Sean Carter is right. We know hip-hop is full of promiscuous bravado and monogamous resistance. But in his song “On the Run” Jay-Z says with conviction, “Deeper than words, beyond right/Die for your love, beyond life/Sweet as a Jesus piece, beyond ice/Blind me baby with your neon lights/Ray Bans on, police in sight/Oh, what a beautiful death, let’s both wear white.” Well who wouldn’t be excited to say this about Beyoncé? But what about Bianca and Benecia? What man is loud and proud about his Briana? Our culture doesn’t celebrate marriage like we should. No one is honest about love.
I write about love frequently. Sometimes it’s interesting and witty. Other times it reeks of a clever cadence with a dose of inspiration. Nine times out of ten, I get my point across. I read an interesting tweet the other day. “Don’t be interesting–be honest. Stop with the inspiration–truth is the only thing worth writing.” Wise words from my online muse. She didn’t realize she was speaking to me in that instant, but she was. I knew I had to write now right now.
This is my truth:
This appointment might cause disappointment, but I’m a happily married man. Happily. She makes me take my cool off. Her love is the most addictive dope in the world. Words aren’t worth her beauty. I won’t get into detail.
Despite my guarded demeanor, I’m quite boisterous about love. 1,821 of my tweets contain the word love, I travel the states speaking about the four-letter word and the third book I’m currently writing is about love. I posted a low-key photo of my engagement and wedding online. That’s big coming from me! My date of birth isn’t even public. I’m a private man, but how can anyone be quiet about something so beautiful?
Ask your favorite rappers. Many of those guys are married–they just don’t talk about it. It takes away from their credibility. What kind of world do we live in where something so positive can stigmatize you? Even Usher stopped getting praise when he got hitched. He was excommunicated from his church of fans as soon as he announced his marriage. They praise danced through his divorce.
Regardless of Hollywood breakups, weddings deserve a round of applause and marriages should get standing ovations. They’re not perfect and people don’t always get them right. But the audacity to make such a commitment is honorable. Who cares if they don’t all work out! People are giving love a try. That’s always encouraging and I encourage us all to try a little harder.
I’m writing this on a lengthy flight with a bunch of businessmen. They all have on wedding bands. I don’t know them or the status of their marriage and I don’t care. I care that we all belong to a significant club, a privileged fraternity of men who have one courageous thing in common: Marriage. I wonder if each of them can’t wait to get home to their wife like I can’t wait to run off plane and smother mine with kisses. I told you she makes me take my cool off.
It’s cold out there in those streets. They’re calling chivalry “thirst” now. You don’t know if you’re on a date or if it’s a disinterested dinner because her cabinets were low. Most relationships don’t last longer than an eager wart-faced adolescent having sex for the second time and somewhere in America a used condom is being used for blackmail. I overheard a woman talking about a man the other day. She said, “Oh my gosh girl, he liked my pic…he ain’t serious ‘bout his wife.” My advice for her: Don’t take Instagram too seriously. You got a “like.” She got a lifetime.
The NBA is a great example of relationships–the majority of people without a ring in 3-5 years get released or replaced. Y’all ballers need to get back to courting. I’m retired from the game. I won the championship. I got my ring.
– Enitan Bereola, II
Bereola is the bestselling author of BEREOLAESQUE: The Contemporary Gentleman & Etiquette book for the Urban Sophisticate. He is also the go-to style & etiquette impresario and public speaker. Bereola is working on his next book, “GENTLEWOMAN: Etiquette for a Lady, from a Gentleman.” For more info, visit: Bereolaesque.com, Twitter & Facebook.