An important point to distinguish…
Very, very important distinction. And the church (or any house of worship or religious tradition part) is entirely optional and very common to just skip it completely. Religion has nothing to do with marriage unless the couple wanting to be married wants it to. It is by no means necessary, nor does it matter which religion does it.
Marriage is a legal status. You can get married by a judge at a courthouse, like my parents did. Religious doctrine has no status to make any decisions about what is and is not a valid legal marriage.
Binti Jua, a western lowland gorilla female in the Brookfield Zoo, Illinois is most well known for an incident on August 16, 1996, when she was 8 years old. A three-year old boy climbed the wall around her enclosure and fell 18 ft onto concrete below, unconscious with a broken hand and vicious gash on his face. Spectators screamed, certain the gorilla would harm the child. Binti picked up the child, gave him a few pats and carried him 59 ft to an access entrance so zoo personnel could retrieve him.
Every time a non-human animal shows emotions or intelligence people act all surprised. Should they not have learned by now that the fact we don’t always understand them doesn’t mean that they have nothing to say?
- “Why don’t you talk to anyone?”
- “You’re awkward.”
- “Why are you so quiet?”
- “Why would you say that?”
- “Why don’t you talk to them yourself?”
- “Calm Down.”
- “Why are you scared of people?”
- “Why did you do that?”
- “You’re embarrassing yourself.”
- “You’re making a scene.”- “You should try and make friends.”
the day is january 1st, 3009. a group of humans listen to boom boom pow. when fergie says that she is so 3008 they all stand shocked and realise. fergie is now behind the times. fergie herself has become 2000 and late. this is unbelievable news to the humans. hours later the planet descends into war and chaos.
if someone tells you you’re beautiful, you tell them they are too. if someone says they love you, decide if they mean it before you say it in return. if a boy tells you he’d date you if you didn’t smoke, light a cigarette and walk away. if your mother screams at you because she’s had a bad day, close your eyes and leave her to her anger. if last nights lover doesn’t call you back, do not cry and blame yourself.
Natural Girls United (@NaturalIsUnited) is a fabulous Black-owned business that produces beautiful dolls to resemble Black women and other women of colour. The hair textures, colours and styles varieties are so diverse. Also, I love that the dolls have full lips, round noses and are a variety of complexions. These dolls are too cute and are for sale. The price range appears to be $45.00-$140.00, and the work is custom. Custom orders are also available.
As the founder, owner and designing artist Karyn Bird notes in her bio:
If a child is constantly looking at images, dolls, television, books and magazines - and only seeing beauty as something or someone with non-ethnic features and long, straight hair - then they are going to assume that this is what beauty is. It is something that has hurt our young people for centuries. But each day we learn that it is important to show them and teach them that their beauty is beautiful.
The only thing that I would want added are dolls with size variety instead of the usual thin frame. But with everything else, these dolls are on the right track.
I want Black kids to have dolls with variety; and I say “kids” since I am not about gender restrictions on toys. In the past I wrote something gender-specific (Black Girls and Dolls; Black Women and Pinterest) since even if all genders of Black children play with dolls like these (which would be great), the connection to beauty perception and beauty politics most heavily falls on Black girls. Thus, how that beauty is interpreted and how much it subverts hegemonic and Eurocentric beauty norms matters.
I know I don’t have many followers, but if it isn’t too much to ask I would like for everyone to just take a second to read my story. The pictures above are a summary of my life the past two years. From my first date with Christian, to my first and only prom with him, to finding out I was pregnant and starting our family. As you can see the past two years have sort of been a roller coast ride for me, with plenty of ups and downs. But I can easily say they were the best two years of my life. There are a few dates I will never forget, starting with February 26th, 2012. That was the day me and christian officially started our relationship. The next date is July 11th, 2012. The day I found out I was approximately 7 weeks pregnant. January 12th, 2013, the day we moved into our little house. Then February 13th, 2013. The day my son, Noah Clark Carden came into the world. I’ll never forget June 8th, 2013, the day Christian was taken to jail (just a minor probation violation), and July 23rd, 2013, the day he was released. After that, the dates are all kind of just a blur and a flash of good memories. Until, October 30th, 2013. That is the night Christian died. I found him, he had committed suicide. I stayed by his side until the ambulance arrived, but he had no heart beat. I followed them to the hospital and as soon as they resuscitated him and he was stable they allowed me in his room. At first I sat by his side holding his hand, and I just cried. He was breathing on his own through a tube, and a machine was doing most of the work for his heart. Just when I lost all hope one of the nurses told me, “You know you can talk to him, right? Hearing is always the last thing to go in a situation like this”. So I did, I told him many things. Countless times I told him how much I loved him. How much me and Noah needed him. That if he would just fight for me, and come back, that God would give us another chance to do things right and to be a family. I just went on and on, and when I looked up, his eyes were half open and he was crying. Tears streaming down his face. That’s when I knew.. he wasn’t going to be able to come back to me, and he knew it too. But I stayed there, I stayed by his side until they called his death and removed the machines. And for an additional two hours I sat there with my head on his chest, and I played with his hair because that was his favorite thing. I stayed until the nurses said it was time to go, I looked at him, whispered I love you, kissed him on the forehead, and I walked out. Christian suffered from depression, but not a lot of people knew that because he never reached out to anyone. He had stopped his antidepressants, but he didn’t let anyone know. He truly felt that if he died nobody would miss him, that we were all better off without him.. well he was wrong. But he couldn’t help that he felt this way, he was sick. People don’t understand how severe a mental illness can be just because you cannot see it. So this post has two messages in it. ONE, if you are depressed and you feel like you have no purpose, like you are not loved, well you are WRONG. There are many people out there that will be affected and deeply hurt to lose you. Christian didn’t realize that until it was too late. And two, if you are having suicidal thoughts… reach out to someone.. anyone. You can even message me day or night, and I will talk if you want to talk, or listen if you want me to listen. Don’t keep things hidden, and don’t feel embarrassed, scared, or ashamed.. please. You are not unwanted, you are not any different, you are depressed, and there is a cure. I would give anything to go back and tell Christian all of this, why I waited until it was too late… I dont know. And I will never forgive myself. So don’t make that mistake. Life is too short to spread hate, to hold grudges, to cut ties. Instead forgive, spread love, and find happiness. Christian always told me how much he loved to make other people happy, and it was true. I can’t name all the favors that were left unreturned.. but he didn’t care. He did it for the joy of making someones day. He was such a people pleaser, if he couldn’t make somebody happy, he felt like he had failed. What he didn’t understand is that it wasn’t his responsibility to make others happy, but he took on the challenge anyways. When other people were hurting, Christian took in their pain as his own. Everyday took a toll on him, to the point where the pain was unbearable. But you would have never known if you met him. He would flash that smile and release every bit of happiness he had until he had none left. I know it seems cliche, but it is true. Reblog this to spread Suicide Awareness. If my story can help save just one life, well then I will feel accomplished. And if Christian knew he started something to inspire others, to bring someone to reach deep down inside and find their own inner happiness, and give them a reason to live, well then he would feel accomplished too. So please, help me do this for him. I may not have worded this exactly how I wanted to, or got everything out, but I think I did the best I could at this point.
You are so brave, Alexis. Love you.
I can’t stop crying. This post may have just changed my life. It made me realize how much I would hurt my husband if I took my life. I can’t do that to him. I will fight as hard as I can to beat this, for him.
Crying, all of the crying. ~Nova
Limits of the Human Body by Soda Pop Avenue
Credit goes to SPA, but I wanted this here for a writer’s reference. This way we know exactly how far we can push our characters ;)
A teenage vow in a parking lot
"Till tonight do us part"
I sing the blues and swallow them too
I want to sneak out with somebody.
I just want to get up in the middle of the night and spend some time alone with someone. We could go have a midnight snack at McDonald’s or just walk around and talk about things we normally wouldn’t. Or maybe we could go enjoy ourselves at a park and play on the swings, or we could climb a roof and just watch the stars in silence - nothing but just good vibes and good company.