DCP EP. 78 Unpacking Struggle Love

Transcribed by: Cameron Blackwell 

Completion date: August 27, 2021 

Shana Pinnock: [00:00:03] Welcome to Dear Culture, the podcast that gives you news you can trust for the culture, I’m your co-host Shana Pinnock, Social Media Director at theGrio, [00:00:09][6.0]

Cortney Wills: [00:00:09] and I’m your guest host, Cortney Wills Entertainment Director at the Grio. And this week, we’re asking, Dear Culture, what does struggle love look like in the modern age? [00:00:18][8.9]

Shana Pinnock: [00:00:27] But before we get into the show, first off, Cortney, thank you, no stranger to Dear Culture Podcast while Gerren is off doing other country things. But before we get into that, what’s on your mind this week? [00:00:42][14.4]

Cortney Wills: [00:00:43] You know, so many things are on my mind this week, but what is on my mind this morning is just sheer disappointment in so many of us who still find the time and the reasoning to come for Beyonce and Jay-Z, no matter what they do, no matter what their intent is, it’s never good enough for some people. And I’m just not I’m not really here for this Tiffany campaign. Speaking of love was so beautiful and I think so shocking to so many people. And now that the Carters are getting dragged a little bit by some folks who say they shouldn’t have ever partnered with Tiffany because of their racist past and the fact that the famous Tiffany Diamond, maybe a blood diamond, what do you think about all of this? [00:01:31][48.1]

Shana Pinnock: [00:01:32] I think that these are rich people problems. So it’s not my business, I think for me, is it? Hell, I cannot afford a Tiffany diamond. I may never own a diamond. So what do I care? What I do appreciate is the two million dollars being donated to HBCU’s. We all could use them as a Spelman College graduate. I actually hope that that money is not going straight to Spelman and Morehouse and Howard because then we will never hear the end of that one because again, here we go, Black people complaining about something that should be good and inspirational. Now, I have seen people make certain commentary about, you know, blood diamonds and all this other stuff. Now, supposedly, this particular yellow diamond that she was wearing was not a part of the blood diamond aspect, but. I don’t necessarily disagree that, OK, possibly perhaps it could be a little bit of a disconnect in terms of her brand and mother, Africa and all this other stuff, however, in that same breath. I always find it can I always find it very confusing, but convenient, the things that we choose to have a strange collective outrage about, because I’m like, OK, so why was sitting here talking about, like, blood diamonds? Did you see what Carti and Offset? CArti had on blinged out– that what is that, the Playboy bunny? I’m like, are we? I’m confused. I’m I’m I’m in confusion because, you know, we are always sitting there talking about, like, someone’s great big diamonds. And then I’m like, now we’re talking about blood diamonds? Oh, yeah. Well, she came from the aspect of like with the Mother Africa stuff. OK, so what? A lot of your faves do. What are you talking about? There’s a disconnect there. And my thing is, if you’re going to be if you’re going to have collective outrage, make sure that you keep that same energy all across the board and that’s about it. [00:03:39][127.0]

Cortney Wills: [00:03:39] My thing is like, what is the actual reason for the criticism, though? What are you saying? Are you saying let’s just pretend it is a blood diamond? Right. Let’s say it was definitely mined by slaves built on the backs of our people. Another example of us being used, let’s just say it, is that like that, which we don’t know, but let’s say it is. What is your suggestion? Because Beyoncé is wearing it in a photograph for a campaign. She supports slavery, hates black people, doesn’t want to uplift us. I mean, like, what is your actual point here? Furthermore, is this not perhaps I know it’s hard for people to grasp, but not everyone is living life like a checker game. Some people are playing chess. So when you talk about things like, I don’t know, reparations. Right. About correcting damage, about the root of a of a diamond, that’s one hundred and forty years old, what better way to get a little bit of retribution than have that company that may be historically racist now have to put their dollars toward uplifting and empowering the community that they supposedly, you know. Were abusing. Isn’t that kind of like flipping the script in a way that serves our people? [00:05:00][80.5]

Shana Pinnock: [00:05:00] Listen, all I know is Miss Tina was over here commenting in our Instagram comments, and that’s been a runaway train. OK, I don’t want look, I don’t want no smoke with the B-Hive. I don’t want to smoke Parkwood. So it is what it is. [00:05:15][14.4]

Cortney Wills: [00:05:15] What I’ll say is, if all of y’all want to keep spending time comin at the Carters, despite all of the things that they do for other more disadvantaged communities, countries, places that you see on camera and that you don’t see, that’s your business. As for me and my house, we will serve the queen. [00:05:32][17.2]

Shana Pinnock: [00:05:33] So let’s go ahead and pivot. We we got to talk about men with audacity. Now, First off The Baby, I again, we keep talking about “cancel culture” and whatever else, which typically only comes out of the mouths of people who are being forced to be accountable for their misdeeds. And then so you had the baby who came out and said who again, not canceled, you know, he just couldn’t appear in any of the big white shows, but was able to beat up on the summer jam screen and supposedly apologize. Talkin’ about I didn’t mean, to offend nobody, however, managed to say that right before he played Cry Baby, which again, let’s go ahead and back pedal and get that right. Sir, that is a feature you are on. That is not your song. You are featured on Meg the Stallion’s Song, which really and truly you were trying to be petty. Let’s keep it, let’s keep it all the way clear and all the way a buck. The only reason why you are able to have so much popularity is because that black woman that you was was over here trying to gas light, with little short frame with the bad hair anyway. But cool. You know, I hope he continues to lose all the money, quite frankly. Speaking of his little short friend with the bad hair– Tory Lanez, you know, had to manage to find himself in a court house this past week because. Yeah, that little move that you tried to pull at rolling loud as a guest of The Baby. Yeah, bud yeah, that’s that’s a violation of a restraining order. And luckily for his little tiny self, the judge was like, look, you do this again, it’s a rap. And I’ve seen people catch an attitude because they’re like this because essentially the judge said anywhere where Megan’s supposed to be, you can’t be there. Find your exit. Let me say something. He’s so lucky that Megan Pete is actually not Shana Pinnock, because trust me, when I say how petty I would be, I would show up to that man’s birthday party so he would have to leave. OK, period. So he’s very, very, very fortunate. Speaking of other audacious, idiotic men, Little Boosey, I really have questions as to why you are so consumed with anything that has to do with homosexuality in any way, shape or form. I think you doth protest too much because ever since you got out of it, out of the pokey, you been real concerned about who’s tooting and booting it, why you couldn’t just stop speaking on things that don’t involve you. Do we need to get Iron Mike back in your face? Matter of fact, do we need to get Iron Mikes daughter who actually wanted to fight you, if you recall. But Iron Mike had to hold his child back because she wanted to bust up in the room and give you a two piece and a biscuit. Finally, Busta Rhymes, what a disappointment you have been this week. There is a viral video going around of Busta Rhymes. Basically, it’s talking about, I mean, regurgitating Republican talking points, but talking about how he doesn’t believe in masks and, you know, F a mask because those it goes, goes, goes against your freedom. First off, I find it ironic that she was a black man who has lived and grown up as a black man in these United States are talking anything about freedom. You sound stupid. That’s one. Number two, I’m sorry, but Busta, wasn’t it just two years ago when you had this dramatic weight loss like you lost one hundred plus pounds? And what was that? You went to the doctor. So the doctor was over here talking about you have polyps in your throat that was restricting your breathing. And you your Black self is sitting here talking about you don’t care for masks as it relates to a viral disease that inhibits your your respiratory system. You got the fastest mouth in the game, bro. You of all people should be mindful of your lungs. I don’t understand what the problem is, but at the very least, here’s the thing. If you don’t believe in all this stuff, just shut up about it.  Just shut up about it. But you know what? In the words of Phat Joe. Covid is in a room somewhere. God bless. That’s all I got. God bless. [00:10:04][271.0]

Cortney Wills: [00:10:06] A lot on your mind this week, I think Shana. We all want love, but for some reason, a lot of folks struggle to find a good quality partner to settle down with. There have always been a lot of frustrating challenges in dating in the Black community. From the start many are taught that love encompasses tolerating more than you can bear. AKA, Struggle Love. But this generation seems determined to break that mold. This week we’re going to unpack what struggle love can look like in the culture and what it takes to do better. Let’s get into it. So, Sharma, obviously I’ve been out of the dating game for a minute, I’m a happily married woman, but what is it like out there? Yall still going out on dates? [00:10:56][49.8]

Shana Pinnock: [00:10:59] Listen, first of all, when I was single, it was very much so the ghetto, OK? Is it is it dating in general is ghetto. If you tried to be safe and do things like, you know, here goes Covid. All right, let’s try this online dating thing and then that is even more the ghetto. I’m telling you, it’s it’s it’s the slums. I’m telling you, you know, especially for me, at the height of covid, really at the start of covid rather. I was really like, am I just don’t be single forever because I can’t I don’t want to meet up with anyone. I don’t know what you’ve been up to. I don’t know what kind of you know, what kind of ghetto games have you been playing. Like, who all are you around? You know, you can’t even get your shaboingboing on because I’m not trying to catch Covid, give it to my parents. It was a whole lot. But even before that, I’d say dating, at least for me, has always been a challenge, mainly because most people annoy me and I mean like to the like the core of me, like, I, I don’t know how, but I am a I am technically, I guess, a people person. People tend to gravitate towards me. If you really like me or you really don’t, it’s fine either way. But for the most part, a lot of people tend to gravitate towards me, especially dudes, whatever. And there’s always like I’m a firm believer in red flags and there’s always like something about a dude that I’m just like I can see this being an issue for me in the future. I can I can– no we shouldn’t talk about this. Matter of fact, we shouldn’t talk at all. I ask a lot of questions up front. I want to know and I’ll I’ll ask them seemingly, like very you know, just from a neutral standpoint, knowing I’m not neutral at all. Like, I’m going to ask you your thoughts on Bill Cosby. I’m going to ask you your thoughts on R. Kelly, on Tory Lanez. I’m you know, I’m going to ask you, what do you think about lil Nas X? I, I want to know what kind of homophobia, you know, transgender phobia, misognuar. I want to know all of those things before we even get to going out on a date. I don’t even like that. Like I just need to know. And then another one now had been before, you know, before the blue, another one before that was. So what are your thoughts on like this stuff and you know and vaccines and etc. etc.. I had one man sit there and tell me that covid does come from 5G towers and how you know, all I have to do is believe in the most high because that was what was going to keep me safe from covid and don’t believe in that vaccine stuff because that’s just how they’re here to to control you. So, it’s trash, Cortney, that’s the long and the short answer is it’s trash. And I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with it, at least for now. You know, like you said, you are you are married, you’re happily married. But I know especially like with my own parents, they often claim they like listen, marriage is work. Having to build a life with someone else who you didn’t grow up with is work. So explain to us, what does that work really look like? What y’all got going on over there? What are you doing? [00:14:29][210.2]

Cortney Wills: [00:14:30] I mean, I will say, you know, it’s a funny time to talk about this because I was just talking to a girlfriend about the fact that I realized for me, for my marriage, we just crossed, I think, our eight year anniversary. Covid for me, I mean 2020 was trash, right, like in so many ways, in almost every way, it was so hard and so brutal. But if I had to pick a year, not a moment, because then that would be the birth of our kids, of course. But a year a time in my marriage, that was my favorite. I think it was quarantine. It did not start out that way for sure. But quarantine demanded I mean, required no choice if you want to survive, required a level of teamwork that couldn’t be stimulated in any other way. All of the sudden our are two kids who are one year apart or out of school all the time. We both have careers. We can’t see our family, not even my parents, like zero help whatsoever, can’t hire a nanny, can’t do anything because we don’t know what’s going on with this virus, like the speed at which we had to figure out how to adapt to that, not kill each other, create an environment for our kids that felt safe at a time where we felt very unsafe if it was just crazy. But it was kind of like a trial by fire. And I’d say the other thing that it did is made possible that kind of magic time when you are in love and it feels like you’re the only two people on Earth, it’s probably the phase in the relationship. When you start thinking about I could spend the rest of my life with this person and I would live under a bridge with this person or all I need in the world is this person. Right? Then you get that person, you go through life and all of the other things come into your relationship. Covid and quarantine eliminated every single external factor to an extent and stripped our relationship back down to it really is just us, like literally it’s you or nothing like going in the door. There’s nobody else to talk to. You look at it like this is it for the foreseeable future. And it’s kind of like being reminded I can’t speak for my husband, but reminded me, like, I really, really, really like you and so many things that stress me out in life and probably make me less than my best self for you are outside things. So suspending the outside things, outside pressures, needing to be places at a certain time, look a certain way. It just really cut us back down to just each other and. I really I really love that I really love like where we are coming out the other end of this pandemic, of course that doesn’t mean there weren’t times in the pandemic where I was like, oh my God, my single friends are so lucky. This would be like an extended vacation if I was single and unattached and not responsible for keeping anyone else alive. So what are some of the perks of being healthy and single? [00:17:51][201.6]

Shana Pinnock: [00:17:53] You know what for me, in all honesty, I mean, I. I keep talking, like I keep saying, one day we don’t get into this on the show, but, you know, I have my brother, but he’s like prodigal son returns. So I was raised an only child. So I learned very early how to enjoy just being by myself. Well, that’s how you quarantine. Just brought it right back to that. Like, I, I was chilling. Like, I was like, I know everyone’s like, oh, that cabin fever lived, you know, day 88– I’m losing it. I’m like I was like, are you? I’ve been playing video games like The Last of Us II just came out. I’ve been having a blast my job. I’m working from home, which is what I’ve always wanted to do anyway. Like I roll out the bed and flip on the laptop and that’s it. Like I had a great time. And what’s funny is it’s it’s kind of a double edged sword, right? Because so there were definitely parts where I was like, damn, is this just going to be my life for the rest of my life, like just me. And then occasionally going upstairs to my parents house to play Scrabble with them, like, is this just what it is? And then I would talk to my friends who have kids, who have spouses and they’re like. If this man so much as breathes in my direction, I might lose it tonight, like I might just send the kids outside just because I don’t care what you do. I don’t care what you get to please get out of this house. But I think it it for me, it was such a time of quiet where I had to reassess certain things. I took therapy all the more seriously. And funny enough is that time of being alone and taking therapy more seriously and like reassessing things just just being by myself and rediscovering that love of just little old me actually helped to prepare me for embarking on an actual relationship that I’m in now, you know, like I don’t think I would have I probably wouldn’t have gotten there, honestly, if I had so many distractions. Everything was quiet. I couldn’t go anywhere. I couldn’t see my home girls. I couldn’t do her read stuff with my friends. Wasn’t a hot girl, Summer. It was it was girls stay yo ass at home summer. So, you know, like it was this one of those. But I think that was definitely one of the parts. And recognizing when you are single and recognizing that you can still be happy with yourself, I think is of the utmost importance because a partner, a relationship is supposed to enhance you. Right. You’re not you’re not filling any holes. I’m complete already. And I just want to make sure that you, your complete self, are able to join me. So that was pretty awesome. So what were some of the personal adjustment that you had to make for the sake of your marriage? Like what parts of do you think that you’ve been willing to kind of sacrifice for the success of your relationship? Like, did you have to do the whole, “oh submit to a man” thing like. What was all that like? [00:21:15][4.1]

Cortney Wills: [00:21:15] Oh, my gosh. I don’t think that either of us I don’t think me or my husband really came into the relationship with, like a set of expectations and parameters for each other. I will say in a large part, back to what I said before, you know, outside factors certainly contributed to, I think, the hardest seasons in our marriage. One of those is having kids. I had my kids back to back, so they’re like thirteen months apart, [00:21:46][30.7]

Shana Pinnock: [00:21:47] which, hold on, hold on, before you get to that, explain to the people to debunk that myth. Courtney, you got to feel you got to debunk the myth. You gotta just say the one line–

Cortney Wills: [00:21:57] Breastfeeding is not birth control. [00:22:03][5.9]

Shana Pinnock: [00:22:03] Breastfeeding is not birth control folks. [00:22:04][0.7]

Cortney Wills: [00:22:06] Still, we’re very grateful for that beautiful surprise. But, do not play yourself, breastfeeding, I repeat, breastfeeding is not effective birth control. So, yeah, you know, I mean, I’ve had this career. I went to college. I’m independent, I fall in love. I’m working and I blink. And I have two babies that know super need me that I super want to be with a husband that I love and all of these kind of outside influences making me question like, OK, so now I’m in the motherhood stage, like, what is that supposed to look like? What does it look like to be a wife and a mom at the same time? Like how can you split yourself in two or three or four, you know, should you want to keep working if you don’t financially have to? If you don’t, then how does that change the dynamic between you and your husband who’s now responsible for all the money and you’re responsible for keeping everybody alive and fed like those kinds of issues are certainly ones that we have to navigate and were really influenced by what I thought society would deem acceptable respect, respectable and right. And what I learned is that you just have to make it up as you go along and find what works for you and your family. Like labels be damned what you thought this was going to look like, be damned like. Sometimes you just have to, like, hold hands and shut your eyes and like, wade through all of the shit together and you come out the other side and, you know, hopefully everyone’s still breathing. [00:23:54][108.4]

Shana Pinnock: [00:23:56] So we have some questions here from our producers who were so awesome. So we’re going to take some some turns, OK? Because we have from a married woman’s perspective and single woman’s perspective, apologize to our audience if you are not cishet. Listen, we’re trying here, guys, all right, so one of the questions was, what do you think is the difference between a sacrifice and a compromise? And does that does a relationship require that you make sacrifices? I’ll let you go first. [00:24:31][34.7]

Cortney Wills: [00:24:32] I actually make a difference between sacrifice, compromise, compromise is like, I don’t want to do that, but I will because I’m meeting you in the middle or because it’s important to you or because. It will make life easier and this constant fight, like in my marriage, the compromise is this man is not ever going to turn off the air conditioner on his own. It’s not going to happen It’ll be 64 degrees pouring rain outside. If it’s on, it’s going to stay on unless I turn it off. So my compromise there is that I will turn it off my damn self instead of getting angry every day that you have to turn it off. Sacrifice, I think is a very different thing. And of course, coming from the angle of parenthood, like parenthood is sacrifice. Like one word to describe parenting is sacrifice, like going without something, trading something that you really value because it’s in the interests of something that you value more. And yes, sometimes having a family and having a husband is a sacrifice. There are plenty of opportunities through work or through my friends or just just things that would be really fun for me to do and have no consequence for me to do, but. Wouldn’t necessarily serve my marriage, and and that’s a factor that weighs in on the decision making, you know, like all of the time. And that way I think that for me to have a successful relationship, you have to be willing to sacrifice for what you really, really want. And that might mean. Not choosing to go down a career path you would have or choosing to absolutely go down that career path because it works for your family, but it’s harder work for you. That’s that’s kind of how I see the difference. [00:26:37][125.0]

Shana Pinnock: [00:26:38] So for me, because I have never been married, so I might sacrifice and compromise know ideology is a little bit anecdotal as well as I get a lot of advice from my parents watching their 30 plus year marriage. And just like how they’ve managed to navigate certain things, I think that they are incredibly cute. Now, I tell everyone, like teenage years, oh God, I was like, please just get a divorce and leave me alone. But then I recognize now at thirty four, like I was like, you know, actually I was probably contributing to a lot of their, their issues. But now like my dad having like surgery and everything else and my mom just being a ride or die, you know, for that man, it’s, it’s been something beautiful to watch. So in terms of compromise, I always think back to that was it Ertha was it Ertha Kit?said compromise like like why would I compromise? But my mother gave me some of the best advice, I think, which was it’s not even necessarily about compromise. It’s just about what what is going to give you the peace at the end of the day? Because if your house is not peaceful, what is the point? And so I’ve had to learn in my current situation. And if this shouldn’t work out, I’m at least going to take these lessons somewhere else is like there are certain things like I for instance, I’ve had to learn and thanks to therapy, I’ve had to learn that. In certain circumstances and situations and arguments, I shut down and I don’t want to talk like leave me alone, I’m going to be over here, I’m still processing, let me figure it out. But my partner isn’t that type of person. Like, he’s like, no, we should we need to talk about it now. And if we feel like we’re getting too elevated, then we can we can we can bring it down. We can separate, we’ll figure it out and then come back when everything is is all cool and whatever. So what has been my compromise has been when I’m really pissed off and I’m like, I don’t even want to say what I want to say to you. I hit the notes app it’s like an iOS press release girl. I’m like typing out all my feelings. Like, let me tell you let me tell you the parts in which you got me messed up. And then before I send it, I go back and read it. I believe anything that I’m like this is probably going to start some extra stuff that doesn’t need to be started. And here we go. And I’ll send that note off and he’ll call me back, like, are you ready to talk? It’s like, you know what? Yes. And we can go from that sacrifice. I’ve never really had to sacrifice for a relationship, really, which is, I guess, a blessing, but also could possibly be setting me up for failure. But I think right now my major sacrifice is and it doesn’t really have anything to do with him, but I’m sacrificing the low key peace of mind that I have of living here in New York, being with my parents, seeing them every single day as they’re aging and all this other stuff. But what’s more important to me is what has to be more important to me is my happiness. And I think that’s more important to my parents. So, you know, saying, all right, I’m I’m I’m leaving New York City in the next three to four months. You know, I’m going to be in the same city as him is the same city as my friends. And here we are is and I think that’s just been I’m I still get a little nervous. But I said, you know what? If this is something that is not just a sacrifice to see where the relationship can go, but to also see where I can, you know, thrive and be happy is a [00:30:40][241.7]

Cortney Wills: [00:30:40] risk for sure. Even if it’s not a sacrifice, it’s a risk. And you take a lot of risk for love, I think. Next question for both of us. Could you be with a man who makes less than you? What are you and why? Obviously, you’re talking about money now, and that’s a touchy subject. [00:31:01][21.5]

Shana Pinnock: [00:31:04] Yes, the vast majority of the relationships I’ve been in, I’ve made more than the people I was with. I think what would bother me is if they were lackadaisical about their money and I say this as a person who is like a I spend OK, I like nice things. I’m also an impulse buyer if I see it and I want it and if I could make it work, I’ll make it work. But I think ultimately, if I were to be married and have a partnership, I don’t really care about that stuff. Like how are we being? How are we cultivating this money to make sure that this house is poppin? And when I say this house, I mean like our family, our what we’re building, how do we make sure that that is boppin and nobody’s fighting for anything? [00:31:54][50.4]

Cortney Wills: [00:31:54] I agree with you. It just it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day. And when I was single, I think I dated a mix of people who probably made less than me and people that made more than me. But I think it’s also like a generational thing, you know, like I me and my friends were not raised to choose our partner based on who could take care of us. That is the very real thing in here and everywhere. That is still a very. A very tangible reality for a lot of people, especially women, so I think that I understand why so many women still do put such a value on that, because part of marriage is financial security for them. And if that was the case, I might feel differently. But I never went into any relationship with money on my mind. And I think now that I’m grown and I’m married, I don’t think that I would care either way. [00:32:55][60.8]

Shana Pinnock: [00:32:56] All right. Last one. So struggle up to me looks very differently than I’m sure it does to you and vice versa. So what does struggle love look like in your eyes? Caught what’s truly toxic and unacceptable? [00:33:09][13.0]

Cortney Wills: [00:33:10] I think that what is truly toxic and unacceptable is nothing would be scarier to me than like the moment that we stopped fighting, because if you get there, somebody is probably giving up already. And that would make me feel so insecure. Not like not like you have to fight every day. But to me, caring enough to talk things out, to disagree, to share your differing opinions and try to at least come to an understanding, if not an agreement means that you’re both still in it. And so I think that it’s really sad to me when I see people that I know, couples that I know who just seem resolved to be unhappy, like they’ve accepted that. This relationship is not what they wanted and they’re not going to fight each other, but they’re also not going to fight for it, and at that point, it just looks and feels like a ticking clock going down, down, down until the end of the relationship. So when people stay in it without really being in it, I think that’s pretty toxic, [00:34:19][69.0]

Shana Pinnock: [00:34:22] I think, for me. I mean, I’ve seen many, many forms of toxic love. Infidelity is a huge no for me. I, I lack of honesty and transparency is a huge no for me. Like, there should never be a point in time where somebody can tell me something about you that I didn’t know. I don’t care for it, you know what I mean? Like, oh, did you know your man? He used to have a gambling problem back in ‘09. Like what? Did you get help like? I don’t want to have those those kinds of conversations. Those should have already come up. I have seen and witnessed friends and family and acquaintances of I’m sorry if you have an outside baby on Mr.. You I’ma try very hard, make sure that your child is, you know. Not not just not just raised by a single parent, because that includes you, like we’re not playing those games, like we’re not playing those games at all. I think. And ultimately, I mean, clearly, like any kind of physical, any kind of abuse, physical, mental, emotional, that is a hell no, just absolutely not. I’m not here for that. But I think. Ultimately, I what I don’t want to to see or experience ever is feeling as though you had to go through ridiculous like trials and tribulations prior to in order to make things work like that. I’m I’m not interested in that. Like, what have you said? Are you still fighting for it? Are we still having conversations? Are we still discovering things about one another? You know, as time goes on? I mean, look at Dell and Sonia Curry right now. Thirty three years of marriage, then you call it quits. Like, come on. Come on now. I’m not doing thirty three years with nobody and being like, all right, I’ll take my ball and go home. What. But then now things are coming out of. Oh well it was a it was a family secret that he had all these chicks on the side and well she’s living with a man and like. But what. No, you know, the moment where it started to feel like it was getting that place, we should have either. All right. Are we hitting the the the the the marriage therapist or the marriage counselor? Are we are we just saying, you know what? This has been fun. But you know what? I still got it. And I could be out like I still got it and I could be out. I’m sorry. I’m not going to be in my 60s now trying to make, you know, make some shape and hop on a peloton, trying to look like these thirty something your own Instagram thot bots just because just because you want to be out acting a fool, you know. Yeah. So that’s a no. [00:37:35][193.6]

Cortney Wills: [00:37:37] I think I think that being love the way that I am and loving someone the way that I. Or the way that I do, I should say, it just makes it just lets me know that there’s really not that far to fall when things go really, really left, like I have an anchor that I can kind of build the rest of my life and the rest of the elements of my life around, because that is the constant, you know, like I have a North Star to measure everything else against. And I think that that’s something that I never really had when I was single. It was always like, where am I supposed to be? And it’s pretty clear now that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. And if I know that, then everything else is just a little less scary. [00:38:32][55.2]

Shana Pinnock: [00:38:33] Awesome. I think for me, the most powerful thing that love has taught me is I’m not for everybody. And that’s OK. I am a person who I mean, I’ll listen to the show. You hear my opinions. This is not me putting on OK, this is twenty four seven every day is actually probably a little bit more animated, a whole lot more cussing. But you know producers and I recognize that I need. I my best friend, actually said this a few years ago, and she was so right, I am a fire like here I am a fire shout to Aries. And what I need from a partnership is somebody who is not trying to douse that fire, someone who’s not scared of it, someone who’s not over here, like, all right, maybe you need to tone it down. Excuse me, no no. I need to turn it up. Actually, you know, I and I am very fortunate enough to hopefully he doesn’t screw it up to be with someone right now who is gas on that fire. I mean and I mean like and in some of the most amazing ways I am filled with a lot of insecurities that I’ve learned. And but love has taught me to even love those insecurities because those make me who I am. And, you know, that’s a beautiful thing. And that’s something that I wish for us all whatever that means. If you want to do the the monogamy thing, if you do some poly stuff, if you want to be by yourself, I want everyone to be able to experience love in its truest form of like self-love and appreciation and acceptance of oneself. [00:40:24][110.8]

Cortney Wills: [00:40:25] Speaking of love, we have a new relationship to fawn over, thanks to the good folks at Macro and Netflix. Their film, Really Love is out this week, our colleague Chris Witherspoon had a great conversation about Black love with the cast of Really Love. Let’s take a listen to what the film’s co-writer Felicia Pride and stars Kofi Siriboe, and Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing  had to say about it. [00:40:49][23.6]

Chris Whetherspoon: [00:40:49] My name is Chris Wetherspoon with theGrio.com. Hi. Hi. How are you? 

Angela Williams: Well, how are you?

Chris Whetherspoon:  I’m great. I love the movie. I know that it is like a Black classic romance film. Now it’s going down as that, but it’s also it feels like a baby making movie like when you watch it. I’ve got to get the line out. Let’s go. But I’m so curious, you know, we don’t see this genre explored that often by major film studios, these these really true Black romance films. Why do you think that is? [00:41:26][36.3]

Felicia Pride: [00:41:26] It took nearly 10 years to get this film made. And across that journey, there were so many no’s. People were telling Black people didn’t want to see romantic dramas. That or the flip side was that there was a ton of romantic dramas and I’d be like. With Black people in it, you know? So there’s a disconnect. Exactly. There’s a disconnect between, I think, what we are craving to see of ourselves and what the system thinks we want to see of ourselves. But as Angel says, hopefully we can continue to push through and then find partners like a macro who understands and gets it and is able to be in a position to make it. [00:42:01][5.0]

Chris Whetherspoon: [00:42:01] There’s a scene in this movie that I think is like one of the best, like romance lines or exchanges that I’ve ever heard in romance movie. And it’s with you, Stevie. Whenever you ask Isaiah, how do you know when a painting is finished? And Isaiah says, how do you know when you’re making love to someone? So this movie is called Really Love. So I got to know from both of you is that question, because you didn’t answer in the movie, how do you know when you’re making love to someone?

Kofi Siriboe, and Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing: Oh, yeah. Yeah, go ahead. Oh, Miss, you know, I think I was definitely talking to you. 

 Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing: Um, well, we actually. Yeah. How do you know when you’re making love to someone? I think, you know, when you get to a space where you have no sense of time or place or surroundings and it just feels like it’s just you and that other person, you and it’s just like you. It’s like you’re connecting with the universe literally. You know, I think that’s we you know, that is really love. Yeah. I think it’s very rare. It’s very unique to to be able to experience that. I think everyone should strive for it because it would make the world a better place. [00:43:12][71.2]

Shana Pinnock: [00:43:22] We want to remind our listeners to support your local businesses and donate to local organizations and religious institutions, the business that we will highlight this week is Brown Estate winery. I don’t know about you, but if gift giving is part of your love language, what give goes a long way more than a great bottle of wine. Truth be told, wine might be my love language. So Brown Estate Winery is an excellent choice. The winery is a Black family owned business that’s been in Napa Valley for over 30 years, offering a wide selection of wines from delicious cabernet to refreshing roses. It’s a great way to show the wine lover in your life that you’re hip to the sip’s. For more information, visit the website at www.brownestate.com. That’s B R O W N E S T A T E .com [00:44:07][45.6]

Cortney Wills: [00:44:08] Thank you for listening to Dear Culture. If you like what you heard, please give us a five star review and subscribe to the show wherever you listen to your podcast and share it with everyone you know. [00:44:18][9.9]

Shana Pinnock: [00:44:19] And please email all questions, suggestions and compliments. We love those to podcast@theGrio.com. The Dear Culture Podcast is brought to you by theGrio, and executive produced by Blue Telusma and co-produced by Taji senior Cameron Blackwell and Abdul Quddus. [00:44:19][0.0]

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