My Fall Rewind: An Ode to Self-Care 29-“Don’t Go”

As absurd as it may sound, one of the most romantic phrases a man can and will say is “don’t go;” to a great extent, in the first stages of courtship. Time will progress and the sentiment may evolve into “I’m not going anywhere.” It may not be verbose and underwhelms, based on expectations from fictitious professions of love we’ve seen and heard in television and cinema. Nonetheless, any variation of this two-to-four-word sentence is loaded with emotion.

My time is limited. However, I am enjoying spending it with you. I like looking at you, how you smell, and your presence makes me feel great. Believe it or not, there are times in which I cannot believe you find me interesting and I hope I don’t fuck it up down the road. I wish this small escape from life as I normally know it could not end, I’ll be thinking about it and you long after you leave. I hate t admit this to you and myself, but you got me kinda open right now and I like how it makes me feel.

This is every word-and then some-a man means when he says “don’t go.” By the time he has articulated it, those words were uttered several times in his head and he needed to work up the nerve to say them out loud. With the anxiousness and nerves of double-dutch, he sat back, watched the rhythm, and waited to jump in.

To ask “why” would be an unreasonable question. The answer to almost every “why” inquiry is open-ended, leads to needless rumination, and is all but certain to end with a negative conclusion. However, “What makes a man give dense emotions in only two words?” is direct and ends with a concrete resolve. I will write about it later; but this is how you ask a question if you want true insight.

And now to answer the what I laid out: Once upon a time, when we were much younger, there was one girl we really, really, really, really liked. Our references to how to profess to a young lady how we felt came from music. The Temptations weren’t too proud to beg, Blackstreet propositioned a kiss goodnight before they let shorty go, Babyface made a hit song about being whipped. We watched our moms, sisters, cousins, aunts, and even our peers sing along and say “I wish a man would say this to me.”

…and like fucking idiots, we did; the results lead to devastating hearbreak. We asked ourselves “Why did this go left? What did I do wrong?! I did exactly what the women in my life said they wanted and followed the Dru Hill handbook to a tee!” With a genuine admission of our feelings, we go from potential prospect to “just a friend.”

We lick our wounds, and have told ourselves “If I dial it back, just a little bit, but still give the essence of  Job B, like instead of the whole song, and just one verse, then we will get the girl!” Sike…

In time, we come across a Jon B lyric which sums up the premise which says it all: I learned from my past to keep my expectations low. Do you know what it feels like to put all your faith in someone? And they bounce; and you know what you know about love.

I am almost positive every man who has read this felt triggered. None of that shit works. Even “Can we talk for a minute? I just want to know your name…” will get you the “this guy is being a creep” stigma.

I can recall a conversation with a close friend of mine. Out of nowhere, my boy asked me “If there is one thing you could go back and tell a younger version of yourself, what would it be?” With a silent pause, I replayed the first time I felt I was ready to step in the name of love, in what seemed like a sure thing because she felt the same way; and my teenage heart got shattered, all within three seconds. My reply was “You know, I don’t know. I’d tell myself to invent something called The Facebook.”

“I would go back and tell my 14-year-old self DON’T DO IT! DON’T TALK TO THAT GIRL AND TELL HER HOW YOU FEEL!” my man responded. I erupted into laughter and admitted “I thought the same thing!”

Halfway through my thirties and widowed almost nine years, I have seen it all. I am the father to a little girl. I have observed the little boys who like her and how she swats down each one of their little advances; they aren’t aware makes them act the way they do. There have been admissions of feelings, little gifts, displays of “manliness” via athletic prowess and bravery, and Cydney will ignore it all. On one hand, I am damn proud because I am in fact raising my daughter to be a g; but I will also tell her to try and be nicer because these boys like her and be delicate with their feelings as she would want someone to be with hers. She doesn’t listen and still does what she’s going to do. I feel for those little boys but they too must learn from one of their own.

Five minutes ago, my nephew walked into the house, on a lunch break from school. Out of curiosity, I asked if I could read some of this essay to him and see what he thought. He nodded his head, laughed, and said “Facts.”

It doesn’t matter how old we are, this is part of the idiosyncrasies in how we are wired. This has happened to me, on a few occasions, in my adult years, even in my thirties. Perhaps, for one reason or another, the expectation was if I am older and my peers would like to not play games, I will cut out the fat. Sike…

Sometimes a “don’t go,” or an action/sentiment to get the person-of-interest to hang around for a few more minutes is more than enough.

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