Coffee in my Left Hand…Love in my right
Let’s talk about Love (there’s a song lyric there, did you catch it?). It amazes me that the thing we are commanded to do above all, the thing we internally crave and desire, is one of the most difficult things to find, achieve, or sustain. And if you just said in your head, “I like love, but I don’t need it”, you my cynical beloved are exactly the point I’ll be making. Grab your coffee and give me a few minutes…
Whether you believe in a sovereign creator (shout out to God; Hey Father God!), or evolution, or bangs of a big nature (scientific, not Texan beauty queens), you have to admit we are hard wired to love. The very basis of the world continuing is men and women coming together, egg and sperm meeting. Now, I hear you saying, “Vonn, you don’t need love to have egg and sperm hookups.” Yes, you are right. However, the draw, the pull, the belly flop that gets the egg/sperm carriers motivated is the desire for love; connection. Before you get riled up, yes, I believe in adoption, in-vitro and all other forms of getting a bouncing baby here, but to date, it still takes an egg and a sperm. I have to spell that out, because I can already tell you all will fight over a Now Later if I’m not careful. My point is, we are hard wired to want to connect, copulate and populate.
Lately though, it seems our world has placed a stigma on the desire for love. We’ve labeled those who are open to finding it thirsty, or desperate. Those who are committed to making it work hen pecked or caught up. It’s as if we’ve decided that love is the nerd in the corner that none of us want to be seen with. Love has become persona non grata. This, friends is not good.
Yet while we say out loud “Ew, I don’t need love” dating sites like Black People Meet, Tinder, EHarmony and Match are multi-million dollar companies. Match Group (which holds Match, Tinder and OKCupid) saw quarterly earnings of $268 million, which was a 12% increase. A lot of people are on the love-downlow and I need you to bring all this love searching to the light! The divorce rate in America is high, yet we’re still getting married. Not one chapel in Vegas has closed down due to a lack of business, and the wedding gown industry alone could fund a small country with their yearly earnings. We’re looking for love, and we’re taking that ultimate leap to forever love. So why all the cynicism and love shaming?
Vulnerability. It’s not love that we shun; it’s the avoidance of vulnerability. We have become major love sissys who are afraid of rejection. We’ve become afraid to step out there, own what we want, and seek it freely. I see a whole lot of #livefree but not enough #lovefree. We lift up and worship ‘our grind’, shout our independence to the rafters, place every activity above love, and then secretly pray for and pursue it in the dark places of our mind and heart. And Tinder.
We use to slow dance and play Lenny Williams love songs when our paramour didn’t feel the same way. Dudes would brag about a woman they were pursuing, and women about a man they were going to let catch them “any day now”. It was sweet, it was a little game we willing and unashamedly played. Now our music doesn’t speak of love, our get togethers and ‘panels’ are full of “why we can’t get together”, and “the problem with (wo)men is…”. We rehearse our failures and war stories to the point that we no longer want to participate in the battle. We’ve packed our vulnerability on the shelf and replaced it with armor. Or, we pretend to on social media, then go home and make Match Group rich by looking for love on our phones and tablets. There is a sweetness to allowing ourselves to be open to the ‘what ifs’ and risks of love. There is valor in being vulnerable.
I want to us to start placing value on love again. Start giving love it’s propers (did I just date myself there?). Start high fiving those around us who are fearless in their pursuit of love. Yes, my cynical beloved, you do need love, and I’m officially making it the cool kid at school; go sit with love. Let’s make the pursuit popular again. Let’s let ‘open noses’ once again be something we smile and tease about, rather than scoff and ridicule. Vulnerability and love are what set us apart as humans. It’s the best part. Go be your best.
Let me know if you feel me, or if you can’t quite reach me.
*Dedicated to the memory of LaKita Garret whose personal motto was #LoveWell: Rest in Power Kita*