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Does it bother you if your partner jokes around with or chats cheerfully with someone else, albeit briefly? Life you go to the store together and they bond with someone in an aisle or at checkout about something small. Do you let them do their thing or do you inquire, a tad bit confused, about what was said?

For rapper and actress Lil Mama, she found herself briefly joking with a man whose partner wasn’t here for it. She shared her encounter with the couple on her Instagram.

“So, I just boarded my flight. There’s this guy in the next seat over, and he was putting his blanket on, getting his pillow ready. So I’m like, ‘Oh, you’re getting ready already?!’ And so he’s like, ‘Yeah! Yeah! I’m getting ready. And then his wife gets up and she’s like *fake laughs* ‘What did she say??'” Lil Mama said.

“He was like, ‘Oh, she was just saying, you’re getting ready already!’ The smile, because I couldn’t see her face, she was turned around to him after she asked that. And his face went from *does big smile to no smile.* So she was hating,” she added. “She was hating on our little connection. She didn’t understand, nobody wants him. You understand? I don’t want him. I was just asking him if he was ready to go to sleep. That’s it. But that sh-t was epic. She was like *big smile* “What did she say??”

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bj_nzQrlnm4/?hl=en&taken-by=lilmama

A light joke about the man’s urgency to get seated so he could go to sleep left his wife wondering what the hell was so funny. Lil Mama’s friend and legendary rapper MC Lyte joked that she should, “Stop flirting with married men.”

And while my immediate reaction to the story was, “Ha! That woman’s petty,” I had to check myself for being guilty of doing something similar.

While I haven’t used the same fake smile and enthusiasm, I’ve been nosy when my husband holds brief conversations with random women while I’m out with him. I don’t care if someone asks for directions or the time, but if I look up and he’s giggling, I have questions about why this harmless kiki moment is happening.

“What’s happening now?” is usually my go-to. And for the record, asking the question, in my case, doesn’t mean, as Lil Mama put it, that you believe somebody else wants your man. (If a five-second interaction is all it takes for your mate to want to mess with someone else, you guys had bigger issues anyway.) I also don’t think wanting to know what’s so funny means you don’t trust your spouse or that you’re controlling. If something really is funny then I can’t expect him not to laugh.

I just want to know what is so funny.

My question is more so directed at figuring out whatever the woman had to say solely to him, instead of to us. I think there’s something about your omission from a joke or conversation, especially when you are with your partner, the person who is your other, that can leave you feeling a bit left out. And maybe their laugh, or attention to whatever that person is saying, can feel like a tiny betrayal. So that woman’s “What did she say??” and my “What’s happening now?” is, in a sense, an “Um, ain’t sh-t funny!”

The ability to make your partner laugh, and vice versa, is a great feeling, and it can feel somewhat sacred. So when they laugh with other people about something you weren’t included in, you might find yourself unamused like:

via GIPHY

Is such a reaction normal? Sure. Is it petty? Oh yeah. But if your partner is giggling in the face of another woman or man, don’t be surprised if you too don’t find yourself laughing…

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