Tag Archives: divorce alimony

When the Broom Breaks

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jumpingthebroom“Jumping the Broom.”

The significance of the broom to Black Folk heritage and history originates in the West African country of Ghana. During the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, most of Ghana in the 18th century was ruled by the Asante of Ashanti Confederacy. The Asante’s urban areas and roads were kept conspicuously clean according to visiting British and Dutch traders with the use of locally made brooms. These same brooms were used by wives or servants to clean the courtyards of palaces or homes. The broom in Asante and other Akan cultures also held spiritual value and symbolized sweeping away past wrongs or removing evil spirits.

This is where the broom comes into play regarding marriage. Brooms were waved over the heads of marrying couples to ward off spirits. The couple would often but not always jump over the broom at the end of the ceremony. Jumping over the broom symbolized the wife’s commitment or willingness to clean the courtyard of the new home she had joined. Furthermore, it expressed her overall commitment to the house. It also represented the determination of who ran the household. Whoever jumped highest over the broom was the decision maker of the household (usually the man). The jumping of the broom does not add up to taking a “leap of faith.”

The irony is that practice of jumping the broom was largely discarded after Emancipation in America which was consistent with the eventual fall of the Ashanti Confederacy in Ghana in 1897 and the coming of British customs. Jumping the Broom did survive in the Americas, especially in the United States, among slaves brought from the Asante area. This particular Akan practice of jumping the broom was picked up by other African ethnic groups in the Americas and used to strengthen marriages during slavery among their communities.

Jumping the broom was not a custom of slavery, but is a part of African culture that survived American slavery like the Voodoo religion of the Fon and Ewe ethnic groups or the ring shout ceremony of the BaKongo and Mbundu ethnic groups. With slavery over and superficial hints of racial integration allowed, African-Americans could now have European-style marriages. Jumping the broom had nothing to do with Whites.

Once Blacks could have weddings with rings that were recognizable by anyone as a symbol of marriage, the broom ceremony wasn’t required. During this time, jumping the broom fell out of practice from the stigma it carried, and in some cases still carries, among African Americans who wanted nothing to do with anything associated with that era. The practice survived, and made a resurgence after publication of Alex Haley’s book “Roots.”

Currently, many African and African American couples include jumping the broom at the end of their wedding ceremonies as a tribute to tradition. And even couples who do not actually jump a broom when they get married, often refer to, or at least recognize, the phrase to be synonymous with getting married in the same way most Americans associate “tying the knot” with getting married.

Broom jumping is also practiced by non-Black groups and in different religions around the world with some variation. Wiccans and Gypsies are among some of the groups who developed their own broom-jumping tradition.

Brooms break like a bad weave. A Dirt Devil was required to get these couples out from under all the dust of deceit. After all was said and done, theses Sisters  are in the Black, except for If I Could Turn Back The Hands of Time, Halle just bury him already.

Nas & Kelis Martin

Christina Milian and Terius “The-Dream” Nash

Martin Lawrence & Shamicka Gibbs

Shaquille & Shaunie O’Neal

Michael and Juanita Jordan

Eddie and Nicole Murphy

Lisa Raye McCoy & Michael Misick

Dwyane & Siohvaughn Wade
Lionel and Diane Ritchie

 

Halle Berry & Eric Benetbrokenbroom

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Gone with the Wind – Divorce Diva Classics

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Love her, or hate her, Scarlett O’Hara is the quintessence of clout pout.  She was married three times, survived the Civil War, the death of a child, and kept Tara from going up in flames.  Scarlett may be a fictional character, but if she were real and alive today, she’d have a line of corsets and curtains available at finer department stores.

Try saying to yourself, “I can’t think about that (fill in the that) right now.  If I do, I’ll go crazy.  I’ll think about that tomorrow.”  It worked for her.  It may just work for you. Scarlett may have been a back stabbing, man-stealing harlot, but she had a vision and nothing and nobody was going to stop her from achieving what she obviously felt was her God-given right.  She wasn’t malicious, just misunderstood.  The same might be said of the actress who became famous playing her and the writer who created her.

Margaret Mitchell:  author – born November 8, 1900

The author of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Gone with the Wind, was married twice, run over by a car once and died at the age of forty-nine.

Her life wasn’t quite like that of her heroine, Scarlett O’Hara, but there are some similarities.  Both were raised in a white mansion in segregated Atlanta.  Since slavery was out, Mitchell had to make do with servants.

By age seventeen, Margaret was engaged to a soldier who was killed in action.  Several years after she graduated from college, she was courted by two suitors: Red Upshaw and John Marsh.

She married Rhett, I mean Red, who turned out to be an abusive alcoholic bootlegger and all-round scoundrel.  They get divorced, and waiting in the wings, was bachelor No. 2 John March.  They married on July 4, 1925.

We readers owe a debt of gratitude to arthritis as it was this affliction that confined the budding journalist to her bed, where she read and read until, it is said, the public library had to retire her card.  What’s a reader to do?  Write!

Gone with the Wind was published in 1936 and sold more than one million copies in about four months.  Soon after, Hollywood came a calling and every actress in Hollywood wanted to play Scarlett O’Hara.

Vivien Leigh: actress – born November 5, 1913

Around the time Mrs. Leigh was reading Gone with the Wind, she was earning her own Scarlet letter by engaging in an extramarital affair with the also married Laurence Olivier.  The British-born actors would eventually divorce their respective spouses and marry and divorce each other.

Vivien Leigh won two Academy Awards playing Southern belles: Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind and Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire. 

She also suffered in silence with manic depression (bipolar).

Her erratic behavior earned her the reputation of being difficult to work with and made for a rocky marriage to Olivier.

 

A Fall From Intention

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Hey Mrs. NoMores!  Mama needs a new pair of shoes.  So please go to the link below and vote for me (pen name – Anne) and I will be thankful…:)

Below is an excerpt of what else?  Love gone real wrong….A Fall from Intention, by yours truly.

http://www.ebookmall.com/author/anne

“I’m pregnant,” Savannah said as she downed the remains of her sake and polished off her fifth octopus-marinated bay tako.

The sight of raw anything made Radley nauseous. He couldn’t wait to get home and eat some properly prepared dead food. “Who’s the lucky Tuna Roll?”

“Don’t be daft. That’s why we’re here. In Japanese, Koi means a longing feeling for a specific person. Koi is always wanting. Koi is love.”

Radley stood up and placed three one hundred dollar bills on the table.  “There’s nothing coy about you.”

Page had not seen Savannah before the taping. She attempted to get comfortable on the overly down couch. Savannah entered the set carrying a hardback copy of Tick Tock and flopped down on the opposite corner of the couch.  Every bit the modern day, Twiggy,  she slithered over to Page who bent down and sneezed on Savannah’s leopard print skinny jeans.

“It’s a good thing I’ve had my flu shot,” Savannah said as pulled out a tiny bottle of  hand sanitizer from the fold of the coach and spritzed herself all over, before doing  the same to Page.

“I’m sorry.  I’m allergic to perfume.”

“I feel the same way about books,” Savannah said as she ran her hair through her blond bob.

Page leaned over and whispered, “I thought we could talk about the chapter on…”

Savannah interrupted, “I can handle this.”

“And in four, three, two…” the director cued Savannah.

“Welcome back to IT. I’m pleased to have seated next to me author and coach of life, Page Hill-Moore. Savannah holds up the book.  According to her latest tome, Tick Tock we are already late for everything and everybody.”

The applause sign lit up and the audience claps wildly. “Thank you Savannah, it’s a pleasure to be here.”

“Before we proceed and in the interest of full disclosure, I must reveal that Miss Page is married to the executive producer of this show, Radley Moore.  According to your book, Tick Tock, time is not on our side.  I think Mick Jagger would disagree, don’t you?”

“No expiration date is the same.  A dying person does not wish they had spent more time shopping.” Page responded.  “They wish they had spent more time with family and friends.”

The audience applauds.

“I want to die in Harrods.”

The audience laughs.

“You’ll find several chapters on the importance of quality time and relationships that…”

“Let’s get personal, Page.  You’ve been out and about promoting your book.  Your husband is always here.  I venture to say, I spend more time with him than you do.  When do you two find the time to do the do?”

“I agree.  According to my husband,  you require tons of tutor time regarding most topics, with the exception of all things cosmetic.  My husband and I value quality verses quantity time.  We always make time for play  dates.”

Savannah had to wrap this segment up before she vomited.  She’d been sick all morning. She flips to one of the post-it marked chapters in the book.  “Talk about the chapter, Let Go My Egg-o. Women are buying and selling their yolks like an IPO.  Sounds a lot to me like capitalism at its finest.”

Page could feel perspiration drops under her arms. Why is she attacking me? This was supposed to be a fluffy segment. She could appreciate being grilled about her theories from someone who had at least reads books, but not by someone who considers clothing labels short stories.

“You’re childless. Why don’t you adopt? You and your husband can certainly afford the colors of the rainbow,” Savannah said as she swallowed acidic bile.

“That’s a personal decision.  At this time in our lives, my husband and I feel it would be selfish to bring a child into our controlled chaos.  If and when my husband and I decide to have an addition to our family, it will be with much thought and planning. It’s not like adding an extra bathroom.”

“Good thing some of our mums couldn’t wait until they were ready. “

Radley watched the interview from the control room. He had to keep it together until he paid off her contract and found a new IT Girl.  If all went according to plan, Savannah would be gone when he and Page returned from Bali.

He’d instructed his assistant, Blair to put the word out that a search was on for a new host. A fresh face. A new IT face. He was confident that a year from now, Savannah would be on Dancing With The Stars.

“The world is, of course, nothing but our conception of it.” ― Anton Chekhov

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Metaphysical Awareness Month

I pondered the meaning of divorce using a few basic principles of metaphysics as I understood them to the extent that I think therefore I am philosophically impaired.

Space and Time

Raise your hand if your ex uttered any of the following, “I need my space.  We need some space.  I need my own place.  I just need some time to think.”  If so, he was practicing the relation between space and time.  At one time he occupied a space next to you, now he doesn’t.  But the space still exists as does all the time you’ve spent occupying it.

Necessity and possibility

This is a tricky one having to do with the way things could have been versus the way they are.  When applied to divorce, I take this to mean: if you are married then you’re not divorced, but a marriage is required in order for a divorce to take place.  Therefore marriage is a necessity in order for divorce to be a possibility, but a marriage does not necessarily lead to divorce in an alternate world.  In as much as you are divorced, your marriage possibly was not in fact necessary.  In other words, who’s on first?

Change and Identity

If a tree falls, is it still a tree?  If you changed your maiden name to your married name and then back again, are you still the same person?  Has the loss of your married name changed your true identity?  Does the fact that you no longer wear a ring on your ring finger mean that your finger or the ring has changed?  Talk amongst yourselves.

Bottom line

You can blame it all on the universe or join the critics of metaphysics and demand proof of the unprovable which in and of itself is hard to prove.  Matters of the heart are for the most part, inexplicable.

“From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of each other – above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow-men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.”
― Albert Einstein

Talk amongst yourself.  Yes, I meant yourself.

You worked hard for the alimony

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For more than 100 years, Labor Day has been observed in the United States the first Monday in September.  Labor Day celebrates the contributions workers have made in America.

Everyday is labor day for most women. At times being a she  is  a life sentence at hard labor.

It fatigues me just thinking about it.

For some of you, divorce spells relief.  It was you taking care of the family and the household.  One less egg to fry, one less person to have to pick up after is music to your ears.

A lot of my friends, who worked crazy hours while married, were still expected to take on the duties of a stay-at-home wife and mother.  One day ran into the other as they tried to be all things to everybody.

Labor is not new to most of you.  We of the post-feminist generation were taught to be all we could be.  Securing a college degree and a successful career were priority number one.  You might be a child of and divorce and witnessed the financial devastation that came in its aftermath and vowed that would never happen to you.

No matter what happened, you’d be able to take care of yourself.

If you never left the work force during your marriage or were fortunate enough to have divorced a man with a fortune, then you are among the lucky few.  For the rest of us, especially those who never worked outside the home or have been out of the job market so long that our old wardrobe is now retro-chic, it maybe time to get back into the workforce.

I won’t scare you with horror stories of the divorced and destitute.  This topic is a lock on the morning shows and  cable.

Most advice is common sense when it comes to finance.  You are now the CFO of you and the simple rule of any successful business is supply and demand.  You’ve already demanded and were supplied with all you’re going to get out of your divorce (alimony, child support, the house, etc.)  Or you are in the camp that demanded and were supplied with nothing.

As I stated earlier, if you already have a fabulous career, more than likely you’re in the financial clear.  If you’re childless, or your children are grown, you too may not experience the financial freak out.

If your husband left you fully loaded, then you can travel around the world figuring out what went wrong while you bask under the Mediterranean sun being lathered down by a bronze cabana boy.  You basically followed Ivana Trump’s motto: You didn’t get mad you got everything.  Bravo!