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AM I A SHITTY FRIEND?

About a decade ago, I met someone I had a lot in common with so I wasn’t surprised when we became friends but then, something super weird happened. She wanted to talk to me every single day. We were classmates so I talked to her before and after class, hung out a few times during the week, texted and talked on the phone, every day. Yes, it was that horrific! I was so overwhelmed that I confided in my mother.

Me: Mom, she wants to talk to me every single day, I am so confused.

Mom: Girl, it’s because you are friends!

I was bewildered and to be quite honest, reliving this moment is triggering. Also, I am 72 percent sure this story has nothing to do with this post.

Leave it to Facebook to ignite a spiral of internal thoughts (but mostly overthinking) that led me to ask myself: Why don’t I have lasting friendships? For the last 50 years (actually, I’m only 32), I blamed everyone else but I think I’ve reached a point in my very mature life that I can confirm that I may share some of the blame but probably not.

The older I get, the more I am attracted to people who share the same award-winning traits as me. Not surprisingly, I don’t see the purpose of establishing close bonds with people who don’t share those same traits, “values,” lifestyle and even political beliefs. What’s worse, I often hold people to the same standards I hold myself which my cousin (hey Karen) and I deem unfair but guess what? Life is not fair.

I have tons of seasonal friendships, the kind when one is super close then not but this isn’t necessarily my fault or a bad thing. Life happens but I am attempting to do better. For example, I list people I need to check in with via call (the horror) or text, in my planner. Side Note: Aprill, Jessica, Chariece and Ashley, I am texting you right after I publish this post.

I often lack empathy and hold grudges. I am sure that I have been a grudge-holder since birth. If your name is Ashley and you are light skin and went to Saint John Berchman for pre-school in 1989, I am still mad at your punkass for pinching me on several occasions. I am fairly certain that you have grown to be a terror to your community. So yeah, that basically illustrates I have never been a forgiving person. I will hate you for the remainder of your life, my life, future lives, past lives, bloodlines and pets. I am revisiting this cardinal rule because in most instances, it’s not that serious (except for Ashley). I am chipping at this and think I should be ready to turn a new leaf in about 56 to 82 years.

I do want to note that I do have several friends I talk to daily, and occasionally we see each other! We talk about politics and pop culture, family and friends behind their backs, we give each other terrible advice, and complain about our coworkers and jobs well, all except me. I just started my job and obviously I love it just in case anyone from my job cyberstalked me and found my blog. So, where do I go from here? Obviously, I am accepting applications for additional friends and yes there is an application fee. Anyway, have you been a shitty friend and why? Do you plan on changing or will you remain shitty like the friends I tried to talk about this with. Now that I think about it, maybe it’s not me. Yeah, it’s totally everyone else.

I am such a good noodle.

Side note: No, I’m no longer friends with the girl I talked about earlier in the post, we got into a Facebook fight. If you’re reading this, I just want to say I accept your apology. And to Ashley, f*** you!

Read and share this post, follow me on most platforms @pinkgumbeaux, and read my last (and very old post) Everything But Essence

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EVERYTHING BUT ESSENCE

For an explanation of feet, keep reading.

Names and details have been changed to act like I am protecting the identity of family and friends but we all know I’m not. 

This was the first time I made a effort to attend Essence. Although I grew up in New Orleans, Essence weekend has always been a headache for locals. The influx of nearly every African American woman, unfortunate husbands and boyfriends, cat daddies, and a couple of lost colonizers results in traffic and price gouging so we always left town. I made a few attempts several years ago but it was hot AF so I swore to never return during the months of July and August yet there I was but the weather was not impossible thanks to a few showers.

I am not sure of the details but the cousins group chat spilled over into a fake-ass Girls Trip. We lost a few cousins so it was just the four of us. No, they are not dead but didn’t attend for reasons that are none of your business. Due to my cousins wanting an authentic experience, we did everything but Essence (but you already knew that because it’s the title of this post). We saw one panel featuring Amanda Seales, Tichina Arnold, Tisha Campbell-Martin, and Kym Whitley, spent a ton of time trying to find the Read’s booth, browsing stages where we saw Mary J. Blige and Fonzworth Bentley, and passing tons of vendors. Essence requires more than the weekend. You need time to tour the city, get the energy necessary to attend the panels and performances, check out the night life and recuperate (which I haven’t since I returned to a sick child and husband; thereby, resulting in me being sick).

We ate and drunk all weekend; most notably, Cafe Du Monde, Superior Seafood (where I learned about non-binary gender and valet kept bringing me the wrong car), Ruby Slipper (where Kofi Siriboe stood us up, he was invited via twitter), Deanie’s Seafood (where we received terrible service for the first time ever but the tip was already included so they didn’t give a damn), 30/90, and District Donuts.

Listed on my Bucket List and something I’ve been trying to see for three years is the Read Live! This is the very first podcast I started listening to and still my favorite. We arrived during the pre-show to a podcast we aren’t familiar with but who I was familiar with was their guest: Big Freedia, the Queen Diva (you already knoooow, girl down). If you don’t know who she is, google. I don’t have time for your foolishness.

As expected, Freedia gave us a twerk session and asked for volunteers. This is the moment I’ve been preparing for since giving birth. I twerk at least once a day and felt that I was ready to perform on stage when she asked for volunteers so there I was, next to Freedia, throwing it in a circle… in my head. There is no way I am going to shake my mommy ass in public so you guys can upload it to your Snapchat or whatever mediums you millennials use.

According to one of my cousins, their live episode is available and I’m wondering if I will be able to hear myself ask Crissle to let Meghan ask a question. I take full responsibility for the positive impact she’s going to make on white America. Each one teach one.

We also saw Dustin, Fran and Assante which was a nice treat since I also listen to their podcast, the Friend Zone.

We did a little shopping on Bayou Road where there is a string of black-owned businesses. I bought a book and pins from Community Book Center, another pin from Material Life and a cupcake from Cupcake Fairies.

We shopped in the French Quarters where I bought Pyrite studs from NOLA Rock Co and a T-shirt and onesie from Kitchen Ink which illustrates to Jacksonians I will always be a New Orleanian as if they don’t already know, as if they care.

We drove through Uptown, the Garden District, City Park, and I took the cousins to the Lakefront. Speaking of the French Quarters, I finally got the chance to see my best friend since childhood perform at 30/90. Please follow Sierra Green & the Soul Machine and see her live instead of jumping on the bandwagon later on. I mean, I’m sure she’ll still take your money but I’m just saying.

Other notable experiences include my lesbian cousins dressing alike opposed to the required skank-wear, cousins falling asleep every time they get in the car like newborns, my cousin’s feet being entirely too close to my face (we had an abundance of space), my cousin getting out of my car and telling Pickup Truck Patrick to stop blocking the hotel parking lot because he was causing traffic and you guessed it, he did not move. There were other activities we shall not speak of *stares*

We are already talking about attending next year but it will most definitely require me taking several days of vacation and actually attending Essence. I didn’t take a ton of pictures, that’s not my ministry. You can check out several on Instagram, you’re welcome.

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7-MONTHS-OLD, UNEMPLOYED & STILL DROOLING

Yes, Baby Gumbeaux still exists. Unless you follow Baby Gumbeaux on social media, you have no idea what we’ve been up to. Most recent Facebook and Twitter posts are about phantom poop smells, chew toys, making a quilt out of my C-section panties and nursing bras, and twerking to ABC Mouse.

Baby Gumbeaux is basically grown but has yet to secure the employment necessary to pay for daycare, diapers, and food. She is 15 pounds and 25-inches-long, a third of my height. Don’t be surprised if she’s taller than me by kindergarten. She has a ton of personality; specifically, my personality. She runs the staff at her daycare, only allowing a couple of teachers to hold and feed her, gets annoyed when other babies get “too much attention,” and often accompanies her teacher on her lunch breaks. Baby Gumbeaux has three boyfriends ranging from babies to toddlers that, visit her every morning and afternoon. She runs the toddlers too. Just last week, she mowed over two toddlers while in her walker, and they just let it happen.

Unless you approach her with a compliment, she likely won’t allow you to touch or hold her. Don’t blink or breath near her or she may start screaming. She often snatches her hand away from people and occasionally lets out a baby kick. Not too surprising since I usually don’t like people touching me either. During a trip to New Orleans last week, she wouldn’t allow anyone to hold her. Well, just the kids and only because she thinks she’s one of them.

Baby Gumbeaux is eating baby food and tried mashed potatoes a couple of times. I tried to feed her scrambled eggs, but she spit it out. I think the texture is weird to her. Have I ever mentioned I am an extremely picky eater so seeing her reject a ton of food should be fun?

She thinks she is grown, so her preference is to try to walk and has thrown a baby middle finger to crawling. Her favorite pastime includes watching me get ready and laughing when I dance. I have yet to determine if she’s laughing with or at me. She has no rhythm, so the joke’s on her. Baby Gumbeaux is a rebel so, homegirl still does not sleep through the night. Interestingly, when we are getting ready for work, she usually goes back to sleep. I don’t think so sis; you should’ve slept last night. It’s time for daycare.

I am fairly certain I am going to ditch Baby Gumbeaux’s Instagram and Facebook. They are the same people who follow Pink Gumbeaux. We’ll stay on Twitter because we have a bit of an audience @babygumbeaux. Read and share my previous post: Talking Gumbeaux.

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TALKING GUMBEAUX

Names and details have been changed to protect the identity and privacy of the individual I’m judging. 

A couple of weeks ago, a couple of friends and I met up for cocktails, to see Deadpool 2 and to get into middle-age trouble.

Note: None of us are middle-aged. 

Shortly after the movie started, a very odd thing happened. My friend started talking but while the movie was playing. Have you ever experienced something so horrific? You probably have, if you’ve ever been in a theater full of black people. She congratulated actors (Zazie Olivia Beetz and Terry Crews) for “getting their coins,” provided commentary, and sung all of the songs. It was such a confusing experience, I may need counseling.

Overall, I thought it was funny and decided to briefly interview her. I wanted to get to the bottom of this phenomenon. Surprisingly, she complied.

Pink Gumbeaux: Have you ever been to a movie theater?

Talking Gumbeaux: Yes.

Pink Gumbeaux: I don’t remember if you had a cocktail during happy hour. If so, were you drunk?

Talking Gumbeaux: I had one cocktail but I personally pregamed before the happy hour… and on the way to the movie.

Pink Gumbeaux: Why do you people talk through movies? 

Talking Gumbeaux: To give credit to the actors and directors that had a hand in such great work. When I react, the film has earned my coins.

Pink Gumbeaux: You were really excited to see a couple of the actors and even yelled “yassss, get those coins.” Why Sway?

Talking Gumbeaux: As a consumer, I thoroughly enjoyed the presence of actors that are developing their careers and appearing in reputable films.

Pink Gumbeaux: Do you think your outbursts are linked to issues from your childhood?

Talking Gumbeaux: No, lol. I usually watch movies alone and never had to accommodate others.

Note: We were not in her living room but in a movie theater where I paid extra to reserve seats.

Pink Gumbeaux: You sung all of the songs. Why do you know so much classic rock from the 80s? You weren’t even born.

Talking Gumbeaux: My mother didn’t change the radio stations much and I worked in an arts and crafts store.

Pink Gumbeaux: If we ever go to the movies again (we won’t), will you behave like a good noodle?

Talking Gumbeaux: I don’t make promises I can’t keep sooo, probably not…. side note: the Incredibles come out this weekend.

Shout out to my friend for being a good sport, I would’ve never participated in bullshit like this. Oh well, follow me @pinkgumbeaux. Read my previous post, it’s basically 3 minutes of excuses: HELLO! IS IT ME YOU’RE LOOKING FOR?

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HELLO! IS IT ME YOU’RE LOOKING FOR?

Hello, my name is Ashlee. Apparently, I have a blog.

I have a ton of super good excuses. What? You thought I was going to list them? We don’t have that type of time. Plus, you millennials barely read. Truth is, I am doing too much. It will be an interesting week because I will quit the things that contribute to the “too much” and no, Baby Gumbeaux is not on that list. In addition, there are tons of bloggers throwing the deuces. Do people still say that? In my old age, it’s hard to stay abreast of slang. Interestingly, I get pissy when I don’t see new posts from my favorite bloggers, vloggers and podcasts; yet, I haven’t posted in over a month! Remember the days when I posted a few times a week? I mean, those posts really don’t count. They all sucked. Frankly, I didn’t think my 3.5 readers would miss me.

So, now what? While I figured this “it’s complicated” status with blogging, I am going to turn this into a bit of a diary. Less reviews, more personal stories, and I will most definitely continue talking about people behind their backs. Stalk me @pinkgumbeaux. I am fairly active on Facebook but mostly on Twitter. This invitation is not extended to the family members who keep stalking my posts and snitching on me.

Ashlee, out.