The derogatory insult I hear thrown so fervently around by people my age these days–everywhere from the Twitterverse to church parking lots–is the accusation that a particular woman is a “basic bitch”. Made popular by comedian Lil’ Duval and YouTube phenom turned actor SpokenReasons, a “basic bitch” indulges in various forms of inappropriate and immature behavior. These immature and inappropriate actions are always determined by the party doing the insulting and change with the perspective of that specific insulter. For example, one person may find you “basic” for donning a brightly colored hair weave. While another person thinks women who wear any type of head scarf out in public are “basic”. However, according to urbandictionary.com, the general consensus seems to describe “a bum ass woman who think she the shit but really ain’t” or my favorite “just an extra regular female”. It exists as the polar opposite of the “bad bitch”. Though I do not condone using the word “bitch” to either uplift or degrade women, I do like the idea of a “basic” class of earth dwellers identified by their extraordinary ability to be ordinary instead of exceptional. “Basic” works just like when you go to the gas station and ask for “regular”. It’s the standard package without any upgrades like when you want a Lexus but you don’t really have Lexus money so you get the most basic Lexus you can afford. No extras. No add-ons. No substitutes. Just the standard. You didn’t mature or grow up. You didn’t get better with time. You just stayed “basic”. So for the sake of this post, “basic” is an uncanny ability to aspire to mediocrity. Though we’re all born special, somewhere along the way many of us–myself included–become “basic”. I think it starts around puberty. And ends when you want it to. As adolescents and young adults struggle to find acceptance and their own minds, they pick up many “basic” philosophies from the people around them as well as media influences like movies and music. This is how you learned to navigate and survive your world. But as you age, you cannot bring those “basic” attitudes and behaviors with you as life gets more complicated. If you do, those things will weigh you down and keep you from ever reaching a deeply loving relationship and marriage destination. Therefore, I present to you a few “basic” ideologies I learned somewhere along the road and had to shed in order to keep traveling this journey with finesse and grace. Maybe you’ll be encouraged to leave your own “basic” baggage on the side of the road.
“Basic” Behaviors & Attitudes I No Longer Subscribe To:
1. “I need a hood nigga to handle me”
The idea that a hood nigga can offer the most stable and enriching environment to raise a family is a ludicrous one. Though I can see how women get things confused. Thugs have many of the qualities a woman looks for in her man. They protect and provide for their families. They take charge of situations. And they certainly don’t let a woman walk all over them. Women are often attracted to their strong leadership. Personally, I just thought good boys were all boring and life would be a much more thrilling ride with Mr. Wrong. But having a man that makes his money illegitimately, whatever the hustle, brings a host of other things with it from jail time to jealousy. Those things usually get in the way of creating anything real. long-lasting, or stable. And having a man that makes his money legitimately but operates like a crook and a thief has its pitfalls as well. So be careful who you’re allowing to handle you. Make sure he/she undergoes a thorough moral background check.
2. “Money over bitches” or “Don’t chase hoes, chase money”
Admittedly, I’ve never believed this myself. But there are so many adult men who still walk around saying this, I feel the need to discuss it. This is a “basic”, childish idea on two totally different levels. Of course economic development and independence are important–absolutely no argument there. However, to live a balanced life, you should chase your dreams and pursue healthy relationships. The pursuit of money will leave you without any real wealth. For example, if you simply get up every morning and grind it out at work, you’ll get a check and you’ll make money. Unfortunately, you will have to maintain that pattern to get the money. So God forbid you lose that job or you lose the ability to get up and go to work, then where are you financially? If you’re going to explore anything, explore how to create wealth–the type of money you don’t have to grind it out every day to get. And on the other end of this, refusing to chase after women will leave you lonely. Do you need to chase down every skirt that walks past you? Hardly. But the good ones are certainly worth chasing and their worth and value in a man’s life far exceed that of money! A good woman can make you smile even when you’re penniless. And you can’t put a price on that. The key is determining which ones are worth your time and attention and which ones are not.
3. “I can save him/her”
Whatever the ailment, whatever the predicament, saving someone does not create a Loving union. I always envisioned the biblical Eve being a helpmate for Adam and so as a woman like her, I believed that my role. To help men. So I always dated men that were below me in a sense and would spend a lot of time and energy trying to pull them up to my level. I would imagine myself bringing him to have a closer relationship with God, or getting out of the drug dealing life because of me, or suddenly stopping his lying and dogging ways and committing to me. But I always saw more for those guys than they ever saw for themselves. And in the end, they always backed away–feeling they could not live up to my expectations. It is not necessarily “basic” to think you can change someone. People definitely change due to the influence of others. The basicness comes from offering your assistance to those who did not ask for it and do not want it. You can only change a person that already wants to change for his or her self.
4. “If I’m going to have sex with him (or mess with him), let me at least get something out of it”
Ahhh. This reigned as my motto for most of college. I thought myself somewhat better than most women because I wouldn’t just lay on my back for no reason at all. I didn’t believe in giving up something for nothing. So I would get expensive dates, money, clothes, groceries, whatever I may have needed. I didn’t consider myself a gold digger because I never sought out men with big bucks. And I didn’t see myself as a whore because I wasn’t taking money in direct exchange for sex. It didn’t even always escalate to sex. I would make men “pay” for my time. But at the end of the day, I sold myself tremendously short because I put price tags on my most valuable assets. I used material goods to justify messing with men I should’ve left alone. Some women make themselves worth vacations in the Bahamas while others rather get their rent money. Either way, you’re worth far more than any of that. You’re worth real Love. Now I’m not saying don’t let a man dote on you. I think a man you’re dating seriously absolutely SHOULD dote on you. But I’m talking about messing with men solely because of what they can do for you and contribute. That’s not fair to yourself or to him.
5. “Never let ’em know that you care”
Mostly, when I said I did not care about someone or something, I meant it. But what gets confusing is when you finally DO care because you still end up acting and behaving as if you do not. I went many years not really caring or at least thinking I did not care, and then one day I did care. For whatever reason though, I thought caring was a weakness. It seemed like if he knew how much I really cared, I would lose my power in that relationship. So I did not express that care directly. And that relationship didn’t work out for me in the end. The second time the care bear attacked, I decided to try a different approach. I cared, knew that I cared, acknowledged that I cared, and expressed that care. I learned quickly that vulnerability is much harder and shows much more strength than not caring. True relationship power comes from vulnerability. Pride will make sure you end up alone. Everyone’s pretending like they don’t care. But they’re just pretending. Or they’re stuck in a numb place. There is nothing extraordinary about that. Dare to care. Because someone has to.
6. “If he can do it to me, I can do it to him”
This was a toughie for me to let go because I’m a pretty spiteful and vindictive person. I remember a long time ago my grandmother told me I’d “cut off my nose to spite my face”. And I didn’t get it then. But I soon learned. I based many of my actions off what the other person did to me or what men had done to me in general. So if he cheated, I cheated. If he juggled his women, I’d juggle my men. If he cursed me out, I’m cursing back. I always felt some type of entitlement to hurt a person back when they hurt me. And even if I didn’t do the exact same thing as you, I’d find a way to wreak vengeance. But basing your actions and reactions off of another person’s may be the most “basic” thing of all. On judgement day, I’m going to have to answer for myself. And I don’t think “see what had happened was, he started it” is going to fly with any deity. Really, I had to learn that I just wanted people to acknowledge and understand my pain. After a person does that and even if they don’t, the best thing to do is let it go. Karma usually makes a better teacher than you or I anyways.
In what ways are you still operating basically in your relationships? Do you think it’s about time that you self-upgraded? Share your thoughts!
Oh and enjoy this video from SpokenReasons.