Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of The Poet’s List.
YOU’RE AT THE BARS WITH… Lexzie
“How do y’all deal with all the ladies around y’all men?” a vibrant Jada Pinkett exclaimed as I adjusted the volume on the Instagram ad. I was hooked. A new Red Table Talk episode was on its way and I was all the way here for it! The conversation would feature the normal trio (Jada, Gammy and Willow) and the ladies of the NBA-studded Curry clan: Sonya, Ayesha, Sydel and Callie Rivers.
From the promo, I knew that it was exactly the type of conversation I’d been yearning for. I’ve long felt that married people seem to be more privy to “marriage talk.” I’ve always wished that they’d be more forthcoming with the realities of marriage:
Do you still have insecurities? …Do you ever feel unappreciated? …Have you ever dealt with XYZ? …How did you get through it?
There are so many single people who may have worked through the “small things” in their own relationships had they only realized how common their battles were.
So when Red Table Talk aired, I was ready. And grateful. And it was everything I hoped it would be.
As damaging headlines began to surface, ripping some of Ayesha’s comments to shreds, I was extremely confused, disappointed and even a little outraged. And I suddenly realized: This must be why married people don’t share with the rest of us!
For reference, this is what Ayesha said:
“Something that really bothers me and honestly has given me a little bit of a sense of insecurity is the fact that yea, there are like all these women throwing themselves [at Steph]. But me, the past 10 years, I don’t have any of that. I have zero—this sounds weird—but like male attention. So then I begin to internalize it and I’m like, ‘Is something wrong with me?’ I don’t want it, but it would be nice to know that… someone’s looking.”
So now, I’d like to make it clear that, as a poet… as a spiritual being… and as someone who is self-aware… I was BOTHERED by the backlash.
I’m convinced that few people consume more than soundbites these days. In context with the entire episode, Ayesha’s comments seemed pretty on par with the theme: insecurity, anxiety and loss of self. And in hearing that Ayesha and Steph have been together since their teenage years, her feelings made all the more sense.
As an adult, I’ve dated. I’ve been able to experience being single and in a relationship. I know what I bring to the table. I know that men find me attractive. I’ve questioned my worth and I’ve believed my worth at different times along the way. I have a gauge of what love is and what love isn’t. Though it’s incredible and envy-provoking that Ayesha fell in love in her teens on a one-and-done (and hit the damn jackpot!), I can see how the absence of certain experiences can cause you question your desirability.
Even out of context, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would be so hard-pressed to shoot down someone else’s insecurity. A while ago, I had a personal epiphany: Insecurities can’t live without a host. Insecurities are realities that you’ve internalized. Sometimes they may have a kernel of truth. Other times, they may be completely outlandish. Either way, they only need you to survive. Ayesha realized her insecurity in the midst of battling it. Yet, in choosing to share it with us, she was repaid with claims that she’s, “unfaithful, attention-seeking, a gold-digger, oblivious to what she has at home” and more…
Is this the price of transparency?
If we don’t allow people to expose their layers and if we don’t allot a little empathy, we will miss out on the gems that may save us in a future season. Sometimes I’ll hang on to hardships that I’ve heard from other people. And while in the throes of my own battles, I’ll recall those stories. I’ll use them as fuel to keep going. You never know what may cause you to question your worth and when you may need to open your mouth and speak… just like Ayesha.
As I mentioned earlier. I may be kind of worldly, but I’m also super spiritual. And I have the most grace for people in print.
You know what’s beautiful about being a writer of fiction? I get to create all these harmless, but deeply flawed characters; and I come to love them immensely. I get to design their unique background, fine-tune their narrative and determine their frame of reference for how they view themselves and their world. Their insecurities, however skewed, are purposed.
It’s a tiny, tiny taste of what God does for us. He knows our thorns. He knows why we possess them. And when we choose to share our inner issues with the world… when we show up transparent and a bit damaged, but ultimately harmless… He’s prepared to love us through the backlash.
Reserve your right to battle, but pick your battles wisely. Not just for your own sanity, but because you never quite know who God’s fighting for.
Written by Alexzenia Davis for The Poet’s List.