The Male Ego, Part III –The “Grass is Greener” Guy

Here’s a situation that definitely isn’t exclusive for one sex or the other. It happens to men and women every day that begins with the rising of the sun. Your ex- gets a new boo-thang…and your insides twirl with an emotion that can best be described as a wildebeest being ran down by a ravenous hyena in the African grasslands.

Much like the amount of time it takes the hyena to catch the wildebeest, the rebound “relationship” between your ex and their next usually only lasts only a short time. Nevertheless, the aftermath of the catch goes on and on.

You, the wildebeest, tried desperately to escape any feelings whatsoever towards the person who by now, you wish never existed. Your emotions, the hyena, chases you down relentlessly. You sweat with fear, eyes bulging, tongue wagging, wishing this carnivorous beast would go away.

Alas, you can run no more. You were able to escape the subliminal messages you saw on Twitter and even an ominous picture or two on Facebook with minimal harm but you CANNOT ignore your mutual friends when they look to you and say “You know you done f*cked up right?”

If your life be so miserable, your ex will walk into the same venue you’re at — looking as good as a jar of ice water in the Mississippi heat.

And it doesn’t matter if you are with your own arm candy, your entire crew, your cousins or all the above. If he or she has entered with their ‘next,’ your insides will sink, your mouth will dry up and your heart will pound as your body heats up from the inside-out. You will have to grip the nearest piece of furniture for support and hum quietly to avoid racing over to the pair and ripping them limb from limb. On the outside, though, you seem as cool as a cucumber. Only someone perceptive enough to see the twitch in your left eye will know anything is amiss.

Sometimes this unspoken, and often unintentional, game is played back and forth. And truly enough, this happens to everyone. However, being the more egotistical of the species, men feel it more.

The man who once was ready to dismiss you in such a suave and swagged out manner, is now hitting your phone up ladies. He wants to know where you are, who you’re with and what y’all doing.

The man who so nonchalantly breezed over every care, concern and complaint you had during the relationship, now wants details about what you have going on from the moment your alarm clock goes off in the morning until the time you turn your TV off at night.

He, who so valiantly and bravely proclaimed that he loved you enough to let you go and wanted the best for you in all your future endeavors, is now calling you everything but a child of God through text message.

No, he’s not evil. He’s furious. He’s livid because of all the graphic details he’s made up in his head about what could be going on between you and so-so or even worse, you and such-and-such. B*tch, you know he hates such-and-such.

Weeks or months later, the angry barrage has discontinued. Now, there is loving adoration. Everything your ‘next’ sees in you, and lets you know on a regular basis, your ex realizes was there all along.

Now here’s something to note, ladies. He genuinely loves you and wants you back but don’t EVER think that’s all it is. This is about EGO. How DARE you be giving time and God knows what else to another man?!? That all belongs to him. Broke up or not, you’re his!

Most men could give a sh*t-less if a woman is at home — sad, lonely, thinking about him…damn near suicidal, but let her give another man some vital attention. *cue ambulance sirens, helicopter noises and horror movie screams*

So from here, the choice is yours, ladies. You can either entertain him and (possibly) give your love another chance or you can move on — with or without the next.

Let’s be honest. Most of us take him back. That was the point (or at least half the point) of the ‘next,’ right?

Some of us, though, can’t get past our own frustration and resentment as we think, “Oh, so now you want me? Now you care? Ain’t that some sh*t?” In this case, it’s better that as women we gracefully bow out.

In either case, let this be a lesson to you, gentlemen (and ladies). Reign in your ego while you’re in the relationship so that you won’t have to worry about battling it after the relationship is done.

The Male Ego, Part II – God’s Gift

Good-looking women are often stereotyped as conceited. Unfortunate. This stereotype creates something of an “expectation” of conceit. And often, acceptance follows expectation.

Some of my down-to-Earth friends associate with pompous people — much to my chagrin. Naturally, the pretentious persons in question are usually women. And although I am no fan of arrogance, I can somewhat deal.

Now let’s talk about what I can’t deal with.

We all know a few. Men who think they are the epitome of manhood and perfection personified. Oh, these creatures. They walk around with their heads in the clouds and up their arses at the same time — a feat to stand in awe of, indeed. How do they do it?

Well, that is a mystery that will remain one. I don’t know how they do it but I know why they do it — EGO.

Such a man has been told he’s fine” by his mom, grandma, aunties, neighbors and teachers since he ‘strutted’ down the birth canal. He has had women falling all over him since Pre-K. It was around that same time that other guys either started sucking up to him or plotting on his downfall — and he ate it all up like Thanksgiving Dinner.

In an alternate scenario, the guy starts out as an ugly duckling who isn’t very popular in school. He has a few close friends and a girlfriend or two but that’s about it. Either in high school or college (usually the latter), he reinvents himself. Things get ugly — quick. Not used to being really successful and popular, he gets hooked on his newfound glory and BAM — egomaniac!

As stated in Part I of the Male Ego, everyone has an ego. And I will add that depending on circumstance or situation, it can be both useful and necessary, alluring and sexy.

However, everything has its time and place. One’s ego does not need to be unleashed, full-force, 365.

When I think of the ideal man, I think of a man who is self-assured and confident but also humble and gracious. He knows that he’s the sh*t to the point that he doesn’t need to make self-indulgent statements all the damn time (think Jay-Z vs. Kanye).

This man does not need to put down or look down on others who can’t, or choose not to, match him tic-for-tac in terms of physique, fashion, finances, etc. He simply feels content and blessed because of all the great things he has going for himself.

This guy elevates others because he knows that the light of others won’t steal any shine from him — he’s THAT good!

I can’t stand the guy who uses every social gathering as an opportunity to brag on what he has and what he’s doing. If he’s not doing that, he’s laying out his “standards” of fine dining and apparel. Worst of all is when he goes into painstaking detail about all the criteria a woman must meet “to be his lady.”

That, friends, is a post for another day.

In the meantime, I suggest the next time a male friend of a friend starts droning on and on about how great he is, you wait until he pauses to catch his breath, wrinkle your forehead, look him dead in the eye and say, “But who asked you, though?”

The Male Ego, Part I — The Authoritarian

About a week ago, my friend Carmen <almost30something.com> and I were out for a night on the town. Even though it was a Wednesday night, we said “What the heck? It’s nice out!” I mean, can you think of a better reason to hit the town?

Anyway, we’d just left a tasting for Remy Martin’s new product “Remy V” — very delicious, by the way — and were headed to Stadium. Yes, the gentleman’s club. (Side note: I find this term to be sexist. Please believe me, the gentle ladies — and rough ones — enjoy such establishments JUST as much as the fellas).

OK. Focus, Mercia. As we were making a right turn off Bladensburg onto Queens Chapel, our trip was delayed. Why, you ask? There was a cop car in front of my car, that had a tractor-trailer in front of it, which had another 18-wheeler in front it. The latter was attempting to turn into a warehouse garage. Cool. I peeped the situation and waited patiently…for 10 minutes (or until the light turned from greed to read 10 times, depending on how you’d like to think about it).

Naturally, we were growing impatient. After all, we were anxious to get to the strip-club debauchery that surely awaited us. So, Carmen hit me with a few hypothetical situations. Maybe, the stationery tractor-trailer was broke down or maybe the cop was giving him a fine for some infraction. “That makes sense,” I thought. By now, the mega-vehicle that was at the front of our “line” had made his way into the garage but no other vehicle, including mine, had moved yet.

This is where I made the decision to go around the police car. Carmen kept a close, careful eye on the area ahead of the tractor-trailer — we had to be sure that as I went around the stalled vehicles, opposing traffic wouldn’t come down the road and hit us dead on.

After a few more minutes, I had my chance. I quickly, yet carefully, went around the police car and tractor-trailer. No sooner than I did, the police car suddenly came to life and chased me down, horn and sirens BLAZING. I pull over. From the gate, I’m 50% sure he’s upset I went around him.

The police officer approaches my car. He’s a black man around 45 years of age with an average height and build. I note that his eyes are a light, honey brown — not very typical of folk with a deep-brown complexion. He may have been attractive…if it weren’t for the piercing stare, seven wrinkles in his forehead and unmistakable scowl.

His greeting was less than professional. No “hello” or “good evening,” just “license and registration.” I handed both over. He looked down at them for two seconds and then whipped his head back up to me, barking “What makes you think you can do something I didn’t do? Why did you go around me when you saw me waiting for that truck to move?!?”

I was taken aback by his demeanor but replied sweetly, “Officer, I wasn’t sure what you were doing. I didn’t know if you were assisting the driver with something or pulling him over.”

Well, before I could get the last word out my mouth, he nastily sniped, “Did you see my lights on?!? If I was pulling him over there would be lights!”

Even though I was thinking “Is it a rule that I have to pay attention to a cop’s lights being on when they aren’t for me? Like, do I get paid to know all the police visual signals,?” I said “You’re right, Officer. Your lights weren’t on. I apologize.”

Without any response, he rolled his eyes and walked away in a huff. Ten minutes passed. During these ten minutes, several young men walked passed my cars giggling and pointing at my misfortune. Great.

Then, here comes “back-up.” I don’t know why this overly aggressive officer felt he needed help but whatever. Back-up comes and gets out his car. He shares a few words with the apprehending officer and then walks up to the back my car. From there, he BEATS ON MY TRUNK AND THUMPS ON THE PASSENGER SIDE OF MY CAR. I  don’t remember what I said, but I do remember my face being contorted as I peered in my rearview and side-view mirrors, watching in horror. By now, Carmen is cussing out the officers, their descendants, and ancestors. Thankfully, her window was up.

Soon after this, back-up gets back in his car and pulls off. Five minutes later, the angry officer comes back. He says, and I do quote, “Here’s your license plate and registration, and here’s your citation.” He then turns on his heels, and walks away.

There is no explanation of why he pulled me over, no explanation of the citation, and no bidding farewell. I am stunned. I look down at the ticket — $50, driving on the wrong side of the road. Before I could catch myself, I blurt out “Are you f*cking serious?.” I know he heard me. I looked at him through my side-view as I said it and he noticeably paused as the expletive flew out my mouth. He walked on, though.

I find it funny that this “officer of the law” couldn’t even look me in my eye when he literally tossed the ticket in my lap. It’s probably because he knew he was full of shit.

In any case, I attribute this whole incident to one thing — THE MALE EGO. I use the first thing this man ever said to me as evidence: “”What makes you think you can do something I didn’t do?” <–THERE IT IS.

Sure, we all have egos but men in authoritarian positions take it waaaay too far. Most ladies can get out of minor situations like the one I described by smiling sweetly, talking softly and being extra polite/charming. Not with this guy! He had a point to make and I’m sure he walked away feeling “big,” “important,” and like “somebody.”

It’s not just the cops. Trust me, I’m not one of those black people who rag on the police 24/7. You see this at the club, too. Bouncers who are waiting for someone to even suck their teeth so they say “That’s it, your out of here!” Club owners know that men best fulfill these positions because women are not naturally egotistical. In other words, we don’t make good assholes unless we are forced into this role by circumstance.

Gentlemen, avoid being mimicked, mocked and ridiculed behind your back by approaching any and every leadership or authoritarian role you come into with a sense of grace, elegance and humbleness. People will ultimately respect and appreciate you more. Besides, the “Power Trip” is soooo 90’s.