The Male Ego, Part I — The Authoritarian

About a week ago, my friend Carmen <> and I were out for a night on the town. Even though it was a Wednesday night, we said “What the heck? It’s nice out!” I mean, can you think of a better reason to hit the town?

Anyway, we’d just left a tasting for Remy Martin’s new product “Remy V” — very delicious, by the way — and were headed to Stadium. Yes, the gentleman’s club. (Side note: I find this term to be sexist. Please believe me, the gentle ladies — and rough ones — enjoy such establishments JUST as much as the fellas).

OK. Focus, Mercia. As we were making a right turn off Bladensburg onto Queens Chapel, our trip was delayed. Why, you ask? There was a cop car in front of my car, that had a tractor-trailer in front of it, which had another 18-wheeler in front it. The latter was attempting to turn into a warehouse garage. Cool. I peeped the situation and waited patiently…for 10 minutes (or until the light turned from greed to read 10 times, depending on how you’d like to think about it).

Naturally, we were growing impatient. After all, we were anxious to get to the strip-club debauchery that surely awaited us. So, Carmen hit me with a few hypothetical situations. Maybe, the stationery tractor-trailer was broke down or maybe the cop was giving him a fine for some infraction. “That makes sense,” I thought. By now, the mega-vehicle that was at the front of our “line” had made his way into the garage but no other vehicle, including mine, had moved yet.

This is where I made the decision to go around the police car. Carmen kept a close, careful eye on the area ahead of the tractor-trailer — we had to be sure that as I went around the stalled vehicles, opposing traffic wouldn’t come down the road and hit us dead on.

After a few more minutes, I had my chance. I quickly, yet carefully, went around the police car and tractor-trailer. No sooner than I did, the police car suddenly came to life and chased me down, horn and sirens BLAZING. I pull over. From the gate, I’m 50% sure he’s upset I went around him.

The police officer approaches my car. He’s a black man around 45 years of age with an average height and build. I note that his eyes are a light, honey brown — not very typical of folk with a deep-brown complexion. He may have been attractive…if it weren’t for the piercing stare, seven wrinkles in his forehead and unmistakable scowl.

His greeting was less than professional. No “hello” or “good evening,” just “license and registration.” I handed both over. He looked down at them for two seconds and then whipped his head back up to me, barking “What makes you think you can do something I didn’t do? Why did you go around me when you saw me waiting for that truck to move?!?”

I was taken aback by his demeanor but replied sweetly, “Officer, I wasn’t sure what you were doing. I didn’t know if you were assisting the driver with something or pulling him over.”

Well, before I could get the last word out my mouth, he nastily sniped, “Did you see my lights on?!? If I was pulling him over there would be lights!”

Even though I was thinking “Is it a rule that I have to pay attention to a cop’s lights being on when they aren’t for me? Like, do I get paid to know all the police visual signals,?” I said “You’re right, Officer. Your lights weren’t on. I apologize.”

Without any response, he rolled his eyes and walked away in a huff. Ten minutes passed. During these ten minutes, several young men walked passed my cars giggling and pointing at my misfortune. Great.

Then, here comes “back-up.” I don’t know why this overly aggressive officer felt he needed help but whatever. Back-up comes and gets out his car. He shares a few words with the apprehending officer and then walks up to the back my car. From there, he BEATS ON MY TRUNK AND THUMPS ON THE PASSENGER SIDE OF MY CAR. I  don’t remember what I said, but I do remember my face being contorted as I peered in my rearview and side-view mirrors, watching in horror. By now, Carmen is cussing out the officers, their descendants, and ancestors. Thankfully, her window was up.

Soon after this, back-up gets back in his car and pulls off. Five minutes later, the angry officer comes back. He says, and I do quote, “Here’s your license plate and registration, and here’s your citation.” He then turns on his heels, and walks away.

There is no explanation of why he pulled me over, no explanation of the citation, and no bidding farewell. I am stunned. I look down at the ticket — $50, driving on the wrong side of the road. Before I could catch myself, I blurt out “Are you f*cking serious?.” I know he heard me. I looked at him through my side-view as I said it and he noticeably paused as the expletive flew out my mouth. He walked on, though.

I find it funny that this “officer of the law” couldn’t even look me in my eye when he literally tossed the ticket in my lap. It’s probably because he knew he was full of shit.

In any case, I attribute this whole incident to one thing — THE MALE EGO. I use the first thing this man ever said to me as evidence: “”What makes you think you can do something I didn’t do?” <–THERE IT IS.

Sure, we all have egos but men in authoritarian positions take it waaaay too far. Most ladies can get out of minor situations like the one I described by smiling sweetly, talking softly and being extra polite/charming. Not with this guy! He had a point to make and I’m sure he walked away feeling “big,” “important,” and like “somebody.”

It’s not just the cops. Trust me, I’m not one of those black people who rag on the police 24/7. You see this at the club, too. Bouncers who are waiting for someone to even suck their teeth so they say “That’s it, your out of here!” Club owners know that men best fulfill these positions because women are not naturally egotistical. In other words, we don’t make good assholes unless we are forced into this role by circumstance.

Gentlemen, avoid being mimicked, mocked and ridiculed behind your back by approaching any and every leadership or authoritarian role you come into with a sense of grace, elegance and humbleness. People will ultimately respect and appreciate you more. Besides, the “Power Trip” is soooo 90’s.


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