Rihanna, Chris Brown and Me: A Valentine’s Day Story


Before I go in, I’d like to share a story with you.

I’ve never had much success with Valentine’s Day. How does one measure success on Valentine’s Day you ask? Well I’m told you can only go by your last attempt at um, greatness and if my last run-in with Cupid’s big day was any indication, I did not succeed in showing someone I cared. I didn’t pass the test, didn’t hold the trophy, there was no medal for the guy who started his celebration of the holiday by cooking dinner for that special someone and then was left standing in an apartment complex parking lot alone at 1am because that person freaked when you showed that you did care and left in the middle the night with essentially no explanation.

Yep, that was me. Hell, she even bought that movie “Valentine’s Day,” and brought it over. That DVD is probably somewhere in an Atlanta landfill. It will probably get more love there.

Doesn’t matter much now I guess. She’s gone and I’ve moved on, but bad relationship stories are what we love to discuss, debate and hate as if we’re involved, like we know what folks are thinking and how they’re feeling. We’ve got it all figured out, but we couldn’t be further from the truth, especially from the outside looking in.

With that said, I want you to look at the picture above and let the image marinate for a minute. OK,  good. Now hold that image.

Yes, Chris Brown and Rihanna are back together again. And everyone from my mother to Katy Perry aren’t feeling it. Do I think it is a mistake? Yes. Will Chris Brown break her heart again? More than likely. But I do not know either of these folks, nor do I claim to be any kind of relationship expert, but I do have an opinion having been involved with two women at separate points in my life who were both physically and mentally abused in their previous relationship.

There was the girl my sophomore year at Syracuse who I’d been hanging with that one day showed up to our fine arts lecture wearing sunglasses. At the time, I knew that her ex was controlling and told her he was furious about her seeing me. He went to school with us too. A girl in Chanel frames in the middle of hundreds of undergrads was crazy enough to see, but after asking what it was all about I got an even crazier response.

“This doesn’t concern you,” she told me.

Years later, I met that girl who would eventually leave me hanging in the parking lot. She was emotionally callous and had some serious intimacy issues because as it was told me via friends she dated a guy who would throw her into walls and choke her to prove a point. The one time she did talk to me about it she shrugged it off as a series of narcotic-fueled love spats.

I guess you could say these two broke my heart, but it hurt more to see the lasting, damaging effects others before me had on them. I didn’t understand it then and I don’t exactly get it now.

I say all of this to make clear that I don’t understand Chris Brown and Rihanna because I’ve never been able to understand how people in similar situations in my life made the choices they did. Did Chris Brown once beat Rihanna into the world’s most blogged about police photo? Did a restraining order follow? Did Jay-Z threaten to end Chris Brown’s career because of it?

These are all questions we know the answers to and they make for some good online reading and just about anything involving #TeamRiRi or #TeamBreezy goes viral these days. But when Rihanna put out this video…

…you had to know she was missing her old boo. I mean forget the physical appearance of the model playing her counterpart and his eerie similarities to Chris Brown. It’s really the car argument shot at about 2:51 in that should speak volumes to the folks who follow this stuff.

Then there was that good ole Rolling Stone cover story that got the people going. In it, Rihanna said…

“He doesn’t have the luxury of fucking up again,” she says. “That’s just not an option. I can’t say that nothing else will ever go wrong. But I’m pretty solid in the knowing that he’s disgusted by that. And I wouldn’t have gone this far if I ever thought that was a possibility.” 

Now come back to that photo from the top. In light of all of this information I’ve shared and what we think we know about these two, I’ve constantly been hearing the “good girls like bad guys” shtick.

I’m not buying it.

What makes Rihanna such a good girl? I’m not questioning her character or morals, but the last time I checked, blunt smoking, tat-heavy ladies who give middle fingers aren’t exactly goodie two shoes. Trust, I’m no square and a girl most certainly deserves to have her fun, but let’s be realistic about who we’re talking about. Chris Brown didn’t get back together with Taylor Swift (don’t worry Ms. Swift, there’s a post with your name written all over it coming), he got back with the girl who brought us “Cockiness.” Just sayin’. RiRi is a “bad girl” right? Well bad girls like bad boys, end of story.

And guess what? Chris Brown is here to stay if the video and song below aren’t hint enough…

…Maybe her other quotes about Chris Brown in her Rolling Stone cover can help us make sense of this in a way.

“Even if it’s a mistake, it’s my mistake.”

What I take from that is what I’ve been saying all along. At the end of the day this is her choice. The why, how and WTF aren’t for us to decide. We can spend hours going back and forth over a relationship we’re not in, or we could just leave it to the parties that be to sort themselves out. Their love is not for us to understand whether we approve or not.

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