A few months back my husband got a new phone for his new position at work and it came with a brand-new, shiny phone number. It was a Charlotte number, because that is where we lived at the time. He has never had a Charlotte number. I have never had a Charlotte number. We both still have the numbers we got in Missouri back when I was pregnant with Jackson 11 years ago. It was new and exciting, until he got the text.
One day while at work he got a message that his number was added to a group chat. It was a bunch of numbers he did not know. At first he thought it was a work thing, but all the numbers were Charlotte numbers. All the people he was about to work for had numbers from Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, and the rest of the southeast. Then the group name appeared: “Group 9 Kinda Lit”. He knew it wasn’t me and my friends, again, because the numbers were from Charlotte. So he was puzzled. He was just about to send a “New numb3r who dis” text when the pictures started to roll in. One by one, pics of large, black penises rolled into his new chat.
That evening when he got home he told me what happened.
“Did you screenshot them for me?” I asked, eagerly.
“No! It’s my damn work phone! I don’t want to be in that group or to have pictures of penis on my phone!”
“Did you give them your personal phone?” I hoped.
“What?! No!” He was getting perturbed. “I don’t want pictures of any penis on my phone.”
“Homophobe,” I concluded.
“What?! No! Jesus…” He took some deep breathes while he looked at me in a mixture of pity and awe. “I deleted the conversation.”
Two hours later his phone lit up again.
Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!
DING! DING! DING! DING!
I raced over to the phone and there they were in all their glory.
“Who is it?” he asked.
“Group 9 Kinda Lit,” I said with excitement.
“Shit,” he ran over and stood next to me. “Tell them they have the wrong number.”
“Nooooo!” I pleaded.
“Yes, dude, I can’t have this on my work phone. Get me out of the conversation.”
By this time hook-ups were happening and I really wanted to know who Tyrone had settled on for Thursday morning “fun” at his house. I was invested.
“What if I just say, ‘Hey you guys! This is Missy!’ Then I send a pic of myself? I mean, they probably wanna be my friend.”
“Uh no, dude. Tyrone does not want to be your friend. He only wants to be your friend if you have a penis.”
“So he wants to be your friend.”
“No dude, I think I might have the ‘wrong kinda penis’ for this group. Give me the phone.”
Then he proceeded to block all of the numbers from his phone, while I stood by his side and said nothing.
So why am I telling you all of this today? Well, I read a quote this morning that said, “Your self-worth is not defined by your sacrifice.” And honestly, I felt that. Hard. I felt it hard and I felt it deep. I felt it hard and deep. Because what I did that day, the sacrifice I made, standing idly by as my husband ruined my dream of being a part of Group 9 Kinda Lit, will not define me. I will press on. I will stay strong.
Until we meet again, Group 9 Kinda Lit.
Until we meet again.