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Friday, April 21, 2006

"Oh baby you. You got what I neeeeeeed."

“But you say he’s just a friend. You say he’s just a friend…”

Bizmarkee was lightyears ahead when he wrote this song. As a child I didn’t really understand the concept of being in multiple relationships at once, but through time I have observed many instances where men and women somehow figure out how to justify and partake in the practice of infedelity, in a much nicer, cushiony context. It doesn’t make it right in my mind, but it’s certainly worth observing. Think about it- our culture is ripe with it. Cheating. Plainly stated, it’s when you’re with one person, and you start doing someone else. Whether it’s a mind screw or a back-room-of-a-party screw, who is to say which one is worse? Below are a few of my “favorite” offenses:

“He’s just a friend.” (see Biz Markee song above). I work with a lady who has a husband of 25 years that she was recently separated from. They called a time-out and moved into separate homes, shared custody of their daughter and started doing their own thing several years ago. Through it all, they never actually got divorced. She is thinking about getting back together with him, but is also seeing another man that she claims she will continue to see. She calls him her “friend”. They go on dates, they do their thing, but they are just friends…would her husband see it way?

Someone to pay for your nails and someone to pay for your gas. When I was in college I spent summers working for my dad’s company. You cant beat being the bosses daughter because you get paid well and people leave you the hell alone when you want a day off, to take a long lunch break, to wear open toed shoes. But I worked with some pretty interesting ladies who spent the day answering the phone, barking at already pissy customers, and gossiping. Keisha was my favorite, because she was 250 pounds of classy, lovely, ghetto lady. She always smelled great, looked put together, and told it like it was. Keisha, upon seeing my nail polish chipping away, told me that I needed to find a man to get my nails done. I explained to her that my boyfriend at the time was a lowly college student, playing ball in the summer, not making a dime. I was the breadwinner in that situation. She shook her head and told me, that’s not what she meant. “I didn’t say you need to ask your boyfriend for money, I said you need a man to pay for your nails. And get one to pay for your gas, too.” To Keisha, there was her baby’s daddy (who will always have a place in her heart, but will never be able to take care of her or her child) her current boyfriend (who took her on dates and played with her daughter) and the two men who paid for her nails and for the gas in her car (no explanation is needed here). How did she keep track of them all? Two had her pager number, two had her cell phone. All had different ring tones. Apparently modern invention was the key to her discretion.

The Booty Call. This can often be intertwined with the above situations, but one factor differentiates it- it's all about the sex. Getting it on when you want it, not dealing with it when you don't. Text messaging and instant messenger have increased the likelihood and ease of this popular phenomenon. Interestingly enough, the booty call is not racist or sexist, and lends itself to a variety of subcultures. While it is still common for the female (or one of the females) in the situation to be seen as the “slut”, it is a socially acceptable practice and commonly heard phrase in the American culture. Most evidence of the booty call can be easily erased and covered up so that the co-conspirators can lead normal lives and carry on outside relationships.

A Marriage of convenience.
This is simply a label for the practice, which does not always include the actual vow of marriage, but does include a commitment between two people, who in turn, see other people. The catch is that they do it without trying to hide it, they just do it politely and out of their partners view. Is there really a place for this in our society? Apparently so. People carry on meaningful relationships outside the bedroom, often being seen as exemplary couples. Inside the bedroom, however, they couple up with others. Late nights at work, business trips, unexplained phone calls. He’s still paying his half of the mortgage and she is still getting the kids to school on time. Everybody wins.


At 10:43 AM, Blogger Emiole said...

My mom knew a woman who was married for 25 years. Her and her husband were swingers. After 25 years of marriage he turned to his wife and said, "I'm tired of this, I want it to just be us." They got divorced because she couldn't do it. That is so sad to me. To scrap 25 years of love because you can't have sex with other people anymore... I'm 25 years of marriage in, you can't be that hot... you can't be getting that much ass.


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