On Being Man, Dad & Husband in New York City…not necessarily in that order. When I first began Makes Me Wanna Holler, I wasn’t sure what I was writing about or who I was writing to and I didn’t know if anyone would read what I had to say. I’ve tried blogging before --- unsuccessfully. Surprisingly, a few entries in, Makes Me Wanna Holler veered off course from a place to showcase my fiction writing to a place where I could simply write.
I’ve been married less than a year and I'm father to a 2 year old daughter and a 12 year old son. In my wildest dreams as an ostracized, only child, nerd boy growing up, I never imagined I’d be right where I am. Eight years ago I met the woman who would become my wife. I was on my lunch break in midtown and visiting an author friend who was having a booksigning at Macy’s of all places. And there she was --- beautiful, electric, articulate and feisty. According to her, I caught her eye and she sized me up quickly as a summertime affair, also known as a jump-off in some circles. She also happened to overhear my writer friend say my last name while introducing me to one of her colleagues. (She was an event planner at Macy's at the time) It’s the same as hers. Her first words to me --- after butting into the conversation I was having --- were, “Hi, my name is…I go to Fordham University…and I have a five year old son.” I looked at her and said, “Thanks for the rundown. I’m Eric.” Surprised by my “arrogance” she let me know that she wanted me to know the basics before we started. Started what I wondered?
Seven years later, after a whirlwind romance that included almost every play on Broadway, nearly every restaurant in New York and lots of bad behavior, spectacular knock-down, drag out arguments, a year-long stint of unemployment after being laid off at work, an ugly six-month separation, an even uglier reconciliation, a blessed “surprise” that would soon be my daughter, more vacations than I can remember, the beginning of a true friendship, a proposal adventure that was the stuff of sitcoms, the birth of my daughter in fifteen minutes flat, my complete transformation from scared-to-be-dad to SuperDad at the first sight of my baby (followed by an hour of my crying like a blubbering idiot), the death of my hooptie, a seven-month stint of self-imposed unemployment after buying a brand new car, finding a new job and realizing I might be better off as an entrepreneur, and successfully flipping of my first property, I got married.
Just add water. The insta-family was born, Oct. 6th 2007, although it had been in place for years.
Now, as a newly married man I’m not arguing with my wife about where to eat or vacation. I’m trying to figure out how to slow the growth of my twelve year old who believes he’s grown and has no reason to think otherwise since he wears a size 11.5 shoe, is almost as tall as me and has the retail and entertainment industries marketing to him as it markets to me. Most days I want to knock him upside his head, as my father did me, daily.
There are no decisions to be made about when is the right time to build a family. Baby girl is here and in the fast lane. She is personable, beautiful, gentle, kind, compassionate, funny, quite strong, demanding, rude, mean, obnoxious and outrageous. This was before she hit her terrible twos.
I’m not going to blog about new innovations in the stroller market, although I might get excited over a new hi-tech stroller if I see one. The same goes for sitters, activities to do with kids and all that other stuff. There are too many sites, with too many good writers already doing all of that stuff. This is all about my take on being man, dad, husband and a few other things in New York City and its environs. Oh, and did I mention I was black, or African American or whatever it is these days?
Managing all of this, all at once, is a bit much any given day of the week. Most days I wear it all like an “S” on my chest. But some days it really begins to pile up and it just Makes Me Wanna Holler.
If anybody’s wondering, I just couldn’t bring myself to drop the “r” on “Holler” after butchering “Want To.” My mother taught for 37 years before retiring. She'd think it was a bit much.
UPDATE: A lot of time has passed since I typed the above words. My marriage isn't so new anymore. My kids are older and much bigger. I've cranked out a lot to read, some of it funny, some of it not so funny, some of it thoughtful and I occasionally stretch my brain and type out nonsense just for the sake of it. Whatever your pleasure, it's probably here. For married men and women, about to be married men and women, women who want to be married, or just someone looking for a little bit of inspiration to get through the day...welcome to the library...I hope you'll stay awhile. For my official, grown-up, bio head on over to About E.Payne.
Whatever you do while you're here, please, Holler Back!