OPUS Mag

Far from timid • Caveat Lector

Trap Church: The Lightning Strike

Trap Church: The Lightning Strike

When black girl magic meets the carefree black boy...

“Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud.”

Read Genesis 29. All of it. It’s short. Relax.

Once, I spent the entire night at a bar staring at this guy staring at me. I’m not sure how much ‘come hither’ eye is appropriate but I know for damn sure I was giving him more than his allowance.

I went to Waffle House alone that night. While I waited for my waffle and OJ I went over all of the things I could’ve done differently in my mind.

Should I have gone over? If he had come over, would I have accepted his advances? Did I look like a stalker when I was checking him out? I think I may follow him on Twitter or maybe he follows me. Oh God, I was drunk last night. Did I leave something crazy on the timeline? No, that doesn’t matter. It shows character and diversity. Why can’t I just be great?

My friends all have differing opinions on why I’m single. You’re crazy. You’re too busy. You’re too affectionate. You’re too dope. You don’t go out. You go out too much. Look.

I hate relationship advice. I always have. I say it often. From the ‘list making’ grandmothers to the ‘take home who you want’ Twitter honeys. Everybody in the world has something to say about who, how, what, and when you would, could, or should make a connection with someone.

You need to be at this party, wearing this dress, with these shoes, with fleeky brows and moisturized skin; or you need to be in this dress, with these shoes, holding your Bible, on a Wednesday evening after having studied the good book. When the stars align---then, and only then---will your future dude be waiting for you next to your whip, holding your favorite wing special and a Tahitian treat whilst reciting Outkasts greatest hits verbatim.

Insert side eye. There are way too many variables to consider in each scenario; and truth be told, while I love a wing special; I’m the descendant of Jamaican pride. I prefer my dude know that the way to my heart is paved with jerk chicken, curry goat, rice and peas, and a cool cream soda. Oh. My. Lord.

He might even slide into my DMs with some cool lines from a 90s RnB favorite like Beauty by Dru Hill and an invite to an art show or a food truck festival. Jesus, is that you?

Pause. Let’s get this out of the way. Here’s the thing; somebody great, once said something great and none of what they said matters to me because this is my piece. So, fact check if you’d like but I cannot be bothered. This is my disclaimer:

I’m not quoting the good book word for word or here for you Bible scholars to come for me in my mentions. This, is trap church. I’m just letting the people know how my mind processed your favorite Biblical characters and their lifestyles. This in no way reflects the way I feel about Jesus because… he’s that dude!

Anyway, take a moment to think of your favorite love quote or story. Now, set that down on the table next to you because it’s probably a product of the male-dominated, bigotry or post-colonial paradigm that you have found yourself in. It’s okay, me too.

We can argue all day on Twitter about who should approach first, how long you should wait before texting back, but the one thing I know for sure is that, in lust, like, and love the black woman and the black man go together like slow rain and Sunday morning. There is an innate, uncontrollable yearn for each other whether it be a platonic or romantic relationship. We all we got and sometimes a relationship like that takes time.

Did you read Genesis 29? This is the most church some of you are you going to get this week so I need to know that you’re fully invested. If you haven’t, take a moment now.

Jacob, worked for seven years thinking he would be marrying Rachel on the 2,555th day; and when he was given Leah instead he vowed to work for seven more.

Wait. Wait. Wait. *Rolls eyes. Paces back and forth down the hallway. Sits back down at desk and types furiously*

I was prepared to begin this series with remarks on black love through the eyes of Jacob and Rachel; and when I began to study so that I could have the slightest chance at making this thing plain I realized---this iconic love story is way more complex than I really needed it to be; and I would be doing both you and myself a disservice if I rush pass the meat of it.

So, at first glance, you have a man, Jacob, who sees a woman, Rachel, at a well and instantly falls in love. He, then, decides that no amount of time will keep him from marrying this woman. So he works, seven years just to get the chance to take her hand. Unfortunately, her father sees fit to okie doke him into marrying the older, less attractive sister, Leah. But he’s in love. Jacob barters with the father for the woman he loves, works seven more years, and they all live happily ever after.

Not. Let me break this down a little further because the events that ensue are typical of a Vh1 reality series. Please, be patient with me as I attempt to navigate this thing with you.

Jacob is that guy at Publix. He’s in the organic section. He’s fresh off work. He’s checking out the alkaline water options, and just when he’s about to make his selection, this baddie bumps into him. Cue Rachel.

She’s in her business casual, with her headset still hanging around her neck because she’s fresh off her call center gig. It’s been a long day of making and placing calls.

She, too, wants to grab some alkaline water and maybe a bag of kettle chips.

She looks up into Jacob’s eyes, because for these purposes he’s tall, very tall.

Jacob, takes a step back, rubs his hand down his trap beard, scans her profile--yep, baddie; and like a young, dapper gentleman, Jacob, that guy, shoots his shot. He hands her the bottle of water in his hands and goes in for the kill. Boom!

Done. In true, “I met somebody and I need to know if he’s already in a situationship, married, or a deadbeat” fashion, Rachel goes home and she’s telling everybody. She’s on the phone. She’s on Twitter. She’s checking Snapchat.

“Chile, I was in the Publix just a few minutes ago and you ain’t gone guess who I saw. Yeah, girl. Jacob. That guy.” She’s hype. Her family’s hype. Her girls are hype. She’s been single for a while. I imagine that night while the food was being blessed Rachel’s prayer went like this:

Lord. Let this be him. If it isn’t, please, let me at least have a chance to get cute (read bathe) and have a nice meal (read bread and wine). Also Lord, if he’s crazy let him be fun crazy (read chases sheep in the field) and not snapped crazy (read kills people for sport). Amen.

Shortly after, Jacob, that guy, falls through where they live. Rachel’s father is mad happy. He’s like, “Yo, this fam.”

Jacob doesn’t hesitate. Immediately, he sets his intentions like a young, dapper gentleman would. “Sir, with your permission I’d like to give your youngest daughter babies.”

Pops is here for it. One less cell phone on the family plan. They make a deal. Jacob chooses to work.

At the end of the first seven years, Pops realizes he can’t let Rachel go while Leah is still at the house. So when the lights go low, he sneaks Leah into Jacob and grown people things pop off. Jacob wakes up with an older, less attractive wife.

Okie doke. Jacob is that guy though. He decides to work seven more years so that he can have Rachel, too because… whipped.

Seven years later... Leah is married to Jacob who is married to Rachel. Now that everyone is successfully tied up in this polygamous affair what’s left to do but procreate. You get a baby. You get a baby. Everyone gets a baby. Except Rachel.

Rachel, is the cute wife that keeps her nails and hair done but doesn’t cook. Leah, is the side chick that knows she isn’t the favorite but recognizes and utilizes her strengths. Leah, starts popping babies out, off rip. Rachel becomes jealous, gives her servant to Jacob---boom---baby. Leah, not to be outdone, does the same---boom---more babies.

If you haven’t realized we’re coming up on the episode in the reality series right before the finale where everybody’s pregnant and Vh1 keeps dropping hints like we don’t already know who the daddy is. Someone call Steebie.

The servants are pregnant, Leah is pregnant, and Rachel is finally… pregnant. Jacob, well, he’s that guy.

So now, that we have the story out of the way. Let’s dive in.

No worries. I’ll go first.

Like, Ruth and Boaz, Jacob and Rachel’s story is a trap church classic. Everyone reads it and commends Jacob for his resilience and persistence; his ability to keep working until he was able to marry Rachel. We laugh at the fact that the Bible, the good book, the sacred text, the word of God says, states, declares that Leah might be ugly. We don’t even blink when this man takes his first wife, isn’t happy, and says, “Nah bruh. I’ll take another one.”

As a matter of fact, most Bible readers look at Pops like, bro, why would you even set Jacob up like that. He’s that guy. Fake.

All of this is cool until you really start to think about the implications of the initial situationship and the inevitable marital covenant that is this iconic “love” story.

Now, if you and bae have an understanding of any kind that leaves room for a Leah or a Rachel to be added to your equation then please, be great; but this may or may not be for you.

I would also like to point out that a lot of you are Leah and think you’re Rachel. Here is your opportunity to live your truth. Ready, set, Go!

While all of my Leah’s get their lives together I want to talk to those of you who still believe in the concept of practicing selfishness. I, personally, am the greatest kind of selfish. Naturally, it’s easier to talk about. Besides, it’s cuffing season so let’s take this story and see if we can’t get you cuffed or it’s going to be a long winter. Insert blank stare emoji.

Journeying back to this whole innate, uncontrollable force field that brings the black woman crashing back into the black man and vice versa I realize I’m not qualified to explain this connection. You’ll have to check in with the many woke relationship experts that frequent your timeline.

What I do want to address are the dynamics of the relationship and the type of people Jacob, Rachel, and Leah had to be in order to give this relationship paradigm a jumpstart.

Jacob, my carefree black boy; Rachel, my magical black girl; Leah, also magical but not the kind that Jacob can love at first sight; and that’s cool---all play significant roles in this situationship.

At some point, ladies, we have played both roles. We have been Leah. We have been Rachel and every man has been Jacob. We can be real or we cannot but the truth of the matter is we’ve all played our role.

To be continued…

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