In August 2016, XXXXX and I took a trip to Los Angeles; a first for both of us. We had an incredible trip and spent five days touring the streets, walking the parks and laying on the beaches of L.A. It was a no-brainer that we would go back. The airstream we stayed in was an experience unlike any other. It sat up in the hills with picturesque views of LA, the Hollywood sign and Griffin Park. The sunset was marvelous. They were a popular destination with only one opening in September: two weekdays.
The calendar was booked for the rest of year just the same. I was a bit taken aback when XXXXX suggested we book the two days in the airstream and then catch a cruise, if plausible, that would take up the rest of the trip. We were basically building a California trip around the openings in the airstream. I was surprised by this because he doesn’t like cruises but for whatever reason, he was up for it. I’m always down to float on the ocean, so we began our next search. He usually lets me handle this part of our vacationing because …well, I’m good at it! I will search relentlessly for the best deal and I ALWAYS find what I’m looking for (or better). I had no idea I was a part of his illustrious plot on me. He knew me well enough to know what my exact reaction would be to each suggestion.
Airstream – Hell Yeah Babe!
Cruise somewhere – YASSSS Zaddy !!!
We settled on an 8 day trip to Califonia, that would include a five-day cruise to Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta. We’d arrive on Wednesday and spend it and Thursday in the airstream. Our cruise left at 8 AM Friday morning and returned around the same time later that week. We figured we’d splurge on a dope ass hotel for the final night in Cali.
Sounded exciting enough to me! The days leading up to our trip felt like they moved slow but soon enough we were touching down in California about to hit the 405. The day of our ocean departure, I could tell he was nervous. His excitement to indulge in my ocean-energy carried him beyond his personal fears. We had a balcony room and suggested to him that we spend at least one night sleeping outside. We reclined our chairs all the way back and held hands under the stars while listening to the soft tapping of the Pacific against our ship. There were stars everywhere and we fell asleep naming them per our ‘skwahd‘, and checking for constellations.
The cruise was romantic. We immersed ourselves in each other’s company and enjoyed every day on and off the ship. He barely remembered he was on a cruise after the first day. Cabo was more than I could have asked for. We ate well, drank better and did every water activity time would allow. He had taught me basic swimming before we left so thanks to XXXXX, I was able to swim in the ocean!! And to not be scared to venture into it. Our final port was in Puerto Vallarta. As time drew close to our final boarding, XXXXX and I found a quiet, secluded area on a beach that was popular with our shipmates. The ship was just around the corner. It was a safe last stop where we could maximize our time. I sat quietly on the edge of the soft, white sand with my feet in the water. It felt good on my legs.
as i sat there, I drifted off into my own world. my thoughts were touring the rest of the ocean as the sun tiptoes over its waves. the sound of god speaking brought me so much calm. I hear God speak when i hear the ocean. and it’s always so fascinating.
I was so far into the depths of thought with my eyes closed that I didn’t realize XXXXX wasn’t standing next to me anymore until he called my name.
I shook my head out of my beautiful trance and turned behind me. We had exactly one hour left before we had to board the ship. This hour was the dawn of a new morning glory in my world.
When I turned and looked for him behind me, there he stood barefoot, in white linen pants that were rolled up above his ankles, a brown hat to protect his St Tropez-tan (as he called it), and a sky blue shirt that collected his sweat with ease. His arms were stretched.
I stood to walk towards him while wondering why he would want to leave the beach so soon. The closer I got, the more I saw.
Flowers. Big, colorful flowers that aligned the back of the beach where different vendors were set up. I had been so inundated with the Pacific Ocean that I didn’t realize he was gone long enough to pick these huge flowers.
Tears. In his eyes. As I began to walk toward him, I could tell he had tears welling in his eyes. His smile stood proudly and his eyes were fixated on me. I closed in on him and he stepped to the side, revealing a small, sand-drawn heart with a black box in the middle.
There was no hoopla. No dancers, fire acts or mosh pits.
Just him. Just me. And the distant laughter of the people on the further side of us and the crashing of the ocean.
This black box had everything we had been building inside of it.
The date was September 27th. I couldn’t withhold my emotions and tears sprinted down my cheeks in a disorderly fashion. Before I could speak, he walked around, behind the flowers that decorated the heart. He grabbed the box, opened it and bent down right in front of me. I’m so glad I wore a dress off the ship. It made for beautiful memories when I thought back at how it blew in the wind at the same time as my hair. #MissAmerica #pettyThoughts
He stood at the peaks of the heart, where the two aortas combine and said:
“You make me understand life. Before you, there were none. There is no after you. There is only right now. My life feels refreshed and alive with you in it. You don’t allow me to settle or wallow. You push me toward greatness. Your love is overflowing and sufficient, and I feel it on me when you’re not here. My soul can feel yours before it begins to speak. Baby, we are not temporary. We have to be forever. There is nothing I will not do for you. I want to begin every day, from here on, talking to God about you, with you and close to you. I want to worship with you. Grow spiritually with you and lead us both to greatness. I support you like you support me. You have taught me how to see myself and I want to spend the rest of my life making you joyful. I know it is God’s will that we meet in eternity. I’m Yours Right Now. ..and forever.
Will you marry me?”
He opened the box and the yellow canary that jumped out and sang around my head like a halo gave me a gasping pause. It was just what I wanted. It wasn’t too flashy but it was enough to say “XXXXX Lives Here” in neon diamonds.
I’ll never forget the way my heart beat. Or the breeze. And the sounds. Or how it felt floating on air back to the ship. It felt like as we walked through the metal detectors to reboard the ship, I was entering a new world of my own. My newest level.
A higher strain of trust.
I really tried hard not to ugly cry.
But, I think I did.
And then I said yes so loud that I think other people down the way heard us. We hugged and danced and kissed. It was minimally extravagant. In front of the ocean and alongside God. We made our first vow right then and there: to never take for granted the fact that we found each other. This world is full of billions of people and sure cities are small, but we found each other. We navigated life and held firm in our faith that our person was out here.
And now, in the evening of a Puerto Vallarta late-summer cruise, we found forever . . .
“Yellow diamonds in the light
And we’re standing side by side
As your shadow crosses mine
What it takes to come alive
It’s the way I’m feeling I just can’t deny
But I’ve gotta let it go
“If you’re silent about your pain, they will kill you and say you enjoyed it”
~Zora Neale Hurston
Let’s get this tea brewing.
Years ago, I watched the Loving Story documentary on Netflix. It detailed the fight of Mildred and Richard Loving, the interracial couple who fought the State of Virginia after their felony conviction of interracial cohabitation. They were sentenced to one year in prison and banned from Virginia. In 1967, the Supreme Court ruled against the ban on mixed-race marriages thanks to the efforts of the Lovings. They spent over ten years fighting and had eight years together after the victory. Richard Loving was killed in 1975 in a car accident that left Mildred permanently injured. She never remarried.
For me, they symbolized the endless boundaries of love and how it develops from the soul, not the eyes. They were also a testament to our short, unpredictable time here on Earth and how we have to be present for the moments in front of us. That means being oblivious or at least fearless to what others think or have to say. The way I respect and adore love doesn’t allow me to take issue with interracial couples. Love is such an exquisite experience that whoever you are drawn to share it with, I say go for it!! If you find someone that is game to fight all the battles and never leave your side – if you get true, unconditional loyalty – who cares what color someone is? It’s quite beautiful to see, and in all my anger and defiance, I will probably never stop longing for a love like that.
Now that, that is out of the way, let’s talk about interracial cheating and my complete contradictory philosophy and issue with it.
For the rest of this blog, cheating will be defined as the following:
sleeping with another person
taking another person out on dates
a secret, non-disclosed or otherwise private conversations/texts/meetups with another person who you have been romantically linked to or find attractive
discussing your private current relationship affairs with a person you have been romantically linked to or find attractive
a secret friend on the side that you do not introduce and have been romantically linked to or find attractive
a secret friend on the side that you have introduced and minimized your contact/context with said person
riding shotgun, laying in bed, holding hands, accidental kisses, accidental fucking, ‘we on a break’ fucking
lying about your present relationship to a person you have been romantically linked with or find attractive
You know what the biggest gripe about cheating is? It makes the other person feel insufficient. At the center of it all, the biggest sore spot is the one where you begin to question yourself, especially if you have been blindsided. Being cheated on says, intentional or not, ‘you were not good enough and this person was better.’ The action verb of what this new person is ‘better‘ at can be anything: listening, having sex, laughing, talking, etc. . . The bottom line is it feels like they scored higher on the SATs while you sit with a broken pencil still trying to solve question three on your fingers.
And who likes to feel inadequate?
When we add the opposite race to that stew, the beef we are cooking up is full of mad cow disease. I believe that being cheated on by a black man *** with a white woman leaves much more of a nauseating taste than if he cheated with a black one. Cheating is cheating; it’s going to hurt either way. But when you are a black woman, a Loud & Proud black woman, full of fight, poetry and love for her people, and you are cheated on with a white woman . . .
whew. . .
The mindfuck is incredibly obtrusive. It makes you want to burn down the city. Throw the whole state away and start over with a new colony. It’s a special kind of trauma. “Not only are you saying I’m not satisfying enough, but to add insult to injury, this white woman is better than me? This white woman is better at loving a black man, my black man, than me?”
Ohok. Interesting fucking concept. . .
In 1995’s Waiting to Exhale, Bernadine (played by Angela Bassett) slept with Herbert, a married man. The movie minimalized the affair but the book, which I haven’t read completely, went more in-depth. Herbert suggested getting a divorce so the two of them could be together but Bernie didn’t want that. She eventually stopped communicating with him. In both the movie and the book, she had committed adultery after having it done to her. She was complicit in disregarding and disrespecting a marital union in exchange for her own temporary and selfish needs. She put another woman in the position of wondering if she too was insufficient. BUT –
– – Bernie had only just been at the receiving end of an affair and thoughts of mediocracy within her own marriage. The difference – her husband cheated with a white woman. In thinking of the movie and the book, I wonder would it have hurt Bernie less if her husband had chosen a black woman to have an affair with? Is that why we put less focus or care on Bernie when she did it? The following excerpt was taken from the Terry McMillan’s book, Waiting to Exhale:
“You know what? I hate black men who run to white women,” Robin said.
“I don’t hate them, ” Savannah said. “But what kills me more than anything is they usually pick the homeliest ones they can find and the ones who don’t have shit going for them.”
“I hate the fact that they think white girls epitomize beauty and femininity.”
“I hear you, ” Savanna said. “But you know what?”
“It doesn’t bother me all that much.”
“And why not?”
“Because i think people have a right to love who they want to. Who am I to judge?”
“Yeah, but if our men keep running to white women, what does that leave us?”
“When you get right down to it, there really aren’t that many who’ve crossed over. I think we just notice it more because we’re black and female.”
“So I don’t hold it against them. If a black man wants a white woman, that’s his business. I’ve got too many other things to worry about. . .”
This exact conversation has played out at dinner tables, ladies nights and various other situations where black women are discussing interracial dating. Savannah took on many black women’s attitude, mine included of, ‘I just don’t care. Date whoever you find attractive and dope enough to hang with you.’
But when it comes to cheating, I personally have a change of heart. The issue that Robin brings up is the grand ole’ Opry of why interracial cheating hurts more than same race cheating.
“I hate the fact that they think white girls epitomize beauty and femininity.” ~Robin
White women have been the belle of the ball of the United States since it’s inception. They have inadvertently defined for our society what it means to be a mother, a wife, and a friend…what it means to be a woman. The white woman is America’s Crown and Glory, while the black woman epitomizes its dark shadows and secrets. Black women are considered to be loud, obstructive and in the way, whereas white women are quiet listeners and lovers. They take care of home, husband, and kids and speak when it’s their turn. Black women step out of line, can’t be controlled, sleep around and need government assistance to take care of themselves. We are seen as ugly and almost masculine where protection is concerned – we are left to take care of ourselves (and expected to) while white women and their precious feminine tears are coddled and offered reassured security. Hell must be paid if a white woman is mishandled in any way, but black woman’s reckless, unnecessary death underwhelms the powers that be. Look at the difference in treatment of former FLOTUS Michelle Obama, who was often referred to as a guerilla versus plagiarist-current–flotus Melania Trump who wasn’t even reprimanded for her thievery. There are blogs and books written about white women being at the helm of the ship of racism. Massive numbers of white women turned out and voted in Alabama for Roy Moore who has been accused of several acts of sexual misconduct, at least one with a minor. But who will look at them differently? Certainly not the don’t-take-my-guns-trump-supporting housewives.
When Women’s Suffrage was taking place, those white women were fighting for each other; NOT to include black women. This country loooooves them some Susan B Anthony but she certainly didn’t love us, black women.
During that era, Black women were [still] looked at as slave women who should be nursing and nanny’ing their white babies, not voting and enjoying human and civil rights. A great number of lynchings of black people began in the hands of a white woman. Emmett Till’s death was based on a white woman’s lies.
By now, you’ve seen pictures of white women scowling, spitting and yelling at black people for trying to integrate the schools during the era of segregation. If not, here are a few:
In some twisted sense of American pride, these women are the heart of the USA. Robin’s comment about white women being the center of beauty and femininity isn’t just a movie line; it’s a reality that extends further than those two points. White women live their 9 lives on a pedestal that black women have to fight to reach. There is an unspoken can-do-no-wrong/see-no-evil that accompanies their birth that is not afforded to black women. So what does this have to do with interracial cheating? Well now, in a world that has intentionally attempted to devalue the black woman’s worth in lieu of the white woman’s assumed pure and untainted existence, cheating with one of them instead of one of us is a two-sided, jagged edge knife to the eyes.
If you recall in Waiting to Exhale, Bernadine was not just upset about being cheated on; she was brutally disturbed that it was a white woman and made no secret of it. I have come to the conclusion that it’s not just the cheating. Oh hell, it may not have even been the cheating at all. Truth be told, plenty of us believe most if not all men cheat, so tons of women are prepared to deal with it IF that person is that person. But if you must find someone to replace what you think I am not performing well at, she better fucking be black!!!! ***NOTE: this is NOT me condoning cheating. I disagree with it strongly. But I also know that monogamy is a choice that love itself doesn’t prepare one to make.
Beyond the ramifications of interracial cheating lies the invisibility of the black woman in a relationship that she thought was her sacred place. It’s been happening since the beginning of our time here. Our (black women) erasure always feels so open to the public. Even in private situations, the perception of being expunged can have one feeling like the world is watching and collectively not giving a fuck. Time Magazine released their Person of the Year tribute to the #MeToo movement while conveniently leaving the person who started it off the cover: 44-year-old Tarana Burke.
She created the #MeToo Movement ten years ago. On the surface you would think, “Well isn’t it about the survivors and awareness? Isn’t this helping?” The answer to THAT question is an undeniable YES!!! But travel internally and you may be able to notice the familiar pattern of lack of inclusion of black women. Of the five women on the cover (silence-breakers), any one of them could have sat out to allow room for the founder. . . no? Or what about one of those covers that are two-page foldouts? #WhatAboutInclusion
I could give examples all day and create a new blog, but let’s get back to the point, which is black women get fucked over and cheated on enough in everyday living. When it happens at home too, a new dimension of disrespect is opened.
Jill With the Stringy Hair
It wasn’t a dark or stormy morning that day when I opened up my Facebook inbox to 14 screenshots sent to me by some woman named Jill. I had never seen or heard of her life before and now here she was in my inbox. There was a picture of me and questions about me. There were notices of I Miss You and confessions of dreams about her. All from the person I had publicly professed my love for. Jill with the Stringy Hair is what I call her. * shrug*
Our trust was broken instantly. I was downplayed in those texts. I was laying next to him when he was having those dreams about her. She knew the house I was moving into. She knew far too much for me not have ever met her. She laughed at me and called me a joke. Questioned how I could uplift other women and be with him. And the grand bomb: she was friends with my sister’s brother.
I wasn’t stupid – but prideful.
A PROUD black prideful woman. Perhaps I needed this relationship to help me check my pride because I should have ended it then. I couldn’t go for a white woman breaking up my relationship. That’s for another blog. I have been cheated on and I have been the cheater before. I know how this shit goes and what it feels like to dish it and take it. I know what it looks like to hurt someone with your disloyal, selfish ass behavior. I’ve grown the fuck up and out of that shit. My language in this blog tells me I’m upset.
“But what kills me more than anything is they usually pick the homeliest ones they can find and the ones who don’t have shit going for them.” ~Savannah, Waiting to Exhale
I was hurt to the highest degree I think I have ever experienced from being cheated on. This is not the same as interracial dating. This was cheating. “This man is cheating on me with a white woman???? AND she had the audacity to inbox me AND block me??!!!?!?!?!?!”
Jesus be a Lit Ball. I couldn’t break my typing fingers enough to get to my ‘free’ page to look her ass up and get in her inbox. But wait –
”He’s cheating on me with a white woman???”
The reality was that’s exactly what was happening. I don’t know how far it went, but it fits at least one of those bullet points too many. They were linked prior to me. She told me things about him that seemingly proved true in the end. I didn’t know if she was gloating or trying to run me off, but it was all a violation. She laughed at me. Questioned how I could uplift other women.
Some bonds you can’t break I suppose. If I saw them on the street and didn’t know them, I’d be supportive. But their sneaky reconciliationOrWhatever behind my back, in ANY capacity, felt like taking lashes for your man only to watch him gallantly run to the warmth of the white woman in the big house.
It’s been said that [sometimes] black men turn to white women because they are more docile and drama-free; they know their places. I’ve heard that last line numerous times. They don’t withhold sex and are eager to please in whatever fashion. I’m not saying these things are true, I’m repeating what I’ve heard over the years. They aren’t even ‘bad’ characteristics. But they are used as pedestal pushers against the black women who bear opposite traits.
I couldn’t help but think “look at you nigga. I would’ve taken your secrets to the grave but you out here banking on this white woman to have your back. Is she a better listener? Or is it sexual? Did she provide better comfort when you were feeling the effects of the death of Philando Castile?Is she more proud of you than me? She supports you more than me? Loves you better? Is she WORTH me?? This homegrown authentic, unconditional-as-can-be, black-love? And now look at her. She turned on you and sold you out for sport. Yet you trusted in her; not me. Go figure.”
All this had me thinking recently. There is no denying that all betrayal is hurtful. Cheating creates doubts and questions where there may have otherwise been confidence and belief. I would have wondered those same questions if the woman was black. But there is still a different sting when she’s white. Or maybe it’s just me and the fictional Bernadine?
it could be that being erased in the media, corporate, and just about everywhere else doesn’t allow for much understanding when it comes to our personal relationships? We need a sacred space where we are without doubt number one and that should be it. Black women shouldn’t have to fight to be number one to a white woman anywhere, but especially at home in their own fucking beds.
And in the Gospel Section of K.Dot Lamar,
“that’s just how I feel.”
And I’ll be damned if anyone says I enjoyed it.
***this blog is written from a heterosexual, black woman’s perspective. Please feel free to change the pronouns as necessary, however, the race must remain the same.
One thing I will always remember is how perfect the weather was.
It was about 80 degrees that day and the evening only cooled to about 68. The sun was abundant and the skies looked like they were made for swimming. We opted to fly to Santorini from Athens and would cruise back on the slow ferry. We arrived around 3 pm and quickly found a way to get to our new home for the next week. My sister was set to arrive the next day and the remaining crew would be trickling in throughout the week. There were about 14 of us total that would be spending up to a week (depending on arrival) in an exquisite mansion, high in the mountain cliffs of what I deem one of the most beautiful islands in the world. I found it on Airbnb for $350 a night. Our guests chipped in to knock the price down per person and this splurge was well worth it. The house was beautiful; there were modern fixtures, minimalistic flair with splashes of color throughout that brought out the sun. My favorite part, a rounded deck with an outdoor dining table that seated 8, overlooked the ocean. As soon as I stood there, I imagined the toasting of our glasses during our dinner together near week’s end.
XXXXX and I spent the first day lounging around different areas of the house and walking along the beach which was easily accessible from our two-story paradise. It was the only night we would have all to ourselves until after the ceremony so we took full advantage; running around naked, playing twister, dancing, singing and making love outside. It was the definition of forever young. I felt at home and protected in his presence. It was the most incredible Monday of my life and I had no worries. That Friday crept up on us with a thief-like presence. By then everyone had arrived and spent time loving the digs we were Kings and Queens of. At 7:30 PM, just as the sun started to dip into the ocean, we all began to file out and meet on the upper deck patio at the dinner table. The mood was set: Candles were lit that spanned the length of the table. Cinematic Orchestra, Bonobo, and some good ole American Trap music mixed together for a soundtrack befitting of our hood-snoot. The ocean breeze crept up the concrete white steps, bending around the curve of the corner and brushed past our shoulders with love. Someone hit the theme song, Never Let Me Down (Kanye West) and we all took to our named spaces while a waiter we hired (who knew you could hire waiters by the hour) poured Cabernet Sauvignon into our glasses. For the next 3 hours, we sat with the ocean and traded laughter and memories. We ate a phenomenal dinner prepared by a local chef and listened for the echos of our love to bounce off the edges of the cliff.
Before it was over, my sister stood to give a toast. I listened as she talked about our first time meeting and how we’ve been through the fire together. She looked at XXXXX and thanked him for coming into my life and bringing an air of laughter and intellect that others could only envy. She acknowledged him as being a best friend to me and how necessary that would be for a union to truly last. Her final words were spoken in Greek – we had a translator with us that folks took turns carrying for the day.
“Bare with me,” she said. “This is NOT my native language. Sis, this is for you!”
Laughter and jovial ‘uh-ohs’ sounded off in whispers.
Her Greek was a wee bit….shaky. Maybe at times unintelligible and garnered more than it’s fair share of laughter from all of us, her included.
“Go forth and be married under the setting sun and the ocean’s catcall.”
I thought it was poetic. And hilarious. We toasted as a group, the music got turned up and Clique by Kanye West and friends gave us life on our Santorini dance floor, overlooking the Meditteranean Sea. It was a dream come actionable and I was standing in a small sea of friends and loves that would never let me down.
And just like that, I was waking up on Saturday. I won’t go into every single aspect of the day but I will say my sister and my the other ladies in attendance were incredible to me. I gave my best shot at not being a bridezilla and they showered me with love and prayers throughout the entire day. Everything about this day was woven together in a cloth of love. Every detail had significance; it was small yet grand and well-thought out. At least in my humble opinion.
Shout out to my photographer friends – they all did an amazing job capturing details the other party would have missed. I had two with us, two with the fellows and one that was in constant motion. The mansion had space for everyone. I had several of my favorites there because I wanted THIS day captured by all the eyes that had snapped me on purpose.
So let’s cut to that night. The guys had left when we woke up so none of us had seen any of them since the dinner. No one knew what to expect. Again, it was 7 pm. Seven, being the year of completion, was our chosen our for everything formal. It was also the perfect time to catch the sun begin it’s slow descent and coloring the Greek sky with God’s unique paintbrush. Perfect for our wedding! The guys rode up the beach on horses!! I had no idea this was going to happen. Our bridal suite was full of windows that looked down to the chapel and the beach. You should have seen me jumping (I’m sure it’s on camera) when I saw these brown horses gallop up the shore then parting to make room for the King on the White Horse.
“HOW DID HE DO THIS!!!”, I yelled in excited wonderment? Where was the time for them to teach the horses to part? How did he get the horses and practice this? What in the what? I had a head full of the dopest questions I’ve ever needed answers for and I fell in love with the idea of it all. He knew I loved horses and that my uncle had one named after me. Eventually, when I got pet the actual horse, I noticed it wore a sash that had “Kendria’s Killa” inscribed. It was the name of my uncle’s horse. I told you….it was a small wedding, but the details were grand.
My sisterfriend married us just beyond the loudest voice of the wave; the house we rented came with an outdoor mini-chapel style dome with a pathway that led right to the ocean.
XXXXX stood inside waiting alongside his best man. My bridesmaid walked first and left whole flowers in place of her footsteps. My sister was next. She held a medium sized Swavorski encrusted cage that glimmered against the sunset. Just before she entered the dome of the outdoor chapel, she stopped, opened the cage doors and released two doves into the Greek sky. They flew away together and as practiced, as soon as the next wave was pulled from the sand, I entered.
I walked without nervousness. Each step felt like the joining of forever. I had no accompaniment for a reason; this was my last time feeling like, from a human being stance, I would walk alone. I didn’t wear a veil over my face. Just a simple Swavorski crown with flowing white and pink tulle extending down the back. My dress was a remix of this Krikor Jabotian dress I’d had my eye on for months (but at $11K, I could only get a knockoff). It was extremely elegant for the ocean and 100% me. I couldn’t think of a time when I had felt more radiant or beautiful. The fabric felt like God hugging me as it touched my skin. My eyes had to be sparkling like diamonds because I felt exquisite.
He smiled when he saw me. By the time I stretched my hand to meet his, his cheeks were wet. My sister gave me away. The sun made its final descent for the night, dying and making room for the moon to glow and light up the rest of the evening. We exchanged vows that included laughter and created tears in the eyes of out friendly witnesses. XXXXX is a comedian and all around funny guy. I opt for being the sensitive one with a knack for describing the moment. Together, our vows spun a web around heaven that locked us in its gates forever. We used to joke that I would have to write his vows for him but he did my heart well with what he spoke. The ocean waves wanted our attention. They grew in size as our nuptials passed and it was when we were granted the keys to eternal love that a gigantic wave crashed against the shore, briefly stealing the attention away from us. Everyone gasped in awe.
We married without shoes on and the water breeze was heavy enough to move the fabric of my gown. When it services were over, we all ran down the candlelit pathway, women holding dresses and men yelling “JYEAH” towards the sky. We met at the shore for photos, silliness and for that one moment that XXXXX and I stole away from everyone else. We had walked about a half mile away from the party, both standing in front of the Mediterranean on a high. It was as if we couldn’t be bothered to look anywhere but at the water. It was incredibly fascinating. This reminded me of his cover picture. In it, he stares at the Pacific Ocean with admiration and respect. I took it from behind one time when we visited Venice Beach together.
“Look at what we’ve gone and done”, he said without breaking his outward gaze. “I know. Will you keep your promises?”, I replied with a smirk.
He spoke clearly, this time looking me in the face: “I will die before I break a promise to you or the heartbeat in you.”
We held hands, kissed and splashed water on each other with our feet. We walked over to the horses the guys rode in on, and XXXXX and I got on and rode off. It was love. It was life beginning. We had a small 2nd wedding planned for the states so my mom and stepdad could attend. But this right here – this was all I ever needed.
We joined our friends again with plans to party the night away with tons of food and music. Alone time would come soon. Everyone was leaving Sunday and we had the mansion for an extra two days as a wedding gift from them all. As I changed into my Greek-Goddess reception dress, I looked back in the mirror before exiting the room. My hand was on the door and I noticed there was a ring on my finger. My skin was glowing and slightly tanned. I smiled and spoke a prayer of thankfulness before switching off the light and going back to join my friends and husband downstairs.
He looked at me as soon as I entered the room. His eyes spoke in melodious volumes. I was the woman of his dreams and tonight, his dream came true.
I returned the look as I walked towards him. The music was up and my sister was bringing food out to the downstairs patio table, where everyone was dancing and talking.
Duke Ellington’s “A Sentimental Mode” came on. Laughter and glasses toasting could be heard on the inside. XXXXX took my hand and right inside the white cave halls of our Santorini mansion, we danced and talked about the rest of our tomorrows,.
I caught a few snaps from the outsiders as they gushed and snuck pictures of us in our moment. It was a balmy night, September 27th, when we became what we knew we were destined to be. …and how exciting it was to spend life with someone worth fighting for, beginning in Santorini.
When I woke up to reality –
– the house was still, the dogs were asleep and Grey’s Anatomy had stopped auto-playing. I put my hand on his side of the bed, moving them in wide circles. Feeling for memories of yesteryear. Looking at the sun pour orange paint across the western end of the sky.
I sat back and smiled at the nocturnal energy I could still feel. In another life, what XXXXX and I experienced together culminated into what we promised each other. A wedding bliss that was simple and abundantly flowing with love.
In this life, we died on the ballroom floor just as the clock struck midnight, and I woke up back by myself with no sign of ocean water in sight.
For nearly 39 years, I have watched black men drop the ball on me in every way imaginable. Starting with my natural father and blood brother to the man I planned to marry to the guys on the street and complete strangers and the play brothers and the guys I grew up with – -*the men I love so dearly have often left me hanging or worked overtime at disrespecting the very nature of my heart. Or at least, this is how it FEELS. I am currently searching my reserve tank for something to keep believing in them, loving them and fighting with and for them but it has thinned to the thickness of a single hair follicle. Recently, I watched a black man tear down a well-known black business woman in Indy. He trashed her restaurant, her food quality, and her prices. After legions of supporters chimed in, in her favor, he went to battle with each one (mostly women), myself included. He trolled our pages and insulted us based on what he was able to see. He referred to the sole black man (that I saw at that time) as a bitch ass nigga because he defended her. He even disrespected her mother by calling her a bitch (after she stated she was her mother). While other people get angry and go back and forth with this type of stuff, I get sad and seemingly ill. I can’t participate because I start shaking internally. My eyes cross, my heart breaks and tears sometimes form.
This has been a relatively hard blog to write.I’ve feared that my current relationship standing and my past baggage would sponsor a blog post that was too full of ‘black girl attitude’ instead of magic, and come off as whiny, full of complaints and inexperienced with more than one type of black man. What I am about to say is not without merit nor do I lack taking ownership for what I have entertained and allowed to permeate my life (in the cases where I could help it). I’m not another blogger using her platform to tear down the black man. I’m not that. I am a whole woman with validity to her claims, experience under her belt and just enough wisdom to know that some shit just ain’t right. I’m fine with being labeled as angry because….well, fuck it, I AM!
And I have EVERY right to be; to authentically feel WTF I am already feeling! I don’t hate black men and I am absolutely still full of love for them. It’s just time for me to take the sugar spoon away and be real: our trust has been broken and our bond needs critical repairing, but no one is fine-tuning this shit except me and I’m damn near done completely.
ILOVE black men and I always have. I’ve loved them hard, relentlessly, and wildly on purpose; with intention and out loud. I could never claim to be perfect and I’ve always been on the learning curve of love, but I’ve given it as best as I had to put out. I’m here for them. Once upon a time, I wrote for and performed to them. I loved them on stage as much as off. I got my first standing ovation from a room full of hood rich dudes who were there to stand their hip-hop grounds on a night that poetry had tried to ease in and take over. The poem, “Convicted Felon”, was written about struggles of re-entry and they ate it up. I wanted them to know that I was present for them and their struggles. In Louisville one night, I won audience favorite after doing a poem about black men being kings. That came w/a $100 and a standing ovation in a room crowded with black men. The hugs and high fives left me feeling like I had done my job: I let them know that SOMEONE (me) is rooting for them and can see them! I’ve never masked or hidden my love, support, and desire for their presence in my life, yet I find this has made me nothing more than a target with a fat ass.
“…and even if I end up spending my life without one of you/I will forever long to hold onto you like the sun longs to hold onto blue skies that are decorated by white clouds./ I will forever try to build you up/not tear you down.”
I’m not in denial about my rocky relationship with black men. I must specify “black men” because that’s who I have dealt with. I know other men of other races do the same shit; but my allegiance is to black men and gotdammit, I want my fucking reciprocity! More than that, I want this breach repaired. I don’t want to have to rely on men of other races – I WANT to love black men; but I don’t want to love for two anymore. It’s time that I just do my part; not both of ours. I have so much material where I have written them into the parts of my life that I needed or wanted them. I didn’t call them kings in a poem and treat them like peasants in real life. I’ve created fairytales with my words and I admit that was a mistake. In hindsight, I wonder did I think that I could write myself into a healthy space with black men in general? Had I been thinking that whole time that I could show them my authentic self via poetry and that might attract like-minds and good fruits of the harvest? Because if I did, I can say that it didn’t work.
It attracted more enemy-like predators. They saw my vulnerabilities and used them to their advantage while assisting in destroying my overall feelings regarding black men in general. Time and time again, I’ve been nothing more than an experimental situationship for them, and I’ve watched them ride off on white horses with other women. Literally.
During my sophomore or junior year of high school, I was called a nigger by a white man entering a nearby Walgreen’s that I was leaving out of. We almost bumped into each other and that was his response. It was so unexpected that I don’t think I responded. I was shocked quite frankly and I was also skipping school sooooo, I didn’t tell anyone. That was the first and only time that I’ve been called that to my face, although I’m sure many have mumbled it about me under their cowardly breath. I was called a ho when I was in the seventh grade. The guyS that started spreading rumors about me at age 13, some true and plenty others embellished at that time, were all black. They lived in the same neighborhood as me and went to the same school. These guys had me thinking I was a slut before I ever lost my virginity. I was bullied, laughed and pointed at, made fun of me and alienated…all because of black boy joy, circa 1992. I took the long way home from the store, I had to transfer schools and I literally peeped around corners to see if I saw any trace of them when I was outside. They made my life HELL. I lost my ‘friends‘. My shaky self-esteem plummeted and my reputation in my new neighborhood was trashed by the first two people I met: black boys. This continued until I left the neighborhood for good in 1998 @19 years old.
My point of that is not to rehash old memories but to show a juxtaposition of the hurt inflicted upon me by white men vs. black ones. It’s TROUBLING !!! Do I trust white men more than black men (or at all for that matter)??
I’m not stupid. I know they really don’t GAF about me. But I am an observer and what I have seen and experienced has shown me that most of the black men I come across don’t appreciate, want or love me either. It feels worse than that one time Walgreens occurrence or the subconscious thoughts other races may have because black men are who I associate and fight with and love greatly. I don’t want to feel this way about them. I WANT to feel like they look at me and see light and love, but I don’t really think so anymore. My own father and brother never saw worth in me. My brother has a bunch of children. I’m no one’s aunt. It makes me wonder what I did to deserve this shit? I’ve been stolen from, used, abused, left out of town, molested, nearly raped, killed and of course, cheated on and lied to while looking me in my eyes all by black men. Some of this I played a role in but not all of it and I’m not willing to take EVERYONE’s blame on my shoulders anymore. I’ve beat myself up for years over the choices and things I’ve done in the name of love or men. THIS BLOG IS NOT WRITTEN WITHOUT PRE-ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF MYSELF! I am responsible for what I allow. It’s just right now, I’m allowing myself to be honest.
I’m often perplexed as I listen, read and watch the seemingly effortless disrespect and mistreatment of black women by black men and boys. It bothers me to no end and maybe that is because my own personal relationships have always been met with an ICU-ending. It doesn’t matter what the context of our relationship was; just aboutevery black man that I’ve ever had a relationship of any significant sort with has left me feeling unprotected and disposable. #NotAllBlackMen
I recently realized that I’ve been giving out labels that come with expectations to men who don’t want to or simply won’t meet those expectations. Matter a fact, I don’t know that they even wanted the labels. That’s not fair of me. These men aren’t required to protect me in any capacity (and they don’t).
What have I done to deserve their protection or respect aside from being born awesome? These the types of questions I ask myself before writing blogs like this.
But I’m not tripping: There IS a lack of protection by the black man of the black woman. I’m not the only person who feels this way. Other blogs have been written before this. VSB wrote one and received quite the backlash (from black men) because how dare they call them out on their shit? I got into a back and forth on FB with a guy about that exact blog because he wanted me to give him proof that it was valid. Instead of saying ‘fuck you and your proof’, I stopped the conversation. #IAmTheProof
I know if a man is reading this blog, his thoughts whilSt reading this might sound like “well, it’s #NotAllBlackMen.” While my personal relationships play a great deal into my perceptions, it’s not solely based on me. I sit and observe, listen and read things that further push me over the edge all the time. I envy the women who proudly profess their support and love for black men. I see stuff like this all the time:
It’s not that I don’t agree because I do. But I don’t feel it reciprocated in action towards me and never have. And so I also have mad respect for those who stand firmly in their disgruntled truth: that they are disappointed and untrusting of these beautifully created, melanted humans. When one of the young ladies from my neighborhood lab told me about two young guys, no older than 14, cat-called and heckled her and another 10-year-old little girl, I was sick. Their behavior was problematic AF and also learned. It may have even been taught to them. The young ladies asked to be left alone and were met with more advances. The ten year was a bit scared and the 14-year-old told me that she knew better than to show her fear because it would only increase their behavior more. TEN. FOURTEEN. They shouldn’t have to experience that and young boys shouldn’t be taught that girls (women) are owed to them. The inability to accept no for an answer or resorting to increased haggling/violence (resulting in fear for the girls/women) comes from a sense of entitlement. #WhoTaughtYouToHateMe
The Common Denominator
Maybe the problem IS me. Seeing as though I am the common denominator, maybe I’m the issue. Do I hold them too high to their mistakes? Group them all together unfairly? Because it’s #NotAllBlackMen and I know that. I’ve seen ‘good’ black men; they are just a rare sighting in my personal life. Do I take how black men act towards me and other black women too damned personal? Does my disappointment stem from my inadvertent daddy/brother-search in niggas who are only good for slinging dick left to right or loving me tight for a few months or a couple of years? Do you know how many seasonal ‘brothers‘ I’ve put in my heart since poetry came into my life? #TewDahmnMany. You know how many of those brothers called/inboxed/dropped by to see if I was surviving my newest emotional apocalypse? Not even half. And honestly, I guess I haven’t done that for them either. It’s not their job to come check on me; ‘brother/bro’ is just a title – not a lifestyle they have to live. I take the blame for unnecessarily putting dudes in exalted titles and hoping no unspoken expectations are broken. I am no longer that growing teenager that needs her big bro or dad to fight these dudes for her; I fight my own battles. Kendria stands up for herdamnself against the atrocities of how she’s been treated. I’ve learned to stop giving away permanent titles to people who may be temporary. If my biological brother thought of me as trash, what chance did I stand with anyone else in that department? For these reasons, identifying the role I play in the demise of my own heart and respect for my black brothers is crucial.
Overall, I feel extremely failed by the black men I’ve loved. According to social media, it’s ALL me. It’s me suffering from low self-esteem or not loving myself enough. I attract these types of men due to my energy, says the media of socialites. My energy brings the shit to the plants huh? These damn memes and posts get on my EMM EFFIN nerves!!! It’s not that they don’t have truth (for SOME), but they do rush to put all the blame on the person who was mistreated. We love to preach to women and tell them to step to the mirror and love themselves more. There is some weird societal enjoyment in suggesting that the deficit resides solely in us as opposed to telling men to love themselves enough to realize without us, there is nothing. Where are the memes and posts and status’ that suggest to men that they stop using and abusing women? The memes that challenge their self-love based on their mistreatment of us?
In Summation . . .
I have a memory during my teen years of sneaking off into the alley with my neighborhood obsession. His name was Devon. I loved Devon for some reason although, even at such an early age, he didn’t respect me. Maybe he didn’t know how….nah, he knew how. He did it well with others but he saw the cracks in me and used them to his advantage. He was one of the first two guys I met when I moved on Cornelius. One day, while still a virgin, I met him in the alley and let jack off on a pair of checkerboard shorts I wore. The garage we stood behind belonged to a house I’d later move into at age 27. When he was done, I can’t remember what it was I wanted from him – a kiss or hug? For him to walk me back to the front? I don’t know, but it was something that he wasn’t willing to give. He zipped his pants up and started walking down the alley while I stood against the garage in tears. I will never forget him looking me dead in the eyes, walking backward and laughing. Then he took off running.
There it is folks.
That is the summation of my experience with black men. #NotAllOfEmTho
You know I gotta say that before one of them gets their boxer briefs in a bunch and hunts for me with the ‘you hate black men’ inscribed pitchforks. LOL.
Black men don’t like being talked about and called out on their shit. They don’t like being the center of attention if it ain’t what they deem good attention. They want women to stand by them, fighting, fucking & loving no matter what. My ex complained that our sex life wasn’t satisfying – but he carelessly had been telling lies the whole time. How do you have the expectations of getting your dick sucked on a regular when you have all these secrets, plus a white woman on the side? That goes back to that entitlement. It has been my experience that the men I have loved have all felt entitled to my body. They treat me like I OWE them sex. I once told a man I was not in the mood for sex and he didn’t respect it at all. When I later told him that it hurt me how he treated me that night, he called me crazy and said I was tripping. Some of them think we are deserving of their inability to take ‘no’ for an answer. That same man wrote hundreds of poems to women – calling us Queens and talking about what we deserved. But wait – I should blame myself for that. Right? You’ve read it before in my blogs. Or maybe not because when I wrote in great detail what happened, I privatized it days later. I have been protective of black men to a fault. Even my ex, who I blasted across social media. I’ve tried to rewrite how the public saw him many times because I love him. I know his good side; he loved me, although quite incorrectly. I got mad at myself for calling him out. But the reality was, once our ship sank, my body erupted like a volcano that had been FULL to the max of niggashyt that had been collected over 38 years. There was no time to make any other choice except scream at the top of my lungs. 8 months later, I am still smoldering.
Devon walking away from me in that alley was quite the significant foreshadow to my future. The black men I’ve known (#notallblackmen) would much rather piss on me and laugh in my face as they walk away and watch me cry about it. It’s as if they get a hard-on because of it. Becoming Devon’s girlfriend later in life symbolizes how I accept the bullshit and hope for greater anyway. I almost included an example of the few good men that I know to help balance the blog with black Light. But this isn’t about them. Today, I hope by purging this from my system that I will set forth a chain reaction of personal healing. Not just healing for my most recent ex, but a true repairing of my relationship with black men. I don’t want to sink into the abyss of fuck them.
But I got both heels and a spare in the quicksand.
I will pull myself out without a doubt. I always do and it’s always me and God. But who I will be when I emerge is only God’s best guess. If most men fuck women to destroy them, then consider me in repair from being fucked and fucked over and now standing on an emtpy train of my pieces, trying to reconfigure who TF I am. This is what devastation looks like on me:
SN: I do want to shout out a man I’ve referred to as my brother for years now. I won’t name him here, but he sent me over 70 text messages in an effort to help me stitch these breaches back together. He also reaffirmed that I don’t need to suffer in silence. That even though my feelings might not be shared by anyone but me, I have the right not to sit in silence and pretend. I’ve done enough loving out loud to be able to sit down and say “I’m tired boss.”
Thank you. I appreciate THAT push from a black man who knows my story.
Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars plays on Spotify. The mood crashes. Suddenly she is thrust back into that space she is constantly trying to keep herself away from. It’s her way of protection; not thinking is her way of self-protection. But there are times when she can’t run, can’t hide and can’t pretend she didn’t lose a part of her that she really wanted to keep.
Life has a way of teaching us that what we WANT and what we DON’T need are sometimes the same damn thing.
It’s a hard lesson to swallow. Some lessons we run from and others won’t leave us be until we’ve accepted their truth. Sometimes it’s a line on a television show or a familiar smell or sound and suddenly you’re back among the echoes of yesterday. For her, this time, Chasing Cars is what sent her searching for the Parked Car she once sat shotgun in.
“If I lay here,
if i just lay here
would you lie with me and,
just forget the world”
~Snow Patrol, Chasing Cars
In these four lines, she pauses the sip of her warm apple cider and looks up from her laptop. Her head, in a slight natural turn, focuses her eyes on the outside window. The leaves are turning colors. For the next five minutes of eternity, she is suspended in what once was.
This is what she mentally runs laps to stay away from. The aftermath of yesterday is haunting when she thinks of it, so for the most part, she doesn’t. She ignores it. She heals in what feels like a quick, slow motion of forwarding steps and controlled thoughts. But again, there are those instances where sprinting through her hurt ceases and all she can do is stand there in the outcome of the war of roses. As unbelievable as it still feels to be here, 8 months after the initial fallout, all she can do is deal with it.
What she always finds perplexing is the level of which she believed in all things them. It seems impossible to ever be able to trust another person with such grandeur but in hindsight, it feels overrated. Suddenly, she would rather have wine and so she pours a glass and places it parallel to the cider. Slow sips from both accompany the recollections: the words and the way they pierced her soul like chars of distressed glass. Insults that snatched her eyelids off and made her stare at the tattered reflection that she could see from his eyes. Shame. Guilt. Things she felt years prior to knowing the man who stood in front of her even existed. she had forgiven herself for everything up until this point and now she stood shortened and defeated by those things she was so good at: words.
Words were breaking her into pieces and alienating the right now from yesterday. Words killed her before: years ago, as a young 20 something, it was words that had her ready to swallow a bottle full of pills that were spread on the living room table. Words have always broken her bones. She found herself falling in love with words after learning how to use them to SPEAK. But on that day, in the second quarter of the newest year, she found words turning against her and ripping to shreds the woman she had become. More sips of the wine and less of the cider keep her tears at bay. She wonders if he thinks as deeply as she does or if the replays in his head seem as harsh to him as they do to her.
“I wonder does he wonder how we got here?”
The song keeps playing, now on repeat, with droopy lyrics that pull at her heartstrings.
I need your grace
To remind me
To find my own
~Snow Patrol, Chasing Cars
She’s all the way in now and might as well allow this mental escapade to run its course. She remembers spontaneous selfies, dressed up events and tons of laughter. Lip syncing contests and long drives to discover waterfalls. It felt like she found her partner finally. They were a beautiful duo that was the picture of what she thought she wanted.
“I knew you were out there”
She left that message to him on a grid-picture she posted one day. In this moment of 20/20 hindsight, she doesn’t foresee ever trusting herself again. Not in this capacity. She knows she will get over it and it will become her distant past in due time. Reciprocity is a bitch to catch hold of and until him, she had never felt it from anyone. She’s never actually felt loved, until him. Everyone made her feel a myriad of other ways, but love wasn’t it. She felt loved and supported by him. That’s what hurt her deeply – the love she was confident he held for her was not enough to get him to act on. He didn’t trust who she was and she realized it too late into her love. He didn’t trust her to love him authentically and as is. He didn’t trust her with his truth or the truth they shared. He didn’t even trust that she could leave town and not come back with new dick on her breath. When she thinks back on these things, she runs further away from the idea that they ever existed.
It was all a smokescreen. She was never in a healthy relationship like she used to boast about. He never planned to marry her. He had fleeting respect for her and she couldn’t change his perspective about who she was. She thought he saw her at her core – but it ended up feeling like he saw the book cover and not it’s golden contents. But to that notion, she helped with that quite a bit. She wasn’t the greatest woman like she thought. She was abusive and mean. Cold and tired. She was a survivor who was doing her best to love properly but really had no idea how to execute what she felt. As her backward thoughts played on top of Snow Patrol’s third rotation around the speakers, she realized despite the levels of disappointment and anger she still feels, he most likely loved her as best as knew how too. NEITHER of them was able to love each other the way they NEEDED.
Maybe Jilly w/the Stringy Ass Hair can do him better.
As for her, she never wants to date again. People tell her it will be ok and someone is coming and searching for her and blah blah, meme, meme, blah. . .
She subscribes to none of it. Most WANT this to be temporary feeling for her but she never intends on allowing herself to get that close to anyone else. This was the last time she would share her secrets in someone else’s palm only for them to be thrown into her face like acid. She had done this shit before and was not laughing at the choices she made that got her here again. Her cherished relationship – the one she would have bet her next heartbeat on – was over and so was her friendship. In losing this friend, she distanced herself from everything and everyone else. It crushed a part of her she doesn’t even want back. As the year prepares to change, she hopes to let go of 2017 in full. But I have a feeling, her tears may continue for years to come.
For now, as other people seem to have LOVE well defined and healthy, she sits in silent envy, controlling her thoughts as best as she can. Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars remind her that she is still healing. She may spend the rest of her forever healing. And man is it easy for the tears to surface.
The song draws near to its close. She wipes her face and straightens her back.
It’s time again –
I’ve learned it’s as easy to remember the bad times as it is the good. Both create permanent records in our head of things that happened, good and bad, and we can pull from either direction. It’s sometimes hard to pull from the good when the bad is present and vice versa. Whichever you pull from, memories can’t decide your future for you…or at least they shouldn’t. But for her, they certainly have.
– It’s time to stop thinking again.
It’s time to control my her thoughts.
And with that, she stops wondering how they got here, and goes back to accepting this unexpected, permanent truth. Denial serves no one; it only prolongs healthy healing. The last of her wine is gone and her cider is now cold.
Those three words
Are said too much
They’re not enough