Every day, I encounter a new challenge to the idea that things can and should be open and real.

Be it social, political, or personal, serious or trivial -- every time, I ponder the implications.

I hope you'll join me in the conversation!

Monday, June 15, 2009

These Are My Confessions

Every now and then I just really like something in spite of my better angels. I have some strange thing with Usher’s song, “Confessions (parts I and II).” I’m not a big Usher fan, but every time I hear “Confessions” I have to listen to it to get to the hook, which is so damn catchy I can’t stand it. Then I walk around all day singing it in my head.

The problem is I hate the guy in the song.

The whole song is utterly bizarre and the guy is the kind of person who just makes you want to whack him in the head with a heavy fish – or worse. He’s running around on his current girlfriend with his old girlfriend (does that technically mean he has two current girlfriends?). This is not endearing, but also is not what makes it especially heinous. Some version of this is the mainstay of an estimated 25% of popular music. (For the female version, nothing beats TLC’s “Creep,” which again, while I’m opposed to the behavior, damn it’s hard to stop singing. But I digress.)

What makes me want to whack him with the fish is his extreme ego, and his complete cluelessness about what his “confessions” are worth and how anyone could reasonably be expected to react to him. For example, check out this series of brilliant thoughts:

Everytime I was in L.A. I was with my ex-girlfriend
Everytime you called I told you,"Baby I'm workin." (No!)
I was out doin my dirt (Oh!)
Wasn't thinkin' 'bout you gettin' hurt
Brace yourself It ain't good
But it would be even worse if you heard this from somebody else (oh no)

(Blogger’s edit note: Would it? I think not.)

Now this gon' be the hardest thing I think I ever had to do
Got me talkin' to myself askin' how I'm gon' tell you
'bout that chick on part 1 I told ya'll I was creepin' with
Said she's 3 months pregnant and she's keepin' it
The first thing that came to mind was you
Second thing was how do I know if it's mine and is it true
Third thing was me wishin' that I never did what I did
How I ain't ready for no kid and bye bye to our relationship

Oh for God’s sake. I’ll spare you the rest but you get the idea. He goes on to talk about “being a man” and telling “the woman he loves” that he is “having a baby by a woman (he) hardly even knows.” So let’s summarize, young man. You deliberately misled your girlfriend for an extended period of time; you disregarded the impact of what you were doing until it affected YOU; you suggest the other woman is promiscuous; you’ve been getting it on without birth control with no intention of parenting; and you are all freaked out that your girlfriend is going to break up with you.

Yes. Yes she is, you idiot. And after that she’s invited to my place for a champagne toast. The girl you're ditching with the baby can come too.

Confessing – no matter what the situation -- isn’t something that makes you honourable. It’s something that unchains you from your own guilt or fear of discovery. But to expect to be revered or respected for confession on something like this story or perhaps any other issue hardly seems realistic. I think when you decide to confess something, it’s best to eradicate all notions that the person receiving the information is going to give you a gold star. You are deciding to end the suspense while waiting for a bad reaction, not to get rid of the bad reaction itself. By the time you have something to confess, you're pretty much already screwed.

So please, please..........no more self-love and expectation of reward for confession. It doesn’t make us a “man” or a “woman.” It just unburdens us. What happens after that is out of our hands.

1 comment:

rgodbey said...

Wow, music commentary and relationship advice all in the same post. ;-) I have experienced the "I've confessed, so now we're all good, right?" It was confusing, but I guess a lot of people think any step in a positive direction should be rewarded. The expectation of a pat on the head for admitting a sin makes it hard for me to forgive.