The Bonnaroo Experience Part 1: The Journey

A few weeks ago, I went to Bonnaroo. What is Bonnaroo? This simplest way to describe it is modern day Woodstock. Four days of camping out and walking from stage to stage to take in great music. It looks a little something like this:

huge farm full of people

Yes, I wanted to go. Yes, I was aware that I would be outside for almost a week before I signed up. No, I did not go alone. My buddy Jada was excited to be my partner in crime for this adventure. And let me tell ya, it was and Ad Ven Ture.

I’ll start with our journey to Manchester, TN.

My buddy (that’s what I call her in real life) lives in DC, and I live about an hour away from the 700 acre farm that is Bonnaroo. The plan was for her to fly here, and we head to the farm. And them my car died in The Middle Of Nowhere, TN while I was at work, a week before the festival. That’s another story. Looking back, I’m pretty sure this was the universe’s first attempt at trying to keep us from making it to Manchester. So I signed over my first born to pay for a rental. Why did it cost so much? Because the wonderful state of Tennessee schedules the Country Music Festival in Nashville on the the same weekend of Bonnaroo and the city is guaranteed to sell out of rental cars. Just wrong. Evil. The wound is still fresh, can’t you tell?

Fast forward past the rental car fiasco, it’s the morning of our trip. I wake up bright and early, ready to hit the road to pick up my buddy. I get a call. “Hey buddy I missed my flight. I’m going to see if there’s a later one. I’ll keep you posted.” Keeping me posted resulted us both thinking that all hope was lost. She wouldn’t be able to get to TN for less than all of her extremities, and there was no way that I was going to Bonnaroo alone. Enter, Jada’s mom who suggested her flying into Atlanta. It’s only a few hours from Nashville, and since I was already up a prepared to drive, she could hop on the plane and I’d meet her there. I’m pretty sure I heard the dramatic Hallelujah choir.

Four hours later, and I’m at Hartsfield-Jackson picking up my buddy. A pit stop at Walmart was necessary for snacks and water before hitting the road. We were on our way!! …And then we drove passed a Sonic. There was no way that we could just keep going, we were forced to turn around. Our lust for a slushie got us stuck in the parking lot of Creflo Dollar’s “church”.

The journey continues in the next post!

Not In My Wedding? Not My Friend.

If I were to have wedding, it would look like this. The people, not the dresses.

I have a new rule on friendships:

If I wouldn’t put you in my wedding, we are not friends.

Yes, my wedding which is currently non-existent and not happening in the near or far future. I’m not speaking of the actual wedding that I’ll have one day, because I don’t want a huge ceremony and I don’t want a wedding party at all. If I were to change my mind, my wedding would be an event in every sense of the word with a host of bridesmaids and groomsmen.

Where did this rule come from? The well-known randomness of my thoughts should be answer enough to that question. But I do have a real answer. It occurred to me that someone who I’ve been calling a friend, a best friend, would probably be late to my wedding. And leave early. That got me to thinking. Best friends are automatically maids of honor right? The maid of honor has actual responsibilities. When I think about bridal showers and bachelorette parties, two specific people come to mind. Neither is Miss Arrive Late/Leave Early. How can I call someone like that a friend? I can’t. That’s why God made family.

Back to the subject at hand, my friends. IF I ever were to have an actual wedding party, it would be composed of my friends. The people who are my source of an abundance of laughter, and with whom I’ve made countless memories. People that know my secrets. The people who I know that I can talk to with reckless abandon knowing that they will understand. The ones who listen to my meltdowns, encourage my ratchetness and tell me to sit down when need be.  The people who give me amazing hugs and encourage me on accident. These people would be in my wedding party and turn that muthasucka out!

What’s sad is, besides my sister, none of these people live in the same place as me. Anyone who is currently in Nashville reading this, if you know me personally, you are in one of three categories. Family. Cool People. Whatever. Family and Cool People, don’t go getting your panties in a bunch. I better not receive any angry text messages. Nashville is home; a city full of family and people who I’ve known for most of my life. I am in the process of strengthening bonds and building some new bonds from scratch. My wedding party is by no means set in stone. The rule is, however.

If the name doesn’t make the list, the person is not a friend. Try it.

 

Learning From Colored Girls

This weekend I learned a great amount without even trying, and it all started with a date to go see For Colored Girls. (No this is not a post about the movie. Calm down) The movie was…. Intense. Our discussion following the movie, over wine and cheese (yeah we’re fancy), was even more intense.

I learned so much from talking to a few colored girls.

See, prior to this weekend I looked at all of these women with the same eyes. They were the eyes of perfection. Cookie cutter happy lives, with cookie cutter issues that always have a happy ending. I was wrong. These women have been through LIFE but you would never be able to tell. They are strong. They are stronger than strong. They have been through hell and back again, some more than once, yet they wake up every day and pursue their dreams. They don’t sit and wallow in their sorrows or dwell on their pain.

I know that people go through things, but my naivety and slight self-centeredness always had me thinking that they all show it in one way or another; that somewhere in their personality, there’s an element of damaged. An indication of the pain that they’ve endured and the scar that was left behind. Then I realized that no one knows my pain unless I let them know. Yes, I know what behaviors and hang-ups display my pain, but how would others know?

What else did I learn? I learned that it wouldn’t hurt to be more like these women. I have a habit of allowing things to hold me back. Something bad will happen and I will completely shut down. Forget what I’ve already accomplished in my life. Forget that I have the skills and knowledge to accomplish so much more. Fear tells me to give up before I start because there’s no way I can actually complete the task/meet the goal. The work is simply too hard. Surely I will give up along the journey. Why put myself through it in the first place? When I heard the stories of my beautiful friends and I know that they still haven’t given up it hit me. How dare I not push myself? Who am I to tell me that I can’t do anything?

All because I talked to a few colored girls.

 

 

Tweet For Thought

My homie who shall remain nameless (I didn’t get his permission to post this hehe) tweeted a while back that “the relationship between a single mother and her son is so complex if women truly understood it… You would understand all men”

I countered him asking how would one understand all men if all relationships are different.

This was his response:

“To understand a certain relationship doesn’t mean point out the problems, it means observe how the two interact. How they tolerate each other and in the end it’s still unconditional love. When there’s an argument between a single mom and her son, they argue like a couple but the way they make up is sooo dynamic cause they know it’s unquestionable love. Women need to see the compromise that goes on between both parties that makes it work or better yet what doesn’t make it work That’s what I meant. Treat the one you’re with as if they are a part of you. You get upset means you are only mad at a facet of yourself. So better yourself and find what the issue is as opposed to petty arguing. That’s what single moms learn early on.”

I really dig this explanation, but not as a justification for  his statement. It makes perfect sense, but not just for men raised by single mothers, for anyone raised by a good parent. I completely understand why he limited his theory. He is a man who was raised by a single mother. But as someone who had more than one parental figure growing up, I can attest to this unconditional love being shown to me, and it wasn’t from my mother. All good parents practice the unconditional love described above with their children.  I think that both men and women should recognize that compromise and learn to practice it in their relationships. It is more about understanding how to communicate and compromise than understanding men. I’m curious to see if others agree with him, especially single mothers.

On “Friends”

I’d like to think of myself as selectively anti-social social. I am quite friendly when in the mood, but am never eager to meet and get to know every person I come in contact with. A simple “hi nice to meet you” is sufficient.

Needless to say I don’t have a huge collection of best friends. When a person has a plethora of  “besties” I become a little suspicious. I do not like the word friend being thrown around all willy nilly. I take friendships seriously, and I got a mean *side eye* for those with a storage closet full of best friends. Honestly, how is it possible to have the type of intimate bond that makes up a best friendship with so many individuals? Surely someone of these people are feeling neglected.

Here is my personal hierarchy of Friendship:

Homies – *read associates* We hang out when we happen to see each other out. They are included in the mass “what u doin tonight” text when I’m trying to find fun on the weekend. I may follow them on twitter if they are interesting enough.

My Girls – These are the women that I talk to regularly. We hang out. We update each other on our lives. I value their opinions. I can always count on them for a great time with lots of laughs.

Best Friends – (These are what others may call their “mains” “besties” “boos”) I have two of these. One I’ve known since the first day of 3rd grade, and the other I’ve known since the first week of undergrad. I don’t have to see them on a regular basis or talk to them on a regular to know that they would be there at the drop of a dime. We are just in sync like that. I tell them all the shit the others don’t get to know.

There are some special people who have earn personalized titles, but these are very hard to come by.

Hope none of my “friends” read this and get offended. If so, oops!!