I dressed up for Halloween this year for the first time since I was in kindergarten–well, the first time since this happened:
Pt. 2 of how I snuck #Halloween once. Thanx @michie3g!!! Looking out for me since the 80’s. #ShhhDontTellMyMama A video posted by Erin Jackson (@ejthecomic) on
When I was growing up my parents never let me go Halloweening because: Jesus, eternal damnation, etc. But this year, I went out with my best friend (that’s her in the video) to take my goddaughter trick-or-treating, and I decided I wanted a costume, too. I only had about two hours to put something together, so I did a quick search for ideas online and then headed out for supplies. I got some iron-on transferable letters from Michaels and a plain sweatshirt from Dick’s Sporting Goods. Here’s what I came up with. Can you guess what I was…?
Yeah, no one else could either.
I was a ceiling fan. Get it? “Yaaaaay, Ceiling!” Shut up, it was my first time putting together a costume. I feel like if I could have found some pom-poms, it would have made more sense to people. But I’m willing to accept that I might be wrong. I had a blast trick-or-treating vicariously through my goddaughter. It was a beautiful day and most of the little kids’ costumes were too cute for words. Every girl over the age of 12 apparently went as a hooker, but #heytheynotmykidsso… Looking forward to more Halloweens in costume. Someone, have a party and invite me, please. Maybe next year I could be a church fan. Or anything other than that. I’ll just surprise you. Thanks in advance.
I was fast asleep in my aisle seat when she woke me up, fumbling for the button that would recline hers. Annoyed, I cut my eyes at her, then tried to get back to sleep.
“Do you fly this route often?” she asked.
I told her that I fly a lot, but this was my first trip to Montana.
“Do you take out travel insurance when you fly?”
I told her I’d never bought it.
“This was my first time getting the insurance. My husband Jim and I flew out to Great Falls last weekend.”
I really wished she’d leave me be.
“He died on Tuesday.”
She went on to tell me how the insurance company covered her hotel stay for three nights, rescheduled her flights and covered the full cost of her husband’s cremation—his ashes were in an urn in the overhead compartment. Right next to my backpack.
“All that for $92. Can you believe it?”
Her name was Cindy and she was from Massachusetts. A couple for 14 years, she and Jim had been married for only four. He’d been in home hospice care on the east coast, but was still fiercely independent. Montana was Jim’s favorite place on earth.
He’d been her second husband. Her first had passed years earlier, after a car accident had left him paralyzed. He spent two years in a rehabilitation center, and she’d been with him nearly every day. Jim had promised her that he would never become a burden. “I’ll never do to you what [her first husband] did. You won’t have to take care of me.” He died peacefully in his sleep.
I covered her hand with mine and asked her how she was doing.
“I’m doing OK. God must think I have strong shoulders.”
Indeed, he must. We talked for the duration of the flight; she shared special moments from her lives with both men. The time she hired a belly dancer to perform for her first husband in the rehab center, and all the other patients crashed their private party. How she and Jim met while he was working on the Big Dig.
“No more husbands for me. But with my record, who’d marry me?”
I’ve never been good at finding the right words in situations like this. But I got the sense that she just needed someone to listen. I felt guilty for being so caught up in my own stuff and wanting to tune her out, but there’s no way I could have known what she’d been through. I just hope our conversation brought her even the tiniest bit of peace. I said a prayer for her when we landed, and I told her I would continue to pray for her.
God bless you, Cindy.
“In your life you meet people. Some you never think about again. Some, you wonder what happened to them. There are some that you wonder if they ever think about you. And then there are some that you wish you never have to think about again. But you do.” — C.S. Lewis
That awkward moment on stage when you realize your talk show has been moved to the same time slot as “Empire…”
Last nite, I headlined the Virginia Beach Funny Bone and I began the show by commenting on how many black folks were in the audience. I was honestly surprised because Wednesday nite is “Empire” night in most black households these days, and these folks chose to forego that and come out to see me. In case you’ve been living under a rock, the show is a mammoth hit that gains more and more viewers each week. I was really grateful.
At the close of the show, I was telling the audience about “Exhale,” and inviting them to tune in and support, when I realized that we are on during the “Empire” time slot — Wednesdays at 9pm. I was recording my set, as I always do, so I caught that moment of realization for posterity. These folks came out last nite, but they weren’t trying to make it a habit… THE GOOD NEWS is that we premiere on May 6 — well after the “Empire” (and “black-ish” finale(s), so there are no excuses. Amen.
Here’s a little behind-the-scenes video I shot on our last day on set for “Exhale” season 3. We have a lot of fun together and we have great conversations. I hope you’ll tune in and check us out!
A week ago tonight, I was driving my friend, the hilarious Marina Franklin, home after our shows at The Comedy Cellar. As we were about to get on the West Side Highway, we drove into a DUI checkpoint. Marina, who had taped an episode of “The Nightly Show” earlier in the day said, “Girl… I still got my makeup on. Look at these eyelashes. I can’t go to jail all pretty.” I knew I wasn’t drunk, yet it was the most afraid I’d been since those NY state troopers drew their guns on me a few years back. I was convinced 100% I was going to jail. Because if there’s anyone who could get a DUI without being UI, it’s me.
Sidebar, when I posted about the DUI stop on Facebook, one of my Facebook friends left a video in the comments about how it was my right to decline to roll down my window and refuse the breathalyzer… Listen here, white folks: you’re gonna get your black friends killed with that BS. We know you’re trying to be helpful, but that video is not for us. Like it’s so not for us that it should have one of those you-cant-eat-here-or-use-our-water-fountain-civil-rights-era-type “whites only” signs at the beginning.
But I digress.
I’ve always been afraid of becoming an accidental criminal. It’s why, although I’ve never built a bomb, I’m always terrified when a TSA agent swabs my palms for bomb residue. I hope I didn’t touch any bomb ingredients; I hear you can make them out of almost anything. It’s why I’m always paranoid the person who had the rental car before me stashed some contraband that’s gonna be found on my watch. OK, so if I see any scratches I note it on this form, but what if I find heroin? Is there a form for that…?
It’s often difficult to pinpoint the genesis of a phobia, but I happen to know exactly where mine originated. The year was 1987, and my cousin took me to see Madonna in “Who’s That Girl?” In it she plays Nikki Finn, a petty thief who was framed for murder and sets out to find the people who set her up when she gets rekeased. Within a half hour of being released from prison, the scene below takes place:
This movie messed me up, y’all. I was just a kid and I was convinced things like this happened all the time. And now, even though I know better, it’s still in me. When a store owner follows me around to make sure I’m not stealing anything, part of me is angry and offended and the other part is hoping nobody “Nikki Finn’ed” me so I don’t prove them right.
Do you have any weird paranoia that you’d like to blame on Madonna? If so, tell me about it in the comments. And as always, thanks for reading.
I may or may not have had a corn on my right pinky toe that required me to visit the foot care aisle of the Rite Aid next door to my building. And while I was in there I may or may not have taken this photo of a package of corn pads that advertised that they were designed to fit inside tight shoes. Tight shoes may or may not be the whole problem here.
“Your hair is so… swoopy.”
That’s what the nice [not black] lady behind the counter at the bookstore said to me last nite. She said it with a smile, so I know it was a compliment; she just couldn’t find the vocabulary to express what she meant.
I cut off most of my hair. Most people who know me know my hair is my thing. But when I was really suffering with my Graves Disease, my hair broke off and fell out like crazy. It happened so quickly; one day I had a head full of healthy, shoulder-length hair, and the next day it looked like I got mugged for it:
“Gimme that ponytail or eat this bullet, lady! Your choice.”
It was traumatic. But I knew I had to let the rest of it go. My medication was adjusted, and along with it, my thyroid hormone levels, so I’m feeling pretty confident that after cutting off all the damage, my hair will rebound. But I am not happy with my current length. I wore a (modest) weave for the Exhale taping; it was the length my real hair had been. But the day after we wrapped, while I was still in LA, I found a braiding shop and had these box braids installed. This isn’t the first time I’ve worn braids, but it is the first time I’ve worn them for longer than two weeks. And you know what, they’re really growing on me. People keep complimenting them, or almost complimenting them (see above), and I’ve always thought natural hairstyles were beautiful. My mom wears a TWA (teeny, weeny afro) and the majority of my girlfriends have moved in that direction. I’ve often thought my natural curl pattern would look great if I allowed it to reveal itself. It’s the “going” natural part, the transition, that’s always seemed daunting. I’m impatient. But this disease has been a constant test of/lesson in patience. For the better part of 2014, I couldn’t stand from sitting without assistance, or walk up a flight of stairs. And now, as I am enjoying the get-up-and-go ease of these braids, and I find myself stuck in between a rock and a bald place, I’m thinking that maybe there’s no time like the present to put to use my newfound life skill.
My mom is not convinced…
So, we’ll see. Maybe this is the beginning of a natural hair journey. Maybe it’s a holding pattern. But I’m not going to make a decision either way anytime soon. Relaxers aren’t going anywhere so no need to rush back to them. And I would love to prove myself and my mom wrong.
So, you’re gonna blatantly use photos of Lenny Kravitz on your online dating profile? Alright, I’ll play along. I spent half the morning messaging this guy back. Even changed my dating profile pic to Lisa Bonet without explanation.
I hear that all the time? Are you serious, dude?!???
Or are you a comic too, posting on your blog about all the dumb women who fall for your fake profile? Cause if you seriously think you’re gonna find women in America (AMERICAN WOMAN, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD) who don’t recognize this sexy piece of caramel on first sight, you are supremely buggin’. This dude didn’t even remove the watermark from the website he stole one of the photos from. He had to be kidding, right? I talked about this on Facebook and a few friends asked, “what if it really is Lenny?” Which… whatever. Plus, I know that the real Lenny and I would be more than a 20% match; I have it on good authority that we are soul mates.
I have a girlfriend who was real-life “catfished” by a dude she thought she might really like, using photos of MLB star, Matt Kemp. Not being a sports fan, she had no idea until another friend broke the news to her. ‘Twas a sad day. You would think these dishonest losers could just find a hot guy who wasn’t an international superstar or professional athlete to pass themselves off as. Exhale. Idiots. I promised myself that I’d try the online dating thing again in 2015, but I’m admittedly only giving it half of a half-hearted effort. And thus far, my online dating adventures have been good for nothing but jokes. Maybe it gets better. Maybe it just gets funnier.
I hope you’ll stay tuned.