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Whenever I go to the grocery store, it is almost a definite that someone will stop me about my hair. They would say some variation of, “Oh my gosh! I love your hair. What do you do to it? What products do you use? I’m natural, but I’m not sure what I need to do.” I share my hair regimen, and I can see the looks on their faces change from “Oh wow” to “Nuh unh.” 4/5 of the time, I hear this phrase:

“Oh wow. Yeah…that’s too much work for me.”

I normally shrug and say, “Well, it works for me.” It has happened so much that I don’t pay it too much attention. It always reminds me of something I saw on a Kevin Hart behind the scenes video. He and his friends say this as a sort of call and response thing: “Everybody wanna be famous…don’t nobody wanna put the work in.” I would chuckle to myself, and keep it moving.

Then, as I was in the shower, hair twisted, shampooing (only my scalp) section by section, drenching with conditioner, finger detangling, and thinking of the black tea rinse I wanted to do, something occurred to me: The same is true of relationships. Everyone wants their Mr. Big, but nobody wants to have to beat him with flowers. For any individual, how much work is too much?

Sometimes, the work for some is at the beginning with appearance. He doesn’t look like you want him too. He’s too _______. If Charlotte had felt that way, she never would have been with Harry, who is arguably (though not really) the best husband on the series. Sometimes, the work is in the middle. Personality differences, disagreements, and/or compromises. The entire Steve and Miranda relationship is based on that premise. Sometimes she did the work; sometimes it was him; either way, it got done. If the work is at the end, like Samantha and Smith, you’re giving the old college try to make sure you’ve exhausted all possibilities before calling it out. But what if your work is like Carrie and Big…all throughout? Is she just stupid for not leaving sooner? Or did her perseverance finally award her the prize?

On VerySmartBrothas.com, there was a post about why women are overly loyal.My friends and I had a conversation about it, and one said, “Most women don’t give up easily…but we need not to if we are going to be “overloyal” mothers to our daughters and sons (not to create needy daughters or mama’s boys though). So I guess we gotta learn to give up on people early in the game lol??” Her sarcasm, (which I love…it’s one of the reasons why we’re friends) rings very true. Where is the line? I know it may be fine, but can we see it? Would it be dumb to think that something we’re not doing in practice (being loyal/working in relationships) will happen in the game (marriage to divorce)?

Put it like this…I like the outcome of my hair styling sessions. I’m willing to put it the work when the outcome is what it is. BUT, if (God forbid) a fire catches my hair a la Michael Jackson…no amount of deep conditioner can help that. I’m going to have to cut this ish off.

What say you? How much work is too much?

Love,

–V

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…but it’s all so personal. I’m pretty sure every writer, at some point, had to get over how much of themselves they felt comfortable baring. This is especially true when your readers aren’t only people you don’t know, but those you do. That’s probably the hardest part of all.

I’m still here. I’m just trying to think my way around this.

Love,

–V

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