A conversation I had a few weeks ago has stuck with me in a way that makes me know I have some growing to do in that area because the answer isn’t as cut and dried as my brain thinks it should be. The conversation was about a man who, in every way seen by the public, is a good dude. He is active in the community, is an excellent father, cares about others, helps out wherever he can, is deep into church.
He goes to work, does his job well and is inspiring.
That’s what we see. That’s what we KNOW. He’s a good dude. Good PEOPLE. HIGH COTTON COMPLIMENT.
So let’s introduce this good dude, who is single and available, to a single and available woman who is good people too.
Mix and let marinate.
Events which happened after made me really ponder, “What is a good dude?”
A question put to me was for me to consider one of my male besties.
Person: Do you think such-and-such is a good dude?
Me: Of course. He’s the best. My dude for life.
Them: What if you found out he was cheating on this wife…would YOU still think he’s a good dude? Do you think his wife would still think he’s a good dude? Is “good dude” subjective to the person who is being asked to quantify the sum of his whole?
Me: Leemelone. You play too much. I don’t like this question.
Because it’s true. I might be disappointed in one of my male besties for cheating on their wives but I’d still know them to be good dudes. They will still be great fathers, great neighbors, great community leaders, great activists, excellent providers, amazing sons, brothers, etc.
SIP: But the cheating tho…
I would be so hurt if one of my male besties cheated on their wives and I found out about it but I guess I’d still consider them a good dude.
SIP: Because they are good to you and OTHERS…but not to their wives.
Me: LEEMELONE! I DON’T LIKE THIS QUESTION!
The marinade came with tangles in other areas which needed to be unwound in order the “good dude” could be fully committed to the awesomeness that is the single woman. It seemed to be an easy process in the beginning but then…the process started to lag which would make one wonder. The good woman decided it wasn’t for her to sit around and wait for the “good dude” to come clean and be ready to be fully present.
Me: Aw man…but he’s such a good dude.
Them: But is he though? Is he really?
SIP: Same thing I’ve been asking.
Me: Maybe. Hell…I don’t know. I want the fairy tale version.
SIP: ‘Tis 2019. You’d better whip out a Disney DVD to get that version.
How much work should you put into a good dude who is lacking in a very important area? Good question, right? I know my peers are generally like me in this area and we are like “I don’t have time for that.” And honestly…who does? With work, kids, family, framily and friends, home maintenance, etc…who has time to help a grown man be great when he should already know since he comes with the label of “good dude.”
How many men do you know that you’d consider a “good dude” who has fathered children outside of their marriage? Who have cheated or done something else grimy who can be a “good dude” to others in their life? Is it a simple fix to just say…”He’s a good dude, but he sucks at personal relationships?” Is a caveat necessary?
SIP: Camille Cosby thinks Bill is a “good dude” and we know some women think R. Kelly is a good dude too. He is probably really good to his boys. This is the thing…sometimes men get a good dude pass by the people they’ve never screwed over. And yes…they’ve screwed over many. So yeah…maybe it is subjective which makes perfect sense since most things in life are.
Also…what if a dude is everything to his family ONLY and never helps others and doesn’t care about his community? Is HE a good dude? What boxes are necessary to be checked off to be considered a FOR TRUE “good dude?”
Have you ever had your heart broken by a “good dude?” Still think he’s good?