mixed-angela nissel

i remember when i first read the broke diaries. i was all cocky in my new-found success in innernet stalking, so i decided to hit angela nissel up on some “so, you know girls whose names begin and end with ‘a’ are awesome, right?” tip, and i think she added me (and probably thought i was nuts). we have since lost touch, but when i recently started following her on the tweeter, i decided to pick this up. the reason why you should read it? it’s damn funny. and homegirl founded okayplayer.

“I had to answer the question in a way that would make her shut up and get on with the sale. I didn’t need her telling me how her dad once had a Mexican mistress or have her feeling safe enough with my white side to whisper that she’s always wanted to sleep with a black man (that’s happened before-in a supermarket). I also wasn’t sure if Morgan knew my dad is white, and I didn’t want her to treat me differently right before escorting me into a house of dubious repute for the first time.” (189)

“This was the most real (if one-sided) conversation I’d had in a long time. In the ‘sane’ world, people hold back their psychotic parts. ‘Sane’ people give you little happy bits of themselves, then months down the line when they know you’re invested in their well-being/in love/committed to being their best friend, they dump their huge, crazy psychotic backstories on you, leaving you no choice but to help carry them. Sometimes, when their load gets really heavy, you think in the back of your mind, ‘I wish I’d known this shit earlier,’ but you keep trudging along with them because that’s what a good friend/wife/worker does. I prefer the crazy version of friendship.” (158)



2 thoughts on “mixed-angela nissel

  1. her mental (it wasn’t accidental):

    “I was too young to understand the word /sellout/ or know that if I got older and denied eating soul food to be accepted by white people, some people would revoke my black pass for life. In that moment, there was no way I was going to be the new six-year-old Methodist girl who ate pig guts. Sister mary’s husband would have to forgive me.
    Sister Mary accepted my answer. I went on to read the rest of the paragraph perfectly, and the Third Grade Chitlin Inquisition was over.” (14)

    “Finding out that I was pretty was like being a starving dog and getting locked in a meat factory. I went crazy feeding my appetite. There were approximately 200,000 black boys in Philadelphia between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, and I tried to collect the whole set. I stacked up boyfriends like a cheerleading pyramid.” (101)

    “‘It’s the perfect name for you,’ Mah said. ‘Even though you’re light, your search for truth makes you blacker than most of the dark-skinned girls out here.’ Men, if you want to hook a biracial girl looking for acceptance from the black community, use that line. I was in bed with him the same night.” (126)

    “Yes, of course. A depressed black woman was about as unthinkable as a feminist black woman. Righteous black people knew the two didn’t go together. My mood swings were definitely hormonal.” (133)

    “Occupational Therapy is a sort of arts and crafts. You cut out photos from magazines and make collages to describe your emotions. If you’re not allowed scissors yet (Level 2), you have to rip the magazine photos out with your hands. How you went from being CFO of a Fortune 500 company to ripping up magazines with your hands like a savage may frustrate you. You know this collage won’t help deal with your overflowing in-box when you get back to your office, but just go with it; that’s the only way you’ll ever leave Crazy Spa. If you feel you can’t deal with it, see a nurse.” (146-7)

  2. your mama and your daddy too:

    “Suddenly, every tear was worth it. We were going door-to-door to kick some racist ass. It would be fun, just like trick-or-treating, except no candy and my father might punch someone in the face.” (28)

    “I felt a pang of shame-how low can you go?-sniffing around my basement and selling out my father for a chance at friendship. The pang was easily snuffed by thinking of how angry I was at him and how much acceptance I would gain by selling him out.” (43)

    “‘No one in our family knows how to cornrow, honey,’ my mother said, and this time, I wrinkled my brow at her. How could she have grown up on this block and not know how to cornrow? Shouldn’t everyone on this block know how to do that? Did she not know how to jump double Dutch either? Is that why she had to marry a white man?” (59)

    “With my mother yelling at her, Maureen shrank before my eyes. She was just an eleven-year-old in a training bra that I had outbullied with the ultimate weapon: an angry, overworked, single black mother.” (75)

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