I Like My Men… Ready

Ready and Prepared- or so I thought...

I once said, “I like my men, like my entrée at my favorite restaurant, ready and prepared by time they make it to my table or I am sending it back!” I meant it.  I mean it.  However, at the time, I was referring to the superficial- his style, his career and making him a good fit for me.

It was out of my frustration in “preparing” my previous boyfriend that the statement had derived.  He, like most men his age, was rough around the edges.  He hadn’t quite found his own style yet.  He lacked focus on things important to him.  He was good to me, but me being my helpful self was always suggesting ways for him to improve.  This is clearly why we didn’t last.  However, I did leave a positive imprint on his life, and he did for me as well.  But in months and years after, he begin to evolve into what I thought was the perfect man for me.  The one I “prepared” for me all along.  I was wrong.
As time passed, I said I no longer wanted to go through that draining grooming process.  I wanted my next man “to be ready.”  The statement in itself is not foolish; in fact, it is practical.  It was my definition of “ready” that was erroneous.  It wasn’t until the last six months or so that “ready” begin to take on an entire new connotation for me.  Ready, for me, is now more of a mindset, rather than a destination.  I’ve realize the thing that separates the exceptional from the ordinary is that the exceptional are always in route to the next point.  There is no settling or extended complacency but always willing to be the driving force in their own progression- spiritually, financially, emotionally.  Ready is willing and capable of accepting your significant other’s well being as your own.
I’m so glad I came to that realization months ago because I may have missed this.  I would have been focusing on the insignificant and unwilling to put forth the small effort toward my own readiness.  What I am fortunate to have now is a heart of eternal readiness prepared by life and designed specifically for me.  There is a stark difference in the present in the past.  In what I have learned is that hearts cannot be groomed.

Thanks to everyone that has made this 100th post possible!!

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A Man Scorned

Women, specifically black women, are often labeled as bitter due to past relationships with men.  It is a pretty obvious transition from the once optimistic and hopeful to the visage of resentment.
But men have feelings too.  I think we, as women, forget that.  Men are often socialized to not show emotion.  This concept is hyper-emphasized in the black community, so much that a man showing feelings for anything less than a death is considered weak.  It has stifled our relationships and our communities.  However, the lack of a direct response to a hurtful statement or action doesn’t mean that it has not affected the man.  The hurt may not even surface in that relationship; but just like women, over time, from one broken relationship to the next a man can eventually grow bitter as well.
The bitter man, I believe, is worse than the bitter woman because once a man reaches a state of bitterness; it is the point of no return.  A woman can be loved out of her bitterness, but a man will not allow anyone to get close enough to receive such love.  It is a sad sight to see.  From that point, women are a constant source of agony and disdain.  The once internal hurt surfaces in the form of hateful sentiments, scolding, and the general “women ain’t shit” mentality.
So the next time, you run into a man just angry at women for no apparent reason, remember he may be a man scorned.

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Does Love Need Making?

Loving Organically

I’m pretty sure love just happens. And I completely grasp the need for a tangible concept that warrants love making. But as of late, I wonder if love can be made or manufactured if you will.
For men, it seems like making a woman love him is a plausible notion.  The socialized mindset appears to teach men that if they are persistent enough, then they can eventually win a lady regardless of her initial stance.  Thus, men will go to extreme lengths to win the heart of a woman, even if he knows she doesn’t love him.  I suppose in theory, the idea is noble to risk all in an attempt to have the woman of your dreams.  What about her dreams?  Do they matter to a man?  Does he care if he is her 28th choice as long as she eventually gives in?
For women, our pursuit of love is very different. Not only do we want to win the heart of the man of our dreams, but we want to be the woman of his dreams.  Anything less than him feeling as passionate about her as she feels about him, is not a win at all.  It is a crushing defeat, and thus most times a woman will retreat. Women don’t consider a forced love, really a love at all. But hey, what do we know?
Contrarily, pre-arranged marriages do have the lowest divorce rates.  But sticking it out doesn’t equate to love or compatibly.  I am sure a man thought of this idea.  However, I am sure some learned to love each other and found love within this arrangement.  Some may not have any other love in which to compare their feelings with an arranged spouse.  But to those that have had real, true, and tangible love knows when it is absent, even if a man makes the most valiant effort.  Some things just can’t be manufactured.  It is or it isn’t.  Be green and only accept the organic.

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I’m Still Cool: Men Stuck In An Era

An example of getting older done well. Still stylish but very age appropiate. This picture of him and his daugther makes fatherhood look great!

I know many men that age well.  These men have no problem embracing the new stages that come with getting older.  These men adapt elegantly to a changing physique and lifestyle to where instead of looking older they are getting better.

Other men get stuck in an era or particular age point where they peaked and have been on the decline ever since.  Some men get stuck at age 17 some get stuck at age 22 and can never seem to let go of the things that once made them cool.  As such, I find men doing the same things they were doing at 15.  It is sad.  It is sadder that I don’t believe these men realize they are stuck like the 65 year old that still wears velour warm-ups with their Kangol hat to the back and a good chain.  Well, I am here to help out because we only promote progress at the Café.

A classic case of a man stuck in 1982.

1) Earrings. If I see you with earrings past the age of 30, I am just going to assume you are either an entertainer or you are not gainfully employed.  Earrings were cool once upon a time in the 90s as hip-hop became mainstream.  It was also part of the rebellion and a mark of counterculture.  It was cool.  But I have no desire to accidentally pick up your earrings trying to find mine.
2) Cornrows. It only took a few decades for R. Kelly to let his cornrows go. Even “Mr. Mario Come & Braid My Hair” himself only had cornrows in his teen years and cut them off to market himself as a grown man.  Nothing is sadder than seeing a grow man still rocking cornrows with earrings in both ears.
3) Jerseys. Oversized Clothes. Jordans. And Air Forces Ones. While jerseys and men that still buy 3XL clothing when they really are a medium may be more obvious, I believe my generation of men is stuck in the sneaker stage where they feel like they need to have every color and every new release.  And it seems that these men know no other sneakers other than Jordans and Air Forces.  The fact is that neither shoe is flexible with a wide range of clothing style as let’s say, Converse for play or a causal loafer for an outing.
4) Car Stuntin’. You know the candy coated ride with 24” rims, yeah, that car only attracts girls that are still in high school or have a high school mentality.  Actually the girl attracted to that car may be the perfect match.
5) Photo Shoots of Money. I still see this and it makes my stomach cringe. I don’t understand if you say you don’t want a gold-digger yet take pictures with your stacks of money to attract women.  You are only attracting women that want your money, not to mention it is tacky and juvenile.  The only thing worse is money pictures in front of your candy-painted car.
6) Using Bitch Haphazardly. I understand that men begin to respect women at different ages depending on maturity and teachings.  But pass a certain age, a man should respect most women and phase out of referring to every woman as a bitch or hoe.  You know that old man that still is bitter about some girl breaking his heart in 6th grade and as such calls every woman everything but their name?  As a man gets older he should only use bitch when applicable to that specific person and/or set of actions.
7) Lack of Discretion. Some men still brag about doing everything moving.  They are still trying to have the highest count of women laid in their group.  But most men phase out of that and get to a point where they want more.  While most men wait it out for as long as possible before settling down, most men don’t want to be the last one still clubbing nightly trying to find the latest jump-off.

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7 Approaches I Hate: The Try and the Fail

When we were younger, it was easy to determine if a guy liked you through their actions.  The hitting, chasing, and pulling of ponytails were all clear signs of affection.  Most of these boys grew to men, and as such, their approach toward women matured.  However, sadly, some approaches have not matured and I am finding myself looking around in search for the monkey bars and jungle gym because surely you are not a grown man still using playground methods to get my attention.
The following accounts are true stories.
1)        Poking. No, not facebook poking or the grown folk poke, but a true-to-meaning poke. Why is your index finger assaulting my shoulder every 3 minutes as we are in this training session and you sat down next to me even after I avoided eye contact because I didn’t want to be bothered?  And now, I have to pretend to really care about what this presenter is saying because you are annoying me and my shoulder.
2)        Baby- oiled pictures. Not only does my shoulder get harassed, but dudes now harass my phone by sending pictures of them rubbed in baby oil looking like an audition picture for Playgirl.  I am so confused as to why you feel like if I was on the fence about you from jump this would be the deciding factor.  Well, it did help me to decide- it is a firm “hell no” now.
3)        Checking-in for no reason. Why are you giving me a play- by- play of your day?  We are not/have not/ will not be together in no shape, form, or fashion.  So, I don’t care that you are leaving work for lunch, had Panera Bread, and now are off about to jog then showering.  I don’t need any details.  If I care I will ask the generic ”How was your day?” And all I expect to hear is any variation of “it was fine.”
4)        Penis infomercials. You know how you are in the middle of a nice date, talking about politics, Haiti, and going green then all of a sudden he starts talking about how flat he lays it down in the bed.  Then he starts quoting Trey Songz and Drake.  I have confused written all over my face because I completely missed the segue from my reusable grocery bags to his penis.
5)        Respond to every tweet/status. For some people it doesn’t matter how irrelevant or personal the tweet is they somehow find a way to respond in some way.  I see you because you are forcing me to, but you are about as annoying as the poker.
6)        Random confessions of love. This happens more than I’d like to admit, but you really don’t know me well enough to be professing your love for me. And, no, being a facebook/twitter friend does not mean you know me, it means you know of me.  Knowing me in real-life is much more intricate and challenging than knowing the virtual me.
7)        Volunteering to do completely ridiculous things. Why are you on the floor trying to massage my feet?  My feet don’t even hurt. Get up please.  People can see you.

I am sure you have your own real life accounts…

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