Thursday, August 18, 2011

Already Exhaled.

If you’ve ever seen the movie “Waiting to Exhale” consider yourself a participant in an almost cult-like following to man-bashing, women-empowering cinema. I personally don’t feel the two have to be correlated, but I digress. If you were under a rock in the nineties, the story is a harrowing tale of four single women in their 30s. The movie follows their ventures in dating, love and (for one character) divorce. However, the adventure ends sweetly (and a tad corny), in light of each attaining a personal victory in their respective lives. They’re gathered around a campfire on New Year’s Eve, toasting and celebrating, blah blah.
Personally, the character I identified the most with was the one I also despised the most. Savannah, who was portrayed by Whitney Houston, was dealing with a promotion in her career, as well as being a longtime lover’s mistress. Talk about having your plate full. Amidst all of this, she has her mother constantly nagging her to continue to make herself available for this scum because, and I quote, “He’s a good man…he’s just going through some things right now…”

This leads me to the aptly named “Waiting to Exhale syndrome.” Almost all women are guilty of it at one point or another: putting the needs of someone (well, for the sake of argument, a man) before your own.

One thing that reeeeeally pisses me off is telling a woman that she needs to keep her act together because she has a good man. What about vice versa? A woman is seen as faulty if she isn’t in a relationship, but a man is seen as “unattainable.” Why shouldn’t he have to keep himself on point to keep me?
In Savannah’s case, one thing was implied for sure: she didn’t know if she was strong enough to move on from a man that was once her everything. This is a scary thought for me—at what point does the cost of a relationship outweigh the benefits? At what point does a relationship warranty expire, even if you keep the receipt?

I wish there were customer service for this sort of thing.


AissaSings said...

Love your writings. You tell everything so well. I also deal with this Waiting to Exhale syndrome! My mother is constantly telling me to lose weight so I can get a husband. Seriously!!? What happened to what is in the inside and all that stuff that actually counts? I have been single for five years and after that long of being by myself and playing by my rules, I have ALREADY Exhaled and feel free and able to do whatever I want, when I want. While I would love to say that I identify with Whitney or Lela's characters in the movie, mostly I feel like I will be Gloria, later on in life, with lonesome self feeling unworthy until a man like Gregory Hines makes me feel the value of my worth. But it shouldn't even have to come to that. It should be that we as women know our worth and our value. But many of us don't and spend most of our lives feeling less than adequate, and therefore feeling the need to "exhale" and not knowing how to do it!

Miss Crys said...

I totally agree Aissa! Way too many women, regardless of weight, race, height, whatever, still feels the need to be validated by a man. This whole ideology escapes me. It's awfully cliche, but if a man doesn't love a woman for who she is, no makeup, heels, or any enhancements, screw him. I think you're beautiful inside and out; let's face it, mothers don't ALWAYS know best. :)

Lela Victoria said...

KUDOS KUDOS KUDOS, Thank you for writing this one particular blog. Waiting to Exhale happens to be one of my favorite books and movies. I feel as if the movie tells the struggle of the BLACK WOMAN although some of us might not want to admit it (THE MOVIE IS THE TRUTH). I also identify the most with Whitney Houston's character SAVANNAH. I have been in a situation that is very similar to hers where I was the other woman. Of course being the woman that I am I did not stay in the situation, but being in that particular situation made me realize my self worth. Once again thanks for this post.

P.S if you havent already be sure ready WAITING TO EXHALE 2 (by) TERRY MCMILLAN its called GETTING TO HAPPY

Bella-Shay Lewis said...

Love this Crys! It's so true, women are sometimes too caught up focusing on what they'll lose instead of all they'll gain if they walk away. Then again it's human nature to focus more on the negative instead of the positive.