Skip to main content

Close The Door, Baby

Close the door, baby
And let me know you're mine
. . .

from "Close The Door" by Teddy Pendergrass

Those enticing words from 70’s singer Teddy Pendergrass were alluring to even those who had no hopes whatsoever of garnering the attention of the sexy crooner, including a middle-aged mother of six in the Sacramento suburbs (that would be my mom). But those words also have an application outside of the fantasies of middle-aged women from the 70's: They apply to situations where you have to let go of what once was and close the door on that which could be harmful to you.

For example, last week I ran into an old friend, a former friend to whom I haven’t spoken in more than ten years. Why we ceased being friends is still a mystery to me. All I know is that I wouldn’t go to Las Vegas with her after she broke up with her most recent beau (these break-ups were pretty common back then) because I had just started a new job, was assigned to a make-or-break-my-future case (or so I though at the time in my 31 year-old mind), and couldn’t take time off. All of a sudden I was branded as unsupportive and selfish despite decades of support and unselfishness that my own mother thought bordered on madness. We would now call it co-dependency.

When I saw her last week, she actually came across the room and hugged me. I would have been content to continue ignoring her from across the room, but she was actually the bigger person and reached out to me. And hugged me. It seemed sincere . . . .

And I wondered: Should I, in turn, be as magnanimous as she had been and at least tell her that it was indeed big of her to take that step, to reach out and hug someone she has ostensibly despised for ten years?

And then the words hit me: Close the door, baby.

Upon further reflection, I thought, “Why would I make any effort that would in any way open the door to someone coming back into my life when I still have no idea why I was dismissed so hurtfully from hers? What proof do I have that things would be any different than our co-dependent years, from childhood to our entry into the professional world?”

I didn’t.

Close the door, baby.

And with that, I didn’t consider doing anything more.

At this stage in my life, I’m doing a lot of emotional pruning – getting rid of dead weight in my life, such as people who don’t support me, people who revel in my failures behind my back, people who mean me more harm than good while smiling in my face. I don’t want to have to guess about the intentions of the people I choose to have in my life.

Close the door, baby.

And so I did.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

When You Leave The Ghetto, Don't Bring It With You

NBA player Gilbert Arenas brings a gun to an NBA locker room. NBA player Ron Artest lets his pit bulls run wild and free in Loomis, California while playing for the Sacramento Kings. NFL player Michael Vick did time for fighting dogs. And NFL player Plaxico Burress is doing time for shooting his damn self.

What do all these men have in common? BMNB would say an inability to make a profound paradigm shift. I’m less eloquent than BMNB is, so I’ll say it differently: The inability to leave the ghetto behind.

Yes, call me saditty, bourgie, elitist, stuck-up, whatever. I don’t care. Until you’ve had a tweaker ruin your Thanksgiving turkey, you don’t even know (more on that later), and I’m not trying to hear you.

Living in Western Placer County, my husband and I continue to hear stories from folks like us who had to flee “those who can’t leave the ghetto behind.” You know these people, and they come in all races. In our case, we had returned to Sacramento in 2004 and 2005, respective…

Black Woman Blogging's Gun Control Proposal

Thanks to a relative who sent me death threats, I became a gun owner. Reluctantly.  What can I say.  You don't choose your family.

That said, I'm for gun control.

As far as I'm concerned, America lost its moral compass when we didn't do squat after Sandy Hook.  If you can allow a madman to murder children and not be moved to do nothing, you have no moral compass.  Period.

Now that we've broken an unfortunate record for the number of people killed in a mass shooting, perhaps we as a country are ready to get our minds right about gun control.  Perhaps.  So in that spirit, I offer my gun control proposal.

First, we need to agree on some real (not alternative) facts and principles:

1.  There is no such thing as an unlimited right.  Yes, people, there are no unlimited rights protected under the Constitution.  Your right to free speech?  Well, not all speech is protected under the First Amendment and even protected speech can be limited by time, place and manner.  Your…

Retired Man Walking: Too Young to Retire, Too Old to Take Shit

A while back I ran into a friend and fellow professional employed by the State of California, and he offered me his perspective on State employment as a tail-end Baby Boomer like myself -- someone who can't retire because he lacks the requisite age or years of service, but, unlike myself, is tired of taking shit from superiors who don't know what to do with you.

Although my friend gave his permission for me to use his name in this blog entry, I decline to do so because what he does is so specialized that it would not be hard for anyone to identify him as one of the few African American men, if not the only African-American man, in California state civil service who does what he does. For purposes of this blog entry, I will refer to him as he now refers to himself:  Retired Man Walking.

Retired Man Walking, or RMW, has an interesting philosophy he applies to working for the State as a professional who isn't old enough to retire but has been around long enough to know the s…