Season 2 of the hit series “Insecure” aired this past Sunday and it was a doozy. Issa (Issa Rae) and Lawrence (Jay Ellis) are living in a space of discovering if they still want to be in love. Where they are is fine and to be expected, but there is someone being caught in the cross hairs, Tasha. Tasha the overly friendly bank teller Lawrence is seen busting down on his taken back pillow at the end of season one. Tasha is now the new distraction in Lawrence’s life and she is being used for her emotional/sexual labor, plus her home, every weekend.
My heart breaks for Tasha, because I know her story and how it is going to end. Tasha is every girl who creates a fresh relationship in her mind out of a rebound situation. She is the girl that melts under the false loving gaze of a tepid partner, who feels like if she gives enough support and asks fewer questions, she will have her shot at a “real” relationship. This is false of course, because she is nothing more than a pastime on weekends when he needs an escape and when the last stroke is finished, so is he until Friday.
“Tasha is every girl who creates a fresh relationship in her mind out of a rebound situation.”
I know this life all too well, modifying yourself on a whim to match the level of interest of a man you made too much room for and to make him feel easy about the disappointments he gives you. An example is the scene where they are having unprotected sex and Tasha moans out “Zaddy.” Lawrence’s ego is stoked, you can tell he is attributing that outburst to his new found energetic sexual prowess. However, what is actually happening is that she is giving him a title, albeit a little, cute, silly one, in the hopes that she will receive a title in return, that she will receive the same energy she is putting into him.
Girls like Tasha are emotional dumping grounds for this kind of man. We take on problems brought in “hobosexual” knapsacks and strap them on our backs, carrying them with us long after situationships have ended. We open our hearts and bodies to men looking to take up temporary space in our lives as they try and decipher their feelings for someone else on air mattresses, leaning beds, or futons in friends living rooms. They are in transition and in no space to be a true partner, but instead of explaining that, they use the vagueness of unpurposed quality time to pacify any concerns. Women like us are literal voids, we are just a space where no thinking happens, we are the women who are passed thru and never seen, not even by the man we end up loving. Women like me, know the truths of this situation. We know, it’ll fizzle out and she’ll be stuck with unresolved feelings for a man she can’t properly call her “ex” and she will not be able to actually call him to figure it out.
“Girls like Tasha are emotional dumping grounds for men like Lawrence.”
Eventually, like a loaned out mixtape, Tasha will have to return Lawrence. After having worn out the songs of his existence, memorizing his emotional lyrics by heart. This will change her forever and I hope for the better. Tasha deserves better than being the trumpet player in Lawrence’s Blues or being a bit player in this melodrama between him and Issa. Right now, she feels accomplished, but we know she is merely a sandpaper girl, being used to smooth out the rough patches in Lawrence, so that he can go back in the world a masterpiece to be marveled at by someone else.
No one deserves to have that much emotional labor taken from them with no deposits. However, this is how you learn to protect the sacredness of your spirit and to cover your heart in the protective armor that will keep you from being depleted ever again. This will not be an easy lesson, this will not feel good. However, for girls like Tasha, for women like me, this is where we learn our most important lesson. How to survive after brokenness.