If thou love, pronounce it faithfully
Or if thou think I am too easily won,
I’ll frown and say thee nay and be perverse,
So thou wilt woo, but else not for the world.
In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond,
And therefore thou mayst think my havior light.
But trust me, gentleman, I’ll prove more true
Than they that have more cunning to be strange.
Romeo & Juliet – William Shakespeare
Shooting from the hip is something that I take great pride in. If there is something that needs to be said, say it! No one wins when you skirt the issue.* A couple of weeks ago, I was having lunch with a friend from high school, and we discussed a mutual friend on a social networking site, that often altered their relationship status. “I’m single,” “I’m dating,” “It’s complicated.” She wisely opined, “If you’re our age, single, and trying to do this dating thing, I don’t care who you are. It’s complicated.”
Because we complicate it.
And we like it like that.
And by “we,” I mean “y’all.” Mamba likes it simple. Mamba likes to say what she means. Mamba likes people to mean what they say. And when they don’t mean it, or even if they are uncertain, don’t say it. There’s nothing wrong with silence.
Whenever I talk about people and their intentions, the focus almost always shifts to love. It comes up so often because love is one of the purest things you can offer someone. God is love. I don’t think it gets more pure than that. And even for those who don’t believe in God, when you feel love, I’m not talking the surface joint – or even necessarily the romantic joint – but when you’re in the presence of love, nothing beats that.
And yet, as a woman, if I want to be loved, I’m expected to play some kind of stupid game. Or, I have to deal with people that treat love like leprosy. Uncontrollable. All encompassing. Deadly. I may have said this before, but I happen to be one of those women who don’t wait to hear the “L” word before she uses it. I think the entire rationale is juvenile. I know those who think that when a woman uses that word first, she surrenders her power over the man. At one point, I was a person who would not share feelings until the guy said something first. I’m 32. If I’m involved with a person to the extent that I love them (no small feat), then I think it would be positively stupid on my part not to tell them.
I don’t do this because I expect to ride off into the sunset. I don’t do it because I expect that relationship to be forever. I do it because I know that life is short, and if someone means something to you, you should tell them. I take great pains to eliminate “I wish I said” from my lexicon.
Unfortunately, the straight shooter is not in demand. We are so comfortable with hiding from each other, with lying to each other, with taking one another for granted, that when you open your mouth to say, “You know, I like you, and I like who I am when I’m with you,” people run in fear. I haven’t allowed it to make me weary, but it does sometimes make me worry. Relationships are being being built on the sand that is deception and fear at an alarming rate. My discomfort with the way people feed lies to others is only surpassed by the ease in which people seem to be willing to choke those lies down.
And I’m the anomaly, because I can’t accept it. As much as I complain about being single, I acknowledge the fact that it’s a choice, because if I had the ability to swallow what my gut told me was untrue, if I mastered the art of delusion, I probably wouldn’t be single. But I won’t. I know that I’m true; more true than any broad that plays the game. And if I can be true after being hurt, picking myself up and dusting myself off, I’m really not trying to hear excuses as to why others can’t.
So what do I do in the meantime? Be fly, happy, and dance on Saturday nights like there’s no tomorrow.
*This is not to say that there are no topics that I find daunting, or challenging. But these things are most assuredly the exception, and not the rule.