FROGTOWN DIVA

Divas Don't Hop, But We're Hip!

FrogTown Diva

FrogTown Diva
Location
Toledo, Ohio, USA
Birthday
September 23
Title
Editor/eBook Publisher
Company
BookMaker
Bio
Observations From the Swamp Many folks think we live in the nether regions of the earth here in Toledo, Ohio. However, Toledo is the birthplace of jazz great, Art Tatum, not to mention many other distinguished and accomplished AfrAms (African-Americans) who often remain unheralded and unrecognized in their home town. This swamp is a petrie dish swarming with undiscovered talent that the world may never know because there are too many slimey creatures down here in the swamp pulling down anyone who tries to climb out and come out into the warmth of the sun. This diva climbed into the swamp with one purpose - to rid the world of slime!

MARCH 13, 2012 6:26PM

I kissed a frog and didn't get a prince, but it's o.k.

Rate: 13 Flag

O. K. I’m in love with a frog. Well, strong like. Really strong.

 

I always thought the fairy tale went like this: the princess kisses the frog and he turns into a prince. Well, I’ve kissed my frog several times and he’s still a frog. I don’t mind. I like frogs.

 

No, I LOVE frogs. girlfrog

 

It all has to do with my mother and the resentment I had toward for sending me to live with my grandmother, separating me from her, my dad, and my siblings (except for one who went to Texas to live with my grandmother’s sister when I was sent away because he wanted to be with me). Mom used to call us “froggie” when we were little, so when I was given the opportunity to dissect frogs in eighth grade science class and my grandmother bought me my own dissecting kit (she bought be a microscope, slide projector, and anything else that was at school so that I’d have it at home and be able to study around the clock) I became The Frog Killer. I dissected approximately 200 frogs that my brother got for me from our numerous ponds on the ranch. Years later I realized I was killing “froggie” or my betrayed inner child.

 

My parents betrayed me twice when I was a child. The other betrayal was using me as a guinea pig to integrate an all-white school in Ardmore, Oklahoma when I was in first grade. My mother had been  my Kindergarten teacher (she taught me how to draw – I taught myself how to read and write) and I was not prepared for the trauma of being the only black child in an entire school. I don’t know exactly what trauma I suffered because I have absolutely no memory of my first grade year. I believe had I been physically or verbally abused, I’d remember. So, I think I was just ignored. Treated as if I didn’t exist. I still feel like I’m not wanted or accepted when I go into new situations and I think it’s because of that year as a pariah.

 

Anyway, much later as an adult when I finally confronted my resentment toward my mother, who really is one of the most loving and wonderful people I know, I realized she was manipulated by my grandmother to send me to live in Texas and by my father to send me to that school. Moving to Texas saved me from oblivion because the black kids at the all-black school I went to hated me and let me know it. I was a teacher’s grandchild and I talked like “white,” whatever the hell that means. I did learn how to speak Nigritic Ebonics over time and actually enjoy the language created by my slave ancestors. I’ve used it in two plays and several monologues that I’ve written.

 

Once I faced my resentment toward my mother, I was on the path to healing. That healing got a boost from a display of frogs in Toledo in the 1990s. Seeing those beautifully painted gigantic frogs all over Toledo’s downtown changed my life and my psychological health. I saw in those frogs all the beauty and love my mother saw in me when I was a child and she called me “froggie.” I re-claimed my childhood and its joyous moments and I re-claimed my love for my mother. So, that’s how I Learned to Love My Mother and Discovered My Inner Child In Toledo, Ohio (title of a book I hope to write some day).

 

I started collecting frogs, which soon got out of hand. Everyone found out about it and I got frogs for birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Halloween. I finally stopped collecting the frogs and gave all of them away except for a few pricier ceramic, china, and glass ones. I also kept my favorite stuffed ones. I still love frogs and salivate every time I see one like the one painted on a planter by my desk at work or the one my sister gave my mother for Valentine’s Day this year. One of my mother’s greatest gifts to me was a huge planter she’d had for over thirty years that was given to her by a close friend. Unfortunately, a huge wind knocked it off my steps and broke it.

 

Now, I have a real frog in my life. I’m serious. My new romantic interest looks like a frog and even has a voice that sounds froggy. He’s shaped like a frog. He stands like a frog. He has eyes like a frog. He’s even shaped like a frog. And he darts his tongue when we kiss like a frog. Don’t care much for the darting tongue, though. Otherwise, I don’t mind him not turning into a prince, because although he doesn’t look like those plastic-faced, broad-shouldered illusions in the fairy tales, he is quite princely. He gives me the royal treatment, defers to me, treats me with great respect, and is as loving as any man I’ve ever known.

 

Sure he’s probably got undiagnosed Aspergers and has some annoying habits (like standing to watch TV), making weird faces, and flapping his hands at times. But none of that bothers me (except him standing to watch TV and my brilliant grenouille analyzed why I don’t like men standing over me – I was sexually assaulted when I was fifteen). I’m pretty sure I have Autism Spectrum Disorder since I had the early sign of this developmental disability, watching people’s mouths instead of their eyes when they talk, as well as other assorted issues, such as being socially withdrawn naturally, having peculiar eccentricities, ritualizing things like having to eat one of each color of M&Ms (my favorite candy), plus many other things.

 

However, my frog has the brilliant mind of someone with Aspergers and is a mathematician and computer programmer. He’s also sometimes lacks social tact and says things most people wouldn’t say to me, occasionally getting my hackles up. Part of that is because he’s a Republican and I’m definitely not one, although I’m a DINO (Democrat In Name Only).

 

But his attributes and good qualities far outweigh any character flaws he might have. I have far more than he does. He told me while we were together last weekend that I was a handful. But he can handle it. Frogs are very resourceful, quite resilient, and not at all reticent about going after what they want.

 

I’m glad he wants me.

 

All I want is for my frog to NEVER turn into some vapid prince and remain true to his nature. If he does, we might just live happily. Ever after? When the hell is that? After what? The Deluge? The Apocalypse? December 21st?

 Kiss That Frog

Whatever time we have, I hope we can spend many happy moments of it together. 

Author tags:

frogs, fairty tales, romance, love

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Comments

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I smiled when I read this. I liked how it meandered through your life and gave little snapshots of it. Frog boyfriend sounds nice too!
What could be better for a frogtown diva than a frog. And while princes lose their allure, a frog is forever, and can get more and more appealing as the years pass. Enjoy!
I laughed out loud reading this and jumped with joy! The perfect romantic interest. Republican? Not so sure about that but it could make for some lively discussions and I like lively. Great Post! I'm happy for you.
Diva is a divine tale of fall, redemption and romance, with a fine sprinkling of your delightful good humor. Froggy went a'courtin, a he did go, uh huh, uh huh...
Boy, I love coming here! I miss you all so much! Thanks for all the comments! It's like reading reviews - good ones. I'm coming back as soon as the stench of Spirit Love, the interloper that came here for the sole purpose of maligning my murdered brother, wears off. I recently read Talent is Overrated and am now engaging in deliberative practice. That's practice wiith feedback that lets yoou know how you're doing. For a writer, the best way to do that is to write for other writers. That means Open Salon for me. So, I've got to get past the Spirit Love intrusion and get back here soon! I'm working on it.
Glad romance is hopping around for you and I send you well wishes.
NO way I could live with a Republican but you have a head about you so I am sure it will work out.
Lillies and hugs to you.
You make the 'frog' sound quite appealling...Watches TV standing up? Not for hours on end, I hope.

There was another woman today who talked about being on the asperger's spectrum... Wish I could remember who - you two would be interested in reading each other's accounts.
http://open.salon.com/blog/patiencep/2012/03/12/my_husband_told_his_english_class_i_had_aspergers
Linda, we agree that we're not getting married or co-habitating. We have interesting discussions and agree on more than you would think. He's a Mennonite, so he's a peacenik like me. We're also both LIBERAL Christians s yes, a Republican who's not a fundamentalist Christians. Oh, did I mention he's not black? He's half white and half Hispanic. Not that it matters. I only mention because he told people at his church about me, but when I went with him Sunday some were surprised to find out I was black. Not that Mennonites care about race. Neither do people here. I'm just mentioning it because ethnicity often helps shape who we are and what believe.
Thanks, Myriad! Great post! Describes my frog down to the smallest detail!
Oh Diva! So glad you have found your frog!

My husband just deals with my quirks. People with Aspergers are loyal and honest, so being in a relationship with an Aspie is a pretty good thing I would say.
Wow! Good to read you again!! We have so much in common. I also went throught the love hate love thing with Mom. It is good to know you can heal. All kids are damaged in some way.
I also have an adored husband with Aspergers. He is beyond perfect for me.
I have major depression and OCD.
I really enjoyed this. I like families and wish you would write more about your childhood.
Only a Diva in love with a grenouille could write like this. So nice to read you again. Your words chime with happiness - love is in the air.
R♥
Rather wonderful...Ms. Diva. Kind, respectful, and full of life.
With wisdom comes the frog. Great piece!
Patience, I totally agree! I've had the pleasure of working with a young adul with Aspergers. He decided one popular young lady at the day program was the one he wanted and when I found out I played Cupid and told her. She let him know she liked him, too. They've been going on supervised dates with his mother or her home care provider ever since. Like Thomas and me, he's white and she's black and she's a few years older than him. They are the cutest couple!

Kathy, we DO have a lot in common I have a mild form of depression, some dyslexia, and borderline Autism Spectrum Disorder. You are so right about all children being damaged in some way.

Thanks, Gracious Jane and FunsunA. I spend most of my online time on fb with some of my OS friends, but I miss being here. I'm back in school pursuing yet another degree, this one in curriculum and instruction, early childhood science education. Trying to close the global achievement gap between our children and children in China, Russia, Finland, and other countries we lag behind in math, reading, and science. That's my new mission. I'm also starting a program development business for providers of services of people with developmental disabilities. Busy! But happy. Especially with my frog.
Thanks impermanentlife and Kala!
I think my brother looks like Kermit the Frog. And, he's just as adorable. I have a spiritual connection with frogs. Have you read about them in Ted Andrews' "Animal Speak"? Glad you discovered your inner child and healed. Have fun.
What a great post. And your frog prince sounds wonderful but maybe you should be careful and not try to dissect him. He is what he is.
Thanks, Wren. I'll have to check out "Animal Speak!" Good advice, Barbara. My frog dissecting frog days are long over. They ended the last time my brother dragged the creek with a tire to catch frogs for me and suddenly took off running. I angrily walked over to the tire to get my amphibian booty, but instead found a water moccasin wrapped inside that tire twice. I ran, too,, and neither of us ever went back to that creek again. I never dissected another frog, but I aced biology lab in college when we had a test and had to identify the body parts of a frog. It was the only science lab I ever enjoyed and the only one I ever got an A in and I was a science major for three years! I actually flunked two. One was physics. Duh. The other was genetics because I drowned my fruit flies thinking I was using ether to sedate them for study when I was actually using water. Got a B in the classroom part of the class though. I changed my major my senior year, took eight lit classes, a grammar class, and a linguistics class. Got all As, Bs, and one C in the lit classes, a D in the grammar class, and flunked the linguistics TWO class - didn't take the prerequisite. So I took an independent study class at Bethel College in Newton, Kansas, from my best undergraduate teacher, Jean Wedel who told me all about being a Mennonite woman. And guess where my frog attends church? I went to church with him and feltt like I was coming home. He's been a Mennonite for nearly thirty years and I'm a lapsed Baptist turned agnostic turned New Thought turned pentecostal liberal. But because I believe so ferverently in peace, I fit right in with Mennonites. And when their congregation sings in four-part harmony, it's heavenly.. (I used to sing with a group in Toledo that's modeled after Sweet Honey in the Rock.)