Last evening, I was among the fortunate to take in the wonder that is Beyonce. As I sat in my great seat, keeping one wary eye on the sky and the other on the stage, hundreds of conflicting thoughts tumbled through my mind. At the end of the evening (and still now), I admit to have walked away disappointed (I know… you just reread the first line to make sure I did say I was at a Beyonce concert!). Yes, I was. And yes, I was.
Naturally I needed to sit quietly and let my thoughts manifest enough to ascertain just what could have been my problem. I acknowledged my irritation that she came on an hour and a half later than her scheduled 8:30pm start time. But, that’s not it (I realized she is human and could had been having diarrhea). I conceded to being disappointed at her barely three-inch stocky heels (when she did wear heels). But even as I expected better (aka, higher), that too is not the source of my lingering unease. She certainly did her thing – looked fantastic! Gyrated, flirted and played like only she can. Check. Check. And check. So, what about watching this woman perform could have so left me feeling sad and disappointed?
Him. It took me until a little ago to realize that watching and listening to this woman share her story of betrayal and heartache was something I would have preferred to have done without witnessing. Don’t get me wrong… naturally I applaud and encourage expression. And, raw honesty. So, my problem is not with the fact she shared. My disappointment stems from the reality that there was something to share.
Naturally I heard the furor over Lemonade. I did not watch the documentary, nor had I listened to the music. Intentionally. You see, another woman telling of her pain – caused by infidelity or betrayal – is a story that is both familiar and too common. The whole world could join the crusade to determine just who “Becky” is; but I am more concerned with how many “Beyonces” there are out here.
Her story is not unfamiliar. So as I sat there last evening watching her smile for us, determined to give us our money’s worth and then some, I couldn’t help but to attempt to look past the smiles to try to determine just what was being hidden there. I’m a woman, so I immediately checked her left hand for her ring; none. I remember spending some time thinking that a ring could never constrict as much as the noose he placed around her heart. I remember saying out loud, “I hate him!” (And for all you men out there please… even as I admit to not knowing the intricacies of their relationship, I stand by and sit down next to this, “There is never any reason to justify infidelity!”).
So I was/am disappointed. Her concert was peppered with too much of their story; and as much as I adore her and respect her “hustle”, listening to her sing about too many of our heartaches shouldn’t have costed $350+ per ticket (shit! Y’all can get it for free from me!).
So today, post-Beyonce, I am left to wonder at what point do we humans challenge ourselves to do better? To be better? When do we push to stop seeing just what we could get away with and instead see just what we could get to stay with? You see, we all know better. We know better than to steal, to cheat, to denigrate, to belittle, to abuse, to humiliate, to lie. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t opt to do them under cover. If we didn’t know they went against not only what our God had intended, but certainly against what our partners, employers, elders, loved ones deserved, we would do them with pride. So, when do we stop?
I refrain from parroting what so many have said, “When your woman is Beyonce, what else could you want?” for two reasons: (1) there is a fantastic quote that says, “Show me a beautiful woman and I will show you someone somewhere who is tired of her…” and (2) I am not so silly that I believe only beautiful, successful women should be exempt from being ill-treated! Big, small, fat, tall, skinny, rich, poor, black, white, sick, healthy, nice-ass, flat, breasts, bumps, God-fearing, sinner… sadly we are all “Beyonces”!
Another woman got hurt. She has been humiliated. She has decided to share her pain in an effort to heal… herself and us. I applaud her for that. I wish for her the strength to not internalize. To lay the responsibility right where it belongs. To not wear it on herself. I encourage her, as I encourage all women, “Forget “Becky”; deal with the Bastard at home”!