Debunking 4:43 and Why You Should Wear Your Own Watch

I’m all for uplifting women, finding equality where we didn’t have it before and placing equity where equality just isn’t enough. Love and relationships fall into this system of how we’re misunderstood. So many times, we’re defined by who we love and how we love and when it goes wrong. Plenty of heartaches sincerely are not our fault; women love in the blind and endlessly because we’re hopeful. We dream. We’re optimistic and think that we can change even the dirtiest, darkest things. Sometimes we make ill choices because we’re following our heart. We love someone else more than we love ourselves without realizing it. And from that, we enter a rabbit hole of despair. Maybe we choose not to even love again because of our past.

But this time around, it’s not going to fly like that. Yeah, men are shit. Yeah, occasionally they use us to prepare and build them for the next women they date. But we also have to wear our own watch and realize what time it is. Because no one has to check for you BUT you. If someone isn’t worth your time, dump the unnecessary baggage. Sometimes, that is easier said than done, but life is about enduring trials and errors.

But some of those errors are not errors. They’re just all-out malicious acts of insanity. And people need to be called out for their “woe is me” bullshit.

After reading 4:43, a response to Jay Z’s 4:44 album that was released within the past week, I couldn’t help but notice the writer’s sense of self-victimizing. This man who was there for her beforehand was no longer her confidante. How the man who she seemed so in love with used her for her alleged teaching principals and then ditched her at the drop of a hat for another woman. How the situation caused stress on all ends. To her, the new woman, and the fact that the man had to juggle his hidden past and come to amends with himself of being a jerk. Supposedly.

Just for reference, Jay Z’s 4:44 alludes to how he has become refined due to his relationship/marriage to Beyoncé. We saw the years where he dated a number of other women in the celebrity “urban” community. We still see photos that pop up with him and Aaliyah prior to her death. Hell, some of us were shocked at Bey’s tranquility with the naming of their first born Blue. (Jay Z dated Blu Cantrell years before.) Even last year, we heard Beyoncé’s Lemonade and how — allegedly — Jay cheated on her during their marriage, causing her miscarriages, etc.

However, I follow Jay Z and Beyoncé for their work and artistry. I think they are talented in the music industry and for being able to garner such a wide audience globally. But, apart from the surface layer, I do not care about their personal lives. It makes for a great story in a gossip column, it makes for great chatter around an album release, and I overall care for their well-being, but otherwise I could care less. I have my own life that I need to worry about and student loans from Sallie Mae or Navient or whoever she wants to be this week when she calls and says that I need to pay her. Therefore, the family dynamic of Jay Z and Beyoncé is none of my concern, but the artistry and dedication placed into their work are impeccable.

In the black community, sometimes I think that we’re so involved with their lifestyle because it is the fairytale that we want to live. As women, we would like to be uplifted and considered as talented and beautiful as Beyoncé (not that we strive for it, but to achieve it wouldn’t be a bad thing). She’s the idol of many women, like a superhero. Plenty of people never outgrow their superhero. It’s an idea or fantasy they admire. Beyoncé, also considered as one of the top female players in the game, becomes relevant to men as well for her work and — naturally — for her beauty. Of course, Jay Z has been a major name for years, especially to men who admire his business sense, intellect, self-taught/self-made tactics of handling life, amazing lyrics, and for snatching Beyoncé as his wife and mother of his children.

Plenty of people feel as if they personally know this family dynamic, as if they’re involved themselves. It’s the idea that your superhero was made just for you. So that you could relate to them. And that’s what seems to happen with the writer of 4:43. Clearly a Beyoncé fan, she can only fathom a man leaving her if the other woman is of a “Beyoncé”-caliber. But is she really handling it well? According to the blog post, she is. She’s reacting in a classy and eloquent way. Blessing us all with her poetic words and giving women everywhere the strength to make it through a breakup whenever a guy calls us trash and throws us out on the curb. It’s a female empowerment “I’m done with your shit” swan song. She lets us know that we’re not alone in the struggle. That there is more to life than this heartbreak. But how truthful is she being?

I’ve been susceptible to some messy breakups myself. I have. I have done some things that I’m not proud of or engaged in acts that I would not consider “Brooke-like.” Hell, some of the stories are funny to tell later, and I just charge them to the game of growing pains. Shit, they even make great moments for my blog — or maybe one day if I decide to do stand-up comedy.

However, some things are just not warranted. Some things are inexcusable. Some things NO PERSON IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would consider.

You have to ask yourself: Was I a hot mess and chased a married man with a family? And get upset and stalk that man after he turned me away? Did I then send letters to his place of business? Once I realized that he cleaned up his life, set himself straight and moved on, did I refuse to let it go? Did I hold a grudge towards both parties? Did I create fake online accounts to harass them? Did I start a smear campaign and write ambiguous blog posts playing victim because I want what I want and no one else can have what I want?

All in all, the writer of 4:43 will have you believing “alternative facts.” Yes, we all have stupid moments in relationships and breakups. And yes, men do some fucked up things without any regards to our feelings. Maybe we misunderstand their kindness when they’re just trying to be a friend to us when we’re no longer dating/sleeping together. But does that give us a reason to partake in LITERAL moments of insanity and excuse it with heartbreak? If a woman is married and finds her man is cheating on her, sure. She’s going to get upset. Hell, even if it’s a couple in an exclusive relationship. But when the two were just engaged in on-again/off-again bootycalls for a stint of a moment? Nah. 

I’m not saying that the guy didn’t do anything wrong. By all means, I’m definitely not excusing him. He was an ass for stepping out in another relationship to have some moments with this woman, he was an ass for not cutting it to an end the first time she stalked him knowing that he was in a new and exclusive relationship, he was an ass for allowing his new lady to receive the stress of this 4:43 writer and her ongoing antics, and he was an ass for not seeing this woman’s level of crazy from the beginning. Seriously, y’all. When you’re over a certain age, you should be able to see some hints of crazy.

Again, the piece is beautifully worded, and it’s a great source of motivation for other black women scorned from relationships. But in this particular instance, she’s not one of them. Rather she is the scorn. We all get hurt, we all have our downfalls in life. We all mis-take friendly kindness in our vulnerable moments for something else. We do. But let’s call a spade a spade and realize what time it REALLY is. You did not prepare this man for his Beyoncé. Sometimes, you have to admit when you’re just one of the other girls in the Big Pimpin’ video.



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