The Story Is All We Have

I cannot begin at the beginning; I wasn’t there. I cannot even begin at one particular moment in time; I do not remember how this got started. Neither does anybody else. We only know the story we are given, unless someone writes the truth of it down. And even then, it isn’t the whole truth. Only theirs. As this is mine.

I can only tell you what was told to me, and most of that was probably lies. The person who told me who I was and showed me my place in the world very seldom told the truth. I still believe that telling the story from the beginning is the only way to do it.

Whether it is true or not, it is the only story I have.

My name is Flora. This book is my life.

The Book of Flora (The Road to Nowhere 3) by Meg Elison

Being Irish in America

Steve held close to his heart his family’s connection to Ireland. It is an interesting aspect of the Irish in America that Steve, like others of his generation who were several generations removed from Ireland, felt that being Irish defined who they were. Possibly, it had to do with the identity it gave them. Saying that you were Irish was comparable to claiming membership in a distinct fraternity with a common tradition, secret rituals, and assured friendships wherever you found a fellow member of the Irish diaspora. The Irish gloried in their family, their neighborhood, and their love of the language. For Steve, it granted him entrée into the big leagues, where many young men of Irish descent were entering the American mainstream.

Steve Hannagan: Prince of the Press Agents and Titan of Modern Public Relations by Michael K. Townsley

 

Half In One World

Lobetto lifted his hand and I flinched out of habit. But instead of thumping my head, he cupped his hand gently under my chin. He turned my head toward and way from the lamp-light, so that I faced light and shadow in turns. “We are the same,” he announced. “Half in one world, half in the other.”

Fox Girl by Nora Okja Keller

Strange Clothes

I sat up on a narrow white cot. The room they’d put me in looked like every other part of the fortress: chrome walls, white ceiling, and a metallic floor. I had two big windows peering out over the tops of a thousand massive trees. I could see the wind rippling through them, but I couldn’t hear anything. It was stunning…and terrifying. It’s almost like they don’t want me to leave, I mused. I climbed out of bed and dressed in the clothes they’d left for me. I’d seen people in Donva wear the same white tunics and sandals, but I’d never actually worn anything like it in my life. I was accustomed to thick canvas pants and oil-stained shirts. The things in my room were too clean.

Darkness Between the Stars (Eaters of the Light Book 1) by J Edward Neill

Passing

I didn’t want to lie about who I was anymore, but I’d learn people wouldn’t accept a simple one- or two-word answer about who I was, either. Not talking about race isn’t an option any person of color in this country has ever had, in particular if it’s not clear what race you are. If it’s clear what race you are, you just get skipped an interrogation level. It’s always your responsibility to address your race’s stereotypes to ensure whoever’s asking that you aren’t like what they’ve heard. Be assured whatever they’ve heard is bad and you’ll be asked to answer for it. Political correctness? Not in my reality. Political correctness never kept a racist from calling me a racist name. It’s never kept anyone at a bar from dehumanizing me because I’m not their nostalgic ideal of an “American.” It’s never saved me from being reminded I’m an “Other.” Political correctness isn’t about depriving someone of their freedom. It’s about giving someone the same inalienable rights that all “real Americans” have—the right to not be hassled, insulted, or assaulted because someone thinks they’re different. In other words, it’s about protecting an American’s most cherished freedom: the right to be left alone.

Drink more than two beers in a bar and you’ll hear PC sound its bugle retreat: I don’t mean to be racist, but . . .

…If it’s unclear to someone what race I am, I’m treated to a series of interrogative questions, each more invasive, until it’s clear what stereotype best suits them. Every month or so, when I don’t immediately explain my name and reveal my ethnic background—the POC version of name, rank, serial number—I have some version of this conversation. Here’s this month’s latest variation:

“So, where are you from?” he asks.
“I live here in town.”
“No, I mean, where are you from before here?”
“Vermont.”
Vermont? No, where are your parents from?”
“Los Angeles.”
“I mean, before Los Angeles?”
“They always lived there.”
“Why are you being so difficult? What are you?!?

Assumed identities: A personal history of passing, UU World, March 1, 2018, Brando Skyhorse

Securing Credit and Identity After the Equifax Breach

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Step 1: Read this article –>How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Security Freeze

Step 2: Place a freeze on social security numbers of all family members. Note: A freeze cannot be placed on minors through online portals. Most agencies offer snail-mail options for minors.

Step 3: Place all account IDs, passwords and PIN numbers in a safe place! Applying for credit in the future will require contacting the agency and removing the freeze, temporarily or permanently.

Distance Provides Perspective

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Out of Range

“I was locked
Into being my mother’s daughter
I was just eating bread and water
Thinking nothing ever changes
And I was shocked
To see the mistakes of each generation
Will just fade like a radio station
If you drive out of range”

Out of Range by Ani DiFranco

Definition and Purpose of Marriage

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The following quotes all occur within a few pages (or paragraphs) of each other.

Quote 1:

The territorial, state, and federal governments of the United States were built upon a particular vision of civic responsibility—that men, as heads of households, entered civic life on behalf of their dependents: wives, children, servants, and slaves. The political system of the United States was predicated upon this vision, overwhelmingly reserving suffrage, jury service, elected office, membership before the bar, and judicial appointments to white male heads of household and limiting the legal rights of all others by their degree of separation from that ideal.

Quote 2:

These ideas clashed forcibly with the conceptions of kinship and social order that existed among the Upper Midwest’s long-established Dakota, Ojibwe, and mixed-heritage communities.

Quote 3:

Marriages of all kinds, and the households that marriages created, were inextricably bound up with questions of nation and identity for the Dakota, the Ojibwe, mixed-heritage individuals, and Americans alike.

Making Marriage: Husbands, Wives, and the American State in Dakota and Ojibwe Country by Catherine J. Denial

Article about this book: There’s never been ‘traditional marriage’ in Minnesota, says author Catherine Denial, Minn Post, Amy Goetzman | 09/27/13

Bloodless Blush

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“Have you ever seen a goth blush? It pretty much kills the whole bloodless/undead thing they’re going for, so I’m sure they hate it.”

The White Magic Five & Dime by Steve Hockensmith, Lisa Falco