I have Friday Night Friends. A large-ish group of people in the Bay Area who I only see at nighttime, at parties. Back in college, I partied quite a bit too. That’s not surprising, I guess (unless you’re one of those people who thinks Harvard kids can’t get down, but the important distinction here is that the people who saw me at parties also saw me in class, in cultural meetings, at the head of a board, performing on the track, singing in my a Capella group, responding to email threads, and generally being a well-rounded person with the possibility of a bright future. Now though, the people who see me yelling lyrics to ratchet rap music on Friday night don’t know I’m being ironic in my enjoyment, because I am so far from hood. I’ve realized recently, they don’t know particularly anything about me. Before I switched jobs in fact (now I see a few of them around during the daytime), many of them had never seen me in pants. I know what they thought: “Oh dubs.? She don’t do nothing but make it rain, thizz face and hit her Dougie.” Actually, a few weeks ago, one of these FNFs expressed an opinion of my personality based entirely off of my c’mon son face and the fact that there was a time that phe made me anxious (so I ran away, #LikeYaDo).
Earlier this week though, I had a pretty illuminating conversation with a new acquaintance. As we started talking about mutual interests, my hobbies, my plans … it dawned on me. I am interesting as s**t. Oh did you want to talk about filmmaking? I used to do that. You used to date an actor? I’m starting my on camera class next week. You’re reading about poly-sci and “whole food” eating? I’m following the infuriating political landscape, but I like to read British chic-lit, Dean Koontz, Stephen King and quality young adult fare. Oh you like comedy? Allow me to perform Chappelle’s “For What It’s Worth” line by line for you. Or ask you where the Duphresne’s are. Or ask what you think about Hand Banana. What’s my favorite music right now? Brit Indie Pop and Dub Step all day (err’day, son). What do I daydream about? Being highly invested in psychology and the fact that women and other minorities are so poorly maligned by the field that is built upon logic that sets up 1950’s era White Males as the “norm.” What keeps me up at night? Anonymity, East Coast lust, and my considering place in the larger Black American community. What puts me to sleep? Modern Family, or that Episode of the Cosby Show where they played Coltrane’s “In a Sentimental Mood.” How do I like my hair? I like the ease of the weave, but I prefer my afro of yore…
I am (as are we all) a nuanced human being. I hate that people don’t immediately see that, just because from time to time, my speakers go hammer. I recognize though, that I must give the same leeway with my other FNFs. Maybe we all need to have a day time conversation with each other. To break through the intricacies and really get to know one another.
Maybe that’s not appropriate for the club though …
~Not the trap star you think I am 😉