When the Bill Comes Due

Ep 1: Check Please!

November 16, 2020 Aaron & Tamu Season 1 Episode 1
When the Bill Comes Due
Ep 1: Check Please!
Show Notes Transcript

Check please!
Aaron and Tamu are going line by line on this bill -  and we have the receipts! Check out the first episode which chronicles their "aha moment" related to the world as we know it today. It's not all serious talk, our first throwback song is Butterfly, by Mariah Carey.
Come through!




Aaron: [00:00:30] Oh, you're recording.

Tamu: [00:00:35] I said I was going to hit record.

Aaron: [00:00:37] I'm sorry. Oops. 

Tamu: [00:00:39] All right. So here we go with our experiment.

Welcome to when the bill comes due. 

Aaron: [00:00:47] Hey ya'll

Tamu: [00:00:48] I'm Tamu. 

Aaron: [00:00:50] I'm Aaron.

Tamu: [00:00:51] And we're going to be, I guess, your hosts through our lovely venture to explore what life is like [00:01:00] for us, since we're now middle aged people and having to deal with a bunch of shit that's been going on in the world.

Aaron: [00:01:06] that's a little tough to hear that 

middle age people. I never, never, never, ever thought that I would be saying that out loud. Can we, can we redefine that somehow?

Tamu: [00:01:17] Well, what would you like to call it?

Aaron: [00:01:18] I don't know. I certainly don't want to call my age, but I guess when we say middle age, it's kind

Tamu: [00:01:24] I mean, we're young on the younger side of middle age, right?

Aaron: [00:01:27] That's true.

Tamu: [00:01:28] we're not 50 yet.

Aaron: [00:01:30] True. That true. True that,

Tamu: [00:01:35] I'd say maybe like 10 years, we're a middle age officially.

But we're getting up there. We're climbing up that Hill.

Aaron: [00:01:43] we is way up that Hill way up that hill way up 

 (Sings ) Moving on Up 

So basically we don't know what the hell we're doing, ya'll.

Tamu: [00:01:56] We don't know, but this did come out of the needs of [00:02:00] both of us going through what was going on this year. As you know, 2020 has been a piece of shit, motherfucking bitch. And we have come to terms with a lot of things that we pushed back or based on when we were growing up, it was what we did and moved on and never really acknowledged a lot of things.

Hence when the bill comes due, meaning now we have to deal with the things that we've been kicking down the road for. I don't know, decades. 

You know, we've just figured that maybe other people are going through the same thing and might want to hear it too.

Aaron: [00:02:32] Yeah, definitely. I would say it's been A year of discovery of self, quite frankly, of me as a, as a person, as a black man.  and probably likely you as a black woman, and with that comes incredible pride, but also just incredible sadness, as well.

when I think of when the bill comes due, I definitely think we've been paying into the system or whatever this is. Right. And, it's just smacked us, right the fuck in the face.

[00:03:00]  (Laughs) YesTamu: [00:03:01] 

Why you kick it off by talking about your, when the bill came due moment? Like when you realized, Oh shit ! Fuck! I got to really deal with this crap now. 

Aaron: [00:03:12] Yeah, man. I would say definitely, obviously George Floyd opened my eyes. For folks that don't know me, I used to live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In fact, I used to live a block away from where Mr. Floyd took his last breath. 

I think we have all, you know, seen. I don't even remember what the first one is.  Ferguson is the one that comes to mind mainly for like, televised riots, et cetera. I think right? Ferguson? Right? That was it. Right?

Tamu: [00:03:42] I would say.

Aaron: [00:03:43] That was kind of a jump off for everything, right? Well, no, to what's his name? Uh, Trayvon Martin would have been the jump off. Right? He would have been the jump off. 

But anyway, having mentioned all of that  I was born and raised in Texas, and we [00:04:00] lived in suburban Austin, Texas.

So I was probably like one of, maybe three or four black families on the block. We just had a suburban existence. I would say we were kind of like, a low budget Huxtable family.



Tamu: [00:04:18] Nobody was a doctor or a lawyer, but somebody was a nurse and like the postman.

Aaron: [00:04:23] And nobody was nary one of those things. No, ma'am no. But we, I just trying to depict the suburban existence.  my parents grew up in Lubbock, Texas. They grew up in Jim Crow, South and segregation and all of these things. I think rightfully so. They moved us to,  Austin suburban place, new, new opportunity. My dad was a Marine, a disabled veteran

 I think they just wanted a, better life for us. we had a great life in Austin. I mean, my father was an alcoholic and a disabled vet and kind of [00:05:00] going through his own shit. But, we had a great life, in Texas. so fast forward My mom died when I was 13.

And that's a whole nother Oprah show. I'm sure we'll get into at some point, but, I just really was sheltered. And for me bringing it back to George Floyd, it was just like this awakening, another awakening, quite frankly for myself, because at 25, I moved to find life outside of Texas.

And this was probably the first time ever, in my opinion. I believe that Texas is pretty diverse, or I don't know, maybe we just have a different awareness, right.? For instance, we knew where the racists lived and we didn't go there. Right? I would say up North, in the Midwest and Northeast, it's a very different scenario, right?

You don't necessarily know where the racist lives or where not to go

Tamu: [00:05:53] That's not true. We know, we know. Yeah. In New York, obviously. Yeah.

Aaron: [00:05:58] Oh, yes, of course. Of course, NY.

Tamu: [00:05:59] [00:06:00] Here is different. I think in Minneapolis, obviously I'm not native to Minneapolis. So to me where they claim are dangerous, horrible areas. I'm like these look okay to me

Aaron: [00:06:11] it's true. I used to live in Minneapolis like the North side. there's some really nice areas up there.

Tamu: [00:06:16] Beautiful homes and everything, but they're like, nah, you're going to get raped and murdered. I'm like okay, but it's cheaper to live there. Well, I guess that's why. Okay, fine.

Aaron: [00:06:26] We almost had a, I never told you this. We almost bought a house up there. Humboldt Avenue. I think it was, there was this development up there.  and we almost bought up there, but then we ended up moving, but yeah, North side, they have some really nice thing. .

Tamu: [00:06:39] tree-lined streets and lovely homes that just need, some love and attention, but people are afraid to live there.

Aaron: [00:06:47] I keep going back to George Floyd, then I go to other discoveries, but simply, really if I had to characterize the aha moment or the, when the bill comes to moment for me was just [00:07:00] realizing that, I could have been where George Floyd was. At the time I definitely had children, foster children,  teenagers who went to that store all the time. it's very funny that. We're talking about this right now because I was just talking to my therapist t he other day and I really said to him that,  I think also George Floyd really affected me because a lot of major life changes happen there. I grew up there, I met my husband there. I broke up with, the person I moved there with.  The first time anyone ever called me a nigger was in Minnesota, which is not a really memorable and proud moment to,  reflect on right but in hindsight.

But also I met my husband there. We were married there.  some of my kids were born there, so there's a strong connection to Minnesota. so I think for me, Just that reality that it could have been me the flood gates really just opened of things I remember from even living in [00:08:00] Minneapolis as I mentioned before, being called a nigger. 

I remember going into a store onceToy'R' Us I think it was in Minnetonka. And this woman at the counter  first commented saying, "your daughter's hair is so cute". And then she had the audacity to ask, was it her hair? And I just thought. Wow. Who the fuck are you?  what gives you the right to do so?

Many of those moments flooded out of me really, during the whole George Floyd situation. it's  really been a personal reckoning for myself, just on a basis of, here I am. thinking that I'm, being a good black citizen and just living my best life, like being the example.

 I live in a nice house I've gone to school, I've done all of the things, now I think about, staying off the radar.  What I'm realizing now, post George Floyd, and post Breonna Taylor is that, you know, that wasn't enough. ,Am I [00:09:00] proud of my past? Absolutely. It's almost like I had blinders on blinders are completely off and I've been given permission to take them off.  Truthfully, there's a part of me that's scared of, this discovery because it's just a different, I am a different person.

it's been really, really beautiful to explore.and so when you, and I talked about doing this podcast and sharing our experience and sharing, our life message. I really hope that, we reach a lot of folks that are, experiencing the same thing  as I am.

And as you are with your story. So I would say that's where the bill is.

Tamu: [00:09:41] Just keep on paying it down. 

Aaron: [00:09:44] I'm making $20 a week payment> Layaway shit over here.

Tamu: [00:09:49] layaway for a long ass time. Like a finger hut.

Aaron: [00:09:54] Generations generation, [00:10:00] generations! So, anyway, that's enough about me. tell me about your bill coming due. 

Tamu: [00:10:08] It's been a long time in coming, I guess, a little bits and drips and drabs. I would say it started when Surviving R. Kelly came out. We all, I shouldn't say we all, but we grew up in during that time period, when this was like really happening. Where those women were being abused and I victim blamed them.

I was like, Oh, they should know better and they're just trying to make money off of him and all those sorts of things.  When I watched the documentaries, I literally felt sick to my stomach and I wanted to throw up. How could I sit up here and talk that way about these women?

Like they suffered through awful, awful, awful abuses from this man and I was sitting up here, blaming them for shit and not holding him accountable. And none of us, I should say, not a lot of us at that [00:11:00] time were either. The other one the Michael Jackson documentary that came out Finding Neverland or Leaving Neverland.

I think Finding Neverland is a different movie altogether, but Leaving Neverland or Surviving Neverland or whatever the fuck it was.

Aaron: [00:11:13] Finding Neverland. I think it was Surviving Neverland. I think it was right.

Tamu: [00:11:17] Were those young men who were talking about their abuse and how Michael Jackson systematic manipulator and a pedophile. I remember those trials too and thinking, " Oh, their kids, their families are just trying to make money", which sometimes was the case.

But it doesn't negate the fact that he might have done these things and that he did these things and his kids, these people are broken adults because of the things that had happened.  I think they all kind of came out around the same time, the surviving R Kelly and Finding, Leaving ,or Surviving Neverland came out and I was just like, Oh my God, this is too much.

Clearly myriad of black people had been dying and being [00:12:00] murdered prior to those things happening. And it was just "okay, well, another one's happening". "Well, what are we surprised at ?"And then when Philando Castile was murdered here, I remember having to explain to one of my friends why black lives matter? And prior to that, I was one of those, "Oh, here we go with this black shit again, ain't nobody going to care all lives matter?" I mean, if somebody else died, it would be a big deal too. And then when Philando was murdered, I was like, I'm an idiot.

I'm stupid. God dammit, a black life matters. This man literally got murdered in front of his girlfriend and small child, and nobody gave a fuck about his life and yes, his life matters and their lives matter and my life matters. And so it kinda started from there. Obviously more people died since then.

It was just one of those things, again, that, you know, the score. No way he's going to get arrested. Ain't shit gonna happen. People go to March ain't shit gonna [00:13:00] happen. when George Floyd was murdered and I was watching it because I also make it a point and also, I will say this when Eric Garner was murdered, I watched that and I was at work and I watched him actually die and I

once again, felt sick to my stomach. Like "this is happening and no one's going to give a fuck about it and he's just going to get murdered and they're going to get off and nothing is going to happen as usual".  So now we jump into Ahmaud Arbery, we're getting just mowed down jogging. Then you get Breonna Taylor and you get George Floyd being murdered.

And you sit there and you watch this for eight minutes and 46 seconds or whatever it is. And I'm yelling at my computer,  get off of him, get off of him!" "What are you doing?!" "What are you doing?!" And I'm crying. And I'm just like, I can't, this is, I can't believe this is happening [00:14:00] again another, and I make it a point to watch this if there's a video available of it, because I feel by not watching it, you become complicit in, "I can't look, I can't handle it." I can't deal well, you know what? They fucking couldn't handle or deal with being murdered either and the least that we can do is honor them by watching this happen to them getting so angry and annoyed and pissed off that maybe this will be the thing that helps stuff start happening.

I think that was kind of it for me. I didn't even know what was happening to me. We've had this conversation, but it just had come to the point where I was incapacitated and unable to completely function anymore and I was just so fucking tired and I was like, I have to be better in my own self.

I have to start reading. I have to educate myself more. I like to feel like I'm relatively educated in things in terms of like race and stuff like that. You know, my grandmother was in the civil rights movement back in the day and she had her own school and we [00:15:00] had completely different history books for black education and white education or quote unquote, regular education.

So it's not like it wasn't, there was stuff that I didn't know, but I think it was...finding out that I could have the permission to grieve it, to feel it, and to know that it's okay to feel those things is something that I don't think that we would have done before. It was just one of those, "well, got to keep on moving" and now it's, "no, I need to process and understand this ,and figure out how I can be better and how I can make a change because there's stuff that's sitting within me that makes me quote, unquote racist." Like other people are too, we all have our things. and to change the way that you think in the way that you approach is the part where I really have a lot of work to do.

 The nineties were problem-fucking-matic. We just grew up in a different time [00:16:00] where it was just kind of like, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Keep it moving. Whatever it is it is what it is; women are bitches and, you know, gays are the "F" word and it's good to say the "N" word all the time.

You know what I mean? Like, I shouldn't say women are bitches and then not say every other thing, women are bitches. People are, you know, quote unquote fags and I don't mean it derogatory. I'm just saying, and then niggas is niggas, you know what I'm saying? 

All of those things, are compiled and it came due and I could not function.

I could not function for a month. I couldn't eat. I was not really sleeping. I was completely fucked up. Trying to figure out a way to get out of that. So that's kind of where my shit began.

Aaron: [00:16:48] It wasn't a instant sort of like calm down, or emotional calm down , it was gradual. I remember watching it and also even [00:17:00] backing up to Philando Castile. Philando was when I opened my eyes, obviously, it's Minnesota.

Tamu: [00:17:05] Let's not discount that two huge game-changing shifts started here. That is something. I didn't know how racist this place was when I moved here.

Aaron: [00:17:16] Minnesota nice. I just remember Castile and I was  just really broken.  I've never seen the Eric Gardner, video. I did see Philando and I did see obviously George Floyd and for me, I would 100% agree.

Like it just. It just fucked me up. I remember it happening and I remember waking up, I watched CBS this morning every morning and Gayle was pissed off. It's like 9/11for me. I feel like many people will just be like, bitch. Do you remember where you were on 9/11?

Yes. I remember it is one of those moments for black people, number one, but hopefully the rest of America too, but I woken [00:18:00] up, turned on the news and Gayle and there was a story about, do you remember the Central Park Karen? I don't know what her name was but you know, all that shit.

And I just remember being so fucking pissed off at that. Then later on in the story was when they showed the George Floyd video and Gayle was so just like beside herself and I'm guilty of looking at my phone or reading email, and like half listening, but I really picked up on Gayle.

She was fucked up over that.  So I played it back  and I was still reeling over Central Park Karen. So George Floyd hadn't even entered my mind at all. ,

Tamu: [00:18:37] Central Park Karen was the one with the bird 

Aaron: [00:18:39] guy.

Yes, yes.  that choked the dog, blah, blah, blah.

I remember just being really upset with that and the magnitude of what happened with George Floyd, just, it just, it was a watershed moment for me. To this day, I can't even describe the emotions or the feelings.

Really hurt. Lots of pain.  One [00:19:00] of my co-workers we talked about, the fact that it feels like there was a death in the family. I think many people, especially many people, in my shoes as well, have this watershed moment of just like seeing your parents and all the fucked up shit, they had to go through, you know, it just came before my eyes and it just washed over me, like nothing I've ever experienced.

I live in Maine and we're going to Bangor, for the weekend to get out of the COVID. It was, good during that time. I remember on the way back, crying, it  felt weird to be out in like in the grocery store or seeing your neighbors  for me, in Maine where I don't know, 1% of the population is black, it was another moment. 

Like when I moved to Minnesota, I remember moving there and walking down Nicolette Avenue, thinking, "where are all the black people?" That was my thought! And at 27 years old, that was a very first time I'd ever [00:20:00] had given up a thought about diversity, people's skin color, anything.

Until I moved to Minneapolis.  And so that's really true here in Maine I would literally go to the grocery store and I felt people's pity or people's anger,  looking at me. Even now, today I send my husband to the grocery store  because it just feels weird or I go and I make sure I have my AirPods with me so that I can just go in and go out.

 It's really fucked up. Actually, when you think about it, it's really fucked up that, I go to these extremes to escape other people's guilt, quite frankly like the guilt is noisy to me, you know?

Tamu: [00:20:39] why do you think it's guilt?

Aaron: [00:20:41] Oh, whatever it is. I shouldn't say guilt their whatever emotion, because trust me, I'm sure it runs the gamut .

In that moment I felt differently, but I also just like an incredible sense of pride to be a black man, to be a black person. It was like this weird rediscovery of things that maybe [00:21:00] I knew, or maybe I suppressed as a black person.

This entire experience has been like beautifully painful,  it's the only way to describe it because I feel so very confident about everything.  Even before I didn't give a fuck, but like, I really don't give a fuck now, you know?  It just feels good to sorta stand back and look at the significance of our community and the contributions to society that we have.

I would say emotional experience for me as well, because I think we, as a people are beautiful. There's such a beautiful array of diversity and beauty among us.  I feel like we still go through these waves of emotions; waves of sadness, waves of anger, waves of anxiety that, hasn't necessarily subsided either.


Tamu: [00:21:47] Yeah, I think that the anger piece is a big one at least for me, I don't know how you feel about it. 

Aaron: [00:21:52] I'm pissed off.

Tamu: [00:21:54] I typically have to suppress it. I live in an all white [00:22:00] household. I'm the only dark person besides one of the dogs here. I don't typically. I feel like I can, truly express myself.

So I always have to kind of tamper it down. And I obviously work in an all white environment. And you were probably one of my only black friends that I had here to begin with. It's been difficult just to go through this experience. Obviously I can talk to my family... again, not necessarily a hundred percent helpful because they're very much about themselves and into their own worlds and lives, for the most part. But,  it's been quite a balancing act and I think it gets to the point where you're like, "Fuck! Every fucking five minutes I just have to sit here and be quiet." I can't say anything because I don't want to offend anybody. I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings. I don't want people to think, I'm a militant or I'm angry or whatever, but I'm a militant I'm angry and whatever, and fucking have a right to be goddammit. 

 It's just all these weird, it's [00:23:00] just a bunch of weird shit that you...

Aaron: [00:23:01] what do you call that? Yeah, I'm searching for the word, but there's not right. Okay.

Tamu: [00:23:07] It's a fucking delicate dance. The code switching is out of control. It's really hard to finally realize that you need to start to be yourself and who you are at the ages that we are--not quite 50-- to still feel that you have to suppress it, because if you show out completely, you might like stun people to the point of like "I'm blinded by your blackness" kind of a thing. 

Aaron: [00:23:35] It's interesting too, because  I use the phrase,  I hid my black under a bushel very often. it really is such a delicate dance for us.

I think I definitely have benefited, from having strong women to refer back to, maybe that's some of the strengths  I don't really know what it is,  because when you think about it, as a black woman, [00:24:00] there's being black.

Right? And then there's being a woman on top of that, right? A black woman specifically.  I just think back to my own mother and my aunts and other folks and how they've persevered and kept it moving. Right? And so I've, I've taken on some of those characteristics. I do have those real fears of "Oh my God, am I too black?"

I was talking to somebody the other day and I was just saying  I feel like this uninhibited blackness if you will, or, or something. Right? And I don't know what the new Aaron looks like.

I don't know what he looks like anymore.  He's still really defining himself and figuring it out and discovering and we're fucking dealing with this shit in the middle of a pandemic and a really fucked up election cycle. 

Right? So.

Tamu: [00:24:46] I don't even think I told you this, but I've been low key kind of preparing for if it went wrong in the election. How I was not going to actually leave my house for a long time, because I'd be afraid to step out of my doors. [00:25:00]

After George Floyd was murdered and the riots. I went to see one of my friends and I hadn't been out in a minute and I had a panic attack on the road. I thought that this person in a pickup truck was following me, you know, a white man looking like a quote, unquote, stereotypical white person who doesn't like blacks. I thought he was following me and I kept seeing pickup trucks everywhere. And I thought, "Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God." I mean, fucking-A, I live in  Minnesota. So many fucking pickup trucks, right? I had a panic attack. Of course I had to pass through that neighborhood where the riots took place, where he was murdered and I was like, bitch, you gotta get it together. Cause you got to go be sociable at somebody's house.  Nobody's here to kill you. It's okay. They got off at the exit. You're all right. 

Because things are so insane [00:26:00] that I am concerned about leaving my house sometimes, especially like once he was actually elected the first time around four years ago, it was really hard for me to go out my doors and look at people  who were white and probably voted for this fool and look at them and be like, "Oh, you're not a racist?"

Okay. You still want to be my friend. Fuck you get out of my face. You know what I mean? Like then I also was panicking and having that anxiety inside of me, like, Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. This is just really difficult to deal with on a regular basis 

Aaron: [00:26:31] That's an interesting point too, that you make about,  having that anxiety. Cause I remember like when I first met you, you used to have these conversations with me about  friends would invite you places and you'd be like, well, you know, are there any black people there or whatever?

I was like, Hm. Like I never really ever had a thought  that, ever, but now I do, I truly do . I again, I've grown up in suburban Austin, Texas, so like I'm not [00:27:00] uncomfortable being the only black person in the room, blah, blah, blah. It's just different now.

I, where I live, definitely we're in a bubble. Um, and it's great, but,  I think like you too, a lot of my stress now comes from just whatever's going to happen with this election. Right? And whoever's gonna do whatever. And what does that mean? You know, nobody really truly wins in this election.


Tamu: [00:27:24] What you mean by that is, we don't ever really truly win.

Aaron: [00:27:28] Right. Exactly. Yes. Yes. So you're just waiting for the other shoe to drop,  these other shenanigans or whatever, you know, they were expected, but you're just waiting for the ignorance to react, you know?

Tamu: [00:27:45] They had a Million MAGA March today.

Aaron: [00:27:47] I saw that. Did they get a million? It didn't look very much so.

Tamu: [00:27:52] I wasn't paying attention.

Aaron: [00:27:53] Yeah. I can't, I can't, I saw it and I was like, 

Tamu: [00:27:56] Oh, okay. That's good for y'all.

Aaron: [00:27:58] Bless you.

[00:28:00] Tamu: [00:27:59] And then of course, he came out to greet his adoring fans in a motorcade. So fuck him.

Of it. 

Aaron: [00:28:06] of course he did. Of course he did. January 20th here we come,

Tamu: [00:28:18] Let's wrap up our segment. Do you have any final thoughts, comments about when your bill came due?

Aaron: [00:28:27] I ain't paid it yet.

Tamu: [00:28:28] You regret it?

Aaron: [00:28:30] No, I don't regret it at all. I don't. 

Tamu: [00:28:33] Do you wish it came sooner?

Aaron: [00:28:35] I don't know. I think it's right on time to be perfectly honest.  Maybe  it's been an unconscious gradual awareness, into this. I mean, watching a man die on national television is not how I pictured paying my bill, but I definitely don't regret it because I think for a lot of [00:29:00] us.

And when I say us, I mean, suburban, educated, Black people that are, you know, kind of like being good black citizens. We were comfortable. we thought we were okay. I just think about everything like from, well, fuck, I probably could have been like a VP at this point, or,  you think about those, those roadblocks.

All of that, thinking about systemic racism,  and I would say that the system wasn't a problem for me...perception. right? But, um, upon further examination, you understand...

Tamu: [00:29:41] it was, it was, they were, they did.

Aaron: [00:29:45] Right. Okurrr. I don't regret it. I think it's all been worth it. I would say my biggest fear, what scares me the most is just what's on the other side, I'm optimistic.

 [00:30:00] I'm scared of what's on the other side,  I might be some angry, fuck.

You know when this is over. I don't think so. 

Tamu: [00:30:08] How many black lives matters flags do you have now unfurling or furling?

Aaron: [00:30:12] I have only one flagged. Unfurling with a couple of stickers on my mailbox and a couple of signs in the yard, but...

going to snow 

Tamu: [00:30:22] and your license plate

Aaron: [00:30:24] I changed it.

Tamu: [00:30:26] Didn't you change it to Black Lives Matter?

Aaron: [00:30:28] Um, I changed to something else.


Tamu: [00:30:31] again. Okay, got it.

Aaron: [00:30:34] Yes,  Uh, because it used to be my name and, um, I'm pretty popular here in the name. So, you know how it goes.

Tamu: [00:30:44] yeah, no, I don't because I'm not popular. So...

Aaron: [00:30:48] Celebrity I'll show you around, come visit me. I'll show you around. What about you?

Tamu: [00:30:54] I think for me, I was always a low key militant. Obviously my grandmother, was in the Civil [00:31:00] Rights movement.

Aaron: [00:31:00] I agree with that. You is woke. You low key. 

Tamu: [00:31:02] woke.

Just based on my personality and who I am, it's kind of like, don't ruffle any feathers.

It's okay. Don't worry about it. Don't see anything, you know, I mean, so it was kind of the way that you passively kind of

Aaron: [00:31:18] Let it go.

Tamu: [00:31:18] I kind of always was. And I think now I'm just allowing myself to be a little bit, maybe a lot more vocal about it in certain spaces than I was before.

 I'm doing some fun and exciting things with blackness at work, which is my way to get back at and be militant, but in a very jazzy, classy way, not just like I'm black and fuck you and burn down the patriarchy and fuck white supremacy, but it's like, you know, what I'm noticing about white supremacy is that it's just been here for forever and it's just really amazing.

So it's taking a different spin on it a little bit to at [00:32:00] least still feel like, yeah, fuck you. But like, fuck you in an educated and really super smart, nice way that you'd not, are not really thinking that I'm trying to do that, but it really is a fuck you to you. I'm just so angry and it's really hard to,  not be a lot of the time and to kind of keep it under wraps it's very interesting and strange place to be. Like I said, I kind of always felt like I was already low key militant and was very aware of white people gonna white, but like white people gonna white and I, because I've lived here and I've been very fortunate to not have had many negative experiences, around white people until I want to say 10 years ago, maybe at work.

I don't know exactly, like you said, you're not sure what that's going to look like. I'm not sure either, you know, I don't, I just see myself  trying to change how I think about things and how I perceive [00:33:00] things in terms of,  stereotypes of people.

Because those things,  we're all guilty of doing that and I am trying to be anti-racist.

Aaron: [00:33:10] It's very, very true. I've said many, many times. In fact, I just said it a couple of days ago to somebody like the day that we can all admit that we are racist and that we have these preconceived notions and stereotypes. Like I have them. Hello. My name is Aaron. I am a racist, like that's step number one.

And people were so afraid to even say that in particular, Minnesota, that is just an attack on their character, right? It isn't an attack on their character. And I just think folks like fuck,  we didn't create this mess, right? But we're here. We can make this better. 

Step one: yup. I fucked up. I'm a racist. Minnesota is a state of many firsts for me. [00:34:00] The first time I was ever called a nigger. That first time I ever saw a woman clutch her purse in front of me,  was shit. I just saw on TV.  That all happened at Minnesota. the irony of it, at least the instance of the woman who cuts her purse, I called that bitch out on it.

I was just like, "don't worry. I'm not gonna steal your, I'm not going to take your purse." And she's like, "Oh, whatever did you mean?" And I just looked at her, I just said, "you know," and I just walked away.

 I say suburban black, suburban blacks, we suppress it quite a bit, right? We, and especially a suburban black that lives in Minnesota. All of my friends are white. My husband is white,  my whole circle was white and I think we suppress letting bitches now in those instances. Right? And I gotta be very honest. I'm here to let a bitch know. Period.  And that I think is what's different and [00:35:00] it feels really good to put that, that coat on and just kinda like say, you know what, I'm going to fuck it up and I'm going to be real about it.

I even tell myself I'm scared of whoever Aaron's going to be, after all this is over, but, I think I'll be the same person. I'll just be very, very direct and real. But God only knows .

Tamu: [00:35:24] Oh, Oh, I know. I know.

Aaron: [00:35:29] We'll be writing a whole lot of checks. 2021 bills are coming due.

Y'all hear me? Bills are coming due. I'm calling my  accountant.

Tamu: [00:35:46] You don't have enough money to pay these bills, child.

Aaron: [00:35:49] I'm done.


Tamu: [00:35:59] I [00:36:00] know that we talked about this particular. Segment  being, our throwback segment.  We talked about what our first one would be. And I do still feel that it should be because you're a Mariah Carey, Stan.

 (bad singing) 

That's that register. And I like Mariah Carey. I'm not a Stan.

Aaron: [00:36:25] Sorry.

Tamu: [00:36:30] Aaron and I bonded over music and we have a good old time getting drunk and listened to music.   We figured that we would share that. Piece of ourselves with you as well. in listening to songs from our time. Some of them shits is real problematic.

But this one is not, this is just a song that we both mutually agree. It's one of my favorite Mariah Carey songs. I know it's not his favorite Mariah Carey songs. He probably has 16 more favorites than this, but it's "Butterfly". [00:37:00] Are you listening to it right now?

Aaron: [00:37:07] Feeling myself for a moment.

Tamu: [00:37:08] We're going to do our first throwback segment in honor of Mariah Carey and "Butterfly" off of the "Butterfly" album. I wish we could play it, but,  she would probably tax our asses.

Talk about the bill coming 

Aaron: [00:37:23] due, we would be going bankrupt.

Tamu: [00:37:30] When I was trying to find the lyrics, I know, you know, them shits by heart. Now for me, I am a big love songs person. And I know that seems weird for people who know me but I love love songs because I'm always sad. Cause I've never loved. And I always want to be in love and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

I love butterfly because it's just such a sad but beautiful song. And she's got hope at the end of it. Like, if you're going to return to me, then it's, it's supposed to happen. So go be [00:38:00] who you are and, you know, whatever. But you know, Aaron, because you just read her book,

Aaron: [00:38:06] The meaning of Mariah Carey. You know what? I read a couple of pages.

Tamu: [00:38:10] Bitch, please. I know you 

Aaron: [00:38:11] ass ain't read...

I was driving in a car, so I mentally read it. I love "Butterfly". I will say this. Huge Mariah Carey fan and the "Butterfly" album was like my album, ,1996, I want to say.  when things happen, like I used to live with,  two gay guys, Steven and Mark.

Hey guys, I love you. Something happened when I turned 21 maybe it was 22, 23, maybe I'll say 22, 23.  I became not okay with my roommates at the time. All they did was work and smoke pot and go out and I wanted something different. I was really judgy back then.

Obviously I feel very differently about. Those hobbies.

I'm a late bloomer.

 You guys are probably going to hear [00:39:00] my whistle registry a lot. Tamu over the years,--Tams, it feels like 10 years. Isn't it? Over, longer than that? Let's see. Yes. 2010 was when, we met. Yep. Well, I suppose 2011, but whatever 20, 21 low key, whatever-- anyway, where was I with this thought? I completely lost my train of thought.

Tamu: [00:39:25] You got super excited about Mariah.

Aaron: [00:39:26] Yes, "Butterfly," you know, I moved out and "Butterfly" came out and, um,

Tamu: [00:39:34] Oh, that

Aaron: [00:39:35] it was, Mariah's  freedom. I totally get it. Now reading her book.  I highly encourage you to read her book because if you are even remotely a Mariah Carey fan and you're like, I'm a songwriter and I'm a lyrics person.

And I like you. I'm a love songs person. Like I eat that shit up, like, like biscuits and gravy, like it's sappy. Like it's my wheelhouse, but. [00:40:00] She really explained butterfly. And to me, we all knew public perception. Right. We knew she was getting divorced  from Tommy Mattola. And you thought that this was some sort of metaphoric, like she's free.

Well, in the book, what she says is she wrote this song from the perspective of her husband, AKA Tommy, Matola

Tamu: [00:40:23] letting her 


Aaron: [00:40:23] letting  her go. And I thought it was very interesting because. By all accounts, that relationship was fucked up, but she's still craved. It seems like she creates that, like that, that would work out or that, that would be whatever.

 I'm typically not a person that likes a song that's released by Mariah Carey. That is a hit .

Tamu: [00:40:48] Oh, was that a 

Aaron: [00:40:49] hit?

It, well, I shouldn't say that it was a single, a single, I don't know if it was a hit, but it was a single and I don't.

Tamu: [00:40:58] I didn't like the video. Cause it wasn't there a [00:41:00] horse in it or some shit she's on

Aaron: [00:41:01] She looked rough.

I was like, Ooh, Mariah. Yeah. I was like, girl, I, see what you doing, girl, but  you just dropped "Honey". And now, and then you dropped "The Roof". I don't remember the sequence, but you dropped "Honey" and then I think you dropped "Butterfly" and I was like, bitch, what happened? And then she dropped "The Roof", which is like, we can talk about "The Roof"?

Do you know "The Roof"? Okay. So this is your homework. Listen to the "Butterfly" album.

Tamu: [00:41:31] Okay, no. I'll listen to "The Roof".

Aaron: [00:41:33] The whole album. You have to listen to the whole album. This is like my we're going to have this like be a segway or something. So "The Roof" is a song. Uh, there's several songs, but it is a very specific song written about her rendezvous with Derek Jeter.

Tamu: [00:41:50] I'm sorry. Oh, that's cool. But this is the "Beautiful Ones" where she made a terrible Prince remake. I can't.

Aaron: [00:41:55] can't

Tamu: [00:41:56] So I love "Breakdown". I actually wasn't all these songs. I [00:42:00] don't remember "The Roof" at all,

Aaron: [00:42:02] with the Mob Deep remix, you can get it on iTunes folks. Um, so since we're talking about "Butterfly" and we've moved away from the single, at this point, I'm moving away.

Tamu: [00:42:13] we're talking about "

Aaron: [00:42:14] Butterfly" the album,

So my favorite favorite song on the butterfly album is "Outside". It's a very last song. It should be at least. This song got me through just so much.

 I was 20-something and coming out in Texas, I was a cake head and "Outside". Well, it's just incredibly depressing. It's an incredibly depressing song, but, it's message. It's resonated with me. 

The lyrics are, you'll always be somewhere on the outside. It's hard to explain inherently. It's just always been strange, neither here nor there. And so for me, I can relate to that as a black person in growing up in a very white world, as a gay person coming out and [00:43:00] not able to be your authentic self, but for Mariah Carey, all that is true. 

It's really fucked up too. I read her book and I realized that I never really saw him where I carry as a black woman. Right. But she really proclaims herself to be a black woman and truth be told Mariah, I love you, but you ain't exactly been waving the Negro flag. For the past 30 years, I'm just going to say, but you know, notable is that she wants to be a soul singer and her record label made her into a white girl pop star, but she made her coins.

So I'm sure she's not complaining. Okay. But anyway, I digress ,"Butterfly". 

Tamu: [00:43:50] That is beautiful

Aaron: [00:43:52] y'all know, y'all love my whistle registry. 

Tamu: [00:43:54] They're going to learn to love it. 

Aaron: [00:43:58] Just like Mariah, [00:44:00] I reserve how I use it. Speaking of, have you heard the new Ariana Grande?  

Tamu: [00:44:05] No 

Aaron: [00:44:06] Girl, she nasty. She nasty. 


Tamu: [00:44:10] does she do? She ain't WAPing it? 

Aaron: [00:44:11] Oh my God. Pretty much, pretty much. 

In the album, just like on some grown woman. Shit. I love Ariana, but she also does a little whistle registry. She does. 

Tamu: [00:44:26] Yeah. Sometimes it's hard when she first came out, I was like, is this Mariah Carey? 

Aaron: [00:44:30] She's definitely not!  Let's just, let's just put that to rest. She's definitely not. Okay. So she tried it, she tried it.

I'm done. I'm sorry. Look, do you see how I just like became this angry. vicious  black person? Like, fuck you! 

Tamu: [00:44:49] What do they call Mariah Carey Stans?. It's not like the beehive. What are you? The butterflies?

Aaron: [00:44:54] Lambs. I'm a lamb.

Tamu: [00:44:54] 

Aaron: [00:44:57] Hey Lambs!

I used to [00:45:00] be a member of the honeybee fly. Uh, fan club. I don't want any comments to shut up. 

Tamu: [00:45:06] Is that her fan club? 

Aaron: [00:45:07] That's the name of her fan club honeybee fly. I was a card carrying member for a decade, and I think I just let my membership lapse well, and there weren't really any good perks. You get $5 off my $130 ticket. No, bitch. Give me something for free. So there was that.  You guys are going to hear a lot about Mariah, so just get ready for it. I love her 

Tamu: [00:45:34] people. Listen to Mariah Carey and sorry for your ears. 

Aaron: [00:45:39] We're ready for it. Like I have this, this Yeti mic.

It just makes me feel so sexy. Like, can you see this? 

Tamu: [00:45:46] Oh, it looks like a big  black penis. 

Aaron: [00:45:50] Ah, can you hear that? 

Tamu: [00:45:52] I can hear that. 

Well, people, I think we're going to wrap it up. This is our very first episode Aaron we did it. 

Aaron: [00:46:00] Check, please. 

Aaron: [00:46:02] We did it. 

Tamu: [00:46:04] Why didn't we think of that for a slogan?

Aaron: Check please, right? Write it down. 

Aaron: [00:46:13] Check please. Check please.

Tamu: [00:46:21] What do you think about your first time? 

Aaron: [00:46:24] It was great. I was, I was a little worried about like that. I, I talked too much. I think I talked too much. Um, the guy I think we did. Okay. 

Tamu: [00:46:33] I think we did. Okay too. And we will see you on the next, when the bill comes due.

It's so bad.