Since Valentine’s Day is just a week away, I have decided the next two posts will be about dating, love, marriage – basically all things gushy and romantic…I love the idea of Valentine’s Day, but I’ve had very few that actually involved a significant other…oh well…
So since a movie version of one of my new favorite relationship books came out last night, I decided to also pay homage to the book – “He’s Just Not That Into You – The No Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys” by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. This book is a must have in decoding guy speak and behavior when it comes to dating! A lot of it is common sense, but sometimes, when you’re dating, common sense seems to be the first thing that goes out the window…Here’s my favorite chapter from the book, He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Not Calling You. So the book is written like a series of letters written by women asking for dating advice from Greg Behrendt. One woman wrote,
You’re dumb. A guy who I’m going out with who (who I asked out, Greg, by the way) is totally import and totally busy. He’s a music video director and travels and has long shoots and lots and lots of responsibilities. Sometimes when he’s working, I don’t hear from him for days and days. He’s really busy, Greg! Some guys are just really, really busy! Don’t you ever have really, really busy days? I’ve learned to live with it and not give him any sh&*, because I know that’s the price I pay for going out with someone really successful and hot and busy. Why are telling these women to be so needy?
So here is Greg’s response:
Good to hear from you again. Well, not really. Listen Nikki. Really busy is another way to say “just not that into you.” Totally important is another way to say, “you’re unimportant.” How great that you’ve “landed” someone that even you think is out of your league. Too busy and important to ask you out or call you- what a catch. Congratulations on your quasi-relationship! It must feel amazing to know that you’ve been programmed into the super hot and important busy guy’s cell phone, even if he never uses it to call you. You must be the envy of every woman he’s really dating.
Ouch! I think Greg (see how I call him Greg like he’s my personal friend or something 🙂 )mentioned in the book that if a guy doesn’t call you or contact you with cell phones and all the other communication tools that are available, he’s just not that into you. I mean unless you’re President Obama, men really can’t make the excuse that they’re too busy to call…And I’m sure that Barack calls Michelle every day when he’s out of town…she look like she ain’t havin’ it any other way…
Here are some of the other chapter titles: He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Not Asking You Out, He’s Just Not That Into You If He Only Wants To See You When He’s Drunk and He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Disappeared on You.
So in this post, I will give my own example of the chapter, He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Disappeared on You. This is how I remember it happening. The year was 1996, the year I graduated from college. The summer after graduation as a matter of fact. I was partying on a Friday, I think, with my girls at some club…the name escapes me right now. It used to be where Vision used to be in the A. I think some new condos are in the spot now though…I was looking good. My hair was in the infamous Halle Berry cut. I had on my cherry red lipstick. Why I ever wore red lipstick is beyond me. I was tight in the way that only someone in their early ’20s can be. And while I was trying to act cool and dance at the same time, I saw him. Lawdy, Lawdy, he was fine. He was tall, bronze and muscled with curly hair. All my girls had to give me dap when we exchanged the digits.
So I think we hung out once before it all went down. I think he lived in the Little Five Points area, one of the most artsy and eclectic neighborhoods in the A. I think he was some sort of artist. Anyway, he had a forest green Eclipse. Do those cars still exist? And we rode around the area in his car. And I was feeling it all…Y’all know I was! Anyway, we had a few phone conversations and decided to meet one night at Yin Yang Cafe, which is now Apache Cafe, I guess. (The turnover of clubs in the A is kinda sad…) Anyway, so I showed up and he didn’t….And he didn’t call again…Hopefully, I didn’t call back again, but I probably called back at least once…hey you live, learn, develop a healthy self-esteem, etc.
So I was so mad that I wrote a poem about it. At the time, I fancied myself a budding poet and read some of my work at different poetry readings around town. It was a very short-lived phase of my life actually. So I wrote this this poem and here it goes.
Anger Is A Great Liberator – written in 1996
Ever wanted a man so much
you felt your breath lessen every time he opened his mouth.
Every single time, you dialed his digits,
no matter, how matter-of-fact he sounded,
you pushed reason in the back of your mind
to make room for thoughts of biceps, triceps, curls and whirls in his forest green Eclipse.
At the monitor, to-do list easily in sight, yet you didn’t
and on the way home from work, you shook yourself to loosen his image from your head.
Walking in the door, no red lights, so you cooked dinner,
itching to do it, how soon is too soon to call?
Budget gourmet thrown to the side, taking strides to the phone,
how did you get here, pick it up, please, don’t let the number of rings reveal
how bad you wanted to only hear his voice.
Smiling, later dancing, he asked you out
to meet him in the center of a dark, jazz-filled cafe that you hoped served gratification for dessert.
So you sat at the table, made beautiful by a fake flame, smiling vacantly at the band…
while tapping your feet and moving with the notes
knowing that soon you would hear real music
as his masculine footsteps made his way to you…
Ummm, still listening to the band, now accompanied by a box-headed man saying
Your lips are smiling, but your eyes are mad…but yeah, can I get that number?
No…turn your head, the sexy dread-headed man with the guitar sustains your smile
But your eyes blaze with the knowledge that one, look down, maybe two or three hours have
And the eclipse hadn’t happened..he didn’t come.
But Anger came, with her strong, fiery curvy self,
moving against a red dress, she held your hands first,
then began to loosen the chokehold around your neck
while repeating, “If I didn’t come, you wouldn’t be free.”
“Get up,” she said. “And straighten that dress.”
You stood up, looked down to smooth the wrinkles in your own booty tight dress.
When you looked up, she was gone, but you laughed and said, “I’ll remember.”
You twisted out of the club, only looking back to see whose eyes followed you.
Two by two, by two, maybe even enough to fill an ark
“Naw,” you laughed. “Y’all ain’t gonna pimp me like that.”
You said to all the eyes.
The artist is emancipated and so are you
You got in your car, and sped down I-85
Anger is a great liberator
Even reading my poem now is therapeutic…so a few months after writing that poem, I went to a book signing for the great poet, Nikki Giovanni. While she signed my copy of her book, “Love Poems”, I quietly asked if she would take a look at my poem and tell me her opinion of my work. I wrote my address on the poem in case she wanted to send her thoughts to me later. AND SHE DID!!! On Feb. 12, 1997, she wrote
Dear Jacqueline Holness,
Wow! Anger is a great liberator. Good work! Keep it up!
Yours In Poetry,
Can you believe it? I still can’t! How perfectly sweet and generous of her! So there Mr. I-Can’t-Even-Remember-Your-Name! I’m glad you never showed up because your standing me up inspired me to write a poem that Nikki Giovanni said was good.