Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Lyrically Speaking...

Recently, I attended the concert of one of my favorite music artists, Mary J. Blige. It was held at Foxwoods Resort and Casino’s Grand Theater and every seat was occupied. The smell of buttery salted popcorn, freshly sprayed perfume and lung killing cigarette smoke filled the air. The space was live with anticipation, nostalgia and good time vibes. For some, this concert was just something to do on a Saturday night, for others, it was a chance to be entertained by one of the greats and for those like me, it was a night of lyrical testimony being performed by a living legend.
Mary J. Blige emerged on the scene in the summer of 1992 with the single, “You Remind Me” from her debut album, What’s the 411?.  During that time, I was in a relationship that had turned into a threesome of sorts. I had just discovered my boyfriend not only had a girl on the side but was very much in love the other woman. At the time, many young women admired MJB’s style and tried to emulate her look. My man’s side piece was one of those. Thus, MJB herself became a constant reminder of this other woman and her album, What’s the 411?, became the soundtrack to that period of my life. From that album, five singles were released: “You Remind Me,” “Real Love,” “Reminisce,” “Sweet Thing,” and “Love No Limit.”  Each song hit a sweet and sour spot for me but the one that I feel the most is ‘Reminisce.’ It speaks to how, at the time, my boyfriend and I once had it all then, with the development of this new relationship he was sharing with someone else, all was lost (to me). So, when Mary sang,
Iiiiiiiiii cannnnn rememberrrrrr whennnnnn, We haaaaad, We haaaad it aaaaalllllll, Yoooouuuuuu and Iiiiiii, Yoooouuuou and Iiiiiiiii (Reminisce on the love we had)…..yeeeeaaaahhhhhh! I know that we've been here before, The candle light and you walking softly through my door, Come on in my sweet. How have you been?, You’re so nice… but tonight we're gonna be more than just friends, I recall the days and ways of love we made, I still feel the heat when we shared each other…..Don't you feel the magic, the mystery's in the air, Lets go down to lover's lane with the love we shared…. ”
 I felt every word, every syllable and every vibration of this plea to reminisce.
Since then, MJB released several albums but there are two, My Life and The Breakthrough plus the single, “Not Gon’ Cry” (off of the soundtrack to the movie, Waiting to Exhale) that resonate with me as deeply as her debut.
When My Life was released, in November 1994, I was away at college. As those of you who have had the college experience know, being away from your friends, family and significant other can be difficult at times. Even more so at a time when there were no beepers, cell phones or social media outlets to keep you connected on a regular basis. If you called home and people weren’t available, you had to hope they would be the next time you made that call. Having telephones in our individual dorm rooms, as opposed to a common area, was as good as it got, in those days. I started my second year of college when My Life was released. I was able to get what was known as a ‘single’ room so I didn’t have to share my private space with anyone else. I thought it would be perfect for the times my daughter and her father/my man would come to visit. However, that was not to be since he would become incarcerated soon after I returned to my college campus. In addition to him being incarcerated, he was also expecting a child by another woman at the time.
Dealing with that situation and the feelings that came along with it, songs from MJB’s My Life served as sources of inspiration, strength and courage. My friends and I would play this CD and sing the words of every song, no matter what we were doing. My personal testimonial performances were often of “You Gotta Believe,”

I told you once before, That I love you and I need you, But let me tell you once again, You were my closest friend, I'll never leave you, So hold me tight all through the night, Caress me with your tender care, Anytime or anywhere… I will go with you anywhere. (Please won't you trust me babe), Won't you trust in me baby, Stay with me (stay til death do us part), Till death do us part, You'll always be (oh, oh) right in my heart, Won't you please stay with me, Baby please believe in me (please believe in me)
and “Mary’s Joint,”

I know that you're just a man, But you're all the man I need and I know that you care and you'll never leave, No, you'll never leeeeaaaave…..I love you so, I can't let go, You know it's real, the way I feel, I want to stay, I'll try to wait on you my dear, my love's sincere….”
As we played spades together, the whole room would join Mary as she sang the words to “My Life,”

Life can be only what you make it, when you're feelin down you should never fake it, Say what's on your mind and you'll find in time, that all the negative energy, it would all cease…. And you'll be at peace with yourself, You won't really need no one else, Except for the man up above, Because He'll give you love…..If you looked in my life and see what I've seen...”
and “Be Happy,”

How can I love somebody else, If I can't love myself enough, To know when it's time, time to let go, Sing….All I really want Is to be happy and to find a love that's mine, It would be so sweet, All I really want Is to be happy and to find a love that's mine, It would be so sweet, I just wanna sign, from the sweet Lord above, I know the answer is in front of me but when you think you're in love, you only see what you wanna see, and all I see is me for you and yooooouuuuu for meeeee….”

 I won’t quote the lyrics of every single from that album but, you get my drift. When Mary J. could be heard, her voice, her words, her songs brought people together, if only until the last melody drifted away.

                After completing my first two years of college, I transferred to a university in my hometown. I continued working hard to pursue my degree, mother my child, maintain connections to my friends and relatives and fight for my relationship. I shed some weight, gained some self-esteem and began to stand up for myself. I rarely accompanied my crew when they went out on the town but after being able to put on a body-hugging dress and turning heads, I was ready to go! I was feeling myself and feeling the fact that others were feeling me, too. Unfortunately, my man at the time wasn’t so enthused. He would destroy my clothing, say things to put me down and try to sabotage my efforts to enjoy my life. During this era, MJB came out with the album, “Share My World.” The single, “Everything,” said everything I wanted to feel and say to my man because it had been true at one time.

“It's all because of you, I'm never sad and blue, You've brightened up my days In your own special way, Whenever you're around, I'm never feeling down, You are my trusted friend, On you I can depend, You take me away from the pain and you bring me paradise, And when there were cloudy days you brought sunshine in my life, It never occurred, To me the first time I saw your face, I would fall so deep in love that your love can't be replaced…. You are my everything (you are my everything), love so good, so good only you can bring, You are my everything, You are everything and everything is you”
But, while I was finally beginning to feel good about myself, my relationship was on a downward spiral. I found myself living the lyrics to “I Can Love You.”  

Sitting here, wondering why you don't love me the way that I love you
And baby have no fear, 'Cause I would never ever hurt you, and you know my love is real, boy I can….I can love you, (I can love you), I can love you, (I can love you), I can love you better than she can, I know some times can get rough but we'll make it, We'll make it through the storm and I know I will try to make sure that you can trust me and you know the reason why that I say…. I can love you, (I can love you), I can love you, (I can love you), I can love you better than she can”
In spite of the fact I believed I could love him better than any other ‘she’ could, my boyfriend and I parted ways. Thus, a whole new era of love found, shared and lost began. During my 10-year relationship, I went through almost every phase of love and hate that a couple could go through. I was determined to not duplicate many of those situations….especially the ones that involved high drama. When MJB dropped “No More Drama,”im 2001, I, along with millions of other seeking emotional relief and release, was on board with her as she sang……
“Broken heart again, Another lesson learned, Better know your friends
or else you will get burned, Gotta count on me, Cause I can guarantee
That I'll be fine, No more pain (no more pain), No more pain (no more pain), No drama (no more drama in my life), No one's gonna make me hurt again
…..”
Unfortunately, there was still drama to be had in my love life. When the single, “Be without you” from MJB’s album, The Breakthrough was released in September 2005, I was deeply in love with somebody else’s guy. Despite the fact that he clearly belonged to someone else, I dedicated the words of that song to my forbidden lover. The first time I heard it, I thought to myself, “She clearly wrote this song for us!” I felt so strongly about it that I immediately set it as the ringtone on my cell for my special guy. The lyrics spoke to our relationship exactly…….
“Chemistry was crazy from the get-go, Neither one of us knew why, We didn't build nothing overnight, Cuz a love like this takes some time, People swore it off as a phase, Said we can’t see that, Now from top to bottom, They see that we did that (yes), It’s so true that (yes), We’ve been through it (yes), We got real sh** (yes), See baby we been...Too strong for too long (and I can’t be without you baby), And I’ll be waiting up until you get home (cuz I can’t sleep without you baby), Anybody who’s ever loved, ya know just what I feel, Too hard to fake it, nothing can replace it, Call the radio if you just can’t be without your baby……”
Eventually, I got out of that situation. Yet, that song (like the others from their respective eras) takes me back to those days, the feelings I felt and even certain smells, sounds and sights.

So it was, on the night of the concert. I know I wasn’t the only person who had this kind of experience because people all around me were singing their hearts out, dancing, punctuating certain words and lyrics with their arms and feet. It truly was a revival-type of experience, listening to and watching Mary J. Blige do her thing. Unfortunately, she is now going through a divorce so the strong emotions she brought up in herself were evident. Of course, with her catalog being so extensive, she could not perform every song each of us yearned to hear. I heard a man, who was sitting in the row behind me, say, “All I wanna hear is “What’s the 411!” But, she did not perform that song. I wanted to hear the entire “My Life” album but, of course, that was not to be. She gave us an hour and a half filled with the songs and messages she wanted to relay. She spoke about love of self, love for another, love unrequited, love shattered and love that stands the test of time.  Through her words, sang and spoken, MJB took us on a journey that spanned over two decades. She brought us to tears, made us laugh and kept us dancing, on the floor and in our seats. Her performance was so strong and her aura so real that she made us feel empowered, courageous and like family. My friends and I left the concert feeling energized and wanting more.

Upon leaving the concert, that ended too fast, my friends and I reflected on the show. It was noted by two of my girlfriends that MJB didn’t mention anything about the upcoming election nor did she address the Black Lives Matters movement. While those things didn’t cross my mind once, my friends found it to be a bit disappointing. I guess MJB thought it best to just stick to the music and the messages of love, life and good times. I don’t blame her. In spite of wanting more and feeling like the show only lasted 5 minutes, we thoroughly enjoyed the 90 minute MJB experience. It was obvious that she truly appreciates the love, loyalty and support of her fans. Twenty four years after her debut album, everyone still loves Mary and she remains hailed the Queen of Hip Hop Soul.

Friday, September 16, 2016

A Love, Unrequited

DEAR LOVER......

For too many years than I care to say, I've been waiting for you to want me, to be with me, to cherish me, to love me. To look at me with stars in your eyes and not just as a 'good piece of ass.' To care about my feelings, to think I'm beautiful and treat me accordingly. For decades, you have been my knight in shining armor.....in my head.

What was it about you that I was so infatuated with? You've always been good looking but I was never about looks. I loved the way you walk, cocky and sure. The way you talk, deep and commanding. The way you laugh....that laugh....boyish and sly.

Sly. Manipulative. Selfish. 

Three words that describe the real you, not the fantasy figure I've held on to for umpteen years. In my head, you were this strong, sexy, manly creature who could fulfill my every need. You would love me, protect me and make me feel like a queen...because you were always my king. Even when I was involved with other men, they all knew about 'the one.' You were always the unseen threat to my relationships.

You were like a celebrity to me.. There were times I'd see you out and the moment I'd lay eyes on you, I would smile and swoon; yearning to be by your side. In your midst. In your life. But, I'd tell myself I wasn't enough for you.

I wasn't fly enough. I wasn't pretty enough. I wasn't worthy. I wasn't enough.

So, I loved you from a distance. Then I found out you were looking for me. You wanted to contact me. You wanted to see me. You (finally) wanted me. I remember telling my cousin, who had called to see if it was okay to give my number to you, 'Hell yeah he can have my number!' I recall the moment I heard your voice on my voicemail. It was surreal. When we saw each other in person and you asked me to take a ride with you, I didn't care that we weren't in a luxury vehicle or that we were only riding around the block; at that moment, I would've gone anywhere with you.

To the moon and back.

I was so excited that, finally, I'd have a chance for a real relationship with you. I thanked God, in advance, for what was getting ready to happen in my life. My fantasy was soon becoming a reality. We talked, we hung out together, laughed, partied and enjoyed each other's company. My emotions ran wild and my actions followed. Soon, I was giving way too much and receiving little in return. You always told me I was special to you, claimed to love me. Yet, your actions showed me different. But, I refused to see it; choosing, instead, to hold on to my fantasy.

I listened to your words and excused your actions.

Sure, there were times when I claimed to have learned my lesson and would cut you out of my life. I ignored your calls, refused your invitations and rejected your advances. But, ultimately, your persistence would prevail and I'd be right back where I didn't need to be; in your arms. Each time, you'd give a tad bit more of yourself; a kiss where there had been none, 50 strokes instead of 5, a touch of concern here, an ounce of regard there. I accepted your bullshit excuses, tolerated unsatisfying (sometimes degrading) sexual interludes and held on to the false hope that you would eventually 'get yourself together' and be the man I wanted,

I yearned for your company, you came for sex.. You made me laugh, my heart ached with emptiness. You said I was special; I felt disposable to you. You said you loved me, all I ever felt was used by you. I wish I could charge you with crimes of passion but the truth of the matter is, I gave myself to you, freely and with wild abandon. When I discovered the key was always in my possession, I unlocked my heart and pushed you out.

Now, I am free.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

A letter to my daughter....



Dear Daughter,

     I see so much of me in you and it scares me. It scares me, because, like me, you are a fierce protector of your family & friends; family and friends that sometimes don't deserve your loyalty and protection. It scares me because, like me, you often put other people's feelings, wants and needs before your own. It scares me because you love others freely, completely and deeply. It scares me because, like me, when it comes to men especially, you love too hard and too long.....
even when they don't love you back.

Like me, you choose men who are broken on the inside. You attract the kind of guys who need more than you are capable of giving. Instead of a partner who can improve the quality of your life, you end up with partners who bring you pain & stress. They always have a back story of which you try to make sense, try to make right, try to make over. You try to love the pain from their eyes, the ache from their hearts, the darkness from their souls. You try to love them out of a history of despair, into a future of happiness, joy and success. You try to love them into seeing themselves in your eyes. You try to love them into loving you.

STOP THAT. NOW. IT DOESN'T WORK. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. 

You see, some men are so caught up in their own despair that they really don't see you. Sure, they take notice of your beauty, might even engage in deep & meaningful conversation and they won't hesitate to make sweet love to your body. But, when it comes to establishing a genuine connection, soul to soul, heart to heart, eye to eye, you won't get it. Not necessarily because they don't want to give it to you, they just can't. They are incapable and there is nothing you can do about that.
Only they can make that change.

YOU MUST UNDERSTAND, IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU.

When you come along with your light, fluttering heart, bright, beautiful smile, sweet, sassy charm, high hopes & big dreams, he has no idea what to do with it. He is not ready. He has not been prepared. He is battling demons from his past or buckling under societal pressures of today or barely fighting for his future. Although you may think shining your light into his darkness will help him see his way out, the effect is often just the opposite. Your fire burns him. Your light blinds him.

YOUR BRIGHT AURA HIGHLIGHTS HIS GLOOM.

Try as you might, you cannot make someone love you. You can't charm your way into his heart. Your goodness, he cannot appreciate. Your loyalty means nothing to him. You are just one of many who try to find their worth in his unworthiness. His anger, his sadness, his misery, his loneliness, his insecurities, his incompetence, his history of abuse, violence, indifference, neglect blocks every blessing you try to bestow upon him.

YOUR EFFORTS ARE IN VAIN.

My advice to you, dear daughter, is to turn your focus inward. Give your self the love, attention, affection and care you have so abundantly given to others. Polish your own shine to diamond status, uplift your own spirit, strengthen your own resolve, enlighten your own mind and be the best friend your self ever had. When you are comfortable in your own skin, being good to your self and living your life like it's golden, it is then that your true love will appear.....in the mirror.

Dear daughter,

LOVE YOU FIRST AND THE REST WILL FOLLOW.


Monday, March 28, 2016

If I don't attend your funeral, please don't take it personally.......





My cousin died and I didn't go to his funeral. We didn't see each other every day (except for the few years we worked in the same building) nor spend a lot of time together but we did have a dear relationship. We grew up together, experienced fun times together and loved each other very much. I wasn't mad at him, I wasn't out of town, I could've taken time off of work, I knew the time, date and place. I didn't go because I simply chose not to.

He was 44 years young and his death was sudden and unexpected. After the shock of the news wore off, anxiety flowed through my body as thoughts about his funeral service came to mind. 'Oh no, I don't want to go to another funeral!' 'But how could I not go to his funeral?!,' How can I go to his funeral?!,' In the days leading up to the date of his service, my thoughts ping-ponged back and forth. A couple days before my cousin was to be laid to rest, I visited with his mother and siblings. As most funeral gatherings, before and after, turn out to be, it felt like a mini reunion. Various relatives and friends stopped through to offer their condolences, support and helping hand. It amazed me to see his mother talking, smiling and laughing in the midst of what I'm sure was a terrible heartache she was feeling. His sister and brother were quite sociable too but, I could see the pain in their eyes and on their faces. It was then, I knew I wasn't going. Not only did I believe it wouldn't be good for me emotionally but, I did not want to see my cousin lying dead in a casket. I wanted to remember my cousin as the happy guy he was. The guy who always greeted me with a huge smile and big kiss. The guy who had the loud, gregarious laugh. The guy who was 'one of the good ones.'

The first funeral service I remember attending was that of a 10 year old girl who I did not know. My grandmother took me and I don't even think she knew who the little girl was herself. I remember seeing the body in the casket....she was wearing a pretty dress and she was just....so still. I recall asking what happened to the little girl and, if my memory serves me correctly, I was told she died at sleepaway camp. I wasn't scared, freaked out or traumatized. I just remember being sad that a little girl, who was around my age at the time, had died. I never forgot the little girl or that experience.

When I was younger and hadn't experienced a lot of loss, I could attend funerals, shed tears, give hugs, swap memories and share stories. The first time I experienced pure devastation from the loss of a loved one was when my paternal grandmother passed away. I was 17 years old and 8 months pregnant. I vividly remember the day my mother relayed the news to me and my sister. As soon as the words left her mouth, I broke down. Hysterically crying, my sister and I held on to each other for dear life. We cried so hard that we almost made ourselves sick. At my grandmother's funeral was the first time I saw my father cry. My grandmother's death changed our lives and our family in major ways. As difficult as it was, life went on. I attended several wakes and funerals since; those of beloved relatives, good friends, associates and acquaintances. I experienced heart breaking losses; some were bearable, some were not. Emotionally it was draining, mentally exhausting but, for the most part, I recovered well & fairly quickly. I always thought, death is a part of life and it's something we all have to deal with it. When someone dies, you go to their funeral, pay your respects, mourn and move on. I would comfort others, in their time of need and receive the same in my time of need. I believed it to be cold, dismissive and disrespectful to not attend the funeral of a loved one so not going wasn't an option.

That is, until my father died. I was 30 years old when my Dad was hit by a car and succumbed to his injuries 10 days later. The entire experience, from the night he was hit until today, shook me to my emotional core. Saying the words, 'my father died' to literally seeing the blood drain out of his body as he lay in a hospital bed to viewing his lifeless body in a casket was the worst collective experience I ever had to deal with, at that point in my life. Naturally, when experiencing the loss of a loved one, the days immediately following the loss are difficult. Depending on the relationship with the decedent, the recovery period could last anywhere from days to weeks to months or even years. The toll death takes on the surviving family and friends is unpredictable, widely varied and sometimes, life-changing.

It became more difficult for me to attend the funerals of others, after my father died. The purpose of attending someone's funeral service is to pay your last respects, fellowship with others who loved the decedent and pay homage to their memory. After my father's death, I would go to others'  funerals and think about him. I may have wept for the person I was there to honor but, inevitably, my thoughts would turn to memories of my father. I would be heartbroken all over again, remembering my Dad's body in a casket. I would grieve for him at times when I should have been mourning the person whose funeral I was attending. Sometimes, I would be fine after a good cry. Other times, it took me days to get my head back in the game. So, I began to skip people's funeral services, no matter who they were. If I felt I couldn't handle it, I would make up an excuse to not attend. Even though I knew it was in my best interest to not attend, I still felt guilty for not going. Then, my brother died.

My 24 year old brother committed suicide four years ago and his death dealt a crushing blow to our family, collectively and individually. No words can describe the pain, anguish, anger, frustration and heartbreak we still experience on a daily basis. Losing my brother, especially in that manner, broke me all the way down. In addition to several other realizations I have come to since my brother's death, I realized I just can't and I won't do it. There is no way I can attend a funeral without thinking about and crying for my brother. It would be unfair of me to mourn the loss of my brother, focus on my pain and sorrow when I'm supposed to honoring the loss and life of someone else. It would also be unwise for me to put myself through such an emotional wringer when I know how difficult it would be for me to get out of it. So, I made a decision. I will only attend a funeral if my presence is necessary, as a source of strength, peace and calm for the survivors, if I am in a good space, mentally & emotionally and/or it is that of my immediate or very close relative or friend. If I make the choice to not attend someone's funeral, close relationship or not, I will not feel guilty about it nor make excuses for my absence. I cannot and will not worry about how my absence might make others feel. I know it is not because I don't love the deceased or that I don't care about their families or that I don't respect their legacy. It's because, while they are gone on from this life, I still have to live it.

I still have to be able to get through whatever days, weeks, months and years I have left. I want to be my strongest, happiest, most productive, positive, purposeful, best self. In order to do that, I have to practice self-love, self-care, self-preservation. That includes being mindful of how I spend my time, expend my energy and use my resources. If I feel strong enough to attend a funeral, I will do so. If I deem it better for me to show my support in ways other than attending the funeral, I will do that. I am at peace with knowing I showed, gave and shared love to all the people I care about while they were alive. Upon their deaths, I don't know if I will be there to pay my last respects, view the dressed up body, sign the guest book, share memories, break bread or fellowship with the survivors. There is no love lost after death so, if I don't attend your funeral, please don't take it personally.......

Monday, February 22, 2016

Ghosts do exist....

SCENARIO:
You meet someone, exchange numbers, spend time together,
are in constant communication with each other for a period of time then.....
Whoosh! They disappear.

Ghosting (according to urban dictionary): The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date. This is done in hopes that the ghostee will just "get the hint" and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested. Ghosting is not specific to a certain gender and is closely related to the subject's maturity and communication skills. Many attempt to justify ghosting as a way to cease dating the ghostee without hurting their feelings, but it in fact proves the subject is thinking more of themselves, as ghosting often creates more confusion for the ghostee than if the subject kindly stated how he/she feels.

I'm sure most of us have experienced this, on some level. He may not respond to your texts for days. She may not answer your calls for weeks. You begin stalking your phone, making sure all wires, buttons, screens, ringtones and sound effects are in working order. Nothing is amiss. You start wondering what you did wrong. Was it something you said? Did you turn her off with your corny jokes? Did you turn him off by playing hard to get? By being too easy? Wait, did your last text offend her? Did you answer his question with too much attitude? Are you too sexy for him? Too prudish? Did your breath stink? Were your lips dry? Was your style wack? Was your hair too nappy? Too curly? Too straight? Wrong color? Not long enough? Not short enough? Is your skin too dark? Too light? Too perfect?  Is your voice too deep? Too high? Too sweet?

Ridiculous right? Totally! Yet, these are some of the questions we ask ourselves when someone ghosts on us. Oh, not you? Ok, well I have.

One minute, he was here, next minute, he was gone.........
I wasn't immediately attracted to him, romantically but I was open to getting to know what he was about. After a few conversations that often lasted for hours, it seemed I had finally met someone who was on the same page as me. I was feeling him, he was feeling me. I looked forward to his texts and calls. Suddenly, after a few weeks of almost daily contact, things changed. My phone wasn't buzzing with anything from him. My texts were ignored, phone calls went unanswered and unreturned. Immediately, I thought, 'What did I do or say?' After a few moments of insanity (I know, I know...I never should've questioned myself. Unfortunately, my insecurities kicked in), I realized I wasn't to blame. I didn't say or do anything wrong. Obviously, something was awry in his world so I decided to wait it out. I figured, if he wanted to talk to me, he would contact me. After nearly a week of nothing, he called. I answered. We talked. I accepted the reason he gave for his lack of communication. Life went on.

Eventually, this is the way he would end things with me. I shouldn't have been surprised, given the history of his rocky style of communication. But, after months of ebbing and flowing, it seemed we were more into a steady flow. I mistakenly believed we had reached a new level of understanding so I didn't think the disappearing act would happen again. After not talking to him for a couple days, I received a text saying he wasn't going to call me anymore because he had been calling me and his calls were going to voicemail. Immediately, I thought, 'Bullshnoggit!' I had received no calls from him. I responded with a 'whatever....you're full of it' text, thinking it was just his way of trying to gauge my attitude since I hadn't heard from him for a few days prior. I expected an immediate response to my text and figured we would have a conversation soon thereafter. But, he never responded to that text or the two subsequent texts I sent. He never called...that night or again. After a couple weeks of no communication from him, I realized, that was his out.

What a lame, immature and cowardly thing to do.

Everyone is entitled to their feelings. Things change, people change, you get turned on, you get turned off, you meet someone else, you decide to go back to your ex, you think you'll be better off single, etc. Whatever the case, own it and be real about it....or better yet, be a man about it.

As Toni Braxton sang,

"Just don't make no excuses, no no
Why you gotta lie to me
Just be a man about it
Baby, you don't gotta lie to me, no
Just be a man about it
If you wanna leave go on
Just be a man about it
Come and grab your things and go on
Right now
Just be a man about it"