Theory & Essay

equal? ha! you’re funny

we were lied to.

you see, as youngsters, most of us were told that life was fair. ingrained in us from that first kindergarten kickball game when ms. edwards split the teams evenly so that aspergers alex and short-foot shawn wouldn’t hafta be on the same squad, we’ve been told that if you played by the rules, ate your veggies and kissed your janky looking teachers aide mom on the lips at least once a day, everything would be ok.

as we grew older and more worldly, we began to realize that the apples we placed on ms edwards desk everyday apparently just kept her stock-full of sh*t. life isn’t fair, jim jones still exists, and the pittsburgh steelers continue to prove that pittsburghers are just inherently better at everything...a fact which really isn’t fair to everyone else.

thing is, despite our knowledge of the latent unfairness and inequality synonymous with human life, there’s one aspect of our existence that many of us still hope will be even and balanced and just and exactly like that kickball game, except, of course, without short-foot shawn running in circles because he can’t make right turns. yet, as an example of one of lifes more darkly humorous ironies, this hope is kept for the one aspect of our existence that will never be completely even.

fair? maybe. just? ha! even? hell the f*ck no.

i’m referring, of course, to romantic relationships.

70-30

60-40

52-48

50.1-49.9

pick your percentage. there’s literally billions, trillions of different ways to add to 100. just know that it will never, ever, ever be 50-50.

never.

there’s always going to be someone who loves a tiny bit more, who has a bit more invested than the other person, and who has a larger emotional capacity than the person they’re in the relationship with. things will never be 50-50. someone will always have the final say, and someone will always possess the virtual perpetual tie-breaker sitting on top of the elephant in the room.

that utopic vision of a life replete with equal salaries, equal libido, equal responsibility, and equal say, with everyday culminating with the perfect o where you both climax at the exact same time while staring at the exact same spot in each others eyes? ha! that’s more contrived and unbelievable than this new subway promotion (thanks c.f.)

thing is…this isn’t a bad thing. sure, you dont want to be in a situation where you’re willing to die for someone who still has you listed in their phone as “samia safenut“, but every human relationship has the same dynamic: someone always the upper-hand. shit even in business, there’s always one stakeholder who owns a tiny bit more of the company than everyone else. the difference can be one half of one percentage point, but that number is enough to give him the trump card if the hand ever gets to that point…and its for our own benefit.

without this in place, life would be nothing but a series of continual stalemates and tie scores. billions of people stuck at forks in the road, stagnant for eons because they couldnt decide between chinese or mexican food that night. a world full of people with jagged genitals because they’ve spent their entire lives sitting on fences contemplating sh*t instead of leading or being led.

so…what do to? just make sure you’re not aspergers alex out there trying to play dodgeball with roger clemens, catching fastballs and sh*t with your what remains of your teeth, and you should be good.

hmmm…maybe ms edwards knew what she was doing after all.

—the champ

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't.

  • http://www.myspace.com/shay_d_lady79 Shay-d-lady

    Here’s my take on it.. Relationships are not exactly 50-50 at any given time someone has 70% and the other has 30.. or someone has 60 the other has 40 percent however there should be an equality in the amount of time each of you has the upper hand. 1 person should not always be getting the lower end of the stick. I feel that relationships should break down like this…33% equal or common view, 33% male, 33% female, and 1% of shyt you just have to agree to disagree on.( these figures do not indicate the amount of time spent on said issue or argument) If you find yourself always on the dominant end or lower end of the stick, there’s a problem.

    • http://www.myspace.com/circa1908 Intellectual Hedonist

      nobody likes to be the bottom b*tch all the time

      • http://www.myspace.com/wudaman19 WuDaMan

        **Mormon Covenant Garments**

      • http://www.myspace.com/wudaman19 WuDaMan

        **Mormon Covenant Garments**

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        i’m sure that Diane would beg to differ. She was lovin’ being Goldie’s bottom b*tch.

        you always want to be the bottom if you’re a ho.

        • http://www.myspace.com/wudaman19 WuDaMan

          Panamaaaa man come on if you don’t think she would have been trying to jedi chick logic Goldie you wrong my brothuh. I bet she was praying the day he went L7 he’d choose her.

        • http://www.myspace.com/wudaman19 WuDaMan

          Panamaaaa man come on if you don’t think she would have been trying to jedi chick logic Goldie you wrong my brothuh. I bet she was praying the day he went L7 he’d choose her.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          “hoes love the bottom” would be a great t-shirt

          • http://www.mrswagger.com Fly Guy

            I already got my money in hand. Just point me in the right direction lol

            http://www.mrswagger.com

          • http://www.mrswagger.com Fly Guy

            I already got my money in hand. Just point me in the right direction lol

            http://www.mrswagger.com

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          “hoes love the bottom” would be a great t-shirt

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        i’m sure that Diane would beg to differ. She was lovin’ being Goldie’s bottom b*tch.

        you always want to be the bottom if you’re a ho.

    • http://www.myspace.com/circa1908 Intellectual Hedonist

      nobody likes to be the bottom b*tch all the time

    • http://www.thecomebackgirl.com The Comeback Girl

      “33% equal or common view, 33% male, 33% female, and 1% of shyt you just have to agree to disagree on.( these figures do not indicate the amount of time spent on said issue or argument)”

      why do I get the feeling imma need my scientific calculator today for this post. This was good math…but if ANYBODY’s azz starts talking probability and deviation. Im gonna go postal.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        are you sure? cuz i can pull out some f-test analysis and run a regression taking into account income, education level, and absentee fatherism to determine just how equality plays out when accounting for societal factors.

        just sayin…

        • blackberry molasses

          hey… gotta do your power analysis first to make sure you have enough observations for to avoid skewness of your results…

          and don’t forget to do a stepwise multiple regression model to remove variables where p> .05

        • blackberry molasses

          hey… gotta do your power analysis first to make sure you have enough observations for to avoid skewness of your results…

          and don’t forget to do a stepwise multiple regression model to remove variables where p> .05

        • http://www.thecomebackgirl.com The Comeback Girl

          ***where is my sharp letter opener***

          thats for HI and P

        • http://www.thecomebackgirl.com The Comeback Girl

          ***where is my sharp letter opener***

          thats for HI and P

        • http://naturallyalise.blogspot.com/ eysqueen

          giving me flashbacks of stats. and when your done i can whip up some snazzy full color charts and diagrams. i can animate the numbers for you too, may as well throw some flash up in there.

        • http://naturallyalise.blogspot.com/ eysqueen

          giving me flashbacks of stats. and when your done i can whip up some snazzy full color charts and diagrams. i can animate the numbers for you too, may as well throw some flash up in there.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        are you sure? cuz i can pull out some f-test analysis and run a regression taking into account income, education level, and absentee fatherism to determine just how equality plays out when accounting for societal factors.

        just sayin…

      • Intellectual Hedonist

        please stop, Im taking a stats class this semester and last night when I was supposed to be doing my homework I was thinking in statistics while writing the post I almost started talking about means and bell curves….

      • Intellectual Hedonist

        please stop, Im taking a stats class this semester and last night when I was supposed to be doing my homework I was thinking in statistics while writing the post I almost started talking about means and bell curves….

    • http://www.thecomebackgirl.com The Comeback Girl

      “33% equal or common view, 33% male, 33% female, and 1% of shyt you just have to agree to disagree on.( these figures do not indicate the amount of time spent on said issue or argument)”

      why do I get the feeling imma need my scientific calculator today for this post. This was good math…but if ANYBODY’s azz starts talking probability and deviation. Im gonna go postal.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “or someone has 60 the other has 40 percent however there should be an equality in the amount of time each of you has the upper hand”

      you don’t think this contradicts a bit? i mean, how is there gonna be equality if the split isn’t even?

      • http://www.myspace.com/shay_d_lady79 Shay-d-lady

        you don’t think this contradicts a bit? i mean, how is there gonna be equality if the split isn’t even?

        no its more of a paradox.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          aren’t paradox’s contradictory in nature?

          • shay-d-lady

            yes but a paradox is a contradiction that can be and often times is proven true? so while my logic is contradictory in nature it is something that in under the right circumstances, could be proven true

          • shay-d-lady

            yes but a paradox is a contradiction that can be and often times is proven true? so while my logic is contradictory in nature it is something that in under the right circumstances, could be proven true

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          aren’t paradox’s contradictory in nature?

      • http://www.myspace.com/shay_d_lady79 Shay-d-lady

        you don’t think this contradicts a bit? i mean, how is there gonna be equality if the split isn’t even?

        no its more of a paradox.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “or someone has 60 the other has 40 percent however there should be an equality in the amount of time each of you has the upper hand”

      you don’t think this contradicts a bit? i mean, how is there gonna be equality if the split isn’t even?

  • http://www.myspace.com/shay_d_lady79 Shay-d-lady

    Here’s my take on it.. Relationships are not exactly 50-50 at any given time someone has 70% and the other has 30.. or someone has 60 the other has 40 percent however there should be an equality in the amount of time each of you has the upper hand. 1 person should not always be getting the lower end of the stick. I feel that relationships should break down like this…33% equal or common view, 33% male, 33% female, and 1% of shyt you just have to agree to disagree on.( these figures do not indicate the amount of time spent on said issue or argument) If you find yourself always on the dominant end or lower end of the stick, there’s a problem.

  • Leila

    “pick your percentage. there’s literally billions, trillions of different ways to add to 100. just know that it will never, ever, ever be 50-50.”

    I’ve yet to be in a relationship that was anywhere near 50:50. My relationships are usually lop-sided – either the guy is more into it or I am but never at the same time. I was just having a conversation with my ex yesterday and he was talking about how he didn’t appreciate me enough while we were together.

    • Ivy St.

      Do men ever appreciate you while they have you? You always realize what you had when it is gone. As to being in a 50:50 relationship, they don’t exist and I am fine with it. There isn’t a relationship in the world that is 50:50, not even between family, so what model would be emulating? I think that relationships adjust and evolve as the environment changes. Being primates and all we are very good at adapting to changes in reward contingencies. With that said, if I contribute 45 % today, tomorrow it may just be 75%. There should never be a relationship where the same person contributes most to the relationship ALL THE DAMN TIME. BTW I do like to be wined and dined so on that night, I’ll take the back seat at 25%. ;)

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        “Do men ever appreciate you while they have you?”

        depends on the man, and whether or not who you are is and what you have is worth appreciating and sh*t

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          word.life.

          every diamond ain’t flawless.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

            yeah. lipstick on a piece of sh*t doesn’t make it a pig. just a confusing looking piece of sh*t.

            • shay

              why does lipstick make it a pig and not a woman?

              • PrettyBrownGirl

                Frankly, I am disturbed by all this wasting of perfectly good lipstick.

                I’m just sayin’…

              • PrettyBrownGirl

                Frankly, I am disturbed by all this wasting of perfectly good lipstick.

                I’m just sayin’…

              • Intellectual Hedonist

                I too am distressed at the amount of lipstick that is going to waste lately.

              • Intellectual Hedonist

                I too am distressed at the amount of lipstick that is going to waste lately.

            • shay

              why does lipstick make it a pig and not a woman?

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

            yeah. lipstick on a piece of sh*t doesn’t make it a pig. just a confusing looking piece of sh*t.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          word.life.

          every diamond ain’t flawless.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        “Do men ever appreciate you while they have you?”

        depends on the man, and whether or not who you are is and what you have is worth appreciating and sh*t

      • Gem of the Ocean

        “Being primates and all we are very good at adapting to changes in reward contingencies.”

        you’ve been in neuroscience (read: Charlie’s lab) waaaaaay too long. but this insight is useful for comps lol

      • Gem of the Ocean

        “Being primates and all we are very good at adapting to changes in reward contingencies.”

        you’ve been in neuroscience (read: Charlie’s lab) waaaaaay too long. but this insight is useful for comps lol

      • http://onyxdiva.blogspot.com Ms. S

        Very well said. It’s the “It needs to be 50/50″ mentally that are driving some great couples apart.

      • http://onyxdiva.blogspot.com Ms. S

        Very well said. It’s the “It needs to be 50/50″ mentally that are driving some great couples apart.

    • Ivy St.

      Do men ever appreciate you while they have you? You always realize what you had when it is gone. As to being in a 50:50 relationship, they don’t exist and I am fine with it. There isn’t a relationship in the world that is 50:50, not even between family, so what model would be emulating? I think that relationships adjust and evolve as the environment changes. Being primates and all we are very good at adapting to changes in reward contingencies. With that said, if I contribute 45 % today, tomorrow it may just be 75%. There should never be a relationship where the same person contributes most to the relationship ALL THE DAMN TIME. BTW I do like to be wined and dined so on that night, I’ll take the back seat at 25%. ;)

    • Swamii

      Did you appreciate him when you had him?

    • Swamii

      Did you appreciate him when you had him?

  • Leila

    “pick your percentage. there’s literally billions, trillions of different ways to add to 100. just know that it will never, ever, ever be 50-50.”

    I’ve yet to be in a relationship that was anywhere near 50:50. My relationships are usually lop-sided – either the guy is more into it or I am but never at the same time. I was just having a conversation with my ex yesterday and he was talking about how he didn’t appreciate me enough while we were together.

  • http://threewaystotakeit.wordpress.com Slim Jackson

    It’s impossible for it to be 50/50 in the eyes of either person, especially if she has miserable friends that are single.lol. I say that 50% jokingly and 50% seriously.

    Isn’t part of finding the right person something about them being able to complement (not the “Baby, you lookin good”) you?

    Lastly, if peeps are arguing about the equality of the relationship, someone must reaaallly be getting the sh*tty end of the stick. It’s supposed to be give and take. Pause.

    • http://www.myspace.com/shay_d_lady79 Shay-d-lady

      all of my past relationships were lop sided.. I guess thats part of how I know my husband is/was “the one”. We never have/had the “why do I always have to compromise/apologize ” argument.. we do argue but thats not one of our issues. A good relationship requires altruism in its truest form, which then requires each party to willingly give up control. If you have no control or refuse to give up any that in itself indicates a problem.
      I am interested to see if the opinions on this post will split with happy couples on one side and happily singles on the other….

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        so do you think people with control issues can’t have good relationships unless they’re with somebody who is the polar opposite, i.e. one person needs to control everything and the other couldn’t care less?

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          “so do you think people with control issues can’t have good relationships unless they’re with somebody who is the polar opposite, i.e. one person needs to control everything and the other couldn’t care less?”

          i think so

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          “so do you think people with control issues can’t have good relationships unless they’re with somebody who is the polar opposite, i.e. one person needs to control everything and the other couldn’t care less?”

          i think so

        • http://www.myspace.com/shay_d_lady79 Shay-d-lady

          so do you think people with control issues can’t have good relationships unless they’re with somebody who is the polar opposite, i.e. one person needs to control everything and the other couldn’t care less?

          kind of but not really.. because in a true relationship you have to be willing to do what you have never done so if you are a control freak like my self you have to be willing to relinquish it.. if you dont mind always following the leader you are going to have to step up and lead every once and again. Otherwise you will have more of a parent child relationship……which a lot of couples have and seem cool with

        • http://www.myspace.com/shay_d_lady79 Shay-d-lady

          so do you think people with control issues can’t have good relationships unless they’re with somebody who is the polar opposite, i.e. one person needs to control everything and the other couldn’t care less?

          kind of but not really.. because in a true relationship you have to be willing to do what you have never done so if you are a control freak like my self you have to be willing to relinquish it.. if you dont mind always following the leader you are going to have to step up and lead every once and again. Otherwise you will have more of a parent child relationship……which a lot of couples have and seem cool with

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        so do you think people with control issues can’t have good relationships unless they’re with somebody who is the polar opposite, i.e. one person needs to control everything and the other couldn’t care less?

      • http://lizburr.com Liz

        A good relationship requires altruism in its truest form, which then requires each party to willingly give up control. If you have no control or refuse to give up any that in itself indicates a problem.

        You’re right, I like this point. I definitely struggle with the control aspect of relationships, which I take to mean that right now I am not ready to be in one lol.

      • http://lizburr.com Liz

        A good relationship requires altruism in its truest form, which then requires each party to willingly give up control. If you have no control or refuse to give up any that in itself indicates a problem.

        You’re right, I like this point. I definitely struggle with the control aspect of relationships, which I take to mean that right now I am not ready to be in one lol.

    • http://www.myspace.com/shay_d_lady79 Shay-d-lady

      all of my past relationships were lop sided.. I guess thats part of how I know my husband is/was “the one”. We never have/had the “why do I always have to compromise/apologize ” argument.. we do argue but thats not one of our issues. A good relationship requires altruism in its truest form, which then requires each party to willingly give up control. If you have no control or refuse to give up any that in itself indicates a problem.
      I am interested to see if the opinions on this post will split with happy couples on one side and happily singles on the other….

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      Isn’t part of finding the right person something about them being able to complement (not the “Baby, you lookin good”) you?

      thats the thing: it will never be exactly 50-50, but you can find the right balance with the right person.

      • 8th Wonder

        “it will never be exactly 50-50, but you can find the right balance with the right person.”

        Exactly, Champskii.

      • 8th Wonder

        “it will never be exactly 50-50, but you can find the right balance with the right person.”

        Exactly, Champskii.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      Isn’t part of finding the right person something about them being able to complement (not the “Baby, you lookin good”) you?

      thats the thing: it will never be exactly 50-50, but you can find the right balance with the right person.

  • http://threewaystotakeit.wordpress.com Slim Jackson

    It’s impossible for it to be 50/50 in the eyes of either person, especially if she has miserable friends that are single.lol. I say that 50% jokingly and 50% seriously.

    Isn’t part of finding the right person something about them being able to complement (not the “Baby, you lookin good”) you?

    Lastly, if peeps are arguing about the equality of the relationship, someone must reaaallly be getting the sh*tty end of the stick. It’s supposed to be give and take. Pause.

  • http://stickwithyocat.blogspot.com/ V.E.G.

    Well, one month you may carry 70 and the other month your partner may carry 80 while you scoot on buy with a 20 percent share. It’s called life. As long as you aim for balance and no one constantly feels like their load is too heavy to carry, then things are fine. It’s the trying part that matters…and showing your partner that you realize they are doing a bit more, showing a bit more RIGHT now and that you appreciate it..

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “It’s the trying part that matters…and showing your partner that you realize they are doing a bit more”

      this is good in theory, since everyone’s not always on the same wavelength, you’re gonna have situations where people are trying their hardest, but the other doesn’t think they’re doing sh*t. from talking to people, this seems to happen alot

      • http://www.myspace.com/shay_d_lady79 Shay-d-lady

        you’re gonna have situations where people are trying their hardest, but the other doesn’t think they’re doing sh*t.

        this is often because the person thats trying is not taking action but trying to “talk” themselves into it and spending more time trying to convince others that they really are trying instead of just..you know, trying.

        • shay

          “not taking action but trying to “talk” themselves into it and spending more time trying to convince others that they really are trying instead of just..you know, trying.

          good point.

        • shay

          “not taking action but trying to “talk” themselves into it and spending more time trying to convince others that they really are trying instead of just..you know, trying.

          good point.

      • http://www.myspace.com/shay_d_lady79 Shay-d-lady

        you’re gonna have situations where people are trying their hardest, but the other doesn’t think they’re doing sh*t.

        this is often because the person thats trying is not taking action but trying to “talk” themselves into it and spending more time trying to convince others that they really are trying instead of just..you know, trying.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “It’s the trying part that matters…and showing your partner that you realize they are doing a bit more”

      this is good in theory, since everyone’s not always on the same wavelength, you’re gonna have situations where people are trying their hardest, but the other doesn’t think they’re doing sh*t. from talking to people, this seems to happen alot

  • http://stickwithyocat.blogspot.com/ V.E.G.

    Well, one month you may carry 70 and the other month your partner may carry 80 while you scoot on buy with a 20 percent share. It’s called life. As long as you aim for balance and no one constantly feels like their load is too heavy to carry, then things are fine. It’s the trying part that matters…and showing your partner that you realize they are doing a bit more, showing a bit more RIGHT now and that you appreciate it..

  • http://myspace.com/thomasforbes Monk

    I’ve been on both ends – giving more than 50% and giving less than 50% into a given relationship. It’s all about establishing a balance within yourself as to how much of “You” you want to give. This should moreso be based on a case-to-case basis as everyone’s relations isn’t the same.

    I will say this (to coincide with the Champ’s point), a relationship will never be totally equal. There will always be one party who feels more ‘deeplier’ than the other. This isn’t neccessarily a bad thing.

    I guess my main point is to take shyt in stride and learn how to work together. The percentage difference between two people may vary in general or in regards to stage the relationship is in…or simply time of day…it’s all variables.

    • http://www.myspace.com/wudaman19 WuDaMan

      in the words of teddy riley ‘yup yup’

    • http://www.myspace.com/wudaman19 WuDaMan

      in the words of teddy riley ‘yup yup’

  • http://myspace.com/thomasforbes Monk

    I’ve been on both ends – giving more than 50% and giving less than 50% into a given relationship. It’s all about establishing a balance within yourself as to how much of “You” you want to give. This should moreso be based on a case-to-case basis as everyone’s relations isn’t the same.

    I will say this (to coincide with the Champ’s point), a relationship will never be totally equal. There will always be one party who feels more ‘deeplier’ than the other. This isn’t neccessarily a bad thing.

    I guess my main point is to take shyt in stride and learn how to work together. The percentage difference between two people may vary in general or in regards to stage the relationship is in…or simply time of day…it’s all variables.

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