Recently, there was a piece on my timeline that said, ‘We shouldn’t applaud men for mediocrity’, after a man went viral for publicly acknowledging his love for his curvy wife.
I get it. Whoop-de-doo: A man received praise for loving his conventionally flawed wife. Yet women love —for lack of better words— ‘ain’t sh-t men’ for decades. In that same vein, when I sat down to watch Insecure last week, I cheered on Tasha (Dominique Perry) as she called Lawrence (Jay Ellis) what some of us have seen from the very beginning, a “f–k n—a.”
Let’s break this down.
Lawrence is nice because he turned down a pretty girl when his relationship with Issa was rocky, since, also judging from my timeline, many men would have indulged Tasha from the beginning.
Lawrence is nice in that he is honest with Tasha about the guilt he feels about hooking up with Issa, because it’s the right thing to do.
Lawrence is nice because he takes Tasha out to not seem like he’s just with her for sex— after being called out by his friend, Chad (Neil Brown Jr.).
But let’s talk about where Lawrence fails. Showing up to Tasha’s cookout to drop off chairs because he said he would, all the while being totally disengaged and uninterested in meeting play uncles makes him a nice person for keeping his word. But it also makes him a total jerk for ditching Tasha during an important moment in their situationship. Checking off the obligatory “must-do” but half-showing up is the equivalent of not being there at all.
Sir, you should have stayed home.
There’s nothing worst than being nice and trying to be present – in his relationships with both Issa (Issa Rae)and Tasha – without fully being present. Women tend to root for Issa —who was totally wrong for stepping out with Daniel— because she’s authentic, honest, aware of herself, her relationship, her flaws and her mistakes. It doesn’t take away the pain she inflicts upon Lawrence, but it does make us feel sympathetic and/or empathetic with her.
We also feel sympathy/empathy for Lawrence —the clear victim of depression that causes him to totally check out of his relationship when his career doesn’t go the way that he planned. But instead of Lawrence and Chad discussing therapists like Issa and Molly (Yvonne Orji), we see Chad applaud Lawrence for his Thursday through Sunday savage life with Tasha— and with the two random women in this episode.
Naturally, nice-guy Lawrence doesn’t chime in on this bro-life compliment from Chad, but his oblivion does not mean he is obtuse. He was homeless and getting exactly what he wanted out of Tasha without spending a startup dime. He was horny and can hook up with whoever from the grocery store. But Lawrence is aware of what he is doing in both situations, playing nice but having a clear intention.
Let Lawrence be a warning to you, ladies: The true essence of a f–k boy is a guy with good intentions and selfish execution.