Oh Jill. I’m over here air hugging you, homegirl in my head. Every time you make an album, you somehow intuit what I need to hear to know that it’s not just me going through a certain situation, asking a certain question, or facing a certain predicament.
If so-gorgeous-she-lights-up-a-whole-block-with-her-smile, so-talented-she-even-passes-muster-with-older-folks, Grammy-award-winning-and-multi-platinum-unit-moving Jill Scott is in her part of the world checking her phone to see if her “he” calls, it means I’m completely normal when I do it. Jill has wondered why he stopped caring. (So has Janelle.) Jill has made a strong case for why she should be loved, just in case it wasn’t obvious to the man she thought should be doing the loving. (So has Janelle.) It’s all documented in “Quick,” a short, jazzy and telling track from the fabulous Ms. Scott’s just-released album.
If you haven’t heard it yet, stop spinning wheels and go listen. (After you read this blog post, of course.) Especially—especially—if you’re in that phase. You know, that space when you’re re-reading and psychoanalyzing five little ol’ texts from three days ago just because it was the last time you communicated with him. That’s where I’m at. Mourning the loss of The One. Or the latest one, at least.
In a mere one minute and fifty seconds, Jill sums up what she’s been trying to figure out about her entire relationship. How could it be over so… quick? And alas, I think a lot of us can relate to the feeling of being the only one out of a two-person couple who gives a hot damn about the experiences that have been had, and the emotions that have been exchanged in the space of a relationship. Guys, it seems, can push past any sentimentality and go emotionally blank in the amount of time it takes me to absorb a calorie. The word “disposable” comes immediately to mind.
Love isn’t supposed to make it easy to throw someone away. Love is supposed to stand up and fight for your unique preciousness. But like Jill so poignantly points out, that change can happen quick.
I woke up in the middle of the night last night and glanced at the time too, Jill. 3:45 a.m. Before I willed myself to doze off, I had purposefully tucked my phone under a pillow so I’d stop compulsively checking for communication from him. I caught myself trying one time too many to telepathically intimidate the little red message light to start blinking, but when I gave in and looked anyway, I swiftly got my feelings hurt. No unread texts. No missed calls. No emails. From him, anyway. Wasn’t nobody thinking about me but Groupon.
I remember when I used to wake up to “good morning, baby” texts and go to sleep to “just thinking about you” songs sent as links from YouTube. There were plans in the works for a wedding, more babies, and a house with a sunroom and a man cave for him in the basement. Years of planning and praying and hoping and loving is all in the wind.
Sometimes people change and they need to move on. The ebbs and flows of life mature some folks past the point of being able to tolerate the foolishness they once accepted as part of their partner’s package. There are, for every person, loveable things and not-so-great flaws, but you can’t strip out one for the other, so you voluntarily take the good with the bad and hope that the bad never overrides the good. Sometimes, though, people just give up, get lazy in their loving, and want components of a relationship to be easy. Email have made communication efficient, microwaves have made cooking faster, but there are just some things that can’t be slashed, cut, or time-compressed. Building a lasting, loving, solid, healthy, happy, peaceful, joy-filled romance is one of those things.
I don’t know how Jill is feeling about the prospects of new love right now, but I can tell you that Janelle is a recovering romantic who is officially telling Cupid to kick rocks. I’ve had a baby by the wrong one, spent eight years waiting on a ring from the wrong one, and I’m now collecting my thoughts and scraping my feelings off the doorstep of this latest wrong one. Y’all know the rule about three strikes. I used to love hard, ask questions later. Be tolerant. Patient. Nurturing even. But when he got done with me, he didn’t extend any of that time valuing courtesy. He dumped my tail. Quick.
Just for GP, I checked my phone again. Still no call. So after I leave this beautiful park bench with the sun beaming on my skin and seeping into my spirit, I’m throwing on my Jill album and let my faraway celebrity bestie sing me her story, and in the process, empathize with mine.