Conversations with Coworkers Cont’d

20 Dec

So me and the office folks were at it again.

The topic – relationships.

The catalyst – not really sure.

Like Andre Benjamin, my memory sucks. My sister just reminded me of this today.

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I think it all began with my boss (Mark) telling me that he planned on ending his relationship with the woman he’s been dating the last year. Termination date —  December 26th. Why the day after Christmas? Because he can’t do it on Christmas and her birthday. Yes, this unsuspecting woman shares her birthday with Jesus of Nazareth. Home girl, just can’t win.  Can she?

I think Mark wants to start off 2017 with a clean slate. Who can blame him? New year, new you and all of that. I’m coloring my hair. Plus Mark’s girlfriend is making plans for New Year’s Eve, so lets abort this failed mission of romantic mediocrity shall we. I can dig it.

So a discussion of the termination of Mark’s romantic entanglement mushrooms into a generic discussion on local dating between three 30-ish singles (myself, Mark, and another woman (Stephanie)).

Mark states that good company and conversation are hard to find.

Agreed.

Stephanie shares that some of the men she’s dated have complained that she’s so self-sufficient that she doesn’t need them.  Hmmm. Define need.  Men have told me that I’m intimidating.

Again.

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Mark mentions that one of his single friends decided to end things with a woman he was dating because she didn’t keep a neat home. Now by untidy I mean some shirts were scattered about the floor.  I’m not referring to a roach-infested, unsanitary, basket-of-deplorable dump. Now both parties are employed well. The messy woman is a lawyer and apparently Mark’s friend has a really good job, code for he makes bank.

But where does Mark’s friend reside?

At home with his momma.

 

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Conversations with Coworkers

15 Dec

Convo #1

Last week I asked a coworker if she was taking time off for the holidays. We’re civil servants and the federal government is typically a ghost town during the month of December with so many people having use-or-lose leave to burn.  She said she wasn’t taking time off for Christmas because she’s not married nor does she have children.

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I said neither am I, but I’ll be taking time off. Everyone needs a break. Americans work way too much as it is. Forty percent of Americans do not use all of the vacation days we’re entitled. If you’re fortunate enough to have paid leave — use it. And women tend to do the heavy lifting (lest we forget) so we truly need a break to recover, rest, and recharge.

Time off isn’t the sole domain of couples and/or breeders. In fact, I’d argue that singles actually need it more because we’re a unit of one with no one to share life’s load. We’re more likely to be the caretakers of family members/friends and the contributors to our community as a whole.

Yes, our capitalistic society likes to center holiday fun around kids and obligatory-gift-exchanges. But festive adventure shouldn’t end with adulthood; nor should one’s parental and relationship status influence one’s propensity to enjoy life. The child-free and/or spouse-free needn’t opt out of holiday cheer and well-deserved time off. Party.  Sleep.  Vacate. Drown yourself in tacky holiday decorations. Do absolutely nothing.

We all deserve it.

Convo #2

A married coworker (Kim) told us that she “pulled” her husband with her tasty home-cooked meals. Apparently Kim’s now-husband was heavy into that gym life and was eating low-calorie bland meals before her arrival. Got ’em, Kim said. I assume with her macaroni and cheese.

A male coworker (Mark) cosigned with the adage, a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. We’ve heard it all before. Somebody cue up the Sunshine Anderson.

But what’s path to a woman’s heart? What’s the corresponding adage for that?

In We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamnda Ngozi Adichie writes

We spend too much time teaching girls to worry about what boys think of them. But the reverse is not the case. We don’t teach boys to care about being likable. We spend too much time telling girls that they cannot be angry or aggressive or tough, which is bad enough, but then we turn around and either praise or excuse men for the same reasons. All over the world, there are so many magazine articles and books telling women what to do, how to be and not to be, in order to attract or please men. There are far fewer guides for men about pleasing women.

My point exactly. Where’s the instructional for men? They’re left to their own devices and women are expected to silently and graciously endure.

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Happy Friday!

18 Nov

I can’t get this song out of my head. From the mannequin challenge onto the you name it challenge. Oh the internets!

 

And I like Jontavian Barber’s version best of the #unameitchallenge but I couldn’t get the embed code to work. 😦

 

 

 

 

 

Murmurings of a Black Male

17 Nov

This week I listened to a black man profess to having difficulty meeting women in the DC area.

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Stats include he’s 30, highly-educated, decent looking, gainfully employed, and (from what I can discern) self-sufficient. He is also the father of two boys; he had a child at 20 and then again with his now ex-wife. (If I have the story right.) He’s certainly not the tallest man in the room. I’m guessing in the 5’7 to 5’8 range, so if you’re a stickler for height he might not make the cut. (Get it? Tee hee.) But surely there are enough petit women roaming these DMV streets who won’t take issue with his height. Or nah?

So of course I counter with — all these women around here and you’re complaining….(my usual response). He has a girlfriend BTW; they’ve been dating for a year. According to Mr. Looks-Good-On-Paper, he finds difficulty meeting quality women. There may be quantity, but there is a shortage of quality he said. I’ve heard this statement before, several times from different black men. And by quality this particular guy means a woman with a good job, attractive, fit, self-sufficient, and no children (even though he has two kids in tow but I didn’t call him on that one, not yet).

I freely admit that dating is challenge for most, if not all. There are so many factors involved (e.g., timing, availability, location, attraction, happenstance, societal pressures, and the list goes on). Furthermore, these days we expect to have it all when it comes to long-term partnership. We’re not simply looking for financial security and pursuing procreation as the daters who came before us. We’re all about the total package in 2016. Is he cute? Is she smart? Does he make me laugh? What’s her credit score?  Is he physically active? Does she like sports?

So we’ve set the bar high folks (or at least most of us have). And finding “one of the ones” who meets our non-negotionables isn’t easy.

That being said, I still maintain that it’s harder for women, than for men.  In All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation, author Rebecca Traister said that women tend to get the short end of the stick in romantic realm. Hells yeah. And it gets even more difficult as we women age (gracefully, no less).

I’d rather not hear men complain about quality when they, at the very least, have quantity.  There can be no quality if there is no quantity; and that’s where many 30+ women land. Where?  Oh where, is the quantity? Since returning to the DC area, most of the men I meet in my age range (who seem decent and are physically attractive) are already spoken for. It’s called assortative mating. And as women age, the number of single available males dwindles. Jon Birger examines this in Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game.

I feel  as though I’ve discussed this ad nauseam on WABGTD (see past posts) as well as in my personal life with family, friends, and coworkers.  I’m kinda tired of talking about it. And I’m certainly tired of hearing men complain, especially a man who already has someone.

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Yep – Fuck 2016

15 Nov

Groundbreaking journalist Gwen Ifill lost her battle with cancer. May she rest in peace. Let’s add her to the list of those we’ve lost this year. The American people elected a piece-of-shit President. Congratulations white people, you did it! Close friends of the family are battling serious illnesses. I wish them well. And yeah I still miss Prince.

Here’s to hope for the better in 2017. Perhaps Trump will get impeached? Cross your fingers folks.

Check out this hilariously honest clip from this week’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

And if you haven’t watched the episode in its entirety, you can check it out here.

PS

Issa Rae’s HBO show Insecure has been renewed for a second season; so that’s a bright spot. Find joy where you can.

ICYMI: Issa Rae’s Insecure on HBO

11 Oct

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You can now view the first episode of Issa Rae’s new HBO show Insecure on YouTube. Woo hoo!  If you’ve watched Issa’s hit web series Awkward Black Girl, her new show will remind you of that (but in a good way). It’s funny but familiar. Apparently, many want Issa to continue down her awkward path, as she explained in a recent interview with Jimmy Fallon.  Typecasting strikes yet again.

I enjoyed the first episode. It’s good to see black women represented in complex, refreshing ways. And I’m glad she’s bringing issues that black women face to the forefront but with humor. The music is on point too, with Raphael Saadiq selecting the tracks of the show’s premier episode. You can listen to the songs on Spotify  but I also found the listing here if you’re not on Spotify (like myself).

Insecure airs on HBO, Sundays at 10:30pm (way beyond what should be my bedtime).

Looky here.

CRWN Magazine

10 Oct

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A good friend just shared with me that there’s now a lifestyle magazine dedicated to black women with natural hair – CRWN magazine. The first issue was released back in August. I have yet to purchase it. It’s a hefty $20, but perhaps it’s as thick as a book? Maybe? Hopefully? Apparently, CRWN will not only feature everyday black women rocking natural styles but will also include topics of gender, politics, fashion, and so on. Sounds and looks good to me.

P.S.

And back to Solange’s slayage, she released a short film on the creative process she underwent when producing A Seat at the Table. She wrote all the songs. What talent! And the legendary Raphael Saadiq laid the foundation for Cranes in the Sky. I should have known. His sound is timeless.

Looky here.

 

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