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.

REWIND: Kryptonite.

So, I wrote this well over two years ago, in regards to the good old FWB (even after I knew he had involved himself with my ex-friend, but before I knew she was pregnant). I guess her being pregnant really shouldn’t have mattered to me (and frankly it wouldn’t have), because my involvement with him, at that point, had more to do with power than anything.

Bear with me, gentle readers, I realize that it may be difficult to keep up with what I’m writing (the sequence of my posts), but this is more or less a stream of consciousness, as this point. I guess this is one of my “woe is me with a broken heart” moments, blaming my dumb decisions on my ex. Yeah, I recognize it. But, this is my blog. I am center.

“You Know I’m No Good” | © 2006 Universal Island Records Ltd.

So the bad news is that I am still dealing with my sleazy FWB. Yep, the guy who supposedly only got  a bj (but we now know the truth, don’t we) from my ex friend. I know it probably seems absurd that I’d still bother with him, but, you can’t rationalize something that’s irrational, so why try?

I am not the type of woman who blames the other woman for a man’s indiscretions (maybe because I’ve been the other woman in other situations). But this girl was a close friend who knew I had trust issues and was vulnerable. Yet, she would lower herself to be intimate with a guy who she knew her friend was dealing with?

Let’s be realistic. Most folks say that I’m lowering myself for dealing with him in the first place; but, especially after the nonsense discussed herein, it’s laughable. And they’re right.

He and I weren’t committed; however, his involvement in this situation with my friend was beyond disrespectful. I know this. It’s inexcusable. I think our lack of an explicit commitment allowed me to give him a little pass (certainly not in my respect files). But he’s my kryptonite.

My friend, on the other hand, was committed to me.

What’s really sick is that in an effort to sabotage what I had going on with him, she told him all of my business (told to her in confidence) — about how he was just a fling, that I didn’t want a relationship, how I was involved with other people, etc.

What kind of friend does that? As far as I’m concerned, she’s dead to me.

But him, on the other hand. Why I entertain his nonsense is inexplicable.

Again, he’s my kryptonite.

So after I saw him (for the last time, or so I told him), he said something very interesting.

Since I lied to him about being involved with someone else, and he was intimate with my friend, he says: “I guess you broke the glass, and I shattered it.”

I need to just clean up the glass and move around.

REWIND: A Weak Apology.

This was originally written over two years ago after my FWB confirmed that he and my ex-friend actually slept together. If you recall, I knew that there had been shady business with them, and proceeded accordingly, but before writing the following, hadn’t heard from my friend.

I received a passive-aggressive apology and peace offering from ex-friend. Yeah, the one who slept with my ex-FWB (and, yeah, I shamefully admit that I was still dealing with him after all of the drama. After all, we were just kickin’ it. Don’t judge me.)

To be honest, I never thought he was still involved with her. I wouldn’t necessarily put it past him, but I guess i thought she was smarter than that (I let her now how much of a dog he was in past texts and voicemails).

In any case, her e-mail consisted of claiming to miss me, wanting to make peace, blah, blah, blah. In her e-mail, though, was a phony and passive aggressive tone that pissed me off. She talked about how much she lost (through ruining our friendship), but gained a lot too, and was happy, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I replied and told her that passive aggression had no place in an apology, and it was uncouth to talk about how happy you are in a peace offering to someone you’ve wronged. I proceeded to tell her that FWB had told me about how she threw me under the bus (another story, but she’s the type of person who tries to make her light shine by dimming others’).

She responded, and proceeded to claim that she was surprised that he and I still communicated, and continued that “it was on him” to tell me “about them”. More about my reflections on that a bit later.

Later that evening, feeling bitter (and admittedly inebriated), I responded to her last e-mail, and told her the truth about FWB (or at least how he talked about her to me. Whether it’s true or not is irrelevant. I was being petty). I told her that he was using her, trying to get her money, etc. I was very petty & screenshot (and sent) her how not serious this idiot is (I always keep pertinent receipts).

Having said that, man drama is not my style, but my pride is important. I was only “kickin’ it” with this guy, but no one is going to think they played me like an idiot. No one is going to upstage me. Or, as Patrick Swayze said in Dirty Dancing : “Nobody puts Baby in a corner”. Literally and figuratively.

“Nobody puts Baby in a corner…”
– Johnny Castle, “Dirty Dancing” | © 1987 Vestron Pictures, Dir. Emile Ardolino

 

I was basically being a bitter bitch. Furthermore, I was a coward, sent the e-mail & blocked her. Did i have to do that? No. Should I have let karma run her course? Yes. Did I want to make her feel as miserable as me? Yes. Did it help? Kind of.

So, about her e-mail, and my reflections. I think he may have gotten her pregnant. I have no evidence of this (save her cryptic words). Please remember that I initially wrote this several weeks before I actually found out that the pregnancy was a reality…but more about that later…

As for him, though, I promptly let him know i didn’t have time for thirsty dudes, and ended it. I never expected much from him — just a little courtesy. Eh, you live & you learn.

REWIND: Not a Love Thing.

This was written two and a half years ago about my FWB (before the drama with him smashing my friend). Re-reading this really shows me how starved for attention I was. Or, perhaps, how emotionally twisted I was after the number my ex did on me. FWB was the first person I “let in” after my ex — plus, as was said in my favorite movie, “Love Jones”, “This ain’t no love thing; we’re just kickin’ it.”

“This ain’t no love thing; we’re just kickin’ it.” – Darius Lovehall, “Love Jones” | © 1997 New Line Cinemas, Dir. Theodore Witcher

There are many reasons why my “FWB” is no good for me.

I am more than willing to put the 10+ years he spent in prison behind him – he paid his debt to society, and I am not a judgmental person. However, he is only 36. He’s been “out” for a little less than a year, but I believe that the 10 years “away” has invariably left him in a limbo state of grown childhood. I’m no psychologist, but there has to be something to this.

He has 7 kids with 5 different women. His youngest are 12 and oldest is 20 or 21. He was a busy (and sexually irresponsible) man for most of his life. I have no children (on purpose). But, it’s obvious, based on little comments he makes (that I ignore) about me having his baby, that he’d be happy to “trap” me, and that’s never a good sign. I’m not with it.

He’s married. He and his wife have not been in a real relationship since he’s been out, but, uh, yeah (I didn’t know he was married when we first hooked up). Neither of them supposedly have the money to file for divorce. Whatever.

His “wife” is nuts. Seriously. Though she is in a new relationship, she has told him that she’d rather see him “dead or in jail” than happy. So, living 40 minutes away is likely a good (safe) thing for me.

I am a PhD candidate, and he has no concept of what a PhD really is. In the past, he’s referred to my dissertation as “that thing”. Hear me out, I am the least pretentious person in the world, and I have never required that my partners be as “educated” as me, but…that thing? C’mon, dude.

He’s not curious about my book collection. Okay, this may not sound like a big deal, but it kind of is…to me. I have two, packed full, tall book cases (with mainly non-fiction cultural studies stuff), and NOT once has he perused my collection – even out of curiosity. I once joked that anyone who steps into my space, and doesn’t at least browse my books is…no good. Things aren’t looking good for him.

He was (admittedly) physically abusive to his wife.

He’s possessive.

Enough said.

So why am I hung up on this guy? I don’t get it, and it’s really fucking with me.

tumblr_namhul1pdb1s7lveco1_500
“You always want what you want when you want it. Why is everything so urgent with you?” – Nina Mosley, “Love Jones” | © 1997 New Line Cinemas, Dir. Theodore Witcher

My sister says that this situation with him may be the universe’s way of showing me that I’ve “moved on” a bit from my ex and/or I’m ready to open myself up emotionally to someone else. Who knows.

I’m a very witty, intelligent, attractive, never married and educated woman with no kids. I’m a catch, and I deserve better than him. Let me keep repeating that mantra.

 

No Explanation Necessary.

This popped into my head the other day. I’m not sure what sparked the memory, but it really has me thinking and reflecting on life, relationships, self-worth — deep stuff, basically.

About a year and a half ago, I had a long phone conversion with my ex (not the jerk, “FWB” that I’ve been writing about, but a genuine ex). I vented about the aimlessness that characterized my love life (I use that phrase loosely — facetiously, actually). Despite what he did to me (I’m not sure if I’ll write about it here, but it was heart breaking, foul, shady — just all around wrong), I’m in a relatively better place now, and I still value his insight. He may have hurt me, but he’s one of the wisest people I know.

In any case.

We had a long talk about my life, and I ended up telling him about the assorted, not so good, shenanigans that cluttered my world. Without being judgy, he offered the following thoughts:

1. He likened me offering myself too easily & giving too much information to insignificant men to a library book. He asked, “Wouldn’t you prefer to be a rare book in someone’s private collection, rather than a beat up library book from which people can read the introduction and skip right to the end? Your story is too valuable for that. You’re classic, rare and exclusive; not a library book that the public can check out, a book that might end up in someone’s trunk, and not returned on time, or ever.”

Now, I know what you may be thinking — there is an air of hotep in that sentiment; but, I assure you, respectability politics is not what framed his analogy. I honestly feel like it was a suggestion to reflect on how I value myself.

2. My ex used to watch “Sex and the City” with me. In one episode, Samantha was interviewing with Richard Wright about doing PR for his luxury hotels. In any case, Richard looked at her resume and said, “This is all fluff. It’s nothing but parties and social events.” He reminded me of that episode and using that as an analogy, asked if any of the men I’m dealing with are worthy enough to be put on my (hypothetical) resume, or to serve as references (for anything significant or real). Obviously, the answer is no. They’re all essentially… fluff (or at least our relationships are).

3. And finally, I reminded him how passive aggressive image21& non-confrontational I am, and whined that I didn’t know how to end things with certain people. He offered me the best gem of this conversation. He said, “You don’t owe anyone anything. Does a dope fiend owe the dope dealer an explanation for not buying his product anymore? All he offered you was (XYZ), and it’s doing you no good. You don’t owe him shit.”

Touché.

So…in effort to (in the words of Iyanla Vanzant) do the work — my work, I stopped responding to the assorted, random “WYD” (etc.) texts from my fluff. It may not seem like much, but it was a start. Trust me, it didn’t eliminate anything, but it was a needed pause.

And a gentle reminder that reinventing my reality is possible whenever I choose.

“It ain’t nothing to find no starting place in the world. You start from where you find yourself.”
– August Wilson, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone