Excuses. Excuses. Excuses.

I should probably begin with an apology, a sincere ‘I’m sorry’ for my 168 day absence. I could charge it to life, work, school, forgetting my wordpress.com username and password but I won’t make excuses. Actually, there is no excuse for neglecting yourself.

Mulattotude.com is myself. I mean is me. See what absence has done to me?!

I wish I could tell you I was on a remote island studying its aboriginal inhabitants as they worshipped my every move and offered me sacrifices of mango, papaya and coconut martinis in exchange for nuggets of intellectual inspiration.

Fictional sabbatical aside, I’m very sorry for neglecting mulattotude.com, I am more sorry for neglecting myself.

Today I witnessed something that brought me back to myself.

While shopping in my favorite store, I noticed a young white male peering between a rack of sweaters at an unknown target. I tried to ignore crouching tiger, hidden dragon but my curiosity got the best of me so I knelt down beside him.

What are you looking at?

Those kids.

He was referring to the two black males between ten and eleven hovered over the jewelry counter.

Why don’t you just prevent them from getting in trouble and tell them you’re watching them followed by a lecture on the penalties of theft?

I’m just doing my job, ma’am.

Void of your humanity?

This isn’t their first time but we haven’t been able to catch them. You don’t know the whole story.

Ok. Well you have a Merry Christmas.

I contemplated walking over to the young men and demanding that they empty their pockets, apologize to the store and then escort them out with a handful of ear from each of them while admonishing their behavior. I envisioned explaining what they had done to their mother who burst into tears over the loss of their innocence as she dropped to her knees in prayer over their souls.

But I continued shopping, caught in a Catch 22. Surely they needed to learn a lesson, I just wasn’t sure Target’s loss prevention specialist was the one to do it.

I heard the security alarm sound as I proceeded to checkout and rounded the corner just in time to see the snooper marching the boys to a rear office.

9 years old, 2 years shy of the hair dryer debacle

I thought about my own experience with theft. When I was eleven, I abducted a hair dryer. Years later, my mother attributed my acting out to my way of screaming in silence. That’s what little girls do when they carry secrets. Even more years later, I attribute it to just wanting straight hair. Yes, sometimes things are just that simple. But for a biracial girl with dry, nappy, curls-hair is anything but simple.

I wonder what secrets those little boys are carrying. Did they just want a Christmas gift to put under the tree for their mother? Did their mother put them up to it? Or was it just stealing, plain and simple?

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Ooo Ooo Ooo Ooo Ooooo I Got A Mulattotude

Dress by Fab'rik. Photo by JElite Photography

I am not a fan of Miss Patti Labelle. Staring at your computer screen with big, bugged out eyes will not change that fact. I’ll wait while you get yourself together from the shock of my revelation. It’s true. I’m not. I find nothing pleasurable in all of the hooping and hollering, rolling around on the ground screaming and screeching like you aint got an ounce of sense.

She gets on my nerves.

But…there’s something about New Attitude that’s got my hips swinging and lips singing here lately. “Ooo Ooo Ooo Ooo Ooooo I got a mulattotude!” That’s right! I got a new attitude and it’s all because of my mulattotude. Have you ever experienced the freedom the comes in finding yourself, your sanity, your purpose, your authenticity? I am there.

My new attitude needed a new look.

  1. In search of fresh wardrobing, singular not plural because I ain’t quite got it like that, I happened upon Fab’rik of Raleigh where Kelsey was phenomenal in finding the perfect reflection of my colorful personality.
  2. On to hair and make up with Flawless Faces of Alnita of the Tim Johnson Salon because runway diva extraordinaire and BFF, Tekora Scruggs insisted that she was

    Make up by Flawless Faces by Alnita, Photography by J.Elite

    the go-to artist for print designs. She is a facial genius!

  3. Finally, I made my way to my professional photo shoot with Jamal and Carmela of J.Elite Photography. I was prepared to be impressed, but not amazed. They were so good that I scheduled a non-traditional family photo shoot a week later.

Kelsey, Alnita, Jamal and Carmela turned this pumpkin into a crystal carriage and when midnight struck, I was still glowing from my new look and new attitude. If you’re considering making a memory, putting your best face forward or dressing to impress, let my supreme team make you over and tell ’em a very happy customer sent ya!

Color Theory

Today I became a dog lover.

I do not love all dogs, just one…Poet. Today, the fourteen month, sixteen pound schnoodle and I connected on a very deep level.

Let me begin by sharing our history together. About a year ago, my sons began asking for a puppy. After a visit with my sister, they began asking specifically for a schnoodle (shout out to Grady, my nephdog). I was not fond of this idea but thought it an excellent way to teach them some responsibility and award them for good behavior. We got the puppy. I was not particularly fond of him. Over the last year he ate my dining room chairs, funked up my sofa, shredded roll after roll of toilet paper, soiled my carpet…the list goes on and on. I tolerated him because my sons loved him.

Everything changed today.

Poet needed grooming. His hair had gotten so tangled that the salon recommended a buzz cut. I agreed. “He’s a gorgeous little mixed baby. I love how he has schnauzer hair on top and poodle hair on the bottom.” The ladies went on and on over his array of hues: red, gold, grey, tan.

Genetics is funny. His mother was white. His father was black. He was adopted. My third child is a canine reflection of myself.

It took over four hours to file his nails, clean his ears, cut his curls and flush his anal glands (uhmmm, yeah).  When I walked into the pet store, the groomer shouted “Poet’s mommy is here.” I smiled. I felt that same sense of pride I feel when I walk into the classroom of one of my human sons and all the kids get excited and whisper “That’s Ms. Bennett.” He was overly excited to see me. He had no idea that before today, I was never overly excited to see him.

On the ride home, I remembered a time in high school where a boy and girl were paired as a couple and required to “raise” a baby together for a week. My partner was white and we thought it would be clever to use a grey stocking to create our baby (the teacher didn’t get it). We, like all other kids were taught that black plus white equaled grey. We were misinformed.

Sometimes black plus white equal red and gold and grey and tan or as I like to call myself, soft honey. Your color can’t define you any more than the texture of your hair… be you canine or human.