The Main Course: “But Why Would You Not, B*!”

This past weekend was the good time I didn’t know I needed. I met up with some folks who knew me back when I wore glasses without lenses (another questionable fashion statement) and when the running joke was that I looked like Junior from My Wife & Kids. *inserts crying emoji* Anyhow, the hostess with the mostest, whom I’ve known for more than 15 years, got a group of us high school friends together for a weekend in Houston for the first-ever Honeyland Festival. It was a celebration of everything black, from our food to our music to everything else that makes being black beautiful. When I tell you, I haven’t laughed that much in ages. It’s nothing like your old high school peeps, man. They just get you on a whole different level. There, a defining moment in my life would happen and make me feel okay for being the clueless mess that I am. Also, it would give me clarity on why I started this blog.

You would think the highlight of my weekend would be that I finally got to see Summer Walker perform live. Seriously, I’ll never forget that I was blessed to sing Session 32 along with Ms. Walker (in J. Cole’s voice) and thousands of other fans experiencing the same musical orgasm I was having. Oh, or the fact that the group would have a whole Super Soul Sunday therapy session. Except this was a Saturday, and we were sipping on Processco earlier than what’s considered the proper time to have such beverages. 9:00 a.m. was fine with me, though. Yet, what trampled both of those was a silly wardrobe malfunction. One that would change my life forever.

I planned to wear a bodysuit but forgot to pack the appropriate underwear to not only support that decision but also keep my little friend safe. Don’t worry your pretty little head about imagining that kind of pain, because I’m going to spare you of that in fear of PTSD. In any case, I decided to wear the bodysuit unbuttoned. If you already guessed it, I’d end up regretting that decision. After about a 20–25 minute drive, that bodysuit would rise from my money maker up to my shoulders. Unfortunately, I was too slow for Chassidy, who would see the new placement of said bodysuit as I was exiting the car. By that point, it felt like that damn bodysuit was at the top of my chin. She’d then utter the famous words, ‘Vari, what’s going on with this bodysuit?’ I would follow that by explaining the discomfort of wearing a bodysuit and boxer briefs. Chassidy would then give me a look of disappointment. A look that said, ‘Babe, beauty hurts’. At that moment, I’d make the executive decision to race over to the nearest porta-potty to take care of the mishap at once. That’s when Chassidy would read me down by saying, “But, why would you not?” In other words, ‘What made you think that not buttoning that damn bodysuit made any actual sense, Javari?’ She didn’t know it at the time, but that was the read I needed. Whew! 

I started to ponder over those five words. Hard. It felt like the answer to pretty much everything I’ve been struggling with, especially when it comes to setting personal boundaries. While in Houston, we’d end up in the gay district, and of course, we hit the club. That’s one space I’ve avoided in recent months because it’s still connected to an old version of me. My enjoyment there was always contingent upon whether or not I’d leave with some random guy’s number that I probably wouldn’t even use. If that didn’t happen, I’d find a way to blame myself or my choice of shoes. Thankfully, I was able to catch myself before spiraling. No more negative self-talk or putting myself in spaces that don’t align with who I’m becoming. Although I enjoyed the night, that will likely be the last dance floor I’ll see for quite some time.

The jumpsuit fiasco was also the first time in a long time that I felt seen. Someone saw me in a way that certainly wasn’t flattering, although I’m sure the booty was sitting. My dear friend reminded me that I’m not perfect. I can laugh at my imperfections while learning to love them. I can also continue scaring the shit out of myself because that means I’m growing. I just want better for myself, and I’m trying my damn best to do it because Auntie Brandy already told us that almost doesn’t count. The moral of the story is that we all need that one friend who can give it to us straight with no chaser. Now, let’s toast to buttoning up that bodysuit and pushing through!