When A Black Man Loves - a romantic journey

How Deep is Your Love, How Big is Your Pride

Zachary M.C. Harris
Thursday, November 07, 2013

I remember a conversation years ago I had with a past client in which he revealed something that an older gentleman had wisely bequeathed to him; “even the most beautiful woman has at least one man who can’t stand her guts.”

I have thought about these words over the years on more than one occasion when I was in a bad situation with a woman, whether or not we were just platonic friends, intimate friends, or actually in a relationship.  I recently faced this and the question hit me two different ways; the first was considering the woman who I was with, and the second was considering a person in my past.  It’s funny because over the last few days, the episodes of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” have been on, when Tara is killed and Willows goes apocalyptic.  Yes, I watched Buffy.  In the end, it is Willow’s friend Xander who is able to stop everything, because he tells her that he loves her; good her and bad her.  No matter her rage, love was able to triumph because deep down inside anger is only temporary.

Now, one major problem facing us men, and women by extension, is the fact that fairy tales of knights in shining armor and single princes have been told to you since you were a little girl.  And these concepts have been repeated for generations of women before you.  The fact is that that is not reality, and people are more multi-dimensional than that.  These major themes have played out in books, movies, plays, and television shows [and music videos] and have put in a fantasy that many women subconsciously embrace to some degree, but which in turn never really can play out in real life.  Even us men sometimes wish that our lives paralleled some of those in romantic movies, and that we found the girl of our dreams.  For those that know me, they know that “Hav Plenty” is a favorite movie of mine and in a lesser analogy my life is something like that.  Or you could thrown in/up “Love Jones,” “Hitch” or “Breakin’ All the Rules,” and even to some degree “The Best Man” and you would still find me. 

And in the past I have chased love, in the process writing some very deep poems and two books, as well as making Fedex and the US Postal Service some money.  I have reached into my heart, my soul and my sorrow, letting my dreams and desires come forth and not worried about what anyone thought of me, because I was in love.  Yes, no man wants to be considered weak, but when you are in love and want that love to continue.  I can remember each woman, each struggle, each argument, each place and time, each hurt, the music which was playing, the road I was driving on, the weather and the mood of the earth.

Looking at the present, you wonder if this is just something that can be ameliorated, as someone is just going through something that is actually bigger than you, but that you were the unworthy recipient of the fallout.  Hormones can have a woman acting crazy; I remember when asked if menopause could have been the reason for the end of her marriage, Patti Labelle actually had to consider it.

Looking at the past, you wonder if that love you had could be resurrected, but with a different dynamic in the relationship.  Who you both where at that time should have changed, and maybe you can do it right and better this time around, that is if you both want to.  But looking at the past also opens the door of remembering all of the reasons of why it didn’t work, and wondering if you will just repeat what happened, thus wasting time and resources another time around.

You even look to the chance meeting that you had with a woman whose visage rocked you to your core, which only made it worse when she admitted to you that months later she had a dream which you were in, and you gave her the most passionate and deepest kiss that she has ever had in her life.

Persistence beats resistance!  I think of the last scenes in both “Deliver Us From Eva” and “Brown Sugar” in which basically the male lead talks about coming back everyday until something changes.  In the case of the former movie, it is the male lead, LL Cool J, who is looking for love with the female lead, Gabrielle Union.  In the case of the latter movie, it is the tenacity of the male lead, Taye Diggs, whose actions wind up fortuitously allows him to reconnect with the best friend of his life, and female lead Sanaa Lathan, on a deeper level.  I still remember the song that he was trying to get played on the air, and every time that I hear it, that scene plays out in my head.  The only thing better than that is to hear the song that it is taken from, “Invitation” by Norman Connors.

Love is an elusive beast, almost like hunting for a winged unicorn; of course it’s that much of a conundrum because finding either a unicorn or a winged horse is damned near impossible.

And sometimes, your love, if not your ability to love, can be so deep that you can take a higher bird’s eye view and look past the bullshit of here and now, seeing both the bigger picture and what you are looking for in regards to the rest of your life.  Not everything is enough to derail what could be a happier life together, and the wiser soul understands this.

So now that we have looked at how deep is your love, the next issue is “how big is your pride?”  My old gym had signs posted with the saying, “Ego will get you in trouble, Pride will keep you there.”  And we all know that pride comes before a fall.

For men, the issue that really comes down to dealing with women [and most notably their hormones which can swing their moods and emotions] is a matter of forgoing personal pride and just trying to make her happy.  But there are times, and there are women, that no matter what you do, you cannot make them happen at all.  As my buddy Elizabeth says, you could pretty much have a blessed glow around you like you see on Jesus in stained glass windows – a glowing nimbus or corona – and that still won’t change anything.  There are some women who are really no win situations.

I can remember a crappy series of arguments that took place sometime in March 2002 which wound up having me grab twenty-five roses, a nice vase, and driving down to Atlantic City to talk with a woman whom I was seeing and I was madly in love with.  I went to her job, as she worked at a casino, and simply asked for her at the front desk and then proceeded to wait for her in the Hooters there; it was at the Trump Marina.  So, I waited and waited for her call on my cell, and was asked if I wanted to sell some of the flowers, but when the waitresses heard the story they all got a little weepy and happy for her (Sharon; the name incidentally comes from a rose that grows in part of Israel).  After waiting for almost an hour, which of course was due to her anger – anger which again was ill-based – I simply left the flowers at the front desk with a note of where I would be and for how long I would continue to be there.  Well, in less than fifteen minutes she was there sitting with me at a table for an hour and our relationship was back on track.  Actually, we had just finally entered into a monogamous relationship; it’s a long story but the fact that I wasn’t just about to stop my life when I met this woman, because anything can happen in a couple of weeks or months and a person just doesn’t work out.

I think of the movie “The Seat Filler” in which the adage that “a man who is willing to make himself a fool for you [in showing his love to/for you], is the man that you need to be with” comes to fruition.

I am elated when I see a deserving guy has gotten the girl of his dreams because that means that there is hope for all of us.

The issue of pride is retracting all of the things that might have been said to friends and family, as emotion pulled you initially in one direction, but your heart ultimately pulled you in another.  Sometimes, people aren’t strong enough to admit that they were wrong, and only want to cast one shadow. 

Anyway, that’s what I was thinking.  I could be like Billy Joel and having a bottle of red and a bottle of white, but in this case I just am choosing to have three glasses of a very nice Zinfandel.

Oh, if you can also check out the last albums by Bilal, Janelle Monae, and Raheem DeVaughn.

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