Seeking John Preston

If there is a single fictional man who best represents what could bring me out of romantic retirement, it is John “Big” Preston.

I can already hear the stampede of anti-Big arguments rushing toward me. But I am here in defense of the roguish commitmentphobe who doesn’t let either of your relationships with other people impede your on-and-off-but-honestly-never-really-off affair.

I won’t list the Anti-Big arguments here. For one, they bore me and for two, you can find them in think pieces, Twitter threads, and memes across the galaxy.

There is a bevy of reasons why Big is my type of hype. Obviously, being tall, objectively handsome, charming, rich, and good in bed is an excellent starting point. There’s his self-sufficiency (Other than a disastrous attempt at fondue, did you ever see Carrie cook for him? No. You saw her posted at his counter, sipping wine and being clever while he whipped up pasta sauce). And his desired separation between church and state (As an agnostic non-churchgoer who has mostly dated black men, I would be overjoyed to hear I could skip a church outing with my paramour’s mother).

While all the above rates highly for me, what puts Big off the charts is that no matter who he or Carrie dated, he remained a phone call away.

It’s a relationship status that my friend Mari coined as “fuxwitchu.”

What Carrie never quite appreciated was that at any point in her and Big’s pre-marriage relationship, she could have made a phone call for just about anything. I get it. She was a romantic who believed in all-consuming, boundary-defying love.

I, however, am not.

So Big’s steadfast concern for Carrie’s well-being when they weren’t actively dating always jumps out for me. When she called, he answered. When she needed a down payment to buy her apartment, he offered without blinking. She didn’t take it, but her reaction is beside the point. She needed it; he was more than willing to provide it without question or stipulation.

If I’m to ever have a love life again (and the way I feel about the opposite sex lately, that’s not likely), it will look something like that. A little open-ended and hard to clearly define. Steeped in an enduring mutual affection that expresses itself with one, simple question…

“You good?”

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a girl named rob

I used to be "skinny black girl." I'm now a slender woman on the other side of 35 with no new moniker who is not quite interested in writing under her given name. Still writing my life, a day (or some months) at a time. Also, still black.

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