The Lamont Sanford Syndrome

Part of my evening routine now consists of watching an hour of “Sanford & Son”; the laughs are much needed after a day in the world and Fred Sanford always deliver. One thing I’ve noticed in watching the series as an adult is how big of a loser Lamont Sanford is. Let’s be clear, I’m not referring to his status as a junk dealer (it kept the lights on), I’m talking about the way he went about handling his business, how he treated Fred and ultimately, how wack he was with the ladies. The more I watched, the more I recognized the Lamont Sanford in the way I’ve observed a lot of cats moving lately. We’re surrounded by shiftless dudes who lack the skills to fulfill their own bare minimum, but they’re out here having children and getting married, compounding their issues, but frontin’ like it’s all good.

I can’t count the number of episodes in which Lamont overreacted to one of Fred’s harebrained schemes or attempted to bust up his relationship with Donna or anything he had going independent of Lamont. His emotional immaturity and poor self-awareness showed over and over again; his behavior was childlike in many cases and more akin to a woman’s in others. It’s almost like he lived in his feelings and they were ultimately what guided him to make the poor decisions he continuously made. I see far too much of that in cats these days. I’m not sure where this brand of soft man came from, but dudes seem real emotional and sensitive lately; it’s almost like there’s something in the chicken or weed these days that’s increased the estrogen in men.

I’ve been watching the way some fellas manage their social media outlets with the consistent rant about their baby-mothers, non-existent haters and the like and I wonder where was this behavior learned? Robin Thicke sings about blurred lines and though I’m sure he wasn’t making any type of sociological observation, it’s the perfect way to explain the new dynamic in our culture. The lines have been blurred across a number of areas; there’s almost no distinction between age groups, decorum and nearly every other area we can think of. The most glaring area where there seems to be no barrier is how men seem to mimic what they see on Reality TV. We’ve discussed how the cattiness (rachetness) of Reality television effects young women, but it seems to have also infected a population of the men. To put it bluntly, many cats have a lot of bitch in them. There’s just too many soft men out there, who’ve either grown up without proper male figures or simply eschewed everything they’ve learned through the years in favor of this new breed of bitchassness we’re now face with.

During one of his fits Lamont told his dad he was going to quit the junk business and mentioned that he may go into shipbuilding, because of all he’d learned about iron and metal over the years. That may have been a good idea if Lamont actually had experience in anything but junk. If he had a high school diploma, perhaps a little college and a few connections, who knows what he could have done with himself. I’m sure he could’ve done more than go into the family business, but Lamont lacked the sense the Good Lord gave him as well, which is why each time he attempted to step out on his own, he came running back to the umbrella his dad’s “empire” afforded him. Lamont was a dreamed, not unlike your husband, son, brother or you. We’re all dreamers. However, many of us take strides toward their dreams by acquiring the necessary skills to turn those dreams into goals and ultimately reality.

I’ve met too many 35-year-old rappers who believe they’re biding their time in day jobs (or no jobs at all) until a record label snatches them up. Even worse are these guys who get caught up in all of these come-up fast ideas like Primerica and other organizations that feed off the poor. The goal of being this major success is so driving that it defeats common sense and leads to someone asking me to lunch to talk about my financial future. Let’s keep it funky, how is your broke ass going to help me invest, save and plan for a rainy day? There are cats out here running around without bank accounts and ducking the repo man thinking they’re about to be sitting on a half a million without putting in the real work to get there. Django please! It’s time to wake up and deal with the reality you live within, then set measurable, realistic goals based on the skills you have, and those within means of acquiring. We dreamt as little boys, we set goals as men!

I really thought social media would be the age of transparency, but it has seemingly allowed many to place a veil on what their lives really look like. The status updates, tweets and photos being shared allow many of us to “fake it ‘til we make it”, lip profess and be self-righteous, then glorify some of the most basic aspects of our lives, while the rest of it is in shambles. There’s cats out here still frontin’ like we’re in high school, but I’m unsure who the audience is or why there’s a need to think the competition is on. It’s almost like there’s this constant period of redefining happening in public view and social media has become the medium to try on new personas or promote the “new you”. But like Jay-Z said, “Man you was who you was ‘fore you got here”, and all of your trifling ways will show eventually. We’ll never know, because no one wants to share their hiccups, but we’ll know when you vanish or go on the defensive with one of your Drake-like tangents.

Lamont Sanford would always try to portray like he was a big-time commodities dealer to the ladies, frontin’ like he was running a viable business and had things together. However, the ladies he got with usually got hip to his game and found out he over 30 and living with his dad. The occasions when he tried to strike out on his own, he failed miserably, largely because he didn’t have what it took to make it alone. Conversely, Fred would be living it up, ripping and running the streets with woman after the woman, while Lamont was striking out like A-Rod. It doesn’t take most women long to see through wack game, especially when its built on falsehoods and a poor replication of a healthy, successful relationship. I guess that’s what all the frontin’ is for, the ladies. I don’t quite understand that, be who you are, share who you want to be and work together to get there. But it’s cats out here projecting images of something of which they’re so far removed that it’s no secret why they’ve been in and out of bad relationship after bad relationship, with status updates to track their ascent and subsequent downfall.

For most of my adult life I’ve been on the wrong side of right in my relationships with women, but every decision and mistake I made was done as a man. I don’t say that in justification, I’m just saying that I own my foolishness and while I may have caused a considerable amount of pain, I’ve been able to grow from it. I’m no stranger to the emotions connected to relationships, but they haven’t ruled or steered me to excuse my own actions in the name of a broken heart or a bottle of vodka. Lamont Sanford always pointed the finger at his father when things went wrong with one of his foxy mamas, but never looked inwardly to see how his emotional immaturity and shiftlessness was often the cause of his broken relationships. Lamont never quite got it, many cats will never see how trifling they really are. When I think about it, it was better to be Rollo most of the time… 

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