I turn 42 in August, and although I’m often mistaken for a 20-something (thank you, coconut oil and good genes), my inner being is that of an old black lady. If you took the DNA of Dorothy from Golden Girls, Daria Morgendorffer, Richard Pryor and Thanos, you’d basically have me. I’m kind of cutthroat and take no prisoners. But that is all part of my womanly essence.
With that said, as I’m sitting here with my BFF, The Root Editor-in-Chief Danielle Belton, at the Westin Bonaventure in downtown Los Angeles, trying to get mentally prepared for the BET Awards, there’s one thing I’ve come to realize: I’m too old for this shit.
During a phone call with my 19-year-old son, who is a college student and aspiring rapper (gag me with a spoon), he started talking about the performers up for nominations. And sure, I recognized a few names, but to the others I said, “Who the hell are you talking about?” He replied, “If you’re going to look young, at least play the part better.”
And there is my quandary: This is my second year attending the BET Awards, and just walking around the hotel and looking at all of these birds, I feel like an auntie. Wait, I am an auntie. Well, I feel like more of an auntie.
As I was coming down the elevator to meet Danielle in the lobby, I was surrounded by a bunch of barely dressed 20-somethings (people, it’s 8:30 a.m.; where are y’all going?) and maybe some Migos. One of the imitation Migos looked at me and was like, “Damn, you smell good. Can I come and sit with you?” To which I replied, “I’m probably your mom’s age,” and he started laughing. “Nah, my moms is, like, 45,” he said. I told him to subtract three years from that and that’s me. And no, I’m not a Ms. Robinson, so I didn’t take him up on his offer. Maybe I should have asked if his uncle was here with him?
I told Danielle that we need to step up our awards game. Grammys? Oscars? And although I’d probably be more in my natural environment at the Essence Festival, to hell with all of that humidity and heat.
As the young people say, the crowd and the event as a whole are definitely not my bag. But as someone who grew up on BET, wrote for a BET late-night talk show and appreciates the fact that I can still catch episodes of some of my favorite old sitcoms on the network, I will say that BET throws some of the best after-parties ever. So yes, as I sit and watch people of whom I have no knowledge getting awards, there’s that after-party to look forward to. Maybe I’ll run into Bobby Brown again.