Things I’m NOT Giving up in 2017

Hello there.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever met me, and that’s fine, but just know that I am extra. That’s why this New Years Eve, I am going to remain true to myself and not give in to this “new year, new me” bullshit. I ain’t giving up SHIT. Here is my unforgiving list for 2017.

  1. Dr. Pepper. Trump is president. And he likes to belittle women. I’ll drink what I damn well want.
  2. The word extra. I personally love the flavor of being over the top and I don’t feel like enough people do it. Live your best life: bedazzle it, eat everything, text him, go places, yell at people.
  3. I’m not giving up on Britney Spears. I’ll never give up on her. We’ve all had questionable times in our lives. Her’s involved an umbrella. It’s whatever. She’s still the queen of pop in my 90’s baby heart ❤️
  4. I’m also not giving up on the remaining four harmonies. But they gonna have to work to make up for the pain that was the split of runt Camila.
  5. Forever 21 even though I’m 26. #ForeveraTHOT #thatswhyitsforever
  6. Finding the rug of my dreams. And maybe a man but my floors are bare right now and I’m stressed about it and that’s more important.
  7. Being petty. Sometimes these folks just need to know how they’re acting  and I’ll GLADLY point it out. Screenshots for er’body. Don’t come at me with nonsense and expect for me to not show the tri-county area. #PettyWap
  8. Curse words. They’re the color of my life. There are situations in life that can’t be described with anything other than “fuck“. My favorite line from a Christmas story: “He wove a tapestry of obscenities”.
  9. Supporting the diversity of the world. I’ll always be the gays’ biggest supporter. I’ll always root for the girls. I’ll always feel pride when I think about our first black president. I’ll always cheer when Victoria Secret hires an Asian model. ALWAYS
  10. Crossfit. Yes, I Crossfit. No, you didn’t know about it because I suck and I ain’t trying to tell folks about it. But my goal is to be relevant in 2017 and make it more than 400 meters before I want to die; also, to not have people wince when they see me load my bar for a snatch, so I shall continue onward.

Quitting is for the faint of heart, and my heart is propelled by whiskey and rap music, both of which shall never perish. This new year, think about the things you love and keep doing them. Keep loving and keep sending memes to your side pieces.

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Ain’t Always Rainbows and Butterflies

I’d like to start off with a correction submitted via family. A credible source, a.k.a. my Aunt Delores, called my cousin to let her know the following reference to how my name was chosen in the previous blog. It states as follows:

“Dammit, I get blamed for everything! Dawn decided on DeRae months before she was born as an ode to me and Alice Rae but then we got in a fight and I wasn’t even allowed at the hospital or to see her for the first year of her life!”

I trust the pertinent source. Oops.

My mother’s birthday was this week. This year makes 3 years that she passed on a cold night before Thanksgiving. 20 years this year since my dad’s passing as well. Holidays are the hardest, for some odd reason. I wasn’t going to write a blog with this caliber of topic, but a very great friend gave me the courage to do so. All that I am is due to not having my father and excessive attempts to avoid my mother.

Oh, growing up with Dawn was not the easiest for me. She struggled greatly to find a good life balance between raising an intelligent, wild baby and raging on the weekends with God knows who. She had had a rough childhood, too, for various reasons. She had never finished college and couldn’t really hold a job for very long between wavering mental illnesses and just plain tomfoolery. Drug tests always had a mind of their own for her — “Oh, I don’t know what happened. I think they saw the Tylenol I took and misread the test,” she would say. She was always in some sort of trouble. Always.

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I never had the mother-daughter heartwarming moments. She couldn’t order for me at a restaurant. She didn’t remember my social security number. She let me watch Silence of the Lambs and the Rocky Horror Picture Show when I was a small child because they were “so good” and tried to order me margaritas at dinner, but I wasn’t allowed to dance in my first competition because the costume was a sports bra and athletic capris.

She didn’t attend my college graduation. She called after to say that she couldn’t find a parking spot so she just left. Pretty typical. She did the same at my high school graduation.

I’ll never forget when one of the many times she had wrecked her vehicle. I had just given her money to buy it. It was an older Honda, and it was not the prettiest car but very sufficient for her to find a job with, at the least. She ran clear off of a straight road, right into a mailbox. The only fucking mailbox for miles. How? Oh, just wait….

“I vaguely remember there being a doggie in the road. I sure hope I missed it.” Now, I’ve ridden in a car numerous times with Dawn. She don’t stop for nothing; she don’t stop for mammals, mobiles, or your momma. I just knew she had to have been texting and clearly under the influence; therefore, I asked.

“Dawn, did they give you a drug test?” The all too familiar glance she took out the window as if Jesus himself was there to bail her out of that moment melted across her face. I knew what was coming…

“Uh, yeah. Actually they did. It didn’t come out right. I think people have been putting drugs in my food. I just don’t know why, I’ve been good”.

I took one glance at the nurse there, who clearly wanted to die. And then I lost it.

“DAWN, AIN’T NO FUCKING WAY THAT PEOPLE ARE PUTTING METH IN YOUR CHEESEBURGERS.” Out goes the nurse. Then out went me.

She took the insurance money from her wrecked Honda and purchased a newer Ford Mustang… and she wrapped it around a telephone pole a couple of weeks later.

We had an interesting relationship. I took care of a ton of things for her financially. She meant well, but she just didn’t do well. I’d receive a phone call that either went one of two ways:

“Hey DeRae, it’s Dawn. Your Mother (I have no idea why she felt the need to specify every damn time). I’m just seeing what you’re doing. Are you still in college? Can I borrow some money?” Or I got cussed out for being a piece of shit. It just depended on what day it was and how she was feeling.

People always had something to say. I have news for y’all: not everything is black and white. Not all mothers are created equal. Not every situation has this clear, shiny solution that you can flip to the last chapter of the fairy tale to find. My life was never a clear story. I don’t owe anyone a sappy explanation of why I did/do the things I do. If anything, I owe the people that were there when she wasn’t. Every football game. Every awards ceremony. Every graduation. Every birthday.

But, I did learn a great deal from her, except they weren’t intentional lessons. My favorite of all is that love is proactive. You can’t go around and expect people to help you. You have to give love to get it. She loved drugs and she passed enjoying the only thing that made her feel good. I can’t be too upset about it.

jr


D to the Rae

Let’s back track a little here…
I was born and raised in Hancock County, Mississippi, in a “city” called Kiln. We usually call it “the kill” because it’ll dismember your hopes and dreams if you don’t get out quickly enough. Trucks are more decked out than homes and groceries are 30+ minutes away.
One fine evening, my mother couldn’t fit in her size zero acid wash jeans to go out to the bar. Thus, it was discovered that I was on the way (one of her favorite stories to tell because I was such a surprise and she was so extra).
DeRae was decided as my name not too long after I was born. My grandmother was named Alice Rae. Quite a few people in our family have Rae for a middle name. Everyone in our family agrees Alice Rae was a bitch. Why we’re all named after her really beats me, but tradition is tradition. My mother, Dawn, and her sister, Delores, clearly have ‘D’ names. As the story was told to me, by Dawn (so, God knows it’s probably fabricated or exaggerated), she had intended to name me Taylor Rae. My dad had a raging crush on Taylor Dayne, pop princess of the 80’s, so that was his contribution. Once I was born, it was brought up that my name didn’t have a ‘D’ in it. Apparently, it was brought up by my Aunt Delores, and that sent my mother into a rage, right at the moment she had finished writing my name on the birth certificate. Out of frustration and complete lack of consideration for the rest of my life, she squeezed in the ‘De’ in front of the ‘Rae’. It was from then on out, I would dread school roll call and waiting for my name to be called at any bank or office. I am, however, grateful for the diversity of my two names. In a very Deep South community, I can use Taylor for all of my banking and career- oriented needs because I don’t trust racist ass people. DeRae is used all other times, because it is oh-so-fitting for my personality; I’m unique, difficult, and hard to handle for the normal person. 


My first job was at Dolly’s Quick Stop in the Kiln. It’s literally the most profitable establishment the Kiln has because of its bomb-ass chicken on a stick and decent diesel prices. I didn’t have a car but the store was conveniently on the way home from school for most people so I could convince whoever I was dating at the time or friends to drop me off. I worked there with my best friends, and it was nothing to close that sucker down on a Saturday night, Smirnoff coolers and candy bars in hand to head to the parties.
In true country fashion, I had my first kiss in a barn. It was beautiful, dimly lit by the moon, and it smelled like shit. And it was a barn, so there’s that. There weren’t many places for kids to go do things. Most high schoolers hung out in the Dolly’s parking lot, the Chevron parking lot in Diamondhead, or in a random field… like the one where I almost died from vodka a few golden times. Due to the lack of access to teen-friendly entertainment and lack of adequate fostering of talents, activities often included stealing traffic cones and drinking. You know, very philosophical things. There was a ton of camo… more so in school than in the woods. Kids rode horses in school and often got expelled for having hunting knifes in their backpacks. High school football is the way of life and your mom went to school with everyone else’s parents. 
Before the days of Myspace, Facebook, and the internet in general, one great way to keep up with the community was to check the arrest records. Now, as an adult, it’s a great way for me to keep up with classmates. Among the usual offenders was often my mother. No one knew trouble better than Dawn. It followed her, befriended her, and clung like a Tinder date that realizes you have a great job and no children. I’ll never forget when a kid from school came running to me in the cafeteria with the arrest records in tow to say, “Hey, is that your mom? Isn’t that her right there? See her name?” I had one of two options: own up or act up. 
I acted up. But, by acted up, I just mean that I denied it and went on my merry way. 
I often think back to that day. Was I sad at the time? Yeah, it was difficult growing up like that. Am I still sad? HELL NO. The fat little fuck that embarrassed me that day is extra fat, has a dog for a wife, and multiple kids he can’t afford all while posting racial slurs on Facebook that he can’t even spell correctly. And I’m hot. Karma is bitch, but she’s an efficient one, I’ll tell you that.

Quit Playin’ Games with My Heart

This blog post was going to be a special edition of my Tinder swipes but I’m in Tunica, MS, land of nothing, and I ran out of men after 7 swipes. Oops.

I have dated, and dated, and DATED until I just couldn’t look at men anymore. I’m a fan of many flavors, mostly selfish. The last two were the BIGGEST ASSHOLES imaginable. Those stories are for another day. For now, bask in the transparent glory of my lackluster dating life.

I honestly feel like I’ve just been shuffling a deck of cards and stopping at the suit that I thought I needed. After each flaw I dump, I go for the exact opposite. Last guy wanted to propose and buy a house? – let’s bang a frat boy bartender that can’t spell. Bartender didn’t work out? Oooh, what about a boy in law school who thinks 30+ miles of distance is too much to handle? YASSSS, you’re slaying the game because when he succumbs to the crippling distance of two cities that are side by side, you can get googly eyed over a guy that works at your new job! (Spoiler: He weighed 76 pounds and was banging EVERYONE in the tri-county area)

I feel like I’m playing duck, duck, goose. When you play the game, you can easily read when the “goose” is coming. They won’t say duck more than 2 times around the circle. It’s excessive and annoying. It’s easy to predict a small time frame to be prepared to run. Except life doesn’t work like that and the guy you met on Tinder that isn’t digging your distressed black denim and your lack of cooking skills is yet another duck.

Always a duck, never a goose.

I really do believe some girls claim goose too early. And that’s okay. Get your duck, girl. But, it’s not my jam. I’m tired of wasting time on ducks.

If there is one thing I’ve learned (not that I’m a genius, just a well-versed victim)… fuck ducks, man. If he can’t understand your anxiety, your family dynamic or lackthereof, and your chronic need to constantly swab your ears (please tell me I’m not the only one), then HE AIN’T IT.

And I truly believe God is finding entertainment in my dating struggles because I use to draw portraits of boys I liked in Sunday school classes. I’m feeling the wrath of my ADD everyday.

For now, I entertain a date here or there. But, I’d much rather spend 3 hours in target alone, buying organic potato chips and home decor for my rental home.