Thursday, July 30, 2020


We are just days from presidential candidate Joe Biden announcing his choice for Vice President. He has said he will ask a woman to share the Democratic ticket with him. Some are hoping she will be a black woman. Others just want to see him in office if it means the current White House resident is promptly escorted off the premises. They don’t much care who he drags with him. Like many, I want to trust that Joe Biden and whomever he selects will make a difference in a world that is going straight to hell, sinking in a mire of quicksand faster than any of us could ever begin to imagine. Because things are bad.

The idea of a female on the ticket isn’t new. But this time it will be different. No one can argue that the women under consideration aren’t capable of doing the job. Not only are they qualified, but they can run circles around most of the men who have ever vied for the position. They are already out here fighting for better. Many have survived a storm or two. I imagine what’s coming will just be another walk through a very dark park and they will have to rise above the fray no matter what gets thrown at them.

It’s what will be thrown at them that most concerns me. Women have to take a lot of shit from men who are threatened by their presence. The horror stories are abundant, more women than not having to endure abuse that runs the gamut from verbal and emotional, to physical and back again. Sadly, sometimes it’s other women who help shovel all that crap, fueling the flames with jealousy and ignorance. I have a college-educated associate who would rather not vote at all than vote for a woman. She still subscribes to the belief that women should be barefoot and pregnant in the home and only men can lead. There are times when we can be our own worst enemy.

What I know is that any female candidate will likely be attacked on her abilities simply because she is a woman. A man with a lesser resume would be considered gold. A black woman will have the added benefit of being attacked for breathing, everything about her called into question again and again. There will be the assumption that she cannot be educated enough, or qualified enough, or just enough period. Because, after all, she is black. I don’t have to imagine the comments and memes that will follow her. I remember what was done to Michelle Obama. How she had to go high when their low was particularly vicious.

We’ll, I’m not here for it. Nor should you be. No matter who Uncle Joe picks, we will have to pull ourselves together and stand against the naysayers. We need to keep the focus on the candidate’s qualifications and the changes she and Joe will be able to affect. What damage rained down against us in the last four years will they be able to repair? And we’ll need to keep the wolves at bay. When the attacks come, we need to unify and shut them down before they can gain footing. We will need to demonstrate the ideals of sisterhood in an unprecedented way.

Recently women have been posting black and white beauty shots on Instagram tagged #ChallengeAccepted. It was intended to be a display of female empowerment. Some have questioned its purpose, and its impact, as we rally through the Covid-19 pandemic. I challenge these same women to be front and center to support the female candidate when she is besieged with ill will and condemnation. Rally around her to shut down the harassment and character assassinations that will have no validity and will only serve to be a distraction from the real issues. Use the hashtag #NotThisTime. Put your activism behind real support of another woman. Support that requires you to actually push back and be about the walk, not just the talk. No pretty pictures required. Just a staunch determination to ensure that the woman Joe throws into the flames will rise like the Phoenix. I dare you to accept that challenge.

Sunday, July 26, 2020


People look at me funny when I tell them my house is haunted. But it is. We have haints. I used to think it was a single spirit. Definitely female and partial to my guy. She was not happy when I moved into his home, but we’ve learned to respect each other’s space. I leave her alone and she knows not to bother me. But it took a minute to come to a mutual understanding that I wasn’t going anywhere, and she couldn’t run me away with her antics.

She roams the house late at night. You can sometimes hear her walking across the floor or down the stairs. She has occasionally slammed a door to get someone’s attention. In the wee hours of the morning when I’m focused on my writing, I sometimes sense she is behind me, just the faintest gust of air or breath blowing across my ear or neck. She’s become my sounding board and I sometimes talk to her as I plot.

Recently though I’ve gotten the impression that she is not alone. It started with the chair that never stays pushed in at the table. It was constantly moving and until it happened when I was home alone, I blamed the girls, or the big guy.

Dishes randomly falling into the kitchen sink was my second clue. Drinking glasses sliding off the counter while we sat in another room, the glass shattering against the stainless steel was disconcerting. She used to do that, too. Once could be dismissed as a fluke. Multiple times raises an eyebrow or two.

Lately, personal items disappear and reappear, leaving us to question if we might be losing our collective minds. I’m anal about there being a place for all things and all things being in their place. Keys get dropped into the key basket at the front door. When the basket is empty and we turn the house upside down searching for them, only to discover them in that same basket minutes later, I know I’m not crazy. Toys are moved. Phones have disappeared off tabletops. Earrings get rearranged in my jewelry chest. I no longer scratch my head at the absurdity. Our new occupant has jokes but they aren’t funny. 

My pretty princess loves her newly decorated room. She’s been partial to the tent with the sparkly lights which has become her private sanctuary. She will sit inside for hours with dozens of her stuffed friends. Talking to someone or something that no one else can see.

"He’s not very nice," she said once. When I ask who, she shrugs and dismisses the conversation. Almost as if someone behind me has raised a finger to shush her. Recently, she opened the front door to peer outside and then screamed at the top of her lungs. I watched the door slam shut as she raced toward me her arms outstretched. She did not close that door. I’m almost certain of it. Almost. But if she didn’t slam that door, who did?

"What’s wrong?" I asked.

"I saw him," she answered. "For real, MeeMi. I saw him and he was trying to get back in, but she wouldn’t let him inside."

"That’s some imagination," our favorite guy laughs nervously.

I nod as the princess and I exchange a look, understanding sweeping between us. Because I have seen him, too. And no, he’s not nice.