Discover more from you owe me an apology
on the title of this newsletter
I know what you're all thinking
For my inaugural newsletter, I wanted to give you a bit more background on the title because I’m fully aware of how it may come across.
Who does this entitled millennial think she is, going around demanding apologies? Doesn’t she know she ought to be grateful we (The Man™️) allow her fat ass to participate in the failed experiment that is late-stage capitalism and keep her mouth shut? And who the hell apologizes to black girls, anyway? Well, fair point. Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
From as far back as I can remember, one of my main toxic traits has been that I am absolutely, unwaveringly, shamelessly greedy for apologies. You bump into me on the street? I’ll pause, cross my arms, and wait for my sorry for as long as it takes. “Forgot” to send me that Paperless Post for your boyfriend’s nursing school graduation party? I’ll be refreshing until a heartfelt voice memo and endless string of crying emojis land in my inbox. I was once in a car accident where I was hit by a manic Russian woman on my way to Equinox and in my cloudy haze of shock, I heard myself scream at her, “Are you even going to apologize to me?! Because I didn’t HEAR an apology!”
The truth is, reader, that I feel like I deserve to be apologized to. As an Aries (and a West African one, no less), fairness is a huge priority in my life. I don’t go around purposely hurting others and when I do, trust me, I have no issue apologizing. It’s only fair. And btw, this near compulsion absolutely extends to the people around me. Recently, a beloved friend told me a horrific tale of a hairdresser dropping the ball on them right before a very important event. Before they could even get the final details out, I did it again: “Well, did she apologize? Did she seem like she meant it? Honestly, I would feel better if she cried. Did she seem like crying was maybe a possibility?”
TBH, I think we’re all owed an apology: from diet culture, from white supremacy, from our junior high English teachers who never learned to pronounce our last names out of fear of “butchering” them, from Kwame from Love is Blind. And while I can’t promise justice for all, I can promise that I will be here every week – ringing the Going Off Alarm (shoutout Straightio Lab) and going tf off about something that has been keeping me up all night, in the hopes that maybe if I write it down and have it sent to all of your inboxes, my tense shoulders will lower a bit and I can finally get some rest. A literary primal scream if you will.
Now, who owes me an apology first, you ask? (neigh, shriek in excitement as you cheer, “Ap-ril! Ap-ril! Ap-ril!”)
this week, I demand an apology from: The Father’s Day Industrial Complex
Late last week, I was casually strolling through the greeting card aisle at Target (the Papyrus end cap, to be exact, because I care) in search of the perfect birthday card for a dear friend. One that neatly encapsulated how deeply I adore her as a person, how talented of a gluten-free baker she is, and how much I enjoy the fact that we can’t stand all of the same people. Sisterhood, God, what would I do without it? Finally, I found the one, and just as I began to saunter off to the ethnic hair care aisle, something stopped me dead in my tracks. Have you been to the Father’s Day greeting card section recently?
There, under those unforgiving fluorescent lights, I saw toxic masculinity splayed out in front of me for all to see. Gone are the thoughtful, loving Mother’s Day sentiments of only a few weeks past and in their stead? Ice cold platitudes about IPAs, fishing, good ol’ propane grills, and that one time when Pa taught you how to change a tire. One inexplicably parodied the Presidential Seal, complete with a hammer to represent the only approved non-gay hobby, woodworking, and a spatula, for him to use, guess where? Out back at the propane grill. How did we get here? Why is no consideration being taken for those of us without these sterile, walking fax machine shells of men as fathers? What if your dad is more of a Kendall Roy type; a political science nerd who is more interested in high-end cologne than any type of outdoor activity, and who has taken a late in life interest in journaling like mine has? Do you really expect me to hand him a greeting card with a can of beer and a pair of razor blades on the front of it and not get kicked out of the family groupchat?
So, Father’s Day Industrial Complex, you owe me an apology. For forcing me to spend fifteen minutes looking for a card that wouldn’t tear my family apart, and for getting my blood pressure up when I was supposed to be in my happy place. This holiday is already so fraught. It’s a day when we should, at best, be celebrating our fathers’ meaningful contributions to our lives and at worst, sharing edibles and war stories with our siblings/fellow soldiers who endured along with us and made it to the other side.
Why, then, must Big Father’s Day™️ insist that we spend the day shoving the men in our lives in a cage of their own making and locking the door? Far be it for me to stand up for MEN of all people but I can’t in good conscience see such an alarming display of the horrors of patriarchy and say nothing. While I’m working on my whole “literally what is the purpose of men” deal in therapy, even I can say with confidence that they have more to offer than what they tinker with in the garage and reel in from rivers. Patriarchy serves men well, let it be known, but really, all the other genders have access to such delicious, well-rounded lives. We get deep friendships where they know our ugliest secrets, we get to openly weep at the end of movies that were just okay without fear that our homeboys will see us differently, and we get lip gloss.
My final plea to you: this Father’s Day, consider leaving a little room for your Dad to drop the façade and be himself for once. Either that or enjoy him coming out as bisexual to you on his death bed. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
this week, I’m recommending:
Kesha’s live performance of her song Eat the Acid. It was so stirring that my mouth was agape and my Smart Sweet hard candy (don’t ask) slid right on out and onto my desk. It’s that good.
Saint X, a Hulu limited series that confused me, enthralled me, and stuck the landing harder than most shows have in recent memory. (Barry series finale, I’m looking at you)
“Finally,” the podcast by Grace Kuhlenschmidt and Joe Castle Baker. If you love a sweet helping of pure nonsense to start out your week, turn your brain off and listen to two of my favorite comedians at the moment. new episodes every Monday!
and dear reader, this is only the beginning. I am invigorated by the permission I have given myself to have no rules when it comes to this space. I was describing an audio idea I have in the works to my sister and she said, “Oh, so it’s a podcast?” “Of course it’s not a podcast – it’s going to have videos of my face, too.” “So, it’s a YouTube channel?”, she asked, growing more frustrated as she continued to stir-fry her shirataki noodles. “Not at all!” I beamed, exuberant, and sprinted back upstairs to write down my idea for a video essay about Danity Kane. This is gonna be fun. So, tell a friend, slack a coworker, subtweet an ex, take an L, milly rock. I’ve lost the plot but what I do know is that I’m so excited to go on this journey with you. See you soon!
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