When Good Bouge Goes Bad

We've spent the week discussing levels and elements of bouge as well searching for bouge in pop culture. Now let's talk about what happens when that Rarest Bouge just looks down right uppity (like slapworthy). Some BougieTales for your review:

Did anyone watch a couple of summers ago when Oprah and Gayle went on their road trip? Stuck in the middle of east Nowhere, Oprah rolls up into a Ross-Dress-For-Less-type of store and starts looking for 1000-thread count sheets. The salesperson gave her the side-eye and said, "We only carry up to 250 percale." Oprah turns to Gayle and says, "Do you think we can find some somewhere else?" No, Ms. Winfrey, you are going to have to lay your billion dollar behind on 250 for the night.

I once dated a guy who came out of the Cabrini Green projects in Chitown, rough territory. He pulled himself out of there, made it to Harvard and eventually went on to become quite successful in television and film. We went into a soul food place in the hood in Oakland. While ordering his fried catfish, he paused and asked, "What kind of oil is that fried in?" **crickets** Then the cook in the back fell out laughing and called out, "It's called OLEO, your highness!" I wanted to crawl under the table. Do NOT ask what things are fried in or how they are cooked when you're in the hole in the wall joint in the hood.

I have an acquaintance who always swore she would only marry a man who earned seven figures and bought her a four-carat ring. (whole other post) She dated all level of ballers and high-rollers and got played. Then she met a good man who earned around eighty thousand a year, treated her well and eventually proposed to her with a two and a half carat ring. She turned him down and is still single. He on the other hand married someone else, made Vice-President at his company and is now living in a lovely golf resort community. Do not allow your bouge to impair your long-term vision or common sense.

One gentleman that I dated was all about the designer wear. He had more Gucci, Armani, Ralph Lauren and custom London clothiers than even I thought was plausible. Knowing he was particular about his clothing (could eyeball the difference between Lauren Black Label and Purple Label at 20 paces); I labored to pick out some clothing items for his birthday. Opening the box, he smiled but I noticed him checking out stitching, collar width, cut, and cloth. I huffed, "Is it okay?" He nodded but said, "No French cuffs?" Diplomacy FAIL. Don't let your bouge overrun the spirit of the gift. Follow-up: when we broke up, he sent the shirts back. BougieYoungerBro is rockin' those joints as I type.

On my way to Houston, I visited a bougie friend's farmhouse in South Boondocky Texas. She invited me to stay for dinner and I accepted. Then she said, "But you'll need to change first." I looked at my white shirt and blue jeans and asked, "Why?" She said, "We dress for dinner." Ooo-kay, I shrugged. To each his own. It's a nice throwback custom. I switched out the jeans for a skirt and came back downstairs. My friend said, "I told you we dress for dinner!" The blank stare stayed on my face. Her mother snapped "That means pantyhose and heels and either a dress or a non-collared shirt!" I looked around like, was I not on a farm? Did this turn into Buckingham Palace when I wasn't looking? Was it not 4000° degrees outside? I wasn't even sure I had pantyhose in my bag (or anywhere in my possession). Out of sheer Emily-Post-ness, I came back down with skirt, heels, pearls, borrowed hosiery and my hair twisted in a bun. All I was missing was the white gloves. After all of this, can I share with you that these folks served ribs and potato salad?! I put on silk to eat ribs ya'll. Tradition is one thing, this here was something else.

Moral of the stories: Use your bouge for good. Bougie = GOOD. Condescending & Snooty = BAD. And most of all… be true to yourself while being kind to others. There's some sort rule about that... all golden and whatnot. ;-)

Comment as you will.