Tuesday, April 27, 2010

He's Got Potential

Last Thursday I took the time to watch the Nightline special*, "Why Can't Successful Black Women Find A Man?" I know a lot of women and men were rolling their eyes at the thought of Nightline touching this topic again but I figured it was worth a listen; especially since my man Hill Harper was going to be a part of the panel. The rest of the panel consisted of Sherri Shepherd, Jacque Reid, and Jimi Izreal and was moderated by Steve Harvey and Jinsey Davis.

Even though the special was only 30 minutes, ABC attempted to pack in as much as possible. The panelists covered everything from Jimi Izreal's "Denzel principle"(the thought that Black women are out here looking for the perfect, unattainable man) to female intimidation. One topic or idea they covered that I found particularly interesting is men feeling like women pass over the guy with potential in lieu of the one who has already made it.

I, for one, have never had a problem with trusting in someone's potential. Maybe it's because I'm barely 25, that I don't see an issue with dating a man who hasn't yet made it in his profession and doesn't have his own house and a hot car. One of the last guys I dated, had no job at the time and that never once bothered me. Sure it made me hesitate to ask about going out all the time, but I have no problem staying in for an old fashioned dinner and a movie. But what I do know is that there are plenty of women who may have heard "I'm not currently working" and any warm and fuzzy feelings they were having instantly would have shut down. As women we are drawn to men who we think can provide for us and our potential families, it's honestly our nature to be that way. But what if by concentrating on a man's status and material gains we overlook someone who could potentially bring something positive to our lives?

I've always said my only "success" based criteria was that the man I'm interested in have a college degree or have his own business. I don't think either of those are unreasonable. What I've encountered though is that you men out there have more of an issue with getting involved with a woman when you all haven't "made it". It's somewhat understandable. I get that as men you want to feel like you have something worthwhile to bring to the table before you settle down, but what about being able to build together?

As I've gotten older, I've realized that I have some old school thoughts when it comes to love and relationships. And as a part of this mindset, I think it would be desirable to have someone by your side while you're on the way up. Who wouldnt want somebody to lean on when the times get tough? I also think it helps you to know that the person you're with is really there for you and not just for what you can do for and give them.

Am I wrong here? Am I right? I know you all are out there reading, so tell me something! :o)

*You can watch the Nightline special here: http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/successful-black-woman-find-man/story?id=10355642

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I'm Having A Baby

Apparently I missed the memo on joining the epidemic that's ocurring these days. You know the one where everybody and anybody is having a baby. I know there had to have been a flyer, e-mail, fax, PSA, tweet or something about it; because I swear if I hear one more person tells me that they are "having a baby" I may just scream.

Over the past year and a half, I have had more than 10 people that I personally know, make this proclamation. At the age of 24, I'm just not ready for this! I'm sitting here thinking about all the fun and reckless debauchery I plan on getting into this summer and I'm surrounded by people who are busy having babies.

Don't get me wrong, we are all adults, and if you can take care of a child, by all means do what you do. But the numbers are really throwing me for a loop. There's just like a major influx of babymaking going on these days.

What does bother me though about all this is that the number of people I know who have proclaimed "I'm getting married" pales in comparison. So am I to think that it's easier to decide to bring a child into the world than to decide to commit yourself to one person and make it official? Not passing judgement here, but posing a question. I know some of you all are probably saying, it only takes one act to have a baby and "accidents happen"but what I'm really beginning to wonder, is if accidents really do happen?? With the types of odds I've been seeing, it makes me hesistate to partake in any activity(in this case sex), that has those kinds of odds. Think about it, if you had 10 people tell you they got into car accidents in a short span of time, wouldnt you be scared to drive?

In this age of condoms, foams, pills, and patches it bothers me a bit to think that accidents are occuring so often. If your initial mode of protection fails, you've even got a 72 hour window now to actively do something about it. My only thought these days is that women who wind up pregnant, do so because they want to be pregnant. Which isn't always a problem, but when you're a single woman, why would you honestly wanna do that? According to recent statistics, almost 70% of black children are born out of wedlock, compared to 30% of white children and 35% of hispanic children.* And at the same time 85% of Americans feel that the number of children born to single parents in a "serious issue".*

Crazy right? What is it that has us as a community perpetuating this cycle of having babies out of wedlock? For whatever reason, do we just not see it as a big deal that so many of our children end up being reared in single parent(often single mother) households?

Somebody share your thoughts with me please.

*Stats taken from "Father Facts" (2002)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ring Envy

After 2 long weeks, I finally fixed my computer! Do you know how impossible it is to attempt to blog from your phone?? Yeah...

If you don't know me that well, you may not know that I work in an industry that's around 75% female. So basically at any point in the office there is going to be more than one person on the floor who just got married, is engaged, just had a baby, or just found out they were going to have a baby. Honestly it can get a tad bit ridiculous, but I digress.

At the beginning of this week, one of my friends who also happens to be a co-worker, shared the exciting news that she had gotten engaged over the weekend. I for one, was extremely happy for her. I've known her for the majority of the time I've been working for my company and over the past couple years we've had more conversations than a little bit about the ups and downs of men and relationships.

She and her now fiance' met in an unconventional way and after a mere year of dating, he made the decision to put a ring on it. And not just any ring, but exactly the ring she wanted, one she spotted in a magazine a couple months ago. I'm no ring snob, but when you see this diamond, the quality definitely will make you stop and stare for a minute. However, the physical beauty of this ring has nothing to do with the "ring envy" I'm mentioning here. The type of envy I'm referring to comes simply from the act of getting a ring period. Big ring, small ring, three stone, or solitaire; I've noticed that just the sight of any engagement ring brings about a certain change in behavior amongst the single female population.

When a woman gets engaged, everyone congratulates her. There's often shrieking and hugs, and sometimes even tears. But you better believe some of those same women who are so excited(particularly the single ones), are giving their 'congrats' through gritted teeth. It's kind of like when you're in a competition and you lose, you may congratulate the winner but that doesn't mean it doesn't sting to know that it wasn't you who won. So, while she may be happy for her friend, the sight of that ring totally makes her realize just how single she actually still is.

And if the congratulator has a boyfriend who has yet to commit, forget about it. That boyfriend will definitely be getting put through the wringer the next time they speak; I feel sorry for the poor guy just thinking about it. It doesn't matter if they've been together 4 months or 4 years; all of a sudden there will be a need to talk about commitment and where the future of the relationship is headed. Men take this as a warning, if your girl comes home and all of a sudden wants to "talk" about such topics, ask her if somebody she knows just got engaged/married. She may be surprised by how seemingly intuitive you appear to be.

It's almost as if finding out a co-worker or friend is newly engaged sends single women into a mental frenzy. While we may not all openly discuss it, it definitely happens. It's almost like everytime someone else gets engaged, the ticking gets even louder on our biological clock.