Quantification Feculence

I’m on my way to work. As I pass near a guy on a park bench, clearly taking a moment’s respite before continuing his run, I hear, “You’re pretty for a fat girl.”

Luckily, I have the earbuds in, so I pretend I did not hear that, ignore him, and blithely keep walking.  

Lothario has the effrontery to rise, and then jog backwards to catch up to me, just to inform me that most women say thanks when handed a compliment.

Wait… What? Oh, come the bleepity-bleep-oh-bleep-this-bleepity- bleep on! No!

To say I would not have been in the mood for such nonsense after my third cup of coffee is one thing. I’m dang sure not up for up at not even a quarter after seven in the feckin’ morn with not one drop in me.

“You’re right, and conversely most women don’t thank the person who back-handed insults them.”

I declare I can all but hear the crickets of confusion chirping in his head.

“How did I…?”

Le sigh…

“Most men know better than to make a definitive statement then quantify it with another that negates it.”

I try to be helpful, but oh dear Lord –three things I pray– I think the crickets are even louder.

Why am I doing this to myself? Oh, wait! I’m not.

“Nay. Nein. Nix. Nope. Nyet. I’m out.”

I start to walk away when he puts a hand up.

“El Sol’s ascent has not attained sufficient altitude to engage in such feculence, dude.”

This time I’m expecting the succession of rapid blinks from him as a chorale of crickets join in for harmony, and I am not disappointed.

“I’m sorry… I just don’t get how you’re insulted.”

I note he’s careful not to touch me even accidentally as I move forward; he only wants to continue the conversation. That is the only reason I entertain this.

“Look, are all your public declarations of perceived attractiveness to unknown women attributed with their body mass?”

Oh, that sweet, sweet cricket orchestra crescendos for a moment, but I see when the magical penny finally drops, “you’re saying I would not have added that last part if you were skinny. Fuck. You’re right.”


“Okay” He sighs taking it like a champ, “I stand corrected.”

“And I exit, vindicated. Caffeination’s lack will soon make bitter my tongue. Better luck next time. Bon jour.” I give a short nod.

His amused expression tells me what I already know: my tongue has been bitter this entire conversation. I know he thinks it, but in this he is smart enough not to say it as I start to walk away again.

Points to House Lothario.

“Hey, one moment.” He calls out.  

Demerits to House Lothario.

“Dude...” I stop and turn letting my face show how that lack is not working in his favor. “…be succinct.”

“Is it next time yet?”

Points to House Lothario

“You are pretty. Perhaps join you on your quest for caffeination?”

Fast learner! More points.

“Thank you.” I laugh, “Alas, I suspect I can tick at least a score’s gap between our ages. That brings you to a vintage within the bounds of that which I brought upon this earth. Négatif. This conversation is fini.”

I wave my fingers and walk away in a manner the requires no further quantification, as I don’t look back.

If you’re asking: What’s with the French, Rai? So am I. I have NO idea; I don’t speak it – but there it is.

Au revoir!

[Side note: I do love the moments when my internal Oxford Dictionary overrides my internal Urban Dictionary, and it was in rare form considering my lack of morning coffee.]

Let’s see how others are quantifying their slices this Tuesday…

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Two Writing Teachers

Dynasty Circa NYC Mode

The subway, again being the subway this morning, I was put off my train. At least this time I was at a good transfer point where I easily had choices and was able to move without my St. Jude of the MTA beacon turning on.

The previous train had the heat turned up to lava, so by the time I transferred to another line my coat was wide open. Though the clothing rules have been more or less relaxed to business casual at work, I own suits, look damn good in them, and choose to wear them. Thus I was in full Raivenne in the City stride as I sauntered into a surprisingly only semi crowded car, which is eons better than a semi-empty train car, that was empty for all the bad reasons a subway car during NYC rush hour can be.

As I start to scan for where I want to sit, I hear a very bad Humphrey Bogart impression from a very familiar voice.

“Oh hell! Of all the subways in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine!”

I encounter a colleague who now works in a different location. Though we have kept touch via phone and email, we have not seen each other in person in nearly two years (stupid Covid!). We have always had a wonderful joke-flirt-tationship, so for him to pick right up and greet me as such is a delightful surprise to say the least.

“Oh that line is only worthy if you’ve got gin to serve up in this joint.” I grin as as I see him and approach in full Domonique Devereaux mode. [Kudos to all of you who do not have to look that up.] “Dashing as always, darling. So, tell me – do you?”

“Do I what?”

“Do you have gin to serve up in this joint, of course. Do keep up, Blake.*”

“It’s not even 7am!” he exclaims.

“Unfortunately, true in this time zone at the moment, but…” the adage of it’s 5’oclock somewhere so clear in the silent ellipsis there was no need for the words to be spoken.

“Oh God!” he laughs.

“Yes?” I smile benignly to my devotee. “How may I help you?”

“I completely forgot how modest you are not. You don’t think much of yourself do you?” he laughs, well used to my antics.

“Darling please! Most women know those days when everything is working for her – hair- war paint – clothes – all on point. Even the most homely and humble feeling of women will honestly acknowledge to herself now and again that she may be “pleasing to the eye” on a given day. I have a full length mirror at home; I know what I am working with. And let’s face it, I’m as humble and homely as I am skinny and white**. Now where’s my London Dry?”

Please note this exchange is happening on a NYC subway to the amusement of all within earshot.

Idle curiosity made me look it up and at the time of this writing it is coincidently after 5pm in Casablanca, Morocco. Alas, I am not on holiday and do need to prep for yet another meeting that should be an email – thus my thirst for gin remains unquench – for the moment.

Here’s looking at you in spirit Bogey and Ingrid.

Time in Casablanca, Morocco 5:09:32pm, Wednesday, March 2, 2022

*Blake is not his real name. Since my mind was in full Domonique Devereaux of “Dynasty” mode as I teased with him it felt apropos to use here.

**For those of you readers who don’t know me (and why the hell don’t you! Read my About Raivenne page dammit!), I am big bodacious beautiful black woman.

Come see how the rest of us are slicing it up today!

15th Annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge
Two Writing Teachers

Hello Darkness You Ain’t My Friend

For the past couple of weeks when I stepped out the door to head to work, I’ve been mostly greeted with the dawn. On the clear days it has been wonderful seeing seeing the warm twilight colors on the way to the station of the elevated train I take. I have enjoyed it through the above ground stations until the train plunges into the ground below becoming subway. When I emerge at my destination the sun has fully risen and it is officially day time.

The weather was lovely and the girly in me won out: I wore my white. yellow and black graphic print skater skirt, a black lace blouse with yellow underlay, my black leather boots with gold trim and my short leather jacket. I was looking and feeling so good as hell, Lizzo would have been proud.

Thus I was quite taken aback, and truth be told more than a little miffed this morning when I walked out into darkness. What?

I mean hello?, all this goodness I had going on needed the spotlight called El Sol. Never mind that in another hour and change I will emerge from the subway like the phoenix in all my glory; that was not the point. My four block strut to the train station could not be equally enjoyed by the half-dozen faces encountered in passing. What was this sapphire sky nonsense?

I had forgotten about daylight savings that sprang me forward in the day, yet bounced me back into night skies for the next couple of weeks. Oh well, if some of the Venus Envy I observed was any indication, a few of my fellow train riders were honored by the privilege of seeing Le Raivenne feathered so gaily. I was a Rai of snark-shine in this COVID-19 environs, and knew it.

At least the strut home was more enjoyed, better luck next time morning peeps, see you in a couple of weeks where I will continue to be modest as I am petite. (Note: I am NOT petite.)

Day 9 and was slicing fine!
Slice of Life Writing Challenge– let’s see what my fellow slicers are up to:

Verbal Diarrhea Diaries – As Cute Does

“I bet you think you’re cute.”

This coming from a young woman in her late twenties to me because I, a grown-ass woman almost twice her age, beat her to a seat on the subway.  I’m sure she only said it because she saw I had earbuds on and likely thought I could not hear her. Wrong.

Let’s see…

I.  I’m in a bodycon dress where this body is throwing all kinds of conscious attitude, the boots are cute, the mane with it’s deep purple highlights is shining and glorious, the gold mirrored, clear trim sunglasses are fierce and the face is done.

II. A woman does not step out of her home looking the way I looked  and don’t know she’s got it going on – no apologies or *bleeps*  given.

III. Oh dear Lord, it’s 2016 – catty females still say “she think she cute”? I thought that was as played out as “jive turkey”. So disappointing.

Being called out on cuteness traditionally is supposed to tear a female down. It’s a chastisement. Because heaven forbid she should own her beauty. She should be modest and demur, respond with something along this lines of “Oh no, I don’t think I’m cute”

Pssshht! This is me we’re talking about – addressing someone who is likely ten years the junior of my own children. Modest? Demur? Me?–Never going to happen.

“Let me explain it to you this way – both of my parents brought nothing but beautiful children into this world and I’m an only child.”

She said nothing else to me, but from the murderous look that crossed her face, I think she got the point.

N’est-ce pas?


Let’s see how others are getting through this 10th day  of the challenge:


Slice of Life Writing Challenge – Day 10 – Two Writing Teachers

Verbal Diarrhea Diaries: Open Mouth Prove Stupid

Verbal Diarrhea Diaries: Why I try to keep my earbuds in as long as possible while riding mass transit so exchanges like this are less likely to happen when I forget I’m not wearing shades to hide my eyes:

1. Every fat, black woman whose name you don’t know or can’t remember is *not* “Precious”.

2. The actress’ name who portrayed Precious is Gabourey Sidibe.

3. The name of the character Ms. Sidibe portrays on “Empire” is Becky.

4. Clearly you’ve forgotten that “Precious” was raped by own her father.

5. Therefore it was “Becky” having consensual sex on the show. Not Precious and not Gabourey.

Thus your exclamation of “Oh gurl, you shoulda seen Precious gettin’ it on like she think she be the real Precious like you know” displays ignorance on multiple levels and why I’m “lookin’ at choo like youse stupid.”


Yes, the entire mini-tirade above was my response to being asked “Why you lookin’ at me like I’s stupid?” by the young lady who made the statement. I don’t think she actually expected me to answer her when I caught her off guard and responded with “Do you really want me to answer that?” and then took her to school Julia Sugarbaker style.

Let’s see how others are slicing it this week.

Slice of Life writing Challenge: Two Writing Teachers

Slice of Life - Two Writing Teachers


That’s A Dress?

A new plus-size clothing store opened in my area. I came to check it out, visually peruse the wares. With most of the clothing brightly colored, patterned and blingy, the store clearly catered to a customer base much younger than myself.  While the styles were cute, most of their skirts and dresses were much too short for my tastes, even if worn with leggings as is the current trend. It’s just not my style, but I keep looking because you never know, every now and then you strike gold and I did. I spot a semi-muted leopard print skirt with a pleated sheer black overlay hanging high on a wall. I am actually surprised by this skirt for a couple of reasons. The muted tones of the print together with the overlay was a considerable level up in comparison to most of what I had seen so far. Above all it was the only skirt in the entire shop that reached my knees. Bonus – it was on sale, so I had to have it. I catch the eye of a sales girl, point to the skirt on the wall and ask if it is in my size. She looks befuddled not seeing the skirt I’m speaking of until I point it out by describing the shorter skirt next to it.

“Oh, you mean the leopard mini dress!” She smiles finally understanding to which item I refer; only now I am the one who is confused.

“That’s a dress?” I look at it again, not seeing it all at.

“Yeah, let me take it down for you, you’ll see.” She finds an extender hanging hook and brings it to me. “See? It’s a dress.”

I dubiously took it and held it against my body.  To be fair the tube dress likely would be cute hitting mid-thigh or lower on someone who is 5’3″ or shorter. However, at my 5’8″ frame, worn as designed, it barely reached past my hips to my upper thighs and that is just holding it against me. With my body shape it would be even shorter when put on.

“Please tell me, where on earth would I be going at my age in something like this? Me?” I shake my head. It honestly was a sarcastic, rhetorical question, but the sales girl didn’t know that.
“Yes, you! It’s a club dress. You could easy rock that!” She nods as she visually appraised the dress against me.

“I’m fifty years old and there’s no way in hell…” I begin and then stop, seeing that she is about to cut me off with the standard tripe. “I swear if you’re about to say “age is just a number” close your mouth now before you lose a sale.” She closed her mouth so hard and fast I think I heard her teeth grind. “You’re new at being a sales girl in a clothing store aren’t you?”

She nods self-consciously in response. “That obvious?”

I take a mental breath and smile at the girl, hopefully taking some of the sting out of my words.  She is just trying to do her job, I reminded myself. “Just a little. It takes time to learn to read customers. Someone younger, you might be able to get them to buy it as a dress anyway. But I’m not that young. You saw that face I gave you a moment ago? That was the face of a woman who knows what she is about.  What her style is and what works for her. You can’t sway her. You don’t want to push too hard on a customer who’s set like that. She can have five items in her arms that she loves, but may walk away purchasing nothing because of that. In your case you’re lucky I have imagination and am buying this to wear as a skirt. So what do you think you should do next?”

“Ask you to show me how you’re wearing it as a skirt so I can show someone else how if they don’t like it as a dress neither.”

I mentally cringed at the double negative, but nodded approvingly, “Very good. And…?”

“Now that you have this skirt, we have a belt I think would go great with it. Let me show you, it’s this way.” She turned barely waiting for my response, knowing I would follow.

“Perfect.” I laughed.  “Show me.”

I’ve worn that skirt twice now with different tops and both times I received compliments on my dress.  Especially when seen  in pictures. The irony of it makes me giggle.

dress - skirt










That’s a dress?


Check out how other lives are slicing today….

Slice of Life - Two Writing Teachers






Slice of Life – Two Writing Teachers

Nothing To Fear? Want To Bet?

Please – read this first —-> Unseen, Unheard, Unvalued, Unimportant …

Now hear (read?) me out…

The fear of such an encounter is in nearly every woman’s subconscious, whether we want to admit to ourselves, let alone openly, or not.

Maybe it is not to such extremes in smaller towns, but in cities big and small, each day we as women who deign to step out past our front doors is consciously unconscious prepared for battle. We walk the streets constantly scanning faces and spaces, making as little eye-contact as possible, to keep from bumping into people and people from bumping into us. We walk the streets wondering was that brush against our backsides just the happenstance of crowded streets/bus/train/bar or was it something else? We walk the streets knowing that to hold eye-contact with a stranger too long can garner anything from a “were you looking at me?” stare with them quickly looking away, to a “what the f*** you looking at?” glare that makes you quickly shift your eyes. For extended eye-contact can turn into a simple one head nod of acknowledgement one human to another that is forgotten faster than the air refills the vacancy formed in passing each other  or it can escalate into what happened to GirlGriot. Or for the wrong woman caught by the wrong man on the wrong day with no knights, white/black or otherwise, to come to the rescue – something worse.

And all of this for no other reason for some than our having a vagina.

This daily battle is amplified pound for pound exponentially for us bigger gals. Where a look can also be one mere disapproval for taking up more space than some other person or outright disdain for our mere existence on this planet. Where a woman can strut down the street in haute couture, but can be brought down and made to feel a hot mess by the  hateful words and/or actions  of an (im)perfect stranger, because she appears to be over XYZ  pounds over some presumed benchmark of beauty.  If a cell phone is held up in our general direction, is the person just trying to read their texts in a better light or are we about to be photographed without our permission only to someday find ourselves subjected to the likes of Tosh 2.0 or “People of WalMart” type of vile and viral?

Now add being  a woman of color to the daily strategy, because unless we are already acquainted with them in other some way, the ones who could become a danger to us do not see the individual. The questions then become – is the guy looking at me seeing a Sapphire (the Angry Black Woman stereotype to challenge) or a Jezebel (the Promiscuous Black Woman stereotype to fuck)? While no one is ever mistaking me for the third stereotype a Mammy – the maid/mother/church woman/crone, I know for certain that the potential predator/s may look at me through any one or all three stereotypes and only see one thing – prey. This battle crosses every class, social and economic lines from roun’-the-way girls through to the upper echelons grande dames. The daily battle of our self-pride that says “Keep your head up,” against our self-preservation that says “but, keep your eyes lowered” because any day could turn into that day.  Just as no mother of black sons wants her child’s name to follow behind the comma of the latest victim of senseless violence, we have no desire for it to be our name behind that comma either.

We women are well aware that millions of women will go through their lives and never encounter anything that may challenge her safety. Still, if we have not lived it ourselves, we all know someone, or of someone, who has. Thus we all go through our lives knowing that on any given day it could. We either live in the grips of this fear, or in spite of this fear, or some combination thereof, but this fear is a subconscious part of our day, every single day.

I know most of you can’t, won’t or refuse to comprehend this, so I’ll repeat it.

Every. Single. Day.

And we do it in relative silence. Why? Because what’s the point in complaining? No ones listening anyway, as the saying goes.  It’s one thing to surmise that our well beings can mean so little to some. It’s a bitter pill to swallow down in our cores in the face of the truth of it. Had she been a white woman accosted by a black man in such a manner, someone would have quickly intervened. Someone else likely would have been taking cell phone pictures/videos for the police.  She would not be deliberately unseen by passers-by. She would not be unheard by those she called out to.  If silence equals consent, then the silence of each person that ignored GG’s plight in effect gave the man consent to harm.  I do not dare to ask what would it have taken for them to acknowledge her potentially dire situation and intervene. I am just grateful for the young heroes who did come to her aid, that we won’t ever have to find out.

But what of the next woman who encounters a man like that?

I read GirlGriot’s post. And re-read it. And read it yet again. I want to focus on the positive of the young men that came to her rescue, but I can’t get past the boulder sized lump in my throat that rescuing was needed in the first place.

I keep coming back to this: I shouldn’t have to fear men messing with me in the street. And I shouldn’t have to fear the people who are supposed to protect me from men messing with me in the street.
— GirlGriot Unseen, Unheard, Unvalued, Unimportant …

Nor should we have to have fear for the good Samaritan/s who do reach out to protect us, that their actions to help could put them in a different kind of harm on our behalf.

We should not have to fear…period.

But we do… Every. Single. Day.

No Apologies

So Linda Kelsey posted an article on the Daily Mail, a UK publication. In the article the self-proclaimed “unapologetic fattist”

Oh Linda Kelsey honey, let me begin with these wonderful words from the incomparable Mary J. Bligh:

So I like what I see, when I’m looking at me,
When I’m walking past the mirror

And yes it’s a full length mirror, showing all of me from my cankles, through my “bulging bellies and billowing pillows of back and shoulder stuffing, punctured by flabby arms and lardy legs” to my massive mess of curly hair. And I adore every ounce of it!

I am not going to go through the various fallacies in your pseudo medical proclamations solely equating fat with a litany of potentially fate medical conditions. We’ve all been on that not-so-merry-go-round and rather leave that to those who are better versed in that debate handle it. My focus is on your inability to understand how women of a certain size can dare to be happy. I do not know about you, but the source of my happiness is not attached to the size of my waistline.

You don’t like fat on yourself, that’s fine. You don’t like fat on other people, that’s equally fine. You are entitled to your opinion on both counts. However, your issues with the fat body are not mine. And certainly are not the Happiness Police. My happiness is not reliant upon your opinion -there’s that word again- of my fatness. My happiness cannot be validated or unvalidated by anyone but the crazy woman I face in that full length mirror each day.

I suppose a part of me is somewhat grateful that unapologetic fattists such as yourself at least recognize that not all of us fat chicks are miserable beings, hiding ourselves from the world, crying into a (insert fatty foods of choice here – I don’t want mention specifics and accidentally trigger anyone). After all we fatties are clearly so sensitive with no self control that even mentioning food could set us off on a feeding frenzy <– that was SARCASM in case you missed it. I am not grateful that you and your fellow unapologetic fattists feel that we should be just that though, hiding behind our own for walls until we shrink down to a size the lot of you deem no longer a blight and acceptable for public viewing.

Not gonna happen chica. You want to call me a fat girl, oh please do because guess what? I am fat and that’s that.

Slice of Life - Two Writing Teachers
Slice of Life Challenge: Two Writing Teachers

If I Read One More Thing About Weight Loss I’m Going To Throw Up!

Do you know how sometimes you and/or your friends come across something so WTF?, so  – I don’t even know what to call it – that it must be shared just so the burden of knowing this exists is not yours bear alone.

This is one of those times….

The Device
To begin Aspiration Therapy, a specially designed tube, known as the A-Tube™, is placed in the stomach. The A-Tube is a thin silicone rubber tube that connects the inside of the stomach directly to a discreet, poker-chip sized Skin-Port on the outside of the abdomen. The Skin-Port has a valve that can be opened or closed to control the flow of stomach contents. The patient empties a portion of stomach contents into the toilet after each meal through this tube by connecting a small, handheld device to the Skin-Port. The emptying process is called “aspiration”.

Where a standard catheter processes food removal after digestion. Here, the person has a type of catheter attached to his/her stomach that allows a portion of  food to be removed from the body before digestion is complete. This medically sanctioned bulimia is calories in, calories out without having to stick one’s fingers down one’s throat. Good, because I imagine that must be murder on one’s manicure.

Now, as a medical procedure for those who would need to do such to save their lives, I understand. I fully understand that there are those who can’t, and I do mean cannot, make use of the socially accepted methods of weight loss – dieting-exercise-Weight Loss Surgery.  However, let’s be honest. Never mind all the verbiage on the website that this “therapy” is used to assist in one’s “lifestyle modification”, and requires careful monitoring by one’s doctor.  We know a good portion of those who will volunteer to use this are going to be the ones who won’t (not can’t – won’t) be so bothered with those sociallyaccepted methods.

Considering the ‘aromas’ involved during a normal body waste removal and/or auto purge response. Never mind what’s involved scent wise with the use of catheters when things go wrong – and they occasionally do go very wrong.  I do not want to even think about what charm would emanate should that valve and/or pump ever fail.

And So…

  • If it comes down the front tube it’s urination.
  • If it comes down the back tube it’s defecation.
  • If it comes up the esophageal tube, though not necessarily out the mouth, it’s regurgitation.
  • And if it’s sucked out the inserted plastic tube on the side it’s aspiration.

They liken the process of expelling the contents of one’s stomach to the process of drawing one’s breath.  I know aspiration is the technical name for that part of the process medically speaking, the drawing of air or liquids through suction. Still, I’m betting, if the standard definition of the word were a person, s/he would be appalled and highly insulted by such.

And ooh, when it comes to sexy time, I bet that ‘poker chip’ must be so lovely to kiss to lick to gaze upon. Talk about redefining let me stick it in your port baby, ugh!I don’t know about you, but this is not something I will ever aspire to.

Verbal Diarrhea Diaries: Callipygian Earnestness

Verbal Diarrhea Diaries (a.k.a. the shit that comes out of my mouth):

So, while holding a bag  that clearly contains my lunch in hand, I am about to enter the revolving door of my office building when I spy a colleague exiting. I stand to the side and wait for him to exit.

Seeing my bag he inquires of it contents.  I tell him it’s “poison”.  I have no idea why, but I can tell by his expression that he doubts the veracity of my statement.

“What?  You were warned years ago to never trust a big butt.” I say as I make it a point to smile broadly.

He’s stumped for all of .1 seconds before he starts grinning.

“I can’t play with you.” He throws up his hands and walks away, shaking his head while laughing.

Was it something I said?

– blame Bell Biv DeVoe!