The Things They Carry: Lessons by Jay Z and Beyoncé
Or rather, filtered through the minds of Leandra and Amelia
When I saw Beyoncé gyrating around her little black chair on Sunday night during her opening number at The Grammys, I felt 50% better about my short hair. This, even in spite of how much I like my short hair.
When Jay Z came out, knees bending, hands jiving, microphone held so close to his lips one was left to wonder where his mouth began and the mega speaker ended, I felt 60% better about having married a man who can not only rhythmically bop his knees as well as the former but who I really, really love. This, even in spite of how good I feel about what is indubitably the best decision I have made.
But when the patriarch of hip hop and the empress of everything else exited stage left, the former’s arm over the latter’s shoulder, a piece of me shriveled and putatively died.
And I could tell that I wasn’t alone. America was left to question its capacity to love — scrutinizing what we’d done wrong and they’ve done right, own personal romantic championships notwithstanding.
I watched that close-up Grammy-cam hone in on the spectators’ reactions as evidenced by their facial expressions, which, in line with mine, said it all: How the fuck did Beyoncé and Jay Z manage to pull this off? The this in question, of course, is everything — the empires and camraderie and family they’ve built in tandem. That they are not just, as the title of their collaborative track would suggest, “Drunk in Love,” but are also sober in love, spectacularly in love, so selflessly and selfishly and unilaterally in love that they actually have the ability to make perfectly happy couples in their unwitting peripheral feel like they’re missing the secret sauce is a point of their victory that I am determined to wrap my head around.
Which is precisely why, by gleaning the information Amelia and I have culled from observing the two and asking anyone who is willing to answer what they believe might be a paramount blueprint of their universal success, we have made it our business to understand how Jay Z and Beyoncé have seemingly become the sole benefactors of that early 2k zeitgeist-y book, which neither of us have read, The Secret.
So without further ado, a list:
1. Don’t throw all your eggs into the Susan Miller basket. I know it’s tempting but if they’d have listened to her theory on why Saggitarians (Mr. Z) and Virgos (Beyoncé) are an unfortunate match, they’d have probably had to settle for lesser versions of one another. I am now feeling really conflicted about having agreed to stay home on New Years Eve like she told me to.
2. The anonymous albeit extremely wise and opinionated “they” say that once you get married you should never stop dating. Well, remember that time Jay and Bey were not only on a date, but sat on the same side of the table and then sang Coldplay’s “Yellow” to each other? That’s exactly what “They” are talking about.
3. Try to get Oprah to council you on your relationship. Oprah gave Beyoncé great advice to never talk about a relationship (just like Fight Club!), B took it to heart, and it worked. This is Oprah’s phone number, good luck: 1-888-943-8696.
4. Put meaning behind the word “lover” and have sex. (Safely!) If you’re wondering how we inferred this from Beyoncé and Jay Z’s notoriously private marriage then I encourage you to re-listen to her newest album and revisit this here point.
5. You and your partner may just need nicknames. Sometimes he’s Hova and she’s Sasha Fierce. Sometimes he’s that double hand diamond symbol for short, and she’s Bey. Nicknames become especially handy when considering role playing for tip #4. We would also like to point out that nicknames make life more fun, not just relationships.
6. The conspiracy theorists in us needs to point out that they can’t really trust anyone else except for each other at this point, but trust is important in any relationship. If you trust someone so much that you’re willing to fall blindly into the unknown, that’s love, man.
7. They are immune to jealousy. If you were Beyoncé, who would you be jealous of? No one. Same goes for Jay Z. This is harder for regular humans, so pretend you’re one of them and let your self-esteem rise. (This works great at job interviews to. Walk in there like Hi, I’m Jay Z, and I rule at literally EVERYTHING. Bam, you just got a job.)
8. Jay Z doesn’t awkwardly try to belt notes that he couldn’t reach and likewise, Bey isn’t freestyling over sampled tracks. They let each other do what they do best, allowing their drinking partner in love to shine.
9. They’re role models and they understand that. This keeps both of them on the straight and narrow — no drugs, no prostitutes, no public drama, which, if you ask us, sound like three pretty solid things to avoid in relationships and daily life no matter what letter your name starts with.
10. Somehow they are completely and utterly grounded. Considering they’re the celebrity equivalents of high school sweethearts, a lot of their deep roots can probably be attributed to growing up in the spotlight together. They’ve been able to keep each other tapped into what’s most important, which is, at the end of the day, a record deal. Just kidding. It’s love. EL OH VEE EE, love.
It’s important to remember though, you don’t need to be in a relationship to apply these tenets. Amelia, for one, is quote single as fuck unquote. Run the world because you can.