It’s funny how opportunities present themselves. Last Saturday, I ran into a young thundercat at the barber shop who, like most of the fellas there, was getting ready for some weekend shenanigans. This young cub (who we’ll call Anthony) and his Caterpillar third shift coworkers were smiling at the smorgasbord of women that were soliciting to be his “next” in his DM. As I took my turn in the barber’s chair, Anthony’s cohorts were comparing the Instagram hotties to his queen at home. Seeing that familiar look in his eyes, I kindly asked Anthony why he was looking to replace his queen? Brother Anthony began to complain about how his woman (who we’ll call April) was pressing him to get married. To hear him tell the story, he was too young to get married and there were waaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy too many females trying to get next to him.
My barber intervened and asked Anthony to tell the real reason why his angel was beseeching the ring. As if he were copping to a plea deal, Anthony stated that both he and April had been dating for the past four years and cohabitating for the last two. They had a three year old son and were looking to purchase a house together. April was a paralegal throughout the week and did hair every other weekend. She was a true ride or die chick that most guys (especially those in the barber shop) would love to have. So when I asked the young man why he hadn’t asked for this young lady’s hand in marriage, his response was:
“I’m still weighing my options. What happens if I propose to her and then a chick better than her comes along?”
Anthony’s comrades were shaking their heads in agreement knowing damn well if Anthony ever left April, they would be the first in line to pick up the slack! It’s a sad commentary whenever a person has someone special and they fail to see it. Anthony’s situation made me think of my own fall from grace that I shared earlier this year. Instead of spouting a lot of relationship quotes and other jibber jabber, I decided to share my experiences with Anthony to make him think twice before he experienced cheater’s remorse.
“Don’t miss out on what you have trying to get something else”
This was the first thing I talked to Anthony about. I began to ask him about all the things that April brought to the table. It was already established that she had a job. Hell she had two jobs! Anthony began to state how April was a good mother to their son, Trey. She was always reading to Trey, constantly and consistently equipping his mind. April had a knack for making sure that Trey read a book before turning on his tablet or the television. Finally, (and probably the most important thing that April brought to the table) was the fact that she accepted Anthony for who he was. Before Anthony met April, he confessed that he was in and out jail for several drug violations. When they began dating, Anthony caught another lesser charge that required him to do several months. April held down the fort while Anthony was locked up.
So my question to Anthony after he said all this was, “You think you can do better than that huh? You think you can find someone who looks better than April, makes more money than April, and deals with you and your flaws? Look man, there is always going to be someone that looks better that the one you’re with. Always. However, not everyone is going to be able to deal with your shit. Think about your flaws for a minute. Who wants to put up with your flaws and still love you anyway? You want to gamble what you have for a multi-cultured chick with a bigger ass? Oh . . okay . .”
“Your child is watching you . . . . .”
Once my barber regained his composure after telling Anthony “I told you so!”, I began to share a rather personal confession . . . one that I’m still attempting to forgive myself for. One of the things that cheating and waiting for an upgrade has cost me is the opportunity to model how a man should treat his lady . . . . . . to my son. I told Anthony that I never realized that my son has never seen me in a healthy relationship with a woman. The relationship with my son’s mother was a violent one when we were together. The relationship with my ex-lover was one where my son never had the opportunity to see me buy my ex nice things or see me actually show affection. Any woman that may have come up to me to speak was never seen again. So it should not have surprised me when my son reported that he broke up with his “girlfriend” two days before Valentine’s Day! His reason? He told me that her gift of Valentine themed Starburst just wasn’t enough for what he purchased her (. . . but I’m the one who paid for it). It pained me a little because he didn’t know the little girl’s home situation. Maybe that was the best that she could do? But then I looked at myself and my dating patterns. I often wonder what life would be like if I had a woman that he could see me pour my heart and soul into and not just . . . . leave? I wonder what kind of man will my son turn out to be if he never sees me treat a woman like a partner?
“Anthony, how do you want your son to end up?”
Anthony looked at his son who was watching cartoons in the next room. His fellas that had been egging him were in thought as well. As my barber finished, I told them that if I had it to do all over again, I would have married my ex-lover. I took for granted that she would always be there. I let her slip away because I was waiting for Serena to make me her tennis ball (and look at all the guys that have left Serena . . . wililingly).
To all the people out there that have a good man/woman at home, treat them like tomorrow will never come. Despite your disagreements, you have someone in your corner that is willing to work with you through the madness of life. Don’t take it for granted. Grow and build together. Your children are watching . . . . . . .
Written by Michael Dock, Founder of The Wednesday Gentleman and Author of the Forthcoming Novel “Addicted to Chaos”