds tucked securely under my arm. I hear the siren song of the (paid) idealist:

“Excuse me! Do you have 5 minutes for net neutrality!”

“Excuse me! Do you have 5 minutes for marriage equality!”

“Excuse me! Do yo--”

And then they meet my eyes. And their cause fades away.

I try walking towards them in an open and affirming way. But they look past me, safely into the middle distance.

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It’s a shame that I have Angry Black Lady Face because I am the least black lady of all the ladies. Lady Mary Crawley is more black lady than I am… as evidenced by the fact that I just made a Downton Abbey reference. And used the phrase “as evidenced by.”

It’s also a shame because I am at Trader Joe’s a LOT! Love Diet Hansen’s Ginger Ale. I walk past about 30 thousand petitioners a week. Think of the good I could do.

Just for the record, my ABLF is just my Thinking Face. Usually thinking one of these things:

  • Why didn’t my Radiolab podcast update this week?
  • Ugh. I was supposed to do a leg yield from A to X but did a passage instead. Stupid!
  • Is it too late to get tix to see Gone With The Wind in Imax?
  • How much Speculoos is too much Speculoos?
  • What is my favorite Belle and Sebastian song?
  • Imaginary friends are totally normal. Totally.
  • You know what, I’m not even sad that I spend half my life in Spanx. It’s like being hugged all day long.
  • I love having pets, but am kind of afraid it makes me a mini-terrorist. You take an infant from its family without explaining yourself. You make it poop in front of you. Then when it gets sick or old, you just kill it.
  • Grrr, seriously. Why is my Cosmos podcast crashing my phone! Do not eff with me deGrasse Tyson. Not with me.

Do you have Angry Black Lady Face? Or it’s alleles: Resting Bitch Face? Studious Asian Face? Always Sad Eyes? Smiling But You’re Not Really Smiling Smile? How do you cope? Did I use “alleles” correctly? Send us a picture or let us know about it in the comments!

 

 

 

Remember, there is no cure for ABLF. But there is hope.

giphy

 

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Django Rechained – Makeout Sesh Gets Messy

September 15, 2014

This weekend I, like many of you, read about The Adventure of Django Unchained Actress Danielle Watts Out and About in Studio City.

If you haven’t heard about this yet, SPOILERALERT:

Watts was making out with her celebrity chef boyfriend in their car when they were approached by cops. They asked her for ID and asked questions intimating they thought she was a prostitute. When she didn’t hand over her ID, they handcuffed her, put her in the back of a squad car; and eventually released her.

Watts, in happier times. (source)

Watts, in happier times.
(source)

I read this story; and became very sad.

Because despite the best efforts of The Oreo Experience, Intl, LLC, ESQ, sometimes people forget some of the basics.

Danielle did a lot of things right (white boyfriend, hanging out in Tony neighborhood where the average home price is $1.1 million) but she also made some classic mistakes.

Can you spot them? I’ll give you a minute. Eyes on your own paper!

Answer carefully

Answer carefully

SFX: Girl from Impanema

Pencils down! Let’s see how you did. What did Ms. Watts do wrong? Here we go:

Short, natural hair.
Maintaining long hair as a woman of color takes a long time and goodly amount of dedication. Your long flowing locks will make it clear that you don’t have time to take on a second job as a prostitute. It’s also in line with pretty standard Western beauty standards. Showing that you’re not afraid to not conform also shows that you’re not afraid to not be breaking laws. When someone endures the time, money, and third-degree burns necessary to fit in perfectly, you can be much more assured that they don’t want to cause trouble.

NYC shirt
Sure New York City is home to great museums, priceless works of art and brilliant architecture. But it’s also super diverse and sung about by rappers. How are police supposed to know that you’re paying homage to The Big Apple because you really love Art Deco buildings or because you’re in line with Mr. Beyonce?

You can still wear shirts that announce one’s love of cities, just make sure they’re the right cities. For example, I love sporting my “Wisconsin is for me!” or “Omaha is lovely this time of year!” or “I sure do enjoy Salt Lake City” tees.

Colorful shorts.
Short shorts are totally ok, but we need to tone down the colors. The orange and purple and bold patterns are reminiscent of some African tribal prints (which I only know since I have done the scary research so that you don’t have to).

Didn’t show the cops her ID.
Look, just because there’s no law on the CA books that says you don’t have to carry ID with you if you’re not operating a motor vehicle. And just because California doesn’t have a Stop and Identify statute doesn’t mean a darn thing. Oreos are not interested in the “letter of the law,” we’re interested in “making other people feel comfortable.”

Expressed affection during daylight hours
Everyone knows that the best, safest, most secure and sincere way to show your love just how much you love them is in the dark. And maybe in separate beds. Pennings sonnets. Praying for redemption from your lust.

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What do you think? Justified stop or something else? Have you been pulled over for silly reasons? How did you get out of it? Or are you writing from jail? If you are writing from jail, it is one of those nicely lit ones like on OITNB; or one of the scary jails from that SpikeTV show JAIL?
Let us know in the comments!

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Truth or Dare

August 11, 2014

Remember the game Truth or Dare? That game we played as kids with the goal to embarrass each other as much as possible in the name of pre-pubescent bonding?  I was thinking about that game during the last few days (no, nothing weird happened over the weekend, why?) and I realized something very important: This game is wasted on the young.

When you’re a kid and you play Truth or Dare, you get questions like:

“Truth… do you like Ben?” or “Truth…have you gotten your period?” or “Dare: I dare you to show us your bra!”

These questions are worthless. Doesn’t matter how you feel about Ben. Dollars to donuts he is not into the girl who looooooves turquoise and who’s 12-year-old teeth are just not where they should be. And in a few years, to make up for the fact that Ben never gave you the time of day, you’ll be showing everyone your bra.

We all go through dark times.

Ben, I never blamed you.

But if we could re-purpose this set up and harness the power of probing questions and suggestions for ridiculous action items for 30-somethings, lives would change, my friends. Lives would change.

Think about it. You’re hanging with your friends. Enjoying a glass 3.4 bottles of wine, someone finally puts down the Cards Against Humanity and suggests Truth or Dare.

“Truth: Do you really need to have Bradley Murphy’s number in your phone anymore?”

“Truth: Be honest. If a friend talked to you….the way you talk to you… would you consider that person a friend? No, no you would not.”

Or “Dare: …I dare you to revamp your resume. You don’t have to send it out, let’s just open up that Word doc and see what we’re working with.”

Maybe, “Dare you to just put your gym bag in the car. Don’t have sign up anywhere. Just pack it, put it in the backseat and when you’re ready, it will be, too.”

We could change the world you guys. The whole world.

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What would you Truth or Dare yourself to do?

Let us know in the comments. Then let us know how it goes! #TheRevolutionBeginsHere #ButNotA”Revolution”Revolution,CIA.Don’tGetItTwistedJustSomeSelfImprovement

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Hobby Lobby – Not Hateful – Helpful!

June 30, 2014

People are very upset over this Supreme Court Hobby Lobby ruling. And on it’s face, it seems very upsetting.

For those who have missed the news, the Supreme Court today handed down a ruling that corporations can withhold coverage for birth control for women if the religious beliefs of the corporation say that birth control is icky. Birth control can be denied whether the woman is using for slutty slut reasons or if she’s using it so that she can stand up the week a month that her body is being ravaged by horrible PCOS symptoms. Either way, female HL employees are out of luck. Meanwhile, male employee can buy all the condoms and vasectomies their little hearts desire.

What I think everyone is missing is that sure, Hobby Lobby is kiiiind setting up a precedent for actively discriminating against half the population of this country. But, it’s only because they’re offering some pretty sweet alternatives, you guys!

They are a craft store after all. And they’ve come up with some awesome DIY birth control projects that you can create right from Hobby Lobby’s own aisles!

 

Put a Bird on it!
Hobby Lobby is not offering help with women keeping themselves healthy, but they are offering discounts on its line of Small Pastel Natural Feather Birds. Just affix one of these lovelies to your naughty bits and voila! The feathers provide a gentle tickling sensation, but the beak assures you that your partner can only get so far.

CheepCheepCheep! It's a birdsong! Describing what people think of you when you have sex, but no baby to show for it.

CheepCheepCheep! It’s a birdsong! A birdsong describing what people think of you when you have sex, but no baby to show for it.

Wax On!
Use Hobby Lobby’s Natural Soy Wax Candle Making Kit to keep your yippie bog tidy and terrifying! The wax gently removes unwanted hair, while the wick you can now light keeps away unwanted dick. Just build the candle using your fiddle cove as the candle form and light it up whenever that special someone gets too close!

Everything looks better by the glow of candlelight. Especially Scalia.

Everything looks better by the glow of candlelight. Especially Scalia.

 

Play Dress Up!
Did you know that Hobby Lobby sold fashion accessories? You didn’t? What, were you shopping at some old school shoppe that upheld that boring old idea of the separation of church and state? Well, your world is about to get rocked! Because at the HL, you can dress up your purity by buying this Turquoise Burlap Flower Hair Clip. Just put this in your hair…or anywhere near you really and no one will touch you again. Especially not with their sexy.

Not sexy! Just like sex.

Not sexy! Just like sex.

 

Get Framed!
Remind your beloved how special and sacred your Georgia O’Keefe is by buying the right frame. All you need is a hot glue gun and the right faux sterling silver rectangle to make your man think twice about soiling that godly work of art. Hobby Lobby’s Mini Photo Frame with Rhinestones is the perfect addition to your gut locker.

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OOOooOOo, sparkly! Just like your innocence.

CrossStitch Crazy!
With a long enough needle, a little ice to dull the pain, and the fortitude to do the right thing, even though a few tears, you can create a beautiful design across your unholy opening–as you’re sewing it shut! Look, you probably have a tattoo or a piercing ya big slut bag, this isn’t going to hurt anymore than that. Plus, it’ll look so pretty and Jesus will thank you! In fact, HoLo has a wide variety of cross-related cross-stitchesfor you to choose from!

Chemical birth control is sinful and dangerous. But crafts are holy and fun! So make Hobby Lobby your Plan B; and we bet it’ll be your Plan A in no time.

 

What are your favorite DIY projects? And whose rights do they infringe upon? Let us know in the comments!

 

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Where Should I Put This?

June 30, 2014

I was so happy this week to finally be graced with my shiny, brand spanking new Restoration Hardware catalog in all it’s 12-lb glory!

If you haven’t gotten it yet, you’re in a for a treat! An eco nightmare of a treat, but what’s life without a little waste?

 

#blessed (source(

#blessed
(source)

If you have gotten it, I’m assuming you’ll be reading this post when you come out of your polished nickel daze and will need to know what to do with that mound of quasi-recyclable paper once you’ve finished dog-earing all that needs to be dog-eared.

Take care. The placement of said catalogue in your home will speak volumes about who you are, where you’ve come from and who you wish to be. So lay it down with care.  And feel free to use this guide.

 

Where you put it:Front Step
What you’re saying: “I’ve come home too late to notice this dark grey brick” or: “I can be bothered to fix the broken slate, so this’ll do.”

 

Where you put it: Book-ended on the Art Deco table in your foyer
What you’re saying: “Please wait here. I’ll be with you shortly and I hope that you remain in the utmost comfort until I return. Oh, and if you wouldn’t mind taking off your shoes.”

 

Where you put it: On the distressed teak coffee table in your living room.
What you’re saying:  “We’re low on coasters.”

 

Where you put it: Atop the subway tile counter top in your breakfast nook
What you’re saying: “It’s best if we don’t speak to each other during meals. I’m sure you agree.”

 

Where you put it: Stuffed into your tall vase, the one with the long sticks.
What you’re saying: “I just want you to understand something. I’ve made it. No one has tall vases with sticks unless they’ve made it.”

 

Where you put it: In the box with tear-outs from your House Beautiful subscription and Persian Pear wallpaper swatches.
What you’re saying: “No, no, everything’s fine. I’m just re-doing this other bedroom to make more of a space for myself. We’re not sleeping in separate rooms so much as I just end up working late and don’t want to wake him when I–did you want a drink?”
Where you put it: Under the absinthe fountain
What you’re saying: “Listen, everyone has problems.”

 

Where you put it: Hanging from your abalone chandelier
What you’re saying: “What’s the point of having something–be it a piece of lighting, a vintage celery dish, or a fight–if you’re not going to draw a little attention to it?”

 

Where you put it: In the drawer of your Dutch industrial bedside table
What you’re saying: “I only dream of paradise and cupcakes. What about you?”

Where do you put your most important stuff?  And does anyone have a hookup to a cool vintage celery dish; I’m super hoping to find one. Let us know in the comments!

 

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What Not To Say When Everyone In The Room Shouts The N Word, Then Suddenly Realizes You’re Also In The Room

June 20, 2014

Zumba. I love it. Especially on nights like last night.

Zumba is actually tricky for an Oreo. During the dance-style group exercise class, some of the moves can come dangerously close to looking like popping and/or locking. So as a good Oreo, I always try to stiffen up a little on some of the hippier moves so as not to frighten the other dancers or myself.

What I feel like when I work out

And then tonight, something wonderful happened. I don’t know what the song was (Sondheim didn’t write it, so I was at a loss), but everyone else in the room did. As we danced, they sang along and sang along and sang along and then everyone sang the n-word. In unison. Without missing a beat.

I couldn’t have been more thrilled.

Usually, when there’s an RBP in the room, people would shy away from one of the most offensive words in the English language. They’d think twice about loudly shouting a word that has probably gotten people killed.( At the very least, it’s gotten people into debates on Oprah’s couch–which for an Oreo might be a scarier place than the business end of a revolver.) Normally, if an RBP was in a room, people would maybe try to be polite — not out of fear of making a faux pas, but mainly out of some regard for public safety.

But not with me there. It was like they didn’t think I was black at all!!

Unfortunately, as quickly as my happiness was upon me, it disappeared. For mere seconds after they said the word, they caught sight of my reflection in the mirror and no one sang along for the rest of class.

What I probably look like when I workout

My apologies, ladies, for sullying last night’s good vibes. I will work on my layback and hopefully blend in much better next time.

Granted, some of the following did go through my head, but thanks to my Oreo training, they stayed inside and my outside voice never took control.

  • Why do you all know this song???!
  • Why did you include this song in your playlist??!
  • Is there a manager I can talk to?
  • What did he say after the n-bomb? I really can’t understand any of these lyrics.
  • Please don’t vote.
  • Don Sterling called, he’d like his favorite word back.
  • I’m concerned you might not have wrapped your heads around some basic points of everyday etiquette
  • This is a radio song, so you’ve said this like…how many time by now? And it hasn’t occurred to you to maybe… not?
  • This is a huge city on the liberal left coast for fuck’s sake! Get your shit together!
  • Oh yeah? We’ll your momma’s so fat, I”m very concerned for her long term  health.
  • You’re right, it is ~just~ a word after all, you stupid whale cunt.
  • Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never— *sobs*
  • Maybe I should just got to bootcamp. There’s not music in bootcamp.

Any of those responses would have seemed really RBP-like. Sure, the growing ulcer in my stomach might one day take over my entire digestion system. But I’ll look darn good while I’m convalescing. Yay, Zumba!

We’ve all been there. Someone has said something horrible and we’ve wanted to respond. But a response only makes people feel as awkward as you do.  And we’re better than that. What do you not say when someone pisses you off? Let us know in the comments.

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