I only remember my grandmother going off on somebody once. I was in the first grade. We were traveling by car from Pennsylvania to see my Uncle in a play at Howard University. We had stopped at the Maryland House for a bathroom break. The door to the bathroom was one of those swing in swing out types. We were approaching the door, I was in front of Grammy, and a lady came busting out of the bathroom making the door hit my head. It was hard enough that I instantly burst into tears. The scene after that made me forget my pain. I think I cried more because I had never seen that side of my grandmother. Guess what? I see it all the time now. In myself. But I restrain.
I only remember my mom going off on somebody once. I was in the 6th grade. It was the first day of school. It was early when Mom dropped me off and she pulled up into the bus lane. A man, let’s call him a redneck bus monitor Nazi, came up and said, “Can’t you people read?” He pointed at the sign. It was bus loading zone. I was a drop off and no buses were in sight. My eyes got big when my mom got out of the car, walking towards the man with her finger pointed in his direction, going in for the going off. She told me to walk on towards the school she was fine. I heard her yelling before I could get away. He had her at “you people”.
I have only gone off on somebody a few times once. I won’t say she was my boss. But she might have been. That’s all I will say just in case a potential employer scopes my blog for thug behavior. I might delete this. For anyone who really knows me, they still wouldn’t believe “going off” is possible for me unless they have been a witness. To date I have no witnesses. But I am pretty sure my husband knows my volcano is active.
I was dangerously close to erupting at a soccer game once. Christopher was five, clumsy, silly and dramatic. He fell often, staying down long enough for sympathy and a few times long enough for the team to take a knee. There was a man behind me commenting about how much Christopher fell. I found myself gripping underneath the bleachers saying, “He’s got one more time to say something.” I had to reason with myself. We were on base. The man could be an officer. My husband could get in trouble. I would embarrass Christopher. BUT HE’S GOT ONE MORE TIME TO SAY SOMETHING ABOUT MY BABY AND I AM GOING OFF. He didn’t. Angels were around me because I sure didn’t ask the Lord for help.
Today Christopher and I were in Walmart. I went to the jewelry counter to see about getting a watch battery replaced. I pulled the watch out of my purse and the lady at the counter said, “Oh we can’t open a Fossil” and she gave it back. She told me about a jeweler in the shopping center who could do it. As I was walking off, another Walmart employee asked, “What kind of watch was it?” The other employee responded, “A Fossil.” The other Walmart employee said, “I knew it! She lookin’ all high saditty, I knew she ain’t had no Timex.” Insert WT# expression here. But guess what I did? I laughed and walked off. Christopher asked me, “What did she say mom?” I said, “Don’t worry about it.” All the while, I was going off in my head, “Excuse me? Do you know me? What exactly do you mean by high sidditty? That doesn’t sound like a compliment. Is there a ghetto dress code for Walmart?” I know that doesn’t sound like going off but all I would have had to say out loud was, “Excuse me?” and what followed would have been totally different. So pretty much seven hours later, I’m still saying to myself, No she didn’t. I've written the blog, looked up the correct spelling of siddity, saditty, saddity and decided to just use them all. I have learned that high siddity is the urban saying for high society and that makes me even more pissed.
Here’s the thing… can you go back and go off after the moment has passed? Well she’s got one more time to call me siddity and IT IS ON! I’m actually going to be looking for her.
“Women complain about premenstrual syndrome, but I think of it as the only time of the month that I can be myself.” ~Rosanne Barr
Kenya G. Johnson