Wednesday, October 12, 2005

We Ain't Gotta Wait

I have been laughing all day about a story someone called to tell me in the wee hours of last night. Every time I think about the tale it makes me chuckle and remember where I came from and one of the women who helped shape my character.

During a good deal of my high school career I was a member of the community service club and our adviser was Ms. Betty. Now, Ms. Betty was a pretty older Black woman who gave young high school girls every bit of hope and reason to believe that black really wouldn’t crack and that if they took care of themselves their glass Coke bottle shapes would never give way to a 2 liter molding. Ms. Betty was originally from the south and carried herself in a manner that was fitting of the image of a true southern lady – most of the time. There were other times when Ms. Betty would get very down home or sometimes very 1970’s throwback Christie Love or Pam Grier and I would just eat it up. That was one of my favorite things about Ms. Betty, she was able to turn it on and off. She was about the business and the bizness.

Ms. Betty retired from the high school I attended a couple of years ago and I lost track of her until my phone call last night. Aziza called to tell me that her sister was now teaching at school back home and Ms. Betty now works there. Apparently yesterday Ms. Betty and a young woman, presumably a teacher who works at this new school, exchanged a few coarse words. I don’t know if they were about personal or professional differences. Nevertheless, the young woman told Ms. Betty if she didn’t back up then she would see Ms. Betty in the school parking lot at 4:01pm. To that Ms. Betty replied, “we ain’t gotta wait.” I can picture the look on her face and the tone of her voice right now. Serious. I love Ms. Betty and partly because of her I have the wherewithal to be a gentleman as well as the gumption to tell people when situations present themselves from E.C. (East Cleveland) to DCWe ain’t gotta wait!