Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Contesting the All Men Are Dogs Theory

“There’s no such thing as a good man! ALL men are dogs! Men only want women for one thing and it ain’t love!” I have heard my sisters’ complaints many times in my 26 years. Around kitchen tables, at the bar during happy hour and sometimes as pearls of wisdom being passed down from a mother scorned, these words, condemning all men as dogs, are at times convincing especially when followed by those testimonies of baby’s daddy drama and love lost.

 I am fortunate to say that within my three significant relationships with men those who have been so lucky to receive the title of Baby, my man or simply put, my boyfriend I have been treated with no less than the respect that my daddy (who ironically at one time in life fit the all men are dogs theory) convinced me that I deserve. There is no doubt that growing up with him during my formative years did in fact mold me into the queen I call myself today. For years, it was not enough for me to be the queen of my own world, but I took pride in ruling over the lives of those men who weren’t so blessed to be with me. Their insignificance in my life got them no title except for maybe cut buddy or that of a friend with benefits, they didn’t get the quality time of a boyfriend but they tried to buy it every first and fifteenth. It was all part of an attempt to tie down a young woman that admired her father and older brothers’ ability to love’em and leave’em.

 What fun is there in doing things considered taboo! Even in the 21st century. Those late night phone calls and managing to sneak back into the dorms, often high off of some Mexican gold and wine, before birds sang their morning song was all part of the game. And let’s not forget that bills needed to be paid, road trips to take on the weekends with my girls and hey, we needed money for gas, food and more liquor. Of all the men that were taken advantage of, they were treated kindly. At any given moment any one of them could surely be convinced that they were the only one, but I found it more honorable to be honest. Not that there was anything honorable about multiple partners to begin with, but I found peace in my wayward ways by letting each gentleman know from the beginning his place was and what the deal was.

 After about two or three years of ripping and running, something happened. I was drinking a pint of tequila in one sitting; I had about three sexual partners going at once, one being my immediate supervisor, when something began tugging at my heart. I knew deep down inside that the life I was living was not the one that I had been created for. I actually acknowledged the fact that I was hurting people the way I had seen my father and brother treat women over the years was the same lifestyle that I had adopted. Then, he came along...

 Part of my social circle involves many artists: poets, musicians, singers. At open mics, these individuals saw me at my best and at my worst sometimes as a lively host, at times in a drunken state of despair as I poured my heart out through poetry or song. For years now every Wednesday night has been my sanctuary. Whether at Club Mitty’s in Hampton or in a small record shop on Granby Ave., the sounds of rhythm and blues, jazz and rock has been the soundtrack for my evolution. And there in a band we call Fuzz was the man who turned my life around.

 For months he didn’t even know that he was being used by my creator to mold me. Jason. Singer, songwriter, drummer, middle school band director and most importantly, a man of God. He’s not just one of those types that simply attends church. This man IS the church. This man reflects the love of God GREATLY. I had had a crush on Jason for at least two years. I never said anything. I knew that this man in ALL his wonderfulness would never, could not possibly want a woman like me. He’s the nerdy, good guy type. Never raises his voice, always has a kind word. And that smile!? A slight gap hidden behind beautiful lips. It was amazing that I never thought of him sexually. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

 I felt at times that he was in fact interested. I floated on air as I watched him watch my interaction with other men. I could see his interest there, but for whatever reason, he would never express it. One evening I sat alone in my room where an autographed poster with a picture of him and his band hang trying to figure out exactly what the problem was. I knew he wasn’t gay. I knew he didn’t have a girlfriend, so what was the problem?! I KNEW I was pretty enough and the idea that maybe I wasn’t his type never crossed my mind.

That same night, somehow a mirror was placed in my face. I saw for the first time the possible solution for this all men are dogs theory. Oh, if I could just send a private memo to all the women of the world, life just might be easier than we make it. It came to meal most audibly, it was so clear. There was no way that I could possibly expect to get this good man if I wasn’t living as a good woman. What man that is truly worth having in your life would be willing to settle for a woman that carried herself the way I did? I cussed worst than any sailor ever could; I drank more than most of the men I knew and for a while. I had even taken up smoking. Even if he didn’t know my deepest darkest secrets or just how far I went with the various men he’d seen me flirting with, I’m sure he could see right through my confident façade.

 I decided that night that even if he never did claim me as his woman, I would work to become a woman of virtue, that good thing that the Bible says a man finds when he finds a wife. I always believed I was a good woman, now it was time to begin to act like it. In turn, I trust that I will one day be worthy of the blessing of one of these good men that I know exist.
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