Saturday, May 31, 2008

I Got That Feelin’- Toya
James Brown. I still can’t talk about James Brown passing. Same way I can’t talk about Luther umm, leaving us. For a season. See? Can’t do it.

“You can’t make wise decisions when your parts are tingly.”

This declaration was met with an eruption of laughter as I described a night where I thought things were getting too close too soon for a friend of mine and me. He had been drinking a bit and because of my freakishly low tolerance for alcohol I was a bit tipsy myself after two drinks. We have always been very affectionate and have excellent chemistry but my gut has always told me that us being together is a bad idea. But as we flirted throughout the night, holding hands and later holding each other during a much too long of an embrace for strictly platonic friends, I could not for the life of me remember why us hooking up was a bad idea. I quickly headed to the bathroom and opted to use one of my lifelines.

“Why aren’t we together again?” I asked Tia from the one bathroom available at a party with a house full of people. Hopefully no one in line was hopping on one foot as I tried to jog my own memory. “I mean, I don’t understand why this isn’t a good idea.” Tia instructed me to go home and take a cold shower but not before she listed a number of reasons that I myself at one time or another had uttered to her when my judgment wasn’t so clouded: me and this guy are too much alike. He drinks too much and when he does, he can be a bit on the grabby “bad touch” side. Unless I want to be a tragic Lifetime movie ready to happen, I needed to go home.

It wasn’t until I got in the car that I recalled all of these reasons and they made perfect sense. I have always tried my best to protect my situation and not put myself in circumstances where I would foolishly compromise due to hormones or what we like to call the “Ready Fuels” (*This just in- Stephen Christian from Anberlin, who performs the song Ready Fuels is set to get married next month. I tell you, another one bites the dust. Tia and I have about 2 weeks left to where we can think of him without feeling guilty. Actually, while he was single I think we may have had some thoughts about him while on stage that left us feeling just a little bit guilty. That’s neither here nor there.) The ready fuels are a BEAST after you turn 30. I wish someone would’ve warned me. Oh I heard all about how you can’t lose weight as quickly as you could before, drier skin and hair in strange places but this? Whoa.

Last weekend I was at a women’s discussion group for an organization that I will be working with called She Power Rocks. Ran by the phenomenal sangin' soul sistas, Descendants of Reality, Brownie and Reesy have organized forums for women to talk about self esteem, domestic violence, STD’s, the effect of music on society and other various issues that affect women of all races. As I sat there we watched a short film about HIV called The Secret Closet (You can actually view the film online here. Don't let the less than stellar acting deter you from watching the whole thing, trust me). Now I don’t want to spoil it for you but let’s just say that this movie left me with my jaw hanging wide open. Ladies, this is 2008. If you are still thinking that you can tell a man has AIDS or is gay just by looking at him, I need you to join the rest of us over here in reality. You CANNOT tell. “Oh he lookin’ good and he talkin’ right” can have you in a world of hurt. And can we please stop spreading this poison that it’s just black men that are on the down low? There are plenty of down low brothers and down low others so if you are thinking that the grass is greener and more well kept on the other side think again. Even sadder, there are men that aren’t gay but have been sexually abused and have suppressed these memories to the point that they won’t allow themselves to face it. Therefore, they never get tested. I don’t know about you but I am going to start asking the hard questions. I don’t care if you are Tennessee Titan or a bit more on the metro side, as for me, no man is exempt from getting asked whether they have been or ever have wanted to be with another man. If they are too offended for that to be open for discussion, no dice.

I have heard more messages, discussions and email forwards about patience within the past two months than I have ever seen. It’s been freaky. If you have been reading this blog long enough, you know that Tia and I are all for abstinence until marriage. We realize that that is not everyone’s stance but I think that the majority of us can agree with the fact that the consequences are too dire in this day and age to be careless. Even if you are having sex before marriage, I think it’s fair to say for everyone involved that getting caught up in the heat of the moment and THEN trying to decide whether you want to go all the way with another person is not the easiest time to make the wisest decision.

I write all of this to urge everyone out there to know your limits. If you are having sex, don’t have irresponsible, all cares to the wind sex. Weigh the consequences wisely because no method of protection outside of abstinence is 100% effective. We all have friends that have got caught out there. I have two friends of mine that are currently single and pregnant. One lives in DC and the other in Atlanta. Both of them used protection with men that neither one of them find worthy enough to even date right now. Was I upset that they were pregnant? Not so much. What I was concerned about most of all is that if you can get pregnant, you can get AIDS. Now THAT is scary to me. If you are trying to hold out, be careful of the situations you put yourself in, After the She Power Rocks meeting, we all got gift bags. In my bag was a strip of condoms. I panicked and had to get rid of them. Yes, I am a spazz and I panicked. Why? Because I know myself. I could just see myself getting hot and heavy with someone and be thinking all along, “Hey, don’t I have condoms in the car?” But that’s me. I’m just sayin’. You know you. So be the best you making the best decisions. It’s worth it.

Follow Up
Not too long after I wrote this I was in a situation where I had to ask the hard questions. To my heart’s dismay, I got some hard answers.
Protect your situation.

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