the osiris of this shit

Yesterday, I sent some of my oldest and dearest blog-era friends the following text:

​”You know…thinking back to 2011-2012 when we were blogging about ‘Maybe there’s more to life than being wife material to some dude’ and everyone thought we were broken hoes who just wanted to slut it up for life… I realize that we were pioneers in the Never Mind These Dudes; Live Your Life, Sis movement.”​​

Don’t believe me, you say? Let’s revisit a post I unearthed from the 2012 iteration of The Skinny Black Girl:​

…I find my happiness in a quiet home. I love that feeling of sitting on my couch in my sweats after putting in my eight hours and knowing that I don’t have to do anything for anyone who isn’t named Robyn for the rest of the day. I also noted that I’m satisfied by my freedom. I can spend an hour G-chatting a male homey about life and the intricacies of Hov lyrics and the Giants pass rush and do so without explaining who I’m talking to or why I’m laughing so hard. Or I can shut everything off and not speak to anyone because I’m just not in the mood. And I don’t have to pick up any socks off my floor that don’t belong to me. (I have this thing about men and their footwear. Don’t ask.) I like pay day because I like knowing that I can pay my bills. And every morning I wake up to my 880 sq ft on Cleveland’s West Side and smile at the thought that this is all mine.

​I like quiet. I like being in charge unless I’m in bed or bent over some hard surface.

​These things don’t lend themselves to children or husbands.

Seven years later? Live Your Life, Sis is a MOOD. A lifestyle, honey. Drink your water. Mind your business. Leave these dudes on ‘read.’ Get your skin clear. See the world. Secure the bag. Do your squats. Work out your trauma. And do these things not because you’ll attract the “right” mate, as the barrage of Self Help Books By Men for Women instructed in the early aughts. Do it for yourself, sis because these dudes are trash.

When I brought this up to my friends the other day, here were some of the replies:​

“…there’s a lot of our OG natural principles being packaged in ‘self love’ advice these days. Never thought about it like that. I feel like the unmarried auntie that figured out life early lmao.”

​”Ahead of our time. Should’ve dropped a book.”

​”Just over the weekend, I was thinking back on a blog post I wrote about how [dudes weren’t] really chivalrous but doing the shit to score nice guy points. [Dudes] cussed me out for WEEKS. NOW THE SHIT IS REGULAR AND ACCEPTABLE CONVERSATION.”

“Waaaaay back. Told y’all asses to do what you wanted a long time ago, and you told us we’d never find a man, as if that was a punishment. Nice For What before Drake said anything.”

From the same 2012 post mentioned above:

​Then, last night, my dear friend @MF_Greatest dropped an article from The Atlantic written by author of The Purity Myth, Jessica Valenti, called”Not Wanting Kids is Entirely Normal.” There was a passage that pinpointed my exact fears with marriage and motherhood:

‘The overwhelming sentiment, however was the feeling of a loss of self, the terrifying reality that their lives had been subsumed into the needs of their child. DS wrote, “I feel like I have completely lost any thing that was me. I never imagined having children and putting myself aside would make me feel this bad.” The expectation of total motherhood is bad enough, having to live it out every day is soul crushing. Everything that made us an individual, that made us unique, no longer matters. It’s our role as a mother that defines us.”

​@MF_Greatest summed it up beautifully when she tweeted: “I just don’t want to be drained. Or drowned. And I’m not changing my last name.”​

So, where are we now? The OGs who ran as “You Single Bitches” in 2012 so the “Unbothered Queens” of 2019 could fly?​

You know me. Freshly sterilized and settled in solitude; going for round three of real Live By Myself Adulthood at 35. Some are deeply committed to fulfilling, challenging careers and business pursuits. Some in relationships or marriages with space, freedom, and individuality at their very foundations. Different as our paths may be, one thing remains true: a non-negotiable wholeness unto ourselves.​

As I said back in 2012:​

Because when you dedicate great periods of time to accepting and becoming yourself, you tend to feel a bit queasy when someone demands that you be and answer to something/someone else.​

And if I’m to lay myself bare and be completely honest: it does become disheartening to repeatedly hear that my desire to hold on to myself makes me unlovable.

​But when presented with the option of being lonely versus being without myself?

Yeah, the lonely wins.

Welcome to the party, ladies. I’m not saying you had to bring flowers. But if you did, you can drop them in the water-filled vase at the door.



Two days after Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the United States Supreme Court, I called my gynecologist’s office.

I’ve known for the last ten years that I do not want to have children. Defended my stance loudly to people who insisted the “right” man could change my mind or “anything could happen.” Nodded firmly when potential suitors ask “Really? NEVER?” You could say I’ve avoided serious commitment during my fertile years to make sure love didn’t weaken my resolve. But I never discussed sterilization with my doctors.

Sure. After terminating a pregnancy at 25, I told friends “If I could have all this shit tied, cut, and burned up, I’d do it in a heartbeat.” Still, checkup after checkup, I remained silent. I heard too many horror stories of doctors petting female patients on the head and cooing “What if you change your mind?” and “But you’re so young.” My sex life was sporadic at best and almost always included condoms. There was always Plan B. If worse came to worse, as I dead-panned to my last boyfriend when he joked about getting me pregnant: “I would not be pregnant for very long.”

Then the Supreme Court turned conservative. And I had to consider a world where I don’t have the power or resources to make decisions about my body.
“How long have you been thinking about tubal ligation?” my doctor asked yesterday.

“Honestly? For the last ten years. I just didn’t say anything because I thought I was too young. But I turned 35 and thought ‘It’s time.’”

She nodded. “Okay.”

That was it. She didn’t ask about my sexual habits or if I was dating or in a relationship or if I intended to marry one day. She said “Okay,” and talked me through the process.

“You know,” I said, once we talked appointment dates, “I came in here prepared to defend myself. I feel like I’m always explaining that parenthood is too big a task to be ambivalent about.”

She smiled. “I trust women to make decisions about their bodies. If you’ve thought about it this long, you know what you want. And you’re absolutely right.”


don't invite me to dinner

I’m not the girl who wants to meet your family.

I don’t want to bring a dish. I don’t want to sit in a kitchen pretending I care about your mom’s dressing recipe or how to shred cheese.

I don’t want to risk my outfit around your rowdy little cousins or hold your sister’s baby and have anyone making longing glances at me with an infant.

I want to bring the wine and watch the football games until dinner is ready. I don’t want your dad, brothers, or uncles mansplaining sports to me.

I don’t want to bow my head and pretend I pray while your aunt recites a 12-minute blessing. I don’t want to avoid the gazes of those who’ll judge me for not fixing your plate. I don’t want to answer questions about my parents, or my three half-siblings with three different mothers, where I went to school, what I studied, where I go to church. I want these people to stop talking to me so we sneak away from the table for a bathroom quickie.

I’m the girl you call at 9:00 PM on Thanksgiving evening with promises of leftovers and kitchen sex.

I want to slip on one of your T-shirts and sip whiskey and hear the story of your uncles’ fight over the Spades table while we stand at the counter eating my mother’s roasted duck and your mom’s macaroni and cheese that you know I’ll never perfect but you don’t care because that’s what your mother’s for.

Funny. Who knew I wanted anything at all?