Monday, February 27, 2012

What you won't do for love... A Bougie Bachelorette Chronicle


One of my favorite songs of all time is Bobby Caldwell's "What You Won't Do For Love" - it's one of those soulful classics that I grew up singing and had not nary a clue what the feazy I was singing about. 


I was thinking about these lyrics the other night.
Some people go around the world for love
But they may never find what they dream of
What you won't do, do for love
You've tried everything but you don't give up
In my world only you makes me do
For love what I would not do
Mr. Dude was in town and we were enjoying an evening with Trey and his sweetie du jour, Robin. I had already shamed David at the spades table (Dude, did you seriously just cut my ace to make your book? What did you think the jack of diamonds was going to do for you? When you have more than 5 spades, you need to up your bid!). Then after a lengthy discussion in which for the sake of our relationship we decided not to play any more games for the evening, we found ourselves watching Sparkle

There's a fairly horrific scene in which crazy dude Satin tells pretty girl Sister that he wants her to crawl for him. I had a visceral reaction not just to him beating her all to hell but also the thought of being asked to crawl. Trey, perennial troublemaker, asked - "So you wouldn't crawl if your man asked you to?"

My jaw dropped open as David and I exchanged glances and the first thought in my head flew out of my mouth, "He wouldn't be my man if he's asking me to crawl."

Robin asked, "Why would you say that?"

Me, "Why would someone who signed on to be my equal, my partner expect me to crawl? I wouldn't expect him to."

David piped in, "It's a relationship not slavery."

Trey said, "So what would you do for your man? What's the most extreme thing you would do? Give up your last dime, go homeless? Would you take a bullet? Commit a crime? Go to jail?"

Me, "Am I dating Suge Knight all of a damn sudden?" Everyone laughed and Robin asked Trey, "Are you Ride or Die? Would you do all of those things for love?"

Trey shrugged, "I don't know. Aren't you supposed to do anything for love?"

David, "In theory, yes." We fell silent for a minute, then I said, "This is one of those, you don't know until you're tested type of things. Sitting here right now it's easy to say sure, I'll jump in front of a bullet but when it's going down I may be inclined to dive under a car and hope he runs like hell."

Trey snarks, "My man ain't worth a bullet?"

Me, "I'll tell you what, if you're around - I'll push YOU in front of the bullet, how's that?"

After that we changed the subject. (Though Robin was sending Trey laser beam side-eyes the rest of the night) But I was wondering- just what would I do for love? I don't think I'm as "ride-or-die-down-for-whatever" as I used to be. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? BougieLand, what would you do? Are you catching bullets for your s/o? Willing to burn-up-your-clothes-smash-up-your-ride? Do share...

85 comments:

thinklikeRiley said...

Ya'll tripping. Please introduce me to a chick that I'm inclined to catch a bullet for? I know no such woman at this time. Not. A. One.

Riley out.

Veronica Miller said...

Agreed with you, Chele. Yes, there are thing we'd probably do for love... but we should (rightly) expect that those we love also love us enough not to ask us to do stupid things or put us in stupid situations. (For instance... the boys I date know better to take me someplace where I feel unsafe, ergo, no one has to take a bullet for anyone.)

I also find that the people who ask, "You wouldn't do that for your man?" are usually the ones testing the water to see how much shiggity they can request or get away with... and that has not a damn thing to do with love....

lessie brown said...

Love is a thousand times better if you're there because you want to be. If I love someone, I'll do a lot for them--because I love them and I want to. But if I feel like I'm obligated to do something? Or that I have to prove something? I'm out. I don't play games anymore.

Grace said...

On a related/unrelated topic - Trey stay doing the utmost.

As to this - I mean, damn?! Are we talking about fixing a plate and picking up dirty socks from the bathroom floor or being the getaway driver and committing federal crimes? At some point, dude has to love me enough not to put me in those situations. Otherwise, he's got to go.  Love or no love.

GuessImJay said...

This reminds me of a girl I used to date back in the day who was always stirring up some mess in the club to see if I would fight for her?  Talmbout she wanted me to prove my love? No ma'am - prove yours by not putting me in these types of situations. We didn't last too long.

Guest2632 said...

I noticed you didn't really answer the questions though. What does that say about you?

Veronica Miller said...

=_____=

Only1DivaC said...

Dang, who pissed in your Cheerios and apple juice this morning?
 
Might I suggest you revisit, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all"

MsJamie14 said...

Even Prince Akeem took one look at "bark like a dog" chick and passed. LOL. If you have to jump though hoops to "prove your love" then one clearly needs to re-evaluate their relationship.

What you should do for love is honor the commitment and/or vows you make. That's a tall enough order as is.

James said...

i'd catch a grenade for ya Bruno Mars style IF you're my girl and i'm defending your honor.. but i can't see me catching a case for you unless it's minor and only like if you'd lose custody of your kids and all for said minor infraction. I won't make you crawl or demean you though.

ClayJones said...

 It says she's nobody's fool and it's none of your business. Unless you're volunteering to take the bullet?

ClayJones said...

Foolishness and chicanery, sir. I got to show my love by getting my ass kicked in the club?
No. I'm a lover not a fighter. I'll dial the hell out of my attorney on your behalf though.

OneChele said...

#BougieGangsterism: "My attorney's on speed-dial, son!"

Tonda Williams said...

Great thought provoking, introspective questions...*sigh* I'm not convinced that I'm a bullet-taking chick, but I have discovered a VERY interesting side of myself. There are DEFINITELY many things I will do and love doing for my man. In fact, DFKAS "Dude formerly known as SUPAMAN" and I had this conversation recently when he realized that he'd lost significant rights. He was SHOOK, something terrible which sparked a great conversation. I now embrace the knowledge that I am more old fashioned than most and actually love doing many things for my S/O that others may not, but I'm not bullet-taking ready (LOL)  

M Dot said...

Like I said in a post not too long ago, I once put my life on the line for an ex. When you have to go to  NYC to extract her from a violent crime scene, and the guy that did the stabbing got let out of jail the same day... ish gets real. In the end, it wasn't her fault she was there. She was from a small town doing an internship and had no where to go. That was my baby and I couldn't leave it to chance.

I will admit I felt pretty strong after it was all over.

M Dot said...

Also see Pretty Tony in the Mack (played by the recently deceased Dick Anthony Williams).  
" I got lawyers to pay you poop-butts off."

M Dot said...

the only way to handle this situation is to flee from her presence. These women always show out in front of family and friends.  

TrulyPC said...

I don't swing on chandeliers and I don't crawl on floors.  If that is what someone is looking for then they definitely won't find it with me.  The most that I've done is relocate.  If love means danger or being destitute then I don't need it.  No and thank you. (Trey?)

Sol_dier said...

1000 likes Sir!

M Dot said...

Also see Pretty Tony in the Mack (played by the recently deceased Dick Anthony Williams).  
" I got lawyers to pay you poop-butts off."

Jubi The Great said...

I consider myself a loyal person, but I'm loyal to myself above anyone else. I'll ride for you, but only so far.

Jamie Wesley said...

I've never understood the concept of ride-or-die. What tomfoolery are you involved in that I'm expected to die for you? And if you loved me so much, why are you putting me in that position in the first place?

Just no.


Love is supposed to uplift, not make you deaf, dumb, and blind.

Sol_dier said...

Everything is theory until the ish goes down. I honestly don't know what I would do but giving up my life?... 
I would do anything for love, but I won't do that.
I would have died for my 1st lover but I was a teenager and disney was my guidebook. 

BklynBajan said...

To me "ride or die" means different things depending on your level.

For hood chick that may mean renting the car for the getaway scheme because he has no credit. Or not demanding child support as he sits in basement studio remixing his mix tape.

For Bougie Chick/Bro at 24 that may mean falling back on your social wants so that your partner can concentrate on law school/mba/med school with support not the constant "I miss you" whining or "accidental" tapbacks with the suitor that's already done with school.

For Married person at 35 that may mean making serious adjustments so partner can go back to school/open that business/step out on faith for project that is a risk beyond doing the safe and steady thing you got going but is unfulfilling.

Its not about doing demeaning things. That's not love. Ride or die is having unshakeable faith in that person even when everyone thinks you are a fool for doing so. In my teens I may have thought that catching a bullet was showing love. Past 40 I'll yell duck and plan a heck of a going home celebration for you :)!

I can talk about Sparkle all day long - the crawling wasn't the issue - the issue was Sista's desire to do anything to have money which blinded her from remembering her worth.

BklynBajan said...

Whatever happened I know that she is eternally grateful for your help. I don't know what statute of limitations are but all I'll add is in the heat of the moment sometimes all you do is think with your ego, jump in to defend your boo and by the grace of God you walk away with just a few nails broken and his undying respect for doing that when his "so called" boys ran off. Don't let the Church girl image fool ya. I can swing hard....but that was then.

Troy said...

First let me dap you up for the  Prince Adore  reference: burn-up-your-clothes-smash-up-your-ride
But unlike Prince, darling, I won't die 4 U, not even if you want me to.

Rob said...

I'm not bout that Bonnie & Clyde life. Let me Cliff & Claire my relationship, okay?
Thank you and good day. 

Sophia said...

I genuinely thought you were quoting Tupac there and not this Bobby dude.  Guess I really am a 90s kid, lol. 

p.s. been reading your blog since you started and I'm a big fan!  I enjoy reading what you write!

OneChele said...

*fist bump* And now the Purple Rain soundtrack is in my head. Thanks

OwenCinDallas said...

What's with all the extremes? How often are you really in a kill or be killed situation? More important should be something like-

Will you get up and go downstairs when we realize we left on a light in the kitchen at 2:00am?
Will you go back to the store for 11th time the day before thanksgiving because we need one more thing for the stuffing?
Will you stand by your man when he watches 18 straight hours of March Madness and forgets your anniversary?
Do you still care enough to light some candles and put the teddy on after 17 years of marriage?


Now THAT's real... 

p.s. To DLC - dude you can't sit at the Spades table with Chele if you ain't gonna play right. She will cut you, son!

OneChele said...

thanks!

tishatweets said...

Yeah, no. I don't know anything about that ride or die life.  That doesn't appeal to me on any level. Am I with you when you're sick? Yeah. Come here, baby. I got you. When you your job downsizes (you ARE pounding that good pavement/hitting up that Headhunter, though, right)? Yep. Be the perfect arm candy for your work events? Sure thing. Visit your sick parents? Certainly.  If I disagree with something you've said will I hold you up in public/not argue with you so as to not make you look bad while at the same not compromising my integrity? No doubt. For sure. I can see love all up in through there.

Love doesn't risk my health, safety and well being, though. I'm not here for that.

JohnKinTX said...

 Owen this answer is everything.

CorettaJG said...

Wow.  THIS.

OneChele said...

Reason # 32145 to love Owen. THIS!!

JohnKinTX said...

Right? The ex-fi was all about "if you love me you'll fight for me" the new-fi is all about "if you love me, you'll drive us outta here before anything jumps off"... #upgrade.

Cha Keziah said...

Yeah, no. Allow me to reiterate what has been stated by others: if you're putting me in debilitating, dangerous, or demeaning circumstances, you don't love me. I've never met someone who truly loved me that put me in a place that would bring me down, not build me up.

Now, all that other stuff? Standing by in tough economic times, supporting during seasons of poor health, encouraging during times of emotional/mental anguish? I'm there.

Cha Keziah said...

Allllllll of this!

Mo said...

Reason number 10^1000 why we love  BnB.

I'm not about that Bonnie & Cylde lifestyle. I love T.I, but no Sir, not taking a charge for you.

maureen said...

 I will donate a kidney.

Andrea M said...

Only you could take a Spades game and Sparkle and turn it into some relationship commentary.
Girl...

I'll have a man's back right until guns and tomfoolery jump off. 

Andrea M said...

 Man, no disrespect but your ex Tracy was like her own real housewife show. Damn!

Lady4Real said...

Being that I am bougie with a ghetto background I am loving this topic.
Ride or die = dedication
How dedicated are you to your mate?

I am a loyal woman to my soul. I have had all kinds of S/O's in my past. I've had gangsta's, momma boys, sickly, broke, ballers and straight up douche bags. I have gotten bail money, taken care of momma, cleaned nasty wounds, paid all the bills, taken care of the budget and turned a blind eye to douchery.
I will not stay with someone who puts their hands on me, cheats on me, mistreats my children, mistreats my family or mistreats my friends.

I know that love, real love has my best interest at heart. Looks out for me while I am looking out for them. Love makes me a better person, uplifts me, and gives me courage to never fear living life. If bullets are fired we are so close we can pull each other down to duck. If we are crawling its out of the trenches together. If a fight breaks out we finding the exit together.

bashowell said...

I have had some friends get in some crazy azz situations behind their man.  No thanks.  I'm all about self-preservation. 

Now if there's some "real life" stuff going on like your car broke down, you lost your job, you went back to school...then that's something else altogether.  As long as it's just a transition.  But if you're asking for me to write you a check or to borrow my cc because "baby I'm just a little short"...naw you're on your own and goodbye.

invectiva said...

 "I've never met someone who truly loved me that put me in a place that would bring me down, not build me up."

This.

blackprofessor said...

 This is all that needs to be said!

WWYD Anon said...

I'm consider this same question as I enter a new relationship with someone with a crazed ex. I tried to break things off when I found out about him, but we've found our way back together. It's something I ponder everyday, what would I do to protect her? What should I do? Is this my battle, or something SHE got herself into, and must eventually extricate herself from?

blackprofessor said...

I am with OwenC on this one.  It's the little stuff that determines if we have each other's back not the extremes.

invectiva said...

I haven't been tested in Extreme Relationship Danger but I know I have a limited tolerance for  tomfoolery. When my overseas ex left after Thanksgiving for the opposite coast from me on a work trip, and hadn't mentioned he was spending time between then and Christmas with another woman... I put him out on the curb at the airport and told him not to bother coming back for the next holiday. (He had omitted that section from his itinerary, but his return flight was from her town in the midwest instead of from the other coast.) I'd like to believe I'd be there for my partner come hell or high water, but they have to be 100% for me, too. If they're not, I have a short fuse and no capacity for drama. A quiet but tense conversation, and I am done.

Conversely, I had one partner a decade ago whose parents were losing their home, and I was totally committed to the two of us pooling our resources and paying their mortgage for as long as it took to get them above water. It wound up not being an issue but we were both prepared to go the distance, and I really liked that strength of purpose in our relationship.

My boss's wife had double kidney failure 2 years ago and he happened to be a close enough match that he could donate one of his. So he did. Now *that* is in sickness or in health.

Nutty Profezzor said...

I openly admit that I am NOT a ride or die chick. If you are doing illegal stuff and the cops come knocking, I'm singing like a canary so you better keep me from finding out b/c once I do, I'm GONE. I'm not built for jail time! I'll stick by your side through illness, injury, family craziness, unemployment and things of that nature. But drug dealing, physical abuse, and other mess? Nah player. It's the difference b/w riding in a car with no heat & A/C, and riding in one with 3 flat tires on a near empty tank of gas when the nearest gas station is 30 miles away.

Ms. LTB said...

I'm with Riley in that y'all tripping. But please DON'T feel inclined to ever introduce me to a dude that I'm inclined to catch a bullet for. Him I don't want.  I have not reached the point in life that I'm interested in the kind of love that I have to die for. I can't love nobody but Jesus from beyond the grave...

CaliGirlED said...

"I gotta fight every night to prove my love!" (Five Heartbeats)

CaliGirlED said...

It's her blog and she can write what she wants to, write what she wants to, write what she wants to. You could write to if you had your own blog. (sing to the tune of It's My Party)

SingLikeSassy said...

You know what I'm not doing? I'm not wearing that raggedy matted up wig Precious had on last night during the internationally televised Oscar awards ceremony. I'm not doing that.

C Nelson said...

 THank you. Yes, all of this. Every word.

SingLikeSassy said...

Look, I'm loyal, I serve up hot bubbling cocoa on the regular, I will rattle some pans on the stove, keep your home clean, comfy and cozy, talk you up to your boss at the company function -- ALL THAT.

But, if you need me to duck and dodge bullets, too, I'm not the girl for you.  Thanks and bye.

C Nelson said...

The single most important thing my father ever did for me when I was growing up was teach me that love takes a whole bunch of stuff in stride.

The single most important thing I ever got in school was a copy of Toxic People and the gentle explanation that not everyone who loves you is good for you

If you aren't both loving and good for me -- and people who are good for me don't ask me or force me to do things that make me feel worthless or put me in danger -- then you aren't a partner I need.

Leon X said...

First of all spades smack talk is a blog post is what's hot in the streets I see (Chuckles).

Second, the question is not whether I'd take a bullet for you, but how did we get in the position that such a decision has to be made.

tishatweets said...

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

GIRL!

Like I said on the Twitter last night, she doesn't have a mirror OR a true friend.

tishatweets said...

.....and will you go downstairs and get that all important glass of water after we're both cocoa-ed out? #IJS #itmatters LOL

BklynBajan said...

*fist bump*

Lady4Real said...

I don't have 17 years of marriage but we do have 18 years of friendship and 2 years of marriage. I know that I intend on being all the sexy I can be until I can't no more. There is something about getting up at any hour of the night and checking on something for me that makes me see hearts in his eyes and an "S" on his chest.
This comment is everything!! Thanks Owen.

Lady4Real said...

Yes, yes, yes!! Cliff & Claire all day please!!!

Lady4Real said...

Disney didn't show not nare a piece of riding or dieing. We did learn that a damsel in distress is to be saved, love makes you defiant, and everyone lives happily ever after.Disney and their lies, I call bullshiggity.

Lady4Real said...

You are too much!! LMAO

ASmith said...

Supporting an individual doing illegal things at the risk of my safety, security, freedom and general sanity?  Like... what part of that reads "love" exactly?  I'm not doing that because that stuff is stupid and you shouldn't want to date people who do stupid things with no thought.  Seriously.  The only folks I've ever known who expect that level of loyalty on a serious level are never that loyal in return.  They want you to take the bullet so they don't have to, not because it really proves you love them.

I sorta base love levels off what my mama would do for me: would my mama take a bullet for me?  Hells yeah, but not if it was because I was being stupid.  Period.  Point blank.  So if it's not something my mama would do for me, it's SHOLE not something I'ma do for you (you know, within the realm of things mothers should do for a child; there's wiggle room here people -- don't go there)

Further, we're not supposed to be together if "would you take a bullet for me?" is a real question.  That question, in my life, should ALWAYS be in the super rhetorical "what-i-really-mean-is-do-you-love-me-a-lot?" type of realm... I mean, can't I just promise to seriously consider giving you a kidney and we keep it moving?

And you know what else?  Where's all the ride-or-die dudes out here?  Er'body talmbout a ride or die chick, but not nan' dude is listing "ride-or-die" among the things that set them apart.  Yeah.  No.  ASmith is not here for this.

OneChele said...

We don't miss Tracey.

GrownAzzMan said...

Cliff & Claire. As long as I don't have to wear those ugly sweaters...LOL

GrownAzzMan said...

Now that is real talk.

GrownAzzMan said...

This reminds me about another comment thread on a blog (or maybe this one, who can remember) about fighting. I would protect my loved ones if they were being threatened but only after doing everything possible to avoid threatening situations in the first damn place. How we in a situation where shots may be fired to begin with? Other then that I'm with everyone else who says there are plenty of ways to show true love without that life-threatening part.

I will leave you with the words of the immortal philosopher Tupac "touch one of mine on everything I own I will destroy everything you touch..."

Paul on Ice said...

 My man.

Paul on Ice said...

Clay & Owen said it all below.

Jason P said...

 *jots these down for future wedding vows*

Brneyed1 said...

No you didn't! LOL!

CaliGirlED said...

"Don't let the Church girl image fool ya. I can swing hard....but that was then."...Some of the best fighters are up in the church! LOL

CaliGirlED said...

"Past 40 I'll yell duck and plan a heck of a going home celebration for you :)!"<----This is everything!!!

Definitely agree with your breakdowns!

CaliGirlED said...

It really does! And will you bring me a warm towel afterwards? IJS

CaliGirlED said...

Man listen...

tiffanyinhouston said...

Love is not degrading and demeaning, love is uplifting and affirming. Crawling and groveling to "prove" love isn't love. (Damn, I'm sounding all Iyanla and Oprah and shit. Pause.)

But really though, love doesn't entail doing things or participating in activities that would inhibit you from life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And it seems like women, especially seem to get caught up in some ratchetness (Exhibit A: Google Kemba Smith).

I wouldn't dream of putting my beloved husband in a situation of my doing where he would possibly get injured. I love him too much! And what does that say about my wisdom???

What I won't do for love: be stupid and reckless on purpose.

CaliGirlED said...

"Am I dating Suge Knight all of a damn sudden?"....For real!

And let's not forget that Prince correctified that and said, "Well maybe not the ride"! LOL

There will be no catching of any bullets for me! Like others have said below, my ride or die is more of a financial, health, educational and loss kind of thing.

C Nelson said...

Enh. I was going to cosign, but ... Ariel. "Give up the one thing that makes you unique and special for your man."  Granted, they had horrible material to work with there, but they changed the ending that made it a cautionary tale (she dies and turns into sea foam because he DIDN'T love her without her voice) to make it look like doing that was brave instead of stupid.

GammasWorld said...

I'm loyal to a fault.  I'm with you in sickness and in health even though you might whine like a 3-year old when you're sick.  I'm with you for richer or poorer but I know we'll be working like crazy so that our poorer is not for long.   I'll eat beans and rice with you every night if we have too as long as we're going splurge on a piece of meat erry now and agin.   Like Tiffanyinhouston says, I wouldn't dream of knowingly putting my partner in a situation where he could get hurt and all I want is someone to feel the same about me.  If I have to degrade myself to "prove" my love to you, well we ain't meant to be.   To take this further,  you have to think of the subtle degradation that women (usually women) subject themselves to.   It's very easy to say "hell naw I aint' taking a bullet for you", but what about giving up a hobby that brings you joy to make him happy?   What about not watching your favorite TV show because he wants your time for that hour and no other will do.  Or he doesn't like you going to school because of the new people, new schedule you have to make.  I'm not talking about compromises that we all have to do if we're going to be in a relationship, but those little "tests" that  slowly eat away at your confidence and joy until you're writing Chele asking should I stay or go?  

CaliGirlED said...

*gives Gamma the slow clap*

invectiva said...

 Amen.

One Chele said...

.....and will you go downstairs and get that all important glass of water after we're both cocoa-ed out? #IJS #itmatters LOL

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