Musings in the Dark: The Jump-Off


The Jump-Off

I’m probably one of ten people in existence who don’t watch Shonda Rhimes’ latest smash hit TV show Scandal.  The only reason I don’t partake in the weekly national drama is this:  

I don’t like the fact that Olivia Pope is the President’s jump-off.

My friends tell me that it’s a great show and the writing is fantastic, as is the casting and all that.  That’s fine.  I love that Shonda’s got the nation by the ovaries and the balls and loving every second of it, but I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that a Sistah Supershero is nothing more than the President’s side dish.  She deserves better.

My friends tell me that it doesn’t matter; they’re really in love, Fitz adores Olivia, he’s pussywhipped all to be damned, he can’t breathe without her…yada yada yada.  She’s nothing more than his whore and she deserves better.

Fine-ass Fitz (and Tony Goldwyn is foine, mind you) may love Olivia’s dirty drawers and used tampons, but the fact remains that he’s married to another woman and has children by her.  That is the relationship that truly matters because it’s the legitimate one.  Until Fitz divorces Mellie and wifes Olivia, she will never be more than his cumbucket and she deserves better.

Shonda Rimes has somehow made being a jump-off sexy.  With the latest episode, she’s now got these women saying, “Earn your woman!”  The problem with this line of thinking is that the jump-off is #2, not #1, and there are no points for second place.  Close only counts in horseshoes and Boule.

There are women who are unknowingly jump-offs and there are women who actively seek to be a jump-off. Neither is okay.  I don’t give a key lime fuck; anytime you reduce yourself, it is not okay.  Know your worth, and you are worthy of more than being some man’s afterthought.

I don’t have a problem admitting this because it may help someone else see the light.  I was a jump-off for approximately three months.  About 13 years ago, I met someone who literally made my breath catch.  The moment we met, the entire world fell away and I knew it was mutual.  We couldn’t stay away from each other and even though I knew it was wrong, I got into a relationship with this man.  He lived in another state, but he was a traveling musician and had gigs frequently in Destin, FL.  So he would send me money to meet him in Destin, which I did twice. 

The second time was obviously the last time and this is why:  Shortly after I arrived and got broke off, he told me that he missed his kids and wanted to go home.  I was like, “I just got here,” and he said, “I know and I’m sorry, but I miss my children.  I’m a mess without my babies.”

"Negro, is you serious???"

Clearly, those words stuck with me.  I couldn’t argue with him because I didn’t have a leg to stand on.  Who was I?  Who was I?  I was a jump-off, a side piece, a bit of fun and he owed me absolutely nothing.  In that moment, I saw my life if I stayed on that path, and all I could see were endless days of loneliness sprinkled with infrequent dashes of frenetic sexy weekends…and I didn’t want it.  I didn’t deserve that.  So I got my black ass in my car and drove home determined never to see him again, and I was successful.

Oh, he called and emailed with intense fervor, but I refused to take his calls and didn’t reply to his emails.  What was the point?  I could never have a future with him and it didn’t matter that our unions were so blistering hot.  He would never truly be mine because he was committed to another woman and his children, which he should have been.  I slammed the door on that relationship.  For all my faults and flaws, I’m worthy of far more than a weekend of great sex every now and again just because some man wants some new strange.

Deliberate jump-offs make absolutely no sense to me.  What is the objective?  Do you like the idea of being the other woman?  Do you secretly like the concept of potentially destroying a marriage?  Is it a power trip?  Do you pretend to be one thing, but actually wish to be something more?  I don’t understand it.  I know far too many women who are comfortable in the role of the other woman because they’re of the erroneous belief that there is a man shortage.  Child, please!  Even if there was, that is absolutely no reason to diminish yourself.  He will never treat you as anything more than a hole that isn’t his wife.  He owes you nothing, will give you sloppy seconds, and eventually, will get tired of you.  And then what do you have?  Nothing.

Is it worth it?  Methinks the answer is no, but that’s just me.

My point is this: if you don’t see yourself as worthy of the best, no one else will, especially the man you’re fucking.  Why should he?  You’re giving him the best of yourself without him having to put forth any reasonable efforts to earn it.  Why should he care about your feelings, your hopes and your dreams?  Why should your wants matter?  You clearly don’t care because you’re giving it all away. 

So when Olivia told Fitz that he had to earn his woman (and I don’t have to watch the show to know he said this; all I have to do is be on FB when the show airs and I get a running commentary), I’m certain that millions of jump-offs (and women in general) probably gave her a standing O.  When in actuality, women like Olivia are vilified for being the other woman. There’s nothing cute about this.  I sincerely hope that Shonda gets her out of that relationship and on to someone who actually gives a fuck about her and wants her bad enough that he doesn’t have to keep her secret.

For all my peeps who love this show, good for you.  But I’m not trying to be bothered.  I’d rather watch a show about a classy-ass cannibal instead.

"I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti."


  1. I read this and When Love Becomes a Liability to my wife and she cracked up. She said, "He lies to the women in his life. You are a woman in his life. Thus..." She also felt their relationship needed more explanation than, well, he's sexy and affectionate, that's all, everything else is excused. Eventually she had to give up on the show because it was too crazy. I'd never heard about it until I read this.

    Sorry that your musician dude ditched you when you dragged your cookies all the way out to Destin. You are dead wrong when you wrote, "I was a jump-off, a side piece, a bit of fun and he owed me absolutely nothing." You are a human being and he owes you basic human decency. What anyone does with their naughty bits and with whom has absolutely no bearing on that. When his bros dragged their cookies out to Destin did he ditch them to hang out with his kids or did he respect the distance they traveled? When you wrote, "He would never truly be mine because he was committed to another woman and his children, which he should have been." Ummm, if he was truly committed to them, what was he doing running around with other ladies? He would never truly be yours because that's just not how he works. He's married and still running around. Obviously his wife wasn't #1 in his life. That wasn't the relationship that mattered, not when he's chasing other ladies.

    But I think we're all too mature to engage in slut-shaming. If a dude said, "I love married women; they go home." he would get high fives all around. If a lady loves her part-time married boyfriend (or even boyfriends), that's her business. It does not make her "nothing more than the President’s side dish" or "nothing more than his whore".

    Somehow, also, and remember I just learned about the show from your essay here, I think you may be getting upset at a show called "Scandal" because it is too scandalous. Which is fine if you're having fun because as I said earlier, my wife and I did find these essays funny.

    1. I hear so many Olitz fans swoon about their "love" and I just don't get it. That's not love; not even close. I know it's a scandalous show and I know it's fiction. However, there are far too many women who are living (to a certain extent) the same lie Olivia is, but believing there's some sort of happy ending to be had. They have to decide whether they deserve better. That's my point.


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