Monthly Archives: March 2010

Dating Commercials are for SUCKERS

The other night I was watching TV and the standard foray of advertisements came on between segments of the show.

You know how it goes:

Laundry detergent featuring happy brunettes cheerily folding clothes; An athletic blond doing backhand springs while peddling vaginal applicators; Old men doing jittery jigs, singing the praises of male enhancement courtesy of a little blue pill; and the run of the mill online dating services.

It is the last category that had me sitting up in my seat.

“Liars!!” I screamed at the television.

These online dating services are selling the masses a lie. What do they show you? Happy couples on deck of some obscure boat, lovingly grasping each other, or my personal favorite, some pretty young thing dressed to the nines in her swanky art studio creating a sculpture with her equally good looking beau. All of them are supposedly “in love” matched by 126,980 qualities that ensure compatibility. How convenient is it that you both share  common interest and ideals? You’ll never bicker about anything! That’s not love. That’s easy. Let me tell you what real love is.

  • Your wife slogs into the house, all crippled up, bent up, stooped up and shriveled up from working 12 hour days in retail and you still think she’s hot. That’s love.
  • Your girl’s once taught belly, refined from years of running of running track, is reduced to a quivering kangaroo sack, a result of bearing your snot-nosed offspring. At night you make love to her like she’s a goddess and you tell her so. That’s love.
  • Your very clumsy mate breaks the last tea cup in your grandmother’s antique set. You look at him quizzically and offer him a big hug. Inside you’re mad as hell, but your grandmother is dead and you guys never have tea anyway. He’s more valuable in the grand scheme of things. That’s freakin’ love folks!

I have any number of friends that have tried these online dating services or paid to have a “match making” service fix them up. In the end, they always walk away disappointed. Why? Because these people are selling snake oil. Love is not a magic silver bullet. It’s an instant decision that is cultivated over time.

Muttering : *Stinkin’ online dating services making me sit here and blog about them. Bleh!*

Lies on Tap

Have you ever had a person in your life that just lied their way through their daily  existence? I mean like every other sentence is just a straight up falsehood? We’ve all told our share of fibs, Lord knows I have; but I never knew there class of people roaming the planet that told lies for breath.

My cousin used to date this guy called David that was a compulsive liar. Eventually they broke up and she kicked him out of the house…something to do with her bank account and possible eviction courtesy of his antics. She would tell me these tales, and her main complaint was that he was “such a liar!!” Me, being in my early 20s and not understanding the severity of what she was dealing with, silently nodded my head and asked myself what the big deal was? So he lied a little, so what? 5 years later, God the Master Joker placed a man in my life to show me “so what”. That man is the individual we all know on this blog as ODB: Old Douche Bag, Mr. Franklin/ Mr Frank-lyin’.

The lies this individual who would unfortunately eventually become the sire of my first born child go back to the very day we met. It would be hard to cram all of them in one blog post, so I’ll just share my favorites.

Lie 1: On the night we met, Douche Bag asked me how old I was. I said I was 25. He said he was 30.

Fact: Douchey was in fact 35 years old, and being 10 years my senior knew a 25 year old woman in her prime would never wittingly date a man so advanced in age.

Lie 2: He claimed to have been a staff sergeant in the Marine Corps.

Fact: Old Douche Bag never rose past the rank of Private First Class in the Corps. Google the differences. You’ll be amused.

Lie 3: His son was going to spend 2 weeks in the summer with him in 2003.

Fact: He had not seen his son, nor had he been aware of his whereabouts since the boy had been born 5 years before. His mom took off with him long ago, apparently because he’s always been this useless and crazy.

Lie 4: He got some chick pregnant in 2000 something, and then told her that that was not his baby because he had an “accident” when he was a kid that left him sterile. He dared the woman to call his mother to confirm.

Fact: Clearly this is a load of crap.

Let’s get to some more recent tall tales

Lie 5: When picking up my daughter, she would wail and scream because she did not want to go with him. In order to get her to stop crying, he would promise to take her to McDonalds.

Fact: He never did. Who lies to a 2 year old about McDonalds??

Lie 6: He got on Facebook and told all his friends a series of lies: My daughter is in the backyard and we’re going to grill. She loves laying in the grass. I just dropped her off for her first day of school. She lives with me Tuesday -Thursday.

Fact: He had not seen Na in over a year. She hates grass. He never even knew what school she went to until a few months ago. She just began overnight visits last week.

Lie 7 (and my favorite): When asked by a female admirer on Facebook what he does for a living, he said he was an operations manager for a trucking company.

Fact: He hasn’t had any steady employment in 3 years, and at the time this statement was made. he was jangling change in a laundry mat/dry cleaner. I think he was making $10/hr. He has since lost this job.

Lie 8 (and the reason for this post): When asked directly in court what 2 weeks in the summer he wanted to get his child, he balked and then asked the judicial officer if he had to get her for 2 consecutive weeks. Could he break the visits up? She replied that if he had an emergency, say a funeral for example, to simply explain the situation to me. I requested the dates again, and was given to separate weeks, when the court order clearly says con-sec-utive.

“I can’t keep her for 2 weeks. I was going to clean off my sister’s grave in Buffalop,” he explained in email. Yes folks. Buffalop.

Fact: That sister died of SIDS  30+ years ago, and no one in his family has visited her grave since. In fact he, told me that her grave was overgrown ans lost. Now suddenly when it’s time for you to spend part of the summer with you, after you fought so hard to get visitation, you can”t because you’re going to clean an unmarked grave? With what money?? You just lost your job jangling change!

Lie 9: Now he can’t keep her for 2 consecutive weeks because he is going to be spending the summer doing “job training” and it will be difficult to keep her.

Fact: Georgia has any number of day-cares, some of them with 24 hr service. There is no reason why he can’t keep his kid for the required time.

Folks. Men and women. If you have ANYONE in your life who lies like their next breath depended on it, DROP THEM as soon as you can. Definitely do before you possibly can procreate with them. Take it from me: a leopard never changes his spots. He just shifts them around.

For real? GOD told you that?

Maybe I’m not a “for real” Christian: I’m willing to concede that; but there are fewer phrases that make me cringe than “God told me to blah, blah, blah.”

Whenever I hear anybody, Christian or not, utter the words “God told me”, my first thought is “You’re lying”. The second, depending on the person making the proclamation is “You’re crazy”. What makes you feel this way, Malaka? Well I’m glad you asked! Let me expound in bullet form:

  • Dude. Even in the Bible, God only spoke to a handful of people and they were called prophets. So the notion that you Mr/Ms Christian-ette have a one-on-one connection with the Divine One in which he speaks exclusively to you is absurd. If He’s the same God today, yesterday and forever, why is He suddenly going to switch up His game and start a dialogue with a mere mortal, who has no real impact on society?
  • Most people who say “God told me” have an idea of what they already WANT to do, and use the phrase to explain away any failure for what God said to do not coming to pass. “I believe with all sincerity that God wanted me to date/marry this man.” No, God didn’t tell you to marry/date this man. You thought he was good looking/rich/whatever and you convinced yourself that it was God whispering in your ear. The same concept applies to people who pursue anything that they have no business getting involved in, like running for President or Congress when you have a criminal background.
  • Some of these people just don’t want to use common sense. I do believe God gives us wisdom, and that is a horse of different color. God gives us brains and a will, and allows us to look at situations and ascertain what the possible outcomes of engaging in processes or participating in certain events might be. For example, if you know that there is going to be a bar-b-que on Bankhead Highway, you can say with all probability that there will be a shooting. God doesn’t have to tell you not to go down there…experience and common sense will tell you to keep your happy behind on the North side.
  • “I can’t move, can’t walk, won’t talk unless God tells me to!” These are the words I actually heard in a gospel song, and some people actually live their lives that way. These are folks my bishop calls “so heavenly minded, they’re no earthly good.” The less I say about this group, the better.

What irks me most about this group of people is when they try to impose their assumed sense of “divine instinct” on me.  I have recently made the mistake of sharing my future relocation plans with certain individuals. I gave sound reasoning and explanation for my plan of action, complete with my husband’s approval and agreement. What did I get in return?

“I didn’t hear you mention God in any of that,” espoused one woman. “I just believe that my life is led by God; I’ve seen him work so many miracles in my life. If God was really in this plan, it wouldn’t go the way you’re saying; it would go this way.” She then proceeded to lay out exactly what God’s plan would look like. I could take better consideration of this woman’s words if anything she said God said was going to make happen EVER. ACTUALLY. HAPPENED.

Another woman lambasted me over e-mail.

“Well, I wouldn’t move my family half way across the world without a direct word from God.”

Really? A direct word? What the heck does that mean anyway?? Is God supposed to open up the heavens, come down on an escalator, sit at my dinner table and say to me “Malaka, I and God and I want you to move half way across the world!”

I dunno. Maybe I’m just a little too pragmatic. I have a God-given brain. I don’t need God to tell me to brush my teeth. I don’t need God to tell me to send my kids to school. I don’t need God to tell me to get a job. I don’t need God to tell me whether or not to get my tubes tied: I live in a 2 bedroom house on a fixed income.

I do believe God speaks to certain people, but not as many as are running around claiming He’s talking to them…and I’m humble enough to admit my spiritual life is not strong enough to claim God speaks to me on any regular basis. I wish more people would do the same or shut up.

United Airlines goes to GH!

Oh my gosh.

I was so giddy when I heard the news that a new airline would be offering service to Ghana. 6 or so years ago, when Delta began offering direct flights from NY to Accra, it was a huge deal. No longer would we be forced to be routed through Europe with 4-8 hour layovers, confined to the 8 walls of the terminal. You could leave NY at 8 am and be in Accra by noon local time the next day.

The Delta began to play the rough.

What didn’t they do to show their scorn for we hapless Ghanaian travelers? Lost baggage, stolen personal items, canceled flights, missed connecting flights, and trekking us from one gate at one end of the airport only to be told the plane was at the other end and we’d have to trek back to board became the norm.

I’ve only flown Delta twice. During its first year of service, the first plane I took was top class, and the service was brilliant. The second time I flew Delta the plane was being held together by spit and tape and the stewardesses made it a point to let me know they hated my stinking guts and that they were only there to serve my black heathen African arse because it was their job, not their pleasure. So I quietly took my money to Lufthansa; and although I had to endure an 8 hour layover with 2 toddlers, I was welcomed aboard and treated like a valued customer.

Every Ghanaian I know hates Delta. Now that United is joining the frey, lets hope that they have taken a few lessons from Deltas impending demise. Ghanaians are extremely fickle, and not renown for brand loyalty. We switch cell phone and internet providers like we change underwear. However, when we find something that works, we stick with it. A 12 hour flight and $1400 (at a minimum) per ticket is nothing to sneeze at. If United can keep up its customer service, ensure we don’t miss our connecting flights and manage to make us feel welcome, they will reap the benefits of a loyal customer base. There is nothing Ghanaians love to do more than to give our money to white people.

The Clean up Woman

Recognizing that I am not coping well with this whole 3 kids in 4 years and a 4th on the way thing, my husband has offered me something that no other man has given me before: maid service.

“I have a surprise for you babe,” he said gently, rubbing my shoulder. “Tomorrow morning I’m having some people come clean up the house.”

“For real?” I said through parched, ashy lips. “They’re going to dust and everything?”

“They’re going to do everything,” he assured. “Vacuum the stairs, dust the fans, mop the floors…they’ll even change the linens on the bed.”

As he started listing all the things that were “wrong” in the house, I took a mental snapshot of our home. It was filthy, wasn’t it? Filthy I say! This sent me into a tailspin and I spent the next hour trying to make my house look less like a disaster area. I know the point of hiring a cleaning lady/crew is to let them clean, but there is nothing worse than a woman, or a band of women, coming into your house and have them silently judging you…or judging you openly in Spanish about your poor housekeeping skills.

Ooooo, I can hear them now:

Look at her nasty baseboards.

Dios mio! Is that pubic hair on the floor next to the toilet?

I think I’m going to be sick.

*Shudder*. I hope I can get some sleep tonight. I’m suddenly having an urge to break out the Comet, bleach,yellow gloves and a gas mask. Lawd help me.

Are Americans Just Arrogant, Ignorant or Both??

I should probably go ahead and apologize to my American friends for what I’m about to say. I should; but I won’t. I mean every bleeding word.

Americans, without a doubt, are some of the most obnoxious people on the planet. They are also some of the most gracious, which allows one to forgive their otherwise unsavory behavior. I have overlooked American antics for the last couple of years, because after all, America has been “good” to me? I mean, where else in the world can you get a coupon for a free burger just for befriending some dude on Facebook? I am humble enough to admit that America will reward you generously for your efforts. If you’re willing to work and implement an idea in America, your gains will be phenomenal. But to suggest that this is what makes America the greatest country in the world is absurd.

The problem with most Americans is that they have never been outside of America, and they therefore believe the propagandist hype of the pundits and pastors on cable TV and pulpits. I heard one minister declare that if you opened all the ports in the world and told people to choose where they want to live, America could not sustain the droves of people who would choose this country first.

“America has the best workers in the world!” they proclaim.

“Americans work the hardest.”

“We have the brightest students.”

“We make the best products.”

On, and on, and ON.

Face it America: The hardest workers in this country are the Hispanic and African immigrants who scrimped and saved (and yes, came here illegally) to do the jobs you won’t do. If I’ve seen a “hard working American” this year, that person was not under the age of  52. Most Americans are lazy. The smartest are the Asian kids, either directly off the boat or recent descendants of those off a boat some 30 years ago, who outshine you in school every semester. You would be hard pressed to find a product, any product, proudly baring the label “made in America” on your shelves. Why? Because the best workers are overseas, and corporations don’t want to deal with the bureaucracy of your politicians. Which brings me to my other point: If America is so fabulous, why are American companies sending millions of American jobs abroad? Take a cold hard look at yourselves people. Something does not compute.

It’s great that America enjoys freedom of speech and all that. But as a hybrid Ghanaian, I find myself appalled by what these people feel free to say. The first problem is that the majority of Americans cannot construct a proper sentence, or employ proper grammar; the second is that they cannot formulate a thought worth hearing. Have you listened to these guys debate on CNN? It’s terrifying.

Now you may ask “Malaka, why do you suddenly have your panties in a twist over all things American? If you don’t love it, leave it!” Believe you me, nothing would please me more than to find myself at the departure gate of Hartsfield airport screaming ‘I dey take Yankee give you!!!’ Unfortunately, I find myself in debt to the Federal government, courtesy of 4 years’ worth of student loans. And the Federal government is not a forgiving lender. Which brings me to another point: Why is it SO bloody expensive to get a quality education in this country? Is that why most of its public school students can’t add? Ugh.

The reason I have my panties in a knot is this: I recently confided in an elderly American friend, telling her I plan to relocate to Ghana in the near future. She was incredulous.

“Why would you do that?” she asked.

I explained that it was never my plan to stay here beyond 10 years, I’m homesick, and that as students we are given a mandate to come back to our country and help develop it. I believe in our education system, because it works. Furthermore, no Ghanaian in leadership would get on TV  like Al Gore and instruct teen and preteen students “Not to listen to their parents” because “they know a lot more than their parents do”.

“Well I don’t hear God anywhere in that.” (I’ll talk about that in another post.) She continued by launching into a missive, questioning what work I would/could do in Ghana, questioned our economic stability, etc. She quickly caught herself and admitted that America’s economy was failing and that there were no jobs…but that didn’t stop her from setting out to make me seem like a fool for wanting to live anywhere but here. I didn’t bother to inform her that Ghana had the best performing stock market in the world last year and that there are plenty of opportunities for personal fiscal expansion if you can raise the capital. This concept would be lost on an American with a savior complex who still sees Africa as a dark continent with pot-bellied children, flies dancing on their scabby sculls to complete her prejudiced vision of my beloved continent.

If you ask any African who has been here 10 years or more, they will reservedly admit to you that America is not all that it’s cracked up to be. From a distance, it’s shiny and glittery, but upon closer inspection this land is naught but fool’s gold. Some have been here working for 20 or 30 years, and all they have to show for it is a used Honda and 3 bedroom house that the bank may still own. Tell me, where in America will someone offer me a lift, no strings attached, while I’m walking in the hot sun? Whose house can I just show up at uninvited; and being uninvited, will the occupant stop all they are doing to make me feel welcome? Can America boast of some of the most disciplined and respectful children you will ever meet, where this behavior is the rule and not the exception?

And show me one kenkey seller!!!

Tsssseeewwww.

I’ll say it again. I dey take Yankee give you.

Chile, you obviously don’t know me

I’ve figured out what makes raising kids so hard.

It’s not the messes they create, or the feeding schedules if they are infants, or the incessant questions if they are toddlers/pre-schoolers…it’s the mere fact that you and your children are strangers to one another. It’s true. Yes, you may have brought them into this world with love and had hopes and expectations of a certain type of character heaped onto this person you call your baby; but the fact is, your child is an individual with their own crazy thoughts, quirks and behaviors. You yourself had your own quirks and behaviors before you became a parent.  You were somebody before you became “mommy”. It takes five years for a child’s personality to be shaped, and it takes about that long for both of you to acknowledge, recognize and respect yourselves as individuals. How do I know this? Because my eldest daughter showed me just the other day.

Take my hand. We’re going back in time to 7 a.m., March 2nd.

At 6:45 in the morning, I rolled naked out of bed, my body sore from having slept crazy the night before. My 3 yr old and infant son had both decided to wake up at 4 a-freakin’-m and had called for me specifically.

“Mooooommmiieee!! I don’t want to be asleep anymore!” Aya declared. This of course roused the baby. I took them both downstairs, gave the boy some milk, and firmly informed my insane toddler that she could not watch TV – it was 4 in the morning! At 6 o’clock, I left her sleeping on the couch and tried in vain to get 40 winks in myself before I had to drop her sister off at school.

As I sat there on my porcelain throne in the dawn hours of the day, with legs akimbo and the sunlight filtering into the otherwise dark bathroom, I contemplated the craziness of the morning. What a start to my day! I thought things could not get any worse. Suddenly, my eldest child burst into the bathroom, flicking on the light and forcing me to confront in the mirror the image of my naked, battered body, crowned with a one-side flat afro. She picked up her toothbrush, looked at the floor, looked at me and admonished:

“Look at this bathroom floor! It’s disgusting! Do you just want to have a disgusting bathroom floor with dirt and hair on it? And look at the tub! It’s not clean too. Why don’t you ever clean up?”

She was only half-way through her tirade when I felt my right hand twitch. I was about to involuntarily provide her with the first and dirtiest slap of her life, but I restrained myself. Nadjah didn’t know Malaka Gyekye was sitting on the toilet that morning. “Malaka Grant” aka “Mommy” hadn’t woken up yet. Instead of towing (slang in Ghana for slapping) my 5 year old that morning, I heard a voice come out of me that had been dead for a long time. It was Malaka Gyekye, from 1995.

“Do you clean anything in this house?” the bush girl asked in a thick native accent. “Do you?!? And do you know why my floor is dirty? It’s because you and your silly sister pour soapy water on my floor and make it dirty!”

Ms. Gyekye’s biceps tightened.

“In fact, before you leave this house today, you will clean. And you don’t talk to grown-ups that way, do you understand me?”

Nadjah, obviously confused by the presence of this bush, naked Ghanaian woman sitting in her mother’s bathroom, nodded in understanding and silently brushed her teeth. Malaka Gyekye, who had stopped urinating to listen to this 5 year old’s drivel, finished doing so, sucked her teeth and took a hot shower.

******

So folks, when you’re going through tough times with your kids, don’t get discouraged. They are just travelers on this earth, blindly trying to figure out who they are – and until they achieve that enlightenment, your kids will seem insane. I tell you what though: if you occasionally introduce them to the person you were before you became “mommy” or “daddy”, those incidences of appearant insanity will be fewer and further between.

Married sex ROCKS!

Caution! I beg you oooh. If you’re not 18 or older, please close your eyes and open another browser. This post is not for small boys and girls.

I was on the phone with Tem, my childhood best friend yesterday, and as usual our “So what’s going on?” conversation turned to current events, personal triumphs, men and sex. It’s generally in that order. I had neglected to tell her that I was pregnant, and her response was that of shock: not because I was pregnant, but because of the obvious (and apparent) frequency with which my husband and I have sex. We’ve had 3 kids in 4 years.

“Y’all is the most humpin-est married couple I know!” she exclaimed.

“Yes, I guess we are.”

“I thought married people didn’t have sex,” she pondered out loud.

That’s what I’d heard too, and of course, that’s what you read in all the magazines. I mean don’t get me wrong; we’ve gone through our dry spells. After dealing with a day of work, cleaning and caring for kids, who really wants to do more work between the sheets? But then that’s where the difference between married sex and single sex comes in. And as someone who has had both, I’ve seen the differences.

As I boldly and very loudly told my friend, married sex is more deliberate.  She and I both agree that as single women, a man’s sperm is like kryptonite, and there is nothing more urgent than wiping that sh*t off with a hot rag when you’re done. However now that I’m married, when my husband is about to nut, I wrap my legs tighter around his waist. A-skeet-skeet-skeeeet!! If I’ve had to conjure up reserved energy to get into the act, dagonnit  I’m going to enjoy every last drip-droppy messy moment. And that’s the other difference:

Married sex, unlike single sex, is extremely messy.

When you’re single, you have to go through the whole charade of taking a shower, and brushing your teeth, and making sure your weave doesn’t come out of place, or not to get to sweaty so as not to offend the  other person…blah, blah, blah. When you’re married (and especially if you have kids), you tell your spouse he/she better come get it while it’s hot! And of they’re wise, they’ll recognize the signs and do just that, shower and cabbage in your teeth be damned. There’s something extremely comforting about waking up next to someone who has seen you at your absolute worst and loves you enough to still want to wake up with you the next morning, even if you have the biggest eye boogers on the planet.

Single sex is sooo pretentious. There is nothing worse than pillow talk when you’re single, particularly if you’re not in a committed monogamous relationship. The routine question “what are you thinking about right now?” is something I would personally dread as a single woman. I never asked it, and I always hoped never to be asked. And if the guy I was fornicating with fell asleep immediately after doing to the do, I couldn’t help but feel a little used. Pillow talk with my husband is awesome.  We’ve been married for x years, so I already know what he’s thinking. After a hot 15 minutes of passion (because that’s all I have time for), our pillow chat will go something like this:

“Hey! Did you see that they culled a bunch of kangaroo in Australia?”

“Nah. Why’d they do that?”

I’ll then explain the culling and reasoning behind it. After finishing, he’ll counter with:

“Did you know if you can’t stick your erect penis in the cardboard tube of a toilet paper roll, it means you need an extra large condom? That’s what it said in Men’s Health. Honest.”

“Nuh uh!” I’ll then present a toilet paper roll to him to prove it. Obviously impressed, I’ll marvel: “Well I’ll be dog gone. It’s true!”

After quizzically inspecting the width of the toilet roll, I’d exclaim (with some dismay) “You’re sticking something that wide in me?”  My husband will then chuckle with manly bravado and say “Yup!”

He and I will then cuddle together, all 450 lbs of our combined weight, and I’ll wistfully say “I love you babe. I can’t wait to hump you when we’re 80, toothless, hump backed and all.” One of us will then fart (usually me ,because I’m pregnant), re-shuffle the sheets and in 10-20 minutes ask the other if they wanna do it again.

Like I said, married sex rocks. There is no comparison to wholly giving yourself to someone who has wholly given themselves to you. Marriage is a commitment, no a contract, and when a marriage is healthy, it is an amazing thing. It’s taken me almost 5 years to get my brain around that. Married sex is intimate, sacred, hilarious, outrageous…whatever you want it to be. It is because your spouse is now “bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh.

I dare a single person to top that.


Unwelcome at Esani

Two days ago I took my girls to the Esani Institute to get their hair washed, blow dried and ironed. My girls are Black…most of the students who work/study at Esani are not. But what do I care? From what I understand, they have all been taught to treat “hair as hair” and if I could get my kids hooked up for a total of $23.00, what else was this mom on a budget to do? We booked our appointment for 3:30 and showed up at 3:15. Yes, even we Africans are capable of punctuality.

We trooped into the industrial feeling salon/school decked out with concrete floors, flat screen TVs and mirrored surfaces. It was only our second time there, and the girls were are lot more comfortable this time around – or so I thought.

Let me help you understand my girls hair. Nadjah has loosely coiled, shoulder length hair. It’s pretty simple to deal with. Aya on the other hand has hair straight out of the Congo. Its curled so tight you could lose change in there. I have actually washed it and unearthed wood chips that were not visible at first glance. Aya is also extremely tender headed, unlike her sister, who just enjoys the drama of screeching when she is presented with the mere existence of a comb.  I tried to explain all this to the good folks of the Esani Institute, but they just hurried the girls along to the back wash. Ok!

Everything was pretty routine until the girls were seated in a salon chair and were preparing to get the tangles taken out of their hair. The first time we went, a slight man with blue hair and chains on his jeans took one look at Nadjah’s hair, announced that he was going to get a booster seat and did not return for another 20 minutes. He looked terrified. This time around, a brunette with warm brown eyes looked a little more confident. Everything was going to be okay! I played happily with the baby in the waiting area for 6 minutes before I heard the screaming.

“Awwww awww awwww!!!” It was Nadjah. The girl had put detanlger in her hair and was trying to comb her hair with a wide tooth comb. Standard practice. I told her Nadjah was going to cry and to work through it…she was going to have to be tough and ignore the tears. She smiled nervously and said “okay!”. No sooner were these words out of my mouth when Aya began howling on the other side of the salon. Coincidentally, they had turned up the music to drown out the sounds of their screams.

“Eeeehhh ehhhh eeehhhh!!!!”

Anyone who has ever combed a Black girl’s hair knows that sound. All of our girls cry when they get their hair done. They do this until they turn 8 or until some sweaty black woman pops them with a comb to make them stop. There was no sweaty Black woman at Esani…but there was an ashy one who magically appeared out of nowhere. As I prepared to traverse to the other side of the salon to check on her sister (this place is HUGE, 2000 sq feet at least) I firmly informed Nadjah that it was ok to cry, but “it was not ok to scream”, Ms Ashy-Black-Lady informs me that if my girls continue to cry, they will not finish their hair and they would not be allowed to re-book in the future.

That unsympathetic whore.

The next day was picture day, so I knew we had to get this press and curl done at all costs.

“You hear that Na? They won’t finish your hair if you won’t sit still. You don’t want to go home like this do you?”

She looked in the mirror and saw half blown, half kinky hair. There is nothing my oldest child hates more in the world than looking tacky. She promised to try not to cry and bravely clutched one of the mannequins they had given her as a distraction. I walked back to the other side of the salon lugging all 27 lbs of my baby on my hip to try to help Aya get through. Ms Black and Ashy followed me over. By this time, Aya had 4 women trying to figure out how to comb her hair without causing her pain. “Pain” for Aya meant touching her follicles or scalp period. I told them to just let her go. We didn’t need to finish the hair. Ashy pipes up and says “Are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure.” I was confused. Wasn’t this the same chick who had just said she wasn’t going to allow my kids’ hair to get done?

“We can still straighten it,” she insisted. “We can braid it and set her under the dryer and then flat iron it. We don’t have to go through the exercise of blow drying it.”

I felt hopeful for the first time and readily agreed.

I watched from the other side of the room as Aya’s blond stylist sat by her under the dryer and they chatted about the pictures in a magazine. When she was done, Black-and-Ashy put her ashy hands in my baby’s hair to demonstrate how to iron it. I heard Aya yelp. Ashy frantically and angrily beckoned me over and harshly informed me that she was not going to finish her hair, because she kept moving and she wasn’t going to burn her. The blond student looked defeated and Aya looked miserable.

“Ok,” I said simply. I told Aya to gather her things (the cookies, M&Ms and other consolation gifts the students had given her), we were going home. She looked a mess.

I would end here raining insults on the unprofessional and compassion-less ashy lady, had it not been for the saving work of a Hispanic girl named Jackie who was finishing up Na’s hair. She vowed not to let me take my baby home looking the way she did, and labored over Ya-ya’s locks for the next 3 hours, tears, twitches and all. I tipped her and thanked her profusely. I am grateful to Jackie, and since she informed me that yesterday was her last day at the salon, I won’t be taking the girls back. Ms. Black-and-Ashy made it abundantly clear that she did not want “crying babies” in her shop, and I don’t want to give my money to any institution where we’re not welcome, even if it is only $23.00.

Can I hold $11,982?

Fact: 71% of all Black American babies are born to unwed mothers and will most likely grow up without the presence of their biological father. A quick polling of my top five friends confirmed this. 3 of those ladies grew up with a step-father, one with no dad at all, and the other was the daughter of a mistress. Her dad at least was some sort of constant, albeit 3 days of the week. Her mother, sage that she is, proclaimed “All men are bastards, including your father.” Truer words were never spoken. Naturally, I never aspired to be counted among those unfortunate numbers…but thanks to the skeeting antics of a selfish man, I found myself there! Just what I always to be: a sad Black statistic.

I was talking to my brother the other day about the latest of the Chronicles of Douche Bag.

“Why is he such an idiot?” I pondered.

“Look, Malaka,” he replied. “America turns men into punks.”

I waited for more.

“That’s all I got,” he said. “I gotta run. Gotta eat this burrito.”

I thought about every American I know. Sadly, Mr. Gyekye’s words were painfully true. In 2010, a man bearing the crest “punk-ass” is the norm and the not the exception. My douche bag baby daddy exemplifies this sad reality, and as I’ve said before, when it comes to putrid, moldy scum, I hit the mother-load when I hooked up with him.

The first time I lent him money was in 2003 when he asked me to pay his cell phone bill – 2 months after meeting him. I was unaccustomed to men asking me for money, and he had never taken me on a date or bought me a meal, so naturally I said ‘no’.

Please! his email begged. I would never ask you for money, but I am depending on you as a friend right now. I lent money to a family member and I really need my phone!

‘Oh what the hey’, I thought. I paid his little Metro PCS bill and waited 2 weeks to get my $40 back.

A week later he asked me for $10 to pay for his dry cleaning. In that same week he asked me to bring him take out so he’d have something to eat. He did this twice every month.

My favorite money lending incident came in 2006 when he asked me to “let him hold” $100.

“What for?” I asked. Irritated, he explained that he needed the money to go to his class reunion in Alabama, oh, and could I fill up his tank for the journey there? I handed off my 18 month old daughter, a crisp $100 bill and pumped gas in a fog. I was committing quite a lot for someone I wasn’t in a committed relationship with! But who is to blame? I am. I should have nipped that crap in the bud 6 years ago. If I had, we wouldn’t be dealing with this situation today.

*Insert cloudy memory effects and wind chimes, we’re going to the future y’all*

As of today, Mr. Douche bag owes me $11,232 after failing to make any contributions to help raise the child he claims to love so much, but wouldn’t even purchase a cell phone to call her own. Weary of seeing his number pop up on my caller ID with requests to speak to her, my husband and I went out and bought a phone for her ourselves. She gleefully dialed his number and proudly announced that we had bought her her own phone, and oh isn’t it great?!? Five minutes after their call, I get the following text:

Thanks! Do you want me to put money in your account to help pay for the phone?

Huh? I have been asking you to pay me back the $750 I lent you to help pay your mortgage, put money in your pocket, pay utilities, groceries, blah blah and NOW you want to put money in my account for a cell phone? I didn’t bother to explain that I got the phone so I wouldn’t have to hear from him. I thought he would be smart enough to assume that on his own. I thought wrong.

Nope. Just need a deposit for the money you owe me.

This response caused a text war to ensue, which is not uncommon when you’re dealing with a complete idiot. Follow along with me if you can.

Well I put $300 in ur account. And they was taking child support out of my check, But I didn’t make a big deal out of it.

I scanned my account quickly, expecting $300 to be in there. Nada. This man must think I’m a dumb African. They started taking support payments out of his check in NOVEMBER, after he was ordered to pay in October. The problem with this pond scum is that he does not realize that I am from Larteh, and we are the Jews of West Africa. I texted him furiously:

How could you make a big deal out of it when they weren’t taking money out at the same time, and they didn’t take money out of your check until NOV, AND you still owe me money for the money I lent you, not to mention 3 yrs failure to pay anything to take care of Nadjah? The sooner you give me my money, the sooner I can stop talking about it.

- How much money do u say I owe u??

Based off of how much they are taking out of your account, at $72 a week for 52 weeks in a year, that’s $3744. multiply that by 3yrs it’s $11232. Plus $750 for car insurance, house payments, gas, food, pocket money, etc. When would you like to start making a payment so I can start shutting my mouth?

– U tripping!!! This conversation is over!!! Everytime I try to smooth things overm u try to start something with me. I’m past getting into it with u!!!

This would have ended the conversation until he added:

- I should have charge u for tha (yes, he can’t spell “the”) sex I gave u!!! But I didn’t!!!

Oh really?

Then that would make you a whore. And I never had an orgasm so it was a double waste of time, and gas, and TIME!!! You were so desperate to make me cum  that I just said I did. Pathetic. And you STILL owe me money.

After hearing nothing further from my nemesis, and relayed the details of my spat to my sister.

“You didn’t really expect him to pay you back, did you?” she asked.

“In a small way, yes, I did.”

“Malaka, he just lost his job jangling change at a laundry mat. He’s a 41 year old man who can’t keep a job at a laundry mat…and you’re throwing $12K in his face. Of course he’s not going to pay! He can’t! As far as I’m concerned, this whole text war was just for fun and games.”

I love my sister. She puts things in such clear perspective. A sad 41 year old man, who bums money off women and can’t keep a job at a laundry mat for more than a year. God bless you Adj.

Word of advice: Don’t ever get pregnant out of wedlock in the state of Georgia. You’re in for a mighty big shock if you don’t keep your proverbial ducks in a row.  Georgia does not have retroactive child support payments. So do yourself a favor and establish child support/visitation the second you pop that baby!