Monday, January 25, 2010

Beat Back your inner B*tch and Jettison your inner Jerk… please

Somehow, somewhere along the way, I find myself handing out relationship advice. While I find it amusing to be in this role, I must agree that I have been in the game long enough to offer up a few tidbits of wisdom. So yes, I know the title of this post is a little crazy but I wanted chit and chat at you about a serious epidemic sweeping the nation. Folks who think being b*tchy and rude is a way of life. So much so that they impose their negativity on the rest of us.

I know Southern Hospitality and The Golden Rule are become antiquated reminders of times gone by but wow… is it just me or are folks a lot more rude than they used to be? I understand people today have no afterschool specials or School House Rock or upstanding moral role models on television or film. I get that. If you are learning your dating behavior from tabloid TV and music videos, I guess I shouldn't expect any better. But by the time your parents are no longer driving you to school and back, shouldn't you have learned some common courtesy?

Dating is just that much harder when people are walking around salty, sour and discourteous to begin with. I can't see how stepping into the dating game with a scowl up on your face helps your cause. A couple of quick stories to illustrate my point:

Confession: I went through an extremely b*tchy phase. Back in my mid-20s after my boyfriend called to tell me that instead of coming to visit for Thanksgiving, he was marrying someone else. Um-hmm, happy holidays to me. So yeah, I was bitter and tart and more likely to snap a man's head off for just saying hello. Shocking – I did not date much for a minute. Seems that the mean mug coupled with the 'back-the-eff-up-off-me' vibe that was radiating off me in thick heated waves was a bit of a barrier. I spent about two months straight in sweats and a ponytail. Yup, I was bringing the sexy from inside out.

One day, while standing in the grocery store eating ice cream in the freezer aisle (no, I didn't want to wait to get home) a brother rolled up and started talking. Just chatting away. What flavor was the ice cream, how was my day, did I always wear my hair up, could he call me sometime? Huh? I literally had to beat back my inner b*tch and decide whether it was more important to hold onto my anger or get to know the piece of chocolate goodness standing in front of me. I chose the chocolate.

Next BougieTale: There was a gentleman I was trying to date and I couldn't figure out where the relationship kept stalling. We seemed to get along but something was just slightly off. Turned out, he was testing me on everything. How many times could he make snipey comments before I called him out? How much would I let him get away with? How many times could he make a suggestion sound more like a command before I caught on? Answer to all those questions: not so very many. I believe the last straw came when we were sitting on the couch watching football. I was eating some pretzels when he reached over, took the bag and said, "No more snacks." My mouth fell open, "Beg pardon?" He said, "I don't want you to have to go to a Belly-Buster boot camp because you got too big."

I called bullshiggity and asked what his general problem was. He said his ex-girlfriend had been a control freak and he was determined not to get caught in that situation again. Ooo-kay, what does that have to do with me? He said he wanted to set boundaries early. I told him his need to be in control of every (single) thing made him come off like a total jerk. He said, "If you don't like it, you can walk." Deuces, dude… I left skidmarks on the way out of that one. (And of course you know that just infuriated him and he wanted to chase harder – brother wanted to control the break-up too). His inner jerk cost him any chance with me. And we all know what a terrible loss that is J.

All of this to say, we've all been through some tough times and none of us walks around in a state of euphoric bliss 24/7 but foisting that on someone else just won't take you very far in Relationship Roulette. Alright Bougienistas – comments, thoughts? Any b*tchy, jerky tales to share?

28 comments:

Inkognegro said...

Tell 'em bouge.

I just cannot. I love my wife, but She has a bit of a temper. When its on, Guess who gets all the Heat, even though when you are not responsible.

Sometimes stuff goes wrong and You get Aggy....Then go somewhere and sit down until it goes away.

MochaMuffin said...

Jumping up and pumping fist in the air... YES! No I can dial up bitchy in 2.6 seconds but I keep it on lock in an effort to maintain my pleasing damn personality. I hold onto Mocha Bitch until she is really needed and then I unleash the fury.

BTW, is it bad that I think a jerky man is worse than a bitchy woman? At least we can blame hormones - what they got? So unchivalrous when a man is actin' out.

derek love said...

Nothing gets me running the other way faster than attitude. By that I mean unnecessary attitude. But sadly, I agree with Muffin below -I think it's terrible when a man is rude to a woman... I sorta expect it from time to time from the ladies. *runs and hides*

ASmith said...

This guy I've been chatting it up with had an unfortunate break-up a few months ago. He made one too many "black women always..." and "females always..." statements so I had to help him out. "A," I told him, "there's no way you've dated enough black women to ever make a general statement and B, I don't do that and neither do any of my female friends so you probably need to step up the caliber of women you interact with." On another occasion, I had to tell him "you cannot punish the next girl for the last girl." It all seemed so brand-spankin'-new to him. It was rather disappointing.

It's like people feel entitled to take out their anger on the people around them. To that I say, pimpin' get a grip and grow up. If you got beef, take it out with that girl over there because I ain't do it.

Most of us are guilty, though. You're right on that, Chele. I know I get the shakes anytime a potential starts doing or saying things like my ex and I have been known to drop folks cold turky on account of such activity. It's not fair, I've worked on it, I feel I'm better(ish).

Stacey said...

Did that negro say "no more snacks"? Oh hell to the naw. Glad you stamped cancelled on his forehead on your way out.

Jason P said...

Hmm, you might have called out a little bit on this one. I tend to date similar "types" of women and so after a bad experience with one, I projected that onto the next one. Then that didn't work out so I overcorrected on the one after that. Basically, I had to step back and just be about Jason for a second - Iwas pissing off everybody, including myself.

OneChele said...

I have put myself in time-out when I feel Evilene starting to take over. No need to inflict that on folks.

true2me said...

you know, I was justing getting ALL My frustrations out with a dear friend of mine who puts up with my complaining and bitter angry attitude. I sometimes feel like a defeatist and that nothings worth trying for because my life has been one big bag of bullspit.

He gently said that I need to let that stuff go. So what I was abandoned at birth, so what I suffered some abuse as a child, so what every man I ever loved dogged me out. SO WHAT! Move on. Can't let THOSE people permanently control me and my emotions and how I feel YEARS after they have gone.

I belive him. Its hard not to side eye every dude that attempts a convo or accuse them of just wanting to tap it..but I'm working on it

true2me said...

This reminds me of this guy I used to work with. He had NO LOVE on his license plate after he found out his girl of 5 years cheated w his close friend. He proceeded to get all the women he met to "fall" for his (he was SUPER handsome) and then dump them. I hope he has gotten past that now :-/

Andrea M said...

It takes more than a minute. I still have some "daddy" issues that make it hard for me to trust anyone easily, let alone men. But like you, I'm making an effort every day to let it go and move on. Like my granny says: The world is gonna keep on turning, I might as well keep up.

OneChele said...

Derek- did you really say you expect bitchiness from females? Upgrade your companions, sir. Quickly.

truthinrumors said...

Couldn't have come at a better time.
I had to check myself recently after meeting a man who I was starting to really get into. he was consistent, thoughtful, and sweet. I received a phone call, text or bbm daily, letting me know that I was on his mind.
Long story short, one day i didn't get anything: no call, no text, no bbm.
I have been through so much, and witnessed so many disappearing acts at the hands of men who expressed their interest not only with words but with actions for a certain amount of time, only to be left wondering and NOT wanting to be the chick who didn't get the message.
I told myself that he was "just like the others". Upset, but not surprised, I proceeded to delete his number and forget his face. Never called him, never texted to see what happened or if he was alive...(i cringe on it looking back)..
I ran into his sister in law a week later and she told me that he really did lose his phone and was trying to get in contact with me...To say I felt bad is an understatement. He understood once I explained to him where I was coming from. I had to be honest with him-and myself- about the past, and not make him pay for what others have done. He knows I'm a little sore and that all I can do is move one step at a time. We now have an agreement that works..Whenever I think or feel a certain kinda way about something, I tell him. We don't assume, we just look at eachother as individuals and live int he present.
He's a G(ood) B(lack) M(an) and I truly feel i would have missed out by carrying like that.

Anna N said...

My goodness, I think we may have similar mean alter egos. Mine goes by Evilene, Queen of Evil. And yes, she spends much of her time in a corner as she is totally unfit for public consumption, lol.

Sarah said...

You ate the ice cream right at the store ? That makes me smile. Can't say I haven't thought about tearing open packages of cookies in the store, but never done it. Sugar Frenzy averted. Now, I don't eat cookies only fruits, veggies and other healthy stuff and some how it just isn't the same tearing open the bag of carrots and munching away. :-) I don't know why people are less polite and friendly these days. It isn't just in relationships. If you permit me a moment in the probably 'too much information' space, I'll say that I spent hundreds if not a thousand conversations with my ex trying to convince him to find a way to live in the present and let his anger go. He was carrying anger all the way from when he was a toddler. He had a very ruff and tumble life. Grew up in a violent environment. Made a stupid (or a number of stupid) mistakes in his early 20s and ended up locked for a while. And even when I knew him, he was a magnet for drama. I know it sounds naive of me, but under all that he had a good heart. He needed somebody to crack the shell and convince him that he could let it go. It wasn't me, though. I tried until I couldn't try anymore and then left. I'd say it was one of the three or perhaps four most humbling experiences. And honestly, when I left I said to myself: God knows how hard I tried and maybe some day God will tell him. All of which is to say that you are completely on point today. And, of course, you had to dangle the story of the guy in the grocery store ... how did that turn out?

Bailey Quincy said...

How about the time I was positive I was getting dumped because it was four days with no calls and when I called, it went straight to voicemail. I was all set to give him the "you missed out on the best thing ever" speech when his friend told me he had been in a car wreck and was in the hospital with his jaw wired shut. Oops...
But like you, I had previous experiences where dudes went ghost and I just didn't want to get caught out again. Trust is so hard to rebuild.

OneChele said...

I used to cut and run for the smallest infractions. Now, I at least wait until I see either a glaring red flag or a trend of jerkiness. *shrugs* Takes time.

ASmith said...

THIS!

Derek, I got some friends who are single, if you're interested. I promise they aren't crazy (cause I don't do crazy)

How is it ya'll keep finding the subpar ones while all the good ones (i.e. my friends) are single as the day is long?

ASmith said...

I like you Jason.

This is all. :)

Seriously though, good job on that step back. Amen.

ASmith said...

I worry about people who do that. I mean what satisfaction is gained from screwing over innocent people?

OneChele said...

Grocery store dude was Jason from this post: http://www.blacknbougie.com/2009/09/i-just-called-to-say.html and my embarrassing moment story in this post: http://www.blacknbougie.com/2009/11/five-questions-five-answers-with.html

datdudeincali said...

I will admit to carrying the baggage from one relationship to the next. Learned the hard way to take a time out. My and my ex-wife came into the marriage carting vans full of unresolved baggage. Then we proceeded to unload that on each other, have a kid, and get divorced. Now that I can talk about it without nausea... I'm ready to move on.
This post is right on time...

OneChele said...

Ha! Yes - I have Evilena (second cousin to Cruella D'Evil), Shaniqua (my hood alter ego), and Jade Cristal (you can guess about that one) - I keep them all on lock.

Cassie said...

*hangs head in shame* This is why I love this blog. I went completely Exorcist on a PSO this weekend and to his credit, he said nothing just got his keys and rolled out. Sent me a text from his car saying, "Call me when you feel better." I just got off the phone grovelling for forgiveness. I was bitchy for no good reason other than my mood was bad and I knew he'd let me. He says I'll have to make it up to him - any ideas?

Steve said...

Am I out of BougieTimeOut yet? Cuz - I can relate to this one. I tend to stay kind of aloof until I know someone and I'm told it comes off as real assholish. Which is not my intention. I generally just don't trust people or their intentions but if you hang there, I'm quite personable.

Mocha Dude Speaks said...

My wife has days (I wouldn't dare to blame them on hormones) where she is not her best self. As do I. We both admit to this. In the early days of our marriage it caught us unawares and caused silly arguments. Days like that you find yourself in an 30 minute argument about trashbags and toilet seats. We made a pact. When one of us is having "one of those days" we call it out. The other morning when I got my head bitten off about brown rice I said - One of those days? She sighed and said, yes - sorry. Nuff said. We gave each other space for the rest of the day, no hard feelings, no need to engage and escalate. I handed her a glass of wine at 9:30 that evening and put on some D'Angelo - there's more than one way to get around those moods. :)

Joy Andrews said...

LOL - my SO says - is this a mood that wine can cure or do I need to just leave you alone for a while?

Jasmin said...

Oh how timely this post is! I just had to give my roommate a "Come to Jesus" talk about how her negative attitude, not the buffet selection, is controlling her (non-existent) experiences with men. I feel like all of this "lonely, single Black women" propaganda has lured some of us into thinking it's true, so it's easier to see the situation as hopeless, and "Why should I try anyway?"

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