Thursday, December 23, 2021

Words Not To Live By

From The New Yorker’s Meghana Indurti and Asia Martin:

It’s that time of year again, when every department store, radio station, and hotel lobby is filled with Mariah Carey’s vocals. Although I am happy that the Black half of Mariah Carey is getting her coins, it can be grating. Yes, I do want a lot for Christmas, Mariah! In addition to wanting to never hear that song, I also want to stop hearing these five phrases that make me wish I could take my ears off and put them in my purse until the New Year.

1. “Are you seeing someone?”

Let’s see.

I am flirting with one person that I have no future with, because we’re both bored and need validation. I am leading on three different people in my D.M.s. I currently have fifty-four unanswered messages on Hinge, which I delete once a week to free up storage on my phone. I am still in love with my ex.

So, yeah, if you combine all of those, I am totally seeing someone.

2. “You’ve gained weight.”

Every year my family loves telling me information that I already know. Yeah, I was the one buying the food! I get it!

Maybe you could congratulate me on having a financially good-enough year that allowed me to order in so many meals. Maybe my new antidepressants think that I’d be happier if my booty gave me a round of applause whenever I took a walk. Or maybe you could just mind your own business, and instead worry about your creepy husband and why we have to wear “appropriate clothing” around a grown man.

3. “New rap music isn’t as good as the old stuff.”

If you don’t know how to find the beat, just say that! If you’re white and you want Black people to think you’re cool because you know about Wu-Tang, go chew on a pair of jeans, because we don’t care!

Listen, everything isn’t for everybody. That’s why there is such a vast array of music. I blast Young Thug and Luther Vandross and “Weird Al” Yankovic in my car. I get strange looks from people young and old, and guess what? I’m proud of it.

4. “I’m not vaccinated, but you still wanna come over?”

No, thanks. Actually, you don’t even deserve the “thanks.” No, I don’t wanna come over! I don’t want to be responsible for a new Teenage Mutant Ninja strain. And there is no relationship great enough or sex good enough to justify losing my sense of taste.

I know there are many reasons why people of color should be hesitant about taking anything the government endorses, especially since the vaccine radio ads that they’re using to target our communities are super weird. I think I heard one the other day that was, like, “We’re offering five hundred dollars and a pair of Jordans if you get the vax.” What is this? A back-to-school giveaway?

I got pricked in April, and the only side effect I’ve experienced so far is having to go into work.

5. “People are just too sensitive these days.”

Are they sensitive or tired of being the butt of your jokes? Are they sensitive or making fun of you for being dumb? Hmm . . . perhaps you’re the one who’s sensitive?

Maybe people are just more empowered to speak up about stuff that is wrong. I mean, not just morally wrong but factually wrong. Sometimes it helps to do a Google search before speaking.

Nobody asked you why you’re still holding on to that cul-de-sac of hairs around the edge of your head, so give other people a break.

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