love is not easy. look up the definition in the Bible and you’ll see it described as being patient and kind, requiring sacrifice. it also requires selflessness, which in turn means that selfishness must die. there is no room for selfishness in a relationship, not unless you want to stagnate it’s growth.
and two nights ago this is what i told myself over and over again from approximately 9:24pm until early the next morning.
brandon expressed how much he’s been wanting to go out and see live music the week prior. he simply adores live music. i’ve always known this about him, but i can now see that i am in for a lifetime of marriage in the future that will probably always involve him getting breathless and excited about some music group coming to town. this time it was an after-party where one of his favorite dj’s, a-trak, would be spinning. and so despite having worked almost non-stop for the past month (and 11 hours that day), i said the most enthusiastic “Yes!” i could muster up when he called me at work that morning. surely he could tell i was tired, and he promised we wouldn’t be there too long.
we wound up being joined by leah, a girl i work with, her boyfriend nefty, and the firecracker otherwise known as monica. i was happy to have the extra company, hoping they’d distract brandon and be the lively company he was hoping i would be. and they were. it turns out i made the right choice by deciding that i should have a friendship outside of work with leah and monica. leah is a fantastic dancer, a comedian, sensible conversationalist, and she makes an excellent double-date duo with nefty; monica is the opposite: single, wild, a ‘creative’ dancer if you will, and she can leave you speechless with some of things she says. and that’s why i like her.
we walked through soho and the west highway for about twenty minutes or so, getting lost along the way. the air was so nice and i was having a good time, but i still managed to let a little complaint slip out. it had to do with brandon not looking up the directions, and i didn’t mean to say it at all. when we finally got there, the sign outside said Gentlemen’s Club. inside i was laughing, but the look on my face and the high-pitched voice i was using to say “Is this a strip club?” were conveying the opposite. it wasn’t a strip club it turns out, and the inside was pretty nice. loud music, amazing beats, nice leather seats, and we had all the space we wanted since we were some of the first ones there. i sat back and watched as brandon and leah began to rap along to every song that came on. and i sat. and i watched how people slowly filled the room, and the room outside of the one we were in. and i bobbed my head the whole time.
to me, bobbing one’s head is a clear sign that one is having a good time, or at the least, is engaged in the activity. but i could tell it wasn’t enough for brandon. i knew that i needed to show i was having a good time and be more fun for him, but i couldn’t seem to make myself snap out of the bad mood i walked in with. i was growing more tired by the minute, and all i wanted to do was go home. it was 11-ish at this point, and it was also clear that a-trak wouldn’t take the stage until after midnight. leah pointed to her beer can as she walked to the bar, silently asking if i wanted something. “See if they can make me a hot green tea with lots of lemon and honey, and a few slices of fresh ginger,” was what I wanted to say. i settled for a glass of coca cola later on.
i walked away form our table at some point, frustrated that brandon would be so selfish as to keep me out at 1 in the morning when he knows that i’m trying to get toned and muscular and wanted to go to the gym in the morning before work. or does he jasmine? frustrated that he’d be so selfish to ask me to do something late at night. or is he jasmine? frustrated that…frustrated that i’m clearly the one being selfish. this is the one thing he really wanted to do. so do it. and be happy about it. and if the self-started pep-talk wasn’t enough to convince me that i have an amazing boyfriend who deserves the best partnership i can give him, the creepy guy who tried to get my number outside of the bathroom did. i walked back to our table, and i didn’t sit down again.
when i re-enetered our space i felt much better. i had taken off the hot sweater i was wearing most of the night, and i was starting to want to do more than just bob my head. brandon thanked me for coming out, and that was the final tipping point that brought me back. selfish girl was gone. it was time to party. a-trak, joined by the tall good-looking guy from chromeo played a really good set. who doesn’t like a remix of mystikal’s “Shake It Fast”?
i danced, and i danced. i pulled out some of my old moves. i tried out some new ones i saw other people doing. i ended up having such a good time that i’ve already promised brandon i’ll go with him to see questlove spin a set next week post-work. for an hour, brandon and i were the couple who met in college, minus the crazy amounts of drugs we used to take. glory to God, those days are behind us. now we live for a Higher purpose. however!– we are still young, and good-looking if i do say so myself, and we like to go out, and we like to have fun, and we like to go see live music! and i almost forgot about that.
i’m growing up…but i’m staying young.