Day 1: Maintain a friendship with your childhood friend, despite the fact that you no longer live in the same state. Tell her you love her like family and that she is like a sister to you.
Day 2: Like friends do, share your secrets and fears. At the moment, because you are both approaching 40, talk about your frustrations about not being married and wanting to start a family. Talk about how the lack of prospects has led you both to rekindle and revisit past loves.
Day 3: Listen intently as your friend talks about her man problems. She is hopeful. There are two men she is interested in, both out of the state, one from high school the other from college. You remember the one from high school. She seems most excited about him. Plans to go visit him soon.
Day 4: Listen to your friend tell you about how much she likes the high school crush and is focusing all of her energy on him. When she visited they reconnected. They laughed. They made love. They made plans to see each other again. She is hopeful.
Day 5: (Be)friend your friend’s high school-turned grown woman love interest on facebook.
Day 6: Flirt with your friend’s high school-turned grown woman love interest on facebook (Ish, they are not “together.”)
Day 7: With the support of your friend, make plans to visit your own lost love, who just so happens to live in the same city and state as hers.
Day 8: When your plans with your long-lost fall through, call your friend’s crush and invite him for drinks. Utilize information you are privy to about your homegirl (and conversations she has had with him) to convince him that she is untrustworthy. Tell him that she is also dealing with someone in another state that she knows from college. Tell him all of the things you know about their interactions together. Don’t tell your friend.
Day 9: When confronted by your friend about reaching out to someone she is interested in (he tells her before you do), don’t apologize or recognize your bad judgment, instead get defensive and say hurtful things to her to try to make her feel undesirable.
Day 10: Call your friend, tell her that the man she has recently slept with and was interested in doesn’t want to be with her, he wants to be with you. Let her know that you are planning to move to his state so that the two of you can be together. Then ask her if, after some time passes, can you still be friends?
#truestory. Not mine, but my homegirl’s.
When she told me about her friend’s betrayal I was partially speechless. I wondered if her friend knew the code, friends don’t hook up with friends’ exes… especially when they know their friend still likes them. Where they do that at?
But when I asked heterosexual black women their opinion about man-stealing, there were varying views. Most people said that it depended on the circumstances. For example, how long they had been together? How serious was the relationship? Was she in love? Some people think that if enough time has passed between one relationship and the next, then it shouldn’t matter. Still others say that if a man is interested in someone else, who happens to be your friend, and they fall in love—who are you to stand in the way? Other people think it is about age. They said it is easy to have the “I saw him first” rule when you are 16, but as we get older, and the pool of eligible and dateable black men diminishes, you have to get in where you fit in.
Luckily, for me and my friends, we are never attracted to the same (kind of) man, so it has never been a problem. And being that many of my friends, and I, are so visually and fundamentally different—we don’t tend to attract the same (kind of) men or be interested in the same (kind of) men… But I like to think that if there was a man that I was interested in, that my homegirl saw first, had first, etc., that would be a dealbreaker for me. I like to think that I would choose my friendship.
Yet, I don’t know how to judge women who approach dating like crabs in a barrel. I get it. Regrettably I have been a crab in the past—judging, scratching, and clawing my way to a man on the neck of another woman. I never saw it as that but as my homegirl described her former friend’s ambitions for a man at her expense, I thought about the women I may have (knowing and/or unknowingly) disrespected or disregarded for a chance at love. Granted, it has never been a friend of mine, but it has been a woman, who, no different from my homegirl may have saw or loved him first.
What is the new standard? Can we reverse the misogynistic male rapper mantra of the 90s, M.O.B. (Money over Bitches) which seemed to make it sensible, for men, to never choose a woman over a friend (though, of course, these were the same men who “shared” women…”ain’t no fun if the homies can’t have none”) to a new millenium B.O.M. (Blackwomen over Men, by the way, not bitches over money) stance? What do you think?