Let me just start out by saying I was baptized at the age of 15 and know all about what scripture says about character. I grew up in the church (except for the occasional times we stayed home to watch Blondie and Dagwood and go for rides in our Town and Country station wagon to look at mansions in Mountain Brook followed by eating “Baseball Nut” ice cream at Baskin Robbins). I was voted Most Poised by my 12th grade class and have the picture of me in the floral print, peplum dress with white stockings from 5 Points West and black shoes to prove it. I pride myself in being a lady and try with everything Godly and good within me to stay on top of my West Endian roots (yes, I’m from West End Manor, Birmingham, Alabama and with that comes a sense of, shall we say, “spice” that seems to settle on a West Endian girl:) Sometimes, with all of those factors it still hard to stay Godly and good.
In today’s society with a growing trend of women fussing and fighting on television (and everywhere else), I wouldn’t dare judge others because judging is wrong. Plus, I don’t know their stories, struggles, exposure or environment. With all that said, there have been times in my life where I wanted to cuss, cut (as in three tires, not four so the insurance won’t cover it) and act uncouth. Through all the wild and wacky reactions I might have taken as a result of not being mature enough to handle other’s actions I’m thankful for God’s grace. I’m also thankful for the fact that I’ve developed a sense of knowing how to keep it classy when cussin’, cutting and acting uncouth are not an option.
My divorce and the aftermath of handling lingering business was the most recent thing to test my West Endian heritage. Surprisingly, just a bit of it was directed toward my former spouse (as with any couple going through the end of a union, so don’t go TMZing in the mind or the mouth), but most of it wanted to be directed toward the fact that I was out of control of my life and anyone or any entity that I thought had some role in it. That’s crazy. I know! As strange as it may seem, while that was the most recent time I can remember (which was four years ago), it certainly wasn’t the most intense time I’ve had to keep myself in check or learn from times when I didn’t. (Trust me, there were times I learned through error. I flinch in embarrassment when I see a few of the victims of my inability to keep it classy). Situations in all forms of life have tried to get the best of me, as I’m sure they have many.
Not verbatim, but people often ask how I keep it classy or why I accepted that cussin’, cutting and acting uncouth are not an option. I’ve never, ever been a curser (as my Bestie always likes to declare), but I had an uncanny way to being an undercover revenge seeker as if that were my part-time occupation. Since I’m being honest, I’ll be the first to admit that I’d mastered seeking my revenge in a way that was so clever often time my targets didn’t know they were “gotten” until long after they were “gotten”. I’m not proud of that at all, but learned a few things along the way. Put on your seatbelts and get ready for this “keeping it real” ride!
Here’s what I learned…
- I’m too pretty for prison.
- I don’t want my loved ones seeing me on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN, BET, E True Hollywood Story or MSNBC unless it is because of how fabulously I did something fabulous.
- I accept that acting “cra-cra” certainly won’t make anyone stay or anything change.
- My Mama doesn’t “cuss, cut or act uncouth” and even if she did I don’t have to follow her unfortunate footsteps.
- It’s never worth disrespecting myself just because I’m disappointed.
- I care what people think. I know some people often say they don’t care what people think, but I do. I don’t want any of my words or actions confusing them about who I am.
- I have people who look up to me. I’d much rather them be mimicking me in front of my face over a meal at Fleming’s or Panera Bread rather than while looking at my face on the America’s Most Wanted poster in line at the Post Office.
- I know nothing says “I’ve moved on” like truly letting go, and looking and acting good while doing it.
- I don’t want to plant a bad seed I’m not prepared to harvest.
- I realize that Social Media is forever. Pictures, posts, videos and the likes might be deleted, but copies and memories are hard to erase.
- I understand that life has a sense of humor. We never really know who’s coming in, going out and coming back in. I don’t want to have to deal with the repercussions of my reactions while trying to rebuild a relationship.
- I don’t want to be known as “that girl”…you know the one that can’t seem to trust God enough to get over what happened and takes it out on every living, breathing thing in her path.
- I believe that I can’t control other people’s actions, but I can control my reaction.
- I trust God.
- I know the Lord specializes in “your latter shall be greater”. Far be it for me to mess that up!