Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How do you "tame" an unrepentant playboy?


No, not the start of another uber-dramatic BougieTale. This is the question I'm struggling to answer as I prepare to flesh out my outline for my third book. For those of you who read Heard It All Before, I introduced a character named Beau. Beau is a natural born charmer who has skated by on looks, charm and his talent for making women very, very happy. My third book will be about the redemption of Beau. Brother Beau brings to mind this classic hip hop/ R&B song from the late Big Pun and Joe (How hard did I have to search for the safe-for-work version? Whew!):


Anyway, I need to kick-start my brain so I'm throwing it out to BougieLand. If I use your idea in Book Three (as yet untitled), you will get a shout out in the acknowledgements and my unwavering thanks. So I ask, besides "the love of a good woman" - what makes a player stop playing? Can he ever fully "reform", turn in the playa card for good? Thoughts, comments, insights.

The floor is yours...

70 comments:

BrendaKay51 said...

OneChele ~ this is one question that ONLY Riley can answer. :-)

donell said...

no one can 'tame' anyone who is 'unrepentant' of anything...not being a playa, an alcoholic, a smoker, a drug addict, etc. and for anyone who attempts to do so anyway - the situation is *purely* a reflection of a deficiency in your character development and has nothing whatsoever to do with the person of your 'rescue.'

Deesha said...

A child? Either the pending birth of one, or the emergence of one he didn't know he had? Of course you're to good for the "Mr. Mom" schtick that would ensue at the hands of a lesser capable writer. :-) But having to step up and be a dad (the good, the bad, the mind-numbing boredom, and the "you gonna make me drink for breakfast"), especially to a daughter, would be life-changing.

MidwestDominicana said...

Jesus?

cdub said...

I'm a lurker but I think one of the things that can tame a playboy is the rehabilitation of others (i.e., his boys). The friends who were playas with him who now subscribe to a different approach to women/relationships and are all the happier for it. It's kind of similar to people who are drawn to God when they see the changes He's made in the life of someone who has been where they have been.

from lurker to a shout out in your acknowledgment would be kind of impressive :-)

love your blog!!

Ms_Smart said...

Being confronted with his own mortality which causes him to fear dying alone. This usually happens when his mother or grandmother dies or he gets into a bad car accident.

maureen palmer said...

I had to direct a childhood friend of mine to bougie land today. I'm hoping he can share with us what made him chang his ways, this brother put P in the word player. However, in the last 2 years he changed his life around, I guess he got tired of games or this chic put one on him.. I believe at some point players get tired of juggling & they just need that one person that belongs to them.

socialitedreams said...

has that ever actually worked? what's that quote..."can't save her she'on wanna be saved". People don't change unless THEY want to and WORK at it. there are piles upon piles of broken hearts from people attempting to change someone. You can create a situation such as he realizes his mortality from almost dying or something, but unless something happens to him to make him want to change, 1 why should he and 2 he won't because someone asks really really nicely

http://socialitedreams.wordpress.com

The Fanny Pack said...

It's been MY experience that in the past when I've grown tired of doing that dance (you know, the "I caught him slipping, I'm pissed at him, he apologized, we reconcile") dance over and over and I finally committed to being DONE with him (and stuck to the decision), the reality of losing the "real" thing and being left with flings and hook-ups without substance ultimately led to his growing up process. Note: we never got back together, but I heard that he settled down a year or two after and made some young woman a happy wife :-s

The Fanny Pack said...

LOL!!!!!!!! The best!

Myas-mom said...

All the scenarios listed so far could work, and even some that have not been mentioned. But like donell and socialitedreams said, he has to want to change and put in the work. Not even the BADDEST chick, Halle Berry, Gabrielle Union, Angelina Jolie, SuperHead, etc. can MAKE a man change from his "playa ways". It might inspire him, but ultimately he has to want to. (Besides, once he's won the challenge of conquering such a babe, then it's on to the next one.) One thing that could bring on such a revelation is realizing that his insecurities are what's making him the Playa Playa from the Himalayas (Jerome's in the house). Because the shock for him will be realizing that he, with his fine a$$ and women falling (piling up) at his feet, even he has insecurities. When he begins to deal with those issues, his life will change as he knows it.

Tazzee said...

I'll be interested to see what Maureen's friend says.

Tazzee said...

I think at some point a player gets tired of the game and realizes that he's going to need someone to take care of him in his old age. It's sad, but I always see old worn out players wanting someone to want their used up tails, LOL. Perhaps Beau will get a chance to truly witness a good woman REALLY being there for a friend and get a glimpse of his own mortality.

Or it could be that he realizes how much he hurt a woman that he really cares about - her leaving and the hurt that ensues will cause him to give up his playing ways. The next woman will get a reformed player (because the one he hurt can't take him back).

Salt Water said...

When the playboy in questions feels he has found someone who meets the need he wants most met, thus making him feel whole. This need differs for everyone: a woman who has a certain clout and renown + someone who needs to be a part of the limelight, thus earning status by proxy, a woman with considerable money + someone who couldn't attain the status symbols he desires otherwise, a woman who has little or no boundaries is more likely + someone who is looking for someone to let him get away with his whatever behavior he feels entitled to (usually fuckery) with little or no complaint (the submissive woman meme anyone?), the person with a large circle of family and friends + the loner who wants to be a social butterfly, or the woman who unrelentingly bigs up her man+ the man who needs the continual ego stroke.

The playboy believes he's upgraded by the match in his area of lack will settle down.

Mr. Skyywalker said...

I can't speak for all the former p****hounds but for me, I got tired/scared straight. I woke up in an unfortunate situation (get at me, it's book worthy) and decided enough was enough. So like others have said it's a decision a man has to come to on his own, in his own time.

thinklikeRiley said...

So it's up to me to school BougieLand? True playas never retire, they just change the game.

thinklikeRiley said...

And respect for the Big Pun shout-out.

datdudeincali said...

The "unrepentant" part throws me, if someone is just determined not to shut it down, they could be like your boy Vince passing up good opportunities just so they can still call themselves living that playboy lifestyle. For me it was turning 30. To me that was a little old to not recall the name of the last five women you had naked in your bed. One of those mirror moments when you're looking at yourself like - seriously dude? Enough already.

AppleBerryMIA said...

So that love of a good woman thing doesn't work?

ASmith said...

Rock bottom seems to be the place most folks have to go to change any behavior.

Dr. Phil, back when he was still talmbout something, once said, "Why don't you stick your hand in a blender and turn it on? Cause it doesn't work for you. We don't do things that don't work for us..."

I've carried that little pearl with me for years now. It makes sense. Drug addicts, alcoholics, women who choose the wrong kinds of men, womanizers/playboys -- anyone making those bad decisions will continue to do so until it no longer works for them, and everyone's litmus test for that is different.

For some playboys rock bottom is having a child for others it's boiling water being thrown on their private parts (NSFW)

BB Waite said...

I have this vision of my grandmother standing in the doorway smoking her menthols screaming at my mother - You can't change the true nature of a blood hound, they gotta hunt, they can't help it. You should've picked yourself poodle if you just wanted something pretty to stay by your side.

I remember thinking I needed to find something between poodle and hound. All of this to say - a man gonna do what a man gonna do.

I Am Me said...

No sweetheart, that don't work. It's taking Tylenol for a migraine. It helps but it doesn't cure a damn thing.

GrownAzzMan said...

The only thing that can make a player stop playing is him. Period, point-blank. Wonderful women trying everything to please him can't do it. Threatening violence can't do it. Getting caught multiple times can't do it. Even prayer can't do it. The man has to reach a point in his life where he wants to change. When and if he does he will and it will be change for real.

GrownAzzMan said...

Nope. The change has to come from within.

blackprofessor said...

Chele, I love the blog! This is one of my favorite in the blogosphere!

Ah, the universal question: what makes some people change (in your case men) while others remain the same? I think it depends on the substance of the individual person (i.e., family background, needs, wants, level of introspection, etc.). I have seen some men go through situations that should have altered them (i.e., marriage, divorce, having kids, raising kids, illness, death) but they have remained unchanged and are still on said foolishness. I have also seen other men go through similar situations and revamp their entire lives in a good way. In the latter group, two characteristics stand out: maturity and selflessness.

Dr. Peppa said...

Just a general question - does he have to quit being a player to find redemption?

Myas-mom said...

I totally agree! Thought I could love a man enough for both of us. HA!!! (And the fact that he was a Mama's Boy didn't help, but I digress.) Just the same, Tylenol don't do a damn thang for my migraines!

Myas-mom said...

Love the litmus test reference.

Myas-mom said...

Real talk!!!

OneChele said...

For the purposes of my book, yes - Beau has to stop hittin' and quittin' (and hittin' again) to find redemption. In real life, I'm going to leave that up to you and your God.

Troy said...

Real talk? There's only so much you get out of "the game" if you're a GAM with any RAS (real-ass sense). There's only so many ways to get the good 'n plenty and after a while, it's much more of a challenge to sign that one A-player to your team and keep them happy rather than rotate the bench. Did I mix enough metaphors?

Aisha said...

i would say he's a playa because he's been urt really bad so he has shallow relationships with women as a way to protect himself, he then meets a woman who demands more and he's really into her so he wants to give her his all (they go through some stuff, namely his past coming home to roost ) then happy ever after (mostly). Some would say he's just a playa till he meets the right one

LMO85 said...

I agree, it has to come from within. A person has to realize that no matter how much partying or slippin and sliding they are doing, He is still not really happy, living, loving or enjoying life. He still feels lack. He still feels empty inside. He realizes he is a loser after all and perhaps through a series of major life disappointments i.e., loses a loved one or close friend/mentor, loses job so has no ends and no one to depend on, tries the illegal route but wounds up in front of the judge and jury, women suddenly stop returning his calls and no longer accept his bad behavior, or a child with a note saying its his baby-is left at his door, or a brush with death that has him finally seeing the Light--something that has to come from within...when a brother finally gets tired of his own damn self, that is when he will change for good.

Evansaw said...

I have found (in my "ahem" 40-odd years) that the only things that will reform a player is an life-alterinig event, like a near-death experience, or meeting their soul mate (this one is a long shot, but I have seen it happen). One example is a family member who was a dog to his wife and family until she divorced him; he then realized what he had lost and is now ready to sell his soul to get it back. He has turned to Jesus, and gotten saved, did a 360, got rid of the Black book and is begging for another chance. Too bad some guys don't see what they have until it is gone. Some players start to realize they are getting older; they are not as cute as they used to be, not pulling the ladies anymore, or they start to feel their mortality and want to have the family they probably remember growing up.

David Chase said...

I can't put it better than that.

David Chase said...

I read the book even though I'm not a romance novel guy - look at you, it's really not a romance novel! Good job with the characterizations from the guy's viewpoint. You're either incredible intuitive or you've been around a lot of men (I don't mean that in a bad way). You're able to say what men think without having it sound filtered. Anyway, Beau's just had everything easy. Make things hard for him and I'll bet he'll work for it.

FreeBlackMan said...

Why? Wouldn't it be more real for the man to just stay who he is and the woman accept it? It doesn't always have to be that fairy tale.

FreeBlackMan said...

Yes indeed let the game come to you.

bluassassin said...

I agree with ASmith about hitting rock bottom. But for the sake of a juicy book, consider a fatal attraction type encounter or an AIDS scare. If that doesn't reform him, nothing will.

baileyqc said...

Same concept as turning hoochie into housewife. She has to want to hang up the hoochie, no one can make her do it. Usually takes a revelation, Jesus, a scare, an acceptance, something has to shift in that person's mind. It would actually make an interesting book to see the evolution of Beau. I liked his scandalous ass. Are you bringing back all the other characters too?

OneChele said...

Except that I'm a happy ending girl. I like hero and heroine walking off into the sunset with a promise of tomorrow. I see reality everyday, no need to write it too. But that's just me.

Karen Caffee said...

What he said there.

OnlyMe said...

I love the mental image of that!

ICHypocrity said...

I find it telling that you were so irritated at someone on the fresh xpress saying women needed to be disciplined and controlled and here you are talking about taming a man.

OneChele said...

You either see hypocrites or hypocrisy, there's no such thing as hypocrity. Just FYI.
I put tame in quotes. If you read my responses on freshXpress you'll see where I actually said no woman wants to be disciplined any more than a man wants to be tamed.
Folks iz grown. No one is raising any one. Or no one should be.

EvolvingElle said...

I think Beau should have an "A-ha" moment, which is pretty much what the majority of people have said. What if he has a tragic accident, or loses his money, or something else dastardly and every one leaves him...except his one true love, the woman who was always in the background, and he just realizes that she's the type of woman he needs in his life. There's actually a note I posted on FB last year or earlier this year (can't remember!) titled "Soulmate vs. Playmate", which basically discusses having wasting time on people who aren't for you then you meet the one and it's too late. Probably went off on a tangent, but oh, well! *shrugs* Or maybe he can meet his soulmate and it's too late for them to be together because either she's married or dies or something... (Ok, I'm getting a little excited; I'll stop now.)

J B said...

So many ways to run with this one....the loss of Madere, Rome/Jewel tying the knot, a "Boomarang" situation...or the realization that his doggish ways aren't making him happy any more.

Rob said...

I love it when someone comes on and just has to try. *waving hands in air* Ain't no smackdown like a bougie smackdown cuz you're never really sure you been smacked!

ICHyp - you got knocked the f! out.

Myas-mom said...

Ok so it wasn't just me. I looked at the name twice (ICHypocrity) and just said "I guess". I think we're making it "OK" for folks to just misuse words and calling it clever or unique. I like that you called him on it, and his comment.

Just browsing through said...

Bad boys need to meet the femal version of themselves. That ALWAYS seems to change them.

OneChele said...

Now that's not a bad idea. Kinda like a Boomerang, what happens when the player gets played? Hmm, how to put a fresh spin on that? *thinking, thinking*

maureen palmer said...

A recovered drug addict once told me, " there is nothing you can do to help these folks (at a place i used to volumteer), they have 2 reach bottom low & the only place they can go is up". I think this can be applied to players too.

Myas-mom said...

Problem with that is once she dumps him, he will revert back. That kind of hurt for a playboy can breed a revengeful spirit. Or if she stays, he won't be able to trust her. But hey this is your book, it will work however the hell you say it will! LOL

SingLikeSassy said...

You don't. Young playas become old men in the club reminiscing about their young playa days.

OneChele said...

But what would happen if both characters reformed? Like realized they couldn't outplay each other? Food for thought.

maureen palmer said...

I hope he makes it here some time today( he is against social network- not good for a player- paper trail).

Myas-mom said...

Then I say it's ALL to the GOOD!!!

Paul on Ice said...

I would read that book. If it wasn't just about the redemption of the dude. If the girl had to re-engineer herself for the happy ending to work as well - I would take a look at that.

GDB said...

"I've been sinning since you been playing with Barbie and Ken and/ You can't change a players game in the ninth inning ..." -- Jay-Z

On the real: women have to stop wearing deodorant and make-up, using perfume, getting their hair done, etc... :)

Myas-mom said...

Don't sleep, funky unkept women have men too!

LisaB said...

*coming out of lurkerville*.............i think u can show how he evolves over time,
1. he is noticing grey hairs, getting a woman is not the challenge it once was, he is bored. He is tired of waking up not knowing the name of the chick thats in his bed.
2. He starts hanging out more with his married friends. He goes to a cookout and he is watching his married friends and wants what he sees they have (wife, kids, etc...). He has a beautiful woman by his side but he is still lonely.
3. He is having difficulty changing his ways because he doesnt fully trust women (hey, some of his lovers were married women, his mom dropped him off at his grandma's and said she would never return, Grandma saw him as a burden. She didnt give him the love/attention he needed because she was old and tired, LOL).
4. He has a tragic accident. the other driver/passenger is killed and he is left in critical condition, not sure he is gonna make it but Sally Mae, his high school (college?) sweetheart (or friend who never met the standards to become girlfriend), is there for him. During his recovery, he realizes that Sally Mae has always been there. He has always been able to talk to her. He has always trusted her. She has been in love with him for years. But he never really saw HER, he never really saw her as a WOMAN, she was always "one of the boys", "just a friend"....until now

OneChele said...

A lot of food for thought there ;-)

YardieChicie said...

What GrownAzzMan said. Even Jesus can't change someone unless they let Him in.

Kimmi said...

I have a friend who stopped because he "played" with the wrong chick. So I guess it was an "Aha" moment. But this girl tried to destroy his life, seriously. He lost his job because of her false accusations. And because of being out of work for almost a year, he lost his condo, his truck, had to move in with a family member. He also faced some legal consequences because of this woman's lies. It all finally came out when someone involved in the accusations finally came clean. He was reinstated to his position and slowly began to rebuild his life. He said his mother who was passed away years earlier used to tell him that some woman was going to kill him. And this woman almost did. He said during going thru that long process of not knowing what was going to happen he promised his mother and God that he would deliberately hurt anyone again.

GrownAzzMan said...

Sounds a little like "Two Can Play That Game".

OneChele said...

Ugh, I had blocked that movie out. ;-)

Mr. Sable said...

The first three are great, the last one is a rom-com cliche that's even riffed on in cartoons like "Clone High".

Mr. Sable said...

Waking up with a grey hair growin' out a fella's chest can make him do some serious reflection, but if he's unrepentant to start with it'll take a lot bigger scare than that to change him, and everyone's right - it must come from within because no one can change the mind of the stubborn but the stubborn themselves.

I'd recommend enduring a bunch of romantic comedy movies and avoiding EVERYTHING you see in those... that right there will keep you real and away from trite clich├ęs.

Monna said...

Reading some of the comments had me flat on the flow, Ingenuity at it's best. I'm runner, let me see if I can be creative with it. I will take 100 meters sprint if I need something to jump start my heart, however, I prefer long distance running with Marvin Gaye ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18TLHhhHZCA) on the background. In long distance, u can go all the way to Effel(sp) Tower, and that is a beautiful place to be.

Alvin Milton said...

I think some get tired of it quicker than others. It does get tired and played out breaking heart after heart. Also I can see someone slowing down and possibly tackling something every now and then to keep the blood flowing. Like, a lion is going to be a lion and catch a gazelle every now and then

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