Companions, commitments, relationships…
I think it’s pretty safe to say that we live in the era of redefinition. In this information age, we learn and adapt faster than ever before. This adaptation reaches all aspects of human life, especially love and relationships. Not familial or plutonic, but intimate relationships…our “significant” others. In this information laced 21st century, relationships seemingly have evolved and its very meaning has become open to redefinition and/or reinterpretation. I mean no offense to the gay, lesbian, transgender, etc. community whatsoever, but I don’t engage in those types of relationships, so I’m speaking to the heterosexuals out there. But being the rational and loving person that I am, I will say that if any of my LGBT readers can relate, feel free to comment and educate my unintended ignorance or naiveté, if you feel the need. Ah, fuck it, this pertains to all of us, gay, straight, bisexual, confused, weirdo, whatever and whoever you are. I love all y’all. Just don’t push that chuck shit on me. Now let’s rock. Y’all know the routine; buckle up.
At my ripe old age of 35, I’m old enough to have existed in a society where a true relationship was simply defined, very cut and dry. If you wanted to be with her, if you wanted to be intimate with her, if you wanted to have children with her, if you wanted her to live with you, you had to marry her. Marriage was imperative. Technically, I’m not from that era of life, but mine and most of my people I came through with were products of planned pregnancies and marriages. Yes, by the late ‘70s, there was a considerable population of single mothers and ain’t shit, deadbeat daddies and “we were just fooling around” babies, but it was still something that was discussed behind backs and frowned upon from any type of direction. You go back two generations prior to mine, and any type of situation that ended up with “her” being pregnant usually ended in shotgun weddings. If you need me to define a shotgun wedding, it was, by lore, a wedding ceremony that took place with the bride’s father close by with his 12 gauge on deck shortly after finding out “she” was pregnant. Now, you weren’t going to sully that girl or her family’s good name by sticking her with an out of wedlock child, so you went on ‘head and gave her your name, as my late grandpa A.G. Warren Sr. would say. Obviously, that type shit didn’t exist when I fell through at the end of the uninhibited, disco and cocaine fueled, post free love era, but some of its sentiments still echoed. Living with a woman or man out of wedlock was still frowned upon, a term known as “shacking up.” In many cultures (ethnic, religious), marriage was a one time and forever type of thing, irrespective of turbulence. Wives stuck by their husbands, even when it was clearly evident that ole boy wasn’t ‘bout jack shit. Even if men had a side piece or three they compromised their karma with, they still went home to the wife and family at the end of the day, they still provided for and took care of home. 25 and 50 year wedding anniversaries were commonplace. My, my…how things have changed.
If you ask me (it’s my blog, so…), the roots of this shit can be traced back to the mid ‘80s. Yes, I’m getting at the point in time when crack cocaine flooded the streets of inner city America and spread like a plague, snatching so many souls and indelibly altering the courses of so many families. Good, hardworking folk became addicted and within a matter of time, the infrastructure of the family began to deteriorate until it became broken down completely. On the flipside of the game, young black men were getting crazy prison bids from crack sales and leaving young children behind to be raised by young single mothers who were still trying to figure out how to take care of themselves. The babies were forced to suffer in so many ways. What happened? How did these babies turn out? Well, now they’re full-fledged adults in a world that never loved them from day one and that gets colder with each passing day. So how do they approach relationships? Exactly. How do they? How would they know how and what to do in relationships, or at least how to do these things the right way? It’s not like they had people in place to, by example, show them how to do things the right way when it comes to a relationship. No one showed them how to be caring and compassionate towards her/him. No one showed them how to respect the person that he/she is or how to respect his/her opinion. No one showed them how to be loyal to her/him. They don’t know. Now, I’m not gonna call the young folk out without speaking on the fuckery of some of us older folk and some of y’all who really old by any standard. We’ve got our shit with us too. But we, for the most part, don’t have any excuse. We, at least, were taught to do things the proper way. But it seems like ERRBODY is doing the same conniving, utterly disrespectful shit nowadays. Don’t get it twisted; I’m not speaking on casual relationships, or young folk who are just living their lives. I can’t fault them; they deserve to live their lives. They should be allowed to have their fun; to make their mistakes and learn as they go along just like us older folk were allowed to. That’s called living life. I’m barking on those in marriages and seemingly serious monogamous relationships. If you walked down that isle or have at least committed to that person (living together), I don’t see a damn thing cool about doing your spouse or lover dirty. That side nigga/side bitch shit y’all laugh and joke about is disgusting if you are with someone who you’ve pledged your love and loyalty to. Call me whatever you please, but I still feel like some things are sacred. If you want to run wild and free, do it as a single person. Divorce her/him. Break the relationship off, then do you, if that’s how you choose to get down, but don’t disrespect them like that. That brings so much calamity and catastrophe to a relationship. It’s foul. I know it’s 2014 and damn near anything goes. But for those of you who ride with that sentiment, ask yourself this. Is it possible that my existence and existence as a whole is fucked up because I think it’s cool to treat someone I claim to love any type of way? Is this a key reason why America, as a culture, society, and global force is rapidly deteriorating, in concordance with the truth that we allow ourselves to remain enslaved to fashion and ignorance? Have we become Love & Hip Hop without the cameras or generous salaries? Are you content with being a cookie cutter, carbon copy of all these other trifling bitches and piece of shit niggas outchea? Or are you better than that? Do you value life more than that? Do you think about your soul and where will rest? I’m not here to preach. But think about it. If you love her/him and have committed to her/him, don’t you think it’s worth cherishing? As advanced as we have become, this is an area in which I feel we should get down how our folk got down back in the day. Then maybe our children would see better things in their everyday lives and be inspired to do even better, rather than better relate to the rap the bars of slain Chicago rappers who were only a couple years older than they are. Y’all go on ‘head and marinate on that.
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