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-The Five Spot

Thursday, January 7, 2010

ok ma, and? or why single successful black women might need to get over themselves

*author's note: this post is long as hell shawty but i had a lot to say about the topic. enjoy!*

we all know her. we might be her.

self-proclaimed "professional"
dresses well
hair did
wants to be married with kids
but SINGLE, and secretly (or unashamedly) despising every minute of her singlehood.

i understand it's hard out here for a black woman. we gotta deal with a lot of shit. historically we've had to deal with a lot of shit. but just like jewish folks weren't the only group of folks that were ever enslaved tortured and massacred, we aren't the only demographic that has to make a way outta no way. it's hard out here for pimps. hoes. asian men. nigerian terrorists. baby right whales. walmart cashiers. you follow me?

but somewhere along the way, little black girls who grew up into accomplished black women picked up this attitude. this air about them. a couple of traits, frames of mind, or points of reference that have screwed up (some of) our heads and quite possibly hindered our own progress, fed our own relationship failures: a sense of ENTITLEMENT & an INABILITY TO CHANGE.

the common thread between the widely discussed washington post article on helena andrews and the abcnews piece (via blacksnob.com) on black women unmarried was the idea that because "successful" black women ("SBW") have worked so hard to get the degree(s), have toiled to buy homes, fancy cars, nice clothes, and the hottest shoes, spent hours at the gym getting their bodies tight, shelled out beaucoup cash getting their hair and nails done, and faithfully attended and tought sunday school at the neighborhood church they ought to have a "successful" black man.

they deserve him. he is their due. not to mention that they are more deserving of a man, and more particularly what they consider to be a quality man, than women who don't have degrees, don't have "they shit together."

first and foremost, i think, feel, and know that love is hard! true love is a privilege. to find the right person at the right time is a challenge. every person on the planet doesn't get the opportunity to have it. there is no formula for it.

and so to imagine yourself entitled to love, marriage and a baby carriage just because you have achieved those things that make you successful (on paper) or in the eyes of your mamanem doesn't necessarily mean you'll be successful in marriage. the skills and know-how you learned and used to get the degree, the job, the promotion are not AT ALL the same ones needed to find, attract, and keep a man who wants to be married.

the sense of entitlement really becomes apparent when you look at the SBW's reaction to married/engaged/boo'ed up women who they think are "less than." especially if these women are with men who the SBWs think ought to be with them.   prime example: the backlash against reggie bush on the cover of essence this month (check the comments). black women go HOARD when they think someone less than is getting what's theirs. let a man with a law degree wife a woman without a comparable level of status. how dare he!

sadly ladies, he can and he will. cause what you as a SBW bring to the table might not be what your targeted pool of men is looking for. and an entitled attitude won't change that. love doesn't work the way that grad school admissions do. you might could be mad that homegirl from state university got in over you, harvard graduate. but in love, you ass out. he gotta want you too and maybe what you present isn't what he wants. what do you do then?

which brings me to the second problem SBWs have: a hard time changing.

now helena andrews and her friends presented themselves as accomplished, successful, having standards but carrying an edginess, a bitch side if you will. ms. andrews might be a self-described “mean girl.” that's cool. you can be alladat. but SBWs who take on that mantle must also realize what comes with that in terms of finding a husband.

if your m.o. is to be tough/bitchy/attitudy/overly sassy/a mean girl then you have to understand what that means for your dating prospects. you have to be cognizant of how men perceive you.

let me give an example ya'll can identify with.: a friend of a friend is in her mid-30's and wants to be married. she's fly, attractive and doing it real big in her field. she's won lots of awards for her work. but she's also very brisk, curses a whole lot, and generally abrasive. and she don't want to change. she say she is who she is and that men oughta take her as she is.

i can get wit that on some levels. you are who you are. people can take it or leave it. don't go changing for the world. the man who can love you for you will come along. right?

WRONG. this is the lie, the falsehood, the myth that SBWs have bought into. you can't have it all. do you wanna be married or do you wanna stay the way you are and do what you wanna do for the rest of your life? either choice is fine but you can't do both. being in a relationship and/or married requires compromise, change over time. being less of yourself at times so your partner can be more. i'm not saying you have to do a 180 change to get a man but you can't continue to be every single fiber of who you are without some reflection on how every single fiber of who you are has (or has not) worked for you in terms of finding a man. and if finding a man is your priority you might have to change a fiber or two.

take michelle obama, the SBWs poster child for seemingly being able to have it all. michelle couldn't be the high powered executive and the FLOTUS. just wasn't gonna happen. she couldn't even be the local politician's wife and the big law firm partner at the same time for that matter. when barack decided he wanted to run she had to decide what she was gon do. the new supporting role she was gonna have to play for the family. she couldn't be running shit her way. she couldn't be resistant to change. right now she's sitting down while he stands up. that's part of the compromise of saying to yourself, i wanna be part of a we instead of just unchanged me.

or take ms. nicole from the video: prosecuting attorney, running for state court judge, atlanta falcons cheerleader, drives a benz, lightskinneded, long hair, unmarried, no boo in sight. she is doing the MOST. when she gonna have time for a man? cause men want to feel wanted and important. to know you have time for them in your life. that you aren't running all over the place (or so i'd imagine). nicole might wanna talk to some of her married friends and change some things. or not.  just keep doing what you been doing.

or other black woman who said she met a white man, they vibed over drinks and conversation. she thought to herself, "oh he's gonna ask for my number." but he didn't. another woman suggested she shoulda asked for his. "no! i don't do that." and you remain alone. why don't you "do that"? has not "doing that" been working for you thus far? you might wanna consider changing things up. if you're not comfortable asking for a number, suggest another outing. slip him your business card with your number. CHANGE what you normally do. or not. and be who you are. but don't expect different results.   you can't do both.

what say ya'll?


Courvoisier said...

Yes baaabby!

Rum Punch said...

Yes! Let's please bring 'ok ma, and' back into the lexicon like it's 1998! ;-) Anywho. Yeah this was good stuff right 'chere. And Courvosier - I see you still in Monique mode. Lol.

Bellini said...

preeeeeach minty!

mrsmeany said...

MJ - i agree 100%.
being in a relationship is like being on a team--there ain't NO "i" in team. you HAVE to compromise. period. those who don't want to compromise can sit back and watch their friends that are willing to compromise get married, have kids (and grandkids!) while they stick to their STUBBORN guns and keep sh*t real! it's hard to do if you aren't used to it, but i've done it cuz i've learned that the world isn't just about me!

AND furthermore, a man/woman who TRULY loves you and wants to be with you doesn't give a sh*t about the money that you make, the amount of degrees you have, the promotion you just got, the fly car in your driveway or your abs! they would love you for YOU! (i mean, these are GREAT, but being kind to someone outweighs all of these material things!) so don't be so self-absorbed with your accomplishments/possessions because at the end of the day YOU are the ONLY one impressed with them.

so, my sisters...please heed the words of Lauryn Hill: "don't try to be a HARD ROCK, when you really are a GEM!" (so what Sister Lauryn went a little cuckoo for cocoa puffs over HER man, but her words are still ones to live by!!)

LIGHTEN UP! nobody likes a MEANIE! hahaha