Somewhere between New Edition (including Bobby Brown) killing it and Mary J. Blige leaving her heart on the stage during “No More Drama,” I fought my way through the sold out ESSENCE Music Festival crowd to make it to the loo. With all those women present, you know the line was long and of course, there was a wait. So I pass the time making small talk with strangers about the weather, ie, the impact of humidity on Black Girl hair and how New Orleans heat is worth it to see Trey Songz wind those narrow hips and belt those passionate, imagination-inspiring lyrics.
But then the conversation is halted by a collective gasp at the front of the line. Though no one can figure how it got there, there is now a visible brown tush on the floor of a stall in the ladies room. The entire front of the line tries to figure out how to get her (who is locked in the stall with her body blocking the door) off the floor and to some help. And as ten random women (in heels and sparkle) do their best to assist a stranger, all I can think is “where are her friends?”
For the women who flirt with danger by ignoring the idea of drinking responsibly, their friends are duty-bound to put a stiletto-strapped, intervening foot down and say “No, you’ve had enough.” And when a friend goes overboard by having one too many, as annoying as nursing the drunk girl can be, we’re obligated by the unwritten Oath of Friendship to make sure she is and remains safe.

But back to the tush on the floor. I reason she’ll be fine as a bevy of brown women are trying to help her get up and out of the bathroom. The attendant has been notified and called for back up. But as I’m watching the reflection of this activity in the mirror as I wash my hands, I see a Blonde in Orange teetering along the wall as she does her sad best to make it from the bathroom stall to the sink. Lawd. Another one? Where are her friends?
I watch her stumble around, carefully remaining upright. Then as she tries to make her way down the corridor leading back to the concert, I take her by the elbow and ask, “Hon, where are your friends? I’ll take you to them.” I feel obligated to pick up their slack. I mean, you know all the bad things that can happen to drunk girls.
She’s here with her boyfriend. She insists she’s okay. I insist on walking her to him, wherever he is. When we find him, I whisper in his ear and tell him, “She’s not okay, you have to take her home.” He thanks me and asks me how I know his girl. I tell him I don’t. “She needed a friend,” I explain.  
We all do. Sometimes.
Take care of yourselves. And each other.
Demetria L. Lucas is the Relationships Editor at ESSENCE and the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: Your Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter: @abelleinbk

Loading the player...