Relishing A Sister’s Misfortune.

JAY-Z, 4:44Like most of you, I have been caught up in JAY-Z’s latest album, 4:44, all weekend. The album is dope, as are many of the think-pieces I’ve been reading, dissecting its dopeness. The album spoke to me and my reality on many levels (a separate post forthcoming), but interestingly, a think-piece about the album, highlighting a somewhat separate (at least on the surface) issue, has me feeling some kind of way.

Sis, We Gotta Stop Letting Black Men Ruin Us – Crystal deGregory Ph.D. – Medium

An open letter to black women who’ve listened to Jay-Z’s 4:44 and are waiting on an apology from the men who did you wrong. This could easily be a conversation about how Beyoncé lost her mind, her career, or her literal life behind Jay-Z. But, thankfully, it is not.

Honestly, the entire article speaks to me, but this quote is particularly poignant:

“That’s right. We gotta stop celebrating ruinous men ruining any woman —even a woman who has betrayed our Sisterhood’s” sacred trust. We made him and his situation look so good that Sister really thought she was getting herself a prize — a poison that looked like it tasted so good, she was willing to steal it because of her own desperate thirst.”

Okay. Those of you who read this blog know that I have had my share of experiences with no good, “ruinous”, ain’t shit men. Most particularly, my ex-FWB. I knew he wasn’t shit when I hooked up with him, but as you may recall, my ex-friend highlighted just how ain’t shit he was, and set into motion a set of sneaky, snaky events that ultimately ended our friendship.

To sum it up, she slept with him, lied about it, started a fraud ass relationship with him, got knocked up, and the rest is history. You may also recall that she ended up reaching out to me a bit after the baby was born, humbling herself to “apologize” and tell me just how ain’t shit she found out he was (a “you told me so” moment from which I took copious amounts of pleasure) — denying their baby, “cheating on her”, knocking up another woman. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Ex-FWB & some chick he knocked up.

Digressing a bit, you know when you’re bored, on social media, and you go down that rabbit hole, searching and scouring looking for shit? Well, last week, I went down that rabbit hole, and found this photo of ex-FWB from January, with some other broad he knocked up (likely, the woman my ex-friend mentioned). The petty in me wanted to anonymously e-mail it to my ex-friend. But, truth be told, she’s probably seen it. Point being, I took pleasure in imagining my ex-friend’s pain. Like a lot.

It was beautiful — glorious, really — being able to experience karma (and its justice being rightly served). However, reading the words in the aforementioned article really made me pause. I’m sitting with it for a while.

Inadvertent Petty.

So, there are many reasons (separate post forthcoming) why I am still friends with my infamous ex on social media — despite the (beyond) foul shit he put me through. [ An aside: my ex is a pretty private person, and doesn’t share his business on these interwebs, which means I really don’t run a serious risk stumbling across some shit that’ll hurt my feelings. Unless I go fishing and deep sea diving — stalking, that is; but that ship has sailed. Anyway. ] It’s been almost four years since we broke up, which means it’s been almost four years since I’ve seen him. But yo, I still love this man.

That said, being connected to him on social media makes me feel a semblance of closeness to him — even though we’re thousands of miles apart.

You’d think that the four years we’ve been apart would be time enough to get over the shit he put me through. And, to a certain extent it did. However, since his messy ass behavior resulted in a child, this will never truly be over. And that’s okay; I’ve made my peace with it. Hell, I hope to meet the little guy one day. But, I digress.

But, social media. And, inadvertent petty.

As I was browsing my Facebook feed, I came across this post that my ex shared (he didn’t create the post, it’s just shared from something he liked on Instagram):

Ok. So this. I know I sound like a bitter bitch, but fuck all of this right here. As it relates to my ex’s current situation, that is. My ex has children from previous (legitimate) relationships, who are grown/nearly grown. In that context, the sentiments of this meme are beautiful. I dig it.

However.

As I reflect upon his situation, as the father of a four year old who was conceived from a meaningless hook-up (with a basic ass Becky who fetishizes Black dick), that destroyed me, fuck this. Should the way his son was conceived have any bearing on his love for him? Of course not. I am not suggesting that.

But, the messy, bitter, self-centered bitch in me is wondering how in the fuck he could read this meme and reflect on the privilege and gift of fatherhood that resulted in the destruction of another person (um, me).

CryingFolks, yes. I realize how utterly messy, bitter, dumb, stupid, selfish, self-centered, evil, misguided, heartless, etc., this sounds. However, I read this and couldn’t help but log off social media feeling some kind of way.

His stat has absolutely nothing to do with me. Shit, he has no allegiance to me anymore. That said, I am deeming it inadvertently petty (Which is crazy, because he is the least petty person I know. Messy? Yes. Petty, nah). But, the petty in me, recognizes how petty some shit like this has the potential to be.

This all says several things to me:

  1. I am not as “over” this situation as I thought I was;
  2. I am messy as fuck;
  3. I am petty as fuck;
  4. I need to get over myself.

I. I. I. I. Me. Me. Me. Me. Sounds about right. Anyway.

I don’t think my ex reads this blog, so this is in no way a subliminal or passive aggressive dig at him. The rational me knows that my thoughts and feelings about this are dumb and irrational.

I don’t want my ex to have residual feelings of regret when he looks at his son. I really don’t. The little guy didn’t ask to be here.

Olivia Pope cryingThat said, my heart aches, and it pains me to think that my ex is able to exist in a reality where regret for his decisions, and how they completely destroyed me (I mean that literally), have waned.

Fuck.

Time to go meditate with my selenite wand. My chakras are all the way fucked up.

Problematic White Women: Musings on “Invite Only Cabo”

Invite Only CaboI’ve recently become addicted to the new (premiered May 14, 2017) Bravo show Invite Only Cabo (Sundays at 8PM CST). It’s a deliciously drama filled, entertaining reality show.

It chronicles the Cabo vacation of Larry Sims, who invited six of his socialite friends who either didn’t know each other personally (prior to the show), or were only casually acquainted. Needless to say, there are lots of strong and conflicting personalities.

The cast of the show consists of four Black men, two Black women, and one very problematic white woman (entitlement issues, fetishizing Black men, centering herself, white tears, perpetual victimhood, etc.).

Check my Twitter thread where I break it down.

My Prom from Hell.

Check the Twitter thread. The night (in 1998) consisted of fuckboys (or, my boyfriend at the time who, for unknown reasons wouldn’t go to prom with me, and seemed unfazed when I told him about the resulting debacle that I had experienced), presumptuous men, bad judgment, and lucky stars.

It was wild. And all things considered, I was very fortunate that it didn’t end worse for me. Read: sexual assault.

No Pain, No Gain?

No Pain, No GainNo Pain, No Gain is one of those songs that reminds me of a bunch of older aunties sitting around the kitchen table — smoking cigarettes, drinking wine, playing spades and talking shit (and lamenting) about men.

Betty Wright strikes me as one of those aunties, waxing poetic about her experiences with men — schooling us young girls on what (and what not) to do to keep one.

Basically, No Pain, No Gain reads as a relationship manual of sorts, filled with some gems, but if I’m keeping it real, a whole lot of codependent encouragement and antiquated space junk.

Nonetheless, it’s one of those classics to which young (-ish) folks probably just sing along, without really paying attention to the lyrics — and just how problematic they are. And this song is problematic as hell.

Let’s break it down (in no particular order or fashion).

First of all, the name of the song. No Pain, No Gain. Why does love have to hurt, though? Is it a prerequisite? Am I too naive to think that love can be smooth — think The Isley Brothers’ Smooth Sailing (even if that has been counter to my experiences)? But seriously, I should expect a certain amount of necessary pain — think Stevie Wonder’s
Ordinary Pain — as requisite to come away with anything meaningful?

“Anything worth havin’ at all / Is worth workin’ for and waitin’ for” 

Okay, I can get with that. Love is a verb, and all that. Relationships take effort. And if it it’s worth anything to you, you’ve got to be willing to put in some work. And patience. Oh, patience. I accept that.

But she goes on with: In order to be something / You got to go through somethingwhich begs the question — go through what? I’ve been in bad relationships. Relationships that have caused me to question my worth. And to be honest, mantras like that which Betty Wright espouses would play in my head as I contemplated why I would subject myself to (and make excuses for) the bullshit I experienced.

The more I sit with the faux knowledge that Betty Wright spits, the more glaring just how problematic the song becomes.

“We’re all entitled to make a mistake /  We got to prepare for some heartbreak / I was earnin’ my man, while I was learnin’ my man / Something you young girls might not understand”

Earning my man? Learning is one thing, but earning? The whole concept of earning in a relationship doesn’t sit well with me. Shouldn’t basic things like respect, trust, etc., be given freely? Not everything in a relationship need be earned (and by extension, commodified). And frankly, Auntie Betty makes no mention about earning me (save for the flowers and candy and all kinds of gifts that could perhaps be tokens to ease his guilty conscience). And, the tone deaf narrative about selfless sacrifice for a man is played out. But, I digress.

“If it weren’t for the trials we’ve been through / I’d never have the courage to come back to you”

Okay, so…what the fuck happened in the relationship from the get go that would prepare me to be courageous enough to take his dumb ass back after he does God knows what in the future?

“But love is a flower that needs the sun and the rain / A little bit of pleasure’s worth a whole lot of pain”

Heartache and anguish for just a little bit of pleasure? So, as I cry myself to sleep, I should just think about the good times, no matter how few and far between they may have been?

“If you learn this secret, how to forgive / A longer and better life you’ll live”

So, my heart is breaking after my man has done some unforgivable shit, but I should think about the good times, and forgive him?

All of this just seems wrong. And counter to all of my sensibilities.

Maya Angelou once wrote, “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.” So there’s that. That advice seems so much better and gentler for the heart. Sorry, Auntie Betty.