I have always had a special place in my heart for romance. I blame my mother for letting me get a monthly subscription of Harlequin Presents books at the ripe old age of 13. I grabbed a book from a giveaway table at school and then found the little card inside that allowed me to order.
I would get 8 books a month. In those books, I found a whole new world. Mami, though not entirely sure of all of the contents of the books, probably preferred me reading these than pining away over boys. I’m sure she thought the books were safer for me.
But, those stories allowed my little heart a glimpse romance. All that to say, I love love. Always have.
So, when my own heart was captured by someone that I had both a physical and mental attraction to, the romantic in me swooned.
That relationship would not last because in the past I was NOTORIOUS for falling in love with emotionally unavailable men that would eventually grow and flourish under my love but in a “this shit is too little too late” kind of way. See: this is how girls mirror what they see at home.
Years later, I’d cross paths with that passion again, in the same body, now aware of what was lost, understanding that I was “the one that got away” and speaking of doing all he could do make up for lost time.
Pretty Words Syndrome
Do you know what that means? It’s when someone speaks all of the words that your heart has wished for. They pour out of what you think is their heart but it’s really just a red balloon made to look like their heart usually with hot air.
Pretty Words Syndrome manifests itself in the saying of all those things with no ghatdamb action behind it to support them.
And it’s not that the person doesn’t feel them. I’d never minimize someone’s emotions like that. It’s just that they have no actual plan for how to make shit happen.
So you hear the pretty words and think “yassssss! This is happening!” But it really ain’t.
Want a character embodiment of this? It’s Kenneth from Waiting to Exhale. Making promises to Savannah that were never kept.
I heard the pretty words. I wanted to believe it. And for a while, I did. For a while, those promises were kept. Well, kind of. Because we know that sometimes narcissists give you just enough to keep you on the hook a little bit longer.
Here’s the thing, though. Second chances are hard to come by in life. And when it comes to love? Well, I’m a lot more honest with myself than I used to be. I’ve lost a lot of the fear I grew up and into as it relates to confrontations and I learned how to get past some of the behaviors I adopted from watching my parents’ relationship.
So, now I call it like it is. Most times, I am not screaming and shouting, I’m not throwing a pan at someone’s head, not threatening their lives. I feel that my calm and true words are sometimes not heard. I say that because it seems that at times, men (men of color in particular) don’t take women seriously unless there’s some rage involved. I don’t have that energy to give anymore.
I give my words. Succinctly and accurately. My truth can sometimes assault people. For men that love me, my truth can sometimes seem mean. Because I’m holding a mirror up to them and they do not like what they see and blame me for having the audacity to try to show them. That’s not my problem. How you receive the truth is not something I can concern myself with any longer. My concern is in speaking my truth, protecting my heart and taking absolutely zero shit from you.
When I say “you aren’t loving me the way I deserve and this second chance is slipping through your fingers” and you say you want to do better and do not pursue my heart with actual actions, well, that speaks quite clearly to my spirit.
And you know what? That’s perfectly okay. It’s strange but in allowing myself nothing less than what I deserve, I have found that regret falls away easily. While I will be sad to see this connection, this bond go away, keeping noncommittal people in my life who treat me like an option is something so far from my current vibe that the letting go is as effortless as breathing.
“Yo no soy plato de segunda mesa.” That quote translates to I’m not a plate for the secondary table. In other words: bitch, I’m an entree and not a side dish (not to be confused with a side bish. That’s a whole other convo). Either I’m at the main table or I am not in the banquet hall.
I’m okay either way. And while I’ve given a second chance, love love and really am a romantic at heart, the one thing I’m not going to be able to give is more time.
And while I can’t say I’ll never give someone a second chance again, I’m clear in what my role is when it comes to the building of a romantic love that is complete. I’m also learning how and who deserves a second chance. Because life is too short to not be entirely and fully loved.