Writings Off The Wall

Rodomontades, Balderdash, and Inwits

4 Degrees of Separation

with 6 comments


The number of social networking sites out there makes for some interesting interactions with people you’ve long forgotten about or who’ve long forgotten about you. I will admit to succumbing to occasional fits of boredom or curiosity to Google or Facebook some person from my past, like the girl in my 9th grade math class whose friends laughed at me when I gave her a Valentine’s Day “will you be my girl?” note (she’s married, no kids, and has a body like a bag of bowling balls – thank God she rejected my offer) . Quite honestly, I have yet to reconnect with someone that resulted in us being fast friends all over again. It usually results in playing the “what have you been up to for the last 10 years?” game of twenty questions, promises of keeping in touch, and then totally forgetting that ol’ what’s his face is even on your friends list.

What amazes me most are those people who remember you though your interaction with them years ago may have lasted no longer than a month. Such a thing happened to me a couple days ago. I received a friend request from a girl – let’s call her Tonya – which I “went with” for like three weeks over 15 years ago. We broke up because I kissed this other girl in the usher board room at church and the two girls ended up fighting over it in the church parking lot one day after Sunday School – one screaming “I don’t want him any-damn-way! You can have him!” and the other screaming back “I don’t want his azz; you take him!” My ego has never been so stroked and so humiliated in the same moment. Apparently the agreement of not wanting me was too much for the young ladies to stand, so they had to come to blows over who didn’t want me more… with the spoils going to the loser.

Fast forward from 1991 to this past Friday. I get a friend request from Tonya, whom I immediately remembered because she fought so gallantly so she wouldn’t have to be my girl anymore. After a couple days of back and forth emails of catching up, it became clear that she was looking for me because was trying to get that old thing back. Somehow, I came to her mind and she reached out. All of her responses to me overtly implied that she was smart, successful, and ambitious – she was advertising.

She took note of my academic pedigree, which includes studies at an Ivy League school and a Black Ivy League school, and obviously felt the need to impress upon me her love of school. She goes on to tell me that she has four degrees, so I’m thinking she probably has a couple bachelor’s and a couple master’s, or maybe even a doctorate’s in something. Now, she never struck me as the Ph.D. type, but with the number of online programs out there, who knows. You can literally become a Ph.D. and a Reverend in a few hours onlie with just a few dollars. So, curious, I asked what her degrees were in and this is how she responded:

I have certificates in social work, medical laboratory technology, dialysis, and medical records.

In other words, she went to one of those schools that has commercials during The Jerry Springer Show.

I’m not belittling those who go to such schools who offer certificates in the important and varied fields like G.E.D, File Cabinet, and Doctor. Hell, I would love to go to school for 30 Saturdays and get a certificate in Doctor, whatever the hell that means. I’m also not belittling those who don’t go on to school after high school because college really isn’t for everybody. What I AM belittling is someone who misrepresents they’re accomplishments just to make themselves more attractive. If you are a maid Au Pair Extraodinaire at the Red Roof Inn on MLK, Jr. Boulevard, then say so. Or if you empty bedpans on the old folks’ floor at the hospital, then just say so. There is no shame in an honest, paying job, especially in today’s economic climate. But don’t misrepresent yourself.

This is a classic occurrence when meeting someone new (or catching up with someone from the past in this case). Many men say women misrepresent themselves all the time with weave, fake nails, color contacts, caked-on make-up, wonderbras, and booty-lifting J. Lo jeans. And women have the same complaint about men acting like they are financially secure ballin’ at the bar, rollin’ up in a Beamer with spinning rims, and making women promises of vacations and expensive dinners, when in reality they “are living in their parents’ basement and writing their name on the orange juice talkin’ about ‘Ma, don’t touch my shyt!’ “*

But I think it is one thing to play the dating game, and another thing entirely to misrepresent what you’ve achieved and what you believe. Acting like you are saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost on Sunday morning only to get that big booty honey in the choir over to your house Sunday night, ply her with Patron, and bareback her on your twin bed is just criminal. Acting like you are a lawyer at the city’s biggest firm when you are really the dude in the mailroom who licks the manila envelopes is downright deception. And acting like you have 4 degrees when you really have a certificate from an institution that shares floor space with a telemarketing call center is unfairly misleading.

In fact, it’s more than misleading; it’s downright cold. Like 4 degrees F.

* workcite Martin Lawrence


Written by offdwall

April 8, 2009 at 7:59 am

Posted in Uncategorized

6 Responses

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  1. AMEN!

    I also find it strange when you first meet someone and the first words out of their mouth…

    “So what do you do (for work)?”

    Is it just an ice breaker or is everyone ready to judge you based on what you do from 9 to 5?


    April 8, 2009 at 8:49 am

    • Folks certainly form an opinion about you based on what it is you do. I think it’s beyond an incebreaker, but actually a perverse method gauging their stature.


      April 8, 2009 at 7:32 pm

  2. I, too find the “what do you do” question offputting at times, depending on the reason I believe they’re asking. Sometimes, it really is an ice breaker.

    As far as this young lady, I hope for her sake she doesn’t find her way to this post. However, if she does:

    Check Mate!


    April 8, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    • She just may find this entry if she were to go back to school and get a certificate in Blog. LOL


      April 8, 2009 at 7:33 pm

  3. That was too funny! 🙂 The thing is people forget that you can’t misrepresent yourself for so long, at some point the truth will rear its ugly head.

    “Chassez le naturel, il revient au galop”… You can’t hide it for too long.

    Ms. Sula

    April 8, 2009 at 1:11 pm

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