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Brandi from Washington, D.C., asks:

Is taking care of men becoming the new trend?

I’m not talking about a meal here and a shirt there. I’m talking about broadcasting on your profile, “My husband and I’s apartment ... ,” when they’re not legally married, yet giving him full compensation from the random people sleeping in her studio apartment that she has posted on Airbnb because he doesn’t have a job.

I’m not talking about sending him an edible arrangement to his job as a gift for his birthday, but paying for a full vacation—no, excuse me, now in this day and age, it’s called baecation—to Costa Rica, yet he doesn’t have a job and stays with his parents and older brother. Mind you, this bama is in his mid-30s. Did I mention he doesn’t have a job?! But he draws and plays video games all day. But on her profile, she words his occupation as “painter and animator.”

No, this is no longer my man, but the father of my child. And the examples spoken of are about him and his significant other. I’m asking if this is a trending topic because it bothers me how people flex for the ’gram and likes on social media, yet in reality, they don’t have $3 to their name to give their child. Yet, on his girlfriend/Airbnb wifey/UNICEF sponsor’s Instagram page, you would believe they are living the life by exploring the world on her expense and stupidity. 

My response is going to be nasty, and then it’s going to be nice. So bear with me, Brandi, because first, I have to answer the question you asked, and then I have to answer the question you’re really asking. (Seriously, Brandi, don’t shut down—don’t run from my response. I don’t even know you, but I want the best for you.)

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So, is taking care of men becoming the new trend?

You would know.

You’ve taken care of at least one man.

Your baby daddy.

I bet your mama is taking care of a man right now.

It’s all good until it ain’t.

I mean, didn’t he draw and play video games all day with you? And that didn’t stop you from letting him come in you raw. He wasn’t a sterling example of manhood when he was with you, was he? He was a layabout when he was with you, and he hasn’t changed now that he’s with her.

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But so what?

So what, Brandi? It’s her money. Why are you worried about her money and how she’s spending it? What’s with the vitriol against another woman and her bad decisions?

People make shit decisions every day, and women are people.

You’re people.

Who gives a shit that your baby daddy somehow keeps managing to get by, untouched by karma’s claws? Stop giving a shit, Brandi. Stop it.

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Stop internet-stalking these people, Brandi. These people are living their lives while you’re … not.

I know, I know. Easier said than done, but so is dieting, so is exercising, so is quitting smoking, so is rehab and so is walking away from good dick (or so I’ve heard—I’ve never walked away from good dick. Your dick was trash, Todd!).

You see what I did there?

It was in poor taste, wasn’t it? Even if it is true. And it felt good to say.

Let’s rise above together.

But you first.

So where was I? Brandi, if some woman you don’t know is taking care of a grown man you’re not with ... so what?

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Now, let’s get to your real question, the question beneath your question: “When will it be me?”

As soon as you let all this go. Let him go. Let your regrets go. Let all the what-ifs, and the maybe-ifs and the should’ves, could’ves, damn-what-if-I-would’ves go.

Here’s the thing: You’re so scared to sit in this hurt and pain in the now that you’re holding on to all these dead thens. But if you release this thing that’s not even dying—it’s dead—if you release it, and get through the mourning of it, I swear to you, Brandi, you’ll come out on the other side whole. That’s a platitude, but it’s also the fucking truth. Ask your mama. Your aunties. Your best sista-girlfriend.

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Letting him go won’t break you.

I mean, you’re broken now. But you’ll mend.

But you have to give yourself the chance to do so.

And you can’t do that by going through his Instagram. Or her Instagram. You can’t ever heal internally by focusing outward. Everything out there is out of your control. You can’t control other people. You can only control you.

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So one of these days, you will be happy again. But first you have to face the dead and say goodbye. And keep saying it until that fucking ghost stops showing up on your doorstep, holding his dick in his hand and rubbing his belly.