*Juke walks to the jukebox, and selects a classic R&B jam...What's On Tonite by Montell Jordan.*
One of the things that I can truly say about my LBs is that we always supported each other in almost any and every endeavor imaginable...even if it wasn't the most honest endeavor possible. This brief statement sets up the not-so-innocent encounters that will be discussed below. Once again, aliases will be used to avoid incriminating the guilty. *Awkward silence*
So in undergrad, our chapter had two houses: an official fraternity house where we would have events and brotherly functions...and an unofficial frat house that was for special purposes. And by special purposes, I mean dates. As it turned out, around the time that we were moving into the official frat house, Black Ice (my LB) was assisting his older brother (henceforth designated as Chevrolet Jenkins, or CJ) move into a brand spanking new crib of his own, which I often call the Hoodrich Hideaway. This crib was laid too...big screen TV in the den with 2487 channels (of which 4 of them were porn channels), soft couches, playstations, weight lifting gear, four brands of condoms, a kitchen that was ALWAYS STOCKED with chicken and liquor, and most of all...a surround sound system that would rival any concert hall or venue. In short, this was the ultimate bachelor pad, and made a great place for those "Let's chill" dates that undergraduates seem to go on nowadays.
Sidenote: At what point did we, as a people, decide that "chilling" was a viable dating activity? I mean, at the time, I guess it was economically feasible, but I still hear about dudes 30+ still asking girls out on dates to just "chill." Just curious...
Chevy and I ended up being close like brothers as well, since we often chatted and hung out at the Hoodrich Hideaway. So for a few months in the fall of 2002, he would loan me the key to go to the crib whenever I had a date but lacked the funds to go out to the movies and such. It was a great set-up, and honestly, since it was free, it really was a benefit to the strengthening of those undergrad dating relationships. (Think about it like this...now, money was never an excuse for not being able to show your lady a good time.)
Well, as Christmas rolled around in 2002, the most miraculous thing happened. In a ritual that is only rivaled by the Skull and Bones, I was entrusted with the most precious of all prizes...my very own key to the crib. It was as if the clouds in the sky parted and the heavens had descended on my very flesh. This was a monumental moment, and one that I can remember as if it was yesterday. To this day, I count that as one of the top three gifts I have ever received on earth, with the gift of life and the love of my parents being numbers 1 and 2.
Over the course of a few relationships, the HH became a mainstay in my repertoire of dating. Most of the time, it was just to hang out and chill...maybe a little making out of sorts. (Okay, some DNA was left there, but hey, what's done is done...don't judge me.) But there was one particular day that really stands out for me, and if it wasn't for the help of my LB Black Ice, I would have been left on stuck.
Let me paint a picture: The young lady was one who commanded respect from all the brothas who knew her. She was beautiful, smart, and most of all, a woman in every essence of the word. All of this at the tender age of 21. (At that point, she was young enough to have faith in her standards. I wonder if she is the same way now at 27. LOL). So when she showed a little interest in me, I knew that I needed to step my game up a few notches. But a brotha was short on funds...
This would take a little ingenuity.
So she and I talked on the phone, and she said that she would like to hang out with me. She wanted to go out to eat so that we could chat and get to know each other. Of course, financial aid hadn't dropped yet, so that was going to be a squeeze on the finances. My plot began to develop.
Anyone who knows me knows that my mouth often writes checks that my ass has to work double time to cash. As she talks about the date, I instantly say ,"Why go out to eat when you can let me cook for you at my crib?" Immediately, you should see two things wrong with this scenario: 1) I don't have my own crib, I just have a key to the HH, and 2) I can't boil water, let alone cook. But when you are in the heat of the moment, you can't let little things like honesty stand in the way of a good date, right? *Awkward silence*
"So you know how to cook, eh? I like a man in the kitchen."
"Well then, you are going to love me."
^^^Those words right there sealed my fate.
I set up the date for a day when Chevy would be at work so that I can give the impression that it is my house that we were in. (Now, granted, at 21 she probably should have asked more questions about how I could afford a house as a full time undergraduate student, but you know what? We aren't going to worry about that right now...she bought it, and I kept it straight.) I went over ahead of time to try and cook up something, but no one ever told me that you have to do stuff like clean the chicken, or grease the pans, or stir the Kool-aid. In short, every attempt I made failed and I had only an hour and a half left before she was due to arrive.
Time to lean on the shield.
Black Ice, on the other hand, is a man with exquisite culinary skills. If you name it, he can probably cook it. I called up the big homie, and to my rescue he came. That's what real brothas do...they support you in your recklessness.
BI whipped up some of the best homemade lasagna that you could have ever imagined. I mean, this was so good, it coulda been on the menu at Olive Garden. By the time he finished saving my ass, the house was filled with the aroma of Italian herbs and spices. But I didn't make him do ALL the work...I made the soda.
Finally, when everything was finished, he gave me a few instructions on how to serve the food, we shook hands, and he departed...five seconds before my date arrived. Thanks to the help of my LB, the date was phenomenal, we really enjoyed each others company, and she and I had a romantic evening that ended with movies, cuddling, and an innocent sleep on the couch into the morning.
And in a week's time, the relationship was over.
This story is to serve multiple purposes. First, it is my way of paying tribute to a fine institution, the Hoodrich Hideaway, and the history and legacy contained therein. If I had my way, it would be on the registry of historical landmarks, but the government keeps denying my requests. (Something about "This nigga is trippin'" or something like that was said, but I can't quite remember.) Many other stories could be discussed about the place, but this one is the one that sticks out for me.
Secondly, this story is to honor two noble and great gentlemen whose undying service to the community can be seen through the history of the HH. Chevy Jenkins and Black Ice win the coveted "Come Thru In The Clutch" award for their diligence and promptness in ensuring that my dates went off without a hitch. I am honored to have them on my team.
Lastly, ladies...if you don't see him cook the meal, then it doesn't count. Since then, I have learned to cook a few items here and there, and I am upping my husband potential. But there was a time where I talked a mean game, and Black Ice was there to back it up.
Brothers...always coming through in the clutch.