Corey, Post #3: Shades
Cue Star Wars Music:
As Black people continue to progress into a new decade, there has been one battle that never seems to die: dark skin versus light skin. Birthed out of the doldrums of ignorance during slavery (See: Willie Lynch) A’la the N-Bomb, we continue to make jokes and choose our mates and dates by a sharpie or paper bag test.
Let that marinate for a while.
After my married woman fiasco, I laid low for a while, attempting to give some advice to my friends who may have needed it- especially Angie and her martini drinking ass. I swear I couldn’t get her away from those things while she and her boyfriend fought a ridiculous battle. When all was well, she gave me some advice: “Corey, you need to go out and hit a club. You are long overdue.”
For those who know me, I am not much for the club scene, but I’ll do it. It is fun from time to time with good friends, but I have gotten so used to kickin it at my apartment or small bars. And Angie was speaking in code. She was trying to get me to hit the club to find miss New-New. But so she would shut up, I obliged. Besides, the crew was coming in from PV. I hadn’t seen Cliff and Dante for a while, so it would be fun to get out.
Cliff and Dante wanted to hit Isis downtown. As we drove to the club, Dante was clowning the whole way- Ironically about skin tones. “Corey, we are going to use you as a decoy to bring the ladies to us, and then all three of us should see some play. Everyone is looking for a light-bright these days because of TI, Pharrell and Chris Brown. Im the light skinned one of the three of us, by a long shot. In these winter months, I remain the color of a penguin’s belly. “Come on Dante,” I said. “Do we really have to go there?”
“Yep. I need you as my decoy to lure some sweet chocolate my way.”
Cliff, the least wordy of the three of us, said something meaningful as he always does. “I don’t discriminate. There is no reason to, lol. The spectrum is so wide with shades of women, why choose just one? You limit yourself!” Touchdown, Cliff.
Isis was cool- Good drinks, I danced with a couple of nice girls, and laughed some of the poorly-dressed people and brothas getting shot down when asking for numbers. Sadly, the three of us couldn’t laugh much because we were numberless. As the last call for alcohol came, I was grabbed by a girl and pulled from the boys. They were in shock as I was dragged across the dance floor as she was feeding me a story. “You’re cute. My friend Clara is over there, and she is too shy to come over here. I want you to talk to her.” I obliged, but I also expected the worst. I knew I was gonna run into a Sea Donkey or a Bear-Rilla when I got to this girl.
That’s when I met Clara Nunez. She was definitely a knockout. It completely baffled me why she put the “shy girl” act on. Her jade green dress perfectly fit her coke bottle physique, and her smile was engaging. And she turned beet-red when I was slung over to her by her henchman/homegirl. I smiled and said hey, and she started talking. Before she got her whole statement out, the lights came on in the club. She smiled at me, asked for my phone and gave me her number. She had a 407 area code. She’s from the crib!
Clara was a mixed Black and Puerto Rican girl with short, wavy hair and an olive skin tone. She had her own look that made her unconventionally captivating-Hence why she was a Tommy Hilfiger model. She left that job to go back to school at University of Central Florida. She was on vacation and I told her we could catch up when I went to visit my parents in a few months. I hadn’t been home in a while, and I needed to bring Elijah to see his grandparents. We talked on the phone in the interim, when I received my first red flag- “Corey, are you mixed? No? Why are you so light then?”
My pet peeve. Why the hell does skin tone matter? Strike One.
When I got to Orlando, I dropped Elijah with my parents and went to pick up Clara for dinner. We went to my favorite Cuban spot in Downtown Orlando, and then caught some live Jazz. I continued the fusion groove by jamming some Jamiroquai on the way to her apartment. She smiled, and then shut my music off. “Corey, I really wanna tell you something. I really think you’re amazing.”
“Really? Why is that?”
“It’s great seeing a black man who is about his business, you are going to go so far. You take care of your son, and you are going to be doing big things.”
“When we get married, we would have a cute name. Clara and Corey. Wow.”
Strike two. Married? Already? U Serious? She was though. As a heart attack.
“And most importantly Corey, we’d make some pretty light-skinned babies.”
“Clara, how do you even figure we’d make light skinned babies? Have you seen pictures of my son?”
“Yes, but your son’s mom is dark. That’s why that happened. I only date lightskinned guys because I want lightskinned kids.”
I was completely pissed. Clara, so beautiful, so sweet, was also so ignorant. I should have known better after the first red flag. Hell, I should have known better meeting someone at a damn club. That stuff never works out.
Before she got out the car, I looked at her with love in my eyes. I reached into my pocket and handed her a small, crumpled picture from my wallet. It was of me and my two brothers. My baby brother is my complexion, and my younger brother is dark as night. She looked at the picture, looked back at me in embarrassment. She opened her mouth as if she wanted to explain, but she shrugged and hopped out of my car. She may not have comprehended why I was mad, but she sure as hell understood rejection.
On to the next one.