Friday, April 4, 2008

How Young is Too Young?

I know its a been a minute, dear readers, but I have been crazy busy and it's making me crazy. But I won't complain. At last I can get a little rest this weekend as opposed to last weekend when I was running around for three days photographing the 9th National Black Writer's Conference at Medgar Evers College. It was work but it was fun and interesting, too. Hearing all the speakers and panelists and authors like Randal Robinson, Kevin Powell, Cornel West and many others, I couldn't help but be inspired. So maybe on second thought, I'll do some writing this weekend.

I must admit though that the highlight for me was meeting Terrie McMillan who participated in a discussion about publishing and selling black literature. She was her usual self which means she was quite candid. While commenting on the blatant sexism of the ghetto literature, encouraging writers to support Black bookstores and promoting the work of a new short story writer named Kuwai Hart Hemmings (whose book "House of Themes" so impressed Ms. McMillan that she had to read from it right then and there) she did the unthinkable: made clear reference to her scandalous marriage to that younger man who turned out to be gay, saying, and I paraphrase: "I want to know how a man can be married for over ten years and lie to his wife everyday. I want to know how he slept at night, how that felt, living a lie." The audience was shocked but they really shouldn't have been because no matter what you think about the writer --some say she's too sassy and a bit abrasive---you can't deny the fact that she is real.

After her discussion she was on hand to sign autographs and I was surprised how approachable she was. She hugged old ladies, took business cards, even gave out her email address to a few individuals. She even let me get a picture of us together but the picture sucks.


I look tired and beat with no makeup (which I was--I had been working that gig for three days!) and she had on the screw face which my girlfriend (and you know who you are) referred to as the my man left me cause he was gay face. When I told said friend that this was not funny because these days with all these brothers on the damn down low it could have happened to any of us, she disagreed, convinced that she and even most women would have at some point looked sideways at his tall feminine lip gloss wearing self.

Anyway I was happy to get my picture and even asked her to write the introduction to my book (of course she said no but wished me luck on my endeavors as an author). I guess my question was kind of bold and presumptuous but I would have been mad at myself if I'd let that opportunity pass even though I knew good and well she would say no. But I had to ask. I'm from Brooklyn and we don't play that. We take advantage of any and every opportunity that comes across our paths. Still we did talk a little and she says she's still writing and is working on a novel called "Getting to Happy" which she admitted she is still trying to do. I know she has to be devastated ,embarrassed, but she's keeping her figure and doing her work so I'm actually proud of her because chile, I think many women might have fallen apart behind that kind of heartbreak, disappointment and public humiliation. Me personally, I think I might have killed the negro. I know. I know. But also I know me and there ain't no way in hell I wouldn't have wanted to physically hurt him. (Did I mention I'm from Brooklyn?)

Many people didn't see it coming--his coming out that is, but were wary of the relationship because of the significant age difference. Wasn't she like 40 and he 19 when they met? I think it was something like that. I must admit I thought it a little odd but I like younger guys, too ,so who was I to judge. And then when he revealed his true sexuality, what it really came down to is that he didn't really know who he was when they met. This is, in my experience,the ultimate issue in dating guys that are significantly younger than I am. They are still trying to figure out who they are and what they want out of life and I've pretty much got that all figured out, thank you very much.

Still I seem to attract guys at the extreme. They are either much older than me or much younger than me. For instance, a few weeks ago, I met a interesting young man at an art exhibit and gave him my number. When he called I asked him how old he was and he said 22!! 22!! I had to laugh. Of course I was flattered and my ego jumped in my ear and said girl you fly, you can still pull 'em young. Then my curiosity jumped in and said, damn what does this young dude have going on that makes him so bold and confident as to step to my grown ass. Then my senses stepped in and said, this will be a colossal waste of your time. I mean I've dated younger guys-my ex was nine years my junior and that's probably why it didn't work out-but 22? That's a little young, don't you think?But then again, how young is too young? He's asked me to go to a friend's exhibit with him next week but I haven't decided if I'm going to go yet. But if I do, I'll be sure to tell you all about it.

2 comments:

Jewel said...

Girl,
Love has no color, no shape or size and of course no age limit. If you feel that he is the one to make you feel happy in a long time, can hold up an intelligent conversation, and if hes sexy as hell, go for yours! Forgot what everyone else says, we are so wrapped up on what everyone else thinks when we need to worry more about our happiness!
Go Girl...by the way, is he cute??

Tamika said...

Go ahead and go out with him ... just don't be mad when he acts like a 22 year old.