Be the Buffalo

Have you ever read something really wonderful that totally resonates with you and it worms its way into your head and you think about it all the time but then when you try to explain it to other people they look at you blankly, then with horror, then slowly back away from you while you keep insisting it’s the greatest thing you’ve read while stomping your feet and turning fourteen shades of purple?  Yeah, me either.

I also don’t have to google “it’s vs its” every time I write a frickin blog post.

Did I mention my head is killing me because it’s (pause to google and confirm correct usage, again) packed full of snot which might be allergies, but allergy meds aren’t really working so I tried some “cold and sinus” thing last night…to no avail, so I just added some migraine narcotic thingies in this morning for good measure?  Mmmhmmm, it’s (got that one right first try) going to be one of THOSE posts.

Right!  So I was reading Oprah Magazine and…STOP JUDGING ME.  Say what you want about Oprah, but I lurv her magazine.  I think I’ve watched all of two episodes of her show (one of them being this live thing in NYC with *shudder* Mariah Carey) during her entire run, but I always read the magazine in its (oops – fucked that one up, all better now) entirety.  I swear I end up tearing out two to three articles each month.

Let’s try this again…

So I was reading Oprah Magazine and they’ve added a new columnist named Donna Brazile.  In her first piece, Donna shares her “Smartest Advice I Ever Got.”  Most of them were pragmatic and level headed, very sound advice.  But only one made me snap to attention – “Be the Buffalo.”  I ripped it out and folded it into a tiny square then promptly lost it.

I spent the next week trying to tell no less than four people how fucking cool I found this little sentiment.

I also spent the next week watching people’s faces slowly change from disinterest, to annoyance, to horror.

But yesterday, I found the tightly folded square of paper – inside one of the canisters inside my oven.  (I tend to fling things about when I have less than fifteen minutes to get the house ready for a potential buyer.  That’s probably why I also found a carrot peeler in my sock drawer this morning.)

Anyway, since I can’t seem to do it justice, I’ll just retype it verbatim.

Be the buffalo. Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee nation, once told me how the cow runs away from the storm while the buffalo charges directly toward it – and gets through it quicker.  Whenever I’m confronted with a tough challenge, I do not prolong the torment.  I become the buffalo.

If I wasn’t always distracted by unicorns and glittery vaginas and I actually took the time to describe my approach to life, I think it might have sounded something like this – but with worse grammar, more wine references, and a few curse words, of course.


  1. I ran a Google search for less majestic, somewhat clumsy, head on, straight for the storm types of creatures, unfortunately, it seems I am the only thing that comes up. Le’sigh.

    Interesting quote. I would love to know how you were telling it that had people backing away in horror. Hehehe
    .-= Wicked Shawn´s last blog ..I Accept That I Am An Average Person =-.

    1. Like cornrows? If I could magically have any hairstyle I think it would be dreads. That’s why I only wash my hair annually. So far, no luck.

  2. How about the rhino? Does the battle plated, horned beast of my nightmares charge straight into the thick of it? Probably not, oh well.
    I’m like an ostritch, not even as good as a fleeing cow, I bury my head in the sand and pretend it’s not even happening.

    1. Rhinos scare the shit out of me. No wait, maybe that’s hippopotami (hippopotamuses?). One of them charges at everything and knocks stuff over. Or is it both of them? You’re making my head hurt even worse. I hope you’re happy.

      There’s a local artist here who does paintings of long ostrich necks with fruit on their heads. I love him. Too bad I can’t remember his name.

  3. First reaction: I saw “Be the Buffalo,” and I thought, “YOU be the buffalo, dude.”

    B. Why is Donna Brazile whoring herself out to Oprah magazine? This is weirder than that time the guy from ZZ Top guest-starred on Bones as the one chick’s dad. Or some analogy that doesn’t make me sound vapid.

    3. Also? I tried to rework it for you. Here goes:

    Be the buffalo. Wilma Mankiller (Awesome! How can I get a name like that?), the first female principal chief of the Cherokee nation (oh.), once told me about this cow? It, like, runs away from the storm, but then this buffalo comes along? And sees the same storm, yeah? And it figures, “Meh. Fuck it. Let’s get drunk and DO THIS.” So the buffalo – or was it the cow? The buffalo. Right, the buffalo, like, goes nuts on a few bottles of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and charges full fucking steam at the storm. The moral of the story is alcohol makes you awesomer. Whenever I’m confronted with a tough challenge (12-step program), I do not prolong the torment with lame sobriety. I become the buffalo.

    I think this speech would be coolest if you finished it off with a tequila shot and then streaked through a stadium. Bonus points if you get tased.
    .-= Sarah P´s last blog ..PHubby is Peeling Raw Shrimp in the Living Room Again =-.

    1. Summabitch. I’m hiring you as my new speech writer, k? Is it cool if I pay you in stale pez?

      In other news, every time someone says “Idaho” I HAVE to scream “You da’ ho'” way too loud for an inside gathering. So I get it.

      1. “way too loud for an inside gathering.” sums up pretty much every inappropriate thing i say. then, i flush, trip backward on my heels, and tumble into the guy with the bacon-wrapped scallops tray.
        on a good day, i can grab a glass of champagne off the table on my way down.
        classy. it’s how we do.
        .-= Sarah P´s last blog ..PHubby is Peeling Raw Shrimp in the Living Room Again =-.

  4. I like that quotation very much. FYI, there’s a group of native women drummers in the States called “Mankiller” who have recorded some CDs. People often assume their name indicates they’re all man-hating lesbos or something but in reality, they’re named in honour of Chief Mankiller.
    .-= Debra She Who Seeks´s last blog ..Yes, We ARE Everywhere! =-.

    1. I had no idea there were chick chiefs! Talk about girl power! Makes me even prouder of my tiny chunk o’ Cherokee blood – even though it doesn’t help me one bit in avoiding sunburns.

  5. I fucking love Sarah P’s revision. But I also love this quote. Except when I read “Be the Buffalo” before clicking on your post, I thought you were going to be talking about buffalo chicken wings and um, so I’m vaguely dissapointed and kind of hungry.

    I try to be the Buffalo. But then I go back inside for my galoshes and raincoat because what’s the use of having them if you don’t wear them? And then I hear this voice (my mother’s) in the back of my head, reminding me to grab an umbrella, so I spend like ten minutes looking for it and meanwhile? The storm has totally passed by and I missed the whole damn thing. Now I’m standing on the front stoop in rubber boots and a rain poncho looking like an idiot. Every. Damn. Time.

    Also, I love you. You make me snort laugh. Which is good for the soul. Unless you’re stuffed up, then it’s good for the snot.


    PS- why yes, I am heavily medicated today. Thanks for noticing.
    .-= Spot´s last blog ..The one where I’m a floater and sharks don’t eat us… =-.

    1. I can’t snort today – I can only snore. Also my throat feels like a blew a porcupine. I’m pretty sure I didn’t, mind you – but I can’t be TOTALLY sure after all these meds. Maybe we should trade.

  6. i’m the motherfucking storm. i’m all in your face with chaos, turbulence and dramatic changes. cool people bulldoze right past me and harmless nice people steer clear. which pretty much leaves me all alone. so maybe i am a rock. i am an island. and a rock feels no pain, and an island never cries.

    see what i’m saying.
    .-= pattypunker´s last blog ..tiny dancer in my hand =-.

  7. Really relating on the allergy/sinusy MISERY right now. Suck.

    And as for buffalo, that quote makes me want to get a buffalo tattoo, like anywhere, on my body. Except that I am NOT at all the buffalo. I’m more like the sloth hanging out in the tree doing nothing but cracking up at that ridiculous buffalo. Shut up, I know sloths don’t typically hang out with buffalo. But it’s the only animal I can think to compare myself to. I wasn’t going to call myself a sow, sheesh.
    .-= Andrea´s last blog .."Baby" =-.

  8. If anything makes me want to pick up that magazine those words did (yours (-:).

    Hey, do you think the phrase “girl, you’re so buffalo” could stick?

    1. I let my cat eat one once. That was three long nights of waiting for that monster to eat it’s way through her stomach and explode into my living room in a fiery ball of light and carnage.

  9. I had the same experience! Read it in the magazine in the gym, forgot to copy it down and spent a long time looking for it again. Thanks for posting it! I too have tried to explain/recapture it for others only to have them look at me blankly. Why? Their loss…

  10. I read this in Oprah and often quote this. I used it recently for my daughter who was challenged with facing something head on or it being a burden later in life. I told her, “Be the Buffalo!” It’s a great quote and I believe Wilma Mankiller must be a great woman. (I kinda dig the name too, mankiller…like a prayingmantis or a blackwidow, in that context.)

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