Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

So we have talked about the feces in the dating pool right… well BABY, it’s dead bodies too. I met one at a bar last night.

So a little background… I have had a boyfriend or husband consistently since high school. When my last relationship ended, I got very clear on what I could no longer tolerate, no matter how much love was bring professed. But I also didn’t want to get comfortable in my FTN energy… so I said, hey, let’s meet folks. Ya’ll call it dating… but again we know how much muck that is, so I considered it just what it was, dinner, coffee, a FT chat session. Not dating, because I’m not giving you multiple times to show me you are trash. You get one time. If it’s an off day, well prepare better, take a rain check, aim to be great daily, but I’m only giving limited time because all I have is limited time. I’m trying to get a whole PhD, you think I have time for your games. Nope.

“Only this, and nothing more”

So, I meet a guy. Tall, nice-looking, entrepreneur, good conversation, seems decent. We Facetime chat, he’s got a cute dog, I’m like ok seems at least mildly promising. Good Vibes. So, he asks me out, I say ok. Dinner planned for this evening. But yesterday he calls, asks have I eaten, I say no, and he says well I’m starving and I’d love your company. Spontaneous is cool. So we meet at a bar. That’s where the good part of the story ends.

“This is it and nothing more”

I get there on time, he calls says he’s running a little late but near and on his way. Strike One. Be on time to some shit you asked me to.

He walks in, we greet each other, he sits down and says I smell good and “clean”…

Strike Two… I instantly smelled Black Love perfume oil, fake wax print ink, and incense… there was none, but I smelled it.

So, I have a drink and shrimp tacos, because you are late. It’s a work night. So he orders food, tells the waitress he’s hungry. There are two waitresses, they both ask him if he wants anything to drink. He says no. He orders a burger. Who eats a burger with nothing to drink. So while waiting for his food, he sees me look up at the tv at a basketball game. He says, oh yeah you like sports. I said yes, I do. He says… sports are barbaric. Just let that marinate. Sports are barbaric. It was basketball ya’ll… not cage fighting or lion taming or Russell Crow screaming “are you not entertained…” It was college basketball yo. Sigh. Strike Three.

I knew then this would be our only time seeing each other… because something in the milk ain’t clean… and clearly it’s not me because recall… I smell clean.

Ok so his burger comes. He examines it and then says to the waitress, I smell pork. I look at her, she is looking at me like WITEF. She says, yes it has bacon jam on it. He pushes it away and says, give it to someone else, I’ll pay for it, but I don’t eat pork. He continues, I don’t eat anything unclean or hoofed, (looks at my shrimp taco) or shellfish. The waitress says well you are hungry so do you want the burger remade with no bacon jam. He says, I’m not hungry. Uhhhhhh that was the whole premise upon which you asked me here. He looks at me and says…

We can just go somewhere better tomorrow. TOMORROW?!?!? Nope. All the nopes in Nopelandia!

So, I just drank my drink, ate my tacos, and talked to the waitress. It was her second day. I planned to give her a nice tip. We chopped it up about sneaker releases. Cuz this nigga is nuts.

“Perched, and sat, and nothing more.”

So, after much prodding by the waitress to fix his order, get him a drink, whatever, HE got annoyed. He asks for the bill. He looks at it. He takes out a $20 bill and says, are you ready? (I laughed… what is the $20 for? A tip? You trying half dine and dash…) I said no, but have a good night. Oh you are staying, he says. Yep! He then slides the bill and $20 to me. He starts putting on his coat… I give the $20 to the waitress and pay the bill. The bill for the outing he asked me to leave my house to come to. She takes his food off the bill. I could have eaten leftover meatloaf and watched Snowfall… this shit was a waste. I’m leaving out alot… but isn’t this enough?!?!?!

Two guys at the end of the bar move down towards me… one says, yeah I knew when light skin came in he was uncomfortable and odd. The other says, we work here, so we see this all the time. These guys are socially awkward, so alone or on the phone it’s all good, but in person, they are weird. He probably plays video games all day. So I share the barbaric and clean/unclean dialogue. They were both like oooooooohhhhhhhhhhh…. He just extra lightskinned, he is trying hotep his way to blackness instead of just being. LPS. We talked a few minutes more… and I wished them all a good night.

No hoteps for the kid. I an anti-hotep. And I like my dudes a lil dirty… some meat from a hoofed animal and a lil bourbon sounds like a sexy time to me. Even if you are vegan, vegetarian, you don’t talk about unclean animals. Are those shoes leather my guy? FOH! Basically, dude had the appeal of roadkill. And you cheap? My girls be trying to get the bill before I do, let alone the men I know. I barely know what my wallet looks like unless I’m alone. I haven’t paid for a date I was invited to, EVER. I never will again. Yeah naw. Dating is dumb. God will provide. I’m gonna just chill, do this keto, get this PhD, and stay outta sucka shit.

To “quoth the raven.., “Nevermore!”

All quotes taken from The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe

My Lips Hurt…

Patriarchy is a hard word.

So I just watched the Janet Jackson documentary. She is a national treasure, be clear! We all knew she had a few marriages and relationships over her lifetime… not atypical for any woman, but especially a beautiful, famous, talented, sweet soul like she is. So no secrets there. But then, Jermaine Dupree comes on the screen… and announced his relationship with THEE Janet Jackson ended because he cheated on her. Now be clear, beautiful women get cheated on all the time. Beyoncé, Halle Berry… I could list names until my fingers fell off. Point made though. But Jermaine Dupree cheated on Janet Jackson…

I’m now convinced it’s some chromosomal defect.

You hear it all the time. What’s wrong with so and so…she’s pretty, successful, nice…why she can’t keep a man, why is she not married, why is she single, blah blah blah. Folks wrote books about what rules women should follow, what women should stop doing to find a mate, what top ten things women need to do to get a man, how to think like a man but act like a woman to get a man. I mean the dude that wrote the latter book allegedly cheated in his wife of 16 years with his current wife. The dude who starred in the movie cheated on his current wife when she was pregnant. And not that women don’t cheat, do wrong, ruin relationships… we certainly do, but the point here is different. This is particularly about how women are made to be responsible for being single and divorced or in a series of failed relationships, when it is COMMON KNOWLEDGE that many men have a problem keeping their penis in their pants, and that is often the cause of her singleness and failed relationships.

Jermaine Dupree claimed the fact that other women wanted to date him because he was dating Janet Jackson is the reason he cheated in her… WHAT!?!? They just wanted to see if they could compete with Janet sir, they didn’t give a damn about you my guy. The story was not I smashed JD. The story was, I smashed JD while he was with Janet. I mean…

So I need everyone to stop playing. We need to stop acting like women are to blame for the bad behaviors of unready and unsteady men. These dudes don’t walk up to you and say… hey girl I’m gonna hurt you, but give me a chance. They promise you the same things men who honor their word do, except… they don’t. They don’t wear a Scarlet A cuz guys don’t wear those. It’s okay for a man to be a whole heaux then decide he’s ready for more, but a woman who has sowed an oat or two has not readied herself for marriage because she has turned a few trick pages. Men can collect notches in their bedposts, but women are supposed to be pure and untouched… but who they getting the notches with tho!?! Men can be grimy but women have to be pristine? I call bullshit, and patriarchy. And we can argue patriarchy is an unfortunate reality, but a reality nonetheless. Yet, so is racism and if that is worth fighting against whenever it rears its ugly head, the idea that men are somehow more valuable than women because they are men, should elicit the same upset. I am no less valuable than a man or a White person. Period.

Men should be held to the same high standard women are held to. Men should be called to task and demanded to be better, more honorable, faithful, honest, loyal, etc. just as women are. A mans choice and decision to be dishonest to his woman and to lie to her about his outside sexual activity is manipulation and coercion to get her continued consent. Women don’t ask for that. In general women may know something is off or wrong, but we aren’t mind readers and don’t see visions in crystal balls, so we typically have operated in a space of unknowing until we know. But it isn’t our responsibility to stop or start doing something to get a certain behavior from a man… doesn’t work that way. Men should be the ONLY person held responsible for his behavior. Its too many women with the same story over and over for this to be just a woman issue. Cuz the common denominator in all this shit is the bad behavior of men. Just be single until you can be good. Who is telling dudes that with the same frequency you telling women what to do or not do?!?

Anyway… we tired. I’m tired. Tired of dudes who are determined to wrong us no matter how right we are. Tired of men and especially women giving women advice on men all the time, but never telling bad behaving men to stop that shit. We are tired of having to keep telling ya’ll this shit. Tired of having to explain that this shit is patriarchy. Tired of raggedy men being let off the hook because they are men. Our lips hurt.

But Thank You, Jermaine “These are My Confessions” Dupree. My guy made shit real clear this fine evening. Salute!

If you can’t stand the heat…

“Women want too much”

“Black women are too aggressive”

“Older women with children aren’t desirable”

“Less than perfect women should not expect to be protected and provided for by a man”

“Strong women don’t intimidate men… unless she thinks strong means aggressive, rude, unpleasant, and outspoken”

Strong, old, Black, too short, too tall, too big, too skinny, and just people with vaginas say a rousing… Fuck you! The Trumps, Richard Spencers, Robert Fischers, Kevin Samuels, Umar Johnsons and all the men who subscribe to their particular brand of women hating can also grab a seat on the Fuck You train. Men who have taken credit for women’s accomplishments, deemed us too weak and not smart enough, or James Evan’ed us to the kitchen and the bedroom instead of the lectern, boardroom, classroom, or wherever the hell we wanted to be… fuck ya’ll too! Check this out, real men don’t sit around dissecting and dictating who and what women should and can be. Men with time to focus on what women are doing or not doing should perhaps find another job, lift some weights, pick up a hammer or chisel, do some carpentry or masonry, or choke on BBQ smoke. Pick one.

Sexism is a tale as old as time. Before a White man ever thought about enslaving a Black man, he was controlling his wife. Many extremely smart women in the 19th century and early 20th century never married, such as Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Caroline Hershel, or their accomplishments were credited to their husbands. Women feigned being dense or dim-witted to marry, because men weren’t interested in smart women, but women who would bear them heirs, look pretty on their arm, curtsy, and make a good biscuit for their tea. Sadly, not much has changed. Women who champion feminism and the rights of women, or those whose successes brought about the need for that championing are looked at as aggressive, masculine, independent, and uninterested in male companionship, marriage, child-bearing, and things the patriarchy paints as feminine. This is true across racial lines, and especially true, a remnant of both racism and sexism, for Black women.

Here is a truth… as a collective, NO other group of women in history have been as abandoned and abused, and then victim blamed as Black women. None. Our victimization has been at the hands of men: men in power, particularly White men, and men we share blood or affinity to, particularly Black men. Those are facts. Slavery separated us from our ancestral families in Africa and the ones we created in America. We were forced to bear the slave children of our Masters, creating an emotional wedge between us and our slave husbands. The Civil War left us without husbands, alone to raise children, who fought on the front lines for a country that would never treat us fairly. Jim Crow and Black Codes destroyed the communities of color we built, leaving us destitute and unable to feed, clothe, and house ourselves. Black women were forced to take on maid and mammy roles while Black men were forced out of the job market. Desperation and unjust laws left them jailed and us alone to raise kids with no men in the home, practically destroying the Black nuclear family.

Today, remnants of watching our single mothers struggle but persevere while knowing our father’s chose not to participate in our family reside just under the surface. We watched our brother’s take on man roles in a child’s body, and now see them struggling to overcome the stigma of incarceration. We remember our uncles, real and play, teaching them that manhood was about how many women, cars, and dollars you could stack and never showing emotion, compassion, or vulnerability. We see them mistreating our friends and sisters, helping themselves to whatever we have and leaving us worse off than we started. We stay at Friend of the Court trying to get them to help buy a pack of diapers or help pay for DeVanté, who looks just like his trifling ass, go to the private school so he can be a doctor like he always talks about. Before you get in your feelings, YES, there are plethora of Black men, men period, who are excellent husbands, fathers, friends, and leaders. We salute you!!! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 But for any man to spend his time determining that how we broadcast strength and resilience is wrong and indicative of our worth, without acknowledging what we have been through… he might want to consider that he is just further victimizing us with his judgement and patriarchal bullshit. Fuck you guy.

You want us in the kitchen frying your pickerel in lace underwear, real booty banging, hair laid (and it can be weave as long as you can’t tell), smiling and calling you King. But fish grease pops, so when we put our clothes back on we are rude, when we tie our hair back we are aggressive, and when we stop smiling we are rude. No, we just got fucking burned… but we keep on cooking. It’s you who can’t stand the heat bruh… so back your ass up out of the kitchen until your balls drop, you can grab them, and come help me tend to my burns. Until then, keep your fucked up opinions to yourself. How I exhibit strength is MY BUSINESS. If you don’t like it, then go find a woman you like, cuz the fact that you are talking about it MEANS that you are single af. Figure out why that is before you lay out your philosophy on why some woman, you don’t want, acts in a way you don’t agree with. Newsflash… she likely doesn’t give a fuck!

Your homework: Before you write a dissertation on why certain women are so undesirable, figure out why nobody wants you?!?

Women are always caping for men… all women. We keep your secrets, help you hide bodies, and cover your abuse with Maybelline… because we want to help make you better before we give up in you. But we are sick of your abuse, your judgements, your dominion… and we won’t continue to be your victims. We can be bad by ourselves. We can choose who and what we want to be. We can exist, live and breathe and walk and talk, without seeking your approval. And the entire truth is…

“Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.” 1 Corinthians 11:9.

Get it right!

A Woman’s Worth

Womanhood is this special and magical belonging that is both mysteriously hard to describe, sometimes difficult to traverse, but also somehow wonderfully comforting and supportive when you get inside of it and feel it surround you like a cocoon. Being a woman is a really specific thing… but it’s a myriad of experiences, shapes, hues, tones, notes on the scale, and every color of the rainbow. It is emotional and powerful. It is beautiful and soft, but then strong and resilient.

What makes a woman… or what doesn’t make one a woman? Hmmm

I am not a woman because I have curves, breasts, physical peaks, and valleys. Some of those things you think of first make me female, but she is just my sex. It is much more the way those curves move around and touch the insides of my sundress in the summer; the outlines of my femininity. I am a woman because I own those peaks and valleys, and control how you get to see them or if you never do. I am a woman because I possess myself… and I only allow others access to me at my whim. I am a woman because of how what’s on the inside directly dictates how you experience me on the outside.

I am not a woman because I am not a man, or because I partner with him. I don’t exist as the antithesis or opposite of manhood… for I was made from his rib not the mirror image of it. I am not a woman because of his gaze. My worth as a woman is not dictated by his opinions, thoughts, reactions, or judgments. My value is determined by the fierceness of my compassion not the fixation of his desire. I am a woman because I have the ability to soften his heart, whether as his mother, woman, sister, or daughter. I allow him to see the softer side of the world that constantly demands to see his bones but denies his skin. My curves give him places to lie his head, hands, and troubles. My womanhood supports and nurtures his manhood, but also exists independently from it. I can create movements alone, but only together with him do we build the life force.

I am not a woman because I give birth from my womb. For many women never know motherhood. Yet I am woman because within me is the birthplace of humanity, the cipher. It is where beat meets rhyme, paper meets pen, MC meets DJ, and hip meets hop. It’s the dopest place on Earth… the only place whose potential deems it more worthy than it’s reality. There is holy land resting inside each of us deemed celestial enough to be born a woman.

Women are miraculous vessels of human magic… protect women always!

Happy International Women’s Day

Mama’s don’t let your babies grow up to be f*ckboys

fuckboy /f-uh-k-boi/ n. a male who wants the benefits of engaging in meaningful and worthwhile relationships without the responsibility and commitment required to sustain such a relationship; a man who manipulates his way into the lives of others with lies, empty promises, and bad intentions; a BAN.

Ladies and gents, our topic is fuckboys.We are surrounded by them. From Harvey Weinstein, Michael Bloomberg, and Donald Trump. To Tyrone who grew up on Stahelin and Six Mile, Louise’s son with the four kids by four different women, John, Mohammed, Omar, Julius, Abraham, and Marcus. They come from every walk of life, in every age, race, height, and bank account balance. If most of us ladies are honest, we’ve entertained a few at the very least. Some of us woke up next to one this morning. Fuckboys are everywhere… but we can prevent their spread.

Just the other day Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of sexually assaulting women… and has a bitter history of using his money and power to mistreat women. Imagine that, the King of Fuckboys found guilty. Perhaps we’ll see a lessening of the phenomenon now that the poster child for its most vile example has been outed… Probably not, but a girl can dream. Trust me, I know a fuckboy when I see them; I’ve had my share of fuckboy experiences. However, the last time, some sort of vaccine spread through me as I finally figured out their kryptonite… being outed publicly. Let’s first tell the truth and shame the fuckboy… they will recognize themselves. Let’s also go deeper.

Since the beginning of time, women have been told we should strive for aesthetic perfection, and men that they should strive to have as many aesthetically perfect women as possible. Some fuckboys are created in nature. But almost every bonafide fuckboy I’ve known or heard of was created by his mother, a product of nurture. Oedipus, in mythology was a young boy who dreamed of marrying his mother. Now while the oedipus complex is not typically that wild, in the real world the general premise that girls are often emotionally closer to their fathers, and boys closer to their mothers holds true. But when there is a lack of a close relationship, we often see both a difficulty in relating to the opposite sex and an internalization of the negative traits of that parent. So for example, Donald Trump, it’s said, had very little relationship with his mother, who left the raising of boys to their father. As the more benevolent of his parents, her absence led to him instead taking on the very shrewd and grandiose traits of his father and inheriting her absence and lack of responsibility. Likewise, Harvey Weinstein’s mother was allegedly very showy, bossy, and shrill, making her sons feel inadequate aesthetically and their father emasculated. No surprises there! I can assure you all the fuckboys I’ve known have had some iteration of an absent, unreliable, controlling, or coddling mother.

All the nopes in Nopelandia ladies…

It is imperative that as mothers to sons we ensure we are present and loving, but we consistently take responsibility for our actions and demand they do so as well, while giving them some autonomy. We must not treat our sons like 1) our husband’s responsibility- being hands off ; 2) a stand-in for a husband-expecting them to comfort us, take care of us, and cater to our needs; 3) extensions of their absent fathers- to take out our anger and disappointment on; or 4) our personal stuffed animals- coddling them and keeping them helpless so we feel needed and necessary. Nope!

These young boys are not our punching bags or our therapists. That shit is toxic. I once knew a man whose mother had several male children to whom she couldn’t identify their biological fathers. One of those children grew into a man with four children by four different women, each of whom he’s been abusive towards in some manner. While he’s a serial monogamist and clearly likes sex with women, he hates women. Clearly. He hates women because his mother abandoned him in every way possible… and demonstrated she didn’t like him very much. She then sent him into the world to lay those burdens down at the feet of other women. Be clear, his mother is not responsible for his actions, he is. However she created that fuckboy. What’s his mama’s name… Fuckboy Creator!

So ladies let’s be sure we aren’t confusing or blaming our children for the men we picked. Let’s ensure we heal our hurt so we don’t package it into gifts for our sons on birthdays and Christmas. Let’s not create the fuckboys that our elementary school classmate’s daughters have to deal with. Let’s instead teach our sons to treat people with kindness, to respect us as their mothers and as women, and to take consistent and complete responsibility for their actions and reactions. On a personal front, let’s love them so they know how to demonstrate love, remember they are seeds that will grow to bear different rings and fruit than any other before them. Let’s also be consistently and completely responsible for our own scars so we don’t in turn scar them!

Mamas… don’t let your babies grow up to be fuckboys! Oh… and get rid of that one you got!

Dressed in All Black like the Omen

So what is NOT EVER gonna happen is that we will not be sacrificing ourselves for fools, okay.

I’ll be brief because this really won’t take long.

I have called my mother, my girls, or whoever hurt by some raggedy ass boy who thought it was okay to disrespect me, lie to me, deceive me, play with my emotions, or fuck with me. I have a few times. And each and every time, at least one of those people threatened to bust that jokers head to the white meat, or dangle him over a balcony like Big Red… my office hours are. And while I likely didn’t want harm to come to him, they truly did.

They were .02 seconds from getting dressed like ninjas, grabbing blunt objects, piling up in the car like circus clowns, but sans the colorful outfit and red nose, and riding out. I know this because they have called me with the same nonsense from some fool who got the incorrect impression that he was the prize and the beauty in that tandem. Well, if he’s the beauty, then call me the beast. It’s a tale as old as time, that boys will be boys. But like the saying goes, boys will be boys and that’s why God made hot grits and shanks.

Act up you can get snatched up.

In 2020 we are anti-tomfoolery. So gentleman, please act accordingly. Women are to be respected, treated with kindness and tenderness, and loved. If you can’t do that, pick someone else, but leave her/me/us alone. Mmmkay. Otherwise, you are susceptible to being two pieced by her friends, sister, mother… allofus.

He that findeth… and if you find someone who you cannot treat properly then you owe it to her and yourself to let her go, so that you both can make room for the right person. But at no time is it acceptable to mistreat her. At no time is it acceptable to disrespect her. And if you even think about touching her in any way other than out of love, then I hope you like nub sandwiches because you’ll be missing fingers.

We won’t be allowing our sistafriends to hurt in solitude or be mistreated in silence. While you are taking advantage of the woman who supports you and has her shit together except for falling for you, we know how y’all do. You treat these thot pockets like gold, and have the nerve to compare our hustle to her handstands. Nope, nope, and nope. That’s not how any of this goes… but until either you get the memo or she drops your potato head ass, we will support her and plan your disappearance. At the same damn time. No hesitation. And let Sasha Thumper know she can get it too, live and in living color.

And ladies, if you have a partner who treats you well, cares for you, expresses his feelings, and his actions co-sign… then reciprocate. We can’t be out her cracking skulls for you when you are acting a damn fool!

Love each other, cuz the only pouring out we acknowledge is garnished with a lemon wedge and mini umbrella… while your friends singing ‘this is for my homies’!

Girls are gully out here in these streets showing up and out for our good sistafriends. Be clear!

Where my girls at?

Supahood

“…the hooder the better, we better together” -K. Michelle, Supahood

LL liked his girls around the way. Walter Orange liked his women mighty mighty, and Carl Carlton liked his ladies built and stacked.

And I like my dudes hood! That’s right… I’m all cardigans and glasses by day, but I’m trap music and … well ok, Rosé, by night. I’m not talking that good girl, bad boy stuff… I don’t want nothing bad, but a pair of shoes. But what I am talking about is a dude that meets this description…

“He knows how to treat a lady
But he won’t let you get too rowdy
He stands up for himself
That’s what I like most about him” Fantasia, Hood Boy

He can be blue collar or white collar. Drive a Benz or a Grand National, but be sure, he will treat you like a Queen, keep his Queen in check, and keep everyone else away from the castle. Checkmate! He’s like the King and the Knight wrapped into one… bustin a MF move, but keeping hoes at bay, cuz he’s only got eyes for you. Swag on a million, respect on a billion, and good lovin on a trillion.

So listen, I have dated hood and what we’ll call suburban… and I married & divorced some combination. I discovered that while I might shop in the metropolitan area, I need my dude from the trenches. There’s something about a clean cut, gainfully employed, hustler. He’s confident, sexy, protective, and the only thing he likes more than his sneaker collection/PlayStation/car/or whatever his thing might be… is his woman.

Be clear, I’m not downing a brother from outside the wards, the boroughs, or on the other side of 8 Mile… hood is a mentality and not just a location. There are some distinct qualities of a hood dude that aren’t up for debate. Let me describe him for you.

“He be with the shit…”

…but he takes no shit. You’ll feel safe at the crib, the green light gas station, and at the trap house (not that he’d ever take you to one). No matter, you’re safe! Loyal like a Cane Corso, he’ll lick your face and snuggle with you, but he eats trespassers like a midday snack.

“Chocolate brown, nice smile”

Hood doesn’t mean unkept or ashy. Baby smells like some combination of oud, vetiver, and vanilla; looks like he’s chiseled out of black walnut; sounds like soul music at night and hip hop during the day; and feels like home.

“Used to have goals but he got rid of those”

Black AF, confident, and intelligent. Yep, be clear we aren’t talking about dummies or the uneducated. Both book and street smart. Knows the art of war and how to win friends and influence people. No need for lists to check off, his whole life is about leveling up.

“If I tell him it’s a go he won’t hit the brakes.”

The truth is that some men tend to be overly concerned with what other people (read: men) think and have expectations for their woman, especially publicly, that you might not have for yourself. How you dress, how you talk, don’t say that, don’t do this. But a dude who is bout it will help you take off those shoes that hurt and carry em for you. He loves you in a dress and heels and even more in jeans and sneakers. He takes you out and watches you have a good time. Most importantly, his only expectations are that you be exactly who you are, because he values the real. He makes it easy because he decides he wants you, ensures you know it and assures you of where you stand without words but through actions. Consistent is his middle name… he’s driving, so he’s headed in the direction he labeled as the destination on day one. And when he has doubts, concerns, or issues… he speaks on it to fix it. Never war, just peace with you.

“He’s Super hood…Super good”

Speaking of love, he’s not afraid to show it, cuz he ain’t afraid of shit… including you. He’ll tell you “pull your skirt down, B” when you are tripping. He’ll point out where you are slipping in a kind way and then help you fix it. He’s gonna keep it 100, because he knows no other way. He’s dedicated to making sure all your wildest dreams come true. “When I’m with you all I get is wild thoughts” … cuz sir, you da best!

Real men lead with intention and purpose, kindness and tenderness, confidence and security… if he’s also from the block…

“I ain’t going nowhere let’s get that understood.”

Pulling Numbers and Letters

So I’ve been told I must got the GCP. What’s the GCP you ask… well in the words of Jay Z and in the spirit of Don Magic Juan’s pimp challis, “my cup runneth over”

I hear it all the time…”who are you dating NOW!?!?” like I’ve got a wheel I spin to see who’s on my hit list this month. Or the ubiquitous, “You always got a (insert term for man: dude, boyfriend, whatever)” comment, that is so interesting to me. “Got” would imply in my vocabulary, something that one has on lock… yeah nope. I might be able to pull, as my one friend termed it “letters and numbers” (I’ll leave that for you to decipher), but dating is the pits. I personally despise it. Plus at this point, post 40 with kids as the custodial parent, there is no dating. Any outings or conversations, texts, or emoji sends are basically one long ass interview on how much you make me laugh, how long I can stand to be around you in one sitting, and whether you match at least three of my five must haves, that better quickly materialize into a relationship if you meet the requirements, or I gotta go.

Most of my first dates have morphed into relationships that last years. Instead of “dating”, I participate in the pull and catch; it really is self explanatory. There is a subtle art to the pull and the catch… and while I’m not interested in doing much more than expressing interest and then letting him find his good thing… cuz I’m a mf lady, I am involved in the process. Not that I’m an expert… but I pull a lot of As and Bs, and 9s to 7s. You can keep that 10 though, leave him for the chicks with time on their hands. He’s too pretty for how my life is set up.

The Art of the Pull

1. There is nothing sexier, in a man or a woman, than confidence. Period. When you know you are fine, he’ll know it and she’ll know it. Confidence is the art of aesthetic persuasion. Notice I didn’t speak of beauty, that’s too subjective a thing to use on humans. You need something foolproof.

Confidence is the reason she wore THAT dress, the one you hate and think she’s too whatever for, but that him, him, and her are staring at. Confidence is the reason she cut her hair the way she likes it, with no worries about what he thinks, or why he wears that combination of shirt, pants, and shoes that confuse you but your woman says “his outfit is NIIIICE!” Confidence is not bound by beauty, body type, color, or any subjective boundary… it’s an undeniable acceptance of how wonderfully made you are, despite whether you do or don’t fit into society’s ideals. And it’s 100% ownership in that acceptance. Get you sum.

2. If you are playing Bid Whist and you pass on your bid, and you knew you had 7 Uptown and the clowns next to you bid 6 Uptown -cue Aretha “Ain’t No Way”- how pissed will you be that you didn’t bet on yourself. You knew what you had and what you wanted, but you got scared of the win. Well, in dating, the win is the guy or girl you dream of, the one you know or don’t yet know who will check all your boxes. You have to bet on yourself when the opportunity presents itself, and speak on your wants. Now you don’t have to be full on direct, but if you are like me, you give an in. You leave the door ajar. You flirt, come hither, a little Happy Birthday Mr President… and then you go sit your cute ass down somewhere. If he’s in for the win, he’ll bet on himself, and complete the deal. If he’s not, he missed out. Cue the death of Pac-Man…

But always bet on you, know what you want, set a boundary, and then touch your boundary by going for the win. Shit, at least smile.

3. NO ONE LIKES REJECTION! Not women OR men. Just because men get rejected more, does not mean they enjoy it. C’mon, that’s ludicrous. So just like the thought makes you want to hide under a rock, it makes him want to hide in a cardboard fort. So, it is very important that you make sure he can see your open door… fellas too, women are shooting their shots out here these days. Its also important you clearly communicate with kindness your closed door. If you are involved, say so. If you aren’t interested for one reason or another, say so. If you simply are casing the joint and don’t yet know what you want, say that too. But whatever you message, make it clear. If one doesn’t have to guess what you want, but it’s clear, the more likely you’d get what you want! It’s a pull not a push.

The Art of the Catch

1. “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar”

Okay so one wants flies, but if you want anything, you get much closer to your goal by being positive, with smiles, with kindness, and with, well, honey. There’s a reason Pooh ate it by the jar full… shit was good and sweet! Likewise, being a bitch will get you nowhere. Only assholes, real assholes like bitches, they enjoy that game. But people tryna boss up and get this money …

… have no time for that game, cuz tryna figure out your bad attitude takes up time away from the grind. Once you have pulled, you have to be kind and open to the catch. And while we’ll eat cod, every one prefers fresh water fish over salt water fish. Be not salty or stank.

2. Ella Mai said it best :

“I put my feelings on safety
So I don’t go shootin’ where your heart be

All that extra special crazy, it took you five minutes to text me back, trippin for nothing, checking his phone, acting a damn fool is for the birds. Yes, KeKe Wyatt might have that bomb snapper, but again, that’s your typical saltwater variety. It’s sure to run your pressure up and increase your light bill. Let’s look at the quality of her choosers. The last dude was a preacher who left her while she was pregnant with their third child, after she raised two of his children, right… okay enough said. We want to be a quality catch just like we want quality fishermen. And you simply are not exhibiting quality behaviors when you are acting a fool. You have to remember what pulled dude… your confidence, self-love, high esteem, win-win-win-win attitude, and your kindness. Keep those factors at play the entire time. Put your weapons down and rely on your personal stock of personality and class to end up, hooked up with a quality dude. But you gotta be quality first.

3. So since I’ve earned my degree in letters and numbers… I think it’s safe to tell you, that the final test, the piece de resistance, the grand finale of the catch is the most important. Webbie had I-N-D-E-P-E-D-E-N-T what you know about me… and I’ve got C-O-N-S-I-S-T-E-N-C-Y, that shit’s so fly! So they say women date & marry men hoping they will change, and men date & marry women hoping they’ll stay the same. Now I’m all for growth, but I don’t think you have to change who you are fundamentally to grow, you just get better. I’m with the fellas. We should be FIRST, ensuring we are dating people who we like and accept AS IS! At 40… they might not ever be anyone different than the person you see in front of you. Furthermore, we could stop sending our representative and just be who tf we are. Then be consistently that in word and deed. If I tell you I’m going to cook you dinner on Thursday, only an emergency out of my control would change that. If I say I’m going to be respectful of you, that’s what it is. I’ll even respect you and me enough, in the presence of your disrespect, not to stick around and bust your head to the white meat. In order for human beings to feel safe enough to be emotionally vulnerable and mentally free they must be in space that’s consistent, which is synonymous with peace. You won’t get chose if you bring chaos.

So you see, it’s that simple. And if you are doing all those things and he doesn’t respond, he’s not the one. Move on with grace and bitter-free. You put your feelings on safety so you wouldn’t black out on these dudes, and simultaneously dodged a bullet. See how the universe is always working with you. Now put on your sundress or those gray sweatpants and that beater, check yourself in the mirror, do the Blade Icewood dance, and go out here, boss up and pull letters and numbers, and soon you’ll be saying …”my phone won’t stop ringing!”

“It’s Mr. Lee Iacocoa
And I’m the mayor of the mitten
Ya’ll niggaz ain’t bossin up y’all bullshittin!” -Blade Icewood and G-Rock “Boy Would You”

I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T

“…Do you know what that mean?”

They make songs about us.

***

Her: But why does he give the woman who has it all together a hard time?

Me: CUZ he doesn’t have it all together.

Oh, and because he’s stupid. YES, I said what I said… I can repeat it if you want me to. HE IS STUPID. He probably comes from some level of stupid. He has seen stupid. Someone accepted stupid, a lot of stupid. So he thinks that shit is acceptable.

***

*The Boss*

You have it all, a good job or business, a nice home, a nice car, bad ass shoes, and a stellar closet. You vacation, you are probably VERY single, meaning you have no kids and have never been married. You are gorgeous. You are intimidating… and being intimidating is not your issue. It is his.

Your friends wonder why you are single. Men ask you “what is wrong with you, why are you still single” (by the way, that is the DUMBEST question in America and if you are a man and you ask any woman this question, may you be struck down with great vengeance and furious anger just for being so dumb). You work really hard, but you play hard too. You are social. You get it in, so you aren’t waiting for Mr. Right to break into your house. But yet, no one approaches you… well the really ambitious dudes who need a lot of dental work and a vehicle, they do, but they got absolutely nothing to lose. Shoot your shot bro, I’m not mad at you. But you know who is gun shy… the brotha with it all. Why? Well…..

Insecurity. Men are taught that they are providers, fixers, workers, and breadwinners. They get tow trucks and tool sets, puzzles and video games…toys oriented to a task. Girls get dolls and makeup sets, books on babysitting and jewelry… toys oriented to taking care of others. So they see you doing what they think is primarily their job… and have nothing to do. If you make more money, are more educated, work more… it doesn’t fit with their idea of how men and women work together. So they retreat from you eventually. That is what anyone in a position of insecurity would do. All of this while trying to assert your position in the workplace from hating ass white supremacists, crying ass white women, other crab ass Black women, and stuck between race and patriarchy Black men. You are constantly having to prove both your worth and your dedication. So the last person you need to assure that you are apart of the team is your man, when you rock his bedazzled jersey and cheerlead from the sidelines every chance you get. That insecurity will get you kicked off the team every time!

Plus, fellas… Khadijah don’t need ya stuff, just you. You were her choice… emphasis on WERE!

“Kinda woman that want you but don’t need you…” -Neyo, “Miss Independent”

*The Mother*

So you and dude are rocking with each other, and then you have a baby together. He has other kids who are well behaved and well taken care of, so it seems like baby will be a welcomed addition to your relationship. This could even be the case where you both have children from previous relationships, but the time has come to introduce the kids into the equation. It seems pretty simple, be my man and be a father{figure}… right? NOPE, not all of the time. You see, it depends TOTALLY on who that man has been allowed to be before… the precedent has been set.

A man who has previously been TOTALLY in charge of the relationship, knew that that woman needed and required him to provide for both her and the children or the children might not make it… at least not as well as they have with him around. Knowing that his presence creates that safe haven for her and that she needs that provision, means that his efforts in other parts of the relationship… romance, communication, social activity, just not being an asshole… could be temporarily put off at his whim.

Then here you come!

At first, your independence is welcomed, it is refereshing. He can sit back and not have to worry about taking care of you quite in the same way. However, the ways that he needs to take care of you, he only knows how to provide on a temporary basis… and when he now has someone else to take care of or consider, that is when he goes on hiatus with you. For several reasons, I believe. The first being that he goes back into “being in charge” mode… without the realization that he cannot be in charge of you. You ain’t the be in charge of me type. The second is that, being in charge feels good to him, and it allows him to feel okay about being mediocre. With you, there is no in charge, so being mediocre does not feel so good. And who wants to feel bad, on purpose? Lastly, he has not had to do ANY HOME WORK on his women in the past, so he has done none on you. Think about it, how well does he know you? Can you be honest with him? Vulnerable? Do you tell him when you are hurting, or better yet does he already know? If the answer is no… sadly, you might have picked an okay father, but he cannot be a good man to you and a good father too. In fact, with you, he is probably slacking on his pimping in both areas… simply because being around you doesn’t feel as good to him as it did before BK (before kids). You got everything on lock, even with the kids in tow. You bringing home the bacon and frying it up in the pan. He doesn’t think he fits in…

Well sir, get in where you fit in.

“Cause I depend on me.” -Destiny’s Child “Independent Women”

*The Single Socialite*

When you move, they move, just like that. And so it goes, you got the key to city, your plate stays full, and you are on every ‘by invite only’ list. You love pictures, you love a good drink and a good song you can twerk to, and you hate a name dropper… because you are the name. Okay you get it. Anyway, you are likely a serial monogamist … you meet and greet, they work hard to sweep you off of your feet, but somehow you always end up standing in your Loubs, with yourself. You are never really by yourself and you love your me time, but for whatever reason no one has presented you with the perfect glass slipper. Why?

You too are intimidating, which also isn’t your fault… but in a different way. Men who think they are ready for you, usually quickly find out that unless they are okay with stepping aside and letting you shine, they will be in your shadow. So one of the rules of a lasting relationship is not to compete with your partner, if I win, we both win. And while that sounds good, and it is good, in practice, it often does not work quite like that. Movers and shakers tend to be competitive by nature. While women tend to be more community minded in their success, men are much more individualistic, so it may be hard for him to see himself as in a successful partnership and not the successful partner. He feels like he has to one up you, so instead of being partners you end up adversaries. He likely goes in to find someone in awe of his position. But he couldn’t see that what you built for yourself you were willing to share, and as your partner he didn’t need to compete. You don’t need a savior or someone who out does you, but someone who lets you shine, because he’s confident in his own shine.

“They buy the bar too, they superstars too” -Webbie “Independent”

***

These are just some examples… but independent women often find and feel that they get the short end of the stick BECAUSE they are independent! There is some truth in that, but the bigger truth is this: Go for yours, be able to take care of yourself and teach that to your daughters. The man made especially for you will find you, realize that you are that good thing he has been looking for, and he will boss up! Stupid dudes are just around to teach us lessons, that’s all. Until then, handle your business, upgrade, secure the bag, drip, stack, and hustle hard. And when bae finds you … let him take a flight in yo choppa!

No HANs … EVER!

“All these hoe [ass] ni**as, must be Hoechella!” -Lil Wayne

Listen, we gots to do better ladies.

Now, be clear, I’m not blaming women for the lack of manhood in a male… but I am putting the onus on us to pay attention to the signs and accept no HANs in our lives, we better than that (unless you not… only you know that!). Like Auntie Iyanla says, “do your work” and heal whatever leftover self-sabotaging demons and ghosts of evil’s past are still lingering. No HANs…ever again… mmmkay!

I know and feel your pain. It often seems like it’s a hoepalooza out here in these streets. So many men aren’t men, they are males of a certain age. They don’t have a clue or a plan. They are looking for a mama, a step mama to their outside kids, an accountant, a sponsor, and a room mate. They aren’t looking to make their women life mates or wives, but a part of their harem of harlettes. But they don’t have a bed to lay in or lay you down in. You are a really bad hoe if you hoeing in your mana’s sleep number adjustable bed. But if the elevated head fits…

Yet… we have the most precious commodity on Earth. Men have been going to the greatest lengths for the love of a woman since the beginning of time. They tryna get to you and that…yoni!

Paris, the Prince of Troy wanted Helen so bad, he started the Trojan War when he ran off with her.

The Italian poet Dante wrote of Beatrice, a woman he met once as a child and saw once in the streets of Italy, in many of his best writings, as his muse.

Lancelot, knight to King Arthur, goes to war with him over his affair with his live Guinevere, wife of the king. He loses, and eventually becomes a priest after losing his love.

We out here starting international battles!

Ultimately, we are making the final call. We are giving the yay or nay, even if we have expressed interest first… it is usually up to us how slow or fast, deep or shallow the situation goes. Add to that our penchant for emotional involvement, it is imperative that we seek out HAN tendencies and believe them when we see them. HANness does not lie, it is not easily confused with other qualities, it is its own sad set of facts. You owe it to yourself to disconnect from a HAN, no matter how fine, smooth talking, well-dressed, whatever… cuz if you stay… Molly, you in trouble girl!

So fellas, be not a HAN. If your daddy and uncles taught you the not so fine art of HANdom, reject it. I don’t think it’s an easy thing to get over. Once a HAN, very rarely does one graduate into manhood. It’s like the black hole. Graduate from malehood to manhood! And if your boy or your brother is a HAN, do your civic duty and yank his chain. School him in the ways of men!

Ladies, accept not HAN ways. He should be clear about his intentions. He should have income, transportation or an active Uber/Lyft/mass transit life, a place to lay his head other than your pillow, and a plan for his life he should be able to verbalize to you unless it’s obvious. He should return calls and texts in a timely manner, make time for you, refrain from telling you how busy he is in relation to your time together, honor his word, and be secure in his clearly present manhood… not to be confused with his malehood.

All in agreement… No HANs EVER!

Only Chella we acknowledge is Bey…