Love & Life Lessons I Learned From “Love & Basketball”
Remember the first time you saw “Love & Basketball?” Remember how you rolled your eyes at the screen, talked back to the characters and “awwwed” at the end? If you can remember all of that, then you certainly recall telling your friends – or yourself – the things you’d never do or what you would’ve done in “that situation.”
Let’s see if you learned or peeped some of the lessons that I did….
It’s okay to be a little different
Monica (Sanaa Lathan) was very much a tomboy when she and her family moved in the neighborhood. She got in on a street game of basketball with Quincy (Omar Epps) and his friends and quickly showed him that she was not one to mess with on the court. Remember how quickly he took notice of her? He did ask her to be his girlfriend like a couple days later (though they broke up within two minutes AND had a fight).
Just Because We don’t wear a dress…
It doesn’t mean we should learn to wear one – even if we hate them. Poor Monica could barely stand in her kitten heels at the dance, was hunched all over as she stood and when she sat down, her legs were wide open. Bless her heart. I must say that I especially took note of this one because growing up I didn’t wear dresses unless I absolutely had to…and that wasn’t often. That being said, I think I would have known when a man looking like Boris Kodjoe was trying to holla at me!
You want the man, the job…whatever? Go for it!
Monica knew that she liked Quincy but she’d been really quiet for so long, just watching him from across the lawn. So after they got back from the dance and were talking about their college choices, Q went for the congratulatory hug but Mo went for the “you WILL be my boo before the night is over” kiss. And…well, we know where that led. *cues Maxwell* The point is that if you want the man or a certain job or a certain level of respect, you have to speak up. As they say, “a closed mouth doesn’t get fed.” Now, I’m not saying you should just kiss a dude (as it pertains to relationships) but, we should all learn to say what we want. This is an ongoing lesson with me…
There’s nothing Wrong with Making YOU the Priority
Yes, it was sad when Quincy found out his father was cheating on his mother. Heartbreaking, even. Monica did her initial due diligence as a girlfriend and sat with him and listened and tried to get him to see a different side of the coin. But she was finally up to a starting position and SHE. HAD. CURFEW. She couldn’t miss it just because he wanted to sit out and talk more. She even offered to walk and talk more with him but did he want it? NO! Now, men (and some women) were mad that she just “up and left” but really, Quincy likely would have done the same thing! Sometimes, ESPECIALLY when you’re young, you have to make yourself the priority and definitely when you want to get ahead.
You Can Still Determine Your Fate
So after the breakup (and Quincy’s personal problems), Monica began to flourish in her college career while Quincy’s freshman year turned dismal and then he went pro. Monica moved overseas to play professional basketball while sadly, Quincy got hurt. Now, we know Monica never really got over her breakup and eventually left Europe because she could no longer keep up the facade but the point was that she TRIED (though anger and hurt may have been part of that). Quincy got all up in his feelings about the image that he had of his father being shattered and he let his emotions make the decisions for him. We have to make our own decisions because if we keep other peoples’ choices and voices in our heads, we may not really be doing what’s best for us.
We Can Learn from Our Parents
Many of us tend to forget that our parents are regular people who had a baby! Most of them try very hard to do the best they can but they aren’t perfect – we just don’t understand that. Monica never understood why her mom was so, in her eyes, subservient to her husband. She didn’t respect her mom’s choice to become a stay-at-home mom and provide a “proper” home for her children and her husband. (She also got slapped in the face for being quite disrespectful while voicing her displeasure.) I think part of Monica “finding herself” overseas was not only due to her not being able to get over Quincy but also trying not to be like her mom. Quincy also found himself at a loss because for about 19 years, he looked up to his father and there was no one greater. When he found out his father was a “mere mortal,” he didn’t know what to do. It was like he crawled his way back to “finding Quincy.”
“Double or Nothing”
In the end, Meshell Ndegeocello sang us the truth, a game of basketball was played, some tears started to shed and then…it happened. After all of the ups and downs and a wedding being called off two weeks before the nuptials, boy and girl who had loved each other since they were 11 finally got BACK together. Now, while I generally believe that you’re exes for a reason, this may have just been one of those cases where they were both very young at the time and needed to grow into themselves and their adult feelings. Maybe the lesson here is if it’s meant to be, it will be.