Guest Post

A logical look at an illogical topic... by Carolyn Edgar

No post from me today. But my partner in crime, @CarolynEdgar, has dropped knowledge for the ages today. Apparently ladies, you are the problem with you. And if you're unsure about this, there are several (thousands) of people ready to reassure and advise you.

Here's a sample:
Telling women all the ways they are wrong –and then, for a fee, offering up a fix – has become a cottage industry. For $99, a woman can take a 6-week seminar from “relationship expert” Tony Gaskins, who will teach you everything from how to dress to how not to get cheated on. Gaskins’s dating course for course for men starts by asking men to think about the question, “Who am I?” – a question women taking Gaskins’ seminar apparently need not answer.
Head over to her blog and check out the post in its entirety: Dear Women, You're Doing It Wrong... Enjoy!

Lessons learned from Mr Jack - a guest post by JasonP

Today, JasonP wants to talk about last week's controversial letter writer, Mr Jack. Mr Jack broke up with his girlfriend of two years because she didn't cook and talked back. Let's see what he's got...

I've been hanging around BougieLand for about a year and half now. Never have I seen the level of outrage and irritation that was directed towards Mr Jack in the Ask A Bougie Chick segment where dude wanted a woman to be his everything and not an iota less. Last I looked there were over 200+ comments. That post seemed to bring out a lot of feelings in people. Before I share what I learned, I have a few observations.

1) I'm not Mr Jack, don't bring it here
2) Why so angry, ladies?
3) Why so touchy, bruhs?
4) He mighta been wrong but was he so very wrong?

Here's what I think I learned-

The truth is... it is a man's world. I could say it prettier so that the ladies won't threaten to knife me in back alleys but facts is facts. For the over 60% of us that are still traditional in values, the man is still the head of the household, the aggressor, the final decision maker, the one who gets down on one knee and proposes. But to assume that a man's world could even exist without women is stupid. 

It's a man's right to hold out for exactly what he wants. HOWEVER, he should do this with the understanding of snoozing and losing and that old saying about the early bird and the worm... also true. Plus it's not like great women are sitting around tapping their foot waiting on the Jacks of the world to roll up. By the time Jack comes around, that perfect woman is with an imperfect man who made her feel good compared to what. (Don't act brand new, you know exactly what I mean by that)

Who told Jack he was the catch of the year? Who is to blame for half decent guys (I know more than a few) walking around acting like they could levitate and part the Red Sea at any moment? Ladies? Get your friends. Some of them are throwing panties, car keys and accolades at bruhs who used to get an eyeroll and a "boy please". Yes, I blame this on the sisters.Some of you are way too eager to get got. And then act surprised when you do.

Can we talk a minute about bedroom beasting and why it's so dangerous but so damn good? Truth time. I have definitely prolonged a relationship that I knew was going nowhere because the cocoa was hot. Like Nola  Darling "Gotta Have It" hot. Got you standing outside a woman's door pleading, "Please, baby, please, please!" That kind of good-good skews the whole game. You will overlook a lot of otherwise "unwifeable" behavior for the regular hot cocoa. (I bet at least four of you will have issue with the term unwifeable. It's a descriptive, not a derogative. Stay with me ladies)

Lastly, who stays with someone they are that unsure about for two years? I'd would rather date 15 women in 12 months to find one great one than stick with one that was just okay for two years. Am I the only one who thinks this way?

Jack came across self-absorbed and slightly deluded but we only got a snapshot of his situation. At the end of the day, it's not a bad thing that he knows what he wants and won't settle for this. But I have to wonder if he has what it takes to go get it. Thanks for the floor and the edit so I sound like I have some education, Chele. *drops mic and flees the left exit door*

Well now. Jason had some insightful observations. What say you? Do thirsty women create the egos of the Mr Jacks of the world? Does the early bird really get the worm? Can hot cocoa turn your brain into mush? What's better? To serial date a lot of people or to try and make it work with one that you're not 100% sure of? Any thoughts about Jason's thoughts? Do share...

When Doves Cry - a guest post by @Diggame

Today, check out some thoughts on relationships gone wrong brought you by Darryl Frierson. Darryl is currently working on his first book, a romantic comedy, called ”Loose Ends”. Darryl has written for The FreshExpress, Black Sports Online,, Show Me the Blog and various other sites. You can catch him on twitter at @diggame and on his blog From Ashy to Classy( Take a look...

Everyone has had conversations with friends and maybe the subject of relationships has comes up. And if the person is having relationship problems or the relationship has ended someone is always going to ask "What happened to Chuck" or "What happened to Krystal?"

These will be some general responses you may hear:

"Girl, Chuck wasn’t ready for a woman like me."

"Playa, Krystal didn't know how to honor a true man."  

There seems to be some psychological phenomenon where we as humans cannot take accountability for things happening in our life. This seems to be shown more often when it comes to romantic relationships. In one of my Marcus Graham Chronicles posts "Is The Onus on Me" I delved into my own personal problems in terms of having self accountability for my past relationship woes. I began to wonder if sometimes we deserve the things that happen to us in a relationship not necessarily because of the other person but because of things we have done.

Sometimes it seems that we will find any way to blame the other person for what happened badly in the relationship instead of doing self-reflection and seeing our part in the ending of the relationship. Generally the breakdown of any relationship is usually a combination of both people's discrepancies. It's a two-way street where the blame traffic travels in both directions.

Many of us love to look at the positive aspects of our selves instead of understanding, embracing, and improving the debts to our characters. For instance next time you are talking to someone try this exercise...

Ask them "What are the good things you bring to a relationship?" Nine out of ten times you will find the person will have laundry lists of things good to say about themselves. After that then ask the person "What are the bad relationship things about you?" A lot of people will be hard pressed to name 1/8 of the amount of things they named good about themselves.

In relationships we all like to believe we are in the right in terms of relationship. A man may think he was justified in his actions for cheating because his lady doesn't cook enough for him. While a woman may always feel that she is the victim in the relationship because of the man doing something to her. We hold tight to our perspective of thinking we are in the right. It’s very hard to see from our mate’s perspective because we can have the sense that the person is not getting down with our "program".

The idea of seeing the both sides of the coin in any situation is probably the hardest thing for us to do in any situation let alone a relationship. Self-reflection is paramount in our relationships because it will become an ongoing problem. I was hipped to the concept of the Color Mixing Theory by Zo Willams from his conversations with hip hop icon Kool Moe Dee and I think it makes the most sense when understanding who we are.

The Color Mixing Theory
In the visual arts, color theory is a body of practical guidance to color mixing and the visual impacts of specific color combinations. The Color Mixing Theory in terms of relationships uses the general color theory as a back drop to explain the concept of self-actualization and personal accountability.

For instance, if you are one color (let’s say for instance: blue) and your mate is another color (let's say in this case: green) and you all get together and mix (join together in a relationship) you all will make the color aqua or teal. The problem is what if you don't know your own "color" and your mate doesn't know their own "color"?

If you are not consciously trying to find out more about who you are, how do you even know that you and your mate’s two colors mixing together make a good mix? After the ending of the relationship you aren't the same color because you have some of the" color" residue from the last mate on you. You may not even realize your "color" has changed and or see the past relationship residue on our character and spirit. The residue of the other persons color we take is the emotional baggage we carry forth into new relationships. We all do it but if we don't recognize our own color how can we understand how much our mates "color" or the relationship has had an effect on us?

We then end relationships blaming the other party for their "color" being the problem not realizing our "color" had a lot to do with the relationships demise as well. If we don't take any self-reflection and begin to recognize who we are and our issues within a relationship we will constantly go from failed relationship to failed relationship. We will continue to mix our "colors" with someone else’s "colors" never understanding ourselves and taking on the baggage from the past relationships.

If we want to make our relationships to become healthier and survive we have to be able to see those things within us that may not be the best things about our character. We tend to think we listen to our mate but when actuality we just listen for what we want to hear. Some of us don't really want to know who we are we just like our singular living capacity.

(If you like this post, check out "The Relationship Credit Score".)

BougieLand,what say you? Are we attuned enough to our own shiggity prior to pointing out others'? Do we ever really let go of that emotional baggage or do we carry that residue around forever? If you were a color in the rainbow, which one would you be? Why? And what do you think is the complimentary color to yours? For instance, I'm purple... I go with everything. Work the metaphor, people. It's deeper than Crayola. The floor is yours...

Pardon me while I whip papers (guest post by @CitizenOjo)

Today, I treat you to a guest post by my blog cousin @CitizenOjo, you can find him over on The Desultory Life & Times of a Public Citizen. That whole birth certificate brouhaha hit home to him. Here's why...

I saw the following statement on Twitter last week “April 27, 2011, the day the United States lost." In case you don’t know April 27th was the day President Barack Obama finally showed us his birth certificate. Gasp!!! The long national nightmare is over!!!! Finally Obama has proven that he is not the “Manchurian Candidate” he is portrayed as. This should be the greatest thing? But if it is, why do I feel so down about the whole situation? 

I’m no Obama Fanatic by any stretch of the imagination. I fell off the bandwagon awhile back and I’m not planning on chasing the wagon train back down. I don’t hate the man. I actually think he is a nice person that wants to make America a better place. I just don’t like some of the people that he surrounds himself with and some of the decisions that he makes. I know racists are mad as hell that he’s in the White House. Black racial apologists are mad that he lives there too. 

This malarkey about a birth certificate is a distraction that is all about RACE. This fiasco has brought out certified nut job provocateur Orly Taitz and Carnival Barker Donald Trump. Taitz, who can barely speak English, thinks that Obama’s certificate isn’t real because it says African and not Negro. So this white woman is an expert on black folk’s birth certificates? Did she take classes for this in college or learned it while hanging out in “The Hood”? Yes, you are hearing **crickets** in the background!!! And Trump…..oh boy!!! He was doing so well when he was known for firing people and fighting Rosie, after I dissed Oprah I’m kissing up to her now, O’Donnell in the press. Not only does he question Obama’s heritage but he thinks Obama is unintelligent. Again, you are hearing **crickets** in the background!!! So now we are questioning the admission standards for Ivy League Schools? I wonder how Trump really feels about Dr. Randal Pinkett, season 4 winner of The Apprentice, the Rhodes Scholar who attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Side Note - To all the black folks that attended Predominately White Institutions and laughed with disdain when I told them I attended a Historical Black University: “No matter how hard you try to fit in they still don’t respect you either!!!” 

Are you still wondering why this mess has got me felling sad? My son was born in February 2011. After he was born, I told my wife that this was our greatest creation. I love that kid to death and I pray for him every night. But something was bothering me before we left the hospital. I kept obsessing over the birth certificate being correct. And I was adamant about picking it up from our local government offices as soon as possible. I didn’t understand why I was like that until this week. Obama, my son, hell maybe even me. 

Our existence and dignity has been tied to a sheet of paper that tells where and when we were born. American has again proven that any person that doesn’t look 100% caucasian is still a number on a piece of paper (ala’ 3/5ths person rule). I guess I didn’t want my son to have his citizenship questioned because he was unable to produce a birth certificate from 2011. I wanted to prove that he belonged. And even though I already knew he was a citizen, it wouldn’t matter unless he had that paper. So when Obama finally showed his birth certificate, I figured out why this spectacle had me so bothered. I use to laugh at all those Birthers on tv for being brainwashed. In the end I had realized that the Birthers had brainwashed me too.

Well good people, what did you think about the birther nonsense? Do you think Obama should have provided additional proof? Did you think there was a racist element to the entire attack? Do share your thoughts...

To be POTUS - a guest post from DesertBlack

Today we've got a guest post from one of our male readers, the ever-intelligent Mr. DesertBlack. He's got a thought or two about Prez 44 and a few questions for you as well. Enjoy and show him some comment love.

What does it take to be President of the United States of America? What are the necessary skills, education, experience, world view, demeanor and presence/charisma that make one a viable President?  What is the right mix of everything?

This thought has been on my mind ever since the election of Barak Obama as our 44th President. I must admit that I was skeptical about seeing an AA male or female holding this office in my lifetime in spite of the advances (we as a country) have made. All is not perfect in Oz, but I move forward.

Before we start let me say I support and have supported all of my Presidents. I have not always agreed with their strategies, tactics, and world view, but for that moment in time they are my President - I support them. Needless to say there is probably more affinity for this one because we share a few things like Chicago, age, a good cheeseburger and some level of similar experience navigating these United States of America to name a few. I may be naive but that is where I am in reference to all of the Presidents of my lifetime.

There are many directions this conversation could take, but I will focus on the three that I think about most often. They are qualifications, respect for the office and admiration vs. contempt, in light of this President with so many expectations  on his shoulders.

Qualifications – What are some basic fundamental ones? What is icing on the cake? Basic qualifications, an understanding of our governmental system, the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States, the ability to balance a budget, the ability to understand and interpret law etc…. Icing on the cake, the ability to understand the impact of decisions, the ability to embrace all of one’s countrymen, a sense of fairness in an unfair world, and the ability to inspire a nation to greatness just to name a few. Along with “education”, “experience” and a couple of skinned knees to keep it real.

Respect for the Office – As Americans what level of respect do we have for the office? Is it dependent on who is holding it? How do we provide a united front to the world when we disagree internally? As a democracy it is our right to disagree, protest and influence change. (Normally in a safe environment - wink and nod) And even in a democracy is it too much to ask for a modicum of respect for office, position, title?  Is it really that hard to say “Mr. President” or “President Obama”? (or is this another topic)

Admiration vs. Contempt – In light of all the current would be presidential hopefuls - what inspires them? Is it love of country, power, specific vision, or unadulterated ego? Or is it, if “this guy” can do it … I know I can. I mention this because now everyone is throwing their hat in the ring including, a former governor of Alaska, a soon to be former ambassador and son of a billionaire, a former senator and representative from Pennsylvania. This opportunity has always been available. Am I just hating or is the timing right for these potential candidates?

So, as I ponder the successes and challenges of the Obama Administration and wonder if being the president were an opportunity for me... would I consider it  and why? (not that I am all that, but President Obama and I are the same age and on rare nice summer days the thought has crossed my mind). J Things that make you go Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Bougieland the floor is yours. What do you think qualifies one to be POTUS? Am I too sensitive in noticing that the level of respect afforded to President Obama is lacking? Are you inspired to achieve (anything) based on admiration for challenges overcome or contempt in that … if they/he/she can do it I know I can?

Bonus questions:

Can we expect the world (and this country) to offer the same level of respect to a “brown” man representing a “Caucasian” nation when the other players are entrenched in their nationality and culture, China/Chinese, Japan/Japanese, India/Indian etc…?

And is there any experience/job/degree that can prepare one to navigate 2 wars, collapsing real estate markets, record deficits, increased outsourcing, disappearing industries, record unemployment, global financial instability, and a transition from an industrial society to an information/tech environment just to name a few?

[From blog host - you guys know the rules, answer one, some, all or just give us your thoughts. And hey, keep it bougie out there...]

Don't blame it... An Online Dating Adventure by @Reads4Pleaure

Today's internet dating tales comes from the ever brilliant book blogstress, @Reads4Pleasure. Do not attempt to read this while sipping substances next to electronics. Show some love...

Don’t blame it on the sunshine, don’t blame it on the moonlight, don’t blame it on the good times, blame it on Luther

Back in December Luther Vandross’ song Second Time Around kept popping up on my iTunes and my iPhone.  I have almost 3,000 songs in iTunes so it struck me as more than strange that in a two-week timeframe, I heard it no less than six times.  Were the lyrics a sign? Was Luther the Patron Saint of Romance trying to tell me something?  Or did my iTunes just need an overhaul? I don’t know, but I took it as a sign and decided to give dating a try after a 4 ½ year hiatus.  I’ve been busy doing other things.  Don’t judge me!

Being honest, I’m not the chick men notice on the street, in the grocery store, library, etc.  I stopped doing clubs years ago because I got tired of holding everyone else’s purse while they had a good time and I sat in the corner observing.  So I figured I’d give online dating a try.  Surely someone would read my profile and realize that I was just the nerd he was looking for, right? Wrong!

In the 30 day challenge I set for myself, I decided that I would put myself out there and hope for the best.  I thought my profile accurately portrayed me as a somewhat shy nerd with a passion for books and music, a love of football and a dry sense of humor.   I was looking for someone who was appreciative of those things, sure of himself, responsible and communicative.  I wasn’t interested in whether or not he was white-collar or blue-collar, as long as he was able to handle his business.  I also stated that he didn’t have to be the most handsome man, as long as he had a good heart.  For the record, I also mentioned my preferred age range.

Some of the responses I received were from:  the Hamburglar, a dude who told me his idea of fine dining was McDonald’s; a guy who was an “a ventures person” who really liked to look nice when his “ends are right;” and from someone who “wonted” to be loved. There was the 69 year old Caucasian man I had to block because he filled my inbox with his number and requests to talk and/or meet.  There was the 61 year old deacon who wanted more children and thought I would be the perfect woman to give them to him.  And then there was Cat Daddy.

Cat Daddy said he was 48 in his profile on one site, but was 50 on another site.  That was slightly older than I was willing to go, but he spoke in complete sentences in IMs and seemed to be the winner of the bunch.  So what went wrong?  When we finally spoke by phone, he sounded 60.  I swearfoGod I expected him to break out with the J. Anthony Brown ‘watchouttherenow’ at any moment.  But I was being open and open-minded, so I talked to him a second time.  This time around he repeatedly told me about how fabulous his house was, asked me to move in, offered to pay some bills and asked how soon I thought we could start having the kids God never blessed him with.  Hold up, partner!  I give good phone, but it’s not THAT good.  I don’t think I’d said more than 20 words to this man and he had me barefoot and pregnant by year’s end.  Needless to say, I’ve not spoken to him since.

The challenge came to an end and I have to say I wasn’t sorry to see it end.  I’ll leave the dating to the professionals.  In the meantime, there are books to be read, music to be heard and television to be watched.  And that Luther song?  Oh, it went bye-bye.

What do you think, BougieLand - is it just that hard out there for a Bougienista? Do you think (as I do) that 30 days isn't enough time to see what's out there? I've noticed that many of you have stated that you tried and gave up in frustration. Should we consider searching for acceptable companionship a marathon instead of a sprint? And what is to be done with these Cap/Cat Daddies out there? Can someone (Brian McKnight) host an intervention reality show to get some of these dudes out of the club?! And have YOU mastered the art of giving good phone? Show some comment love...

My Online Dating Story: The Good, the Bad & The Ugly by @AGrownAzzMan

Today's Online Dating story comes from @AGrownAzzMan. Show him some love...

See what had happened was….

I was minding my own business on twitter when our dear Chele posted in a tweet that she was planning a theme week around online dating. Yours truly jokingly replied that I had been there, done that and there might be stories. A few tweets back and forth and I had been drafted, was forced, volunteered to write a guest post.

First of all let me say that I am out of the game. Been out. I was blessed to meet a wonderful woman online and we have been in a great relationship for some time now. However, I did a fair amount of searching before I found gold and therein is the tale.

The Good:
I think online dating is great. Yeah I said it. Now that that is out of the way let me tell you why. I have been some places and seen some things. I have been married and divorced. Twice each. Lifehappens/don’tjudgeme. I got to a point in my life where I had a good grasp of what I could bring to the table and what I needed in a partner. No more trying to be all things to all people. What I found useful about online dating is it allows you to be systematic and strategic about what you are looking for and whom you choose to meet. Romance is what we all want but why invest the emotional energy in someone you really can’t have a future with? You also get the chance to communicate with people you would never cross paths with any other way.

Follow me here. We all have specific needs and wants. Most of us have busy lives and plenty of things to get done on a daily basis. Time is a major limiting factor in trying to meet someone. When you meet in any other setting (Church, the club, networking events, the grocery store) you don’t get the information you really need until somewhere in the middle of the process. MAYBE. Online it is all there, from the beginning. Not only the vital stats but the person’s expression of who they are and what they want in their own words. I know some of you are thinking, “But people lie online.” Yes they do. People lie in person too. Liars lie. The key is to do your due diligence. At least online the initial time and financial investment is usually very small.

I met some really great women online. I know if it could happen for me it can happen for anyone.

The Bad:
There is that whole not really who you say you are thing. This could be a whole post unto itself. Of course this is not unique to online meetings. There was the woman who smoked even though I was very specific about not dating smokers (She said she was planning to quit).

There was the woman who said she had no children when she actually had 3, all under the age of 10 with 2 different daddies. There are plenty of men who are willing to date woman with children but I stated very clearly in my profile that this was not for me. She thought I would change my mind after meeting her and eventually her kids. WDDDA?

And of course no discussion of online dating would be complete without talking about the pictures. I understand that life online allows folks to create the fantasy version of themselves complete with pictures. Sometimes the pictures are a few years (pounds) ago. I get that. But how do you then show up, looking like who you really are and think someone will accept you?

Toes are about to get stepped on here but if the name of the web site is BlackPeopleMeet what is up with all the white women on there reaching out to black men? #HollaFail

The Ugly:
We all have preferences. Among other things, I could never date someone who smokes, votes Republican, or roots for the Boston Celtics, not necessarily in that order. That’s just how I roll. If you know that upfront, why are you giving me a second thought when there is no possibility that we could be on the same page? This brings me to the subject of cyber stalkers. What is it about a screen and a keyboard that makes someone want to fill up your inbox with why-not-me messages? Desperation is not the business. If there is no mutual interest please just move on. Fortunately that did not happen too often.

In conclusion, I am reminded of the old saying all’s well that ends well. I would do it all again, even the smoking woman or BeBe’s kids to end up where I am now because this is priceless.

BougieLand - what are your dealbreakers? Do you only date within a certain age group? Body type? Who still smokes in this day and age? Would you date a smoker? A conservative Republican? A Lakers fan? (Sorry GAM, I had to throw that in there) Someone with multiple kids by multiple partners? Where is (or was for the already married/committed) your line in the sand? Inquiring minds want to know? 

Three things I miss/don't miss about being single by @AverageBro and @BBWaite

From @Average Bro - Three Things I don't miss about being single..

This September will officially mark my tenth year "Out Of The Game". If you read this blog with any regularity, you can probably guess what said "Game" is. That's right, folks, I've been happily married for nearly a decade now, which means I've defied most of the grim statistics (and boy, are they ever grim!) about black marriages.

I'd be the lassssst guy to tell you marriage is easy. It isn't. It requires a whole lot of compromise, a whole lot of changing, and a whole lot of "shutting up when you really feel like going off". Whereas lots of so-called experts consider marriage the cure to all that ails Black America, I don't necessarily agree. Some people (especially brothers) have absolutely no reason whatsoever for getting married, not now, not ever. A functional marriage means being in a perpetual state of growth. It goes without saying that we all know a bunch of 35 year old teenagers. Again, this ain't for everybody.

All that said, marriage isn't all bad. I wouldn't even dream of trading places with my single friends. And on that note, here's a few things I definitely don't miss about being single:

The Game - Let's face it, even if you're a guy who does relatively well on the dating scene, the whole dating/courtship game is still pretty annoying. You meet someone and wonder if they're really into you or just using you as a rebound from a prior relationship. Dating isn't cheap, and often is a waste of time. The posturing of showing someone your best side, just long enough to get what you want gets old. The bar/club/lounge scene, even in a city like DC where I live, gets monotonous and tired. There's a lot of posturing and BS involved. Frankly, it's a lot easier (in some ways) having just one woman to please.

The Loneliness - I'm sure a lot of guys are gonna be too gully to admit this, but yes, single guys sometimes get lonely too. You can have a great social life, but still find those rainy Thursday nights when the only thing on TV is a sh*tty Nuggets/Pacers game, and you'd much rather have some company. There's the annoyance of having to figure out who to take to your family reunion, cousin's graduation, etc. And yes, sometimes, at the end of a long day, you just want someone to vent to. When you're single, that someone isn't always there.

The Pointlessness - Around the time I turned 25, I looked up and realized that as much fun as I was having, I was basically treading water in life. Sure, I dated a lot, hung out all the time, and basically lived it up, but there was always the nagging feeling that weeks of my life were going by with little to show for it. Strange as it might sound, being married has given me purpose and focus in all my extramartial endeavors, career-wise, financially, even as a blogger. Yeah, I know that sounded silly. But then I look back and realize how many weekends I totally pissed away chasing chicks who really didn't deserve to be caught. By comparison, my focus in life is razor sharp now. I feel like I can literally accomplish anything, and the stability and focus of having a family to raise, love, and provide for gives me all the motivation I need.

From @BBWaite - Three things I miss about being single:

Mr. Waite and I have been married for over 20 years. I'll start counting again after the 25th anniversary. I love my husband, after all these years - I really do. I love my kids. I especially love the fact that all three children will be out of the house in about two more years (637 days, 2 months, 4 days, 12 hours... who's counting). I love my life. We're happy, financially secure, I'm secure in my faith and in my career, I'm fulfilled as a woman and a person. But...

I have to admit every now and then to looking at OneChele (and other singles) and feeling just a twinge or two of envy. There are a few things I miss about being single-

1) Picking up and going - She doesn't do it as much now but I was around for the days when Chele would get a phone call on Wednesday, throw her laptop and a couple outfits in a bag on Thursday and be off to all areas of the planet. As I planned bake sales, arranged carpools and juggled dentist's appointments, I watched her jet off to Hawaii and Spain and Italy. And I had to admit a part of me wanted to be there.

2) Single-minded decision making - I suppose I could go buy a new car and redecorate the upstairs without consulting my husband or worrying about saving for the kids' college funds but that wouldn't make me a very good steward, now would it? When you are single, you can decide to move to the West Coast and buy all organic products for two years. When you're married, you have to take others into consideration.

3) New Dudes - (not Dude Formerly Known as New, he was a huge disappointment) Mr. Waite gave me a serious side-eye when I typed this portion but after 20+ years both he and I know that while our passion, mutual respect and compatibility remain firmly in tact - there's very little novelty left. We have to really work to surprise each other. There are no more first kisses (God willing) for either of us. That "new-new" excitement is long gone. 

Now I already know (and Chele told me quite passionately) that I wouldn't trade what I have for any of the little things that I miss. I almost lamented about the inability to keep a pint of chocolate ice cream or leftover chinese food in the house. I almost went in on the ridiculous amounts of laundry and disappearing socks. But I kept it generic and light-hearted. Honestly, if I could jet off to Hawaii tomorrow, I'd want my husband with me. If I made all the decisions, I'd overthink them to death. And my husband still knows how to take my breath way, new-new or not...

BnB - What do you think? Show AverageBro and BB a little love for sharing their thoughts and experiences. Can you (married and single) relate to what they're saying? Did anyone notice the shot BB took at me (moving to the West Coast and buying organic)? How did you enjoy After the Broom week?

Five things I don't miss about the Single Life - a guest post by @TiffanyNHouston

In an interesting twist, I asked three different married people what they did/did not miss about being single. Tiffany is a newlywed so I wanted her "newbie" insights. Her story is below. Tune in tomorrow for the other two opinions and show her some comment love.

When Chele pinged me on my BlackBerry and asked me to write a guest post for After The Broom, I was a little confused. My response back to her was a question. I asked, “Have I been married long enough??” After all, I’m no marriage expert having been hitched a whole FOUR months. LOL!! But she said I did and so I write.

I got married later in the game, at age 37. I had a lot of time to enjoy being a single woman and all the benefits that come with it. But having crossed the burning sands into matrimony, there are certain things about singleness that I was glad to leave behind. Follow along with me, would you??? J

What I don’t miss about being single:

1. The minefield that is the dating game.

I was talking with my husband about this topic in general and the first thing he said is that he didn’t miss dating at all. (I should hope so! LOL!) After I gave him a strong side of disapproval, he clarified. What he meant is that he didn’t miss the anticipation of meeting someone that you feel has potential and then finding you and the person ultimately do not click. I nodded my head in agreement when he said that. I’ve been there, done that, and have several T-shirts and battle scars to show for it.

2. The endless loop of relationship discussions.

I was at a birthday party for a good friend Saturday night. My husband and I were the only married people at the table. The discussion turned to the subject of dating and relationships. It was kind of weird for me to be silent having participated in many of those type of chats. But this time, I just sat and listened. On the ride home, I told my husband how I didn’t miss those debates at all, going back and forth with my homegirls trying to figure out how men think. The only man that I have to try to figure out now is my husband. Trust me, I am still learning about him and that is MORE than enough.

3. Coming home to an empty house

Living with another person is an adjustment to say the least, but honestly I don’t miss coming home to an empty house. I enjoyed my solitude as a single woman but there were also many nights that I was lonely and simply wanted some conversation. I spent about as many Friday nights on the couch alone as I did out kicking it with my girls. One of the best parts of being married so far has been coming home to a long hug from my husband and being able to laugh at his silly jokes.

4. Hot steaming cocoa, without the guilt.

I don’t think this requires much explanation, but if you are a Christian you should feel me. LMAO!!!!

And last but certainly not least, the MOST important thing I don’t miss about being single…….

5. Being asked the infamous question: So why are YOU still single???

This annoyed me to no end when I was single and still annoys me now. People are single because they want to be or maybe because they are trying to work through some stuff or maybe because they just haven’t met the right person yet. But for whatever reason someone is single, they are and that’s that. It’s would be nice if folks accepted things as they stood. Being single is a state of being, just like being married is.

I love being married, I love my husband but I also cherish my single past. I think it actually has helped me to become a better wife. I had time to learn and grow and be my own woman. That is the best gift you can give your future spouse, the ability to be a full and complete person…..on your own.

For the BnB singles, do you get tired of coming home to an empty house? Are you one of the guilt-ridden about premarital cocoa? Married people, if you had to get back out there - what would be your hardest adjustment? The floor is yours...

Marriage isn't for everyone - Guest Post by FreeBlackMan

Today's post comes from FBM (FreeBlackMan) who as he says "escaped" his marriage less than a year ago. He has a unique perspective on marraige that I thought was worth a share. Show him some love:

(Shout out to OneChele who took my rantings and turned them into this post)

Truth - I stumbled out of my six year marriage like a wounded one-foot Kunte Kinte breaking for the Freedom Trail. That ish was indentured servitude. I'm still struggling with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). My whole marriage was trauma.

I met old girl in my junior year of college. She was highly sought after on campus. Not gonna lie, all I knew about her was that she was pre-law, member of a sorority that wears red, and had the bangingest body I'd seen in a while. I approached her, she seemed uninterested. I started dating her line sister and wouldn't you know, that piqued her interest. She chased me down like a lioness pouncing on a gazelle near the Serengeti watering hole. I went down hard.

What can I say? She was hot, ambitious, adoring, "spoke so well", very demanding of me and herself. Neither of us was particularly religious though we both believe in a higher power. I thought we loved each other. And did I mention she was hot? My non-knowing azz thought that was reason enough to seal the deal. I always planned to get married after college. In my mind that was time enough to sow the oats, see the field, pick one and lock it down. Yes. I know NOW I did it all wrong.

It never occurred to me that I was going to have to share my entire life and give up things I didn't want to give up just to call someone my wife. It never occurred to me that a woman being driven could quickly turn into controlling with a ring on the finger. I didn't know that a person without an organized religion can also be a person without a moral base. And I clearly didn't know what love was supposed to be all about.

I'm not blameless. I was hella immature. I thought marriage meant having a 24/7 sex partner, a chef, a housekeeper and someone to split the bills. I really didn't think much further than that. Someone should have pulled me to the side and wised me up (in other words, I could have used this series six years ago). When the going got tough, I shut down. And neither of us cared enough to repair the ever growing rift. Then came the frustration. Then we got mean. And then we started flagrantly cheating, I don't know who cheated first. It probably doesn't matter at this point. And then it was just ugly.

She was mad I didn't live up to her dream and I was mad she was still in my reality. I had nothing to prep me for living in the bowels of hell so I just hung out there for awhile cursing life. Until one day I realized - I don't have to live like this. After opening the window and screaming, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" I bounced. 

My mother always used to say to (scream at) me - You're so hardheaded, why do you have to learn everything the hard way? Deep masculine sigh... I don't know. 

I'm not anti-marriage. I may not even be anti-marriage for me. But I'm not sure I'll get married again. Sometimes ish falls apart. For me, it's easier to get out of if I don't have to involve lawyers and the court system. But that's just me. The planets gotta align and I have to know and trust that woman better than I know and trust my mama (and that's saying something). I need a woman without a Cinderella Disney-azz complex. I have to see no signs of potential crazy. I have had the windows busted out of my car... I don't care to repeat the experience. 

Long story short - good luck to the single folks trying to make it happen. Hats off to the married folk making it work. Fist bump to the almost, nearly and newly divorced who are intimately aware of that "bowels of hell" feeling. And yes, I'm working on being less bitter. You should have heard me six months ago. At least now I can say - Let my story me be a lesson to you...

Well now BnB, what do you think of this particular After the Broom perspective? Any other BnB divorce stories to share? What did you learn from FBM's story? And he wanted me to ask you all to guess (or list) where he went wrong from jump. He wants to compare your list with his. It's like group therapy this week on BnB. Join the session...