I am no longer doing anything uncomfortable to make others comfortable.
Yesterday, I turned 36, and you would think this is a lesson I’ve learned by now.
But Paschal’s restaurant was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It upset me for a number of reasons.
But first, a little history.
I chose Paschal’s because I heard about their fried chicken and soul food. Google also informed me that the area has a fantastic civil rights history, having served as the main gathering spot for movement leaders, such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Andrew Young, Maynard Jackson, and others. It was founded in 1947 by two Black men, James and Robert Paschal.
I saw Dr. King’s and others’ images on the walls and was sold.
I didn’t look at any other spots after that. That was where I wanted to go. The prices were steep, but I didn’t care. I was told to pick out any place I wanted, and this is what I wanted.
Or so I thought.
The first red flag was the valet parking, which we paid for via cash app.
I frowned. Cash app?
Now I’ve used cash app for many things, but a restaurant isn’t one of them.
But I didn’t want to be difficult so I said okay.
We walked in, and I felt like I was back in High School.
Call me bougie, but I was uncomfortable.
I am all for having a good time with my people, but this looked a lot different from the layout on the website.
I expected a fine dining experience with adults and a hint of black history and soul food.
And while the historical images were there, I got a room full of black people blasting Beyonce and standing around like they were at a club.
I was disappointed in what had become of the place. Although I’ve never been, I am sure it was a lot more refined when Dr. King ate here.
You can tell just by the picture above. See how they are carrying themselves? See the arrangement of the dishes? See the dignity?
The lack of decency and respect for our ancestors enough to take care of what they left us (because I am sure the Paschal’s would expect more) saddened me.
To make a long story short, we left.
It is not that I would never eat there. There is a time to kick back in that way. It is that I expect more. I expect more from my people just like I expect more from myself.
Take care of the legacy your ancestors leave behind.
Thus, as my heart began to race and irritation blanked my face, I realized all the times I settled because I wanted others to be okay even if that meant I wasn’t. And I decided right then and there that I would no longer accept anything that made me uncomfortable just because I didn’t want to be “too much.”
I am too much.
My standards are high, and from this point forward, I will walk unapologetically in this truth.
I suppose the message here is, I hope you will too.
Be unapologetically YOU.