Guest Post By: Edward Ingram in remembrance of Whitney Houston. May she Rest In Peace!
I fell in love with Whitney Houston when I first saw her video ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’. I was in high school in a small southern town in NC. My neighbor had Warner Cable, everyone did not in those days, and I went over her house to watch some MTV, or maybe it wasVH1 by then. If puberty wasn’t in its full blown stages prior to this day, it was alive and well after watching this video. The body dresses that woman wore, showing off her curves had me mesmerized. I felt like she was asking me to dance. ‘Don’t you wanna dance, say you wanna dance, with somebody, with somebody who loves you’. ‘Yes’, I shouted, ‘yes, I’ll dance with you!” Since then, she had me hooked…I was going to date Whitney Houston, heck, possibly even marry her.
Needless to say, the whole dating/marriage thing didn’t pan out. She never ate at the little burger joint on Cumberland St. that I frequented, so I never had the chance to by her lunch and mesmerize her with my big brown eyes, and heart warming teeth-covered-in-braces smile. I never got the chance to woo her with my knowledge of algebraic equations. We didn’t exchange phone numbers and have late night talks about some of the best authors and books. She didn’t visit my school to watch me defend my Chess title against one of the most feared players in the school, Anthony Beasley (I won that game). Alas, it never came to be…it could have happened though.
My love for her continued through high school, I felt like she was singing to me with her song ‘I’m Your Baby Tonight’. ‘Whatever you want from me, I’m giving you everything, I’m your baby tonight’. And by now, I had cast off my jacket of virginity, and figured she had heard that I ‘lay it down’. But we still hadn’t met. She didn’t show up on my college campus and give a concert, and see me out in the audience, and point to me saying, come on stage. She didn’t sit me in a chair on stage and sing her heart felt song ‘Where Do Broken Hearts Go’ professing her love for me. She didn’t take me back stage and into her limo where we dashed off to Krispy Kreme doughnuts where she was going to kiss the fresh glaze off of my lips. Not yet, anyway.
Whitney and I had a little fall out a couple of years later, when she did the movie ‘Body Guard’. I was fresh out of Army basic training and AIT, and was in the heart of my ‘black power’ phase. I felt so disrespected that the ‘white man’ had taken one of our most beautiful icons and possibly my future wife, and exploited her by pairing her with Kevin Costner. I was on leave, and was spending a couple of days in Baltimore with some friends, when this movie was out. We were meeting some girls at the theater in the mall, and I voiced my opinion, true Spike Lee/Malcolm X style. ‘The white man wants to believe he can have anything he wants, even our black women. They could have paired her with any black male actor, Denzel Washington or Blair Underwood, hell, I would rather see Morgan Freeman as her bodyguard, rather than a white man! Ice Cube would make a hell of a bodyguard.’ I preached, they listened, and 10 minutes into the movie, me and the fellas, along with our dates, were being escorted out of the movie and the mall!
My love relationship with Whitney was never quite the same after that, and I kind of gave up on the whole marriage thing. But I forgave her, and fell in love with her music all over again. Her greatest hits album truly has just that, some of the greatest love songs that have ever graced the radio airs. She was truly someone special, with a talent that will be matched by few. She was such a beautiful black woman, and always carried herself with such class. I really feel Bobby Brown introduced her to a life that she was not meant to live, but we can’t fault him. Maybe I should have looked her up, hollered at her, and then she would have been protected and loved by me. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. She will be missed by many. I never did watch the movie ‘The Body Guard’. Maybe I’ll head to the local video store today…