Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I too was #HurtBae

At 11:58pm on October 62003 there was a knock on my dorm room door. I was in the middle of writing a sociology paper, so I put up an away message, got up from my desk and answered the door.

It was James*

Before I had a chance to say hello, he grabbed me by the shoulders with both hands and gave me a hard kiss on the lips. I almost oozed out of my pajamas and onto the floor like Alex Mack.

With my eyes still closed I whispered, “What was that for?

I wanted to be the first person to tell you happy birthday.

I glanced at the clock on my desk. It was 12:01.

That was the first time he kissed me and a few days later he became the first boyfriend I had in college.

James was fine ya’ll. He was 6’2, with sculpted everything and played on our university’s rugby team. I know what you’re thinking. Rugby? Well he was also an exchange student from England. His accent was so thick that I could barely understand what he was saying to me half the time. It was sexy AF.

Not only was he an athlete, but he was smart too. He majored in biochemistry and would help me with chemistry homework because covalent bonds were not my jam.

Spring semester, James gave me my most memorable Valentine’s Day ever.

I went to his room the night before V Day (doesn’t that sound like a C-list horror movie or an A-list porno?) to surprise him like he had surprised me on my birthday. There was no answer so I went next door to our mutual friends' room.

Have you guys seen James?

Billy looked at Henrik and said, "She has a right to know"

Know what?

James went to New York.

We went to school in Raleigh, NC. It wasn’t like New York was down the street.

New York? For what? 

He took Stephanie to New York for Valentine's Day.

His Biochem partner?

I had seen the signs but chose to ignore them. I saw the way she looked at him while they studied in the common area. I saw him close out AIM conversation windows with <3<3<3<3<3<3 dotted across the screen. I bet she was willing to give him anal when I wasn’t. That’s the only thing I could think of that would make him cheat on me.

I cried in my dorm room and blasted Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker suite on repeat through my Dell computer speakers because I’m dramatic and classy. I also had a music theory test coming up and figured if I was too sad to leave my room at least I could study the composition of Tchaikovsky's work in between sobs.

That night I vowed to never let a guy cheat on me or date an Aquarius ever again.

Fast forward to 2017 and I’ve learned a lot about relationships over the years. I went back on my vow about dating an Aquarius (which was a big mistake) so for the second time, I'm vowing not to do that again. I also notice red flags a lot quicker than I did when I was 19 and subsequently side step the bullsh*t. 

But now that my brother is of college age, I’m learning new things about the way guys think. And it’s horrifying.

To start, my brother is a mama’s boy. I think this is because:
  1. He was breastfeed and I wasn’t
  2. He is naturally more affectionate than I am. Growing up he would give everyone a goodnight kiss on the forehead followed by a quick I love you. I, on the other hand, would throw up the deuces and say, "Aight ya’ll I’m going to bed"
  3. He was babied by our parents For example when I was about 14 years old and he was 5, it honestly made me furious when my mom would cut up his pancakes for him.
And pancakes are what sent me over the edge the other day.

My brother asked my mom and I for $20 and advice about 2 girls he likes.

"Nikki is short and cute and has a very bubbly personality. She has light skin with long silky hair and she expects me to take her out to places that I can’t afford.

Kendra is okay looking, but her attitude isn’t as good.  She has a good job and a car that she lets me drive. If I’m hungry she’ll buy me food and she always gives me gifts just because. I’d rather be with her because it’s easier."

I told him to be honest with both of these girls and don’t lead them on.

His response: It's not cheating if they're both your girlfriend 

Then he asked me if he could have the pancakes I had made to snack on later.

My response: You would have $20 to buy your own pancakes if you didn't have to take two girls out on dates

This knee grow waited til I left the room and ate my pancakes.

I felt the same fury that I had felt as a 14 year old watching my mom pour Aunt Jemima on his plate. 

I thought to myself, so you don’t care about these girls’ feelings or my motha f*cking pancakes?! 

Later that night, when Kendra came over to pick him up I started asking her all types of questions 

Are you hungry Kendra? Brother why don't you treat Kendra to somewhere nice? 

Suddenly Brother wasn't hungry anymore

What’s your type Kendra? 

She literally laid her hand on his arm as she said, "Your brother."

"Girl you've got bad taste then," I said jokingly

When Brother got up to use the bathroom and I knew he was out of earshot, I looked at Kendra and whispered...

You don’t have to give a guy things to make him like you. Not free meals, not your car, not your body. If he really likes you he doesn’t care what material things you can give him. A matter of fact, he will go out of his way to give YOU whatever he can, even if he doesn't have much. And if you feel like something is off, trust you gut, it probably is.  

She didn't say anything else to me the rest of the time she was there. I doubt she’ll take what I said to heart but hopefully she’ll realize I was only trying to help her. I hate to see someone hurt because of someone's else's selfish shenanigans.

Side Bar: A couple of weeks after James had cheated on me, I went to a house party off campus and saw that James and Stephanie were there together. I had not become the unapologetically give no fux person that I am today, and so I decided to leave right away. When I got outside, I saw Billy sitting on the stairs at the back of the house. He offered to walk me back to our dorm.

When we got back, I thanked Billy and gave him a hug in the stairway. As I pulled away he held me a little tighter and then kissed me softly. I was shocked. Billy confessed that he had always liked me and he felt awful about the way James had treated me. Apparently right before I showed up at the house party he had gotten into an argument with James and punched him in the face. People at the party broke the fight apart and he was trying to cool off outside when I ran into him on the stairs. 

*Names have been changed
^ personally I wouldn't let anyone cheat on me more than once before I'd leave the relationship, unlike the girl from the original #HURTBAE video. But one thing that some people forget to account for is Emotional Abuse. Emotional Abuse can cause you to lose your self esteem or have a skewed sense of self worth. Your partner plays mind games with you & makes you believe that you're not good enough for anyone else and so you stay, perhaps thinking that you can persuade them to love you just a little bit more. It's a vicious cycle and a very hard one to break for many of people.

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