The Cuffing Season Chronicles Part 1.

The leaves are starting to change. The air is cooler. The kids have gone back to school. Walmart has Halloween stuff in the aisles. You know what that means. Cuffing season is upon us, y’all. Yes, it’s that time of year where old boo thangs come out the woodwork and start sending you those “Hey, stranger” texts. In preparation for this yearly tradition, I am writing several articles to help you navigate the most hallowed of ghetto romantic seasons.

Let’s start here: what in the actual hell is cuffing season? Cuffing season is the time of year around the end of August where people get in relationships for the winter months. Think of it as ratchet hibernation preparation. It lasts until Valentine’s Day or until you get your tax refund, whichever is most beneficial.

Just like anything else that has a season — basketball, baseball, football — there are levels to this. For the purpose of explanation, we’ll be using the sports analogy. Coaches are the “cuffers” and players are the “cuffed.”

Pre-season for cuffing starts in mid to late July. This is when the coaches realize summer is almost over and they need to get their lives together for winter. We’ll call this draft time.

Draft time is a flurry of activity. The coaches start the pre-season by actively and aggressively recruiting new talent in the hopes of finding that one star player. You’ll find them at clubs buying drinks, at the basketball courts showing off, at networking events giving his card out to everything pretty thing in a skirt, or at the grocery store looking adorably lost in the produce section. Make no mistakes, ladies, he’s scouting.

Around mid-to-late August, the coaches who have not found any new talent start to realize that they are running out of time. Cuffing season is about to begin and they still don’t have a star player. This is when they begin to look through their roster of tried and true players. Players will begin to receive texts, DMs, phone calls, and emails from coaches they haven’t heard from during the off season. The coaches begin to use nostalgia to bring these players back to their respective teams. Unfortunately, the majority of veteran players will be recruited once again by a coach.

All throughout the fall and winter, it is game on. Coaches and players work in tandem to liven up the dreary last part of the year. They go out, have a good time, and warm each other’s beds. But, just like any game, there is inevitably a pause. Half-time.

Half-time usually falls around December 19th and December 22nd. Why? Christmas. Oh, it might be the most wonderful time of the year. However, that coach is not trying to buy the player what they want most: a championship (engagement) ring. So, the coaches, especially those dealing with veteran players, will spend the Christmas holiday alone. However, don’t think they don’t have an ace up their sleeves when it comes to reconciling. I like to call it the third quarter comeback.

After a heartbreaking half-time for the player, they receive a call from their coach. The third quarter comeback always takes place between December 29th and January 2nd. The coach comes around declaring a new year, new us. And, predictably, the players forgive the coach and agree to come back.

The last part of cuffing season is the final stretch and it can end in one of two ways. As I mentioned above, cuffing season ends when it is most beneficial. When I say beneficial, I mean for the coaches. It depends on what type of player they have. If a coach is with a player that is naive when it comes to the concept of cuffing season but not when it comes to money, the coach will end the season right before Valentine’s Day. They don’t want to spend time planning a romantic evening for a player that they have no plans on keeping. Coaches with players that have no problem giving up the cash will stick around until tax refund time — another ghetto holiday. These coaches have no scruples. They expect the player to express their gratitude for keeping them warm during the winter with tangible gifts. They want down payments on cars, chains, shoes, outfits, and vacations. They want to live like kings with a woman they do not value as a queen. Once the money is gone, so are they.

The snow has melted. The air is warm. The sun is shining. Women are walking around scantily clad. It’s spring time. Y’all know what time it is. Post season. This is the time of year that the coaches are dodging calls, texts, and DMs from jilted players. They are at church every Sunday praying that players don’t pop up pregnant. Players are crying or bitter. They vow not to fall for these type of tricks again. But, let’s be honest, the majority of the players will once again be recruited. Oh, they do believe that they won’t go back to the same coach. In fact, they spend all summer — the off season — having fun and being free. Then, they get that “Hey, Stranger” text, and it all goes to hell once that wave of nostalgia hits them.

So, now that we know what cuffing season is and how it works, the next few articles will help you navigate it. Until then, be careful, ladies. For cuffing season is long and full of fuck boys.