I once told a woman that she’d better keep it moving or I’d “walk your ass up and down this sidewalk.” And I didn’t mean hand-in-hand or side-by-side, either. I was a 19-year-old college student.
When her daughter threatened to punch me in my [expletive] face a few weeks later, I dared her. A rumble ensued when she made contact with one of my relatives mid-swing. Again I was 19.
It was an age where we resolved disputes with our hands. Or the steel bat or oversized gavel my friends and I rode around with in our cars. Words were limited to the taunting “Bring it!” or reserved only for essays and research papers. But I thought the fighting phase wore off somewhere in our early 20s.
In fact, I was rather perplexed when I read that Ashley Reid, the 30-year-old daughter of former R&B singer/manager Perri “Pebbles” Reid and music producer Antonio “L.A” Reid, threatened to assault TLC’s Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas.
“I can’t wait to see you to beat your [expletive] face into the concrete,” Ashley recently said on her Reid All About It Radio show.
It was her response to the depiction of her mother in the “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story” biopic and the belief that Thomas had an affair with the family patriarch. A 20-year beef. Don’t e’en get me started on the other crude ish Reid spewed. But I was still stuck on her reaction at her age and how vocal she was about it.
Even at 19, I felt shame when I approached my professor to reschedule my finance exam because I had a court appearance on that same day.
“Is it for a traffic ticket?” he asked.
“Um…no. A brawl.”
But 30-year-old Reid felt no embarrassment when confronted about her “vile comments” during the Pebbles-please-say-more-than-it’s-in-the-confidentiality-agreement segment on Wendy Williams earlier this week.
Her response was defensive and nearly indignant. “If I’m 30, I’m not allowed to be passionate?”
Displaying passion, sure. Punching, meh. As Tamar Braxton would say, “That ain’t cute.”
I get that Reid wants to defend her family. I’d also be upset if my family was cast in a negative light. And perhaps I might envision busting someone in the face. (Full disclosure: I’m sure I would bust someone in the face if she actually hit me first; feel free to talk about me at that point. But I’m never initiating a “Bad Girls Club” move.) Likewise I understand she doesn’t want to appear weak or that she allows everything to ride. Being mild-mannered, I don’t like for others to assume I’m an easy target. But at 39, the most I’ll throw is some Facebook shade and a direct expletive or two mixed with “Keep our names out your mouth” and “Don’t let my pencil skirts and black pumps fool you.
Immediately resorting to “laying hands” beyond a certain age just indicates we can’t effectively resolve conflict. And it says nothing about our maturity and professionalism. Besides it doesn’t even look ladylike for one grown-ass woman to pound another woman’s face into the ground.
The elder Reid did give a little bit more than the I’m-pleading-the-fifth answers in the form of a “We don’t do beatdowns” to her daughter, who only responded with an eye roll and a shrug. Somehow I don’t think this is the last time she’ll be ready to rumble.
But Clutchettes, I’m curious. How old is too old to physically pop off?
Washington, DC transplant Teronda Seymore is a writer and an undercover Twitter addict whose work has also appeared online at xoJane. Follow her @skinnydcwriter.