When A Black Man Loves - a romantic journey

Are they all pretty much the same or is it that you elicit the same actions and reactions from others

Zachary M.C. Harris
Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fault me for not writing anything of late, as I have been enmeshed in a ton of conversations, extended birthday celebrations, bills until the cows come home, work and freelance projects.

One recurring them in many conversations have all been about personal development as much as the chagrin of the amount of ratchet behavior currently being carried out amongst the masses, if not a very visible percentage of African Americans.  Much of this has also focused on the aspect of relationships and who you wind up giving a chance to try a relationship with.

I find myself at many times giving advice to female friends in regards to the men that they are dating or potentially getting to know, and on the other side griping about some of the women I have dated [or know] to female friends of mine.

On the former, my first disclaimer is that I can only make an analysis based on what information is given to me; I am sure that I am not only not getting the full picture, but that it is coming to me biased, whether voluntarily or involuntarily.  The second is that I don’t know the person, and without sizing them up for myself, I have no way to truly profile them and give relevant advice.  Down to it all, a [wise] man who has walked many miles and done many things finds it easier to understand those he has interacted with – other men – especially if he once was like them, or is still like them.

Now, transitioning to the latter, my friend Elizabeth always says that I am really no different than a lot of other guys, as that we are always saying the same thing(s) in regards to how we’re not like all of the other guys.  And she does have a valid point; whilst many of us are saying those things, there are many times in which no one else really sees what makes us different because they inevitably bring out the same exact behaviors in us.  It is not only the combination of the subgroup/subset of individuals that you might be dating who all fall within a loose range of similar characteristics (age, ethnicity, career, avocations) but how the one known constant makes them act, that constant being the person who has dated them all.

The reality is that most people are average, and the above average people are similarly average in their own group.  There is a very small group of people that within their own pre-defined, and well defined group, bring things to the table which make them more unique when compared to what we would normally consider their peers.  The shows we watch; the activities that we participate in; the things that we do outside of work; the music that we listen to; it all becomes pretty much synonymous.  While you might wear Nike and the other Adidas, or I shoot with Canon and you prefer Nikon, pretty much we are doing the same things just with minor variations.

Ask yourself how many people are smoking cigars, drinking Moscato or Ciroc – which is so tired right now -- or craft beers, rocking tattoos [in all of the same places and basically in the same designs or themes], driving Mercedes and/or BMW cars.  When you get right down to it, it’s like the old adage of keeping up with the Joneses.  If you’re constantly around the same folks, and none of them are really not doing anything differently from their peers – meaning not charting into new/uncharted territories and in that forming their own opinions versus parroting what others have written or said – then pretty much you’re the same person as all of the others.  Yes, you might be a different height and/or weight with different skin, hair and/or eye colors, but pretty much the only thing differentiating you is how much you are spending, or have to spend, on all of the happenings and accoutrements.

But if you’re getting the same reactions from everyone, then it’s either you directly or the choices in people that you are making.  Katt Williams once miraculously said that once you get to a certain age, if you are still complaining about the men in your life, then it’s not the men but it’s you, as you seem to not only keep attracting the same types of men but also are choosing to deal with them as well.  And he is right, as many of us demonstrate the same type of insanity in doing basically the same thing but expecting a different outcome each time.  No matter how many wishes you make as you throw coins into the fountain, you’re still losing money.

Several weeks ago, two cops in Trenton, New Jersey were shot by a man who had earlier in the day beat up his girlfriend and stabbed her dog.  The first thing that I flagged was the character of the assailant [who died in the ensuing gun exchange, though he is the one who started it while neither cop had unholstered their firearms] in that he was only twenty-three years old but had just gotten out of jail six months earlier and at that tender age already had a rap sheet of someone who was only going to live a life a crime.  At this point, I will make a sidebar of the fact that no one has more generosity than a woman.  Whether it was smart or stupid, and in many cases it is stupid, women will give men a chance when it would be more feasible to walk away.  And the second flag was listening to the woman who had given this man a chance.  I’m sorry, but I just can’t take someone seriously who has some colored piercing coming out of their face or on their lip, or someone who always feels the need to flash the piercing on their tongue.  As soon as I heard her voice, it told me everything that I needed to know about her at once [and I will say more on this in a minute].  What made the whole story worse was that the cop who got it the worst used to be on duty at a school that the woman attended, and in that, had a better inkling into her true spirit and character.  Note: it was just a couple months earlier when another woman and her family suffered at the hands of a man whom she took in whom she would later find impossible to evict.  In that case, she and her children were abused and a SWAT team had to go in and take him out.

Now, back to the point at which some people might say I was being quick to judge based on the woman’s voice, and parts of her appearance, let’s be real, we all made quick judgments but many aren’t just intuitive enough to realize it, and not everyone is open enough to admit what they are thinking.  For the experienced/traveled person, they can detect and recognize many things based on a person’s voice and speaking style.  This is not to say that some people immediately get lumped into one category or another because of the sound/frequency range of their voice [and equally to not say that they don’t as well] but that how a person talks, including their deftness or lack of deftness with the words they are using can tell a lot more about them than they realize.  Many people don’t realize that speech is like movement, and by analyzing it, you can read more about a person quickly than by having to comb through their financial, academic and perchance criminal records.  While your speech doesn’t say anything about your integrity and personal values, it does allude to parts of your psychology as well as understanding your level of personal development.

But [again] as they say, “insanity is doing the same thing every time and expecting a different outcome.”  We tend to repeat the same mistakes and get frustrated when things don’t turn out differently while at the same time, we turn away from different [and better looking] vistas to go with what is familiar to us, even though it is familiarly disappointing.  Some folks we won’t give a chance to at all, and sometimes we still give wrong folks a chance.

And the other half of all of this that we sometimes have to change our actions as well.  I know that I have brought dark clouds to bright skies talking about either the great sex from an ex or the things that women from my past have put me through.  When a new woman hears this, it puts either the thought that she won’t measure up or that I’ll always hold the actions of the past against her the minute something familiar happens.  And let’s be honest, we do learn from the past and remember it, but also have to give things so much time to play out to see if it’s going to be exactly like what we did before. 

I am quick to let a woman know what I won’t deal with and let them make a decision, because rarely am I going to change, or find the reason to.  You’ve got to be really on the ball to challenge me and make me respect you, and while all of the past relationships are over and done, between some of the women that I have dated and dealt with, they have set some high bars in regards to cooking, the bedroom, loyalty and what not that many women will never measure up to.  And it’s not about being wealthy or a size eight, it’s about what they bring to the table openly, honestly and in a genuine fashion.

That is definitely a problem as you get older, as you become more stuck in your ways, and you’d better hope that your ways are the right ones, but in many cases they are really the wrong ones, but no one will tell you because it’s not their life and they’re sick of becoming exasperated in trying to get you to see the trees amongst the forest. 

The advantage has always been in general to the men, because the usually make more money and also are usually the ones who will more easily pack up and leave, leaving the worries of raising the children to the woman.  And when you have scenarios where the man is the primary, if not sole, breadwinner, well then that really slants/skews the dynamic.  Actually, I need to stop this right here because I just realized what my next posting should be.

Summarily, all I can say is that change is constant, whether it is too small for us to realize or big enough for all to see.  We can either embrace it or let it work for us, or reject it and let the rest of the world leave us behind.  Progression and evolution, as well as regression and devolution are all change.

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