funny blogs

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.

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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.

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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.

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Dear Vanity Sizing

Dear Vanity Sizing,

Stop it. Please. Just stop it.

It’s rare enough that I even look at what I put on my body in the morning. Rarer still that I recognize that I’ve had that same pilled sweater since 2004. And you’re more likely to see a unicorn than you are to see me arriving at a store to torture myself go shopping. Why are you heaven-bent on making this process even more difficult for me?

It’s not that I hate my body, I just hate clothes. Why does everything look like it was built for a 4-year-old stripper? When did all tops become clear and cut down to the bellybutton? When did it become impossible to distinguish shirts from dresses? Why does everything come in a legging? Who are these no-waisted, no-thighed, breastless pregnant bone people that all clothes seem to be cut for? What did I ever do to you Urban Outfitters? I live in the urban! I like outfits!  Why do the only clothes that seem to fit me come from Chicos? Why has the fashion industry turned me from a hip, cool, totally with it, savvy woman about town into a dowager?

This is unhelpful

This is unhelpful

The only thing worse that sobbing in a Forever 21 changing room is sobbing because you have lied to me, vanity sizing. No one likes to be told they’re being lied to while they’re naked and in a small room.

I should be able to pick up a size 8–for that is what I am–and have it be a size 8, not a circus tent. I mean, I could tattoo “millionairess” on my forehead, but the fine folks at the diamond and Bali vacation store will not be happy when it comes time to run my credit card.  You don’t make me feel better when you put me in a size 2, you make me feel exhaustion and rage.

This is not what a ladies' medium looks like.

This is not what a ladies’ medium looks like.

I don’t shop at the kinds of stores where skinny attendants wait outside and bring you new sizes whenever you want. If I’m standing in front of that full length mirror and you aren’t the right size, it’ll take me half an hour to schlep across the acre of Burlington between the changing room and the Damas section. So stop screwing with me!

I’m going to get dressed now. I do have this a skirt from 2002 in there that has always been honest with me.

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Family Time

One of the most basic tenants of being an Oreo is that you do not spend time en masse with other browns and blacks. If you do things like go to Renaissance Faires, oboe conventions, regattas and while collar office spaces, this is fairly easily accomplished. The one time it’s a real bugger to work around is when you’re guilted into  you decide to go visit people you’re related to…and they live in the South.

However, like most of the jams that Oreos find themselves in, there are ways to mitigate the damaging proximity to melanin that one must experience during obligatory small talk fests with people who share your genetic code.

It should be noted that Oreos prefer getting marmalade and not jam. (source)

It should be noted that Oreos prefer getting stuck in marmalades and not jams.
(source)

I just got back from such a trip and wanted to share with you my tips and tricks for not seeming quite so black when you’re in the company of a whole buncha black folks.

Pack Appropriate Reading Material

Hundreds of people will walk past you on the plane, so make sure you aren’t holding something hella ethnic like Oprah’s magazine or those Beatz headphones. Instead, try a copy of The Harvard Business Review or Epitaph for a Peach. Why relax when you can use journalism to fend of judgement and remind yourself of how poetically you’re not thinking about all that you’re not achieving.

Pass Through Airport Security Without Unloading All Liquids

The airport is a place where it is defs not okay to be brown. One the last three flights I’ve taken, my boyfriend has managed to get through security with razors in his bag while I’ve been accused of having too many toiletries bags and had my hair inspected as though I just got back from a missionary trip in the barrio and they wanted to make sure I didn’t have lice.

But this time was different. Maybe it was because they figure no one on their way to Raleigh Durham would be up to trouble. Maybe it was the fact that it was a red-eye and we were all tired. Or maybe it’s because the fact that I just totally forgot to take a couple of bottles out of my bag looked like such a boss move to them that they couldn’t bring themselves to do anything but let me go.

Stay At A House Where Slaves Used To Work

If you’re gonna go to the South on a trip, you might as well go to The South. Instead of staying in an RBP-tastic place like La Quinta or The Hampton Inn and Suites, I chose a delightful little B&B. That was built in 1847. In the Confederacy. That was owned by a rich legacy family. Which means that once upon a time, it’s very likely that a house girl made the bed that I refused to while I was there. (Well, not the same bed. This bed was too comfortable to be 166 years old.)

I'm in there somewhere. And always will be

I’m in there somewhere. And always will be

Identify Favorite  Patterns

There was another bonus to the ex slave resort. And I’m not talking about the awesome wainscoting or the gladiolas or the awesome sitting room where yes, I claimed that I had the ‘vaypas’ so I could sit in the awesome chair. This place also had the same toile pattern that appears on an ottoman I just bought. It was like the house was calling to me from afar. I wouldn’t have been surprised if at the end of the trip, my vision rack focused on a photo from 1864 where I stood grinning with the rest of the house staff while a voice over reminded that I was a guest and I’d always been a guest…

Spend An Hour Or So Discussing the Pros and Cons of the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Local Philharmonic

In case you were concerned that I didn’t come by my Oreoness honestly, you only need to meet my uncle and aunt. I hadn’t seen these people in a decade. But instead of catching up about ourselves (boring), we threw on a classical hits CD, talked about each movement and shot the shit about who brought out the best in what movements (totally not boring!)

Make Small Talk re: Who Has Better Summers, Scotland or Switzerland

Trick questions. It’s Basque, obvs.

And just as soon as I finish paying off student loans, I hope to always be here.

And just as soon as I finish paying off student loans, I hope to always be here.

Stuff Emotions So Deeply That You Feel Full Enough to Refuse the Fried Chicken

RBP are known for their clever comebacks, snappy repartee and their delightful disses and dozens. So when a parent decides for the 10,000th  time to describe not just you looked like at birth, but your afterbirth at birth, many RBP would have something to say that would stop that conversation in its tracks. But where’s the challenge in that. Anyone can walk out of a room, set some boundaries and decide not to engage in inappropriate conversation topics. But it takes real skill to sit and endure. To smile and nod. And to not get all up in someone’s business about it. And that is a skill I’m proud of. In large part because it really does turn your appetite enough that you can honestly say that no thank you, you’re fine with just the roll and you don’t need the okra, greens or pecan pie. … okay, maybe a little pecan pie.

You're also not going to want to eat ham salad again. Not after that story.  (source)

You’re also not going to want to eat ham salad again. Not after that story.
(source)

When was your last trip home? How did it go? Any advice for next time?

How to Sleep Better at Night

Last week, when it was approximately Day #871,433 of waking up with a crazy stiff neck and tight back screaming at me, I figured it was time to do stop relying on bedding from Marshalls and handle my back and body pain like an adult. So I did.

If you’re having neck or back pain, I suggest you follow these easy steps.

1. Ignore symptoms as long as possible. You have other things do with your time besides go to the doctor. There’s that pile of clothes you’re going to keep thinking about putting away. That book you’re contemplating reading. And that Law and Order: SVU marathon is not going to watch itself.

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2. Rule out problematic treatment options. Look, you could “go to the doctor” or “work with an occupational therapist to figure out what daily habits have ruined your spine” or “kick your cats out of bed or at the very least don’t be afraid of moving them so you’re not sleeping in a cursive m shape” or  “try to calm the eff down for one minute and stop letting the needless anxiety twist you into knots and win.”

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But those things take time. You don’t have time (see Step #1). You need results. Preferably that you can walk to. That you don’t have to deal with an overburdened medical office staff for.

3. Walk to the conveniently located Relax the Back store. It’s a nice day outside, enjoy it.

4. Awkwardly test pillows while a salesperson stares at you pretending to sleep. Heads up that you don’t need to tell them that to accurately recreate your sleeping conditions, you’ll need to remove all your clothes and add one glass of wine (okay, maybe 2), but you do need to be okay laying on a bed while someone looks at you with a mixture of curiosity and skepticism. It’s kind of like going to the doctor. Or on a second date.

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5. Balk at the prices of this pillow that you love and makes you feel like a dream. But fuck it. You’re already here. What are you going to do? Try another store? Go back to Mervyn’s? That’s all the way across town. You’ll spend a bunch of money on gas getting there, so even if the pillows there are cheap, you’ll have spent the same amount of cash anyway. What? You drive a Leaf. Whatever. Just take the damn pillows and go have lunch.

6. Toss the new pillows on your bed. Don’t worry about getting ride of the old one. Just leave them there. If they’re thin and crappy enough, it’ll be like they’re not there anyway. If the old pillows are big and fluffy enough, then you’ll look like you live in a Crate and Barrel catalog.

7. Curl up on your Lovely and let the cats sleep on the new pillows while falling asleep in your usual fashion. Sure, this won’t exactly cure your back problems but you can rest easier knowing that you tried. And at least the cats aren’t at your feet anymore.

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How do you sleep at night? Let us know in the comments!

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For Mor-eo Oreo:

Diary of a Mad White Black Woman: Fried Chicken Confession

Dear Diary,

I apologize. I am abject. I throw myself on the mercy of the court.

I would never have cooked it if a dear friend hadn’t asked. And I would never have eaten it if it wasn’t so amazeballs delicious… I mean… close to my face… I mean …the only way I could have saved those orphans. Yes! That was it! It was the only way! I swear!

I asked myself after eating if I felt more black. I replied to myself that no, I did not. I only felt ashamed…which is basically the same thing.

There are, however, some times when it’s okay to eat of the chicken… and sometimes I get it right…ish

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Making Friends… Sort of

Not sure that the newest member of my blanchetourage appreciates exactly what he has in this Oreo! (my apologies in advance for what is, apparently, a bootie pop)

Need to grow your blanchetourage (hopefully with better luck than I’m having)? Click here to find out how!

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