My Blood Pressure Actin’ Up
I was coming up on the elevator after my morning work out one day. When the elevator doors opened, I saw three of our secretaries chatting in the lobby. I had never seen them all together in one place. Nor had I ever noticed that they all resembled typical Black church ladies.
Their voices projected pretty damn well, so when I said, “good morning,” and began walking to the office, I could hear the topic of their conversation.
“Girl, I just switched from Junivia to Onglyza.”
“My friend just got on that, but it gives me too many headaches.”
“That can’t compare to the pain I felt when I was on Zaroxolyn.”
All they were talking about was medication. Medication for hypertension, diabetes, high blood pressure, you name it. I kept walking and I arrived at the door to my office, where I showed security my identification. As I showed it, I heard one security guard say to another,
“I can’t be drinking water like that man. Don’t juice have water in it? I can just drink that then.”
The security guard accepted my credentials and I walked into the office. As I placed my gym bag under my desk, Michelle, my Asian coworker, asked me if I had worked out before I got to the office and I told her that I had. Michelle then replied, “Wow, I couldn’t imagine doing that; working out before work.” I said, “Yeah, but you gotta work out some time. Even just to maintain general health. Live longer and stuff.”
To which she replied:
“Oh….but I’m Asian,”
implying that Asians just live long, no matter what they do or how they treat their bodies. I should have responded, “Shut yo ass up.”
It was at that point that I realized how hilarious stereotypes are. All I could think about when I saw the diabetic church-lady secretaries and the dehydrated security guard was, “Come on Black people.” The overweight, Black woman in her early 50’s complaining about high blood pressure and the naive nigga who probably thinks that ranch sunflower seeds count as a serving of vegetables. I wanted them to fight the negative Black health statistics and stereotypes that pictured us as a demographic that gives no fucks about health. Yet, all I wanted was for Michelle to follow her stereotype like the yellow-brick road (absolutely no pun intended).
Consequently, two things have become clear to me: 1) All fellow Black people need to begin (or continue) giving a damn about their health and nutrition, and 2) We need to be on a campaign for some new stereotypes.
Who’s with me?