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9/26/19: Imma Eat that UP!

*Warning: today’s mantra is profane, even by my standards. Parents, put in your headphones! Kids, Put on your earmuffs, Coach MK is ready to SPEAK!!!!*

You can love motherfucking baskets….AT YOUR OWN MOTHERFUCKING HOUSE.

Hi! This is Coach MK, and THIS is The Morning Mantra.

*intro music begins*

Hi, my name is MK Fleming. I'm a run coach based in Denver, Colorado. But this isn't a podcast about running, exactly. Don't tell my clients, but *whispers* we're never really talking about the running. When you know a crap-tastic event is coming it helps to have a mantra to keep you centered and focused as you move through it. You don't have to be an athlete to be hashtag #coachedandloved by coach MK. And if you are here, then you are hashtag #winningatlife.

*music ends*

Today’s mantra is: OOOH! Imma eat that up!!!

I don’t use Twitter very often, but today I chose to get involved in a thread about ADHD. The question was about the microaggressions we tolerate from neuro-normative folks because we don’t trust ourselves.

OK, WHAT DID I JUST SAY? I’m messy. I forget things. My ADHD is hardly a well-kept secret. Have we met? My organization systems consist of piles out in the open. You know how last week I talked about how help isn’t always helpful and kind gestures aren’t always kind? YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE the sheer number of people who have shown up at my home WITH BASKETS and tried to solve my ADHD WITH. BASKETS.

Somehow, this never sounds ridiculous when they are SHOPPING FOR BASKETS at the Dollar Tree three blocks away from my house. This is how out of control it is- the guys at Goodwill know me. “More baskets? Is your mom in town?” “no, these are from a friend”. “Here comes Basket Drama!” is my favorite greeting.

Basket Drama. That’s who I am. It’s about me and my deficits, right?

I’m Southern. And I’m a decent human, you guys. I don’t enjoy hurting people’s feelings. I GET that these people are trying to be kind, but their kindness requires work on my part. NOW I gotta remember which baskets you gave me and where I put them and make sure you don’t know about the drama they caused before they went to Goodwill because I don’t want you to feel bad or ruin the illusion that you helped me by graciously buying me baskets; thinking you helped me made you feel really good and I don’t want to spoil that. Because you meant well and I like you and I don’t want to hurt your feelings.

See how this is all about you, from start to finish?

Some people love baskets, that’s GREAT. They can love baskets in their house. I am SO GLAD baskets changed your life, but you need to learn a little more about mine before pushing baskets on me. I have ADHD for sure but those piles you wanted to solve with baskets weren’t my problems. They were my solutions. Baskets don’t help because I can’t see what’s at the bottom. Whatever is down there WILL be forgotten. You gave me trashcans, you built a graveyard for my productivity in the name of help. THAAAANKS!

You came in my house, looked at my life, judged it, and now I’m doing all this work not to hurt your feelings even though mine are very hurt indeed. You are acting upon your perception of ADHD to ease your own discomfort at the sight of something that in your world is untidy, unruly, disorganized; as though piles are the reason my executive functions need assistance. It isn’t about me, you just tell yourself that it is. This is called a microaggression. A little pushy thing. A paper cut. IT’s no big deal until it happens again, in exactly the same way, and it fucks with you. It makes you question how the world sees you.

Here’s another one: trying to imitate my accent. Don’t do it unless you need me to remind you that culture is not a costume. Speaking without the accent is very much a conscious effort. When I doubt a person, when I want to know what they really think of me, I drop the mask. Can you still hear what I’m talking about when I sound like this? Or are you going to speak more slowly and use smaller words? Are you going to coach me on enunciation? Are you going to correct my grammar? Ask me to slow down and stare at my mouth like you’re trying to read my lips, struggling to understand my words?

It took a LONG TIME to view myself as anything other than a problem to be solved, to realize that these attempts to ‘fix’ me said more about the other person than they did about me. The real question is, how the FUCK did I allow yet another basket-buying motherfucker IN MY HOUSE AND NOT KNOW IT???? OH MY GOD YOU WERE A BASKET-BUYING MOTHERFUCKER! YOU HID IT FROM ME! I FEEL CHEATED! HOW DOES THIS PATTERN KEEP REPEATING??!??!?!

You guys, I’ve been to Goodwill with baskets 8 times in 2019 alone. EIGHT TIMES.

The basket buyers never notice, from the time the basket hits my hands until they walk out the door, that my southern accent is in full force, and they are speaking a little more slowly, smiling a little more broadly, demonstrating proper basket usage in a sing-song voice and saying, “your turn! Give it a try!” like they are talking to my four-year-old. They don’t see what they are doing, but I do. I can’t unsee it.

If you were physically there in the moment, or hearing about it later (like you are right now!) you may think I’m being unfair...because you don’t want to ‘get involved’. You think of this as not wanting to judge another person in a story that doesn’t involve you rather than hearing my point of view in a story that involved me. These people are just being nice, right? Is this really basket drama?

If you weren’t in the room, but were watching this unfold, would you see it differently? Would my reaction make more sense? How many times do you need to see me play Basket Drama before my reaction is legit to you, before you look at the screen and scream with laughter, “MORE BASKETS WHAT THE HELL?!?!?!?”, laughing at the insanity of the basket-buyers, the inanity of my situation? How many more before you get mad and scream, “OK WE GOT IT ENOUGH!”

This is why I call out problematic storylines and microaggressions when I see them in pop culture- they are the best place, or maybe the only place you have a chance of seeing them, in stories unfolding on a screen that don’t involve you. It’s why I’m not going to stop. I stand by everything we published, about Brittany Runs a Marathon. Especially everything Amy said.

Amy. Gorgeous, beautiful Amy who plays with my kids without hesitation, who Shiloh grabs by the hands and says, “FOLLOW ME!” because she knows Amy will, who I would do ANYTHING for because she is such a ray of light….I think of all the people who have tried to ‘fix’ her, who have tried to help her with uglier solutions than baskets, of the microaggressions and assumptions she endures every single day because of her size, the people who come at her fat the way they come at my piles, the ‘helpful little’ corrections they make to help her get rid of her fat the same way people try to ‘help’ me get rid of my accent. My accent is not a problem- my problem is the bias people cannot overcome when they hear it. Amy’s problem isn’t her fat. It’s the people who can’t see any other part of her.

SO. the mantra: if someone comes at you trying to solve a problem that isn’t yours, offering you inane shit like baskets and diet pills and “did you see how Jessica Simpson lost 100 pounds in 6 months?” I want you to hear my voice in the back of your head saying, “OOOOOH IMMA EAT THAT UP SHIT IT OUT AND FERTILIZE THE 'MATERS WITH IT!! THANK YOU!” and remember you don’t have to respond to microaggressions with kindness, and anything said in my actual accent is never really heard so if you yell along with me, you’re fine!

PS- Amy has a LOT TO SAY about the Jessica Simpson story. Bonus episodes coming soon!

*cue outro music*

You are Coached. You are Loooved, and you ARE winning at life. And you're definitely winning at life if you subscribe to my Nuzzel Newsletter, follow me on Facebook or follow me on Instagram. feel free to do all three!

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