I’m a little embarrassed to admit that it was only a few
years ago that I learned about February being Black History Month, and that it was founded to
shine a light on accomplishments
that might otherwise go unnoticed and unappreciated. I’ve always loved history and wish that I had
been taught more of this in school as I strongly believe that if we all were
exposed to people from different races, ethnicities, religions (comparative
religions was one of my favorite college classes), it would go a long to
helping us appreciate those differences.
Besides history, I love movies, so I love when the combination teaches us something unexpected. For example, one of my favorite movies, Hidden Figures, tells the stories of three amazing Black women who were mathematicians working at NASA in the 1960s who truly broke boundaries, defied expectations, and gave us a window into their lives.
I like to consider myself a lifelong learner and love to
research things that pique my interest or intrigue me, so I was fascinated by
the history of Black History
Month, and its evolution from Negro History Week. The initial week was chosen because it included the birthdays of both
Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and the abolitionist Frederick Douglass (February 14), men who were already celebrated by the Black community, and
who encouraged all Americans to study the little-known history of Blacks.
As an interesting sidenote, Douglass was also a lifelong supporter of women’s rights and died just hours after attending a meeting with suffragists (including his friend Susan B. Anthony).
We’re a storytelling society, so it only makes sense that when asked about tattoos, stories are part of our answers. After all, each of us strongly believes that what makes a tattoo perfect isn’t only the creativity of the tattoo and the skill of the artist; it’s the story that has inspired the tattoo.
P.S. – And if Red ever decides to get a tattoo, you can guarantee there will be a story behind it!
can tell you that what I think about them today, especially as they’ve
(so many celebrities
proudly display them), is very different than how I used to think about
them! Growing up, I thought
that only “bad people” had tattoos. And I couldn’t
quite understand why anyone would want to permanently “decorate” their bodies. Using needles, no less!
So, what changed? When my oldest daughter, Natasha, was fairly young, she talked about getting tattoos. She’s always been a non-conformist (I wonder where she inherited that trait), but I’ve no idea where the tattoo idea came from. And I never thought she’d be willing to endure the pain , especially since she has an extremely low (as in non-existent) tolerance for pain. Yet, she got her first tattoo on the day of her high school graduation instead of walking the stage. And while it was a simple outline of a bat, in honor of her love of bats , she has continued to get more elaborate ones over the years. And my younger daughter, Sawyer, who’s more like a mini-me and more traditional, totally surprised me when she decided to get her first tattoo.
Red neglected to answer the question as
to whether she would ever get inked.
Whereas I already have (warning:
tattoos can be
). My first tat is
identical to Natasha’s bat, and I asked her permission to copy it as a reminder
of the special bond between us. My second
is the “
perfect tattoos” (yes, plural) as it was Sawyer’s first, and we got them
done together. For me, while tattoos can
be beautiful works of art on their own, there is something very special about having
However, you must think about whether you will “outgrow” or regret the tat later. Keep in mind that while tats may have become more mainstream, there is still some stigma. (Some of my older and more conservative friends tried to hide their looks of disapproval when they saw mine.) It is a function of the other person’s age and prior exposure to tats, the specific tat and location (I still find some face tattoos scary), and your work environment .
What is it about wearing white after Labor Day? And why is it a question without a definitive answer? And who decided it would be a perfect question to ask … in a Twizzlers commercial?!
I'm probably the last person to ask a fashion question, full
stop. In fact, during the early days of
my crisis, when I was looking to save every penny and was canceling all my
magazine subscriptions, Black told me I could cancel the fashion ones as it was
obvious that I never looked at any of them.
But "InStyle" does have some good
fashion tips about wearing white after Labor Day.|
For me, I'll probably wear my white long sleeve shirts (I'm not a fan of tee shirts) until at least November as here in the Houston area it stays pretty warm well into fall, and white is such a "cool" (temperature, not style) color to wear. There's nothing else white in my wardrobe because the combination of being a redhead with pale skin and being a mom means white isn't a flattering or practical color. But I'm curious what Black, the fashion maven of our family, has to say about wearing white …
I am not going to get into the
psychology of fashion, but I find the concept of
"fashion rules" almost an
as I have always thought of fashion as being fluid and creative, and a
reflection of your individuality. Plus,
some rules (especially fashion ones)
are meant to be broken
wearing white after Labor Day. Otherwise,
why would the term "
" even exist?
However, I find the history of not wearing white after Labor Day fascinating, although possibly elitist. And, although I would never equate my sense of style to that of Coco Chanel, who went against the trends of her time and wore white year-round, I believe white never goes out of season.
should ask, as I was recently getting ready for a garage sale of our mom’s things and came across an old metal carrying
basket that I think is for milk bottles.
Although my memory of our milkman
is that he left the milk bottles in a small rectangular metal box outside our
Anyway, my best memory of fresh milk, especially chocolate milk, was going to Dairy Barn with our dad. It was a drive-through; we’d return the old bottles, get our deposit back, and pick up new ones. I have to admit that when my mom started to get milk at our local Waldbaum’s (anyone growing up on Long Island will remember them) in paper cartons, I thought it was a little sad. Plus, I didn’t think the milk tasted as good.
Recently, when I saw some old-fashioned milk bottles from 1836 Farms at my local Kroger, although it was more expensive, I bought one just because it reminded me of my youth. In fact, when I initially told Black I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend that much on milk, she suggested I could reuse the bottle as a vase. And it always makes me smile!
Since you mentioned your grandmother, which makes me feel
old, you may have to ask her to explain what we meant when we teased Red, a
redhead in a family of brunettes, of being the “milkman’s
Looking back, “milkmen” and dairy delivery services were ahead of their time. They delivered milk as well as other dairy products, and seem to be a precursor to Instacart, Amazon Fresh, and all the food delivery services. Not to mention, it was a way to reuse the glass milk bottles (remember, this was decades before recycling was a “thing”).
Regardless, when we taught at KIPP Houston High School, I asked our students if they had ever heard of a milkman. (Most had not.) And then (of course), I followed up with an assortment of other questions … Can jobs become obsolete? What creates new opportunities? Do you think there may be jobs in the future that no one has ever heard of yet? What can you do to be prepared? So, if nothing else, I hope the milkman makes you stop and think …