Live, Laugh, Love

Valentine’s Day.

Forget the origin. Forget the massacre.

Forget the fact that I saw brothers left and right in H.allmark. Forget the fact that lingerie was damn near flying off the shelves. Forget the fact that the radio will sound like a 24 hour quiet storm marathon with dedications out the wazoo. Forget the fact that there will probably be someone rolling up on my window at every damn stoplight trying to sell me some flowers.

Forget the fact that this so called day has been commercialized to the nth degree. Forget it all.

Let’s talk about the guys who walk around talking that “I don’t celebrate Valentine” stuff. Let’s talk about all the women who put a hit out on Cupid because everytime Cupid’s arrow hits them in the backside, it’s a dud.

It amazes me that every year I encounter someone, mostly female, who are depressed, sick to their stomachs and just out of it because it’s V-Day and they are single. At my old job, I knew someone who did not come to work on V-day because she didn’t want to see everyone else’s gifts or hear about their day. If this is you, fine, go sulk. Go get a pint of ice cream, a pack of Kleenex and stay at home. And while you do that, let me ask you this?

Since when does a single day define you?

If you don’t have someone to love, why not love yourself? That’s where it starts.

I used to be a “I don’t celebrate” the day type of dude. But the older I got, the more I realized that if a card, a gift, a romantic dinner, flowers, whatever, makes her happy, then I’m doing it. It may not be a big deal for me, but it’s a big deal for her and since she’s with me, it’s a big deal for me.

Love.

Not sure how many black men really understand what that is. Hell, it took me a while to understand it and I learn more about it everyday.

I didn’t have that “love” role model to teach me what it really was. I don’t have the grandparents that had been married for 50 years. My mother and father’s marriage ended before the ink on the marriage certificate could dry. So I became what I saw. I saw men with different women. I saw women with different men. I saw lust. And this is what I ran with from my teenage years through college all the way till my mid 20’s.

Never tell a woman you love them unless you mean it.

When my mom told me that, I knew how exactly what gave that statement life. She was hurt because the man she loved didn’t love her back. Although I took that advice to heart and never used the word, I would lying if I didn’t tell you that I’ve broke a few hearts in that same way in my life. I’ve lied. I’ve cheated. I’ve made false promises. I’ve been in that “ain’t shit” category a few times.

I can’t say I was afraid of love. I really just never knew what it was, from a relationship perspective. I mean, I love my mother. I love my family but how do you LOVE a woman? I just didn’t know. Not too mention, the stigma in our community that makes a black man in love an outcast. Coming up, it was perceived as a sign of weakness. “She got you whooped” – as soon as I heard that I went into instant denial and in an effort to maintain my manhood, I had to prove to all that I wasn’t.

I don’t know the exact day when I “changed” because it didn’t happen overnight. It was a gradual process but I know that when I finished working on me, I found her.

A lot of people confuse love. They think they’re in love but they’re really in lust. A lot of people abuse love. They beat it up and expect it to come back. A lot of people force love. Square Peg. Round Hole. You know what happens then right?

I tell you all of this for a couple of reasons.

First, stop being so bitter because you’re single. It’s not the end of the world. You’re single for a reason and that reason is not because they’re not enough good men out there. You’re single because you’re not ready to be a in relationship. Sounds simple? But think about it. Have you done YOU? Are you happy with YOU?

Second, when you love, love hard. Don’t half step. Stop worrying about getting hurt. If you think about that, you’re shortchanging yourself.  The other day I heard someone who is in the midst of planning her wedding say “If this doesn’t work out, I’ll just get a divorce” Are you kidding me? You’re defeating your marriage before it even begins. A lot of you do that subconsciously in your relationship. You always have an escape clause. I can’t knock it because it’s probably a result of being hurt in the past but eventually you have to knock down that shell. And if you keep getting hurt in these relationships, maybe you need to take a long hard look at yourself.

Third, some of you are with someone right now who you are trying to figure out. You have all of these needs and wants. You want love but you don’t feel like you’re getting it. For one thing, make sure you’re not in love with the concept of love. Be in love with the value of love.  Let me tell you, I didn’t know a thing about it. But wifey stuck with me throughout all the b.s. and nonsense (that’s another post). If the person isn’t blatantly disrespecting you, consider the fact that they may not know how to love or what love is. And maybe it’s your job to teach them. Maybe you’re in their life for a reason.

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~ by alwaysfunkyfresh on February 14, 2008.

18 Responses to “Live, Laugh, Love”

  1. Wow. Having these words come from a brother means a lot to me. It’s so easy to love, once you truly understand it. Reaching that understanding is the hard part.

  2. SON!! Where is Fresh…someone please call 911 *I think he’s been kidnapped*

    Excellent post and you know I was looking for something smart to say but couldnt come up with a thing. This is perfect and I have to share it with my folks *hope you dont mind*

  3. I woke up this morning and thought I may be single but I’m gonna look extra cute today! I feel great and I’m looking forward to hanging with friends tonight.

    Hope your V-day is the freshest!

  4. Dark & Stormy – Reaching it is the hard part. Damn it’s hard but if people get themselves right and then branch out (like you said in your post), they’ll get there.

    Roycee – The real Fresh will return to his regularly scheduled program tomorrow. And please, go share…..

    Babs – Do you (and those damn margaritas!!!)

  5. *wipes tears* My lil Fresh is all grown up.

    Great post and to come from a Black man? Hell, a man period….even better. Propos to Mrs. Fresh for showing you how to love someone.

    It’s hard to learn but loving someone is not about being weak. It’s all about strength.

    As for this line?

    “It may not be a big deal for me, but it’s a big deal for her and since she’s with me, it’s a big deal for me.”

    Emailing it to Mr. 1969 right now….you know he’s VDay challenged.

  6. I used to be offended by weasel stomping day…but now I rather like it.

  7. ooh fresh. that was beautiful. i definitely don’t get all bent over vday or any other. i know i’m single for a reason and i plan on living that reason to the fullest until my time has come.

  8. Great Post! I’m single. I was already in a great mood today. This post made my day even better! Good stuff Sir!

  9. good post…although this notion of look at yourself, get yourself together, get yourself in that “good” woman/man category and then…you’ll find love, can be misleading. people have to be prepared for when they do get themselves together and … nothing happens, mr. right doesn’t automatically pop up. talked about it on my blog today, like to hear it, here it go … http://5andapossible.blogspot.com/2008/02/when-good-just-isnt-enough.html

  10. AMEN brutha Fresh!!!! I’m glad you wrote this post from the male perspective though.. because a lot of folks don’t understand..

    Hey I’m single and you know what.. I’M ACTUALLY HAPPIER TODAY than I have been but of course that came with some work and a few good friends *cough sixty, fresh, chrissy* but I digress hahahaaaaa

    and I just got a beautiful arrangement about 30 min ago from a suitor.. hahahaaaa I’m good!

  11. I really don’t know how to deal with prolific and reflective Fresh. So I too will be back tomorrow for the regular programming. But not before I pass this on to some sisters and brothers I know. Might be too late, but they can get prepped for next year…

  12. vday is just anotha day to this sister
    it dont define me but
    im still waitin on somea that candy
    wat u got for me fresh?

  13. Glad you said it…lol

  14. Fressssssssssssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    I still like getting gifts though. Yessir!

  15. Women like me appreicate this quote. Thanks for being you.

    “I used to be a “I don’t celebrate” the day type of dude. But the older I got, the more I realized that if a card, a gift, a romantic dinner, flowers, whatever, makes her happy, then I’m doing it. It may not be a big deal for me, but it’s a big deal for her and since she’s with me, it’s a big deal for me.”

  16. All

  17. What a lovely post! I’m single but I did have a date for Valentines Day. Truthfully, I don’t love or hate Valentines Day. I’m actually pretty indifferent about it.

  18. A million men need to march over here and read this.

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