Cullen and I went to the cutest Bed and Breakfast for the weekend. — PAUSE — Historically, I prefer hotels. I mean, I love a five star hotel with a beautiful bathroom and great service. But I must admit, after staying at a bed and breakfast for the first time, I’m hooked… providing it has the same level or service or better and the innkeeper doesn’t mistake quaint for, “I don’t really need to clean.” — PLAY — Our stay was wonderful!!

There was an old-fashioned claw tub in our bedroom right outside of the bathroom, and we were kissed with sunlight that peeked in from the skylight every morning. Of course, waking up in the arms of my beautiful, loving man just made everything better!

Saturday morning, we went downstairs to have breakfast at the family style dining room table. There, we were greeted by our “Inn mates” who happened to be visiting from Australia. They were an older couple, and so nice. We chatted over breakfast while occasionally being entertained by the innkeeper, who was full of personality. We spoke of worldly affairs and past travel. — PAUSE — Every day Cullens does something else that makes me appreciate the man he is. He is just so smart and well-versed. I love that we can sit down and have a conversation with just about anyone on any topic. I’ve been in relationships with men who either would not or could not hold conversations with “outsiders.” I digress. — PLAY —   

Later that afternoon, the innkeeper hosted a wine and cheese party in the dining area to welcome the newcomers. There were four couples; the Australians, two women from Germany, and two Black couples, one from Philly and the other, well… I’ll never know.

Cullen walks in first, introduces himself and shakes hands with all the new people. I was a few steps behind him and I smiled brightly and did the same. The conversation was polite and all were engaged, except for the ‘brother’ who never said a word after hello. His girl seemed to be very comfortable, but he was stone-faced and uncomfortable. He sat with his side to the table, never once making eye contact with the group or saying one word.

I wanted to call him out of the room and give him a talking to. “Listen, brother. What is your problem? It’s people like you that give us a bad name. You’re being rude and you appear to be the ‘angry Black man.’ If you are not in the mood, go to your room, but for crying out loud, don’t stay down here and bring all that negativity to this space.” His girl, well, she was cordial, but how long could she go on chatting while her man was shooting her looks of discontent. After a while, SHE excused them and the couple went upstairs.

Would you believe the next day, as we (Cullen and I), the Australians, the Germans and the Philly folks ate a delicious breakfast, the woman and her mute man came downstairs, she said good morning, mentioned that they would not be joining us and walked out. He did not say a word!

I was appalled… with both of them! First, he seemed to be a well-groomed man, 36-42 years old with enough common sense to know the importance of greeting people and being polite. He is a grown ass man! Second, for the life of me I can’t understand why women dumb themselves down to be with men who clearly are not on their level. Okay, maybe the first run-in was a fluke and he was having a bad day, but to not speak at all the next day?! Brother, you’re embarrassing yourself and your lady!

It is our responsibility to grow as individuals in relationships. If you can’t teach or be taught in your relationship, I suggest you re-evaluate. Are we so desperate for relationships that we settle for men who clearly are not on our level? Please know that I am not judging. I have been with a man or two or three who clearly were not on my level, and they did not have the ability or desire to grow as men. I know all too well how easy it is to dumb down or settle for anybody because you THINK anybody is better than nobody. Trust that time will prove this theory to be false.

Set standards for yourself and do not be afraid to speak on them. It is not what you say, but how you say it. Let your actions and your words mirror each other. Please do not be afraid of laying down ‘laws’ and expectations. If he cannot or will not respect them, it is up to you to decide if you want to stay and deal with it. 

There are some things worth compromise, some things we can live without. And then there are deal breakers. Know what you can and cannot tolerate. If you make a decision to accept something and stay, don’t keep beating him in the head about it, the decision to stay and accept it was YOURS. Deal with it. But for your own sanity, if by chance there is something that you just cannot deal with, do you really think you should stay? What’s the point? You’ll never be happy.

Be honest with yourself… and remember: nobody lies to you more than you lie to yourself.

Okay, I’m done… for now.


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