The Jeremy Lin Show

NBA: Same Ol’ Same Ol’

It has been years since I’ve followed sports, basketball in particular. I watched the Knicks when Ewing played for them, that’s how long ago it’s been. And if you want to know how out of it I was, I’ve never watched Michael Jordan play. I’ve never tuned into his games. Yup, I was numero uno of the non-fan didn’t-give-a-rip coalition. Not a hater. Just distinterested. I just thought that Dr Jay never got his props as the better player, but he pre-dated Nike ads, so that’s how it goes.

I was into college basketball, the game was short, quick and the players were hungry. Something about the pros left me bored. I got the feeling that once they signed the multimillion dollar contracts, the hunger left them. They played soft. They played like satiated lions. Lazy and sleepy. Who wants to watch that?

Along with the stories of baby mamas, wife beatings, shoving a wife out the front door naked, sleeping with ugly white female reporters, gambling, bad attitudes, throwing people through plate glass windows, etc., etc. – I decided I wasn’t supporting those dysfunctional messes. Basketball and football held little appeal to me, especially with the recent spate of shoot-outs, fan beatings and gang symbols being displayed. Plus, I’m grossed out by all those ugly thugs covered head to toe in prison-style tattoos. I wasn’t interested in watching any major league basketball or football. Or any sport for that matter. Don’t get me started on those nasty spitting baseball players!

Change Comes LIN

So, here comes this young man who’s a bit different from the usual cynics in the basketball league. I’ve watched the YouTube clips of him playing. I understand why he suddenly has so many fans: he looks like he’s having fun. He plays with a passion for the game. It’s apparent that he loves to play basketball. He has no tattoos. I’m sure he’s not a saint, but I’m certain that people are tired of the bad boy, bad ass, tattooed big dummies. They are everywhere, in every entertainment field. And not only are they phony and talentless – they’re annoying. There’s nothing interesting in a rich angry irrational manchild.  You wish they would take up the offer from an older man to teach them a lesson in a wrestling ring. Oh, what a great treat that would be.

Making People Go LINsane

Now, I understand that the media overreaction to Jeremy Lin, JLin, a.k.a. “Linsanity” was 3/4ths about his “race”. I’m still shaking my head at the things that have been said over the last three weeks, which already seems like an eternity.

There have a been dozens of puns that include “Lin” in the word: Air Lin, Linsanity, Super Lintendo… you get the picture. It was cute. A couple of folks at ESPN jumped the shark, thus losing a job or two.

Then came the jealous folks. Floyd Mayweather Jr was mad at the attention JLin was receiving. He said (paraphrasing) that black men do the same thing everyday in the league, but no one is paying attention. Well, the problem  with that statement is that – if you don’t look like the average player in the league – people will notice. Sort of like when a heavyset white woman from the UK sings like a black woman blues singer. People notice those sorts of things. Hype may follow.

Jason “Witless” Whitlock (who has spewed racist / misogynist material about Serena Williams) decided to tweet something foul about JLin. But why did he focus on the sexuality of the young man? Why would an out-of-shape obese black man who is a sportswriter, not even a ballplayer, worry about the sex life of a young Asian man? Was he worried that an Asian male was encroaching on black male territory? Athleticism, masculinity, and sexual supremacy do go hand in hand. Did he picture a future where Asian men would be viewed as super-studs instead of black males?? Uh-oh.

Plus, “Witless” was so used to writing vulgar insults about black women, he didn’t realize other groups wouldn’t stand for the same behavior. He quickly apologized.

KilLINg Conventional Wisdom and Stereotypes

However, JLin did break all kinds of records with his initial “starter” games. He has played in the D Leagues, or maybe a few minutes in the NBA, but not as a starter. Once he was allowed, by the Knicks, to play point guard, he started knocking down some walls.

I’m surprised by the following, because I didn’t realize there were so many things achieved by Jeremy Lin. I always assumed they had already happened.

1) Harvard has sent very few (maybe a handful or half-dozen) players to the NBA. We’ve had more Presidents who went to Harvard.

2) He’s the first and only (so far) American, of Chinese / Taiwanese descent, to play in the NBA. Not the first Asian American, but the others were half-black or half-white, and the first was of Japanese descent before the various (American Basketball and National Basketball) leagues merged in 1976. He played for the Knicks too.

3) He was never drafted a.k.a. undrafted. No one held a lottery to pick him up in the league. He came in through the backdoor basically.

4) He’s managed to score 229 points in his first 7 starter games. Even for his first 4 at 109 points he’s exceeded everyone else since 1976.

Always Be Ready for Prime Time

Will he stay a superstar? Perhaps. I don’t have a magic 8 ball. And considering the short attention span of the public, who knows who they’ll love / hate in the next few weeks?

I do have some takeaways from the media-storm surrounding this young man:

  • He’s proven that good luck really is 90% preparation and fortuitous timing.
  • He worked on his weaknesses during the NBA lockout, doing everything he could to get into superb physical condition (6’3″ and 200lbs).
  • He’s played against the number one draft and showed he could excel.
  • When his chance finally arrived – he literally came off the bench as the last guy picked – he played his heart out to win.

He is responsible for helping the Knicks become a better team over the last 11 games. He helped them win 9 of them. Not bad for a rookie. Not bad for a guy who has faith in God, but also understood he had to do the work to get where he wanted. Just laying around and praying wasn’t going to cut it, he had to move, get it done and show with all his heart what he wanted.

He admits that the media attention is draining. Blake Griffin (big red slam dunk king and 6’9″ – dang) told him he has to learn to say, “No.”

Asian Persuasion

I’ve been reading the Asian (blog / twitter) reaction to JLin. I’m (again) surprised at the angst revealed by the men.  All I can say is, “Wow,” I had no idea. I’m not a guy, so my interpretation may be off, but I get the sense that JLin helps them achieve a sort of American masculine sexual ideal that’s been missing in the media or the general culture. They see white, black and Latinos in the superstar sexy beasts stratosphere, but they’ve never felt a part of that club. Interesting.

American culture is so anti-intellectual and dedicated to dysfunctional drugged up dumb-ass losers, that the highest income, best in academic achievement and most entrepreneurial men in this country feel emasculated and less than for being studious, responsible, dependable and stable. That’s the world we live in folks. Where up is down, right is wrong and the insane run the asylum.

I would hope that the lesson the other men (black, white and Latino) can learn from Jeremy Lin is to play earnestly, humbly, and make the game fun again. I’m sure most of them do, but it’d be nice if they were the norm again, and not considered the exception(s). The degenerates receive too much attention for their bad behavior and appear to be financially, socially and emotionally rewarded for it.

Last Lesson: Play The Game

As for the lament of the Asian American male, I’d say the reason why they are invisible is because, this may not sound nice, but it’s my perception: you gotta be in the game to win it. No one notices Asian men, because they behave in a leave-me-alone, don’t-notice-me, and I’m-not-gonna-make-eye-contact fashion. Black, white and Latino men are assertive. They will look people in the eye and say something. They will do their Alpha male thing.

So, if the Asian men want to be like the other guys in this society, they’re gonna have to take note of something else about JLin. He plays fearlessly. He may have learned at an early age not to isolate himself by just hanging out with his Asian buddies. When he speaks, he sounds like any other guy in the league (black, white or whatever).

I wish him well, and hope he continues to excel at playing the game.

Hey, you know, I’d say the Jeremy Lin Show has a lot of things we can all learn from. 🙂

** Update **

Oh, and watch him get down and boogie. JLin can dance.

** Update Update **

I’m obsessed!! They should call him Maestro instead! Steals the ball and tosses to Shumpert. Beautiful. 🙂

Isn’t he cute? Love those eyes, cheekbones and mouth. 😀

 

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Announcement: swirlingandmarriage.com

Introducing a website dedicated to dating, relationship, and coaching services for black American women who want to date interracially or internationally. Swirling & Marriage is brought you to by a truly awesome member of the BWE community Lorraine Spencer.

In 2010 Lorraine helped highlight some sisters, which achieved international newspaper coverage. She also placed ads in international and military papers for additional exposure. If there are men from around around the world that you ladies want contact with, Lorraine is the one who can help you find them. Or at least point you in the right direction. There are no guarantees, but the more men you meet the better the odds.

Swirling & Marriage was formally re-launched around the first week of October. Profiles of the women will reach people all over the US, Scandinavia (along with some other European countries maybe even Russia), Australia and New Zealand.

Swirling & Marriage is a great site with lots of articles, profiles, links, tips and other resources.

The contact email address is: swirlingandmarriage@gmail.com.

It is on Facebook as well. Go on over and Like the page. Information about services and fees are in the Notes Section.

Swirling & Marriage™ | Personal Coaching for Black Women Who Desire Interracial/International Marriage…& the Men Who Love Them!

swirlingandmarriage.com

 


Ladies, I wish you much success and happiness in your endeavors. 🙂

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Relationship Barriers: Black Women, White Men and Other Non-Black Men

Note: Let me put my caveats up front. This post obviously does not apply to each and every black woman, since some of us are flexible, flirtatious, and at ease with white and other non-black men.

The Swirl Imperative: Becoming More Social

There is no shame in lacking a flirting game or being a bit socially inadequate in mixed company – at this juncture in your life. You know how it goes: sitting at a table with your girlfriends, like a hostage, segregated from everyone else, because they’re uncomfortable at that social event and by design do everything to keep you from getting your groove on.

I believe in the power of a couple of Cosmos and Fuzzy Navels! 😀

I’m always hopeful we’ll grow out of staying socially segregated, because when we integrate – that increases our interactions with white, Latino, Asian and other non-black men. The more men you meet, the more likely you are to meet Mr. Right for marriage, 2.5 kids and picket fences. And all that good stuff.

Relationship Barriers: The Strange Tensions

I appreciated the candor of this testimony. It reveals why some white men, and by extension other non-black men, are wary of approaching black women.

The following comments are by Carlos, which I edited to highlight some points:

  • I’m a white man in my late 30s… Well, not completely white, but basically white for other people’s perception. I love women, and I’m also a bit of a sex addict- always have been, since my teens. I love sex, and more than anything I love to give women pleasure.
  • That said, the intesity of the debate and people’s feelings around BW/WM relationships and sex have always been challenging for me. I am attracted to so many types of women, and appreciate so many different things, and black women are no exception.
  • But where I’m normally just lustful and girl-crazy, I am more cautious with black women. The controversy, history and frankly less clear flirtatious interest from black women definitely factor in and give me pause. And it’s not for lack of adoration for black women on my part, trust me.
  • But it feels more complicated, potentially, than with other women. Of course I’m generalizing, but I hope you get the idea. And really, I think that tension reflects race relations and race (mis) undertanding in general.
  • My first girlfriend and sex partner in high school was a black girl, and I have had two relationships with black women since- one lasting for 3 years monogamously and another a friendly casual sexual relationship with a neighbor that was off/on for five years.
  • I hope for more in the future.
  • On a cultural note, I think a lot of Generation X white guys like me who were raised in liberal post-hippie households, growing up and learning about sex involved a positive open attitude about sex that fostered a lot of emphasis on women’s pleasure and orgasm. I basically learned that that defined good sex. Works for me, and I think that might explain the scenario that white men are versatile, creative, long-lasting and giving lovers.

Thank you for your perspective, Carlos.

Yeah, I know he’s talking about SEX, SEX and more SEX, but he’s also admitting – as a regular guy – that he finds black women as attractive as other women. Far too often some of us like to hang our hats on men not finding us attractive, so that’s not the case here.

He’s interested, but he cannot tell if you are. He’s interested, but he hesitates, because of the historical racial and sexual “drama”.

So, I have a few questions for everyone:

  1. Do we stress the racial aspect in our interracial relationships too much?
  2. Are we working the topic of race to the point of fracture?
  3. Is our flirting ability impaired? Would it make a big difference getting it fixed?
  4. Are we the ones bringing racial tension(s) to our interactions with non-black men?
  5. Are we letting outside forces create this tension? You know, taking control of your love life where they have no business being involved.
  6. What would it take to alleviate those sexual and racial tensions? (Aside from great sex.) 😀

And everyone is free to add their own thoughts….

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Rant: I Need My Own Cyrano De Bergerac

Granted, I can be a decent writer when I’m angry or in an especially good mood. I think my writing is even superb when I work at it.

But I’m thinking there’s something off when I write a personal ad or even a resume. It’s odd how I put those two together, but they both require a level of selling (of the self) that I’m not great at. I’m used to taking classes all of my life on how to be a dutiful student and corporate worker-bee drone, but not showcase myself.

There’s a teaching methodology of pushing learned helplessness, as opposed to independence (and I don’t mean false self-esteem) in these schooling systems that needs to be eviscerated.

I didn’t believe self-promotion was necessary – I thought “sales” was something everyone else did. Yet, little did I realize it’s the lifeblood of western society. Part of me still thinks it’s not necessary. Part of me also wonders: Where do I draw the line on describing how incredibly awesome I am (said entirely tongue-in-cheek)?

Not only that – do men actually read? I think I’m enviously starting to “hate on” women who say they’ve searched online for Mr. Right and he appears within three weeks, or even three months.

To top off my aggravation meter, the man (and I mean man) speaks to her like an adult, not a wannabe porn star.

Do guys ever realize that some women are completely turned off by constant and instantaneous sex talk? Would it hurt to even ask if that’s appropriate? Why must I be the schoolmarm and tell them it’s lame? Doesn’t anyone have any class or common sense anymore? Were all these people brought up in animal shelters?

I get that this is a hookup-instant-sex-too-much-information society. I don’t roll at that speed. I never will. I don’t roll into instant information: I like breathing space. Let me slowly process who you are. There’s no difference between meeting someone online and chatting and bar pickups. I’ve done it all. I’ve gone everywhere (meetups, church, just walking, etc.) and I still meet the same guy(s).

I know what I’m doing wrong: I should have been born during an era where people had clearly defined social rules or something. Or maybe in the future when people regain their sanity.

Yeah, I get that this is how it is. I would like to know where are the grown men? Because all I’m meeting are adolescents in the body of 30 and 40 year olds. Don’t get me wrong, I’m meeting guys! I would just like them to be mature men.

‘Cause I’m too old for the silly nonsense now.

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Goals Reset: Where Has the Time Gone? It’s May Already!!!!

Oh my goodness! This is crazy. I mean we are almost at the half point of this year already!

Where did the time go? I’m scared I will look around and it’ll be Christmas again.

Time for me to start my New Year’s Resolutions all over again.

Gym Rat / Weight Loss

I’ve been at the gym 5 days out of 7. My body can’t handle the daily grind as I initially thought, but at least the aches and pains are gone. Boy, do I love weight lifting. I do that every time I go, and I alternate the treadmill and bike riding. Based on my body type, which is Mesomorphic / Mesomorph. I’ve lost 10 lbs since April 1, not bad. Usually, I can only drop 2 lbs a month, but I think my updated routine has made it easier to lose.

Why Me, Lord?

Why does everything necessitate talking to people who don’t like me,  and I don’t like them? Seriously, I’m not talking blog land. I mean out in the “real world.” No one ever leaves intermediate or high school. It’s the same people over and over again.

Nice People

It’s interesting to hear about people you’ve met only once or twice inquiring after you. I don’t know, I always get a warm and fuzzy feeling from it. Well, I’m always asking after them. Good vibrations go both ways.

It’s Too Warm To Hide

It’s like when the personal trainer and I were talking and he asked, “So why now?” Dude! Because by June, you will have nowhere to hide. The clothes wont cover the butt or hips. Part of what makes me look really big is my chest. Some women don’t like losing weight there: I look forward to it! I’ve got enough bosom to spare. I can barely run because of it. Ugh.

I Love the Summer, I Hate the Summer

I actually find it more boring than the winter. I like mild weather, like how it is now in the Northeast. But when it gets hotter. I dunno. I don’t like festivals, street parties or outdoor events. I loved them as a child. Man, those were the greatest years of my life. Today, the only thing I truly find interesting is traveling to different countries. That takes time and money. My goals is to get going by September. Again.

Money

I love what it can do for you. I don’t have this mindset that it is the “root of all evil.” Its purpose is to be used like the TOOL (in a positive meaning) that it is. I think people get confused with what money does. If you don’t have money, remember that BARTERING is what existed before coinage came about. Always remember that favors / good advice are basically priceless, in essence, especially coming from the right people.

I Gotta Hurry Up

The only thing that irritates me about myself is the inability to rush things. I’m not an efficient multitasking type of person. I’m an old fashioned needle-style record player: one track at a time. I need things to be just right. Although I am aware that a perfectionist streak is a good mask for hiding fear of failure. I take too long. My goal is get it done. I will fix is as I go along, but things must get done. Otherwise, we stagnate, right?

Breaking the Introvert Habits

I remember being more outgoing as a kid. I took a class that said Introverts become more “closed” as they get older. Hey, for people like me, the daily exercise is to talk to someone (in the real world) everyday. Even if it is to ask the time. Co-workers don’t count. People I already know don’t count.

That’s the one constant I have to maintain: talking to people!

Feedback

As always is welcome, if you have any goals, spell ’em out. I like cheering people on. Have a good one.

Cheers everybody.

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For Black Women: White Men Hunting – Lesson Number 92

Sometimes the comments are so good, they get their own posts.

In this one, White Men Hunting – Lesson Number 92, you will have the answers to oft-repeated questions, such as:

  • Where are the white men?
  • How do I find one?
  • How do I get one to ask me out?
  • I don’t look like Beyonce or Halle, will they like me?
  • Am I too old at age (fill in the blank)?

Starting with the excellent comment by Anna (middle name). She addresses the age-old issue of: Now, how are white men supposed to know you like them if you never hang around them?

Anna (middle name) says:

If you want to be in the swirl, there is one way to make that happen that is only obvious after someone connects the dots for you. That’s how it happened for me, too.

What is it, you ask?

Just hang out with white guys. Even if none of those guys that you’re hanging with ask you out, other WM will see you with them, figure that you actually must like white guys and be comfortable around them, approach you, and ask you out. It works like a charm.

I know. I am 26, and in the roughly 18 months I’ve been hanging out with these three white guys I know, I’ve been asked out by three different white guys, guys that are friends of my friends. And one of those guys I went out with is now my steady boo.

I’m not Beyonce and I’m not Paula Patton or Eve, either. I am not beautiful, I’m average looking. I’m thin (white guys like that), but other than that, I look like a lot of other black chicks. I’m just average.

I hear BW that want to meet white men say they want to meet white guys, but they can’t, but then, they’re never around any white people, so I don’t know they’re expecting to meet white guys that way. If all you’re around is black people, then all you’re going to meet is more black people, ladies.

Make friends with some white men, even if those guys are not guys you would want to date. Be seen with those white guys by other white guys, some of which you will want to date. This simple formula eluded me for a long time. It’s blindingly obvious once it’s obvious, right?

Put yourself in front of WM that are dating material by socializing with other white men. This really, really works. And, it also helps you get to know white guys a lot better so that when the “dating material” guy shows up, you are ready to communicate (wink) with him. You’ve already had your tutorial on white men, you’re ready to go.

And before any of you grow shy and dismiss your own chances, read the following two comments of encouragement.

The next is by the lovely sistahwuman with a wonderful relationship. (And I still want her man.)

sistahwuman says:

It’s been my experience that you just never know with WM in terms of which one will be open to dating a BW. I have always solved this problem by being open to any quality man, even if I thought the chances of him wanting to date IR were probably low. My current situation is a great example.

As I mentioned before, my boyfriend looks to be just about the whitest guy in the world. Nothing unusual about him, he dresses conservatively, he speaks like he came out of prep school, which he did, and he’s tall and good-looking, but in a low-key sort of way. And if you knew him, you would know that he drinks scotch straight up, smokes cigars, watches football, etc. Typical guy stuff, especially typical white guy stuff, but throw in the fact that he’s a handsome guy and doesn’t lack for offers of female company, also makes a good living at a stodgy old firm, and as a BW, you might say that your chances with such a guy are probably not great. He’s just too white! Am I right?

But, I made sure he knew I was interested in him. You can’t win if you don’t play, right, ladies? And much to my surprise, he responded to that interest immediately.

Here is something else: that calm exterior hides a hot, passionate nature underneath. Wow!

So, you just never know. My advice to all those BW considering an IR is to try not to knock anyone out of contention based on your initial perception of them. Obviously, some men will eliminate themselves immediately by saying or doing something stupid or disrespectful, but that happens across all races. No, I’m talking about the kind of guys that play it close to the vest, the ones that are laying back until they get a signal from you that it’s ok to approach you. All these other sisters know what I’m talking about, I’m sure. Most WM of any kind of substance are going to be cautious in their approach. So, all I’m saying is, your initial impression of his level of his real or potential interest in you may not be accurate – my man says he noticed me immediately and was quite attracted to me, but did nothing to alert me to that until he got the go-ahead from me in conversation.

Just sayin’.

You don’t have to be perfect to find the perfect situation.

Last, but not least, the wise words of magicwoman. You can never be too old. It’s never too late to start looking.

magicwoman says:

First of all, I am 44.

Second, in the interests of keeping it as real as possible here, I want to list all the cons that any honest BW would say I bring to the table in terms of a possible IR relationship:

I am 44.

I am a dark sister.

I am tall, 5′10″.

I wear my hair short and natural.

My financial situation is shaky and always has been.

I have a very large, surly black teenage son who resents any man that is around his mother.

I am smart, but I got an awful education. Sometimes it’s tough for me to participate in certain conversations because I just don’t know enough about the subject.

I have a large, goofy dog that flings himself at everyone he likes even a little bit.

Here are the pros:

I still have a great body, thank god. I am slim, but curvy. I hit the gym hard.

I have a wonderful smile, with dazzling white teeth.

I still have a pretty face.

I’m a nice person and people seem to be able to sense that.

I’m smart, even if not well-educated.

I like the same music most WM my age like – more important than you think.

I’m not a complainer or a whiner – WM love this.

I take of my man in every way possible, from the little things to the big things. What BM just expect, WM are always just surprised to get. My guy says he’s never felt so looked after in his whole life.

I have a big goofy dog that most WM like when the dog is not trying to lick them to death.

All I’m saying here is that whatever pros and cons come with you, as long as it’s an even contest (or maybe one or two more things in the pro column), you can find someone. You’re almost 40? So what!

You don’t think there is a white guy that is 40 years old that would like to meet, and then date, a wonderful, attractive sister? I can assure you, there are plenty.

Look at the drawbacks I’m working with here! Just my age and the fact that I have a large, unhappy-looking black teenage son in the house should be enough to send most white guys running for the hills.

But I found someone, someone I love very much and someone who loves me very much. He’s a huge white guy, a gentle giant that has a heart of gold. And, btw, the kid is starting to come around to him.

He’s told me that he wishes he had met me in his twenties because he’s never been so happy, and I feel the same exact way, but sometimes happiness doesn’t run on the schedule you prefer.

Sorry this has rambled on so long, but I guess my message to PhillyGirl is, whatever list of pluses and minuses you have for yourself, don’t write off your chances of finding love (and marriage, if you want it) with a WM. It can happen.

I couldn’t have said it better. {Virtual hugs for everyone!}

Happy white man hunting, ladies! Make me proud.

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Black Women: Starting Over, Moving On and Out

When is the best time to move? NOW.

When is the best time to start over? NOW.

Spring is a marvelous time of year to run from wherever we are to someplace better. Right now.

The following quote comes from Monae:

It’s not that easy to meet white guys where I live. It’s not like they’re around, except delivery men. I don’t date at all now because the choices are bad. Plus, I am educated but only by going to the library, being on the internet and watching movies. I didn’t learn anything in school but it didn’t matter because I was beat down at school for trying to act white. Even though I know a lot I know I still sound like I’m from the hood, so I don’t know how many white men would want to talk to me just hearing the way I talk. What white guy is going to want to date a little black girl that sounds getto and still works at Long John Silvers when she is 24? How can I get away to somplace else. Thought about joining the army but I don’t think the army is for me.

GoldenAh

You have a lot of time to begin crafting the new you. You can start by not regarding yourself as ghetto. It doesn’t help to put yourself down. You want more out of life, and that’s the best thing in the world.

Before you think of men, ask yourself what do you want out of life? To go back to school, and pursue a degree (2 year / 4 year?)? Learn a specific trade? Maybe take a couple of courses for a certificate degree? Nothing is out of reach, and you don’t have to go into crazy debt to do it.

I recommend you move. You sound wise enough to want to cut and run, so Don’t Tell Anyone. Especially any negaholics who enjoy putting you down. Just run. First, research where you want to live (low crime rate, maybe a Community College nearby) and see about moving there. The new job hunt can start later, maybe even find a part time to help bridge the expense gap and save money. Real estate web sites give plenty of crime and school info. Or you can hunt for work in a new neighborhood, and once you have that new position, move somewhere nearby.

It’s not going to be easy making these moves, but stick with a plan: 1) move, then new job, or 2) new job, then move, THEN 3) more schooling in new area, or 4) 2nd job to save for new area… AND 5) widen your social circle by finding new interests.

The Ladies Respond

Here are the responses from many fabulous and helpful sisters. There can never be too much information in helping someone save their own life by changing it.

NijaG

As for your speech, that could be changed. You can buy a cheap tape recorder and practice your pronunciations and speech patterns by reading out loud. There are many books/tapes on grammar, enunciation, etc. I’m sure you can even find them online. Material geared towards people where English is a second language could be helpful.

Before even concentrating on men, think about the person you want to be and the life you want to have. I would say start with a short general life plan. Example, where you see yourself at age 30 and then break those down into yearly goals.

There are many books you could probably find on life/vision goals and planning. I would look maybe at Amazon.com for reviews and suggestions and then borrow from the library. There are also many career/job centers that offer counseling and advice for free. See if you can find out. The library may even have some info on this.

Formal education is key. The whole world is getting very competitive nowadays. There are many career fields that don’t require a traditional 4-year college. You can finish in 2-3 years depending. Whatever you choose make sure the schools are accredited and recognized.

While some people consider student loans to be a bad thing, they can actually be very helpful. Student loans are not only given to pay for education, put to sometimes help students live. If you start off at a community college or in-state school, the tuition rate are usually cheaper than private. Most times there is money left over. If you use the money wisely, this could actually help in getting you out your neighborhood.

I went to an in-state school, and with the money left over each semester, I was able to buy my books, and have money for at least 3-4 months rent. This definitely helped reduce some stress.

Goldenah has given some very good suggestions. Moving out from your environment and into a better one is so important. Roommate situations are very good place to start in order to cut down expenses. With the current economy you’ll be surprised some of the deals you can find in very nice neighborhood with homeowners looking to make some extra money by renting out extra rooms, garages, or basements.

Tracy

By being a self starter and studying on your own, you have shown that you are curious about the world and are ready for something more and better. Don’t knock the Internet – that is how I learned – in my thirties up to now at forty four – FOUR different languages! Speaking, comprehending and writing – so you keep looking stuff up and broadening your mind.

The only thing that I can add to the already great advice is this: BW are the best actresses in the world, so while you are bettering yourself, fake it till you make it!

That white girl accent you got in trouble for in high school – rock it girl! Surround yourself with greatness, visit a consignment shop and get some nice designer duds, treat yourself and act as the wonderful being you are! You will be surprised at how fast you get used to it!

Another thing – expounding on the Dont Tell Anyone – when you move, consider a studio apartment. DONT GET A HOUSE!! Some folks are nosy – cant find a job or a life but they can find you. So if that happens, don’t give them a reason to think that you are their ” home away from home”. This happened to a single girlfriend of mine – got a house with way too much space and soon she became a flop house for whoever wasn’t getting along with “mama” or “random trifling negro”. Don’t let that happen to you – minimalize while you maximize your life!

You can do it!! Good luck to you!

Oshun/Aphrodite

The cool thing is that there are tons of non traditional students (over the age of 21 who attend college full time)

AND college is the best place to meet WM.

AND men do marry down…I am not saying you are down or don’t strive, but most functional men aren’t looking for women to be breadwinners.

You are at an age where you can easily position yourself to marry UP…

Diction, the way you dress, and carry yourself can all be polished simultaneously- the key is getting into the environments where it will pay off so to speak.

Ruth

Monae –

I almost started crying when I read your comment, I wish I could just hug you and squeeze you and and tell you everything is going to be all right, and take you out of there tomorrow. But I can’t, all I can do is offer you some counsel.

Listen to these older sisters on here; they’re speaking the truth. You’re still very young, and the good thing is you have already figured out that you want to be better than you are now, and, that no one around that you know at this time is likely to help you towards that goal. There are a lot of black women who come to that epiphany very slowly. They don’t get there until they’re 30, or 40, or even 50 years old. So, you are way ahead of the game in that regard.

I’m not going to re-hash what the others said, it’s all good advice that I agree with. I’ll try to add some things here and there, based on my own struggles and successes. I’m sure some of it may possibly seem like overkill or “over the top” to you or others, but you just don’t know how tough some parts of leaving your current situation are going to be until the time comes.

First of all, get out of there first (start planning to do this tomorrow), and then after the first move, pick a place where you’re going to live for at least a few years while you go to school. Since you’ll be working jobs that don’t pay very much, just like we all had to, and those jobs exist everywhere, then it’s really just a matter of where you want to live. Most Western states and some Southern states have junior colleges and community colleges that are quite inexpensive in terms of credit hours. It sounds like you don’t have a car, so a city would be best. If it were me, I think I’d try a place like Seattle or Portland, Oregon. And maybe you could stay there for your four-year degree, too. But, that’s what the internet is for, check out lots of places. There are also two European countries (Sweden and Norway, I think?) that offer free tuition to any student that is accepted, if you think that might interest you later, as you get some credit hours under your belt. And European men love American BW.

Which brings me to my next point: Don’t get pregnant. Your dreams will be completely derailed by an unexpected pregnancy, so when you have sex, use birth control! I cannot stress this strongly enough. And use protection against STDs, too.

Buy everything you can used. Except a computer, definitely buy a NEW laptop, don’t buy a used computer. But almost everything else can be bought in good or great condition for a reasonable percentage of what it cost new, and the only one that will ever know you bought it used is you. And I mean everything – clothing, furniture, cars, dishes, stereos, etc. Craigslist, baby! You can buy quality brands if you buy used, and you buy quality, it will last a long time. Just don’t buy cheap stuff used. This habit persists with me today – when I finally got enough money from years of working, I bought a used ladies Rolex for $1800 (the exact same model is $11,600 new), which looks great and runs great, and my new husband just (laughingly) told me a couple of months ago that when he first met me and saw I had an old Rolex on, he just assumed that I was “from a family that had money” and had received the watch from a relative when she passed. Yes, that’s how a lot of white people think. He said he knew it wasn’t fake, because no one wears an old fake Rolex, and so he saw that I like quality, and, that I was frugal. That little stupid thing made me even more desireable to him; the fact that I didn’t need a new Rolex, that I was happy with an older one. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Not really. I was ecstatic when he pulled up in a perfect-condition 20 year-old Mercedes – that was much better than a shiny new luxury car to me. I still buy used things whenever I can.

Change the name you use. If you have a middle name that is what most people consider a typical name, than use that name. If people see “Monae” on a resume, you may as well put “I was born poor and black” at the top of the resume as well. I’m sorry, but this is the way people think. BTW, it’s the same thing when you see a resume from “Krystal” with a “K” – you know she’s white and was born in the South in a trailer park. I’m just sayin’. I speak from experience as my original birth certificate said Latisha on it. My middle name was Ruth (my grandmother’s name), which I hated when I was younger because it was so plain and boring, but which I started using when I was in my early twenties. Just like magic, I started getting a lot more interviews from my resume. When I got in front of them, I was still a black woman, but at least I was now in front of them with a real chance to impress them with what I knew. At least I got my shot at the job. And I got those jobs. Latisha is now no more. I legally changed my first name to Ruth years ago, and picked a new middle name to go with it. I know it seems like a huge, radical step, but if you don’t have a good middle name, think about legally changing your first name now, before you go to school, so it’s the same name as your school records later. My husband knows me as Ruth, which he loves, and thinks the Latisha thing is pretty hilarious. Uh-huh. I asked him if he would have gone out with a Latisha, and he said, “Hmmm, that’s a good question”.

Last item. When you do the things you need to do to improve yourself, your family and current friends will undoubtedly accuse you of not “keepin it real”. My sister still does, she still pulls that on me.

She has three children from three different fathers, none of whom have ever paid any child support, and she works as a shampoo girl at a beauty shop. She lives paycheck to paycheck, has bad credit, a broken-down car, is in very poor health due to smoking and her weight, and bounces from one bad man to another (but every one of these black kings is “the one” while he’s around).

So she’s definitely “keepin it real”. You know, I love her because she’s my sister, but sometimes I don’t like her very much. She’s made a lot of bad choices, and still has the nerve to tell me that I have turned my back on my race and my neighborhood.

Don’t let people drag you down, girl. Because they definitely will if you give them even half a chance to do so. Unfortunately, I came from a very toxic environment, the whole “crabs in a barrel” thing. I was bullied mercilessly at school for “acting white”. My own mother said I was a sell-out and a whore to the white man when I started dating my husband. This from a woman whose husband left when I was a baby, and never came back. I never even knew my father. And she said that about my future husband? That really, really hurt my feelings at the time.

Now, this same man makes sure that she has everything she needs now, she lacks for nothing. It’s his paycheck that’s providing it, and he’s never complained about doing it, he’s never hesitated to take that on. I have an MBA and I had a very good job (6 months pregnant now, so no job now because I resigned recently), and still, I married up! He’s a good man.

Keep moving forward, make something of yourself. Lots of successful people in America started out with nothing and they came from dirt-poor families. Lots of successful people have completely re-invented themselves in this country. You don’t have to be like you’re always been.

{{Virtual hugs.}}

I recommend you move. You sound wise enough to want to cut and run, so Don’t Tell Anyone. Especially any negaholics who enjoy putting you down. Just run. First, research where you want to live (low crime rate, maybe a Community College nearby) and see about moving there. The new job hunt can start later, maybe even find a part time to help bridge the expense gap and save money. Real estate web sites give plenty of crime and school info. Or you can hunt for work in a new neighborhood, and once you have that new position, move somewhere nearby.

It’s not going to be easy making these moves, but stick with a plan: 1) move, then new job, or 2) new job, then move, THEN 3) more schooling in new area, or 4) 2nd job to save for new area… AND 5) widen your social circle by finding new interests.

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Blog Wars: I Am Always Right!

It’s confusing to peruse some blogs (I have read a lot!), and there will be a long winded, or short biting rant about persons X, Y, and Z. They may leave some crumbs as clues, but overall I don’t know who / what they are talking about. And do not care, for that matter.

I know blogs serve all kinds of purposes: people explore thoughts, issues, and answers. I am the last one to tell people what to write, but…. It distracts from the intended message. It changes the tenor of a good, vibrant blog to a boring, bloviating one.

I wish I could be amused, but it reminds me of Junior High School.

Words do have power. I hope everyone remembers that. Although I do not believe that wishing or praying (calling on God to punish people on one’s behalf) ever bears fruit. No, it does not. Well, maybe the person doing the evil wishing will probably get struck dead first. That I do believe.

Well Balanced: Equanimity

I was thinking about how invested a lot of us are in being right. It’s a fascinating phenomenon. Among women, it start with words. Among men, it takes the form of action, killing one individual to millions. I’ve watched enough altercations, in person, to know how quickly the war of words will escalate into something worse.

However, no matter how clearly we all try to write, intention, thoughts, and meaning will get misinterpreted. Folks, let these things go. Life is too short worrying about hammering a single, or even two, points home to a bunch of strangers, some of whom belong in a mental asylum.


Frankly, for me, all I feel is indifference, or neutrality. It is the best emotion to have when dealing with this online medium. If I start to feel emotional, heated or disturbed, I am gone. I definitely need other things to occupy my time.

How people write has zero correlation to the individual they are in real life. A snarky online persona may be just that – an online persona.

I’ve know people who cannot write a coherent sentence, but are very smart, sharp, and kind. There’s a lot invested in the written word, but it is (to some degree) a poor second to looking an individual in the face, watching his / her expressions, and listening to how s/he sounds.

Being right though, is a matter of perspective. What works for one individual, does not always work for another. Folks have to learn to let it go. There’s something to be said for not having the last word. It might make one appear an intelligent adult. Well thought out rebuttals are dandy, but after a time – enough already.

Employ some mental balance; learn to see things from the other side on occasion.

Getting off my soapbox….

I have been loving the weather this spring and summer: Sweet!

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Praying versus Purposeful Living: The Tigress Has Stripes

I had taken this vow, or made it my goal, to be nicer to people this year. I don’t mean mindlessly self-effacing, humble, or accommodating. I am polite, that’s a given. My intention is to shutdown the harsh critic that resides in my brain. I decided that if I keep the internal-thought-troll quiet, it wouldn’t appear on my face.

I know that a placid, or blank mind, would help me keep a calm and “open” disposition. Less agitation equals less stress and distraction.

So, this past weekend some strange(r) guy was trying to get a rise out of me. His tomfoolery did not work. It was rather amusing watching this individual loudly utter his non sequiturs, interrupt everyone, and attempt to goad me by intimating some rather silly topics while beaming in my direction.

Sorry, not biting! In the old days, I would have been irritated. Yet this time, I felt like I was watching it all from a distance.

It was a good feeling, having self-control and emotional mastery such as that.

Praying and Meditating

I am contemplating on learning to meditate, since I’ve decided that praying doesn’t suit me. I want to meditate to improve my focus and concentrate. I’m a bit too scatterbrained these days.

I shared this philosophy with my Mother a number of months ago – that I don’t actually pray – and I thought she was ready to say that I was going to hell. (LOL)

I explained myself in more detail, so she would understand.

I think today’s version of “I’ll pray for you,” or “I’ll pray on that,” comes across as 1-800-God-is-listening, or 1-800-God-does-what-I-want. Call that number, and the big Jesus will do as you request. I know people fervently believe that.

I do not. I also do not live in fear of this eternal being, this divine diety(ies) most folks on this planet claim, or swear, to believe in.

Honestly, I think a large number of people are atheistic, or malignant non-believers, based on how they conduct their lives, although they may spend a lot of time talking as if they believe in a higher being. I’m not convinced, based on human behavior, or actions, that they have any faith.

I believe we have absolute control over ourselves, yet the rest lies with fate (randomness, chaos, or maybe the butterfly effect).

We can only do just so much to steer our own destinies.

I find that living purposefully, and saying to myself, “That is what I’m going to do. This is what I want,” works best.

Purposeful Living

I’ve compared praying versus purposeful living, and to me, there is no contest. What I’ve always said I’m going to get, and want – I get. However, I do not ask for much. I know the limits of how much I can handle. I am endlessly surprised by how much I’ve already received.

My Mom calls it being, “lucky.” Nope, I don’t like that word.

I just truly believe in being careful of what I ask for. The devil really is in the details. I keep it all very, very simple.

And after each desire, want and need has been delivered, received or accomplished, I do thank that heavenly divine infinite being(s).

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Shyness and Social Avoidance


I tend to make plans for the weekend, starting with Friday. The list of events are interesting, sometimes free, and throughout the multi-state area I live in: Philly, Eastern Penn., NYC, and all of New Jersey.

I make the usual promises to myself: I’m going somewhere! I will have fun!

What do I end up doing? Stay locked indoors. Nearly every chance I have to relax, enjoy myself, and hang out – I don’t. For years, I’ve been trying to break this awful, self-defeating habit.

Ain’t that a shame? Oh, I’ll go out. My long walks. Or drive to the store, pick up some items, and run right back home. As for my good evening plans: forget-about-it.

New Faces in Strange Places

Last year for Halloween I managed to go out. Sans a real costume. My invisible costume was bravery for going solo. The odd thing was that the host thanked me so often for coming to that event, I began to wonder what was wrong. People were saying they gave me credit for coming out.

I guess they saw my costume after all! Nevertheless, I had a great time.

Shyness

Back in the day, I used to party nearly every weekend running from Thursday to Saturday. I didn’t know what to do with myself.
Experience has taught me that hanging out too much, too often, makes me bored, and irritable.

Yet, I’m also very intimidated by new faces in new places. I don’t have a close-knit coterie of (women) friends. I meet with them on occasion, but we all live a good distance from each other and make plans, but it’s infrequent.

Yet, I must do something! Anything! I need to have something interesting to do. I have to work at it.

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