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I Just Don’t Look Like Michelle Obama, Tho

February 13, 2015

About once a week at least one person tells me that I look “just like” Michelle Obama. They say this with straight faces, without being punked, and usually very excitedly.

Just for reference. Here is a picture of the First Lady.

michelle-obama-cover-ftr

And here is a picture me in the state I’m usually in when people tell me that I look just like the First Lady.

Just in case it’s still not clear that these pictures are of two different women, let me point out the differences.

Photo on 2-13-15 at 2.05 PM #2

Michelle Obama is 5 feet, 11 inches tall.

I am 5-foot-4 on a good day

 

Michelle Obama’s hair is a beautiful and even distribution of chestnut brown and black.

My hair is salt and peppery in randomly placed streaks.

 

Michelle Obama has gotten her pre-baby body back.

The other week, someone asked if I was pregnant

 

Michelle Obama can clearly do a few good minutes of kettlebell swings

I can recognize kettlebells in pictures.

 

Michelle Obama’s nails are a lovely length and manicured.

The pinky nails on my hands and feet refuse to grow at all.

 

Michelle Obama’s style has been described as “classic” and “all-American.”

My style has been described as “mostly from Target, but sometimes Ross, too.”

 

Michelle Obama is married to the thoughtful, progressive leader of the free world.

I once dated a guy who cried every time we went on a date because I “reminded him so much of the nanny who raised him… But she was more than a maid, she was like family. LIKE FAMILY!!”

 

Michelle Obama went to college and got a law degree from Harvard

I went to college and got a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism, or as it’s noted on my diploma, a BJ

 

Michelle Obama has met the Queen of England

I have watched many episodes of Downton Abbey

 

Who do people say you look like? Are they also lying? Let us know about it in the comments.

 

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Black History Month: A Short Survival Guide

February 6, 2015

I remember it like it was yesterday.

There I was, 8 years old, making some awesome dioramas, sipping Capri Suns neat, and generally just enjoying the crap out of fourth grade.

Slip one of these inside your Trapper Keeper and you were set!

Slip one of these inside your Trapper Keeper and you were set!

To that point in time, I had made it through 6 years of schooling being able to skate under the racial radar, not draw attention to myself, and generally thinking that who I was was OK.

Then Black History Month came along. A separate but equal period of time in which to focus on what really matters — the things that make us different that we must learn to crush into submission.

Despite my years of training, people still sometimes look at me and think “Oh, a black person. Isn’t that nice/vaguely threatening/potentially interesting.” And during this month, those thoughts have the potential to run rampant. Suddenly you go from just another friendly face at the bar to someone who can potentially answer some questions.

Trust me, you do not want to answer those questions.

The more questions you answer about “your experience as a minority,” or “your point of view on current events as a minority,” or “your thoughts their new savory egg and hemp seed muffins as a minority,” the more likely you are to dirty the lens through which people see you. You’ve worked too hard to suddenly turn into someone’s black friend.

“But what do I do?” you’re thinking. “How do I avoid these conversations?” “What if someone comes toward me, MLK biography open and dog-eared, how do I escape?”

With these 5 steps, it’s easier than you think.

Get Your Blinders On

Always remember that their vision is based on movement. This advice works for avoiding dinosaurs, it works for avoiding Regular Black People, and it works for avoiding well-meaning co workers as well.

You know the feeling. You’re sitting in your cube. Happily scrolling through Instagrams for images for your vision board working incredibly hard at helping the company meet its goals when you feel it. The eyes from a few cubes away.

Do not look into them. One second of eye contact and you’re giving a green light to awkward questions.

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If you find the stares difficult to ignore, just pull out some of your polo prep. Grab a wide-brimmed hat or parasol; and if all else fails, just borrow your horse’s blinders. Colonel Beauregard Sable won’t mind at all.

Opera Sonar and Grand Jete Away

There’s a reason dolphins never run into you. Okay, several reasons actually. But one of the big ones is sonar. They send a sound into the world, wait to see what it bounces off on and avoid what they need to. You can do the same.

Keep a cadenza on your lips and listen for its echo. When that bad boy starts to doppler, get away and get away fast. Whether it’s Grand, Russian, or Tour, a jete is just the thing to get you out of the line of sight asap. A glissade will also do in a pinch.

Plus, look how happy you look!

Plus, look how happy you look!

Let Them Correct You

You only have to say “Blooker P. Wooshingbun” once in a conversation for folks to get the message.

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Look The Part

Get your hair done, slap on a shade of foundation a half shade lighter than you, press that Peter Pan collar, stand in the right light… and folks might have to look twice to confirm your ethnic status. In that second it takes them to reconsider you can make your getaway.

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Distract and Deflect

Sometimes, despite doing everything right, someone’s going to ask you something awkward. It’s okay. The good news is you don’t need to make a scene and be all uppity about it. You’re not an RBP after all. The better news is that you also don’t have to answer.

Look, it would probably be helpful to be people’s very own personal ethnic point of reference. But once you admit to identifying with the minority, that’s all folks will be able to see you as. So it’s not about being rude to get out of the convo, it’s about self-preservation.

Here’s your script: “That’s a really good question. I would love to answer it, but I have to finish this piece for a haiku festival this weekend.”

Discussing fencing is also an excellent way to change the topic

Discussing fencing is also an excellent way to change the topic

They’ll tell you that they’ll catch up with you later (or, if they’re feeling like risking it all, that they’ll “holla at you later.”) But chances are, they’ll find a real RBP or the self-awareness to know that it’s not your responsibility to explain anything to them and they’ll forget they ever asked. You won’t forget, but that’s okay. Part of being a good Oreo is learning to love that burning, gnawing feeling.

If you don’t have anything going on this weekend, feel free to use our handy Oreo Excuse Generator.

What do you think about Black History Month? Helpful teaching tool or terrifying social construct? Let us know in the comments! 

******

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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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