Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Adam's Conniving Eve

Dear Bloggers,

I decided that today we’re going to explore the thought of the conniving woman from the male’s point of view. To men, the conniving woman is an Eve who uses her sex appeal to get what she wants. This Eve’s eyes are on his money as a prize, and once she gets that new Gucci bag, or Prada snake skinned shoes, she’s going to disappear like the Garden of Eden. Men get this apple of perception of women through music and videos, and take a big bite out of it, forming their views of the conniving woman.

The summer of my sophomore year of college I went back to work at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO. I was a supervisor. Being a [good] supervisor required most of my time walking, checking on, and delivering things to my workers. I found a path that would lead me straight to my carts, and straight back to the supervisor area without turning around.
One day, while heading back to the supervisor area to get more things for my workers, I passed the VIP area and heard a loud knocking. It was extremely sunny that day and the sun was causing a reflection in the glass. I saw a large hand waving at me, and I could distinguish figures in the room, but I could not see faces. Being the person that I am, I waved and smiled while I kept my steady pace. I figured it was someone who worked in that area who knew me.

Every single time I walked past that room, there was the knocking. I began to feel annoyed. One venture past the glass, clouds covered the sun and I could FINALLY see who was trying to get my attention. It was a man in his mid twenties or so, and he gestures for me go to the door of the room. I do so, thinking that maybe this person would need something from my company.
“________ would like to talk to you.”
The name didn’t ring a bell to me. He was an up and coming musical force that is prevalent now, but at that time, I didn’t know who he was. At home, my mother didn’t allow us to listen to secular music, and whenever I was driving my mother’s car I would always listen to a tape, so I was behind on the music ________ was putting out.
Apparently, the big press of St. Louis from Nelly and Chingy encouraged big stars to come and experience St. Louis for themselves.

I walk into the smoke filled room and see a man sitting on a red couch; he obviously was the focal point of the room, while everyone buzzed around him, tending to his every need.
He encouraged me to sit down, but I declined citing that I would have to leave soon to do another set of rounds. He tells me of how he wants to take me out, and perform many acts that an 18 year old should never do without parental approval, and a parachute. I pause, because at this moment, I STILL had NO idea WHO HE WAS!! Take me out, who ARE you?! Instead of saying what’s flying in my head, I tell him no, I was seeing someone at the moment.
“What is that supposed to mean to me?! Don’t you know who I AM?!!”
“Ummm… am I supposed to?” I was genuinely confused. I had NO idea who this guy was. I figured that maybe he wanted a snow cone and wanted me to grab him one.

I tried to piece together what just happened. HE approached ME… wait…. Now WHAT just happened?! He insulted my hair that was curled due to a date I went on the previous night. I’m wearing my work uniform… WHAT SEX APPEAL?! I AM SWEATY WITH FLAT CURLS!!
When I get to one of my stands, my worker tells me that a man has been waiting for me. My heart jumps because it’s either the crazy celebrity that wanted to yell at me some more, or a horrified parent who just found a rat’s head in his son’s kettle corn. Either way, I didn’t want to deal with the situation, but I had to.
The man walks up to me and hands me a business card. I look down and see that it’s for a popular strip club in East St. Louis. “I just want to let you know that I’ve been watching you, and I think that you would make a really good addition to the _____ Club-“ I drop the card and walk away incredulously. Apparently I was wearing my “Please make a salacious comment to me” sandwich board today and NO ONE told me. As I walked away, he began to yell: “Well, if you didn’t want that attention, you shouldn’t have came to work dressed like that…”

You know, whenever one of _________’s songs comes on the radio or television… I just change the channel… Hmmm… how about them apples?


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Only in Reality...

Dear Bloggers,

When I was in college I was a Sociology minor. I might have dreaded my Gen Eds, and had to take Stats 100 twice, but when it came down to my English and Sociology classes I was constantly enthralled. I was introduced to literature that showed people overcoming their surroundings with the help of banding together with the person next to them. From Shakespeare, to Karl Marx the importance of strength in numbers was emphasized. In these days, I feel that we have lost that type of camaraderie, especially in the female community.

Today’s airwaves are filled with a mass of reality TV shows. Now, do not get me wrong, I do not have an issue against reality TV. In fact, if VH1 were to make a reality show about paint drying and have Paul F. Tomkins do running commentary on it, I would probably watch it. My issue comes with the women on these shows.
For some reason, these women seem to think that it is perfectly acceptable to constantly insult the girl next to her. (I want to win Flav’s heart, so I’m going to insult this girl’s mustache, and her mother’s hair.) These insults range between her opponent’s weight, to hair type (“I have good hair, and your hair is nappy”), complexion, and face shape. To these women, your entire being is up for insults.
This way of female cattiness is not just limited to the competition shows, but to any show that has all women (“Bad Girls Club”). Now why is that? Why is it that whenever a group of females get together they immediately start insulting one another?

Women, this is a call to you, is this REALLY what we need to be putting out there? I know that reality TV is an exaggerated view of life (how else will you be able to live in a mansion for three months, and NOT have a job), but it seems that this type of cattiness and malicious behavior is molded from our reality. Some women pride themselves on being gold diggers, sex objects, and are able to insult the girl next to her to make her cry. Are these things we should find pride in?! These are not just issues that are found in the realm of our television sets, but this is something that you can see going to the mall, out at restaurants, or (God forbid) outside your house.

Women, could we please get back to the point where we are building each other up? Why do we purposely break each other down, and then seek for a reward because of it? Could we leave the berating behavior on television and become better women in person? I have faith in my female counterparts; let’s rise above the negative stereotypes that are constantly on television.


Monday, April 27, 2009

The Myth of the Conniving Woman

Dear Bloggers,

This week’s discussion is going to focus on the “conniving” woman. Now, who is this woman? Does she hide under the pretenses of friendship? Is she the woman who sees you in your happy relationship and goes out of her way to steal your mate? When you need her, is she is more elusive than Big Foot, but when she needs you she seems to pop out from the woodwork at your job, your home, mysteriously appears in the back seat of your car? Is she a particular woman, or is she something that comes installed in that other X chromosome?

In my life, I have been blessed to have AMAZING friendships; but these friendships seem to exist in two different worlds. In one world, I have my girl friends, and in a completely separate world I have my guy friends. Each world peacefully coexists, and my life within each world is peaceful, loving, and exciting.
My ventures in having friendships with girls have been great (I’ve been EXTREMELY blessed), but some did not always have pleasant outcomes. I was lucky enough to have had many girl friends in the past and the present that have been loyal, trusting, and was intent on building each other up. Along with those friends, there were the minority of frienemies that would slip under my “fake” radar and would purposely try to embarrass me (shouting in class: “YOUR OUTFITT DOESN”T MATCH!”), berate me (“guys only like you because of your big butt and your long hair”), start rumors about me (stranger: “So, YOU’RE the girl in the backseat of the car?!”), and intentionally turned mutual friends against me (“But, she said you said something about my cousin!!”). Do these women fall under the category of “conniving women”? Have I indulged in likewise behavior due to insecurities? (Don’t worry. I’ll be putting myself on blast this week)
In my guy friends’ world, dealing with “the conniving woman” is a constant. The woman (not every woman, but you know who you are) who is pursuing one of my male friends, for some reason sees me as an enemy and treats me as so. To her, I’M the conniving woman.

Many times in college, I would be hanging out with my group of guy friends and a girl who would be pursuing one of them would come to where we were. She would enter the door of their apartment, or dorm, excited with the expectation of being the only female surrounded by testosterone. With a big smile on her face, she would walk in triumphantly, scan the room, and her face would IMMEDIATELY fall when she saw me. Being the insanely friendly person I am, I would jump up, walk to introduce myself to her. “HI!! MY NAME IS KENDRA!!” I would have a huge Jokeresque smile on my face, and I would extend my hand out to her for a shake. My brain would be racing with the anticipation of making a new friend, and having someone to turn to when the guys began to discuss physical attributes of females that I really did NOT need to know they noticed (guys tend to compare things to animals… a little disturbing…), and then I would get the limp hand grab.

The girl would treat my hand as if touching it was going to burn her, turn her into a pillar of salt, or make all of her hair fall out. Does my hand smell? (“Nah… just smells like Jergens…”). It wasn’t until after the girls got over my friends rejecting them, that they would befriend me and later apologize for their inhospitable behavior due to the fact that they thought that I was “conniving.”

My question for all to ponder is: Why? Why women? Why do we constantly try to bring the broad next to us down? Then for the others, why do we suspect that every woman out there has questionable morals and are trying to set us up for failure? Are there not enough social institutions that try to hold women down, that we need to add to that pressure by holding each other down?! LET’S EVOLVE!!


Friday, April 24, 2009

Guilt and the Act of Forgiveness

Dear Bloggers,

This week, I've rehashed examples of people using the "good intentions" excuse for tasteless behavior. Even though this certain selection of people were missing their compassion notion (I guess maturity doesn't bring everything we ask for), I have had many family members, friends, and boyfriends that have helped me in the past. These people were able to help me grow when I began to shrink, move when I felt immobile, and smile when I wanted to cry. To these people, I will forever be indebted to you.

However, for the others, I had to undergo a landslide of issues to finally let go. However, I am able to wake up each morning, and be happy with myself, regardless of what "good intentions" people had that tried to make me feel the contrary. Miraculously I've been able to no longer feel animosity towards these people. I realized in life that no one is perfect, and you must have your own "good intentions" for yourself to help you through the day.

Two years ago, I did something that helped me with my own maturity and letting go. It might appear small, but even the littlest action can help you evolve past your own understanding. I wrote an entry about it, and will include it, hoping that it encourages you the same way it encourages me:

The human mind is an extraordinary tool. The amount of information that a person can store is astronomical. The brain was invented for us for positive reasons, but it seems like humans can turn any gift into a horrible monster.
I feel like I am Victor Frankenstein, too obsessed with the monsters I’ve spent so long to create, ignoring all good reason, and the heeds of my loved ones, just to learn that once my creatures have come to life, I always repel from them in horror and disgust.

A few weeks ago, I promised myself that I would forgive certain people in my life, the main one being my ex. I felt good, and I felt like I no longer held any type of animosity towards him. Oh, but how the creature disobeys my demands, and even when I try to bury it, it always come back.

For some reason, all of the anger, pain, and oddly enough, lust (concerning my ex) came back to me, and hit me full force. The same memories that I decided to let go, began to dance around in my head, to a melody that my brain was all too familiar with. I began to remember how my ex would hug me, kiss my forehead, and look at me with his sepia eyes. Then, to stop myself from yearning, I would think of how he would judge everything I ate, how he would lift up my shirt and grab for stomach fat and force me to watch. I would remember how our relationship was such a double standard, and how he would scold me sometimes. I would remember how I bought him many things, and how he never bought me anything. To counteract my feelings of lust and confusion, not love, because I never loved him, I bring up the same memories that I made a promise to forget. Before I realize it, my face is hot, and my mouth is shaped in a scowl. I’ll think of how I wanted to break up with him for months. How I would pray that he would break up with me, because I am too much of a nice person to actually hurt someone else’s feelings. How the sound of his name makes my hands inadvertently ball into fists, the same way how Pavlov’s dogs would salivate at the sounds of bells.

Then, the guilt trip comes along. I begin to feel guilty that I am dwelling on such a ridiculous thing, and I need to just be happy that I got what I prayed for, an end to a horrible situation. WHY am I spending so many neurons on him? Then, I begin to feel even more guilt on the fact that I’m STILL thinking on him, when I’ve made the promise that I will never think on him again.
The same thing goes along for the small amount of others that I’ve lost connections with
So, this morning, I figured that I would do something that would be beneficial to me. I deleted ALL of my old Facebook messages. I got rid of EVERY ONE OF THEM!! The good messages, the bad messages, the party invites, the group update messages; the message that I sent others, every single message was deleted.

As I deleted all of my messages, I began to grow envious of my inbox. There was no trash folder that the messages were sent to, that I could STILL have access to, and return them to my inbox folder. The moment I hit the button “delete,” the messages were no longer on my profile, my computer, or even remembered. I began to wish that one day; I could flush out all of the negative things that happened in my life, without the option of re-picking it up. I wish that one day, the monsters that I have named “Memories” could all just one day stay buried.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Family Intentions

Dear Bloggers,

I believe that the greatest test of one's character is if they have to move back home. Forget all the philosophies that dictate what reveals the true nature of people. Having your freedom for years, then having it rapidly removed from you is the best way to determine what type of person you are.

My father is originally from Mobile, Alabama, and I spent a substantial part of my childhood there. There's a type of southern mentality that dictates kindness to strangers, respect towards authority figures, and saying whatever you feel like to your family.

Things that would normally be okay to discuss on a one on one setting was now family fodder. Extended family members would see me, put their hands on my hips and spread their hands out as far as they possibly could, in front of an audience of other family members. There would be shouts of concurrence from the peanut gallery ("Yeah girl!! You got a cute shape now, but don't start gaining weight like ______!!" "She had a cute shape too, now she's over 300 lbs!!")

Growing up, you know how to deal with this mentality, because it's normal to you and it's your own. However, when you venture outside your own household, you get introduced to the sense of "common decency."

Oh yes, common decency, something I always heard about, but did not know it truly existed, like Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster. I never experienced the phantom a great deal until I went off to college. There, I met people who were able to be truthful without causing me a migraine that felt like my head was going to explode.

But, coming back home, you're tossed back into a way of life that is completely separate from the world, and not only is it disjointing for you, but you begin to behave in the same way you resented family for!! I've caught myself saying things to my parents and aunts that I would have never imagined to come out of my mouth ("Are you serious?! There are TWO set of ss's in Mississippi!! ...Idiots..."). EVEN THOUGH, I might have been trying to keep my family aware from spelling mishaps, in case they ever came across a life-threatening spelling bee, that's no excuse. But hey, I had good intentions.

So, word to the wise, just because you have a familial connection with someone, it is NOT an excuse for whatever you think of the person to come spewing from your mouth like vomit. There's always a tasteful way to address your concerns for a family member, while still keeping your "good intentions" intact.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Best of the Worst Best Intentions - Day One

Hey There, Bloggers,

This week we’re going to discuss the guise of the best intentions excuse. This weekend, I went to one of my favorite websites that have AMAZING blogs ( and one of the bloggers was discussing the root where her weight baggage stemmed from. While being an overweight child, her grandmother gave her a scale. Even though her grandmother had her best intentions in mind, it still caused her to be resentful and aided in her struggle with her weight for years.

This story was something that was easy for me to empathize with. My parents, the AMAZING providers and authorial figures that they are, seems to have NO inner monologue. Anything that they thought about their children, things that they did not like, would come SHOOTING from their mouths. Then to combat our indignation, we would always hear about how they said what they said due to having best intentions.


My beautiful sister Kelli decided to give herself a Halle Berry-esque hair cut during her sophomore year of high school. The hair cut came out amazing. One morning, Kelli came downstairs to eat breakfast, her hair looking gorgeous, sits down in her seat next to me. This was my father’s first time seeing Kelli with her new short coif. My father is staring intently at her head, as if trying to telepathically paste her hair back to her head, and when NO ONE was expecting it, he says: “WHERE IS YOUR HAIR? YOU LOOK LIKE A BOY!!”
Mouths were agape, and eyes looked like SAUCERS. Does he not know that you do not tell your daughter that she looks like a MALE?! What is wrong with you, man?!
So, when Kelli gets justifiably upset, he looks at US as if WE’RE crazy and says: “WHAT?! I CAN’T SAY ANYTHING TO MY DAUGHTER?! I GOT GOOD INTENTIONS!!”

Now to you, my dear readers, this week I’m going to discuss the consequences I’ve dealt with whenever someone (family, boyfriends, friends) uttered those words “good intentions” at me. These consequences range from self-consciousness to bulimia to self-redemption. But, trust me when I say that no matter how good someone’s intentions are, the only thing that matters is how you see yourself.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Why so Tense?

Dear Bloggers,

I find myself at a crossroads this morning, and this contributed to my tardiness in posting. I'm very sorry. Here's my current issue:

One of the things that I have been blessed and cursed with is a need to over plan. It has been a blessing to me, because I tend to have multiple contingency plans; therefore I'm rarely caught off guard. The moment I wake up, a list of tasks that I need to accomplish run through my head, I figure out the times that would help me finish these tasks at an appropriate rate, and then I mentally look at all the angles in my plans (what if this happen? Can I compensate by doing this? What will be the punishment if I cannot finish this task at the time I would like to?) then come up with multiple solutions to help me expedite everything in an efficient manner (that's why my suitcase was so heavy for the last post, I packed for every situation, including the Day of Reckoning... not really but I hope you all have caught on to my sense of humor).

The curse comes in for the fact that no matter how much I plan or give myself a certain margin of error, there will NEVER be an account for human error, or just life. When life finds a way to knock me off course (bus arriving 45 minutes late, going to pick up my cap and gown last year only to find out that I still had one more semester to account for, being asked to be the maid of honor at a friend's wedding, planning to use that money for wedding expenses only to realize that the money must go toward my last summer semester in college) I immediately become stuck in a sea of "tenses."

I begin to look at my past and try to see if there were any signs that showed that this might happen. I look at my present to figure out what's the most appropriate course of action I should take. My inner soothsayer looks at the future towards all the possible consequences. Within this sea of thought, I begin to feel as though I'm drowning. Unable to make a decision, for fear of making the wrong one. Want to push my life towards the goals I have desperately set aside for myself, only to be accosted by the unknown consequences that may lie ahead.

As of right now, this is my life. After finally graduating from college I was prepared to go through my life plan of doing a double Masters program (getting a MFA and my Masters in Publishing), then go on to work in a publishing company, and then soon begin to shape myself into the literary world I always known I was born to live in. However, this thing called life has shook me and pushed me back into my sea of tenses.

I see my reality, and can see my future so clearly, however, the steps to get there cause me to freeze. Each step is a good move to my future, but I find myself concerned about which step is the right one.

Now, for you, bloggers: I know that I must not be the only in these strenuous times that is paralyzed by fear of making a move, due to the fact that if you pick one job, or internship, it might go under due to the economy and then you're back home... like I am now. But, what I would like to encourage you all (while I encouraging myself) is that the only bad move to make, is no move.

Stay encouraged, and I will blog with you all on Monday. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chivalry: What's With all the Baggage?

Hi Bloggers,

Today's topic is on the notion of the loss of chivalry, and my bruised back. Let me explain:

While in college I met this girl who became one of my best friends through a Bible study. During our last year of college, she decided to go on staff with the organization that ran that Bible study, and today she's leaving to do missionary work in Africa for two years.
Well, for the past two weekends, I have been traveling to Chicago to see her (say goodbye, go to her going away parties and what-not).
Well, last weekend I go to catch the bus that I normally do that takes me to Chicago. This bus system is EXTREMELY cheap, due to the fact that sometimes you have to load your own stuff on the bus. I was going to be in Chicago for three days, so NATURALLY I had to have the LARGEST suitcase my family had to hold my three outfits, three sets of pajamas, and so on. While lifting my extremely heavy suitcase (and secretly cursing myself for not being a more efficient packer) I felt this hard blow to the right side of my lower back. I yelled, and dropped my suitcase. I looked to see what hit me, and it was a man (who just apparently got off of work at a hotel, because he was still wearing his uniform). He looked at me, threw his suitcase on the bus, looked at me again, did not once apologize for hitting me, or offered to help put my suitcase back on the bus, and he just jumped on the bus.
Just the lack of disrespect stunned me. Not only did this guy injury me, but he couldn't even help me afterwards? At least offer a mea culpa... anything?! No, he just bounced (literally bounced, as if he was happy to be one of the first people on the bus) and got his seat.
The pain subdued, until I went to bed at my friend's house that night. While I slept sharp pains came shooting in my back anytime I moved, and it was (literally) painful realization that chivalry might ACTUALLY be dead.

But I cannot put all the blame on men, because when I caught the bus to travel back home, I was not better than he was. My bus was 45 minutes late, and I was waiting in the rain for it to come. The bus comes, and with the constant throbbing pain of my back, I began to feel jaded. The bus comes and I immediately get overcame with a feeling of Social Darwinism and "every person for themselves." My suitcase is one of the first ones on the bus, and I stand in line to get my seat. I look back triumphantly at the people I jumped in front of, and saw a group of three elderly women looking BEWILDERED at how animalistic everyone was acting. No one offered to help them, no one said: "Hey, let's let these three women get their suitcases on the bus first and get their seats first."
I began to feel truly bad at my behavior, but obviously not bad enough to relinquish my spot in line to get on the bus and help the women.

Now, my questions to all of you (and feel free to comment with your own stories or thoughts on my horrible behavior) is: "Has our society really come to this? Has our drive to "one-up" the person next to us caused us to forget our own common decency?"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Welcome to "My Looking Glass Self"

Dear Bloggers,
My name is Kendra and my blog will be written with the purpose of having open dialogues by being completely transparent with you. My blog (and its title) is based off of W.E.B. Dubois’ theory of “The Looking Glass Self” which dictated that people tend to behave in the way that they believe others expect them to behave.
My blog will be based off my own personal experiences in society, with my family, friends and my own personal inner struggles with the hope of you sharing your own experiences. I know I sound very serious now, but I hope the blog will be just like me, very adorable and thought provoking (how do you like my tooting my own horn, huh?).
Well, to legitimize myself to you, I’m a recent college graduate with a BA in English, and a minor in Sociology. My goals in life are to (eventually move to New York) become published, go to grad school, work in a publishing company, get enough knowledge to own my own publishing companies.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, here are 15 interesting things about me for you laugh about:
1. I started reading Shakespeare when I was in 3rd grade.
2. When my sisters and I were younger, me and my sister Kelli used to do these skits that were performed ENTIRELY IN SLOW MOTION!!! We had maybe 3 different ones, but the main one I remember was “The Dinner Date.” ;-)
3. I refuse to write “LOL.” I ALWAYS write “HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!” I refuse to conform. :-D
4. My most cherished possession is this BEAUTIFUL jewelry box my buddy Tyler got me from South Korea in high school.
5. I have over 200 books, and over 100 DVDs I LOVE reading and watching movies!!
6. One of my new ring tones is that new SNL song “J--- In my Pants.” I KNOW it’s not appropriate, but that song is HILLARIOUS!!
7. I used to have a stuttering problem growing up, and I used to have to go to a speech specialist. As a matter of fact, you can still hear me stutter if I get very flustered. I think it’s charming!!
8. My all-time favorite food is hotdogs!!
9. I hate when girls talk down to each other, and think that EVERY girl is conniving, and catty. My girl friends are NOT like that, so PLEASE stop assuming that we are. Oh, and girls who ARE like that, STOP IT, YOU’RE JUST MAINTAINING THE STEREOTYPE!! EVOLVE, FOOLS!!!
10. I LOVE VH1’s “I Love Money,” that show is GREAT!!
11. I was a nanny for six weeks in North Carolina and one night I woke up in a panic in the middle of the night, didn’t recognize where I was and tried to escape through the window. I realized once I had the window open, and was about to burst through the screen… yeah….
12. To go FULLY natural, I cut off a total of 16 inches off of my hair.
13. I thank God EVERY morning that NO ONE can hear my thoughts. It’s just that… sometimes when people say or do stupid things… Lord help me, my thoughts are not the most Christian ones…
14. I’m TERRIFIED of drowning, and almost drowned FIVE times!! I refuse to get in water that’s over 5 ft, because I’m 5’3, and I don’t like being in water that’s taller than me. It FREAKS me out!!
15. One of my first friends was this little boy named Austin. We had the same speech specialist, and he had a prosthetic arm. He used to take it off and let me play with it. I got in trouble once because I was swinging it and knocked EVERYTHING off of our speech specialist’s desk!! She was SOO mad!! I still feel bad about it to this day.