When it Rains it Pours

It’s funny but I can’t laugh; So sad but I can’t cry –

-Kelli Price

I am so angry I could scream. Shit, fuck screaming, I am ready to have a temper tantrum.

I am in a funk. I could run down the short list of issues, but frankly, I don’t want to.

I will say that part of the problem is that Ktop 4, i.e. my laptop, is no more. The harddrive died and no files can be retrieved. The tech called to tell me and he sounded like a doctor informing that a close relative had gone on to meet The King. And I reacted like that’s what it was too. Tears and everything.

And no, before you ask. I didn’t have a back-up harddrive.

I know, I know. But I just bought the damn thing a couple summers back (for my bday no less.) I thought it’d be years before it conked out on me. So my pictures (biggest loss), blog outtakes, unpublished blogs (like a hundred?), Introducing Amelda Davis (the completed book that would never see the light of day), the new book, and all of my music are no more (well, I do have the excerpts I sent out). Oddly enough, the only thing that I’m upset about are the pictures. Everything else can be re-downloaded, re-written (possibly better than before. I’m taking off from partying and caking with my boo for a few days to re-do the book). But the moments in time that were captured can’t be re-duplicated, you know? But, I have a lot of pics on Facebook and Instagram; and at least I’ll always have the memories. (This is my attempt to find optimism.)

*Sigh*

I’m usually a chipper person despite any adversity I might face. But for the first time in a long, long time, I am very, very sad (and I can’t even sit at home and write about it as therapy.)

RIP Ktop 4. You (or at least the information you contained) were loved and will be dearly missed.

— K. Reagan

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Men Don’t Tell Us How To Act

I can’t sit through one more sermon, debate or call-in radio show.

I can’t read another statistic-littered blog post, magazine article or self-help book jacket.

I can’t—and never will—pay good money for a singles conference, get anointed with special herbs and spices, or visit my local soothsayer for answers.

I can’t listen to one more piece of here’s-how-to-snag-a-husband-and-get-your-lonely-tail-down-the-aisle advice, especially from a man.

I’m over it. On behalf of all of us.

There are far, far too many self-proclaimed relationship experts and marriage gurus building their brands and platforms on Black women’s desire to be part of loving, committed couples. Our hope is their business opportunity. Those elements, juxtaposed with this pandemic spirit of scarcity that insists there’s a man shortage, has created a bountiful environment for every half-cocked, wannabe man whisperer.

Ladies, the curtain has been pulled back. And the Wiz looks just like any other dude who has ever catapulted an opinion into the atmosphere. They, for the most part, don’t have solutions. They, for the most part, don’t have special insights. They are, for the most part, just regular guys, waxing poetic about the multitude of ways we need to perfect ourselves before a fella will wife us. And we listen, even hang onto their input.

Hear them tell it, we need to keep our hair and makeup tight, keep our bodies even tighter and stay that way because for better or worse evidently has a weight restriction and an appearance clause. We need to be spiritually grounded but sexually adventurous. We need to be able to cook, be understanding about respecting his space but appreciate the value of quality time, be independent but just intuitive enough to know when to let a man be a man. We need, we need, we need.

No guy can single-handedly interpret the thoughts, actions and intentions of all male-kind, not even the most macho, testosterone-attuned mandroid. Everyone—yes, every man—is entitled to have a clear vision about what they’re looking for in a life mate. But while they’re developing this seemingly ever-growing checklist of qualifications that is supposed to make a woman wife material, who is preparing these brothers to be husbands?

Certainly publishers aren’t hunting down the next bestseller on grooming single men into spouses—that ain’t where the money’s at—and the homies aren’t selling out stadium-sized venues to be coached into marriage readiness. This, even though they’re coming into relationships with their fair share of baggage, issues, hangups, fallibilities and personality flaws, just like we are. And just because a dude is already married doesn’t authorize him to peddle homegrown wisdom into gold. A ring and a penis doth not automatically entitle anyone to dispense relationship advice to women desperate for some inside perspective on why they’re 25, 30, 35, 40 and still single. But with the wrong intention, it does make them an emotional predator.

Even fellow blogger Slim Jackson, himself a man who could just as easily thumbs up this uptick in haphazard man wisdom, has noticed the barrage of questionably qualified dudes. I don’t think women should always be the ones jumping through hoops to get to some level of marry-ability, to make ourselves “worthy of the ring.” I’d venture to say, with all of this focus, you’re probably closer to being ready to be a wife than the man you’re going to marry is to being a husband at this very moment. We’ve been conditioned to work on ourselves. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn’t always stretch across gender lines.

If anything, this privilege that we’ve handed over—and our almost visible thirstiness to get engaged—has fueled an unfortunate sense of entitlement that consistently gives men the advantage. The ones we’re trying to date, the ones who are making money off of our attempts to date, the whole lot of them. I can’t wholly blame them for being opportunistic (and there are certainly enough women also making their killings by telling us how to make ourselves over). But I am calling for balance, for men to be held to the same standards and expected to make the same personal investments for the sake of jumping the broom. What’s good for the gander is just as good for the goose.

SINGLE WOMEN – JUST BE LESBIAN

Note: Please click the links in the article. 

Ok, back to business.

Are you:

Single?

A Black woman?

Over 15?

If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, then you’re likely desperate to get married.

College- educated?

Oh, you’re definitely desperate.

It doesn’t matter if you claim to have a boyfriend, a fiancé, you’re a lesbian, don’t want to get married or even in high school. You’re still single and worse, lonely, and worse still, unlikely to marry.  This is, of course, is based solely on the thoughts in my all-knowing head—not on like actual studies that say otherwise. I know all women—and girls too— want to be married not like right now, but like yesterday. It’s urgent like a motherf***er. I saw that ABC special where that one thirty-something woman said she cries into her pillow at night because she’s not married and I know that applies to every single Black woman—or girl—alive.

How do I know?

Because I think like a man.

So why aren’t you married yet? Because your standards are too damn high like rent in New York City. You have nerve to be employed, think for yourself and as desperately single as you are, the audacity to scoff at broken men, cheating men, weak men, men you have to support, down-low men, and even your last resort for marriage, bi-sexual men. You out here acting like being single is something to celebrate.

Girl, bye.

You’re miserable. And even worse, you got these good men with better things to do out here trying to work with you and dispense quality advice. These male relationship experts are trying to help difficult you “keep” somebody, and you ain’t been listening: Submit! Shut up! Cook! Clean! In heels! Every day!

F*** your bunions and your feminism too. Let a man lead you even if it’s into a damn hole. At least if you fall in and die, you would have a man—hopefully, your husband— by your side at your demise. Being Mrs. [it only counts if you take his last name] is all you should want to be remembered for anyway.

Unfortunately, it’s probably too late for all of you, especially if you’ve wasted prime husband-hunting years getting a diploma when you should have freed up your time to find a man by getting a GED.  All the hetero Black men alive and even not yet born have, are now or will be planning to marry White women.  And because in the history of mankind no desirable man of any other color has ever been really interested in a Black woman as a wife, you’re left only with one hope for marriage: women.

Yeah, I said it. Single Black women should marry each other.

Think of the benefits: you’ll be married!!! You’ll be married!!! You’ll be married!!!

This will work out well for lesbians because you know, all this time ya’ll have been settling for women because you couldn’t keep a man. But for the rest of you, it’s time to “turn” yourselves gay. It can’t be that hard since the millions-strong LGBT community just rolled over one morning when they hit puberty and decided to go against the grain. You can too!

Just go on and roll over.  Roll, dammit!

Now call your bestie, get on the plane and head to the nearest courthouse in one of the nine states where gay marriage is legal and jump that broom.

I know some of you are wondering, “but will I be happy with this arrangement?” Um… girl, you’re thinking small when you should be thinking big. Your happiness?  That doesn’t matter. You’re finally married! Black marriage solves everything.

“But what about Jesus,” you ask? God loves gays. (No sarcasm.)

Others of you may be wondering, “what about children?” Girl, stop. I read the comments sections on Black blogs and “listen” to Black men —the all knowing source of everything about Black women because of the woman they were raised by and those they’ve dated. You’re over 15, which means you probably have a few kids by now anyway. You and your new wife joining forces? It’ll be like The Brady Brunch. It’ll be fun!

If you so happen to be that one anomaly of a Black woman alive who doesn’t have an out-of-wedlock child? Just go buy one from Africa—white women do it all the time, and at least you’ll know how to do the kid’s hair.

You mad?

Of course, we are inherently more combative by birthright than other women (I watch TV so I know how we can be).  I’mma ask you to put down that bottle or phone you’re ‘bout to throw, and imagine what this could do for the statistics about single Black women. Like 99% of us who are of legal age to marry (ie, older than 15 in most places) could be married.

Boo, I’ve just singlehandedly solved the Black woman’s marriage crisis. You shouldn’t be fighting me; you should be awarding me the Nobel Peace Prize. However, a thank you will suffice.

The Miseducation of the Breakup

My bestie called me this morning recapping a conversation that her and her new boo and future baby daddy (as she likes to refer to him) were having this morning. They were discussing how hard it is to be in love with someone and knowing that they are no longer in love with you. So in the mist of sharing this conversation with another mutual friend of ours he explains the break up break down from the breakee’s perspective. As he’s talking it reminds me of a song that I loved some years back… “Whose Gonna Save My Soul”. We sit for a couple of minutes trying to remember the lyrics and who sung the song. Later we discovered it was by Gnarles Barkley.

Here is where today’s blog begins….

So Kewon sends me the video link of the song that he and I were trying to remember from earlier. I played the video and I think it’s briliant, like the greatest summary of a break-up ever. Watching it is the most awkward and painful feeling because by now, I’ve been on both sides of the table (literally) and can relate all too well. One thing I did note, is that everyone always sympathizes with the Breakee, but being the The Breaker is no easy feat. Trying to “be an adult” and diplomatically telling someone that you likley no longer love, but still care for, “I’ve evaluated the ways in which you’ve contributed to my life and decided I can do better” is wrenching.(Bottomline: that’s what you’re saying when you end it. All the “it’s not you, it’s me,” is just to spare the feelings of the Breakee.)

The other person gives you the blank stare, maybe you see the muscle jump in the jaw, maybe he’ll cross his arms defensively. And even if he doesn’t interupt your drawn out verbal attempt not to feel like a bad person, you know he’s thinking some variation of “this bitch” or “are you fucking kidding me?” or even worse, “what the fuck am I gonna do now?” No one halfway decent enjoys feeling like the “bad girl.”

Basic decorum dictates that The Breaker must state her case, then listen to the Breakee’s rebuttal even though her mind is made up. And she may have to sit through a tirade about how “you are no prize either, just so you know.” He could swallow his pride and try to persuade her to rethink her decision (Steve to Miranda: “we’ve got good stuff here.”) Then she’s forced to pull a Caesar and decide the fate of the one-time strong gladitaor who’s been reduced to begging for extending the relationship’s life. So unpretty.

Breaking up’s a bitch, no matter which role you’re playing. (Even when it’s mutual, the whole “so what do we do now question?” followed by awkward silence is only slightly less painful.) Hence, why I love this video, which delves into the mind of The Breakee with startling clarity. The summaries of what comes next are hilarious in delivery, but two of the most introspective POVs written in a long time. Someone deserves a raise for crafting this one.

Anyway enjoy the video:

Whose Gonna Save My Soul Now