Welcome back, tea sippers. This week’s tea is particularly hot- and it might be tongue burning for some.
Have you all noticed that 2015 is the year of engagements and weddings? It’s a beautiful thing. But single dollar bills like me can’t help but notice how frequent and strong the love is flowing.
But how long could that love flow? Through the sunshine and the rain? Sleet, hail, or snow? Local or long distance? Half way across the world?
I’m sure all of the above is possible.
Question is, what would you do to maintain that love? Will you be a genius or a fool?
Let’s get into tonight’s brew.
Bree’s Personal Tea: The Matrimony
“Hmm, do I have any rice at the house? I know I have some pork n’ beans.” I spoke to myself softly as I grocery shopped in the Neighborhood Wal-Mart across the street from my apartment complex.
It was my usual routine to make a list of groceries I needed but I would always forget one or two things to add onto the list. As I was entering the can goods aisle, I couldn’t help but feel my back being pierced by gazing eyes, and not to my surprise, they weren’t gazing at me every time I turned around.
I shrugged and figured I would solve the puzzle to see who this exactly was who was peering deeply at me, or into me.
I knew I wanted to cook some pork chops that week, so I made my way to the meat aisle to find me a nice and inexpensive pack.
And there he was.
Somewhat slim but somewhat built, nice chocolate complexion, straight white teeth, a growing beard and a shiny bald head.
He was eye candy for me.
I was merely dressed in a UCF t-shirt, leggings, and some sandals, hair done and minimal makeup, but the way this young man seemed to dig me, I could have anything on.. Or maybe nothing on.
We’ll address him as Q.
If you know me personally, then chances are, you personally already know this story. For my newbies, read on.
Q was a 28 year old man from Columbia, South Carolina and had a little accent when he spoke. He wasn’t the first older man I had encountered but I must say he was the most interesting.
He served in the military for six years and had a, not so surprising, six year old son. Cute kid from what I seen from pictures.
It was now December and it was almost two months that Q and I were dating exclusively. Things seemed to be going well. Our first date was at City Walk, followed by a second date at Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Company, and then transitioned into a home dinner date while we prepared chicken pasta and garlic bread. Average to some, fantastic to a twenty-one year old.
Many of you are probably thinking that I didn’t have any business dating a twenty-eight year old. You call it “no business”, I call it “living experience”.
Him being seven years my senior at the time didn’t really have me tripped up. He was a good friend, good company, and someone I began to begin to trust. As hard as that is already to do.
I was already exposed to the “baby momma” type of guy long long ago, so dating someone with a child wasn’t exactly surprising to me. I didn’t prefer it, but after a while, I started not to completely rule it out.
I didn’t have to ask Q to text me, call me, come see me (well in this case, come see him– I don’t like guys in my home or my “sanctuary”) or to step his game up. His game was well up, well equipped, and for the most part, he could handle me.
I appreciated his talks filled with wisdom, but he still spoke to me as an equal. His hugs were warm and meaningful, and his forehead kisses made me melt.
Even though I didn’t see things exactly as long term with Q, nevertheless we still clicked, we kicked it, and shit was actually, sweet.
We would get into “debates” every now and then when his communication skills began to slip up, but it was nothing for him to correct his mistakes, which I began to admire after a while. Though it still was an issue, I rolled with the punches. I had to remember that quite frankly, he still wasn’t my man yet, but I needed him to act right if he was picked to be.
Before we left for our Christmas Breaks (he was traveling to South Carolina and I was going back home to Miami), we spent the whole night together, though I did not sleep over. I returned to my apartment around 3:00AM with a smile plastered on my face, because for once, I felt comfortable. I have a really huge personality, but layers of it can be sensual and sensitive, and I didn’t have to hide anything. I knew to never be too comfortable with anything, but for the time being, I could finally exhale.
It was now Christmas Eve, and it had been five days since we had spoken.
That’s called trouble in my world.
Of course my mind went through all the excuses. “Well, he is up there with family. Plus he is probably spending time with his son. Don’t trip, Bree.”
Those same thoughts turned into .38 Hot Thoughts.
“So this negros’s phone is broke now? You ain’t with family that much, my G. I know I done crossed ya mind at least 20 times by now. Uh uh, I ain’t fucking with his shit. It’s Christmas! ‘Tis the season to be damn jolly!”
I didn’t even receive a Merry Christmas text. But when I did, at 10:30PM, he added on, “My bad, my phone was in the car.”
My intuition spoke to me at first when these issues kept arising when we were both in Orlando.
I, however, put them on the back burner. I didn’t want to turn back into Bitter Bree and let the beast unleash.
When you talk to someone and kick it with someone every day, five days seems like a light-year away.
Things weren’t settling with me, and my intuition once told me again, “You’re about to be a dolla bill for real…”
It was now December 26th, the day after Christmas, and my mom and I were headed to Aventura Mall to catch some great sales.
I told my momma about Q and about the communication issues I was having with him. Me being the dramatic person that I am, I was gonna cut it off and let the shit go. Momma told me to do whatever I felt was best, but not to put anyone on a pedestal. She only saw us as “friends” anyway.
As soon as our conversation about men got deeper, my phone rang. At first, I didn’t recognize the number, but I knew it was from someone in South Carolina because of the (803) area code.
First instinct- it must be this sucker.
I paused the conversation to pick up my phone.
I could hear noise in the background, but no one was speaking to me.
“Hello?” I said once again.
“You know what? I told myself I wasn’t gonna call you.” A voice dark and low responded.
It was the voice of a very distraught woman.
“Well, whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with?” I replied.
“I told myself…I told myself I needed to call you. But my sister said I shouldn’t have called you. But I called anyway.” The voice sounded eerie.
Puzzled, I replied. “Once again, who am I speaking with?” This was too spooky for me to just hang up right then and there.
She then began to grow angry. “Look, I just need to know if you’re sleeping with my man.”
I scoffed in surprise. “Girl, who is your man? And who the hell are you?” Her tone was allllll effed up. I started to yell, forgetting my momma was driving and sitting right next to me. She tapped me on the shoulder and tried to mouth out something to me, but I was too focused on this woman who was on the call.
“My name is Andrea. Look, bitch, are you with my man?”
As bad as I wanted to curse her right back, I never cursed in front of my momma. I clenched my jaws and then again, asked who this mystery man of hers could be. “Cause if you’re calling me, then maybe that’s not your man, baby.”
“Q!” She exclaimed over the phone. “Yeah, you know who that is, right?!”
I sneered. “Oh, that’s you?” I couldn’t help but to chuckle.
“My name is Andrea (insert her last name here), and I need to know if you have been fucking my HUSBAND!”
My mouth instantly dropped. It had been the first time that another woman had called my phone, but honey, I wasn’t ready for it to be someone’s wife.
“Your husband?” I asked, eyebrows raised.
“YUP, HUSBAND. We’ve been married for SIX YEARS!”
Six years… That little boy is six….
“Well, Andrea, your husband surely does not act like a married man.”
“Look.” She sighed. “I did not mean to come off the way I did. But I need to have a woman to woman talk with you and ask you some questions.”
“Ask away.” I replied quickly.
“Where did you meet my husband?” She started off boldly.
“The grocery store.” I stated nonchalantly.
“And are yall dating? Together? What?” She began to grow agitated.
“We were dating until you called me.” I snapped.
“Are you fucking him?”
I happened to be sipping on my Coca- Cola and clearly, I wasn’t expecting her to ask that question at that moment. I almost spat it out on the floor of the car when she asked me again.
“Are you FUCKING my husband?” She asked again with great emphasis.
“Nope, lil mama. That’s all you.” I replied coolly.
My responses were pissing her off but honestly, it was the truth.
“So I got your number from his Mac laptop. Yeah, all that shit syncs. I hope you knew that.” She snickered. “I see you all have been texting each other frequently.” Her tone was very sarcastic.
“Clearly.” I spat.
“And I see these little selfies yall took and shit. One of them was on someone’s couch. Was it at his place or your place?”
“His place. He’s not welcome at mine.” I stated.
“Yeah, the same place I pay rent at!”
I stared at the phone in disbelief. Your husband is in Orlando while he has you and his son in South Carolina going through God knows what and you’re paying his rent?
“Girl, what? What the hell are you doing in South Carolina then?”
“Q moved to Orlando to provide for his family. He wanted to go back to school down there. So we are making it work.”
“Girl, you sure? Cause he’s acting like he wants to start a whole ‘nother family down here.” I knew that that statement would probably enrage her, but I had no reason to lie to this woman. She wanted answers, she looked for answers, and therefore, she can have these answers.
“You just don’t understand! It’s hard having a marriage where you constantly have to call women about your man!”
“So you have been playing Inspector Gadget for six years? You’re crazy!” I exclaimed.
There was then a silence on the phone.
“When you have kids, it is difficult.” She spoke softly.
“And that’s not an excuse when you have thousands of single mothers who are out here doing the damn thing. Try again.” I told her coldly.
Her voice then began to break, while she started to sniffle.
This lady was now crying.
“I can’t take this shit! I do not deserve this! I am pregnant with his daughter right now!”
I seriously thought all of this was a joke. Me, a twenty-one year old, dealing with some holy matrimony shit like this? And then you let this man bust a nut in you with his cheating ass and now you’re pregnant? Excuse my rawness, but I need you all to see this and vividly paint a picture of it!
And get this; Andrea was thirty-two years old. 32.
What do I look like giving a thirty-two year old woman the real?
“Andrea…” I tried my best to console her while being truly sincere. But she asked for this woman to woman talk, so I have to deliver.
“You need to gather what’s left of your self-worth, get your kid, and get out of this bullcrap marriage you’re suffering yourself in. And don’t tell me nothing about them sappy vows because obviously they don’t mean squat, and they probably never did in the six years you were with him. Are you not better than this?”
I tried my best to step in her shoes and understand her and her illogic. The fact of the matter is, I didn’t have sympathy at all. Not for a weak woman who would let this man run up and down state borders to disrespect her and their “marriage” and for her ass to stay right with him.
She continued to sob in my ear as my momma was whispering, “What is going on?” I told her to hold on as I was beginning to wrap this conversation up.
“Well, I thank you for this conversation.” She responded when she got herself together.
“I hope that you realize what is true, blue, and right in front of you. If I wasn’t the first woman you had to call, I won’t be the last. Take care of your mind, spirit, soul, body and your unborn. Carry and grab back your crown, girl.”
“Thank you.” She replied, and hung up the phone.
Barbara and Shirley, for sure.
I spent the rest of that day pondering, “How the fuck didn’t I know this man was married?” I couldn’t help but be mad at myself because I thought I ignored clues, when truth is, he didn’t leave any out for me to question.
He was that damn good.
But I couldn’t help but kiss my index and middle finger and shooting it up to the sky at God, thanking him that I dodged another bullshit bullet.
I’m built like Teflon, but it did hurt at first. It knocked me out of my element. It still seemed to prove that some negros ain’t worth shit. But I know better to know that one of them, one day, will be.
I know you all wished that you could have been a fly on the wall when I delivered the news to Q.
Let’s just say… It was a remarkable experience. It seriously goes down in the books.
He pleaded that it was nothing, and that they were separated, and she didn’t give him what he needed. That the marriage went downhill when he came back from overseas and she pawned the $2,000 engagement ring he bought her, let alone not sleeping with him, and not being such a “wife” to him.
Whatever side was truth or lie, it didn’t matter to me. The damage was done as soon as Andrea called me.
What’s done in the dark always comes to the light.
And for that I am thankful.
What made matters worse… I found out that this woman was my sorority sister.
Most young ladies might have always wondered or continue to wonder how it is to date an older man.
Many dream about them actually having his stuff together, nice job, his own place… real established. I can say there might be plenty of twenty-eight year olds who may have it all together, but don’t think just because he’s older, that he actually acts that way.
In my case, I had a twenty-eight year old full of shit like a one year old’s pamper.
If you go the older route ladies, don’t be fooled. There could be a twenty year old out there who would do you just right. Age means nothing in this day and age.
Ladies, who are like me, don’t get completely knocked off your feet when tragedies as these occur. I believe that women can love past their hurt. I am one of them, too. No one is exempt, no matter how low a man may try to kick me- someway, somehow- I still believe.
Ladies like Andrea, stop wearing these flimsy thongs you sport around and put on your BIG GIRL panties. No man is ever worth your self-worth and respect. And once you allow him to defy you of that, he will never treat you the same way. A man will only do what you allow him to do. Now, I have never been married, and never been close to it, but I can personally say for myself, that I will never be in a “marriage” like Andrea. How could you allow this man to disrespect you as a woman, disrespect the love you are providing to him, disrespect the union you have, and you continue to let him right back in? Not to mention, right in between your legs? Why would you bring a child into this? What good has he done for you to bless him with yet another human being to call his own? Look at what she is doing to her son- he can once learn that the things his father does is okay. And what about her unborn daughter? What type of example are you showing her? How to be a weak woman? How to let a man break you? Showing her that no matter what he does, it’s alright because a “real woman in a marriage” is gonna stay?
And for men like him, raising little boys and little girls without peering at how fucked up you are first- wouldn’t you think to clean up your act? Be the best example of a man to your child or children! It’s men like this who ruin it for little girls & little boys which makes them morph their mindset of what love is!
I don’t have all the answers, but tea sippers, I have two things- wisdom and experience. Vow to love yourself through the hurt and pain. Self-love goes a long way, ladies and gentlemen. I don’t care how good he may treat you, how much he spends on you, and how good the sex might be. Vow to put yourself first. Never neglect you. Cause at the end of the day, when everything is shattered and gone to pieces, all you have is the contents of you. Not anyone else. Preserve that, and protect that.
In the words of Rihanna, “Never a failure-always a lesson.”
Hope you all learned one, too.
Share your thoughts on tonight’s tea.