Commentary: Being Mary Jane Sparks Debate About Confronting the Other Woman

A few reasons to leave the mistress alone.

Posted: 01/09/2014 02:00 PM EST
Being Mary Jane

There was a subtle theme running through the premiere episode of Being Mary Jane: being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It included Mary Jane's ex showing up at her house while her new (sorta) man was there, an elderly couple taking shelter in their house when they should have evacuated since a hurricane was coming, Mary Jane and her producer being at work instead of at an Esperanza Spalding show or a kid's concert, respectively, and of course, being naked in the gym shower with a married man. And while we all can relate to being at the wrong place at the wrong time, there’s one particular example that might be more familiar to us. And that was the most awkward scene of the night — the Did You Come Conversation.

To recap, Mary Jane had just left a bad meeting at work when a visitor, who got past security by claiming to be her biggest fan, popped into her office. It was not a fan, but Avery, the wife of the man she'd been sleeping with, the poor lady ambushed by Mary Jane while buying cat litter for her depressed friend. Back at the pet store, she'd been too shocked to say much of anything when her favorite newscaster confessed she'd been sleeping with her husband. But Avery had pulled herself together and come to the office with a list of questions that needed answering.

Now, everyone has done this. Some crazy mess goes down and you're too busy keeping yourself from passing out to properly put people in their place. So for days and weeks after, while lying in bed or running on the treadmill or sitting under the hair dryer, you script what you should have said. You edit and tweak your speech to perfection and no one ever hears it aside from your journal because only on reality shows are you guaranteed a chance to deliver it. And since Being Mary Jane isn't a reality show, it explains why Avery's speech probably didn't deliver the sense of satisfaction she would have liked. Because, as good as an icily delivered "Did you come?" might have sounded when practiced in the shower, when you actually ask it the result is that the woman who has been having sex with your husband tells you that yes, she always does and that oral sex from your husband is a requirement. Who wants to hear that?

Bottom line: Avery was confronting the wrong person. Mary Jane owed her nothing beyond an apology for ambushing her in the pet store. Avery was lucky that her husband's mistress had some decency and didn't tell her too many TMI details or just tell her off. Instead, Mary Jane kept it to a surly look and her own question of "You really want to go there?" when Avery asked for more about the specifics of their sexcapades. But, yeah, Avery, do you really want to go there?! No. No you do not. No one does.

Even though Being Mary Jane is not a documentary or a learning aid for school, this scene should teach every woman a lesson: Don't approach the other woman instead of your husband. The answers will not and should not come from her if you are trying to figure out what went wrong in your relationship and what you should do about it. By funneling your anger to the woman, you are letting the person who made you promises and a commitment way off the hook. Even if she was your friend, she is still not a substitute for demanding some answers from the guy.

Here's to hoping that just one unlucky woman with a philandering man watched the premiere episode and threw out the speech she was about to make to the wrong person.

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.


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