If you remember when communities were tight and families were tighter, nod your head and say Mmmm Hmmm.  If you don’t, indulge me for three to five minutes while I go down memory lane.  

A woman asked me recently why I chose to write a book about man-stealing.  “After all,” she said, “it’s already enough mess out here with these reality TV shows and black women cutting the fool like they don’t have turtle sense.” I reminded her of the cities that preceded the Atlanta Housewives and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo to reiterate black women are not the forerunners of tomfoolery.   I added I wrote Dream Girl Awakened so readers would remember choices have consequences.  Today’s stroll down memory lane is an air kiss and proud salute to the beauty of women speaking the truth in love and wisdom.

My childhood kitchen birthed great life lessons.  The smell of simmering black-eyed peas and stewed chicken, seasoned wood burning in a pot-bellied stove, and singed hair mixed with Royal Crown grease served as the backdrop for kitchen love hangovers; most of the hangovers required words of wisdom from the chorus village.  A love hangover happened when a woman just had to have a man and at some point during the relationship, a breakdown or a break-up occurred.  I’m talking ugly break-ups with cursing, busted windows, tire-slashing, sugar-in-car-tank shenanigans, and threats of suicide.  The village consisted of aunts, cousins, grandmothers, and neighbors who’d been there, done that, and had a tongue lashing for the lowdown man in question.  Sometimes, though, a love hangover existed because the hangee decided she could take the wife’s place.  These hangovers called for scriptures, the laying on of hands, and every now and then a good old-fashioned Richard-Pryor-on-the-Sunset-Strip cussing out.  You see, the code dictated at no time should a woman go after another woman’s husband. EVER. Not even if the wife didn’t put out, had hooves, and was domestically challenged.  “You don’t darken your doorstep or someone else’s with that kind of misery,” said the village.

The healing went down near the stove at the back door.  A heated hot comb rested on the stove while the hangee’s hair was sectioned and pinned in four parts; the village member wielding the hot comb whipped the hangee’s kitchen into submission as she spoke.    The village member of the moment recounted tales of when she’d been hurt and came out on top.  She emphasized that no man is worth your self-esteem.  “Pull yourself together, love yourself a little bit better, Honey,” she added.  The hangee pondered the words, nodded, and sipped an ice cold Sprite until her hair was done.  At times, tearful, other times self-assured, the hangee held her head high and squared her shoulders.  She turned to the village member on her way out and said, “thank you.”  As she walked away, the hangee often heard, “Everybody plays the fool, just don’t stay the fool.  And Honey, get you some sunshine.”

                                                                         
                                                             http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHVyFYg9T7A