Scrolling through my Facebook timeline the other day, I ran across a very interesting meme. Very straight-forward but quite piercing. Next to a pretty dapper African-American gentleman dressed as a seemingly cultured and mature member of society, read the following words: “A man who views the world at 40, the same way he did at 20, has just wasted 20 years of his life.” I nonchalantly agreed, hit the ‘share’ button, and thought nothing more of it. Then my notifications blew up with a crap load of “yassssssss..” “girl you better Say that” and the infamous praising hands emoji, and I got intrigued. Women were really up in arms over this message. These thirty words or less brought to life what seems to be the main irritatingly provocation plaguing single women today. Are our men really half-assing it, and sadly, do they even realize or care enough to do anything about it? I don’t think they all fall into this category; but to that paltry, intolerable, and tired ten percent that do…I have a Word for you. No self-respecting, half mentally-stable woman of substance and dignity with a future is going to take any of the following any longer (at least they shouldn’t).
You Still Stay at Home with Your Momma – I’m not even going to play with this list, so we might as well just start off with fire. Unless you moved in to tend to an ailing parent, assist with expenses, or are Temporarily there while you get back on your feet, grown men don’t need to be living at home with their Mommies past the age of 30. No woman wants to get off of work, exhausted and in need, and have to come tip toe around your Momma’s living room fully dressed because she has to respect her house. No woman feels comfortable completley engaging in sexual activity with your Mom 10-feet away watching General Hospital reruns. It’s just trifling! Men need to be Men, and a huge part of that is having their own space. Get to apartment hunting!
You Don’t Have a Bank Account – To heck with all of the conspiracy theories about how you don’t trust nobody to hold on to your money, and how you don’t like banks. What does that mean Sir?? This isn’t even about the amount of money you have in the bank, but more so the idea of responsibility towards your finances. Part of becoming an adult is embracing adult concepts. Oh, and that Rush card doesn’t count either! I need your money insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and not kept in a purple Crown Royal bag in your sock drawer.
Not Being Knowledgable of Appropriate Formal Wear – Another non-negotiable. Some women like to step out. I mean real stepping out; evenings at the Opera, Alvin Ailey’s latest production, The Joffrey Ballet, just to name a few. You cannot wear your flyest Trues and new J’s to any of these events. I will punch you. I also need you to know your neck size, inseam, and how to calculate your sleeve length. These figures are all numerical. Not S-XXL. GQ magazine has really awesome How-To articles and Brooks Brothers has amazing sales on the holidays. Thanks!
You Have No Concept of a Fine Restaurant – You never know when you need to make an eloquent impression via dinner date (business meeting or girlfriend). Nope, Red Lobster, Grand Lux Cafe, and Cheesecake Factory don’t make the list. I’m talking about establishments with seven course meals, cellared vintage wine, and market-rate seafood lists. Topolobampo and Spiaggia are two divine ones to start with if you’re in Chicago! 😉
You Don’t Know How to Order or Pick Out Good Wine – This goes hand-in-hand with my last point. If you know anything about me, you know how near and dear this particular notion is to my heart. I am a self-professed wine connoisseur in my head and I believe that the average grown up should at minimum be well-versed in wine selection. I’m not saying that I’m looking for a sommelier, but I do need you to know the difference in the reds and whites and not to Ever insult me with preposterous beverages such as pink moscato.
You Don’t Know How to Actually ‘Court’ a Woman – Contrary to the most recent popularity of the term, women don’t actually consider ‘Netflix & Chill’ a credibly acceptable first date. Seriously. The idea is cute months down the line after we’ve established what your last name is, but we need you to do a bit better in the beginning. Think old school and don’t fall for the misconception that women don’t like ‘nice guys.’ Be thoughtful. Be inventive. Be a pleasant mystery. Be consistent. Be respectable. Making random overly-thirsty comments under her Facebook pictures, or utilizing SnapChat as your sole means of getting to know her as a person is obnoxious and distasteful. While I do not subscribe to the idea of “rules” while dating and could care less when women give their cookies away, I also don’t subscribe to flat-out nonsense. Learn the particulars of constructive, engaging conversation and interaction and use them!
You’re Still Using the Excuse That You Don’t Know How to Commit – Bull! How about you don’t want to. I am a firm believer that a woman cannot change a man, and that a man changes when he wants to. That being said, it may be time to grow-up. You can’t be claiming to want happily ever after with Lisa when you won’t leave Tracy, Keisha, and Tammy alone. This has to be an effort made first on your behalf. Just think about which of the above ladies might not be willing to hang around and wait!
You Have NO Ambition, Life Plan, or Structured Work-Ethic– Notice here that I did not say job. You can have a job and still no real goals. There are entrepreneurs who do not consider themselves anybody’s employee, but have a 10-year career plan that would impress Steve Jobs. My point here fellas is to be ambitious and realistic! Also be consistent and productive. We just want you to have a damn plan for your life! Where are you trying to go? How do you think you can get there, and most importantly, How can We help? Couples have to build each other up, but there has to be a foundation. We hear it all the time and there’s no difference here: We are the company that we keep. That includes your man! If he ain’t keep-able then why are you still being kept…
Almost 3 years ago, Gabrielle Union took over national airwaves with the character Mary Jane Paul (MJ), and all but commanded the attention of every Black woman that took at least fifteen seconds to watch her story unfold. Being Mary Jane, in my personal opinion, has been one of the most captivating viciously honest pieces of work in an American drama series, that I’ve seen in a long time. The show started out with no fluffs and never promised to please any particular audience or point-of-view. We got so lost in her affair with Andre, her feisty unapologetic tone, and self-righteous temperament, that we let it float over our heads that we just might have been looking into a mirror.
Mary Jane embodies that Black woman struggle that is only seen in our living rooms and behind the big oakwood closed doors of an expensive therapy session. This isn’t the stuff that we like to talk about. These aren’t the issues that we like to admit to others or ourselves that really do exist. The blue-print of ‘Black Girl Magic’ has become the ability to abandon transparency and just pretend that everything is ok. The strong Black woman should probably keep her mouth shut, mind her manners, let family walk all over her, put on her white face for her career, be a Super Hero to all of her friends, and still find the time to just fall her unstable behind into the arms of the perfect man that she can actually call all hers. How adorably oxymoronic. This is not real life for the Black woman, or any woman for that matter. If you can manage to shoot beyond the dissenting propaganda, her fly wardrobe, and the obvious metaphoric symbolization of her dope ass glass house, you would then be able to see this masterpiece for what it is. Every woman that I know is entombed inside of this person created by Mara Brock Akil. The Black Woman is Mary Jane Paul’s ventriloquist, if you will, and here’s why…
At Some Point You Probably Dated a Man That Wasn’t Yours Either and You Had No Idea What to Do About it – Let’s just call out the spades before we even start the card game. While I do not condone or promote extra-marital affairs, I’m not so aloof and bourgeois to realize that they do in fact exist, and that it’s a lot of women out here who think it’s ok! Y’all watched Mary Jane’s mess unravel and had all types of fire to breathe her way, but you forgot about that one time in college with the married professor, or who your illegitimate child’s father is. Yes, I went there and I’m going to keep going. This woman was a whole entire discombobulated tacky ball of mayhem, and what’s more important is that she was forthright enough to just go ahead and be honest about it. Guess what, she eventually got over it, and him too…just like you did!
You Have Gotten to a Certain Age and Become Severely Depressed Because You Don’t Have Kids Yet, and Have No Idea Who in the Hell the Daddy Would Even Be if You Did – Let’s be real. As most women creep through their thirties, this is a one-on-one conversation that you have with yourself. Of course all women do not want kids, but I’ve heard this story too many times to ignore the relevance of such. The fact of the matter is that it is Hard to have and then balance it all. Even those of us who have it are still trying to work out some kinks. Corporate society has always shunned the idea of placing motherhood over career, which is why most women wait. Corporate society has no idea about the silent personal struggle these women go through to put something so imperative to themselves on the back burner. The scary realities of fertility is something I could discuss all day! Then we have the women who are not in long-term solid relationships at the moment, but want a baby. Your time is ticking away! I’m not saying to go pilfer your next one-night-stand’s sperm, but you can clearly see the bigger message here.
You’re Tired of Being the Loyal Heroine for a Family That Thinks You Owe it to Them to Fix Their Chaos (But You Still Love Them Though) – Let me paint the picture for you. You’re the successful one with a stellar education, great job, nice income, and seemingly stable lifestyle. Your family resents you for this and has no problem letting you know how arrogant or selfish or rude you are, but then they end the conversation asking you for a couple of dollars. You play every role from therapist, to referee, to Mom, to big/little sister, to financial advisor and beyond. Your everyone’s whipping boy but they always call you when they’re in a jam. You feel strong guilt. This becomes emotionally draining and takes a toll on your entire life (read my second point again).
You’re the Strong Friend That Sometimes No One Realizes Needs Her Own Hug and Time to Just Fall Apart – You’re the alpha female in your group of friends that seems to either have it all together, or keeps them all together. You rushed to your girl’s side when she passed out in the street over a break-up with her guy, and you nursed her back to life after one too many dips in the vodka bottle, over an argument with her mom. Most friends just expect that you are always ok and assume that if you do have an issue “she’ll probably just work herself out of it.” Not so much! You have your weak moments as well, men do you wrong too, and you cry in the shower more than you would like to admit. Work is stressing you the hell out but all of your inner circle thinks that you have the “job a million girls would kill for.” So you resort to your own little rehabilitative idiosyncrasies and become your own darn support system (there is a method to the madness of MJ’s infamous Post-It notes!!!).
Everybody Self-Medicates Under Pressure. Yours Just Might Be Worse Than Tequila – We were enraged when the writers turned MJ into an under-the-cabinet alcoholic. Hmmmm, Wake Up Black Girl! That $700 that you just spent on the new red bottoms and called it “retail therapy” is no different than downing a glass of Mexico’s finest after a bad day at the office. Everyone has their vice. You picked yours. Don’t judge hers.
You Aren’t Perfect But You’re Still Trying – This one goes without needing to say very much. Every conflict in life knocks you ten tiers down from perfection. You know this, you’ve accepted this, and at some point you learn how to gracefully keep going. This, My Loves, is the quintessential essence of exactly why we are all just “Being Mary Jane…”
It’s happened! The time has come! Your life has officially changed and there’s no looking back; you’re a New Mom!! Your emotions are a tad bit all over the place but nonetheless you are currently experiencing a level of undeniable bliss for another human being that there is no real relentlessly modest way to even sensibly express it…but now what?? Your perfectly planned and flawlessly designed life now begins to take some major twists and turns and you, to some extent, feel a little bit out of control and somewhat helplessly lonely, in your own personal cloud of cognitive dissonance. The reality of it all is that you will make it through! Believe it or not you’re gonna be ok — “You is smart. You is kind. You is important.” 🙂
The annoyingly disheartening thing about this is that the rest of the world doesn’t seem to understand your plight, nor sympathize with some of your painstaking predicaments. Guess what Mommy….Eff Em! Let me tell you at least 10 things that you most positively and unequivocally should Not apologize for as a new Mom!!!
Your Weight Gain or Lack of Weight Loss – Numero uno, thee most annoying thing anyone in their ever-loving mind can do is mention a woman’s post-pregnant weight. Just find something else to talk about. Period. Here’s the thing, we have already sat in the hospital and then in our homes, and then stood in our bathroom mirrors looking at this new body and then sucking in trying to figure out what in the hell we used to look like. We’ve seen ourselves naked and with clothes on, so your rude unwarranted comments about how our stomachs are “kinda going back down” only make us cringe and want to head butt you. We don’t need you to state the obvious or tell us what we looked like in college, and remind us how small our waists were, or how firm and perky our boobs were, or how many more chins we have now, or that our butts got bigger/wider/smaller, or how “that baby has really made you spread” *insert stale face emoji*. You just created, grew, and then spew forth life to an entire human being. Whatever the hell your body has done, you should not be ashamed of!
Your Choice Not to Nurse – I need all of the Grandmas, Aunties, Breast Feeding Nazis, Facebook Fan Groups, and the like, to mind your darn business!! While I breast-fed with both of my children and will scream its wondrous benefits to the moon, I also understand that it is not for everyone. It is also not easy. It can be mentally traumatic, physically unrelenting, and cause feelings of overall failure if your experience doesn’t go well. I thank God for an angel disguised as an amazing lactation consultant nurse who got right into these sore swollen boobies and showed me how to more effectively latch my youngest son! Then some mothers just do not have the time or energy to nurse. You’re up every other hour at night, and when you return to work, you better hope you’re lucky enough to have your own office because you’re pumping every time you even think about your baby! Again, I personally believe that breast milk is the best milk and think one should at least try before they completely rule it out. Don’t stress yourself though. If you cannot or do not want to do it, don’t. Don’t apologize for it either!
Not Being Ready For Intercourse Yet – This can be a biggie! Especially those of us who are married and in committed relationships so you’re probably sleeping with this man every night. The doctor said six weeks and you’re knocking on about twelve. He is getting antsy and annoyed and you barely even have the attention span or time to notice. Well guess what MAN…She probably smells like breast milk, drool, an onion, leftover poop, and dirty hair because she gets a shower when she can and doing a wash, deep condition, and blow out with your favorite smelling conditioner just hasn’t been on her list of priorities lately. By the time she pathetically climbs into the bed, she is out quicker than a patient who gets anesthesia before a surgery. Needless to say, sex is the furthest thing from her mind right now. She loves you dearly and yearns for you also, but give her a little time and a weekend where your Mom has the kids and she can focus! She will get it together soon enough but she should not apologize for right now!
Being Tired – This one is obvious and too easy. New Moms are freakin’ TIRED!!! Do you understand what the human body has just gone through, and now there’s a little human desperately staring at you for every ounce of their survival 24/7??? Don’t tell a new Mom that she looks tired. Don’t tell a new Mom that she doesn’t have a reason to be tired because she has a husband. Don’t downplay her tiredness just because you can’t comprehend it. Matter of fact, unless you’re willing to come over and watch the baby so she can sleep for 8-12 hours straight, don’t even talk!
Becoming a New Person – I always sit back and wait for this one when I have friends or others that I know who are about to have their first child. These are usually the people who unfairly judged you when you had your first child and had a whole arsenal of smart ish to say about your new choices and way of living. Your priorities have changed and for good reasoning, but a lot of people won’t get that. Even being pregnant, you have no idea what your mind-set is about to evolve into. You no longer care about clubbing until 4am, making reckless choices with your health/overall life, pointless drama, drinking until you forget your last name, or what color your nails will be the next week. You’ve become an avid member of Mommy blogs and now subscribe to Parent magazine. Finding some good life insurance and researching the best daycare and pre-schools become your past time. You start to disconnect from busy body toxic friends that serve no purpose in the person who you need to ultimately be right now. Taking shots has transitioned into slowly sipping a good Malbec once you get the baby asleep at night. You forgot what nail polish even smells like, and are lucky to rip off that hang nail before it rips your child’s face open while giving him a bath. Things just aren’t the same anymore.
Your life has changed Momma. You owe No One an explanation…and you don’t need to apologize for that!
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve noticed a trend among women while perusing several other blogs and random articles. There seems to be a quite ubiquitous undertone about the resentment that some single women have towards women who are married. Again, I said some. Do not bring your enraged commentary under my post acting an entire fool if this does not apply to or describe you! In reality, the fact of the matter is that there are a lot of dejected and miserable females of the human species that are roaming this good Earth; and a great deal of it stems from relationship status. Denying only makes the issue worse, and then the bitterness continues to fester. Well, this girl here isn’t going to let you throw your acrimonious little temper tantrums and start downplaying my peace of mind just to keep your scab from peeling! We have got to learn to stop apologizing for the depths of our euphoria and the plight towards positivity that we have demanded and drawn into our lives. Some may call me a narcissist after reading this, while others will shout in praise. However you take it, just remember that your and my life still exist outside of this blog! 🙂
Now in true fashion of my infamous lists, spicy speculations, and widely known word venom, I have personally put together some brutally honest logic as to why my, and other women’s, marriages just might leave you a bit vexed.
We Actually Like Each Other – As in, even on our bad days we don’t want to stab each other into little pieces. We actually know and appreciate who we’ve married and enjoy being around one another. This seems to get under people’s skin. Why? I don’t know, but that isn’t my problem to figure out either! I know you’re thinking that this is a bit obvious but it isn’t. There is a huge percentage of the population married to individuals whom they don’t actually even care for. I’ve seen it before. It goes along with the issue of marrying for the wrong reasons.
We Have No Skeletons in the Closet – We both have pasts. We are both aware of those pasts. We could care less…Nothing is secretly going to be revealed that will make the other fret or cause disarray in our union. This annoys people…We are sorry for your disappointment.
Our Marriage is No Different on Social Media Than it is in Real Life – This is a basic one but it needed to be said. We don’t pretend or portray to be anything that we are not. What you see is what you get and most people who end up meeting us are usually pleasantly surprised by our relationship. We don’t hide our love, but we also aren’t obnoxiously leaving kissing emojis all over each other’s pages every ten minutes. We follow one another on different sites and neither of us have any weird, possessive, jealousy, or infidelity issues involved in that. Again, this seems to tick people off. Social Media runs the world and the validity of your relationship depends on its portrayal. HA!
My Husband Used to a Player – Like, not a regular player, but the super smooth frat guy that your Momma always told your butt to stay away from. Then he told all of the runner ups to stop texting him and turned his player card in for little ole me. People can’t seem to, and don’t want to, fathom that.
We Are Best Friends. If There is Ever a Me Versus You Situation, I Will Always Win – This one seems to be the killer, and not many truly understand. My husband is my protector, my bodyguard, and my King. He will always and forever have my back! We have been through a great deal together, and when he took his vows he meant it. Unfortunately there is not a darn thing you’re going to be able to do about that…Sorry But Not Sorry 😉
We Are Happy – It’s just that simple. Real Life Undeniable Unconditional Black Love! Two people who took a chance and make it work. My real life Love Jones, the ‘perfect hook to a dope beat,’ the one who ‘personifies my admiration’ and makes me giggle. He is my Lover and the Father of my children. He accepts me the way that I am and holds my existence in the highest regard. He is I and I am Me! Just let us be.
I have found my Cloud Nine, and you better go find yours! Never be mad about what the next lady has…Instead, ask her how she got it!