-by Jennifer Wray
One of my favorite things to do is laugh with my girlfriends about how men show out when the roles are reversed, like when my girl, Dani, told her man she was going on a girls’ trip to an exotic island, and it was problematic, even though he had barely made it home from his annual guys-only trip to Miami. He somehow found all the reasons she shouldn’t go without him. “You’re trying to go somewhere we haven’t been before!” he said. Then, there’s my girl, Nicole. Her guy can stay out all night ten times per year, but the night she decides to stroll in at 4 am, it’s a problem. It’s a huge problem.
What is it with guys that when the shoe is on the other foot, they act like strangers to the game?
I’ll never forget a time when my man’s immaturity and inability to take what he dishes out actually opened up space for me to discover just how cute he is when he’s mad. Or, well, maybe how vulnerable I am when he’s mad?
My beau at the time had the nerve to be pissed because I didn’t answer when he called. Apparently, he was trying to let me know he was on his way home, but I was asleep and didn’t hear the phone ring. I mean, he could ignore my texts and calls whenever he was out, but he expected me to be Jenn-in-tha-spot when he called? THA NERVE!
When he came home, I laid there a few minutes, waiting for him to come to bed, but he never came. He did, however, pull a new one on me: he peeked his head in the door and asked, “Yo! What’d you do with the blankets?”
No, he didn’t. Did he insinuate I hid the blankets? In my head, I thought, “Uhh, yeah I hid the blankets in the basement so I can make a fort later. Are you serious? Bruh, come on.” He knew where the blankets were – in the closet where they belong.
There’s no way he’s acting like I did something to his I-can-dish-it-but-I-can’t-take-it ass!
I decided to play along with his game and replied, “They’re in the front room closet on the top shelf to the right.” Surely, he wasn’t going to sleep in there, right? I knew he wouldn’t last long in the living room by himself because this was the same person who needed me to rub his back until he fell asleep. However, I wasn’t about to pretend like I did something wrong by missing his call, so I did what any innocent person would do… I went to sleep!.
Well, he fooled me that night. I woke up and looked at the clock… it was 2 am. Now I was pissed. He was really managing to hold onto a grudge over a missed call.
I marched into the front room, and there he was – half of his six-foot one-inch body was partially wrapped in a tiny airline blanket on the couch. Before I knew it, I was wondering if he was cold or uncomfortable. Something came over me when I saw him there asleep, all cold and “unloved” looking. I went to the bedroom to get his pillow so he wouldn’t have a cramp in his neck. I gently lifted his head and slid the pillow under his neck. He barely moved but immediately snuggled his head into the pillow. Then, I made my way to the closet and collected a big blanket. When I opened the closet door, I saw him from the corner of my eye, looking to see what I was doing. I chuckled because he looked nervous, like he thought I was getting something else from the closet.
To his surprise, I covered him with the big blanket and tucked in the sides, making sure he was warm and comfortable and headed back to the bedroom. Before both my feet entered our bedroom, he was right behind me. We didn’t say one single word to each other. We got in the bed and held each other tighter than we’d ever held each other before.
What I knew in my mind was this: I had told him I loved him without saying a single word. That night, we made love without having sex. I knew I loved this man from my soul.
I loved him and wanted him to be okay, regardless of anything we were going through. No matter how small or petty. I didn’t care how wrong he was or how wrong he had been. I put my temporary feelings to the side and realized I knew the true meaning of love: sacrificing my feelings, thoughts, and desires to care for someone else. I was proud of myself, but I was also surprised. For the very first time, I realized I was truly in love.