Why on Earth do I care about what people think of me? This has been a “thorn in my side” since God knows when. As I creep closer to 40, more and more I am concerned with the latest Larry Talk. I have a female barber that comes to my house to cut my hair. I met her via Facebook, and she lives in my city, which makes it convenient for me. You would have to know her to understand, she is beautiful. She keeps her hair flawless, nails perfect and wonderful conversation as an added bonus. Yet we are two adults who are professionals. I was telling her about my dilemma and she blurted out: “I hope they (whomever it may be) ever come to me asking about you. I’ll put them in check!” That put a smile on my face being she was ready to go to bat for me.
As I walk her to the door, my neighbor who is very “worldly” said as she pulled off: “I bet you be tearing it up, huh?” I told him she was just a friend who cuts my hair. To this day, his mind is set: Man and woman alone in house equals sex. I actually wanted to tell my female barber what he said so she could “put him in check.”
I believe the best example is a dear female friend who I’ve always thought of as edgy, cute and partly wild at the same time. My next novel is titled: Yet She Remained Silent. I thought of a book cover and immediately her face popped in my mind. I called her, ask if she would be willing to be the face of the book and she agreed. We schedule for me to come to her house and take pics with her white walls being the background. I took about 15 pics the first time and left. The publisher told me that somehow, the images had too few pixels, which would distort her pic. I was afraid to ask her to retake the pics, which she was readily available. To make a long story short, we took about 25 pics and even posted some as advertisements for the book on Facebook and that was that.
But here’s where the problem comes in at. After posting her pics, I’ve received about 9 people either asking or “hinting” if I am involved with her. I ask her if she wanted me to stop posting her pics, which she said: “Keep posting and tell em’ all to go to He**!” She, being so “street” in her personality and character, actually made me wanna cry. She could have easily called me a lustful freak, or someone that wanted her. But she stood her ground as a true friend and I will forever be grateful to her as not only a friend, but a true friend. When rumor after rumor can go to one’s ear, she buffs it off and even shows up at my book signings, taking close pics as if we were a couple. She once took one where our cheeks were touching and she said, “Now they really gonna talk about you now!” She high fived me, wish me luck, purchased a book and left. I pray that God blesses her in everything she does. I will never see her as anything short of a true friend (possibly that sticks closer than a brother) who is 100% real and genuine.
With my age fast approaching 40, I have to get past the thoughts of othe people and rumors. No, I’m not a bad person. But someone can walk up and tell me what I did when I was in Jr. High and it affects me. “Hey Larry, remember when you grabbed so and so booty in the 8th grade?” What, I was a child then. A silly juvenile who forever feels as if a brown paper bag is over his face as he navigates through life.
I wish when another Larry rumor surfaces, I could hold my barber’s hand so she could testify of my character and how she’s been alone with me countless times with her virtue still in tact. I wish I could have her be my official spokesperson to say, “Shut the hell up and judge his character!” I wish my friend who agreed to pose for my book cover would rise up and get “ghetto” on em all, (she would do just that) and tell how I’ve sat in her living room at 4am eating chicken tenders as she and her best friend cuddled up on her couch in pajamas. Both women were comfortable with me and I them. My barber says she’s waiting on someone to approach her about me. I smile and cry as I type this because I’m so much better than this mental Hell I sometimes go through. Trying to prove to the World, the church and people you went to elementary with that you’re a “new creation”. For now, unless my barber takes the job of being my spokeswoman, I will (temporarily) live as a person who does care what they say. Who does care about the latest rumor. Who is living as a Tormented Soul.
Pray for Larry Nelson when you can.