Surviving Vs. Thriving

I went to a very official Brooklyn houseparty on Saturday night at a very fabulous loft in Bed-Stuy. It was huge–not even by just NYC standards. It was a birthday party for a dear friend and former mentor (one of my first editors, who now, as life would have it, writes for me.) He and a fellow Pisces rented out the space for their party, brought in a host of amazing deejays, and 500 of their closest friends, colleagues, and associates to celebrate. I have no idea how old he turned, but he brought in his next year of life quite right.

As it would turn out, the loft-newly renovated, I believe– is up for rent. As I was raving about the space and inquiring about the owner, I was told there was a sign by the entrance advertising for it. My curiosity got the best of me and I went to see how much a gorgeous space like this would go for. I figured it would give me something on which to set my sights for the future.

Three THOUSAND motherfucking dollars. Per MONTH. RENT!

My Honest to Hova first thought?

I need a man.

Now this goes totally against my usual way of thinking. I’m all for women being independent and surviving on their own. Get your job (or your own hustle), make your paper, stack, and ball the fuck out. I’d never say, a woman doesn’t need a man, but I don’t think she should depend on one or wait for one to come around in order to achieve what she wants out of life. But all that said, I’m beginning to think there may be an advantage to pairing off like a giraffe on Noah’s Arc.

Mainly, I think it makes things easier. I have no doubt that I will one day be able to afford the price tag on a space so amazing as this. But I may be looking at another 10-15 to get it on my own (I’m a writer. We’re known for brilliance, not high salaries.) I could get it a lot sooner and without the fear that comes when there is no support system if I paired off like a giraffe on Noah’s Ark. All this got me to thinking that people (not just women) can survive just fine on their own. But to thrive, which is my goal in life, I think I may need someone else to get that done.

( I know a bunch of feminist readers just spit their morning latte on their screens over that last sentence. But I’ve promised to give you the truth as I think it on whatever day I’m typing and that’s today’s truth for me.)

I spent the afternoon with an old friend. Exie, in fact. We’ve moved past him blurting out that we should be in a relationship and are back to being friends… sort of. It is the case that the light in my foyer blew several weeks back and I haven’t bothered to change the bulb. To do so requires me to move my table (sturdiest piece of furniture) across the room, stand on it while on my tippy toes, and then switch the bulb out. Then drag the table back where it belongs. Exie stood on a low stool, changed it (while I was napping, no less) with little effort. He also noted the four bags of recycle-able garbage in my living room (recycle day is Thurs.) and made a point–with a good bit of humor– to note that I must not have a man around if all this trash was sitting in my house. I explained that I store the recycle-able stuff in the part of the apartment that I don’t pay much attention to. I’d managed to rack up four months of bottles before I noticed. And when I did, I bagged it up and set it out.

“Proves my point,” he says.

“What point is that?”

“Either you don’t have a man or your man ain’t shit. (Gotta love his blunt-ness.) A decent man would have noticed that and done something about it. Or at least he would have taken out the trash sitting there. I see you need Daddy back in your life.” (Yes, this fool is still calling himself Daddy.)

I roll my eyes because while I want to give him the speech about how I am perfectly capable of doing what needs to be done, the fact is that I have not done it. I’ve been too focused on other things–work mostly– to take care of everything in a timely fashion. Perhaps a good partner (‘cause time management or organizational classes are lost on me) who shared household responsibilities with me could have remedied this. “This” gets me to thinking about what other things could be so much easier with a decent man around. Things like owning a dream loft before I’m 40 and not having to work till I’m 70 to pay off a 30 year mortgage. Things like splitting the bills. Things like the tax deductions that come with being married and a homeowner. (I was putting my taxes together this morning. I get pissed every year about not owning something. I need deductions, dammit!) Things like if I ever I decide to raise a human, having someone to bear the responsibilities with me. Things like a safety net of another worker in the house that in the event I lose my job that there will be an effective back-up plan handy. (There’s a certain comfort of living and spending that comes with knowing there’s a net. Thanks, Dad.) Things like that.

For years, I’ve summed up the idea of pairing off as the vices outweighing the virtues. Who wants to fight with someone in the house and then have to sleep next to someone you’re pissed at? Who wants to bear the responsibility of being someone’s emotional and physical solace? Who wants to take the risk of someone fucking up their credit? Who wants to wash someone’s dirty draws?!

Maybe me. I’m starting to think the rewards of relationships, marriage in particular, outweigh the risks.

Damn, I must be getting grown.

– Amelda


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