Clusterfuckers and the Infinite Circlejerk

Posted: May 28, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

There’s no escaping it. It is the blob of our generation. The sweet smell of rock to a crackhead. That one last job that Don Logan made Gal do in Sexy Beast. Our version of “just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in.” Of course I’m referring to the two degrees of separation (max) that seems to separate every black person with a college degree in this country. The Clusterfuck was again brought to my attention when I was checking out another blog. Another commenter picked up on that we went to the same school, knew the same people, and more than likely, know each other. So how does this affect dating within the professional black world?

First, the positives: It’s easy to meet people because so many people know each other. Looking to date someone? Chances are your boy is friends with a chick who has a couple single girlfriends, you all go out for drinks at Coco Sala or Trois or Caftereia or whatever’s hot in your city and chop it up. Cool. Need to do a background check? My homegirl’s sister went to law school with old boy. I’ll let you know what comes up. Need to track down that cute girl that you were eyefucking with all night at the Hillman Black Alum party but didn’t get a chance to get her number because she left early? No problem. Me and her used to be cut buddies a couple years ago and we’re still cool. I’ll set up the intro.

Sounds great, no? An ever-expanding network of like-minded potential friends and lovers. What could be wrong with that?

Plenty. Like to hear it, here it go.

A friend of mine in law school once mentioned to me how she and her black friends at the school made a pact hen they came in that they would only date two black dudes in the school for their entire three years. Knowing how small the world is, they attempted to hedge the possibility of getting the “Slut” tag the only way they knew how: By instituting an arbitrary number. One of the biggest problems with the clusterfuck isn’t that everyone knows each other. it’s that everyone THINKS they know each other. They know a little bit about each other, and most of that comes from hearsay and reputation. So the natural thing for many people to do is armor themselves up with a carefully crafted PR message. Instead of feeling free to be themselves, warts, crazyness, bad musical taste, and all, there’s this diamondcutting pressure to walk the straight line in hopes of preserving a positive or desirable message for people they don’t even know yet.

And wo can blame them. I know way too much about a lot of people I don’t even know. I can tell you whose pussy stinks (at least it did 8 years ago, but you know how these rumors stick), who’s a closet homosexual, who gives good head, and who’s a gold-digger. Have I ever met any of these individuals personally? Nope. Or maybe in passing. But I know people who know them, and word on the street moves fast. And unlike they say in Carlito’s Way, if there’s one thing you can trust, it ain’t word on the street. So what if you were who you aren’t now? What if after having sex with most of the football team, you’re a reborn Christian? What if you used to be a gagster wannabe but you wised up? What happens when you grow up, basically? Are you still at the mercy of what the street says you were? I dunno.

The other problem is, ironically, the more people you know who know each other, the fewer people you can date. There’s no fresh meat anymore. It’s like 90210 with waves and weaves. Brenda fucked Dillon who fucked Kelly who fucked Brandon who fucked….but replace them with names like Jamaal, Tiffany, Sheretha, Keisha, and the occasional Lamar. I mean, do you really want to start a relationship with a woman who will have had sex with three or more of the dudes (and reportedly a chick) that are going to be at y’all’s wedding? That can create some pause. I dated a really great girl once who used to be cut buddies with a good friend of mine. I, in turn, dated a girl in college who she’s really good friends with. We didn’t have a title or anything and it was pretty light, but I do have to wonder, would we both have taken it more seriously if we hadn’t had the comingled relationship history we did. Who knows. I asked her what she thought about it once, and she said, sometimes she just shook her head. In her mind, it was like, “oh that’s just…., that humorous dude I went to school with.”

I think this is especially damaging for women’s dating prospects. While women can get over their beau having had a past relationship with one of their female friends, I don’t think the male ego is really built to take that. We’re a possessive gender and the idea that some dude we know “had” what we consider “ours” is a tough pill to swallow. I know women who have married guys that have fucked their friends. I don’t know guys that have done the same. And since women are constantly harping about the lack of qualified male suitors, it almost feels a little unfair to urther push that number down by disqualifying these women from competition because they might have had a certain kind of relationship with someone you have a relationship with.

I had a situation where a woman I had a very undefined relationship with maybe wanted a little more than that. I knew some dudes who she had dated before, and that didn’t really bother me. Although in retrospect after I learned about one, who I’m really close to, that kind of destroyed any possibilties that could have existed. But I’m friends with some of her good female friends. And I knew if we went crashed and burned (which eventually we did, spectacularly I might add), that would put us in a tug of war with them. since we both knew these friends before we really got to know each other, that’s a lot of potential fall out. After she and I parted ways romantically, she ended up dating one of my boys. And didn’t tell him, which I strongly encouraged her to do. It’s one thing if he knows and he’s cool with it. Even if he’s not cool with it, she knows where he stands. But is there anything worse than getting blindsided by the fact that a dude you kick it with on the regular used to mash down your woman? That’s not a good way to find these things out. After him, she moved on to a friend of, get this, both of ours. She told Dude 3 about me and Dude 2, but still kept Dude 2 in the dark about the both of us. Eventually, she was out with Dude 3 and Dude 2 happens to be in the same place. Awkwaaaaaaard. Now, imagine the three of us didn’t know each other. How cool would that be for her that she could have dated any of us independently and not have to deal with any of the interpersonal relationships we had? But try finding three pofessional black dudes in the same city who don’t know each other. Godspeed.

This all of course, gets even worse with the advent of social networking websites. What mystery there was about someone is pretty much dead after you see them tagged huddled up in the corner of the club with your boy in the facebook album “2003 Spring Break.” You can draw your own conclusions. My homeboy 2.0 loves to say “your friends aren’t my friends.” It’s his attempt to keep worlds separate, I imagine, but it’s kind of like King Leonitas trying to beat back all those fucking Persians. Eventually, the phalanx pretty much has to give, and your friends will follow his friends on Twitter.

So yeah, do I have a solution for any of this? Nope. But maybe you do. Feel free to comment and let me know how y’all get around it.

Comments
  1. MissJ82 says:

    Love this post! You definitely hit the nail on the head with respect to this topic (there is so much that I want to respond to but I’m at work so I have to keep this short)…. I came to this conclusion a couple of years ago – I ended a relationship with a guy and he basically tried to run my name through the mud for trying to talk to one of his “guys”. Mind you, we had been dating for a couple of years and I had never once known them as being BFFs or even friends for that matter. But b/c they dapped each other up at events and engaged in a few conversations, I somehow committed the cardinal sin by expressing interest in his associate. The young black professional circle is so small, even in Chicago, and I feel like its difficult to meet men b/c everyone knows and/or has slept with everyone. And like you said, I know people’s business who I don’t even know like that, and unfortunately I’m sure folks know more about me and my past relationships more than I care to have them know. My immediate solution is to move… what do you think?

  2. Ha. Nice try. They’ll track you down in DC, Atlanta, LA, or wherever you go. Maybe Dubai or Stockholm might be safe

  3. Daydreamer says:

    Brandon! Or is it St. Randy?! 🙂 Either way, I totally feel this entry. When Mr. K discovered that I dated Krypto(characters on my blog), he definitley felt some type way about it. I mean, he and Krypto aren’t friends but are well acquainted via a mutual friend. Mind you, he started the convo on who dated who in our circle of friends. I knew it was touchy ground when he asked. But I replied, yes and admitted my conquest. It went all down hill from there. 20 questions it was. :-/ I totally should have diverted the coversation another way but we were in the ‘get- to-know-you-all skeleton’s-out-the-closet-if-I-find-out-after-you’re-screwed’ phase. Never again will I entertain such tomfoolery……Thanks for the overdue heads up. 😉

  4. You date cartoon supervillains, Daydreamer?

  5. Dom says:

    This is funny b/c it hist so close to home! I thought I was safe, dating a new dude who’s only been in the country for 8 years. NOPE!

    At first meeting, my bro (Mr. Man about Town himself) figured out New Boo “knew” one of his homegirls. About an hour later my bro put me on the phone with her. Turns out he knew her in the biblican sense, and things didnt end so well between them. Luckily, it was a few years ago when he was in undergrad, and he seems to have done a lot of growing.

    I try to avoid this if possible by keeping myself out of the dating game unless abs necessary, or dating guys who arent from here. I’ll admit though, thats not a great solution.

  6. Sigh.

    This post hits WAY home.

    i dated a guy in high school…really serious…could have married him.

    Fast forward 10 years…a friend of his and the guy from high school I wanted to fuck but didn’t is in the picture and mutual friend of ours sets us up. Add in WAY to much alcohol and some bad karaoke…we hook up.

    It’s a one time deal ’cause he’s a bit of an ass, but i was just looking to bag him so…

    Fast forward a year or tow later. I run into someone else I knew form high school – friends with the other two – we date, hang out, etc. etc. It ends ’cause he can’t really make up his mind whether he’s really into me or just wants to fuck me and I’m not real interested in giving him time to figure it out.

    So now all I’m thinking is if these fools hang out around the holidays and my name comes up it’s gonna be a mess.

    SMH.

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