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!

1 Comment

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  1. NMB 14 years ago

    >I really enjoyed this posting and it is very true indeed. The Propoer Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger focuses on this as well. Women say that they want this but they do not produce a space to make it happen. Thank you for sharing. I would also encourage brothas to also strive to create that space as well. We are reflections of each other so to stop the cycle we both have to submit and strive to create that space.


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