Tag Archives: relationships

Enough is Sufficient

A lot of people (myself and Dr. Phil included), agree that allowing yourself to be continually disrespected means that you will continue to be disrespected.

As with most things, it’s always easy to see what’s happening to someone else. Not so easy when it’s all about you.

Some people close to me know that I am fond of saying that a person must “like it so” if what is obviously a bad situation for a person is encouraged by the very same person. And given that, it doesn’t make sense for me to be the only one who’s worrying about it.

A friend frequently remarks that most of us who live here don’t seem to have a problem with the disrespect and disregard that is sometimes meted out to us as voters. Because why else would we grumble under our breaths instead of demanding that they “come better than that”?

So you can’t really blame the politician then, for assuming that he or she, is doing everything right.

But just like there are many reasons why voters continue to suffer in silence (including giveaways, duty free allowances and next month’s loan payment), I’ve come to appreciate that you can never know what’s keeping somebody in a bad situation or a toxic relationship.

So I no longer judge, because realization is never late – it comes right when it’s supposed to. And when it arrives, by that time, “enough” has not just become enough, but to quote a family member, it has become “sufficient”.

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With Friends Like These…

Reading an advice column the other day, the opinion seeker declared that her best friend was getting married, but because she didn’t approve of the fiancé – describing him as a cheater, a liar and a thug (several of many traits that apparently make up a ‘ratchet’-type individual), she wondered how best to break it to her friend that she wasn’t going to attend the wedding – not even as a bridesmaid.

The columnist’s advice was based on her own similar experience, and so she recommended that she buy the dress, put it on and show up to support her friend. Because when she had neglected to do it years earlier for her own friend, their relationship went the way of all flesh. As did the marriage.

I’m reminded of a similar story where I knew the participants. Luckily I was neither the bride nor the bridesmaid, but I heard the story because one of the maids was busy telling everybody who would listen that she didn’t approve of the union. I always wondered whether the person who really ought to have known was any the wiser about how her “bestie” really felt.

And I said to myself, with friends like these – you’re better off with enemies, because at least with them you know where you stand. But, maybe she did tell her to her face, because as far as I know, this bridesmaid did attend the wedding. And I don’t want to think that she did so without ever telling her how she really felt.

So I agree with the columnist’s advice if she also insisted that she make her true feelings known to her friend, otherwise they’d end up in two different places – with one of them being seriously mislead.

Weddings require that you smile – a lot. Both my husband and I are no slouches in that department, but I know some people who shut it down two hours into the reception.

And they’re happy to be there.

So I take my hat off to the person who can smile even though she’s convinced that all the dresses and the food and the entertainment and the location rental are a total waste of money.

I am in awe of the person who can smile even though she thinks that the hours spent hosting a bridal shower, helping to prepare the favours, to choose the flowers and box up the cake were a colossal waste of time.

I bow deeply to the person who can smile when the photographer asks for just one more picture, even though she’d prefer to cut her eyes and suck her teeth instead.

I marvel at the person who can smile when asked to make a speech or give a toast which requires wishing the happy couple all the very best, even though it doesn’t gel with what she’s been telling everybody else.

Anyway, if the marriage that she considers doomed to failure actually survives, she will have already mastered the acting skills required when she’s obliged to be happy at the outcome.

But if the marriage does falter on the rocks, she will have already mastered the acting skills required when she’s expected to feign surprise at the outcome.

And she’ll be there to provide a willing shoulder to cry on.

I just hope she doesn’t spoil it by saying, “I told you so”.

Last Night Was…. A Movie Review

Predictable, improbable and annoying.

Image credit: twitchfilm.com

Image credit: twitchfilm.com

I’ve become accustomed to ticking all that apply in the movies that I watch. Particularly the formulaic ones. And the Kevin Hart remake of “About Last Night”, delivers the expected happy ending without too much effort.

The characters played by Joy Bryant and Paula Patton just got on my nerves. Thankfully, the latter’s time on the screen was brief, but I’ve got to say that I appreciated that they didn’t do the usual, and have the homecoming of the live-in girlfriend of Michael Ealy’s character coincide with the ex-wife’s visit to his apartment in her “drunken” state. Because, of course, she would have gotten the wrong idea.

But that would have led to the inevitable break-up and we weren’t yet at the halfway point of the movie. So we see him confessing even though nothing happened, while she continues to make him feel more uncomfortable about the pace of the relationship.

Joy Bryant’s character, Debbie, meanwhile, is busy making the former bachelor pad more suitable to her tastes -annoying even to this female- including adding a dining table suitable not only for Thanksgiving dinner with friends, but also, I imagine, for the occasional tryst when the bedroom is just too far away. But she later realizes what’s up when she asks whether their relationship is one really long one-night stand.

Image credit: parentpreviews.com

Image credit: parentpreviews.com

I actually began to feel a little claustrophobic myself and was beginning to wonder how long it was going to take for the forseeable future to show up. Kevin Hart’s character overcompensates as he always does – so he’s the loudest one in the room. But both he and Regina Hall’s character (who he initially sees as just a friend with benefits for him), provide much needed comic relief.

Fast forward a few months and we see both couples deciding to move on from each other, but not at the same time. So when the longed-for Thanksgiving dinner with company comes around, Hart’s character brings his new partner causing his old one to show her true colours, and her love.

Predictably, Ealy’s character realizes that he really is ready for a committed relationship – after the girlfriend moves out – since he had been using his failed relationship with his ex-wife as his defense. Hart’s character meanwhile used his mouth as his protection.

I was actually rooting for the more unconventional couple because, with their role playing and experimentation, their relationship would certainly be the more interesting one. After Hart and Hall’s characters realize that they can’t live without each other, they decide to help their friends get together again – but one has to wonder whether it’s worth it if they can’t find their way to each other on their own.

So while the movie had a happy ending, I’m not sure that there would have been a happily ever after.

Talk To Me

At work, I come into contact with several people on a daily basis, and sometimes, since some people prefer to wait while having their services done, there is ample opportunity for them to strike up a conversation. It is during those times that I realize that some people have absolutely no problem telling all their business to somebody they don’t even know.

Facebook has taken over, mind you, but some of the things that people tell me, wouldn’t even be detailed there. I would constantly marvel at the fact that they would give me information about themselves and their situations, when all I wanted to accept was their money for services rendered.

I like to think that my face is a fairly pleasant one to look at, but apparently my eyes seemed to have hypnotized them into telling me all. Maybe I missed my calling as a therapist, because I dutifully listen, make the appropriate noises to assure them that I am still listening, and profess outrage when it seems appropriate to do so. They never ask my advice – which is good, because I would have been hard pressed to provide any.

I mean, what do you say to the guy who tells you that he’s interested in a woman, but when he talks to her on the phone to try to get to know her better, she declares that his conversations bore her? I guess you would ask him what it felt like to hang up on somebody who wasn’t worth his time.

Or to the person who tells you that his former girlfriend married someone else very soon after leaving him, but her husband has been in trouble with the law – a few times? Probably, to take his time to find a new girl and that when he did, to be sure to drive by his ex’s house – very slowly.

I’ve always thought though, that people who write into advice columns already know the answers to the questions they’re asking.

Such as, “My boyfriend says that he doesn’t believe in marriage. I’ve been dreaming about walking down the aisle since I was a little girl. Should I fool myself into thinking that I’ll be the one to change his mind?”

Or, “Should I tell my friend that her husband is cheating on her? Or should I just call our friendship quits now, because she’ll certainly do that when she eventually finds out?”

How about, “My family doesn’t like the person I intend to marry. Will we be happy even though I’ll blame him when I no longer have contact with them?”

Just this week, after asking how many children I had, a customer declared that she was giving herself until the age of forty-six to have her first child – and she tells me, she isn’t too far away from her deadline. It seemed a strange number to pick, but knowing that she was engaged in studies, I remarked that she had other things that were probably taking first place.

After she left, I wondered how successful she was going to be in her quest at motherhood, and I was thinking that maybe I should have gotten some more details. Like, did she actually have a boyfriend? If not, how was she going to meet her goal? And what would happen if things didn’t work out for her as they had for Halle Berry, whom she mentioned, and who at forty six recently had her second child.

But I’m sure she didn’t want me all up in her business. She just wanted to talk.

Are you okay, Madame?

Image credit: images.theage.com.au

Valerie Trierweiler and Francois Hollande
Image credit: images.theage.com.au

If only all of us had the luxury. Of checking into the hospital for “rest and a few tests” when we get wind that our significant other has been stepping out on us. But most of us have to actually get on with our lives and go to work the next day.

I’m not making light of the fact that Valerie Trierweiler, who is the partner of France’s president Francois Hollande, was seemingly unable to deal with the “shock” of finding out that he was having an affair with a French actress – because not everyone processes bad news in the same way. And having worked for years as a journalist herself, she knew that her unfortunate circumstance would have been the story of the day.

It was expected that she would be released from the hospital a few days after she was admitted, but she might need a few more days to recover. Or to get over the embarrassment of having everyone else find out. Because if we are to believe from certain sources, that there were evenings when the gentleman did not make it home, she should have been smelling the ‘poisson’ long before now.

But one does have to take what the tabloids say with a grain of salt, because the President may have had some late night meetings of which they were not aware, and these may have been what prevented him from arriving home at a decent hour. And since the lady is ensconced in the “madame wing” of the presidential palace, it’s likely that he tried his best not to wake her when he came in late – on his side of the house.

I’m told that more than most, the French are willing to look the other way with regards to infidelity, and marriage seems to be something that quite a few can take or leave. Francois Mitterand, a former president of France even had a second family, something that was well-known but not spoken about in polite company.

But you have to give it to Ms. Trierweiler. She wasn’t inventing any mysterious ailments. She wasn’t claiming exhaustion or dehydration. She said she wanted to go lie down in the hospital and have her pressure taken, because she couldn’t believe that this man to whom she has so far given a good eight years of her life would do her like that.

Anyway, according to a friend, she’s not closing the door on the relationship just yet. It appears the affair may be considered a lapse of judgement – a “whim”, to quote the friend. But the cuckolded lady rightfully wants to know exactly what his intentions are. Well, as we used to say on the night before an exam – “if you don’t know now, you not going to know again”.

But maybe she will. Since she says she doesn’t care for marriage herself, maybe she’ll get something even better.

The Best Man Holiday – Movie Review

Someone who saw “The Best Man Holiday” before me remarked that the subject matter was a bit dark for a Christmas movie. Luckily I didn’t hear that comment before I saw it, because it’s true. It was billed as a comedy-drama, but now I know why the cast members wanted to give nothing away.

Image credit: necolebitchie.com

Image credit: necolebitchie.com

With all the lavish decorations and the joy at seeing the reunited cast, it was a while before I realized where this whole thing was going – even though the character who dies at the end of the movie didn’t really look too healthy at the start. She is the one who’s instrumental in getting all the friends together for what we realize will be her last time with them. And some fractured relationships are mended too.

As with many movies, there are improbable moments or things that you and I wouldn’t do, but I guess they’re there to move the plot along. Here are the ones I’m highlighting.

1. Taye Diggs’ character ain’t learned nothing these many years later. How does he manage to get caught with incriminating evidence relating to the friend with whom he has a strained relationship? How does he manage to leave said evidence in the same friend’s car in an open bag ready to spill its contents?

2. Tell me which woman you know is going to let some football player who’s skilled at making touchdowns, put his unwashed arm up her cervix and risk introducing an  infection – for her and her child? And we’re supposed to believe that because he didn’t pass out during the delivery of his own children, he can be talked through the process by a doctor on the phone.

3. How is it that the wife always manages to come upon her husband just as he’s comforting his former girlfriend? And he says it’s not what it looks like – although it very much looks like what it looks like. But maybe that’s just her feeling insecure.

4. Which woman do you know that is not only going to be okay with her husband remarrying after she’s gone, but is so involved that she can say who it shouldn’t be?

5. And tell me. If you’re trying to keep your illness secret, would you be sitting on your living room floor coughing up blood in the washcloth that you’re conveniently carrying around?

Image credit: static.guim.co.uk

Image credit: static.guim.co.uk

Despite these, however, I enjoyed the movie. It was beautifully filmed and the many women in the cast meant that I had my fill of fashionable clothing. There was a section with a number of gratuitous curse words, which means that I won’t be able to take my mother to see this movie without having a strategically placed coughing fit.

But Terrence Howard’s character has to have the last say, when he proclaims that he’s giving up the bachelor life for marriage. To whom, we’re not sure.

Let’s hope they don’t take too long to make the sequel this time. We aren’t getting any younger.

Crazy in Love

Do you all remember that Diana Ross song from the 80’s entitled “Upside Down”? I was passing a neighbourhood bar and restaurant the other day, and that song was blasting out of the speakers. It brought back memories, and I remember quite well an album cover that featured the singer with her signature flowing hair and red lips.

Now I’ve heard this song multiple times, and sung along to the lyrics just as often, so it surprised me that this time I was struck by the lines, “Respectfully I say to thee/I’m aware that you’re cheating/But no one makes me feel like you do”.

Which told me that in spite of the disrespect, this woman was planning on sticking around.

It’s amazing how you don’t really pay attention to the words when it’s accompanied by a catchy beat. And back then, as a teenager, when this song was popular, I was more concerned about endless love – unfaithfulness never entered my mind.

Some people try to explain tolerating infidelity by saying that the heart wants what it wants. I suppose that’s what Ms. Ross meant when she sang, “There’s a place in my heart for you/That’s the bottom line”, just after she had finished admitting to knowing that her loved one was playing around.

But this guy had charm and great appeal, and used it to his own advantage. He also, she says, instinctively gave to her, the love that she needed. More than likely though, what he instinctively knew, was to tell her what she wanted to hear.

In Beyonce’s 2003 hit, Crazy in Love, she blamed her inability to fight her feelings, on the fact that her pride wasn’t doing its job. Because not even she could understand “just how [his] love can do what no one else can”.

I don’t think she was in competition with anyone else, but maybe the fact that she’s admitted to begging the fellow not to go and calling his name “several times in a row”, should give us some indication of how serious this thing called love is.

But when we put up with certain things that hurt us, we shouldn’t call it love. We should really call it what it is. Crazy.