Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Happy Hump Day!

So, to keep the party going, today's blog was written by another father I know and love. And yes, y'all know him too. He's my boy, my ace, another SU alum (we thick up in here) and he's a great dad. Give it up for Dre aka The Black Cloud.





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Old Yeller Lives Up Here - Protective Dads

As a young'un I remember those Dads. The protective ones. They weren't strict, but you knew they meant business...and they knew what you were all about before you rang the bell. That's why my friends usually asked me to ring the bell...because even the protective Dad's liked me.

ding dong

"Hello?" He looks down at me.

"Good afternoon, Mr. Williams. My name is Andre, I'm in Shawanda's* class at IS59. She said we could come by because she wanted to come outside to play with us."

"Oh...Hi Andre." (half smirk) "Shawanda!"

She comes to the door surprised he actually leaves and doesn't stare me down. Meanwhile, there are 5 other kids with bicycles standing behind me on the sidewalk looking like rabid wolves.

Lets replay that...

"Good afternoon, Mr. Williams."

[Proper greeting and respectful. I'm not selling anything.]

"My name is Andre, I'm in Shawanda's* class at 59."

[Who I am and how the hell his daughter knows me]

"She said we could come by because she wanted to come outside to play with us."

[I didn't just ring your bell, if you beat anyone, it's your daughter for saying I could come by]


Worked EVERY TIME.

It even worked with Mr. Wilson! Mr. Wilson was no joke. God bless his soul. He had the stature of President Obama and the voice of Darth Vadar. I promise he burned out brains with his stern stare. It just so happens his daughter Deanna* was the brightest, prettiest girl in class. And she happened to have an onion at 14!...well an onion for us in 8th grade. But hell, I also had a chick in my 8th grade class that was slim, but had DD's (must've been the steroids in the chicken).

I digress...

Mr. Wilson was a protective Dad and we ALL knew he meant business. There was no dropping by Mr. Wilson's house and mumbling. His eyebrow would arch and the offender would get the head shake from Deanna through the screen like "Dummy! Why'd you say 'Hey whassup'!!??"

I look around today and there aren't enough protective dads in the world. It shows in the half-assed way men approach women. I see them honk the horns for the girl to come outside instead of ringing the bell. They wear do-rags as they enter the house instead of whipping that sucker off down the block. They call and say "Shamieka? Shamieka?" Not "hello. How are you?" (tsk tsk tsk) And that all ends up showing in the wayward relationship later.

Now a protective mother is no joke - but for a young man, walking into a protective dad at the door is like approaching The Sphinx.

So...now years later, I have a 10 year old girl to raise and an 8 week old on her way up. I'm not strict, but I am protective. I may be the Sherman Elementary version of Mr. Wilson. Why do I think this? One of my daughter's friends hung up on me when I answered the phone instead of asking to speak with her...and it was a GIRL!

She admitted and apologized later when she saw me talking to her father. Although, she doesn't know we were just talking about this sushi he makes. LOL

ding dong

"Hello?" I look down at the boy.

"Hi..umm...can Imani come out to play?"

"What's your name?" My eye brow cocks.

"Apernumo*"

"What was that?"

"Apernumo"

"What's your last name Apernumo?"

I hear my wife giggle in the living room.

I see him thinking "SHIT!!" As I glance over his shoulder at the two other boys on bikes looking at me like deer in headlights.

"Mukar"

"Apernumo Mukar." I repeat and think about it, knowing that half second makes his heart drop. "Apernumo, Imani isn't here. She's at karate class.[Read: I'm preparing her to whup some ass] I'll tell her Apernumo Mukar came by with...two boys, one with blonde hair and the other dark hair with Harry Potter glasses.[A joke a elementary kid gets and lightens the moment]"

"Ok. Thank you, sir." He runs down the steps to retrieve his bike and his strength.

"Don't mention it, Apernumo Mukar."

The next day Apernumo didn't come to the door. It was David. The blonde kid.

"Hi. My name is David. I'm in Imani's class at Sherman. Can Imani come out to play?" [Not bad...]

"David." I say.

"Yes?"

"What's your last name?"

Neither Mr. Wilson nor Old Yeller got nothing on me! My daughters may not appreciate it as much in their youth, but they will when it comes time to be in a relationship. They'll know that not just anyone can come into their house or step up to the door. And that's a metaphor and a half for you.

Happy Father's Day to my protective dads.

Andre aka The Black Cloud


*All names have been changed to protect the embarrassed.

24 comments:

Brooke said...

Dre!!!

What I love about the concept of a protective father is the fact that the quality of a girl's relationship with her father has a huge impact on the formation of her personality, her level of self-esteem, confidence and happiness - and therefore on the choices she makes in life. A father has the potential to give his daughter something that her mother cannot. Protective fathers recognize and act on the necessity to defend and protect their daughters from a culture that sends the message to very young girls (through the media, advertising and movies) that being sexy is what makes them special.

A girl whose father is protective (ie: one who sets boundaries and curfews and makes a point of meeting the boys she dates), feels more loved and valued and therefore places more value on herself. A girl who places more value on herself is less likely to engage in reckless behavior, such as having casual sex, drinking or taking drugs.

Daughters respect fathers who are strong, courageous and protective. She's also likely to choose a boyfriend or husband based on the qualities, whether good or bad, that she sees in her father. This alone demonstrates the awesome responsibility that comes with fatherhood. He has the potential to protect a girl emotionally, physically and psychologically, as no other relationship in her life can. Fathers like you Dre trust their own instincts as men and recognize that the type of father you are can and will shape her life forever. Great blog!

Latinegro said...

First Bitches!(after Brooke...it is her blog so...)

Dre...awesome blog. It makes me think about when my wife's niece stayed with us for a few months and we put her in school. She was 15 at the time. All the boys in her class were intimidated by me beacuse I never smiled.

They would crack a joke...I would not even smile. I would just ask...What is your name again?

Serena W. said...

OMG Dre I had a visual of you with those long locks standing at the door when the Mukar boy came by! Priceless!!! Your daughters will appreciate it later on but now I can only imagine their internal embarrassment.

But they gotta learn! I had a man on my block named Mr. Bright. Don't let the last name fool you. No joke! He stood at 6'4", was postal police and a Mason! What a combo. Every joker I dated he wanted to meet. He would grill them so bad I felt bad for the dude and was embarrassed!

Fast forward to age 34. I truly appreciate him and all he did for the girls on the block. Even if he did say things that I didn't like. In 2006 he called it when I moved to Dallas. He said no need to meet the fella I moved for...it won't last!

What! I thought, I was flabergasted, why would he say such a thing.

That next year we broke up lol! Gotta keep him around!

Andre said...

Brooke - Thanks for adding all that other stuff I wanted to but didn't because the blog was long enough as is. LOL

Ant - I can totally see you doing that! hilarious!

Serena - Here's to Mr. Bright! My wife told me that my father-in-law was easy (compared to my sister-in-law who grilled me and I didn't appreciate it) but he wasn't. He was just mellow, but a silent assassin. And we get along great.

Brooke said...

Sorry for all that other stuff, you know how I get...I can go on and on if you let me :)

Ant - I can see you giving a boy the mean mug, and then when he leaves, you crack up :)

Serena, I know how you feel. I was surrounded by a bunch of male cousins and uncles growing up and all the boys were afraid of them - especially my cousin Tony. Once they found out Tony was my cousin, they stopped speaking to me. It wasn't until Tony graduated high school and moved away from home that a guy from my neighborhood would give me a second look. The only reason I had a boyfriend in high school was because he was in college in VA miles away and no one could get to him :)

DMurray said...

Dre,

I remember those days. I used to be the one that could come to anyone's house because of the good home training I had. I could get anyone out of the house even on punishment! Interesting enough, I am only the second person that has even met my fiance's parents. The first one to set foot in the house, and she is 30... so those ideas that you set up pay off in the long run.

The challenge for me is to push down the same idea to my kid..... since he is 7, he could very easily find himself coming to your house to pickup your daughter to go out and play. He needs to know how to negotiate through that gaunlet with no fear. I think he could pass your test! May not be easy, but I think he would do well.

Stay vigilant and teach that same vigilance to your kids..... Happy father's Day to you homie!

Annamaria said...

OK I'm tasing all of ya'll...LMAO

Anywho... my dad was & still is VERY quiet. He doesn't talk much or smile or any of that around people he doesn't know cause of his PR accent. BUT he did bless me with my 8 brothers aka my bodyguards. NO ONE GOT THRU THEM. I'm surprised I EVER dated. LMAO
I knew Austin was a keeper when I saw my dad actually having a conversation with him & inviting him over.
NOW I laugh cause Austin has a GORGEOUS 8 year old daughter. Her best friend in the WHOLE world is JUSTIN.. He has a heart attack everytime she says his name.
I'm pregnant with another lil girl. He says he hopes she doesn't look like me cause he will have to kill himself..... I laugh & say Karma..... For every woman you ever dated was someone's daughter...

momo925 said...

Great blog! Props to Dre and all of the other dads out there that recognize it is very necessary to protect your baby girls. I've never experienced that kind of protective feeling from my dad. He is super laid back, but I think that is in part to the fact that my mom and the 5 brothers I have are overkill. I couldn't even get phone calls from a boy to my house without my mother listening on the other phone line! The first guy that ever came to my house to court me was my prom date lmao. She drilled him to no end and although it may have embarrassed me at the time, I still recognize that it was necessary. These loving, protective, and nurturing actions are setting the stardards for the type of man a woman should look for or accept into her life. The same qualities that a protective dad or mother demand and bring to the forefront when they meet their daughter's perspective suitor (i.e respect, future intentions, eye contact, well spoken) is what she will look for and will help her to weed out some of the bad apples.

Brooke said...

I've heard the stories about your brothers Monica, and I know how sheltered you were growing up - so I knew this blog was right up your alley. You never seem to appreciate it while it's happening, but you get it later.

I still can't believe Annamaria has 8 brothers...how you managed to date, let alone get pregnant, is beyond me :)

Annamaria said...

The funny part was how I was almost 30 when I found out I was pregnant & STILL afraid to go home & tell my dad & brothers that I was pregnant.LMAO
And one of my brothers just had to bother me & ask me exactly HOW I got pregnant! LMAO

momo925 said...

LMAO thats hilarious AnnaMaria! I feel your pain.

Andre said...

DMurray - Yeah your son shows up at the door and I say "what's your last name? Murray? You D's boy? You know I know your father right?" Nuff said! LOL

Wow Momo & Annamaria. That's like going through an entire sports team to get to talk to someone.

It's important to be protective and not strict. The strict father's usually had the daughters that were BERSERK in college. LOL

Serena W. said...

LOL about the girls that get to college and go wild. Momo and Annamaria that is madness! 14 brothers between the two of you! Dayum! That is two starting line ups for basketball and subs for each team lol!!!!

Other Dad I have to give props to is my girl RiShana (SU Class of 97) her pops Mr. Blake! He is one cooooooooooooooooool cat! He still goes salsa dancing in his latter 60's but don't you dare cross the line with his girls.

If you are in RiShana's circle as I am and even have a pet name like I do then whomever you date will get grilled or warned!

He's another one that warned me...didn't listen and he said bring that man home for Christmas...he didn't come...then he said...bring that man home next time you visit so I can speeeeeeak to him if y'all even make it. (Notice speak is drawn out).

Needless to say he called it too. He has two sons of his own and he said if a man can't court ya right then don't step at all! I have to say that I call him now for advice and just to shoot the breeze! Amazing man!

Yep cheers to him. I love that man so much and next time I even think a man should be in my life I will call Mr. Bright and Mr. Blake (and hey Ant, Dre and Rameer I may call y'all too). Grill him with no remorse!

Brooke...Tony sounds like a mobster off of Mafia Wars lol!!!! Does he still have the same pull making people disappear lmao?

Ant I went back and read your comment and cracked up at the smug look you giving these boys!

Brooke said...

That's the thing, Tony didn't even have to say anything. They were just afraid of him and since he was my cousin, that was enough. Made no sense.

He has gorgeous daughters of his own now, poor things.

Serena W. said...

Poor things is right! It was said earlier...the silent assassin !

Rameer said...

My baby sis never had that experience from our Dad; he's pretty quiet. Stern if he has to be, but he never had to be with boys - that's what I'M for. We have a great relationship, me and my sis; but she's never gone out with a boy who literally didn't have me tell them I have no problem killing them.

Boys didn't come by our house to ask for my sister to come outside. I made ALL OF THEM have their parents call my mother and introduce themselves. If you weren't willing to do that, my sister would say "my brother won't let you come over, then". This went on until she went to college.

Nope...people have told me I need to be in a movie for the sternest protector ever. But it's like Dre said - if you come across as respectful and cool, there's no problem. But knuckleheads? I always show them my knife, and let them know - there REALLY ARE trashbags in my trunk...and gloves. And a shovel.

Fathers are s'posed to protect the future of our civilizations - our women. And those women with a good father or fatherly influence in their lives usually turn out to be...well, let's just say Michelle Obama makes me proud.

No disrespect to anyone...but this was my favorite blog I've read all year thus far.

Serena W. said...

And that Cosby show was classic!!!!My Mom has it on tape (yes I said it)! VHS! LOL!

Rameer I give you props for being that kind of a brother to your sister. When I have kids and I have a boy I want to raise him to look out for his sis whether he's older or younger than her cause like you said...Fathers are s'posed to protect the future of our civilizations - our women and I'll take it a step further true men period. Father or not...that's how I see men in my life that stood for something and a couple don't have kids. It's their nature.

I threw true in there because some of these Joe's aren't true to themselves and can't protect me if they wanted to.

They are knuckleheads..or as you would call them Rameer bit**a**es (another blog I know)!

Brooke said...

Dre's blog is a hit!

I remember my dad telling this guy Antoine (who I had a serious crush on) that he better not give him a reason to "grease up his baseball bat." He said it within 30 seconds of meeting him at the mall.

Who says that??? :)

Antoine never spoke to me again.

My dad was like "oh well, he had a weak handshake anyway."

Now, as an adult, if a man shakes my hand too soft...I'm thinking to myself "he's a b*tch...just like Antoine" LOL!!

Serena W. said...

Hee hee...Brooke stop making me laugh at work! I'm crying!

Andre said...

LOL Thanks Rameer.

Yeah I have two younger sisters. Man some of those guys got the business from my FRIENDS. I just stood their shaking my head like "Don't look to me for help. Answer the question!" LOL

Brooke said...

Funny enough, the person who gave dudes the hardest time wasn't my mother or father...but my YOUNGER sister...and she still does (as some of you can tell by her comments).

She has no problem asking men personal questions, grilling them, telling them to beat it, scram, kick rocks, whatever. No one as afraid to meet my mom or dad - they were afraid to meet Nicole!

Serena W. said...

Beat it or scram! Lmao!!! I still love kick rocks though! And yes I can see Malek grilling peeps! Just her comments when you were getting ready to leave to the DR was funny!

Brooke said...

yeah, she doesn't play...she thinks she's the boss to somebody :)

Anonymous said...

Excellent commentary, and as a protective dad-in-waiting of an 8 yr.old daughter, my time is approaching. However, the part that's missing today is getting to know everybody's "people"...No matter where he comes from, I need to see/meet/greet the stock from whence he came.

Even if your father's not around, you need good male role models to pattern your interactions by.

The problem here - is that "parents with sense" are becoming just as much of the endangered species as some fathers are. Even if some young man has a "dad" figure around, what's THAT dude like? Does HE have sense? Does his MOM have sense?

Real questions in these times.

She's 8...Soon, she'll be 15 and I'll be answering the door like Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowery.

He better know how to shake hands too. (thanks Brookey)

Dmoe aka Thin Joe

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