Some of the wistfulness that has come with my romantic episodes over the last ten years is feeling a little muted because a certain possible reader would throw a ‘bullspit flag’ on what I may say. And that makes me miss boxing even more! You got a problem with me saying I am going to bust you up and knock you out? Just wait, the referee is going to step out of the way when the bell sounds, so we can settle for ourselves, ‘who’s having what.’ But anywho, one of the things that I do think has changed in overall human interaction is that technology makes us more suspect and wary of each other. Anywho… here goes nothin’!
IF YOU DIDN’T KNOW ME THEN, YOU COULD NEVER KNOW ME NOW
I don’t think that my ‘stepping out of the pool and away from the game’ means that I have been left completely behind. This is part of a larger theory that I have not proofed but am confident in. That discussion would trail way off-track and I am aiming to be a lot sharper nowadays!
Anywho, I haven’t been active in the dating pool but the scene hasn’t changed dramatically for me. Shoot, a lot of it I was ahead of the curve on, so much of what is taking place is in some ways catching up to me! Maybe it has been a slow-moving cultural train but things are such that the term ‘partnership’ is used by men who are trying to save face because the woman in the ‘partnership’ is the primary wage-earner.
Recently, I watched the movie “Deliver Us From Eva”, a semi-funny romantic comedy featuring the babe-a-licious Gabrielle Union and LL Cool J as the leads. Since the date let me know that they are a fan of LL, and I still haven’t explained why I have his first seven releases in my music collection, I was able to ‘drink my drink’ and enjoy the movie. Rather than quibble about plot and the drag spots in the feature, there was one statement made late in the movie by a female character about men being either, “players, confused, or lazy”, that stayed in my mind.
Though I have preferred the word “rake” to describe my behavior, even then I was open for a relationship with one woman. For me the evidence is in the three relationships that I recently profiled. I don’t think that I would have either jumped the broom as early as I did, try again in school or hoped for again in my early 30’s TWICE, once with Tee Jay and then again with Mookie Dee, who for the purpose of this discussion will take Tee Jay’s place.
While it has always puzzled me, African-American men seemed to have the most perverse belief that it is hard to find a sister who is willing to support a brother. I understand their misunderstanding of the situation, because I am not one for the sass and whatnot that some less thoughtful sisters bring to a relationship. But I have always thought that if you gave a woman something to believe in, that she would be willing to follow you, in short, give her something to be MOTIVATED about, that she can picture just like there is a promised land and the deluxe apartment in the sky is destiny!
Even in my ‘updated’ approach to relationships I have expected to take the lead on captaining the ‘ship’. I had thought that given a direction for sacrifices that my starter wife would understand why it wasn’t cool to have me running around from literally sun up to sundown and then some, or for the Delta Girl to ‘wish me back’ from going for it when I felt I had the opportunity to do more with my boxing.
Understanding the possible pitfalls of chasing boxing glory and those things aren’t accomplished by the meek, I was working on more than just being a boxer. And regardless of what I was planning on making my life, I was working towards my goals and had tangible progress to show for my efforts. I didn’t get that… that legendary support that make African-American women the firmament of their community, the bedrock of their relationships. O-o-h-h-kay…
Basically I am comparing myself to the three types of men that were mentioned in the movie and contrasting those traits with those that I displayed. No one ever had to worry about my direction or work effort. The ‘player’ part… well…
For my starter wife and to some extent Mookie Dee, the idea that I was a ‘player’ when we first met was something they projected unto me, because I think they mistook my confidence for my being ‘out there’. The thing about both relationships is they both pre-date the ‘run ‘n shoot’ era and that they both had enough experience with my AO to have surveilled or collected intelligence on a cat to have known for themselves. As we were, when Mookie had the opportunity to get a brother’s back and for ‘us’ to make it through our trials together, I guess she was like, “I’ll see you later, unless, I see you first!” So the problem of my “tipping” is one that neither one can make a clear claim on.
That leaves the other two adjectives. Confusion, like loneliness, is something that I experience in the presence of another. A lot of why that is played a big role in my frustrations with Mookie Dee and perhaps with Nebraska as well. “Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.” – Paulo Coehlo. Women who are raising families alone have the built-in excuse that their caution in relationships is because of their children, and honestly, I don’t doubt that is the case. But to leave someone hanging on your decision is simply unfair. My forward strategy does not allow for extended operations standing in place. There has to be something going on, either forward or backward. But to maintain a position is just a damaging, and still wears on a relationship. And this brings me to a general excuse given be some brothers of “why” they view relationships the way that they do.
For some, the meme of the strong sister girl, is one where she essentially becomes a bitter, man-basher, because of the kind of men that they have decided to go for. He has to look like this and he has to have that, and we got to do this, and his car has to be that… along with the perpetual adolescent bad-boy effect. As old as Jay Z is, I still don’t think a woman see a future with a 40-something rapper, wearing his jeans to the middle of his thighs.
Part of why I thought that Nebraska was “ready” when I got here was my experience and my pride of place. Have I had a sister get me when I was down? I can’t say “no” but I can’t endorse anyone whole heartedly. I remember how I felt when we moved her bed, along with the stuff of mine she stored in her home to my apartment. And my first Christmas… and there were a couple of other moments that meant a lot to me that may have been more habit and character than any attachment.
Anywho… I hope we can find a way to become friends… but for now, like the sign says… wherever I go, I am going with who’s with me … and it looks like it is going to be a long walk…
The idea of me not having a direction or work ethic is ludicrous. As for focus, as a single entity, I don't have the same kind of importance attached to a singular 'place'. I know that as long as I am headed in the direction I am in, then I will find what it is I am 'looking' for.
One more word about family and dating a single Mother. See, I have dated them before and while each relationship experience was different, there are commonalities that they shared. Being able to be stable and non-abusive to children and parents are chief amonst them, but I tend to sum things up by "knowing the environment", and at 44 (45 this fall... GADZOOKS!), if I can't handle being in a relationship involving children, then I do need to be put out to pasture.
And this is why the melancholy end of Frost's poem fits this stage of our relationship. I am going to take the path less traveled and be on my way...