h1

Sobbing at the Office is the Worst – 3 Tips for Faking Your Way Through The Day

June 11, 2014

Sometimes shit happens. And sometimes that shit happens during normal business hours. So sometimes, you’re going to have to alternate between finishing up a production report, blubbering in the bathroom, running to dailies, weeping at your desk, finishing up that last round of notes and managing to make it to wine club without looking like you’re doing your best impression of someone attending a wedding in Westeros.

(Spoiler alert, I juuuust started watching GoT, so get ready for references that are like 2 seasons behind)

Recently, I had one of those weeks. It’s the first time in 12 years that I haven’t had a pet of my own. Between January and April, I had to unexpectedly say goodbye to both of my two lovely ladies. Two very sweet kitties, ages 12 and 18, one of whom has been with me since my first week in LA and has tolerated a lot of moves, several crappy dudes, and all the times I sing soundtracks at her pretending she’s the Tony Award voter that I must impress.

Is this the biggest tragedy to befall someone? No, but I’m sure that when my family dies in a horrible accident, I’ll be sad then as well, but for now this is what I’m working with. Calling the vet between meetings only to be met with worse and worse news is no bueno, so suffice it to say, there were some tears.

Just call me Katless Everdeen. (source)

Just call me Katless Everdeen.
(source)

Luckily, the Oreo Lifestyle (TM)  is all about stuffing your face feelings when stress levels get high. So here are my favorite tips for dealing with bad private news in a big public place.

Hay isn’t just for horses.
Next time you’re at the Equestrian Center, bring back a few bales of hay to stick in your office. Suddenly, you have a nice rough luxe decor happening and the allergens present in the dried grasses will justify your red eyes.

Home cooked meals.
Onions are notoriously rough on the eyes. So if you’re having a bad day, bring some raw ingredients to use for lunch prep. Onions are helpful on two fronts. One, they’ll make your eyes water, thus hiding your own tears and two, the smell will keep people away so you can weep in peace. So next time you’re prepping meat pies for Ren Fest, keep a couple of those bulbs back for your next bad day.

Go Green!
Direct sunlight isn’t only good for reducing eye strain when reading papers. Open enough windows and you can blame your teary eyes on how bright it is. And who are you to go against your company’s goal of reducing its carbon footprint. Plus, if your windows are positioned in the right way, you’ll get a great rim light on your face so that if you do get caught misty-eyed, at least you’ll look super photo ready. Don’t have windows? No problem. When you make your next Restoration Hardware run, just pick up one of these lovelies, throw in some energy-efficient bulbs, and stare into it for a few minutes. Your office and countenance will look divine!

Beautiful. Just like the feelings no one can ever see (source)

Beautiful. Just like the feelings you can’t express
(source)

What are your favorite tips for faking how you feel? Let us know in the comments!

Also, let’s say I’m really not going to go back and watch the first two or three seasons of Game of Thrones. What do I most need to know?

******

For Mor-eo Oreo:
Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Like us on facebook!

h1

Seeing Redskin

June 2, 2014

Redskins.

The word is not a slur. So said a bunch of people at the NFL.

NFL spokesperson Greg Aiello told ESPN: “The team and our office have always said the name is intended to be positive and respectful. Why would you name a sports team otherwise for 80 years?”

Nope, not a slur. It’s a tradition. And traditions, I think history has proven, should never be changed. Ever. That’s why my father is currently looking for men willing to accept a great number of goats and some pretty swell woven blankets in exchange for my hand in marriage. Takers can email oreo@theoreoexperience.com and I’ll make sure he gets your info.

The quote came after a couple of incidents. One, group of senators sent NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a request that the Washington Redskins Football Club change their name to something that reeked less of colonialism and something more indicative of a team spirit where everyone on the team is you know, part of the team.

After receiving the petition, the team’s social media folks started a campaign that backfired. After tweeting:

images

They discovered that #RedskinsPride means something very different to the tweeting public.

Who knows, maybe it’s a not a “slur” per se. I mean, I don’t know anyone who uses the term. But it is a not super nice term for people who we murdered–well, many of you, my ancestors had nothing to do with that–it’s a not super nice term for people who were murdered (yay, passive voice for making things OK!) so that other people could live where those now dead people did.

That would be like me going next door, stabbing my neighbors to death, moving into their home, and then starting a club soccer team called The Goddamned Thompsons.

(OT: The Goddamned Thompsons are having an excellent season. We’re 6-0. Go Ts!!!)

It’s is possible that this whole not nice name thing is just a misunderstanding. Maybe “Redskins” refers to something else entirely. Sure, there’s a picture of a Native American as the logo, but maybe they meant to have a strawberry, or an aorta, or a picture of the flag of Tunisia, but all that was available at the time was that nice Native American gentleman. Maybe this is all just an issues of bad graphic design.

I said "bad" graphic design. Not "nightmarish."

I said “bad” graphic design. Not “nightmarish.” (source: Photoshop Disasters)

 

What do you think? Should the Redskins be able to keep their name? Have Native Americans “taken back” terms the way that rappers insist people who look like myself have taken back that not nice word? Or should the team be pressured to make up a a new name?

If you were going to name an NFL team, what would you call them? (No fair picking Goddamned Thompsons, btw. That shiz is trademarked)

******

For Mor-eo Oreo:
Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Like us on facebook!

h1

American Girl Gone

May 28, 2014

Happy start of summer! And welcome back to me. If you’re wondering where I’ve been, I can tell you (and not because I just visited my own Oreo Excuse Generator) that I’ve just been super swamped prepping for a Tom Stoppard Exhibition and this really great Castle Con.

(Also, just saying… my last entry was about how I finally made a black friend, and then suddenly the blogging stops. Coincidence? There are no coincidences my friends. Only war!)

Now that I’m back, what better way to kick of the beginning of Florida’s polo season than with a bit of nostalgia.

Last week, American Girl (making pretweens lose their minds since 1986) announced that it was discontinuing 4 of its historical dolls, 2 of which are of color. Cecile, who is African American, and Ivy, Asian American, will be going to American Girl Doll Heaven, leaving 7 dolls in the AG lineup. Including only one black doll. …who is a slave.

12 Years a Slave would have been much more adorbs if this was Solomon Northrup (source)

12 Years a Slave would have been much more adorbs if this was Solomon Northrup

Okay, fine she’s a former slave, so that’s good. She got out.  But whatever, part of her story involves being whipped into submission, sold for her womb and potentially being used for gynecological-related live science experiments.

The specifics of her history might matter less, except that a big part of the American Girl doll experience is the book that comes with your Girl, which tells about her life up until the point that you got her. I’m sure they leave out the R-rated bits, but that doesn’t mean they’re not there.

..oorrr, maybe there they're in all their gory detail. Yikes!  Well, that's a choice for a bedtime story

..oorrr, maybe the details are there in all their gory detail. Yikes! Well, that’s a choice for a bedtime story

(Also, these dolls cost $110. One hundred and ten dollars!! For ONE doll?  That’s 4 VIP tables at Empire Polo Club. Or like 30 Oprah Chais, which is the blackest thing I’ll admit to doing. For real, though, those things are yum! )

I only have one wish for slave Addy.

I wish that I knew about this brand when I was a kid and buying dolls! (read: making my parents buy me dolls!) This situation would have made my doll buying experience so much easier!

The one year or so I was into dolls was pretty rough. All I wanted was a blonde- or red-haired doll with long straight hair and freckles and a name like Allison or Brigita. Not too much to ask for. Every one of my friends had one, why shouldn’t I?

There are worse things than wanting an uberwench looking doll. Like wanting this one. It breast feeds. On children.

There are worse things than wanting an aryana looking doll. Like wanting this one. It breast feeds. On children.

But my parents wanted me to have “a positive self-image,” and “a reflection of myself in my playthings” and “more respect for my pointe shoes.” The latter had little to do with the doll issue, but it was still a struggle to explain that more respect would have been impossible as I had nothing but respect for my pointe shoes.

Anyway, all I wanted was for my doll to blend in in a way that I never could. Isn’t that what playtime is about? Indulging a kid’s fantasies about who they could be one day? Allowing them to dream about what beautiful person they might grow up to become? Giving them a little taste of vicarious happiness?

I knew from an early age that what doesn’t kill you gets you invited to better parties, so at age 9, assimilation was the goal. And I might have done it, too, if it hadn’t been for those pesky Cabbage Patch Kids!

See, if all I had to work with was American Girl dolls then my parents would never have let me have a toy that was also a slave. But since CPKs had one regular ol’ Cabbage Black Kid, that was my option: Black doll or no doll.

I remember the standoff in the store with my mom. The Toys R Us aisles loomed huge above me. And atop them, my Ginger Princess. So far out of my reach.

My mother stepped into frame holding the baby power smelling yard-headed monstrosity that was the “diverse’ CPK.

This doll or no doll.

“Fine,” I said after what felt an hour of almost passing out from the strain of so much defiance. “I’ll get a Pound Puppy instead.”

She still made me get the brown one.

***

What were your favorite childhood toys? Did they reinforce your desires to be someone else? How did you negotiate this with your family? What do you let your kids play with today? Do you think American Girl doll should keep the diversity, or are we giving Slave Addy too hard of a time?

Let us know in the comments! 

******

For Mor-eo Oreo:
Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Like us on facebook!

h1

Your Acceptable Black Friend

January 27, 2014

So, I have some news. I have a new friend. She’s… Black.

And I’m not talking about just another card-carrying, flag-waving Oreo. She’s no RBP, but she downloaded Beyonce’s secret album the other week. Whatever. It’s no big deal. She filled out the application. And so now we have coffee every now and then.

Obviously when making a new black friend it’s important to be careful. Get too many of you together and it looks like you’re trying to stage a revival of The Color Purple.

And sure, she does like theater, but if we stage any production, it will probably be a revival of Proof. I’ll be playing the mathematical formula. It’ll be pretty groundbreaking.

Yes, there are some obvious risks with consorting with other Of Colors, but there are actually a couple of plusses as well. Tread carefully enough and you can still be a very special snowflake, but your new pal might just become a friend with some benefits.

She’ll have lotion.

Your Acceptable Black Friend probably doesn’t spend as much time trying to deny her countenance as you do. Because of that, she totally accepts that sometimes, said countenance gets ashy. White people can live without lotion forever. If their skin is dry, all they have to deal with is a distracting itch that can lead to cracks in the skin and possible infection.

What they don’t have to deal with is the embarrassing trail of chalky, flaky, white streak on brown skin if they dare scratch. (Meditation classes on ignoring discomfort are starting up again in a couple of weeks. PM me for deets).

The first step is admitting you have a problem.

The first step is admitting you have a problem.

I’d take the infection if it means that a simple itch didn’t draw attention to my Hamish curse. This leads to wishful thinking which leads to not buying lotion which leads to having to wear long pants all winter.

But your ABF probably just “accepts” that she gets ashy. So she’ll buy lotion. Which you can borrow on the DL.

You’ll be better at crossword puzzles.

I don’t know what “deuces” or “turnt out” means, but it’s fun to say (ironically, of course.) Thanks, ABF!

She’ll create a diversion

Despite an Oreo’s best efforts, at first blush, you’re still going to look ethnic. Relaxers and Peter Pan collars and tulle skirts aside, people will still get the wrong impression. This means that sometimes, people will approach you and use terms like “yo” and “articulate” when they start talking to you. They’ll point you away from the delicious trout canapés and tell you where the okra is or ask you how you feel about grinding on surfboarts or Michelle Obama’s healthy eating campaign.

You’d think the deer in the headlights look would be enough to deter them, but it usually only makes them ask more questions. Or encourages them to build you a playlist that includes far too little Sarah Watkins and far too many vocal riffs.

Your ABF, however, can fill in the gaps between their attempts at conversation and your terrified silence. While they chat, you can slip away unnoticed and take a moment to yourself to start planning your next Downton Abbey viewing extravaganza.

That Dowager’s got nothing on you. 

Bring it on, Violet!

Bring it on, Violet!

Deuces!

Who are some of your newest friends? What are the best things about them? And what is going on with Mr. Bates?? He’s about to lose his mind, right? He’s totally headed for Crazyton Abbey?

Let us know in the comments. 

***************************
For Mor-eo! Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Like us on facebook!
Watch fun Oreo videos on youtube!
h1

That’s Not an Apology

January 6, 2014

To ring out the old year, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry hosted a humour segment on her show where comedians and panelists poked fun at the news of the day.

Unfortunately, they also poked fun at the Romney’s. More specifically, she made a coupla jokes about the newest, youngest, not-whitest Romney – the adopted baby boy Kieran Romney.

Sad to see that Rafalca didn't make the holiday card

Sad to see that Rafalca didn’t make the holiday card

Seeing this picture, Harris Perry commented that “one of these things is not like the other” and that it would be totes adorbs to see Kieran and North West join forces.

A few days after that, and after some backlash, she started her broadcast with a the following statement that made my jaw hit the floor.  Just look at the video below.

I’m confused as to why she would call that an apology. I’ve followed lots of news stories about verbal faux pas – from Megyn “Are there are too many y’s in my name?” Kelly’s comment that kids should just accept that Santa and Jesus were white, to Phil “I’m Actually Quite Preppy, But Grew This Beard for Duck Dynasty” Robertson’s announcement that gay people were the same as terrorists, to Todd “A Woman’s Body Has a Way of Shutting that Whole Thing Down” Akin and what Harris Perry gave was not an apology.

A real high-profile apology has within it the following sub-pologies. In order to smooth out any waves made by what you said, you first need to:

Apologize for other people not having a sense of humor.
When Megyn Kelly took a moment to chastise people who would like to see Santas of various colors and creeds by saying that while Santa can live in an ice desert and fly through the air in a vehicle pulled by cloven hooved magicals, he definitely, definitely cannot be anything but white, she followed it up a week later by saying that she was definitely sorry…that no one got that she was making a really funny joke. Any hurt feelings or sense of cultural dismissal was only felt because brown people are too dumb to get what’s funny about insisting that we experience a white, very white, and only white, Christmas.

Apologize for other people not being able to understand excellent songwriting.
Earlier this year, singer Rick Ross came under fire for including the following lyrics in a song:

Put Molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it
I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it.

While  the linguistic arrangement of the worse “ain’t” and “even know it” gives me night terrors, the message is also concerning. Basically, Ross is singing about drugging a girl and having a good, enjoyable sex with her unconscious body.

When he apologized, Ross made sure to mention that any offense is listener’s fault. He didn’t use the word any variation of the words “sexual assault” in the lyrics after all, so why on earth would anyone think that’s what he’s talking about.

 “I would never use the term rape in my records… I want to make sure this is clear, that woman is the most precious gift known to man. It was a misunderstanding with a lyric, a misinterpretation where the term rape wasn’t used.

Apologize for other people not getting what a super awesome team leader you are.
In March, the founder of lingere yoga pants company Lululemon got into hot water when he responded to customer complaints that his company’s sexy long johns yoga pants were too sheer. Instead of re-jiggering the manufacturing, he instead stated that the problem had nothing to do with the child slaves who make the unnecessarily expensive underwear yoga pants and everything to do with the fact that women’s thighs sometimes touch.

Later, he posted an apology video on youtube where he got teary eyed and apologized to his team members for having to listen to people complain about their product and for all those whiney pants not understanding what an amazing culture has been built up at Lululemon.

Apologize for other people’s inability to stand up for 1st Amendment rights.
A few weeks ago, Duck Dynasty’s patriarch angered lots of people by saying that gay guys just don’t get how awesome vaginas are and that it’s just a step or two from being gay to having sex with animals. Shortly thereafter, he was put on hiatus from his show.

DD supporters lost each and every one of their mind and said that he was being discriminated against because people should be able to say whatever they want with no consequences because First Amendment!

And…obviously. Our constitution clearly protects people from their own issues by putting in safeguards like the 1st Ammend. So go ahead and call your boss a beslubbering beef-witted cunt and when you’re subsequently fired, sue the shit out of them.

Apologize for other people not being down with your own personal version of god.
Included in the outrage over Phil Robertson’s week-long hiatus from the reality show that has exploited faux Southern culture and made him a bazillionaire (another inalienable American right), was the fact that Phil was being persecuted for expressing his religious beliefs.

Said Robertson: All I did was quote from the Scriptures, but they just didn’t know it.”

Why let a little thing like separation of church and state get in between you and a good publicity stunt.

Here’s a resolution for Ms. HP – learn to say you’re sorry in a way that lets us know what you really mean.  

Who else is really good at apologizing? What’s something you’re not all that sorry for? Let us know in the comments! 

***************************
For Mor-eo! Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Like us on facebook!
h1

Keep Up Appearances…and Your Distance

December 5, 2013

When you’re an Oreo, there’s an unspoken 300 foot-restraining order on all other Of Colors. That way, you don’t get too close to one another, but you can both still attend the polo match-so long as you sit at opposite ends of the field.

This rule exists for good reason. Get too close to another brown and it’s a slippery slope from discussing how you can’t wait for the next season of Downton Abbey to talking about how the fried chicken appetizer does actually look really good. Then, not only are you caught in the company of another of color, but you’re both shoving chicken into your face. At that point, you might as well throw on a red and white polka-dotted do rag and start shilling syrup.

Keeping our distance doesn’t just keep us safe, it also keeps other people on their toes. If the answer to someone asking you what you’re doing this weekend is “I’m going to a Jay Z concert,” you’ll get an “ohhhhhh, cool,” followed by a tacit “of course she is. “ But if your answer is “I’ve got orchestra seats for Sleeping Beauty at the Met” you get an “ohhhhhh, nice” accompanied by the head tilt and raised eyebrow of acceptance and admiration.

So what to do when you just can’t help yourself and you need to see an ethnic entertainer? Well, such was the case with myself and a recent Audra MacDonald recital. I tried to say no, but once you go 5-time Tony/4-Time Drama Desk/Ovation Award winner, it’s hard to go back.

 

Can I be her when I grow up? (source)

Can I be her when I grow up?
(source)

If you find yourself in this position, have heart! There are some things you can do to mitigate your situation and to not set off alarm bells for the patrons near you. Make sure you have the following things with you and your Oreo status will remain in tact.

An anglo escort or escorts. A go to for Oreos anyway. The bigger the rosie ring around your posey, the more you’ll blend in. So grab a few favorite members of your blanchetourage and enjoy your night out!

Barney’s accessories. Prove that a little racial profiling is nothing to get up in arms about. Set yourself apart from the RBP who get upset at a routine shop and frisk by putting the program in your Balenciaga and popping the collar on your Isabel Marant Ego Coat.

Tickets to other geeky events you’ve attended. A well-timed “accidental” purse spill can be a great asset to an Oreo. Let everyone see your ticket stubs to and Playbills from The Westminster Kennel Club Show, The Rolex Three Day Event (minus the reining portion), and The America’s Cup.

With these things on your person, you can be certain that you will enjoy your evening and, more importantly, that everyone at your evening will enjoy you.

What do you bring with you on your nights out? Let us know in the comments!

***************************
For Mor-eo! Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Like us on facebook!
Watch a Classic Christmas video on youtube!

 

h1

Diary of a Mad Black White Woman – Hail to the Chief

November 27, 2013

Dear Diary:

It’s obviously fun to blend inI’ve spent a lot of years, a lot of dollars and perfected a lot of grimaces at the salon to do so. I mean, who doesn’t want to look like you belong, to get the invitations to THE events and to not be shoved on the ground just because you bought an overpriced belt.

But getting profiled and being harassed based on your looks gives you cool stories, bro. Not getting profiled doesn’t. Hence the fact that my yesterday was fairly uneventful.

What, this? Oh, nothing. Just the leader of the free world hanging out where I have coffee everyday. nbd

What, this? Oh, nothing. Just the leader of the free world hanging out where I have coffee everyday. nbd
(photo courtesy of Madison Sellers)

I mean sure, President Obama came to my work and I got to see him speak from 30 metres away. Yes, that happened. But some of the people I worked with got to see the President speak from 30 metres away AND got to tell everyone how intense security was with them. At their obligatory dinners tomorrow, they’re going to be ones getting sympathy and attention because they were roughly turned away from stairwells, had dogs search their bags and got wands stuck in uncomfortable places.

I’ll only be getting sympathy and attention because my hosts will find it unfathomable that my jaw can actually unhinge and that that much stuffing can fit inside one human being. During our President’s Day, none of the SWAT/CIA/FBI/Secret Service/Glendale Police even looked twice at me. I got to go up a blocked off flight of stairs as a (white) co-worker was questioned before he could proceed up the same stairs. And even though I went through 2 mandatory metal detectors, when I held my arms out to let the guy rub that stick on me, both times I was waved on with nary even a flick of that stick. Apparently “stop and frisk” isn’t really that big of an issue.

BORING!

I know I’m supposed to be happy about this. The fact that I was ignored means that I blended in. The way that I looked, spoke and comported didn’t raise any hackles or pique any suspicions. According to law enforcement, I looked just like everyone else– a success in an Oreo’s book.

But I’m wondering: maybe becoming one with the majority isn’t just about being profiled or not. Maybe it’s about where and how you get profiled. Any ol’ RBP can get stopped in Beverly Hills or handcuffed in the Upper West Side. That’s to be expected. That’s what RBP do.  But since domestic terror suspects aren’t usually black people, maybe it should be the goal of a true and dedicated Oreo one day be mistaken for one (a terror suspect, not a black person, let’s not get crazy). Yes, I think that’s what it is.  It’s not that I’m impossible to please, it’s just that an Oreo’s work is never done.

I’m sure I’m in part just overreacting to what was a perfectly fine and historic event. So,  I’m going to get back to finishing this Earl Grey and quiche and start hoping for what will happen at airport security when I head back to London next fall. Fingers crossed that the stories will be epic! 

***************************
For Mor-eo! Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Like us on facebook!
Watch a Happy Thanksgiving video on youtube!
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,519 other followers