Best Thing You Never Had

Okay, well maybe you did “have” me but you don’t no more.

It all started in high school — siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. Junior year I crossed a boy in the hallways and then we sat next to each other in History class. I thought he talked too much; handsome, but quite a chatterbox. Then, one day after lunch, I see him holding hands with this girl. She was cute. Simple. However, the hunting lioness in me saw competition determined to best – the best thing you never had.

I Wanted to be His E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

He added me on Facebook first. Then we exchanged numbers. I initiated conversations through text him. I asked questions about his relationship and plans after graduation. School started at 7:30 am and I would wake up early ya’ll to get cute just to walk past his ass. How could I forget the time I found out where he worked that I drove there after school; wrong site. Eventually, I got him. He wasn’t mine but he was there.

Oh, College…

It wasn’t until I moved into a single room dorm that we had our first encounter. It was actually in a car on dim street and it was the first time THEY said MY name. Kudos to Brittney! We started to make time for love sessions in between classes (he went to a different school). We discussed our feelings with each other and how it was always the wrong time: he was with somebody; I was with somebody. Although we both tried it was never right until…

He Asked Me Out!!!

Perfect timing! He’s single! I’m single! Let’s mingle! We planned to meet at the mall for a movie after his shift. At this time it is crucial to point out he also worked in the said mall. I got dressed, snatched, beat — all dat. “Where are you going?” my mother asked. “On a date! Yes, with a man!” Oh, she was so happy for me. I checked my phone one last time before grabbing my coat and I had a message that read: “hey I got off work early so I went home. Let’s reschedule.” Fuck you mean you meant home??? Devastated I lied and told him I was out-of-town when I wasn’t leaving for another 4. How could he?

Call me Mrs.Lawry cause I’m Salty

At this time in my life, I was still very emotional. Sadness, disappointment, embarrassment, and anger flooded me. It also killed my ego. While undressing I began to analyze the situation: the movie starts at 11; mall closes at 10; he got off early at 9. Why not go home, shower and come back, right? How come we couldn’t catch any earlier viewing to accommodate? Was work really that stressful today? Was I not worth the ride back to the mall? I commanded myself not to cry. Instead, I finished packing, laid in my bed, packed a bowl and streamed Nurse Jackie on Netflix.

The Aftermath

We didn’t speak for a long time after that because I couldn’t bring myself to engage. I still have fucking questions! Through mutual friends we would be in the same room talking around each other; it was stupid. He will always be a dear friend of mine; we have memories but it’ll never be the same. We hung out solo a couple times but it’s awkward now. Just this morning he hit me up on Messenger to ask if I were now involved which I am _____. To this day it continues to bother me and I’m not gonna lie — I cried after we finished talking. You folded on a Royal Flush.

#SorrynotSorry.

Photo cred: giphy.com

 

Black Women Issues

“Black Women Issues”

Black women

in

AmeriKKKa

are living a life

no one asks for

or

wants.

Black women’s 

issue

will have

me

on the brink

of suicide.

Will they miss me when I’m gone?

Perhaps say, “so long”?

College costs.

Can’t save

a dollar for my life.

Overfed.

Under-loved.

Taxed

with no Rep.

BLACK WOMAN

the #1 Vet.

Self-medicated.

THC.

Whiskey.

“When did you start drinking like this?”

a

BLACK WOMAN

dedicated to the life

a strong

BLACK WOMAN

often perceived

as an angry

BLACK WOMAN.

The eldest,

a daughter,

college-educated,

without a college degree.

Guns –

Sex –

Drugs –

Shall I

justify my thug?

Can I live?

Potential suitors

turned prisoners.

Dead end jobs

similar

to

slave labor.

THC & Whiskey are coping mechanisms.

Does it

make

sense now?

It doesn’t.

Allow me

to reintroduce

myself:

I am

a

BLACK WOMAN

with issues.

Can’t drink

enough

to stay

sleep.

Can’t smoke

enough

to stay

high.

Systematic

prepackaged

damage.

Fuck it —

unpack

the baggage…

Ready, set, Go!

By: Brittney Smith

Photo Cred: giphy.com & beatnik24.com

1-800-HOTLINE

Who You Gonna Call?

There are all sorts of hotlines out there waiting to dialed. Hundreds of millions of people use some sort of hotline either every day or once in their lifetime.  Most people are familiar with the sex hotlines. You know, the ones that come on television after midnight; “call now for a sexy chat with Tiffany, she’s waiting for you” – yeah, those. Or to call for the 187th volume of ‘Body & Soul’s’ two-disc CD collection? Those commercials are the best jam sessions. Unlike those what about the hotline’s that aren’t televised?

Netflix features a documentary titled, Hotline (also available on Amazon Prime) that made me think about hotlines in a completely different light. Outside of the typical hotlines for music, physics or toys, there are those for real people going through real things.

“I Just Really Need Someone to Talk to”

A quick Google search of “hotlines for help” will bring forth thousands of results. Hotlines exist for suicide, depression, sexual assault, pregnancy and domestic violence. Which ones have you made bling?

Me? I distinctively remember calling a depression hotline back in 2013.

How Did You Get Here?

menthal_health_hotline

Honestly, first, I had to be honest with myself. I hesitated for about 15 minutes. Was I really that bad off that I needed to talk to a complete stranger about the hardships that I endured? I was. At that time I lived clear across the country with only a duffel bag full of clothes and a dream. My boyfriend (past and present) was just sentenced to prison and I had just graduated from trade school. With a dimly bright future and a new-found singleness, I wanted something more. So, I spent the fourth of July in Washington D.C. where I knew no one, had no money and the battery on my cell phone had just died.

I was living in Maryland the night I made the call. Sitting on the balcony of the apartment, staring at the night sky, with nothing but a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of wine, I dialed. At first, I hung up before it could even ring. I wasn’t sure if that was something I truly wanted to do. Finally, 5 minutes, 3 cigarettes and 2 glasses later I faced the music – or at least the sound of my own voice.

What Did You Talk About?

The voice on the other end of the phone was “comforting”. A white woman seemingly in her 40’s. I imagined her to be 30 pounds overweight with sandy-blonde hair, circular wire-rimmed glasses wearing a sweater. She wanted to know my life to which I told her that I hated it. I never once felt like I knew what I was doing or why. My brother got terminally sick at a very young age that placed him in a wheelchair and my mother was a single parent. That was my life – my story. I didn’t know who I was outside of those two factors and even more crucial was that I didn’t know who I wanted to be.

I sat on the other end of that phone call, staring up at the night sky, leaning over that balcony tipsy and sobbing. My personal failures, hope, and all-time aspirations were met by a person who only wanted to listen. I gave her everything I had and after 15 minutes I simply hung up. It was over when I wanted it to be over. I was never going to run into this woman in a grocery store or sit across from her at a doctor’s office. I could have, possibly, and yet, she would never truly know me nor I her.

Who Do You Talk To Now?

I’ve meant to dial QuitPlan for non-judgmental help to quit smoking – cigarettes, Mary Jane gets to stay. I haven’t done that yet.

I’m actually not really big on talking but mostly I talk to all of you. I write and let the words fall where they may. I was recently logged into Facebook where a notification said something about my “fans” wanting to hear more from me. And if I’m being honest again, or shall be, I don’t want fans. I desire readers. You can be a fan of #SheLived and who you think Brittney is and have never read a post. These days people concern themselves with pictures and 140-character statuses instead of full written articles. Fuck that. I prefer for you to have read everything I’ve ever written and decided that you just don’t like me as a person.

If you’re really willing to read – I’m willing to talk.

Photo Cred:suzou.net, sandiegopsychologicalcenter.com, Youtube.com

Who is Raising Our Daughters?

Please don’t let VH1 raise your damn kids, sis!

I met the most interesting little girl yesterday. She was 8-going-on-18 and all I could do was sit in complete disbelief at what I was witnessing. I thought to myself who is raising our daughters?

For starters, it was completely inappropriate for her to have had acrylic nails on and YouTubing “two girls fighting”. What really blew my mind was her knowing the lyrics to “Partition”; when she asked the driver to roll the window up please, I drew the damn line, ya’ll. I refused to sit next to a child sing how you not about to catch her on her knees. If you haven’t yet experienced a menstrual cycle then you can forget that song in my presence. It’s not for you, boo.

Another thing that relatively played hopscotch on my nerves was when she felt like she needed to respond to E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. I was born and raised on “you don’t get to have the last word.” My mother taught me the meaning of the word ‘rhetorical’ – this is not a conversation. Who raised you??

Protect Black Girls at ALL costs!

Let’s be real, you do not put fake nails on your 8-year-old daughter and you don’t let her listen to music waaaay beyond her years. My rant is to never say that this particular child will follow a particular path but there is a certain way you raise little girls. **MORE IMPORTANTLY, there is a certain way you raise little black girls. You don’t teach her Nicki Minaj or certain Beyoncé songs. When your age is a single digit the only thing you’re drunk off is apple juice and all night your ass is sleep. Boundaries! Fucking boundaries people.

Childhood is a small part of your life that, much like your virginity, you can’t get back. At the same time, they have their entire lives to be adult women. We cannot raise our black girls to be these loud-mouthed, overly sexualized children whose childhood is stolen the moment you allowed her to hear even a snippet of garbage “Anaconda”. When I was eight, my mother told me to go in the backyard and make it happen with my imagination. Yo, I thank God for that every day of my life. I was extremely sheltered (which has it’s pros and cons) yet when I think back to the girls who had boyfriends and stayed out late, I’m forever grateful that I couldn’t. Today those girls have babies. Plural. Marinate in that.

ALL COSTS

Thanks to the baby boomers, senior citizens make up the greater majority of the American population. Women of sophistication, grace, and poise are a dying breed and it breaks my heart: breaks my heart that she will throw drinks in the club and never have enough respect for herself to leave a shitty relationship. No more Mimi’s, Evelyn Lozada’s or Joseline Hernandez’s. It is not okay to promote anything that those women have represented to a girl. Reject their influence! We have to teach our daughters that if nothing else they are WOMEN first. All things considered, run for President, be a stay-at-home mom, own a business but stay a woman – whatever that means to you; we all know what a woman is not.

All-in-all, I guess what I really want to know is, what happened to the Lena Horne’s and Jackie Kennedy’s? Are we opting to raise Michelle Obama’s or nah?

Photo cred:urbantrendsetters.com