funny blogs

Great Heroes of Black History Month

As longtime readers of this space will know, an Oreo is not likely to celebrate Black History Month. Summer Solstice, is fine. Nothing wrong with a Labor Day picnic. And I’m already happily planning the photo shoot for this year’s Boxing Day cards.

But Black History Month is not something we traditionally make space for. When black people go on and on about other black people…and especially when they go on and on about the historical treatment of black people, it makes other people very uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter if what said black person is saying is “true,” or “correct,” or “a helpful bit of conversation to help understand current events,” history and truth will always be around, so no need to harp on them. Comfort, however, is fleeting and should be cherished. Like a shooting star or the finish on a nice Southern French Negrette.

Yesterday, however, Vice President Pence gave us a lovely gift! He showed us that we can celebrate Black History Month by talking about White People!

pence_tweet-png_848779016

 

 

That’s way more comfortable than being all snowflakey/SJW/RBP about it. It’s perfect! We get a few more days to throw a lovely bash (who’s gonna pass up an excuse to pass the flutes!) and we can do it without upsetting the social order.

I hear what you’re saying, though. You’ve been indoctrinated to focus on black heroes during BHM. Effectively, unsung white champions have been Affirmative Actioned right out of the conversation. So they’ve been all but forgotten. What white heroes would we even talk about? We’ve got you covered. Below are a handful of white folks to lift up along with talking points about their contributions to Black America.

Ellen Clapsaddle

Look at this darling little white girl.

f65fe7c642a54ca8b280fbc3b64bb851

She was illustrated by another darling white girl. Ellen Hattie Clapsaddle lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s and was the most prolific greeting card illustrator of her day. Black people, after being freed from slavery, developing economic communities of their own, standing up to the nation when those communities were torn down, and then building themselves up again would eventually mail postcards to each other. Thanks for the support, Ellen!

 

Hubert Cecil Booth

This is Hubert!

image2

Back in the day when everyone went by all three of their names, he was busy being three-named and inventing the vacuum cleaner. Most homes in the US have a vacuum cleaner and some of those homes have black people in them. Plus, earlier last century when black people could only get work as preachers or maids, some of those ladies used vacuum cleaners instead of having to break their fingers combing carpet by hand. Where would they be without this great man? Thanks, Hube!

 

This Guy

Look at this guy!

portrait-1880455_1280

 

Who is he and what did he do? Does that matter? I think what’s important to see here is that he looks like someone you could just have a conversation with. He probably keeps a level head and gently guides you to make decisions that don’t get everyone all riled up. Thanks, This Guy!

This couple!

Look at the love!

marriage-1880258_1280

These two are just starting on their lives together, but they’ve totally had conversations about adopting a kid one day. And they’re not totally opposed to the idea of adopting inter-racially. So there’s like a solid 70-30 chance that they’ll help reduce the inner city by one. Thanks, This couple!

Happy Black History Month, everyone!

For more BHM survival tips:

****************

What heroes are you celebrating this February? Let us know in the comments! 

****************

For Mor-eo Oreo:

Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Like us on facebook!
Or subscribe on youtube!
Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

 

Advertisements

Truth or Dare

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.

***
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

***

For Mor-eo! Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)

 

Where Should I Put This?

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!

 

***************************

For Mor-eo! Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)

You Can’t Say That on Television…Without Letting Me Know to Tune In!

Aasif Mandvi - those eyes, that smirk, that ability to make people forget that their words are being broadcast to millions and that there are such things as "consequences" mmmmmmmm

Aasif Mandvi – those eyes, that smirk, that ability to make people forget that their words are being broadcast to millions and that there are such things as “consequences”  – Yum!

In case you didn’t catch Thursday’s Daily Show clip that everyone is talking about, here’s the Reader’s Digest version: (Note to self: Find out if people still read Reader’s Digest)

Aasif Mandvi interviewed Don Yelton, a GOP Precinct Captain from North Carolina. During the interview, the two discussed voting rights generally, and more specifically, the fact that since the Supreme Court repealed part of the Voting Rights Act, North Carolina has done what it can to make sure that only the right people get the right vote. Yelton agrees with this practice and supports oppressive voting rules that keep various populations out of the polls. Oh, and he’s super racist about it.

If you haven’t seen the video, it’s worth a watch. So click here for that. Don’t worry, we’ll wait. (and if someone wants to teach me how to embed Daily Show clips on WordPress, there’s a bright and shiny oatmeal raisin cookie in it for you!)

HmmmmmhmmmmmooooooAAAAAAAAAAlalalalalawhatdoesthefoxsaytchofftchofftchoffalliwantedwastobreakyourwaaaalllllsbuteverybody’slikecristalmaybachdiamondsonyourtimepiecesomethingsomethingtigersonagold — oh you’re back!

So yeah. I watched that video and as you might expect, I was pissed.

That guy was so phoning it in! Sure, he trotted out uncomfortably bigoted phrases like “one of my best friends is black,” and “lazy blacks,” and “we call them negroes,” and yes, he even dropped the n-word a couple of times. Good for him, but he left so many great phrases out!

With just one more ounce of sticktoitiveness, Mr. Yelton could have done us the favor of saying words and phrases like:

  • Welfare queens
  • Food stamp president
  • Tar baby
  • They just don’t value education
  • Our blacks are better than theirs
  • Look, if it wasn’t for slavery, they’d all still be smashing rocks and throwing spears in Africa
  • What’s the difference between a pizza and a black guy
  • Can I touch your hair
  • The Holocaust? Yeah, I’ve heard that propaganda before.
  • Fried chicken and diabetes

With just one or two extra phrases, I could have totally won last night’s game of Unbelievably Dumb And Totally Cliched Right Wing Racist Things Bingo–a game I play weekly. PM me for deets on the next location.

****************

For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)

Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

So Stereotypical

People often ask me why I try so hard to escape my ethnicity. It’s an odd question to be because there are plenty of obvious reasons. I mean, come on! Think about it. It’s pretty clear. I mean, who would want to be… Why would anyone let themselves look like… I can’t believe people would be contentReally? With the choices out there, someone would actually… Who wants to be in the same group as… Seriously? People are okay with that… Anyhoo

I digress.

It’s not just that I want a better deal on my home or auto loan, a lessened chance of getting diabetes, and the ability to get my hair done without it feeling like I’m being punished. The truth is, one of the biggest reasons I work so hard at surprising people with just how Oreo I am is that in many other ways, I am beyond stereotypical.

  • As a Los Angeleno, I will drive to something even if it’s only 3 blocks away.
  • As someone who was raised Baptist, I’m always terrified I’m pregnant.
  • As someone who drifted over to Episcopalianism, I kvetch way too much about whatever I give up for Lent.
  • As an American, I’m pretty sure I can’t differentiate between Yemen and Bahrain on a map.
  • As a Southern Californian, I’m freezing if it’s below 70-degrees.
  • As a left leaner, I don’t get what’s so great about owning assault weapons or what’s so terrible about letting poor kids eat food.
  • As someone who looked like this in high school, I found refuge in the theater.
  • As a theater kid, I sing showtunes all the bloody time.
  • As a writer, I’m perfectly content not speaking to anyone for a week or so straight.
  • As a member of the tail end of Gen X, I fiercely fight for my right not to be lumped in with Gen Y. Nothing personal, most of my friends, but I was born in the 70s and that fact is important to me.
  • As a woman, I always wish I were thinner and I freaking love yogurt. Seriously. I will Yogurt all the live long day.
The spoils of my war

The spoils of my war

  • As a Texan, I can run a train on some brisket, I often say “y’all” and yes, I will clap my hands if someone sings “the stars at night…”
  • As an only child, I really don’t understand team sports. I just don’t see why you need so many people at once. I can run with the ball or you can run with the ball, but we don’t all need to be here.

So, so predictable. Being an Oreo is the thing keeps me interesting.

What makes you interesting. Or boring? Let us know in the comments

****************

For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)

Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

 

The Black Guys I Know

One of the most popular questions I get as an Oreo is;

“You’ve never dated a black guy?”

And then when I ask them if they want to see my piccolo or otherwise try to change the conversation, the next question usually is:

“Piccolo? Is that a euphemism for something?”

And when I say no and smile inside because I think I’ve distracted them, they say:

“But wait. Really? Reallllly? You’ve…never…dated a black guy?”

That’s when I usually try to direct their attention to photos of me at a Renaissance Faire and ask them to help me pick out bodice patterns for next year.

“How is that possible…?”

First of all, I haven’t dated tons of guys who share individual traits with me. I’ve never dated someone from my hometown.

Maybe because I looked like this when I lived there.

Maybe because I looked like this when I lived there.

I’ve never dated another Journalism Major from The University of Texas at Austin. I’ve never dated a guy who was 5’5” who wore a small in women’s blouses. I’ve never dated someone with a birthmark on his shoulder, a bellybutton ring or a hatred for the Oxford comma that rivals mine. I’ve never dated someone who’s the offspring of an engineer and an accountant and I’ve never been in a relationship with an only child.

Second, it’s not like there are all these hordes of black guys who I’m denying access from the top of my ivory tower.

Though if we do build an Ivory tower, can we use this pattern? (source)

Though if we do build an Ivory tower, can we use this pattern?
(source)

Though if you know an ivory tower for sale, hook an Oreo up!

Honestly, apart from my own family members, I don’t even know that many black guys. And the ones I do wouldn’t be viable options even if they could sunburn.

If I were to try date a black guy (#spoileralert, never will, it’s against the rules) these are the only options I could choose from:

  • That quiet kid at work who sat down the hall from me last year – Much too young. I’m not opposed to dating someone my junior, but there’s maybe a 10-12 year age gap here, which—as you can tell by looking at me today—makes him like 12 years old.
  • That one guy at the office I see coming into the same entrance to my building – I think he’s gay.
  • That older guy at work who wears the fun t-shirts – Married
  • That guy who works one floor down from me – Moving to the northwest in a few months. I’m much too needy for that.
  • That guy with the round face and beard – I think he is also gay
  • That guy at swing dancing – We don’t even talk. He Balboas, I don’t Balboa. When we tried to dance once, he was so annoyed that I don’t Balboa that we nearly stopped dancing halfway through the song
  • My hairdresser’s son – He really is 12
  • That priest – He’s already pledged his life to someone else. Way to c-block, JC!

So unless I want to be a homewrecker, a Mrs. Robinson or an RBP, there’s no market for me.

Even when I was dating online, I was never approached by guys of color. All of my friends regularly got pinged by a Jamaal or a Kendrick or a Michael. But not me. It’s like they knew, nay, respected who I was.

…Could have also been the fact that I put that picture of tweenage me on my profile and that I talked a LOT about Renn Fests.

*********

Who are the black guys you know? Do you want to date them? Let us know in the comments!

Remember that time Dr. Drew couldn’t get over my dating habits? Click here to reminisce.

*********

For Mor-eo Oreo:

Drivers’ Ed Confessions – Julia

You guys don’t know Julia, but trust me… it was ridiculous how rich she was. Her gated community was so gated that there was like a gate around each house. It was ridiculous how many horses. It was ridiculous how robust her household staff was. She could have reenacted the entire film The Help before the maid cleared the breakfast dishes.

And it was incredibly ridiculous that I even cared about these things because she was a 15-year-old girl and I was a 31-year-old woman who really should have had my life together.

I did not have my life together and that was why I met Julia in the first place. You see, thanks to a divorce and the recession, I had been demoted from being a normal, respectable human being and was instead living life as a drivers ed instructor.

I do not recommend living life as a drivers ed instructor.

First, you have to wear a uniform. And not a cool uniform like doctors or astronauts get to wear. This uniform is khaki. All khaki. It’s stiff and it’s hot and manages to make every person who wears it, regardless of their gender, size or body type, look like they have man boobs and lady hips.

The second worst thing about being a drivers’ ed instructor is that you’re BEING A DRIVERS’ ED INSTRUCTOR.

Sometimes even us experienced drivers take a wrong turn.

Sometimes even us experienced drivers take a wrong turn.

Considering how much was going wrong in my life at the time, I really shouldn’t have cared about Julia’s life. She was just some kid. But she was the kind of kid I had wanted to be was young. And she was living the kind of life I wanted to live now that i was less young.

She was a ballet dancer. And when I was her age, I loved ballet. But when young me told my mom I was interested in ballet, my mother told me in no uncertain terms that I was too fat to be a dancer but that was okay because “black people don’t get skinny anyway” and that maybe I should consider engineering. So not only was Julia a skinny dancer, her mom also liked her.

Julia had a nice new car…several, in fact, the driveway was lousy with cars. At the time, my car had been stolen. Rent controlled apartment – great! Being the only person on said block who wasn’t in the Canoga Park Alabama gang, not great.

Apart from not living in gang terror, Julia was popular. She had a busy social life. She had enough money for groceries. Her house had heat and at the time, I was huddling around my stove at night because that was the utility I could afford to turn on.

And just when I thought I couldn’t dislike her anymore, I made the mistake of asking her what she was going to do for the holidays. I had just made peace with the fact that I would be having Christmas dinner with the wait staff at Jerry’s instead of with family or friends, so I thought I could handle her answer.

“Ugh,” she said with an impressive Valley accent considering her family was from Manhattan. “We’re going to Hawaii. Again.” She said with so more disdain than I thought could possibly fit in her 80-pound body.

“Awww, you know, I’d love to be able to go to Vons without freaking out, much less Hawaii, so why don’t you just shut your ungrateful little face until you at least learn how to drive stick!!!” was what I wanted to say. But you can’t say something like that to kids, so instead, I said:

“Hawaii. That sounds nice. What do you like to do there?”

“Ugh. I’ve been so many times. I don’t even do anything anymore. I hate it”

What I wanted to say was: “Awww, you’re a horrible human being and I wish that I could drive this stupid car right into your community’s stupid gate and run over your stupid face!!!”

Hello on Earth

Hell on Earth

But you can’t say that to a kid. So instead, I said. “Ugh, sorry about that. What about the new year? Any resolutions?”

“Ugh. I just hope this year is better than last year.”

Now, I knew the girl had broken up with her boyfriend and that she was bummed out about that. But I was going through a divorce. I didn’t care about her stupid breakup that she was going to forget about by next semester. But you can’t say that to a kid, so instead, I said:

“Oh, you mean because of your boyfriend?”

“That,” she said. “And hopefully my back will get better.”

“What’s wrong with your back?”

And then she told me about that one time when she was almost paralyzed. About how her one dream, the one thing she’s wanted to do more than anything else in the world might be taken away from her before her sixteenth birthday.

 Julia had been dancing at an elite level since she was in elementary school. She told me about the hours and hours and hours of rehearsal every day, of top-tier competition and of show after show after show.

She told me about how earlier that year, she started feeling like her arms and legs were on fire. About how there were days when she just couldn’t feel her thighs. About how she danced anyway. About how she started downing ibuprofen like candy and strapped ice packs to herself all day long. And about how this one time after this one show, she laid down to relax and couldn’t get back up again.

It was a stress fracture in two of her vertebrae. And the doctors said that it was only because of chance and luck that she was still walking.

One more show, one more fall, a stumble on some stairs, a jerk from her dogs on the leash during a morning walk, a badly timed sneeze and the break could have been permanent.

“It’s all I want to do,” she whispered.  “I don’t know what else to be.”

And I got that. At that time, I didn’t know what I was going to be either.

When we got home that day, I looked at Julia’s mansion.  As gorgeous as it was, as many lovely, brand name, top shelf things as she had in there, as expensive as they were, they were worthless if they couldn’t give her what she really wanted.

But you shouldn’t say that to a kid. So instead, I told her, honestly, that I hoped she had an amazing vacation.

*******

For Mor-eo Oreo:

Like The Oreo Experience on facebook!
And subscribe on youtube!