Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Eyebrow People

My parents returned Wednesday from a week in the Bahamas and with them, they brought The Eyebrow People.

The Eyebrow People are comprised of two couples - Darryl and Jasmine and Kenny and Keisha. Sometimes they have other friends with them, but it's usually just the four of them. The two men are white, Jasmine is Hispanic and Keisha is black. They all appear to me to be in their mid 20s or so, with Keisha being the oldest of the group and the mother of five children which do not belong to Kenny, whom she just married.

Keisha is, by far, my favorite of the group, if only because she really does not conform to any stereotypes of African American females except for the fact that she has five children by a few different men and is married to a man who isn't the father of any of them. Except for that, Keisha is not ghetto. And the woman hates Barack Obama. She can not stand the man and I'm not exactly sure why, but she is a rabid Republican. She's very soft spoken, gentle, dresses in clothes from Chico's and speaks with a very aristocratic sounding New England accent.

Contrast this to the two white guys in the group, who are from upstate New York, and speak not just in fluent Ebonics, but a special dialect of Ebonics known as Dirty South Ebonics. Dirty, Dirty I'm talking. If you are an African American individual in Atlanta and you speak like these two white dudes, people be calling your ass "COUNTRY" and making fun of you. IN THE SOUTH. Yet here are two Yankee white dudes sounding like they be from Columbus, Georgia, the teen pregnancy capital of the US. When I first met them I thought, ok, so maybe they grew up in Alabama, Mississippi, maybe Louisiana. Maybe they grew up in a ghetto in the Dirty Dirty. So I asked, or as they say, I "axed."

"Naw girl, we from Buffalo yo," they replied.

"So where did you get that Southern accent? Did you ever live in the South?"

"Naw, we been living up in the Big B our whole lives. We ain't never even been to no South."

"Still doesn't explain the accent."

"We gotta accent? We aint got no accent girl. Now pass us up here some a dat skrump cocktail y'all be eatin' on."

And at that point Keisha looks at them disapprovingly and says:

"I have been trying to teach them to speak properly for years and nothing has worked."

These two are like the twin Ali Gs of America.

Jasmine is pregnant. She and Darryl are not married, but, and you are going to love this, they are planning a wedding for after the baby is born and it is supposed to be on one of those umpteen thousand and eleven wedding reality shows they have on obscure cable channels now. For the sake of privacy, we'll call the show "Blangin' Weddings." Because people who talk like they're from the South even though they are pretty much from Canada, do not say Bling, they say Blang.

I think Jasmine is sweet. I wish she'd stop making such thick, black, pasty looking wings with her eyeliner, but other than that, she is kind and pretty with beautiful manners. She is just a lovely, gracious girl. She will probably make a wonderful baby mama, though I really fear what they are going to name this child. They ran some possibilities by me and I was truly horrified. If it's a boy they've pretty much settled on Romeo Jameel or Romeo El Kwan. I suggested some nice, classic Spanish names, but they want something with more flair and Jasmine's heritage didn't seem that important to them, but maybe the El in El Kwan is a nod in that direction. Don't ask me. If the baby is a girl, she is going to have a stripper name. Period. And that's good because in eighteen years it will spare her the mental exertion of trying to come up with a good stage name for herself.

I call this foursome The Eyebrow People for two reasons and really I should exempt poor Keisha from this whole mess, although I consider her guilty by association and guilty by not doing anything about it. The first reason they are called The Eyebrow People is because Jasmine is the best eyebrow groomer I have ever seen. Whenever she comes to visit, she plucks, waxes and sculpts everyone's eyebrows for them. I am forever indebted to her for this because my husband's eyebrows look like woolly bear caterpillars crawling around on his forehead and she forces them into submission. The miracle is that he lets her because I've been trying for seven years and every time I so much as think about the tweezers, he freaks out and decides he suddenly has to go back to the office and work for seventeen more hours.

The main reason why I call them The Eyebrow People is because Darryl and Kenny are obsessed with shaving designs into the hair on their bodies. Elaborate, pointed swirls and flames, sometimes lightning bolts, stars and lines are cut into their scalps. Their heads look like a geometry text book. They cut lines into their eyebrows, which is appalling and they get very creative with their beards. I have often wondered what they do with their pubic regions, but I don't think I could handle the truth. Apparently, this is really big in their neighborhood. I saw pictures from Kenny and Keisha's wedding and every single guy in attendance subscribed to this trend. I looked it up and it's called a Design Cut and here are some pictures and an explanation of this foolishness. I'm really having a hard time accepting it.

It's really stupid looking.

Someone needs to have an intervention with these two and just sit them down and tell it like it is.

"Kenny and Darryl, you two look ridiculous. You look like laughingstock caricatures of white people trying to be ghetto. You look like something off of Mad TV. Wherever you go, people look at you and laugh. When you go to restaurants other than KFC all the servers huddle in the back and point at you and make fun of you. People try to take pictures of you with their phones to show their friends because no one would believe them if they tried to describe how stupid you two look. Make sure you never go to Walmart because you will end up on People of Walmart. If you have already been to Walmart, you might want to search the site's archives for a picture of yourselves. And also, the capri pants for men and the over sized, rhinestone studded basketball jersey isn't helping the situation. AT ALL."

I doubt it would help. This stuff runs deep. Yo.

I don't know where my parents found this lot or even remotely what the appeal is. I mean, most of them are ten years or more younger than me or close to it. Why are my parents hanging around with a bunch of kids from Buffalo?

All I know is that a while back they rolled up in the RV and these people were with them. They've been back a few more times. My parents stayed by them for a while in upstate New York last summer on the bus. They came to my sister's wedding and Kenny and Darryl delighted everyone with their break dancing, including me. To me, these people are certainly unusual, but they're definitely nice. Still, and forgive me for this, I can't trust anyone given the life I've led and the people I've seen. I can't get past the hair. It just seems like no one with their act truly together could make themselves look so absurd. My parents say that's how everyone is where they live and for their world, they're completely normal.

I've seen their world. My parents took tons of pictures. They live an hour from Buffalo in some remote, depressed hell hole looking place. It looked like a scene from Frozen River. Fantastic movie by the way.

What confuses me is that Darryl is supposed to be super wealthy. I'm having a hard time buying that one. I, first of all, don't know where he could have acquired this amazing, supposed wealth, and secondly they don't live like they're rich. None of them seem to have jobs. Red flag. They live in an apartment. They don't have fancy things. I know not all rich people show it. I get that, but shoot, I'm a modest person but if I could afford it, the first thing I'd get would be a house of some kind. Maybe they're like me and they actually prefer to live below their means. I could admire that quality. I don't know. I just have a gut feeling that something's weird.

And then there's "Blangin' Weddings." Apparently, they have a $300,000 budget for their wedding. I don't think the show pays for that. At least not all of it. This whole Bahamas trip of last week was to plan the wedding at an exclusive island resort and meet with producers and planners for the wedding. My parents took a quick flight over to meet up with them because it was close and because they wanted to go somewhere to celebrate their anniversary anyway. Everyone came back with mysterious rashes, but that is another story entirely.

I just do not get it.

So The Eyebrow People and a new couple, who is completely normal in nearly every way and does not have any lines shaved into any parts of their body and who have the expected nasal-y upstate New York accents, came too. How these people fit in, I know not. I asked how long everyone was staying and guess what they said? They didn't know. How do you not know how long you're visiting someone? Why am I even asking this question? I really should have learned ages ago not to try to apply logic to anything that happens in my parents' house.

Casa dei Sogni is full indefinitely. My mother is trying to schedule an ultrasound for Jasmine because she wants to see the baby and I refuse to have one for her. She's somehow decided that Jasmine is going to let her in the delivery room as well. Good for Jasmine. Thanks Jasmine for occupying my mother's baby obsession and getting her off of my back for once.

The only problem here is that Casa dei Sogni is so full that Sam has to sleep on the couch.

Who's Sam, you're asking. Sam is my parents' new houseboy. He's been living with them since my birthday when Velva Haux, the friendly neighborhood madame, threw him out. Yeah, we still have a lot of catching up to do readers. It's coming.


KT said...

Whoa, whoa, whoa. These people are from one hour outside of Buffalo and speak that way?

I was born just outside of Buffalo and I speak basically like a Canadian. Everyone I grew up with speaks like a Canadian. Even the people from certain areas of the city who do speak Ebonics speak pretty standard Ebonics, so far as I can tell. Those accents have got to be fake.

Anyway, great post as always!

Calamity Anne said...

Where do your parents find these people? Your life keeps me in stitches!

dissed said...

These ARE the people of Walmart.
This just gets better and better and better.

Ellen said...

Here in Portland, it's generally older teen males who put on the "ghetto" persona. My kids, also older teens, refer to them derisively as "wiggars." I'm sure that that's NOT a PC term, but that's what they're called here.

I think it's really pathetic that guys in their 20's of marriagible age are still trying on personalities like they're 14 year olds imitating their favorite celebrities. They should have figured out who they were long ago.

And being from Buffalo myself, unless both these pale guys grew up in the black inner city, their verbal style is as natural as a bad spray-on tan. That they're from the sticks makes it even worse.

TWolf said...

I have an award waiting for you at Galloping Insanity. Just a little something to show my appreciation for entertaining us all.

Diane Laney Fitzpatrick said...

"I can't handle the truth." Funny, funny, funny! I'm sending this blog to my friends in Buffalo. Maybe they can explain.

Talula said...

Nope, I live about 20 minutes outside of Buffalo, but have lived farther. No excuses for the hair or the accents. Just your average, run-of-the-mill weirdos, I guess. At least they're nice. My accent, by the way, is totally nasal-y. Apologies.

jenmoon said...

I love stories like this because they make me feel less alone.

Teacup said...

My son was suspended from school years ago for using the word Wigger.
I told the administration that the African American boys call each other the N word and they are not suspended so my son who is white should not be suspended for calling a white person a Wigger.
As expected, logic did not rule.

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