Theory & Essay

If You Know Better, F&^king Do Better

If they were Black, I'd say they don't know their daddies.

While I know why I do certain things, I can’t really explain why I do certain things.

Feel me? Probably not. Let me try this another way.

A long time ago, I washed a pen in some jeans. Genius move I know. So I pull the pen out of the now so fresh and so clean jeans andI get to pondering. I say to myself, “Self, I wonder if I open this pen cap, will ink spill all over the place?”


Now, this is a dumb question. Everybody knows that if you wash a pen, it generally breaks and goes squidward on your 501s. Most people are just happy to find out that their jeans are unblemished. Panama on the other hand? Nope. I shun common sense in the face of adversity. I scoff at normalcy and unproven factual theories. Sure there MIGHT be ink, but if I don’t pull the pen cap off, can I really say with complete certainty that my pen DID break and I’d get ink everywhere? Philosophy, thou art my maiden.

So yeah, I pulled open that pen cap and got ink on my hands (took forever to clean off) and all over my cheap beige-Halle Berry colored rug. Pure genius move. Plus, everybody knows I’m a motherf*cking monster.

Now the point of this story is that I pretty much knew what was going to happen but I still eschewed conventional wisdom and pulled the cap, caught the fade, and cleaned the carpet. Quadruple C’s.

So what’s the second point of this story? Well, two things. 1) scared money don’t make money, and b) relationships would probably be so much smoother if more of us acknowledged that we just damn know better most of the time…and f*cking leaned on that principle. I can’t tell you how many situations I’ve been in where I KNEW what the right answer was, or what the right way to handle a situation would be, should be, or how it all could be, and because of my own pride, I let the sh*t ride. Front back, and side to side.

That rhymed.

It’s interesting too because nobody is immune to it though it seems like a solid 99 percent of men’s problems in relationship comes down to knowing better and doing otherwise anyway. In fact, that’s probably the reason women stay pissed and peeved (not angry) with us so often, we do little stupid sh*t that we know better than to do. Our biggest liability in most situations is that we aren’t dumb.

Like, I know that if we get into an argument you just want me to listen to you and acknowledge what you have to say. But we’re beefing, f*ck that. I’d rather create the second argument that has nothing to do with the first one just so that you don’t get the satisfaction. Seriously, how f*cking retarded is that?

I know when you ask me how you look that you don’t want to hear “fat” or “not bad”. But do I just say “good” or “lovely”? Nope. I say “not bad” or “you don’t look bad at all.” Semantics is a motherf*cker and I know that. Yet, for whatever reason, my ability to take the shortest distance between my mouth and your nudity never seems to occur. Which is even worse for somebody who writes a relationship blog (unless its a sh*tty one…they really might not know better). I can’t get out of any argument because it’s OBVIOUS that I just damn know better.

I know what to say. I know what to do. I just chose not to do or say the right things because…well, I don’t wanna. Pride is a helluva drug. Which again…stupid logic. I’ve got hometraining and effectively, my entire upbringing was dedicated to making sure that I knew better than to make a bad decision whenever one presented itself.

It’s like getting a liberal arts degree. I keed. I keed. #occupywallstreet

*ducks tomatoes*

I know better than to stick my wang in what looks like a wang shredder. I know not to poke the bear. And I know to just letting sleeping dogs lie. Because I know better.

I know to just tell you whats on my mind. I know to let you know if I’m going to need to change plans. I know that I shouldn’t grind up on that chick in front of you or anybody that knows you. I know I shouldn’t make certain comments to an ex or hug that voluptuous chick with the dong too long. I know that I shouldn’t find myself in a compromising situation even if its not totally my fault…and if I do, I know that I should get myself out of it as quickly as possible. ASAP. And I know that if I get caught doing something I wasn’t supposed to be doing, either big or small, I shouldn’t lie. When I was 6 lying made it worse and when I’m 60, lying will make it worse.

I just damn know. And yet I don’t do it anyway. Or do do it anyway. Or do that thing that I wasn’t supposed to have did done. The things you do, make me come running to you…to stab you. Or at least that’s what she said.

With great power comes great responsibility and with growth comes bigger drawz. But sometimes I wonder what’s wrong with me as I quest to get better about doing some things. Or why I’ve been that way anyway. Like, I KNOW what I should do or say most of the time and I still struggle. If I was a Carebear, I’d be Struggle Bear. Actually, that doesn’t even fit.

But if I know better, I should just f*cking do better, right? Like Donuts track #2, I’m workinonit.


What about you? Are you part of the #struggleteam? If so, why? Why don’t we (men and women – women f*ck up too) just damn do better? How much time do you spend mad at your boo because they do some f*cksh*t despite the fact that they know better? Why are there so many questions? Do I know? Do I know? Why’d I just ask the same question twice? Who ya wit?


Damon Young

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future.

  • tgtaggie

    I’ll be the first to say it. I come from a line of hardheaded black men. Stubbornness is a family trait. lol.

    • Panama Jackson

      I definitely got my trait from my father. Sometimes I’m baffled by his want to do just do him at all times.

  • xLadyTx

    People become part of the #struggleteam because they’re:

    * too stubborn
    * gluttons for punishment and have to learn everything the hard way
    * pushing the limit to see how far they can go before it all blows up in their face.
    * too caught up in the moment to think of the long term effects

    And I’ll openly admit I’ve been thru all 4 lol


    • Nell

      Yep. This is me. And this is some of my friends, too. And we’ve all learned from it. LOL

    • Panama Jackson

      You know, despite my intelligence, I tend to fall into the “learn things the hard way” bullet. Which is stupid b/c again…i know better.

  • Victory Unlimited Show

    “With great power comes great responsibility and with growth comes bigger drawz.”

    No you didn’t just quote the great “Stan Lee” and also manage to mix in some urban-styled lingo AT THE SAME TIME. Lol Well done, sir. Well done.

    As to the subject at hand. I’d imagine that “knowing better” and “not” doing better actually means that we “don’t” know better. What I mean is that knowledge only becomes reflexive after we completely internalize it. When we become aware of the right thing to do in any given situation, I believe that we’ll be able to “do” that right thing without actually having to think about it anymore.

    • A Woman’s Eyes

      Victory Unlimited Show,

      How does that theory apply if you don’t want to do the right thing, even though you know it is right? Especially if you know Jehovah’s Witnesses, small animals and old ladies won’t be injured in the process of you doing the wrong thing?

    • Panama Jackson

      I dont know. Like, just b/c I haven’t come to the part of the show where I “do” better, I’m often well aware at all times when I’m doing something stupid or about ot say something stupid. My self-awareness is insane. I just dont do what I should at times.

  • Iamnotakata

    I have a friend that needs to read this post and then ask her self is she part of the #struggleteam…I would say yes….but in regards to doing better. I would like to think that I do better because I know better…however there are some situations where knowing better just isn’t enough to make me do better ….everyone needs to cut up at least once or twice

    • A Woman’s Eyes

      Cutting up once or twice is good for our health.

    • Asiyah

      I hear ya, Iamnotakata. And in some situations, you are just not ready to do better because you’re not ready to face the consequences that come from doing better. Timing does play a role, so I understand those that delay doing better. I just don’t understand those who don’t do better even when the timing calls for it.

    • Panama Jackson

      While I do agree that everybody needs to cut up once or twice…how come men never get a pass? lol

      • Asiyah

        according to biology, men were programmed to be the hunters and gatherers of society. if you don’t know better, everyone else starves. that’s why ya don’t get a pass! i’ll be damned if i’m hungry on account of you not knowing better.

      • A Woman’s Eyes

        Men never get a pass because some women like to fuss and be right all the time.

        • Panama Jackson

          i like this one better than Asiyah’s explanation.

          • A Woman’s Eyes


  • LadyC

    Admittedly I’m pretty diplomatic in the relationship struggle. I try not to go stereotypical black chick route. But then he may say something ignorant to which I respond “Excuse me?” as if I know I didn’t hear what I thought I just heard and then…it gets all kinds of different #teamshutthatshitdown

    If men treated women better, there would be no struggle. I think people like tension

    Love the UGK reference! :)

    • Panama Jackson

      I think if we all treated each other better there would be no struggle. But as humans, we like struggle, b/c then we can see progress.

      Cole, we stupid.

      • Wild Cougar

        I think you resist what makes no sense to you. You believe you will push that person enough so they will stop requesting silly love proof. Or find someone who doesn’t practice nonsense. But you’re not attracted to nonsense free women yet. Theory.

        • Panama Jackson

          you’re definitely right about that. i love me a nonsensical woman.

          • Paris cougar

            Some girls definitely like tension. It’s our wild side! We’re like animals!

  • Jamaicangirl

    This post just summoned up the argument I just had less than 20 mins ago with my boyfriend. I’m not even sure if we resolved anything. The struggle continues. **deep sigh **

    • Gem Jones

      I’m not even sure if we resolved anything. The struggle continues. **deep sigh **

      i ALWAYS feel like this after an argument. smh

    • A Woman’s Eyes

      That is why I’d rather be a lover than a fighter. I’d rather skip the argument and the make up sex and go straight to the sex, but that’s just me.

      The way of the master: Mastering the art of agreeing to disagree.

    • Asiyah

      And this post just pretty much sums up the reason why I was frustrated with my friend yesterday. My friend knows better, but pride doesn’t allow him/her to do better. The only reason it frustrates me is because that person keeps complaining about the situation. You know better, hence, you can make it better!

    • Panama Jackson

      send it to your boyfriend and then use it as a talking point. like “baby, we have GOT to do better b/c we’re better than this. WE.ARE.SPARTA!”

      • A Woman’s Eyes

        and then make love and not war.

  • Gem Jones

    *sigh* i left what i thought was a GREAT comment and the VSB black hole ate that sh*t. SMH

    thank you for admitting that men do this: It’s interesting too because nobody is immune to it though it seems like a solid 99 percent of men’s problems in relationship comes down to knowing better and doing otherwise anyway.

    i have also been an offender. sometimes i just cant keep my mouth shut, gotta get the last word. which usually means i end up saying some rude ish that is completely unnecessary and what i know will elicit an adverse reaction from him, yet i say it anyway, and further cause the rift between us. and then i gotta back pedal like a muthafugga and try to regain the peace that i would have had had i just let the sh*t go and not tried to go for the jugular in the first place *le sigh*

    • CurlyTop

      I suffer from sudden amnesia every time I get the last word. We could have stopped this mess 2 minutes ago and I know what I’m going to say is not needed but… Then he hits me with the quivering bottom lip and I’m like “Whaddidah say?”

      • Gem Jones

        lol NOT the quivering bottom lip!

        i usually get the “bish i would slap the mess outta you if i wasnt raised by a woman” look lol

      • SmartFoxGirl

        Ha! That’s me too. I turn instant dumb. That or I put on the tears. My cry face is EPIC.

    • Asiyah

      I’m not a starting player of the #struggleteam, but I’m definitely a bench player. I’m called from time to time. My pride isn’t completely silent, you know. Especially when it comes to arguing. I’m not sure if I’m more argumentative now because I am surrounded by starting players of this team and it’s worn off on me, or if I’m just overall frustrated, but I find myself being more difficult and knowing I shouldn’t be this way. I find myself arguing when I shouldn’t be. And it’s not even about winning with me because sometimes I don’t even care if I’ve lost! and yes, all of the time, I find myself arguing with the starting players of this team. Guess I truly have a problem with people who have excess pride to the point where I feel I have to have a little more of it myself and let them know they ain’t sh*t. Even if I lose, they still get the point that they’re not all that.

      • Gem Jones

        I’m not a starting player of the #struggleteam, but I’m definitely a bench player. I’m called from time to time.

        LOL this!!!!!! yes. i dont do it all the time, but when i feel like my feelings have been hurt, ive been disrespected or disregarded, i feel this need to do what i can to make myself feel better, by getting a jab in. which, just makes ish worse. smh

        • Asiyah

          exactly! i just find myself exacerbating the situation all cuz my damn feelings were hurt. me and my damn neurons!

          • Gem Jones

            LOL @ neurons!

    • Panama Jackson

      word is bond, so many women need to have the last word and then wonder why arguments continue. not saying that men don’t do it…but i never think about needing the last word. it really aint that deep…but noooooooooooooooooo…chicks i know…always looking for the power grab.

      grab deez.

      • Asiyah

        “grab deez”

        reminds me of last night…

      • Gem Jones

        always looking for the power grab.

        i dont think this is it. not for me anyway. cuz if i wanted to pull a power move, id just keep my legs closed (cut off his access cuz i can hold out longer than he can) and/or not say sh*t at all. women who could argue, but dont and just walk away seems to scare men more. cuz they think you’re plotting, and they dont know how to handle it. or maybe its just my experience…

        for me its about making myself feel better. usually when i pull the “ima go in on you even tho its completely unnecessary” move, i have had my feelings hurt or feel disregarded and thus need to try and make up for that. its more a reactionary move for me than a premeditated (power) one.

      • Wild Cougar

        Ohh, last word struggle. 24/7 But my main struggle? The cross examination. I swear I was born to interrogate. I’m a pro at twisting the man into knots and getting him to tell the truth. I might get the answer, but I just destroyed some trust and performed a surgical removal of his you-know-what. Which comes back to bite me in the end.

        Struggle with the sharp tongue.

        • Tina Watkins

          Dang, I gots a lot on my mind with this. (Putting on the shiny faux-therapist hat.)

          First, I think really, truly, this is about self-love, and self-mastery. Substitute heron or crack for the epic and inappropriate hug and you have a classic act of (very very minor, but still) self-hatred playing out. Pride, shame, insecurity, arrogance, co-dependency all come from the same place: Not loving ourselves enough to do better.

          And the trick part is, you can love yourself and think you’re flippin’ awesome but still. If this is your problem you got some work ta do.

          Otherwise it leaves you all retarded-acting, and over-concerned with other’s retardation.

          Secondish, to answer P’s questions:
          What about you? Are you part of the #struggleteam? Yes: It’s hard for me to wait until I’ve really calmed down to confront something. My worst struggle is in not letting my man’s, or anyone else’s struggles bother me.
          @Wild Cougar, my interrogator is dead wrong. Stopped it by owning up to it, and the quasi-reactive withholding that feeds it. Had to agree to be more receptive/forthright.

          If so, why? See first point above, but I’m workin’ hard on it.

          Why don’t we (men and women – women f*ck up too) just damn do better? See first point above.

          How much time do you spend mad at your boo because they do some f*cksh*t despite the fact that they know better? Thankfully not too much. He’s incredibly flippin’ awesome, even to the point of manning up and acknowledging the f*cksh*t was just that in the rare event it happens. I try to limit being pissed off to times where it actually affects me adversely, as opposed to just judging behavior.

          Why are there so many questions? Do I know? Do I know? Why’d I just ask the same question twice? Who ya wit? No comment.

  • missshell

    “I know that I shouldn’t grind up on that chick in front of you or anybody that knows you.”
    This is my favorite part, because REALLY you prolly shouldn’t grind up on that chick at all. But your additions are really creative, Panama.

    • A Woman’s Eyes

      I laughed at that part because I got the gist that if she doesn’t know, it won’t hurt her lmao

    • Panama Jackson

      lol. that might be subconscious, b/c what i meant was that i shouldn’t be doing it period. but in front of you will get me in trouble. so i’m thinking more like staying out of trouble. lol.

      y’all right tho.

  • nillalatte

    “Are you part of the #struggleteam?”

    Nah, holmes. I’m good. I’m on the #IDGAFteam. Dude gots a problem he needs to deal wit it. I gots big girl things to do. I don’t do better cause IDGAF. Take me, leave me, love me, hate me… IDGAF. See how easy that is? No? IDGAF.

    4 replies? I think this site DGAF either! It’s like, you wanna comment… IDGAF and it just shuts off. Or maybe that is because it has joined #struggleteam. LOL

    • Panama Jackson

      yeah, we know that its still having issues. different types of issues. we’re working on them. its like something is conspiring against us being great. which is fine. Shaq said it best, “you can’t stop the reign”. And Snoop said it in 94, “we don’t love them hoez”

    •!/NewYork2VA NY2VA

      ” I think this site DGAF either! It’s like, you wanna comment… IDGAF and it just shuts off. ”

      That made me literally LOL because I have had an inordinate number of posts eaten up by the VSBBH (VSB Black Hole) over the past few days. The site is giving errybody the middle finger for real!

      • Panama Jackson

        if it makes you feel better, its giving us the middle finger too. its affecting us all.

  • shay-d-lady

    Pride. Peer pressure and trying to maintain the upper hand.
    I wish I could have mad that last one start with a “p”
    I had one of these moments tonight hence the reason I’m even up to comment. Ill holla back in the morning

    • Yoles

      “Pride. Peer pressure and trying to maintain the upper hand.”

      is now…..

      Pride. Peer pressure and trying to maintain the upper hand. trying to maintain the Position of Power…

      there’s some ‘P’s for ya… ;)

    • CurlyTop

      Maybe its immaturiy or my active role as a member of #teamAries but I fcuking hate losing an argument. IDGAF if we arguing about something I did, my goal is to keep pride and position of power. Pride will be the end of me. This is why I try to maintain the peace because once it gets to that point where I’m angry, it’s going down.

      • CurlyTop

        *immaturity Grr! suck deez edit button

      • jazzyLia

        As a proud card-carrying member of #teamaries I totally agree with this. It’s like we are hard wired to have the last word, even if the other persons last words were “ok, you were right”.

      • Panama Jackson

        i dont care if i lost an argument or not. hell most of my arguments just stop bc i lose interest. however, my pride does stop me from doing that thing that i know will resolve an issue quickly if i’m gonna lost footing, i think. i’m a hardhead.

      • WIP

        I think it’s an age thing for me but I could care less about losing an argument. I’m annoyed with the whole idea of arguing at this point anyway. I can easily say I’m sorry. There’s only a few concepts that matter- 1)what is the problem 2)is there a resolution 3)can I deal with the resolution. If there’s no resolution- what the hell you arguing about? If there’s a solution, just do that sh*t.

      • Wild Cougar

        I married a proud Aries who wanted the position of power at all times. Well he pushed and resisted a brick wall (me) until he resisted himself right out of a marriage. Now he’s regretting it, but of course he’s too proud to say it. Just texts “hey, what’s up” every other day, looking stupid. He and pride will be mates for life.

    • Todd

      Word on the Pride front. Pride is one hell of a drug. Perhaps people need to take 12 steps to quit that mess. I know that pride is a destructive force, and it’s something that shouldn’t be. Once you acknowledge who you are and what you’re capable of, you shouldn’t have to rely on some false sense of pride to walk through the world.

      • Panama Jackson

        true as that is, being a human is hard.its hard to let go of pride when its difficult to humble yourself in the first place.

        • Todd

          Oh so true PJ.

        • nubiankween

          I knew my mama was right “pride cometh before a fall” when I was a child that fall would be some sort of discipline, nowadays, well… know

    • A Woman’s Eyes

      Peer pressure
      Peer pressure
      You don’t have to follow their lead
      Peer pressure
      Peer pressure
      Listen to your heart and believe….

      Do explain the peer pressure. Are your girls telling you how to handle the argument with the beau?