“Find Somebody to Love You...”
I moved to Brooklyn the other day, and as I was packing up my Central Harlem apartment I took a break to chat with my 65 year old neighbor next door.
As we sat on his stoop and looked out onto the block, from which I was anxious to depart, we talked a little about its history, as well as the reason I was leaving.
“This is NYC,” he said, plainly. “If you want a better life, you gotta move out of the city. You’re not going to find it here.”
He, like most other New Yorkers, has a “it is what it is” perspective of this unique place and was trying to convey that moving from Harlem to Brooklyn is more or less the same thing; that if I was truly tired of seeing the gruesome visuals I so often see, I would simply not find the solution in another borough. I get it.
He went on to say, "you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing now. Paying for experiences(not a better life). You should be hanging out downtown in Chelsea or somewhere like that; going to all the hot spots," and listing a few.
“What are you 25/26/27? You don’t have to tell me the exact age.”
I don’t suffer from ageism or anything, so I was just like "yeah, 26."
"Why are you not married yet?"
He wasn’t being disrespectful, but I still cringed at the question. I had to let him know that a man and of quality and in these streets? No good.
He just looked at me, and as if he was almost done with the conversation he said, "find somebody who’s going to love you. And, if he’s not a black man, let him love you anyway.”
He says, did you watch the royal wedding with Megan Markle?
"Yes," I said.
"Did you see her husband? What about Serena? Have you seen her husband?"
I had to laugh. lol this man was really trying to sell me a dream. Not mines, but somebody’s. lol
He followed up, well did you go to grad school?
*I cringed again, but this time in I still don’t know what I’m doing with life"
"Nooooooo not yet," I said, in a soft high pitched voice.
Then, as if he was dropping the biggest gem of all time, he said “Go to grad school and find you a husband.”
I couldn't believe my ears. lol It wasn't as if this hadn't crossed my mind before, but I’m really not falling for that trick again. I - like many more of my female classmates - thought this was apart of the undergrad deal (laughs in black woman).
I might go back - for an education - but ain’t no way I’m about set my mind up for this kind of disappointment again..
Anyway, in less than 45 minutes this man told me I was living in La la land. That my first love was my last “in love” feeling I would ever feel; that it was time for me to be married, that grad school was my solution to loneliness, that I’m the hunter and not the hunted in this whole relationship search; that my tall dark and handsome doesn’t need to be dark, and so much more.
But this is where he ended:
To be honest, this was a genuine conversation, he meant well, and I appreciate that talk. I'm not going to say I agree with everything he said, but I definitely heard him.
"Find somebody to love you..."