Why is You Here?

As I sat across from my gold cladden date, I couldn’t help but think to myself

Hoe, why is you here?

My eyes began to glaze over as he talked about his various business ventures and recent trips. I only snapped back as he expressed his desire for a woman who could “keep the house in check” but not hassle him about going and coming when he pleased.

“Why not just hire a maid?” I inquired. He shook his head furiously as if I’d made the most ridiculous suggestion. He tried to explain that every man needs someone to come home to at night but that person needs to be able keep him and home in line. Blah, blah, blah.

I could sense my attention drifting further and further from the delusional conversation so I excused myself to the restroom.

As I looked at my self over, lip gloss popping and my favorite wig bobbing, I again thought:

Hoe, why is you here?

This sadly hadn’t been the worst date/ encounter I had with the male species. A particularly interesting one involved a hotep that slipped through the cracks of my vetting process with his beautiful teeth and washboard abs. Our time was quickly cut short after he explained to me on our first date that he was interested in marrying me but only if I give up my desires to further my education and my instagram.

I knew I was bored. My mundane routine of work, home, sleep had me left grasping any and every bit of excitement that could find me. Except, the excitement finding me weren’t even particularly interesting. To be honest, I had allowed “swit” words and fine dining to steal some of my Friday and Saturday nights. I never thought my time could be bought until I tasted the Côte de Boeuf from Marcel’s.

Damn me and my bougie stomach.

I started to think of all the things I could have been alone doing rather than sitting across from one of the most boring men on the planet. Ideas of pole classes, coloring books and actually writing about my feelings again danced in my head. All of sudden, I began to feel sick about how I had just wasted my time and this poor delusional misogynistic man’s time. I quickly texted my friend:

<<Save me in 5 min>>

I walked back to the table, feeling more nauseated with each step. He could sense my discomfort and asked me what was wrong. I played it off as a stomachache and anxiously waited for my phone to ring. I don’t think I even allowed a second vibration to pass before I picked up and motioned that I was stepping out to take a call. I explained my situation to my girl and we both agreed it was time to go.

I walked back into the lounge and bullshited an excuse about a friend going through a bad break up. He gave me his unwanted and unneeded blessing to leave and I dashed to the valet. Within 30 minutes, I was undressed and in my bed. Before I pressed play on Living Single, I looked around and realized I knew exactly why I was there.

The Road to Girlfriends

I have always been surrounded by the guys. As mini Maame, I quickly became the trailer to my cousins. They found me annoying but I got to tag along one way or the other. I spent most of my afternoons playing wall ball on my street and trading my older brother’s “vintage toys” for whatever I found useful that day. Most of the girls that lived nearby were just out of my age limit, either too young or too old. I knew I had my mom for girly conversation but every time I saw a moving truck on my street, I always prayed they had a girl just my age.

After a while, I got older and started to venture into activities that were meant to breed sisterhood like the Girl Scouts. It was an experience I detested at the time but it first sparked my desire for an organic group of girlfriends. Feeling let down by my troop to have the true American sense of sisterhood, I opted out of Girl Scouts and took the streets to find my own clique. I tried a few times in middle school and high school but saw how jealousy could quickly turn best friends into each other’s victims. I made mental decisions to leave the gabbing and clothes sharing to Joan and gals. The crazy part was that every part of my being still longed to have the right group of girlfriends. I had seen my mother build a group that laughed and cried together, as if they had been born to be in each other’s lives. With no biological sisters and uninterested extended family, I initially struggled to find women who felt like home to me. Many times insecurities and inability to communicate cost me the chance to build and grow with certain women. I thought I had been cursed  by the Girl Scout gods to roam the rest of my life without my Miranda, Charlotte, and Sam. It wasn’t until I was completely myself that I was blessed with some of the most beautiful relationships of my life. Women change your life. And the women in my life do nothing short of that.

I could write for days about the impact that each one has had, starting with my mother but my words could fully never express any of it. The women in my life are the smartest, most stunning, witty, ambitious, rude, petty, and selfless people I know. Dressed in grace, humor, and wisdom, I’ve gained the honor watching their brilliance while being in their corner. As overly emotionally as it comes off, it’s completely necessary and overdue. It takes very special people to pour into others without searching for anything but friendship in return. It sounds simple but it’s something a lot of people, including myself, forget to do. But when someone or something betters a life, the right thing to do is to pay homage.