My Spring Cleaning

Colloquialisms, buzzwords and slang. We need them to get our points across and make the most of our busy days. Hey, I understand the need for phrases like “on the spot” or “get your ___ on” or whatever. Yet there are times when the sounds of certain phrases, just drive me nuts. They are patronizing, betray false modesty or insincerity of any kind, or they are so vacuous, overused and lazy that they are like … seriously? Really?  So in the spirit of spring cleaning, I’m digging these these phrases out from the back of my closet, stuffing them in giant plastic bags and hauling them to a pickup point for the municipal incinerator.

Don't let that sweet face fool you ...

Don't let that sweet face fool you ...

“That’s sweet of you” or “you’re so sweet.” No, I’m not sweet. Stop saying that. I’m a grown woman with a mortgage, a toddler, a career and a blog. Calling me sweet hauls me back to 10th grade when no one took me seriously and always tried to get over on me. Think about it: In a pinch, would you rather have a solid, go-to fighter on your side or a sweet little lady? Thank you! Thank you very much.

“That’s disappointing.” Politicians love this one, and I hate it. You know that they—except these Northeast mayors—would rather have a verbal throw down than peddle some nonsense about how a greedy businessman is screwing his citizens out of millions of dollars.

•  Any diatribe ending in the word “drama!”  We need to cut this out right now. Mary J. Blige had every right to use this on her 2002 album “No More Drama,” but when everybody from twittering tweens to horrific looking suburban housewives on a reality TV show  roll their eyes and talk about “all this drama…” I have to go. Please cut it out!

“I think you know that …” People sometimes use this phrase when they want to throw culpability on the other person, especially in situations where they should take some of the blame. Narcissistic bosses, aggravating neighbors and anyone else who just wants to throw you under the bus all the time use this phrase.
“Girlfriend …”  I may be black, but that doesn’t make me your girlfriend. Especially if I’ve known you for 10 minutes, you’re white, you went to an Ivy-league school and have at half dozen tailored suits hanging in your closet. On cherry wood hangers. Try again, sweetheart. See! You don’t like people using that patronizing garbage on you either, do you, toots?
Readers, these phrases have got to go. The fact is that Americans spend way too much time looking through cheap, bubble-gum colored celebrity gossip magazines, and on social networking sites absorbing this nonsense, compounding the fact that they troll these places in the first place looking for gossip. It is one thing if a character on “Friends” or the latest 20-something sitcom talks like that. But when the regular citizen picks up the vernacular of a reality TV freak and keeps it in circulation, well, that’s when I have to unplug.

Sister 2 Sister: The Interracial Love Issue

Today I was rushing through the train station on the way home when I stopped to briefly scan the stacks of a small newsstand. The April issue of Sister 2 Sister magazine was still there, and you can still get a copy. The publishers might as well call this the interracial love issue. There are no less than four articles touching on interracial dating for Black women in some way.

• Trina Braxton is featured talking about her recent marital struggles, as documented on the hit reality show “Braxton Family Values.” Trina’s husband Gabe is Mexican, as viewers know. And they’ve been struggling lately with infidelity and indiscretion issues, apparently on both sides. When the article came out, Trina said they were separated, but on a recently aired episode, she told her sisters and mother at dinner that she had filed for divorce. (At which point Tamar Braxton broke out into a praise dance. SMH.) So sad for Trina and Gabe! They make a cute couple, and I guess I hope that they find healing and peace, whatever they decide.

• Melody Hobson, the brainy, money savvy lady with her pretty smile, talks about her approach to money management and her professional life. She also discusses being in an interracial relationship with Hollywood heavyweight George Lucas.

• Ice-T—yes him—dishes out refreshing straight talk to Black women about interracial dating. Basically, he says it comes down tot he numbers. Black men have been crossing over romantically for years, and attract women from every culture, every corner of the earth. The dating pool for black women, therefore, is diminished. If black women insist that only a black man can meet their ideas of happiness in a romantic partner, they’ll lose out. Simple as that; do the math and move on.

• Speaking of black women closing themselves off from cross-cultural dating, there was a very brief passing reference to that in a feature on Whitney Houston. It was basically a reprint of an article that originally appeared in July 2004. In it, Whitney expressed the very interesting notion that she was expected, as America’s sweetheart, to marry interracially. She said she didn’t want to go the route of Diahann Carroll or Diana Ross, because her heart was with Bobby Brown. Well, we know how that turned out. Her problems were deep. But who knows? A different husband (ahem, tribute speech) might have written a different outcome for her, provided he was a suppportive, strong and decent guy, regardless of his race.

Guess Who Got Married? Katie and James!

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Kathryn, known as “Katie” Rost and a doctor named James Orsini. Apparently, they have been close friends for 13 years, according to the announcement in The Washington Post. So their friends are probably breathing: “It’s about time y’all! We knew something was up when you took that road trip. Yeah right, you’re ‘just friends.'”

I must have been snowed under with work or some other obsession when this was posted, because I just stumbled across this on Sunday afternoon. Can we let bygones be bygones? Let’s also remember that this is not, nor does it aspire to be, an entertainment news or gossip Web site. Generally, I can’t stand those things, because they are far too intrusive, and take a sick pleasure in subjecting famous people to public mockery when they are going through personal struggles. That is exactly the time they should not be on display. Plus, they whip up a lot of confusion in people’s minds about what’s news and what’s not. Hint: Where an actor/actress buys  vegetables or does rehab should not make the wires. Now lifestyle magazines are OK. I’ll take updates on new albums, books and movies, and makeup and fashion tips, so long as the salacious details are left out.

Well anyway, here is a photo of Katie Rost and her brand-new hubby! They will be beautifying Montclair, N.J., and Lincoln, Va., with their combined gorgeousness.