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Karima, Starting Shit and Taking Names

 

 

 

Tuesday
Feb212017

Black Excellence: Malcolm Mitchell

By Karima E. Rustin

Malcolm Mitchell, a 24-year-old rookie wide receiver for the New England Patriots, assisted New England in coming back from a 28-3 deficit to win the Super Bowl against the Atlanta Falcons, and take home the Vince Lombardi Trophy. While his teammates are reveling in their shared victory, Malcolm achieved another victory most people don’t know about. A victory he is more proud of than a Super Bowl ring.

Photo Courtesy of Books for Keeps

When Malcolm entered his freshman year at the University of Georgia in 2011, he could only read at a junior high school level. When he suffered an injury to his ACL, he made a decision to improve his reading, so while working through rehabilitation, he made sure he had a book in his hand. Completing his first trilogy, The Hunger Games, ignited a passion for reading, leading him eventually to join an all-women book club. He became one of its youngest members.

Most athletes want to build an impenetrable legacy based on physical prowess. What is most exciting about Malcolm’s story is that he wants to build a legacy to outlive his football career. For all the catches, yards, and touchdowns he will accomplish during his lifetime, Malcolm wants to ignite and excite the imaginations of young minds. He started a literacy foundation Read with Malcolm and has partnered with Share a Magic, a non-profit, to promote reading among students in Title 1 schools. Malcolm is an author as well. In 2015 he decided to self-publish a children’s book “The Magician’s Hat.” Hopefully the book is the first of many. I believe Malcolm’s story can inspire any young person to believe that it’s never too late to fundamentally change your life.


 

 

Wednesday
Sep142011

Why Are You Single?

By Karima E. Rustin 

Created by Charles SchultzWhy are you single? There you have it, the most repeated question I’ve heard for the past five years. My marital status fascinates, befuddles, and annoys quite a number of friends, colleagues, family members, and even random people. The belief is I should be coupled with someone; why would an attractive 35 yr-old woman with a sparkling personality choose to stay single? What can I say, I’m a late bloomer. As a teenager and in my early 20s, my goal wasn’t to meet a guy, get married, and have children. I didn’t imagine my adult life as a potential wife and definitely not as a mother. So I was attracted to strange men who were wildly eccentric and unreliable. I wanted to hang out with guys who had the same likes and dislikes in film and music, and who showed talent in the "midnight exercises" department. 

Then two events happened in my life; I became a big sister at 24, and I lost a parent at 26. I realized tending bar was not my ideal job, not something I wanted to do when I reached 30. I sat myself down to figure out what the hell I wanted to do with my lifeJesus! What a loaded question!so, I made some changes and now I wake up and commute in the morning to a job like most people do, a job that provides health insurance and two weeks paid vacation. 

Great, I can check that off my “to do” list. Now for dating; my best friend convinced me that I really wanted to have a family but was afraid to admit it. Plainly, I was afraid to believe in it. I grew up with a single mother, a grandmother separated from her husband, and when I look back, I don’t recall seeing that many married couples actually together. I had no frame of reference, how do people come together and then stay together? I had no idea what qualities I should want in a guy for husband material. I started observing relationships my friends were happily involved in, looking for clues as to how one should conduct themselves with another person they wish to marry. Lots and lots of counsel was given and I took extensive notes.

I jokingly told my sister I needed to find where all the unassuming millionaires where hanging out in NYC. She said “Go to a Tea-Party rally.” My best friend suggested taking a wine tasting class to meet men. Do you know who frequents wine tasting classes? An unsightly group of women who also think straight men sign up for these kind of classes but in actuality gay men are running the show.

Looking for further guidance, I’ve become transfixed with Millionaire Matchmaker’s Patti Stanger, and she is my kind of woman; loud, brassy, and so damn aggressive. She holds nothing back and I find her dating advice quite refreshing. She believes people should have 5 clearly defined non-negotiable terms when it comes to finding a partner. The non-negotiables (did I just make that word up?) can’t be physical attributes or what type of profession they should have. They are what you need in order to have a successful union: Do you want children? Do you want your children raised as Catholic or Jewish? Should they love sports because you have season tickets to Jets games or should they have the same desire to travel? 

One day, after watching one riveting episode after another on a rainy Saturday afternoon, I was inspired to write down the essential elements needed for me to fully commit to a man:

1. To make a great impression, you have to impress the two most important people in my life: my older sister Nichole and my best friend Cassidy. Nichole is offensively intelligent, soft-spoken, a voracious reader, and when she has something important or meaningful to say, she prefaces it with “Dude!” If Nichole doesn’t find your banter witty enough, she makes no qualms about tuning you out, she will even be so bold as to walk out the room, she much prefers to get back to her reading. Cassidy is a scrappy chick from upstate NY whom I met 14 years ago; for three months we worked together as bartenders and we’ve been together ever since. She introduced Nina Simone, crochet doilies, and booze into my life. She is the most loving, kind and creative person I have ever met. She finds my daily and inappropriate rants hilarious and was the first person in my life that I envisioned growing old with. If Nichole and Cassidy find you dull or your actions trifling, please know, we will christen you with an unflattering nickname and talk sh*t about you. Just take a look at the nicknames we have bestowed on past and present men in our lives: Forty-finger Forehead, Catty-Bitch, the Slow-Roast, Psycho-Boy, Shamrock Stomper, Chives & Shit, and my personal favorite, The Hump.

2. Cleanliness is next to Godliness: I have dated men with some disturbing bathing and grooming habits. I once dated a guy who didn’t see the need to take a shower on the weekends because he wasn’t going to work, so why bother. I dated another guy who would take several showers in a day but thought it was perfectly acceptable to wear the same boxer-briefs three days in a row, his moronic thinking gave me severe migraines. It got so bad that one day, as I watched him put on the same holey pair of briefs he wore the day before, I hissed through clenched teeth “This is ridiculous, do you have an ounce of common sense? I can’t bear to have sex with you anymore, let alone look you in the eye. Please put on a pair of clean underwear!” So please, I love nothing more than hugging up to a guy who takes his birthday suit to the cleaners on a daily basis.

3. Reading is fundamental. I’m in love with the written word and desire a guy who feels as passionately about books as I do. The wears-holey-underwear-three-days-in-a-row guy couldn’t get past the third chapter in any book he started (that and the underwear situation should have tipped me off that longevity was not possible). We don’t even have to like the same type of books. I love mysteries and thrillers, perhaps you like biographies and are a history buff. You can give me an abridged version on the life of John Quincy Adams. Heck, maybe we can even swap books. I will not judge your choices, just as long as you know how to read and enjoy it (OK, I promise I will try not to judge your choices).

4. Mop my floors: Watching a man do housework is the sexiest thing to see, bar none. I once dated a guy who was so beautiful, he was my black version of Brad Pitt. My girlfriends and I gave him the nickname, Brotha-Like-No Otha. Men, women and children couldn’t take their eyes off of him. He was an ex-Marine, and a city cop who wore super tight t-shirts and I worked real hard to concentrate on whatever he was talking about as I drooled over his masterfully-sculpted pectoral muscles. I was so weak to the flesh! Brotha-Like-No Otha was also a clean freak and once offered to clean my kitchen while he was hanging out at my apartment on his day off. That was dirtiest, naughtiest thing a man has ever said to me. Sadly, I had to break it off with Brotha-Like-No Otha, we had nothing in common, at all. But it was nice coming home that one day to freshly scrubbed floors.

5. Slow and Steady: When it comes to the art of midnight exercises, I am not looking for an acrobatic performer with quasi-dexterous limbs, or a guy treating the event like he is a Formula 1 racer, pistoning away. No, It’s not an audition to star in your own feature porn film. I’m getting old and have finally discovered what I need; consistency and someone who takes direction well. Slow and steady baby, slow and steady.

Then I remembered an interview I came across about a year ago. The actress Chloe Sevigny sat down with Playboy magazine and revealed the type of guy she is looking for: “I want a guy who is masculine, good with his hands and able to build stuff and who has survival skills. Facial hair is a big turn-on. Most of the kids I hang out with in New York are hipster arty types, but I like a stronger, more physically imposing man--like a lumberjack. I'm also into a little hair pulling. I like boys to be aggressive and allow me to be a little aggressive back.” Never in a million years would I believe that I would have the same taste in men as Ms. Sevigny, who I think has a wonky sense of style and a persistent snarky look on her face. How am I to find a Lumberjack who loves housework and daily showers, is a bookworm, not trying to break my back in bed and is emotionally confident enough to dazzle Nichole and Cassidy? And lives in Brooklyn no less?

God help me.