“There’s gonna be some/ slow singin’ and flower bringin’…”
Yesterday, I buried someone very close to me. Someone who I had grown up with and expected would be around for some time. As early as 2005, however, I began to suspect that the person’s death was inevitable. I put it off. I told myself the person would endure. I told myself the person would prove my worries wrong. In time my suspicions bore fruit. I was made all too aware of the person’s mortality.
Yesterday, my dream girl died.
I fit the very definition of a “sucka for love” (word to fellow Threadblogger chadstanton’s post). I bump “slow jams”/RnB so much more than I do even Lupe or Kanye. I consider myself a romantic. I used to believe in courting someone. If there was someone I was interested in at a given time, I gave that girl my full attention. I focused on establishing a relationship with a star player, as opposed to building a roster of people that were all talent, all glamour, but no longevity. Flowers. Tiff’s Treats. “Good morning” and “good night” texts. You name it, I dealt it out, or at least believed it would have a payoff (I still haven’t gotten that scholarship to The School of PDOS – or as King’s Law would say, The School of “People Don’t Owe You Shit”).
Fueling this behavior was my insistence in the idea of “my dream girl.” I’m not talking about my early crushes on Beyonce’ Knowles, Jada Pinkett, or Meagan Good (I don’t trust you if you just got put on “the hottest lips” (but most dumbed-down chick) in the game in the 2000s. I was down with Meagan Good beginning in Eve’s Bayou and carrying on into her brief legacy on Cousin Skeeter). I’m talking about my actual
standards definition of what my dream girl was.
I was SO certain that my dream girl existed. I didn’t know what she looked like exactly; but at 14 years old, I knew she would be fair-skinned, would have brown or black eyes, would believe in God and go to church, wouldn’t smoke or drink. I knew she would be a doctor or a lawyer. I knew she wouldn’t use curse words because I didn’t curse. I knew she wouldn’t be “bad” because I wasn’t “bad.” You can imagine the naivete I had going in as a freshman at The University of Texas back in 2004. In high school, I was too busy and too “tightly wound” to even be considered overlooked. But I just KNEW I would find my dream girl in college. Hell, that’s where Dwayne found Whitley, right?
My experiences at UT would dictate that I “upgrade” my idea of my dream girl to that of “a good girl.” You read the above paragraph. You know my head was in the clouds. So you can imagine how shocked I became when even some of the young ladies who frequented campus bible studies or the more prestigious girls-only organizations, I found out were being referred to as
overtly promiscuous even more active in the community (before I’m accused of firing shots, let me restate that “hoe-ism” is an equal-opportunity employer; any student is capable, but some more than others, and not just women…). UT would introduce me to my first idea of “unattainability” – the assumption belief that there were certain girls I couldn’t pull or that were “out of my reach” if I lacked a certain status or “label” (word to Kevin Powell’s “student leader pimp” concept). So there were certain young ladies I didn’t even think about devoting attention to, though I admired them from afar. (Lowkey, we all find ourselves attracted to that one thing we know is bad for us, don’t we? But curiosity gave the cat herpes…) But there were also some I did pursue.
A series of ill-timed, to-the-point-of-her-disgust lavishings, outright sappings of my creativity, friend boxings, and sometimes overall disastrous attempts at UT followed. With each
failure attempt, my “dream girl” image was amended. Standards and “wants/must-haves” – some perhaps one rung below impossible for college girls aged 17-22 – were added. My colorism got turned the hell out She no longer had a desired hue. I was quite possibly “Daphne’ing” some girls – viewing them for what I wanted them to be, versus who they are, consequently causing them to fall short in my eyes when I stumbled upon flaws.
All this built up to yesterday’s funeral – the death of a pop star not firmly enough grounded in reality, to make it to the end of the road with me.
So what is this? A pity party? A reminder to not “put the p*ssy on a pedestal”? Not at all. This is a cautionary tale. Sometimes as people, we can be so enamored in the idea of love, or the idea of “The One,” that that image takes priority over us getting to know someone for who they really are. The honeymoon’s going to end. People will disappoint. People will fall short. People won’t be “who you thought they were” or “expected” them to be. But maybe they’ll be better. Sometimes a person’s beauty transcends our comprehension or our want-list. I’m not saying “lower your standards.” I am saying don’t let your standards put you in a position where you end up “getting your shit re-arranged.” Actually… maybe some people need that.