…And to Obey Him

This weekend I had the opportunity to finally watch the animated movie Up.  It was the tale of a man who marries his childhood sweetheart.  When his wife dies, he devotes the remainder of his life to fulfill her childhood dreams.  It was a beautiful depiction of lifelong devotion and commitment to love and a person. But how do you really know this is the person whom you are meant to share the rest of your life?
I begin to think about a conversation some friends and I had at a friend’s wedding some months ago. The conversation was centered around the more traditional vows that were exchanged during the ceremony. “..Do you take him be your lawful, wedded husband for as long as you both shall live, to love him, cherish him, honour him, comfort him, respect him, and to obey him according to God’s Law?” It had been years, at least ten, since I had heard the “and to obey him” included in the vows.  We, as women, have gotten away from those terms and detest the notion of being obedient and submissive to a man.
However, what if that was the tool for determining the man a woman should marry- one she would obey? Obedience over the years has gained a bad rep for no apparent reason.  Children used to obey their parents.  Employees used to obey their boss. Wives used to obey their husbands.  Then, when obedience was prominent, our communities were certainly better…
Obedience first requires respect which I can only imagine is useful, if not vital, in a marriage.  I would say, the next ingredient in obedience is trust.  Trust is often only associated with fidelity.  However, the greater need may be for a woman to trust her husband to make the best decisions for his family.  This trust in him is that he will put his needs and wants behind those of his family.  For me, this would be a solid indicator of husband material because I don’t think there are too many men that can match my brilliance.  You see, women often catch the details most men miss and add the compassion some men lack.  I am often forced to add a woman’s touch to ensure success of any project.  So a man that not only sees the big picture but pays attention to the details with delicacy and care distinguishes himself from the pack.  Such a man deserves those eternal and traditional vows of obedience.  He would in turn take the vow to be the devoted and committed husband of the movie Up.

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How Big Does it Need to Be?

In a world of glitz and glam, it is hard to keep up with the quota set by multimillionaire celebrities.  Not only does our labels  need to match those of adored celebrities, but men are now feeling the pressure to also size up accordingly.  With each new public engagement, the size of the diamond ring grows as to not be outdone by the previous proposal.   However, those unrealistic expectations for the 15 carat pink emerald cut diamond rings have trickled down to the barely, recession-ridden middle class.   New graduates that are ready to wed on entry level salaries, student loan debt in tow, now must have to tack on the weight and price to adequately propose to love of his life.

If you can't get me this then I'm not marrying you...loser!

So my question to the ladies is “how big does it have to be?”  I am all for nice things- quantity without sacrificing quality.  I understand that is hard to convince people your man is head over heels in love with you without the carats to prove it.  However, for me the ring is a lifelong investment and not a onetime purchase.
Initially, I don’t even need an engagement ring.  It is to show others, not for the bride to be.  I will prefer for that money to go toward eliminating any debt before we enter a lifelong union.  I much rather have a huge beautiful home- something that builds equity.  A nice wedding ring is necessary but something reasonable and within the groom’s budget.
However, once we continue to grow as a union, the [conflict-free] diamonds will be added.  Because I think the ring is a symbol of our lifelong commitment, then there will be time at different intervals to invest more into the wedding ring.  For example, an additional band could be added for the 5 year anniversary.  More diamonds will added for the 10 year and by the time we have been married 50 years the ring will be massive.  But hell, by that point, I would have EARNED it and the ring will be a symbol of not only of the love shared but of the trials endured, sacrifices made, and the vows upheld.

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There is a Man

It would be easier for me to write about the dude who blatantly and repeatedly denied the paternity of his son since it is on the forefront of my brain right now…
However, I would rather tell you the story about the man, who when needed, interceded on behalf of another man that chose to be absent during the pregnancy of his child.  This man cooked, cleaned, and carried the load of a friend that couldn’t do it all at the time. This man had no relation to this woman he decided to help and asked nothing in return; he just saw a need and decided to step in…or rather, step up.
And then I got to thinking about the man, who works days, go to school at night, and mentors at the community center on Saturday mornings.  He teaches young boys how to enhance their math, reading, and writing skills.  However, his presence teaches them a greater lesson: that you can be cool, black, young and successful without being an athlete, rapper, or entertainer.  You see, he designs video games, and to these kids, he is way cooler than Kobe.
There is a man who takes pride in taking care of his child.  He loves to play with him.  He refuses to let his frayed relationship with the child’s mother interfere with the quality time he spends with his child.  The idea of being a “weekend father” is ridiculous and insufficient to meet his standard of fatherhood…of manhood.
There is also a man, who decided to marry the love of his life.  He felt she deserved the title since she performed the duties.  He made the conscious decision if he started a family, it would be with her under the umbrella of marriage.  He is committed to this one woman.  She is his best friend.   When she has a long day, he rubs her head until she falls asleep in her lap. This makes his day.
These men are under 30, degreed, drug-free, noncriminal, successful….and are black.  But their story will never be told because the world doesn’t want you to know they exist.

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Jog With Me

Maybe this should have been the first blog

First of all I would like to thank EVERYONE that has visited, posted, and retweeted this blog.  The support has been overwhelming and greatly appreciated! Seriously and truly, thank you.
While this is another relationship blog, it is not just a relationship blog.  It is simply a medium to express my thoughts on every day, real-life scenarios.  The intention is not to heal, fix, or cure any ills but simply provide my [at times limited] perspective.  My focus is to document my own journey and ignite relevant conversation in your respective homes.   My stance is often light-hearted and/or satirical.  Sometimes I provide commentary and other times I am in the mood to write a short story.  It is just a blog, so I enjoy the freedom to go as I feel.  If you don’t agree with something, say so.  If you have a different perspective, share it.  This is by all means an open forum.
I say it is not just a relationship blog because I sincerely have an interest in relationships & behavior.  I have a psychology degree.  And well since that is useless,  I will be entering graduate school in the fall to study… guess??….Marriage Counseling and eventually to earn my doctorate in Family Science.  It is truly my passion.  This is merely a stepping stone toward bigger goals. It is a stepping stone that I have recently decided to take more seriously to help maintain my focus because it is hard to run a marathon without ever jogging around the block.  So this is my jog…..thank you for jogging with me.

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Crush on You

It is Friday, so I will keep it light today.

It was all so simple then

Back in day there were sock hops, field days, pixy stix, and crushes.  That’s right, crushes.  Back then you told one friend, that friend told 3 people, those told 7 people and eventually the word would make it back to the person of interest… and your local morning newspaper.  Usually by this time, you were no longer really interested.  The real excitement was the suspense of whether the crush knew or who will tell first.  That was the fun part because after the crush knew the thrill dissolved.
But we are all grown up now, right?  Meh, not so much. It was recently tweeted “Adult crushes are healthy.”  I could not agree more.  We live in a society that no longer values the “crushing” stage-the time it takes to see if you even want to get to know the person better before you enter the sexual realm.  So I say, go ahead, have a crush.  Have two or three.  Then go get you a snow cone, put on some Hi-Five, and do the wop!!

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It has been a minute…
I have made a few moves- some literally, some figuratively, all to get closer to my dreams.   It has been a beautiful journey.
On this journey of life, it is vital to have a person that believes in you.  I’ve always understood that much. It has always been family, friends, church members, teachers- those who you believe it is part of their duty and responsibility to believe, encourage, and aid in your personal aspirations.
As the journey of life continues, if you are doing right, you often get knocked down, disappointed, hurt, deceived, rejected.  If you are willing to try, you often lose before you succeed.  In a search for something, you often end up with nothing…or just regret.   As women, we often allow those disappointments, regrets, and hurts cloud the image in the mirror.   We find ourselves not reaching as far, not dreaming as big, not trying as hard, not expecting as much.
And if we are lucky on this journey, a man will come along, that not only loves us foggy-mirrored women, but wipes our mirrors.  He clears the obstructions so you can remember your limitless potential, your extraordinary dreams, and your lofty ambitions.   It is weird at first, an adjustment to say the least, having a man who seeks to build and not destroy.   But his patience with you adjusts your vision of yourself, helps to facilitate your personal and professionals goals, and aides your spiritual growth.   His love makes you remember what it was like to love before your first heartache.  His love heals.

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