Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lessons Learned: Priorities gone wrong - The Story of Sunny

Do you ever wonder about people who just skate through life? All superficial all the time? What happens to them when the joy ride comes to an end? Check it out…

I met Sunny my freshman year at the University of Texas. She was "attending" the same Principles of Math class I was taking. It's important to know two things here – 1) Principles of Math was the throwaway class where they put athletes and liberal arts majors who had to fulfill a math requirement and didn't care to tax their brains for it. No shade on the athletes, they had better things to do and so did I. Hence the principles of math, no real calculation or theory involved. We balanced our checkbooks for the mid-term. No I'm not kidding and yes, that professor got bounced. Number 2) Sunny only "attended" the class, she was not enrolled at the University of Texas, she was strictly about the business of finding a sponsor. Yes, that kind of sponsor.

Sunny was gorgeous. Half-black, half-German she looked like Vanessa Williams from her Miss America days but with bigger boobs, smaller waist and longer legs. She was a honey-dipped Barbie doll with teal eyes and an accent. She had caramel colored hair that fell in waves down her back and she wore clothes one size too small. Sunny fascinated me. It was years later when I found out exactly how old she was or what her background story was. All I knew was that her plan was to land a football player that was going pro and live happily ever after. An infamous Sunny quote, "I want an Amex black, a white Jag, a brown mink and a huge blue diamond – I'll make the man who can give it to me happy as hell." Even I knew that wasn't the greatest life plan.

In an interesting twist, I ended up dating a football player. She ended up dating a booster she met at a party she went to with me. Some rich dude who owned six car dealerships and was seventeen years her senior. She married him four months later. It lasted for two years. Then she married some wealthy dude from Dubai. That was another four years. After marriage number three to a French film producer, I told her I wasn't up for being a bridesmaid anymore nor was I buying any more presents. Her attorney was brilliant; Sunny signed lump sum upfront pre-nuptial agreements that made her independently wealthy after her second marriage.

She became skilled at things like hiring household help and event planners, wearing fabulous clothing and knowing the best place to do yoga, get your hair done and have liposuction in every major city in the world. I got an email from her was a few months ago. She admitted that she's turning 45 (I thought she was ten years younger) and just finished her seventh divorce. She had been married nine times, one husband died, another marriage was annulled. She no longer wanted to be married; she was dating a 26 year old male model.

Last week she called and sounded like a completely different person. Turns out she had a cancer scare a few months back and realized that she had no one to hold her hand through it. Her ex-husbands, her ex-stepkids, the family she had walked away from at age 16 (and not looked back) were not a part of her life. She is the kind of person who makes friends for a purpose not just for friendship's sake. I was probably her closest friend and we only spoke once a year.

So she was sitting in a doctor's office waiting to find out if she had cancer when the epiphany came to her that she had nothing but material things. Six houses, four cars, one boat and nine figures in the bank. None of which could hold her hand or drive her to chemo. And it scared the shiggity out of her. She called to ask me what she should do. I gave her two words, "Go home." Seriously. I suggested she rewind and reset and figure out what she planned to do with the rest of her life.

I wonder if she will. I wonder how she'll be received in the small Arkansas town she came from. After you've been married nine times, what's next romantically? More boy toys?

As irksome as my friends and family can be (love ya'll), I recognize them as part of my foundation. When I decided to hit the reset button on my life a few years ago, they supported me 100% percent. I had Sunny's epiphany moment when I realized that I wasn't doing what I wanted and my priorities were wonky. But I had a plan and a support system and financial incentive to hustle. She has none of that. She spent a good deal of her life collecting things… now what? Life plan FAIL.

So what say you BougieLand? Any priority out of whack, too focused on the grind stories to share? Any one hit the reset button on their lives? How'd it turn out (so far)? Thoughts, comments, insights on Sunny?

24 comments:

Liselle said...

Seriously? Was this chick for real? The wedding rings don't keep her from being real suspect. Without them she'd definitely be called a different name.
She needs to reset for real - wow. This is the ultimate in "money can't buy happiness"

Bailey Quincy said...

Even worse - I knew a girl who WANTED to be Sunny but never got the rings or money and kind of "mistressed/girlfriended" her way through guys until her looks started to slip. I have no idea where she is but groupiedom in far less tolerable after 30.

MeetCharlieL said...

I've been known to grind on that materal track to the exclusion of all else, that's about as off course as my priorities get. If one of those cougarific ladies wants to hook Charlie up in exchange for a ring, I have no complaints. Have Sunny call me. I'll hold her hand ;-)

I Am Me said...

My sister married for money twice and then married for love. The guy she loves isn't the nicest dude around. We tell her it's karma. She doesn't appreciate it.
People gotta learn the hard way, things can't make you happy and you can't take it with you.

JaymeC said...

Without sounding too Hallmark Channel - the people you love who love you back are a far better indicator of "wealth" than bank balance.

Eye Candy said...

I just hit reset button. Wrong men, wrong career, wrong city, wrong friends. DO-OVER!
Back out west, back in school, man break, friends from back in the day.
Let try this one mo' again... Tomorrow gotta be better than yesterday!

Stank_0 said...

You know, reading this gave me the same level of sadness as watching the Basketball Wives.

Maybe this is why blk families still ride for each other even when you know someone AIN'T no good. Because in the end the only thing you have on this planet is family.

Thinking about the fact she was prolly disowned by her family makes me want to cry. She literally has no one to turn to but God. I know he's a bridge over trouble water, a doctor in the sick room, etc etc. but sometimes you need an actual person there when the fear of the unknown overwhelms you.

BB Waite said...

Blessings on your new path! Kudos for having the courage to do it.

Just Passing By said...

Amen brother... it's a sad, sad thing. I hope her family does take her back or she finds someone real to love.

Mr. Skyywalker said...

I hit reset about eighteen months ago but it's definitely paying off. Reconnected with family was the best part. Push comes to shove, it's all we've got.

Hidi said...

I have hit the reset button in my life; I realize I am the passenger and God is the driver. Life is full of unexpected turns; no one is perfect at all.

I will pray for Sunny; Yes, she was or is a "gold-digger" but everyone makes mistakes, so I wish the best for her. Also, she needs to "close the door" on the issue with her family, so she could move on with her life; I think it is the "monkey on her back".

Sasha Stiletto said...

I was Sunny for a minute or two. An unhappy minute or two. And for all I know, we came from the same shit-kickin' podunky town in Arkansas. Thankfully, I made real friends and made a new family for myself. Bless you for sticking with her as much as she let you. I'll pray she finds a way to have something real.

ASmith said...

Oh man -- the Sunnys of the world scare me. I don't get the concept of every person in your life having some brief and tangible purpose. How do you do that for any length of time?

I do have one thought, though -- be careful who you leave behind you in the dust of escaping. You never know who you'll runa cross again who you need help from but won't be so kind.

Oh and the reset button? Man, I have to hit that all the time. It was so much easier when I was in undergrad. 2 hours home and nobody bothered me for a few days. Can't wait to be able to do that again!

Man's World said...

There are a lot of wannabe Sunnys out there - you've seen reality TV, right? They're trying ot get wife status thinking that will set them up for life. Depressing.

Page Bartlett said...

Well girl, this is a hot mess. But I know a girl who aspires to be Sunny so I'm sending it to her.

OneChele said...

A lot of things are far less tolerable after 30.

OneChele said...

Um - good luck with your cougar hustle?

OneChele said...

Too true

OneChele said...

Congrats!

Dr. Peppa said...

Makes you wonder - how many resets do we get?

Sarah said...

I guess you'd have to figure 'Lessons Learned' week was going to be a tad depressing ;) I suspect your friend Sunny will be OK. At least for me, the times when I have learned the most have been those when I have been the most alone. It makes you think hard with no distraction of having somebody ease the pain. And then the pain goes away because you have learned how to cope. That might make no sense, but its my little bit of wisdom for the day. I have to also add that there is indeed life after 45. I turned 46 a couple of weeks ago and, yep, I just pinched myself, I'm still here.

maureen palmer said...

I see stories like Sunny's on TV and wants to believe that is where they end, but I guess not. I hope she hits that reset button and reconnect with family and friends. Cancer in itself is devastating, and to go through it without family and friends is VERY SAD.
I'm going through some mess right now that has my hands on reset button, I know this too shall pass.

PGL said...

This was really sad.

sunt97 said...

Tha's why I keep friends and family close. You might think you have everything and in the end you actually have nothing. It's so sad to hear that but I know plenty of people who forget about their personal relationships and when ish happens they are alone and wondering what happened.

Tiffany
Peace, Love and Chocolate
http://liferequiresmorechocolate.blogspot.com

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