A Girl in the World & the World in a Girl…











{February 19, 2011}   Assuming Positions.


This blog, here, is one that I originally started on February 4th, 2011.
It had been on my mind to blog about there are so many avenues within the
issues/subject matters itself that I wanted to touch on-while still getting
my point/message across to my blog readers, because…(let me explain how I run
what I write on my blog)
…BEFORE READING ON, IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY, CLICK HERE OR SCROLL UP TO THE BOTTOM/1ST BLOG CALLED “ABOUT THIS BLOG”
AND SCROLL DOWN TO THE SECTION THAT READS: “THE ‘SCOPE’ OF THIS BLOG SITE.”
Because this particular blog definitely begs for elaboration by
prefacing what I am about to blog about, by having read that section.

Read it?
LoL.
Okay, here we go:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Regardless of how independent we are, or how much we love the company of
ourselves and can stand to be alone with ourselves for any amount of time
(some people can’t); a sense of belongingness is something that is just as
much apart of a human need (of any mentally and emotionally healthy individual).
It just is.
If we refer to what’s know in psychology as “Maslow’s Pyramid/Hierarchy of Needs”
(which is something I could not disagree with), we probably both would agree with
him in that the mentally and emotionally healthy human being and thriving and
functioning member of society would first secure his/her:
(1) Physical needs (for air, water, food, rest, exercise, and
awareness that freedom from diseases and disabilities are lifelong “goals” in order to
have a basic healthy quality of life).

(2) Security needs (for safety, shelter and stability-self-explanatory).

(3) Social needs (the need for being loved, belongingness and feeling included-self-explanatory).

(((4))) Ego (the need for self-esteem, power, recognition, prestige-met
through external sources of achievement and recognition via promotions/bonuses and other
perks that make us feel validated, no matter how “independent” we are, we all still have
that physiological need in order for us to thrive).

(((5))) Self-Actualization (the need for development and
creativity-met through autonomy and achievement).

The Game of Life (and Our Positions in it) Really is a Pyramid.

#1. (very bottom of the pyramid-PHYSICAL)
We cannot survive and/or live a healthy life without #1

#2. (second from the bottom of the pyramid-SECURITY)
We either go into what’s psychologically known as “fight or flight” mode if we cannot
secure #2 (when we are mentally and emotionally healthy). If by some unfortunate circumstance,
we lose the “fight or flight” will in #2, we succumb to the circumstance: spiritually and
emotionally and as [per society eyes] are considered not a “normal functioning” member of it.
Various things happen from there on.

#3. (third up from the bottom of the pyramid-SOCIAL)
Where that need is concerned, it all varies from person to person to one degree or another-example.
I know that you probably know some people who spend some much of their life’s time attaching
themselves to organizations and all things external for the sake of saying that they belong
to a thing that at the end of the day, when all is said and done and “belonged out,” they don’t
even belong to themselves. We all know one or a few people in our lives like that. There are others
who are content with belonging to a steady job and a church. Yet, there are others who are most
content belonging to certain social groups that…make them feel or give them the “illusion”
that #4 and # 5 is being obtained by way of their #3 social need of belonging.

…Whereas the evolved, financially, emotionally and mentally self-sufficient human being
is aware that (4) and number (5) has work that comes with that…
It’s not a matter of securing numbers (1) through (3) and bouncing in an assumed position
of (4) and (5).

A lot of people meet their emotional, mental, occupational, financial, and spiritual demise #3.
That is the point where we are more apt to project our negative emotions and dissatisfaction
with our selves and this life onto others (who appear to be on and up to 4 and 5).
And we neglect to earn or work our way to spots 4 and 5.
When that is the case, we find ourselves in all kinds of hurtful situations-trying to: get
there, be there as maintain our (assumed) position-there (if we arrive at 4 and 5 without
having worked/earned our way there).

In order to reach numbers (4) and (5)-Ya’ ‘gotta “WORK” for it!.

If you reach (4) and (5) and you did not work for it-that means: Ya’ ‘gotta “PLAY” for it!

…and if you don’t know how to play the game, that means you have assumed a position in which
you were not: personally, spiritually, emotionally, mentally and socially adept enough to handle,
therefore, you will definitely get played with no one to blame but yourself.

Good news though.
We can blame that on one or two things:
-sheer naivete’ (being stuck at number (3) in life and having no clue how to reach number
(4) and number (5) of the pyramid)
-assumption, presumption or greed (being stuck in number (3) in life and not willing to
work for/earn number (4) and number (5)

Of the two things that we can blame it on, they are relative and in the hands of:
-he who judges the situation
-or, you, who (if true to yourself about the situation) can be realistic and come to terms
with how you lost in the game and come up with a new game plan with what to do about it
(next) time or do different, i.e (not play the game but-work for it).

As I’ve watched the reality show “Basketball Wives,” I ascertained (in Season 1)
that Shaunie O’Neal (Shaquille O’Neal’s ex-wife), was indeed the Queen Bee and captain.
(I am more than sure Gloria would object to that moniker, but in the role of the socialization
of this group/team in particular…she is).
Within this team, if you’re going to “play the game,” (by climbing up the pyramid to
number (4) and number (5) straight from number (3); by socialization alone;
if you are going to “play” on the team-you do have to acknowledge the captain-even
if you do not like the captain. And more importantly, if that captain is not you-know must
know (and know how to play) your position…
Do NOT “assume” it-not matter how “included” you may feel…

That is the pitfall of “socially climbing” up from “hierarchy need” number (3),
straight into number (4) and number (5) having not “worked” for it-and in this case:
stepping into the paint to play the game.
Having gone that route, if you are not socially adept and do not know how to play
the game and you do not know your position and how to play it, you are indeed in for a rude awakening…

The psychology of it all…we’re done with…
Now, it’s time to take it to the streets, brass taxes and Laymen’s terms…
Which brings me back to Royce…

…in all her naivete’ ‘s/assumptive/presumptive splendor.

As I watched the Reunion Special of Season 1 where Royce began to cry and thank
Shaunie for welcoming her into their circle, the look on Shaunie’s face
(in addition to Royce’s already undervalued position within this team) told me
(last Season) that she (Royce) was in for one rude-awakening…

It was sad to me because Royce’s tears and what she said to Shaunie was really sincere.
And the empathetic me-throughout my lifetime-has seen all too well, that same kind of
emotion displayed to people deemed “popular,” from people who were undervalued in social
circles (not as vocally demonstrative and open as Royce ingratiating herself to Shaunie at
the Reunion 1 show), but more physically demonstrative (of the same).

That happened to me before.

Quite unexpected, and in the middle of a regular conversation between girls, a friend
ingratiated herself to me-in that same manner and with those same tears as Royce.
Yet, my friend confessed something to me that happened some years ago-from way back
when we were kids. She said to me:
“Angie, and I just need to tell you something. I wanna just thank you so much…so-so
much for being a friend to me and accepting me for being just the way I was. I was nappy-head,
poor, my shoes had holes in them. I had 3 outfits to mix and match for 7-days a week.
I had no school supplies and could not make it to school some days because of those issues.
We were homeless and living from shelter-to-relative. I would be at school
(when I could make it there) with my feet literally touching the ground-from holes being
in the bottoms of my shoes.
Yet, when I would see you with all your friends; popular and not a care in the world-you
would always welcome me in and hug me. Those days in school for me-Angie-would really take
my mind off what I was going through. I looked forward to coming to school a lot of
days-because of you. At home and in the neighborhoods, and even when I left your presence
at school, it was really hard for me-the ridicule and laughter and stuff. And I just want
to thank you for being a friend to me. That really meant a lot to me.
I made it through a lot of days thanks to you. I really felt special. Thank you so much.”

She cried her heart out.
When she said that to me-I was speechless and I cried my heart out, too.

She expressed that to me over the recent years. But every time I think about it-I can’t help
but cry. What she revealed to me, is still a shock to me and saddens me. Because I knew none
of those things were going on in her life, or her appearance even being as such. I just wasn’t
looking at that. She could sing and dance. And I liked her-so, that was all I saw and remembered.

(And for the record-this very moment in time-I am very disappointed
in that particular friend right now), but still, as I write this or if I think about it-I cry.
Her candidness and her (true) heart, is something altogether different than my ill feelings for
her (right now). Ill, so much so, that forfeiting our friendship is on heavy rotation in my mind
right now. That’s about how serious it is. But still, that’s still a separate thing to me
(from what she expressed to me a short time ago). I know what she felt was real-despite what we
are going through now. But that’s just me. Regardless of what ill feelings I may have for you,
if you bring me your heart and your truth, I can’t help but respond…and to feel…I’m a master
at deciphering what’s real (where I am concerned)…so I know truth (when it comes TO me).

So, when Royce expressed that same emotion on national television (however, as a grown woman to
another grown woman) about being accepted by her and into a circle as an adult (versus my friend
confessing the same to me-however, about when we were kids) obviously my heart went out to Royce.

I understand that Royce (a former NBA League Dancer/Cheerleader) and Shaunie (a former NBA Player’s wife),
are not, and have never been friends like my friend and me.
Yet, when I saw Shaunie’s response, (knowing-personally-how that felt to have someone
cry in front of you and ingratiate
themselves to you) despite their closeness (or lack thereof), I can’t lie-I thought Shaunie was evil.

Her lukewarm response, with that fake: “Oh don’t make me cry,” reply, made me say aloud:
“Oh you evil bitch. You don’t care.”
I rolled my eyes in my head.
(That was my emotional me, speaking aloud-having had someone pour themselves out to me in
that same way as well).

But then (like I said in the “‘SCOPE’ OF THIS BLOG SITE” section);
when I am watching these reality shows, I’m more interested in the social dynamics behind it all.
Because (with television/entertainment-period) it’s not worth it to you to try and decipher what’s
real or fake (if you have a life of your own to tend to).
Simple as that.
So, my life as a writer/blog post: “Assuming Positions” (by observation of group dynamics of
Basketball Wives…here we go…Emotion aside):

Shaunie: the producer of the show, slash former NBA players wife, slash Queen Bee slash
Captain of the team had a job to do.

Royce: former NBA Dance Team Cheerleader, slash ex-girlfriend and baby mama of an NBA player,
who ingratiated herself to the Queen Bee slash Captain of the team (circle), right in front of
the remaining Bee’s…(who are all wives and ex-fiance’s of NBA Players)…was going to have hell
to pay in order to maintain her position within that social circle (that she was so graciously
accepted into), that, at the end of the day-was only good for social positioning, television
and business.
Not personal, but Royce saw differently.

Any good producer would have allowed Royce in.
That producer just so happened to be Shaunie…

In Season 1, Royce’s acceptance in, put her in a position where unfortunately, she (obviously)
did not understand that within the social circle (team), she was the inferior one and least valued.

Why?
She asked in and then ingratiated herself and unlike the other girls (wives and ex’s of the NBA Player’s),
Royce’s association to the NBA (in all of their eyes) is pretty much a “groupie” who most probably
associates with other “groupies.”

It was sad (but very obvious) that Royce going to bat for these girls. Being apart of events,
fights, playing the mediator on in-fighting between other Basketball Wives and girlfriends and
having a big fallout with the most hated Basketball Wife (Gloria-who Shaunie, secretly, hated the
most, as it was alleged that Gloria’s sister slept with her husband Shaq).

During the entire Season 1 and into Season 2, Royce put in so much work, where I could see
(being naïve about the REAL reality of it all) she probably thought that with all the work she
was putting in-she too, was “one of the girls.”

No, that would never happen.

Royce could never be accepted as an “equal” on that team (circle) because of her association
in it all: “groupie”-in all their eyes. That won’t change.
Whereas amongst one another, they were ex’s and wives-they share a kind of kinship-friendship.

I could see how Royce so naively thought all her hard work paying off-even down to taking her
shoes off during Tami’s (an ex-BB wife) and Jennifer’s (a BB wife)’s fight .

Tami even stated: “Nobody CARES what Royce even THINKS!”

Reality check.

You can take off your shoes, slap Vaseline on your face and take off as many earrings as
you wish-to prove your alliance, zeal and dedication.
But even amongst in-fighting of these BB wives, Royce will never earn her keep or place
in a circle as such. But she was too naïve to understand her position because she was too busy
(literally) in the middle of everything trying to solidify her place in it.

But then she got that rude awakening in the worse way.
When she had an event that was important to her and wanted Evelyn, Jennifer an Suzie to attend.

Newsflash:

When you ingratiate yourself to the Queen Bee (especially considering Royce’s undervalued position),
never-ever think that anything important to your will be a concern of theirs if the Queen Bee ‘aint coming.
In that social circle, Royce can’t move anything without Shaunie agreeing to move the hive.
Love it or hate it, Shaunie’s the Captain and Queen Bee and the one who Royce ingratiated
herself to-therefore, everything important to Royce has to be important to Shaunie-first.

Royce didn’t understand that.

Bless her heart.

But I couldn’t understand Royce reprimanding Evelyn, Jennifer and Suzie. She was wayyyy
out of line and mistook her position.
Evelyn and Jennifer laughed at her.
Suzie (though “defunct” from the circle), really had no interest or care either.

Royce confronts Suzie

Evelyn and Jennifer by phone to Royce

I felt bad for Royce because it was painfully obvious that she did not understand her position.
Her assumption about it was spiraling out of control.
She was making her rounds chin-checking everybody like she was really “A Basketball Wife” and “one of the girls.”

No.

In (producer)’s eyes…This is television.
Royce was good for business/television.
The help in the fights was good for television too.

No matter what battles Royce fought-they are wives of ball players. And as far as they (will always be concerned)
Royce is the baby mama of a ball player whose way in was by doing a groupie’s job (being on a NBA Dance Team).

Harsh.
But that was the reality of the reality…

Moral of the story.
When it comes down to group dynamics, (something we all find ourselves in at sometime in life,
regardless the level or whatever extreme), it is always important to ask yourself: “Why am I here?”
and “What makes me invaluable or necessary as well?”

It was all no different than, let’s say, Shaq.

His 3-point shots were always suspect, but his position on the team wasn’t “3-Point Shooter.”
His actual position, is what kept him on the team, not so much his contribution to it (3-point shooting).

In Royce’s situation, all that fighting, all that mediating, all that work she put in; she assumed
she was solidifying a “position,” when those things were merely “contributions.”

She never had a “position” within that team (circle).

But let me level the playing field for them all…

The bright side about it (in Royce’s favor), regardless of all this Twitter
fighting back and forth…

…is that at the end of the day, outside of the team (circle),
they are all on the same team, and in the same circle, stuck at hierarchy
#3; all having been brought into hierarchy #4 and #5 by social climb and association as “Wife,”
by their NBA husbands and ex-fiancés (just like Royce by her ex/NBA fiancé/baby-daddy as well).

That’s the “real” reality-in all fairness to all of them. (Well, maybe except for Jennifer
because her dad drove her to middle school in a Porsche!) j/k.

LoL.

But, all jokes and hurt aside, when it’s all said and done, outside of their little matrix,
no one is any less or greater in relevancy than the next.

Because neither one of them “worked” to reach hierarchy #4 and hierarchy #5- they ALL married,
dated, or baby-mama’d into it JUST the same.
The “work” involved, was merely “earning” the title of “wife” and maintaining that title…



[…]   The reality is: Shaunie O’Neal is what we at Other Side of the Fame, refer to as: “The Original Don-Dada.” She wasn’t some trophy wife whose whole existence rested on the arm of a trophy man. Furthermore, she was apart of Shaq’s early humble beginnings, so with all that, she has no reason to feel the need to put herself (or her kids) out there for that kind of attention in order to be “known.” […]



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