No, not stank like funky.
This past weekend, I braved the lameness that is Philly night life and went out with some friends. It was a little before midnight, but the place was starting to get a little packed. I was standing against the wall watching some Olympic event on one of the clubs fly big screens, when I made I contact with the relatively well dressed black man. He smiled at me, I smiled back politely and nodded, and then glanced back up at the screen. In my supersonic periphery I noticed homeboy still glancing my way, with a look of astonishment on his face. He leaned in and said “I didn’t know black women smiled at black men anymore.” I smiled again, and said something witty about mean-mugging. He laughed and went back to chatting with his boy. A few minutes later as he was changing post up spots, he extended his hand to me, smiled and said “You made my night. Have a good one.”
As I continued to watch the pretty TVs, I thought about what this man said. (At this point in the night, my thoughts were more entertaining than the crowds of people shamelessly dancing off beat.) Are black women really that stank? I know I have to catch myself sometimes and snap out of my tight “don’t say anything to me” grill. But I thought this was something relatively unique to me.
Now that I am maturing and becoming more self aware and such, I have started to pay attention to this. But like dude said, are black women like this across the board? Or is just at the club when we are trying to keep the snaggle toothed busters away? Do we only smile when we are trying to get men to buy us (and the army we came with) dranks? Does the stank look cross all situational barriers?
If it does, something may be wrong here.
First, lets not assume every man is trying to get in those jeans or dress pants. (please see “No Girl, It’s Not that Deep). We are quick to talk about how we can’t find eligible black men and all that. While this may be a reason for the “I smell something nasty” face in theory, it is not that man’s fault he is an endangered species. No I am not saying every man could be Mr. Right, or the next Mr. Right Now, but loosen up a bit.
No one (male or female) wants to talk to a sour puss. Pause. I used to adopt this “I am going to look as stank as I want to because a real man will see past that and want to approach me anyway.” Girl, please. You know you and your girls talk about the broads across the room that are looking all ug and bitter. Sadly, you often do too. So imagine how a group of dudes see that. I can just hear them now talking talking about how silly we look.
Please don’t think I am saying walk around with a Kodak smile at all times. Where I’m from, those smiley faced people get got. Nor am I saying every black man warrants a smile just because. That dude with the tattered pants and non-gangster lean licking his lips at you…you shouldn’t smile at him…or maybe you should just so he doesn’t crazy and charge at you…you make that call. I’m just saying, if someone nods and smiles at you in a respectful and decent manner, it is only polite to do the same. All the eye rollin and neck snapping is not necessary all the time. It makes you look nicer, even if you’re not, and it could serve some positive end. Your smile could make his day. Maybe now he wants to exchange business cards or myspace account names. Or maybe it’ll end there and that will be that.