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Rudy. As she was…

Rudy Huxtable is all grown up, which means she isn’t having much fun

It wasn’t that long ago when The Cosby Show was the ultimate family instigator for those who needed to find an innocently entertaining way to laugh out loud for the exact same reason. No secret codes or private humor. Just good ole fashioned fun from the master of sitcom deliverables.

Now, we know better. Or do we?

I’m not sure how to process the idea that the man who was essentially the dad I wish I had because the one assigned to me — was perfectly fine but had moments of unfunniness that left me stargazing for Cliff’s non-stop one-liners — was in fact an alleged creep with abusive tendencies towards women.

I had a crush on Denise because she was ultra-cool and knew it. I didn’t quite know what to feel about Sandra. Theo had his moments but they never quite fit into my fantasy land. Vanessa was a hoot! I mean, she was exactly my age and I bonded with her for reasons that I can’t recall but they were valid at the time.

I so was jealous of Rudy.

Rudith Lillian “Rudy” Huxtable was the youngest of a clan that began with four — and then evolved into five without notice. The increase in number didn’t affect Rudy because she had the best seat in the house. She had hair that resembled mine and an attitude that you can’t manufacture on a whim.

Check out how she impeccably slayed Bud! The back and forth between these two can’t be underrated. When your mother is a lawyer and your dad a doctor — there is every indication that you will not falter when the future beckons.

She made lemons out of lemonade!

Rudy — was groomed for the realization that the days ahead won’t leave her behind. She already understood the facts of life before she was even ready to comprehend the schedule of things. She played in the background as her big sis Denise struggled to carry the family name to collegiate glory. She was aware of Theo’s learning disability as he worked like a dog to stay in school. She enjoyed Vanessa’s allegiance to a man who despite being too old for her, still managed to hilariously secure her immediate older sister’s heart.

Alas, maturing in any medium isn’t the fairytale that giggles and witty management promises — after the commercials release us back to the episode of the night.

Rudy convincingly shattered Bud’s illusions. Even though it was supposed to be “kid humor” — there was no way to ignore the feministic symptoms being displayed by the youngest child of a household that purposely demanded that level of excellence.

Bill Cosby was not just an entertainer — he also subscribed to the notion that education was the key to sustained success. It was the only viable option for Black people. If you commanded a certificate displaying your excellence — there is no way you would be regulated to the fate of ghetto motherfuckers who don’t give a damn about college prep because selling drugs is the immediate high.

Keisha Knight Pulliam took notes.

The Cosby Show ended in 1992 when she was just thirteen. We did get to peep a preview of her worldly experimentation but not enough to convince us that she was going to be okay. Pulliam graduated from Spelman College in 2001. I know this because it’s on her Wikipedia page.

Once the show that made her famous ended — she pretty much disappeared from sight — except for some occasional sightings. She made a sharp comeback a couple of years ago.

It was nice to see her again.

She looked older but still retained the prettiness of youth that made her irresistible back in the day. Her career matched the itinerary of most child stars who aren’t primed for the galaxy but still need to feel somewhat appreciated.

She was never a delectable slab of meat for gossip sites until recently when it was revealed that her recent marriage was a sham.

It’s everywhere!

Keisha Knight Pulliam married Ed Hartwell who is an acclaimed former athlete who used to be betrothed to Lisa Wu — a multi-ethnic goddess who is currently on a reality show.

The girl who played Rudy is now a woman. This means that her life will demand of her more than she is willing to give.

How do you accommodate the betrayal of a man who married you in jest and then once the laughter died down — decides that the silence is more than he can take. So he bounces. Leaving you bereaved and pregnant with the child you both created?

I’m not sure how to answer that and Keisha is trying to be coherent in interviews but her bleakness won’t erase the desperation that brought her to this unfortunate juncture.

I was actually stunned that the toddler that I watched blossom into woman-wannabe — is actually only six years my junior. For some reason she was ageless in my mind. I assumed she was still safely tucked away from the complicated fibers that entangle the thirty-something woman.

Rudy is there. Keisha was there before we knew it.

Rudy would probably be married to the man who challenges her patience in ways that keep her intertwined in her destiny. She was meant to marry a gifted artist who makes no money but loves his tech savvy wife who is doing all she can to blaze the trail for her two daughters and other young girls who desperately need her. He is loyal and grateful. She is resolute and grateful.

Keisha is not Rudy.

She was getting older and she wanted a baby. I get it. I am older than she is and I wake up every morning trying to reconcile the truth that I couldn’t find a guy worthy enough to knock me up. She met someone and despite his shabby track record — she was willing to roll with it.

Her credentials were impressive but that shit happened a long time ago. Take what you can and make it the best it can be. Damn! The man she married wants to leave her ass — big belly and all. She is forced to save face by granting second-rate interviews that only exacerbate her messed up predicament.

Her latest offering is brimming with pathetic imagery — as as she tearfully assures us that the baby she is carrying belongs to her loser hubby. She tries to convince us that she is the victim in this tale of woe.

I believe her but I can’t save her.

I’m also immersed in a drama that might not end with me negotiating deals for a sequel. All I can do is acknowledge how fast time flies and pray for her recovery. Please, God, save Rudy in real life. Her make-believe figure is thriving quite well but that’s because we all pulled for her survival.

Growing up isn’t fun at all. Keisha deserves better because she was Rudy and Rudy wants Keisha to catch up.

So do we.

Written by

Juggling Wordsmith. I have a lot to say!

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