Home Featured The Curious Case Of The Fragile Male Ego

The Curious Case Of The Fragile Male Ego

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While we were together an old bf of mine got me a flat screen tv for Christmas for my new apt….before he gave it to me I mentioned wanting him to help me pick one out for my living room. We celebrated at his house and I took the tv home….which I was truly appreciative of. The next time he came to my place I bought the tv that I planned on, which in his words was way better than what he got me….I put his gift in my bedroom….that was the beginning of the end…

Did I do something wrong? I work hard, don’t have kids…..so I’m able to do buy most of what I want….he had a kid and other responsibilities. Is there a way to avoid emasculating a man without censoring yourself? -Concerned Reader

This isn’t so much about miscommunication, as it is about a lack of communication between you two. Your ex wanted to do something nice for you, and for that I commended him. Guys get killed on a multitude of social networks for not listening to women. We are told that men are dense and have tunnel vision when it comes to a woman’s feelings. In this situation, your ex heard you loud and clear: You wanted a TV for the living room, and he was going to be the one to hook you up! However, the reaction you gave him towards the TV in his mind was initially awesome, and then later on awful. Let me help you traverse the male psyche for a second and show you how your actions made him react.

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He didn’t have the means to get you what you want, but still wanted to get you something.

Maybe he didn’t have the extra $350 for your dream TV. Maybe it was sold out and he didn’t have time to search near and far to get the right one. He figured that he would get you a comparable model and satisfy his good boyfriend quota for the year month. When he saw you buy that TV, the TV which he clearly agreed was better than the one he got you, he could’ve been pissed at himself. He knew you would do what you did, but gambled otherwise. He didn’t heed the classic hip hop lyric advice: “You got enough for the 5 then what about the 6?” In other words, if the difference between a better product is a mere bag of shells, then you should make that purchase. Sometimes being frugal is advantageous, other times frugal #REALLYMEANS that you are cheap. Being cheap might have put his cute TV on the B team, hence the bedroom.

What you also have to understand is that men have pride. Men are natural providers. And when we love someone, we want to impress them. We never want to feel like we cannot provide, and the situation above bruised his ego tremendously! He wanted to fulfill your desire and cop you this TV. When he saw you were happy and, judging by your statement, that “We celebrated at his house and I took the tv home,” you more than likely gave it up filthy to him as a sign of gratitude. So he thought you were cool with his gift. Everything was peace until he came to your house and saw a brand new Samsung 120hz 54in LED HDTV in your living room with the Hashitashi 2000 you copped her now relegated to the bedroom:

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httpv://youtu.be/61PYfxyEBYw?t=2m5s”>

His exact thoughts and facial expression could be summed up in one word:

In his mind, that was the equivalent of seeing the Christmas present he bought for someone re-gifted. On top of that, you used your own money and bought the TV that he didn’t/couldn’t buy. That TV now serves as a constant reminder of his futility. I don’t think that it was your intention to emasculate this gentleman. Speaking as a stubborn and proud man myself, I can tell you that he wouldn’t mention this to you unless you nagged and dragged it out of him. He doesn’t want to deal with a “BS conversation”, and feels he already made his point by being angry. How can you avoid this in the future? You have to use the ancient art of tact that God gave all women naturally.

I once asked an ex to return a gift and get me a better model (that she herself had owned). She gave me the “You should like all gifts I get you” swindle. My reply was simple “If you couldn’t afford it, I wouldn’t say anything. You getting me a lesser model of a brand of product in which you are a connosieur, doesn’t even make sense!” I appreciated the gift, but I would rather her get the best bang for her buck. When she used the classic women retort (“What would you say if I did the same to you?”) I told her I would cosign and return it immediately and get something she wanted. Ask any Haitian/Caribbean kid about their parents and demands for gifts. The hassle of being sub par is not worth it at all!

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Some people can’t handle blunt truth, so you have to look at situations from all angles. Think moves like that out and think about how symbolic those moves are to the other party. Maybe if you would’ve bought the other TV and put that in your bedroom, then brought your ex over and asked his opinion on what TV should go where, the situation would be more agreeable to you both. You acknowledge that you appreciate his gift, and take his feelings into consideration when making a counter purchase which may offend him. I learned years ago that you have to use intelligence in your daily interactions in order to avoid the not so obvious pitfalls. Remember that a man’s ego can be as strong as steel and as fragile as tissue paper. Be aware of your actions and how they may affect people, no matter how asinine it might appear.

StreetZ

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Comment(71)

  1. I say she should have done a Jedi Mind trick. Hang the tv he got her in the living room for a little while, have him over a few times so that he notices it. Then later, offer to host a football game night or fight party and switch out the better tv. You can always make the argument that you did it so that everyone could enjoy the game/fight 🙂

  2. This is HILARIOUS because MOST men NEVER take this much thought into anything involving a woman and her feelings. Women get called so many names for things like this AND the audacity of you to ask someone to return a gift for a better model!!!! ….speaks volumes. MEN are crybabies…and they get to be.

  3. Gifts are tricky. I'd ask outright or make sure it is what she wanted. He should have been smart about it.

  4. I have a friend who never made it to the altar who still doesn't get what the big deal was…

    She went ring shopping, her man (who I know too), couldn't afford all that… so he bought her the best he could do. In his mind, he thought a ring was better than waiting until he could afford all that. He proposed, she said yes, and then her daddy bought her a better ring.

    She still doesn't get it. Her opinion is she told him what he wanted, he couldn't afford it, her daddy could, they were getting married anyway. (Sidenote, I think this situation is messed up regardless of whether her daddy or she herself bought the second ring.)

    1. Yea, that shorti is wilin' to have he r pops buy her a better ring. I don't think I would last the end of the night if my girl did that to me.

    2. Her own father should have known better. If I were any man I would steer clear of her. It starts with a ring, which is the least important thing in the grand scheme of things, and next thing you know the father is undermining her husband throughout the marriage.

    3. Wow, her daddy aint sh!t for that one. I really think that the process of picking the ring is a time honored tradition and when the woman picks out the ring it takes away the sentiment. As for the dad, i think that he was trying to run game but did not understand our generation. People like to romantize those times of gentleman callers coming to the house everyday for two years before the fair maiden's father gave his permission to marry. He thot that the guy would be shamed into getting a bigger ring. Maybe it was only worth 2 months of salary and not 3 IDK. But they both got a wake up call because men these days dont go for all that; hope they kept the receipt.

      1. "I really think that the process of picking the ring is a time honored tradition and when the woman picks out the ring it takes away the sentiment."

        Agreed! I'll show you the type of rings I like and don't like. But I wouldn't even want to pick it out. It's the man's expression of love to his woman…he should consider her style, yes. But, he should pick it out.

    4. o_O

      I refuse to believe this happened in real life.

      And I'm equally side-eying her father for buying it. Are you kidding me?! As a man, HE should have known better, lectured his daughter for her lack of gratitude and tact, and told her to keep the ring…since ole boy probably would've hooked her up himself once his ends got right.

      Smh…

      1. Actually, I know a chick that just did that. She had her fiance cancel the order on the ring and changed it to one that she liked because all of her family knew that ring "wasn't her." I side-eyed her forever. Her fiance is still with her since "he understands" (still side-eyeing). All I had to say about that was good day and good luck!

        1. Apparently, dudes need to do a better job of peeping their woman's jewelry style, LOL!

          Fellas, what's up with this?! How do y'all pick engagement rings????

        2. i want to say it shouldn't matter but i know it matters to y'all but if that's all he could afford at the time? so you'd rather put off an engagement over a piece of jewelry? if your answer is yes then i know you are not the woman for me.
          My recent post Take Me Back to 1953

        3. If it's all he can afford, of course I wouldn't put off the engagement. If necessary the ring can always be upgraded later and when the time is right. At least try to get it in a style that she likes with smaller stones, lower grade stones or alternative stones. For instance, I want a moissanite instead of a diamond. Much less expensive for a larger stone, more brilliant and nobody can tell the difference. That way, it's more likely I can get the ring of my dreams without him spending all the money we could use for a downpayment on a house or something.

        4. EXACTLY!

          (except, I want diamonds…since they're a girl's bff and all…I can't be bff-less!)

          lol

        5. Wait…I'm googling these joints and they are quite lovely…

          I've changed my stance…I'd be overjoyed receiving the moissanite! 🙂

        6. I'm with you on the moissanite. Y'all need to get on the bandwagon. Cheaper, more brilliant, more fire, and you can get an AWESOME ring for under $1000. Seriously, you can get a Trump-level ring for under $1000, lol.

          I actually prefer alternative engagement rings period. Diamond is fine if you got it, but if I got a ring in my favorite color and my style, I'd love it and who cares about what the receipt says. We could get it at a kiosk in the mall, lol.

        7. Hilariously, Trump HAS a line of moissanite rings! At least they used to.
          But people who are convinced that diamonds are for them need to look into lab-created diamonds, they are CONFLICT-FREE. nexuslabs is an amazing retailer of these.

        8. She should've appreciated what he could afford…I totally agree with that. And engagements shouldn't be postponed over a piece of jewelry…not at all.

          But what do you guys do to consider your woman's style when you go ring shopping? I think you should consider her style since she's the one who'll be wearing it everyday. You're buying something for her…why shouldn't her style matter?

          Frankly, I rarely wear yellow gold these days. So, if my man popped up with a yellow gold engagement ring, I'd question his observation skills, lol. I can't marry a man that doesn't know me! LOL…

        9. Preach madscientist7……u betta know thats Not the woman for u….or a whole lot worse scenario's are sure to come.
          jewelry is a material thing……the love and heart of a good man is Priceless!
          I pray one day ladies will truly understand just how awesome and priceless the unconditional love and the heart of a good brotha truly is. Ladies when u capture the heart of a good man, you've got something more precious than gold….believe that.

    5. Really her father should have discussed this with the guy (offer a loan or something) if he felt his daughter should have a bigger/better ring. smh!

      1. Hold up. Can you imagine how that would make the guy feel?

        "Hey man. I saw that wack ring you bought my daughter. Here's $4k so you can get her something she deserves…"

        Really…he should have minded his daggon business. Like how do you bring that up to dude without being a butthole. This whole situation is stupid, lol…almost too stupid to be true!

    6. There's a lot of men who undermine their daughter's husband regardless of how good of a man is for their daughter. Daddy wants his little girl to be happy, then he'll do anything to make that a reality. You'd be surprised how many fathers will always undermine their daughter's boyfriend or husband. I had this conversation last summer with my boy about why he shouldn't buy her a bag, like a Michael Kors or something. I told him, I said, she really wants a Louie and you gonna spend good money on that Michael Kors and her daddy gonna get her a Louie and she'll never wear your joint. That same girl grows up to get her ring super sized by Daddy.

      1. That's beyond disrespectful. Glad my father is nothing like that, but then again he's made it clear that I need to be mindful of who I hitch my wagon to because the money train is coming to a halt as soon as I tie the knot and if we (read: me and the SO) can't afford then looks like I won't have it. LOL

      2. I had to share this with my bf during lunch…who gave me the "I sware for God…"/"I wish a [email protected]@a would" laugh & head shake…multiple times, LMBO…followed by "engagement OFF!"…followed by "oh, so she's engaged to her father now?" …followed by "what'd they do with the ring? did they trade it in for the new ring…or did they give it back to yo like 'we won't be needing this crap anymore', thanks anyway " LMBO!

        Needless to say, if/when the time comes, I won't be trying this one at home, LMBO!

      3. Exactly Doc J…..and there is a way to do it. I give it to Sharee on Real Housewives…when her daughters man came to her she took him to lunch and they had a nice civil and mature convo.
        He told her he wasn't ballin like her and she knew this of course….but she didn't belittle him at all or make him feel bad about it. She told him she understood and that she would work with him and that they would work something out. She was very kind and considerate to him, at least from what I saw.
        There is a way to tactfully do things.

  5. I witnessed my father go through and ego crushing moment with a woman he was dating when I was younger. Both of them were doing aight but my father was a helpless romantic. He gave whatever he could when he could despite he really didn't have it. I remember him dragging my sister and I out to a store called Hecht's (RIP) and picking out a very nice, colorful yet stylish dress. He made sure it was the right size and had it gift wrapped and the whole nine. He presented the dress to her at Xmas and I thought all was well. Days later she showed up with a fur or suede coat on. She was prancing around showing it off to him. I remember him asking "what happened to the dress?" She said smiling "I took it back and exchanged it for this coat. I needed this coat."

    My father's face just said all sorts of thing at that point. I think that was a low blow.

  6. Streetz, all dimples aside you do realize you did the exact same thing that woman did, right? Except it was okay because she could afford it, and was a connosieur, and it wasn't okay for dude because men have egoes?? I mean if the message was that some people can take that kind of #GiftSlap and some can't, so you have to judge each situation accordingly, than no prob, I get it. I may have missed the point.

    1. But regarding men and their ego, I once dated a guy and about 5 months into our courtship he started seriously shopping for a house. Anyone knows that the last 6 months before you buy a house is a tightrope walk on your budget, so I declared a moratorium on OUR spending. Our dates were either free or drasticaly cut down. I cooked most nights. We did the park a LOT. We'd chip in for groceries and I'd bring lunch (we worked a few blocks from each other). He closed on the house, then announced that he wanted to "take things slow" with us. I never forgot that lesson.
      Consideration for the male ego will hand you more "L's" than a little bit, so make sure you take that "L" for someone WORTH IT. Who was the commenter that furnished a basement for her then-boyfriend-now-husband because of a fight over Sunday Sports? Worth it. Some cases, not so much.

      1. I see your point, but there are no L's when you are geniunely being yourself. If you do things for the sheer reason to get something in return than expect chances to not be in your favor every time. Sometimes we as women tend to factor ourselves in situations where we didn't actually get a clear and direct invitation. If he misled to believe one thing and did another than that is wrong on his part. Unfortunately, he just may have wanted to explore his options now as a new homeowner. I think what you did was absolutely fab and please reconsider changing such a desireable trait, consideration, because of some opportunistic, unappreciative prick.

        1. I tell people all the time, I do not treat people well because I am trying to bribe them into staying around. I do it because it's who I am, and no bad apple will change who I am. I just learned I have to be perhaps a bit more discerning as to who I think is er…worthy of all that niceness, lol.

        2. If you are concerned with being slighted maybe perhaps you are looking for something in return. There is nothing wrong with looking for a fair exhange and discernment will help out a lot with that. However, when something is geniunely given, the reward is in the act of charity not the response to it.

  7. First, Dr. J's comment has blown me. I wish one of my friends would, smh. That's some mess right there and I don't blame that brother for leaving her and her ring. Ridiculous!

    ANYHOOT, I think she should have put the new TV in her room, brought ole boy over, and asked HIM what she should do…as someone else suggested. OR…hold off buying the new TV for 6 mos to a year. Then, start telling dude about this hot TV you're thinking about getting for your bedroom…let him be a part of the will I/won't I…where will I put it process. By then, he might even throw a few $ in for you. Point? You always have to consider the other persons feelings in instances like this. You have to assume that his gifts demotion would affect him…

    1. I am actually still trying to figure out why she bought a second TV in the first place for this to make sense to me. I have a very strict appliance policy in relationships, partially because of that reason alone. Let somebody tell me something I spent half a grand on isn't "good enough"!

      1. "Let somebody tell me something I spent half a grand on isn't "good enough"!"

        Not that she actually said that, but the demotion definitely showed that the TV was no longer good enough for the living room, lol. How could you not know he would feel that? He had other things he could've spent his money on (his daughter) but he opted to invest in your comfort as an act of love. I just don't get the surprise…

  8. My problem (not that it matters) begins with…. "I work hard, don’t have kids…..so I’m able to do buy most of what I want….he had a kid and other responsibilities." – My thoughts: is this becoming an issue?

    She should have bought her own damn TV to begin with. Ungrateful is just that, ungrateful! Why ask for something knowing that you are particular about your "wants"? Not that she needed it, but it was something that she wanted. A TV is a TV. If I send my man out to buy me tampons and instead of my Tampax Pearls, he come back with Kotex, I'm still going to use them because it does the same job.

    Sorry fellas, that was the best analogy I could come up with 😉 lol
    My recent post Emotionally Stable

  9. This is why men are lame. Weak ass egos that need constant feeding and attention. I keep demanding that men get over it and be LOGICAL (see what I did there). But my demands go unheeded. Waaah!

    I have an ego with one thing. Cooking. My ex knows I can throw down like nobodys business. My mother is a legendary cook, so much so, every Thanksgiving people show up unannounced to get grub. And order her cakes and pay good money. I cook some things better than her. She keeps asking me how to make tamales. I’m not gonna tell her. That might have been TMI, since im incognegra. But I’m thinking of piercing the cartoon veil ,so….

    Anyways, I hooked my husband with some cooking. He should be loyal. But what does he do? HE goes to his aunt’s place for dinner before he comes home. So she can click about how his wife doesnt feed him. I told him about that mess. Don’t have another woman cooking for you if you know whats good for you. I dont care if it is your mama. I can make it better. I will learn and i will blow her out the water. Don’t disrespect me. He kept doing it. That was the beginning of the end. I started hiring random men to fix things around the house, although he had every tool known to man. How ya like it?

      1. Uh, you people LOVE to jump to the conclusion that a woman is angry. Didn’t hear none of you calling the boyfriend angry, did I? Did you notice the comedic tone? The fact that this is past? Nah…. Dude. Its not that serious.

      1. Don’t matter why. The point is he was disrespecting me. Just like it was disrespectful for me to have somebody come fix the sink when i knew he could do it. And he didnt like it either watching that guy under the sink. That’s the point. Respect the territory.

  10. Sooooo she only paid for one TV but she now has two. AND because they broke up she doesn't have to watch sports on either one of them. This girl is #winning. lol

    I understand this man's frustration. I've been there BUT how does a person give a gift and then there are conditions on the gift? Once the gift has been given, the receiver has the right to do what she dang well pleases with it. Maybe she wanted the TV in her room so it can watch her while she's sleeping. She'll feel closer to him and what not. IDK but it isn't his house, he isn't calling shots. AND I have to point out that she asked for help to pick it out, not for him to buy it. Clearly, she had TV preferences that he didn't consider and while she liked the TV he bought for her, she had another one in mind for the living room. Dudes is #sensitive sometimes.

    1. Dude def needs to be called to the table for not making sure he was getting her a TV with the bells and whistles she wanted since he was putting up that kind of money. BUT…on the flip side, she accepted it! She shouldn't have accepted it if he bought it for her living room but it wasn't what she wanted for her living room. She should've been honest with him then…

      1. Have you ever gotten something and once you got it home, you were not all that enamored with it anymore? Maybe that's what happened here. She was just so psyched that he got a TV. She was blinded by the big box then she got it home was like oh, this is it? She can't renege on a thank you so she just lived with it. Plus, it doesn't say how long they were together. I'm more inclined to tell my hubs that I've been with for a hundred years that I don't really like something than I would be with a dude I've only been kicking it with for a few months, don't wanna seem like a betch. But she still ended up looking like one I guess.

        1. I have…but its hard to slide myself into this one, lol. My bf is so picky that I grill him about what he wants prior to special occasions (tell me 5 things you've been eyeing) and just get him what he wants, lol. I'm not that picky where I'd pull this kind of move. I'm not a gadget person at all. I don't have an iPad, lol. I didn't get an iPod till '09! I would've been THRILLED that I could now go on a shopping spree with my TV money! LMBO! #WINNING

        2. That sounds like me too, be making it rain at the mall with my TV money. And girl I don't even have an iPod but I digress. FTR, I wouldn't do this to a person but I can see how a person would be moved to act like this. Plus, I was just trying to go in a different direction with my comment. I think both of them should've been more upfront with their expectations.

  11. Interesting. Four months after my ex-husband and I started dating, he bought me some diamond earrings for my birthday. They were not my style. At all. However, I wore them because I appreciated so much the thought and sentiment behind them. When it came time for engagement rings, my XH knew me well enough by then to buy me a cute $5 ring from this quirky art store while we were in Savannah (we call it the shaky ring) and let me pick out the official ring, which ended up being custom designed for me.

    Not saying that this young lady shouldn't have exactly what she wanted, but you have to be a little sensitive to other folks feelings when you're in relationships.

    My recent post From the SLS Archives: "Why do we do this to ourselves?"

  12. Who hurt you? seriously are you injured?!

    To clarify the situation: I had asked for one model and got another. I asked why and was told that she just wanted to get that one. I was gonna return it and cop the model I wanted but she did it. I actually believe in transparency instead of faking jacks. If that makes me a crybaby, then I guess it is true that you should just tell women what they want to hear instead of the truth.

    So mad I wasnt around to see this original comment when it dropped
    My recent post [EVENTS] First Saturdays #AfterTheMuseum Cinco De Mayo Edition!

  13. You know how people say a hit dog will holler….well I'm hollering! lol
    I am the person who posed the question to Streetz

    @Amaris I never said/implied that the TV he bought for me wasn't good enough…I love the TV and I watch it most nights in my bedroom, however I prefer to watch sports and play my xBox on the larger TV…when I was talking to him about helping me pick out the TV that I wanted I told him about the things that I wanted it to be able to do…I tried to include him from the start by asking him to come with me to pick it out…even though I knew exactly what I wanted…..I thought that including him would be a good thing….mind you the TV he has in his Living Room is about the same size as the one I now have….
    I am still appreciative that he thought of me. I had recently moved to a new state for Grad School and didn't bother to bring a lot of things from home so buying two TVs was something that I wanted…I am well aware that it wasn't needed…but then again I probably never need to buy another pair of shoes again, but I will.

    @Candi I never asked him to get me anything…truthfully I think he got me a TV because I went all out for his son (we went shopping together) and got him several things that he needed/wanted replaced.

    @cynicaloptmst81 When he gave it to me he never said here is the TV I got you for your Living Room…I seriously didn't think it was an attempt to get a TV for my Living Room….if someone bought you a shirt would you expect them to dictate when and where you wore it?

    @krystllyght I still like the TV, HE was the one who compared it to the TV in my Living Room…I have no issues with it at all…I didn't then and I still don't….like whenever he would come over HE would talk badly about the TV and then wanna play XBOX/watch a movie/surf the internet on the TV in the living room….anytime he'd talk badly about the TV I'd stop him….because as corny as this may sound it was about the thought and it really meant a lot to me.

    @SingLikeSassy I appreciate what you said….this was surely a lesson learned…the hard way

    @Dr. J, the ring situation hurt MY feelings I can't imagine….the young lady brings NEW meaning to Daddy issues…I wonder if the signs were there about her issues before and the man decided to ignore them and press on….

    I also would not have accepted such an extravagant gift from him if he had purchased the TV I ended up getting for my Living Room. Thanks for all the comments..some were easier to swallow than others lol

    1. LOL @ "I'm hollering"!

      Well, in your email, it says you asked him to help you look for a TV for your Living Room…then he surprises you with a TV. I'm surprised you didn't assume that was why he bought it…for you to put in the room where you were looking for his help to pick out a TV for, lol. That's certainly what I gathered… *shrugs*

      Of course, shirts are worn whenever wherever so…kinda like comparing apples and oranges to me.

      But, thanks for clearing that up though, lol…maybe if he'd communicated his intentions it would've prevented the problem…

    2. @cynicalOptmst81….I'm usually pretty perceptive….but the fact that I was looking for a TV for my Living Room and he bought me one….that in his mind was for my Living Room went totally over my head… I looked at the size of the tv and ASSumed it would be perfect on my chest of drawers….I was in full decoration mode! *facepalm*. Way to go future attorney! Thank u for pointing out what should have been obvious…now I feel terrible…..our relationship didn't end because of TV-gate, but I do regret not thinking it through..l had my eyes on the TV I eventually bought and even got some XBox games that he could play if he was at my place and I needed to study….def suffered from myopia in this case…..appreciate your comment and shining a light on my madness!

    3. I am a little sad that the only comment you noticed I made was the little one, when I really wanted you to notice this:

      "Consideration for the male ego will hand you more "L's" than a little bit, so make sure you take that "L" for someone WORTH IT."

      Girl, if it turned out he wasn't right for you, than all it was is a lesson learned for the man that IS. Now that you have the lesson, put it in your pocket and save all that crow for a man worth the trouble. Even if you think that TV-gate was the catalyst for your breakup y'all aren't getting back together, so chalk it up to the game and be happy that you are making strides towards being that special person for your sepcial person to come. I only wrote my story so you could see that you can do everything "right" and STILL take an "L" so to speak, so don't feel too awful. Life's about lessons and when you stop learning you die, so lessons are a great thing!

      1. @Amaris…. I got your other jewels…I only high
        Ignited one because I clearly missed it the first two times lol
        Been there, done that with taking an L….but that's life….platonic and romantic relationships.

  14. His hurt feelings were on him. She liked his gift, just wanted it in the bedroom. It’s her home and she shouldn’t have had to feel guilty about what she wants in it and where she wants to put things. #manup

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