Because the Broad Ain’t Have No Books…

Ok, yea…the title kinda hits right in the mouth. But, it had to be said! And, I don’t make a habit of calling a woman “out her name,” but feel me on this! I beg your indulgence…

It’s happened on a few occasions, and it’s always quite frustrating. You find a sister who piques your interest. Of course, what draws you in is that superficial attraction. Not to sound shallow, but no one walks into a room and sees the ugliest person in there and say: “Oh DAMN! I gotta get her number!”

You make your approach. It’s a bit like double dutch: trying to find the rhythm before you jump in. But, once you catch the vibe it’s like recess all over again.

That night is a “hit” of sorts. Not that it was “the best night in the world.” No, it doesn’t even have to be close to that good. In the superfluous nature of today’s “pop culture aficionados,” expectations have indeed been lowered. It’s a sweet pleasure to find someone who can speak in complete sentences, and knows a mere trifle of substantive information.

Wow! Did we just laugh about something that had nothing to do with a reality show? Did you just get excited about a song that wasn’t demanding that you shake your ass? Wait, you mean you don’t want to drown away your life in a torrential sea of boos? ; Word.

This might be worth an exchange. You trade numbers and part ways. You think you found one: still alive…

However long it takes to engage, you finally do. And things go smoothly. I mean, how could they not…in the beginning your conversation consists of those niceties infused with wit and playful sarcasm. But, like Alice in Wonderland, you’ve dropped down the rabbit hole and are compelled to find out just how deep it goes.

Now you’re forced to talk without the social accouterments that allow one to disguise their ignorance. You have expended the surface-level topics and in order to continue this “getting to know you” process you must dig deeper.

Surely, every hole has a bottom. But DAMN! ; Anti-intellectualism is killing us!

Yes, girl…you are fine…gorgeous actually. But, your external beauty is a transient thing that has its limits. Sooner or later, a brotha is gonna loose interest in that. I mean, I can only think of two uses for a solely external beauty. On the arm as a trophy and in the bedroom. Where do we go once that’s expended?

I’ve dated a couple of you. You think that your physical beauty is going to carry you through. All your life your head’s been “gassed up” by men – from Daddy, to first love, to all others – proclaiming your beauty. Did they lie? ; Hell naw! ; It is true…physically you are fine. But DAMN! Anti-intellectualism is killing us!

I think I’m gonna start carding women before I date them. I think I need to see library cards. I need to see your personal book catalogues! And, I’m not looking for the latest romance novels, murder mysteries, etc. I wanna see something with some substance…something that’s going to beautify your mind! Ignorance is a contagious disease and I’m fighting hard not to catch it. At first sight of the affliction, I have to run.

There’s something immensely sexy about a woman who’s well read. There’s something alluring about a woman with a book that makes you do some research before you come back to speak with her. There’s an ever-expanding beauty that belongs to the mind.

It’s such a waste of beauty when a beautiful woman does nothing to beautify her mind. It’s such a turn off. It’s, frankly, a waste of time.

So this broad approaches me in the bar and says: “what happened? Why’d you stop calling? I was so looking forward to fu*king you proper…” ; Another broad @replies me on twitter, “@Jah_Bread, where you been stranger?” Another broad texts me: “so, you not talking to me no more.” So it continues…

And, if you wonder why: “because the broad ain’t have no books…”

This Roller Coaster is No Fun…

I say all the time: life is a roller coaster; there are ups and downs, twists, turns and loops. You will scream, laugh, cry and shake. You will close your eyes in fear, and open them wide just the same. Yet, at the end you want to smack your partner a high-five and say: That was a helluva ride.

But, this roller coaster is no fun…

Brothas, you know what I’m talking about. Sistas, feel me on this…

The ups and downs of this whole relationship thing are out of control. One minute a sister is heads over heels for you and in the blink of an eye, she can’t stand you. Then, two hours later it’s like nothing ever happened…and she’s wondering why YOU are acting strange.

The old timers would say: “son, you’ll never understand a woman.” Bill Cosby would advise men to simply “play deaf.” There was even a sitcom that tried to teach us to simply say, “Yes, Dear.”

Nevertheless, this roller coaster is no fun…

You know those old rickety roller coasters, where it’s painful to ride. Space Mountain in Disney World is like that. It hits the corners way too hard. By the time you exit the dome, you feel as if you’ve suffered a massive case of whiplash.

It’s sort of like that, isn’t it?

We endure wide mood swings, and then sistas wonder why a man is so distant. Again, brothas just want to be able to be safe with their woman. All day long we play the game: shucking and jiving, being thrown for a loop on the job, being jerked around by the twists and turns, screaming, laughing, crying (even if in secret), and shaking to contain the frustration. When we get off the ride, we want to be able to come to you – come to our children – smack everyone a “high-five” and know that the ride was worth it.

But, this roller coaster is no fun…

And, it’s like sistas have been programed to be the enemy too. So, the roller coaster never ends and brothas find themselves in a never-ending series of loops. It’s like that old childhood song that was cool for the first thirty-seconds but quickly became quite annoying. Remember: “This is the song that doesn’t end…yes it goes on and on my friends…some people started singing it not knowing what it was, but they will keep on singing it forever just because…” AHHHHHH!!!!!

I’m telling you – this roller coaster is no fun…

You would think brothas would simply stop getting on the ride. There must be a roller coaster out there that is fun, right? But, everytime I go to Disney World I still want to ride Space Mountain. And, everytime I ride it I regret it. Still, like crack fiends, brothas keep coming back for more. It’s like the child at the amusement park who throws up on a ride, and throws up again, but continues to subject himself to the tyranny of insanity.

I want off…this roller coaster is no fun!

The Curse of Independence

Will we ever find happiness? What about joy? Is it even possible?

I swear, when I step outside of myself and any situations I must admit: Willie Lynch was a helluva guy! He worked a number on us. And, the Slave Masters that followed his principles must be congratulated by the power structure.

This is attributed to Willie Lynch:

We reversed nature by burning and pulling a civilized nigger apart and bull whipping the other to the point of death, all in her presence. By her being left alone, unprotected, with the male image destroyed, the ordeal caused her to move from her psychological dependent state to a frozen independent state. In this frozen psychological state of independence, she will raise her male and female offspring in reversed roles.

For fear of the young males life she will psychologically train him to be mentally weak and dependent, but physically strong. Because she has become psychologically independent, she will train her female off springs to be psychologically independent. What have you got? You’ve got the nigger women out front and the nigger man behind and scared.

It’s the curse of independence.

Sisters, it’s like: you want a man, but you don’t want a man. Or, you want a man but you don’t want a man to be the man. Or, it’s like you can’t understand that this whole dynamic in which we live was set up to keep the Black man and Black woman apart – at odds.

So, there’s a war going on inside – and no one is safe from…

Inside you say: should I give myself to him; should I hold myself back; should I just use him to fill my (physical, emotional, mental) needs?

Can’t let your guard down…why? Because you fear you’d loose yourself.

That’s the curse of independence.

And, that curse hinders full development. In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey lists three stages of development:

  1. Dependence
  2. Independence
  3. Interdependence

Wikipedia defines interdependence thus:

Interdependence is a dynamic of being mutually and physically responsible to and sharing a common set of principles with others. This concept differs distinctly from “dependence” in that an interdependent relationship implies that all participants are emotionally, economically, ecologically and or morally “interdependent.” Some people advocate freedom or independence as a sort of ultimate good; others do the same with devotion to one’s family, community, or society. Interdependence recognizes the truth in each position and weaves them together. Two states that cooperate with each other are said to be interdependent. It can also be defined as the interconnectedness and the reliance on one another socially, economically, environmentally and politically.

In essence, interdependence implies unity.

On the contrary, independence is defined as “the state of being independent.” And, independent is defined thus:

1: not dependent: as a (1): not subject to control by others : self-governing… b (1): not requiring or relying on something else : not contingent (2): not looking to others for one’s opinions or for guidance in conduct… c (1): not requiring or relying on others (as for care or livelihood)

So, Independent Woman, you wonder why you’re still single? It’s the curse of independence…

Stephan Covey says that in order for people to become highly effective, they must reach the stage of interdependence. Yet, for some reason (damn you Willie Lynch) it seems as if sisters want to remain independent. For some reason becoming highly effective (i.e. interdependent) is undesirable.

Don’t get me wrong, we brothers – and, I myself – have work to do as well. Many of us, as have I, try to jump from dependence to interdependence – with no regard for independence. And, I will try to approach this angle in part two of “The Curse of Independence…”

To Be, Or Not To Be (Honest)…That’s the Question!

Now, lemme preface these postings. I realize that what I say might have a tendency to cause some to think I’m referencing them. Sometimes I may be, sometimes I mightn’t be. Yet, at NO TIME is anything that I say meant to be a slight to any female out there! Much of my material is not of any recent nature. Much of it is. Yet, I am simply finding a way to share some of my musings: it might help me, it might help you, it might help another…it might help us repair the Black family, for as Minister Farrakhan said: “the new century must be the century of family!”

By the title and the topic to be explored, you’ll know why I had to submit such a preface. We men tend to be somewhat matter of fact. Much of what we say has no underlying meaning. The running code is: say what you mean and mean what you say. Yet, for some reason our words and intentions seem to become twisted and all of a sudden we’re faced with an upset sister. Brothas, holla if you hear me!

To be, or not to be (honest)…that’s the question!

I was talking with one of my brothers about this. It’s a vicious dichotomy in which we exist. People in general, lie (and I know sisters will say brothers…brothers will say sisters – but I say people). Lying is such commonplace in our society – it comes naturally. And, since it comes naturally everyone expects it.

But, relationships cannot thrive without open and honest communication. And, herein lies the tension. We all “want to be” open and honest. But, like Jack Nicholson said in A Few Good Men,

You Can’t HANDLE the Truth!

So, what to do?

In efforts to be open and honest, a brotha may tell a sister something. You tell her because you want her to know…trying to deposit some trust in the bank. You think you’re doing something notable and praiseworthy. Then WHAM!!! You get slammed by the attitude monster! 😉 All of a sudden, you find your self thinking: “Damn, I wish I didn’t even open my mouth.”

To be, or not to be (honest)…that’s the question!

My Dad always raised me with this instruction on women. He would tell them, don’t ask me any question you don’t want to know the answer to because I’m not going to lie. Then again, he’s in his 70s and came from a time when Blacks were confined to their own neighborhoods and weren’t preoccupied with chasing individualism.

Where can we be free to take off the mask? Or, must we always live our lives exchanging one mask for another? It’s like before speaking, we must think: does she really need to know this. It’s like we are forced to be secretive…but then penalized for being secretive. Sisters wonder why their man doesn’t like to talk…well, it’s safer to remain quiet! If we’re quiet, we’re not forced to lie and we’re not forced to tell you a truth you can’t handle.

Now sisters, you can get mad a me for saying this. Sure – “we take those!”

But, what does that solve? Does that make your relationship any better? Does that help your particular situation? I’m just telling it like it is…

If you want a solution though: create an environment where your man feels safe to be himself. We spend the whole day in Black Face, shucking and jiving for the man – showing those pearly whites. We don’t want to “Mantan it up” with you too!

Chris Rock joked…We men sometimes joke around and say how nice it would be if we came home and our wives greeted us by asking us to sit down and taking off our shoes. (Certainly, being in them high heels all day sisters could use the same!)

But, as I think about it how much greater would it be if when we came home your woman walked over to you, greeted you with a kiss, and proceeded to remove your mask: “honey, you’re home. Feel free to be yourself.” Damn. Now, that’s a fantasy for you!

Blog Cry…

I can’t see ’em coming down my eye, so I gotta make this blog cry… (Thanks Jigga)

This “Relationships” category has been a long time coming and long overdue. Years ago (2002/2003), I used to write a column for a now-defunct St. Louis news-magazine called The Flipside. It was going well until their “marketing genius” decided they wanted to create a corresponding column from a sister, and have us “beef” back and forth. When I didn’t want to go that route and decided to walk away, the female editor told me I needed to “man up.” As Coach Singletary said, “Can’t play with ’em; not gonna do it!”

Yet, circumstances have forced my hand. And, I feel the need to use this sounding board to get some things off my chest. So, let us begin…

First, what this category is not:

  • A handbook by which sisters will learn the latest techniques for how to manipulate their man.
  • A sister-bashing forum.
  • Groundwork for any justification of being anti-Black women.

Now, what this category is:

  • My observations of the complications in male-female relationships, especially within the Black community.
  • A bridge for the gap that keeps Black men and women apart.
  • My therapy.

So, what’s sparked the rebirth of these musings? Well, truth be told I’m a man who not quite 29 has been married twice – and failed twice. Must be true what they say about “the best laid plans of mice and men…” Good intentions are not enough.

But, I can’t see ’em coming down my eye, so I gotta make this blog cry…

That first bad experience kills it all. The first one you “do wrong” stays with you forever. After that, every subsequent relationship is tainted by the stain of “relationship past.” You either carry your own burdens and failings, are burdened by the failings of the significant others who came before you, or both.

Needs and desires cause things to move too fast. Wounds and hurts cause things to move too slow. Either way, opportunities are missed or ruined…and the cycle continues.

It’s been said that I’m too sensitive. And, that might be true. In this society, sensitivity is a female trait. So, it’s ok for a woman to express emotions. But when a male does, a woman (and society) says he needs to “man up.”

So, man up he does. But, when that happens a woman becomes a simple accessory – easily interchanged like neck-ties to suit the occasion. And, in doing this a man earns the badge of dawg…so the cycle continues: more hurt is dished out, the breach is widened.

But, I can’t see ’em coming down my eye, so I gotta make this blog cry…

Maybe the madness cannot stop. But, it seems as if the situation forces the cynic to win-out. And, when the cynic wins everyone looses.

Yet, as was demonstrated in the recent events surrounding the death of Michael Jackson, we never appreciate a person and/or situation until it’s too late. We never want to do the work of preservation until it becomes an effort of resuscitation. And, sometimes what wasn’t worth being preserved is better left to die. Sometimes we take a sick animal and are forced to put it to sleep – no matter how much it meant to us.

Many brothers – most I know – start out wanting to be a gentleman. Most start out wanting to be a nice guy. But, dating and wanting to date changes things. No one likes to fight. And, it’s easier to work debauchery than to do what’s right. When a brotha wants to lead a woman to the trough, she goes eagerly. Yet, try to get her to drink from pure waters and she’ll only go kicking and screaming. Indeed, such a tragedy…

But, I can’t see ’em coming down my eye, so I gotta make this blog cry…