When I was 25, I was living with my then boyfriend in a cute little 2 bedroom apartment on the southwest side of Houston. I was footloose, fancy free and I-N-D-P-E-N-D-E-N-T. (Word to Lil Boosie!) And typical of most 20 somethings, I really didn’t know that much at all and very often thought first of myself and not much of others, including him.
I’ve always been a mouthy chick, slick with the tongue and nice with my words. My ex-boyfriend was a very nice guy, extremely laid back and very slow to anger. We rarely had cross words. Until that night I my mouth wrote a check my ass couldn’t cash.
I don’t remember what instigated the argument and it doesn’t really matter now anyway. What do I know is that I went for the jugular with my words and said something about my ex-boyfriend’s father. I was deliberately trying to hurt him because I knew that my ex didn’t have much of a relationship with his father and it pained him deeply. We’d talked about it on numerous occasions. The look on his face let me know that I’d hit WAY below the belt. Then in my infinite brilliance, I decided I’d get up in his face, talk even more shit, and PUSH him a few times. Did I mention that my ex at the time was 6’2’’ and around 275 pounds and had played college football?
Something in him broke. He grabbed me in a bear hug, shook me REALLY hard and left the room. He then closed the door and managed to lock me in the room so that I couldn’t get out. I could hear him outside in the living room. He was crying.
Eventually he did something to the door so that I could get out. I came out and he was gone. He left the house and stayed with a friend that night.
Fortunately I had the sense enough to be ashamed and embarrassed. When he came back home, he apologized for shaking me and said he cried because I hurt him so bad and because he shook me. And I apologized for putting my hands on him. I was dead ass wrong.
And to this day, I’ve never put my hands on any other man I’ve been involved with.
Like many people I’ve followed the Ray Rice case with interest. I think that the 2 game suspension from the NFL was too light. Domestic violence is WRONG and I want to make sure that I make that clear to anyone who may read this post on that. Victims of domestic violence should never be blamed for what happens to them.
Yet I understand what Stephen A Smith was trying to say in his very inarticulate and very clumsy remarks. And I understand what Whoopi Goldberg was getting at when she asserted that women should keep their hands to themselves. Human beings have breaking points. And sometimes conflicts get escalated by one party or the other. Neither gender should seek to deal with any conflict by using violence.
I think that the real message that’s being lost in all ranting and raving is this:
MEN, KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF.
WOMEN, KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF.
EVERYONE, KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF.
The lessons that we learned in nursery school, as little children, still do apply to our lives as adults. We should do well to remember them.