I was out of town handling some business this past Friday, so I missed a very busy day on Twitter. The topic of conversation? This article in the Washington Post, entitled "Successful, Black and Lonely." *sigh*
Yall know I'm tired of talking bout this subject. We know the stats, we've read the books, we know the chicks. Why we're still talking bout this, I will never know. Anyway, this post isn't to rehash all that stuff. This post is for the ladies in my demographic: educated, doing the damn thing @ work, and then going home & cuddling with a body pillow.
Ladies, ladies, ladies....its time we had a serious talk with ourselves. We have some issues. Now I know that's hard to hear, but its true. I've been thinking this for a while, but that Post article just pushed me over the edge. I hate to say this, but we as a group are fucking up. For real.
Take for example, these gems from the Post article:
In a series of essays, Andrews documents the lives of so many young black women who appear to have everything: looks, charm, Ivy League degrees, great jobs. Closets packed full of fabulous clothes; fabulous condos in fabulous gentrified neighborhoods; fabulous vacations, fabulous friends. And yet they are lonely: Their lives are repetitive, desperate and empty. They are post-racial feminists who have come of age reaping the benefits of both the civil rights movement and the women's movement, then asking quietly:What next? "For a lot of black women, especially young successful black women, we have a lot of boxes on our master plan list checked off," Andrews says. "We think happiness should come immediately after that. But that is not always the case."
"I went on a date last night with Cornrows," Andrews says, using the nickname that her friends have given the man. "I got in his car and there was this strawberry smell fragrance. I had to roll the window down by hand. I assume it's paid for." Cornrows, she says, seems nice, but that is the problem. "He can put together coherent sentences, but they are not in any way related to my life," she says. She laughs, but catches herself. She knows the man is trying hard. She also knows Cornrows doesn't stand a chance. "I'm a mean woman. I don't date nice people. That's why I'll be alone for the rest of my life. I will always have to settle."
These quotes (and some others) made my head hurt & also made me want to beat up some chicks. Like for real? Ugh, I so need yall to do better.
I hate to say it, but in a lot of ways, your dating situation or lack of it, is your own fault. I know, because I've been in the same boat. Walking around talking about "Oh, I'm an educated Black woman, Black men are intimidated by me, blah blah blah" only helps keep that negativity in your life, and keeps you from what you want: a healthy committed monogamous relationship with a man that you love that loves you back.
First ladies, you need to make one thing clear: YOU AREN'T OWED ANYTHING, INCLUDING HAPPINESS. Read it again if you need to. Just because you have the degrees, the fancy title, the red-soled shoes and the fabulous townhouse, that does not mean that the Universe is obligated to make you happy, or give you the things that you THINK will make you happy. You aren't owed a husband, or children, or that parking space at the mall, or anything else. So stop thinking that you are. Be grateful for what you do have; be grateful & thankful that you're hard work has gotten you to where you are. What you want isn't going to come to you easily, but you already know this. Did those degrees come easily? Did the house come easily? So why do you think that the "perfect" man is going to fall from the sky?
Second thing - STOP BEING SUCH A SNOB WHEN IT COMES TO MEN & DATING! I almost lost my mind when I read that bit about "Cornrows" and his car. I mean seriously ladies, are we really disqualifying dudes because he doesn't have power windows? For real? Come on...now I'm all for having standards, but that is not a standard, thats just being a snob & elitist. Is the presence or lack of power windows really going to give you an indication of that man's character? I think not. Not to mention, way too many of us have a "standard" that we ourselves can't meet (thanks to LM for that point). You can't demand that a man have an attribute that you don't possess. I'm not saying that you date every random that comes your way, but damn, loosen up! As stated in point #1, the Universe doesn't owe you anything, therefore you aren't owed that perfect Black man making 6 figures with 3 degrees, a 7 Series and a McMansion. So stop measuring every man you encounter with that impossible standard...unless of course, you just love cuddling with your body pillow at night...alone.
Third, ladies, YOU ARE NOT YOUR RESUME! I've been guilty of this myself...yes I am a chemist & a graduate of 2 very fabulous universities and whatnot...but that doesn't speak to my character. And more importantly, the way I am in the office, handling business & being in charge, is not the way I am at home. But too many of us dont take off that corporate armor at home or in our personal lives, and then we wonder why everyone thinks we're mean & bitchy. It won't kill you to be nice, and it won't kill you to go out with a guy who is nice but may not be as educated as you, or make as much money, or even have a car with power windows. And conversely, the dude that has the degrees, the title, the 5 Series and the trendy loft may be great, but none of his "things" can tell you if he's loyal, dependable, trustworthy, a good provider, or a host of other things that are important in a committed relationship. As the First Lady so eloquently put it in her Glamour magazine interview:
"Cute’s good. But cute only lasts for so long, and then it’s, Who are you as a person? That’s the advice I would give to women: Don’t look at the bankbook or the title. Look at the heart. Look at the soul. Look at how the guy treats his mother and what he says about women. How he acts with children he doesn’t know. And, more important, how does he treat you? When you’re dating a man, you should always feel good. You should never feel less than. You should never doubt yourself. You shouldn’t be in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t make you completely happy and make you feel whole. And if you’re in that relationship and you’re dating, then my advice is, don’t get married."
I'm sure some of yall are yelling at me right now, and that's ok. A year ago, I would have been yelling at me too. But it needs to be said. Actually, all this stuff has been said, but by a lot of male bloggers, and yall just tune that out...maybe this time yall will listen to me...If I'm wrong or off base, I'm sure yall will let me know, but I dont think I am. Self-reflection is a bitch, but it must be done. And I know we can do better ladies, we absolutely have to.