Wednesday, September 08, 2010

I'm sorry, I can't with überEmo Dude

Step yo' game up - don't be überEmo Dude.
emo - as I'm defining it - emotional to a fault, dramatic to a fail. Take that to the nth power and you have überEmo.

A BougieTale: I was dating Ron the Banker in San Francisco. I chatted about him briefly in my post about Purple Rain awhile back. Yes, I dubbed him Ron the Banker and I've never been able to think of him as anything else. Though the phrases "stank-breath" and "fungus fingers" also come to mind. Believe me when I say - you DON'T want to know. (Talk about gamekillers!)

Moving on. Ron took me to see Titanic. I'm a romantic at heart, I loved that darn movie though admittedly it took forever for the ship to sink. Someone behind me shouted at the screen, "Drown already!" Much as I liked the over the top love-survives-anything plot line, right about the time that Leo was looking kinda blue about the gills and pleading "promise me you'll go on"; I looked over to see Ron the Banker sobbing. Not a little dignified tear but out and out boo-to-hooing, snot running, gasping for breath sobs. He reached for my hand, grabbed on and said, "Swear you'll never leave me like that." 

**crickets**

After a few beats of really uncomfortable silence, I patted his hand and muttered, "You'll be alright." A few days later, he came by (without calling first - no!) and said he had a gift for me. The box was beautiful. I opened the small square package to find... a toy castle. It was plastic, painted silver with fake crystals on top the turrets. "Oh wow," was the best I could do. He gave me a big hug and said, "This is until I can get you the real thing. You're my queen."

Okay, stop right there. I already hear you all saying "that sounds sweet" but believe me when I say I cannot properly convey the pressed and urgent pathos in his every word and look and thought and deed. His favorite conversation killer was, "I want to know every single thing about you. I want to get deeper inside your mind and body than anyone ever has. I want to be a part of you." A little bit eew and ick. Ninja, back it up. Slow it down and let a sister breathe.

I told him, "I'm not the one to talk about every waking thought and feeling. You're going to have to just let me breathe a little bit." It didn't take. When he was happy, he called to share it. "Let's go bike riding in the park." When he was sad, he called to share it. "Come sit and look at the Bay with me." When he was "in the mood," he called to share it. "Do you know what I want to do to you right now?" When he saw something he thought was amazing, he called to share it. "Have you ever really looked at fog?" Brother, no. Just no.

I invited him out to dinner to share my mounting concerns. "You just feel things more strongly than I do. I don't require quite this much sharing." This caused him to pout. Visibly. In Public. Ruined a perfectly excellent dinner at Houston's on the Embarcadero. He was short-tempered and surly for the rest of the meal. I was so through, I paid before they brought the entrée just to hasten the end of the evening. He said that me paying for dinner was "the flyest thing any chick has ever done for me." 

As we walked up the hill towards his car, he put his hand back in the universal 'let's hold hands' gesture... seriously. After the temper tantrum in the restaurant? Seriously? When I declined the honor of holding his hand, he muttered, "You are so hard to please. I stay awake at night trying to figure out how to be the best me for you. And you can't even see it."

Let me stop again. I had just moved to California. At this time, I hadn't been there for more than a few months. I knew eight people total. Three of whom I was dating. So if Ron the Banker was borderline bunny-boiling crazy, I didn't see it right away. But can you guess who got cut first? Now granted, I'm just not prone to excessive mood swings but even if I was, there's no reason to broadcast every emotion as they happen. That's exhausting. It took me two months to break up with Ron the Banker. Mostly because I was afraid he would a) turn stalker b) turn suicidal or c) go overdramatic. He went full-out C.

He sent me emails and voicemails with subject headers like, "You are my air." WDDDA? A few months later, I was waiting at the Union Square Cheesecake Factory for a to go order and I saw him standing in line waiting on a table. He had his arms wrapped with python grip around a girl who looked a little like me. Her facial expression was definitely one I was familiar with. It said, "How did I get here?!" I'm not ashamed to say that as he turned his head my direction, I ducked and cowered behind a booth under the pretense of tying my shoe. I did not rise until they called my order out. And then yes, I fled like the hounds of hell were chasing me.

You know what the most irritating, karma blowback thing is? The other guy I was dating at that time- I was dying to know what he thought and how he felt. I wished he could've been a bit more emo. I had no clue what was going on in his head. And when I asked, all I ever would get is, "Babe, we cool." Arrgh. Something in between "We cool" and "You are my air" works just fine, thank you very much. 

So tell me BougieLand, what are your thoughts on the überEmo Dude? Is it that we expect men to be a tad more stoic and contained than women? Or is too emotional just too damn emotional no matter who it's coming from? The floor is yours...

56 comments:

J B said...

The fog line had me choking on crackers...I should know better than to eat and read one of your posts.

Wait...is this the same dude as crying in the shower dude? Or no? Because if it isn't....you were on a roll for a bit. Both were too much.

And I'm just wondering...did you see the lavender leggings before or after you got the castle?

Steve said...

The way you build a story - it's rolling hilarity. Stank-breath, Titanic, castle, hand-holding, "you are my air" - Whoa.

CaliGirlED said...

Wow Chele what are you doing to these guys that they're crying all over themselves? LOL

maureen palmer said...

"Ugly cry" as lady O calls it is not very sexy on a man. No sir!

OneChele said...

Oh no!

sunt97 said...

Wow, I think we have all lived that moment. I always had a hard time not laughing because that is all I wanted to do, all while saying, "seriously?"I can't stand a super emo guy either. Yes sensitivity is nice but dude has to man up.

Tiffany
Peace, Love and Chocolate

David Parrish, Jr.(Inkognegro) said...

El Sigh.

Near as I can tell, it isn't so much that dude was uber-emo...Dude was Uber-corny and uber-pressed.

His being emotional only exacerbated the Corny and pressed.

My problem here is that this is being related in a way that penalizes him for being expressive. Not only do I think this is not the message you're really trying to send, but it plays right into the hands of the very emotionally stunted pathology that pervades the male culture.

I still love you, though. You aren't my air or anything...But I'm just sayin.

Aisha said...

sounds like he might of been suffering from bipolar disorder. the excessive emotional extremes and "craziness" not knowing norms of social behavior, yeah sounds like it alright. Count yourself lucky at having escaped that, until he gets help he'll keep scaring women off and wondering why "no one" loves him!

Shondriette D Kelley said...

I'm all about conversation, quality time and expressing my feelings...however, this is craziness!! The uber-emo dude comes off as whipped and crazy...neither are cute. No man I date is ever confused about what I want or how I feel because I say it, clearly and concisely. Relationships work best when folks are open, honest and direct.

rozb said...

From fungus fingers and on through, I am laughing so hard! I think we have all experienced uber Emo to some degree. Try waking up and finding dude sitting up staring at you like Children of the Corn saying how much he loves watching you sleep, and wishing that he could suck out each sweet breath as I breathed it. First of all, even if you brush before bed, nobody's breath is sweet, definitely not suck it sweet. All I could say was "Umm...okay." Then clear out my 2 in the morning throat. The next day, I kept my friends over for the whole weekend and I broke it off. He called crying with snot bubbles and everything to ask why. My best friend said (in her most ghetto-fab way) "Ni**@, you crazy. She don't need all of that. Keep moving." She hung up my phone over my shoulder, and I did not pick up again. He listened, and I am glad.

michaeldavis said...

100% drama king. "I am your air?" WORD??? He reminds me of the dude that made the "Leave Britney (Spears) Alone" video. He needs to hire Hitch and learn how to date. And I have shed a tear watching civil rights footage from back in the day and maybe when Cochise died in Cooley High but NEVER while watching a chick flick.

I guess plan B was to fake your own death and write under a pseudonym? It would've been mine.

CaliGirlED said...

"First of all, even if you brush before bed, nobody's breath is sweet, definitely not suck it sweet."...LMAO!!!

Always nice to have that "ghetto-fab" girl who has your back!

CaliGirlED said...

"Something in between "We cool" and "You are my air" works just fine, thank you very much."...EXACTLY!!!

There is nothing wrong with a man showing his sensitive side and wanting to be in touch with the woman in his life. That is want we want. But when we get the extreme, "uberEmo Dude", and we reject him, we're accused of not knowing what we want. We know what we want, a good balance. Just the same no man wants an "uberEmo Chick"!!! An over abundance of anything is not good. It works both ways.

CaliGirlED said...

Very well said! And Ron the Banker was definitely not present and was only in tuned with himself. Which is why Chele saw him going through the same motions a few months later with someone else. If he was that deep into Chele, when did he heal, meet someone else and fall for her? In a few months? Really?...I think he falls in love with the idea, and not the person he's with....My two cents, lol.

michaeldavis said...

not Children of the Corn #DEAD#

Jason P said...

The same way I expect women to strike that balance between expressiveness and dramatic license, I need Dude to pull it together. As you said some other time - Speak your truth. But "You are my air" serves no one any good purpose. He slid off the emo scale into stalkerville.

I don't mind a man shedding an appropriate tear. Which is to say when things hurt and your are genuinely sad. But over Titanic? No sir. Instant man card revocation.

OneChele said...

There's expressive and then there's the need to share/infuse your every emotion - that's doing too much. Personally, I love a man to show some (emphasis on some) emotion, share feelings, communicate.

Appreciate the love always.

derek love said...

Why do I find myself insanely curious to know about the fungus fingers?
The plastic castle would be cute - if you were 12. Over 30? Ninja sit yo corny ass down.
Chele, you have untold depths of tolerance because after snotting up Titanic he should've hit the cut pile. And please, please follow this up some day with a "I can't with overdramatic females" post. Some ladies love to keep it full tilt.

OneChele said...

Thank YOU for sharing. Great perspective.

bluassassin said...

I almost suffocated just reading this. Sounds like one of those emotional water signs: Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio. I run screaming for the hills when I encounter any of them (no offense).

Samuel F Reynolds said...

Well, first, I like this post. I think even at times I've been uberemo dude. Then I had to get real clear and honest with myself about some things, including how I was responding to my own uber-emo stilo and to look at it from my dating partner's point of view.

First, I realized that being uber-emo is trying way too hard and caring way too much about pleasing and connecting with the other person. This means that then you're not connected to yourself or the moment. For instance, Ron the Banker wasn't in the moment when he reached his hand out to you to hold hands after the emo scene at the restaurant. If he had been, he might have noticed the slight screw face you had (and I suspect you did although admittedly I wasn't there). He could have dealt with the gravity of the moment rather than wishing/willing for it to be differently...just because he wanted it. The whole moment is about being present and I believe that's the #1 thing women want from a man--show up with your whole damn self and respond to what's happening rather than what you want to happen. That's what I had to get clear on. Other guys suffer from the other extreme and under-respond, but they're doing the same thing: not being present. So the emo ain't about the softness or anything else, because if that's what one feels in the moment, then I think you would have been cool with it. However, Ron the Uber-Emo Banker wasn't as honest about the moment and always wanted to suck you into his experience rather than creating an experience with you. A lot of men fail at this. But with proper understanding, as a kind of former Ron myself (minus fungus fingers and stank breath (to my knowledge)), change can happen. It's not about the quantity of emotion as much as the quality of experience between two people. Ron couldn't remember that there were two people in the room and needed you to be like him, rather than really, as he said he wanted to, get to know you.

My two cents. Thanks for sharing, Chele.

GrownAzzMan said...

Why do I find myself insanely curious to know about the fungus fingers?

Ummm, me too...

blackprofessor said...

This is hilarious! There are some flicks that most dudes will tear up for - Brian's Song and Cooley High to name a few but Titanic, uh huh!

Two relationship killers for me are inattention and poor boundaries especially for folks over 30! Ron exhibited both of these! If Ron had been paying attention to you, he would have caught the effect his behavior was having on you but he was all into himself and what he was feeling, which is not a good look! It did make for a funny story!

GrownAzzMan said...

"You are my air"
Really? Most guys won't even go to a chick flick. This brotha was a walking, living, breathing, chick flick. Doing.Way.Too.Much. The part that killed me was Chele hiding behind the booth in the Cheesecake Factory...LOL
And yes karma gets down like that. 'The other guy I was dating at that time- I was dying to know what he thought and how he felt. I wished he could've been a bit more emo. I had no clue what was going on in his head. And when I asked, all I ever would get is, "Babe, we cool."
Good to have you back Chele!

PS. Send me a DM about 'fungus fingers' LOL

beingruth said...

Unless part of a roundabout proposal, I'd nix the castle too. It's much too "cute" and much too weird. Pointing out a castle in the store and making some remark about having our own someday or my being a queen, that's sweet. Actually buying it---what would I do with a toy castle anyway?

Wayyy to emo/clingy.

CaliGirlED said...

He ordered a dozen of those castles, after it worked the first time on some lost uberEmo Chick who cried when he gave it to her! LMAO!!!

Javalicious said...

Lord, the men you've dated. Bless YOUR heart.

OSHH said...

TOO EMO IS TOO EMO come on, dude super LAME!!! LLS, ugh!
But you are right, a nice balance is always key.
You don't want to have to work logrithms and conduct a séance to know where someone's head and heart either.
I am all for men expressing emotion but don't be a b*tch, or take it the other extreme and be a calloused cold hearted bastard either..balance is key!

taut_7 said...

sounds like he sat down and took notes on every romance movie he's ever seen. or maybe he was raised by all women. or maybe he has estrogen spikes every now and then. o_0

Mr. Skyywalker said...

Hold up, yo. I was raised by all females and you will NEVER catch me getting misty behind some ole Titanic shiggity.

OneChele said...

Thank you, yes - I need the blessings.

OneChele said...

Different from shower crying dude. Lavender leggings after the castle. Last straw.

rozb said...

BTW - love the pic at the top of the story. Dude is sobbing hard!

baileyqc said...

The castle was it for me too. Different if Chele was a cutesy, toy type of person but I don't think she is. Overall, he was so wrapped up in his own emo he disregarded hers.

rozb said...

Lavender leggings? On a dude? Did he perform ballet on the side?

GammasWorld said...

"My air"? Boy bye.

OneChele said...

Not that it matters but he was president of the Bay Area Prince fan club. This was a Prince fan party and he broke out the lav velvet leggings O__o

OneChele said...

I know! When I saw the pic, I was like - that's it!

thinklikeRiley said...

What part of the game... oh - that's your point. Got it.
Cosign.

BB Waite said...

Everybody has got to learn the difference between expressive communication and overemotional drama. This is way too far to the wrong side.

BAnjeeB said...

I wouldn't have been able to deal with that. I want a dude to fall somewhere in the 'tween. He can like Love Actually, but I don't want him to be able to quote it line by line. You know?

FreeBlackMan said...

I think there's a law that if some dude sends you crap like "You are my air" you can legally cut his balls off and carry them around in mayo jar. Pretty sure.

Cassie said...

Had a guy cry during Sleepless in Seattle - done.

OneChele said...

If I knew, I would surely stop.

Adrianne M said...

You think that's bad? I dated a man who cried during All Dogs Go To Heaven. No Joke.

YardieChicie said...

Not even I cried during that movie - and I was a wee bitty girl back then.

MotownMs said...

Sounds like a potential subject for CSI Criminal Intent...

Evansaw said...

That guy had serious issues that would take a lifetime to address. Thank God you got out in time.

Evansaw said...

That explains it, then. No disrespect to the "Purple One"......

Evansaw said...

I think he was trying to live his own movie. "Places, everyone!"......

Diondelynn said...

2 funny....i'm the same...must be a capricorn thing...UGGHH im like dude "man up"...talking bout "Dee you never call me" like you say WDDDA?

Hannington said...

Well, I agree with 98% of what you said, but I don't think your man crying over a romantic movie or something like that is reason to leave him or that he isn't manly enough. Now, if he knows how to do the single ladies dance, THAT'S when you turn around and run away

Nadette@Eat, Read, Rant! said...

oh my damn, Chele, you should do stand up! I wish I had read this earlier today, it would've cheered me up. Snot and sobbing--seriously? I was a teeybopper when titanic came out, and I def didn't cry. Plastic castle-seriously dude? there's just so much that's hilariously wrong with this story. lmao!!

Tea said...

I literally gasped at the part when he said promise me you'll never leave me like that. Oh no. He had to go and swiftly. I don't think that's cute or sweet or appropriate. I'm about to throw up. If I wanted to date Derrick Fisher, I'd go to LA and try to take him from his wife. (Not really, trying to make a point here.) The point is there's someone for everyone, but I need to be the emo person in the relationship, not my man.

Gothamist said...

Wow! I had a similar experience with a guy who was the head of the NYC Prince fan club. Among other things, he talked about the name of our kids (first kid would be Prince, regardless of gender) after we'd been dating less than six weeks so I had to let him know we simply were not compatible. Sigh. He actually called me a cold-hearted female dog -- not a b!tc# but a female who had used him up. Thank the Lord there were no tears!

I must shamefacedly admit that I did see him in leggings early in the relationship and still dated my former guy too. I was very young!

2muchtv said...

I met a guy like this. The showing up and not calling thing is so. not. cool. But the bottom line is that it is nice when it is someone you really want to be with. If I'm feeling a guy and he's got all the other mojo going on that I need, and he says I wanna know all about you, I'd be like, well then have a seat. But the guy you WANT to say that never does.

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