Tag Archives: relationships

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.

shrug

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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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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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.

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

11 Jan

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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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Dec

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Today two of my coworkers were complaining about their slothful, non-cooking husbands.

It started off harmless enough.

One coworker (let’s call her Tamar) was patting herself on the back for getting her two young boys up, fed, clothed, out of the house and to daycare while successfully making it to work by 7:30AM (earlier than Tamar’s usual start time). Understandably so, Tamar was annoyed that her husband did not contribute to the effort.

My other coworker (let’s call her Jamilah) chimed in and said that it [marriage] doesn’t get any better as time goes on. She frankly shared that her husband was able to adequately feed himself prior to their union and he even managed to prepare a meal or two for them. Unfortunately for Jamilah, this man no longer knows what the inside of a kitchen looks like. He arrives home from their workday prior to Jamilah and waits for her to cook dinner. And to Jamilah’s credit, she gently nudges her husband by leaving recipes out for him but to no avail. Hubby is not taking the bait.

Tamar then shared that one day her better-half called her to ask how to make pasta.

I sat and listened in irritation.

But I’m the single one, right?

🙂

 

 

 

Is bell hooks ever wrong?

4 Oct

loveI’ve been re-reading bits of bell hooks’ excellent trilogy on the issue of love (all forms of love i.e., self-love, romantic love, communal love, etc.). It includes the books All About Love: New Visions, Salvation: Black People and Love, and Communion: The Female Search for Love.

I really like this paragraph taken from Communion: The Female Search for Love in hooks’ chapter “The Search for Men Who Love.”

When women talk about what they find likable in a man, they name traits like kindness, strength of character, and integrity. As Harriet Lerner points out in Life Preservers in the section titled “Mr. Right and Mr. Wrong,” “While individual taste varies, we want a partner who is mature and intelligent, loyal and trustworthy, loving and attentive, sensitive and open, kind and nurturant, competent and responsible. I’ve yet to meet a woman who says, ‘Well to be honest, I’m hoping to find an irresponsible, distant, ill-tempered sort of guy who sulks a lot and won’t pick up after himself.’ ” Yet, she says, “Many women put more careful judgment into selecting a new toaster oven than they put into evaluating a prospective partner.” Perhaps women suspend careful judgment because deep down they know that to exercise it might mean doing without male partnership for long periods of time. Looking for a man who can love is a search that can take ages.  

I couldn’t agree more. I get so Obama-Exasperated when men contend that all women want bad boys/thugs or men with “swag” (whatever the hell that is). Just yesterday the blog verysmartbrothas featured a diatribe about some unassuming guy’s longing for an “It Girl” aka Ms. Popularity/Captain of the cheer-leading squad. I loved the first comment by A Word or Three; I couldn’t have said it better. 

Any sentient woman post-25, knows what time it is. We want all those characteristics that appear in bold and in red above. I absolutely love intelligent, demure men. Perhaps I need to put that on a bloody t-shirt for someone to actually take notice; that and “I’m down with the swirl.” But let me qualify this — I need to be physically attracted to these unassuming fellows. Let’s not forget that crucial point.     

Back to bell, I really love how she not only contextualizes what can be perceived as a woman’s lack of judgment when selecting a partner but also highlights the extreme challenge women face when being true to ourselves and our standards. We may be without romance for quite some time. Hell, it’s been almost 3 years for yours truly.  Sigh… 😦 I keep attracting married men for some reason. “The Anti-Side Piece” — that’s my third t-shirt. The trifecta is now complete.

Oh goodie —  Scandal is on. I’m due for some escapism right about now. 

Happy Friday Fam! And remember, To thine own self be true!

Ya’ heard. 🙂 

Let’s dance this one out.

The End of Men

3 Dec

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I just started reading Hanna Rosin’s The End of Men and the Rise of Women. I love the feminine book jacket clad in bright yellow and hot pink. Way cute!  And she blew my mind with the initial sentences of the first paragraph. According to Rosin senior editor at The Atlantic,

In 2009, in a beach town in Virginia where my family had been vacationing for several years, I noticed something curious. Every time I ventured away from the houses rented by the vacationers–to the supermarket, say, or the ice cream store–I almost never saw any men.

Boo-ya!  Get out of my head Rosin.

That’s exactly how I feel every time I leave my frigging house. Okay yes I’m exaggerating a little when I say every time but just a smidge. Whenever I go out to a social hour or to the club (which is yes rare) I feel like it’s always a hen party.  Am I wrong? I need to  take the advice of a friend and hit up a sports bar on NFL game day. Sadly I have yet to make the effort to feign an interest in sports in hopes of meeting an interesting man.

In the second chapter, “Hearts of Steel: Single Girls Master the Hook-Up” Rosin successfully tackles the topic women my age incessantly debate, securing a long-term commitment from a man and perhaps his subsequent baby.  And these issues aren’t just on the minds of all the single ladies. My happily married, male friend recently poised this question, “Will marriage be obsolete in 80yrs? Are morals really in play on why less folks are bunned up? It’s not a situation where everyone goes by the adage, ‘I can do bad by myself’?”

Check out what Rosin has to say:

the end of man 1the end of men 2the end of man 3the end of man 4

And there you have it. And highlighted in yellow is where I think a lot of us are, making our own way.

And regarding the low cost of sex, does this mean that my church pastors were right? That women should withhold sex for a long-term commitment? It appears so.  Is “the cookie” the ultimate prize?  I don’t think the no-sex policy rings true for all men. Of course, there are some men who will marry after sex enters the equation.  But the real question is how much of a motivator is sex when trying to secure a long-term commitment from a man.  Devout religious couples who practice abstinence marry so early because their hormones are raging out of control.  Undoubtedly, practicing abstinence brings a sense of urgency to the relationship. But abstinence is not for all. I have yet to date a man, Christian or otherwise, who was pro team-celibacy. There are some men and women who won’t even consider dating a person if sex is not an option. It just the depends on the individual and the relationship.

In the fourth chapter, “The New American Matriarchy: The Middle Class Gets a Sex Change,” Rosin focuses on how what’s currently occurring in  black culture may play-out down the line for whites when it comes to marriage (a point Ralph Richard Banks already noted in his book). Rosin writes:

The whole country’s future could look much as the present does for many lower-class African-Americans: The mothers pull themselves up, but the men don’t follow. First-generation college-educated white women may join their black counterparts in a new kind of middle class, where marriage is increasingly rare.

Not very encouraging stuff huh?  But what’s a girl to do?

I’ll let you know how that sports bar turns out. Go Ravens!

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