Sweetest Thing I’ve Never Known

In Random Mannerisms & Thoughts on 2 September 2010 at 11:41 am

With all my respect, I thank you....


The First of September, while on my bed watching a documentary…I heard my cry. It didn’t come from my own lips, but more so my soul. Actually, it was Obba Babatundé speaking of the talented beauty in the picture above. I was mesmerized, have been captivated by her professional career for years. Every since Halle Berry graced the big screen as her I’ve been convinced that she was far better than Doris Day & Marilyn put together. She was a sure tie for natural beauty with Lena Horne and could hold a torch to any actress without question.  

Yet there I laid, on my side, head tilted witnessing the skeletons of her closet being excavated from a few decades of being hidden behind speculation and pain. How could such beauty survive such a past? More than a diamond in a rough or Pluto still holding on to its planet status while others demoted it to just a star, she was grand far beyond her experiences. We lost an amazing woman who had regular problems like the rest of us. But the gut wrencher for me was when Joe Adams spoke of her loneliness.  

Joe spoke on how she kept to herself when she wasnt on stage. I do the same. He spoke of how she was nervous when going before a camera or on a stage to the point that she wouldn’t eat or would get sick to her stomach. I do as well. He even mentioned how he once told her that any man would love to court her and take her out to dinner. I’ve heard that one before too. She then asked, “Well, have you ever wanted to take me out to dinner and the movies?”  To which he replied, “Why of course. But I never got the nerve to actually do it.” This beauty replied, “Joe, you are one of the more aggressive men that I know, and if you thought that way….imagine how everyone else must feel.”  Touche.  

I’m not her, nor could I ever be….but that is how I feel sometimes. I was raised to be an independent woman, wrapped in my world. Told to never be in NEED of a man but rather in WANT of one should the right one come along. Have something to bring to the table when the time is right and all should be okay, was the legend of Courted Women Past. But as the years go by I’ve heard a guy tell me that I’m intimidating, I’m not intimidating but aggressive. <~confusing, right? One actually …and literally laughed in my face when I protested that I, too, wish to be dainty and treated as such from time to time. He said, “You? Dainty?” (Insert a hearty baritone laugh here) “You are not dainty and couldn’t be if you tried.” Another went so far as to say that the reason he wouldn’t date me was, and I quote verbatim, “because I’ve got my [stuff] TOO MUCH together.”  Others assume that several other guys are knocking my door down so they don’t bother. Well, in fact my door is being knocked upon, but not by anyone with any substance or quality worth grabbing ,yet alone holding, my attention. If this beauty had trouble obtaining the proper discernment when it came to guys… how am I to ever succeed?  

So, as the documentary was coming to an end I took the pic above, which surprisingly looks like Janet Jackson, and marveled at her legend. I wrapped my arms around the racial barriers that she broke ,leaned across and created a bridge for us to walk upon to the other side to witness the entertainment achievements she captured… and there, I saw more than a beauty. I saw one of God’s children who walked my path long before I was an X Chromosome waiting for its twin. I saw a woman fighting to be who she was in a world who had a preconceived notion of who she should have been. I saw a woman who wanted love and had everything but…..because I know what it feels like to have the very thing [love] you want winds up being the very thing that hurts you, takes from you, and still feel like you would rather take the abuse than be alone.  

I wonder if she approves of her skeletons being unearthed. I wonder if she would tell her story the same way or if she would tell it at all. I wonder if she could give me pointers on how to overcome it with the same poise and grace as she. Because if I’ve learned anything it would be that I, much like her, am much more than surface…more than what your eyes could ever behold and the juicy stuff is what is unspoken. I want to thank her for speaking for me, willingly or indirectly; I had a voice through her and not vice versa. Her story is my story. So….. Thank you, Dorothy Dandridge….you are more than a beauty…you are the sweetest thing I’ve never known, but yet feel that I’ve known.  


My Mother’s Daughter

  1. ok cuzo! i got all emotional wen reading this, but tell nobody lol

    • Okay….. I’ll TRY not to tell anyone Miah….but no promises….hahahahahaha. Nah, Your big cuz will keep it to herself…just this once. Love ya & Pass it on to a friend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: