Screaming to the Tribes (Instead of Preaching to the Choir)

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I am in a mood today. Tell me, dis moi le verit?, young girls, beautiful brown, chocolate, pink, and tan girls of the world. Are men still opening doors for women? Are they offering their coats in the rain? Are they dressing up and sitting on the couch and grinning like idiots when you come down the stairs dressed like the queens you are? Are they still offering a shoulder when you cry petty tears? And when you start to have a hissy fit do they grab you and hold you and pat you on the back like infants and say, “hush darling, stop that now, I love you?” Are they men who protect and provide moving in places you could move but they don’t want their women to be brought so low? Are the men still showing up with flowers and serenading you from the street? Are the country gentlemen still threatening to drink your bathwater? I am old and out of the game and I just want to know if someone is putting on the I Want You album and letting the music last all the sweet night long. ?These things, I fear, are only for the young. ?I have known very few people to experience this headiness when they are good and grown. ?I guess I am trying to say that these are the toys of youth which should be put out of mind, or at the very least not to be expected later in life. ?And I want to tell you that my point in all of this is that raising a man by a woman alone somehow has transmitted a woman’s inner young girl to men. ?Our men, it seems and I may be wrong, are like perpetual Cinderellas, passing over this one and that one waiting for a perfect princess who will free them from everything ranging from economics to the satisfaction of having a perpetually perfect female companion on a male arm. ?Don’t they know that ?no such creature exists? ?I guess not. ?Because we all labor onward and forward, alone, and not knowing where this new and brave new world of Black singlehood will lead.
And that kiss? Is the first kiss still so very sweet? Do you still hold your breath when you hear his footsteps behind you? and when he takes you in his arms, from behind, do you still feel that not even the gates of hell could penetrate his embrace?Are you still hearing wedding bells? When you look down at your child are you still swelled up with yet more impossible love for the man who helped you and God bring forth this majestic creation? And late at night or early in the morning, with funky breath and slightly sticky thighs (I can’t be the only one who sweats a little bit at night) is it still good to you once it gets started and you both turn your heads in a polite direction? Young ladies and old girls!!! Do you, like I do, imagine your daughters in beautiful white dresses and walking down the aisle? I do. I want my girls to have that moment (I’ve had two and I don’t know why I fell asleep immediately after both of my weddings. And I don’t know why I still imagine myself in that THIRD dress).
Does these new men open doors? You know, I was taught that a woman walking with a man should NEVER let her hand rest on a handle of a door. Do they still engineer you, with a slight pressure on your elbow, to the inside of the street? And do they still get down on one knee? What’s happening out there? Let me know how I should get myself together.
It has been said and it’s probably right that I’m guilty of patriarchal thinking. It has been a very long time since I’ve changed a tire, put out the trash, or had to defend myself. I can do all of the above but I expect and depend that I don’t have to. I am a woman. I expect my sons to act as my man in all of those situations and more. So maybe I’m sexist?
I still MUST have my earrings on. I MUST have a shot of perfume on my neck. Since I shave my head I even consider men like my friend Frank C Bacon and my son Grant Williams. They’re both MUCH taller than me and out of consideration for them, I only do it out of my charity and goodness, I put perfume on the top of my bald head. I also perfume my feet. No one told me to do this. I watched my granma who was married to my grandfather for 63 years. He loved her beyond all reason.
Back to that kiss? Whether the lips are thin and seem to wait patiently for my insistent response or whether I am kissing a brother like my friend Kyle Nickelberry who was my real first boyfriend. Kyle’s lips are so much bigger than mine that I can kiss his bottom lip about five times and the top lip three times. I did the research so you can trust the response. When we were in the 8th grade it felt like he was kissing my ENTIRE head. I will always remember that kiss, not for the romance of it, but for the sheer comedy of the event. And he shouldn’t feel bad because I know it’s one of the moments which will make me chuckle if I’m fortunate to be 96 and in the home. I will always remember that day down the hall from Mr. Felix’ class. I was in the 7th grade and he was in the 8th grade.? You might call me romantic and you might call me naive. I don’t care. There’s nothing in this world that’s as sad as a woman who is no longer a girl.
And if I lose my ability of all my expectations of you as a man then maybe I’m no longer a woman? Think about that one. What has happened since we started to think that men can do everything women can do and women can do everything men can do? Maybe there are roles we are supposed to fill? Maybe our girls are acting more like boys and sometimes more like animals in the jungle because no one sat them on their knee and called them princesses and was willing to take a bullet if someone dared to force them to shed a single tear? Maybe, I don’t know anything – I’m just a lady on a computer who can type 85 words a minute.
That’s the sin of Black Single Mother Syndrome. A woman can’t teach a girl how to be treated by a man. Yes. She can. Here’s the revision: a woman can’t teach a girl how a gentleman treats a woman. Don’t say I’m wrong. How many of you have heard women say a man was too nice or too corny? I have NEVER heard my non-Black girlfriends or daughters say such insane things. Slavery and the Black experience in America did so much damage. Black women adopting the BS theories of the White feminist movement did so much damage. Our men getting their free papers in the recent decades caused some folks to lose their natural minds and they still haven’t come back home.? Still blaming social workers who count irons as income.? Still blaming women who are too crazy to live with but not too crazy to lay with and give your seed.? Still blaming the entire affair on slavery.
And here’s where I start to sound a little conceited. My girlfriends and women who observe me say bad things about me and treat me so very wrong. They believe that I’m honestly TRYING to get a man’s attention. I’m just doing me. I’m a girl. I love Barbie. I get a kick out of a nice pink suit and I get excited by a fabulous scarlet matte lipstick. I pass over 100’s of perfumes until I find that ONE.? I am the alpha female. I am the daughter of Abraham’s Sarah. Beautiful into her old age. I bet you she took good care of herself. Even though she might have had to arrange her belt to hide her pooch or have the handmaidens pull up that STROP to make the boobs a little higher? I know she did it. I know that Miss Sarah had them pluck the best pomegranates to color her lips. Natural beauty after 40 takes some pretty supernatural work.
So I woke this day with love on my mind. Not the love I have. My children, on this day, are the only ones with access to my body and my heart. There is one, however, far away. Far away. I’m hoping he’ll saddle his white horse and put on his armor. I can’t lead him. He has to prove that I’m worth the journey. And I don’t even know what I want him for so why should I make any noises that say, “come to me?” I won’t. That’s wrong. You folks who knew me way back when no that I’m fickle. My love changes with the band.
But my love and my commitment have nothing to do with each other. If I give you my hand it’s yours whether I love you or not. Y’all can’t understand that one so I may just leave it alone. Suffice it to say that if you think that marriage and romance have anything to do with each other – you’re sadly mistaken. They don’t. Not in the long run. And let me tell you one more thing. Good sex only lasts about four years and GREAT SEX only lasts about seven years.? Somebody got tired of Vanessa and somebody got tired of Halle. Always know that.? Not because they were bad or they weren?t good wives.? But perhaps because the newness wore off and both messieurs, like so many others, are addicted to new, now and next.? Yes.? I?m going to err, if I am wrong and both women are just hell up in the household, on the side of the women.? Why wouldn?t I?
And let me tell you what age does.? Let me tell you what my aging is doing and how it benefits a good man and expels, like a demon undergoing an exorcism, a bad man.? the reason my milkshake brings the menz to yard? I’m a real woman. you don’t have to pay for my weave or my wine – I don’t have either and as a matter of fact I’m allergic to both. I will tell you the truth. I don’t come out of some religious bag over why I don’t do this or that. I don’t sleep around or wear weaves because I’m allergic to latex and this allergy has become progressive over time. I don’t drink anymore because I developed a terrible allergy to alcohol. After two drinks I’m sweating, throwing up, and everything that’s inside me is coming out of all ends. Sorry to gross you out but you said you’d let me tell you the truth. My good health is not a matter of will power – it’s some sort of thing that jumped out of my DNA about three years ago and sadly, as I love moscato, it’s a done deal.
I don’t spend cause I ain’t got it. I got bills and a house full of bad ass kids. And I wouldn’t act any other way to the contrary because that would be a waste of BOTH of our lives. So, when men say, “if you act like this now, what will you be like later on?” I answer, ‘brother, the problem is one of perception. I AIN’T ACTING!!”? But that ain?t good enough for you is it?? You are dying to get tricked.? Dying to get a girl to jump through hoops over your vanity.? She doesn?t know that your need to make women just behave is a desire which knows no bounds.? Whenever you jump for someone please know and understand that the first jump won?t be the last.? You?re going to have to get a nosebleed before that petty tyrant (male or female) is through.? And generally they never get through with their demands, they just get through with you.
And how many times have they left me to go and find Miss Perfect and only come back to ask for another chance? Twice. I hurt to this day over both. We could have been so very strong.? I am considering making it a requirement that all Black men read, ?King Lear.?? King Lear is nothing if not a study of how a great man can be brought to the lowest form of existence because of his ego, vanity and pride.
Let?s stay in great English literature and move to the King James Bible.? Here?s a quote I?ve had to learn through long and sleepless night:? ?Be thou not unevenly yoked??? You ain?t never lied.? I have been the victim of someone who had, all of the time, the ulteriror motive of making me better than him. I told him so many times. I am just human daddy. how can you ask for anything more? I’m a striver. I’m trying and sometimes I win and sometimes I lose. And I told him, “know this as if you know your own name, even moreso because life can bring you to a point where you don’t know your name. As long as you have me by your side you will never be cold, you will not know hunger, you won’t know thirst, and if fate should have it that you know all three? You will never be alone. You will have me and God.”? The problem in that? He didn’t believe in God. So how could he believe in the beauty of God’s right hand in Creation? Woman. Nuff said. Moving on down the line. Had to pack my rags and go. He’s still somewhere trying to find that perfect woman. Demanding that she not curse when he does. Demanding that she doesn’t drink when he will call you at midnight and ask that you bring him some vodka. Demanding that she not be addicted to nicotine when he’s thoroughly addicted to that new pee smell (and I’m not talking about urine).
Never knowing that I was probably the first person who accepted him as he was and never expected that he would change for me. I don’t ask that from folks. How you get them is how you keep them and how you meet them is how they are.? I can tell you right now that I’m a real woman. Straight from the cotton fields of M’sippi. Right into the dining room where I KNOW how to set a good table and keep my guests happy. I’m a hostess. I’m a lover. I’m a bosom waiting with rest from this wicked world. I’m a woman. Not a lady and not a girl although both are within me as well. Accept that? And I’m talking to the women too because I’ve noticed a new habit from you all – you expect your girlfriends to have no other opinions but YOURS. Accept that I’m a sorry sinner and a searcher for peace just like you and you will have won this world.? But that?s not what you want is it?? It?s not good enough.? A nice man or a nice woman in this opposite existence, is ridiculous in the definitive sense:? something to be ridiculed.
Teach the boys to be gentlemen and put pink BOW-RETTES on the girls. Let them dance all night long. Let them play in the sunlight. And stop trying to make them what you aren’t and can’t be. Stop, right now, trying to make folks TOUGH! Life will do that and all you’re doing is denying love. That’s all you’re doing. Yelling when you feel like hugging. Holding back those arms which say more than a million words.
I’m not saying to co-sign BS. I’m talking about letting the children be children. Give them a daddy in the home and hold the mother up to the highest esteem – even when she isn’t acting very motherly. This is why I don’t like these Black man Black boy mentorship programs. I have PERSONALLY heard men “ADVISE” the boys against girls by saying the most heinous things about all Black, specifically Black women. The blind leading the blind.
And my good and noble Black queens: I am your elder sister so listen to me well when I tell you that you’re creating your daughters into part-time prostitutes. How so? Didn’t you tell her, “long as you get something out the deal?” Didn’t you tell her, “long as he respect you to your face?” Didn’t you tell her, “a man gon’ be a man?” DIDN’T YOU TELL HER, “EVERYBODY GOTTA GO THROUGH SOMETHING?” Yes. You did. And I’m calling you out about it and I’ll keep calling you out until you cease and desist with this whore training.? The pimp trains the prostitute by making her immune to disrespect by keeping her eyes on the monetary prize. Think about how you’re doing the EXACT same thing.
And if you’re not turning them into PT hoes you’re making them into soldiers. You tell them in a million ways that the person who holds the purse has the power. And they respond by telling men they got their own house, they got their own car, they make more money than him. Shoot, what man wants to hear how very unnecessary he is?
Thereby our daughters find the arms of weak males far more comfortable than the eyes of strong men. The daughters ware now feeding males, letting them drive their cars, getting them cell phones, and buying them all the jeans and jordans they can stuff into those hefty bags they drag from one Black Girl Soldier’s house to the next.? My own son included.? I’m talking about so much more than some boyfrenz and some girlfrenz. I’m talking about the education and lives of our children, both of which have been sacrificed on the building of the kingdom of the strong Black woman.
All this and more hopefully won?t lead to one statistical inevitability.? I’m talking about the coming apocalypse of elder Black men who popped bottles in the club instead of opening jars for their wives. Sit back and t’ink pon dis mahn. Really think about what I’m about to say. I could hold it to myself and sit back in smugness but I won’t. I’m going to give you a nasty shocking image which will blow your mind as you get ready to take that 100 dollars that you coulda use to pay your child support or go to build a bear with your baby. You’re going out tonight and you’ll get tipsy, ‘toxicated and you might find a willing partner for 1/2 on a room at the mo mo. Think about what I’m going to say now:? All of these sexy Black men, looking good, smelling good and talking good. What’s going to happen to all them playas in 20 years? Some of them in ten because their health habits are so bad. Who is going to drive them to the eye doctor? Not their sons who they didn’t teach to ride a bike. Not their daughters who they didn’t bounce on their knee. Not their wives because they don’t have wives.
From the womb to the tomb a Black man is a pimper’s paradise. Black children ALWAYS take care of their mother’s FIRST. Go to the nursing homes and see who’s dwelling in there. The only Black women I’ve ever seen in the home are those who are too sick for home care or those who didn’t have children.? In his old age, I predict, Black men will be attended to by strangers. He will have someone, an agency, some new immigrants, in charge of everything. He will cry alone. He will hurt alone. He will be no different than his younger counterpart, a burden to the state. He didn’t want to pay the cost to be the boss so now he’s lost. I’ve lived to see it and the shock of which was too much for my tired eyes.
THREE SITUATIONS:
  1. ??I ? I know a woman who was an alcoholic and a drug user. Today she’s sick and she’s about 70 years old. The one thing about her that saved her is that she was ALWAYS a woman who had a good heart. She started out in life so close to the eight ball that her entire youth was a collision. She’s my play mama Miss Pam. I love her. She’s not alone in her old age. Because somewhere through all of that, she put the seed of love AND duty into her children. And what she lacked as a mother in her children‘s youth she more than made up for as a grandmother. Her children now love her through the pathway of their children‘s hearts.
  2. ? ? . ?I have a Nigerian doctor friend. He is much older than his wife. When he came to this country he literally shoveled shit for his wife and children back home in Lagos. He did everything to bring them here. After a few years his wife let the feminists talk her into a scheme for getting half. Dr. Valentine Ojo protested this by living in a tent and not working for a year. His wife had a change of heart. This year Dr. Ojo had a stroke. His wife and his children have loved him back to health in miraculous time. Where would they have been and where would he have been if he had been, “a man about his” and walked away? They live, now, in a Maryland county which has the highest per capita income for Black Americans. When his wife feels the need she is able to go back home to Nigeria and take at least two of their children. Dr. Ojo is not receiving disability, they continue to enjoy their lifestyle and their family because he wasn’t popping bottles in the club. He’s a cantankerous bastard but he’s a good man. If you see how I’ve grown these past years – it’s because of him. He has fathered me across the miles. And he never hesitates to tell me when I’m full of it.
  3. .? ? ? ?For some reason when I lived in DC I had a mild flirtation with a junk man. Not a regular junk man. But a big strong ex boxer who made anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand every day by hustling. He would take me out in his jaguar and show me a good time. He was a country man from North Carolina. And when the storm beat the hell out of the east coast that year in 2010 he came with his truck and his heater and took me out of my cold, dark apartment to a Chinese buffet. JD had a stroke later that year. I was the only one who, other than his daughters, who came to see him at the home. JD NEVER tired of telling me how he was an upgrade for me. He NEVER tired of telling me that I didn’t live up to his standards. I never tired of responding with, “why you keep coming to my door?” We never had sex. We had a real man/woman friendship and back and forth banter which nearly always ended in laughter. JD was in a nursing home for a while and I don’t know what happened. I DO KNOW that he had spent all of that good money on looking, driving, eating, and living good. Didn’t have health insurance nor a wife to shoulder his load. When he had that stroke he laid out in the cold for nearly eight hours after falling down a hill. There was no one to go look for him because after all, none of us were good enough for him. He was alone.

 

Live long enough and find that everything I’m saying is truth. It don’t matter if ain’t right. It ain’t wrong neither. I said it wasn’t right, just like you’re saying now. I found the truth to be worse than a master’s leather whip. Skin heals, health can be regained. Time can’t.? And please be kind when you think of me.? You are reading the simple words of a complex and desperately trying to be good soul.
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