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

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Obama Effect

So I work with kids. And I go into a lot of DC Public Schools located deep in the hood. These schools are filled with little Black children, living, breathing the stereotype or the reality – depending on whom you ask. Products of single parent homes. Recipients of school breakfast. Lack of subject-noun agreement. Etcetera, etcetera.

And I go into these schools and the first thing I notice are: life size Obama cutouts in the front hallway, or Obama posters hanging on the wall or in classrooms, or Obama calendars, or teachers wearing Obama t-shirts. One day I asked a little girl what she learned in school and she said, “We learned about Obama.” For the whole day, I wanted to ask. But I left it alone and just smiled.

Last weekend I took the girls camping and one group named themselves the second ladies. Why the second ladies? Because they love our first lady soo much and they wanna be just like her and to do this, they know they need an education. Well alright! Go head y'all! I love it!

Being a witness to all of this is truly awesome. Since I don’t have kids, I didn’t fully comprehend what Obama winning could and would truly mean. That is until I saw a message from NAACP President Ben Jealous and he said that now the only thing his two year old child will know is a Black President. That will be her norm. Her reality. Powerful stuff. I recently heard on the radio that marriages are up in the Black community and they’re citing the Obamas as the reason. Wow. Totally awesome.

I suppose that since I grew up in a two parent, middle class family, surrounded by other Black professionals, married couples, folk who pushed us to be educated – the Obamas were my norm. What we’re supposed to be. And I now realize for too many of us – they are an anomaly. A Hayley’s comet. Something talked about, but rarely seen. But now here they are, on our television screens, on our radios, going to shows and schools, in living color, a tangible example of how you can climb the ladder of success with hard work and determination.

All this the ‘Obamas are our beacons’ had me feeling good about the future of our race. What we could become. And then my car got stolen. By some people who live in the same neighborhood where I serve and work with "lower income" girls, to help them build courage, confidence and character. And I screamed out, “I hate Black people!!” And then I thought back to that old Chris Rock stand up and revised my statement and screamed, “No, I hate nyggas!”

And then reality settled in. The Obamas are just two people with a lot of stuff on their plate – and while they may serve as examples, beacons of light to millions of little black children – they can’t do it all. I mean that’s quite a burden. And while I’m glad that they are inspiring a generation and hopefully we’ll see the results in the upcoming decades – I know we still have a lot of work to do. On us. I mean clearly the Obama angel was not sitting on the shoulders of the folk who stole my car.

Inspiration, I suppose can be hit or miss. Or misinterpreted. Or be horribly abused. I mean never should I hear a song about Obamas and rims in the same sentence. And so this makes me think back to W.E.B. Dubois’ theory of the Talented Tenth. Now, I know this makes some folk groan and cringe because they see it as a bourgeoisie type thing. But I see the power of what can happen when you show people that there is another way. That education has power. That working and hard work is noble. That marriage is beautiful. That the way they’re living doesn’t have to be the way it is. It’s what happens when I take 80 girls from the hood camping. And the girls' leaders are college students at local universities (some who come from these same neighborhoods) and can let them know that there are endless possibilities beyond their neighborhood block.

And so I think that we can each do our part. We can be second, third, fourth and fifth ladies in our communities. We can be Commander in Chiefs in our hood. We can model values of great parenting, getting an education, being a committed spouse. Not in a condescending, this is what’s good for you, type of way. But in a let's support each other, encourage, and build a better community, which leads to a better society, type of way.

Because all these kids aren't going to meet the Obamas, but they might meet a Johnson family with two layer parents and two adorable, intelligent girls; or a Wilson couple who's been married for 50 years; or a Dr. Tyson who attended an HBCU; or a Mrs. Stephens who owns her own buisness. And there's power in that. This too might change their lives. Might impact their future. Might inspire them to take another path. And so whilst I’m done crying over my missing car, I’ll return back to the hood, back to my kids who love being in my organization because of all it has to offer, back to my schools where another smiling Obama poster or a cut out will welcome me at the front door. And I’ll smile back. And get to work.

That’s my time y’all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

the buddy and the booty

brown sugar is one of my all-time fav movies. once you get pass the corny and oft-repeated metaphor that hip-hop = syd & dre's love for each other, it's a great romantic comedy for the ybf crowd. i love watching the tension between syd and dre as they each try to find love with someone else when they know that they are meant for each other. i never understood how a man and a woman who are such good friends decide that for the sake of their friendship they can't be together romantically. i personally feel that the best love relationships are built on great friendships because when things start to sag and your physical desires for each other wane, you need the friendship and mutual respect to keep you goin.

i happened upon a psuedo syd and dreover at the cosbykids blog the other day. two of the bloggers on the site also happen to be platonic male and female friends. they recently made their cases about how men and women can be platonic friends, why they are "just friends" and how they could never be together.

he said:

For those who do not know, Denise is my best friend in real life. We have been best friends since around 2005…Denise is my source of mental encouragement, support, and rejuvenation…Denise can always tell me how a woman feels, and I can use this when dating. Also, when I am sick, Denise always babies me to make me feel better. Denise can tell me what I look nice in and what I don’t, help me pick out cologne, and when my homeboy does not want to hear it, be the shoulder that I can whine and complain too …I expect a lifelong friendship with Denise, and I am not willing to jeopardize that. I am totally different as a boyfriend than I am as a friend…

she said

After this conversation, we were inseperable. It’s almost an indescribable relationship/friendship. To try to explain our friendship would not do it justice. Like Bud stated, we finish each other’s sentences, Bud’s shoulder is my hankie. There is very little that we don’t know about each other. In addition, on average Bud and I converse at least four times a day…With all of this being said, and now that you have a complete picture of our friendship, I can now address Bud’s frivolous article from yesterday. Sorry to play devils advocate – but Bud, cut the crap! For Bud to say that he has never thought about us as more than friends would be an omission of truth. Men naturally suppress their feelings….As Bud will be the Best Man at my wedding, and I, the flower girl at his. ... I can only hope that the person God places in my life, my better half, is as equally great as Bud.…I can only hope that the person God places in my life, my better half, is as equally great as Bud.

these are just snippets from their general arguments. and who am i to argue with folks expressing they feelings. but as i have said time and again, it's nearly impossible for men and women to be platonic friends. one of the two is gonna have more feelings than the other. one is gonna wish and hope that one day they could be more than friends and they are just biding their time until it happens or they are horribly and unbelievably devastated by the other when they marry someone else, like Reese or fine ass Kelby Dawson.

it may take a while but if you're such good a friends as alladat (c) rum punch, if you're each other's go to person in a crisis (spouse or significant other be damned) then y'all should at least take a stab at makin it work. syd and dre did. i love it when he's standing in the booth lookin at her longingly and he says "i don't wanna be friends no more" drops the phone and comes over for the embrace....

me thinks that these male/female best friends things usually up the same way. what say you?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

generation Y?

Over at the 5spot--we're '80s babies. Reagan babies. Overcame the crack epidemic era babies. Gernation X babies. My point is we were born during times that were inconceivably rough. I swear up until I was 12, my dad just shitted on the conditions of chocolate city "lock your doors, we're entering the city; "you know the'll rob you for nothing", "look at that knuckledhead--don't want to do shit with his life".... Bellini could go on and on... I mean the perception of life during that time was just as Annie said, "it's a hard-knock life"! So, you got to roll with the punches and have a game plan.

Now compare the '80s chil'ren with the stark contrast of the '90s babies. Clinton babies. Life was good babies! The Bling-Bling babies. They were aptly coined, generation y. And you have to wonder did economic boom have a psychological impact on their upbringing? I mean these '90s babies ain't got no drive, they won't even try. And if it wasn't for the fact that these '90s babies grew up with your folks, thereby raised by the same folks that raised you -- you would have to wonder who are they folks?

On two separate occasions, I've had two different friends tell me about the state of their cousins. Both cousins products of the '90s. Both cousins are young women. I've seen these women when they were little precocious girls. Both girls are unemployed, are mothers, and are in helpless relationships living with a man. One finished high school and the other did not. The one that finished high school was fortunate enough to attend college on a partial scholarship, she went and then dropped out -- not for a lack of aptitude rather for a lack of focus. So, this is the current verdict of the '90s babies.

No drive. No ambition. Livin' for the sake livin'. And it's one thing if you want to live your life like that, but the children ain't got no business being raised in those conditions -- especially when your ass wasn't raised like that! Perhaps, there is truly no shame in their game? Where's the pride to make sure you're employed, so you can bring in a check and take care of your baby. Don't blame the recession, both chicks weren't working prior to the recession. It's as if being pregnant meant they ain't have to do shit. Why are you going on welfare? The reality is they don't have to go on welfare. But one has to assume they want to. Asking folks for pamper money, formula money -- why the fcuk aren't you're breastfeeding. whatevs... I can only wonder what's their excuse. Why aren't they trying to better themselves and their sitchuations?

generation Y?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mind Your Business Lady!

Okay, so I have more work fodder for you folks. Sorry, it seems the only things I have opinions on are work related these days. Here’s to hoping that Al Sharpton will do something interesting that I can comment on in the next 7 days. Until then….

Let me tell you about my cubicle neighbor.

She’s one of those Black women who has been through the fire and been through the flood. A sistagirl who is well into her fifties, loves the Lord and will tell it like it T-I-tis! When my department first relocated to our new office space, she came over to my desk and said: Hi, I’m Betty Lou. I just wanted to introduce myself because I’ll be all in your business and I know you are going to be all in mine. Hmmm, I said to myself-I’m not nosey…but okay thanks for the warning. And as if her forewarning of privacy invasion (a la the Patriot Act) wasn’t enough, I didn’t tell you how she had on a fuchsia leopard print pant suit with matching shoes and scrunchy securing her yanky ponytail to her head. But again, we are talking about a fuchsia leopard print pant suit! At work! How is that okay? But different strokes for different folks, not everyone likes to wear black and white everyday like I do.

And given this characterization of Betty Lou, I really should not have been surprised when she decided give me her 5 cents, when 2 would have been enough. I walk into the office thinking about how I am a good person and I am more than my job when Betty Lou starts telling me that she thinks I need to buy Steve Harvey’s book
Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man because, she knows I’m single.

Um excuse me? How does she know what I is and ain’t? Aside from the occasional “Bless You” after a sneeze or slight comment about how cold the office is (cause those folks like it that way) we don’t talk. I’m not going to Betty Lou’s cube to tell her about my weekend and how I spent most of it hoping some man would call me back…and asking her what that means.

And maybe Betty Lou was just being friendly. Maybe trying to prevent another black woman from falling into the pitfalls many single ladies find themselves in. But sometimes I find that every Black lady (married or not) wants to advise you on how to get, trap and or keep a man, all under the guise of “Baby, I’ve been there, done that.” And while it’s nice to learn from our elders sometimes it’s hard for them to realize that it’s a new day…and beyond that…I ain’t you, so fall back! And another think that’s bothering me about it all is that would have Betty dared made the same suggestion if I was Anglo or Latino?

Maybe I’m just being over sensitive in this super PC world of ours. If it was 1959 I might have welcome Betty’s advice as we smoke cigarettes in our lead paint office. But in 2009, you can’t tell an older, well meaning Black woman to mind her own beaver damn business. Well actually, in 2009 you can, but Amaretto isn’t of the ghetto variety. So instead I told Betty I’d look into getting the book…I probably won’t but Betty doesn’t need to know that.

See You In Seven

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sometimes Ish Just Happens

Today, when my boyfriend referred to my hair, I told him I was going to dye it. He responded by saying, "Finally, so how much you trying to loose, 40 maybe 50 pounds?"

Today I found out I got a $20,000 scholarship and after celebrating with family, I realized it was addressed to someone else with the same last name. When I called her to tell her the news, she informed me that she received my rejection letter.

Today my husband dropped me off at work, ten minutes later I got a text saying "I just dropped the b*tch off, I'll be there in a few baby, miss you." I asked him about it and he said "I don't know what you are talking about Megan." My name isn't Megan, not even close.

Today, I tasted the rainbow. By that, I mean a homeless man hit me in the face with a bag of Skittles for not giving him money.

Those were just a few of  the post from FML this site I like to read when I think life is not going the way it is suppose to... sometimes you have to let things just happen and move on. Just this Friday a friend of mine had her car and purse stolen so I hope that she is reading this post and check out this site. I am not sure if everything posted here is true but you got to admit some of it is pretty funny and messed up at the same time. 

For the first time, I almost saw myself posting something yesterday morning. It would read... Today, I met a lady that was telling me all about how great her man was and when she showed me a picture, I realized it was my soon to be ex-husband.

Much luv until next week... peace :)