After my last blog post, I’ve braved more than a few conversations with the #Lawrencehive on my perceived flaws of Lawrence (Insecure series character on HBO). None more critical and thought-provoking than those that I had with my little brothers, my husband and my bestie’s Hubby. While I’d probably dismiss any notion that champions this character given his highly questionable decision-making and my ultimate issue with him being the implied genesis of his and Issa’s relationship catastrophe, I’ve been moved to pause and reflect. My men hold an incredibly powerful place in my life and I don’t (and won’t) easily dismiss their thoughts. I love them. I honor them. I believe them to be of sound mind and heart. So … if my men tell me that I need to “check myself” and have banded together in confusion about my lack of sympathy for Lawrence, I pause, I ponder and I reconsider.
Here’s where my argument started (and still strongly feel it has merit):
I believe Lawrence to be the genesis of his downward relationship spiral. What do I mean? In the journey of love there is a driver and passenger (or co-pilot). On a road trip (i.e. a relationship) both parties have equal responsibility in ensuring a safe journey with a bomb playlist (#IJS); however, the driver has a slightly enhance role as his/her actions affects the safety of everyone in the vehicle. If the driver falls asleep at the wheel, rarely do you awake to a perfectly intact car and safe passengers. More often you awake, if at all, to catastrophe, destruction and fatalities. It is my opinion that while in the driver seat, Lawrence fell asleep at the wheel of his relationship (an unintentional offense, but an offense nonetheless) with Issa as his passenger. When he woke up, it was on life support. While his efforts to right-set the offense were valiant and Herculean, and deserve kudos for humbling himself to even try, it was too late. The genesis of an issue is important because if there is no analysis of the start, the trigger, the prompt, you can’t really get to the foundation to fix it. Think about it! Anytime you’re fixing anything in your car, your home, etc., the person servicing your issue explains the problem by first explaining how it started. I don’t think it was overnight, nor do I think Lawrence is the REASON for ALL of his and Issa’s problems. I believe there were issues present that were triggered by him disconnecting into a spiral of sadness from failing to achieve post-graduate success. It’s my theory, but I’m thinking it’s relatively sound science. His failure to succeed drove him to completely disconnect for TWO. YEARS. I don’t know about you, but in this microwave, convenience-based society, I don’t know anyone who’s going to wait for their partner to awake from a TWO YEAR sleep. AND, I don’t anyone that has taken a road trip, fallen asleep at the wheel for TWO YEARS and woke up to a “slightly dented used car” (something that one of my men said). Do you? I’ll wait …
Now – I argued this point sporadically for a week and intensively over 48 hours. My Husband and I actually went to sleep on opposite sides of the bed over the weekend (which don’t be happening in the Haley household cause we ‘bout. that. Life), my middle brother said he was “extremely disappointed” while our youngest brother looked on in disbelief, and my bestie’s Hubby said “there’s just some things women will never understand about being a man”. All of these things bothered me! What am I missing?!? I was SO sure that my argument would be well received by the men in my life. It wasn’t. And now they are looking at me like I’ve somehow become one of “those women” who are grossly disconnected, incredibly unfair, bitter and illogically favor convenience in my arguments (i.e. logic that works as an argument for women, but would never be used to explain the actions of men).
So … I listened. I argued all of the way, but I DID listen. Here are the points that managed to pass my bullsh*t test and take residence in my brain for contemplation:
- Issa cheated. When she did, women immediately began to explain it away thereby giving license to her fault by looking at Lawrence’s actions as the cause. In what world do we do the same for men? When a man cheats, do women begin to have the philosophical argument about the women’s culpability in his actions? What lead him to it? Or is he just a cheating-a**, lying a** dog? The end. #thingsthatmakeyougohmm
- Lawrence’s offense was unintentional. Issa’s was intentional. Generally I’d argue that if a gun goes off by mistake or via aim and shoot, what’s the difference if the result is death? BUT, my men argued that the difference is what remains. Unintentional offense can be healed much easier than one with intent.
- Lawrence was asleep at the wheel, BUT he did wake up. He tried to fix it. He gave it his all. He even took a job that he was ashamed to take to prove his commitment. He professed his love and apologized for disconnecting. He even took her to THE ring store. He made the effort and Issa ignored them all. Most women would go NUCLEAR if their man went on to cheat AFTER she began making the effort to course correct unintentional offense. Think about it. She cheated AFTER recommitting to the relationship and AFTER he’d began to contribute. I know, I know! I hear those of you gasping with “but”, but really think about what you’d do if hurt in this way. #putyourbiggirlpantieson
- Are we too hard on black men? Are we too hard on men, period? My Husband often argues that I don’t give him the space to be human or show fear, hurt, annoyance, and any other of the vast amounts of human emotion without quickly reminding of his spiritual responsibility to lead. Somewhere, I got the notion that leading meant modeling the expected behavior even when you don’t feel it. When you show fear as the leader, your followers can’t help but feel it too. But, Hubby Honey continues to share that he will have human moments of imperfection in his emotional response to life’s curve and that he should be allowed to experience those emotions WITH my support rather than my immature desire to seek attention or leadership elsewhere.
- Maybe … Lawrence isn’t the issue at all. Maybe … it’s Issa. Much of season one is written from her point of view and we’re shown an unfiltered view of just how self-absorbed she’s become in the process of this relationship. Even her best friend becomes sick of her antics. We assume her rebellion is due to Lawrence’s personal demise, but … is it? We are introduced to them in the midst of their issues and even though we’re given a full view of all of Issa’s foul and a limited view of Lawrence, we’ve focused on Lawrence. How did she escape being the focus of this conversation? Especially given the tangibility of her intentional harm (i.e. the cheating)? #howSway
Listen, I’ve been clear from the start that I’m NOT #TeamIssa. The women on her team are ridiculous. Point. Blank. Period. I don’t applaud mediocrity. I’m not friends with it. I don’t invite it over for dinner. And, I certainly don’t rally behind it in some antiquated “tits before d*cks” belief system. I believe in accountability. I look to the genesis of an issue because it’s the best way for both parties involved in the relationship to understand what happened so that they don’t repeat the mistake again (whether with each other or with someone else). I AM the chick that is quick to tell the girlfriend with the cheating boyfriend that she needs to check the spirit that allowed the behavior and contemplate the genesis of where it was seeded within her that harmful behavior is acceptable. I also counsel that she should take a look at how she’s culpable. She may not be, but it’s irresponsible not to take a comprehensive look at the issue. You’re not looking for blame, you’re looking for revelation that will lead to an awakening.
I think Lawrence is fundamentally a good guy. I respect his efforts to be honest and do the right thing (albeit slow on the execution). Any maybe … just maybe … I rushed to explain bad behavior instead of first admonishing it. It wasn’t my intent to give license to Issa’s behavior, but perhaps in failing to make it the focus of the debate, I did.
SO! I don’t think I’m sold on Lawrence’s relationship skills and I will say that Tasha’s EPIC read of him being a “f*ck boy who thinks he’s a good dude” felt like a TRUTH moment that even he felt, BUT I think I’ve been too hard on him. And honestly, I haven’t placed enough focus on Issa’s accountability. None of us have.
Lawrence has a hive because men feel this is a clear open and shut case of right and wrong. And for once, they aren’t on the foul side. They’ve banded together to defend that.
Who can blame them?
Love you. Mean it.
*all GIFS from Giphy