It All Comes Down To the Money

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“For I don’t care too much for money, for money can’t buy me love”

Why is it that people who say that they don’t care too much for money already have it?  As I continue this voyage called dating, one thing is very clear to me; money matters.  And as much as everyone attempts to deny that it doesn’t, it does.  The denial is rather comical to me.  In some shape or form, every online dating site asks for your occupation.  Occupation is really another way of saying “How much money you got?”  Also in any first date setting, questions about your current job/career are normally the first or second question that is asked.  Yet, when I ask females does money matter in obtaining a date, many say no.  I beg to differ.

Ladies, regardless of what you trick yourselves into believing, guys understand that money matters to you.  Because of this fact, guys act accordingly and will go to great lengths just to be noticed.  Please don’t get it twisted.  No matter what the media says in regards to the unequal ratio of males to females, a guy fights for a woman’s attention daily.  Whether it’s in the car he drives, the cologne he puts on, or the shoes he wears, a guy wants to be noticed. The more expensive the car, the more extravagant the cologne, the more lavish the shoes, the more a guy is noticed.  Fellas know that if they do not make a certain income, they have to fight twice as hard for a woman’s employment.

Let’s take Todd and Kareem for example. Todd is 26,  very easy on the eyes with a chiseled physique, but wears fairly old shirts and shoes while he is saving his money.  Todd just received his bachelor’s degree but is unable to find work.  He is currently working at a telemarketing firm and a fast food joint until he can find something to do with his degree.  He drives a ‘97 Nissan Altima that needs a new paint job and is missing all the hubcaps.  Then you have Kareem who is also 26 with a fairly average physique but wears the latest clothing and colognes.  He works for a major pharmaceutical company and drives a ‘14 BMW with twenty inch rims.  Both of these guys come up to you at a gas station and offer to pump your gas.  After pumping your gas, both ask for your number.  Ladies, which one do you give your number to?  Which one do you say thanks and send on their way?  I’ll wait . . . . . .

rick ross rolls

Since guys know that money matters, some will go through deceitful methods to get the finest prey.  There was a situation in one of my Facebook groups where this pretender decided to up the game by conjuring these elaborate tales of where he traveled, who he met, yadda yadda yadda.  He would post pictures of these expensive, foreign cars and ask the ladies which one should he drive that day.  Buddy would even post pictures of a pool where he said he had just finished his morning swim. Now me and the other guys of the group were suspect of the pretender from day one because he never revealed his face and he refused to use his real name.  I actually remember questioning a female friend of mine in the group about him because she was “going in” head first for a guy she didn’t know and had never seen!  All she knew were the extravagant items that came up on her timeline.  And she wasn’t the only one.  Oh no no no! Whenever the pretender would make a comment, at least ten females would want to interact with him.  They would flirt with him and send countless pictures to his inbox.  So when the truth finally came out that ladies of the group were being catfished, all them blasted him out calling him everything but a child of God (most words were expletives).

Now you know why Chris Brown penned the song “Loyal”.  Guys know what’s at stake in most cases.  We are trying to get noticed, just like you are ladies.  We can call it being ourselves if we want but most of us are sending representatives to do whatever it takes to swing your vote our way . . . . and vice versa.  That’s the game we play at the onset.  It’s when we finally let our guard down that we can get to know the candidate for who he/she is.  Unfortunately, we don’t tend to find that person out until after the vows . . . . . .

Balance

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Since last Wednesday’s blog, I’ve taken part of several interesting online debates regarding mental stimulation and the whole “make it easy to take it easy” concept.  Yes, I still find intelligent and confident women sexy but there is a little more to the sauce than that.  In order to make it easy, there has to be intellectual stimuli and balance.  Yes, balance, because one can’t assume that a mentally stimulating person knows how to balance his or her life.  When I think of the word balance, I imagine a gymnast and the amount of skill he or she has to possess to steady themselves.  Whether it is on a beam, still rings, vault, or floor exercise, the movements require harmony between body and mind.

When I started yoga early last year, I struggled mightily trying to balance myself in various poses.  (I won’t get into the struggle it was just to go into the class . . . . ) The issue was not getting into the pose, but the struggle was maintaining the pose.  I remember my mat being soaked with sweat after the first twenty minutes of the class.  Nothing teaches humility like trying to stand on your right leg with your left foot flatly pressed against your right thigh!  And what followed on that first attempt is what normally happens when we are not used to balancing ourselves; we stumble.  Now I’m too cool to fall but I made it a point after the initial class to be able to steady myself to complete all the movements.  Of course I was afraid of failure and then being the only guy in class most times is enough to deter anyone.  However, the more I tried, the more I was able to complete most of the movements without stumbling.  The first couple of times I needed blocks and additional mats to complete the movements.  Close to the end of the year,  I was able to do them all on my own.

balancing on leg

Now in order to be in a healthy relationship, one has to step into the yoga room of life and be able to balance.  Creating harmony between life and love is always a challenge which requires constant work.  Prior to taking that yoga class, I really had difficulty trying to find balance in my life.  To be honest, I was kind of shitty at it.  Everything centered around work.  After I graduated college, I found myself working two jobs to make ends meet.  No time for love.  When I finally slowed down to get married and have kids, I still worked two jobs.  No real time to devote to my family outside of checking homework and saying prayers before bed.  Even when I was in high school, I nearly flunked out because I couldn’t handle being in love and getting an education!  Important things like homework and routine classwork took a back seat to big booty daydreams and staying on the phone until I fell asleep. . . . . . .

Since I found yoga, I’ve found it hard to date females who refuse to balance themselves.  Notice that I said refuse.  When a person doesn’t know how to balance, they end up having too much weight on one side.  And we all have encountered those people.  The super super religious folk that can’t go anywhere outside of church?  You know those super super complainers who will criticize and lament about the same issues for years despite how much advice you have given them on those same issues? Yeah, those people.  It is my belief that these individuals don’t believe in having a purpose.  And it’s not that I am so career driven that I make this statement but I have had a hard time trying to get out my dreams in relationships with females that don’t know their purpose.  Why you ask?  Because I then become the purpose.  Now, I do like my ego stroked.  Granted.  What guy doesn’t?  However, things become a problem when that female starts to cut off her friends and family and makes you the primary focus.  That then triggers you to have to spend every moment outside of work with her only because now she has no friends and she has no purpose outside of paying her bills.  So trying to go to the Falcons game with the fellas becomes a chore because all she has is you. That for me is a problem.

As I hold on to this meteor which seems to be crashing into my forties, it seems that I’ve finally got a handle on the balance thing.  Even as my workload increases, my dreams begin to take shape, and my personal life actually becomes alive again, I’m keeping the important things first.  Now if I can just find my Beyonce . . . . . . .

Mental Stimulation

One thing that I’m being forced to recognize as my daughter graduates high school in two weeks and my son prepares to enter middle school is that I’m getting older.  I’m also recognizing that I’m evolving in my thoughts and perceptions of others.  So you can imagine how dating is for me right? I know you’ve heard about a person’s expectations of a significant other getting smaller as one ages but that doesn’t seem to be the case.  With plastic surgery becoming more affordable, Viagra becoming more accessible, and more athletes willing to give their millions to one night stands, some people are getting stuck in the evolution process.  Why else would a seventy year old prune pursue a twenty year old cupcake?  I’m not hating the game but I am questioning the rules.

Will you see me dating a twenty year old?  Absolutely not!  No disrespect. When I was in my twenties, I dealt with a lot of unnecessary drama just because baby girl was fine.  As I come to the end of my thirties, I long for mental stimulation.  I desire someone that makes it easy to take it easy.  I want to be able to relax and not always be “on” which I feel I am most of the time.  It’s difficult for me to find someone that I feel at ease just talking to.  Kinda like conversing with a good friend, you know? (There’s that word again . . . . )  I enjoy expressing myself verbally with a woman who can discuss more than just what happened on the reunion special of Housewives of Atlanta and echo the lyrics to the latest Fetty Wap song.  Notice that I said woman . . . . . .

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Intelligent and confident women are sexy to me. Very sexy.  Don’t get me wrong now.  I still love large and roundly shaped “assets” like the next guy but there’s something about a woman who is articulate and knows herself.  That in itself peaks my interest and makes me want to know her more.  That kinda sexy keeps me on my toes because she doesn’t need my resources. She has her own.  And she doesn’t have to walk around with letters behind her name stating how many degrees she has.  She knows her worth.

Life has shown me that looks and appearances change. Wrinkles appear.  Knees start to stiffen. Health issues may arise that may cause a woman to lose her breasts.  Health issues may arise that may cause a man to lose his leg.  Life happens at inopportune times.  Like I’ve said before, I’m getting older so I need something that will sustain all of the changes.

For me, I’m a simple man with simple taste.  I need someone that doesn’t need a concert all the time when I’m with them.  I desire a woman that I don’t have to counsel every day when I come home.  Someone that will discuss my day with me without saying “got emm” at the end of every damn statement.  Someone that will challenge me to complete my dreams and provide insight when asked upon.  Someone who I can relax and play board games with in the park on a Saturday afternoon while discussing life events.  Someone who can accompany me to church and feel at ease to worship with.  Well, it sounded simple when I started . . . . .

The Fight Continues

Fight Continues

So in my previous blog, I was on this whole “Black Love” crusade.  In my spirited attempt to remain “positive”, I focused my efforts on the benefits of love and didn’t give time to talk about approaching life’s storms.  Yeah I know I gave a rather brief summary about Robin Thicke and his attempt to get Paula back, but I didn’t talk about the fight that was on Robin’s hands.  The media was crucifying him, stacking the deck against him.  Yet, he chose to pronounce his love at every concert, in every interview, and in his recordings.  When did Robin make up his mind to start fighting for love?  When did he decide to stop fighting for love? I mean at some point you have to count your loses right?

Despite the Jedi mind tricks that the media plays, everyone makes mistakes.  Let me say that again.  Everyone makes mistakes.  This includes you, yes you the reader.  So eventually, there are going to be some misunderstandings, errors, and total omission of the truth. Someone may forget that coveted wedding anniversary.  There may be an important lunch or dinner date that has to be rescheduled due to work conflicts.  There may be a utility or cable bill that goes unpaid due to someone purchasing a new pair of Jordans or that pretty Coach purse that was on sale.  Or there may have been that picture of a topless co-worker or mutual friend in your significant other’s text messages that needs to be explained.  No matter how you rank the aforementioned issues, they are stressors that can lead to things falling apart in a relationship. It all depends on what’s important to you and how the mistakes are corrected.

Since mistakes are going to happen, what is the protocol for correction?  It’s easy to erase an incorrect answer on a test.  However, the darker the lead, the more time you have to spend to remove the error.  I found this to be true with dating as well.  To me, it’s easy to make up a missed lunch or dinner.  However when trust has been betrayed as in the case with the misspent bill money and the half-naked person in your mate’s smartphone, correcting becomes a laborious chore.  And unfortunately, there will be times that we will tear the paper apart in our efforts to erase the mistake.  At that time, the error is still there and the paper is torn.  We are left with no recourse but to try again with another sheet of paper.

When do we fight for our relationships?  I’ve asked this question in several media chat rooms and everyone seems to have a different answer depending on their current relationship status.  One female who was engaged stated that “if the good traits outweigh the undesirable traits, they are worth fighting for”.  She went on to say that “the key is” to look at “what else you see in that person that overshadows those undesirable traits”.  A married man chimed in and stated that “the person that you are with should inspire you to fight”.  Another married man stated that “you should fight until you get tired . . . you rest, and then fight again”.  What’s wrong with this picture?  If you said that all of these people were either engaged or married, you would be correct!  In my group posting, singles could not define when you should fight for a relationship.  I did get answers that had to deal with love clouding a person’s judgement but never something that stated that fighting was real.  And with that, I’ve become worried. . . . . . .

So should you only fight when you are married?  Is that what the world has come to now?  As a Black man looking to marry, I’m very concerned because there won’t be any room for forgiveness at all in future relationships.  And if there is no forgiveness, people will continue to send representatives of themselves whenever they date.  If everyone is continuing to be representatives, there is no truth in which to live.

Let’s be transparent for a moment.  My father never taught me how to fight.  I wasn’t placed in recreational sports as a youth.  I’ve learned what I know now from the streets of South Augusta and Morgan Road Middle School.  In the streets, relationships were about having your girl to give up the goodies within two weeks.  If the girl was mad with you, all you had to do was send a dedication of Boyz II Men “Please Don’t Go” or Keith Sweat “Come Back” during Foxie 103’s Midnight Love and all was forgiven.  But what happens when songs don’t work? What happens when she doesn’t want to answer the phone because she is too upset to talk?

So singles, when should you fight for your relationship? When should you take out the eraser and when should you just throw the paper away?

 

  • I still believe in love . . . . but I’m worried . . . . . . .

I Miss Black Love . . . . . . . .

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In times like these, I miss love.  Let me rephrase that.  I miss Black love.  Now I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures of the Black man in a push up stance with his woman on his back at least once on your timeline. Better yet, you’ve seen pictures of the Black man embracing his earth as if it was his last breath.  There’s something about a man holding his woman that resonates with me.  The embrace is more than just him holding her.  The embrace symbolizes security.  It symbolizes strength.  It seems that nothing can come in between the bond that is there.  No matter the circumstance, no matter the consequence, both he and she will be there for each other until the end of their days. I often imagine myself as that man experiencing that love.  That  stand together through all kinds of weather love.  That real, forgiving, withstanding all others, love.  That going to church together, having Sunday dinner together, getting lost in one another after the kids are with the in laws kinda love.  The love that makes you wanna do right when you wanna do wrong.  You know, that love that I talked about at the end of last week’s blog?

Sounds good doesn’t it?  What the media doesn’t tell you regarding this love is that in order to experience it, you will have to endure hardships.  You will have to go through many storms.  Most closed minded people live in a fantasy world in which they believe that love just magically appears. There are no weather men talking about love will come after the typhoon blows over.  No one ever discusses how the hurricane will impact a couple growing closer together.  Naw, we look at the storm and head for cover.  We’ll run to another place and abandon our relationship because we can’t imagine living through the tempests of life.  We don’t want to persevere therefore we can’t enjoy Black love.  We refuse to buy rain coats and umbrellas because we can’t imagine standing in the rain for long.

In all honesty, I’m convinced that most people are in fact are love haters.  Better yet, we are storm chasers.  We can’t stand for others to be happy in their relationships.  Think I’m wrong?  How many of you were on social media calling for the end of Robin Thicke and his wife, Paula Patton?  Better yet, when the rumors were swirling about Jay and Bey having turmoil during their tour, how many Beyhive citizens were praying that Beyonce would become a single mom?  Finally, how many of you thought that Nick Cannon’s union to Mariah Carey was a mistake and are giddy with glee to see it fall apart?  You don’t have to raise your hand but I think you understand where I’m going.

It was amusing to see exactly how many people were quick to give their two cents regarding the Robin Thicke/Paula Patton tornado.  People were quick to state how bad Robin was having Miley Cyrus grind her no having ass on his crotch.  Then when word came that he was attempting to get his wife back through song, people absolutely hated the effort before even hearing it!  From talking about how he shouldn’t have put certain things in the “Get Her Back” video to his song choice selection, the tweets and blogs went after Mr. Thicke.  Robin spent a several months trying to get back a love that had been cultivated since high school.  I can only imagine being in a relationship that long and the trials that they both went through trying to get their careers off the ground.  In a span of twelve years, Robin went from being the guy on the bike riding through New York to being lost without you to being blurred with success and heartbreak.

Now Robin is not a Black man but I believe you get the gist.  Please understand that I do not promote cheating on a spouse however I am smart enough to know that things happen.  Remember females tend to want a man when he is taken right? That doesn’t excuse his infidelity.  However, that circumstance showed me that love is headed for a knockout.  People are imperfect so why do we hold everyone to perfect standards?  I’m all for being honest but there is just some information that I can’t divulge until I know the dating friendship is going to evolve into something more.  So does that make me a liar?  Our society is promoting more false representatives which leads to marriages that only last seventy-two days. . . . . . . .

For the record, I’m not a love hater.  I honestly don’t have the time to become involved in someone else’s relationship because I’m trying to have one of my own.  It takes everything that I have to become a better me for the woman I want to share forever with.  And I don’t mind fighting through storms.  There are times when time, space, and prayer are appropriate.  There are other times when you will need to put on the poncho, boots, and what have you and combat the storm.  If you are never taught how to fight for your relationship, you will always lose.  There will also be times when you fight for your relationship and you still lose.  As crazy as that sounds, don’t let that detour you.  The objective at hand is much greater that what others see . . . . .

In A World…Without Weave ( Just Read The Beginning Like A Movie Trailer…)

(Sorry Bey, I found this on the internet. Please don’t have someone come get me)

Imagine a world without video vixens with long golden tresses, gyrating around your favorite rapper’s car. What if that same woman had to depend on the hair that she was blessed with to land the privilege of being able to have Chris Brown’s arm draped across her shoulder. If the main video model ( I use that term very loosely) had a short ‘do, would Breazy look at her with the same admiration and lust? Would she be the focal point of the video? Or would he divert everyone’s attention away from her hair and execute some serious dance moves instead?

What would our pop stars and R&B divas be without the ability to purchase a good pack of Remy? Can you imagine what Beyoncé would be without her hairography? Would any of us have wanted to be EnVogue when we got older, as they were the first female group to be so versatile with their manes? If Ciara had to hip shake and twerk with an afro, would we love it just as much? Even as fashion trend setters, would society be so inclined to follow these women’s every wardrobe change if they all had hot comb press n’ curls?

In the hills of Hollywood, would we be able to embrace all of our black actresses if they had to be natural on-screen? Would varied roles be offered to these women, or would it even matter? How comfortable would actresses be if they could never wear extensions that they feel made the part? Let’s all be real, everyone cannot rock the Halle Berry short ‘do. Hell, Halle can’t even rock it all the time (did you see that awful curly wig she wore in “The Call”?).

Let’s not forget what type of status people feel they have accomplished with the surge in social media presence. Do you think this has anything to do with a woman’s ability to change her hair? Outside of Amber Rose, how many women do you think would flaunt themselves in front of the Instagram filter if they had tight curls that didn’t reach past their ears? Would the same women who spend more on their extensions than they do their kids have enough confidence to use the #nofilter hashtag and post 7 selfies a day?

I pondered this subject a few weeks back, and thought that women would lose their MINDS if they couldn’t wear a weave. I am in no way judging anyone who chooses to do so, and there is nothing inherently wrong with wearing extensions, but I feel our concept of beauty and self-love would be completely different if all we had to beautify ourselves came from, well, ourselves. Since the existence of weave can never be erased from our memories ( I certainly wish I could forget when I had one), I know it would be quite difficult to imagine our acceptance of beauty without it. If we never knew an alternative to wearing our natural hair, would we be automatically be inclined to be attracted to the only thing we had? Would there be such a disparity in the way women look, without the Yaki alternative?

Black women are beautiful, and since our looks are so diverse, we will always have the ability to define different concepts of beauty. Instead of weaves, we have different ways to wear our hair- in an afro, locs, blow outs, cornrows, even sexy bed head ( which can turn into James Brown/Nick Nolte with the right humidity). But I can’t help but wonder how much we would accept ourselves if we were just…ourselves. We all know that many women, no matter what race you are, take their hair very seriously, and find it to be the focal point of how they define their own personal beauty.  Without the ability to alter our hair so drastically, would men (and women) accept our beauty? Would we yearn to look like our female counterparts of other races? Would it even matter?

What say you? What would you do if you couldn’t go from 3 inches to Brazilian Silky 100% Human Virgin Indian ( can you tell I know nothing about the beauty supply store?) real quick?

Love Won’t Let Me Wait . . . . .

You know it’s difficult sometimes to sit and write down my thoughts and feelings for you all to consume.  Although I enjoy this version of therapy for me, some things are rather difficult to discuss.  Today’s subject matter is no different.

Let me start off by saying that pain changes people.  In my thirty something year journey of life, I’ve discovered that there are different types of pain one can experience.  You can have chronic pain, acute pain, visceral pain, neuropathic pain, and so on and so on.  Whether in the physical or emotional, we all have felt pain.  And in that pain, there is a constant reminder of what has happened to cause it.  These are our scars.  Maybe your father abandoned you.  Maybe you fractured your leg or tore a muscle during a basketball game.  Or maybe you went through a divorce, dividing half of your assets and having to spend half of the time with your children.  Whatever the pain, we’ve all been there.  But how do we love again when we continue to experience failed relationship after failed relationship?  What do we do when we have recovered from the broken leg just to injury the other one in the first game back?  How do we continue with our incomplete lives when we find that absentee father who we desperately want to accept us and he still does not want us?

What befalls many of us after experiencing continual hurt is that we become perpetual skeptics.  We doubt our self worth and in turn, doubt others that are assigned to assist us.  We begin to sabotage ourselves and look for affirmation from others that are bitter with life.  You know the ones . . . . . . . . .

don't need a man
You will find those dumb ass ideologies that state that women can do without men and all the other jibber jabber that people will like and share on social media.  However I don’t subscribe to that nonsense.  As much as we may get on each other’s nerves, we (meaning men and women) need each other.  Although I’ve been divorced for over six years now, it is my wish to be married again.  I know quite a few “two and three times single” folk who enjoy being on their own but I’ve had my run. Loving and sharing a life with someone that is not my immediate family is my focus.  In order to have my focus, I had to shake the pain.  

Now with the pain that I’ve experienced, I began to lose sight of what love truly was.  In order to find love again, I had to “reboot”.  I stopped listening to the radio. I stopped watching a lot of television.  I found myself reading and writing more.  I stopped hanging around so many people that spoke nothing but negativity.  I began taking counsel from married men who were, get this, happy in their marriages.  And maybe one of the hardest things I had to do . . . . I had to learn to refrain from every “invitation” that was afforded to me.

I remember several years ago I pulled my groin muscle on the leg press machine in the gym. After taking several months to heal, I continued my daily routine of going to the gym but I absolutely refused to get on the leg press.  I was nervous, no, intimidated to get back on the machine.  Every time I got near the machine, I flashed back to that painful Monday and relived the pain all over again.  I remember one moment feeling like the strongest man alive pushing over five hundred pounds and then in an instant, feeling a sharp pull on the inside of my upper thigh and becoming scared out of my mind.  I remember all the guys trying to help get the weight off of my legs and pull me off the machine.  I never felt so helpless.  (Sigh) I knew I couldn’t keep avoiding it.  Of course there were other exercises I could engage myself with but the machine was there . . . . . . mocking me.  And I wasn’t about to be mocked!  Eventually, I got over my fear and whipped the leg press machine’s ass.  That same mentality has me addressing my fears and hurts as it relates to love.

The scars may remind you of of the pain but don’t let it define who you are.  Love is on the other side of all of that hurt.  Don’t be intimidated by the past.  Open your heart.  Open your mind.  Love is waiting.


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”.