Thursday, July 13, 2006

Better than . . .?

"But in the meantime, I'll settle for some of that mo' better."
- Clarke "Mo' Better Blues"

This movie was released in 1990, when I was every bit of 14 years old. I remember being in the room while it was on, but not quite "getting it". In my adolescent mind, I could not comprehend how such a scenario could exist. Yes, I "knew" (as much as a 14 year old virgin with no interest in losing said viriginity any time soon) that "all boys/men were dogs," so Bleek Gilliam's actions, though abhorrent, were unsurprising. However, what I could not comprehend, was the women's passive acceptance of this canine behavior. That's where I pretty much lost interest and explains why I never really "saw" the movie. You dump dogs. I would NEVER tolerate such behavior when I became an adult.

Fast-forward 16 years.

In an effort to create a new, and improved movie stash, I added "Mo'" to the cinematic repertoire. I had it for months, before I got around to cracking it open. Suffice it to say, I have a completely different frame of reference. I fully recognize that this is by no means a woman's story. (It is also NOT as simple as
the imdb plot summary would lead you to believe.) Yet, I must say, the above referenced statement uttered by Clarke did sink me deeply into thought.

If we were to get down to brass tacks, the average woman has sex with some type of future in mind. At the very least, that woman is entertaining the possibility of what could be. Women's (d?)evolution into the being that systematically separates sex from emotion is a rather recent phenomenon. (And it is my personal belief that at least 75% of those women aren't really being honest with themselves. I've seen my fair share of "hoes" take off their clear heels and HAPPILY jump into the slippers of "housewife" when the opportunity presented itself.) Most women that settle for the mo' better do so in anticipation of the payoff. They assume that, someday, they will be rewarded with a relationship for sheer strength of will. Which hardly, if ever, happens. I personally know of three such situations where, when the "relationship" dissolved, the man was either married or engaged within the year. (Though I found the movie's ending to be sweet and even somewhat considerate, it is by no means the norm.)

Most women, by their mid-twenties, have 'settled for summa that mo' better' at least once. Some women settle for that mo' better every other weekend and all bank holidays. I could bullshit you and say that statement made me think, "Have I ever done that," but I think we're beyond all that here. So I'll be real and say that it made me count how many times I've done that. The honest answer? ALOT! I found myself in my fair share of situations (you know, because relationships are sooo 90s) where I bought into the okey doke that was being sold to me. Frankly, if there's any fault to be apportioned, it's mine. It is incumbent upon me to protect my own interests and adhere to my own standards.

A virtually seamless metamorphosis took place. From the idealogical, "I'll lose my virginity only when I find my true love, and we'll climb mountains, slay dragons and have lots and lots of babies" (nymph); to the cynical, "Men are good for dick and dinner, so I might as well get what I can" (pupa); and, up until very recently, to the resigned, "If it weren't for these kids, holing myself off in a cabin in the mountains with a lifetime supply of AA batteries would really be the move."

Adult? A school of thought that would cause halt to the perpetuation of the species can not be the completion of my mental evolution. It's admittedly not a very "adult" decision, either. So I nixed the idea to disappear into the Adirondacks once the kids go to college. But the lingering question is, "now what?"

I don't "want" a relationship. Let me clarify. I have no desire to actively search for a relationship. I can't think of one soul that looked for a relationship and did not find one. However, the caveat on this method is that one can look so hard for something, they find it; even when it's not really there. Think of cloud gazing. Has someone ever suggested to you, "That cloud looks just like a man riding a horse," and you finally saw it, but only after squinting and contorting your own vision? That's what a relationship hunt is like to me. We can sometimes squint to craft a "hardworking, intelligent brother who loves his mother" out of the brother that always puts his work before his relationships, relentlessly corrects your grammar and has a hopeless case of mama's boy-itis. We turn the brother that sexes you, never calls and always lets you pay for dinner, into an "free spirited guy that respects my space and isn't intimidated by my earning power." That, ladies and gentlemen, is quintessential "settling for that mo' better." (Let's also keep in mind that this exercise of often done with the help, or for the approval, of friends.) So no, I'm not looking for a relationship.

At the same time, I'm not looking to be single. Though there are situations that have angered me, I'm not angry with all men. First and foremost, being a mother (to a super CUTIE), a daughter (to the greatest father on the globe), a sister (who still think the sun rises and sets on her big brother's ass) and having male cousins and friends whom I love dearly, I can ill afford such anger. Second, I can honestly say that there were times where I was at fault, in whole or in part, to the demise of a relationship. Third and finally, it's just flat out unhealthy to harbor hatred for an entire species of anything. Well, except roaches (nasty buggers).

The idea of spending my life with some dude does appeal to me. Quiet as it's kept, it appeals to the most evil of sisters (often their evil nature is related to the denial of such companionship). Envisioning myself side by side on a walker with some old geezer who likes Seinfeld and Wu Tang, wearing a fresh pair of shell toes that the grandkids bought us is actually kind of flyy. Appealing, but I'm not hurtling myself headlong into the task of finding that person. I also have no desire to make a career out of investing in the mo' better and crossing my fingers for some mythical distribution.

1 comment:

Another Conflict Theorist said...

Peace Sis,

This is the best post that I've read in some time. I'll definitely be coming back for more. You're a great writer. Keep it up.