If you call woman African woman, no go 'gree, she go say I be lady o.-Fela Kuti "Lady"
My father played Fela around the house when I was growing up and as an adult, I really enjoy and love the music. The song "Lady" is one of my favorites. As with all Fela songs, the groove is infectious and steady. Although Fela was a revolutionary and social commentator in many ways, the lyrics always come second to the music for me. The steady Afro beat is tribal and urban, new and old all at the same time. However, when I first heard this song, I liked how he described the woman as brash and crass and unapologetic about being a 'lady' despite her actions showing otherwise.
This brings me to last night. Long story short, I met a guy yesterday at the ATM on Michigan Ave. He was tall, dark and handsome. Not to mention polite and charismatic. He initially asked me what part of Africa I was from. I told him Chicago was my home town; he was Nigerian. He invited me to a house warming party for his friend, taking place that same night. I agreed to go. My friend Nicole would be going with me as backup in case something went down. After speaking to him and confirming I would go, he text me the address and Nicole and I got ready at our separate houses. I was hell bent on wearing this sweater dress, but could not get it to work. I settled on black riding pants, my favorite 'go to' top (knit cap sleeve shirt, that is a complete sheer button up in the back) and my red booties. When I picked Nicole up, I saw she opted for some cute jeans and a nice delicate top with embezzled ballet flats.
We get to the building and in the elevator some girls call out to hold it. Here we go... The first girl to catch it just stood and blocked the door without any apologies. The maintenance man who happened to be helping some new tenants and was on the elevator as well had to encourage them to speed up so we would not all be waiting. When this group got on, I new immediately that they were going to the same place. Nicole text me in the elevator (showing me the message on her screen) that she felt absolutely underdressed. I didn't, those bad weaves alone (that ALL of them had) knocked their outfits down at least 5 notches.
We get off the elevator and start walking. One of them behind us says, hold on. And the only guy in the group goes, 'are we waiting?'. I could feel them drilling a hole in the back of my head. So of course, despite my sore ankle, I sashayed passed and proceeded to the party with Nicole. We get in and the host introduced himself and his roommate. He offered to take our jackets, but I wanted to scope the place out a bit first and Nicole was not having it at all, so she requested to keep hers. There was food, drinks and a relatively lively group. Everyone was dressed to impress. The men seemed nice enough, but the women, oh the women. The party was African dominated. I normally would have enjoyed the atmosphere, but in a too tight, box apartment (I'm sure he's paying waaay too much) where nearly every woman and I mean EVERY woman has her eyes on you, it was too much. I felt like a lioness who just stepped off of a safari tour. I don't think the lone white sista had this much awkward staring. Was it my braid-out funky afro?
Furthermore, I had apparently forgotten how my new friend looked, because after eyeballing a couple of random men and pointing out at least 4 that I thought were him. I soon discovered from the host, that he had not arrived yet. It was now 11pm. Past my bedtime and way over my bullshit limit, I was getting impatient. My new friend was not answering his text messages and Nicole was feeling extremely uncomfortable. To boot, every woman, including the little 5 year old that kept bouncing around, with the exception of 2 people had weaves! All of them bad. All of them! They obviously took the party very seriously, I mean women were wearing what I call booty dresses and sequined numbers, including a sequined booty dress and a sequined bustier! Side bar: are sequins in this season? I haven't heard word of it. But I digress. Party dresses with sky-high stilettos were all around, but not a single blender or Target gift card in sight. Not the traditional house warming we were expecting.
I asked Nicole if she was ready to go, I had another 30 minutes in me to wait, but would not subject her to it if she did not want to be there. It was now about 11:20pm. We had been there for an agonizing 25 minutes or so. Nicole looked up to me (she is shorter than I, and has on flats remember and I have on booties) and said something to the effect of, 'we don't have to, but I would like to'. Enough said, let's roll! We went to the closet where I had hung up my jacket and beat it! The host, on our way out said, 'you're leaving?' Now I am still a lady, so I kept it very positive: 'yeah (insert apologetic 'yeah' face), we had a good time. Thank you. You have a very nice place.' As we walked out, we heard the apartment lock click and looked at each other like, 'what the fuck was that? As we got on the elevator this brotha was getting off, he too was at the party. He asks, 'ya'll leaving? Where are you headed to next?' I responded, 'anywhere, but here.' He says, 'whoa, whoa, what happened? I'm riding down with ya'll.' We could not quite describe it, Nicole and I just kept looking at each other, trying to find the words. I finally said, 'they kept looking at us like, "oh, my God, her hair is so nappy"'. With a look of disgust and confusion, he replied, 'oh, that's weak, that's weak' referring to the girls. We thought he would be kind enough to walk us to our car, but instead he kissed his 2 fingers into a peace sign (yes, you read that right) and bid us a good night. I guess he had to hurry up and get back to those 'weak' sistas.
Nicole needed a drink; she had refused to partake at the party. My new friend had finally responded to my text. He was on his way. I was to ask for DJ Fine Boy in his absence. I text back that we decided to call it a night. But my Cricket phone, did not send the text, so I had to resend (hopefully he didn't get 5 duplicated messages, my phone has been known to do that). Nicole and I headed over to our favorite spot, the South Loop Bar Louie's. She had her normal Pink Lady cocktail, while I drank water. We split buffalo wings and a basket of fries until we were just plain ole worn out and tired of being out and witnessing the ghetto mess that was at Bar Louie's. We lamented on how bizarre that whole party was. Why did all of them have bad weaves? Was what I kept asking. Nicole thought the night should go down in our social history book as one to remember.
On the ride home, we mercilessly mocked the whole situation in terrible African accents. We imagined they were all talking about us like dogs. This made us giggle and laugh the whole ride. Yeah, he'll never call me again...