It has been one year since I lost a family friend that definitely made an impact on my life. So, I decided to dedicate today’s post to her.
You would have to know Mrs. Denise’s relationship with me in order to understand the relevance of the title. As my mother’s best friend and coworker, she always assisted in guiding and molding me into what she called a “good girl”. There were always jewels of wisdom, laced with playful banter, each time we spoke. Her favorite topic of discussion was that of love, happiness, and relationships. She always told me how much I reminded her of her youth and how she already knew the type of man that I would end up with. She said she just felt like she knew me well enough to know just the type of guy that would best suit me. Of course, I would laugh and tell her the stories about whoever peaked my interest at the moment. She made sure to critique my crush of the moment and make her predictions about our future. The funny thing is, she was always right about them.
I can recall her saying, “Meah, you will meet the man that you are going marry after you graduate from college. It may even happen during law school. Don’t worry about having a boyfriend right now. When you are young, those relationships rarely get serious, especially these days. You are a very mature young lady and the man that would be right for you will probably be a few years your elder.” Then she would go on to say, “You don’t want to settle nor do you want to just give yourself to anyone because everyone has a real love, you know, that someone that gives them a little tingle every time they walk by.”
The subject of relationships wasn’t and still isn’t a topic that I would say that I am well-versed in. However, great people that I have been blessed to encounter like Ms. Denise have done a great job of showing and telling me what love should be like, look like, and feel like. Seeing my parents and family friends has painted this vivid picture that I can’t get past.
Love, to me, is this thrilling, yet familiar, warmth. It’s simple gestures from an extraordinary person. Love is unfiltered. It is being present in my worst moments. Love is not leaving my side. Love is making the things that I care about a priority to you. Love is reading my energy and responding accordingly. It’s knowing when I need a coffee because my day was unbearable. Love is sitting in silence because you understand that at that moment, your presence speaks volumes. Love isn’t being intimidated by the physicality of me. Love is being able to make me laugh and challenge me all at once. Love is seducing my mental because you understand that is the only way that you will be able to attain my physical.
Love isn’t Instagram shoutouts and flowers that do nothing but cause work for me. Love isn’t comparing me to what society portrays as beautiful. Love is knowing that if you wholeheartedly devote yourself to me that it will be reciprocated with interest. Love is a sense of pride in knowing that I represent you and you me. Love is sitting in admiration when I walk by because you feel like, “Damn, I got her. She’s mine.” Be not confused, I want to feel that same admiration when you walk into a room.
Love is knowing that there is no argument larger than us. There is no person more beautiful to me than you nor to you than me. Love is simple. Love is tangible. Love is authenticity. Love is knowing in my heart that you’re okay, even when I can’t put my finger on you. Love is laughter.
Love is wanting our son to be just like you because the world could use another extraordinary man. Love is knowing that our daughter will never be taken advantage of by a boy because you have shown her what a real man looks like. Love is hearing something from the bedroom and not being frightened because I know I am beyond safe, laying beside you.
Love is humming slow jams all day just from the thought of you. Love is caressing my hand, tracing my lips with your fingers, kissing my forehead. Love is feeling butterflies when you call because I feel like a teenager all over again. Love is consistency. Love is dependability. Love is repetition. Love is honest and long-suffering.
“You don’t need a model, but you want a good, hard-working man that loves you,” she’d say, “because love is the only thing that, even in its mediocrity, still proves to be extraordinary.”
I am writing this as a young woman that has yet to be in a committed relationship. To some, that may be peculiar and to others, that may seem pathetic. However, it was always brought to my attention that I am a product of a generation where love is being offered.
There are a lot of young people in my era that are looking for something that they are not willing to reciprocate. In the words of Jill Scott, “You want me flawless.You want me patient and sweet. You want me willing.You want my honesty.You want me to be appreciative. Respect your space. Ignore your fears.You want spontaneity, a good girl and a freak.You want loyalty.You want something that you’re not willing to be.”
The fact that those words are so accurate honestly bothers me.
I live in an era where Lauryn Hill’s “DuWop” lyrics reign supreme. Both guys and girls are all about that thing. The average young lady equates a man conquering her in the bedroom with being made his queen. Given the mental picture that I have painted, I never have expected to be the hot item among my peers because I realize that I am more. I am not the jump off, the groupie, the girl next door, nor am I chick on the side. If me understanding what love really is causes me to be alienated, so be it.
Forget #RelationshipGoals and #ThisCouldBeUs. If it isn’t authentic, everyday, “let’s grow old together” love, then I am not interested. My time will come and it will be real and tangible. I have no doubt about that. However, I am in no rush.
I am a young woman with a lot of life to live and learning to do. If he enters my life tomorrow or two years from now, it makes no difference to me. The advice and encouragement from wise women in love, like Ms. Denise, makes me certain that a great love will find me. There will be no theatrics or hidden agendas when he does. I hope my little love story was encouraging or at least entertaining to someone. I also hope that you all got a little piece of the gem that Ms. Denise was just from reading this post. May any and everyone of you reading take part in a love as great as the love she had for life. This is in remembrance of her.