Monday, August 28, 2006

From a position of bitterness

The Wife Ness Monster likes to sing along to her iPod while she's running in the morning, and as such, I have a ringside seat for her pop and hip-hop stylings from my own vantage point in crunch position. Lately, she's added Toni Braxton's "He Wasn't Man Enough" to the repertoire -- an empowered woman anthem, maybe, but look at the lyrics:

What are you thinking?
Do you know about us back then?
Do you know i dumped your husband, girlfriend?
I'm not thinking 'bout him
But you married him
Do know I made him leave
Do you know he begged to stay with me
He wasn't man enough for me

Sure, Ms. Braxton is dishing on her former beau by saying that he wasn't good (or "man," if you will) enough to hold Braxton's attention; she's doing the pride thing, proclaiming how much self-worth she has. But look closer -- this is a bitter screed written from a position of disadvantage.

Somehow, her old relationship went down the shitter, and she is just cross enough now to defame her old flame to his new love. "I dumped your husband, girlfriend," she boasts. "I made him leave," she adds. Big talk -- if it were true. Which it isn't. Why would you start kicking dirt like Billy Martin with a hangover if you didn't still have a severe mad-on about the guy?

Let's reframe this: I say the guy hit the road, and Braxton has declared a fatwa as the spurnee. Hence, the public derision -- You hurt me, so I'll hit you where you live. That's how upset and irrational I am.

Next week, the Salad Bowl will deconstruct Bobby Brown's "Tender Roni."