Friday, October 29, 2004

For Love or For Money?

My man and I are having problems. If I had to guess, I’d say the majority of our problems this week were escalated by the fact that I’m having perhaps my worst period in decades. I feel bitchy, and am content with feeling bitchy. But I’m causing problems I really don’t want to deal with.

I’d rather go home tonight and make love to my man. I want the days to return when he would wrap me in his arms and I’d feel the security of a newborn in her father’s arms. I want him to pat me on the ass while I cook chicken, forcing me to turn off the fire and take off my clothes.

But I want some shit to change, too. You see, my man is suffering from a disease psychologists would classify as Required Independence Deficiency Syndrome. Wait…that’s putting it way too mildly. My man is flat out broke! He is literally a 30-year-old man without a single asset to account for his days of adulthood. I can’t hardly talk, because I live paycheck to paycheck—and more often than not, the time between each check is never enough. But one thing I can do is take care of myself. But now, that is starting to change, because I have an additional mouth to feed in the form of a grown-ass man.

Yeah…I know what you’re thinking…this is totally my fault for getting involved. At least that’s what I’m thinking. But I really like him…a lot! Aside from his financial challenges, he manages to bring a great deal more to the table than Daddy Warbucks or any of the other suckas ever thought about. But I never expected to have to make a choice between a good man with a good heart and no money v. a man with money and not much else worth mentioning. But that seems to be the case here lately.

My wicked period gave me the courage to bring my concerns to my man’s attention. But he didn’t quite take the feedback the way that I expected. He translated my comments into oddly worded language I didn’t speak. Take, for instance, this comment from me:

“When you hand me less money than you were supposed to, I don’t silently berate you for being a broke-ass man. Instead, questions run through my mind like: what happens if I get pregnant? I guess I’ll have to hold it down for both of us because you won’t be able to provide.”

Here’s how my man translates those words:

“I want to have a baby with you now.”

How in the hell does one person translate someone else’s fear of something happening into the fact that this is what they really want to happen? I don’t want to get pregnant by him until he gets his shit together. But one thing I do know…as long as we’re fucking on a regular basis, there’s a chance that could happen regardless of how many condoms or pills we use.

The point I’m trying to make to him is…I’m 32 years old. Gone are my days of having a “boyfriend.” I’m just not interested. Now, that’s not suggesting that I want to marry everybody I date…or even think about it for that matter. But me and my man spend every single night together. In fact, he’s living at my place. I don’t have the energy to invest that kind of time in a relationship that can’t go anywhere.

So, I asked him to look for a better job...to make finding a better job his first priority. He got pissed, saying that he’s been “busting his ass looking for one, and gets tired of everybody else telling him what he needs to do.”

I understand where he’s coming from, since I once was in his shoes not too long ago. But my impoverished status motivated me to spend every waking minute trying to get out of the situation. I just don’t see the same effort in him. And the effort is what he promised me, and it’s really all that I’m asking.

One day this week, I came home from work for lunch. I got there about 12 noon. When I walked in the house, he was just getting up. Now, how the hell can anybody say they are really looking for a job when they sleep until noon?

Where are the newspapers with the want-ads circled? When is he making calls to inquire about jobs? How come he doesn’t get on my laptop when I bring it home in the evening to check out the classifieds? That’s what I’d be doing if I were in his shoes.

The only priority he seems to have is getting into the music studio to finish an album and launch his rap music career. Now, I’m never going to be that person who advises someone else not to follow their dreams. Hell, I want to be a full-time writer. But my job is to go do public relations everyday. And I do it because I have to eat. I have to find additional time to devote to writing. But I cannot put my writing first because it doesn't pay the bills.

Why can’t he adopt the same principles? How does he expect me to feel when I get home at noon to find out he’s been sleeping since I left and he can’t put a single morsel of food in my refrigerator…yet goes inside it constantly to get his grub on?

The bottom line is, if everybody is advising him on what he should do, then he’s obviously giving off the impression that he needs help and isn’t doing all that he can. EVERYBODY else can’t be wrong…yet that’s how he sees it.

I’m sick of listening to his pity-pot routine. I don’t want him to leave. I just want him to get his shit together. And I’m not trying to sacrifice my shit for the sake of his. Is that wrong? Does that somehow suggest that I’m not in his corner? I don’t think so. I just don’t want to have to live on the corner with his ass if things keep going the way they have.

I’m in the process of buying the house I’m living in, and I need all my duckets to make that happen. I can’t have some grown-ass man draining my cash reserves. I already do a fantastic job of that all by myself.

So now it comes down to a choice between immediate loneliness or long-term brokenness…

Damn…I guess I better start looking for some kittens here soon to go along with my inevitable spinster status. Because I’m losing more and more faith in the prospect that my man and I can one day enjoy a prosperous life together. And it just makes me sad…

Talk about a catch-22, cause I'd be lying if I said I didn't want him! I just want a refurbished, more self-sufficient version. Is that too much to ask?

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