I almost bought a watermelon today.
I know excuses are pitiful, but it was hot, I was hungry and the allure of a lightly sweet, hydrating fruit was mighty and powerful.
But I was strong. I left the display, went inside and bought a bushel of figs instead.
The whole experience made me realize there are some things that even the most devoted Oreo will have a hard time avoiding. I’m listing some here for your reference, hoping that you can forgive me my trespasses and looking for a program, 12 steps or otherwise, that can help.
Ashy Knees. When one has higher levels of melatonin in one’s skin, one should also have higher levels of lotion with them at any given time. We do our best, but sometimes extra dry weather, a sudden fall to the ground, or time spent genuflecting and praying to be released from our ethnic bondage will sap the skin of moisture. Don’t worry, we’ll reapply as soon as possible.
Hairanoia. As discussed earlier, hair is a very delicate subject for an Oreo. We go through great pains to keep it in line….a very straight line…and stray jets of water, rainfall or the beach or a public pool can be disastrous. It’s not that we can’t swim, it’s just that like a Mogwai, water has the ability to replicate things about ourselves that are best left alone. Specifically, the curls that give away our true identities.
Looking Bad by Comparison. If you watch movies, you will see that black people are relegated one of to two roles. They are either the obligatory thugs/criminals/ ganstas , or they are what is affectionately called a Magical Negro.
These MNs are found in movies like The Green Mile, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Legend of Bagger Vance, The Shining, The Hudsucker Proxy, Because of Wynn Dixie, Two Weeks Notice, Shawshank Redemption, Million Dollar Baby, Driving Miss Daisy (oh, hell, the whole Morgan Freeman oeuvre), The Matrix, O Brother Where Art Thou and The Stand, just to name a few.
These black characters exist to help white characters with whatever their problems may be without taking any reward or benefit for themselves.
The truth is, every black person is a Magical Negro. If you’re a scuzzy looking white person, you’re not nearly as frightening as that black man in line behind you, so consider the loan yours. If you’re a white lady with a few baby daddies, well at least those daddies don’t come from Inglewood, so line up for county services. If you’re a high school dropout with suction cups for hands, your resume is still more readable than Harvard graduate DeShawnda’s so get ready to roll over that 401K.
Sickle Cell Anemia. This disease exists only in persons of African descent. The upside: It renders us immune to Malaria. The downside: It exists only in persons of African descent, so the blood test that’s part of a yearly physical forces us to reckon with who we really are. Why must you betray us, biology?
Grits. No excuses here. Grits are amazing. Small. Grainy. Filling. Delicious…and white. So hopefully that counts for something.