There is nothing like growing up secure in the love and adoration of your father. I mourn for those that grow up without it. That unbiased and unconditional love allows you to face the world with a little bit of hands-on-hip, eyebrow-raised, bring-it-on attitude. It's a strong foundation to stand on as you wade into the male-female relationship pool. As those of you who have read this blog for a while know, I was and remain a daddy's girl. My father adored his two sons (ragamuffins though they are) but he thought the sun rose and set on his two girls.
The slightest tear would form in BougieOlderSis' eye and he would appear the next evening with a ridiculously extravagant gift. There was something they got into a beef about when I was in undergrad and she was in grad school and we shared an apartment. The next day a new VCR with cassette tapes arrived via FedEx. It was the BougieDad equivalent of "my bad." There wasn't a day that he didn't encourage us and let us know that even when we irritated the hell out of him ("Mich, pour me two fingers!) he still loved us. So let me take a minute to salute all of the fathers out there doing right by their children, especially their baby girls. You are appreciated.
Even with the gift of a father's love, I never took it for granted that every man I met and liked would fall head over heels in love with me. How can I put this? I'm kind of like rack of lamb – great to look at, really enjoyable but a lot of prep work needed. Some guys just want a Ramen Noodle relationship, add water, bring to boil, reheat as necessary. Definitely their prerogative. So it's always a little surprising and completely flattering when someone determines I am the best thing since sliced bread. Moving on from the food metaphors.
Again with the disclaimer – I'm not saying that any other race does not know how to adore and revere their women, but for the purposes of this week's theme – I'm saying that when a good black man decides he loves you (really, really loves you like reaches the point where he knows life is painful without you in it), he's all in. Ms. Anita said it best in You Give Good Love. And since I don't have kids yet, there's been no greater joy than loving someone and having them love you back.
Okay, it's that time of the day again… time for a BougieTale (or two) illustrating my point:
My brothers are required (by BougieFam law) to love me no matter what. We test the reciprocal bond of that love a little often but anyway… BougieYoungerBro is tall, goofy and more likely to talk someone to death than swing a fist. Yet one summer day, he was going to do just that on my behalf. I had moved back home after college and he was home on a summer break for some reason (that I cannot recall), instead of going to one of the dentists I grew up around, I opted to go to a strip-mall dentists' megacenter about my upper wisdom teeth which were killing me. Three days of Orajel and Rum wasn't cutting it. The store-front dentists decided they needed to come out right then. As you may suspect, these places are a trifle stingy with the meds. So after hitting me with two injections (that didn't take), this butcher starts sawing away at my gums. I started screaming and when he kept going, I screamed louder. I was literally fighting to get out of the chair.
I hear all this commotion in the hallway and my brother's voice saying, "That's MY SISTER! What are you DOING to her?" He was banging on the door with his fist until they let him in. He stormed in, fists balled up like he's really gonna whip somebody's hindparts. He pointed at the nurse and said, "Give her the drugs right now!" They said, "Sir, the injections didn't take, she needs the gas but that's extra." He snarled his face up and next thing I know, they placed a mask full of the good stuff over my face. The rest of the day was kind of a blur and I only remember my Dad coming into my room with an injection full of nirvana that knocked me out for 12 hours. Found out my poor younger bro had to pay those fools and was rewarded by spending the next day and a half swapping out the gauze in my mouth and handing me substances with a straw sticking out of them… now that's love ya'll. BougieYoungerBro FTW!
And one more for the road…
I was travelling almost 100% of the time for a contract assignment I worked a few years back. It was a crazy recruiting assignment where we literally lived, worked, ate, slept out of the same hotel 24/7 for about 4 – 6 weeks straight before moving to the next city. Once a month, you got a break to go home for three days. If the money and expense account hadn't been so over-the-top excellent, I would have bailed after the first month or so. By about month five, I was burned out. I missed my stuff, I was tired of living out of suitcases, I wasn't getting enough time with the SO, and I was tired of hotel food. My whining and bitchiness went to a whole new level but the SO would listen and make sympathetic noises even though he was cranky seeing me once every two months because of our crazy scheduling conflicts. We finally got a weekend when we would both be in the same city for 36 hours straight. Right before I boarded the plane, he called to say he was going to have to head out for a business trip but he left the keys to his apartment at the front desk and was sending a driver to pick me up.
Needless to say, I was tart for the entire flight and got off the plane with the same scowl. I climbed in the back of the car and there were purple roses and a bottle of wine waiting for me. My mood perked up. The driver put on some music and I noticed all the songs were tunes that I absolutely loved. If not gleeful, I was at least happy. I retrieved the keys, went up to the apartment and opened the door. The hallway was dark until I neared the living room and then there were candles everywhere. In the middle of the room was the SO holding out a chair. "Come have a seat, I fixed dinner." Now I'm not a watery-eyed girl but I teared up. It was only the second time in a lengthy relationship that he cooked for me. Steak, baked potatoes, green salad, my favorite vinaigrette, more wine. It was a great evening. Grand gesture? Yes but one that he intuitively knew I needed and appreciated. That's love, ya'll.Tomorrow, we'll be wrapping up I Love Black Men Week, might have a guest post… we'll have to see. In the meantime, any thoughts on the Good Love the fellas be giving?