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.