Serena Williams is Not Your Ex…

Okay. I’m gonna try and come at this Serena Williams engagement thing from a place of compassion and understanding.

My darling male members of the species, let me walk a mile in your shoes. Let me look at this your way.

(Steps into a pair of Timbs)

So here’s Serena. Super accomplished. Fun. Geeky. Beautiful. Amazonian in a Wonder Woman kind of way (IMAGINE her instead of Gal Gadot?) A woman who can crip walk on centre court, twerk with Beyonce, and smash a window with her serve all while dressed like your WCW’s Saturday night Instagram pic.

(the good stuff happens at 4:30)

Yeah. That’s cool. But she’s still not “feminine” or “delicate”. You like them like that. I get it.

She starts to date your boy Lonnie. Y’know he’s cool though right? He’s like alternative n’ shit. Probably borrowed a dollar from her from time to time. But you know, YOU wouldn’t smash it. Lonnie would. But he likes those alternative chicks with the phat asses.

Serena’s ass tho’. Yoooooo.

But I get it…she’s not “conventional”. She’s not really your type.

Oh! Remember when Drake started taking her out? Weird, right? How does mans go from RIHANNA to Serena? Serena’s kind of a big girl though ain’t she? I don’t mean “fat”. She’s just like, really tall. Not delicate. What? She’s only an inch taller than Rih? Well. Sheeeeit. She SEEMS bigger. Alright alright, still…Rihanna is an exotic ting tho. She’s got that accent. She got them green eyes. Serena’s just y’know. Regular. Drake has bare panties thrown at him, he doesn’t HAVE to settle for regular.

So. I mean. Like. Can we agree it’s kinda CONFUSING she’d just suddenly pick up with a White dude? Some geeky internet guy. Like. C’mon! She could get an athlete or another rapper! How she just gonna pull up with a WHITE guy who created like – a MESSAGE board? Right? So, YOU don’t think she’s attractive. It doesn’t mean that another man won’t find her attractive! She just didn’t give Black men a chance!

Okay okay okay. I’m not saying she HAS to give Black men a chance. But a STRONG BLACK WOMAN ™ needs a STRONG man, youknowwhatimean? Queens need Kings, amiright?

Oh wait…dude calls her “The Queen” on a regular? Like publicly? On his social media n’ shit? Not just in private when they chill?

Oh wait…they don’t just chill? They go out? Like OUT OUT? Oh…wait, you mean for EVERYONE to see? Like they do #couplesgoals shit like dress in goofy onsies and hang out with friends?

Look, I know a lot of you would do that with the RIGHT girl…when she comes along. But y’know, she could’ve TOTALLY done that with Drake if he hadn’t snuck her through a side entrance. Drake is TOTALLY capable of couples pics on the ‘gram. Look at him and JLO!

But sometimes, these females, they just want a RICH dude. They don’t care about how the man looks at that point; he’s paying those bills—

Oh. Wait. Serena makes MORE money? Dude founded REDDIT…oh. She made 10 times he did last year? So it’s NOT money?

What else could she possibly need? She has money. She has success. She’s the GOAT*!

(*GOAT among women. I’m mean there’s still King James…)

Why is she choosing to marry THIS GUY?

(Takes off Timbs…reverts to my natural state)

Sigh.

Love. L-O-V-E. Love.

That’s all it is folks.

Is this really THAT hard to understand? That someone can love whom they love. Imagine that. Dating a variety of people and figuring out what you do and do not want in a relationship. Then, you MEET that person. The one who meets your expectations.

ALL your expectations.

They give you that strange elusive thing called: happiness.

Serena is your ex. The ex you maybe feel a little bit guilty about being an ass to. The ex you dated as filler, an in-betweener. The ex that DIDN’T hit everything on YOUR list. So you kind of let it linger. Not out of malice. Just because you weren’t all in.

Guess what? That’s okay. That happens.

But when (NOT if, WHEN) she moves on, you do not get to evaluate her choices. You don’t get to weigh in, critique, assess, or judge her choices. Because I need to you remember one very important fact: she didn’t meet your expectations.

Do not fault her for finding someone who meets all her expectations just because you don’t meet hers.

 

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Ghosts…

In the name of research, I pulled out an old journal from ten years ago.
Shaking my head at the fact that I haven’t learned ANY dating lessons.
Those who ignore history…

Doomed.

I put away the journal when I found what I needed. Right then, a ghost appeared.

IG notification: hey girl! That ex that you can’t shake just liked a photo of you! 

My reaction:

Noooooooo.

Texted one of my girls a screencap.

“Why don’t you block him then?”

Exactly.

So I did. Unfriended him. Blocked. Removed. Him. Along with others.

It’s not 10 years ago.

I WILL NOT ignore history.

I’m giving you up
I’ve forgiven it all
You set me free

Send my love to your new lover
Treat her better
We’ve gotta let go of all of our ghosts
We both know we ain’t kids no more

xo/rr

Beyonce’s Lemonade Explains Why I’m Single…

First, lemme get some things out of the way so that you can understand the context of this post.

  • I’m NOT a Bey stan. I’ve never seen her in concert. I’ve paid to see Solage and Hov, but have no desire to see Bey in concert.
  • I do not tear out my edges and sacrifice them on a bee-covered altar every time she releases something.
  • The first full ALBUM I’ve owned by Ms. B was her last album.
  • If the headline made you think that you’ll find hotepisms or AshyCheyB quotes scattered throughout this post, you have come to the wrong place.

Okay. Let’s proceed.

First Listen

I tuned in shortly after Lemonade dropped. I had ignored social media for the hours leading up to it for unrelated reasons. When I did tune in, my TL was covered in lemon emojis. With a sigh I thought, “what has Beysus done now?” I found a link to Lemonade (HBO Canada, who dropped the ball on this?) and listened with half an ear. Even then, I only listened to a few tracks.

Hey…this is good. The kind where you find you’re screwing up your face as you nod along.

Second Listen

Woke up the next morning and all my chats were LEMONADE focused. Found another link (seriously MTV Canada, MuchMusic…Vice…anyone? Beyoncé could very well be on the $20…she’s guaranteed to print you money) and watched again.

WAIT. “HOT SAUCE” is her BAT?!!? Wooooi. G’head Bey!

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Sidebar: when should I tell a man that I already own a bat?

(I really do. It’s a treasured memento from my days on my Junior and High school teams. First girl to play on my elementary school’s team…)

I’m am HERE for angry Beyoncé. Bat-wielding Beyoncé. Set shit on fire Beyoncé. Rip out her sternum Beyoncé.

Gone is the “Cater 2 U” Beyoncé. The “Crazy in Love” Beyoncé would “…rather be crazy” and I LOVE this.

Friends have started to ask me directly for my thoughts. But there are LEVELS. I’m not ready yet. Instead I gossip about “Becky with the good hair” (my official theory: “Becky”is a composite). One friend admits she had to google where your sternum is located…I admit that I already knew because I have threatened to rip one out before. I joke that hell hath no fury like a Virgo woman scorned. When it’s really bad, we’ll go silent and then rip you apart when you least expect it. This will happen months….YEARS later.

When you thought you were safe.

Third Listen

One of my girlfriends texts me to say we have to go for drinks and discuss Lemonade in depth.

“hahahaha, I legit thougt of you at a couple of moments hahah.” I’ve decided my favourite song is “Sorry”. But not because of Becky, but because of the hook.

“I ain’t sorry…I ain’t sorry…I ain’t sorry…”

THIS Beyoncé I love. The defiantly unapologetic Beyoncé.

That’s when I realized why I was single. Well, not REALIZED, but had something that could confirm it.

This album – and really it IS an album; there is not ONE radio-friendly song on here – examines relationships. Not just THE relationship between her and Jay, but ALL her relationships. She talks about the work, the effort, the struggle, the pain, the joy, the confusion, the conflict.

RELATIONSHIPS ARE HARD YO.

Whenever I hear stories from my girlfriends who are in relationships I roll my eyes and say, “THIS is why I’m single. I can’t deal with this shit.”

(Again. I always forget to add “again”.)

It’s true. I’m not ready to accept a person’s failings. I’ve done that. I’m not ready to put in the effort, especially if I don’t think the effort will be matched.

You ain’t trying hard enough
You ain’t loving hard enough
You don’t love me deep enough
We not reaching peaks enough
Blindly in love, I fucks with you
‘Til I realize, I’m just too much for you
I’m just too much for you

I often say/warn people that I’m a LOT to deal with”. In the past, I’ve slowed down to match someone’s pace. Compromised to match. Conceded to match.

Notice how I frame all of these as negatives? Because that’s how I view what so many others call “balance”.

Let me be clear: I’m not looking for PASSION or CONFLICT or DRAMA. But I am looking for someone to walk in stride with me. Not behind. Not ahead. By my side. Does this make sense?

Fourth Listen

Hold up, they don’t love you like I love you
Slow down, they don’t love you like I love you
Back up, they don’t love you like I love you

Oooh. This I know. I love fiercely. I will be your number one cheerleader. I will “Spend my life in the dark for the sake of you and me.” The very idea of giving that much and not getting that in return?

(Where’s that bat?)

Ooooookaaaaay. Lemme give “forgiveness Beyoncé a listen. On “Sandcastles”, I realize she’s playing the keyboard. I had just been reminded that Prince told her to learn piano and she’d be unstoppable. Sounds like she listened. G’head Bey…

Her voice breaks on Sandcastles, and sigh. There it is. I know that break so well. That break is when you realize that the person standing in front of you doesn’t give what you give. They don’t love you like you love them. They’ve taken all that shine and they still choose to leave you in the dark.

You’re not angry. You’re not even annoyed. You are just so, disappointed.

So very disappointed.

With yourself. Disappointed that you let this person past all your boundaries. That you conceded on things. That you compromised. That you forgave failings. That you slowed down and you are not where you want to be because you didn’t want to leave THEM behind.

That you made lemonade out of lemons..

That they KNEW all this and they STILL fucked up.

You’re not even as mad at them as you are at yourself.

These feelings apply to ALL relationships. Romantic. Friendship. Situationships.

All. Of. Them.

So begins the process of forgiveness and letting go, because YOU will never be able to move forward unless you do. You leave them behind as they cry. But another brick is added to the wall around yourself. A brick that no one else can chip away at. It’s a little piece to remind you.

Don’t hurt yourself.

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So, now I own TWO Beyoncé albums

xo/rr

*NB this post is about how aspects of this album relate to me on a personal level. If you’re looking for a good breakdown of the album and all the themes, read this piece by Sajae Elder on Noisey

Worst. Date. Ever. (2 of 5-ish)

I wrote about one bad date and it triggered memories of the other ones…I even said that it was only five, but then I realized it’s actually been six.

Again. Contemplating my life choices here.

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Let’s go back to a time where I was freshly out of a relationship. How fresh? We had the closure conversation…I left his house…and met up with my date.

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My dear friend Johnny knew I was in the middle of a breakup situation and suggested a night out. Johnny had a friend named Mike. Johnny was convinced Mike and I would get along. Johnny suggested a double date with his new ladylove, and hopefully Mike would make me forget my brand new ex…

We were going to go to the movies. We were going to see The Frighteners. Do you know this movie? Ebert gave it 1 out of 4 stars. It was directed by Peter Jackson (??!!??) It’s a bad movie, but relevant to this plot. I’ll continue…

Because I was breaking up with someone, the closure conversation took a bit longer than expected, and I was the last to arrive at the theatre. I was cutting it so close that the previews had already begun, but Johnny and Mike were waiting for me at the gate.

“Johnny where’s your date?”

“She couldn’t make it…but we have seats.”

Because the movie was just about to begin, Mike and I didn’t have time for chit chat. I sized him up as we walked into the theatre. He was cute, definitely my type, gentlemanly – he offered me the aisle seat. I declined and sat one seat in.

The lights went all the way out and so did Mike.

The reason this movie is important to the plot is because it’s a comedy about ghosts. It was a loud movie with lots of screaming, because ghosts. Y’know what was louder?

Mike’s snoring.

Mike had fallen asleep.

This wasn’t just dozing off. Mike was gone. REM. Full sleep. Dreaming of better days and better dates. Mike’s snoring sounded like this:

Granted, it was a bad movie. But when someone is screaming or shouting EVERY FIVE MINUTES…how can you sleep through it? The guy behind me started to get annoyed. So I tapped Mike to wake him up. Nope. I shook him a little. Nope. Elbowed him in the ribs. That woke him.

“Sorry. Sorry. Long day…”

Cut to twenty minutes later…

Mike was drooling with his head hanging out in the aisle. Snoring like he was a plane in the fucking air show.

Do you know what it does to your self-esteem when your date FALLS ASLEEP ON THE DATE? Do you know what it does to your self esteem when you have just left breaking up with the guy you thought was Mr. Perfect and the guy who is supposed to make you forget about him falls asleep? TWICE?

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The movie (FINALLY) ends and Mike wakes up. As we stand to let the other people in the row past us, I realize none of them are moving. Just past Johnny are ten other guys, and these guys all look like they fell out of an Abercrombie catalogue.

 

Johnny then gestures to the row of catalogue guys and makes a sweeping introduction. Turns out, all these guys are Johnny’s rugby pals!

“Hi!”

“Hey”

“Hello”

“Hey! You made it!”

“Hiya”

“Hi”

“Hi”

“Hi”

“What’s up?”

“Nice to meet you”

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This was a group hang. With what was supposed to be a double date slipped in…to relieve the pressure…but remember, Johnny’s date couldn’t make it. So I was the only girl.

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I went out on a date with 12 guys and got stuck with the one who fell asleep.

TWICE.

The One That Got Away (?)

While complaining about my whack-a-mole exes…I was asked, “do you think there’s one that got away?”

My response for the past few days:

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One. That. Got. Away.

Hmmmmmm.

What are the odds you can date for 25 years and not have met the one? Is it possible?

I’m trying to figure it out.

Erm. Wait. The first 10 years of that, I was a serial monogamist; so that can’t really count. Let’s narrow it down to 15 years. In 15 years, is it possible that I have met “THE ONE?” Have I met that one person? The soulmate? The person who completes me?

I typed all that and immediately had a giggle fit. Also, typing THE ONE made me think of The Matrix. Lemme try this again…

Have I met that perfect someone who hits all the checkmarks on my list? MORE IMPORTANTLY, did this guy meet me, and think I checked everything off on HIS list? Only to have us break up because I treat commitment the way most people treat a swarm of locusts?

My response to myself:

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I’m leaning towards no. Here’s why…

Sidebar: I’m only counting the guys I have dated in some way or (heh) another. Guys I’ve been friends with or are friends with now are friends… I don’t believe in that friendzone bullshit. I believe in aliens, the freemasons, and that my dog understands everything I’m saying…but I don’t believe in the friendzone.

In a past post, I said that there is one ex that I miss(ed), but I don’t even think that he’s the one who got away, and this is why…

Because if they were great and/or perfect…we’d still be together, non?

Now…let’s factor in what I call “missed opportunities”? Do missed opportunities count? Meaning, you met someone great but they were with someone…or you were with someone and now that you’re not with someone…blah blah blah? That’s what I call a missed opportunity. Because if you’re soul mates, if you’re fated to be…then a little technicality like “married to someone else” wouldn’t matter right?

(so says all the people rationalizing why they’re sliding into someone’s DMs right now…)

So, I sat wondering. Did I miss out on HIM?

Still thinking no.

One getting away also implies regret. I don’t regret my exes. Nope. Not even the abusive one…the passive aggressive asshole…or the stalker

(those are three separate dudes by the way…)

…because they all taught me something. All the lessons learned from my exes have prepared me for whatever comes next. If what’s next means that he’s perfect(ish), then I won’t let him get away. If I won’t let a perfect pair of shoes get away…then I definitely wouldn’t let a perfect man get away. Trust.

For shits and giggles, let’s factor in the shots I didn’t take. You miss 100% of the shots you didn’t take, yes? I don’t take a lot of shots, because I’m shy (SHUT UP. I AM)…so, would the one that got away be one that I never cast a line for?

Great. Lemme go think some more.

What do you say?

Ain’t It Funny

I’ve been thinking about my exes lately…

Not because I want to.

Like a cold sore on my social life and emotional balance, they pop up…to say hi…to add me as a friend on FB…follow me on Instagram…to join their LinkedIn network…

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Yes, really. LinkedIn…what kind of recommendation am I gonna give you motherfucker?

Now here’s the plot twist: the exes that are coming around saying hello from the other side are not the guys I would expect to come come around.

You may think that my acid tongue has left a trail of broken hearts, but no. Every guy who has come looking for me in the last 12 months…has been someone who dumped me.

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I KNOW, right?

So now we’re exes, yes?

As in X = unknown.

My taste in men are diverse…so I have exes in different area codes, social groups, interest groups, tax brackets… I don’t really have a type. When things end, I’m fortunate (??) enough to not have to worry about “bumping” into them at “our spot” or anything weird. With a couple, we share the same social circles, but those interactions are generally harmless. I rarely add guys I’m dating to my social media channels, so when they come looking, they have sought me out…

I’m confused by this.

Part of my confusion is that I’m not really sentimental and I like clean breaks from things.

I don’t generally cry over breakups – I usually get angry/annoyed. In the past 10 years, I think I’ve cried over one break up. I don’t keep mementoes – I have given back presents! I may delete your number. Usually my reaction to a break up is this…

 

…and my reaction to my exes popping up like whack a moles who have lost their way and are asking me to be online friends is kinda like this:

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Someone suggested that they’re checking in to see who “won the breakup”. Who’s moved on. Who upgraded. Which one is sitting at home posting pictures on their Instagram using the lyrics to All By Myself as captions.

YOU dumped me. Doesn’t that make YOU the loser?

Heh.

But seriously. I can’t compete with them in the breakup games because I forgot to enter the competition. Have I googled an ex to see what they’re up to? Yes. Have I creeped on an ex’s social media feed? Uhm…yes. Right after I accept their request. Do I miss any of them?

(One. But I wouldn’t tell him…#pride)

But I don’t go looking for them. When they come looking for me, I wonder what they’re expecting to find?

As I delete FB friend requests from the scary exes (think “restraining order”) and ignore the LinkedIn requests from the benign ones (again WHAT kind of recommendation are you looking for), I guess I’ll chalk it up to the random that is my life.

Love is crazy, I’m glad I can smile and say

Ain’t that funny