The Change Up

To quote Usher Raymond IV: “Now, we gon’ do this thing a little different toniiiiight…”

Pretend “tonight” is “today.”

I’ve been re-reading abandoned writing projects and spent some time with my novel that never was. This Wednesday, I’ll share some pieces.

Allow me to introduce excerpts from To Catch a Unicorn. Which may or may not ever be published. lol.

Parker

My top three dislikes, in order: weddings, make-up, and singing in front of large groups. Yet, me, my beat face, and my anxiety are accounted for as I tap the microphone to capture the attention of the 100 guests in the dining hall. Under a canopy of black and white balloons, I scan the crowd for familiar faces and see the bride’s parents, Marvin and Jessica Edwards; and Stephen, the groom’s friend who started all his sentences with “these females” that time I went out with him. At the head of the table, of course, sits the happy couple, Roni and Davis, whispering and giggling as if they were alone in the room of 100. 

Then there’s DJ, the groom’s cousin. Who I slept with three nights ago after Roni and Davis’s joint bachelor party. 

He’s the last thing I need to think about right now. 

My gown. Yes, I could focus on that. I smooth down the black satin, thankful that Roni opted for a small wedding party, a maid of honor, best man, flower girl, and ring bearer, so I had free reign over my dress as long as it was black. It fits my no-muss, no-fuss style; strapless with a sweetheart cut on top, knee-length, and pencil-fitted with a slim champagne sash tied at my waist. Face full of makeup aside, at least I was comfortable and not forced into pastels or ruffles.

Did I mention that weddings aren’t my thing? 

For starters, they’re full of fantasies and falsehoods. “Forsaking all others,” and “as long as we both shall live.” 

Sure.

Just once, I’d like to see a couple exchange vows they can live up to. Like “let’s try not to fuck this up” or “until one of us wakes up in twelve years and realizes we’re a new person and can’t be held to vows made by our previous iterations.”

DJ

I have a policy: never bring dates to weddings. 

Take a girlfriend to a wedding and you spend the subsequent days fielding “You’re next” comments all over social media. Take a not-girlfriend, and you spend the entire day navigating awkward introductions. Soon after, girlfriend or not, you get roped into a talk about “not wasting time.” And that, my friends, is game over. Either you promise you’re “going somewhere” or in six months, she’s engaged to a whole other dude; the “homeboy” she told you not to worry about or some nigga she put on the shelf when she first started seeing you that her friends swore would treat her better than you ever did. 

My ex-girlfriend could tell you all about it.

For a former military brat without many close friends outside of family, I’ve been to a shit ton of weddings; my cousin Davis being the fifth of the last two years. Of all my boys who took the plunge, Davis seemed the least pressured, despite being the eldest at thirty-nine. He did his time living with his son’s mother in his twenties and entered his thirties single and footloose. He met Roni, a Gabrielle Union look-a-like six years his junior, a couple of years ago at a charity event. They cooled out for a while, slipped into a relationship, and next thing everyone knew, he proposed at the base of some Aztec mountain in Mexico. According to Davis, it all went down without a timetable or a “what are we doing” conversation. 

Uncomplicated. As life can be when you’re patient enough to live it. 

Don’t these characters sound like fun? I wish I had the discipline to finish their story. Alas…

Published by

a girl named rob

I used to be "skinny black girl." I'm now a slender woman on the other side of 35 with no new moniker who is not quite interested in writing under her given name. Still writing my life, a day (or some months) at a time. Also, still black.

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