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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.

eye-roll

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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Best Twitter Rant Ever @beeyroyce

23 Mar

So I know Yeezy has been getting all the attention due to his recent tweeted soliloquies but I stumbled across this glorious thread by @beeyroyce that I endorse wholeheartedly.  Words to live by ladies, for sure.

Beey Rant 1

Beey Rant 2

 

 

Oh and this just in, black Men in the DMV only attend sporting events. I know this isn’t news for most of us single black women living in the Washington, DC metropolitan area (hence the sarcasm).  But I do appreciate VSB for vocalizing it.

Now if only they could clone eligible Idris Elba-esque versions of themselves.

Akilah Johnson Wins Doodle 4 Google Competition

22 Mar

Akilah Johnson Google

Akilah Johnson, a sophomore at Eastern Senior High School in Washington, DC just won the national Doodle 4 Google competition.  Her artwork titled “My Afrocentric Life” was featured on Google’s home page yesterday. This year’s competition theme was “What makes me….me.”

Akilah writes on Google’s web site:

Of all the things I chose to include, the six most special to me are the Symbol of Life (the ankh), the African continent, where everything began for me and my ancestors, the Eye of Horus, the word “power” drawn in black, the woman’s fist based on one of my favorite artist’s works, and the D.C. flag—because I’m a Washingtonian at heart and I love my city with everything in me!

Akilah will be awarded a $30,000 college scholarship and her high school will receive a grant of $50,000.

The Crazies Entry #1 (Frank-the-Tank)

11 Jan

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 8.49.26 PM

So as the year 2015 came to a close, this guy reached out to me online via the POF dating site. I’m a light user; far from the proactive sort. I generally only respond when it’s someone I’m attracted to with an acceptable profile, which unfortunately is rare.

He (let’s call him Frank-the-Tank) came with a decent one-liner “I like bougie black girls too” referencing a T-shirt I sported in one of my profile pictures. His profile and his looks were adequate so I responded.

I do apologize for not having actual screenshots of the conversation. Sadly to the disappointment of women everywhere, Frank-the-Tank has deleted his POF profile.

So you know where this is going – right?

I asked Frank-the-Tank to define bougie. According to him, bougie women are confident, ambitious, have a unique sense of style, and go the extra mile in the bedroom to please their partner.

Who knew bougie women were such sexual givers? Did you know? I had no idea. You learn something new every day.

Frank-the-Tank wasted no time with his first question. He wanted to know what I was looking for in a man mentally and physically. I reply and counter with the same question. Frank-the-Tank explains that he’s usually attracted to women with the following characteristics: a nice smile, soft-spoken, thick thighs, and a big booty.

His exact words.

I try not to fault his straightforwardness due to the fact that I listed candor as one of the traits I appreciated in a partner. And we’re all adults here, 35+ so let’s move on.

I power through.

I explain to Frank-the-Tank that I think my bum is about average size but I definitely check all his other boxes.

I ask Frank-the-Tank what brings him to POF and how he’s enjoyed his experiences thus far.

Frank-the-Tank explains that the women he meets in person tend to be of poor quality so he decided to try the online world. Frank-the-Tank then proceeds to tell me that he’s looking for the mythical educated and successful woman.

Again his exact words.

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This is the Washington, DC metropolitan area Frank. There are plenty of educated and successful women in these streets. To quote a friend, you could throw a rock and hit one there’s so many. Washington, DC is ranked second among the US’s top educated cities.

So of course I shared my opinion (cause that’s what I do). I told him that I felt that there were plenty of educated and successful women in the area i.e., if you define success as employed and self-sufficient. I also shared that dating becomes more challenging as we age because the “mythical” pool shrinks.

Frank-the-Tank never responded.

My assumption is that he defined soft-spoken as docile/passive/acquiescent; none of which describes yours truly (generally speaking). Most educated and successful women have opinions which they willingly share and rightfully so. It astonishes me how many men claim to want an intelligent partner but immediately bolt when they encounter a woman who isn’t a halfwit. Say what you mean and mean what you say, please. If you’re looking for a fuckable, nonresponsive unresponsive sounding board then hire a bloody prostitute.

Another assumption I have is that Frank-the Tank was African or Caribbean. He listed French as a second language in his profile. And I tend to attract a lot of West Indian and African men for some reason. It’s been this way all of my dating life. I have no problem with this. I’m all about diversity,  an EEO. However, it’s a challenge if they are seeking a woman who believes in traditional gender roles and all of that. If so, they are truly barking up the wrong tree. And it’s a waste of time for all.

Or maybe Frank-the-Tank was married? After all he deleted his profile within like about a month’s time.

Who knows really? It’s all speculation. My attempt to understand these crazies.

And men wonder why the popular hashtag #WasteHisTime2016 exists.

Is turnabout not fair play?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life According to Rashema Melson

22 Dec

Rashema Melson

Money? Hmm. Got to get more of it.  (Rashema Melson)

Today I listened to a wonderful Death, Sex & Money podcast on Rashema Melson. She made national news for becoming the valedictorian of her high school while living in a homeless shelter with her family in Washington, DC.  Melson is now a sophomore at Georgetown University after receiving a full scholarship. Amazing!  I’m surprised I wasn’t aware of her story until today considering I live in her area. But Melson is so much more than the homeless valedictorian that she is often referred to as and she wants you to know it.

During the interview Melson was poised, bright, and confident.  You can check out her website to learn more about Ms. Rashema. If you want to contribute to her academic pursuits, you can do so at her GoFundMe page.

 

John Oliver Gives It to the Washington Redskins

10 Nov

On this week’s episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver took on the Washington Redskins and their owner Daniel Snyder (again). The franchise is fighting back after a federal judge upheld the cancellation of its trademark due to its offensive nature.

Check out the segment below. Sorry for the murky quality. It’s the only version I could embed on my blog. But here’s a clearer clip.

And shout out to the University of Missouri for taking down their racially insensitive/inept administration. It gives one hope. Dave Zirin penned an excellent article on it for The Nation.  Zirin and New Yorker writer and professor Jelani Cobb delved into the matter last night on All In with Chris Hayes.

Fight the power people.

Dating While Black Meets Dateonomics

23 Sep

daddyslittlegirlsI mentioned that I just finished Dateonomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game by Jon Birger. The book reminded me a lot of Ralph Richard Banks’ Is Marriage for White People? How the African American Marriage Decline Affects EveryoneThe books are similar in that they closely examine the lack of “marriageable” men and include suggestions on how women should navigate “the man deficit” as Birger calls it. Although Birger doesn’t specifically focus on the black community like Banks, he does highlight some trends within the black dating market. Early on, Birger mentions the high disparity of women and men attending Howard University.

[The gender ratio at] Howard University in Washington, DC is 69:31. Some of the most extreme college gender gaps are found at historically black institutions like Howard. Indeed, when it comes to gender gaps and their impacts, the African American community is the proverbial canary in the coal mine.

A ratio of 69 (women) to 31 (men) translated into a percentage means that there are 122% more women than men at Howard! Insane. In Is Marriage for White People?, Banks claims that the decline of marriage within the black community is a precursor to what will be experienced in white America echoing Birger’s “canary in the coal mine” idiom.

Birger has five suggestions for single college-educated women seeking a spouse. One of which includes marrying a man with lesser education. According to Birger,

Such parings are already commonplace in the African American community, where the college gender gap is extreme. According to NCES [National Center for Education Statistics], 112,898 African American women graduated from four-year colleges in 2011, versus 59,119 African American men. As a result, educated African American women who wish to marry within their own race have little choice but to consider dating less educated African American men.

Black pop culture reflects this demographic reality. Beyonce (who grew up in a wealthy Houston suburb) makes dating down sound downright sexy in songs such as “Suga Mama” and “Upgrade U.” And mixed-collar relationships are a staple of Tyler Perry movies: In The Family That Preys, Havard-educated Andrea is married to hunky construction worker Chris, and in Daddy’s Little Girls, romance blooms between attorney Julia and muscle-bound Monty. Cleveland matchmaker Tammie Collins, who is African American, told me that mixed-collar pairings were “definitely” more common among her black clients than among white ones. A 2010 Pew Research report reflected the same reality: 33 percent of African American women were married to men with less education, compared to 28 percent of all American women.

Birger and Banks differ in that Birger advocates dating down while Banks is a proponent of dating out i.e., dating interracially. I’d argue that the risks of dating down are higher for black women than for white women. Can we afford to date down? And at what cost? Let me be clear, I would date a man with less education. But he’d have to be gainfully employed and able to stimulate me intellectually. I don’t care for dolts whether they be degreed or not.

Overall I found Birger’s book informative and affirmative. It’s not you ladies, it’s the gender ratio. Gender ratios vastly impact the behavior or men and women in variant dating markets. According Birger, “males invest more effort in finding and keeping a mate when females are in short supply.”

Lastly, here are Birger’s tips for single college-educated women seeking marriage:

  1. Make gender ratios a consideration when choosing a college.
  2. Be aware that holding out is a risky marriage strategy for college-educated women.
  3. Your workplace is part of your dating ecology, so choose your career judiciously.
  4. Go West, Young Woman. [Generally speaking there are more single men out west.]
  5. College-educated women should consider expanding their dating pool to include lesser-educated men.
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