Last year Avant and I enjoyed dinner and a movie in Michigan. During the drive to the theater we started discussing action movies and I mentioned how I like Vin Diesel.
“Why do women lose their minds over him? But I did like the movie where he finally played a Black guy.”
“You mean “A Man Apart?”
“Yeah, the one where Larenz Tate was married to Superhead.”
Avant glanced over at me, and saw the confusion on my face. He came to a stop at the red light and put his head down.
“What? What’s wrong?”
Avant continued driving, and I could tell he was uncomfortable.
“Honey, you’ve never heard of Super – uh, Karrine Steffans? No, you’re my good girl, you wouldn’t have. And I’m glad you don’t.”
“Good Girl”, “Goody Two Shoes”, “Miss Professional.” These words have been associated with me my entire life. I didn’t bother me that Avant considered me a Good Girl (it made me smile), but most time it strikes a nerve. Why you ask? Because I’ve seen my fellow Good Girls (GiGis) become disappointed for doing the right thing. Myself included.
As teens we obeyed our parents, stayed away from alcohol and drugs and didn’t sleep around. The GiGis didn’t go to wild parties or ditch school. We excelled academically and were inducted into the National Honor Society. My best friend Denise and I received Letters of Commendation for being Outstanding Negro Students (didn’t know we were still Negroes in 1988- LOL)! The GiGis’ goals were to receive advanced college degrees, have successful careers, meet great men and start families. But things didn’t go as planned.
- Denise is a successful attorney who married at age 37. Denise has been trying to get pregnant for almost 8 years, but her husband’s health issues have hampered this.
- Terri is a social worker who married at 30. Her husband cheated on her and left her for another woman when she was 33. He made sure to empty their joint bank accounts before he left. After their divorce was finalized, Terri experienced health problems and had to have a hysterectomy at age 34. Inability to have children and the divorce have caused Terri to battle bulimia. She is 44.
- Maggie, an academic advisor, bought her first home at age 41. A few hours after the closing her doctor called with test results. Maggie needed a hysterectomy, and when she had it done the surgeon discovered she had Stage 4 cancer. Maggie beat cancer (thank you Jesus) and lost the ability to have children.
- Fluffy is a college administrator who’s spent 27 years rising to the top of field she didn’t plan on entering, but has grown to like. Her desire to be a mother has been in her heart since she was a little girl. At age 30 she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (a disorder than can compromise fertility) and a goiter was discovered in her neck. Fluffy’s endocrinologist monitored her condition and advised her to have surgery before having a family. Six weeks before her 33rd birthday Fluffy had surgery to remove the goiter. She didn’t expect to learn cancer the size of a mustard seed was found during the biopsy. This week marks Fluffy’s 12th cancer free anniversary. Her dreams of marriage and motherhood remain, but the possibility of infertility troubles her.
We are the GiGis, the “Good Girls.” We wanted to live lives pleasing to God because we loved Him and loved ourselves. But where has that gotten us? Terri’s become cynical toward God and Maggie hasn’t gone to church in years.
To cover the shame of being an almost 45 year old single with an empty womb, I often joke about not wanting to be like Sarah and Elizabeth in the Bible. Both women were elderly when they delivered their first child. Behind closed doors where no one can see, I’m Hannah, crying out to God in my anguish (see 1 Samuel 1:1-19). His answer is consistent – not yet. I have no choice but to trust him with the details. I will continue life as a GiGi.
Now back to the story at the beginning of this post…
“Avant, who is Karrine Steffans?”
He continued navigating the snowy road, and I could tell he was selecting his words carefully.
“Before she was in “A Man Apart”, she appeared in a bunch of rap videos. She later wrote a book called Confessions of a Video Vixen."
“I remember one of my friends talking about the book. Didn’t she marry Eddie Winslow from ‘Family Matters?’”
“Yeah, and she dated your boy Vin, too.”
“But why do they call her Superhead?”
(Yes, I was naïve. I’m a GiGi, remember? You have permission to laugh – I’ll wait.)
“How can I say this respectfully?….Fluffy, she had skills...really good skills.”
And then I understood.
“She was that good?”
“Please, I can’t discuss this with you.”
“She did Vin??”
“Stop it!! And please, Sweetheart, close your mouth. That’s not a good look considering the topic.”
“You’ve read her book?”
“I’m going to download it when I get back to the hotel!”
“No!!! You don’t need to read that book. Read your Research Methods book instead. I don’t want My Lady Fluffy to be tainted.”
Needless to say, this GiGi downloaded the book on her Nook. I also downloaded The Vixen Manual: How to Find, Seduce, and Keep the Man You Want. Read the first one but had to put the second one down. God wouldn’t let me. I had to repent!
I wonder if Usher’s song “Good Kisser” is about Ms. Steffans?
Question: When was a time you stood for righteousness, while others were doing the opposite?
Scripture: Galatians 6:9