Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Love That Loved Me That I Refused to See

One week from today marks a month ago that Spelman College's 2010 Homecoming festivities began.................. without me............. like they have every year since my graduation.  However, this year I was actually planning on showing up!  At least that's what I intended to do when I excitedly and proudly clicked "I'm attending" on the Facebook invitation to the opening night party.  I was READY!
But, of course, some other tantalizing alternative reared its head somewhere between the clicking and the intending and I never made it.  I failed, yet again, to don the hallowed halls of the place that nurtured for four years my truest, purest, and highest self in a way that came in second only to the care of my loving parents.  I turned my back on the love that loved me.  You could say I had forgotten...................................
But you would be wrong if you had been living inside my body when I walked it through those doors to the building I practically lived in the last two years of matriculation-Cosby.   It all came back.  In an instant I lost 15 pounds, my step turned into the leap it always was before I hit my 30's, and I was innocent, new, unspoiled by life's disappointments, and full of potential.  The word "no" lost all meaning and the Spelman Woman's expectation to never have that word uttered in her direction even ONCE settled upon my heart and mind yet again-nestling itself deep in my chest with its own intention of never being dislodged ever again.

I also in that moment became visible again................ Ah, yesssssssss.  And so enter the men.............

I didn't realize it while I was at Spelman, but several years later while gathered together with other alumnus, one of my male friends said, "Sony, you just don't realize how many of us thought you were just such a pretty young thang.  A lot of dudes wanted to date you."............................. Errr, QUE?????????  You mean to tell me that on a college campus FULL of BEAUTIFUL woman of African descent, people (in the PLURAL??) stopped to notice brown little me?  WHY?????  I thought that was the most preposterous waste of energy any member of the opposite sex could engage in at the time.  After all, I used to say at Spelman there was too much beauty to choose from, so I was happy to settle, okay, fade into the background.

Today no quiero el background de nadie.  But apparently, I was the only one who relegated my little happy ass back there in the first place.  For, as I was minding my own damned business, felizmente getting my punch and licking the peanut butter icing off my perfect mini chocolate brownie, another delicious and quite familiar sensation came over me................ that of the realization of admiration from afar.  Picking my head up, I noticed my girl's newly acquired networking contact giving me the ojo.  A lo largo de la conversacion when he whipped out his card and nearly crushed my arm to be in a picture next to me,  I suddenly got it-this dude is trying to mack old school style!  And he's trying it on ME!  
Now, that is not in and of itself much to shout about.  But it seemed right at the point when C and I decided to leave that a steady stream of fine young brothas poured into the lobby where the reception was being held for the program we attended.  And it feels MIGHTY NICE to say that I got more than a couple of second glances from those guys!!!!  And, I'm sorry, but that IS something that does make a negra feel good.......................... Why did I wait all these years to allow myself to feel worthy of feeling this good by these men?  Who said I was unnoticeable?  And WHY THE HELL did I believe that shit?????  In the most venerated haven for the healthy development of the African-descended female persona-mine took to the shadows.  Perhaps my Spelman education did not end until today.  Or perhaps it will never end because a place like that always has a lesson for its daughters when they finally decide to come home and visit.  When they finally decide to love the love that loved them all this time........... she was waiting for me and had not forgotten me.  As I really have never forgotten her..................

I say all that to say that there may be things that all of us have COMPLETELY missed out on because we convinced ourselves that there was no way we could have/partake in/enjoy those things.  I have definitely eaten the fruit of the tree of self-sabotage on more than one unhappy occasion.  And to think now that I missed out on four years of adoration from black men that I convinced myself I was supposedly too "unnoticeable" to garner is just sad and ridiculous.  I think the one interesting thing here is that in all of this, the attention today was familiar.  Which means that on some level, while outwardly rejecting it, my subconscious was registering it.  And that ultimately means that somehow the love got through!  I take comfort in this proof that even as we act as the agents of our own undermining, there are fail-safes to thwart our evil-doings!

THIS time when I smell, sense, hear, taste, feel that delicious FAMILIAR sensation of adoration, I'm TAKING it and running with it.  Why?  Because no one ever sees well or is seen well from the back.  EVER.