To read this article in Deutsch, Francaise, Italiano, Portuguese, Espanol, copy and paste the complete URL("http://www.generator21.net/radio17.html") and enter it in the box after you click through.
|The World's Magazine: generator21.net
Event # 255: SIGN POST HQ
G21 Digital Internet Postcards
G21 Barnes & Noble Search Engine
G21 E-MAIL NEWSLETTER
G21 LATIN AMERICA
MEMOIRS OF THE INFO AGE
MY GLASS HOUSE
THE SEX COLUMN
RECOMMENDED DAILY REQUIREMENT ARCHIVES.
MEMOIRS OF THE INFO AGE ARCHIVES.
G21 STUFF: SHOW THE PRIDE. Why wear that T-shirt or sweats from Nike when you can sport the spendiferous G21 blue logo? Let people know you're In the Know with G21 gear. Follow that link and find it here. Thank you so much!!!
LAST WEEK's EDITION
MEET THE G-CREW! These are the people behind this jam-band every week. AND there are GUIDELINES FOR YOU TO JOIN THE BAND...
OAKTOWN, CALI - Once I had made up my mind, the first thing I did was drive to Benicia last Saturday to tell my Moms. I was not sure how she would take it, but I knew I wanted her to be the first to know -- even before I "popped the question" to Tanya, my girl.
Mom's eyes got kind of wide at first. Then they softened and she smiled. She understood why I had waited so long to do this: I was always nervous about starting a family of my own because we had been so poor when I was coming up. I never wanted to have my kids crying in the night the way I had, sometimes in shame, sometimes in anger.
Then it was okay to talk to Tanya about the hookup. We laughed and went to see her folks to tell them. Her Daddy, who is a big, hard-talking kindah man actually through his head back and let out a rare laugh. "It's about time, niggah!" he grinned. This was one of the few times I'd seen the old man smiling.
It's taken me a while to wrap my mind around this idea of me as becoming a married man. I never done it before, but I've had plenty of time to think about doin' it. Now that I'm making a little more scratch at my job and it seems like the people at the warehouse are used to me, I figure it's a good time to make that next leap, if you understand what I'm sayin'.
Being in my thirties, I know a whole lot of folks who are probably thinkin' I'm "marryin' late." Well maybe, but you see, I have this thing, Homes, where I think it's cruelty on the part of a parent to bring a child into this world that they can't show the best they possibly can. I think too many adults is just damned selfish and don't see what violence it is to bring a child up in poverty.
Not that I'm rich right now -- by a long stretch -- but at least I've got some savings and I'm making enough money that I think I can go on without perpetratin' that kind of violence on any kids Tanya and I might have.
Adults forget too easily what it's like being a child growing up poor.
- They forget that hot, stinging shame when other kids, who ain't that much better off than you, laugh because your shoes are fallin' apart; laugh because you bring a bag lunch to school every day and its always egg salad or peanut butter; laugh because your clothes is not the best make or is startin' to fall about. And that laughter does exactly what it is meant to do: it makes you feel ashamed and worthless and the butt of the joke of Life. It makes your face hot as you struggle to hold back tears or just frown 'cause it will make you look tough and mean like maybe you could hurt somebody. Sometimes you think you just might hurt somebody, so's they can feel as bad as you do for being poor.
- Adults forget what it is like for a child to have to wonder why so-and-so down the street has the latest action figures or that great game set-up and you can't get one, too.
- Adults forget how strange it is to see them kids on TV always laughing and having fun and buying thangs with all they great cool friends who is laughing and having fun with their new stuff too and how you sit there in front of the magic box and wonder why your life is NOTHING like that. Just tough and bleak when it is not filled with fear or longing. You think that maybe you can run away to this wonderful place where kids are doing all right ... but you don't know where it is, so you don't know how to get there.
- Adults forget that while you're a kid you only have the vaguest notion of what the world is all about, what a job is, and where money comes from. Money comes from your parents, right? All you know is that some people have as much as they need and, you, the poor kid, don't because your parents say so. (You gottah wonder if they are just holdin' back that money to torture you because you are somehow bad or stupid or unworthy.)
I don't want my kids to have ANY of them experiences or feelings or thoughts that I had to have as a poor kid comin' up. Not if I can help it.
I guess that why I've privately spent so much time thinkin' about marriage and what exactly it means. I've spent a lot of time thinking about what kind of Papa I'd like to be and what kind of husband. I've sat real quiet and watched real close as other friends and co-workers of mine got married and had families. I've made long hand-written lists of what I thought they was doin' right and wrong and what I would never do.
So I don't regret the fact that I waited until now to pop the question. I've had the time to think about stuff like that a lot. And I've had the time to get some of the wildness out of my system. I don't jump bad on a dime like I used to, I don't pop-off. And I had time to be around a lot more women and learn about them. I had time to get that raging need for strange women out of my system, too.
I'm at a place now where I think I'll be able to answer them questions about drugs and liquor and where babies come from when they come up down the road. I think I'll be able to teach my kids that what they see on TV ain't real and ain't meant to be, just another form of cartoon and some of those cartoons you can't understand until years of life go by. Most of all, I think I can spare my kids a lot of conflictedness and confusion and frustration by helping them see the difference between what folks says and what happens in real life on the street. If I can just help them be able to understand the difference between words and results, I'll be thankful for havin' accomplished something.
But first there will be me and Tanya. We've been together long enough now --- about four years --- that I don't worry about that, too much. I can trust her and I think she and I understand a lot about each others' natures. I think we have a lot of the same goals for makin' a life.
Actually livin' in the same house will be an adjustment, but I think we can take it. Ain't much about each others' living habits we don't know from sleepovers at each others' cribs over the years. And she makes a mean fried okra.
I guess it's kind of old-fashioned, but we set the date for the hookup for June.
COMMENTS? QUESTIONS? Why not e-mail Raheem?
+++ The PREVIOUS RADIO ACTIVE +++ THE NEXT RADIOACTIVE +++
© 2001, GENERATOR 21.E-mail your comments. We always like to hear from you. Send your snide remarks to firstname.lastname@example.org.