Tuesday, July 03, 2007

During my recent travels, I decided to conduct a little social experiment. Stepping out the box or should I say stepping over, around and through the box is pretty normal for me. Coming up with this idea while as zany as it was falls right in line with my "hey! Why not?"philosophy on life.

My friend, Rashad, has written in his blog on several occasions about how he reads Playboy during his morning commute. According to him, he is genuinely reading the articles, but I know he also wants to see what peoples reactions are. I mean, can you imagine getting on the subway with your IPod in one hand, newspaper in another, racing for a seat, and the only seat available is next to a dude reading Playboy at 8 am like its the Wall Street Journal?? Every time I read his blog or talk to him about his reading choice, I laugh hysterically, secretly wishing I were on the train with him to see people's reaction to him.

So the night before I left town, I was inspired to try my own social experiment. I was at my best friend's house, just chilling, doing what best friends do: talking shit. During the conversation she tells me about a bachelorette party she attended that weekend., and of course the conversation turns to the entertainment. While describing his ummmm shall I say skill sets, she tells me that he kept talking about being on the cover of the recent Playgirl magazine. Oh really?? I asked her if the issue was on the newsstand. She wasn't sure so we looked it up online (ahhh the power of the Internet! LOL). My plan was coming into play. Over whatever the hell we were drinking that night I told her I was gonna buy Playgirl at the airport in the morning. She gave me that "no you're not!" side glance, and we both fell out laughing. When we came up for air, I said I was going to buy it , read it at the gate, and document people's reactions to me. I rationalized that this would be great material for a character in my book (SIDEBAR: writing this book has been an unbelievable journey. I am sometimes in awe and amazed at the words I've poured onto paper. I still can't believe I'm living out my life's dream. Hopefully one day you will read it). And besides after all the manchild drama of the past few weeks I needed to feel like the lyrics to a Prince song:

"Let's go crazy/Let's get nuts/Let's look 4 the purple banana 'Til they put us in the truck, let's go!"
(SIDEBAR: I had noooo idea these were the lyrics to the chorus of the this song. Purple banana??? what the helllll???? Prince was on some shit!!! LOL Still one of my favorite songs though.). I needed something to feel as carefree and giddy as this song makes you feel when you hear it. Don't front. Right now, the song is playing in your head and you want to get up and dance around the room like a fool, head bobbing, fingers snapping, kicking your legs out in front of you like a rockstar. LOL

The next day I carefully chose my attire from the casual Gap section of my closet: blue and white seersucker pants (not too tight, but hug my now lil booty just right..LOL), white tank top, white fitted jacket, white leather flip flops. I carried my brown suede Coach carry on bag (yeah I know it didn't match the outfit but its the biggest one I can get away with carrying on the plane with my notebooks and the rest of my government sanctioned crap. And it says stylish, sophisticated traveler). If my social experiment were going to work, the people needed to believe that I at least appeared to be a sensible, classy, normal traveling woman, who would probably read Marie Claire, People, and maybe Time instead of Playgirl. If I wore anything from the club section of my closet, no one would have thought twice about my reading choice. I almost wore my glasses to the airport to make the look more authentic but everyone knows I never leave home in my glasses. NEVER. lol

Despite a small glitch that morning, I arrived at the airport 2 1/2 hours early - plenty of time to breeze through airport security and get my experiment started. I was giddy with excitement, not just from my trip but from what was going to happen as I waited at the gate before boarding my plane. Passing through airport security, I saw a newsstand to my left and a Starbucks to my right. I must admit I was a little nervous, so I made a detour to the Starbucks. Nothing like a Venti skim, sugar-free, iced cinnamon dolce latte - no whip to steel my nerves (it was too early in the morning for a shot of Patron Silver at the bar, well at least for me.LOL). So now I'm armed with my expensive, but diet-friendly coffee beverage (with extra espresso shot, thanks to the cutie making my beverage. heyyyy!), and I begin the walk across the way to the newsstand. I step into the enclave with bright lights and shelves of magazines, books, and overpriced snacks and beverages (they are going to hell for charging $5 for bottled water that cost $1.39 at RiteAid). I scan the shelves to direct me to the Women's section of the magazines. You know where they clump all the beauty magazines and gossip rags in one area?? As I walk past the Men's Section (sports, cars, electronics, etc.), I notice Playboy on the top shelf wrapped in strategic graphic-printed plastic. When I arrive at the Women's section, I immediately look up to the top shelf, looking for my own strategic graphic-printed plastic wrapped magazine. All I found on the top shelf were magazines about knitting and traveling. I walk over to the counter to ask the women working there if perhaps the Playgirl issue was sold out. In my best prep school voice: "Umm, hi. yes. I'm looking for the recent issue of Playgirl magazine. I can't seem to find it." And in response, I got "Playgirl? Weaintgotdat. But Playboy is ova dere. Get dat instead." And again in my prep school voice: "No, umm, I'm looking for ummm Playgirl not Playboy. Why would I want to read Playboy? " "What's wrong with reading Playboy?" was the response from the large woman with the wife beater on under her airport issued smock from behind the counter (did I fail to mention the Allen Iverson-esque cornrows and rings on every finger??). Aww shit, this is not how my social experiment was supposed to happen. I walked out of the newsstand deflated (and a little scurred 'cause big momma was eyeing me like a slab of ribs on the grill..LOL).

I arrived at my gate, sipping my latte. I started thinking. Why wasn't Playgirl sold at the airport??? Why is it in 2007, it is socially acceptable for men to read whatever the hell they want wherever they want but I, as a woman, am limited to tips on summer makeup trends, knitting, and who is sleeping with whom in Hollywood??? What about the smut for da ladies??? Since I had time to kill, I walked to another newsstand (you didn't think I was going back to big momma did you??). This time I scanned the Men's section. There were at least a dozen magazines with scantily clad women on the cover from Maxim to King to Playboy (well from what I could see through the graphic-printed plastic wrap). The only smut for da ladies were those Harlequin type novels but damnit they don't have pictures, and I didn't want to read about how some lonely desperate woman's breast heaved from the heat her lovah's passionate kiss was sure to bring to her boring dull life. blah blah blah.

As I walked around the newsstand, I realized the only magazine of its kind that I could think of was Playgirl. However, I could think of a multitude of smut magazines for men. In this world of "equality" where is the equality in the adult magazine trade. I'm not talking about straight porn but a little smut is good for everyone - men and women. I want my smut too!!! I want access to it when I want it (at the airport where no one knows me and I will hopefully never see these people again! LOL).

I walked back to my gate, and in my caffeine induced haze, I came up with a plan. I wondered if Big Perm (ahem, I mean Al Sharpton) would march for my right to smut magazines, a "Smut 4 Da Ladies' campaign. Would he lead protests outside of LaGuardia Airport because I was denied the right to my smut??? Would he rent a steamroller and roll over copies of Ladies Home Journal and Redbook until my need for smut in the airport was met??? Would his hairline revert back to its natural state after his fiery passionate speech about women having equal rights in this society?? Damn, maybe I need to lay off the caffeine.

My social experiment may be halted for now. Next time I will just bring the damn magazine with me, and avoid another encounter with Big Momma. Now excuse me while I go looking for that purple banana.

"I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!"

1 comment:

rashad said...

If women begged, pleaded and coveted adult magazines the way many men do, i am quite sure you could get that jumping off on newstands. perhaps you need to move the movement janelle. Round up some women, have a lingerie/tickle fight party, and i'll DJ, so we can discuss this further