I was watching a documentary last night about ultra-legendary actor Morgan Freeman offering to pay for a high school in Mississippi to have its first ever INTEGRATED. PROM. in the Year of Our Lord 2008 AD!!! :/. The thing that struck me as the most interesting (and, granted, as an editor, I know that I can make footage look like anything I want it to) was that the kids seemed okay with each other during regular everyday interactions. It wasn’t like the white kids and the black kids (according to the edit) disliked each other and were being forced to have an integrated prom.. in 2008 AD.
When asked why they were still having segregated proms although the school had been integrated since IIRC 1970…. hmm.. They were pretty late to the table with THAT to begin with! 😀 But the point is that when asked, everyone in the video pointed the finger at parents and school board members (read: still more old-ass people).
When the old-ass people were interviewed, they either shrugged their shoulders like “I don’t know why” or said something to the effect of “That’s how it’s always been” like as if they’re still watching 13″ Black & White Televisions because that’s what they had when they grew up. :/ I’ll give the interviewees PROPS for getting on screen and talking AT ALL. Cheers to them for making their ideas known and expressing themselves. 🙂 Seriously. There was one guy that was younger who was willing to talk to the camera, but he needed to be blurred out. They probably didn’t even use his voice.
This one father was explaining why he didn’t want his white daughter to date a black dude, and I couldn’t believe he was still rocking the ancient excuse “She doesn’t realize how tough it’s going to be on the kids!”. The question is.. WHY would it be “tough on the kids” if they were bi-racial or mulatto or whatever they’re calling themselves these days? I’ll tell you why…. Because there are way too many people in other people’s business in a town with only 2,100 RESIDENTS!!! (IIRC). 2,100 RESIDENTS!!!.. My High School had 3,000 kids in it, ONLY attending 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades. My island (Manhattan, New York City) has A MILLION PEOPLE ON IT. If something’s “tough on the kids” on 54th street.. Guess what? You hang out on 55th street. Or 53rd street. Or in Queens or Brooklyn or The Bronx or Staten Island or take the Path train to Jersey..
Meet The Parents
In “Do You Have Relationship Role Models?”, Liz Rizzo writes:
“But it is also a little strange to never be around people’s parents ever. To never have those relationships to look to as potential examples you can learn from. That’s what I think of when I think of South Florida. That back where I’m from there are so many people who regularly see their parents and their friends’ parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles.”
When I read that, I really had to think about it.. Other than girls who I dated that actually lived ~1/4 mile in any direction from my house, the last time I met kids’ parents was in Elementary School when we had sleepovers. Most of the kids that I knew had parents that both had jobs, so if we went to their houses, they were never there. By the time they arrived, I was already back at my house eating dinner. As far as the local mothers & fathers, the only reason they knew I was spending time with their daughters was because I would still be there when they arrived. That was always a conscious decision that I made. I could have remained in Ghost Mode and they would never have seen me with their daughters, evAr, even though they lived three blocks from my house. I’ve messed with chicks while their parents were in the same house with us but on different floors and they never even knew I LIKED their daughters. The concept of introducing myself to a chick’s parents as a potential suitor is mentally akin for me to actually putting on a suit of armor, picking up a lance, getting on a horse and jousting. It just never crosses my mind.
There’s no such thing in NYC as “Pick a chick up from her house” or “Sit down with her parents and chat”.. For What? 😀 Nobody cares about their opinion anyway. Whatever they say to you, you tell them what they want to hear and then go ahead and do whatever you were going to do with their daughter in the first place. It’s irrelevant and a waste of time. However…. If you live in a town with 2,100 residents, everybody’s going to know if you’re kickin’ it with someone’s daughter SOONER rather than LATER so your best bet is to get dressed up and step to the parents, hoping they approve of y’all’s relationship. Someone that knows her family works at the diner. Cain’t go there! Someone works at the baseball field. Cain’t go there! Someone works at the drive-in theatre. Cain’t go there! Even if you don’t go ANYWHERE with a chick, SOMEBODY’S going to recognize her car in your part of town even if you hide it in your garage while she’s there, so you may as well forget about keeping it on the QT.
Photo Credit: J-Rad
When I was growing up, we were basically nomads. We were just about always in the street, “hanging out”. New York City has an extensive mass transit system and when we were in school, we had bus passes and train passes, meaning we could go anywhere we wanted for free. The trains never stopped running, either. Many-A-Time, post-HS, I waited for the subway to come and get me @ 5am to take me home from a club.
Where would we meet chicks? In the street. Other than that, one guy would have met one gal previously and invited her to bring her girlfriends to hang out with us. Basically, we kept it moving and got whatever the day brought us. Similar to Genghis Khan, we would roll somewhere, set up camp, enjoy whatever the locality had for us and then eventually retreat back around the way and do it all again tomorrow. There’s no reason to go to a chick’s house, because you met her in the street. She obviously knows how to get outside of her crib and travel places. There’s no reason to hang out with her within her neighborhood, where people are likely to recognize her and get in your business. In Manhattan, there are some blocks with three CROWDED bars within 50 steps of each other, with several areas in each bar. It’s easy to disappear INSIDE OF A BAR with a chick by ‘hiding’ amongst people that you don’t know. Worst-case scenario, if the bathroom has a lock on it, it’s ON! 😉
It’s not so much that people aren’t TRYING to be in our business here.. It’s that they CAN’T! 😀 There are too many places to be, too many ways to get around and too many ways to communicate. Your daughter’s sitting down eating with you, her phone vibrates, she reads the text and floats out the door and your information after that is ZERO. If you think you’re slick by being nosey and going through her phone, you probably won’t get Rihanna’d up, but the guy’s phone number is going to have a girl’s name on it and there won’t be any valuable information in the text stream, so your snooping won’t get you anywhere. Even if you somehow find out where she’s going, you’re not going to embarrass yourself by coming inside. 🙂 Next thing you know, she takes two steps out of the bar, flags a taxi and is gone to who-knows-where again. That’s life in the big city. Your best bet is to have a friendly relationship to your kids so they trust you with information rather than evading you, which is insanely easy to do.
All Day… And All Of The Night
The guy in the film who was attempting to keep his daughter from her boyfriend placed a curfew on her to come right home after school, IIRC. That’s a good idea, however, how long do you think it takes to spend time with your daughter? Last I understood about American schools, they get something called lunchtime, which could be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. You think she’s not SAVORING EVERY MINUTE she has with this guy, since you’re restricting her the rest of the time? Also, last I checked, kids went to school starting around 8:30 and ended school around 3:30, which is seven hours that you have no Line Of Sight on your daughter whatsoever. Between classes they might share together, study halls, absent teachers and deliberately cutting class together, they’re probably spending MORE TIME with each other during school hours than they would have spent AFTER school, meaning he probably wouldn’t see her so much during the daytime if he knew he was going to hang out with her in the evening, so it balances out anyway.
Oh.. Also.. I hope you don’t have a job. Here in NYC, most kids get out of school either @ 2:30 or 3:30 and their parents don’t get off of their 9-5s until…. you guessed it!!! FIVE! 😀 That’s a scot-free hour and a half every single day in your own crib right under your nose. So if you think you’re slick by grounding her and calling home at 4pm to make sure she’s there, listen carefully for sneezing, dishes clinking or male laughter in the background. Also.. The second you get off the phone with her, assume she did anything she wanted inside or outside of your crib until mass transit can bring you into potential visual contact with your house.. because she DID.
Once again, as a parent, it’s going to be imperative for you to be the ruler, yes.. but also someone that your kid LIKES and TRUSTS and doesn’t see as some kind of warden that’s to be avoided and evaded at all costs. If you live in the sticks, you can get away with attempting to lock down her time because the pharmacist is going to let you know when they saw your daughter and so is the gym teacher and the assistant principal and the
gas station general store owner. In a big city, it doesn’t work like that. There’s nowhere that we HAVE to go, so we COULD be anywhere. I’ve personally received texts and changed my plans for the day in a split second because something better came up, so even if you require an explanation of where she’s going, it’s useless as soon as she walks out the door. Until they come up with portable video telephones, when you call your daughter and she tells you she’s @ Suzy Mae’s house, you have no choice but to believe her.
Your Mom’s In My Business
Ultimately, I wish the parents luck in achieving their goals in life, regardless of how unrealistic they might be. I wish for them authentic, healthy relationships with their kids. It’s going to take INTELLIGENCE to achieve that, not sanctions and embargoes and curfews and taking away phones and throwing out her clothes that you think make her look like a slut.
Her “slutty clothes” and her other kinky paraphernalia are stashed at her girlfriend’s house, or, even more disappointing to you, at her boyfriend’s house! 😉
You can’t stop the bum rush. If your daughter sees something she likes, she’s gonna come after it. If you try to stop her, it’s only going to make her feel more ravenous for what you don’t want her to have and she’s going to maximize the time she DOES get with this guy.. Capisce? 😀 Make it clear to her what you feel and what your values are and what you’re hoping for her future and if y’all have a decent relationship to each other, she MIGHT keep your desires in mind when she’s in the streets doing whatever she wants to do.
As far as people that are still dating.. It’s tough enough to avoid your FRIENDS getting in your business about who you should or shouldn’t date and why. It’s tougher to have to deal with your parents putting in their two cents about the situation. It’s toughEST to have to deal with your parents not wanting you to date someone so that YOUR PARENTS don’t have to get grilled by THEIR FRIENDS about why they’re “letting” you date that person. They’re not worried in. the. least. for YOU or your mulatto kids. They’re worried about THEMSELVES and their social standing in a community that’s still trying to relive the past. If they were worried about YOU, they’d want you to date someone that puts a smile on your face and returns you home safely to your crib every. single. night. They’d ask you if he treats you respectfully and seems proud to spend time with you and let people know that you’re his girlfriend.
If you live in the sticks, you might have to eat it for a while until you can get a job and get your own place so you can stop hearing “As long as you’re under MY roof, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah”. Hopefully, by the time you get out from under the oppression, you still have a LOVING feeling towards your parents. Sometimes, they’re right. Sometimes, you’re dating a CRUMB and you don’t recognize it because you feel so in love with this guy right now.. The way to tell if they’re being selfish is to ask yourself “What does that have to do with ME?”. “It’ll be hard on the kids”? What kids? What if you don’t HAVE kids with him? Does that make the relationship cool? Nope. There’s something else. You won’t be able to get a job. You won’t win the town beauty pageant. Your teachers will give you lower grades if you date him. I’ll disown you. I’ll kick you out of our home. I’ll give away your trust fund to the church. It’s always SOMETHING! 😀
Good Luck With That! 😉
~Bill Cammack | @BillCammack