An old friend invited me to check out an independent film on Sunday. Since my sister is in the film industry I’ve become super interested in the ins & outs of things. Prior to that, I just liked films (typically different from movies if you ain’t know) and the interesting array of topics they try to bring to light. So, when he invited me, it was a no-brainer, and I of course invited my sister to come check out what the next [wo]man is puttin’ down. He said he’d meet me there.
He didn’t. I was fine with that. I went to see the films, and if it included a conversation with his ever-interesting perspectives on EVERYthang, it would make for an interesting Sunday afternoon. Most Sundays are a collection of laundry and grocery trips so I welcomed the break from the doldrums. I arrived at the theater for this invitation only event to a packed house and took my place on the steps. Old Friend had already let me know that he was going to be late so I knew he wasn’t there. As the event moved on and more of his texts came through, I knew he’d miss what he’d invited me to. Irony, right? The event turns out to be a premiere of some film shorts that are set to hit an indie festival near you (or not so near depending on the cultural interests of the place you live). Old friend thought he was going to the movies to see a…movie. Cultural disconnect. Fine.
The shorts end (funny to think about the literal translation of those words) and I head out to get back to the Sunday Service, aka the routine. He texts to let me know he’s on his way. No need. I walk a block and a half, all the while receiving apologies from him, which I’m not used to. See, Old Friend walks through life, or has up to now, as though nothing is a mistake, even when it’s mistaken, and people just gotta deal. So, whether it’s some off-the wall ass (RIP 4ever MJ) comment that kicks you in the gut while making you think, or some off-the-wall ass comment that makes you ok with not talking to him for months [or years] at a time, he never goes all the way away and you accept his in & out appearance in your life. I can stomach him, mostly, because I tend to be a bit much about the mouthpiece myself and fully understand and appreciate this type of person. We keep things interesting. Needless to say, an apology from him threw me off center. More than one nearly knocked me over. I made it safely to the cradling seat of my CIVIC and knew anymore communications from him wouldn’t be able to make me teeter on my 2 ½ inch heels, I’d be able to take it. While the car warmed up, I talked to him on the phone. Conversation done, and the continuation of the apology came through via text.
Text 1: Sorry I didn’t come.
Text 2: Had 2 say that.
Text 3: Had to apologize 4 different reasons. Seems simple on the surface, but it’s a lil more deeper. Realizin my pride and arrogance.
Text 4: Like I said, an apology 4 different reasons. Those sorry’s go beyond how I turned you off (?que?), but 4 how I restricted my vision. U liked me (oh really?). I acted blind 2 it. In this recent interaction, it’s summarized. Sorry 4 b’n dumb/immature. I still am tho. Hopefully I’ll become a man in time. Pray 4 me, but only 2 Christ.
Got it. Keep him in prayer, but not to no pagan gods.
I don’t know if he reads me, but I’m gonna clear this up. I don’t recall liking him. I’ve been attracted to his thinking, interesting and unorthodox as it is. But all relationships, even the friendship sort, are based on some sort of attraction or another. At no point did I ever imagine us exploring any possibilities. Like I said, he’s the type of dude you gotta take small doses of. Small anything (ya feel me?) does not a relationship make.
OK. So, I’m buggin’ off how THIS dude just managed to push himself aside and confess something sideways. He’s full of pride and arrogance (from a woman who is also quite full herself, quietly). I know that took a lot. I commend him for his moment of truth, and for not having it silently. I respect this so much so that I won’t even bother to get at his neck for his sideways thought process that left him feeling as though he would’ve been gifting me something had he not been blind to a reality that was created in his own mind from the jump. Wait…I think I somehow managed to come at his neck anyway. My bad, but he probably ain’t readin’ so it doesn’t matter.
The point though. The point is that I can appreciate a man recognizing EXACTLY where he is on his journey and seeing that he still has work to do. I mean, we all do, but in my experience, I’ve run across too many men who are comfortable with their status quo and simply sit back and wait for that woman who’s willing to put up with him, inside out asshole and all. Women, on the other hand (at least the one’s I know and love or admire) tend to be in a constant state of reflection, doing the work to be better people, women, wives, mothers, professionals, sisters, friends… Clearly I could go on. God forbid we let someone catch us in a still moment where we’re just too tired to want any better than we had yesterday and we start apologizing for not being bout it right then. We buy into that concept of doing better attracts better. Because there are so many women who will raise themselves up but date/marry with low standards, men get over like fat rats (really, who came up with this turn of phrase?). Wait, I’m straying.
The point. Sometimes it takes men a longer time to get from point A to point B, distracted along the way by porsches, pussies, and phat pockets (among other things). While I don’t suggest we/women all sit around waiting for every man’s epiphany, I MUST acknowledge when a man is making an effort. It may be another year before I talk to Old Friend. I probably won’t see 1st hand the progress he makes. Still, it’s encouraging to discover that men who are interested in the process of self-discovery, self-actualization, and improvement are NOT as rare as 11-sided snowflakes. This is a thank you to all the cats out there doin’ the hard work. I’m going to encourage it, like I do with my students, and give a specific pat to those who may need some recognition to keep moving on that path. So,
Cutie Bear, I see you making moves towards a better you out here. I’ve always loved you, now I just love you more.
Old Friend (if you stumble across this), may you turn your asshole back right side in so that some woman can stand the aroma.
Real Talk, you amaze me with your insight at this stage in the [ya] game. I know bigger and better is out there for you as soon as you claim it with BOTH hands.
Thirsty, you are a wonderful person!! The many directions you manage to be pulled in without coming undone never cease to amaze me. I want for you to take moments for self so you can learn to fully appreciate who you are. Maybe then, you’ll know the answer before you ask it, basking in the appreciation before it even comes cuz you know there’s no choice but to have appreciated what you’ve just done.
Pat a brotha on the back if you see him doing a job well done. Don’t let these men walk around feeling unnoticed. It only makes them feel like the effort ain’t worth it, and the result of that would be bad for us all.
Watch me move.