Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Needs assessment.

*Names and details changed to protect anonymity. . . .you know what's up.
Tell me more! Tell me more!
Grady Wards Fall 2011:

Finished up my history and physical exam of this ninety-something year old Grady elder and decided to make a little small talk.

"Mrs. Porter, are you from Atlanta?"

"Sho' is. Born and raised right here. Well, really more like Avondale, but you know tha's still Atlanta."


"Been comin' to Gradys all my life. You know, back then Avondale was all colored."

"Is that right?"

"Sho' was. But it always was nice, you know?"

"Yes, ma'am. Avondale is still a pretty cool neighborhood if you ask me."

"Mmm hmmm.  It do pretty good."

"Children? Did you have any children?"

"All my kids they dead."

Thought about the fact that people who live to see their ninth decade may have to face the dreadful possibility of outliving their kinfolk. Put that on a post-it in my head to revisit later.

"I'm sorry to hear that, Mrs. Porter.  So. . .how many children did you have, ma'am?"

"Well. . .outta my own womb I had seb'm.  But then there was two more that I raised like they was mine so altogether tha's nine."

Took down the post-it and tried hard to get my head around outliving nine children. Realized I couldn't so put it back on the wall in my head for later.

"Wow.  That's amazing. Were the other two nieces or nephews? Or younger brothers and sisters maybe?"

"Oh, naw. They was from my husband. See, he had to chil'ren that wadn't with me in between them seb'm we had."

Wait, huh?

"Your husband had two children while. . . .uhh. . .okay."

Wasn't sure what to say next.

"Yeah. Two of our kids less than six months apart."  She laughed out loud like this was real, real funny.

At this point just sitting there confused. She kept on talking.

"See, when he was in the army, he had one baby by one lady and after the service he had another from this ol' nasty woman. You know them mamas wadn't no count so I went on and raised them myself. Sho' did. See, back then, womenfolk didn't get all bent outta shape 'bout stuff like that. Fightin' over they men and such. Naw. We jest welcomed 'em on in and took care of 'em like they was ours."

Please believe it--she was 100% serious. Do you hear me?

"You know 'cause a man got needs. And you know, depending on wha's goin' on with you and yo' body and such. . you know, like if you with-child and feelin' sick or still got the baby on the ninny a' somethin' like that you know? You ain't always up for no rompin' round.  But what can you do? A man got needs, baby."  Said this with a nonchalant shrug.

Loving. This. Story.


"Mmmm hmmm. They was some good kids, them two. Even if they didn't come out my own womb they was mine jest like all the other ones was. But they mamas?  Now tha's another story."

"So . . . you didn't really mind that your husband had babies with someone else even though you were married?"

"What you gon' do? Once the baby on the way what you gon' do but love it?"

I wasn't thinking about what I could do to the baby. Instead I thought of choice places to squarely stick my foot on said husband's body. Tried to get with what she said.  Hmmm. Okay, awww hell naw. Next I fixed my facial expression once it dawned on me that I was giving Mrs. P the hairy eyeball.


"Mmm hmmm. 'Cause see, a man got needs. And if you ain't up to meetin' his needs then tha's what happened 'fore they had all these ways to stop you from getting with-child. Nowadays I guess it ain't such an issue."


"Mmmm hmm. What other questions you won't to know?"

Smiling big and wide.  "That's all I really wanted to know for now."

"Okay, baby.  Now get on out my room so I can get me some sleep, hear?"

"Yes, ma'am."

And that was the end of that.

Sandy got that memo.

Moral of the story:

Ladies! Quit your belly-achin'! A man has needs. Needs, I tell you! 

*Uuuhhh, be right back.*

Happy Tuesday.

I have a feeling Sandy wasn't leaving her situation up to chance. . . I'm just sayin'.


  1. I always love these stories because the child arrives with love. Nobody's mad at a child for the details of the conception - they rise above all that and just take care of what needs taking care of.

    I don't know how I'd react, but I'd be much happier with a man bringing home a baby than an STD.

  2. I was down in Apalachicola and reading the Franklin Co. paper and there was an article about the dedication of an African American cemetery in a community down there and it was named for a matriarch of the community who was buried there. This woman had twenty children (from her own womb) with her husband and after the twentieth child was born, he left her.
    He is buried in the cemetery too, but on the opposite side of where she is buried.
    Man has his needs?


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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