The Internet can be a cruel and unusual abyss of half-cocked opinions and bargain basement analysis, especially when it comes to Black wom...
Remembering The Time...
Maybe this will be video week. A whole week of things brought out by music videos.
THIS 1…I’m not even sure I heard the words to the song when I first saw it. It was the look on Jill’s face ALLAWAY through that got me. Why? Cuz I have looked Just. Like. This. At least once. Or thrice. (wink) Jill was ‘bout tellin’ the WHOLE troof & nothin’ but the troof, so help her Gawd, cuz dayumb if I’m not reliving EH VER REE moment that has had me lookin’ like that.
I’m feelin’ all like I wants to tell you a story, get my village griot on right quick, but I’m not really sure which freakin’ 1 to tell. & soon as I finished typing that sentence, the most TRAGICKEST I’ve ever been ("ever" is clearly the low budget word of the day) went OOPS UPSIDE MY HEAD!!
So, a few years back—a couple more than 5 & a lil less than 10—I was in again and out again with The Boy. I had spent the previous 5 years tryin’ to understand how I could love somebody but just NOT figure out how to be with them. Our relationship boggled my mind with the desire to be together, on both parts, & not a fah-reaking clue how to keep it funky. Chalk it up to youth. It could’ve been difference in styles (love languages). It could’ve easily been the gap between our upbringings, which shaped our expectations. Whatever it was, we might don’t make it.
As I said, we weren’t together—or was that not clear—but in another phase tryna see what was what. We had been renewed in our attempts at hangin’ out. Whenever we did that things got confusing because we started wondering, “well, shit, if we can be friends so easily, why can’t…???” Well, from Christmas to my birthday, a span of 2 months, I’m thinking we’re in a good swing & had the “what if’s?” running through my mind on instant replay. It was pretty sickening. Based on the age I was turning & the wisdom I’d been forewarned damn near knocks you over the day after I was thinking perhaps I was creeping up on the maturity required to make it work with this man. Hhhhmmmpphhh…
My birthday rolls around & unbeknownst to me, my good friend Esteban & the Big Sis had planned a surprise party for me. & from out of town, no less. I went to see a show & then went to eat at a quaint little café filled with a couple…2…10 of my favorite people. It was an intimate gathering of folks who shoulda been there. Everyone wasn’t in place upon my arrival. Now, I’d spoken to The Boy on the phone & knew he had gone home to NY. Lo' & behold, he walked in the door after we were all well into the meal. Be still my reaching heart. I was SOOOOOOO happy to see him. We hugged & he let me know he had something he wanted to tell me but he was gon’ keep the focus on me right then. We arranged to meet the NEXT DAY at a coffee house & the celebration continued. I shoulda known then, as a reader & all, that some foreshadowing was in the mix but I was too giddy (& perhaps too tipsy) to take notice.
The next day I took my officially grown self to this coffee house to meet this man. It was a nice night, something I rarely say in February, & I was more than happy to be enjoying a lil chai latte with soy, no water, with a friend who I’d felt deeply for at least 7 years. Yeah…I said 7. He arrives in his typical late fashion, bundled more than me, as was also his standard, but not as loud & ridiculous as he can sometimes be. He smacked of maturity too, his birthday a month & 6 days before mine though a year older. Boyfriend sits down to tell me that he was expecting. This man, while reconnecting with me had gotten some chick pregnant. He told the story & I managed to listen in the truest Grace Under Fire fashion ever (there’s that word again). I congratulated him, sincerely, recalling all the times we’d fallen asleep talking about this family we wanted, agreeing we both wanted daughters & disagreeing on names.
Honestly, I was happy for him. The Boy was fully aware of my inability to spring Life forth from my own non-existent womb, but he was open to the possibilities of making things happen through alternative methods. Still, it’s difficult to know a man wants children & not be the woman who can just make it happen. Bump that. It’s more than difficult, but this ain’t what this post is about. Like I said, when I congratulated him, I meant it.
--beginning to feel like I’ve told y’all this story before—
We managed to get through the meeting without me putting my hands around his throat. I wasn’t worried about the fact that he’d conceived a child so much as the audacity of him to tell me it was my fault, that I somehow drove him into this woman’s arms & made him make a deposit in her Life bank. Dude…WHATTTTTTTT?!?
I got back to my car by some miracle or another after picking up my birthday cake, still smiling, escorted by The Boy. I got in my car & proceeded to make it move with my foot on the pedal. I refrain from using the word “drive” because that is an active thing. I passively made it home, with no idea how I got there, because I moved the vehicle with my mind only pondering why DC has no cliffs. The tears, by then, had started coming down torrentially & my mind was GONE!! It had left the building. It had vacated the premises. It was on hiatus. It had taken a sabbatical. This is redundant but I need you to TRULY feel how far from present my mind was. I got to my mother’s home & stumbled & fell through the door barely able to see, giving all the nasty sounds of the ugly cry. I was a mix of snot & salt water & my mother, on the phone, quickly got off to come see just what in the world had reduced her daughter to a sniveling mess barely capable of standing.
Needless to say, or perhaps it is needed, I was a watery WRECK for a week. I still went to school & I went to work, but I dusted off my hat collection to cover my face from onlookers. See, I would burst into tears for ANY reason or NO reason. It was disgusting & sad. Hell, it was disgustingly sad. It was downright disgraceful. & I had no shame. I had no more pride left to even identify with shame. It was that serious.
Anyway…you get the point. Watching Jill reconnect with whatever made her channel those tears ON THE REAL connected with my soul & took me back to that place with her. It is sexy by no means, & 1 of the grittiest places a woman will ever find herself. In the end, the best part is that the clouds eventually clear. I promise.
Watch me move.