Well Well – I’ll Never Understand

Far and long ago, I was out with my boys at some party Smirnoff hosted for two weeks. At the party, one spotted a young lady he’d met and been lukewarm about, then talked to and become borderline in love with.

After their initial meeting, he’d called when he was free, which happened to be late. Likely 11:30. Yes, it was a booty call hour, but a booty call was not the intent. But never mind that.

She answered, firmly told him she did not accept calls from men at that hour, and hung up. He was in love.

I wasn’t sure I got why. “Because she’s hard to get and making you chase?”

He shook his head, not even disguising the lovelorn look from his face. (Honestly, he was giddy, but it doesn’t sound right describing a straight man that way.) “She’s a lady.” He added a big sigh at the end for dramatic effect. He sounded like he was talking about a mythical creature.

Another outing. Same boys. Different girls. One boy begins to tell another about this chick he met the week prior at a friend’s birthday dinner. I can’t recall all the details because as a woman I cue in more to description of feelings about women rather than their physical make-up (That and my dudes all have types. If they’re excited about a chick, I rarely need to see her to know what she looks like.)

Anyway, we get through the physical description, then the speaker drops the golden bomb on the mostly nonchalant listener. “And she’s a virgin!”

I cue in to this. “A virgin?! What?!” Turns out chick is 26 and has never been touched for the very first time. (Cue Madonna). It’s a little odd, but I don’t knock it for various reasons, including the reigning STD/HIV rate should make everyone think about becoming a born-again one.

My boys are practically salivating at the mouth over the idea of the 26 year old virgin, but for totally different reasons. They drop words like “pure” and descriptions like “good woman” (apparently it’s not about personality and character, or even keeping a house. It’s about lack of humping. Who knew?). This is all folllowed by their 16-year-old boy notions of being “the first.”

I’m honestly baffled. Like they (as in my boys) like to hump. A lot. So what are they gonna do with a chick who doesn’t? Who hasn’t? Ever!

Try.

He’s single and focused. He holds good conversation and listens to jazz. He’s got swagger and smile that I’m sure has made many a woman say yes when she promised herself she’d say no. The old folks would say he has good disposition. The young folks would call him fine. I’ve had a crush on him forever.

A friend of his found this out at a park picnic and exclaimed, “What?!”

Apparently he has a crush on me too. “He like loves you. Ohmigod!!” she bursts.

Me: (squealing) Really?

Her: Yes, really!! He’s waiting till he has a job to ask you out.

I heard he got a job awhile back. He still hasn’t called for a date.

Unicorns, Mermaids, & Fire-breathing Dragons.

Ladies, Virgins, & Perfect Men.

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He Reads My Blog

On Wednesday TLA asked me who the hell was I up talking to half of the night; and who the hell was TLA. 

Oh God. I didn’t realize till I was being probed about it by him how totally and completely mushy it is. There’s no hiding exactly what you think about someone when you call them not just a “Love Affair” but a Teenage Love Affair. 

I blinked. Looked down at his text. I couldn’t lie to him even if I tried. “It’s…” I couldn’t do it. Damn pride. “It’s T.L.A. That’s what they know you as,” I say firmly like that’s the end of the matter.

“TLA? What’s that mean?”

He’s so cute when he’s puzzled. I mean he’s cute when he’s not.. well, not really cute, more like handsome, and chiseled, and brawny and sexy… okay, that’s not the point. The point is he was puzzled. Ugh. Where is my backbone?

So I told him. “It’s Teenage Love Affair,” I texted back. 

I knew he was going to tell me how corny it was, or how silly and girlish I was being.  BUT!! He didn’t.  He told me that he liked that and he was feeling it and that the concept was cute.  I immediately exhaled. 🙂

As we were getting off the phone this morning, I asked him to give me a kiss.  “Muah” he said.  I later asked him did he love me.  “I love you”  he replied.  I asked him how much did he love me.  He replied, “A lot.”  “How much is a lot?”…”More than a little”, he said….Classic TLA.  I smiled and blushed with a school girl charm.  Held the phone as he hung up, and thought about all the possibilities.

I’m diggin him hard ya’ll

He has some truly amazing moments…We fight, we make up, and we move forward.  He’s a wonderful man though, with his flaws and all.  He tries to act like he’s hard, but he’s not.  He’s a big sensitive brother with a soft heart for only ME!  I don’t get to see him (but that’s going to change) but I get to see him daily in my dreams.  I experience him often in conversation.

How do I sum up my relationship with TLA?   Well lets see…our love is like going to an amusement park…what’s the point in going to an amusement park if we can’t ride all the rides.  Some of the rides suck yes…but it’s not like we have to stay on the rides that we don’t like.  We can get off, and go to the ones we like….Right now, I like to think of us as being in the concession stand….He wants popcorn, and well I want cake…but we’ve decided to buy both and share……….

I’m loving me some him…

My Teenage Affair Is Getting HOT!

Sorry you will not be getting a post today….TLA and I talked half of the night into the early morning.  So I’m tired, and just not in the mood today….I’ll be back tomorrow with something….

E-mail me if you care to be a guest blogger…..We can share the skills I don’t mind!

Am I Built To Follow My Man

Sometimes I question whether I am built ever to be in a relationship.  Here’s the deal society has given man:  By virtue of being bestowed with a penis, he is to be a leader.  He is to be head of the household.  That’s it.  Possession of a penis, working or not, gives a man the upper hand when it comes to common sense, logic and guiding the way.

So if he, male possessor of the all-knowing and almighty penis, is to lead and head, what am I supposed to do?

Follow?  FOH!

I posed this question to Kewon, a.k.a the Mayor of Black Charlotte, a.k.a the Great Blaxby, a.k.a one of my best male friends.  He’s received his accolades not just for knowing (and introducing me to) everyone who’s anyone throughout Charlotte but for making sure they know him, too.  And he’s got a way of summing up male thought pretty concisely.

Kewon and I met in an atypical and ultimately classic North Carolina way.  I was in grad. school, and it was a bad hair day.  Instead of getting it done at the Dominican shop, I’d pulled my hair back into a low bun and twisted it up with a black hair band.  Standing in line, to pay for my lunch my rubber band popped, and my hair went flying out like one messed up pile of fluff.  “You have some thick hair,” said a man from behind.

I turned around to find a brown stranger.  I told him that I’d just lost my rubber band.  “Would you happen to need another one,” he asked.  He pulled a basic rubber band off his wrist and handed it to me.  I paid for my lunch and walked out the restaurant.

Two and a half years later, I was leaving an artist showcase and spotted a familiar face in the let-out.  The guy smiled.  I smiled back.  He crossed the street and asked, “Excuse the randomness of this question, do you remember the gentlemen that gave you his last rubber band in Carmine’s a while back?”

We became instant friends.

Today he brings me lunch from  Meskerem, a South African restaurant uptown. Kewon takes a bite of his Durban bunny chow while he contemplates the answer to my question regarding the roles of the sexes.  “Real men don’t follow,”  he says, immediately sussing out what I’m aiming for.  “So what are women supposed to do?”

“Follow a man who knows how to lead.”

“And from your male POV, when do women get to lead, exactly?”

He looks up at me from his curry dish.  He knows that I know his answer, I’m just waiting to hear him say it.  Again. “When they’re single.”

I stare at him, allowing my food to get cold.  He sighs and drops his spoon on the side of the dish so it clanks.  “You don’t want to follow a man?  Don’t get into a relationship, K. Reagab,”  he says.  “Problem solved.  You don’t have to defer to anyone.  But just so you know, no real man is going to let a woman lead him.  You don’t want the type of man who lets you lead.  And if you don’t trust a man to lead you, why are you dating him, anyway?”

Point taken.  But that’s not the point I’m going for.  I want to know why men feel qualified to lead.  What makes them  “natural leaders”?

I’ve had this conversation with many a man, and many insist I should just let the laws of nature, biology, and/or the Bible be.  They don’t have a valid reason but insist it’s the only way to make a relationship work.  No one seems to recall that Ephesians 5:21 talks about husbands leading wives.  There’s nothing about boyfriends leading anybody anywhere.

I took the question to the grown folks, my two married aunts.  My mother’s two sisters.  They had been wives for about 25 years each.  I asked them if their husbands were the leaders of their relationships or their households.  They laughed.  Hard.  Thought it was the most foolish idea I’d ever introduced.  Their response was best summed up by Selene, who rhetorically asked, “How in the hell is someone going to lead me somewhere?  I’m a grown woman.  The only person I follow is God.”  She added that most people get the Bible verse screwed up.  Wives are to follow husbands.  Husbands, in turn, follow God.  “Every Black man you know spits that verse, but how many you know that go to church?”  Rakia scoffs.

That said, they both conceded that their inability to follow blindly was a source of great contest in their households, but they both preferred the idea of co-leading and arguing to following and man.  Occasionally, they let their husbands think they were leading just to keep the peace.

“Make up your mind what you’re going to do, then ask him like his opinion matters,”  Rakia suggested.  “He’ll feel like he made the decision, and you can go on and do what you want to do without him getting in the way.”

The men I spoke with who were married preferred this method also.  They wanted to feel like kings in the house, even if they were only akin to court jesters.  “Let me think I’m in charge even if I’m not,”  my Uncle Jessie told me who had been listening to my Aunt talk on the other end of the phone.  “It makes a man feel like a man.”

Sounds like the strategy of the oppressed or the underclass.  While I may be considered that by some for being Black and female, I can’t see myself playing that role in my own relationship.

I talked to a more sensible soul.  Ethan.  He had been married – “happily,” he said – for ten years, and he told me that a large part of his happiness was that he and his wife were equal in their relationship.

This!  This was all I was asking for.  I don’t need to lead a man, but I want equal say.  I want to be an equal partner.  Why is that so hard for men to fathom?

Then he added that he still considered himself the head of the house, and only once in a decade and a half of marriage has he “pulled rank” on his wife.

Rank?

I questioned his sensitivity after that.

He shrugged when I pointed out that a man who pulls rank does not really consider his partner equal.

“It’s fifty-one/forty-nine in my favor,”  he said.  “There’s no such thing as exact equality in a relationship.”

Perhaps that’s why Id’ rather date than be in one.

My already somewhat cynical view of relationships was deepening the more I broached this conversation.  Every time I asked, “Why can’t there  be two leaders?”  I was hit with some cliché like “Ships don’t have two captains.”  “Cars don’t have two steering wheels.”  “There’s only one quarterback per team.”

I have this seemingly rare and utopian idea of making decision with my partner.  We just communicate and negotiate until we reach a decision together.  And at the very least, we divvy up all the responsibilities as equally as possible and I make the call on my assignments, and he makes the call on his.  Is that too much to ask?

I was fretting over the issue.  So much so that when my friend Phillip (the best DJ ever) called to check on me, I asked him.

He paused his remixing he was letting me listen to.  “Is this a trick question, Kay Reagan?”

He knew me too well.  I gave him my most innocent sounding  “No.”

He didn’t believe me and asked me to explain where I was going with this.  I laid it all out, including the “What’s a woman supposed to do?  Follow?” line.

He thought for a moment.  “you both lead.”  A man who didn’t expect to lead alone?  They exist?  Or was he just saying it because it sounded good?

I challenged his comment.  ” Can you have to leaders in one house, though?  That won’t get tricky?  Who sits at the metaphorical head of the table?”

“Think of it like sitting at a round table.  That way, everyone’s equal.”

He punched the play button and continued letting me hear his remix as if the matter was done.

If only it were that simple