Friday, January 22, 2010

Date with no boundaries. Flirt with no fear.


As a follow up to yesterday… wow – did I get all flavor of blowback from that. Let me clear up a few things… first of all people – I am cute. So sorry to have to tell you that. You would not believe how many folks assumed I was beatdown by the ugly stick simply because I suggested not everybody has to have a model-quality mate on their arms. So let me reset: what I said was... shouldn't we look beyond that. Clearly you don't have to if you don't want to. Live your life. If you are that person who has found true and lasting abiding love with a drop dead gorgeous person who is also smart, paid, sensitive and loving, all of us here in BougieLand are happy-glad for you. So very, very, happy and glad for you. Matter of fact, if you are dating an endless stream of gorgeousness with no intention of ever slowing down, good on ya! Your world, enjoy your axis on full tilt.

Now for the rest of us. I did not write yesterday's post with the intent of telling people to settle. I don't believe in the concept. If you all knew me and how completely over the top sensitive I get when anyone even whispers the word "settle" in my direction, you would know this to be true. As irked as I get with trophy dating, I get just as irked at folks who just decide they are done with the whole shebang, look at the person closest to them at say, "You'll do." Who is that fair to? No, I'm not talking about people that have been together a long time and decide to take the next step. I'm talking about people who have just given up. Let's take a look at what settling really means…

From Merriam-Webster:

Settle – Pronunciation: \ˈse-təl\

Function: verb

1 : to come to rest

2 a : to sink gradually or to the bottom b : to become clear by the deposit of sediment or scum c : to become compact by sinking

3 a : to become fixed, resolved, or established b : to establish a residence or colony—often used with down

4 a : to become quiet or orderly b : to take up an ordered or stable life —often used with down

Um, none of that sounds sexy. A friend of mine in the Bay Area declared about three years ago that 2007 was the year she was going to get married, no matter what. We giggled at her (since she wasn't even seeing anyone at the time) and said, "Good luck with that." Nine months later she called from Vegas – a newlywed. Last week her divorce papers were final. Why? She settled. She is a person who spent her entire life chasing degrees and accomplishments and the next rung on the ladder. Her vacations were ten-day guided luxury excursions to places like the Bourdeaux region of France and Marrakesh. She married a guy who was happy parking cars at a downtown hotel (which he had been doing for 15 years) and whose idea of a vacation was fishing at his grandfather's property in a rural area of California. Now nothing is wrong with him and nothing is wrong with her but together nothing about them fit. I mean nothing. They didn't agree on sex, religion, child-rearing, finances or basic value systems. They agreed that she wanted to get married and he'd "give it a try." Ah yes, she proposed to him and his answer was, "I'll give it a try." PEOPLE! That is settling. And who did it help? When she asked me why I didn't stop her… I was a little bit offended.

Equally offensive is the oft-abused term, "Stay in your lane." That's right up there with "out of your league." This term is meant to discourage those considered one or two star personnel from approaching those considered five star players. I call bullshiggity. The thought that the quirky nerdy girl shouldn't shoot for the jock or that the pimply overweight dude shouldn't holla at the cheerleader is just a little too "Breakfast Club" for me. It realIy isn't all about the looks. Sometimes two people you would never imagine together just click and it works. I highly encourage dating and marrying outside your norm. Someone wrote an entire book on how to "marry up."

Flirt without fear folks. It's a few minutes out of your life. Take a shot of Patron, put your game face on and go in. All they can say is boo, go away or no. And no only stings for a minute or two. What is that saying? You'll never win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket.

Another girlfriend of mine, single mom, never married, a little out of shape was telling me how lonely she is. I asked her why she didn't get back out there. She said the guys she was interested in weren't interested in her and she just didn't want to face the rejection. I asked her if she had tried to approach one and she said no… thought they were out of her league. My head exploded. (okay, not really) I introduced her to the wonders of stretch denim and stack-heeled boots, got her hair whipped up and erased the "I'm tired and don't give a damn" look from her face and trotted her out to meet some friends. She got an invitation for coffee. Now there was no happily ever after (so far), they went out twice and decided to be friends but it gave her the boost she needed to get up and go for it. (cue the Rocky music) At the very least, she started taking pride in her appearance again and started spending less time with her behind glued to the sofa.

To make a long post short, I just want people to be happy. Happily ever after kind of happy. Word on the yard is that a great relationship will do that for you. Staying in your lane and settling nets you nada. Who's to say that your lane won't change? Believe me, there is always someone who wasn't checking for you at one time who will take a second look and try to holla. (Usually the minute you start shining or find somebody else).

I can hear you all now - wait a minute, Chele... are you saying that the crackhead chick should roll up on CEO dude? Okay, I said get out of your lane not alter your universe. But if crackhead chick gets herself together and sees CEO dude chilling, why not say hi? That's all I'm saying.

Alright, let me have it… what are your thoughts on settling? Do you think people should stay in their lane? Who gets to decide the lanes anyway? Thoughts? Comments?

33 comments:

Andrea M said...

This is on point for me right now. I've had the feeling with the current SO that we have settled on each other rather than chose each other. If Jayme is out there today, maybe she can explain the difference for me?

Steve said...

This is good in theory but you are about to set folks up for hurt. I honestly don't want some beatdown chickenhead rolling up cuz she wants to take a shot. Hence, she should stay in her lane. She has no shot and now I'm in the awkward position of telling her she has no shot. There's a reason for the world order.

Sarah said...

Happy happy now that you got that out there :-) Never mind me and my depressing comments yesterday. I'll blame it on the hormone roller coaster or maybe this winter which keeps sending one insulting storm after another. Give me a little green grass, blue sky, and warm breeze and I'll be as happy as a person can be. Happily ever after for me is my camera and I taking trips which is gonna happen eventually once I get my finances in order. Good luck with your happily ever after. We know you're cute :-)

ASmith said...

Beatdown chickenhead? Well, it's ok if you don't want her. Someone else might -- someone else much like you so just because you wouldn't be interested doesn't mean she shouldn't try. While I would personally encourage her to lose the chickenheadness, she still could try if she wanted.

Liselle said...

All you have to say is no thank you. Not that traumatizing. And I suppose you think every woman you roll up on thinks your God's gift - boy, please. Get over yourself

ASmith said...

There's a lesson I've learned in the last year. I've repeated it ad nauseum on the innawebs, but I'm going to say it again and it's going to seem off topic, but trust me.

"You and your 4 friends are 5 people. That is all."

We get caught up in what we would do and what the people we know would do and we start thinking that's what everyone would do. We think because we wouldn't holla at someone "out of our league" neither would (or should) anyone else and thus when someone does, they're being extra and deserve the side-eye we give 'em.

We also think that because it's how we do it and have always done it, that's how everyone has always done it and we get really afraid of change. Change is your friend.

Love the post, OneChele. I needed the reminder; we all needed the reminder. There's no reason you can't try. I always say that to my friends when they come to me for advice and tell me "I can't" -- I always just say "try."

Ashley said...

This post was forwarded to me by a friend. I think in many ways you are right about not settling and making the choice to "holla" at people you find appealing.
BUT as a 23 yr old attractive yuppie blk female, I often wonder why do I have to set myself up for possible rejection? Why is it that I have to show interest in a man to get the ball rolling? WHY ISNT HE DOING SOME WORK TOO??
Makes me wonder... does being a part of the 42% stat mean single blk women should start stalking blk single men? Is it possible that us approaching them is what contributes to our singleness? What happened to men being hunters and us being prey?

And the part about needing a man needing to see you shinning- Isnt the goal in finding a life partner to meet someone who treats you like a princess in sweats in a ponytail?

These are my thoughts.... Great blog. Talented writer.

Peace & LOVE

beautifulcurare said...

Flirting scares the goodness out of me, lol...actually, much like your friend, it's the possibility of rejection scares me. But you're right, the hurt one feels from being rejected doesn't last long, so why not go for it. And why go into the field with a defeatist attitude...sounds a little self-actualizing. I gotta work on that, lol. Great post...you rock!

Lady Loves Hats said...

Amen girl! I'm not ashamed to say when I met my husband he was the BMOC and I was the awkward "smart girl" who dressed like a nun. I spent weeks getting up my nerve to say something halfway intelligent to him. When I did, he answered and walked away. But then he came back. Said something about me made him curious to know more. Got him! Seventeen years of marriage next week because I got WAY out of my lane.

tiffanyinhouston said...

I would tell you to stay classy, but apparently you missed that lesson.

midwestdominicana said...

Poor, poor Steve. I hope Beyonce rolls up on you and tells you "you ain't cute, ninja". Seriously, what a shameful thing to say about a woman who has enough confidence in herself to step out of a stereotype and pursue what she thinks might be a good romantic match. Besides, how can you call her a chickenhead from jump?! I doubt a real chickenhead would make the effort to approach you...she would probably just turn around and bend over or something.
I hope your mother doesn't read your post, because if she does, you should get a spankin'.

OneChele said...

Stalking? No. Showing interest... definitely. Now this may get me in trouble but girl you can't wait on a man to do the right thing. You want one, show interest if he returns it - great. I am a big believer in traditional gender roles. Man pursues, woman pretends to get caught. But all women know you have to give out all the signals (sometimes in flashing lights) to draw them in.

And yes - both of my longest relationships were with guys who met me when I was tore up from the floor up. One dude rolled up on me while I was in tattered sweats, raggedy ponytail, standing in the freezer aisle clutching ice cream to my chest. When I say I looked rough - I mean... rough. So who knows.

Anyway, welcome to BougieLand. Come again soon.

I Am Me said...

Um - in defense of Steve... (as I bob and weave and duck) - Man get rejected all the time so we hate having to do it. We know there are people who probably don't have a chance of engaging other people's interest so why put themselves out there to take the hit?

OneChele said...

Aargh! And I'm saying how do you know they don't have a shot if they don't take a chance? Stranger things have happened.

thinklikeRiley said...

Hold up - I don't want some 300 pound gorilla jiggling up cuz you told her she has nothing to lose. I will hurt that Precious-looking chick's feeling. Directly. C'mon son - just admit there are leagues and not everybody can play with the all-stars. Some need to stay down in triple AAA.

tiffanyinhouston said...

I totally understand what you are saying and I agree that men take the brunt of rejection when comes time to holla holla...but there's no need to be a douchebag about turning someone down.

JaymeC said...

So some of you (men) missed Chele's point entirely. I won't dignify some of the ignorance and hate in some of your replies (Riley) but I will say a few things from a relationship professional's point of view -

You never know who God has for you. It may come in the form of someone with a different body type or skin color than you envisioned yourself with. It's when people try to make the outer shell the entire package that marriages fail.

Both women and men need to open themselves up to possibilities. It's only through failure that we learn. If we succeed every time... what does that teach us.

For Andrea's question below. If you and your SO are looking at each other thinking that you've settled and there's something better out there; that's a huge problem. I suggest you trackback to where that feeling crept in and peel back the reasons why. Email me for more. I'm JaymeC09@yahoo.com

Chele - the post rocked. From the responses it seems we still have a ways to go...

Sasha Stiletto said...

Negro please. We strongly suspect that having Precious graze your arm would be the highlight of your sexual activity for the past year and a half. Why is it ALWAYS the scrubs trying to act all shiny? Go back in your hole, it's not Groundhog's Day yet.

Sasha Stiletto said...

Chele - my fiance is no Denzel. He's six inches shorter than me and I used to swear I would date anyone under six feet. He's very latte colored and I always preferred bitter chocolate. He's blue collar and I only dated corporate types. I consider myself more than moderately attractive, successful, together. When he approached me, I thought - umm... no. And then he spoke and I was caught. In the 30 seconds it took him to spit game he got me. A guy I would not have looked at twice on the street. I've never been more blessed than I am to have him in my life.

Rob said...

Well, I'm not getting kicked outta BougieLand. I will freely admit that I date up. As high up as I can get. So I'm flattered when women approach me (not in a stalkery maneating way but otherwise...) I know the courage it takes to approach a complete stranger and put yourself out there so I'm always polite with an "I'm seeing someone but thank you" - that's all that's needed.

As for settling, well - I'll come back and read this again in my late 30s. (just 4 years from now)

OneChele said...

Aw, congratulations!

LeonX said...

So you're saying you and I still have a shot? Cool ;-)

The idea of the "pursuit of happiness" plays a part in relationship decisions as well. The expectation of being married or having a partner is what leads to people making bad decisions like the ones you stated.

ASmith said...

Ya'll know what the problem is? Apparently some people think that whomever approaches them is indicative of who they are.

If you think a "300-lb gorilla" or a "beatdown chickenhead" trying to talk to you will make you look like a loser try graduating from the 6th grade first, and then remember that who you were 2 days before he/she came up to you and who you are 3 minutes after they walk away is the same damn person. If you got people in your life who would think less of you because of it, then they're the ones who need an attitude adjustment, not you.

Be secure in who you are and quit looking at the rest of us to validate you. I don't validate. Not people, parking tickets, ideas... that's not why I'm here. Do it yourself.

BB Waite said...

You should seriously make a public service announcement out of your photo: Houses settle, Cars stay in their lanes, people shouldn't! LOVE IT.
For the record, I strategized and plotted and planned my way into my husband's life. He still thinks we met by accident and that I always walked around the Student Union in pumps and skirts... ha, ha!

Jamar Hudson said...

*raises hand*

I freely use the term "stay in your lane" albeit in a completely different context. I flirt...and enjoy doing so. What I've found as I approach 30 is that my lovely ladies tend to go into the dating scene (lounges, mixers, etc.) in a bubble. That is, if man isn't A, B or C, he has no chance. It could be argued that that means they don't want to settle. True. It also could mean some are being unrealistic. If you sit and ask older women (moms, aunts) whether their current spouses are what they envisioned, 90 percent would say no. The point? I'm just saying that often times the person that doesn't fit our "ideal" image of a mate physically may be the perfect person for us, but we often overlook them, because of boundaries.

*runs and hides*

Jason P said...

Is Chele handing out chance to date The Bougie One. Where does the line start? I'm cutting in! BTW OneBougie - I know you're cute. I saw your pic over at MicheleGrant.net... um-hmm, I seent you. LOL!

I'm never afraid to step up to the plate and take a swing. You don't win in the bigs sitting on the bench. I also don't tear down other batters. Okay, I've milked the baseball analogy as far as it can go.

This post is the truth. You keep doing your thing.

OneChele said...

Come on out, boo - we don't bite. I would agree and add that I feel many gents stroll onto the scene with a similar perception. Both sides could stand to get over themselves... but that's Monday's post. Come back through and visit again.

All Honey said...

DAAYMN! Sasha FTW. She put the 5-inch stiletto straight up in Riley's ass - where it needed to go. He wishes Precious would jock-ride.

thinklikeRiley said...

you wish you had a shot.

Queen of Me said...

Chele, every time I've hooked the pretty boys, I've learned to regret it. I like 'em regular. Basic brother with a little ambition and what you call the sexy swagger works for me. And I am always nice when a guy approaches. I don't need relationship karma biting me in the ass. Put nice out, nice comes back.

Man's World said...

Riley son - you effing it up for all of us. You can believe that none (not one) of these sistas is checking for you. Now I find you entertaining from time to time but you starting to jack up the tone and mood. We like the ladies here in BougieLand happy. Feeling good about the brotherhood, ya feel me?
Bluntly - STFU.

Just Passing By said...

Wow - folks went in today. Next time talk something neutral like politics or right to life... HA!
Well done as usual...

LikeLena said...

Sometimes, I read the comments first and then see how they match with the post. A few people sped by your point and never looked back. I love the spirit of this post - very go for the gold and you never know until you try. Do I even want to know what a chicken head is? Oh, I just googled it... nice.

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