WE ARE: 5 women navigating our twenties in search of peace, happiness and love (or not). WE WRITE: about everything and nothing. From the insane to the mundane- you will find different paths taken, lessons learned and lives lived. WE THINK: you’ll enjoy it...Warning: Consumption of these views may leave you enlightened while intoxicated.


The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Crossing the Picket Fence

Remember when momma said you couldn’t go beyond a certain point in the neighborhood? It sucked didn’t it? Nothing ever happened between your house and that forbidden point. And it always seemed that just pass where you were allowed to go was the very spot that free ice cream fell off the truck or money was being given out to everybody…except you! But what we couldn’t see then was that momma was just trying to protect us from the neighborhood’s perils. Momma knew that old man Johnson, loved to show his…well, Johnson to little ones just for kicks. Momma always knew best. But being older and finally being able to do, see and go wherever we want is like a rite of passage into adulthood. Yet here lately I have met and heard stories about grown folks who haven’t thought or even dared to go anywhere beyond their own neighborhoods… and they are cool with that.


Looking at history it’s clear to me that a certain type of person was more than eager to get out and brave this world, while other races were content to play in their own continents. And in my life and living I’ve observed that it’s a certain type of race that is always ready to jump out a plane or eat a roasted grasshopper just for experience sake. This certain race of folks can sometimes out minority a minority with all the fun facts they know. If another one of my coworkers comes over using slang or quoting Lil Wayne, Imma scream! But you know history has nothing to do with nothing in the way of making excuses, well logical ones that is. Hello? Black folks. I know I’m not holding my breath for my forty acres. It’s a new day. But when I meet people who have never been out of the DC metro area I can’t help but wonder is there something in the DNA? The water? What the hell is wrong with them?

My case in point. Yesterday, the female component of my office mailroom crew (DC metro born and bred) came into my cubicle all excited about her birthday in November. This year she’ll be 49 and is treating herself to a trip… So here I am thinking chica is about to do it big and go to the Bahamas or Mexico and I excitedly awaited to know the destination of her travels! And so I just wasn’t ready when she told me she was going to Ohio. Ohio? Really? Nor was I ready when she told me this will be her first time on a plane. Say what now? Or when she asked me if she could buy her plane ticket now and use it in November. Or how she explained why she was confused when her brother told her she would have to put stuff in a Ziploc bags. Nor was I ready when she whispered “Amaretto, I don’t even have any luggage.” To which I replied, well what do you use when you have to move? “Safeway and garbage bags Amaretto. I ain’t never been anywhere before.” But of course, garbage bags.


If it weren’t so sad I would have laughed ya’ll. Yet I was compelled to think about going and buying her some luggage. You hear about people in New York who have never ventured to any of the other boroughs even though the subway can take them there. I’ve even heard of people who live in Maryland who have never gone to Virginia. But I’m a person who feels one of her purposes in life is to travel the world, once I get my pennies together, or luck up and have some kind and loving soul finance it. It amazes me how some people have never seen or experienced the world outside of their own backyards!

I wonder…is it fear that keeps them behind fences? Do they think life has to be lived solely in the familiar neigborhoods of their youth? Do their curiosity and imaginations now lie beyond points they are allowed to cross? And is that why they don’t go there?

See You In Seven


cinco said...

Well said. I live in small CT- where you can be in 4 states in @ most 2hrs and I know too many people who have never ventured off their stoop! The other thing I'll throw in this category is my experience with CT minorities that wait so long to get a license- I mean they don't even have the desire... These are examples of how we keep ourselves down.

Gangsta D said...

That's crazy. By the time I was 23 I had been to 3 countries and most of the major US cities. You kind of hit the nail on the head. As kids, were' often taught not to venture far from safe ground. As we mature, we hold on to that same line of thinking. It's too bad, because I think everyone should travel internationally at least once in their lives.

Tray said...

I just met someone last year (from DC actually) that had no desire to really travel. Now, in high school, they went to Paris for winning this French speaking contest... yea, no idea what that was all about. But they won the trip and went, but didn't really enjoy being so far away. Since then, he hasn't traveled around the country, let alone outside it, since high school. He just said he had no desire to travel. I was floored b/c whenever I can go somewhere, I'm gone! lol! I haven't been off the continent, but I can't *wait* to go! There's just too much to see and do out there!

MJR-BANX said...

Well everyone who knows me, knows if I CAN then I am going!
I don’t understand the lack of desire either.
Similar to what we discussed with Rum Punch, how can you read and not want to travel?
See a picture of a beach and not wonder what the water feels like?

P.S. I might have had to help her get some luggage too.

(fŭng'kē) [blak] [chik] said...

I have friends who live in NJ..who have never left, besides heading over to NYC.

Dirty Red said...

I know people that live in North Dallas that that have never been to South Dallas. I know people that live in Dallas that have never been to Ft. Worth. And they are only 30 miles apart!! I drive farther than that each day going to work.

I joined the Military at 18. Since then I have been to 18 different countries, 30 different states and the Carribean (St.Thomas).
I love to travel. But there are people in my family that have never been on a plane or more than 200 miles from their front stoop. I have been trying to get some of my people to come out to Tx to check out how I am living for the past 5 years, and all I get are excuses. One of my Aunties even had the nerve to tell me that she would come if I brought her ticket and provided everything she needed. Ain't that some shit?

I tell ya, if the world had to depend on our people to go out and venture into new areas, we would still be naked ass naked, living in grass huts somewhere in Africa.
It is sad, but true.

Amaretto said...

@Urrybody: There is comfort in knowing that ya'll are running into these ignorant mofos as well.

Its just interesting to me how fear and just not wanting to know for yourself can cause us to miss out. Some of us can't stand the thought of only seeing, experiencing and knowing our own little worlds. While my bags are always packed...my money might be funny sometimes but I'm always ready to brave the world. I'm glad mailroom chick is at least willing to go somewhere... even if its Ohio and even if it took her nearly 50 years to do it!

@dirty red: Yo auntie should be a-shamed! I hear Texas is lovely! Here, use my rock to throw at her.