BarbershopChat Vol. I: Meet The GoodFellas

The Barbershop, a place where men are not only allowed to be opinionated but where more opinions are formed. The method behind this was , I have men in my life who are very influential to me as peers and as a woman who travels quite a lot I meet a whole lot o different types of men. So my biggest issue was how would I get them in the same room? So what’s one place they all have to me meet ? The Barbershop. The Barbershop series aims to place into perspective ideals that many men share and may not have thought to have or feel. So please enjoy

Hey Guys hopefully I’m not interrupting your cuts, I have a few questions are you all down?

Everyone nods head in agreement

So let’s just get started, “who are you?”

The Superhero : “ I’ll go first, I am a rare one simple as that. Family oriented, and a person that believes he can save the world. So, yeah pretty much I look at myself like I’m somebody who was put here [on earth] to make life easier for those around me. I believe I am able to do that with my heart wisdom and insight forreal

Me: So a superhero?

“yeahhe chuckles

The Feminist: “I’ll go next, I  am a self proclaimed feminist, philosopher, psychologist and spiritual guru”

The Romantic:I’d say to describe myself in one word , and it would be kindhearted. I just like the feeling of love and unity. It’s a good feeling, and I like the genuine vibes”

The Hopeless Romantic:Two words; Hopeless romantic and authentic”

The Diamond In The Rough: “I would describe myself as being a dude that’s not easy to deal with….I am loving, sensitive, caring, and loyal. I would say i’m not perfect but I am worth it”

The Genuine Guy: “Honestly, I’m just me, a genuine and kind guy. People often say nice guys finish last but it’s not true if you are genuinely that way”

The Good Guy: “a good guy”

The Modern Man: “modern man”

The Philosopher: “philosopher”

So now that we know who you are let’s get into it , what are things men do that they really shouldn’t?

Hopeless Romantic: ” I don’t find it smart to ask men questions about women when they are not women. I don’t know why people do that.Women are women, they know how girls think.”

The Romantic nods his head in agreement.

The Romantic : “I don’t like when guys act like they don’t have emotion towards stuff or acts hard [tough] for no reason ”

The Superhero: “I agree, we always have to kind of pretend or be something we are not.”

Can you expand on that?

He looks down, sighs then places two of his forefingers on his chin in deep thought

The Superhero: “…how society depicts or suggests how men should deal with tragedy and any type of loss. Like it puts a lot of pressure on us because we have to be strong and never show emotions, so it can be hard to keep it inside. After a while we can’t hold it together no more and we explode. So, I guess I’m kind of torn about that really cause it can be a blessing and a curse.

The Genuine guy nods his head and raises his hand, I nod my head to let him answer.

The Genuine guy: “Dudes out here drowning in sorrows because they don’t want to look like they’re not masculine or they’re being expressive and being told they aren’t manly. We’re not less emotional. We’re closet emotional or the way we deal with our emotions are different. It’s a stereotype that’s perpetrated by men and women.”

The Superhero shoots a grin at the genuine guy and interjects.

The Superhero: “we as men, feel like someone is watching so we [act] depending how big the crowd, how big the crowd iswill determine how good the show is, you feel me

He chuckles then continues

The Superhero: “…like it’s all one big ego contest of who has the bigger ego honestly and I just don’t be on it [support it] I have always been me and did what I wanted to. So, basically I hate how inconsiderate we [men] can be and how easily influenced we are”

Do you all think how men are raised have any influence over this?

The Superhero: “we [men] don’t understand how we are viewed as role models and how we treat woman impacts the youth and as far as I know, how women view themselves andhow they let man treat them.It continues as a cycle will continue until things are addressed. Just plain and simple some men haven’t  had their father show them the importance or ‘the ropes’ ”

The hopeless romantic: “How your parents show you affection or lack of is a big determiner of how you work in relationships.”

Could you expand more on that?

The Modern Man shifts his position looks around and raises his hand: “ So as a male more particularly African American males,  we don’t get exposed to that often”

“That” as in Love?

The Modern Man: “Yes, We get love from a parents but that it, we as male have to figure what is exactly LOVE is and how to achieve LOVE. Now it takes trial and error, but if we are exposed to it then we can learn from it and appreciate it

Any other grievances with men?

The Feminist: “I’ve had a few girl best friends and I learned from them about people (men) who‘ve tried to get at them over time, and a problem a lot of guys have is we like to test the boundaries.”

The Hopeless Romantic:A lot of women are comfortable around me (as well) and share their experiences and the rate of rape and sexualassualt is f—- outrageous . we need to cut that out ASAP”

So because we ended on love what about it? How do men show they are interested? obstacles?

The Genuine Guy: “I don’t get hung up on a rejection. As many women as I successfully go on dates with there’s probably twice as many that aren’t interested but I don’t get in a slump about it. I just move on. I think that handling rejection well is one of the most important things anyone can learn about dating. Man or woman. There’s going to be people, that aren’t looking to date you for a variety of reasons, ranging from just not being interested, to not looking to be in a relationship for emotional healing, or having a significant other already.”

So how do yall feel about women shooting shots? I’ve always been under the impression that men approach you because they like you and if they don’t then you should fall back?

The Genuine Guy chuckles and grins : “that’s true for some of us. Some men that like you will just come to you. I will, and I know a lot that will but there are men that are shy. There are men that get nervous and flustered the same way there are women that do. Also, I do get where you’re coming from. It is hard to be forward because of the possibility of rejection and women have been coached not to be by society, which makes it even harder for y’all because the last thing y’all want to thought of as is abrasive, aggressive, and overbearing but I think you’d be surprised how many men would actually appreciate women who are forward. I think women should shoot their shots as much as they want. A lot of women try to hint that they like you and it usually doesn’t work because the body language of a woman that is interested in you may be close to identical to the body language of a woman who is extremely close friends with you. You may think you’re obvious but you’re probably not. forward women are very attractive to me. If a woman came up to me and said I’m interested in you and said take my number, I would very likely take that number and contact her. So, all in all, ladies shoot your shots.”

The Romantic: “Yeah I feel anybody should. Especially if you have nothing to lose”

The Diamond in the Rough: ‘It takes two to tango. We make the initial move but sometimes there isn’t anything there, just like women we have certain standards and desire certain things out of a romantic relationship and i’m not going to settle just for the sake of finding someone. I feel like God has something HUGE planned for me, and i’m going to need the right partner. A lot of women may not be built for the life i’m leading.”

The Hopeless Romantic: I’m not saying i’ll stay quiet but you gotta have patience with stuff , but I think if ladies shot their shot there’d definitely be more relationships. That whole men speak up is a social construct.”

The Modern Man: “I’m down for women shooting shots that shows she determined and knows what she wants and ain’t afraid to do it”

The Feminist:” First I’m a firm believer in DMs not being the best place to start.  I think women shoot their shot all the time but guys are blind to it most the time, (he laughs) Also I feel like women rely on guys to use their intuition as if we have any and guys can be so forward it’s creepy.”

Okay, so now the woman has sot her shot, are you attracted or nah? What makes a woman attractive to you?

The Hopeless Romantic: “Me , personally, looks matter but they’re not everything . I used to be a looks are everything type of guy, but college gave me a different perspective to how relationships work and what to value in them. I’m a quick learner so I‘ve changed a lot [adapted] and so has my view on things.”

The Diamond in the rough: “I envision a woman that is doing her thing like i’m doing mine, not only supports my grind but understands my grind. She understands me (he reflects) I’m a different type of person. (he pauses) Most importantly I want someone that’s for me and they’ll get the same in return and that’s the type of woman I envision in my life. I also, like for my woman to smell good and to be soft.

Like a flower?

“Yes”  He nods his head while grinning

The Modern Man: “I love a woman who had set plans and goals in her life. I don’t categorize [judge] having a child at a certain age or married. Anyone can do that, but when I hear a woman saying she has plans such as; wanting to get her degree, working at a steady job, owning her own home, Thats growth and that’s potential”

The Superhero: Someone who values the little things. I would like us to be able to talk about anything, [she] has been through some adversity , loves family, good vibes, we connect , click and is my best friend. “

So what does love mean to you all or to men?

The feminist: “Communication”

Do you think communication makes the relationship “better” ?

The Feminist: “So much better! In the bedroom, emotionally, financially, health wise, and psychologically”

The Modern Man: “Hmm, love is something that more mental than there is physical. To love someone you have to truly mean and cherish it. I think as a society we use the word LOVE to much. Anyone can say they LOVE something or someone but it’s takes a handful of people to actually mean it. The meaning of love is being for that person no more what the circumstances are you have to be fully committed to LOVE, you can’t half a it or find shortcuts. You have to go through heartbreak, cheator get cheated on, get curved. All of those in order to reach LOVE”

The Philosopher: “We have a chemical release when we are excited and that’s addictive. For instance, I’ve always been attracted to you because I only see a beautiful woman who’s extremely intelligent, but on the other hand you may have some unliked traits that I have not discovered because I haven’t had the opportunity to experience you on that level. Even if I did, I would still have that impression for probably about 6 months because I would still be in under the impression that you’re a beautiful and intelligent woman. It’s fundamentally true but everything on the outside doesn’t always suggest that the inside is the same, and that’s what takes time. So the infatuation phase is simply the outer appearance of love. The Devil does wear Prada “ he chuckles

Thank you, are there any other ways men show or communicate their interest?

The Good Guy: “If a guy is looking for a girlfriend he takes his time and really tries to get to know her. He does this by constantly hanging out with her. Sometimes, if a guy just asks you out on a date off ripp (first chance meeting)  he might just be looking for sex, but if a guy is constant and persistent…he sees you as something more”

Do you believe Soulmates exist or nah?

“Damn u really getting deep with it haha um” (muffled voice)

The Modern Man, he pauses then answers: “…. yeah, I do as corny it is, you gotta think we were put on this earth for a reason I don’t know what it is but finding a companion is ideal in our society, you gotta think we are all different but finding that one individual who likes everything about u is something magical, but to answer your question yes I do believe in soulmates”

How many of you are in a relationship?

The Feminist, The Romantic and The Good Guy raise their hand

So can you all tell me about how you meet your partner? Your “meet cute”

The Feminist: “So I work at the Nike outlet in Livermore, I don’t know if you know where that is. But she started working there too.  Originally things were just going to be platonic between us but one thing led to another and we kissed in my car and eventually started dating. We have been official since Christmas but we’ve been talking since around September. So when we first became really close friends we would fall asleep on the phone together because she would be telling me about problems she had with her ex and a guy at work she was low key talking to. I was basically her late night phone therapist. Then our conversations became more and intimate in a way and we caught feels the more we spent time together.”

The Romantic: “I met her at a McDonald’s parking lot in Sacramento. I saw her and pulled down my window and said “wassup” then convo started and one thing led to another (he smiles) She was looking good and I was like why not. For valentines day, not too sure yet  I might have a nice candle dinner at my gf’s house. Nothing too big though just something small and special”

The Good Guy: “She is just caring and also giving and I do the same for her we joke around like we married because we literally fell into taking care of each other and it felt normal. So I was looking for people to go to a spring break trip with me and she was one of the people that was interested. She ended up not going because none of her friends wanted to go. Then we feel out of touch. However this last Christmas we came back in contact.”

Awkward transition, however since you all are black males I have to ask? Do Black men cheat? Also what is cheating?

“Oh lord, you and these elaborate survey questions” (unnamed voice shouts from Barber chair)

The Modern Man: “Cheating to me is simply you as a individual seeking physical attention that your current companion isn’t giving or lack of”

The Superhero: “men are predictable we never do nothing out of the ordinary and if we do, it’s a clear indication something is going on which let’s woman intuition or spider senses kick in and go investigating”

Alright I’ll take note of that

The Hopeless Romantic: “But black men, I aint no snitch though…we wholesome kings as far as i’m concerned “

What about marriage? This is open to the whole forum. Do men even talk about marriage?

The Diamond In The Rough raises his hand : “My best friend is married but soon to be divorced we discuss marriage all the time, but we also discuss these h— too” (the room laughs)

The Philosopher: “I don’t see me getting married anytime soon honestly. At this age unless a person have their stuff together and is meticulous about his or her daily routines, then it’s not happening and damn sure won’t work. Stable foundation before finding and funding a relationship. You can’t expect a seed to grow without a stable foundation. If you start resourcing it without that stable foundation, then more than likely it will not last or reach its full potential to where it will be of great value or any value”

The Modern Man: “I would like to be married but I’m fine with it not happening at the same time. I believe the title “marriage” is more for business. I know plenty of people who been together for years even decades and not gotten married and they told me the same thing. ‘Marriage is just a title, marriage is just paperwork that leads to divorce’

The Romantic: “Yeah I do want to get married one day. Hopefully in my 30s when I’m more stable and successful”

Who would you marry if you could get married right now?

The Genuine Guy: I would marry Lupita Nyong’o. NO CONTEST! She’s beautiful! She’s an amazingly talented actress! She’s extremely smart and she lives life to the fullest and. She’s also has a really interesting cadence when she talks!

The Hopeless Romantic: “Oprah”

The Feminist: “Alicia Keys no doubt, I can’t speak on what she’s like personally but I go for woman who are as close to Alicia as possible haha she’s the base model for my desires in a weird way hahaha…And she made not wearing makeup and accepting your own beauty more popular”

The Modern Man: “Maybe Rihanna”

Okay, come on now it’s Rihanna

He laughs, The Modern Man : “ok then yes Rihanna”

Thank you all , this concludes the interview  lets do this again!

The Superhero: “Thank you and damn that was a long interview so what you gonna do with all this…?”

Published by yefromthebay

Ye from The Bay. I love all things art and passionate about writing I enjoy long talks about political and social issues with those who are going through it.

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