Ninja Friends

I think we all have those one or two (maybe three) people, that no matter what, you know they will always be there for you… Even though you only talk every blue moon. These are not your normal friends. You don’t see them every day; every week; or every month. I don’t even think “friend” is a proper term for them. The relationship is weird. It’s a strong bond though that’s held together by… practically nothing.

In my case though, I have two friends from high school — a guy and a girl — that I hardly ever talk to and rarely see. The girl, I haven’t seen for maybe four or five years now! She moved out of the state and out of respect of our dating relationships, our talk time had become nearly nonexistent. She has since gotten engaged and had a child (BUT she and her fiancé thought I would be an excellent Godfather; Yay me!). The guy friend, I may see once or twice a year, but when we get together it’s like we never spent any time apart. He is now married with two kids. I’ve seen him a few times since he’s been married, but not his kids. That’s how bad it is, and I really don’t understand it. Through all the space and time between both these friends we remain separated, but inseparable.

I texted a friend for some help today, and the response I got was, “Well my phone says this is Reggie but nahhhh. Reggie doesn’t text me.” So I’ve accepted the fact that maybe I’m a bad, but loyal friend. I’ve heard other people say they have friendships like this, but now I’m considering that maybe me and those people have problems in nurturing friendships.

I first thought about this one night about a month ago when my brother came over. Now my brother and I are pretty close — the kind of close that can be exhausting — like Shawn and Marlon. However, over the last two (nearly three) years, we have not spent any time together where it was only us two. So that particular night we talked from 10pm until 6am the next morning… and we realized we are no longer as similar as we once were. Since that’s my brother though, we still understand each other and know why our views are the way they are, even though they may differ now.

Shawn and Marlon Wayans in "White Chicks"
Shawn and Marlon Wayans in “White Chicks”

Now let’s consider these two friends that I have. If we really sat down to catch up, what would happen? Not at a birthday dinner, or a wedding, or some group reunion… Just one-on-one and eyeball to eyeball; what would happen?

Answer…

We would leave thinking about how awkward it was. If my own brother and I are having to relearn each other after a short three years of not living together, how much have my friends and I differed since we’ve been apart? We don’t know each other anymore. Our lives have taken different routes, and experiences have taught us different lessons. Yes, it’s a part of life and growing, but there has been no constant communications between us to make us aware of each other’s changes. It’s like seeing your friends in the sixth grade after fifth grade summer break: “Dang you got tall!” It would be to drastic and the thought of it has actually made me paranoid about getting to know my friends as full grown adults.

I believe we all have cases like this. Yours may not be as extreme as mine, but you can relate. Partake in my perspective, will you? I say all of that to say, that relationships of all kinds, have to be strengthened. It’s easy for us to focus on strengthening that bond in a dating relationship because your are fighting to keep that person. We have to do the same for siblings, childhood friends, good friends we made on the job, or wherever. If we don’t that bond that you think is there, just may not be.

The reason that this is important to me, is because I truly believe that the types of relationships you build in life will play a dominant role in determining your measure of happiness in the end. People are your greatest investment. Try not to burn any bridges and stay in good standings with everyone. Now if it can’t be done, then it can’t be done. But a lot of times we give up on people, and possibly good friends, over something as little as lack of communication.

I hear people talk about how they don’t need friends. Well you may not need friends, but everyone needs love… and you can find a lot of love in friends. So if you got throwback friends, or ninja friends (can’t see ‘em, but you know they’re there), call and tell them you appreciate them. Hang out if you can. Keep in contact and keep the relationship what it should be. I mean, I have friends in my favorites list that I don’t even remember what they look like. I’m a bad case, so don’t be like me. Call your friends now… before you realize the number you have saved for them is their pager number.

Mama’s Boy

If you ask me if I’m a mama’s boy, you probably couldn’t even give me an accurate definition of what that term means. It will probably be vague like, “You do everything she says” or “You tell her everything.” What I have done is defined the term in to four categories; two of which are healthy, and the other two, not so much.

The first thing that you have to realize is that under normal circumstances, the mother is the first woman that a guy will learn to deal with. Every standard and view of a woman that he will have, will initially be from what he has gathered from interactions with his mother. So in turn, if a guy loves his mother (which most guys do), the girl that he chooses to date or marry will more than likely share some characteristics with his mother— even if it’s simply physical resemblance. So if he chooses to pursue you, then you are already in a pretty good place— unless he has been pampered into adulthood. If that’s the case, you may be being viewed as another mother.

What a lady should try to figure out is not whether her guy is a mama’s boy or not. What she should try to figure out, is whether he’s the good kind or the bad kind. Every man should have a healthy relationship with his mom. I’m pretty sure every (normal) woman would like to have a man who shares a healthy relationship with his mom. I think what most women want are non-expressive independent mama’s boys.

I have put together a pretty simple chart that breaks down mama’s boys into four basic groups.

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 10.27.27 PM


The type of family and the man’s placement in that family will weigh the most in determining which one of these categories that he will fall into. I have also broken the type of family placement for the man down into four categories with slight variations. They are the only child, the only boy, the youngest child, and the eldest child.

Placement in the Family

Only Child:

The only child is almost a given. He and his mother will be inseparable. That is her only child so every bit of maternal instinct that she is possible of providing will all go into him and his well-being. By the time he is old enough to date, I believe it’s a natural defense for her to be suspicious of any other female coming into his life. By this time I think it is safe to say that the young man will have learned to trust completely in his mother which will make it extremely difficult for any woman to get close to him. When you have a boy that has been raised as an only child, he will typically fall under the category of captive expressive.

Only Boy:

The only is a tricky one. He will definitely be used to being catered to. Sisters will have some of the same characteristics of a mother has, so the effects can be pretty bad. More than likely he will probably fall under the captive category… And the expressive category. Even though the only boy would still commonly fall into the captive expressive category, they are still pretty rare.

Youngest Child:

I think the youngest child is a wild card. It’s almost impossible to determine what category the youngest child will fall under. This category is the only one where the other two factors (which are discussed below) outweigh his placement in the family.

Eldest Child:

The eldest child will definitely be expressive. Whether or not he is captive or independent will depend on the other two factors discussed below. The eldest child is just that. The first that the mother will do anything with. The first that the mother will learn to parent. And the eldest will immediately become an extended right hand helping the mother as responsibilities grow, especially with added siblings. The bond between the eldest son and mother is almost the same as the only son and mother.


Two Key Factors

The Father:

The first of the two key factors outside of child placement in the family is fatherly input. What type of role the father plays in raising his son, can tilt the scale in any direction. Just to give a personal example, when I was 16 years old I went to work with my dad one day. My met us at work to join us for lunch. Since we were riding in my dad’s pickup truck, I got in before my mom to let her be on the outside. My father told my mom to sit next to him and let me sit on the end because I was “learning to be a man.” Back then I thought he just wanted my mom to sit next to him, but it made me feel like tough stuff.

There was another instance when I was about 19 or 20 years old. A friend of mine was on her way to pick me up one night. With me being the eldest child, my mom automatically did not care too much for the young lady. On my way out my mom talked about how she did not think I should be hanging with this girl and how she just rubbed her the wrong way. If my dad had not been present, I would have stayed home to make my mother happy. My dad ushered me out of the door and said, “Have a good night and be home on time.” It clicked for me then that, I have two parents that I have to consider and get input from when making a decision. Looking back at those two simple gestures of fatherhood saved me from being like Terrence J from “Think Like a Man”. From growing up with a father, I have learned to take suggestions from mother and strongly consider and value each and every one of her opinions. However, if dad says “Yes” or “No”, then thats what it is… because mama can’t teach me to be a man.

Number of Siblings:

The second factor is the number of children the mama’s boy is raised with. This is where having a lot of siblings come in handy, especially for the younger boys. When I started getting older and bringing girls around, it was the saving grace of my father that I could even talk to them. I was the oldest boy and this was my mother’s first time having to deal with “outsiders”. Being the oldest of seven, and five of which are boys, my mom didn’t have much time to spend on saving me from strange girls. Now that she have four boys of dating age, she’s used to it. She secure with me being responsible in who I choose to be with, while only gently guiding the younger boys. It was a learning curve that she too had to go through being taught by life, her own boys and her husband. Overall the more children a mother has, the more it dilutes the effect of the mama’s boy syndrome. By the time all of my brothers are grown the term mama’s boy will be something that my mother will find amusing. She will probably be tell some younger mother, “You have to learn to let them grow up.”

Hopefully this can be somewhat of a guide to figuring out what type of mama’s boy you have. If you take into account his placement in his family, the role of his father, and the number of siblings he have, you can just about stick him in one of these categories. Another thing that you can not leave out is what you see. You know what you see and what you hear, from him and his mother. Don’t make excuses for him. The wrong type of mama’s boy will have you caring for his mother and neglecting your own.

So the answer is yes. Yes I am a proud independent expressive mama’s boy. I’m also a daddy’s boy, a brother’s boy and a sister’s boy. So don’t let the term mama’s boy frighten you. More than likely if you get a good guy, he is going to be a mama’s boy to some degree, but just like anything else, there has to be balance.

Week 5 Recap

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has been checking in to read and share in my perspectives. Even the smallest amount of support goes a long way, and I really do appreciate the support. If you don’t support me, but you at least took the time skim through; Thank you too. 🙂

Secondly, for those of you who have followed Perspective Park, I would like to apologize for the short week of posts. I was on schedule to post last night but was not completely comfortable with my chosen topic. I would much rather that you become more accustomed to me and my views before I introduce too much controversy. Since I am only five weeks into creating an identity for Perspective Park, I am still making a first impression. If we met in person three times a week, you would already know that I mean no harm in anything that I say. However, since this is basically a one way line of communication, it takes a bit more time to establish a personality.

Over the weeks, I have scattered about in a variety of topics typically based on what I have felt like. Going forward though, I would like to provide you with a weekly recap that will cover two things— what was discussed that previous week, and a preview to what will be discussed in the upcoming week. I believe this process will help me to maximize productive time, while shortening the learning curve to blogging effectively, and giving you – the reader – more room for input.

With that being said…

Recap

  • On Monday, October 11, I posted Beauty: In All Forms. I simply discussed how I felt about the conditions of being comfortable within yourself. The way you perceive yourself can have a lot to do with how you carry yourself and your overall perspective of life. The media also plays a lot into how we define beauty. Don’t let those images become your standard. Real men like curves anyway.
  • On Tuesday, October 12, I posted Relationship Failure Theory: Revisited. In this post, I elaborated a little more on women’s responsibilities in relationships. In the original Relationship Failure Theory post, it seemed as though I had placed all of the weight of the relationship on the man. However, I was only speaking from the perspective of the man.

Preview

  • On Monday, October 20, I will be adding to Daniel and the Romantic. The fun thing about writing something is that it can always evolve. That’s what happened with this short. I used the story as a cover for the poem as I am still not very comfortable with poetry. Within the story, The Romantic was actually the main character, but I have changed that. Since first posting, I have scripted a five-part story following the same format about Daniel. I think you will enjoy it.
  • On Tuesday, October 21, I add on yet another Thirty Seconds Ago… story. I spent this week writing dealing scraping my brain on real issues. Next week I will loosen up a bit.
  • On Thursday, October 23, I will tackle the issue of the Mama’s Boy. This is every girl’s worst nightmare, but from the right perspective, maybe I can explain what a Mama’s boy is. I will say though, that the Mama’s Boys who gives you the willies are simply boys altogether. There is a difference.

If any of this interest you, be sure to check back in and see what’s going on. Even if you have ideas or opinions before next week, feel free to comment or even email me directly @ reginald.richardson@me.com. The feedback helps a lot, and gives me more perspective on my own life as I see it.

So once again, thank you all and have a wonderful weekend!

Relationship Failure Theory: Revisited

After speaking with a few people about my previous post on relationship failures, something became apparent to me. It seems as though I have placed all of the responsibilities of the relationship on the man.

“See, Reggie, that’s what I’m talking about. I wish all guys thought like that.”

Well there’s only one thing about that; when you meet a guy who thinks like that, he will be expecting the same mode of thinking from you. Just because a man has the criteria set for the relationship, and has everything together for a comfortable life, you still have to be able to compliment him. For example, if he has spent the last ten years working hard and saving money, he will probably choose from the women who have done the same. The women who have spent the last ten years partying and spending money, should not expect a hard worker and money saver. It is just not fair.

I wrote the last post from the perspective of what the man should do to secure a sound relationship. I did not anticipate that it would excuse the woman from all responsibilities on her end. I was not writing from the female perspective, but from the males’ point-of-view and what we should do.

Now, for men and women alike, if you are satisfied living a three-star lifestyle, you should be satisfied with a counterpart with three-star criteria. I am not one to tell anyone what they deserve or should have, but I do know that you will work for what you want. You will be disciplined and dedicated to that cause. Now if you are happy with a life with no God, no morals, no values and no money, the one-star route may be the way to go. When the Reverend announces that you are now man and wife, you can both punch each other in the throat, so that the entire congregation knows that you both have a clear understanding of what you are agreeing to.

Please understand too, that the criteria set does not have a dollar amount on it or beauty scale. I hold my religion, morals and values as the primary set of criteria. After that, the most important things would be how many children she wants, physical appearance, and what your food tastes like. Does this consist as five-star criteria? For me, it does. I know that there is a lot more that goes into choosing someone to spend the rest of your life with, but that is where my checklist begin. The rest of the details will be ironed out. For example, there is a 10 and a 7 (we all know what the number scale is), and the 10 wants two children, but the 7 wants five; I’m going with the 7… Hands down. The important things that life will actually be centered around, outweighs the vanity that will only last for a few years. It’s up to every individual, man and woman, to set that standard though. The criterion is not for one-half to set and the other to simply follow and/or be carried; there is a balance that must be met.

Men are called chauvinist or shallow for wanting a good-looking girl who can cook and clean and wants to raise children. Women are called gold diggers for wanting a nice man with a good job, house, and car. How about we decide that those things are all needed to make the typical dream relationship work, and drop all the labels. The labels intimidate both sides into stating what it is that they want from a partner. If you don’t want to raise children, don’t call me a chauvinist, just understand that we have a different set of criteria. I won’t judge you if you will only date a guy who makes a certain amount of money. That is what you require for yourself and it’s okay. Whatever it is you want though, you are expected to play your part in attaining it.

There is one thing that I did not consider though:

“You don’t know what it’s like trying to find a good man out here these days.”

Honestly, I do not. I have never been out looking for a good man. I don’t know what to tell you. That’s when I run out of things to say. I don’t know what a woman considers “good”. It seems like I know a few “good” guys myself, but they all have the same story. It usually goes something like, “she said I was too nice”, or “she said I was boring”, or “she said I don’t make enough money”. I’ve been that guy (typically to unholy women, so it’s fine). The baffling part is when you have to sit and watch her go to a cheating dog of a two-star man simply because he drives a hot car. The “nice guy” will be sitting there thinking, “What the heck just happened?”  The hot car may not be the reason the girl went to him, but that’s all the good guy will see.. Because he’s obviously what you, the woman, have already labeled a dog. So I don’t know how to set the criteria for women, so I didn’t address it. Understanding women has already been said to be an impossible task. So the only one that I will even attempt to understand is the one I marry; and from what married men tell me, I will never even figure her out.

All I can tell you is that everyone should be what they are looking for, and that you shouldn’t expect any more than you put in. It’s just that simple.

Relationship Failure Theory

Over the last few years, experts, and media and everyone else in between has provided an answer for every possible relationship problem there is. However, divorce rates continue to climb, and marriage rates continue to decline. So what’s the problem? Why isn’t all of this advice working? Why aren’t all of these books and movies improving the situation?

Comment to the attached link
First of all… I don’t take people named “derpderp” seriously (in reference to the link above)

It’s because these solutions are only patches to the problem. Most of the time they are solutions that simply cater to the moods of individuals to keep them happy; they are no fixes to the founding basics of the relationship. The foundation of any relationship is what is going to hold it together; and if the foundation is not right, then guess what? “It isn’t going to work.” I put that in quotes because I literally just said it out loud while I was typing.

With that being said, there are two pillars that must be in place before a relationship can work the way that it should. This first one is Christ. I thoroughly believe that if you have a relationship that is not founded on the teachings of Christ, your relationship is always on the verge of failure, despite what it may look like.

Welcome to Perspective Park, where 99% of my perspective is from a Christian Perspective. The other percentage is from the fact that I am a randomly awkward individual that loves french fries. 

I say that to simply clear the air about how I come to the conclusions that I do. You don’t have to agree with them, and your feedback is always welcomed. However, on this particular topic, the statistics in America shows that even if you do not agree with me, does not change that fact that you will probably be divorced or continue being single anyway. So your opposition on this matter is futile.

The second part of the foundation needed to stabilize relationship statuses in America is Man. Simple as that. If men would be men, that would resolve just about everything.

Within a relationship, it is expected that the man knows exactly where, when, how and why the couple is going wherever they are headed in their life’s journey together. If you are going to have a successful relationship, it is best that the man have set this criteria even before he finds a partner to travel with. The man should be able to meet a woman and explain to her what his plans are for his life. He should be planning his life to accommodate his better half even before he meets her. I understand that this is not always the case and a lot of times relationships will work even if two people just happen to end up together. However, within that scenario, the man still has to take the lead and steer the relationship.

For this to happen, the man has to be goal oriented. He has to have a purpose and destination set for himself, and he must be striving to get there. Men within the Christian circles like to quote “We are more than conquerors” when it comes to accomplishing goals. Even though that is taking the scripture out of context to apply it to material gain, if that’s what you are going to use it for… Get to conquering!  Go and prepare a kingdom to bring a queen into… Conqueror. A lot of times when it comes to a relationship, the man only wants to work hard enough to attain the prize, and once he has her, complacency sets in. You can’t win a woman over and then just stop working at everything. Or guess what? “It’s not going to work!” When she comes home and you are sitting on the sofa in a tank top, with one hand in a bag of chips and the other in your pants, it’s going downhill from there. She is going to quietly walk past you as you, greet her with, “Sup, babe.” She is going to go and reevaluate her decision on choosing you as a leader. Her realization will probably be summed up as, “Alexander the Fake”.

This even goes back to whether or not it’s a big deal on who makes the most money. For the longest time I thought women were lying when they said that they could care less if they brought home more than their man. Now looking at it from another perspective, I can see how they wouldn’t care. I woman won’t care about that if her man is continuously working and growing to become a better man and develop himself. However, if the man is just complacent with the woman making more, and is just riding the financial wagon that she’s pulling, she’s going to get tired of that. Then when she starts giving you demands, you are going to want to pull the “I’m the man” card. But what have you done to establish that position? Your wife or girlfriend would love to see you grow into a more nurturing provider. She wants to be taken care of and pampered; it’s her nature. You can’t just accept that she makes more than you, and cough it up to, “If she’s cool with it, I’m cool with it.” It shows her your lack of ambition… It’s not about money. I guarantee that she will be cheering you on for your promotion at The Fry Guy so that she can keep more money in her pocket.

Another thing is to be aware that the more you want out of life, the more work you have to put into the criteria of a relationship. A man has to know what he needs from his counterpart for him to be a better leader. He can be the best leader in the world, but if he attaches to someone who doesn’t compliment him, then guess what, “It’s not going to work!” He’s going to get tired of her. Nonetheless, that is why the woman cannot be held responsible for setting the standards in the relationship, because if she starts to realize that she’s making all of the decisions and keeping things together, “It’s not going to work.” She wants to be a support for a solid pillar of a man; not the other way around. The best thing to do when you realize the foundation of your relationship may be shaky, is to stop right then and there to fix what’s wrong. Stutter stepping and second guessing only breeds uncertainty for both people, which it the most dangerous poison in something being built on trust.

A man has to know who he is at all times. Certainty is his strength, but it will be his wife’s security. His character should be synonymous with confidence and wisdom. By the time he is ready to carry the weight of a relationship, he should have set a reputation for himself that no matter what happens, I can handle it. If he can be all of these things, most women who think they have problems submitting to a man will no longer feel that way. He will have provided her the security she needs to love, honor and obey him, by simply taking care of all her needs before she even got there. Even if they start together young, he has to be able to consistently reassure her that she is forever safe with him, and they will be fine. Sometimes it takes a failed relationship or two to realize these things, but if you didn’t learn anything, the relationship was worthless to begin with. The more you learned from it, the more meaningful it was.

We need men to teach men though. Especially in the black communities, the lack of father figures is really the biggest problem we have. Every problem that our society faces, could be resolved with proper leadership from honorable men; not just in relationships. Relationships is probably the most important one though, because that’s where the family stems from; and everyone knows that family is the backbone of any society.

Men should be able to be proud of what they are and how they take of business. Father’s Day is for fathers, but men should have a day when they brag on fulfilling the requirements of being an honorable leader. You don’t need children for that. Unfortunately, that would probably be called chauvinist in today’s world. The only way I can brag on being a man is in a Dos Equis or Old Spice commercial. I don’t want to be a satirical man. I want to be a man the way that God intended men to be; dominant, yet loving. Bold and kind. Courageous, but humble.

I know some men like that –  and they all have happy wives and families. When I sit and talk to them, they never tell me how easy it was though. It always took constant work and self discipline to set good examples and role models for those looking up to them. Sometimes it meant sleepless nights and double-shifts, but they stuck to it and learned to be the men they are now.

So overall, I feel that the advice columns, movies, books, Facebook memes and everything could be eradicated simply by men stepping up to the plate. We need to learn to accept responsibility for our mistakes and work them out as an example to those who we expect to follow us. We need to learn to neither bow, bend or break, but to be solid, secure and protect what we stand for. Most importantly, when all is said and done, and life has turned out just right, give glory and honor to God for the knowledge and wisdom to accomplish it.

It’s intimidating sometimes, but it’s just a shrug of the shoulders these days. A man’s gotta do, what a man’s gotta do.