I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T

“…Do you know what that mean?”

They make songs about us.

***

Her: But why does he give the woman who has it all together a hard time?

Me: CUZ he doesn’t have it all together.

Oh, and because he’s stupid. YES, I said what I said… I can repeat it if you want me to. HE IS STUPID. He probably comes from some level of stupid. He has seen stupid. Someone accepted stupid, a lot of stupid. So he thinks that shit is acceptable.

***

*The Boss*

You have it all, a good job or business, a nice home, a nice car, bad ass shoes, and a stellar closet. You vacation, you are probably VERY single, meaning you have no kids and have never been married. You are gorgeous. You are intimidating… and being intimidating is not your issue. It is his.

Your friends wonder why you are single. Men ask you “what is wrong with you, why are you still single” (by the way, that is the DUMBEST question in America and if you are a man and you ask any woman this question, may you be struck down with great vengeance and furious anger just for being so dumb). You work really hard, but you play hard too. You are social. You get it in, so you aren’t waiting for Mr. Right to break into your house. But yet, no one approaches you… well the really ambitious dudes who need a lot of dental work and a vehicle, they do, but they got absolutely nothing to lose. Shoot your shot bro, I’m not mad at you. But you know who is gun shy… the brotha with it all. Why? Well…..

Insecurity. Men are taught that they are providers, fixers, workers, and breadwinners. They get tow trucks and tool sets, puzzles and video games…toys oriented to a task. Girls get dolls and makeup sets, books on babysitting and jewelry… toys oriented to taking care of others. So they see you doing what they think is primarily their job… and have nothing to do. If you make more money, are more educated, work more… it doesn’t fit with their idea of how men and women work together. So they retreat from you eventually. That is what anyone in a position of insecurity would do. All of this while trying to assert your position in the workplace from hating ass white supremacists, crying ass white women, other crab ass Black women, and stuck between race and patriarchy Black men. You are constantly having to prove both your worth and your dedication. So the last person you need to assure that you are apart of the team is your man, when you rock his bedazzled jersey and cheerlead from the sidelines every chance you get. That insecurity will get you kicked off the team every time!

Plus, fellas… Khadijah don’t need ya stuff, just you. You were her choice… emphasis on WERE!

“Kinda woman that want you but don’t need you…” -Neyo, “Miss Independent”

*The Mother*

So you and dude are rocking with each other, and then you have a baby together. He has other kids who are well behaved and well taken care of, so it seems like baby will be a welcomed addition to your relationship. This could even be the case where you both have children from previous relationships, but the time has come to introduce the kids into the equation. It seems pretty simple, be my man and be a father{figure}… right? NOPE, not all of the time. You see, it depends TOTALLY on who that man has been allowed to be before… the precedent has been set.

A man who has previously been TOTALLY in charge of the relationship, knew that that woman needed and required him to provide for both her and the children or the children might not make it… at least not as well as they have with him around. Knowing that his presence creates that safe haven for her and that she needs that provision, means that his efforts in other parts of the relationship… romance, communication, social activity, just not being an asshole… could be temporarily put off at his whim.

Then here you come!

At first, your independence is welcomed, it is refereshing. He can sit back and not have to worry about taking care of you quite in the same way. However, the ways that he needs to take care of you, he only knows how to provide on a temporary basis… and when he now has someone else to take care of or consider, that is when he goes on hiatus with you. For several reasons, I believe. The first being that he goes back into “being in charge” mode… without the realization that he cannot be in charge of you. You ain’t the be in charge of me type. The second is that, being in charge feels good to him, and it allows him to feel okay about being mediocre. With you, there is no in charge, so being mediocre does not feel so good. And who wants to feel bad, on purpose? Lastly, he has not had to do ANY HOME WORK on his women in the past, so he has done none on you. Think about it, how well does he know you? Can you be honest with him? Vulnerable? Do you tell him when you are hurting, or better yet does he already know? If the answer is no… sadly, you might have picked an okay father, but he cannot be a good man to you and a good father too. In fact, with you, he is probably slacking on his pimping in both areas… simply because being around you doesn’t feel as good to him as it did before BK (before kids). You got everything on lock, even with the kids in tow. You bringing home the bacon and frying it up in the pan. He doesn’t think he fits in…

Well sir, get in where you fit in.

“Cause I depend on me.” -Destiny’s Child “Independent Women”

*The Single Socialite*

When you move, they move, just like that. And so it goes, you got the key to city, your plate stays full, and you are on every ‘by invite only’ list. You love pictures, you love a good drink and a good song you can twerk to, and you hate a name dropper… because you are the name. Okay you get it. Anyway, you are likely a serial monogamist … you meet and greet, they work hard to sweep you off of your feet, but somehow you always end up standing in your Loubs, with yourself. You are never really by yourself and you love your me time, but for whatever reason no one has presented you with the perfect glass slipper. Why?

You too are intimidating, which also isn’t your fault… but in a different way. Men who think they are ready for you, usually quickly find out that unless they are okay with stepping aside and letting you shine, they will be in your shadow. So one of the rules of a lasting relationship is not to compete with your partner, if I win, we both win. And while that sounds good, and it is good, in practice, it often does not work quite like that. Movers and shakers tend to be competitive by nature. While women tend to be more community minded in their success, men are much more individualistic, so it may be hard for him to see himself as in a successful partnership and not the successful partner. He feels like he has to one up you, so instead of being partners you end up adversaries. He likely goes in to find someone in awe of his position. But he couldn’t see that what you built for yourself you were willing to share, and as your partner he didn’t need to compete. You don’t need a savior or someone who out does you, but someone who lets you shine, because he’s confident in his own shine.

“They buy the bar too, they superstars too” -Webbie “Independent”

***

These are just some examples… but independent women often find and feel that they get the short end of the stick BECAUSE they are independent! There is some truth in that, but the bigger truth is this: Go for yours, be able to take care of yourself and teach that to your daughters. The man made especially for you will find you, realize that you are that good thing he has been looking for, and he will boss up! Stupid dudes are just around to teach us lessons, that’s all. Until then, handle your business, upgrade, secure the bag, drip, stack, and hustle hard. And when bae finds you … let him take a flight in yo choppa!

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