Where I come from, we match.
Whether that be a sack of indo or gas money, its a sign of camaraderie when you put what you have together with what I have, so we’ll have more. From grade school, boys and girls share everything from secrets to chocolate milk. We got older and wore matching Jordans in high school pictures, but the idea is the same. However little or great a person’s ability, two more hands will always yield greater results.
I take the same principles with me into my relationships. The cost of living is so high that it requires a culture of parity: both people have to bring their best into the arrangement, with plans to get more. Male or female, you gotta match each other’s time, effort and resources. It doesn’t have to be dollar for dollar, but you must be an asset somehow. Liabilities get written off.
For better or worse, I grew up in gang culture on the west coast. And in that environment, women go just as hard as men, even harder at some points. It’s nothing to glorify, but it does present an interesting social alternative wherein women don’t just sit back and fill traditional western roles. In some respects, it’s the ultimate test of equality: If you say you’re down, you gotta step off the porch and jump into the mix like everyone else.
No disrespect to the traditionalists, but I wasn’t raised to take care of a woman’s every need, with no requirement from her. Nor was I taught to be a nothing-ass nigga who leeches off women. In my neighborhood, none of us had financial advantages, and we had to get it out the mud. It wasn’t the bottom, but it wasn’t the Cosby’s, either. It was that complicated position where you have enough to not starve, but not enough to relax. In that financial limbo, it takes two to make a comfortable living.
The more you make, the greater chance that you’ll meet someone who isn’t at that level. When it comes to income inequalities, you have to protect your hard work from opportunists seeking an on-ramp. But be careful to balance a healthy suspicion of strangers against an outright rejection of those who simply have less. You have to be the judge on whether (s)he deserves to share your blessings. My personal opinion is that you should be able to envision yourselves having nothing together before you’ll know if you can share everything together. It’s a complicated mental exercise, but the underlying goal is to remove the financial lens so you can see the individual clearly.
No matter your economic status, strive to be a mate of value rather than success. There are more ways to be valuable than bringing home a check, and some can qualities are arguably more important. Take me for example: I’m the type to bring home my pay and give it all to my woman. I’m not good at planning, and will choose to do what I WANT to do over what I NEED to do. I know I lack in that area, so I tend to draft quarterbacks, women who can look at my strengths, make a plan and call a play. I’ll take it from there.
As far as I’m concerned, we’ll never reach the heights we’re capable of unless we get there together. One person’s success is moot unless they send the elevator back down for their mate, family, and community. That’s the part of the American Dream that fucked us up: Individualism.
In case you haven’t noticed, this country, this world has no bottom. It’s just as heartless and scandalous as you think, squared. Just when you think you’ve seen everything, a new level unlocks. That means we have to create our own comfort, our own relief. And we can’t do it if we don’t match, if we’re hoarding our resources for ourselves. We ain’t Jewish, or Anglo – American, with generational wealth to pass down. We are first and second generation professionals, but the hustler gene goes back to the shores of West Africa. We have certain advantages, but most of what we are going to achieve in life, we have to go get. That’s a helluva burden, but I’m up for the challenge.
You tryna match me on this, or nah?