Friday, July 16, 2010

Brenda (I Was the Original 50 Cent)

It’s Friday afternoon. Let’s do a funny post to start the weekend out right. No need to head to the movies! I’ve got the perfect weekend warmer-upper for you right here. Let’s say it’s part romantic-comedy, part gangsta rap. No, I’m serious. I never thought I’d say gangta rap on this blog, but there you go.

Ok, for those of you who have outgrown your hiphop years (not me, and not Brenda apparently!) you gotta look up who 50 Cent (yup, “fitty cent”, not “fifty cents”) is before reading this story, to really get why it’s so funny. And it’s Brenda – the embodiment of grace and etiquette and tact – writing this. I don’t have to tell you – I’m sure you can guess what nickname Brenda has earned herself in our class…

Brenda Bailey
I Was the Original 50 Cent

I was not allowed to take company until I was 16, and the days leading up to my birthday I had someone waiting in the wings, and his name was Buddy. He lived four doors down from me. We could only sit on my porch or his, walk to the corner store the long way, or attend school events, and then it was straight to home. Believe me, eyes and ears were every where (his parents or mine).

After several months of talking, walking, and a few stolen kisses, Buddy gave me a shock. He told me he had been saving a year to buy the girl of his dreams a special gift and I was that girl- so he gave me a diamond ring. I said, “What! Are you crazy? My mother will kill me. Wow.”

When I got into the house I called my best friend Linda and she screamed with excitement. I hid the ring and only wore it when I wanted to show off.

I had a job afterschool at HUP serving dinner trays to patients. One night while waiting for the bus to go home, I looked down to admire the ring. I had just shown it to my co-workers. To my horror, the stone was gone. What was I going to tell Buddy? As soon as I got in the house I called Linda. She said, “Buddy is going to have your head.”

The next morning on the way to school Linda came up with a plan. We would go to the jewelry store on 40th and Market Streets and see how much another stone would cost. I explained to the jeweler how Buddy had saved for years to buy this ring and if he could replace the stone. I would pay on it every week from my pay check and he said he could replace the stone.

Linda was standing next to me holding my hand while I was waiting for the cost when the jeweler said, “50 cents.” Linda fell to the floor laughing her head off and I stood there in shock. When I came to my senses, I gave the jeweler fifty cents and he glued in the stone. It looked just like the original. He told me to leave the ring in the box for several days and then return the ring to Buddy, which I did.

When I married Linda was my Maid of Honor and she leaned over to me at my wedding and asked, “Is that a 50 cent ring? And when I had my first child Linda said to name him “50 Cents.” Of course I didn’t. But for Linda, my nick name for years was “50 Cents.”