Writing what I write, the topic of relationships comes up often. Almost daily… Not in one. Searching for one. Just got out of one. Looking to getting out of one. Have more than one… the list is ongoing. But with one … Continue reading
The other day I quoted a line from the hit show “Scandal” and referenced it in conversation. A guy who has known me for years was surprised that I watched the show. When I asked him why he was surprised he said, “well, you’re like, a feminist…”
“…and like, he’s cheating on his wife…”
“like, can you LIKE a guy like that? What’s the appeal?”
He then went on to explain things like “gender and race politics”* and a whole bunch of other reasons as to why I, a Black female feminist and politically aware person, shouldn’t be so “caught up” in a show.
When he finished, I said, “have you WATCHED it?”
So, let me try to explain. It’s the men.
Spoiler Alert: unless you are completely caught up on episodes, or don’t care, there are clips below that may spoil things for you).
The men of Scandal are fantasy men. Okay, well only TWO men really. Harrison (played by Columbus Short, aka the dude who was in You Got Served) and President Fitzgerald Grant (played by Tony Goldwyn…aka the dude who betrayed Patrick Swayze in Ghost).
Let’s start with Harrison
Harrison. Oh…Harrison. This is a man who is ride or die. His passion. His loyalty. His ability to pull a “hush mama”? Women throw their imaginary panties at the screen when he does things like this. You may think it’s a matter of talking back, or “shutting up” a woman, but no. It’s Harrison’s ability to stand up when you need to stand up and not be afraid to do it. He’s not worrying about hurting your feelings or coddling you, but if you need to cry, he’s got the shoulder at the ready. However, if you’re acting a fool, he will tell you. Then, when it’s time to go to war for you, he will suit up and go to war. The balance of this is tricky. See below:
President Grant. Ah…this is the dude you all take issue with. A cheating, lying, philandering, Republican who is chasing after his ex-mistress while his wife is still pregnant…
Y’know. When you write it out like that, not so bueno. So why do women overlook all these things and seemingly “forgive” him? Is it the Superman curl of his hair? His “fuck me” expression when he wants a piece of Olivia (the man’s fuck me face is awesome )? Is it that he has the convenient excuse of having an “evil” wife?
Is it that because he’s misunderstood?
It’s because he’s absolutely, one hundred percent, totally, without a doubt, madly in love with Olivia Grant (played by Kerry Washington aka the single teen mom in Save the Last Dance). Again, the writers of this show put words into this character’s mouth that women dream of hearing (skip ahead to the 1:00 minute mark, for romance…watch all the way through for context):
Just not from a married man.
Simply put, this man lays out all the cards. He unabashedly says, “I love you” to her, repeatedly. He does things that many think a man in love SHOULD do. Tell me, when is the last time you said to a woman “I love you. I’m in love with you. You’re the love of my life?”
How many times have you WANTED to say it…but didn’t?
Tell me why you think a woman wouldn’t want to hear that…
You see, I know of a lot of women who are in these “secret” relationships. No one’s cheating or running around like President Grant. In fact, it could be a regular run of the mill relationship. Yet…
You want to be “private”, you say. That what you feel or your relationship isn’t “everybody’s business” you say. That you don’t need to tell her how you feel because “she knows”, you say…
Yet. Your girl is flinging imaginary panties at the screen every Thursday, you say…
Feelings. My darling boys. Feelings. These men prove the feelings you (may actually) have, but for various reasons avoid expressing out loud. These men? They are committed to her. They LOVE her. Do they get mad at her? Yes. Do they always do the right thing? No.
HELLO! THE DUDE IS CHEATING ON HIS PREGNANT WIFE!
But they LOVE her and are COMMITTED to her. It’s the greatest weekly fantasy on television right now.
Sigh. Therein lies the rub. It’s all fantasy. For an hour, we can live vicariously through Olivia Pope (and her bomb ass wardrobe) and we can have two men, two men who don’t actually HAVE to, tell us everything we’ve ever wanted to hear. Things we’d want to hear from real men in our lives. Like you. The ones who’d rather suggest a “hang out” than a “date”. Or avoid the commitment conversation by “going dark”. Or, when asked where things are going, respond with, “it’s good. Y’know? We’re good.”
Or, who instead of taking the next step in commitment, break up because you’re worried better pussy will come along…
By the way…
Did I mention that she has another man in love with her and has asked her to marry him, twice!? Yes. A man who could take away ALL the drama and give her a normal life, with dinner at six and babies? She chooses not to, because duh, who’d turn in to watch her make lasagna for a senator each week? But why does this Senator stay losing?
“The Senator is a good guy. He’s the representation of all the things you ask for in a man isn’t it?” (He said)
Uhmmmmm. Not really. No. He comes in and says, “I’ll take care of you. I’ll be your hero…” (which is what you THINK we want to hear) But when she denies him (say, professionally), he reminds her right quick of her “place’. The power dynamic that’s actually tipped in his favour…by pointing out that his position means that he could easily have her thrown in jail.
Well. Sweetie. Thank you for that.
He then shows up at her house and well…
“Do it now, while I still have time to help you.”?
Except. She didn’t ask for your help. This is why he stays losing. He’s the “nice guy” who gets shown the door.
Yup. That’s my theory. I don’t know many women who want white knights these days.
With all the pressure of work, life, children, parents, and various other responsibilities, I know many women who want a man who loves them, who will go to battle WITH them, and will, when needed, look them in the eye and have the balls to say, “you’re the love of my life”.
Hell, just even be that shoulder to cry on when it gets to be too much.
How many of you can say you’re a Gladiator?
*Regarding the gender/race politics thing… look. Kerry’s character was based on a real Black woman. Would you have preferred that her character be whitewashed to make her love for Fitz more palatable for YOU? How about if Shonda made the President Black? Then don’t you think people would’ve taken that to be an attack on Barack Obama? Shonda does colourblind casting. She casts who works best for that role. Christina Yang (Grey’s Anatomy) could’ve easily been Christina Young. Callie Torres could’ve easily been Callie Thomas. She picks GOOD actors. Suck it up.
You’re in luck gentlemen! Because I have dated the experts on this subject.
This is the scenario: you don’t want to be bothered with the day, but your girlfriend is all about it. While you don’t want to break up, you want to come justcloseenough to effectively sidestep the day and still keep your girl.
I’d say grab a pen, but it’s 2013…get ready to cut and paste.
Step 1: Sex…
You’ll have to have amazing, mind-blowing-spend-twice-the-amount-of time-giving-her-head type sex. This weekend. Yes. The sex has to be so good that she’ll factor it into her decision when she’s trying to figure out whether to dump your ass for fucking up next week.
Also, it’s insurance…if this doesn’t go as planned, you may not get break up sex. Make it good. Make it stick(y). Make it count.
Step 2: Have life run interference…
Option 1: Work
If you have a 9-5, go to your boss and find out if there is any work that you can take on; preferably the kind that keeps you at the office until about 7:30/8 p.m. Timing is key. You’re stuck at the office long enough to miss out on dinner reservations and get home late-ish, but not so late that it arouses suspicion.
“Baby, this meeting is going to run until about 7 or so…” sounds much more plausible than “I’m pulling an all nighter”. The former sounds like work life…the latter sounds like your name is Fitzgerald Grant III.
If you work swing shifts, get your shift switched on Monday. You may have to pay off a co-worker to ensure their silence, but this will be cheaper than a gift/dinner/outfit. Do NOT do it until Monday at the earliest or Tuesday at the latest. Any earlier and you’ll arouse suspicion for shit you’re not doing (i.e. cheating).
Reasons for the shift: depends on your industry, but there is a major flu going around…a coworker may have to call in sick.
Option 2: Fuck up your mode of transportation.
Have a car? Rip out the spark plug or smash in a light. Take the bus? “lose” your bus pass. The extra costs incurred will help you get out of buying a present. She’ll understand…you can make it up to her.
Option 3: Play some sport this weekend, get a soft tissue injury.
Once, when it was raining, I ran into my place of work in high heeled boots and slid across the lobby floor like it was made of ice. I slammed my foot into the edge of a door. I then rushed off to my training seminar.
4.5 hours later while I sat in a ER, the doctor on call had taken x-rays twice. He was trying to figure out how my foot, which was turning shades of purple, was not broken or fractured. He called in another doctor.
“Somehow, you have managed to damage ALL the soft tissue in your foot, but not break anything…?”
I could still walk (well, limp) and had to wear sneakers. But that was about it. Sucks. No dancing. No heels. Limited time on my feet. Bummer.
Option 4: give your computer a “benign” virus…
Holy shit! The apple genius says it’s going to take x amount of hours and x amount of dollars to fix. Like your car, your bus pass, et cetera, an “unexpected” cost can be forgiven…
Step 3: Do NOT talk about Valentine’s Day…
Remember the rules of Fight Club? Good. If you talk about it, SHE will think about it. If she’s thinking about it more than she already is, then YOU will arouse suspicion if you choose any of the above options. Get caught up in “work drama” (no details, just “drama”)… have your boys call you about a pick up game of ball (hardwood is conducive to soft tissue injuries. So is ice hockey)…talk about your car making a funny noise…if you’re always on point about your stuff, start losing track of shit.
DO. NOT. SUGGEST. “SKIPPING”. IT.
Is Valentine’s Day a crass commercial made-up holiday designed to sucker in people into thinking that true romance needs a special day? Special should be whenever the moment calls for it! Not forced. Not imposed. Not directed! What if you don’t even like pink or red?
Not being sarcastic. I really feel that way about V-Day.
Does SHE really feel that way? Not sure? No? Then, I repeat: Do. Not. Suggest. Skipping. It.
Step 3: Pick a fight…
Now, steps 1 and 2 may lead to a fight depending on your delivery. But in case they don’t, you’ll need to pick a fight.
THIS is tricky and I only advise that you do it if you are an excellent poker player. You need to be able to have the face for this. You have to be like John.
Think. What do you do regularly that annoys her? Think…you know she’s cussed your for it. Think back to those times when you’ve turned her voice into one that sounds like an adult in Charlie Brown’s world…Think.
Okay. Now do it. Then, when she gets pissed off, do something else. THEN, when she’s really pissed ask, “what’s the big deal?” or something else that will trigger her. Laugh it off. Call it “silly”.
THEN. When she is really pissed and is yelling. Offer to take her out to make it up for her. But offer something that she hates. I had one ex do a thing that annoyed me. Then something else. Then he offered to take me out to a lovely spot in Yorkville and treat me to shrimp cocktails.
I’m deathly allergic to seafood. It really pissed me that he always forgot. I didn’t speak to him for a few days. (sidebar: my BFF of 26 years forgets all the time as well, so technically, I’m used to people forgetting what kills me)
Step 4: Go Dark
WARNING: THIS IS HIGH LEVEL…you ONLY do this if you live together, have children, are married, or have something else that would make extracting herself from your relationship difficult. If you’re just dating or in a relationship without cohabitation, you run an approximately 90% chance of getting your ass dumped.
Going dark, is the most passive aggressive move you can do as a human being. To be unresponsive, to keep her out of your head? To not share? Not even to say “I’m trying to figure stuff out and need some quiet time to do so”? YOU are an asshole. This is the ultimate asshole move. You can only get away with it ONCE, and only if it’s cheaper to keep you…
Or, if she’s really into Valentine’s Day, you could suck it up and do something that’s actually nice and romantic, rather than try to weasel your way out of it.
That’s always an option.
(note: there’s a lot going on behind the scenes, so this is a longer than usual post to make up for my absence…) sentinel |ˈsentn-əl| noun a soldier or guard whose job is to stand and keep watch. • figurative … Continue reading