Monthly Archives: February 2011

Message to New Daddies….

Congratulations!

 

You succeeded in cloning yourself. Whether or not you think you did it intentionally (no one ever actually “accidentally” makes a baby), you have just embarked on a career that comes with vacation, no sick days, retirement and guaranteed employment. In other words, you can never quit. In the Arabic culture, when you have a child, your name becomes defined by the names of your children. For example, my name is “Mustafa Abu Abdul Khaliq Gatdula”, or Mustafa, father of Abdul Khaliq–my oldest son. Learn to define yourself as a Dad. If you full accept this job (like I said, you are guaranteed employment and can never truly be fired, nor can you quit), doing so will enhance your life and make you a more complete, much happier man.

 

I have outlined some of the details of this position, your responsibilities, and the benefits. If anyone would like to add to it, please comment.

 

  • Whether or not you think this baby looks like you, or whether other people think the baby looks like you, be proud. This child is an exponent of you–Daddy squared, Daddy cubed, Daddy to the fourth power–and whatever qualities you possess (both positive as well as negative), they are magnified. Your best features are apparent in a child, and your worst features only come out when this child has pissed off the mother. Your job is to keep the relationship as peaceful as you can so that your child becomes only a positive expression of who you are.
  • If someone fails to call the baby cute, but instead mumbles, “damn, he look just like his Daddy…” don’t get mad. Just do the baby’s hair, put lotion on his crusty skin, keep her clothes clean and make sure s/he smiles a lot. Every child has the potential to be cute. LOL
  • When I was a teenager, my uncle and I were driving down the street when he saw my cousin’s baby daddy standing out on the corner (she was pregnant then), so he rolled up on him. “Nigga what are you doing? You have a baby on the way and you’re wasting time when you should be out there hustling up some money!” He then gave him “the lecture”. When my brother had gotten his girlfriend pregnant, my father made him get a job and confiscated all but a small percentage of every check, and saved it for him. So my question to you is, Nigga what are you doing? You have a baby on the way and you’re wasting time when you should be out there hustling up some money! Right now will be the last opportunity you have to work two, three jobs and save every dime. After this you will have to put aside a good amount of time to bond with your child but look at it like this–you have 9 months to work two jobs, live off of one (or a percentage of one) check, bank the entire second check. When that baby gets here you could have a FAT amount of money in the bank. NEVER bring a child into a poor world. Never be the kind of Daddy who tells the baby or the Momma that “sorry, I ain’t got it”. Work your behind off for this time, I guarantee you will be glad you did.
  • Get used to wearing clothes from the thrift store and Walmart. I been doing it for years, and it’s actually not that bad. Trust, when your kids are walking around fly, my brother you look good no matter what you’re wearing.
  • Speaking of looking good, represent your children well every time you leave the house. Just as they are an expression of you, you are a reflection of them. You are the Sun, they are the shadow. The brighter you shine, the stronger their image. A kid looks at his Daddy as the one who can do anything–damn near walking on water. When he looks to his Daddy like you was Superman, he feels like Superboy. Give him that. It’s one of the most potent superpowers you can give a child. Make him the kind of kid who brags “my Daddy can beat your Daddy”. Cause Lord knows, my father was the strongest man in the world when I was a kid. Kids today don’t have those kind of arguments anymore, and it shows by how little ambition they have for themselves.
  • Be well-read. Your kids will come to you with questions about all kinds of stuff. Don’t be the one to blow your kid off because you don’t know the answer to the question they’re asking. Each time your child asks a question, it’s an opportunity for that baby to get a little smarter. So, are you going to help? Or keep your baby in ignorance? Educate yourself.
  • Get subscriptions to three magazines: Time, National Geographic, and Highlight’s. Time magazine will keep you in the know for current events. Little do you realize how things going on around the world affect the live you and your children live here. National Geographic is for you and the kids, so that they know there is a huge world out there. And although they can’t travel everywhere–each month your kids get to take mental journeys to the furthest corners of the world. Plus when your boys are “discovering themselves”, they’ll have plenty fodder. I surely hope you don’t keep Playboys within their reach. (I keep those on top of my closet. Cause of the articles. For real!) Finally, Highlights is one of my favorite children magazines. There is nothing like packages coming in the mail for your children, with their names on them… and no one can open them but them. Plus Highlights has good reading for children, and it keeps them reading.
  • Show your sons how they should act when they become men, and show your daughters what to look for in a man… by being THAT man. Women will often compare their potential mates to the man in their life (you), and when you don’t set that standard, they go to the guys they see in the media. And for real, do you want Pookie and them teaching your daughter what to look for in a man?
  • You need some sort of religious spiritual base. Please don’t be one of those fools talking about “I don’t believe in organized religion.” That’s like saying, “I don’t believe in government” or “I ain’t working for the White man” or “I don’t believe in the institution of marriage…. after all, it’s just a piece of paper!”  Everyone needs rules, and people who talk like that don’t want to answer to authority or to even have rules. Discipline yourself, and then keep a disciplined household for your children.
  • By the way, you need to have a place of your own. This is priority. Get your own apartment, your own house, and NO roommates. Your children need a secluded world that no one else can invade; where they are the prince and princess of this kingdom. Not a room at your momma’s house. Not a home where they can’t touch the milk because it belongs to your roommate. Give them their own world, Remember, before a child has a concept of who God is, you’re it for them.
  • Start a savings account for each one of them. Don’t let your children get to 18 and you can’t afford to send them to school with a few dollars in their pockets. Start it now, and that account must be SACRED. Don’t touch that money for nothing, and no one. It ain’t your money, it’s theirs. Hey, even if you only saved $50 a month for 18 years, on the 18th birthday you will have $11,000 per child. And everybody–even broke people with no job–will blow off $50 a month on some garbage. Just limit your garbage…
  • If you and their mother are no longer together, then do your best to keep the drama away from the kids. Drama causes children to worry and it makes their world unstable. Keep it as peaceful as possible–at least in their view–and never introduce your kids to the arguments you have. Let your home be a sanctuary away from anything that may cause them bad feelings.
  • Never tell young children dirt about their mother. Not even to counter the dirt she tells them.
  • Always have compliments about their mother to the kids. Your mother is a beautiful woman, your mother is smart, your mother is a great woman. blah blah blah. Children’s self confidence come from seeing who they come from. When they are made to feel proud of their mother, they become proud of themselves. When they are made to look down at their mother (you’re momma need to lose weight/I can’t stand your mother), it makes them ashamed of their mother… and in essence, they become ashamed of themselves. Have nothing but praise for them, even if you don’t mean it.
  • Likewise, be the kind of Dad your children are proud of. When you tell them you’re coming to the award ceremony, break your neck to be there. Never let your children down. Treat it as if Beyonce was inviting you over to a butt-naked-pajama party for just the two of you. Nga, you will drive 10 hours through a snowstorm for that party (you know you would!) and wouldn’t nothing–flat tire, overtime at the job, traffic–keep you from making it. Am I right? Well then your kids are certainly more important than a boodie call… even if that bootie was as plump and luscious and succulent as Beyonces…. Make grand entrances to your kids school each time you arrive. There is nothing like the rush that “oo, my Daddy is coming today!” To a kid, that’s like the President had just arrived to their school to visit them.
  • Always know what your kids want, and try your best to eventually get it. I’m not saying to spoil them. But at least to know what your children like and then try to fulfill that desire. There is a feeling of accomplishment when you come home with that puppy, or that new video game, or that jungle gym. There are too many kids who are always wanting for something. Make sure your children are not one of them.
  • Don’t be too macho that you can’t hug your teenaged sons and tell them that you love them. The girls get it all the time, but for some reason we tend to think there’s something wrong with kissing and showing affection to your sons. I’m 41 and I still hug my Dad. No homo, for reals. LOL
  • Don’t be so protective that you won’t allow your daughters to meet a boy (once she’s grown, that is). My uncle (same one from earlier) once asked my cousin if she liked a guy that was flirting with her at the gas station. She said yes, so he called him over. Asked what kind of work he did, did he think my cousin was cute, who his parents were, etc. He then told the guy to “give me a call, and maybe once you check out, I’ll introduce you to my daughter.” Uncle Monk got game. And he put this dude in a position where he could never dog my cousin out if he tried. “I got my eye on you, young man.” Involve yourself in that process, and your daughters will never hide anything from you. There would be no reason!
  • Train your sons on how to to talk to women. My Dad did that for us, and showed us what pimping was all about. (lol) Tell women that they are beautiful, talk about your woman and she’ll listen to you all day long, don’t be too aggressive in trying to get her phone number, or how about this gem:  tell a girl that she is finest girl in the neighborhood, but then never ask her out on a date. Sooner or later, she will ask YOU. Damn, James Westray is the man! This even works today! I would tell you more, but you gotta buy the book.
  • Set the standards for behavior in your household. I want dishes washed every night before bed. You will pray as soon as you get up. Dirty clothes will only found in one place–the hamper. Wash hands before opening the fridge. Teach your kids how to live, and they will carry this forever. You don’t want your children accepting a slum lifestyle. When their home is in order, their lives will be in order.
  • Pull your pants up, and make your son pull HIS pants up.

Alright y’all, I’m at a writer’s retreat, so I have to get to work on my book. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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To the Boy Who Thinks He Wants to Marry My Daughter (And my sons who want to one day get married too)

Dear Boy Who Think He Wants to Marry My Daughter,

I guess you think wanting my daughter to be your wife is a compliment. Well, as the saying goes… NOT! You’ve got some learning to do, and I’ve got some ‘splaining to do. Take heed to this advice, and learn it well. Maybe, if you pay close attention to detail, and follow this wisdom to the “T”… you might get lucky:

  • My daughter is the prettiest girl in the world. Prettier than your mother. Prettier than your sisters. Prettier than the bimbos at your job. Conduct yourself accordingly, and learn to keep her in the place she rightfully deserves.
  • I only have one, and you will treat her like the valuable, delicate treasure that she is. Break her, and your ass is mine.
  • Nigga, pull your pants up.
  • You must complete your education, and learn about as much stuff as you can about the world. She gets bored very easy, and if you don’t have anything to say in a conversation to keep her interest, you aren’t much use, are you?
  • The second reason for you to complete your education is so that you can get a decent job to keep her standard of living high. She is my baby, and my baby has received everything from me that she has ever asked for, except for a horse and a pet monkey. Your job is to make enough money to buy her that horse and pet monkey.
  • Understand that you are her second choice for a husband. Since she was 5 years old, she has swore that she’d never move out and would marry me when she grew up. Drop the ball, and she will at least be moving back home. I need you to realize, that as second choice, you are very, very fortunate to have her.
  • She likes cucumber-scented soap and fruit-scented lotions.
  • She loves scary movies and will watch them when you go to sleep when told not to. Then she will sleep in your room for the next 30 days after watching them.
  • I didn’t spank her enough when she was little, so she’s a little spoiled. You are NOT allowed to spank her, and therefore you are stuck with her attitude.
  • Every girl needs at least one male friend who is not trying to sleep with her. If you are unwilling to be that friend to her first, then you’re not man enough to marry my daughter.
  • Know it or not, she is a princess, and must always have her way. Even when her way is wrong, or she doesn’t get her way–it’s a good idea to make her think she’s getting her way. Trust me.
  • You need to get a good job, and if you don’t make enough money, get a second job.
  • She has never asked Santa Claus for shit. We don’t do Sandy Claws. She has always asked me for stuff, and I will condition her to start asking YOU for stuff. If she starts asking ME for stuff again, I’m going to yank you up to ask why she’s asking ME. Negro, you supposed to be the man.
  • As soon as you marry her (considering that you ever become man enough to become a Gatdula man), I will start spending my savings account. Start a “Plan B” account for just-in-cases. Daddy is not “Plan B”.
  • And if you are lucky enough to gain permission to marry my baby girl, you become a “Gatdula-Westray man”. The tradition is for you to change your last name, let me shave your head, and get in the cut so I can give you “3 for the Founders”.
  • If you don’t know what “3 for the Founders” means, you aren’t man enough to be my son-in-law. (www.pbs1914.org)
  • And you are not allowed to call me “Daddy/Dad/Pops”. You aren’t man enough to call me that. Pull your pants up, homie.
  • I am writing this for you, not my Facebook friends. So, you must recognize the Oneness of God, all of God’s Prophets–including Muhammad pbuh, and believe in the Shahadah. If you are not a practicing, believing Muslim, you may not marry my daughter. Period.
  • You need to learn some Black History. And some Asian history. And some African History. And some Hispanic History. And some European History. Especially Black History. Know yourself.
  • Learn to speak Spanish and Tagalog. Cause we’re going to talk about you behind your back.
  • “Niglish” is not a language in our house. Take that grill out your mouth.
  • Learn how to balance a check book, file taxes, create a budget plan, open a business, hustle up some money if you end up out of work.
  • Be too proud to beg. My daughter wants a man who can get his. If you are ever out of work, you need to learn to create wealth.
  • If you have sorry friends, you ain’t man enough for my daughter. Hang around guys who make you look good, and have a lifestyle you want for yourself.
  • Be convicted in whatever political stance you take. And it better be conservative.
  • Learn how to tie a tie, shine shoes, detail a car, iron clothes, make gravy from scratch, name names from your family tree going back at least 3 generations, and how to buy a suit.
  • All her whining is a blessing. So don’t complain about it, be happy. That’s how she expresses herself.
  • Learn how to use tools. Fix a car, change a light bulb, assemble toys and furniture, repair a vacuum cleaner. If my daughter has to call me to do stuff like that (or call in another man to do stuff like that), what does she need you for?
  • You must own tools. Period.
  • You must spend more money each month paying people that you owe money to, than you spend on your wardrobe and entertainment, until your accounts payable department has a zero balance.
  • The solution to all problems begin and end with prayer. You start with asking for directions. You finish by thanking him and asking for forgiveness. This is the reason we have morning prayer (fajr) and night prayers (isha). Using any other method of problem-solving that does not include this is a waste of time.
  • My daughter likes fencing and karate and boxing. You need to learn it. I don’t want her married to a guy who can’t have her back in a fight.
  • My daughter likes to be told how smart she is, how beautiful she is, and to be forgiven for her faults. If you aren’t capable of doing this, you might want to look at somebody else’s daughter.
  • My daughter is not allowed to wear tight jeans. And the same rule applies to her husband.
  • My daughter is not allowed to listen to music with profanity in it. If you do, you might want to grow up and think about what level of maturity you’re on. Certainly, you didn’t expect to impress her with your taste in music.
  • We don’t do “thug love”.
  • We don’t drink, smoke or use any form of drugs… even weed. If you do, good luck with that.
  • My daughter is extremely jealous, and that is because she is a princess. Did I mention that? She does not have any competition. She will NOT compete. Period. Remember, you were second choice.
  • She likes to travel. Note: Going to the Bay is NOT traveling.
  • She doesn’t eat dog food. I hope you weren’t planning to feed her junk from some fast food chain. Learn how to cook.
  • She doesn’t barbeque. That is a man’s job. Learn how to fire up a grill, and do BBQ the old fashioned way. Maybe one day, when you’re man enough, I will allow you to turn the hotdogs or something. When I’m not around, you may use the grill (even at your house). But Daddy’s around, go in the house and watch TV or something. There are steaks waiting for me to work my magic. I am the only BBQ chef around here.
  • I will dote on your children, like it or not. That’s because before they were your kids, they were my grandkids. And don’t worry, goodies and toys don’t spoil kids–failing to give them rules, boundaries, expectations, and consequences spoil kids. So stop poking your lips out, I’m not spoiling them.
  • I am not a baby sitter. You need to hire one.
  • Pull your pants up.
  • When the kids are mad at you, they will call me. When my daughter is mad at you, they will call me. But the difference is that when the kids call me, I get em what they want. When my daughter calls me, I will get her what she wants, and then talk about you like a dog. Get used to it.
  • When I get old, do not put me in an old folk’s home. I’m moving in with you. And you better not complain about it. Trust me, I am a bitch to live with!
  • When I die, you can have the Infiniti. But only if one of my sons don’t want it. Or one of your kids don’t want it. Or my daughter doesn’t want it. Or one of my brothers or my sister don’t want it. And you’re first on the list.

Commit this to memory, and if you have questions, feel free to ask me for more advice.

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How to Be a “Real” Man

Just some thoughts. I thought I’d make it a note so that I don’t lose it on the wall. Feel free to chime in.

 

BTW, you’re not going to agree on everything I have to say. So be it, and don’t feel bad about disputing me, you might convince me. But in the Black community, there is an absence of a good definition for what manhood is all about. For some reason, even our WOMEN don’t know how to recognize a man. Just looking at how every broad out here wanted “thug love” over true manhood back in the 90s, and now they are bitching and moaning because (1) ain’t no men out here taking care of business, (2) you son is a piece of shit, (3) you STILL ain’t married, and (4) there appears to be a shortage of good men out here.

 

Well, all you need a man for is dick… remember? Don’t cry about it now, Miss “I-got-a-job-my-own-house-and-my-own-pussy”. Y’all started this shit.

 

So now, we have players out here fronting manhood, sisters falling for the okie doke, boys not knowing what to do once they start looking like a man and at the age that supposedly means he’s a man, and our community suffers because the ones who are supposed to be the providers, maintainers and protectors and educators of our community can’t perform. So basically we have grown ass boys trying to do the job of a man. And your daughters ain’t got a chance.

 

Now, let’s start with a good definition of what manhood is all about. Like I said, if I’ve missed anything feel free to add to the list:

  1. men are unselfish. the kind of guy who will wear raggedy T-shirts with a gravy stain, so that his wife and kids can dress in nice stuff (totally my Dad… who used to embarrass me as a teen with how he dressed, but still bought me the “fly gear” i wanted. Love you Dad!)
  2. they are hard-working. he don’t whine about being tired when there’s kids that need to be tucked in, dishes to be washed, or bills to be paid. if he don’t make enough money on the job, he’s the kind of person who gets a second one. My father kept a second job my entire childhood all the way until my younger brother got to college. He EARNED his retirement.
  3. he has a spiritual base. his kids follow his wife, his wife follows him, he follows God. You can’t go wrong with a GPS like that.
  4. he is a man of his word. if he tells his son that he’s going to get him that new iPhone, he busts his ass to make sure that his promise was not a lie. EVERYONE can count on him to keep his word.
  5. he is happy having a little for himself, but wishes for abundance for everyone else–including his friends.
  6. he eats last. my grandfather use to sit in the kitchen and watch me and my siblings eat dinner, and then he ate what was left. that is, until I realized what he was doing, and made sure we always left him something. he use to say a skinny man with chubby children meant he was a good father. I completely understand now.
  7. he is easy on his family and friends on all matters except matters of ethics and religion. he accepts their faults, is patient in how he helps them resolve them, but lays the smack down on them when they are corrupt, dishonest and disobedient to God.
  8. not only does he protect his family physically, he protects their reputation, their souls, and their honesty. he protects himself and his family from the temptations that ruin us
  9. he is generous. he shares what he has, and is committed to making people around him happy
  10. he makes people feel empowered and optimistic, even when things aren’t going well. When he says, “trust me”, people do
  11. he respects people, even those who are in a lower caste. but he respects himself enough not to belittle himself around any man–regardless of social status, position of authority, or wealth
  12. people respect him and his opinion
  13. he is strong enough to admit his faults and is constantly working to improve himself
  14. he values what people think of him and conducts himself accordingly
  15. he makes the people around him feel good about themselves
  16. he does good deeds every day, and does not brag about them
  17. ** people benefit by knowing him.**
  18. he is brave and courageous. notice I did not say “fearless”. fearlessness and bravery are two different things. fearless is self-explanatory. courage means your fear does not paralyze you. learn it.
  19. people feel safe around him
  20. he is humble and confident that God is pleased with him. You must have both. You can be rich and powerful, but also know that God is not pleased with you.
  21. he leaves his woman and children feeling 100% satisfied with him. there is no void when your father and husband is a real man. As a matter of fact, your boys want to be like you, your girls want to marry a man like you, and your woman could never replace you.
  22. he is chivalrous, just, honest, reliable, strong, caring, intelligent, and respectable

 

you might want to print this out and study it. comments?

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