Friday, April 30, 2010
If I was your girlfriend
Would U remember 2 tell me all the things U forgot
When I was your man?
--Prince, “If I Was Your Girlfriend”
It all got started just like this.
As I prepared to leave the house, I just stuck my head into the room where my wife sat to let her know I was leaving and inquire if there was something she needed me to bring back. But she gave me the stink eye. You know the one—one eyebrow raised, one eye squinting, and her mouth pursed with the corners downturned into a frown.
Immediately, I knew I had done something, but I didn’t know just what; I’m always unwittingly doing something. So my mind kicked into rewind, and I thought back as far as second or third grade trying to figure out what I had done to upset this woman, but I only drew a blank.
So I made the mistake of asking her why she seemed upset with me which only seemed to irritate her further. As I turned to leave, she practically growled at me, “Think about. I’m sure it will come to you.” And I did think about. I thought about it all the way to my car, all the way up the street, and around the corner, but then something else caught my attention, and I forgot all about it.
However, a while later as I stood in line at the store, almost serendipitously, I overheard the conversation of the woman standing behind me. Not that I was eavesdropping, but she was wearing one of those obnoxious Bluetooth things that everyone seems to be wearing now.
From the tone of the conversation, she appeared to be talking with a friend, a woman. And it appeared that she and her significant other were having some kind of problem, the nature of which I was not able to ascertain, in their relationship. In fact, they had been having this problem for quite some time, and she was about ready to throw in the towel on the relationship.
But it was not this particular problem in question that made her so ready to end the relationship; it was his approach to solving the problem. You see, he had the nerve to ask her just what he needed to do to make her happy. And she was highly peeved that instead of just figuring it out for himself, he should turn to her for the answer.
But this is the thing. It seemed like her girlfriend to whom she was speaking with on the phone knew all about the problem. In fact, from the part of the conversation I could hear, it appeared she knew about the problem in great detail. Yet, he, the significant other, did not; he seemed to have no inkling what was wrong.
Now, I don’t want to get into any broad and sweeping statements here. And I certainly don’t want to speak in any essentialisms like women do this and men do that because some times I have those days when my Jockey briefs are all in a wad, but let me take the time out to just ask sisters, “What’s the matter with a brother just asking?” Is that so wrong? Why leave it to us to figure the thing out all by ourselves because admittedly, we can be a little slow sometimes.
And I don’t claim to speak for all the brothers, but just those who are trying to get this thing right. I’m talking about those brothers who are trying to get keep their home game tight, the house macks who ain’t planning on going nowhere because they haven’t been out there in the streets for so long that they couldn’t even survive in the wild. They have become domesticated.
But just tell us all those things about us that you tell your BFF. Tell us all those things you tell your sister. Tell us those things that tempt you to call into the Gayle King Show on Oprah Network. Tell us those things you daydream about that cause you to giggle for no apparent reason. Tell me what you are thinking when I catch you staring at me when you think I’m not looking, and I ask what are you staring at and you smile slyly and toss your hair a bit and say nothing.
Even tell us those things about ourselves that we need to know even though those things might our feelings. But tell us kindly and with a kiss. Ain’t nothing wrong with a little directions; after all, we are in this thing together.