Is there more pressure on "men of a certain age" than women to be married?

In the wake of yesterday's post about a poor life/wife choice of one of the Bougie Brethren, I was flooded via various forms of social media and inboxes to talk about the struggle of the Professional Single Black Male over 35 to wife well, correctly and with some immediacy.

I love George Clooney. As an activist, sometimes as an actor, mostly as ageless eye candy. He looks great, probably smells great, has than killer smile and sense of humor not to mention he's rich as Croesus and an Obama supporter. Yum. But I wouldn't date him for all the waterviews in his Lake Como mansion. (Didn't say I wouldn't sleep with him, let's be honest... moving on.) The chronic commitment-phobe is not my cup of tea. When you have all the women in the world at your disposal, is it really the hotness to continue to dispose of them? Nawl. But I wondered, does he feel any pressure to get married? Are his peers, partners and public relations people hounding him constantly, "Pick one and put a ring on it!" When he runs into friends of his parents (as I did at an event last week) do they ask loudly (in front of your date), "Still not married? But you're so pretty!"

That sound you hear is my teeth gnashing...

Back on topic... Do single men over 35 take the same amount of nonsensical and judgmental backlash as their female counterparts for being unmarried? And does it intensify as they get older? Hmmm...

This threw me off a little bit. It's hard as a single woman "of a certain age" to listen to single men "of a certain age" talking about how they can't find a woman. In fact, my first thought is to double blink at them, hold out my arms to the left and the right and scream, "We're right here, why don't you see us?" And don't get me started on the biological clock we've got ticking while they have no such age restrictions. Latest stats show that for every single male, there are twelve (12!!) single women in queue for them. Twelve. Let's say four are unattractive to you, three are crazy, three are incompatible for whatever reason, that still leaves 3 in the tank. I'm at -7 for finding a dude in my specified age range and preferences. Negative 7, yo. If the one I'm dating now doesn't work out, I'm for the nunnery. For reals. Let's move on.

Any time you start talking about numbers and statistics in the dating pool, that conversation always erodes to both sides listing their requirements and pet peeves and then someone breaks out the tired old memes (Black women this, black men that, women this, men that, expand your search but raise/lower your standards, stop waiting for mr./ms. perfect and just get out there, make a sandwich/learn to cook, take more time to get yourself together as a person)... we've heard them all.

I spent a good bit of time Wednesday talking to the single, divorced dating brethren of these webnets and I have to admit, I felt some sympathy. I talked to one Executive who was told at the company sales conference that if he doesn't show up at the next function with a fiancee or wife, he's not going to get the promotion he wants. Yes he should go to HR but let's look beyond that. His professional life is taking a hit because he's not seen as a family guy. However, the hours he's required to put in are also prohibiting him from finding and keeping the kind of woman he wants. Is he lazy? No. Picky? Maybe. But between going to work and back home, golf on Saturday, family dinner on Sunday, where's he meeting Mrs. Executive? In his words, "Online or hope cousin Pam brings someone cute to brunch."

There's Bougie Bruh, Dr. Martin. Young doctor easy on the eyes, great sense of humor, sane, yet chronically single. He swears he has no time to date but finally admitted that he doesn't want to put in the effort. Yet he does want to end up with the kind of woman who doesn't care if he puts in the effort or not. So he doesn't want to be married to someone who just wants to be Mrs. Dr. Martin. But he wants to be with someone who understands what he's going through. 

I could go on. I heard story after story about how much pressure there is for men to be married over 35. I know that as a single black female, I heard that if I didn't meet the guy I was going to marry in college, it was going to be a hard uphill road. It is. But we never talk about if that also runs true for the brothers. Could it be that the struggle for Ms. Right is just as exhausting as the struggle for Mr. Right?

I don't know, maybe this is all hooey. Maybe they are just cutting a swath through the sisterhood until one day they get tired and say, "She'll do." Maybe we don't shine enough of a light on the male struggle because we're dealing with our own. I don't know. But let the record reflect that I opened up the discussion. And I know everyone has opinions. So let's hear 'em. But hey!! Keep it bougie out there... 

Things men say when women aren't around

I'm not sure how it happened. I spent many of my formative years at a private all girls' school. Men were mysterious creatures that my father told me to stay away from lest I end up flipping burgers at McDonald's. [I don't know, he had this whole story about the wrong man leading me off the garden path and somehow forcing me to live in a trailer while flipping burgers for a living] Anyway, so it's been with no little bit of amazement that at some point I became the girl that hung out with the guys. Granted, I'm usually "romantically attached" to one of the guys but somehow I tend to get the cool pass. I can't even tell you how many guys' weekends I've been eyewitness to. I seriously can't, I think I signed a non-disclosure for one or two of those joints.

Moving on... this past weekend I found myself the lone chick in a room of eleven men. At one point, the mood was so mellow that the guys either forgot I was in the room, forgot I was female or decided I'd heard it all before. That's when the testosterone took over and I started taking mental notes. Here are a few things of the conversational gems:

1. It seems that women gossip more often but men gossip about more important stuff. Women gossip about clothes and weaves, these dudes were going IN about some other dude's erectile dysfunction struggles. In vivid detail. Ouch. Though when they realized what they had spent 20 minutes talking about, they suddenly started discussing sports scores. Classic.

2. Men are sneakier than we think. (Not sneakier than women but still sneaky) One guy was bragging about how he hoodwinked the wife so she does the cooking and he takes the trash out. Somehow he has her convinced that the gathering and disposal of waste and recyclables is equal to her slicing, dicing, cooking and prepping meals. I may or may not have texted her to stage a minor kitchen boycott. [Don't side-eye me fellas, I told you women are sneaky too]

3. Men barter sex just as well as any woman out there. After one gentleman explained that all his s/o wanted to do was "get paid and get laid... often" - I had to bite my tongue to keep from speaking out. When he wants to "keep her in line" he withholds either the coin or the cocoa. I don't know his s/o or she would've received a textload of "wake the eff up, girl" too.

4. An interesting argument broke out when a dude said the main reason he was getting divorced was because his wife had gained fifty pounds and just "wasn't fun anymore." Maybe he was expecting sympathy but those guys hopped on him with some truth. Apparently dude had been going through some things, lost his job, started wilding out in the streets and wife had to hold down to two kids, two cars and mortgage while he pulled it together. Quote of the night, "Maybe she put on five pounds for every chick you cheated on her with. You need to fall back and get your house in order." Whoa.

5. And favorite part of the evening: Other married dude starts going in about the tough time he is having with his wife's pregnancy. It's their first child and he's freaking out about the responsibility and his wife's mood swings and whether the cocoa will be the same after the birth. If I wasn't so appalled, I would have been rolling around laughing. The fellas were all commiserating and nodding when suddenly one of them caught the look on my face. "We went too far?" Just a little bit. Sorry fellas, pregnancy is one of the things you don't get to bitch about. Ever. 

It's my conclusion that the sexes don't have different conversations, they just approach topics from different perspectives. But it got me to thinking - what topics do we not discuss in front of the other sex? Are there any conversations "not for mixed company"? Ladies? Gents?

Ask a Bougie Chick - Green means go, right?

Alright, let's get it started. We have a confused young man who wants the assistance of BougieLand. He's very young and trying to figure out the rules of engagement. Here's his story:
Hi Ms. Bougie, 
Your blog is great, I like how you try to see things from both the woman and the man's point of view. I've definitely learned a lot even from your posts telling us what not to do. Let me get to it. I'm 22, black male, in DC, single. I'm a new college grad and haven't been dating very much up to now. 
I just started a career with the government plus I'm doing some mentoring work so I don't have a lot of time and effort to put towards a serious relationship. I hope that doesn't sound like I'm making excuses, I just think I have plenty of time for committed monogamy later. 
I started seeing someone about seven weeks ago, I asked her if she was okay with a casual type of thing, back in the day they used to call it "just kicking it" kind of relationship. She said she wasn't looking for anything serious right now either and we could just be cool with each other. No expectations, just hanging out, going out, talking on the phone, having fun, stirring cocoa, right? 
Then this past weekend she went off telling me that she wanted more, she wanted a committed and having a "cocoa-stirring friend" was making her feel like a slut. Her words. Not mine. I didn't know what to say or do because she said this was cool and all of a sudden she changed the rules. No notice. We went from "that movie was dopeness" to "why won't you be my boyfriend" in like two minutes. 
I need to ask - did I do something wrong? I thought it was green lights and then she threw up the red. Did I miss something? And since even though she's a nice girl, I really don't want anything serious, I can walk away without feeling like I was some sort of dog, right? I did ask my boys but I'd like to talk to people who have been here and have nothing invested in telling me the truth. So what's up, bougie people?
-KJT in DC
Well KJT-I'm going to let that "back in the day they used to call it 'just kicking it'" line slide... that was my day, son and I'm not that old. Anywho, if you were straight with her from jump, you can walk away without feeling the least bit doggish. I think more than anything, you were a little naive to believe her when she said it was cool to be cocoa buddies. Especially when it sounds like you were taking her out as well. Even though you said cocoa buddies, you acted like a boyfriend. This confused, perplexed and ultimately angered her. This is why folks have friend zone folks and cocoa folks. Once you start blending the two, drama pops off. IMHO. But let me see what BougieLand has for you...

BougieLand, what say you? Fellas? Ladies? Ever had someone switch up the rules of the game on you mid-play? How do you handle it? Did KJT handle this all wrong? And what should he do know?

Why do women's tears freak men out? I asked some Bougie Bros...

It was hot. I was tired and cranky and any number of things were on my nerves. I had juggled writing books, writing articles, recruiting, BougieMom, and what seemed like a million little crises hopping up and down on my minute patience reserves all day. Plus I was hungry and hormonal. Terrible combination. 

**cue the dramatical music** I strolled into 3N's house wanting nothing more than to sit under the misters on the back patio with a cocktail. Peace and quiet, an adult beverage and some sort of chips and salsa option. That's all a bougie chick craved.

What greeted me was Poker Night. Eight guys, assorted whiskeys and someone had pulled out the humidor and was about to kick off the cigar game. 

"Oh, did I know it was Poker Night? Not that you have to tell me everything you're doing. I just thought. Never mind. My bad, I can go." I babbled with an inward sigh as I backed towards the garage door. So much for the misters.

3N hopped up, "Wait, it was a last minute thing, you don't have to go. You look... a little fried. You wanna hang out? You okay?"

"I'm fine." I answered still backing towards the door.

One of the poker players said, "Wait though, since you're here - can you fix snacks?" I won't even name which of the boys asked for snacks. Let's just say he's on. my. list.

Next thing I knew, I was boo-hooing and trying to leave. This caused all manner of bewildered panic to break out amongst the menfolk. Nor was I pleased. I never used to be a crier. Never. When all around me were reduced to blubbering idiocy, I remained stoic with an eyebrow raised. But one of the hormonal shifts after age 35 gifted me with this nonsense. Commercials, stress, The Notebook, frustration, bad dreams - all generate the water works. Usually, I can beat them back through sheer determination not to spend my life with pinkened eyes and puffy nose clutching a Kleenex like a damsel in distress. But for some reason, I was full scale bawling.

Utter dismay reigned supreme as the men began all getting up and speaking at once.
"Who the f**k asked for snacks?!"
"I was only joking. We brought our own food, really!"
"Oh my God, what's wrong - is she sick?"
"What did you do?"
"I didn't do anything!"
"Maybe that's the problem. Maybe you were supposed to do something."
"Michele, did he forget to do something?'
"What should we do?"
"Something, look at her, she's miserable."
"Put her to bed."
"Put her to bed? She's a grown azz woman, what are you talking about?"
"Then take her to bed? Is that better? You knew what I meant, damn!"
"Should we go?"
"God, I hate when women cry."
"At least she cries pretty. It's the ugly cry that rips your heart out."
"The silent cry when you can't tell they're crying until you see the tears?"
"That's the worst."
"Crying during sex is the worst."
"You made a women cry during sex?"
"Tears of joy, son - tears of joy. But you have to stop and ask."
"Can all of you shut the hell up for ten seconds?"
By this time, 3N was hustling me back to his room and was all urgent. "What is it, what's wrong? Did I do something? These guys could go. Talk to me. Or do you just want to stand here like this for a minute? I can shut up. I'll just hold you. Should I sing, rock back and forth, strip, run a bath, what's going to make you happy? Just give me a sign, a nudge, a head bop. You're scaring the shit out of me."

I started laughing that hiccupy half laugh, half cry. I had to. He was so panicky. "I'm sorry, long day. Hormones. You're fine. I'm fine. Stripping? For real though?"

He let out a deep sigh. "A brother was willing to try anything."


"Within reason, woman. What's really going on with you?"

I went into the bathroom and splashed water on my face - yes, the Lash-Blast Waterproof Mascara works! I walked back in, "It was a moment. I think I'm more tired than I realize. I'm really okay. Let me go holla at your boys. They've gone deathly silent in there." I walked back out to the living room. "Minor meltdown, fellas but we're all good. Sorry?" I flashed a smile.

They seemed to all exhale at once. So I had to ask, "You all got a little wigged. What is it about the tears?"
"Means I've done something wrong and chances are I don't know what."
"Tears mean something has to be fixed and I have to fix it."
"I don't want to see someone I care about in pain."
"Oh yeah, if a man walks out on a woman when she is crying, he gives not a single f**k about her."
"Unless she's a drama queen and cries all the damn time."
"An unhappy woman is never a good thing"
"I never know how to make the tears stop."
"Oh there's one way to make them stop"
"Do you always think with your d**k?"
"My grandmama says too much crying is followed by goodbyeing."
"What does that even mean?"
"You would know if you could but keep a woman for more than a weekend."
I had to go before that turned ugly. "Okay fellas, I'm going to head out. Great seeing everybody. Sorry for the scare."

Brothers of the blogosphere - what's the deal with the tear freak out? Is it really that uncomfortable for you? (Because it's quadruple uncomfortable for us when you cry) Ladies, aren't we irritated by the women who fake cry to get what they want? Let's talk water works today. Who sheds them, when, why and how do we handle it. 

p.s. I hate hormones. 

Fashion Felonies for the Fellas - Summer Edition

Gents, I have not forgotten about you… no sir. You were all giddy and happy over #SundressMonth so I just let ya’ll enjoy that. But now, it’s time for some of you to get your brethren. Literally, go snatch them up in the streets and ask them what the hell they are thinking. Summer is no excuse for flagrant foolery in the wardrobe department. We have just skated past another BBQ holiday and it’s time to pull your coattails… literally.

Some of you know better, some of you clearly do not give a damn but I beg of you... Read this and pass it along to a friend (or two). It’s America the Beautiful, not America the Brokedown. I'm not even going in on the 5x white tee with denim shorts. Unless your name is Pookie and you're standing on the corner, I don't know what to tell you but - what are you doing with your life? 

I’m going to assume you recognize that your clothes should fit. Let’s start with the basics. (By the way, you can click the pictures to see the full-size view.)

Fit – Read Esquire, GQ or my blog cousin The Gentlemen's Standard on how to match clothes to your body. Just like you don't want women looking like sausage trying to fight its way out of the casing... um, back at cha. And that oversized look ain't for everybody. 

As far as pants go: Pleats add volume, if you are slim this is a good look otherwise go flat-front. Skinny jeans look good on no man. Stop trying. One of my favorites quotes: "The sexiest thing a man can wear is a nice pair of jeans. Nothing too light, and they shouldn't be too tight or too loose. The only men who've managed to pull off tight jeans are Elvis and Tom Selleck, and everyone else should let go of that dream."
Relaxed/loose fit can look baggy on slim guys, low rise are for the young and slender, slim-fit really depend on the cut. No acid wash. If you don’t like a dark wash (what’s WRONG with you) get a medium rinse. You age yourself with the color of your jeans. Black is always a winner. The key to mens’ jeans (and I cannot emphasize this enough) is butt, length, waistline. In that order. The perfect pair of jeans make your butt look taut, your legs look long and waistline (true waistline, not where you heft it up or drop it down with a belt) look proportionate to your chest and hips. Get in the mirror with someone who will tell you the truth and figure it out. Straight-leg, bootcut, mid-rise, button fly – I know it’s confusing but so worth the effort when you get it right.

Drawers – Boxers or briefs? Do you. But this is undies done right.

This is undies done wrong.

Pull your pants up unless you’re taking them off for a good reason. You feel me? Okay.

What is wrong with that picture? The wifebeater + the gym shoes (without socks!) that cost more than the car they are fixing. Think on it people.

Linens & Silks – Great summer fabrics. But they both wrinkle and have to be done right.

But at no time should it look like a jungle is growing on your chest. Correction: If you are in Hawaii or Mexico or hosting a Tahitian Cocktail party, you're all clear otherwise flora and fauna linen is not your friend.

Sheer shirts. I like Mario but hell to the no. That's awful. Not sexy... awful.

Capri Pants. No. Sir. I don't care if Ashton wore them. He's wrong too. Oh and the mandals? I'd rather you didn't. But if you must, fellas - one word: Lotion. Okay one more: Hydrate.

V-neck: Stop it. Please. This means you too, Tyson. Just heckie no.

All plaid joints. Why? Sorry Big Willie but that's awful. And hat matching dude? Ugh.

Coordinated sets. You are not five years old. The Garanimal look is no longer cute. The father from Boomerang called, he wants his "co-ord-in-ates" back.

Pimp suits. Your suits should not come in fruit or sherbet flavors. Cranberry? Lime? Orange? Blueberry? No. Unless your name is Velvet Jones or Steve Harvey, there's no reason to own these. Let alone rock them.

Overbranding. Are they paying you? Then no. One logo per outfit please.

Short suits. Are you dressed up or casual? I. Do. Not. Understand.

All Denim joints. Once known as the Texas Tuxedo (we in Texas are not amused), this is doing too much. I know, I know. It's Ye and he is frequently doing too much but this looks like he found a sale at the Levi Strauss outlet. Buy one, get two free.

Lace up shirts? That’s a lifestyle choice. NTTAWWT*, just know what your shirt is saying about you.

I could go on but I feel this is plenty to start with. Oh let me just add this as a final thought.
Tube tops for men... did you see my statement about lifestyle above? Copy and paste here.

Thank you for your time and attention. I feel confident that I can speak for the women of the world when I say Teach One, Reach One and Pay It Forward. Please review your wardrobes and correct your infractions post haste. Appreciate it! Can anyone think of something I've left out? Any thoughts, comments, horror stories to share?

*NTTAWWT = Not That There's Anything Wrong With That

Guest asks the question: Dear Heterosexual Men, Do You Even Like Women?

Today - a guest post. Please join me in welcoming back @WriterChanelle from http://totherefromhere.wordpress.com. She has written an open letter to the fellas. Check it out and show some love.

Dear Heterosexual Man,

There are throngs of women who are growing tired of your antics. Now, I know all of you are not part of the "I'm gonna do my dirt in the dark because it won't come to light" crew, so where are you? And, why aren't you stepping up? Where are the men who believe in marriage and want to get married as much as women do? Is it just a woman thing? Do men even like women anymore?

Illustrating my point with a video: This is the restaurant scene in HITCH where Alex Hitchens meets up with a guy (Vance Munson) who requires his services. Only this guy likes to use women for one thing. Hitch tells him that 'hit it and quit it' is not his thing.

Do men even want to have women around, or are we just a necessary evil? Can you really consider us friends? I know we can't have the same type of friendship you have with your boys. I don't want us to have the type of friendship I have with my girls; but, can we have something close to it? Can we actually go out in public together without you being afraid of the word "together" and what it might signify? Are you so entirely ruled by your penis that you cannot see beyond a woman's sexual potential to her companionship potential? Can you see beyond the corporeal to the mental without an ulterior motive?

There is something to be said for nice guys and their mature thought processes. The reason nice guys are always just a friend is because they do not try to be anything but a friend. Yes, a woman wants a man who will respect her as a person, confide in her, call her, and meet her to hang out in person; but, if you're doing all of this in addition to getting a vibe from her that she is interested in being more than friends, and you don't pursue it, she will move on (a.k.a settle for) to the "not so dreamy but at least he showed initiative" guy.

Are you confused? Let me clarify. If you're trying to find a good woman, do not lead her to believe you are the kind to cheat on her for five years of your six year marriage. If you're in that stage where you need to be alone to discover yourself, don't ignore women, make them your friend. And be a real friend. Don't cancel meet-ups then text a couple days later from whatever place you found the time to go to. And, lastly, call us. Don't just text. Even if the conversation lasts for ten minutes, it's nice to hear a man's voice every once in a while. If you're tired of being the nice guy, then change your methods not the niceness. Don't stop being a nice guy. Believe me. The real women are tired of bad boys. If you never get the girl, be aware of the signals your female friend is showing and be the aggressor. She wants you to do it.

Just askin',


Alright BougieLand, it's your turn to weigh in. Do men even like women anymore? Are they feeling us? Fellas, are you checking for us wanting something real? For that matter, are the ladies even wanting to be bothered? What's even going on out there? Let's hear your thoughts… the floor is yours.

Bitter looks bad on boys too…

Long story short… I'm a member of the Fresh Xpress, a blog that gathers the best and the brightest (I'm modest too) black bloggers' most entertaining blog posts and puts them all in one place. Carolyn Edgar's post on Hustlin' Hoes was picked up and posted there yesterday. Shortly thereafter, people started weighing in with their opinions. A few comments in, a gentleman calling himself Bitter Black Man said 85% of all women are groupies and only date for the 'come up'. I took offense (of course) and made the mistake of disagreeing with him publicly.

What is wrong with me? Have I not learned from this very blog that you can't take the bait? Generally the most abrasive and argumentative commenters want attention and are just dying to start something. Like fire, they need oxygen to grow and do real damage. Some folks live for conflict. I do not. His premise was that (in the words of Biggie) chicks were trying to stick him for his paper. And the more paper he stacks, the more chicks were rolling up. He considered that groupiedom. [Laser beam side-eye] Again, I disagreed and wondered where he got the 85% from? Scientific research?

In passing, I mentioned the back and forth conversation on Twitter and all hell broke loose. It started as a brief not and 216 tweets and 46 people later it was a Battle of the Sexes. The ladies said it's always the broke, broke-down, bitter brothers whining about women who only want ballers. Brothers started going in on materialistic women. And so it went. One brother asked me why his personality wasn't enough. My response – when mine is, yours is. Then the brothers (some claiming proudly to be dollarnaires) started listed their requirements in a mate: banging body, ambition, A+ sex game, accepting him for him… the list went on and on and on. Finally I said, "Fellas doing the most today. If I have to be Michelle Obama, you can't come like Pookie from the corner." This set off a whole other flurry of tweets and emails.

I'll address the ladies in a second. Right now, let me say this to my brethren… you know I love ya'll. But I don't even like my chocolate bitter okay? Sweet and smooth is the best way to go. And okay, I'll say it: Bitter never bagged a babe. Bitter + broke = no bueno. Fellas, do you. Whatever it is you do, get on out there and do it with a smile on your face. I guarantee whether you are banking $12k or $1.2 mil, if you are out there hustling and putting your best face forward, women are going to notice and appreciate it. Now let me quantify this – a hustlin' smile will only get you so far as you get older. There is an age at which it's not a good look to still be "aspiring". Particularly if the noun following that adjective is rapper, athlete, or entrepreneur. Please don't be 40 still talking about getting your LeBron on. No sir. Jay-Z and LL Cool J are the only 40-year old rappers I know, and they've been in the game a looong time. You are only an entrepreneur if you actually own and operate a business. Last I checked, "Dreamer" didn't pay no bills.

Let me get back on track. For the brothers that feel beat down, bamboozled and led astray by the womenfolk… my sincerest apologies. Sorry someone did you like that. Now, get over it. Double check that you aren't more concerned with bra size than IQ. Triple check that you know her history instead of her hip size. Does she have some brains to go with the booty beauty? Dammit, is she even a nice person? Okay, just checking. Now if you did all that and still got wounded on love's battlefield, dust yourself and try again. Because as much as I can't stand the bitter broads talking about "men ain't shit"; I triple-quadruple dislike guys telling me there are no "good women" out there, all women are "pay for play", "most the women I meet (insert negative yada-blah here)" – to that I say, "Boo!"

Every person that's single and wants to get married knows it's hard out there… none of them became less single by being bitter about it. Seriously, some of the effort you guys put in to tweet, message and email me about the raggedy women in the world could've been better spent saying three-dozen "Woosah's" and learning to relax, relate, release. If you need to vent THAT much about women, start a blog. Bitchin' about the triflingness of females is what's hot in the streetz anyway; you're liable to have a book deal and a radio show in no time flat. {Shots fired. That slipped out. My bad.}

Point blank. I can't convince you. The only thing that will convince a man that there are good women out there… is a good woman out there checking for him. Since all I see are stats about how there are a great deal of available viable females out there, I encourage you to get out there find one. And if she's not it, onto the next. Continue cycle until Ms. Right (not Ms. Perfect) shows up.

Ladies, I've lectured you a plenty about the bitterness and the mean-muggin' so I'm sure I need not repeat myself. What are your thoughts on the Bitter Black Male? Fellas, is it really that bad out there? A bougie chick wants to know… the floor is yours.

Wrapping up Questions for the fellas week: The Best of the Rest

Ladies, apologies. We had way too much to squeeze into a five-day week. There was no way I could get to everyone's questions. So I grouped a lot of what I received into the topics we've already covered. And instead of leading with a BougieTale today, I've just decided to share the best of the rest. Without further ado, questions for the fellas (unedited):

  1. We hear women complain about there being no good men all the time & they're taken to task for overlooking the blue collar, hardworking, not too flashy men. I can't relate to that because I'll take good & decent over trifling but cute any day. My question is, when men say they can't find a good woman, are they really trying? Are they so caught up in having the next Halle Berry or Gabrielle Union that they overlook Alfre Woodard or Whoopi Goldberg? I understand that men are more visual creatures, but can they honestly say good looking equals a good woman?

  2. Why do brothers always harp about money, even if I'm making my own? What's that about?

  3. My question is, what do guys really think about girls that are virgins and over a certain age (let's say 22). Could they date a girl that was one or not?

  4. When us women talk about putting on makeup or buying shoes or I dunno, doing karaoke on a night out I feel an apologetic tone in our voice equivalent to when men talk about said womanly pursuits they have a condescending tone in their voice (like they are rolling their eyes). (on the other hand, many women want to get involved with their man's hobbies, play video games, go to see the same bands play, go to see action films with none of the embarrassment a man would feel at a chick flick etc.) Whereas when a man spends 12 hours playing an xbox 360 shoot-em-up there's some pride there, it's something to boast about rather than to apologize for. So I guess the question would be: Men, do you really believe your hobbies and interests have more substance than a typical woman's interests?

  5. Why do guys want to set a curfew for their girlfriends when they go out with their girls, or some guys just don't want their girlfriends to go out at all?

  6. Guys say they want an intelligent, good woman, that'll be a good wife one day, but they ALWAYS go for the big breasts and/or booty. WHYYY??????

  7. Why do you guys find it so hard to move on from relationships when it is obviously over. Is it ego?

  8. Why do you go into new relationships when there isn't closure on the last one?

Fellas, thanks so much for indulging us this week. If you could just bear with us for one more day, we would really appreciate your insights. Ladies, your thoughts and shared experiences on these questions are always welcome. Feel free to answer one or all. Your participation is greatly appreciated. Happy Friday BougieLand, the floor is yours.

NOTE: These are NOT questions from OneChele but OneChele's readers. Don't send me the snide tweets about me not being a 22-year old virgin. #FAIL. AGAIN - Questions are from BnB population. THANKS.

Question for the fellas: What’s up with your boy?

"Birds of a feather flock together" ~ William Turner, 1545

Thankfully, this is not always the case. But take a second and think about your last (or current) S.O. – don't you know ONE person in his/her crew that is side-eye worthy? I've spent the last eight years weeding out the crazy from my extended friend network but even I still have at least one friend (no longer close) that I have to apologize for. Fellas – how ya'll coming with that?

A BougieTale:

When I was dating Gene, I was always the one chick out with all the guys. I could watch and discuss sports, put on my iPod when the Madden marathon got crazy, hang out without complaining and turn a blind eye to thing that were absolutely none of my business. Guys weekend, it would be six of them and me. The things guys say when we are not around (or they forgot we were there) – whew boy! More than once Gene was like, okay – Michele is cool but she's still my girl… shut it! But as cool as I was, there was one dude in the crew that I could not stand. We'll call him Ricardo. I mean I disliked Ricardo with a passionate dislike usually reserved for Sarah Palin and allergy season.

He was a little too slick, seemed to be more of an ass-kisser with an agenda than a true friend. I didn't like the way he looked at me and his treatment of the women in his life – whoa. He was a hustler and I didn't understand why Gene didn't see it. When he was invited out, I would find a reason to cut my portion of the evening short. On more than one occasion, I literally had to issue ultimatums – him or me for the evening. I won (of course) but why did we even have to take it there? In fact when our relationship imploded, one of the complaints I lodged was that Gene was way too quick to put everybody else ahead of me on his priority list… including hustling-ass Ricardo. When last we spoke civilly, lo and behold – Ricardo had been caught doing something shady and Gene realized that I was right about him all along. Umm-hmm.

Two of the letters I received:

Chele, my boyfriend has this one friend that I cannot stand. He is sloppy, messy, loud and frequently drunk. He cannot keep a girlfriend and tend to enjoy nights at the strip club a little too much for my comfort. They were line brothers and I've been told that "that's just the way he is". The only real drama we have is when my S.O. goes out with that guy. He inevitably rolls in late and drunk. He goes God know where, does God knows what and I've really started to feel like it's disrespectful to me. Can we ask the fellas what that's about? How you pick your boy over your S.O.?

Hey OneChele, my husband has a friend that he is stuck in a co-dependent cycle with. The two of them came up together in rough circumstances. My husband turned the corner and made something of himself. His friend not so much. So he gets into all manner of scrapes and jams and my husband bails him out (literally and figuratively) every time. At some point, isn't enough enough? We got into a huge fight about it this past weekend because I said I thought he was actually doing him a disservice by covering him all these years. So my question is – who's right?

Alright then, I received about 15 questions asking me why you fellas can't cut loose your crazy/druggy/grabby-assy/loud-talking/dependent/slightly bitter running buddy? You know the one. Your girl does not like him. She never has. He probably doesn't like her either. You have gotten into trouble with/because of him before. But that's your boy.

Based on all of this – Looks like the questions of the day for the fellas are: Why can't you see when your boy ain't worth a damn? From question one, how/when do you put your boy above your S.O.? And from question two, are you helping your boy by carrying him along for years?

Ladies, what are your thoughts on all the bromance? And we are talking heterosexual bromance. Don't get it twisted. That other is for a different post. We are not discussing the down low today. Though it does bring to mind a hilarious episode of The Boondocks where this rapper Ganstalicious turned out to be gay. Here was one of the clues – Not Safe For Work and this is SATIRE, if you are easily offended, do not watch.

WARNING: The first person to use the phrase bros over hos (or any similar phrase) gets booted out of BougieLand for the day.

The floor is yours…

Question for the fellas: What are you waiting for?

Three BougieTales today. Two of them are stories sent in from BougieLand:

Blind leading the blind waiting: Way before I figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up, I worked as an Executive Assistant (thankless job, get out if you can). I was the Executive Assistant to the CEO for a company in Austin which meant I was in touch will all of the management staff on a regular basis. You create a kind of telephone intimacy with people that you talk to every day. Even more so in my conversations with a gentleman I'll call DB. DB had the flirtatious banter down pat. For a few weeks we telephone flirted, sent emails back and forth and basically acted like infatuated teenagers. Finally, he came to Austin and we met face to face. Giggle, great date, dancing, a romantic stroll by the river followed by an awkward kiss on the forehead and goodnight. Kiss on the forehead? Even I knew that wasn't a good thing. We fell back into our phone banter for a few weeks then he invited me to visit him. Romance, giggles, flowers, wine and he took the sofa while I slept in the bed. So I'm wondering, are we platonic or more?

Now office gossip (for those of you that have never worked in the Paycheck Plantation) is hell. I knew his every waking move and thought before he had a chance to tell me. He was feeling me, I was feeling him. I wasn't tapping my foot impatiently waiting to get to the naked part; I was waiting for him to define the relationship. I was SO young, it never occurred to me to ask and I kept waiting and waiting and waiting. Finally, one fateful weekend at the Corporate Retreat he was getting all parts of up close and personal with some spandex-wearing floozy from the call center. In a super-dramatic way that only young silly girls can be, I marched out onto the dance floor and told him I was tired of waiting in vain for his love (I was in a Bob Marley zone) and I was DONE.

Fast forward fifteen years and he finds me on LinkedIn. DB said back then he had NO idea what to do with me and was waiting for ME to tell him what I wanted, what was too much and what was next. And when I didn't he just decided to get out the quickest way he knew how. When I told him I was waiting on him, he was stunned. Just goes to show you – youth and stupidity are a bad combination.

What's it gonna take waiting: Dear Chele, I've been with this guy for three years. We do everything together, we get along, I like his family, he likes mine. I won't move in with him because I don't want to get stuck in that trap. We are both attractive and successful and want the same things. He makes references to the future and kids but where is my ring? What is he waiting on? And what can I do to move him along?

[I have some ideas but I'm going to let the fellas take that one.]

Make a move already waiting: OneChele, me and this guy from my apartment complex are spending a lot of time together. We hang out, we go places, we grab meals at my place, play video games as his. I overheard him telling his best friend that I am the girl he really wants to be with. So why isn't he making a move? Do I really have to do it myself?

So, let me sum up the questions (and let's assume that the man has at least a passing interest in the woman, because we get you not making a move if you are just not feeling it):

Fellas: About that first move, are we waiting on you or are you waiting on us?

Fellas: Getting out of the friend zone, what ARE you waiting on?

Put a ring on it: Ladies, how long do you wait? Fellas, what's it gonna take?

The floor is yours…