A few weeks ago on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, the girls went on a bonding trip to Las Vegas. During one scene, the ladies decided it was high time they gave Porscha, the youngest member of the group, some unsolicited marital advice. This scene presumably took place almost a year ago, but here we are now and Porscha and her husband are embarked on what appears to be a messy divorce. Did the ladies see something that wasn’t captured on camera to prompt this marital gag fest? And even if they did, were they out of line for being so harsh and intrusive into someone else’s marriage?
I associate with many women who are on average, 10 years younger than me. They are smart, funny and pop culture savvy. They are also however, not always wise about matters of the heart. I use to think I was performing some sort of public duty by alerting my younger friends against the pitfalls of dating married men, or emotionally unavailable men or just plain jerks. I’d often think, when I was their age, I wish someone had given me a compass to set some sort of direction in, especially when it came to picking guys. If there was a loser in the bunch, I headed straight for him and no one could tell me a thing about him. So I thought, having all this lived and learned experience must make me qualified to know at least one or two things about relationships. And what’s the point of knowing if you can’t share?
Well there have been more than a few times when I’ve realized that maybe some people need to live and learn for themselves. Perhaps that’s why I cringed in horror when I saw these 40 something year old women on TV, butting their noses in places they don’t belong for the sake of educating a younger woman on the proper ways to behave in a modern marriage. Every person has to make their own choices and mistakes. If we’ve been around long enough to have made a few of our own, we should know better than to get in the way of other people’s growth. Falling on your face in a relationship is well…how you learn. How else are you gonna know the difference between a frog and a prince?
Now I try not to pass judgement on any girlfriend in a questionable relationship. After all who hasn’t done something foolish in the name of love? What I will do instead is offer up all the words of wisdom I can come up with on figuring out what you want and how to get it. People tend to respond better when confronted with positive reinforcement as opposed to judgement and condemnation. It’s the best way I’ve learned to be a good friend without being a know it all.