Wifey was a song by Next. What happened to our male R&B groups? I swear we only have Jagged Edge, umm, Jagged Edge and… DANG! Jagged Edge!!!! What in the world?
Rejection is a big, fat , hairy, deceptive monster. Not only can it trick you into thinking less of yourself than you ought to, it can even disguise itself as love. Ever wonder why you cannot seem to shake loose the memory of someone that has rejected you? It lingers and lingers, you can’t stop thinking about them and so you chalk it up to “I must really be in love. I just can’t seem to get them out of my head.” It may not be that you are in love. It may be that you just have not been able to let them go yet because you cannot face the fact that what makes sense to you (you two being together) does not at all make sense to them. If you could put a face on the force of rejection that feels like love, it would look just like a maniacally twitching, cockeyed Jennifer Holiday from Dreamgirls in a red dress belting out “And I Am Telling You (I’m Not Going)”. Now, I’m no expert on being in love but I do think I have earned some sort of degree in rejection even if it seems to be the “good” kind.
The rejection I have had to endure since the age of 15 has been what I used to call, The Curse of the Wifey to which I define as “highly respectable, ride or die cheerleader, homie/lover/friend, trustworthy, ready to take home to mama, good girl next door”. I also though that you could add to this definition “boring”. That’s because Wifeys don’t always seem to have the most active love lives. At 15, I had guys telling me that I was the girl that they wanted to marry. Now what guy do you know really wants to get married at 16? Zero. Because of this, I was the girl that they claimed to want to come back and get. They wanted the freedom to go out, get laid, and then come back for the girl that they see their future with. Now that kind of respect for me would sound like a compliment for some but for me it has long been a thorn in my side because wifeys like to kick it too! I remember a friend of mine stepping to the first love of my life when we were teens and challenging him on why he was dating chicken head girls when he knew that he really wanted to be with me. Point blank he said to her,” Oh, I love Toya. I’m going to marry Toya. But there are some things I need to do first.” We were the best of friends so I thought it nothing to just say to him that at 16 I was not trying to be married or be serious. I just wanted to date to which he said, ”No, no. If I date you I don’t want you dating anyone else. Cause when it’s us, that’s it.” It wasn’t until I moved from Jersey to Nashville years later did he realize that his Wife in a Glass Case would not be around when he decided he had no more oats to sow. Even after I moved, it took me forever to let him go and I seriously thought that it was because I was in love. Looking back, I wasn’t in love with him. I just couldn’t deal with the rejection (You can read more about this fiasco in my post, The Relationship that Jacked You Up).
One day I was helping Jared out with something and the topic of the male psyche came up. Jared is always willing to talk about this with me because he knows that I have absolutely no clue as to how men think. I like that about having male friends. You can deliberate all day long with your girlfriends but I am telling you if they were born after about 1968,they’re about as clueless as you are. You need to stop hollering at Keisha and Brittany for advice and go find you a Helen, a Hazel, Mabel, Gladys, someone’s big mama or something. Most of us have no clue. Anyway, I asked him why is it that some guys will hint around to asking you out but some never seem to follow through. My reasoning was the all encompassing (all together now) “He’s Just Not That Into You.” (very good, ladies). Listening intently, Jared answered “No, it’s not always that. Just because a guy doesn’t ask you out doesn’t mean he doesn’t like you. There are so many different variables.” I was shocked to hear this because frankly I don’t consider men to be that deep when it comes to how they see women so the fact that they even dealt with “variables” was mind blowing. “Now if a guy is head over heels for you then nothing is going to stop them from pursuing you.” Yeah, I’ve never been the head over heels girl, I thought so I checked that off. “Then there are some girls that if you ask out, they automatically want to know where it’s going.” Yeah, I’m not that girl either. I just simply wanna kick it so I checked that off too. “Ok, well I’m not like that at all.” “I know you’re not. But there are just some girls that you cannot just date. You marry those girls. They are wifey material. You are a wifey.”
To this I stood up and shouted, “Noooooooooo! That is so not fair! I have been a wifey since I was freaking 15! I don’t get it! Why does it have to be that serious?” “I don’t know. It just is.” He shrugged. “But, I’m fun to hang out with!” I defended, implying that I wasn’t the DTR (Define the Relationship) girl. Now, I will not PLAY girlfriend with you but what’s wrong with a harmless date? I turned to our mutual friend, “Brad, aren’t I fun to hang out with?” “Umm, yes” looking startled because he had no idea what he just walked into. “Are you just saying that?” I barked back, because now I’m heated. “No, you are. You’re fun to hang out with.” “Jared, you know I am fun to hang out with cause…wait. You wouldn’t know if I was fun to hang out with. We’ve been friends for three years and we’ve never really even hung out.” I said realizing that that’s just…odd. The only times we have ever spent any time alone have been business related. Jared then smiled, placed his hand on my arm and replied, ”That’s because you’re wifey material.” And then walked backwards and conveniently escaped into a crowd of people.
I went to work the next morning and was miserable, I mean just sick and tired. We have a rule at work: ”You can cry here but you cry and work.” I have to say that while Jared thought that he gave me a compliment, it really hurt my feelings. I am not mad at him at all because it is not his fault that I have my own insecurities. I immediately started to think that if I was more sexy, more daring, more this more that, less talkative, less animated, less this, less that, less intimidating, more accessible, less strong, more coy, WHATEVER, I would be the “Head Over Heels” girl. It’s EXASPERATING and wrong and tremendously unfair to yourself to think if you would only be less and accept less that you wouldn’t have to deal with rejection. I felt exactly like that song from The Wiz that Scarecrow sings, “You can’t win, you can’t break even and you can’t get out of the game.” I sat at my desk the next day, full of self doubt and had to stop myself from crying. When I caught myself, I remembered something. Maxim named my girl crush, Sarah Jessica Parker, The Unsexiest Woman Alive. Now, I am confident enough in my sexuality to be able to say that when SJP comes on the screen, I squeal. That is my homegirl! I love her because to me she is sexy, she is smart, and she is 40 and still cute. Gross Maxim might think she is unsexy because she is not botoxed and boob jobbed but for someone like me who pretty much no one would mistake for being sexy but at 33 has been praised for being cute as if I were an 8 year old with pigtails and two front teeth missing, that’s pretty encouraging.
Sexy comes with a price tag that I probably would return in about two weeks if I was being honest with myself. Tia would like to switch her Curse of the Hot Girl with the Curse of the Wifey with me any day of the week. “Guys see me and they want to do me.” She one day lamented. “Guys look at you and they see the future.” “No, guys look at me and they see the END.” I answered. “Wanna trade?” she asked when I told her the Wifey theory. Heck yes! Ok, well maybe not so much. Tia wrote not too long ago about developing early and having to deal with men treating her like a sex object. I really do try to sympathize and I know it makes her feel gross but she doesn’t hate me when I say that I am a little envious just like I don’t hate her for being a little envious of me at times. Her rejection is a little different from mine. Some guys reject her for who she is outside of her looks because they don’t care about who she really is. No type of rejection feels good so I guess that’s where we can sympathize with one another.
As women, we have got to stop picking ourselves a part because we are told we are intimidating. I mean, enough already. Why would you feel guilty about being a wonderful and worthy woman? That’s so twisted. Look at it this way: when someone finds rare diamonds, they owner doesn’t cheapen them to make them more accessible and affordable to people that can’t afford them, do they? No one’s going to break down a diamond for you because you can’t afford one. You want a diamond, you save up and put yourself in a position where you can get one. Now if you want a Diamonoid, get a Diamonoid. God knows there are plenty around and you don’t have to do much to get one or even two. But know this: Tiffany’s is not going out of business anytime soon because times are hard out here and the cost of diamonds is “intimidating”. Diamonds are still in demand even if not by the majority. Besides, a man thinking that he is not good enough for a Diamond is a reflection of how he thinks of himself.
So no Michael, you can win and no Amy, love is not a losing game. Not for me and not for any of you. I finally truly believe that I am winning. I used to think that I wasn’t though and that the men that rejected me had won. They didn’t win, they forfeited.