I Am Not A Unicorn
As many of your know, I referee youth sports. I do basketball, baseball, softball, and football. Someday soon, I'm going to write about how much youth sports brings out the individual asshole in grown folks, but today is not that day. Anywho, I genuinely enjoy what I do. It allows me to be close to games that I love, without the actual playing of those games. Hell I'm 40, and I've seen friends blow out knees and other body parts. I really don't want that to be my story.
Also, I am a closet asshole. Most people who know me also know that I enjoy "unintentional comedy". These are events and actions that happen that aren't designed to be funny. But they cause me to have seven chuckles about it anyway. For example, when I get out in a Walmart parking lot and an old white man gets out of his car around the same time I do. I will look him dead in the eye, with a straight face, and then hit the lock button on my keyless entry pad. Just so we both hear the "beep beep" sound. If I had a dollar every time this happened to me the other way around, then I wouldn't need to work anymore. But again, like I said, I'm a closet asshole.
Another thing that I get an equal amount of personal comedy out of is when I umpire baseball/softball. There are not a lot of Black umpires for either sport that I see. Softball there are a few more but baseball is pretty bare. So normally when I roll up to a diamond before a game, I get out and normally 15 minutes before game time I meet with the coaches individually. For the ones who haven't seen me before, they normally do a double take when I say that I'm the umpire. It's like that scene in Blazing Saddles when Cleavon Little rolls up to the western town as the new sheriff. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZT7xLjxuhs There is the scene for those of you all who have been too lame to watch Blazing Saddles. But the utter surprise always gets me. That never gets old.
What also never gets old is at the end of the game, when they come to me (again in delighted surprise) when they see that I actually know what I'm doing and I umpired a good game. I don't think I'm the best umpire who ever walked the planet. However, I've done enough baseball games to know what I'm doing out there. I have a pretty good mastery of the rules and how to apply them in situations. When they come up to me and they're like "Wow, that was a good game." The inner asshole in me is like, "Are you just saying that because you didn't expect your umpire to be Black AND umpire a good well for you?"
I feel the same way about being a single Black Dad.
My Dad once told me that you don't get kudos for doing what you're supposed to do. As a grown man, I'm supposed to be able to hold down a job, not live up under a woman, have a vehicle...
...and take care of my children.
This doesn't apply to just to White people. People come up to me and say all of the time, "Hey you really take care of your kids well." Or "It's good to see a man that takes care of his kids." Maybe I'm a little too racial sensitive in my older age, but I feel that the general consensus out there is that Black men make babies and don't take care of them. All of us. And when we run across a man who does take care of his kids, he should be celebrated because he is as rare as a unicorn.
Well good people I'm here to tell you that I (and we) are not unicorns.
There are a lot of Black men out here who take care and love our children. Socio-economic status and criminal history don't matter. I know rich dudes, poor dudes, nerds, and thugs who love their kids and do the best they can for them. All Black. Are there bad apples out there who play hide and seek, of course, but the majority of us love our kids and would gladly spend the rest of our lives in prison if someone hurt our seed. Stop letting society (and trash ass baby mommas) dictate to you that we don't love our kids. And that we are not essential to the development of our kids' lives.
So I'm not a unicorn. I love my kids. I do my best and I feel as if I fail daily because I can't express to them how much I love them. But that's life. And that's every mother and father.
So keep your surprise to yourself. Because we are just doing what we are supposed to do.
Now, I can't wait to find some new batteries for my keyless entry, so I can make ol' Earl at Walmart feel confused as hell.
Read and discuss.