Though I would never walk around and proclaim “I am Mary Jane,” as BET would like women across the world to do, I won’t lie and say I don’t relate to the character in Mara Brock Akil’s latest drama. And by relate I mean share some of her fears about being eternally single and having nothing but my work laptop to cuddle up to at night — not acting a desperate fool and embarrassing myself on a weekly basis when it comes to men.
Last night, I prepared myself for what I expected would be a mentally taxing two-hour season finale of “Being Mary Jane.” Lord knows the roller coaster of emotions she sends us through in one hour is enough to have to puff a pack of cigarettes and sip a few cocktails afterward so I could only imagine how I would feel after a double dose. Thankfully, the first hour of the show was pretty light and even a bit joyous as Niecy welcomed her new baby into the world. The second part, however, had me cringing nearly from start to finish.
Let’s start with Mary Jane Paul rolling up to David’s house and demanding that his new woman fetch him for her and then making a complete scene — not to mention a donkey’s behind out of herself — by proclaiming to be a “ride or die” chick and sobbing her way out the front door. Or shall we talk about MJ sitting her “ratchet ass,” as Kara called her, outside Andre’s house, contemplating going in to apologize to Avery and ending up trying to school her on fellatio? Or perhaps we should focus on her lying on the floor of her kitchen with a turkey baster and asking Lisa to inseminate her with David’s sperm, even though she knew it wouldn’t work. At some points during the night I watched the show and laughed to myself thinking about similar discussions and behaviors my friends and I contemplated when we were way too open over a man who dogged us out (and also had too much to drink), but then I remembered I was 20 at the time and Mary Jane is twice that age, i.e. too old to be acting such an inconceivable mess.
There’s lonely and then there’s reckless abandon. I continue to be amazed at how often Mary Jane jeopardizes her reputation, not just as a self-respecting woman, but as a professional. There are things I won’t write about, say on camera, or do out in public because I know at the very least someone can at least trace things back to my name, even if they don’t know my face. Here’s Mary Jane, a woman whose face is plastered on televisions across the nation on a nightly basis interrupting dinner parties, giving out bogus sidechick advice at luncheons, and trespassing on private property. I’m curious how she’s managed to accomplish so much in her career when she’s being so reckless with it now. But that brings me to my point about desperation: Though I imagine if I don’t have Mary Jane tendencies now I likely won’t develop them in the next 10 years or so, what scares me is the idea that, for some, desperate times call for desperate measures. And just about everything Mary Jane does these days falls under that guise.
Mary Jane clearly wasn’t feeling the way she is now when she was in her late 20s or early 30s. That’s why she seemingly broke things off with David so easily and ascended to the top of her profession. But then before she knew it she looked up and started asking herself what she has to show for being a good girl. I’ve been down that road before, which took me down an even darker road, so perhaps I got my Mary Jane phase out of the way early on. But as I knock on 29’s door and start thinking about my future, it’s, for lack of a better word, a bit depressing to be doing it on my own and grappling with the idea that I may always be me, myself, and I. That’s not to say that I’m about to become a sperm snatcher but, as I pointed out in my title, If I come to a point that I can’t accept my singleness and starting acting a plum fool in these streets, Jesus, don’t just take the wheel, drive the whole car off the cliff and take me on to glory. Just kidding. But really…
What did you think about last night’s season finale?