“You don’t put women on a pedestal. They shit on you from up there!”
That tasty little quote up there is attributable to Sal — a sarcastic, wise-ass,
fast-talking, wannabe mack daddy character in the movie “What Love Is,” starring
Cuba Gooding Jr. and a host of other very familiar faces. A guy friend invited me
over to watch this fantastic movie about men and women’s views on love. And Sal, we
come to learn, was hurt when he was just 16 years old and hasn’t trusted women with
his heart since.
I can’t lie, when Sal let those words fly, I died laughing!!! What can I say? It was
Sal was already on a high-speed, adrenaline-fueled rant that would’ve made the
rapper Twista beg him to slow down! But he ends his warp-speed diatribe about not
falling in love by spewing this “boo-boo based” wisdom while red in the face and
spitting as he spoke.
Then it hit me…is this what men really think of us ladies? Do they have to stop
putting us on pedestals just to keep from getting hurt? Is a weak rap necessary just
make sure us ladies don’t have hidden motives? Do men have to fudge the truth a
little just to get our attention? Have we really turned great guys into…jerks?!?!
Once the movie ended my friend and I resumed a conversation we’d started before we
got into the film.
He tells me that women need to give a brotha a break!
I tell him that a brotha should tell the truth from jump…then he might get a break!
You’ll never believe what we were bickering about — rap. To be specific, a man’s
rap to a woman.
See, what had happened was…
A girlfriend of mine met a man online about 3 months ago. While there was nothing
“wrong” with this guy, per se, my girl decided his opening lines, or his rap, were a
small piece of a bigger picture. And the picture might not be so pretty.
For starters, the man made it a point to somehow squeeze it into the conversation
that he once had a Mercedes-Benz, but traded in his ride for a more fuel-efficient
Camry. (Alright, he’s saving money and there’s nothing wrong about that.) The man
then explains that the house he’s living in is about to be listed so he can
downgrade to an apartment. Of course, this is also in an effort to save money. (She
was cool with it — the country’s in a recession.) Some time passes and he’s blowing
her head up with all kinds of stuff about what he has, who he hangs out with and how
he’s living. In short, the man is pulling out all the stops covering everything from
his occupation to his workout regimen.
So, when she finally meets this former Benz-driving, health-nut, professional
work-a-holic he pulls up in a Camry missing half of its hubcaps — NOT RIMS, I SAID
HUB CAPS!!! And the way my girl saw it, he probably never even had a Benz. The way
she tells it, if you once had money for a Benz-sized car note, you should at least
be able to keep your hubcaps on. Right?
Fast-forward a few months to present day, and another girlfriend of mine meets this
same man. And guess what? He drops the same lines. From the Benzo to the house up
for sale to the work-out routine. It’s clearly his “rap.”
But here’s where my guy friend steps in. He says us ladies are reading WAY to much
into this and to recognize that the man’s trying to impress my friends.
After hearing some sage advice from a very wise girlfriend, I’m now of the school of
thought that women should meet men where they are. If a man lives in an apartment
and drives a Camry with no hubcaps, then a woman should accept him just like that,
rusty lug nuts and all! There’s no need to regale a woman with tales of what “once
was.” Tell a woman where you are NOW so she can appreciate you NOW.
So, really. Who’s right here? My girls who don’t appreciate this man’s unnecessary
game? Or this man for thinking he had to approach women with tales of Benzes and
Mtv-type cribs in the first place?
Did a culture of greedy, gold-digging women create the need for men to even begin
this kind of rap in the first place? Or did this nearly 40-year-old man not evolve
his rap — better yet his game — as he matured?
Are women being too hard on men and have we forgotten that what’s behind a little
harmless bragging is just a guy who’s scared to death we may reject him cold and
hurt his feelings? Did women forget that men are like peacocks — the male of the
species — and that it’s a man’s responsibility to do whatever he can to get our
I guess I’ve got more questions than answers. But in the meantime, fellas don’t take
us off the pedestal. Just break out your umbrellas for “emergencies.”
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