Tuesday, January 27, 2009

You Don't, But You Do, But You Don't

A few months ago, Princie (for new readers, that's the Four Year Old's nickname...Princess+Pixie) was using this little saying several times a day:
"I do, but I don't, but I do."

Princie, do you want some lunch?

"I do, but I don't, but I do."
Translation: I am hungry, but I don't want to stop painting, but a "samwich" sure sounds yummy.

Some days, she would change it up a bit.
Princie, do you want to go to bed?

"I don't, but I do, but I don't."
Translation: I want to hang out with the boys some more, but I really want to sleep, but I might miss out on something fun.

Come to find out, four year old Princie is not the only one subscribing to this line of thought. Apparently, the co-founder of the Black Artist Association is on the same wavelength...

FIRST LADY UNDER FIRE: Amid all the praise of First Lady Michelle Obama’s fashion choices for the inaugural festivities, the Black Artists Association is taking her to task for not wearing anything by an African American designer. Cofounder Amnau Eele said Wednesday she will make a formal appeal to the First Lady’s office on behalf of the BAA.
"It’s fine and good if you want to be all ‘Kumbaya’ and ‘We Are the World’ by representing all different countries. But if you are going to have Isabel Toledo do the inauguration dress, and Jason Wu do the evening gown, why not have Kevan Hall, B Michael, Stephen Burrows or any of the other black designers do something too?” Eele said.
The BAA leader was a runway model in her own right for Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Bill Blass and others.
Asked if perhaps the First Lady isn’t looking at the world colorlessly, Eele said, “It’s one thing to look at the world without color but she had seven slots to wear designer clothes. Why wasn’t she wearing the clothes of a black designer? That was our moment.”

Well, excuse me. I had no idea this was all about you. I thought it was our country's moment. Regardless of how I feel about her, I thought it was Michelle Obama's moment. Not that it has to be earned, but I think if you put up with the pains of a presidential campaign, and come out victorious, you have earned the right to wear whatever you darn well please!

So I sit here now, very confused.

All I can come up with is that Ms. Eele is a woman who likes to change the rules every now and then. Ms. Eele, let's see if I get this one right:
You don't want to be judged by the color of your skin, but you do, but you don't.
Translation: If you notice my skin color when I don't want you to, you are a racist. If you don't notice my skin color when I think you should, you are taking my "moment" from me. And no, I will not give you any indication as to when I would like my color recognized or ignored.That's how I keep this game interesting, that's how I keep you on your toes, that's how I make sure you never become truly colorblind. And if I can keep you in the game, I will always win. You should just know what I am thinking. If you don't know, you will be deemed either insensitive for taking my "moment" or (if our skin colors don't match) just plain racist.

Well "Ms.Eele", I'm going to let "you" in on a little secret. I'm not playing your game. What am I doing instead? I'm raising three children, and only the Ten Year Old has ever asked about skin color. It happened the summer he was six years old. This child tans like nobody's business, even with sunblock. He asked if he was going to keep getting darker, eventually becoming the color of his Uncle Abe(who is black). His exact words, "If I am, that's fine with me, I just need to know what to expect. Everyone will think he's my dad, not just my uncle." Black, green, purple, white...the color was irrelevant, he just wanted to be prepared for the change.

I am raising little people whose classrooms are filled with children made up of every shade of every color you can imagine...far beyond black and white. They play together, they are the best of friends. I honestly thought you wanted me to raise colorblind children. I always thought the whole "We Are the World" thing had a nice ring to it. Surely you can understand my confusion.

So, I have made a decision. You can change the rules back and forth from now until the end of time. I don't care anymore. Like me...don't like me. Call me racist...or don't. What you have effectively done, is push me past caring. You have effectively taught me that no matter what I do, it will likely never be the right thing. You won't find me playing your "I don't, but I do, but I don't" game.

Looks like you're only opponent is yourself. Good luck with that.


emily said...

it's like, i wish i had some "snarky" in my step!!!

mom said...

I will say it again....
CAN I GET AN AMEN?!?!?!?!?

I freakin' LOVE it....LOVE it....
and now I will say this again...

Tell me, tell me, tell me do.
How in the heck do we get the world to hear YOU??

I want to create a snarky doll, snarky bobbleheads, snarky t-shirts, snarky hats...that's it, a snarky empire! :)
Well, I do, but I don't because it will tick me off so bad when people give you grief, I will be spending most of my days taking names and preparing to kick butts, so I do, but I don't, but I do!!
Another good one, snarky.........

Sue said...

Right on, Natalie! You have really nailed this dynamic on the head. (And you've also nailed Ms. Eele's head to the wall.)

Or maybe she did that herself.

snick snick

Rachel T. said...

LOL your mom cracks me up. Snarky Bobbleheads huh? LOL My family is the same way, no one cares what color you are. Macie was the same way when she was younger, she was tan as all get out. And she had two friends one was Mexican and one was mixed (half black have white). Macie wanted to have her hair styled in braids just like her friend Cora who was the one who was half black half white. She did not see any differences between her and Cora. They both had dark skin, and she wanted her hair like her friends. We tried to explain to her that some people have different kinds of hair, but im her mind she was no different than Cora other than they had different colors of hair (which in her mind everyone did, we have several different colors in our family alone.) You never see people of Asian decent complain that they don't see their "people" in Vera Wang, etc. It is what it is, the Obamas are not supposed to be "blacks" they are the change, the new face, they are to bring EVERYONE together.

Amy Boyack said...

Great post. I love the "I Do, but I don't, but I do" intro. My oldest son went to kindergarten as the only white kid in his class. One day, he asked me how he could make his skin so it wasn't see through. I thought it was cute.

Gretchen said...

Well said.

Kim said...

Ah, the truth. You express it so very well. Amen!
I also love that your mom is saying "freakin'" these days. Sarah's lingo is contagious, isn't it?

L said...

What happened to Idiots on the Hill? I opened it, walked away for a while, came back, read and wanted to comment and the page is GONE!!

I swear we share a brain!

mom said...

Hello...where is yesterday's "Idiot and STD's" post?

I am looking...
I am looking... (picture Princie saying that)!
I not know where it went! :)

Anonymous said...

Since you're a mother that's raising three children, you can start helping your kids by demonstrating that you have a brain, heifer.
Did you fact check the story or quotes by Amnau Eele in WWD?
Did you know a Oprah magazine contributor has already proven that Ms. Eele didn't make any of those stupid quotes in WWD, cow?
you're evil and retarded, and what you said about that woman that you don't even know shows how racist and low-life you are.
but the bible says the sins of the father and mother falls on the heads of the children.
You're going to pay for all the evil words you said about that lady.
your comments is just what I would expect from a flat ass bobble head bitch.

Citizen Craptastic said...

I'm really bad about reading my reader's comments so just stumbled upon yours. Looks like some good reading! I've also been called Snarky. Or Bitch. Take your pick. :-)