Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The following has been inspired by my beautiful black women aka the Good Mothers of the Earth aka the Queens of the Nile aka the Jewels of my fellow brothers and all that other good stuff....
Heifer - 1. A young female bovine (cow) that has not yet had a calf. 2. An ugly or objectionable woman; a cow.
How many times have you heard a black woman say "I wish that heifer would say something" or some similar phrase using that word. It's a word that I truly did not understand it's power until now. Heifer. A female cow. An ugly woman. Both derogatory. And both used with the same venom as when a man calls a woman a bitch. And it literally has the same negative impact. Walk with me.....
I must have been 15, 16 years old when I first heard the word. But I can clearly remember the event and the word's significance. My mother worked long hours back in the day and sometimes she would reward herself with a treat to help take the edge off. One day, I remember she had bought some a few slices of chocolate cake home. She ate one of them but warned my sister and I not to touch the other slice. She was saving it for the next day. Now I don't know about you, but I'm like my mom. When I have my mind on something I want to eat, I daydream the whole day about that special moment when that delicious morsel of food will touch my lips and my belly becomes a happy camper. I also know, like many of my fair skinned compadres, you don't cross Moms. EVER.
The next day my sister and I are home from school. We've done our normal routine of getting our schoolwork done, get a lil pre meal snack (not Mom's cake), and then I'm on the couch, flipping between Yo MTV Raps and Rap City . Unbeknown to me, my sister is also getting a snack but she's snacking on something that she is not supposed to touch. Yep, you guessed it, Mom's cake :-(. About an hour later, my Mom walked in, she unwinds, and come downstairs. We all eat dinner as a family and when we're through, she starts talking about that cake. I should have known something was up then when my sister had this bewildered look on her face. The next scene was priceless.
Moms gets up, opens up the refrigerator, and starts looking for her cake. She's bending over, furiously searching for her food like a mouse does for cheese. She stands up, looks confused, and asks us "Have you guys seen my cake?". Like I said, you don't cross Moms. I do my best my Penny from Good times imitation and go "no Mama, I didn't do it, I was watching TV earlier." She then looks at my sister and goes well. My sister did this nervous chuckling routine, which basically said I'm guilty. Moms is smart and immediately knows she ate it. Without even hesitating she says "Heifer didn't I tell you not to touch my cake. You probably would eat shit too if I left it in there." Classic.
Now my Mom had a slight case of you know I don't mean that. But you see what happens when a black woman is at her wits end and is about to go into Def com 9 mode. And it's not just her. My wife says it from time to time, my aunties and cousins say it from time to time, and just the other day, my homegirl used the word. And I'm going is heifer the new bitch in the black community. Just spoken by black women among each other when they upset at another black female. And our black dudes allowed to use it. In this politically correct day and time, I never know what's right and what's wrong. But I do know one thing, if anyone touches my good eats, it's on...Heifer :-)!!
Heifer is a fascinating word to me. I learned afterwards that the word meant cow and I was like wow, my mom called my sister a cow. Obviously she apologized to my sister for lashing out but that memory and constant reinforcement today is etched permanently in my brain. So I when I hear you sistas say "I wish a heifer would..." or "Let that heifer start some mess here...", I will now salute you. CHUUUCCCHHHH