Posts Tagged ‘love’

Jumping the Broom: Landing on Mar(s)-riage

Hubby and I finally got a chance to go see Jumping the Broom. So much things to say, I hardly know where to begin. So, I’ll have to go into this piece like a multi-tiered wedding cake. And I warn you, there will be spoilers. (Although spoilers never stopped me from seeing for myself what happens). But you’ve been warned.

I must say, the first act had me a little perturbed and almost overshadowed my entire interest in the film. Let me note, I completely understand, that just like all genres of creative storytelling, many self-proclaimed and financed storytellers are not necessarily gifted in their chosen profession.  They do ‘aight. But literary or cinematic geniuses you obviously don’t have to be in order to have a box office hit. (Tyler Perry)

I mean, for crying out loud, is the working-class, Black family really synonymous with ignorance, cultural confinement, ebonic-laced tongues and malicious motives? And the safe assumption is that upper-crust Black families simply must have homes in the Hamptons, speak fluid French, have great appreciation for opera, detach themselves from Black cultural traditions and are righteous people, with the exception of financial indiscretions, who save the wayward.

And is it a stretch to believe there are healthy Black marriages where love is evident and sincere honor dominates?

This premise is what kept poking at me as I sat watching the plot thicken on screen. I couldn’t shake the irritation with the contrived and trite characters, so flat and one-dimensional, I kept hoping for more depth. Credits were rolling when I accepted that it was not to be.

Still, the movie was entertaining, though I wish they had allowed Mike Epps his comedic freedom. Everybody knows Angela Bassett’s acting can give a mop life and Loretta Devine’s passion is contagious. Notwithstanding the abundance of eye candy that kept me focused on the screen.

Needless to say, I got over my irritation and enjoyed the film after all.

As I mentioned, my husband and I saw the movie for our date night, something we’ve learned during these last ten years makes all the difference in our married life. Yep, we jumped the broom ten years ago, June 16, 2001. And while we will celebrate this milestone and all its infinite blessings, watching the characters grapple with many of the issues most couples deal with (finances, sex, family, professional advancement) I couldn’t help but be transported back in time.

Mr. and Mrs. Sewell jumping the broom June 16, 2001 (I had

Come to think of it, the intense focus on weddings this year has prompted me to go back to our beginnings (the inevitable wedding following the 8 year courtship and two babies, but I digress). Weddings have definitely been the major focus this year, what with the Brit family across the pond commandeering everyone’s attention with their opulent ceremony. Then too, I was a bridesmaid to one of my closest sister friends just a few months back. And I might add, her ceremony was just as royal as Kate and Willie’s soiree.

So this film, and everyday life, highlighted some very fundamental values and considerations people need to hold when building the foundation to a healthy marriage.

Here are a few truths that I have come to claim:

Cool kids…

Marriage is an institution, a serious partnership not to be entered in because your friends are all married, you are lonely, you want children, or you get drunk in Vegas. You are establishing a life that requires structure and emotional accountability; linking finances and visions. You have to be intentional about your love. Those vows are the bylaws that ensure the institution remains sound, viable AND profitable…in ways a checking account can never compare.

Power of love…

Love is the least of the things you’ll need to have a healthy marriage. Love is merely 40-50%. Now, let’s be clear. You should love your mate 100% all f the time. But that’s a mere fraction of the WORK!  Communication. Honor. Respect. Trust. Attraction. Sex. Patience. Encouragement. Humor. And Sex (I already said that right? Well, satisfying sex).

Grown Folks…

I love the scripture in the Bible, Genesis 2 and Ephesians 5: 25.

Marriage is for grown folks. If momma and daddy are still paying your bills and calling the shots in your life, you might need a little more time to develop in the real world, then give it a go.

Family Affair…

At the same time, be very clear, people are who they are in large part because of their family. Whether a huge clan or an only child, when someone detaches themselves fully from their family, it causes some hurt on all ends. Marry someone and make demands, trying to manipulate them so that they have limited interaction with their family, I guarantee a storm is brewing.

Beware of the person who has absolute disdain for their families. That is not healthy,

and you could be dealing with someone with serious, unresolved issues.

Happy ending…

Sometimes, when you’ve given it your all and then some more of your best, plus all of the prayer you have, you’ve got to deal realistically. In the film, the bride’s parents stayed in a lifeless and unfulfilling marriage. When you find vows flagrantly broken or you have dismissed your values, remember divorce is an option. I think it is more damaging to children to live in a household with false love than to live with divorced parents. Provide healthy examples, otherwise they believe dysfunction is normal.

And remember, the law requires court papers to make it official. You’ll need court papers to end it. It cannot be absolved by mere words or packing of bags. Ask Frankie Lymon’s widows.

Finally, there’s no way to put it better:

I Corinthian 13: 4-8

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Lighting Unity Candle (another tradition) June 16, 2001

Sweet melody for Mother’s Day

Me and my Momma

We have such intense love for our mothers. Their love and being is the first thing we know before we know ourselves. And even the most prolific among us have a hard time finding the right word to express the fullness of our appreciation and love. But there is always a song that sends the message of the majestic bond. A mother’ love for her children, and a child’s dependent ties to their mother, is one to marvel for life…not even mortality can break the ties.

So, a few years back, I got my mother a playlist of all the songs that put in to words how I felt about her. Here’s a sample of the playlist and the reasons why I chose them…. Hope you enjoy the sweet melodies of Mother’s Day:

Nobody, no song articulated the love and appreciation my generation has for our mothers like Tupac’s Dear Mama. He gave it to us raw, vulnerable and real. Our mothers aren’t the old school home bodies, many of their flaws are so much more evident than those of mothers who were conditioned by society’s expectations of a mother’s role. Our mother’s found a new way to mother, and share their struggles with us. This song is Hip Hop’s Mother’s Day anthem

Bob Marley, No Woman No Cry–This song carries the bottom note of the women who have borne children to the struggles across the Diaspora

Melodic, soulful litany to mama’s everywhere. This song was the new school tune for the old school big mama. They don’t make these kind of mama’s anymore. These song lyrics either….My number 3 pick, Boys II Men-Mama’s Song

Life sometimes throws her a curve ball, and she has to pave a new road, Raheem lifted today’s mothers up and placed light where dark stigmas often reside. Made women smile, and men remember…

Hate on him if you want, but Kanye paid homage to his momma and had everybody rockin’ it, wanted to wrap their mom’s up in his words and give them the world just like Mr. West did for Dr. Donda. “My Mama my mama!

It may be a Man’s World…but James Brown let it be known, it would be nothing…NOTHING without a woman or a girl. Momma’s make the world go round. Believe that!

If This World Were Mine, the big Luther and big Cheryl Lynn version, is definitely on the list. Luther wasn’t necessarily singing to his mama, but who amongst us don’t feel this way about our Old G?

Classic homage to mama’s all over …the only way to really show appreciations is to live the life on the principles she exemplified. Our mothers are the first to believe and see what God has given to her.

A mother understands when no one else does

She brags to all about her special child, and fosters confidence in each one of them, no matter how many she may have. They all have their special place in the world. And we can have a million accolades, folks screaming and clapping on our success, but we are always looking for her approval and recognition.  Like, Hey, Ma…I’m doing what you said I could.”  Mos Def laid it down with Umi Says.