A couple of days ago, Monnie, asked her readers, “Did either or your parents ever hit you or snatch your azz up after age 18?”. The first thing that came to my mind was the clip below from The Chappelle Show. (Man, I miss that show!)
I gave a cliff notes version in response to her question, but here’s the whole story.
I was 20 years old and attending college about 2 hours from home. MrTDJ and I were long distance dating at the time and he was still in the D.C. area. I made plans to come home one fall weekend, after Friday morning classes. Since there were so many peeps from the D.C. area, finding a ride home was never a problem. Once my plans were set, a 2nd friend mentioned that he was going up on Thursday afternoon. Hmm, the wheels in my head started to spin. If I went up Thursday afternoon, I could hang out with MrTDJ. He had his own apartment, so I could spend the night at his place, then just go to my home on Friday evening like I had just arrived. Don’t judge me! Ya’ll were young once too! Although we’d been dating for over two years, my parents didn’t play that staying over his house mess. I was still a lady, their baby girl and our asses were NOT married.
In hindsight, I should have known that this plan was just too damn easy!! My boy dropped me off in Alexandria at MrTDJ’s apartment. Everything was smooth. He and I went out for an early dinner, strolled the Alexandria waterfront, stopped by Blockb.uster (remember them??) for a movie and went back to his place. As we fell asleep that night, I couldn’t recall a more perfect evening that we’d ever spent together. **cue butterflies and romantic early 90’s slow jams**
Meanwhile, 2 hours south west in Charlottesville, VA
The shrill sound of a ringing phone stirred my roommate, Ding Dong, from her bed at 11:37pm.
Ding Dong: Hello?
MamaTDJ: Hi Ding Dong, how are you? This is MrsTDJ’s mother. May I speak to her please?
Ding Dong: MrsTDJ? Oh, she’s not here. Didn’t she make it home yet?
**silence as MamaTDJ attempts to process Ding Dong’s response**
MamaTDJ: Home? She’s not supposed to be here until after classes tomorrow.
**ever eager to help, Ding Dong spills the beans**
Ding Dong: No, she was able to get a ride today with someone else and she should have been there by now.
**silence as MamaTDJ begins to put the pieces together**
MamaTDJ: Thanks Ding Dong. You have a good night dear.
42 minutes later, Alexandria, back in the den of sin
MrTDJ and I are suddenly awakened by an incessant pounding on is apartment door. We both jump up. He heads to the front door, with me stupidly following behind him. Because he’s still half sleep, he flings the door open without ever asking who it is. (Note to MrTDJ – dude, you could have gotten us killed! What if it was a criminal or something? You did kinda live a stones throw from the hood!) Then he mumbles, “shit” and steps to the side so that I can see my parents standing there. **gulp**
They enter the apartment without so much as a word. I can see the veins bulging in my father’s forehead, so I don’t say a word either. At that moment, I wished that I was in that carnival ride where you lean against the wall and the floor drops out from under you. You know the one? Gravity keeps you glued to the wall in the same way that fear was keeping me planted in place. Yep, I wanted the floor to open and allow me to escape from this foolishness I had created. Ugh!! I wasn’t even the kind who normally tried to get away with stuff because I was pretty much a goody two shoes growing up. I was scared as hell of my parents because they D.I.D. N.O.T. P.L.A.Y!
The silence was uncomfortable, but I damn sure wasn’t gonna say a word. Then dumb azz, aka MrTDJ, says, “Hi Mr. and Mrs. TDJ. Can I offer ya’ll some water?” ***crickets*** Looking back, it’s funny as hell, but in that moment, it surely was not. My father blinked several times before saying, “Son, it would be best if you didn’t speak again.” Ouch! And, for those that don’t know me personally, or have never met my father, he looks and acts like the police officer he is. Growing up, everyone said that he sounded like Tone Loc when he spoke, but after the Mat.rix movies came out, most people say he sounds like Morpheus. So, um, yeah, after that? MrTDJ shut the hell up.
Finally, using one ounce of the good sense that I still possessed, I ran to the back of the apartment to hastily grab my bags and get back to the living room before DaddyTDJ killed MrTDJ. All three were frozen in exactly the same spots when I returned. Upon seeing my bags, DaddyTDJ touched MamaTDJ’s elbow and they headed for the door. I made brief eye contact with MrTDJ before going out the door after them. I’d never been more scared, embarrassed or ashamed than I was at that moment. Above all, I saw disappointment on both my parents faces and that broke my heart.
Once outside the apartment, MamaTDJ spun around quickly and was in my face before I could react. Through clenched teeth, she hissed, “Who are you? Have you lost your damn mind? Sneaking home from school to lay up in some apartment, acting like a two bit hussy. We didn’t raise you like this!” I’ve never seen her so angry. I recoiled at the word hussy because I couldn’t believe she had called me one. In that moment, I had two thoughts – one was, “I’m not a hussy! I’m sorry I lied and disappointed ya’ll, but we’re in love.” And the other was, “Mama, please keep your voice down. It’s late and you’ll wake up MrTDJ’s neighbors.” Well folks, I’d like to say that I kept my silly mouth shut, but I didn’t. Instead, I spoke. But, my brain had a short-circuit or syntax error or something because I actually uttered the second thought. ****smh**** I know, I know. Da hell was I thinking???
My mother reared back and slapped the living ish outta me. So hard that the pain radiated through my nose and up into my eyes. So hard that a slight breeze stirred in the hallway from the path that her arm took. So hard that I had a bruise in the shape of fingerprints for about a day. Ouch!
So, yup, age ain’t nothing but a number as far as my parents are concerned. I’m 34 now, but I know good and well if I do so ish that deserves a slap or a thunk upside the head, they’ll damn sure do it.
What about ya’ll? Ever had your parents check you as an adult? Have you had to handle your adult children?