fun with mansplaining.

Mansplain (verb): The explanation of something by a man, typically to a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing.

(Read about the etymology of the word here.)

So has it ever happened to you, my dear lady reader? Where you say something quite well or eloquently or meaningful or clear to the listener(s) in the room and the man/men in the room take it upon themselves to mansplain you in theeeeee most condescending and/or patronizing way?

For me, having experienced this largely in a professional environment, I tend to want to do this:

lizlemon1

Without the reference to mac and cheese.

Anyway: it’s maddening. Being a Black woman in a professional environment already has its moments–must my hair always be a talking point?–but being a Black woman in a professional environment that speaks meaningfully and has someone feeling the need to “summarize” what she just said (active listening is one thing, but openly and condescendingly explaining what I just clearly said is quite another) is a whole different animal. To go even further: I completely understand if something I say isn’t clear. No one is a perfect communicator all the time. But instead of ‘splaining, why not ask me if you need clarification? Even even further: would I be equally incensed if another woman in the room did the same thing? I can’t answer that because no other woman has ever done this.

*sets microphone on the ground because they’re expensive*

Here’s another fun thing: when a woman expresses herself and is described as speaking lizlemon2emotionally. Y’all. Y’all. Here’s the thing: emotions will sometimes come through. Professional doesn’t always mean robot automaton who has no feelings. We spend 40+ hours with these folks. If you detect emotion in my voice when I’m communicating something: is it necessary to say something about it? Can we move on or nah? Must we highlight it? Or can you listen, take in, express whether you agree/your thoughts, and we move on? Oh, and passion and emotion aren’t always the same thing. Just saying.

By now, you’ve guessed that these are specific events. You’ve likely supposed that I don’t hate anyone, certainly men, but I’m a full grown woman person being and am open to discussion and dialogue without subjecting folks to condescension/speaking down to others/disrespect/dismissal/being reduced to “emotion”.

Please return to your regularly scheduled onwarding and upwarding.

Fabu Fashion Round-Up: Elevator Runways

Hi there. You know about my new job. Prior to starting last week, I did a bit of shopping for some new wears, being that a number of my things were mostly ill-fitting and above all, I wanted to start nice and fresh for this new environment. I hit up Sears (seriously, their business-y stuff is awesome) and my boyfriend Ross for some pants, blouses, a new blazer, etc. Good finds. So when I arrived at the office last week: lo and behold, dear reader, the elevator taking me to my floor was filled with mirrors. (Yes, there were a few stars in my eyes following that discovery.) No more bathroom selfies for us, honey. And so courtesy of said mirrors, shown below are my office fashion choices from last week. I missed Thursday for reasons these gray streaks in my fro won’t allow me to remember. 


Day 1, aka Blurry Monroe: I snapped a quick pic, which explains the blurriness. Anyway, I went with your basic pantsuit. But that blouse gave me life. Have I told you that I love (no, love) tie-neck blouses??? Here’s a close-up.


Was drawn to the long tie, the sea of colors, the simplicity. One of my Sears finds. More tie-necks will be had, that’s for sure. (That’s my new bathroom by the way. That pose, however, isn’t new.) 

Day 2, aka Thigh Goals: “thigh goals” was the comment a friend captioned this when I posted the outfit on IG. I blushed and laughed and silently thanked my mum and all those squats. Anywho, still basic, still simple: blouse, blazer, pants. However, you’ll notice the scarf and the plastic bag. Inside the bag was my newly purchased space heater. Combined with said scarf, I came to battle, determined to beat the North wind blowing through my workspace. 

Day 3, aka Autumn Surprise: the weather forecasted for that day was significantly cool for the Dallas area, very fall-like and autumn-y. So I gleefully pulled out my beloved turtleneck and sweater and wore them to the office. A few co-workers raised their eyebrows. No comment. 

Day 5, aka Casual Friyay: I was told almost 100 times to remember that jeans were fine for casual Friyays, and so I obeyed. My tried and true skinny jeans with an animal print blouse that you can’t see and that long sweater. The yellow scarf topped it off, along with ankle booties that you also can’t see.

That’s all she wore. Oh, my hair: as you can see, straight for two days–following a much-needed trim–and then blissfully back to twist-outs and updos by the end of the week. 

What fashions are you sporting lately? Is your office occupied by the same North wind as mine?

Ma Maison et Mon Travail.

Went really French on you, didn’t I? But you’re used to that. Translated, it means my house and my job. Because, dear readers, after a month in my new surroundings, I’m happy to announce that I was recently hired at a new job and recently moved into my brand new apartment. We will pause for celebration.

Needless to say, I was anxious about these two things. Initially, I was staying with a kind, hospitable friend who allowed me to rent a room in her home while I figured out where I was going and what I was doing. My plan wasn’t to stay with her for eternity, so there was that particular anxiety. The kindness of others is always welcomed, but I also didn’t intend on overstaying my welcome. Secondly, since Idris hasn’t yet arrived with our marriage license and the key to our villa, your Square Peg needed a job.

The good things: a recruiting firm that I contacted early in the year, once I firmly decided on moving, was still quite open to helping me. Also: my car afforded me the chance, on days I wasn’t interviewing, to drive around and visit apartment complexes in the area. So after a few weeks of interviews and conversations with potential employers, and visiting an inordinate amount of complexes, and lots and lots of prayer…

Enter ma maison and mon travail. Again, let us celebrate.

Ma maison. I live in a nice, simple 1 bedroom place in a Dallas suburb. (I would be more specific, but…nope.) It’s quiet, save for a Chihuahua that occasionally has something to say, but he’s largely silent. As far as furniture, I have a bed and a very comfortable armchair. So you can imagine all the Pinterest decor boards currently overflowing with all the ideas I have for the remainders of furnishings and decorating to come. I’m a simple Square Peg: I basically want ma maison to look like Paris on a weekday. Lovely, uncomplicated, filled with croissants. Updates and photos will come.

Ma travail. It’s my third day at this new environment (a direct hire via that recruiting firm, yay), so everything is still minty and fresh and new. Nevertheless, my colleagues have been great so far and I’m acclimating well. Of course, the same Norse gods that secretly lived in my cubicle at the old OK Corral and blew icicles in the air apparently followed me here (search under “cold” to learn about my inability to stay warm; according to my mother, this is why), which resulted in purchasing a space heater and walking these halls draped in my usual scarf. But c’est la vie. I’m hopeful for this new professional path.

So here we are. Living on my own once again (it’s been twelve years since I had my very own place) and starting fresh with new employment. Onwards and upwards…

Oh, you want to celebrate again? Let’s.

Fabu Fashion Tuesday: It’s *Springtime.

*Which means the weather is wildly inconsistent.

Nevertheless, since today is a good weather day (sunny, mid 80s), I decided to dress for the occasion. Away we go.

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If you can’t tell, that’s a peplum top. I paired it with my favorite black blazer (Sears; don’t sleep on Sears) because the OK Corral keeps the temperature at Ice Queen levels and I’m cold all the time. (My mother claims it’s because I’ve worked all the “meat” off my body. She has a way with words.) Anyway, as you know, I love my peplum and recently excitedly chose this this top at a swap party that I had with some friends a few months ago. (Clothes swap parties are truly everything. One day, I’ll actually arrive with items to swap instead of greedily snatching things up.) The pants are from Old Navy. They’re a bit loose, but whatever. They’re red. I heart them so. I bought them last year and remembered last night that they were waiting for me in my closet. The snazzy, shiny flats are courtesy of Mom, who still wonders aloud about how I basically just commandeered her shoes. My “what’s mine is yours and what’s yours in mine” reply isn’t really working. That awesome necklace came from The Avenue and boasted a sale price that had me grinning from sun-up to sundown.

Onwards.

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Regarding the make-up, as asterisk springtime dawns on our area, I’ve been dabbling with lighter colored lippies. (No worries; my beloved and tried-and-true Ruby Woo knows I have other relationships.) So far, the one I’m one wearing here makes me very happy, more than the rest: Made You Pink Balm Stain by Wet n Wild. It’s a nice, lovely color for the office, I think, and I love the way it looks against my melanin. Regarding the hair: ta da, She’s back. (She is my hair, because anything that temperamental needs a pronoun, no?) As you saw, I wore crochets for the longest, and then followed that style with a new crochet look. Now we’re back to Her, but still protected in a neat cornrow updo/bun. I plan on protective styling it until mid-summer.

So there we go, another simple ensemble for Fabu Fashion.

How’s the weather where you are? Any old favorites or new favorites (lippy, styles, hair) you’re rocking right about now?

Fabu Fashion Thursday: Jump, Jump

My love affair with jumpsuits continues. I went ahead and wore one to work today. Here it is, compliments of an empty ladies washroom.

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So until today, it’s never dawned on me to wear a jumpsuit to work. I don’t know why. I just never thought of it. Perhaps it didn’t strike me as providing the professional look I typically want when trudging to the office. And then last night, while wondering what I would wear to the OK Corral the next day: Eureka. I found it. I would indeed wear the jumpsuit, pair it with a blazer and a belt, and there you go. Why? Because it’s basically a built-in pantsuit. Pantsuits, the go-to ensemble for that professional life. I mean, it’s a dream come true, really. Oh, the wonder of it all. As you can also see, I also threw on one of favorite chunky necklaces to complete the outfit. It was a gift from the bestie and I wear it whenever I can. Further deets are below, if you’re interested.

Jumpsuit: Ross
Blazer: Sears (don’t sleep on that ancient store; it’s got some hidden gems)
Belt: Ross

Fini and onwards…

Elegant? Why, Thank You. (Fabu Fashion TBT)

Hey, y’all.

On Monday of this week, I wore a pencil skirt that I snagged from Nordstrom Rack (they built one by my house, so I officially bid all my money goodbye) and a peplum top that I’ve had for a million years. (Last Monday; therein lies the tbt.) I didn’t even think about it. Wasn’t that particularly exciting as far as outfits go. I just put it on and came to work like I do every day against my will. So imagine my surprise when two colleagues complimented me on how elegant I looked. When wearing a simple outfit and some flats you scored from your mother’s closet, you’re not thinking elegant. But I’ll take it. Some photos below.

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Happy Thursday…

Administrative Professionals Day…

Did you hug your admins on April 22? If you did, good for you and thanks in advance for not being creepy and holding us longer and tighter than you should have. (If you did, well, hmm…) April 22 was Administrative Professionals Day. If you were wondering what I do at the OK Corral, other than baling hay, yes: I’m an administrative professional. It’s…an interesting…let’s stick to the positive.

Anyway, before we get into how the day was commemorated here at my office, have you wondered where Admin Day came from? I did. A little research:

“During World War II, there was an increased need for skilled administrative personnel, particularly in the United States. The National Secretaries Association was formed to recognize the contributions of secretaries and other administrative personnel to the economy, to support their personal development and to help attract people to administrative careers in the field. The association’s name was changed to Professional Secretaries International in 1981 and, finally, the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) in 1998…The first National Secretaries Week was organized in 1952 in conjunction with the United States Department of Commerce and various office supply and equipment manufacturers. The Wednesday of that week became known as National Secretaries Day. As the organization gained international recognition, the events became known as Professional Secretaries Week® and Professional Secretaries Day®. In 2000, IAAP announced that names of the week and the day were changed to Administrative Professionals Week and Administrative Professionals Day to keep pace with changing job titles and expanding responsibilities of the modern administrative workforce. Many work environments across the world observe this event.”

Interesting, right? Of course, initially, I had no idea what day it was. The days kind of blindly merge into each other during the work week for me, filled with blurry-eyed mornings and exhausted evenings before and after work and only punctuated by blissfully received weekends. A flowery way of telling you that I’m not the happiest worker bee. Anywho, I only realized what day it was after perusing Facebook and seeing a bunch of friends post statuses and photos to that effect. Then I realized that a hastily dismissed event sent to my work calendar was actually an invitation by our department director for all the assistants to join him for a lunch celebration of Admin Day. Moments after I realized all of this, my boss arrived in the office and surprised my fellow colleague and me with two teeming bouquets of gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous flowers.

I was pleasantly surprised and actually moved by the gesture. Like I said, I’m an automaton when it comes to work: I do it because I have to, because a woman has bills, and because deep down, I don’t think Idris Elba knows that we’re married. Add all that to the fact that I’m not really doing what I love (more about that in another post, but if you guessed writing, you’re pretty darn close) and there you go: I join the billions of other people around the world who feel similarly about their jobs. That said, when he presented me/us with those petals, I thought it was lovely. It was nice to be thought of. It was nice to feel appreciated. He certainly didn’t have to do that, but he did.

He then happily forced my colleague and I to pose for photos with our bouquets. And because I likes to share, see below.

admin5 admin4 admin3 admin2 admin1Beautiful, right?

Like I said, later in the day, our director invited us to a great lunch, complete with delicious sandwiches, sweet desserts (yes, readers, I cheated and ate), and a promise to let us work a half day for Administrative Professionals Day 2016. I know, right?? I’ll refrain from discussing how I feel about potentially being here in 2016 (that sentence should communicate everything you need to know, actually) and end on a positive note: it was an awesome day.

Happy Belated Admin Day to my fellow admins out there! May the copiers bow down before you, their gentle and patient master.

If you’re an admin, tell me if your bosses did anything special, won’t you?