You Are Not A B.A.P.

“Have you seen ‘BAPs’?”

“That movie with Halle Berry?”

“NO!  That crazy new tv show on Lifetime.”

“Oh…no. Why?  Should I?”

“It’s a mess.   But you can decide for yourself.”

This is normally how conversations go with my friends when I ask them if they’ve seen the new summer drama series.   According to Wikipedia, a BAP, or Black American princess, is “a pejorative term that refers to black women of upper and upper middle class background, who possess (or are perceived to possess) a spoiled or materialistic attitude.”  There is even a book about BAPs, a book that I read cover to cover numerous times when it first came out.  And according to The BAP Handbook: The Official Guide to the Black American Princess, a BAP is described as “1 : a pampered female of African American descent, born to an upper-middle or upper-class family 2 : an African American female whose life experiences give her a sense of royalty and entitlement 3 : BAP (acronym) : colloquial expression 4 : an African American female accustomed to the best and nothing less.”  (I like to think I’m more of definition 4, which is less based on material things and based more on life experiences, relationships, being a go-getter, etc.)  After watching just two episodes of “BAPs”, I can honestly say that the majority of the stars are not BAPs.

The show follows a group of friends in St. Louis.  The two main characters stars are Anisha and Kristen, former friends who take stabs at each other all of the time, even if the other woman is not in her immediate presence.  You may have arguments and/or disagreements with your friends.  But when you spit in someone’s face…so not cool.  And yes, you read that correctly.  During the series premiere, Anisha and Kristen got into it during a welcome home party of a mutual friend.  Words were exchanged, and as Kristen was telling Anisha her breath stank, Anisha spit in Kristen’s face.  And as Kristen walked away, she could be heard saying, “Did she just spit in my face?!”  Yes she did, and while I do not condone violence, spitting on someone is assault.  And my mother always told me I need to defend myself if someone attacks me.

Besides spitting, there are numerous reasons why the majority of these people are not BAPs.  Let’s go through a few:

1.  If you have to say on camera every 5 seconds that you are a BAP, you’re probably not one.  Just like if you’re a lady or classy or what-not.  You should not have to tell people; they should be able to tell from the way you carry yourself.

2.  Yes, according the handbook, if a Black girl is raised in an upper-middle or upper-class family she’s a BAP, but money does not provide class.

3. BAPs are not condescending to others.  While Anisha dates Kendrick, a man that was not raised the same as her and owns a store in the “hood”, she belittles his niece, Rai Rai.

4. Lastly, expanding on number 3, while BAPs realize they may have grown up privileged, they do not fault it.  They help others in their community.  On last week’s episode, Anisha, Gina, and Jason were on a radio show to discuss BAPs.  While I wish they had shown a little more of the interview, it was clear Anisha was overly dramatic, as she has a tendency to be, and Jason was way down to earth and realistic with his responses.

All in all, I am SO not impressed with this show.  But I will continue to watch until I can’t anymore.   I truly believe the BAPs on this show, in addition to being too old to behave the way some of them do, give true BAPs a bad name.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Tap & Parlour Taps Out

I remember when Tap & Parlour was Hominy, a cute, yet slightly pricey, restaurant on U St.  About three years ago, it was revamped into what it is today- a great little spot that has good food, great prices, and an awesome ambiance.

A few weeks ago, while one of my friends/sorors was visiting from Florida, we, along with two of her linesisters, went to T&P on a Saturday for brunch.  While I personally had no problem with my meal, one of her linesisters did.  Our waitress did an awful job of relaying what was and was not available (one of the guests does not eat pork), not to mention one of her entrees never came out.  The manager came out and took 50% off of our bill.  Despite this little incident, I didn’t let that completely change my thoughts on the establishment, especially since I had been there a month earlier and had a GREAT time.

Today, not so much.

My BFF and linesister, Bee, invited me to church (she goes to the 7:30 service and I go to the 9:30) and brunch with a friend of hers (Alexa) that just moved to DC.  Because I’ve been here longer than Bee, she asks me for a recommendation on where to go to brunch that isn’t pricey and has good mimosas.  Of course I pick Tap & Parlour.   Despite the issue the last time I went, it was a no brainer-good food, good prices, and unlimited $7 mimosas.  You can’t beat it.  So after church, which was awesome, we head to U St.  Alexa and I walk in first and approach the hostess stand.  When I tell the manager we have a party of 3, he lets me know once everyone in my party has arrived, he’ll seat us (I tell him the other is walking up now from her car).  Now, of course it’s crowded on the inside (a LOT of gentrification, but I’ll talk about that later), but there are a few empty tables outside.  As soon as Bee walks in, I let the hostess know my entire party is here.  We get told it’ll be a moment until we’re seated.  I approach the stand again, when I’m told it’ll be a 10-15 minute wait.  After seeing three parties seated, two of which arrived AFTER us, I ask the manager if our table is ready.  Since we’re seated right behind the host stand, we can pick up that they forgot to seat us.  As the host comes over to apologize for the wait and states two tables are being cleaned off, he asks do we have a preference of where we sit-inside or outside.  Alexa and I both state whichever table is ready first.  We’re seated outside, which I note is about 20-25 minutes after we got there.

I suggest to Bee and Alexa that we go ahead and put in our drink and food order when the waiter comes because it looks like he’s by himself (responsible for 8-9 tables) and we’re starving and don’t want to wait any longer than we have to to have our meals.  As we laugh and joke and make small talk, and also become slightly annoyed because it’s taking our food forever to come out, we discuss the make-up of the patrons and how the restaurant seems to be short staffed.  Tap & Parlour is ALWAYS packed for Sunday brunch, but since we spent some time watching tables, we note there’s not nearly enough waiters/waitresses, especially since the manager, along with the host and hostess, was running around pouring mimosas and helping the waiters.  Alexa asks if the restaurant was recently in an article.  I mention it was.  (Click here for the 17 all-you-can-drink brunches in DC.)  That explains the super diverse crowd and the short staff-the restaurant didn’t prepare for the influx of patrons.

When we finally get our food, I notice it’s almost 1:30, about 50 minutes after we sat down.  I ordered chicken and waffles, which is pretty much my staple when I go to T&P.  After I asked our waiter, Dante, twice for hot sauce, Alexa suggested he get the bottle that was two tables away since those ladies were about to leave.  While Bee had no patience for Dante (due to her hunger), Alexa and I were sympathetic to his plight-he was the lone waiter with too many tables and too many needy patrons.  I believe the ladies that were sitting behind us walked out because their food never came.

When my under cooked chicken leg does not concern Dante, when he tells us he can separate our checks-which he fails to do but tells US we can write on the receipt what to charge to which card, when he never refills my water after the one time I asked (he refilled it after we’d given him our cards), and when he comes outside not to return our cards so we can sign our receipt and leave but to refill drinks then tells Bee our cards are hidden in an envelope (after he asks if we’ve actually given him our cards), and takes 20 minutes to give us our cards back, we have had enough.  Though the manager kept peaking his head outside, I didn’t want to talk to him in that moment, because I would have made a scene on U St.   I was thinking of either writing in or doing a review on Yelp.  And Bee had the great idea, “You’re a blogger.  Blog about it.”  So here we are.

I figured this would get my point across more so than just writing in to the manager or the owner.  The sad thing is that I absolutely love this place.  One of my oldest friends is coming to visit in two weeks, and I was planning on taking her after church; now I have to find another place.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

*Names have been changed to protect privacy.*

I Have Awesome Friends

I had a birthday party when I turned 16.  Southern Mom made me invite an old friend…we’ll call her Alicia.  We had been friends for about 3 years, until about two months prior.  I’m not sure why I didn’t care for Alicia anymore, but my mom made me invite her because she included me in her birthday plans, which was about three months before mine.  At my party, I didn’t really talk to her too much, and she ended up spending most of her time with my “crush”, Anthony.  Anthony was my middle school boyfriend and ended up being my prom date two years later.  But at the time, I was too…teenager-y to admit that I really liked Anthony.  In any event, my two best friends Shayla and Carmen had my back at my birthday party.  As we huddled up and watched Alicia and Anthony, I distinctly remember them not liking Alicia even more because she was all over “my” man.  We did what girls tend to do-being snarky, petty, and vicious.  I’m not sure if Alicia felt our eyes on her and Anthony for most of the night, but I felt awesome since my girls had my back.

Southern Cousin is probably one of the people I’m closest to.  Yes, we’re family, but I honestly feel that if we weren’t related, we would be friends. (Hopefully she feels the same way.)  Even though most times when I reach out to her, she always thinks something’s wrong, her first concern is that I’m always ok.  She indulges me when I need to vent, she always offers great advice, and she even laughs at me in all of my ridiculousness (which is actually a good thing).  Southern Cousin brings me down to earth and reiterates that the stuff I think is pseudo life or death really isn’t that serious.

My linesister, Vanessa, and I have always had a great relationship, before we even pledged.  But I think our sisterhood has solidified our friendship.  As I was taking her to the airport a few weeks ago, I was relating how a person really close to me kinda did me dirty…and how I’ve always done nice things for them, not because I was expecting something in return, but because that’s who I am as a person.  I also told her how Southern Dad was kinda annoyed at the situation as well and how he kept reiterating that I needed to be sure I’m not taken advantage because of my nice, kind nature.  It was funny how she felt the same way he did-she was PISSED!  And I so appreciated it.

Over my life, I have been blessed with having awesome friends come into my life.  They support me, the entertain my wacky ideas, and they always have my back.  Hopefully, you’ve been blessed to have great people come into your life.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Names have been changed to protect the guilty. 🙂