‘Ain’t too proud to beg’ isn’t just a figure of speech

By Dwight Hobbes

I’m watching an episode of the old British sitcom Chef, starring Lenny Henry and Caroline Lee-Johnson, laughing my asterisk off. Quintessential situation done to a rare turn: Husband steps in stuff with his wife and has to dig his way out of the dog house. Homeboy is beggin’ for all he’s worth, pulling out all the stops, and she still won’t cut him no slack. She’s not being a witch about it, just not letting him off the hook. Until he finally, God bless him, figures out how to make that magic move.

Sue me for being a romantic. I love it when a guy grovels so good she has no choice but to relent. Best part of Strictly Business for me was when Joseph C. Phillips got down on bended knee to Halle Berry on the sidewalk with people going by, didn’t care who was looking, and begged her to take him back.

Then, there’s Hitch with smooth, cool metropolitan know-it-all man-about-town Will Smith baring his vulnerability like a peeled grape to keep Eva Mendes from walking out of his life. I’m sorry, (yeah, y’all jaded hard-cases will say he is just ”whipped”) but, to me that is the mark of a real man — when he’s ready, willing and able to do whatever it takes to woo and win the woman he loves.

That timeless Motown classic by the Temptations, “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” wasn’t just a figure of speech. It hit the proverbial nail right straight on the head. Much as men like to play hard and will get around the fellas talkin’ ’bout, “I don’t need no woman. Oh, yeah, I want to have one around, but, I’m a player. They like busses: Another always gon’ come along,” if you mess around and lose the woman you love, put that noise to the side. When you’re lonely in the midnight hour, who you thinkin’ about? Your boys? Or that lady who had your back and you know damned good and well you didn’t do right?

Never mind saving face. Forget all about frontin’. Call her. Email her. Text her. Hell, send smoke signals if you have to. Let her know that you know you were wrong. Remember that silver-tongued arsenal you drew on to get her by your side in the first place? Brush it off, ramp the bad boy up, and then improve on top of that. Throw in the kitchen sink. Give it your absolute best shot and then some.

None of this is any guarantee she’ll give in and return. But, trust me, you owe it to yourself to try hard as Chinese arithmetic.

Tell you what: Think about letting her go on one hand and, on the other, imagine the love of your life in some other man’s arms.

Case closed.

Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to dhobbes@spokesman-recorder.com.