Black Women: When All Else Fails In Heterosexual Relationships, Become A

Did I get your attention?

I’m warning those of you who are very tender and sensitive to be aware that the next few paragraphs will be no-holds barred, non-politically correct, coming from my perspective and experiences (off-line). So, this isn’t something I gleaned from reading anyone’s comments, blogs, Facebook profiles, or having a third eye and happen to be talking about anyone’s intimate life or relationships from the psychic front.

In other words, don’t take what I say personally – if it happens to sound like you – well, that’s a weird coincidence, but I’m not going to apologize for you taking offense. And I’ll remind people who love to be offended for the sake of being offended: gnash your teeth, but keep it moving if you don’t like what I write, or run off on your little hooves to set up your own blog.

I’ve noticed that the words homosexual and lesbian tends to set off the easily offended brigades. Like just the mere mention of these words are breaking some kind of human rights accord. Being pro-homosexual or pro-lesbian doesn’t make anyone more moral, more just, or saintly than anyone else. I understand that they are the latest victim cause célèbre. I’ve rarely written about the topic, not out of intimidation, but because I had nothing to say about it.

Okay, so, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way…. Let’s begin.

Yay. They Are Here to Stay. So?

I think ever since the AIDS epidemic, homosexuals have jumped into the mainstream media and they haven’t gone away since. The topic is ever more present today, since the Supreme Court will make some kind of ruling where they are likely to turn 5000 plus years of normalcy on its head, redefine marriage, because everybody needs special entitlements, otherwise life isn’t fair, and declare it some kind of ultra awesome Civil Rights / Human Rights win. That, of course, will yield yet another round of endless bizarre social battles for those suffering from ennui, in their eternal drive to fight endlessly about nothing.

Because a culture that has all that it needs, is bound to chase after all its wanton, selfish, hedonistic short-term needs to the detriment of everything else.

So, let’s say that it does happen, eventually this, or a future, Supreme Court discovers invisible text in the US Constitution allowing them to redefine marriage. Well, they’ve made up stuff before. They are supreme at pulling illogical decisions out of their asses. This will mean a government body has ruled that they are the sole authority, above nature, society, morality, religion, science and common sense as to what constitutes a natural family structure. At that point, I’d recommend the government get out of the marriage and family structure redefining business altogether.

Anything Goes: Then It Is All Gone

‘Cause isn’t the eventual goal to allow ANY two consenting adults to get hitched – bar none? They are “in love” after all. This whole thing is about hurt feelings: mean people not letting homosexuals and lesbians redefine the natural and normal family structure. In instituting the redefinition of marriage, they get to benefit from legally binding contracts in one fell swoop, reap all those sweeeeet, sweeeet government entitlements and somehow magically change the fact it is a sexual minority and not the norm.

Then you must ask yourself, why not other alternative relationships be allowed to marry too? Why not two non-procreative siblings? Why even draw the line at two people? I await the first fillings from a bi-sexual woman suing to marry a man and a woman, because she loves them both equally. And what right does the government have to limit her love to one person?

See where this goes?

What’s so interesting about the whole thing is that the same people who demanded that the government stay out of their bedrooms, uteruses, rectums and other bodily orifices are inviting the feds back in to redefine, regulate, register and recognize the whole kit and kaboodle.

Wonders never cease.

The Heterosexual Tribe: It’s Not Going Anywhere Either. See How This Game Works?

I am deliberately using the words norm, normal and natural. Being heterosexual is the norm. It is what most people are, despite what the mainstream media wants you to believe. That’s just the way things are. All of us who were conceived naturally wouldn’t be here if your father wasn’t interested in your mother and vice verse. If people want to believe 25%-45% of the population has sex, or really really wants to have sex, with the same gender – more power to them. The way it gets promoted, I wouldn’t be surprised when the day comes that the mainstream media reports this in their latest poll: like it’s a goal that young people need to strive towards.

Now, I’m not for demonizing anyone’s inherent sex drives. That’s the way people are. I do, however, find myself annoyed with the 24/7 endless promotion of it. There are a lot of shows where if there is a whiff of preachy, “They are so awesome, don’t we all wish we were them?” When that happens, I’m out. I’m gone. There are shows that have ’em and treat ’em like it’s no big deal. I can watch that.

When I feel like I’m getting a religious indoctrination message from the 24/7 alternative lifestyle crowd, I’m not coming back to the program. But it has gotten so bad I wish there was a TV code just like there is with violence.

Yeah, I went there, because sometimes I have my fill of sexual content on TV too.

Crotch Watching Amigas

During my early years when I was a frequent passenger on public transit, me and my girlfriends would take a keen interest in guessing male organ size based on the bulges presented before us.

Nothing makes a trip so fascinating as to wonder: is it a sock or is he really that big?

The Wishful Thinkers Club

Growing up, I didn’t know EXACTLY what a lesbian or homosexual was. I never had much exposure to the term or what it entailed.

My guess is that in this day and age, 4 year olds get to hear about it day and day out before they even learn to read. This probably explains why only 20% of high school graduates are functionally literate. Progress.

I didn’t receive full disclosure about this stuff, until I attended college and was exposed to what I’d now call the “black lesbian recruitment drive”.

And you go, Say what?

I was mostly oblivious to what was going on, but what I didn’t know was that the school was well-known (among the very street wise, which I was not) for having a large body of homosexuals and lesbians.

I had other issues with the school – it being overpriced was one of them, it was in a really bad location, the fake snobs (from the hood and suburbs) were annoying, but if I had a choice to attend the school again, I would never darken any of their doorways. I didn’t feel it was worth the price tag or hassle.

So, what was the recruitment drive like?

You’re hanging out with your girls, and one of them cannot keep her hands to herself. You gently remove the hands, and you think nothing of it.

You’re talking about guys, and one of them constantly and coyly talks about that there’s something about her that doesn’t work with her male dates. You shrug, figuring she hasn’t met Mr. Right or maybe school and work interferes with the relationships.

You’re looking for school clubs to join. Boldly, she says, “Hey, maybe you want to try that one.” She’s pointing at the, “Gladly having Lettuce Tomato and Bacon” table.

I figure she’s joking, “Naw, I don’t have anything in common with them.”

And she says, “Try it. You might like it.” I’m confused at this point, “Try what? I don’t see the point. It’s not my thing.” She drops it.

Eventually, you drift apart as friends, because not only are you too busy to hang out anymore, she’s joined the “Arts Club” where she claims, “I’m meeting a lot of people like myself.” I say, “That’s great. It suits you, because you’re really friendly and outgoing, right?” She looks at me real hard and says dryly, “Yeah, something like that.”

My Last Bit of Conjecture

Over the years, I’ve a met a few more black women like my college friend. There is a difference between those who obviously know what they are, and I find them refreshing because they leave me alone, and those who spend all their time playing stupid “wishful thinking games”. Maybe they are unable to be honest with themselves. I was once introduced to someone, because since I was too “picky”, that must mean I had to be into women.

I’m still slow when I meet black women who like to hint, hint, hint as to what they are. Frankly, I’m not thinking about it. It’s not what concerns me. If you’re interested in other women, that’s okay. But don’t play that game with me, that if I’m not telling you my personal business or intimate relationships that makes me a recruitment target.

I’ve heard my share of nonsense from black women who rationalize what makes one a lesbian, and if you look at this list, that’d be all of us.
– if she’s an ambitious hard-working career woman.
– if she wears her hair natural.
– if she’s overweight.
– if she doesn’t go to the job telling everybody about her personal intimate business.
– if she’s only into black guys, if that doesn’t work out OTHER black women are an option. Hey, maybe she just needs to be introduced to another chick like herself.
– if she has a high IQ (I kid you not).
– if she tries it she might like it, and so on.

And in situations where I meet someone from the “wishful thinking club”, coming at me with the above checklist, then I am the one who’s offended. ‘Cause I look at it this way, if I was one, I wouldn’t hide it. So, they in essence, are pretending that I’m hiding in some closet with them.

The gist I’ve gotten over the years – and this is from other black women – since I am a black woman who knows her own mind, somehow I must be able, ready and willing to move onto black women if it doesn’t work out with black men.

It nevers occurs to these people, that if a woman likes MEN, she’s gonna take them in all colors, not switch genders just to keep it within the same RACE.

I am a member of the heterosexual tribe. Always have been, always will be.

~~~

Last stop

And if anyone is going to post a comment, please stay on topic. Anything off-topic might be removed.

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Victimizing Black Women: NY Times Thinks Cure for Black Women and Black Family Poverty is “Let Em Out of Jail”

According to the “experts” they sought out for this article, black males have been locked up for far too long. If you want to read an institutional and media driven message – that hurts black women – the following NY Times article is a prime example:

It’s so full of wrong, it’s hard to summarize where to begin.

I would like to see all these “educated” social scientists relocate to areas where the ex-cons are. I bet there’d hardly be any takers. Yet, according to them the factors for the condition of black women is too precious. It believes the “real” problem for black women, in not finding enough black men only is because they are mostly in jail.

And that they are there longer than necessary.

Defying Common Sense: He Never Was Home

There are several issues we have to overlook just to give us this “get out of jail early” logic. There is no position that they are innocent parties unfairly accused of crimes who do not belong in prison. There is no position exploring why they refuse to graduate from high school, which would be the first and most immediate step out of poverty. There is no position that they should refrain, with some pretense at morality, from pursuing a life of criminal activity, which is harming others, in the first place.

Oh no, the crux of the article is that long term jail sentences are making things worse for single black women, because the men are taken out of the neighborhood. Thereby depriving her the means of a second income to provide for the family.

The assumption is that if the black male was present, he would be of some assistance.

Seriously? Seriously? Come on! Black males made themselves irrelevant, absenting themselves from the black nuclear family years ago, and it didn’t start with the war on drugs. They were abandoning their wives and children many years before that. Black women were able to stop the slide into poverty by finishing school, relocating to better neighborhoods and raising their children alone with middle class jobs.

They Don’t Care About Black Women

What the article doesn’t want to acknowledge is the total destruction this economy has wrought on the single black mother, who used to be able to manage. Now, these same people who used to hail black single motherhood are pretending to be concerned that she’s out there doing it all by herself.

Yet, not one paragraph is devoted to suggesting maybe black women – in order to improve their lives – should relocate to low crime, mixed neighborhoods with better gender ratios and seek opportunities with men who are not black. Mobility would also cure their own poverty.

Everybody has to go to where the jobs are.

This article was so messy, I thought I was reading Essence magazine. The black media will heartily gobble this up, spreading this manure far and wide. I can imagine how the pressure (as usual) will be applied: black women gotta stay in the hood and “struggle” with the incarcerated “brothas”. Do they still call these negroes “freedom fighters” or “political prisoners”? I haven’t read black media in such a long time, I’ve forgotten.

I like how the article fails to mention that black males are the number one killers of black women. She wouldn’t be alive to “struggle” with him anyhow.

There are good reasons why he’s in jail. And it’s a myth that black women are hurt by his incarceration. It is the justice system working as it should when criminals are locked up. How do black women benefit from sociopaths roaming the neighborhood creating havoc? Anyone read the number of black people who die in places like Chicago and Philly everyday?

Step Away From the Hot Mess

Despite the amount of ink devoted to the issue black women and black men are not tied at the hip, inseparable since birth, belong to each other or cannot live without one another. Black women have and will do fine: there are other men around. The oceans are very deep and wide. There’s plenty of fish there.

Black males with good jobs increasingly are marrying interracially. Those who are living the good life have decided on participating in the main stream without black women. They certainly do not miss us.

Remember, the first step for black women in moving towards a better life is getting out of a bad neighborhood. That’s common sense. But people don’t want to provide black women with this kind of life saving advice. Per their logic, we should sit, smolder and rot in hell along with black males who lack any sense of morality, decency or ability to function like a normal man.

This particular NY Times story may have a “happy ending”, but imagine having a predator back in the neighborhood with nothing to lose? That guy is not going to be the ideal spouse for any woman. And these people have a nerve recommending, suggesting or even thinking that that is good enough for the average black woman.

She deserves better than that.

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What’s On Your Mind? Mine Is Rather Blank

This is a free range post, so don’t expect too much coherence. 🙂

News With No Opinion

I don’t watch the evening news. I read selective items online such as: local Weather, Technology, Health, Sports (at least when J-Lin was playing with the Knicks), Politics, Business, Economics, and hopefully stuff that wont irritate and annoy me.

One of the reasons you do not find me writing a comment about many of the latest news stories is that I realize by the third week, a lot of initial “facts” change. And even after that, sometimes it’s best to remain silent. What I say wont bring anybody back, alter government policy or reality, and unless I’m looking to make a point – my policy is to have no opinion on the matter(s).

Does that mean I don’t care? I care about my personal issue(s), my personal life and while I wish I could be affected by things people assume would affect me, I know they wont. It’s a long winded way of saying I don’t share the victim mentality that being black makes me less than, weak, a sorry excuse for a human being, powerless and unable to change. I cannot do the impossible, but I’ll try. And that starts with how I think about myself. That is the only thing I have the most control over: me.

Does that mean I don’t issue an opinion in other forums? Sometimes I’ll have some thoughts relating to a piece of the overall picture, but I’m unable to offer a solution. I don’t believe in group related solutions. Everyone’s situation is different. Everyone absorbs information differently. One person’s candor is another person’s insult. You know how it is sometimes, you wonder if people can comprehend English, because their understanding strays so far from the writer’s obvious intent. And then you realize these intelligent people are being deliberately obtuse. I used to troll. It was fun back in the day. So I get it.

Life’s Little Changes

I hope I’m wrong, but I’ve got an uneasy feeling coming over me. Maybe that’s how Spring is – one day it’s warm, next day Tornadoes are busting out all over.

So, I’m in a contemplative mood. My cat, who was only 12 years old, got ill – so quickly – and I had to take him to the vet. I lost something dear to me last week. I was surprised by the depths of my sorrow. I’m not the most emotional person around. I don’t mean stoic or long suffering. I wisecrack and laugh like everyone else, but I don’t let things bother me (like a lot of people seem to over topics online – I really could not care less). I’m not a huggy-kissy kind of woman, well, unless it’s with my man, otherwise… So I like who and what I like. I can only truly be bothered by friend and family matters, which are up close and personal.

Do I miss my little mongrel? Sure. I also had to take into account how much room I made for that animal in my life. I regarded my feline as a person. My family and friends would always inquire about my cat (long after meeting him). He was a true character. And I learned how to be patient with him. I learned how to look after someone other than myself (I am very selfish and not afraid to admit it). I’ve also learned that if I don’t succeed the first time, come back in a minute to try again. I made sure he was always comfortable, never went hungry, never went cold, and spoiled him rotten. 🙂

He was very entertaining too:

– Whenever I was going to feed him, I’d say, “Eat”. And he’d jump out of the chair and run into the kitchen.
– He used to fetch little balls of paper after I tossed them for him to swat away.
– He used to follow me everywhere around the house, walking next to me like he had a leash on.
– If he wanted my attention, he’d get up on his hind legs, and while I’m sitting at the table, hold onto the table with one paw and tap me with the other.
– I’d say, “Come on” to leave a room. He’d follow.
– I’d say, “Stop that” or “No.” If he was doing something that irritated me. He would stop.
– I’d say, “Get out.” He liked to follow me into the bathroom. He would leave.

Maybe everybody’s cat did this. I had cats as a kid, but never one like this little fellow.

Would I get another cat? No. I like them, but when you’ve had one with such unique characteristics, you have to let that one be the last. And frankly, I don’t have the energy to invest in another one. A pet can take a lot out of a person. I’m a one-track kind of individual. I’m envious of people who can juggle multiple threads of their lives in the air, I’m not able to do that. And I accept that about myself.

RIP Buddy. I thank God for letting you into my life and teaching me so much. 🙂

 

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Black Women and Our Mothers: Love Vs. Guilt by Oshun/Aphrodite

A stellar comment by Oshun/Aphrodite:

You are being manipulated.  Ask me how I know. Just ask…  LOL

Because I have been in your shoes!  Literally! My mother did a lot of right things by me, but she also did some bad things by me.  I think when you grow up and you have been taught to respect authority you equate your parents with God.  They are not, they are human just like everyone else and sometimes act with selfish intentions.  Your mother is being very selfish right now.  She is only thinking of herself.  Also you have an attachment to her and want to please her.  I can raise my hand on that one too because I have had to go through people pleasing deprogramming bootcamp myself.

Monae, when my mother discovered I was leaving home to complete my undergrad she threw herself across my bed sobbing and crying in a hysterical fit and told me she didn’t know how she was going to make it, she couldn’t live without me and I was mortified.  Add to that she has had health issues and I started concocting all sorts of scenarios in my head of my mother dying and me feeling responsible etc My mother became alternately passive aggressive, openly hostile, and even got in a few attempts at sabotage. She enlisted other folks to side with her…you name it- I went through it.

The other similarity that we share is that your mother is grooming you to be the caretaker/burden bearer in your family. It is that “raise” the girls, but “love” the boys meme in the so called Black community.  I can tell from what you shared that you are responsible. When I worked I also chipped in and paid bills and bought groceries.  But since I was an ambitious yet unskilled worker- low wages and mind numbing work chipped away at my self esteem.  The thing is this will only grow to become a larger burden that will be difficult to get out from under as time passes. Your family will come to rely on you more and more as you are the “responsible” one and if you can be easily guilted and manipulated now because of a desire to please and avoid conflict – they have your number.

Tell my why you are buying a new computer when you weren’t the one that broke it? When someone damages someone else’s property they compensate that person for it.  Your cousin should be at whatever store buying you a replacement or at least having it repaired.

At any rate your mother:

1. may not be prepared for you to grow up
2. may not wish to see you surpass her accomplishments
3. may wish to leech off of you emotionally and financially
4. may be using you as a crutch to avoid facing deeper psychological issues she is not addressing
5. may want to live vicariously through you and your youth

Whatever the reason, it is not your responsibility take care of her and work through her issues.  Parents raise children not the other way around. If you are 24 then your mother is young enough and wise enough to navigate through life and care for herself! Unless she is missing all her arms and legs and has been declared mentally incompetent by the state your mother can and will survive if you leave.

And even if she wasn’t wise enough to plan for her health issues or her old age that still isn’t your responsibility. You have to plan for your own health issues and retirement! If anything your mother should want you to be as successful as possible so that should she really need you – when she is 74 and really can’t do for herself you will be able to assist her if you are so inclined.

My advice to you is to work through your attachment issues. Address your fear of leaving and work though that now.  Until you do you are setting yourself up for being exploited. They can always play on that.  Do not discuss your plans with her or others and if you do slip up, do so in vague terms so she can’t employ psychological warfare or sabotage to derail you.  If you mother is that intense, then give her the okey doke just like she is doing to you say, “mother, I am doing this for the benefit of all of us” or whatever you have to to get the space to do what you need to do.

Major life changes are stressful even if you have tons of support, but since this is something you lack you need to have clarity at all times to stay centered and keep your emotions on an even keel.

If you don’t do what makes you happy you will have regrets. If you don’t do what makes you happy you will develop a seething resentment towards you mother that may have you considering homicide! LOL

Ask me how I know…LOL

You may develop resentments even if you go on and do what you want much later than intended because you will have to play the catch up and unlearn game and neither of those are fun.  So don’t give your power away.  Seize the moment!

I want to tell you that despite my mother I left anyway and had some of the most fabulous years of my life.  And you know what?  My mother got over it and kept on living.  All those things I was responsible for – they got done in my absence.  And your mother will do the same. My mother did not fall apart – if anything my separation redefined our relationship for the better. I think she now sees me as an adult/whole person – separate and distinct from her. There is a dramatic difference in the way she relates to me now in both speech and action.

I know that the whole process seems overwhelming, but ask if you need advice or info and I wish you much success.

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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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Super Strong Single Black Woman Syndrome

It is one thing to be proud of the mythical black Momma who purportedly raised her children, half the block, worked three jobs, and is a care taker of a sick mother, siblings, and grandchildren. It is another thing to assume that she is a happy Super Strong Single Black Woman, who seeks more people to take care of.

At some point, she will stop and scream from exhaustion, “I can’t do it anymore!”

People have to stop looking for black women to do all of the care taking. Black women have to stop being willing to take care of everyone, and saying yes to everyone.

You cannot do it all alone. It’s not working.

There’s so much wrong with this Associated Press story, I don’t know where to begin. I’ll just put the excerpts out there.

I’m not condemning the women. I can only wonder why some black women put such enormous burdens on themselves, and other black women, without having a life replete with healthy relationships that are helpful to them.

This story is about Spc. Alexis Hutchinson, 21:

An Army cook and single mom may face criminal charges after she skipped her deployment flight to Afghanistan because, she said, no one was available to care for her infant son while she was overseas.

So, what happened?

[Hutchinson] claims she had no choice but to refuse deployment orders because the only family she had to care for her 10-month-old son – her mother – was overwhelmed by the task, already caring for three other relatives with health problems.

The Army requires all single-parent soldiers to submit a care plan for dependent children before they can deploy to a combat zone.

Let me see if I understand, Hutchinson knew her mother was overburdened – those things don’t happen overnight. She joined the military in 2007. Momma was already occupied and busy. This young woman has a child with the “baby’s father”, and is surprised that when she’s deployed her mother couldn’t handle the infant?

Did she readily assume, like some black women, and other people, that Momma was a Super Strong Single Black Woman? Why couldn’t she ask, or get, the “baby’s father” to look after the child? Why was the only person in the world she could depend on was her already overburdened mother?

Hutchinson is no longer in a relationship with the father [of the child].

Is that how it is today? You cut the guy off, because things don’t work out? Or is it the assumption that once the relationship ends the only thing the guy was good for was sperm donation? Is it really that easy for the guys? Is this how women let themselves and their offspring be treated? Are they ever going to teach their own sons to be respectful and responsible to the mothers of their children?

Hutchinson’s son, Kamani, was placed into custody overnight with a daycare provider on the Army post after she was arrested and jailed briefly, Larson said. Hutchinson’s mother picked up the child a week ago and took him back to her home in California.

Hutchinson’s mother had to come all the way across the country to Savannah, Georgia to pick up Kamani.

Look at the load Hutchinson’s mother, the Super Strong Single Black Woman is carrying. I’m not surprised her daughter thought she could do it all alone, and then some.

She’s already having to care for her ailing mother and sister, as well as a daughter with special needs. She also runs a daycare center at her home, keeping about 14 children during the day.

If Super Strong Single Black Woman collapses from exhaustion, who will be there to take up her burden? Her daughter?

Where are the men in this story? Why are some black women doing it all alone? Why are they teaching their children that men aren’t necessary? Why are they involved with males who wont be men? 

The “Black Community” Doesn’t Exist

I see this as the tip of a “black community” ice berg. Once the Super Strong Single Black Women starts to go the way of the American Passenger Pigeon (it’s extinct), who’s going to be left to take up the burden?

The government cannot raise children, nor take care of any individual, or group of society, only family can. How is the “black community” supposed to function if there’s no one left to take care of it and its offspring?

By the way, my answer isn’t the search for mythical “black love”, it is for Super Strong Single Black Women to put their burdens down and learn to say, “Oh, hell no. I am not doing that ever again.”

Learn to associate, and form reciprocal relationships, with men and women who can help you and you can help them.

Being a black woman doesn’t have to mean a life of suffering from day one.

Let it go. You are allowed. You need no one’s permission to be selfish.

It’s a healthy impulse to look after yourself first, that’s the key to a long happy life.

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Black Women: Look Out for Number One

Black Women, please put yourself first.

I think it’s great that there are many resources (online, library, books, tapes, etc.) available for the betterment of black women. However, I always have a beef with those that clamor for black women to make changes. These proposals often ask: what can a black woman do to benefit others, but not what the black woman can do for herself.

I make no bones about looking out for myself.

Like a passenger on a plane, black women must put the oxygen mask on herself first. You cannot help others if you aren’t breathing. You cannot help others if your financial house is not in order. You cannot help others if your priorities are messed up. You cannot fix others, if you are still broken.

I have a fantastic family. I love the way I was brought up. No one in my family, especially my Mother and Father ever made me think my well being had to be sacrificed to please anyone. You get my drift? My stuff belonged to me. My well being came first – as well as my siblings. I wasn’t raised to be second to anyone.

So I’m often perplexed when I read, see, or know of black women who feel guilty if they aren’t throwing themselves under the bus for people. I realize that they might not even be aware of it. But no woman should be a sacrificial lamb.

Be a sistah to yourself first.

Learn to be selfish. It’s a good thing. Be loyal to yourself. So next time someone says, “You’re so selfish.” Reply with, “Yes, I am, that’s why I’m living well.”

Give vanity a try! Looking great makes you feel great! It’s good for your overall emotional and physical health!

Guilt is a wasteful emotion. Don’t ever let anyone use this on you.

Giving your time is just as precious as giving your life. Don’t be so caviler about it.

Get into the habit of saying, “No.” Don’t hem and haw.

If people want you to ride or die for them, let them ride or die for you first.

Agreeing with someone doesn’t make you a follower, doormat, or groupie. Disagreeing with someone doesn’t (or shouldn’t) make you an enemy, even if you enjoy playing Devil’s Advocate. Intelligent people appreciate well thought-out criticism.

Don’t feel obligated to anyone. They could be using you. You know the deal: they do you one favor and the next thing you know, you are repaying that one favor over a lifetime.

People are clumsy at self-expression, not everyone is glib and verbally gifted. Cut the inarticulate, and possibly the ignorant, some slack. Not everyone is aiming for your jugular.

Last, but not least, you are not a bank, a charity, or a non-profit organization. Don’t be afraid to ask for your money. Don’t be afraid to charge for your time and effort.

Don’t get in the habit of purchasing affection. Life gets rough when you run out of money.

Not everybody is going to like you, but they should, at least, respect you.

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Self-Worth: That Voice in Your Head

Do you have an inner or outer critic that won’t shut up?

Does the inner critic sound familiar, like a mother, father or other relative that wouldn’t let up on how terrible they want you to think you are?

I used to wonder how people ended up not speaking to their relatives for years even decades. It is easy to give up on these complicated relationships. I am always conflicted, because with the good comes the bad, but sometimes cutting the cord is a necessary evil.

It doesn’t have to be a total elimination of these people from your life, but some relatives are, well, toxic. Like a frog in slowly warming water, one’s self-worth and self-esteem will erode under a constantly rising temperature of methodical, mendacious criticism.

I am open to different opinions. I am open to words of advice. Yet, there is a point when that family member has to STFU.

It is a crude point to make, yet insanity is the act of doing the same thing over and over again, hoping for a different result.

As for me, I can’t take it anymore. I have had enough. Constant second guessing of myself, constant criticism of even the smallest deeds, the relentless assertion of not “being a nice person” – I can’t take it anymore. I have had enough. It is life long, long term child / adult abuse. It is a sneaky, shadowy form, but the message is always clear: there’s something wrong with you, you are not a good person.

When I constantly get this message, I begin to wonder: how am I supposed to change? What can I do to be a better person? Am I really a bad person? Am I mean? How come I am not nice? How come no one likes me? Is that why so-and-so doesn’t like me? And so on…

Yet, to make sure that my reality isn’t skewed I check with people I know. I ask, am I that bad? The responses I receive are: you are a nice person, you are good, you are kind, you are sweet, you are compassionate.

That’s when it occurs to me as to why I get mad. I know it’s not my imagination. I know when I’ve heard nasty little comments, little digs, malicious insults, negative pessimistic stories that just happen to match my personal situations, and the constant attempt to chip away at my self-worth and self-esteem.

I understand that it’s not the real deal type of abuse, but do I even need to hear it? This kind of language is programming. Programming which leaves me to second guess myself too often, to leave me preoccupied with things that – while they matter – take up too much effort and energy. I am forced to act under a false doctrine: I am not worthy. I get angry, because I don’t want the inner critic to take over and make me live a life less worthy of living.

I am content with myself, with the way I am. I can do little to change it. I am the way I am. I try to be respectful of everyone; I can do no more or less.

Yet, for my mental health and well being, there are some family members that I need to pull up anchor and drift away from.

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July 4th and the Family Visits

I have two older brothers. I am the only girl and last child. I’m not a brat, but I’ve done what I wanted for as long as I can recall. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t punished when I was bad.

Both brothers live in southern states, so when they visit it’s a long trip to get up here. They pull in 12-15 hours of driving.

Holidays like July 4th, December 25th and New Year’s Eve are days I dislike the most. Why? Expectations don’t mesh with reality.

I believe the media has us trained with an expectation to experience certain emotions during these days, and if it doesn’t happen – then one is not normal. Or you are missing out on the greatest feelings and events that should be happening in your life. Oh happy happy joy joy!

Hey, that probably explains the high rates of suicides during the Holidays. There is a social pressure of making folks feel left out of the “fun” and it is cruel. Not everyone has a large family, a lot of friends or even any friends.

And before the over-commercialized unnatural consumeristic lifestyles got ahold of people, these events were enjoyed without such religiosity. (Sorry, it was the only word that came to mind.)

If you are a misanthropic curmudgeon such as myself Holidays aren’t a joy to behold. Family reunions don’t excite. And being without company is a joy to behold.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore my family. I just like seeing them outside of the socially dictated calendar events. I see ’em when I see ’em, I don’t need artificial exuberance to enjoy their company.

Enjoy America’s birthday.

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