Why MJ Always Wore White Socks

Shuhh-mon outta that bathroom!

When I was younger, I would spend the weekend at my aunt’s house to play with my cousin. And just like every black family, we all went to church together on Sunday morning.

These were the days your 5-minute-shower skills got tested.

One morning, my cousin was being particularly mischievous. He was toying with his food at breakfast, still had Legos scattered across his room from yesterday, and was cutting into the next person’s “turn” for the bathroom. He’d already been in there ten minutes and the shower was not yet running However, he was incessantly killing singing the chorus to Kirk Franklin’s “Silver and Gold,” which insinuated foot-dragging.

*Auntie bangs on the bathroom door*

“Boy? You better be almost done, Dad needs to get in there! Now you got five minutes. And I mean FIVE!!”

Faintly, I could hear the water from the bathroom sink start to flow as I listened from the kitchen. I sat in a chair battling a lint ball on my crisp white tights (for the average 7-year old girl, this conflict ends in a hole). In the corner, Auntie stroked the iron across my cousin’s button-up shirt. It was children’s choir Sunday.

Not even three minutes had passed before the bathroom door swung open. My cousin rushed past us in the kitchen while holding a ball of dirty clothes to cover his privates. Auntie put the iron away then grabbed a nearby switch off the counter (note: for my readers who aren’t old school, this is a switch–skip to 4:07). She follows behind my cousin toward his room waving the switch in the air, “Now what did I tell you to do?”

Cousin innocently looks up at Auntie and shrugs, “What?”

She points the switch at him with each word. “I said get in that bathroom and take care of your business! It don’t take that long! And did you brush your teeth?”

“Yes.”

“Yes, what?!”

“Yes ma’am, I did.”

Auntie grabs the starched shirt off the ironing board.  She slathers Vaseline on his scrawny legs then drapes an undershirt over his frail shoulders.

“AND DID YOU CHANGE YOUR SHORTS??!!”

“Yes ma’am, I did.”

My ears perked. I knew Auntie could tell that there was not a single drop of water on his back, thus insinuating he didn’t even get in the shower. I had no idea what “shorts” she was referring to, but I knew my cousin was in big trouble.

Fast forward to this day in 2012. I just finished watching Spike Lee’s “Bad 25” on ABC. In just about every clip/picture/scene/flashback, Michael Jackson is wearing his famous penny loafers with clean white socks. Neither the shoes nor the socks bother me; I’m stuck at the flooding pants. It’s so obvious that all of his trousers were tailored two inches above his ankles (did that become a fad? I don’t recall).

Well since I haven’t heard any sort interview (ever) to explain why MJ made this his trademark, I’ve come to this conclusion: long ago, little Michael was procrastinating in the bathroom on a Sunday morning. Katherine went in his room to scold him. She glanced down at his dingy socks and shrieks, “DID YOU CHANGE YOUR SOCKS??!!” He timidly replied, “Yes ma’am, I did.”

She says, “No you didn’t, or they would be sparklin’ white.” Little Michael tried to plead his case, but just wasn’t winning (he mistakenly grabbed Randy’s socks instead of his own). And since that day, he reassured Katherine daily that he did change socks by making sure she could see them. And they were indeed sparklin’ white.

May you rest in Heaven—

Michael Jackson

Julius K. Moore

Rental Units

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST WILL BE OFFENSIVE TO MANY PEOPLE WHO CONSIDER THEMSELVES GOOD PARENTS.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. And I’m about to agree with that notion. The first thought that comes to mind is the African village from the movie “Roots” where there were tons of close-knit people living in separate huts. Each hut family was a part of the bigger family which was the village. Now I don’t know if Hut #2 could whoop the kids in Hut #7, or if Hut #3 arranged marriages with Hut #9. But everything in my gut tells me that these people at least had each other’s back: they went to the lake (or whatever) together for water, Kunta’s mom shared recipes with the aunt in Hut #6, and no White man was gonna sneak in at night without somebody screaming. I believe all of this to be true!

Here we are now in weak ass 2012 (ask me later on why I hate this life and much rather be partying with MJ) and the family unit still exists in some capacities. Personally, I have a huge net of folks who have my back when I need, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Not one time has my Granny not answered the phone when I called unless she was out getting cigarettes. Not one time did a cousin cry out for anything, and some aunt/uncle didn’t figure out a way to make it happen. And please believe we’re coming with guns & knives that might land us in jail really harsh words for anybody who ‘jumps stupid.’ That is what family is for.

But something happened along the way for me…just speaking for me… and I seem to have lost a couple of MAJOR members of this supposed family unit. And I can’t fucking believe it.

One of them we’ll call Stapleton. He’s a gotdamn idiot in all aspects of the word. No brain exists inside his skull. He has continuously made mistakes throughout his crummy life and runs from the consequences. And is still running!

Another member of this unit is perhaps the one who lets me down the most. I don’t know how many times we have to fight, kiss, then make-up, but I’m sick of that shit, too. For real. “Sorry” loses it’s connotation when you say it more than once and it pertains to the same situation. If the only (late working) employee gets your order wrong at White Castle [sorry], then corrects it and drops it to the floor before bringing it to you [sorry], THEN makes the same incorrect order yet again [sorry], how long before you say fuck it, I wanted McNuggets anyway??? My point exactly.

Pay attention folks–it’s about to get good.

Before I continue this rant, I must admit that I have no children. Never bore any, never conceived any. So I am not a parent in any sense of the word until I can claim Mona The Mazda on my income tax return. But I can probably tell you what a parent is NOT all day and all night. Still got your attention? Shall we?

1) A parent doesn’t put the needs of others before their children. The child comes first.

2) A parent doesn’t run away when shit hits the fan. Run away from a bad date or Freddy Krueger, but not your problems.

3) A parent listens to the needs of their children then responds accordingly. (Good ex: teenager needs help with Algebra, you find a tutor. Bad ex: teenager needs help with Algebra, you find a psycho-therapist. PROBLEM: you weren’t listening and completely missed the point.)

4) A parent should not use their child’s name/identity to open store card or credit card accounts. Grow the fuck up.

5) A parent wants to see their child succeed and become an adult who is not dependent on them. This is a helluva lot different than pushing the child away. Don’t do that.

6) A parent gives their child advice based on their own experiences so the child can hopefully not make the parent’s mistake. The parent also listens to the shit they say themselves because they can learn from it.

7) A parent does not monetize their relationship with the child (re-read that & think about it). They should teach them about money and it’s value, and learn from that shit as well.

8) A parent should provide a stable environment in which the child will grow.

9) A parent is an adult, therefore should act like one.

alright i’m done.

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