To Have or Have Not

I did not know that Spike Lee had re-fashioned his film She’s Gotta Have It (1986) into a Netflix series!

nola 87
Tracy Camilla Johns as Nola Darling (1986)

Hmm, I had almost forgotten the film, which I watched a few years after it was released. I know I didn’t get it then. I didn’t get any of Spike Lee’s films. Back then there wasn’t much I got if it wasn’t in the great British/American tradition.

However, I remember I was impressed by Nola Darling (’86). I liked her attitude towards life and love, and men. I didn’t understand it, but I liked it and I admired her. I was jealous of her ability to love three men (and a woman) just enough without giving herself to them.

I’ve always known, but never acknowledged that I’m not a one-man woman. However, I’ve been a one-man woman in my relationships because I am not a jerk. I don’t want to hurt people. Also, I know I’m not evolved enough to be happy about my man having sex with other women and have no wish to be a hypocrite.

Sure, I have double standards, and I’ve been trying to figure out why (apart from the fact that I can be a bit of a dick) I do.

I think I am not secure enough to believe a man could sleep with others and still always prefer me. I know there are different things I appreciate in different men. I like them each in different ways because they’re different people. That’s the way I feel about my girlfriends and that’s how they feel about me. Why should it be different when it’s a man? Hmm … see? I hate how romantic relationships turn me into a green-eyed demon.

I admit it — I am possessive as fuck — not to the extent that I won’t let my partners have friends of the opposite sex (although look at how that ended with Martin and Ee Kee — he left her for me), but I don’t like them polyamorous despite being polyamorous myself.

I think polyamory is complicated and hard work and I don’t think I can handle such a lifestyle. I don’t think I can do the ‘committed to each other, but sleeping around’ kind of relationship. I don’t want to battle with my own jealousy and my partner’s. I don’t want to feel hurt and to hurt others.

Nola 2017
DeWanda Wise as Nola Darling (2017)

I figure the only option is to remain single. Like Nola Darling. Ish. Thing is, I don’t know if the current Nola Darling really knows what she’s about. Of course, I would need to re-watch the original to know what I think of Nola (’87) now, but Nola (2017/2018) … she’s too much of a child for me to take seriously. And her refusal to commit seems more about selfishness and self-conscious artistic posturing than a well-considered lifestyle choice. She’s twenty-seven after all. Haha, spoken like an old woman, right? Damn right!

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