race blogs

Lighten Up! Getting Rid of those Tanlines

The end of the summer presents Oreos with one of our most frustrating challenges. Three months of backyard BBQs, Renaissance Faires, regattas, derbies, and weekends in the Thousand Islands can leave already darker than ideal skin with an unfortunate tan.

The sun: An Oreo's best frenemy (source)

The sun: An Oreo’s best frenemy
(source)

This reminds us that an Oreo’s relationship with the sun is complicated. On one hand, it’s the enemy. A light tan can make you go from kinda looking like a black person to totally looking like a Black Person before you even realize it.

On the other hand, however, the sun can get you instant acceptance into Club Anglo (21+). Stay outdoors long enough and you can dazzle your friends when they ask you: “Wow! I didn’t think you could sunburn!” Sure, there’s the searing pain, the blisters and the increased risk of melanoma; but if it doesn’t hurt, how do you know it’s working?

But even if you break through to a socializing burn, it’s going to go right back to a tan–that Judas of skin conditions which prevents you from even thinking you can pass your annual paper bag test with just the slightest kiss.

 There is hope, though, fellow Oreos! You can reclaim your slightly less brown skin tone and start to slip less noticeably into your favorite Barneys, Hermes, or hoodie. Just follow the 3 B’s of Beauty ™ for lighter skin and a brighter end of summer.

 

1. Buff

The first thing you need to do is to take off that darker damaged layer of skin with something mildly abrasive. There are many tools and applications you can choose from. Grab yourself an exfoliating body wash, a loofah, Brillo pad, or pack 24-grit sanding sheets and give yourself a rubdown.

 

2. Balm

Next, you’ll want to calm down your skin with something cool and liquid. This is also a time to sneak in some extra abrasion in case you missed any rogue patches during Step 1. Once again, many things can work. In no particular order (except for their effectiveness) try: Aloe, lemon juice, rubbing alcohol, peroxide, or some clorox to cool off and clear your skin.

3. Bandage

Some people have reported blisters or bleeding while their sparkly new skin is coming through. This is perfectly normal. No pain, no gain, right? Besides, you’re the one who let your skin get all dark in the first place, so quit your bitching and put yourself together.

If you find that your skin has opened, just apply some cool compresses, gauze, and either plastic or cloth bandages. These wraps have the added bonus of hiding your skin all together, so at a distance you’ll look as white as the shoes you can’t wear anymore this year.

 

If you find that bleeding doesn’t stop in one business day or you have an erection lasting more than four hours, please consult a physician.

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Any other tricks for removing unsightly tan lines? Let us know in the comments!

Wrong Idea Wedding (VIDEO)

Sometimes you have the best intentions and the worst outcomes.

Special Thanks to:

Director/Editor Shilpi Roy
Director of Photography Anthony Chiappetti Khunz
Producer Reena Dutt
Featuring:  Dan Wingard, Jennifer Meyer, Jason Layden, Scott Narver, Tish Merritt, Gerrard Panahon, Rob Roth, Mark Arana, and Jim McCaffree

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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.

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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:

How to Write about Current Events, Zimmerman

Since Saturday, I’ve been trying to figure out what to say about the George Zimmerman non-verdict. Just like I tried to figure out what to say when all this started last year. Moments like this are what folks like me are here for. We’re supposed to say something hella pithy and clever and poignant and then drop the mic like BOOM.

The good news is, I have been saying a lot about the ol’ GZ sitch. The less good news is that the conversations have mostly been in my head. And they’ve sounded a little like this:

Saturday

TheOreoExperience: Holygoodness, I love me a singalong! And on such a lovely Los Angeles summer night! Ha! Summer days, drifting away to ah ah those suummmer niiiiiiights.

Inner Voice: Psst! Pssssst! Psssssssssssssssssssssssssst! Check your phone!  Someone just got an AP Mobile update saying that the verdict has come in.

TOE: C’mon. I just got my goodie bag. There are bubbles in here. I guarantee you the verdict is not going to make me want to blow bubbles.

IV: Who’s Bubbles?

TOE: My bubbles, I just– hey! I see what you did there. Stop being a child. We are at a Grease singalong. This is serious business.

IV: Travolta’s tight pants are serious business.

TOE: Yes they are. So stop distracting me. I’ll deal with this tomorrow.

IV: Okay. Sure thing.

(beat)

IV: He was found not guilty of all charges.

TOE: WHAT?! WHAT THE EFFING HOLY MOTHER EFFING EFF?! HOW IS THAT–

IV: We have to write about this.

TOE: I know, I know. But seriously, tomorrow. It hurts my self to think about this and It’s hard to put coherent satire together when you’re singing Beauty School Dropout.

Remember, kids. The moral of this story is something along the lines of become a slut to get the man of your dreams.  Not gonna say it worked for me...not gonna say it didn't.  (source)

Remember, kids. The moral of this story is something along the lines of become a slut to get the man of your dreams.
Not gonna say it worked for me…not gonna say it didn’t.
(source)

Every Day Since Saturday

IV: Why aren’t we writing yet?

TOE: Because…I just… I mean, have you…

IV: Oh, come on. You live for this stuff!

TOE: What a horrible thing to say.

IV: But it plays perfectly into your whole narrative.

TOE: It’s just too dark. I mean, as much as I like making jokes about this stuff, I kinda wish i didn’t have to.

IV: Yeah and I wish I had a unicorn right now.

TOE: Okay, fine.

IV: Wish in one hand, poop in the other, see which one fills up first.

TOE: I get it.

IV: When you wish upon a star, you look like a crazy person talking to yourself like that.

TOE: Okay!! You are not nice today.

IV: We’ve got things to do. Let’s hear what you’ve got.

TOE: Okay, well I thought about doing a piece about how a little Oreo fashion instruction could solve a lot of issues. Instead of hoodies, black folks should don turtlenecks and wigs–they keep all the brown from being seen, but aren’t as gangy looking. The right wig can also totally throw someone off the scene. I’m thinking a Whig era wig, you know. Also, I look amazeballs in a turtleneck.  

IV: Hmmm, yeah, now all I’m thinking about is that poor boy. Fucking sad.

TOE: That’s the problem!

IV: What else ya got? I think we can still make something work.

TOE: Hmmm, I could make a list of names that were more likely to encourage a guilty verdict. I mean, if George Zimmerman had shot young Albert Van Beveran or little Larson Latimer or if he had murdered Mackenzie Morris, things might have been different. I could talk about how Oreos know this and so we’ll even change our last names if it arranges an anglo-tastic alliteration. Maybe throw in a list of things you can change your name to?

IV: Yeah, it’s still really just bumming me out right now.

TOE: What about–

IV: You know what. Why don’t we just call it a day maybe go out on a cat picture.

TOE: Sounds good! Can we do some kitten mittens?

IV: Wouldn’t have it any other way.

TOE: You’re good to me.

IV: I really am.

TOE: Thanks Craig for the tip on the gif!

IV: Who’s Craig?

TOE: This guy I work with. He’s cool.

IV: Right on.

1233209173_1993968011

 

TOE: Hey, IWS?

IV: Yeah?

TOE: Is this maybe what’s wrong with, oh, everything by the way? The whole let’s just look at a cat gif instead of rising up and taking action as a society?

(beat)

IV: It’s a really good gif.

TOE: Has everyone in my office seen me talking out loud to myself?

IV: Yup!

TOE: We have really got to get you a body.

(Click here for How To Write About Current Events Part I)

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What are your favorite pieces on the Trayvon Martin case? Give us links in the comments!

Or, if you’re the emotional child that I am, what are your favorite make-yourself-feel-better photos or gifts? Leave those in the comments, too! 

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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

Rejected Paula Deen Party Ideas

I just caught up with the Paula Deen story this weekend. Seems like the n-word is just the tip of that buttery iceberg.

Deen not only wanted an all black staff at her brother’s wedding, she didn’t let them use the same bathroom or entrances or exits, she kinda wanted them to “tap dance around,”  and a bunch of other racist whatnots including recently apologizing and saying she’s not racist by using the punchline from a racist joke as said apology.

But, the woman should be given some credit. The wedding could have been a lot worse. Turns out,  the plantation-style, all-black-servants shindig was maybe the best of the other ideas on the table. Here are a few more themes Deen had on the back burner that she hasn’t been able to do…yet

Beads and Blankets Bonanza” – Guests will have the chance to purchase jewelry and couch throws at great prices! Hors d’oeuvres passed by the Chickasaw Nation.

Turquoise and tears.  A perfect combo!

Turquoise and tears. A perfect part pair!

Model Train Mayhem” – Guests will sip turn of the century cocktails while watching interns an elaborate miniature locomotive track around the seating area. Special thanks to interns Deng Shu Chan and Zhang Wei Huang.

Bonus! The interns double as footrests!

Bonus! The interns double as footrests!

Rosie the Riveter Rocks!!” – Guests will don 1940s costumes and build their own metal works…including windows bars and a new lock for front doors that will be fitted on the graciously donated home of Mr. and Mrs. Nakamura. Don’t worry that they’re still inside and the guests have the key. That’s all part of the fun!

You CAN do it...for about 10 years before your staff finally wises up and reports you to the proper authorities.

You CAN do it…for about 10 years before your staff finally wises up and reports you to the proper authorities.

They all sound like good ol’ fashioned grand times to me!

Deen’s not the only one who likes to party with blackface. Check out these  how-tos for getting down with the browns and let us know what you think!

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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

Born That Way

We all have super power (so say the Marketing kids down at Virgin Atlantic). Some of us will use those powers to have high-level jobs. Some of us will use our powers to serve the cool. Guess who gets to do what. (Also thanks to Sociological Images for their write-up on this commercial.)

You’d think they’d at least employ the girl with psychic powers to at least work in the control tower to prevent crashes or some such. Or maybe make the precog with outstanding reflexes at least an Air Marshall. But no, much better to keep those two serving drinks and handing out tissues (which you don’t need to have Dr. Xavier style powers to do).

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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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There are Dumb Questions – Like This One About Hair

When I left work on Friday, my hair was about shoulder-length. It was reddish brown and cut into a nice little bob with bangs.

When I got to work this week, my hair stretched to the middle of my back and was jet black. Still have the bangs, though.

Some things are rocket science. This is not one of those things.  (source)

Some things are rocket science. This is not one of those things.
(source)

Basically, after straightening my hair since I was 8 (so you know, only like 13 years ago), I got tired of the chemical burns, I got tired of the dollops of hot grease dipping from the hot comb and I did what any self-respecting, professional woman would do. I learned to be content with who I was and love me for me. I decided that even though I can’t grow long hair, I can still buy it.

Beautiful silky waves of someone else’s hair have been affixed to my own. No heat. No chemical burns. Just an afternoon in the chair watching Miss Congeniality and The Proposal. I love me some Sandy B. (well, mostly)

It’s understandable that people would be surprised when they saw me. I look quite a bit different. I’m super excited about my hair, so I’m tossing it around like a child and I’m sure everyone in the morning meeting was wondering why I was grinning like I just won my first ballet recital.

Because of the change, there are plenty of perfectly reasonable questions to ask. This, however, is not one of them:

“Did you get extensions?”

That is a dumb question. Because by asking it, you’re assuming one of two things: that you just didn’t ever notice this extra foot of hair on me in the year to 10 years we’ve known each other; or that you live in a world where hair grows 12-13 inches over night all while changing color so the extra hair is just a biological possibility and not clearly the work of a scalp-centric intervention,.

If you didn’t notice me before, you don’t have to start now. And if you live in a world where hair grows that fast, please let me in!! I’ve been trying to get long hair since I was about 8. It’s never happened until now. And if there was a way to do it without also having to watch Think Like a Man (it was her salon, I could only ask for so much Sandy before she pulled rank) please let me know! I’ll move if it means I end up in a hairadise where long locks come easy.

Just in case someone else changes their hair and you want to ask something stupid about it, here are some alternatives to ask instead:

  • I was thinking of cutting my hair into a French New Wave blunt boxy thing, too. Can you give me your stylist’s number?
  • What does your boyfriend/girlfriend/pet sitter/mistress think of your new look?
  • Do you smell that?
  • Have you forgiven Sandy for The Blind Side yet? (spoiler alert: only kind of)
  • Holy s*it! Did you see GoT last night? (spoiler alert: I’ve never watched GoT)
  • Has anyone told you you’re like this office’s Joan Holloway-Harris?
  • I know you like your new do, but can you stop twirling around and give us the dates on your production report?
  • No really, do you smell that? It smells like burning.
  • I was thinking of a more efficient way of running these meetings, can I run it by you?
  • What are you reading these days?
  • Is After Earth really that bad?
  • Guys, I think this isn’t a fire drill, should we go outside?
  • Do you know where we turn in time cards?
  • How long after the wedding is it still cool for me to get a gift to the happy couple?
  • Do you mind not biting your nails so loudly?
  • Why wouldn’t I want to see another picture of your cat?
  • Seriously? You watched an episode of Splash…not Smash…but Splash?!
  • Fine you guys, I’m not taking my chances. Sure it might just be a bagel left in the toaster oven, but this meeting has been totally derailed anyway, am I right?

See, look how many options there are. We’re all adults and can make intelligent conversation without doing some Meisner exercise of stating the obvious.

The only reason you’d need to double check if long hair is extensions is if you’ve all been the survivors of a Lost-style plane crash and you need all the hair you can gather to make a rope to get in and out of the hatch more effectively or a sail so you can take your chances on the open sea. Outside of that situation, just use your best judgment and ask pretty much anything else instead.

What’s the dumbest thing someone has asked you lately? Or have you let a question slip that should have stayed inside your brain? And what was the big deal about GoT this weekend? Let us know in the comments!

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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?