Saturday, June 30, 2007

My AKA Debutante Cotillion

yankeenaijachick , you inspired me to write this....

Pearls of Loveliness is what our theme was, I think...ummm, Vision of Loveliness, dunno, but I do remember it was something that had "pearls" in it. Ah yes, 1993 was a year to remember. Finding sponsors, escorts, album book, how to be a lady, eat like a lady, dress like a lady, walk and talk like a lady and the overall how to present yourself like a lady was pretty much the AKA's debutante mo. This night is suppose to be the most special night of every debutante. Debutante cotillion is when the young girl becomes a woman, her "coming out" is what they may call it. Well, unfortunately that wasn't the case for me. Everything was fine and beautiful up til the actual night. My sponsor was wonderful! She did everything for me. Dr. O was more then a blessing. She is very close to our family, especially my mom. I was the one who was suppose to do the running around begging for money, heheee, yeah, begging I call it, but she did all the foot and hand work for me. This lady is sharp. She's well known on the Delaware State University campus and local community. It seems as though she was more excited for me then I was for myself.

Any event, the time came where I needed an escort. Mind you I was a junior in high school and was shy as ever when it came to boys. If that wasn't bad enough (being shy), there were hardly any good black guys in our school. I mean barely! Matter of fact, in all my college preps classes, either I or maybe one or two others were black in the class, but for the most part it was just me...lil ole black girl. Ok so, none of the guys in high school added up to the call. Too thugged out, too ghetto, or too much. Wait, now that I think of it, there were probably two guys I had my eye on, but I didn't have enough nerve to ask them.

After one Aka deb meeting, mom and Dr. O were chatting about me and an escort. I vividly remember my mom saying to Dr. O, "oh dear, Angie doesn't have an escort." Dr. O said so coolly to my mom, "ohhh don't worry about that, J will take her." OK, J is her son. We are pretty much the same age, well he's older by two years. Now J is cool. We both went to the same church and we both were always involved in church functions together along with others. Matter of fact, he used to like me when I first went to the church but I didn't like him. He had a cute smile, but a bit too chunky for me, but he lost the weight later on. When that was said, I was pretty cool with the arrangement, no big deal, right?

When we debs were to have our escorts present for the meetings, he was there each time. Learning the crazy dance as if we were back in England (Renaissance period), the greeting, bowing, and being plain graceful was the name of the game. J and I laughed and had a nice time, but we hardly talked. We were just quiet. No real conversation ever went on between us. Gee whiz, I understand that he was forced (basically) to be my escort, but he should have at least shown a little interest.

Anyway, the night came for my coming out. I had my nails done (fake/long), hair, make-up, dress was flowing and I was ready for my big night along with the rest of the girls. The Aka's were complementing me left and right. I felt special and I was looking forward to see my escort. Not to see how he looked, but I wanted him to see me. I knew he would be speechless....ha!

The ball room was GORGEOUS! Pink was everywhere. Pink and white balloons was the main decor, jazz music was playing so smoothly, the lights were dimmed, waiters and waitress were waiting patiently to be at our service, atmosphere was great and mannn, it was just lovely!

Ok, so now it's time for us to meet our escorts, and sit at the assigned tables. As I was watching all the other escorts complent and marvel over their dates, I was looking forward to the "wide eye look" of my escort of me being beautiful for the night. J looked at me, then looked at my nails then looked away. I'm thinking to myself, "WHAT!?" He couldn't even say, "you look nice", that hurt. Instead he said to me, "are those fake nails?" Ok people, this was strange and weird. Da heck?! On top of that he was acting very distant to me. It seemed as though someone got in his head. We had little to no conversation at the table. It was terrible. Sad thing, well, really it was a good thing that his sisters who are twins, kept coming to our table smiling, talking, and taking pictures of us as well as my sisters. Especially my sisters. They saw the cold treatment I was getting from Mr. Nigerian and they kept coming to my rescue as well as his sisters. The whole night he probably said five sentences to me. Then when it was over, guess what.....the brother just up and left, he didn't even let me know that he was leaving. I was looking for him because people were asking me where was J. No peck on the cheek, no hug, no "I had a good time", no "see you around/bye". What was that about?! People you know something, I wasn't' hurt by this. I just thought he was rude. The good thing is that I didn't like him in that way. If I did then I would have been CRUSHED!

It wasn't til years later, 27 years old now I found out who, what, and why that happened. J's Nigerian father told him that I wasn't good enough for him...I wasn't worthy and that J deserve something better. Nigerian daddy also told J not to get any ideas with me because I wasn't good enough for his full blooded Nigerian son. It all made sense. Because I always questioned that night...."what went wrong?" Sure enough that was 3 years ago when I was told who the corporate of that bug in J's head. Dr. O told my mom, then mom told me. It was cool though. However, my question is to his dad, "who are you to determine if I'm worthy?" You don't know who I will be in life. It's funny cuz I told my girlfriend this story, and she dated several Nigerians, well she said out loud, "those dang Nigerians!" I had to laugh, it was funny. Then she proceeded, "that happened to me too, his Nigerian aunt found out that I had two kids and she told me to my face that he deserve better then that, because I wasn't worthy." Honestly, that made me feel a lil better.

What I learned is that you will only know your self worth and value from God. How does God see you? What visions and dreams did God place in you? Is your confidence in God, self, degrees or what people say about you, etc... Only Christ can show you, you. Not the media, naysayers, friends, family or professors.

The thing was his mom loved and still loves me. She always treated me like a daughter. Years later we had the Young Adult Choir Reunion concert (which was last year) and of course Dr. O and all her family was there. I haven't seen her since the AKA cotillion. When she saw me, her eyes lit up and she embraced me tightly, then she looked at me as if she wanted to say something, but then she just hugged me some more. Now this hug was different. It was as if she was trying to say to me, "I'm sorry, and you are worthy of my son, you are beautiful." It was closure. His sisters came and hugged me too and was marveling how good I looked. They are so sweet.

J's wife was there at the concert with their baby girl. He's married now. Anyway, I wanted to exchange words with him, but when the opportunity came, he mumbled out a sad hello to me and quickly walked passed me. We bascially grew up together in the church and we haven't seen each other in 14 yrs and you give me a sad water down hello? It's all good. Because his mom loved on me and his sisters, that was good enough for me.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

African American Festival

Drummers, dancers, soul food, laughter, children running around with goodies in their hands, lots of African vendors for miles, loud music, and more food. Needless to say I had a good time. Man, just watching the people at the festival was amusement for me. Wild crazy hairstyles, tight and loose clothing, and everyone strutting their stuff. Vendors traveled from all over from New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania every year. They had their products from scented oils, clothing, music, sculptures, incense, pictures, and things that would interest any eye. The weather was perfect, not too hot, just warm and some wind. One thing that did bother me was that it's called "African American Festival". Is it just me or does someone else sees it? Why "American?" That's not right. It's supposed to be African Festival and that's it. Dang Delaware. I tell you. I guess they wanted to put the American part in there so we "blacks" wouldn't feel left out or something, dunno. I could go on about that, but let's leave it.

I had on this nice long colorful festive skirt with these knitted earrings that I got from New Jersey that no one has. Of course I had my signature gold bangles up my arm with gold flip flops. Everyone was digging the skirt and asking me where did I get the earrings from. You know it feels good to have the only whatever it is. My hair was like Fantasia's with the flip/mohawk in the front. I try really hard to be orginal with a funky yet classy style.

Ok, so I was there with my mom at first. We walked and walked. You know I had a ball just looking at the products. I don't even really buy anything at the festival, but I love to look and eat! Matter of fact, that's the only reason why my mom wanted to go, to buy some fried fish. The fish was bangin too (bangin Ebonics for delicious/very good). So later I caught up with my girlfriend who had a table out there as well. I sat and chilled with her and her sister. Then I made several more rounds out there. I reunited with so many people I haven't seen in years, decades! It was sort of funny because most of them were skinny back then, but when I seen them, they are now very large...I say this because I used to envy them for being I'm thankful that I'm not their size.

Anyway, this one man was trying to sell me these nice bags with the Gye Nyame symbol on there. I asked him what is that symbol called. He looked at me in a funny way and said in his heavy african accent, "you know what that says." Lol, this man called me out, I wasn't testing or trying to mock him, I honestly forgot how to pronounce it, that's why I asked. So I told him I know how to spell it, but just don't know how to say it (I forgot). So.....he said it for me and I was slowly repeating after him the proper pronouncation. I later asked him where was he from. He rolled his eyes at me, not rudely, but as if he was saying to himself, "ohhh lord, here we go again, the gal wants to know what country I'm from." Lol. Anyway, he said quickly, "Baltimore." I looked at him with my lips twisted, cuz I'm thinking, "brother, you know what I mean." So I said, "ok, ok, B'more that's cool, but what country are you from?" The man didn't want to answer me. So I started guessing....I said, "umm, you not nigerian (Nigerians carry themselves a certain way and he didn't carry himself that way), uhhh, are you ghanaian?" He said, "heck noo," I started laughing. Then I proceeded the game...."uhhh, uhh, umm, duhhh," he finally said, "Kenya". I'm thinking "ohhhhh, ok." I know my fellow africans get tired of people like me asking 50 million question especially the famous "where are you from?" question. It's all in love, and a good conversation piece as well people. Ok so this man starts telling me, he needs to work and bring in this money so he can afford me. I was laughing. He said (in his african accent), "seriously, you want to drive Mercedes, wear nice fancy clothes...I want to afford you and you are worth a lot...." Then he goes on to say, "you are worth like 45 cattle" WHAT!?!? I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Is he for real? I know I joke a lot, but he got me on that one. He said it with a straight face too, and calculating out loud of my worth saying, "not many men or it would take a lot to......he was mummbling. Honestly, I felt a lil insulted. 45 cattle, that's it?! Not even 50? Really I'm thinking at least 250, I have a degree, lol!!! I don't know how much 1 cattle is worth, whatever though. We had a nice mini conversation. He was just flirting with his short pot belly self....bless his heart.

The only bad thing was that there were not one, not two, nor three, but 4 fights that broke out. It was terrible and embarrassing. Why can't we just all get along? They were kids too...little high school kids acting grown. Cops had to come out and arrest them. It was stupid.

But needless to say, that didn't stop the show, but I was ready to leave. I hate fights. I get this nasty weird feeling in my stomach when the are about to breakout. It ruins the mood.

You know, life is short. Enjoy the little things. Don't wait for something BIG to happen, just live and don't take the little things for granted. You can breath, walk and eat on your own. Let's thank God for that. We don't need a tube in our neck, or a machine to keep us alive. Stop complaining over the big and little things and let's be appreciative for everything. So what if you can't take that vacation...set up the backyard, or go to the beach. Smile! It's all good.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Warnings Signs

There were plenty of warnings signs that I should have taken notice when I was dating my potential husband. However, because of fear,naiveness, backslidden, desperate, and low self esteem, I couldn't get myself to acknowledge it and take the right actions (which was to leave his butt). Next thing you know, I was in too deep and I mean in too deep.

First of all, and most importantly as I mentioned above, I was (at the time) back slided from my relationship with God. It says in the bible to acknowledge God in all your ways and He will direct your paths....right? Well, I didn't. I didn't even ask or include God in this. I made my own judgements and decisions, big mistake. Just saying that right there, I messed up. Ok, now to the heart of the matter. First of all, he hung out with the wrong crowd. Need I say more! The people you keep around you, are a reflection of you. Let me insert this (commerical break), that 's why when or if I go on My Space and I see someone that may intrigue me, I ALWAYS check out their "friends list" to see what they are REALLY about or what they are into. Same with the locals. Get me. His friends/cousins were and some still are drug dealers. Stupid me, that was the biggest red flag ever. Just being in the drug dealer's world so much comes in that territory. The police for one, lots of house raids, fights, shooting, drugs (lol), alcohol (lots of it), strip clubs, std's, etc...why did I continue...we'll he said he loved me and I was different, blah, blah, blah. He said he didn't really want to sell drugs, but because they provided a roof over his head his cousins pretty much made him make "runs" for them. That was my boyfriend's way of paying for his stay, cuz he too was in college and broke. Another red flag was when he was thinking about becoming muslim or 5 percent....ok, this brother was lost and don't know what direction to take. Don't get me wrong, we all have our moments where we are finding ourselves....but muslim....nahhh, right there we would be unequally yoked and we would always be bumping heads on religious matters. Our belief value and customs were flag again.

Smoking weed and drinking was another red flag that I avoided. Speaking in a spiritual sense, did you know that when you open the door to sins like that, there are many demonic influences that come with it. It's almost like a snowball effect. Then later, I discovered the flag again. He would even watch it while we were being intimate. Honestly, I felt disrespected when he did that...but I never spoke up about it. Since I mentioned that, let me say this. After he found out I was a virgin, I told him that I wasn't trying to do anything until I was married. He said ok, he'll wait. Several days later when I went to his place, he tried to get into my pants....another red flag, because he betrayed me, he lied, and disrespected me. Stupid me again went along with it because I was lonely, wanted to be wanted, and didn't know myself worth and value. Truth be told, that's when I should have left, but I felt sorry for him because of his history/childhood, and I wanted to be the "super" woman that change him from bad boy to good guy. Another red flag, he lied, not a lot, but enough, over stupid things he didn't have to lie about, or better yet didn't tell me the whole truth about a certain matter.

The crowd he hung with really played a part, but then again, that's what he was about but with me he was a sweet innocent country brother that wanted to get ahead in life. He would share his dream with me, how he would want to settle down, how he wanted to get out of the drug business, and me being included in his world, blah, blah, blah.... my naive self thought that was soooo sweet. One last thing. The brother wasn't focus. He didn't know what he wanted out of life. The funny thing is that I KNEW he wasn't the one for me. You know when you know better, but you do it anyway. Yeah, I knew....I knew, but I still continue because I was in love with him. Oh yeah, he was arrested and went to jail now that's when I really should have left. That would have been perfect, right when he was locked up, but I didn't.

Ohhhhh nooooo, I'm pregnant, now what! Ok so now I'm in too deep. I told him and we didn't know what to do. All those years of me typing reports in high school on abortions being wrong, and now I am actually thinking about it. I was scared. Mind you, I come from a strict christian family home. If I tell my parents this, ohhhhhh lawdddddyyyy!!! Get me. Fast forward, told mom and mom told dad. My parents gave me an ultimatum. It was either get married or get married right now. I cried, because he wasn't' the one....this isn't the man God destined for me, but my parents weren't trying to hear that. Their thing was, "better to marry then burn". They didn't have a clue of what he was doing/did. So needless to say, we got married. Years later even in the marriage there were still lots of red flags, and many cases of infidelity, disrespect, verbal, emotional, and some physical abuse but I felt trapped. What could I do? Who could I tell? Where do I go? But you know, God saw it all and intervene. When God says enough is enough, then enough is enough. You know when you are fed up. I literally left everything behind me, even the house which has mucho equity. I was fed up. But you know...I have unspeakable peace, and joy in my heart. I don't worry or stress anymore over him. I'm happy again. Not saying everything is perfect because my children and I are living in one room and it's over crowded, I'm a little low on funds but hey, I'm at peace and happy. That is worth more to me.
I got my answer from God and God alone. Not friends, family, naysayers, t.v., pastor or preacher. I did some serious praying to God for years. Sure enough God did give me my answer AND He confirmed it many, many, many times. I see why the Lord confirmed it many times as He did, so I wouldn't waiver, doubt, or regret....asking myself did I do the right thing. Sure enough I had peace when to leave my husband. I even had help to haul all my belongs and children belongs. When God is in a thing, you have such peace you cannot describe. Trust me, I was scared to leave but you know, I couldn't take anymore abuse...I dealt with a lot over our 10 year marriage. Now I can start my life over and yes, God gave me a second chance. I am so happy, I can't explain it. For this season, I am being healed from all the abuse. God is doing a work in me....He's healing my heart, restoring me mentally, spiritually, and physically. God is building up my self esteem again, showing me my self worth and value, security, and the list goes on. It's like I'm living again and rediscoving myself. It's like rebirth of Angela.
Life is too short to have your head down crying. I'm not crying anymore. I'm laughing with joy. I have God to give all the glory and praise because it was His grace that kept me from killing myself, His grace that helped me to to stand, and His grace to keep my sanity. My breakthrough is here and I am free from it all.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Wedding Website Junkie

Yes, that is I. I have an addiction. I've been an addict for several years now and just can't kick this habit of mines. I would stay up late at night and surf for wedding websites. Crazy, huh? It's really serious. I have gotten to the point where I feel like I have to hide or sneak it. Keep in mind my children and I are living back with my parents, and mom's pc is in one of the t.v. rooms where everyone lounges. They can also see whatever you are doing on the pc. Well every time I'm on the net, my peoples are forever asking me, "who are they?, do you know them, what's that?" It used to not bother me, but every now and then I could get a little annoyed from it. Now it seems like every time I get on the pc one of my family members would be like, "I know what Angie is doing, or are you looking at more African weddings?" Yes, yes, I am, now let me be people. Or my mom would linger around the room to see what I'm reading/looking at and then add her 2 cents. I like reading other people stories and I like seeing them happy. I feel like I'm a part of the family, you know, distant cousin, yeah, that's right, distant cousin. Bloggers, the thing is I LOVE reading their "how we met" and "proposal" stories. Of course the wedding pictures ties it all in. You can tell the ones that were God ordained. Weddings are a beautiful once in a life time event. Out of all the billions of people on earth, God only picked two, to be together in holy matrimony. That's awesome. Let's not take our God sent for granted. If you have, start by letting them know how much you love them and appreciate them.
Three more things. Question: What's "Najia, bloke, sha, and wahala?" I want to assume that najia means Nigerian, I guess, and sha means like dunno, forget it. Don't laugh. Ok, well holla at your girl.
Here are some of the many sites that I have visited.
Please enjoy.
Where are my fellow Ghanaian wedding websites? Nigerians got this thing on lock!
If you got any wedding websites hook a sista up!