Friday, March 30, 2012

Relationships: Unmasking Love

I don’t think I’ve ever farted in front of my significant other. In fact, I’m pretty sure I did a super cartwheel out of bed, over the bed bench and baseball slide out of the bedroom door just to do it. I’ve bucked a toe or two with these fast moves. Hurts like hell.


When my boyfriend and I first started dating, I wouldn’t even let him see my morning face. He’d wake up to a clean mouth, astringent-cleaned face and a spritz of Victoria Secret.

I’d followed a friend’s advice:

“For the first three months, you never let him catch you slipping girl. Don’t let him wake up to morning breath, keep the sweats in the drawer and keep that lip gloss on deck!”

For a tomboy with a vast sneaker collection, three pairs of heels and one lip gloss to her name; I was devastated. Keeping up these shenanigans for three months was going to be madness.

Then it hit me. Wouldn’t he discover “true me” after three months? Would he stick around then? If he’s going to leave, why should I stop him now?

My friend is a fool. Love her to death, but trying to maintain and play these cat and mouse games to win over someone who’s already won, is wack.

This beckons the question: At what point of the relationship, do we stop wearing our masks?

If I backtrack through my union, I remember the exact point that I did. We met up with some friends at a beer garden in Long Island City for some fun. I’m still quite the inexperienced drinker; I mixed a Long Island Iced Tea with two beers. It wasn’t the greatest idea. Halfway back to the car, I stumbled over a few sidewalk cracks before I realized that my “Oops my bad” had a slur. My new boyfriend laughed and giggled, even when I sat on a random brownstone steps, folded my arms and grimaced at him.

“What’s so funny?” I asked him.

He smiled. “You are. I’ve never seen you without inhibition.”

At that moment all I could think about was prohibition. I grabbed hold of his arm, pulled it in the direction of the car and started to walk again.

That night I threw up approximately three times and sprawled across the white sheets like a drunken snow angel. When I woke up the next morning, still a little hazy, he wasn’t beside me. I tiptoed to the living room where I found him, awake on the couch, grinning up at me. “Drunk girlfriend! I see you’re awake. Sorry, there was no room on the bed for me.”

I laughed and sat down beside him. For the first time, we spent the morning together; no make-up, last night’s clothes, morning breath and all. As the sun peeked through the blinds of the living room, he pinched my nose and said, “Breakfast?”

Why didn’t I do this earlier?

A great weight was lifted off of my shoulder. During the next few months he’d find out about my sneaker collection and push me to wear them, he’d tell me that he loved my face pre-makeup and that my bad-hair-day hat was cute.

He loved me for me.

This post is for all the girls who are obsessed with matching bra’s and panties, chipped nail polish and that little red dress. It’s for all the women who pretend they don’t have a past in order to keep their future. This is for the Sydney Shaws (Brown Sugar) who are awkward and clumsy and want nothing more than their best friends to fall in love with them.

If he doesn't love you for you now, he won't later on.

Our boyfriends should be our best friends: The people we aren’t afraid to show our flaws to, the person who has seen us at our best and our worst and the man who’ll deny you of your mask. Through play fights, my Ciara impersonation in the mirror and my ridiculously loud laugh at the movie theatres; I’ve learned that I’m loved for me.

What was/is your mask? Are you still wearing it?

-riv-

(pic via here)



8 comments:

Veronica said...

Its intersting that many women have this imposition of time on when you should "reveal thy self".

When I was dating, I actually used to show my real self in the beginning as a test beacuse I don't want you if you don't want ME.

All of my actions would say, "Look I'm not wearing makeup on the daily, I cuss on occasion, I love tennis shoes, I'm passionate so I tend to yell even when I'm not angry. I like to flirt and I'm a free spirit. Don't try to make me be something other than what I am."

There are only TWO that ever accepted me as I am. One, we are still good friends to this day and the other, is my very best friend and I'm marrying him in just a few months! <--see I'm yelling. LOL :-)

To everyone else, I was "too goofy, too tall, too this, too that."

But Chief will say-- "I love your [goofy, tall, sexy] ass." at any given time.

Now isn't that something? No need to pretend for love.

No need for all the pretenses and I believe that's what men would want in the first place. However, some women are so caught up with trying to be the "perfect" they see on tv.

Men want to see what they really have in a woman instead feeling like they got "got" a few months down the line.

Now I've gone on to write a novella...I'm done. LOL

Veronica said...

Did I really spell interesting wrong? OMG!

Erika D. Coldman said...

I love this post! It's unfortunate that we as women have to go to these lengths to keep a man.

Shoutout to the women who don't give a damn! This post made me laugh out loud as I imagined someone trying to dodge the judgmental stares after passing gas.

I totally agree in that your significant other should be the one you can be uninhibited around, if no one else although I doubt I'm anywhere near comfortable enough to toot in front of my sweetie lol

p.s. s/o to the fellow Sidney Shaws out there =)

Marcus said...

Love it. As always. Write more!

stephanie. said...

I love what Veronica said and it echoes a lot of my own experiences. I'm always one for being my beautiful, passionate, hurting self and that's a strength about me I love. All the same, I've had too many men come into my life and try and convince me I needed to be different. They simply couldn't stand in my light and I know this now. And so, I will wait, wait until the time is right, when someone will come along and love me for the me I only know how to be. Thanks for reminding me that who I am in this moment is good enough riv.

rio de` said...

Man, this is such a relevant post! I'm in a new relationship, going on the third month here and there are definitely certain things that I'm hesitant to show, and other things that came out and I shrugged them off. Better to see them now then later. But this post encourages me to keep pushing forward and doing what I'm doing. Thank you. &wonderfully written.

riva. said...

I love that you guys can relate! It means I'm not alone in the world. *holds fart* Ha!

Veronica, you're such a writer. Full throttle over a typo.

Stephanie, I hope that any brother you come across loves you in YOUR moment. I wish someone would've written this warning for me, back then.

Rio! I miss you. When are you gonna update me on your life? Get back on that blog!

-Riv

Jay Cadet said...

Great post.

I think it was Chris Rock who once said, "You don't actually meet someone on the first date. You meet their representative."

I was guilty of that partly because I didn't love myself 100% and didn't want females seeing my flaws either.

Ironically, this is the same reason I tried to 'change' others. Because I couldn't love myself fully, I would be very comfortable with pointing out all of their flaws that needed to be 'fixed'.

I've learned that being loved for who you are is a great way to learn how to love yourself and love others without bias or judgment. This is why I don't judge and give everyone I come across that same love that I was fortunate to have.

Love the writing as always....keep it up!