I’m Still Looking For A Love Jones: Relationship Compromise Or Compromising Relationships
This series happens once a week. In order to understand what’s going on in the series, be sure to read the column, in order.
The Best Man, 1999, was another classic. The tale of betrayal amidst friendship and the past interfering with the present. Harper’s novel causes contention with Lance, his best friend.
I thought about this movie, while reflecting on my current situation with Marsha. I could understand if she’d been in a relationship with Edwin or they’d just been on several dates. I might’ve even felt bad if she’d told me that she liked him, when we first met him. However, I found myself not feeling guilty at all. She’d given me permission. Her exact words, the night we saw him spinning, were “go ahead.” It wasn’t fair that I had to leave him alone, because of her sudden realization.
Here’s a little background information…
For the next few weeks, Edwin and I spent time together on and off. He was a pleasure to have around: great conversationalist, intuitive, and innovative. When he wasn’t touring, we visited museums, went to local shows, cooked together, and found ourselves avoiding our neighborhood, because Marsha lived nearby.
My birthday was on the horizon and despite the fact that our friendship had been awkward lately, I wanted to have my best friend by my side. I sent a flyer out to all of my friends and Marsha was the first to respond. She wanted to do my makeup and help me pick out a dress for the occasion. (She’d accidentally become my personal stylist, due to my tomboy tendencies.) I obliged and we planned excitedly, leaving our issues behind.
Or so I thought…
On my birthday, after finding the perfect red dress and picking out a great restaurant, we headed home to get my makeup started. She pulled out all of her tools and smiled down at me, every time she applied a different aspect.
I was holding my phone in my lap and it started to vibrate. When she went to check her bag for mascara, I opened my text messages to find one from Edwin.
“Happy Birthday, beautiful! I know you’re hanging with your girls tonight. Do I get to celebrate with you, tomorrow?”
My entire face lit up and I was eager to text back, so eager I didn’t see Marsha hovering over me, looking down on the text.
“Is that Edwin?”
“Um…yeah. He’s just saying Happy Birthday.”
I closed the text, quickly.
“That was a pretty long message. It didn’t look like just happy birthday to me.”
I didn’t respond. I took the mascara from her hand, told her that I’d apply it myself, and made my way to the bathroom.
We didn’t have enough time to delve into another back and forth about Edwin. We were due to dinner. The car ride was silent, filled with the sounds of Hot97 and the GPS’ voice. I hoped that she’d be over it, by the time we sat down to eat.
The restaurant’s ambience was amazing. My friends all waited by the bar, ecstatic when I walked through the door, and we rushed to the host to seat us for our reservation. The night played out just as I planned it. I invited six friends, from all walks of my life: grade school, college, journalism ventures, and educator colleagues. I wrote a speech for each of them and I told them how important they were and how much it meant for me to spend my night with them. We ordered a ton of food and shared the large dishes, because we couldn’t decide on just one thing. (The menu and pricing was shared weeks prior to, so every one could be prepared.) When the check came, my childhood friend, who was now an accountant, was the first to grab it. She always wanted to calculate the bill, whenever we went out to dine.
“We’ll split it five ways, so Erica won’t have to pay for herself.”
I’d already had my card out, but I sure didn’t mind. Everyone nodded in agreement…
Everyone…except…Marsha, “I didn’t agree to that.”
Shana, the accountant, spoke again, “We know you didn’t, we just decided.”
Marsha looked annoyed, “I’d only accounted for myself. I can’t do it.”
Raven, my most outspoken friend, was pissed, “That’s fine, it’s whatever. You pay for what you ordered and we’ll split the rest.”
The entire situation felt uncomfortable. I put my card down, “We’ll split it six ways guys; it’s not that serious.”
I was upset with Marsha too, but I didn’t want this to ruin the night. My other five friends were clearly disgruntled and pushed their cards on the bill, while giving Marsha death stares.
After our dinner, we took pictures outside. There was a bench sitting in front of a well-lit store and Raven insisted that we all take pictures in front, “Let’s all stand behind the bench and have Erica sit on it. Let’s surround her with love.”
Everyone started to gather behind the bench when Marsha finally spoke again, “Why? I want to sit on the bench too. I’d like to be front and center, in this picture too.”
Raven groaned, we had a passerby snap the photo, and four out of six of the women decided not to follow us to the second half of the activities, but to head home.
“We’ll meet you at your house for the sleepover, later.”
Sarcasm: I wonder why.
Marsha’s discontent was clear and she made it no secret. After partying all night long and heading back to my house for a sleepover, which Marsha decided not to attend, I woke up to my entire friend cohort sitting up discussing something.
I yawned and smiled at them, dispersed throughout my living room in socks and comfy wear, “Good morning, guys! Why are you all up so early?”
Shana spoke first, “Yeah. We’ve all decided…Marsha has to go.”