Tag Archives: women

Why Can’t I Get Married, Too?

Yep, I’m back…again. This time by request.

I took a leave of absence because I was told by a few folks that my opinions and comments on certain topics swayed their thoughts of me. Honestly, I laughed at first at one individual in particular but then shortly thereafter became curious as to why and to what extent her thoughts had changed. Well, the answers I received made me laugh even more: “I never knew you were so shallow and judgmental. It made me think twice about opening up and being honest with you.” The contradiction in this statement baffled me. I wanted to point it out but I realized that I was speaking to a foolish person.

So, here lies the reason I’m back, posting my thoughts away for the world (27 or so people) to read and then – undoubtedly – pass judgment upon me for being honest. “B, why can’t I find a good man? Someone who will just act right and make me his wife? I mean, am I asking too much?”

Those words spilled from her mouth with such sincerity I proceeded to talk to this female friend of mine for about 45 minutes about our views on the topic. We both went on and on about why we thought dating and marriage between African-Americans suffer so much, why biological clocks with women and the emergence of financial success in men cause a disconnect between the two, even why interracial dating is more prominent now than ever witnessed before. She supported almost every bullet point with an ABC News special on this exact topic. I hadn’t seen the special at that time but I’ve heard the story a million times over. Successful Black woman has worked hard to furnish herself with this, that and the third but still can’t find the man of her dreams. What’s wrong with the Black Community? The conversation between the two of us started out a healthy one, but then I became bothered by some of the things I heard her say about Black men in general and why “we” can’t and won’t commit to “them”. “Well, since you’re such the relationship expert nowadays B, why don’t you spread the wealth of knowledge?” She meant this sarcastically but nevertheless, here ya go!

First of all, women – not just African-Americans – need to stop with the demands and the excuses you call reasons for having them. I have this, I have that. He should this, he should that. No one owes you jack. Putting labels and setting bars on men because of your accomplishments is just as shallow as him saying he won’t settle down because he wants to take advantage of his options. I have several female friends who I consider marriage material – women who’d make great wives and wonderful mothers – that are single, bouncing in and out of relationships to taking a break from dating to being smitten by the guy who calls and asks how her day was. There’s no problem with Black men. This isn’t an issue of Black men being incarcerated, you never considered them your “type” anyway. The graduation rate of Black men has absolutely nothing to do with it either. Ladies, it’s you!

Secondly, start treating the relationships you do have with more respect. No man enjoys dating someone that doesn’t show him that he’s appreciated and wanted. If ladies want to be treated like Princesses and Queens, I’d suggest you learn how to treat us men like Princes and Kings. If you don’t then you’re “hustling backwards”. It’s like having a “Filet Mignon appetite with a dollar menu bank account” or “expecting Crystal with a Boones Farm mind-state”. No one opens a bank account with $10 and then expects to withdraw $100 from the ATM afterwards. The same goes for a relationship. While you’re looking at him to do all the work in the relationship – expecting him to sweep you off your feet – he’s wondering when and why you don’t feel it’s necessary to do the same for him.

Lastly, learn how to let a man be a man. We’ve all seen it before: A woman arguing with a man who doesn’t want to argue with her. He tries to walk away from the situation but she just keeps forcing the issue. I sometimes try to predict how much time goes past before he leaves her, or worse, smacks her across her face. (I don’t condone hitting women – especially in situations like this – but you got to admit, sometimes you understand when it does happen.)

My grandfather has a 6th grade education but runs the family farm, has 15 children, 22 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, and loved my grandmother ’til her last living day so education and wealth have nothing to do with a Black man’s ability to be a loving father and committed husband. If every Black man looked at his accomplishments and demanded that a woman meet those standards, he’d be labeled “unreasonable” or “selfish”. It’s similar to a prenuptial agreement, the same agreement most women who make less than their counterpart deems disrespectful when asked to sign. So stop patting yourself on the back and making senseless demands on the men you date and start putting emphasis on the important things that really matter. Would a Black man with a degree, 6 figure salary and a respectful financial portfolio that hates children, dogs and your friends be a sufficient candidate for marriage? If so, consider yourself a shallow, gold digging…you-know-what. Now take away the accomplishments and replace them with modest achievements but add the fact that he loves you, cherishes your children and treats your friends like his own…is he looking a little more promising now?

My advice to these unfortunate, beautiful, successful Black women of prominence who have been mistreated by society, are under-appreciated by men because of all of their accolades and can’t find a Black man to marry them would be to get a grip on life and stop looking to men to grant you a life you don’t know how to give yourself. Your relationships as boyfriend and girlfriend should serve as practice before marriage. So, learn from them. If you keep hearing you’re an insensitive bitch, well, who the hell wants to marry that? Lastly, stop comparing yourself to others, especially chicks on television shows like “Desperate Housewives of…”, “Basketball Wives” and anything Beyonce sings.

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Filed under relationships, The B2 Xpress

So, you don’t want to cuddle?

“B, what type of man just wants to cuddle?”

The question startled the hell out of me.  Many of my friends have come to me for my thoughts on situations they were going through but what makes this friend think I’d know why her partner wanted to just cuddle with her?  I think I was initially thrown off because I was deeply engaged with a plate of buffalo wings inside one of DC’s most Republican bars on Capitol Hill.  So the irony of all things around me and the question being asked of me caused a raised brow.

I answered the question – after wiping my mouth and taking a swig of my drink – with a swift, “What in the hell are you talking about?”

Turns out, her male friend of 13 years – often noted as her “best friend” who sometimes doubles as the “asshole” but never the “boyfriend”, “significant other” or “husband” – decided that this time around, in the intimate hours of the night, that he just wanted to hold her.  At this point I’m becoming furious with this woman.  Not only is she keeping me from my 25 cent buffalo wings and the first of quite a few half priced Jack and Coke’s with this nonsense, but she’s choosing to do this by asking me what I thought HIS problem was.  His problem?

It’s funny how the more things change, the more they stay the same.  I’m going to use another musical selection that chronologically breaks down how women have warped the brains of men causing us to burden the blame eventhough we were trying to please them.

For me and most other men my age, it all began with the songs from our parents past.  Our fathers’ admired this individual and tried their best to mirror all that they could that resembled his music.  He’s known as “The Godfather of Soul”, “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business”, and “Soul Brother Number One.”  He’s James Brown.

James Brown set the standard for what a man should be in the 60’s.  He sang lyrics that honored hardworking men who provided for their families.  James Brown also talked about “Living in America” and cultural issues while dancing like no one had ever seen before.  Back then, if you couldn’t sing or play an instrument, you better be a superb dancer and know how to fight.  Just being a smart man in a woman’s eyes wasn’t man enough.  But when the news hit the fan about Mr. Brown’s run in with police, women turned on him quicker than Judas did Jesus Christ.  So we cut the perms out, stopped processing our hair, and supported the Civil Rights Movement.  We would become smooth brothers with a purpose, a cause and waiting for a reason to fight.

Then the bras and panties started to be thrown on stage when the smooth, yet mean, Teddy Pendegrass yelled at his women to “Close the Door” and “Turn Off the Lights.”

Women would scream for him, cry for him, even take his hand and go on stage with him – leaving their dates behind who’d purchased the tickets to see the man perform.  Trying to be all James Brown got your women stolen by Teddy P.  But Mr. Pendergrass would never be the same after a near fatal car accident paralyzed him from the waist down.  Those demonstrative songs where he barked his sexual commands to his women were left limp.  The site of him in a wheelchair ruined the sexual fantasies of women wanting to be taken by such a macho man.  So we adapted – again – and changed things up.  This time – just like the last time and the time before that – we thought we had it all figured out.  Since the stand-up guy thing was long gone and the smooth, macho man had had it’s stay, we figured it was time to soften it up a little bit and fulfill the needs of women.  Instead of inflicting our wills upon them, let’s try listening to them and doing what they tell us to do.  Yes, that’s it!

Ralph Tresvant picked up on this new movement quickly and was praised by women for being a man with “Sensitivity.”

Men across the nation adopted the silky, but not too silky, vibe.  We embraced our sensitivities and opened up our hearts for all women to see.  We cleaned up our acts so that a “Tenderoni” or “PYT” would notice us.  A “Smooth Criminal” was a force to be reckoned with until March 3, 1991 when several LAPD oficers beat the living snot out of a man named Rodney King.

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Rodney King was a pioneer in this new transformation of men.  He embraced the decades before him.  The 60’s in him are evident from the plastic covered couches he had in his house.  The representation of the 70’s were shown through his flare and dancing in the streets while the cops had their guns drawn on him.  The 80’s – well, he was drinking 40 ounce malt liquor beverages and had a wave nouveau.  But when he opened his mouth, the 90’s began.

After the subsequent acquittal of the LAPD officers involved in the beating of Rodney king, riots from Los Angeles to Atlanta were the focus of the media’s attention.  Of course we were upset with the results of what should have been a simple traffic stop.  Of course we were appauled by the lack of common sense the jurors possessed who ruled over the case.   But what hurt us most of all was that we had to admit that the sensitive, smooth, I’m-a-lover-not-a-fighter attitude was our third and final strike against our women.  Especially when he said, “Can’t we all just get along?”

The love ballads were dead.  Any dude caught singing without a baritone voice or dancing like a Fly Girl from ‘In Living Color’ was banished from the new era of black men.  If you weren’t a gangster and going around telling everyone that you were then the ladies looked at you as soft and a doormat.  Even the kids caught on to this. 

Today, it’s even worse.  After all the changes we’ve endured in the past we now have men that sing sexually explicit songs and use women as their subjects but I’m not too convinced it’s their intended audience.  Catch my drift?

So in conclusion, this poor woman is torturing herself by trying to understand the complexities of our significant others.  But, how many heterosexual men have been told by their significant other, “Baby, can we just cuddle tonight?”  When I asked my friend how many times she’d denied his sexual wishes in the past she answered, “Several.”  When I asked her how many times he’d done the same she answered, “That’s not the point.”  I’m getting much better at convincing myself that everyone else in this world is crazy but me.  We have men telling women to think like men and women telling men how to be a man.  For Steve Harvey – a self proclaimed, born again player – to write a book about the lies men tell is perposterous to me.  Is Steve a little upset that his days of running the streets and being with multiple women are over, so therefore, he’s going to ruin it for every other man wanting those experiences?  If someone needs reforming then they should buy a Bible, not Mr. Harvey’s book on what he did when he played with women’s emotions.  And I’ve never been a woman – thank God – so I’ll never assume that I know what it’s like to be one.  So ladies, do yourselves a favor and cut it out with the “a real man is…” this and that.  If you’re so good at being a man then you be responsible for the manual labor around the house and let us take care of the domestic duties.  Boy, I wonder what kind of punks we’d be then?

A joke was told to me once that said a man’s wife walks up to him and says, “Why would God make you so handsome and so stupid at the same time?”  The man looks at his wife and says, “Well, He made me handsome so you’d be attracted to me.  But He made me stupid so I’d be attracted to you.”

The Laws of Attraction haven’t changed but the people sure have.  Pleasing someone has never been an easy thing to do but blaming it on the other person for it turning sour seems to be a typical course of action.  Call me crazy for saying no one is in a relationship alone.  Who am I to think that compromise, communication and respect for others is imperative for any relationship to succeed?  You may never believe this, but some of you have lost your damned minds!

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Filed under Music, Nostalgia, relationships

The Unsolved Mystery

Relationships…

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Have I scared some of you away already? And you, the one who just took that deep breath…relax. It’s just a blog.

All humans participate in relationships in some shape, form or fashion but not all of us know how to operate as ourselves in them. A relationship  – according to my own opinion – has common denominators; those factors being more than one party being involved in one common goal or purpose. We experience relationships with family members, coworkers, significant others, pets, even our automobiles or other modes of transportation. If you neglect your part in the relationship, more than likely the relationship will fail.

In this post, I’ll dissect common errors made by both men and women (so please don’t approach me with neck rolls and finger snaps ladies because some of this may hit home with you…and fellas, please don’t use my words as law with your ladies without thinking it all the way through first).

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True story…

A man see’s a woman at the bowing alley as they both entertain the company of their own parties but the attraction between the two is insanely obvious. They smile, then go back to bowling with their respected friends, but check back with each other and smile again ever so often. Even though they are both adults, they do childish things like time each others departure by saying loudly, “I’m gonna go to the snack bar. I’ll be right back!” as a hint to the eavesdropping potential significant other to do the same. And of course, they do.

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At the snack bar, the conversation is even more of your typical girly movie dialogue. You know, the “Hey, I couldn’t help but notice…” and the “I hope I wasn’t staring too much” blah blah blah.  But it works.  They exchange numbers and go back to where there friends are and continue with the flirtatious looks and banter.

Fast forward…

They’ve been on several dates and have now made their relationship official.  Nothing negative can penetrate their love for each other.  Friends are starting to ask when wedding bells will be ringing.

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Fast forward some more…

They’ve had their first few arguments and disagreements but the love and romance is stronger so they push forward.  Signs of discomfort with certain behaviours from both have been pointed out but neither wants to make a huge deal of it because the relationship is still fresh and fun.

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Fast forward even more…

Now, dates are just what you usually do instead of what you want to do.  He still slurps his spaghetti and she still tells her girlfriends all their business.  Her friends begin to suggest she move on to another guy while his friends plan more game parties with beer, fried chicken and more beer.  This is where the relationship truly begins.

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It’s very easy to point the finger at the other person and put the blame on them but how often do we actually look at ourselves and ask if we’ve done we can to save the relationship?  In a relationship, all parties have a specific job to do in every situation you’re faced with.  If one person is doing the steering then the other should be responsible for the navigation.  If the navigator decides to reach for the wheel, then both of you end up crashing into a traumatic death.  This is true in all bonds between humans, even if it doesn’t involve another human being.

If you keep your dog caged up for days without any exercise or you mistreat it everytime you see it, you can bet your last dollar that when it gets its chance to flee it will.  Don’t say, “Get back here you stupid dog” when it happens.  If you neglect to change the oil in your car or drive it like your on the Indy 500 race cicuit, eventually the motor or the transmission will fail on you.  Don’t say, “Why are you doing this me?” when it happens.  If you report to work late and leave early, sooner than later you’ll be replaced.  Don’t say, “I don’t know why they fired me” when it happens.

I’ve always been skeptical of those who point fingers or those who stand by and let their relationships die.  I still get mad when I watch the Discovery Channel and the cameraman follows the starving lion around until it dies.  Why not toss the poor animal one of those hot dogs he’s eating?

So, know your role and understand it.  Respect the situation you’re in and never compare yours to someone else’s.  And last but not least, put your best effort into your relationship at all times, even when things are bad.  If all else fails, the last the you can say is you stood by and watched your relationship fail.

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